2021 has begun

For any 2020 fans who thought the spin off 2021 might be more uplifting series one has quickly dispelled the idea.

Like the kid that copies the other kids homework returning character BoJo announced a third National Lockdown in England hours after Nicola announced her Lockdown. Nick Hancock (masquerading as his less competent twin Matt Hancock) has continued to waffle on incoherently, yet to be honest, we all much prefer it when he does the daily briefings because even the current government wouldn’t risk leaving the really drastic announcements to him.

Despite lots of evidence that being healthy helps massively in recovering if you do catch Corona authorities appear to be actively discouraging people from doing that thing that aids good health – you know, that exercise thing. This is yet another anomaly in the messages the Government provided throughout the 2020 series and the writers seem intent on continuing throughout 2021.

Vaccines continue to be hailed as the saviour of this series, although many avid watchers have questioned whether the ambitious mass vaccination plans announced can be Implemented without a hitch. Given the reputation for bumbling their way through pandemics many fans will not be surprised if there is mass chaos in coming series.

Meanwhile across the pond in the country formerly known as Trump Land white people stormed the Capitol and weren’t shot. Whereas the the outgoing president condemned the BLM protests as riots, he praised these people as protestors and he finally got banned from Twitter for inciting violence as leaders across the land condemned him.

We are all just hoping that series 1 of 2021 picks up a bit and becomes a little less doom and gloom, because quite frankly, none of us can stand the breaking news phone beeps anymore, our nerves are shot.

2020 – A Disappointing Ending

And so the final series of 2020 comes to an end. As predicted the writers have confirmed that a spin off show 2021 will start tomorrow following much the same premise and picking up where all the main characters left off in 2020, although it’s been confirmed that Dominic Cummings won’t be returning due to ‘creative differences’ with the Directors.

Viewers were highly critical of the ending of series 12 which saw Christmas cancelled last minute and the majority of the country being placed in Tier 4 (the new name for Lockdown 3). Even the news that another vaccine had been approved failed to provide hope to many, who having seen the Government’s Track and Trace system in action suspect that Hancock and co. couldn’t organise a single vaccination in a doctors surgery let alone the mass vaccination of a whole nation at speed.

We await to see if viewing figures will be as high for 2021 or if the public are tired of the same old plotlines being used again and again, you highlight suspect people will start turning of in droves if the writers don’t pull something out of the bag.

In other news you can now buy the theme tune to 2020 – Hands Face Space – on Itunes, although it isn’t expecting to reach very high in the charts. Can’t think why.

Boris Cancels Christmas

It’s becoming increasingly clear to the viewers that despite the writers running out of ideas they plan on dragging out 2020 well beyond series 12 when it was all originally meant to end. After setting up the Covid being furloughed so we can all have Christmas plot line they’ve suddenly gone rouge scrapped that and decided to return to the lockdown idea for a third time.

This time though they’re trying to trick the audience that it’s a new plot line by calling it tier 4 and restricting it to the South for now, where a new strain of Covid, Cockney Covid, has been discovered. Now some might argue that Cockney Covid has been introduced to absolve London of blame for the rising R rate. Northerners spread Covid because they’re feckless, the South are in the situation because of Cockney Covid. But we have all been asking when Covid 20 will be released, and let’s face it when Apple issue an iPhone update there’s always issues so Covid 20 was always bound to cause a few glitches.

So Boris has cancelled Christmas. Tier 4 can’t do anything, the rest of us can only do one day which to many is basically the same as not being able to do anything, Wales and Norn Ireland are locking down, Scotland are barricading the boarder and we’re all wondering why Boris can’t be put on Furlough before he causes any more mayhem.

So the real question now is what Tier will you be in next December? Tier 5 where you can open the window but can’t go in your own back garden, Tier 7 where you’re allowed to go for a 15 minute walk outside once every fortnight or Tier 10 where if you so much as look at someone from another household Matt Hancock comes round to give you a stern telling off. Of course in all these tiers these rules won’t apply on the third Tuesday of every month, when it rains, between 1.13pm and 2.24 pm on every second Friday or if your name is George.

Now get ready for 11.59pm on December 31st when the clock ticks over to 11.60pm December 31st and we all hear the words welcome to level 13 of Jumangi … 2020 continues…

2020 is almost over

And so we reach the final ever series of 2020.

Lockdown has ended and the North is in Tier 3 even though London has a higher R rate and is in Tier 2. Most people suspect that the writers will eventually put London in Tier 2 even though it’s a story line they clearly never wanted to consider.

In the meantime everyone has gone out Christmas shopping, scotch eggs have apparently become a substantial meal and we have had further clarification on Boris letting us all have a five day Christmas Jolley where we can travel and mix with other households. That’s right – for five whole days Aunty Pat’s conservatory will be safe from Covid, which the Government is putting on Furlough.

The Covid Vaccine has been rolled out so that Bill Gates can start to monitor our thoughts and movements, and the first few people to have it included 90 year old Margaret and William Shakespeare, which I must say was a stroke of genius, giving the vaccine on someone who died in 1616 means that if he has any negative side effects they can just put it down to him having been dead for 404 years. Of course Bill shrugged all the fuss over the jab as much a do about nothing.

Matt Hancok attempted to cry on National Television as he watched the vaccine being given. Of course, given the virus must have taken up most of his life for the last eleven months one should feel a pang of sympathy for the man watching this display of emotion, but he managed to make it look like he was crying as part of a scene in a year 6 school play which made that a little difficult.

In a non Covid sub plot that will likely take a bigger role in 2021 we started to see hints (or less hints more massive red flags being waved manically) that Brexit might not be the putting great back into Great Britain that the lying Leave campaigners said it would. I must say we are all very shocked.

Rishi announces Covid to be furloughed for Christmas

As we all predicted series 11 of 2020 is all going to end in tiers (boom boom).

The writers have gone with the somewhat predictable let’s put London in tier 2 and most of the North in tier 3 even though the North Wests R rating is lower than the Capital plot line. To be honest most of of us up here are just waiting for the day Boris announces the start of the Hunger Games in one of his daily briefings, I suspect this may happen in an early series of 2021.

Tier 3 means no group exercise (despite it being arguably the safest area of most gyms and proving that the people making the decisions are basing them on polls of Daily Mail readers) and the likely death of the hospitality industry as they miss the vital Christmas trade.

On the plus side BoJo has announced that Covid plans to take a 5 day holiday over Christmas when we can meet with Granny without killing her. Whether Covid will be furloughed in this time has not been announced. Of course none of this seems like a bit of a kick in the teeth for those who had their Eid celebrations cancelled the night before and nobody at all is expecting the plot twist of a third lockdown in episode 1 of 2021, honest.

As a side plot away from Covid the most pointless main character in the history of any show ever, Matt Hancock, smirked his way through a TV interview with Piers Morgan trying to justify why him and his mates should get a pay rise but the rest of the country should be grateful if they manage to hang onto their jobs at all. You know it’s bad when Piers Morgan starts sounding like he’s talking sense so we all wait with nervous anticipation for the final ever season of 2020… will it be jolly? Will it be miserable? After the last 11 series all bets are off on this one.

Lockdown 2 Training

I don’t know about you but I’m finding training in second Lockdown harder. During the first lockdown I did something almost every day, some days it may have only been a 10 minute run but I moved; I did Zoom classes, ran, walked, lifted, albeit limited, weights I had and used by body weight as resistance.

We’ve been in lockdown 2 for 11 days and so far I’ve run a total of 10km across four separate runs and that’s it. I actually struggled with my training when gyms re-opened. Having got into a groove at home I found making the transition back to working in the office and training around that hard. After teaching for around 8 weeks I’d just started to feel like I was getting back into some kind of routine again and bam – back into lockdown we went. My brain has literally and inexplicably decided it cannot be bothered, I’ve spent the last week kicking myself about why I’ve been so lazy when I know that training would make me feel better.

What I’ve realised over the last couple of days however, is that we are learning to react to constantly changing situations at the moment, with a great deal of uncertainty about what we will and won’t be able to do when. If that occasionally means that I have a week or two where not much gets done that’s ok, I can always get back to it. Training should be something done because we enjoy it, it makes us feel good not because we think we must. It of course was going to be harder this time round, as the weather and darker evenings make training outside much harder and less appealing, so this second Lockdown I’m adjusting my expectations of myself. When I do get back to training I’m sure it will feel all the better for doing it because I want to and not because I’m forcing myself out of a sense of obligation.

2020 – A brief interlude in the proceedings

Whilst we expected Series 11 to mainly be about Lockdown 2.0 the writers decided to break the tension with an episode with a difference this week, a bit like when the Crown did that episode that was just about the Queen and Prince Philips relationship in series 2. Yes, Bojo and Cummings broke up.

Apparently it was always going to happen in season 12 but something happened behind the scenes which led to a shock early departure and a well staged carrying of desk items in a cardboard box out of the door of number 10 (no back door to slink quietly out of, I take it).

The precise reasons why have only been hinted at which leads me to guess we’ll get one of those looking back episodes in a future series where we find out what really happened, but it appears to have been some kind of strange love triangle between Boris, Dominic and Carrie Symonds who apparently is “one of the few people around the prime minister who understands the Conservative party”, which given that he is largely surrounded by the Conservative cabinet is a bit disconcerting.

Anyway, we await to see who will run the country now Cummings has gone and whether, as I suspect, he has actually left to front a major Specscavers campaign.

One thing we can all be grateful of, at least all this in fighting isn’t happening at a time of national crisis, in the midst of a pandemic, economic recession and whilst we are on the brink of an EU no deal Brexit.

Expert v. The Internet

Today I read a post on a weight loss Facebook group. The person posting was disappointed because they had ‘only’ lost 10lbs in 5 weeks. They did note their clothes fit better.

I don’t tend to comment on these things but today felt I had to, not to go into lots of detail and be all preachy but just to remind them that a) they had actually seen a good weight loss in those 5 weeks and even better, could see it in how their clothes fit which is a far better way of monitoring progress and that b) many of the other comments offering advice, whilst well meaning, were not helpful.

There were suggestions that the person posting may be in starvation mode and that’s why they were not losing more weight, that they should have a cheat meal or cheat day to ‘reset their metabolism’. I’m not writing this to make fun of those comments, the people making them were trying to help, but ultimately they were passing on false information to someone who was looking for advice to follow.

The internet is brilliant for researching information on topics you need help with, but be mindful of where you look for your information. If you are looking to improve you fitness or reach your goals check the people you are listening to are qualified to help you so you don’t end up trying to follow guidance which isn’t factually correct.

90% Effective

Episode 9 of series 11 was a corker as we all got excited about a vaccine that could be 90% effective.

Good news. Except the UK has 10 million doses with 30 millions on order which, as apparently each person would need two doses, would be enough to immunise 20 million people. There’s 66.7 million people in the UK. Now I’ve never been great at maths but that doesn’t sound like it’s going to be quite enough to solve the problem to me, but Boris isn’t known for cocking things up is he so I’m sure he knows what he’s doing. Either that or he’s counting on Marcus Rashford to come up with some kind of solution, which to be honest sounds more likely. Or maybe clapping for those who don’t get the vaccine will work?

So if only 30% of the country will be able to get the vaccine how will they decide who those people are? Here’s a few options for Hancock and co. to consider:

🔘 You could win one with the People’s Postcode lottery

🔘 You could buy one on TicketMaster, with a presale for all paid up members of the Conservative Party to make it as ‘fair’ as possible

🔘 Regional Egg and Spoon races (socially distanced obviously) with vaccines for the winners

🔘 Everyone called Malcolm, Steve or Vera could automatically qualify

🔘 They could put golden vaccine tickets in chocolate bars aka Charlie and the Chocolate factory with the winners getting a vaccine (odds are I’d be a winner here)

🔘 You could collect 5 special tokens from the Sun like one of those £10 holidays (subject to availability)

🔘 Everyone who supports Manchester United or Liverpool could automatically qualify (this would cover a wide selection of the country)

🔘 They could sell them in the special buy section of Aldi

🔘 They could vaccinate the vulnerable and front line medical staff first of course but that seems a bit too boring and sensible so I just can’t see it

2020 Continues

Despite Lockdown 2.0 being released in the first few episodes of series 11 it hasn’t had the response from critics that the Government perhaps hoped for, largely because the plot feels a lot like Lockdown 1.0 and there isn’t enough originality to inspire the public this time round, but also because they’ve shut all the cinemas so we can’t actually go and see it.

Some notable changes from Lockdown 1.0 have included more people and businesses being fined as more people resist the restrictions, with at least a couple of gyms refusing to shut their doors.

Meanwhile students in Manchester tore down fences that were put up overnight in an apparent effort to cage them in. I can’t help but think that this could be a clue from the writers that student uprisings could be more of a plot focus on coming episodes.

Rishi, possibly in an attempt to redeem himself extended furlough until March – which largely just made a lot of people suspect we are going to be stuck in lockdown until then. The big Christmas finale to series 12 is starting to look a little doubtful.

The big focus of series 11 so far though has been the U.S elections. Despite the fact that many British people couldn’t explain our own political system we’ve all become experts on the American voting system (which appears quite frankly bonkers) in the last few days.

Unlike the UK the votes aren’t counted as quickly as possible in a church or school hall with results announced within hours of polling stations closing (largely because step aerobics will start at 10am the next day whether that counting is complete or not). There are no people dressed as a panda or other random character standing on a stage as the results are called out and we don’t take to the street with weapons claiming fraud because our team is losing.

Trump, a long standing comedy character, has performed predictably well, portraying a narcissistic crazy man with startling accuracy. You know it’s bad when news channels cut away from a live statement during an election stating that everything he says is absolute bollocks.

In the latest episode we see Biden win the presidency meaning we can look forward to lots of crazy Tweets from Trump, a legal battle, possibly the first every squater in the White House as Trump refuses to leave office.

Series 11 looks like it could be a surprising series with more twists than we expected.