Samuel Pepys on plague

There is a joke Samuel Pepys diary entry going around the internet, where he talks about how 1665 was a horrible year with the plague, but he’s really looking forward to trying out the new bakery on Pudding Lane in 1666. London’s Great Fire started there, and he had to resort to burying his Parmigiano Reggiano wheel in the garden before fleeing London. Protection of the cheese is still important, I think (

Happy New Year to everyone. If you’ve been not working this season, I hope it was relaxing and you enjoyed the long walks. If you have been working, thank you for your efforts in keeping the food supply chain going, while I sit here and sip my coffee with delivered milk and enjoy my morning yogurt.

As we all know, a deal has been done and we are living in the post-Brexit life here in the UK. Unsurprisingly, there’s more paperwork , but I for one am feeling a bit optimistic about the upcoming year overall, despite the current British government’s back and forthing. In a way, it’s now a regular feature and no longer upsets me. If they had a plan and stuck to it, I’d find that alarming at this point. When they moved the secondary school openings back by two weeks, I shrugged my shoulders and told my offspring to get his physics homework done.

Even this year’s colour of the year is “rising orange,” I am told, which is “optimistically bright for restoration in the new year,” the ingredients supplier Sensient explains. So perhaps that is it.

I was also encouraged by the queues here for people to get their vaccinations, which hopefully will put a lid on this outbreak. We can go back to waiting in airports and train stations again among other people, and complaining about how packed the tube is (or maybe not). The speed and skill with which the global scientific community has put this together makes me think we’re not so bad as a species after all.

But I still might get my wheel and bury it in the garden, just in case. While I await my turn for the vaccine. Light is there, but we’re still in the tunnel.

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