Make a point of visiting us weekly!        Tell a friend about us. Seasonal Reflections: March (3)

Through 2021 – MARCH

A. Weather

The first week of the month, I see in my diary, is recorded as “grey, cloudy, with rain” but on the 7th SNOW arrived and remained with us (not very deep) until it started to melt on the 14th. Starting-each-day temperatures were only a little above freezing and daytime highs were 4,12,8,8,14,8,0, that last one on the day the snow arrived!

In the following, third week, “grey, cloud and rain” prevailed with occasional sunny intervals until the end of the week when temperatures climbed to 16 degrees, then 18 before dropping again for the next couple of days and then rising to 17, down again but up to 17 and 16 on the 26th & 27th respectively, which were the only two days in that month I recorded “Clear, sunny all day”, The most common word for the weather throughout the month was ‘grey’! The end of the month saw two frosts (26th & 27th) followed by fog on the last day. Overall, not a very auspicious month!

B. Nature

This is the month for peering at the soil to see if seeds are coming up. Tomato plant seedlings on the window sill and then the greenhouse came on quickly. The generally cold weather meant the ground was cold which meant that the beetroot seeds showed no signs of activity in March. The broad beans have picked up a bit, as have the onions.  Wildflower seeds sown, showed no sign. Blue is one of the two prevailing colours as forget-me-nots start appearing, bluebell leaves are in abundance but yet no flowers. Grape hyacinths are out in profusion. Yellow is the other colour of the month with yellow tulips opening up and the forsythia creating the brightest colour of the garden, backed up by yellow and red wallflowers appearing more and more. Buds and leaves are starting to appear on more bushes and trees but basically this month is preparing the way for the big picture of April, although white blossom is coming out on more and more trees.

C. General News

As the following will show, the news expands beyond the Pandemic. The ‘royals’ TV interview on the 7th generated high audience ratings and much subsequent media comment. Likewise the murder on the 10th appeared as a cause for a vigil, demonstrations, and much subsequent media comment.  On the pandemic front, the falling infection and death rates together with vaccination numbers were regularly in the news.


Economy / Business

3rd – Data from the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast the economy to grow by 4% in 2021 and 7.3% in 2022, bringing it back to its pre-pandemic size by mid-2022.

3rd – The Chancellor delivers his fist budget since the pandemic began in which he committed an extra £65bn to "protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people", including an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of September, but warns that future tax increases are needed to stop "irresponsible" mounting debt as it is confirmed government borrowing is expected to reach a peacetime record of £335bn in 2021.

4th – Amazon launches its first ‘cashless grocery store’ in the UK, which uses camera vision and sensors to automate the shopping process.

5th – A proposal to give NHS workers a 1% pay rise is described by the government as "what is affordable" given the public finances, but unions and others strongly criticize the amount and call for strike action.

People / Misc.

7th – Prince Harry & the Duchess of Sussex appear in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, in talk of suicidal thoughts, racism by an unnamed family member, and other concerns about the Royal family predominate.

9th – Piers Morgan quits as presenter of Good Morning Britain following his remarks about the Duchess of Sussex, which drew 41,000 complaints to Ofcom. A week later, Ofcom confirm over 57,000 complaints have been made, making it the most complained about programme since the regulator's formation!

10th – The government commissions a feasibility study for a bridge or tunnel connection between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

10th – Police searching for a missing woman, Sarah Everard, discover human remains in Kent woodland. A serving Met Police officer is arrested on suspicion of her kidnap and murder. Two days later, police confirm the body is that of Ms Everard.

13th – After a vigil/protest on the need for protection for women and to mourn Sarah Everard, police are criticised for their heavy-handed approach, during which four arrests are made.

21st – Demonstrators attack police in Bristol during "Kill the Bill" protests against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

21st – Census 2021 is conducted in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland

22nd – An independent inquiry finds that Nicola Sturgeon did not mislead the Scottish Parliament over her involvement in the Alex Salmond scandal, and was cleared of breaching the ministerial code.

25th - Demonstrations take place outside Batley Grammar School after a cartoon of Muhammed is shown in class during a discussion about press freedom and religious extremism.

30th – The UK experiences its second warmest March day on record, with temperatures of 24.5°C (76.1°F) in Kew Gardens, the highest since 1968.

30th – Northern Ireland riots begin.

The Pandemic


1st – Data published by Public Health England suggests that a single dose of either the Oxford or Pfizer vaccines reduces the need for hospitalization in older adults by more than 80%

7th - The daily number of deaths falls below 100 for the first time since October 2020.

8th - The daily infection number falls below 5,000 for the first time since September 2020

8th – Most children return to school in England, after two months of studying at home, as the first stage in easing the national lockdown.

15th – Suggestions linking the Oxford vaccine to blood clots is denied by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency saying there is no evidence linking the two after several European countries pause their use of the vaccine as a precautionary measure.

18th – A record daily high of 660,276 people are given a COVID-19 vaccination.

19th – A record daily high of 711,157 people are given a COVID-19 vaccination.

20th – A record daily high of 844,285 people are given a COVID-19 vaccination, bringing the total having received at least one dose to 27.6 million. More than half of the adult population in the UK have now had their first dose of vaccine.

23rd –  A minute's silence is held across the UK to remember the 126,172 people who have died from the virus since the beginning of the lockdown exactly a year ago. (NB. But across the pandemic, there have been 148,125 deaths in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate; 126,284 within 28 days of a positive test

25th – MPs vote by 484 to 76 to extend the emergency Covid-19 powers for another six months.

27 March – COVID-19 in the UK: The death toll from the virus exceeds 150,000.[128]

30th – The  ONS reports that half of people in the UK now have antibodies against the virus, either through infection or vaccination.


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