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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Sunday, 22 March 2020

Arnside under threat

Sunday 22nd March 2020

I am at home with my son self isolating and social distancing. We are both in the "vulnerable" category.

My daughter has a flat ovelooking the pier in Arnside - she is a teacher in a senior position and has been putting herself at risk from the beginning of this outbreak along with her eight year old daughter. It is a blue-sky-sunny day and she tells me the village front is teeming with visitors with virtually no indication of social distancing. People are using the same metal handrails, sitting on seats where ohters have just moved from and generally intermingling.

This is just not fair on the residents of Arnside. If Governement guidelines were properly followed these people should not be here at all. In normal times we welcome visitors who bring trade and life but this is just pure selfishnes, or ignorance, or shear bloodymindedness.

These irresponsible people are wilfully contributing to the exponential growth of the infection, and that has been obvious for some time which I reckon should have been the trigger for the Governement to impose a legal curfew. That is a tragic thing to consider and If people had used common sesne and conformed to the advice it may not be necessary- through their selfishness they are going to make the rest of us suffer.


  1. The same selfishness and stupidity are on display here in the States among people both younger and older. May you and yours be safe, Sir Hugh.

  2. Timely post - or is it too late. Those are the very same people who are probably stripping the supermarket shelves of essentials.[In a past life they scattered rubbish through our countryside]
    Thankfully I see people sensibly walking well apart down my lane and keeping their distance for a chat. Thank god the pubs and restaurants were finally closed. Lots of my friends are taking social distancing very seriously almost to the point of isolation.
    As you know climbing walls have closed for obvious reasons yet today there were crowds up at Craig y Longridge happily intermingling in very close proximity. most of them, but not all, were young and obviously don't recognise the dangers they are putting the rest of us in.
    Time for a total crackdown I'm afraid. It's coming shortly.
    Stay safe.
    PS check this message for viruses.

  3. Meant to say Scotland, The Lakes and other 'remote' tourist destinations are appealing for people to stay away. They've been flocking there in their campervans putting whole communities at risk and depleting the local small stores of food.
    You need a sign up at the traffic lights in Milnthorpe - ARNSIDE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

  4. You've got me going now.
    Watch this video

  5. Michael L and BC - Well it's good to hear from some folk with common sense. I had seen the video you sent a link for BC. The mind boggles. It is like mass suicide and/or murder. There really must be a case for a curfew - the Government have the powers but have not taken them and even one more day hugely increases the stats. The curfew would contribute to easing pressure on the NHS which is what the Government say they are trying to do but they are not using it.

  6. Addendum:

    I am reading Charles Dickens, a Life (Claire Tomalin) and just picked up after writing the above comment - the next passage reads:

    "The year was 1848 when revolutions broke out all over Europe, with uprisings in France, Prussia, all parts of Italy and the Austrian Empire. Only London remained quiet, although when the Chartists announced they were bringing their petition for the vote with six million signatures to London the government moved the Queen to the Isle of Wight and the Duke of Wellington was brought up to defend the capital against possible uprisings."

  7. It's appalling Conrad. Selfish idiots putting us all at risk. We have people coming to the Highlands in motor caravans and to their holiday homes trying to 'escape the virus', potentially overwhelming local health services and shops. Please note: the virus is here! It was reported that Italian car registrations had been seen at the Glen Coe ski centre which beggars belief. All bar the Glen Coe centre closed yesterday and it is closing today, though the head of the centre has voiced his objection and is to complain to the SNP government. So far, Nicola Sturgeon has been an impressive leader during this terrible crisis (and I say that as someone who is not an SNP fan!) so I doubt he'll get much joy from her.

    It's not all depressing though: a group, 'viralkindness' has been formed in our village to shop, post mail etc for anyone self-isolating or in a vulnerable category.

    Best wishes to all your family and friends. Stay safe.

  8. We are up in Northumberland as you know Conrad. We were here before all this became as serious as today.
    We are in a cottage in a remote-ish location. We did one shop in Alnwick which will see us through the week until we go home. We walked today and met no one. We are not going into towns but it's almost impossible to walk the coast without passing a few houses. It gives us a taste and a feeling of what it must of been like during the plague.
    As we are already here we are going to stay. We are not going to travel to any other place during our stay and I feel we are being sensible. Am I being selfish or unreasonable? I would value your opinion, what ever you think.
    P's I have seen your Allis tractor and I will comment on the post.

  9. Alan R - The fact that you are asking the question is good enough. The advice is to keep 2 metres distance from others. If you touch door handles and the like in shops, especially metal you should wash hands with soap and water and only if not avsilable use sanitiser - n.b. soap and water is the preferred method - soap attacks the fatty covering of the virus (so I am told.) One idea is to take a small bottle of washing up liquid with you so eliminating the need for sanitiser which you may not be able to get anyway. Visit shops as little as possible. Admit nobody to your residence, and don't go visiting. I apologise if you have already absorbed all this information. You are doing the same as I would do in your circumstasnces. Oh, if you can pay for things with a card rather than handling currency so much the better. My best wishes to you both.

  10. I agree with Sir Hugh Alan. It’s strange really, because although we can walk in the local hills and virtually guarantee that we won’t meet anyone, we are beginning to feel uneasy about it. Does it look like we are being irresponsible even though we are, in effect, self isolating? I guess that slight feeling of guilt is what nudge theory predicts. Enjoy your holiday and all the best to you both

  11. Thanks Conrad and Gibson. We are fortunate that we brought lots of sanitizers with us but not many toilet rolls. Well, not enough to hoard anyway. We had planned to visit a few touristy spots while here but that has now been cut out of the plan. Hopefully another time. This coast walk is stunning and we are so glad that we have now almost finished what we thought we would do. We started in Amble and we are not at Lindisfarne. Maybe a cup of Holy Water tea is the answer. Let’s hope things improve before too long and we are all well.

  12. Grossly irresponsible. Stay safe Conrad.

  13. Ruth - thanks for your comment. I presume The Beast has gone into an enforced hybernation?

  14. I'm surprised you're surprised. Ten years of government austerity (mainly consisting of cuts to public services) followed by the upheavals and untruths of Brexit have left us with a population that is now disinclined to take any notice of what politicians say. Even when lives depend on it. Selfishness has been adopted because it's the only thing that seems to work, temporarily anyway.

    Ignorance also plays a part. "What would it matter if I went for a walk in the park. Just me... and the two kids... and the dog." It matters because infection grows as a geometric progression. First one, then two, then four, then eight, then sixteen; ten steps and we've reached 512. But try explaining that to those befuddled people stopped in the street and asked: "Is the government managing the economy well?".

    We comfort ourselves that the number of UK deaths is miniscule compared with Italy. But yesterday the increases in deaths and/or new cases in Italy, I can't remember which, increased, in one 24-hour period, by the UK's totals. In one day Italy had exceeded figures that had taken the UK a fortnight to accumulate. Even that's deceptive. Figures are brief snapshots, they appear and are gone; what's terrifying is the rate of change and the rate of change of the rate of change. Log charts over time show that our pattern is similar to Italy's. Ten doctors have died of the virus in Lombardy

    Just reflect. What do you think the next step will be? Rationing seems like a good idea, it worked in the war; frankly I'd welcome it. In fact it's already happening. Tesco has arbitrarily said you can only have three types of vegetables and three types of fruit. It's up to you to decide whether oranges are more important than apples.

    You seem impressed by Johnson's speech yesterday. The reason may be mundane. Last night he was using a tele-prompter.

  15. RR - I couldn’t have put it better, or as nearly as well, for that matter.

  16. Stay safe Conrad. Take care and all best wishes.
    (Delayed comment due to computer failure, but the shop let me deliver it on Monday and my daughter collected it in as protective way as possible on Tuesday - with a new hard disc, so at least that failure wasn't due to a virus!)
    Very worrying that Sue is required to go in to the hospital to work.

  17. Good to know that you are well Conrad and railing against the idiocy which seems to abound. We are all cooped up indoors, although I am exercising the option of one local walk a day. I'm still working, but mostly remotely (there's a rota), so sitting in front of a computer waiting for students to email questions. Leaves me with some time to get around and visit some blogs, though, so not all bad!

  18. Good to hear you are ok, Mark. My maths teacher daughter is having to wrestle with new teaching methods, and she has to go into school once a week to look after the children who are still going in.

  19. Mark and Phreerunner - Good to hear from you. My daughter is on the Seniior Leaderdhip Team at Chetwynd in Barrow. It has been a very demanding time. Daughter (granddaughter) Katie attends the junior school there as well. Daughter has now been able to arrsnge working from home - she is adept at computer trechnology and has set up a practical communication system on-line so I am relived about that.

  20. Hi Conrad, and everyone else for that matter; hope you're all well.

    We've restricted ourselves to daily walks from home - repetitive, but hopefully responsible. To date we've been fairly impressed with the observation of distancing by the relatively few people we're encountering. Just a couple of 'too close' incursions from some who were old enough to know better.

    Best advice I've heard (and heeded) was to "behave as if you think you are the one who carries a threat" and don't assume that others will automatically do so.

  21. Dave - Good to hesr from you and thst you are doing ok.

    I'm just off to go and do the repeats up and down my stairs then off for my daily solo walk round the block. It is eerily quiet around here.