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Corona Chronicles May 2022

It’s the month of May already!

Bluebells in May – Photo Stephen Malkin

Although all COVID restrictions have been ended by the Government, the latest variant of the Coronavirus is very much still with us. The Zoe COVID Study App has now been renamed ‘Health Study App’ because it is undertaking a wider remit to include other major health issues like dementia, cancer and gut health. Nevertheless, it remains one of the few COVID monitoring tools apart from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Learning to adapt to life as an octogenarian is something I will just have to take in my stride. It would appear that none of the many organisations, charities, worthy causes with which I’m involved aren’t in the least concerned about my age. Which simply means I am crazily busy.

At the organ console Holy Trinity Hartshill

People at Holy Trinity Hartshill, seem to have accepted me as their dependable and reliable organist. They also appear to have a higher regard for my musical abilities than I do myself. But that’s nothing new…I’ve always been my own harshest critic. It was saddening to see pictures of St John’s Church Trent Vale engulfed in flames…St John’s is one of the three churches in the Benefice. The fire has caused extensive damage to the chancel area. Although the organ escaped the worst of the inferno, it will have suffered smoke damage, at the very least. I was once one of the organists at the church, playing for Sunday evensong services as well as a share of weddings and funerals. The first concert I organised for World AIDS was held at St John’s church in 1995.

Fire at St John’s Church Trent Vale – Photo Sentinel

Apart from regular meetings of the OLGBT group, Ages and Stages Theatre Company and the North Staffs and District Organ Society (NSDOS), the most exciting recent event was a trip down to London. This was no tourist visit but a tightly scheduled filming session at the Television Centre in White City. My opinion of the new Avanti West Coast train operators would not score highly in a Trip Advisor review…but it got me to London in time… Just. The producer and film crew couldn’t have been nicer. I was made to feel welcome and put at my ease. I guess previous experience of working with the media together with the increasing confidence that comes with age made time speed past in an enjoyable and most agreeable way. Along with two other participants, my personal story of living with HIV will be used as a sort of contemporary ‘wrap around’ to an upcoming BBC historical docudrama about AIDS in the 80s. I look forward to seeing the finished results.

Television Centre White City London

Needless to say, I am closely involved with preparations for local events to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. More about that next time.

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