Despite the dismally wet day Barry of New Forest Chimney Sweeping & Repairs made a good start on repairing another section of our kitchen extension roof.

We left him to it while Jackie drove me to The Grove Pharmacy, Christchurch Hospital for the first of my Astra-Zeneca Covid-19 vaccinations. The whole operation was smooth and painless.

A cold breeze ruffled my feathers as I took my place in the orderly queue.

The hospital is on a new estate off Fairmile Road. Jackie also photographed the Thank You sign painted on the comparatively new tarmac.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spice-hot chicken Jalfrezi; aromatic pilau rice; vegetable samosas; and fluffy parathas, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Macon.


  1. How wonderful you’ve had the vaccine, Derrick! People over here such as front-line health care people and similar are receiving it first. I’ll have to wait. I wish we had a system like yours here, much better.

  2. I need to learn to read your posts after meals instead of too long before them. They always make me hungry! Perhaps I’ll have to venture out in search of Indian food.

  3. hi derrick
    i know i ha e said it before – but i really like the still shots of workers in action
    it is celebration of work in a way
    and then there are little details like the roof shingles and roof design and that has culture rich details

      1. thanks so much Liz (and side note – I still want to connect with you a little more about the novel you wrote that wasn’t – remember that? I will be over in Feb to connect about it)

  4. Roof repair, covid vaccine–AND vegetable samosas, sounds like a good day to me!

    Our daughters are both scheduled to get theirs soon. My husband is eligible, but hasn’t found a slot yet.

  5. It is good to know that repairs are underway and seem to be in good hands and that you have joined the vaccinated few. I hope Jackie will follow soon.

  6. YAY!!! What a great day!!!
    I’m so so SO glad you got your first vaccination!!! Hope Jackie can hers soon!!!
    Beautiful Thank You to the NHS!
    (((HUGS))) to you and Jackie!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    (((HUGS))) to Barry, too, for his great work! πŸ™‚

  7. The UK vaccine roll out seems to be proceeding in an orderly fashion. My girlfriend in the states is on several lists and the other day got a text to say she was number 117,000 in the queue! We haven’t started here yet, but our situation is not dire. Good luck with the second jab.

  8. The vaccines won’t be rolled out here for another few weeks. Norm and I fall in the 2A category however, they may put me under the category 2 because of my immune system disorder. We’re safely far enough away from all hot spots to be patient.

  9. Seems nonsensical to me that they don’t vaccinate both members of a family if the age difference is so small (sorry Jackie – I mean it in the nicest possible way). Apart from anything else it would cut down on traffic and contacts. Anyway, good that you got it.

    1. The only advantage I can see to one at a time is if side effects occur, and one person is down for a few days. The one who hasn’t been vaccinated can care for the other until they recover.

        1. Still in a bit of shock about the old cat, but I talked with the vet a bit today. She thinks he has some sort of cardiomyopathy going on related to his hyperthyroidism, and his heart gave out. At least he died peacefully in his sleep,

          1. It will take time, particularly as you had no chance to prepare yourself. However, he was well loved and went peacefully – it could have been a lot worse.

    1. Yes, indeed, but Barry is a very reliable worker and has already been rained off during our recent storm. He hates to let anyone down. Thanks very much, Ivor.

  10. In my pessimistic way, I worry a bit about whether they have thought through the organisation of the second doses properly. Still the first doses seem to be going smoothly so fingers crossed. You beat me by a few days.

  11. Ah, so glad to hear you have had your first, Derrick. All of my parents are eligible, but they must navigate such craziness on the internet to secure a spot that it hardly matters. After many coaching sessions and tutorials, my mom and I were finally able to get her signed up for her vaccine – on June 26th. I expect things will fall into place sooner than that. But that’s where we stand.

    I do love that picture on the road. So sweet to feel like your government is taking care of you.

  12. The roll out of the vaccine in NZ is still in “admin stage” as I understand but border and front line managed quarantine and their families are first in line. Note “family” which why I was stunned not for Jackie yet…

  13. Great news. Still waiting in OR….seems less organized than there. Let us know how you fare (if you care to do so), Derrick–I am wondering if side effects are generally minimal for most of us older folks (speaking for myself).
    Hard worker and good job on roof and house!

  14. I’m happy you got your first jab today, Derrick. I’ll be taking my parents for their first on Saturday. I’m holding my breath that their appointment isn’t canceled before the date. I recently sold a story to Woman’s World Magazine about a chimney sweeper. Had I known about Barry, I would have used his name. πŸ™‚

  15. I’m very glad to read your vaccine experience was smooth and painless. Our demand here has not kept up with supply, so I have to keep checking to find out when I can schedule an appointment. I got a chuckle out of the wind ruffling your feathers. πŸ™‚

  16. Barry is a hard worker, like Aaron. I have a lot of respect for people who climb buildings and do repairs. πŸ™‚

    And thank you NHS! Maybe someday our system of medicine can operate more like yours. πŸ™‚

  17. Glad to hear that you got your vaccine. You’re doing much better in England than over here in Canada. My friend, who’s younger than me was able to be vaccinated when her 99 and 97 year old parents received their shots. They are both in an extended care home and she is a primary care giver to them. It looks like we may have to wait till March to get our shots if we’re lucky. The government put in a huge order last summer but it looks like the drug company has some loyalty to the U.S.. As far as COVID numbers go they are in much worse shape than us.

  18. Barry’s efforts to repair the chimney and kitchen roof is symbolic of NHS’s drive to immunise the community. His mission has been captured in what is equivalent of a time-lapse sequence. I am happy for you, my friend. Full credits to NHS!

  19. You already know my story — tomorrow morning I’ll be among the “shot up.” I’m glad yours went well. I suspect they’re managing things there as they are here: keeping good records of those who’ve gotten the first dose, and making sure to hold back an equivalent number of doses for the second. While some of the categories lead to certain inconveniences, like you and Jackie not being able to get your vaccines on the same day, they certainly have a lot of complexity to deal with — I can only imagine the planning meetings!

  20. Don’t forget, Derrick, the first one counts for very little until you’ve had No 2. You’ll have to wait a few more weeks to go down to the disco!

  21. Glad your jab went smoothly. Bill had his 3 weeks ago and Rachel 2 weeks ago. I did feel a bit left out but as we are all still isolating and distancing it was fine. Mine is this Friday at Fordingbridge Hospital centre. Jackie won’t be long now.
    I phoned my old college friend in Germany yesterday. (The one your blog re-established a contact with, do you remember?) Her husband is 87 and she is 78. They went to book a vaccination at the local centre as instructed and were told ‘Germany has run out at the moment’! I thank God for our supplies but it is hard to see others not so fortunate in so many needy places around the world, isn’t it?
    Glad your roof is finally being sorted! X

  22. It is a nice thought but personally I would have used the money to repair pot holes. Councils are always complaining that they are short of funds for essential maintenance.

  23. Hallootje … , ik ben nummer 93: Het moet niet gekker worden, maar we zijn allemaal erg blij & gelukkig voor u, dat u bent ingeΓ«nt … In Holland duurt het nog maanden! Nu is er weer vertraging met de leveringen van ampullen … Nederlanders, grote smoelen overal, maar er komt niks uit hun klauwen … Wanneer ze voor iedere prik 50 euro’s kunnen vangen: Moet u even kijken! Ja, binnen één week … Koekenbakkers! * * Amsterdam, 27-1-2021 *

  24. My vaccination is booked for Monday at 08:00 AM at my GP’s surgery. I received a text from the surgery inviting me to visit online and book a vaccination slot. I could have booked for Friday afternoon this week, but assumed the queues may have built up by the afternoon so I chose the early Monday morning slot instead. The website said the released appointment slots were for all over seventies and not just over seventy fives as some areas were.

    Vaccinating the health workers began a while ago up here. I went to see the audiologist at the beginning of the week and the staff had already had their vaccinations as had the optical side of the practice.

      1. I’m certain I am free of infection, and I feel really well, it’s just the after-effects of the virus the tiredness and breathlessness that is hanging around, but it is so much better than it was. Roll on Spring and the sunshine. Thank you, Derrick.

  25. Congratulations on getting the vaccine! The new trend is to take a ‘vaxxie’, a selfie while getting the covid vaccine. Did you decide to give that a miss?

  26. I’m jealous that you got your shot and happy that you were able to get it. We’ve registered with the expectation of a shot appointment in weeks or months.

  27. Glad you got your vaccination, Derrick! Some of my elderly British relatives seem to be delaying, and I wish they wouldn’t, but I respect their decision, of course. Your NHS is such a gem, and despite some mismanagement in your politics there, seems to be doing its very best. I hope British people don’t allow it to be damaged – so many countries would love to have an NHS like yours.

    1. Thank you very much, Cynthia. We are having a thrust by celebrities from ethnic minorities attempting to encourage those who are afraid or who have been misinformed to accept the vaccine

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