Derbyshire 96 - Chesterfield - Today should have been the day - that's about all I can say


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May 1st 2020
Published: May 1st 2020
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Today should have been the day. It is going to be a day of would have , could have and should have again. We would have been waking up on the park and ride , paid our fee to exit and driven the M2 down to the tunnel . We should have been sitting in the car park at EuroTunnel . Perhaps we would have been put on an earlier train . We always hope we will be lucky. We ought to have been listening to the dulcit tones of John Humphreys and his french counterpart delivering the safety messages . My watch would have been put on one hour . So the walk has been done this morning . It is now 9.45. It is raining . It is the 1st May and we are going nowhere soon . It is 10.45 in La Belle France . At 8.20 our train would have started her journey under the English Channel . 35 minutes later at 8.55 GMT and 9.55 French time we would be pulling into Calais ready to set off on our holidays . The road off the train would be familiar . Along the side of the train lines . Would we see migrants ? Apparently many are still making their way across the Channel taking advantage of our lockdowns. Border patrols still pick them up . It would be right turn and past the allotments. I can drive that drive in my head . We have done it so many times in the past .

I have tried not to think about the holiday too much . I cannot help it though . We always have a holiday in April or May. This year there will be no photobook to remind us of our 2020 holiday and now all we have to look forward to is a summer where hopefully things will get back to normal in time for our September jaunt . The last few days have included a delivery of a work PC, setting it up and waiting for the call from the technical department to sort out security and access . Keeping in touch phones and Telekits . I feel a sense of loss as I can work from home now once I am set work however because I have already booked a months holiday I am expected to take the holiday even though I won't be going any further than our back yard . 80 hours of leave will be lost . It makes not going on holiday feel even worse .

The walk today was uninspiring . Honestly you might as well stay in bed and not bother joining me and my thoughts . I left early because we were expecting a delivery . The highlight of the day 1 bag of cement , some sand and gravel and 100 concrete common bricks . I wanted to get back before the delivery to help out moving them. Anything to stop me thinking of Belgian roads and what I was missing . We didnt have far to go before the rain started . Just a gentle shower . Just enough to dampen my coat and my enthusiasm. It would have been easy to turn around and walk home . However , as always something catches my eye and stops me in my tracks . A rainbow . I stop and admire its beauty . A swish behind me is a runner . I never saw him coming . I only heard him as he ran past me . I may as well have not been there for all he noticed . My plan was to walk around the estate again but this time in the opposite direction . Down the old path to the main road . I saw too many people . I did not particular feel sociable today of all days . Although I did manage a brief conversation about the brilliant low sun with a young woman walking her dog . Everyone else were too far in front of me to bother me . The spring flowers are putting a show on again . Even in the middle of the estate the pink campion are stunning . The Jack by the Hedge peeks through . More and more signs thanking the NHS are popping up. Home made rainbows coloured in by the children ., Thankyou NHS written on cards and strewn along a hedge . I wondered how many came out last night to clap. Certainly our road are still coming out in force . Not the lady in her PJ's though . No sign of her last night . Car horns though now accompanied the clapping .

10.05 our time . 11.05 French time . By now we would be pulling up into an aire . One of those wonderful places the French do particularly well . Perhaps had we got out of France the stopping place would have been less salubrious. No-one does an aire like the French . If we were still in France we would have picked one without a petrol station and boutique . One with just picnic benches and trees sheltering it from the road . The gas would have put on in Gabby. The kettle would be singing away . The first pot of coffee made in France . We would have smiled to each other and said "We have arrived " and the adventure would have started .

Apologies to anyone wanting an uplifting photograph. Today I let my sense of humour run riot as I walked .

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1st May 2020

That is terrible that you can't reclaim your leave...
don't they permit an exception due to the virus? If not, then there is the rest of the UK that you can visit. I'm sorry that the Continent is out for now. It seems that your sense of humor got away...
2nd May 2020

holidays
The Department for Work and Pensions who I work for always tell everyone what you should do but rarely do it themselves . We have been fighting the government for 4 years over pension overpayments , different rates of pay for the same job and other issues . Unfortunately when the government make their mind up you stand little chance against them. We have been paying for austerity by having no or very little payrises because the government is my paymaster . This holiday rule is a good example . It seems that if you are working you can take your holidays over the next 22 months . If like me they would not guarentee social distancing and told me to stay home then I have different rules applied . If you have holidays booked then they expect you to take them . I had a phone call from the union about it yesterday . I have had to send a report in explaining the management stance in my case which is very discriminatory . They argue that holidays are for getting away and rest and relaxation . Getting away no chance at all . I am not sure our country is going to open to holidaymakers for a long long time . Cornwall and Scotland dont want any of us back . It will be interesting to see how you all get on

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