Lockdown by any other name

Today, the government announced tougher restrictions from this Thursday. What they amount to is an end to our Date Nights. Having gone through the awfulness of mask wearing in the Cotswolds we do not want to go through it again. The poor waiting staff and us having to wear a mask when not seated, was too much. I hated it.

So, no more Date Night. No more Holly Bush brunch. No more Starbucks. No more Chesil and all the other restaurants we’ve been supporting.

And it’s not like our lack of support will do any harm. There are far more frightened people in this country who blindly do what they are told regardless of the discomfort. They can wear masks and go out and eat, to be served by faceless staff, sweating behind the cotton on their faces. Or have coffee with friends (as long as they don’t have more than five from two households). Our support is a drop in the ocean.

It’s a shame because a lot of places will go under. And for what? Plenty of people die of lung cancer in this country but cigarettes are not illegal. People die of liver disease but alcohol is freely available. People die suddenly of heart attacks but people aren’t forced to stay at home and not do anything strenuous.

But, of course, none of that is Covid-19.

Still, we can continue to enjoy taking the girls for walks and, at the moment, I can still chat to people in the park as I walk to Waitrose. I’m not sure what I’ll do if they introduce masks every time we leave the house. I guess we’ll just starve. It’s not like there’s any online delivery slots for groceries these days.

However, that aside, we had a lovely walk around Frensham Little Pond today. The evidence of Autumn was lightly scattered everywhere.

Autumn arrived yesterday but I’ve already noticed trees starting to change the colour of their leaves. Odd though given the very summery weather we’ve been having.

We didn’t see that many people at Frensham this afternoon though a couple of brave souls were paddling in the pond and another family was having a picnic. This latter was interesting given it was starting to rain (a little less than a drizzle, to be fair) and they weren’t making any moves to leave. How very un-English. I mean, they might catch a cold and die.

Back at home, we had the pasta free lasagne that I’d prepared at lunchtime.

The lasagne is always a good one to make ahead then just stick in the oven for half an hour when we get home. Best of all, though, it tastes bloody good.

Today, this happened

Ellen Church was born today in 1904. I wonder what dreams little Ellen had about her future. When she was but a little girl, did she dream of one day being an air hostess? I somehow doubt it because she was the first.

She became a nurse straight after high school working in San Francisco Hospital. She wasn’t the first nurse, so perhaps that was what she dreamed of being. But, most of all, she wanted to fly. And she did.

Ellen was also a pilot but, because the fledgling air industry didn’t allow women to fly commercial aeroplanes, she couldn’t do it for a living. Instead, she told Boeing Air Transport that having a trained nurse on board a plane, who could also act as a hostess, would be of great benefit and calm the passengers who may be a bit frightened of air travel.

In 1930, she became the first Sky Girl, as Boeing called them. She immediately took on seven other nurses. And so it all began.

It’s important to note that while she was officially the first air hostess, she wasn’t the first flight attendant. This was German waiter, Heinrich Kubis in 1912, when he would serve drinks aboard early flights. He is also famous for surviving the Hindenburg disaster.

It’s odd how, when Heinrich was the only one, it was a flight attendant (non-gender specific) but the moment there was a woman doing the same job, it had to become a hostess. Mind you, that might just be because it was an American innovation. It was in the US, after all, that actors suddenly had to be genderised.

Anyway, having achieved the dream she didn’t have, Ellen only worked as an air hostess for 18 months because she was involved in a car accident. She returned to nursing and did really well, eventually becoming Director of Nursing at the Union Hospital, Terra Haute, Indiana.

She was also much decorated for her nursing work during World War II.

Recently retired from nursing, she took up horse riding. She died aged 60 following a horse riding accident. Given her defining moments were dictated by accidents, perhaps it was a good thing she wasn’t a professional pilot.

She is remembered today by being the name of the airport in Cresco, Iowa, where she was born. It was named Ellen Church Field in her honour.

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