May 2022

A warm month statistically with average sun and rainfall but overcast skies retaining warmth at night. Kathleen started to get useful medical advice on her continence issue and was planning clothes for son’s forthcoming wedding.

I was planning the rental of Heronshaw from next year and my new bandsaw shelter for the wood and making good use of it to mill and store timber but my time was dominated by having to control the growing bracken and complete my year end property and finance accounts. There was still time to flail the rides at Blackrow and lawns at Horning as well as do some chipping of branches and foliage.

We were enjoying the Outlander but efforts to replace the Range Rover with a Nissan electric car were delayed. We were engaging in more social activity with neighbours after lockdown, around the RHDRA AGM and Three Rivers event and at Hail Weston for a wedding and the Spiegeltent for an N&NFestival production.  

Elsewhere, the UK government’s plans were overshadowed by sex scandals and their drinking and partying during Lockdown as graphically detailed by the Sue Grey report and they suffered at the local elections as a result. Under such pressure, the UK government finally conceded defeat and agreed to levy a one-off energy windfall tax to finance widespread energy subsidies HM The Queen’s health is deteriorating ahead of her Jubilee celebrations and Prince Charles has been standing in for her.

All this paled into insignificance compared with the carnage in Ukraine. Their Azovstal steelworks redoubt in Mariupol was eventually surrounded, isolate and overwhelmed, with nearly a thousand Ukrainian fighters from the Mariupol steelworks were taken to Russian-controlled territory. Whilst after Ukrainian forces had recaptured villages from Russian troops north and north-east of Kharkiv, pushing them back towards the border, in east Ukraine Luhansk saw fierce combat as Russian troops and separatist fighters sought to surround Ukrainian government positions.

Russia was trying to encircle the twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in the Donbas region. Boris Johnson signed security declarations with Sweden and Finland, pledging UK support should their militaries come under attack but Turkey said it would not approve Finland and Sweden's applications to join NATO. Western military experts say Russia has suffered heavy losses in the war but The US says that UK's dispute with the European Union over Northern Ireland trade risks undermining Western unity during the Ukraine war. I watched Norwich City lose badly at home to West Ham and then were well beaten 0-5 at Carrow Road by Spurs and were thus relegated.

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