Continuing the discussion from London & South East going into Tier 4, schools delay reopening:
Information on what you can and cannot do is available here:
Continuing the discussion from London & South East going into Tier 4, schools delay reopening:
Information on what you can and cannot do is available here:
Incredible that the facts should change so significantly in the space of a single day. Children going back to school for a single day shows poor leadership and more concern about having a quiet weekend than care for schools, teachers, children and parents. There is no excuse for changing guidance to London schools at 5pm on Friday and then realising the rest of the country’s schools need to close on their first day back.
I think the unfortunate reality is that militant teaching unions have successfully organised against schools reopening.
And this forced the government’s hand.
It’s a win-win for the unions. Not only do their members get to avoid coming into work, but political points can now be scored against the government for making a “u-turn”
It’s all a bit ugly and partisan at a time when the nation should be rallying together to fight a global threat.
I feel sorry for the hardworking taxpayers who will again be forced to work to support their families (and ironically, to pay teachers’ salaries) while trying to home-school their kids. An almost impossible situation for many families. And of course the millions of kids being denied vital education and social contact.
Can we not turn this into political ping pong please. It’s not a good situation for many people and I don’t think anyone has had a quiet weekend.
Perhaps we could try and focus on some positives instead.
If this was just about schools then the golf courses would not be closing too.
The government has made the right decision to lock down based on the evidence, not pressure from unions.
The unions were doing the right thing in expressing concerns that their workplaces may no longer be safe (based on the same scientific evidence that led the government to enforce the latest lockdown), and I have a huge amount of admiration for the dedication of the teachers who have continued to risk their health by educating our children over the last few months. The teachers will still be working now - organising online learning, hopefully running some online classes and in-person teaching for children of key workers.
The big positive is the vaccination program and the intention to vaccinate 31,000,000 people in the next six weeks. If this can be done, then it will make a massive difference to death rates and reduce the spread of the virus.
It is particularly sensible to do this during a lockdown. Because after this lockdown (and the worst of the winter weather) there is a good chance that many people will no longer want any form of restrictions. With 31m people vaccinated life may begin to return to normal for many people.
Let’s hope that the medical unions don’t make a similar unilateral judgement to keep their members away from an unsafe working environment.
There is no such thing as a 100% “safe” working environment, by the way.
Society relies on public servants stepping up at a time of national need. Thank goodness for the heroic police, firefighters and medics who continue to work during the pandemic despite an unsafe environment. In doing so they keep society functioning for the benefit of everyone.
Let’s also not forget postal workers, shop staff, caters, charity workers,utility, infrastructure and construction workers, nursery and transport staff who may not be saving lives but are out in the public keeping the economy going and providing a service to the public whilst putting their health at risk.
The issue is more that children are rapidly getting infected in schools and then taking it back in to homes. That is the danger.
Also workers have a right to express concerns about unsafe working situations, medical staff have been very vocal about inadequate PPE etc…
I heard on the radio this morning that doctors were concerned that they don’t have suitable PPE in non-Covid wards. It is good that they make these concerns known without withdrawing their labour.
Out of all the public services mentioned it is only police and primary school teachers who routinely have to interact unmasked with people not wearing masks. For this reason I hope that teachers and police are some of the first vaccinated once those whose health is most at risk are vaccinated.
I find all this vilifying of teachers a bit ugly and partisan at a time when the nation should be rallying together to fight a global threat.
Surely one thing which would work would be to acknowledge that Teachers are KEY WORKERS, and put them ahead of the vaccinations due to be given to the fit ‘oldies’ - me included - (I think most of us understand the need for caution and are taking care).
Let’s provide the teachers with the confidence to get back in the classrooms - too many have caught Covid.
I’m not sure you understand what “partisan” means but nice try.
By the way, my comments were aimed at the unions, and at those trying to score political points against the government at a time of crisis.
I’m sure there are many teachers, particularly in the private school system, who are dilligently continuing to work.
@pattrembath makes a good point about the pressing need to vaccinate teachers.
Teachers are working, they are working from home like most of us are. There are of course still schools open for vulnerable children and those of key workers.
I agree with @PV and others that we should be supporting all our key workers at this time, not pitting one profession against another. Teachers & heads have been doing an incredible job throughout the pandemic, in hugely challenging circumstances (and of course continue to work while schools are shut, ensuring that children can learn remotely - they’re not on holiday!). Let’s show them appreciation, and advocate for them to get the support they need in order to work safely (vaccinations, mass testing, PPE etc).
Firstly, are all teachers working full time on providing remote learning?
From a previous lockdown, The Guardian reported:
How can remote learning be effective? Is it realistic to expect primary age kids to sit for hours paying attention to a lesson delivered online? And surely they’ll need constant parent supervision?
The BBC reports:
I get the impression that several people opining on this thread about school closures don’t have children of their own, and thus don’t fully understand the situation here. Am I right?
I get the impression that several people opining on this thread about school closures aren´t teachers, and thus don’t fully understand the situation here. Am I right?
I don’t know, I am not a teacher or school leader.
None of this is ideal and I assume everyone would rather children were all in school. I don’t doubt remote learning is harder, I have been remote working in a very busy public sector role since March, it is utterly utterly exhausting.
All I am saying is give teachers a break, along with pretty much all frontline and key workers they are doing their best in a horribly difficult and exhausting situation, there are no good options here, only least worse ones.
Are you a teacher?
Somewhat ironically in view of how this thread is going, I’m trying to homeschool 2 primary age children, whilst studying online myself today with my wife working.
Other moderators will be in the same boat or have pressing work etc so we are not going to have time to come back to check this thread every 20 minutes - could we try and keep this on track, locally focussed (although some cross-over is inevitable) and most definitely not personal.
I would be careful about quoting studies and surveys carried out in April / May when the pandemic / lockdown was very raw and new for the teaching profession (who certainly weren’t equipped for remote or digital learning) and making aspersions about how hard they are now working 8 months later…
From someone now having to share a desk with a teacher due to school closures
That’s a fair point, although as far as I can see it’s the best evidence available at the moment.
Can you present a more recent (and equivalent) study that proves the situation has changed?
Having experienced a few weeks of quarantined schooling with both kids sent home for a couple of weeks at the end of last term, I am absolutely in awe at the way their school handled the switch from in-school to at-home remote learning. They both had several hours of zoom classes every day, and work we emailed in was marked and returned quickly.
I cannot imagine how much pressure teachers are under to provide a satisfactory education for all their pupils, under trying circumstances, whilst trying to ensure those without suitable devices are also catered for. Let’s also not forget that schools are operating for key workers’ children, as well as vulnerable children, which adds a further layer of complexity to what they are offering.
And given this tragic news from one of the local schools about a teacher who died of coronavirus over the holidays, the risks are clearly very great for some in the teaching profession:
We had a 2 week lockdown for my Y5 son in November after a case in his year group. It was handled very well by the school and at his age he is reasonably self-sufficient at learning. His younger brother in Y2 is starting today, and will need more attention.
We are lucky in that we have sufficient laptops etc for this. There is no doubt however that learning this way cannot replicate in class learning, and some children will not have the suitable hardware etc to take advantage of learning remotely.
During the first lockdown I know of parents of children who moved their children to other schools as they were unhappy with how their school approached it, and from speaking to other parents there were different approaches. Some had weekly class quizzes and regular calls with students, others had virtually not contact (my son for example had no contact with his teacher the entire lockdown bar 2 postcards). I think schools will have learned from this and will be better prepared now (in a week or so, the late notice of this wil be extrememtly difficult for them).
All schools will have different pressures in terms of staffing levels, number of key worker pupils etc which will influence what they can provide, and I am mindful of that and we all should be. All the teachers I’v met at my son’s school have always wanted to teach and teach well and I see no reason that has changed. They have my every sympathy going into work with what is a more transmissible variant.
More locally I see Kings have cancelled some urgent cancer operations which is quite scary for those involved, and more widely of the pressure on local hospitals. Hopefully we can start to get the vaccine out locally and bring numbers down with the lockdown to relive some of that pressure.
If I were I don’t think I’d have time for this lovely thread after the last minute change of plans!
I just thought it was silly to suggest that some people here couldn’t understrand the situation without having kids. If true, then surely one can’t understand the situation in full without being a teacher. I think both are silly positions.
I didn’t know her myself, but I know she was very popular with pupils. Very sad.
On a slight deviation from the above, one thing I can’t quite figure out is the interaction between the reasons that we are able to leave our homes, and the businesses that can remain open for collection of goods.
The reasons we can leave home are:
But then businesses like garden centres and cafes can remain open for collection. Personally I quite like this as being able to pick up a coffee/sandwich whilst on a walk is one of the few remaining activities to enjoy outside the home - but what exception to the stay at home order do I rely upon in order to visit a cafe/garden centre to pick something up? The only relevant one I can see is to shop for basic neceesities but I can’t see that produce from a standard cafe or garden centre falls in to this category…
Food is a basic neccessity.
Presumably if you are out for daily exercise or one of the listed reasons, you can grab a sandwich, coffee or pot-plant on the way?
For example, after a few laps of Mayow Park, Brown & Green are open for take away:
I’m quite happy if that’s the purpose of cafés staying open for collection, it just seems to run contrary to the wider guidance, and I can’t see where garden centres come in to it at all…
And then stop by shannon’s on the way home for some compost of course!
No idea about garden centres but the takeaway food/drink thing is surely because food for consumption off the premises is allowed to be sold - we do not have a definition of essential food - that would be far too dystopian!
Now you could say no cooked meals could be sold but that is pretty hard on people with limited skills or ability to cook.
Yeah I see that issue. I can’t quite recall but weren’t cafes etc closed in the first proper lockdown? That’s why I think these rules are interesting as it felt like we were going to ‘total’ lockdown but actually for hospitality and leisure it doesn’t seem too different to tier 4 (I can meet a friend for a walk, can buy a coffee and sandwich on way home, can buy a tree or whatever). Not suggesting that’s wrong, just interesting that there seems to be more flexibility this time around.
Brown & Green has a really good system in place where you just go to the counter, not even inside. It must be very low risk, lower than going to buy food from a supermarket where you have to go inside.
Garden centres sell a lot of perishable goods which may go to waste if not sold. If garden centers are forced to shut then unfortunately supermarkets are likely to just take that trade like they did in the previous lockdowns. Although I am unsure if the govt. has now changed the rules around what essential businesses can sell during lockdown, so maybe not anyway!
Kirkdale Bookshop had a good system in place during the last lockdown You just went to the door and made your purchase, Hopefully they can do that this time too, otherwise supermarkets and Amazon will likely take their trade although there are other platforms now like bookshop.org or hive.co.uk.
That’s good to know, thanks. I really recommend rise on brockey rise too, they’ve got a great outdoor hatch for serving takeaway sandwiches and breakfast baps.
And good point re perishability, maybe that’s it, but then that does cause a gap between businesses that are allowed to open and those which are necessary to visit. Not seen anything re bookshops yet but hope they can continue too!
As far as I recall in the first lockdown cafes and restaurants could sell cooked/prepared food for consumpion off the premises. However many small places chose not to open at all. This was when we thought lockdown was going to be a just few weeks or so.
There was a small furore in East Dulwich when the ice cream place opened selling takeaway ice cream and a few self appointed Covid Marshalls reported them for selling “non essential food” until it was pointed out regulations allowed takeaway food to be sold, ice cream is food, ergo …
Looking back I think you’re right, they could still open, it must have just been all the ones close by opted to close!
it makes some sense garden centres being open and I’m glad they are, having been involved in use of gardening as a form of mental and physical therapy at Sydenham Garden for several years. B&Q and suchlike I’m not so sure. I can’t really leave home and claim shopping in B&Q is essential- but if I was a tradesperson needing supplies then click and collect at Tradestation, Screwfix, B&Q etc could be very important. Guess as long as we don’t all congregate in Shannons for a chat or the B&Q aisles for recreation we can all live with a little ambiguity.
I can’t find out whether newspapers count as essential items. Can I legitimately continue to combine my morning walk with the dog (which must count as exercise) with a visit to Ram’s general store/newsagency to pick up my ‘Guardian’ (which I’ve already paid for through a subscription, although I doubt whether that’s relevant really!)?
I would have thought an argument that any garden centre trade body might have made to ensure they are able to stay open under lockdowns might have involved garden centres’ role as a source of seed, plants and sundries to help people who grow their own food on allotments or in their gardens.
Can you really expect people to respect this ‘national lockdown’ when McDonald’s is still open for business?
If the shop is open you can buy any goods that they sell.
I’ve been to Sainsbury’s during lockdown and purchased some sun-dried tomatoes - which are widely known for being unessential. If you are concerned then you can disguise your trip as essential by purchasing some toilet paper - although the new compact version of the Guardian might already qualify (see what I did there? - no mention of The Daily Mail).
You might also utilise The Guardian to test your eyesight if you are concerned about Covid symptoms - although there are some other obvious ways to test your eyesight if you have a car and enough petrol to get you to Country Durham.
Yes, that must obviously be right. I suppose my real question is whether it’s sensible for me, as someone in an allegedly vulnerable category, to venture into a shop some of whose customers don’t wear masks,where there is no clearly indicated one-way queuing system and where social distancing is not always meticulously complied with (although the shop is usually pretty empty when I visit.) But I guess that’s something for me, my Maker and my wife, rather than for this forum.
4 posts were split to a new topic: Posts moved from Lockdown 3
Just for some clarity on the issue of private schools.
Outside of this national lockdown, private fee-paying schools are not subject to DoE guidance on openings. There were quite a few of these schools which closed their doors to pupils before and during the November lockdown while public schools remained open.
Like their counterparts in the public sector I am sure these teachers were as diligent in ensuring continuing education as any other.
The only difference being that private schools weere able to make their own decisions on whether to remain open or close based on their review of professional advice and their capacity to offer a safe environment for pupils and staff.
I came up to Scotland before the Tier 4 lockdown to help my Mum out as she recovered from an op. It’s been quite eye-opening. Mask compliance feels a lot higher, there’s more sanitiser used on trolleys/baskets and hands in shops. And there are lots of ads on TV and around town promoting the Stay Home message.
On the drive up, the majority of English motorway signs were about the need for lorry drivers to check freight paperwork. As soon as I crossed the border, they were Covid related.
People are equally frustrated and tired but the greater good does seem to be more accepted.
Of course, I’ve no idea when I’ll get back. Police Scotland do seem to be doing more stopping of motorists to check what’s going on.
Amen to this!
As a shop worker I have to work (and commute) through this in order to support online selling.
I wish I’d be furloughed but sadly not.
And since shops that sell electrical appliances are shut, you might need options for getting hot food if your cooker breaks!
And while I hope that could be ordered online, I know in Lockdown 1 some of the companies wouldn’t install, only deliver up your door. And since I wouldn’t be able to move it from the front door to the kitchen and fit it, I really would have to stay at home, unless I could climb over the appliance to get out .
The dog walking is fine.not only is it exercise but you are also allowed to leave for animal welfare reasons which should really include the dog walking.
Not sure about the paper - although if it’s essential to your dog’s well being…
I was in Scotland in August and wales in September and I noticed the same - much more compliant and a more community focussed approach I thought.
McDonald’s are now only doing drive through and delivery:
Same, I don’t have the luxury of being able to work from home.
The government have advised that my industry is to carry on working and yet haven’t labelled us as key workers. I’m not saving lives and I don’t provide a public service. I can’t work from home for my job and so travel on packed (and I mean packed) tubes every morning and then work with hundreds of people, who often don’t wear masks.
If you ask me the spread is probably coming from busy public transport and commuters like us have no option but to be exposed to this risk. There seems to be very little press reporting of the spread of the virus on transport.
I have been using the overground and Southern trains to go in to the office and they are very empty (there were four people in my carriage this morning).
I wonder why the tubes are so packed?
Yes the OG line bit of my commute is empty.
Last month I couldn’t even get onto the tube it was that full and I had to wait for the next one. I use the jubilee line which is always full of East Londoners going across the city. Even on days when it’s not full there’s not enough room to social distance. Trains and OG lines seem completely unaffected.
Are you going east or west? When I had to go east earlier this year I avoided the Jubilee line by staying on the OG to Shadwell and getting the DLR - much more empty.
I supose the Jubilee line is a bit of a work horse taking construction and retail workers from East to West.
All the way West unfortunately.
Ahh. If it is the West End maybe change at London Bridge to a Charing Cross train and then walk?
I have never been a fan of the tube so have a lot of tube avoiding hacks!
Like all dogs, she is a dyed-in-the-wool Tory, and so would probably prefer me to get the ‘Telegraph.’ But she’s got used to the style of the crossword (the ‘quick’ one, not the ‘cryptic’) in the ‘Guardian’, so changing at this stage might upset her.
Although a Tory, I should make it clear that she’s a Remainer. We were careful to check on that with the people at Battersea before deciding to have her.
Well said. I have a few friends who are teachers. Kilmorie school closed completely & my friend, & her husband both had COVID. She said it was awful.
Fairlawn school had practically no staff a few weeks ago as a lot of staff tested positive or were self isolating.
My daughter is a manager of a big nursery in Bromley. They have had 6 positive cases out of 35 staff before Xmas & 2 since new year. The nursery nurses work in bubbles, so if one self isolates or tests positive the bubble has to be closed. She is in the office, so not so bad.
I too find the pitting of one group against the other saddening. I am quite sure that many teachers both private sector and public are as concerned about the children having to work remotely as the children and their parents are. But the difficulty is that if we can’t slow the spread of the disease soon then in some parts of the country the health system will have to turn people alway.
Everyone wants this over. Everyone is facing incredibly difficult times, whether those who have lost their loved ones or are anxiously waiting to see whether they will recover, those waiting for other non Covid healthcare, frontline service providers, parents juggling working with homeschooling, all those shielding, all those who are keeping our critical infrastructure running (food retail, logistics, post, energy generation, water, telecoms), those who have lost their jobs or businesses. The whole thing is horrible and I 100% agree there is no best, only a least worst solution.
I understand that moods and views are different as this goes from bad to worse but I definitely had a nostalgic moment last week for first lockdown and rainbows and bears in windows and saying hello in the street and so on. Now people are too worn down with the awful stress and I believe just don’t have the energy or bandwidth to be as tolerant and understanding of others viewpoints and positions and that’s just A sad fact of where we are.
Sorry, Hannah, my agreement with your post has lead me to a real ramble that’s really just my exploration of what I’m thinking and feeling about this phase of the situation so apologies that it’s going wider than the points you raise. That’s what comes if not having enough humans to chat to!
The Canada water interchange at 9.30am is as busy as it was before this lockdown and definitely busier than it was back in the November lockdown (when I worked and commuted too) and on the Jubilee line same thing, with people having to stand if they didn’t want to sit next to someone-and STILL there are people with masks on their chins and people walking through the barriers without masks not being stopped.
its grinding me down the other day a guy became very abusive to me when I asked him to please put on his mask when he sat opposite me on the tube -his response “no!” i asked “why not?” he said “because I dont want to” and carried on being absusive and threatening.
I get reduced to tears most days with how selfish and careless some people are.
There seems to be a kind macho bravado with not wearing a mask but having said that there are plenty of young female mask on chin travellers too.
Have you noticed the OG has been busier this past few days? Thursday & Friday getting the 9.17 going eastbound was really busy.
I haven’t found a change with the OG but then I do get it quite a bit earlier than 9am, the OG is actually quite empty at the time I get it but I’d imagine the tube is a lot busier at my time than yours.
Some people just seem to have little self awareness. Before Christmas I was in a very empty Southern train and a guy got on and spent a good few minutes sorting out his bike and bags. Got them all arranged in the seating area, crossed the aisle and sat NEXT TO ME!
I lept up like a scalded cat and walked to the other end of the carriage. I am.sure it wasn’t that risky but I was taken completely by surprise.
Meanwhile, another elected leader holds her own advice in complete and utter contempt. Council leader issued ‘stay local’ lockdown warning to residents while holidaying in Maldives (inews.co.uk)
That has happened to me too on an otherwise empty bus in November. The entire top deck to choose from and you decide to sit directly behind me.
"At the time Ms Dale left for the holiday North Yorkshire was in Tier 2, which did not ban foreign trips. "
What should she have done differently? Not gone? Gone and not issue the advice? Something else?
I’d have done what you did even if there hadn’t been covid! I’ve never understood why, when the carriage is practically empty, people insist on sitting next to you!
Going back to the title of this chat. We are in lockdown 3 so why does one of my neighbours think that none of the restrictions are for them to follow. Big & very noisy gathering there last night & not an isolated incident. In the last 9 months we have learnt a lot about our local community, very sad to say, little helping each other just selfishly doing their own thing & certainly not abiding by the rules.
This could be of use:
Yep there are fines for attending these gatherings as well as organising them now. A few hundred quid in fines might be the incentive they need to behave.
I disagree. For the consequences of blatantly ignoring the lockdown to be taken seriously the fines should be life-changing.
I think there is a significant minority (and I assume that it is a minority but I have no way of knowing) who are not interested/don’t give a f***. Last week I wrote to the chief executive of the Co-Op about his stores in the locale. In my two local stores there used to be a security guard who would regulate the numbers of people entering the shop and to ask customers to wear a mask. For many weeks now there is no longer a guard in either store and both shops always (and by that i mean 9/10) has two/three/four people in there with no mask or a chinmask. It is really getting on my nerves. I mentioned this to a member of staff a week or two ago in one of the stores and the person told me that they would like the guard back, but they have been told that there is no money for a guard.
So, I have written to the CEO and this was Thursday of last week. I have heard nothing back as yet. I pointed out to him that this is a bit hard to take given the attitude of other supermarket chains and I also drew his attention to the boasts on the Co-Op website about the CO-OP “supporting communities” and “wellbeing” and that sort of thing. I will be interested to hear what he says in reply, if one comes. If no reply comes I intend going through the list of non executive directors (which contains such worthies as ex MP Hazel Blears) until one of them wakes up.
Here in Portugal we are in lockdown as well, which is pretty miserable to be honest…
The advice is very very simple. Stay at home unless it is essential not to. There are however lots of exceptions as to what is essential and what places are allowed to be open - There are exceptions in place for 52 types of establishments that can continue to operate!
The schools are shut as are restaurants, cafes, bars except for take away - but in devastating news to most of the population you cannot get take away coffee. Some beaches are also shut which seems odd but I guess it drives the stay at home message…
I can go for a bike ride but only locally and many people here have exceptions as they have livestock or are in agricultural production. So far we have been out once in 10 days to get sand and cement to seal our septic tank…
Good to hear from you Nick. Whenever I cycle or drive by your old home, I often think of you and wonder how you are getting on.
Cheers @Thewrongtrousers. I guess Lockdown is pretty crap everywhere and we have it better than most really. Not the ideal introduction to a country but we have been lucky enough to have been out for a few meals and met a couple of nice people. Like most though it is easy to start to feel a bit isolated so we try to plan our days to get stuff done. Today’s task is to squeeze and freeze a few hundred oranges as a load came down over the weekend - I don’t know how we cope!!
Sorry, was this really essential?
This feels very different to the first lockdown. In that lockdown, most people were scared, it was an unknown an behaviour appeared to reflect that, certainly in the first few weeks.
We are now in a situation where a large proportion of the population believe that, even if they contract it, they won’t get that ill, if at all ill (and for many, that is true). There are also those who believe in various conspiracy theories of course, or are disallusioned with the course and policies we have been asked to follow.
So I think current behaviour reflects this. I’m not saying it’s right, but I think that is how it is. Coupled with what appears to be a general lack of enforcement of the rules this is where we are - in SE23 I hardly see any Police on the streets ‘giving guidance’ or otherwise, but my friend in Essex says there many cars are stopped and people walking asked what they are doing (accept this is very anecdotal and to be clear not a dig at the police).
I think the previous approach they had in France where you had to have a piece of paper before you left the house saying why you were leaving the house etc and if oyu didn’t have it or it didn’t match your activity then you were fined would reduce a lot of ‘essential’ trips, however I suspect this wouldn’t be popular.
I can’t see any change in behaviour from those that don’t follow the rules now unless enforcement changes - there is enough information out there about the pressures on our local hospitals and other services, businesses, schools etc. Some people have had enough, lockdown fatigue as you were, and some people don’t care, some people think what they are doing is ok, some people have horrendous pressures to choose between compliance and implications for their and thier family’s lives.
All we can do is encourage friends, family, colleagues to try to adhere to the rules as best they can for the next few months till we get to late Spring, early Summer when hopefully we have the sweet spot of vaccination numbers and much reduced Covid rates in the community.
I have had only one experience of enforcement in this third lockdown and it was this. A couple of weeks ago I was walking in Hilly Fields park. Up at the top there are three tennis courts and a basketball area which is enclosed by a high chain link fence. The gate has been padlocked and the tennis nets removed. My attention was drawn to a bunch of about 10 lads in their late teens early twenties who were playing basketball. I wondered how they gained access and as I walked by I could see that a corner of the fence had been undone and rolled up so that people could get in. I walked round the park feeling aggrieved and then as I walked by once more I noticed a police car parked up near where the ice cream van usually is. I walked over and there were two officers in uniform in the car. The basketball game would have been visible from the car. So I drew the officers attention to what appeared to me to be an unlawful game and they both looked up and said, “Oh yes” or some such. I said it did not seen right to bust your way in to the court and do as you please when others were busting a gut to comply with the rules. The driver of the car agreed, and then engaged me in chit chat, he asked me how I was getting along, how my family were and whether I was able to work from home. We chatted amiably and his colleague returned to looking at her mobile phone. “Well, nice to meet you both” I said and walked on my way. I must admit, I did expect them to get out of the car and at the very least go over and ‘give guidance’, but alas no. The engine started up and the car drove off. I walked home not knowing what to make of it, and I still don’t.