The benefits of exercise

I am always reading about the benefits of taking exercise, with particular reference to mental health. I’ve always found that a bit odd because my depression usually means I find it hard to do anything, never mind exerting myself. There could be something in it, though. I played golf on Friday and Sunday and I do feel slightly better in the mind department, which could be down to the fact I played a lot better than I have done for a long time. The drawback of exercise is the ‘morning after’ effect. My lower back, which I managed to injure playing football back in the 1980s, has never fully recovered and I now find myself staggering around like Frankenstein’s monster. I’m sure it’s doing me good, even though it doesn’t feel like it at the moment.

We’re all going on a (very brief) summer holiday

Having seen our Spanish jaunt called off by easyJet, we decided to try and book a short holiday in the UK this summer. Having endured an all summer long ‘staycation’ in 2020 (staycation means staying at home, not going on holiday in the UK), we’ve managed to secure a nice little place in the Chilterns without having to mortgage the house to pay for it. This country is not called Rip Off Britain for nothing and now things are reopening, it isn’t a coincidence that everything costs much more than it did before. Even though our accommodation is reasonably priced, you can bet we will paying through the nose for everything else.

Haters gonna hate

Is anyone really surprised that there was very loud booing at the Riverside Stadium last night when England and Romanian players took the knee to show their opposition to racism? One excuse trotted out by apologists for racism is that the gesture is political. Whatever you think of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, the simple fact is that footballers take the knee specifically and solely to oppose racism. Nothing else. And when people boo them, they are unquestionably booing anti-racism initiatives. Worse than that, they are booing black players which rather reinforces the point that racism is alive and well in England and people still need to stand up and say so.

Here’s to you, Ollie Robinson

God help me when I agree with anything culture secretary Oliver Dowden says, but when he describes the decision by the English Cricket Board (ECB) to suspend Ollie Robinson for some offensive tweets he made over a decade ago as “over the top” I think he could be onto something. I read his apology and it seemed sincere enough to me and I hoped that this would be the end of it. After all, he’s grown up, learned something and now understands the error of his ways. Isn’t that the whole, that he’s a better person now? If only the thousands booing at the Riverside could learn something, too.

If not 21st June, when?

The government is either teasing us about whether the country is going to fully reopen from 21 June or Boris Johnson and his clown car government doesn’t have a clue what it’s doing. All the evidence points to it being the latter. We are told that the Indian variant of COVID is now the prevalent strain and because it’s more transmissible cases are going up. But, so far, the number of deaths is not increasing and ‘only’ around 150 people are being admitted to hospital with COVID every day. I am no epidemiologist or virologist so don’t expect a science-based answer from me but I am coming round to the point of view that if we don’t open up soon, with so many ‘vulnerable’ folk double-jabbed, then when will it be? We have been told we will have to live with the virus probably forever because it isn’t going away. Do we delay the grand reopening for a few weeks, as some say and then what? Or do we now let it loose and hope for the best? Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock have got almost every big decision wrong to date so whichever option they choose is virtually guaranteed to be the wrong one.