Make a point of visiting us weekly!        Tell a friend about us. Seasonal Reflections:  June (4)

A. Weather

The British weather has a reputation for being changeable. That can be from day to day, month to month or even year to year. This year has been very different from last year. June this year has been schizophrenic, the first half of it was amazing sunshine and HOT, the second half grey and rain and cooler. My (non-professional) records of our (now) two electronic thermometers (out of the sun but with fresh air) showed the month starting in the upper twenties and even hitting 31degrees but then, as English weather does, dropping in a day of cloud and on-and-off rain all day with a high of 25 degrees! Fortunately, that didn’t last and so from the 5th to the 16th we had steady sunshine. temperatures never falling below the uppers 20s and in excess of 30 degrees on the 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th, 16th when, typically like Brits we were complaining of the heat! For the remainder of the month the temperatures held steady in the mid or upper teens throughout, with just of few of low 20s from the 24th to the 27th before dropping back again. Intriguingly I only note ‘rain’ on two of those earlier cooler days but note ‘drizzle’ on six other days and a little intermittent sunshine. Flaming June it certainly was for the first half but definitely not for the second half!

B. Nature

The rain that came heavily at the ‘changeover’ on the evening of the 16th into the 17th brought a most amazing growth spurt to bushes, shrubs, trees etc. causing the garden to suddenly appear smaller as all plant life took up more space in a most noticeable way. The easiest thing to say is that the variable weather has provided remarkable growing conditions! The broad beans came to full fruition, were picked, and then plants removed. Onions were likewise so by the end of the month they were now all lying on the surface drying out. Various climbing beans were doing just that and the beetroot that has previously been almost non-existent were now growing at a furious rate. June was without doubt a catch-up month this year. Rhubarb was being picked as were the early gooseberries.

Bird life was running amok, it seemed, with new families of robins, blackbirds, great-tits, gold finches and sparrows appearing in such a profusion as we’ve never seen before!

C. General News

The Pandemic

The pandemic news this month is largely limited to vaccine information although first signs of increased number of infections again, start to appear by half way through the month, pushing back easing dates.

1st – Zero daily deaths from the virus are reported in the UK for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March 2020

2nd – 75% of the adult population are reported to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

3rd – 50% of the adult population are reported to have received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

4th – The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for children aged 12–15

6th – Health Secretary Matt Hancock says that the new Delta variant from India is 40% more transmissible and that the Government is open to delaying the 21 June ending of lockdown restrictions. However, he also confirms that two vaccine doses work just as effectively against it as previous variants.

8th – The vaccine rollout opens to those aged 25 to 29 in England.

10th - Matt Hancock defends the government's handling of the pandemic during four hours of questioning from MPs. He tells them the Delta Variant first identified in India now comprises over 90% of new coronavirus cases in the UK

14th – The PM confirms a four-week delay to the final easing of coronavirus restrictions in England, due to the rapid increase in Delta variant cases, but says he is "confident" no delay beyond 19 July will be needed

15th – The vaccine rollout opens to those aged 23 and 24 in England

16th – The vaccine rollout opens to those aged 21 and 22 in England

17th – The number of daily cases of COVID-19 in the UK surpasses 10,000 for the first time since February

18th – The vaccine rollout opens to those aged 18 to 20 in England

General News

9th – The High Court rules that the government acted unlawfully by awarding a £560,000 contract to a company run by friends of Dominic Cummings

10th – The PM meets U.S. President  in Cornwall, ahead of the G7 Summit

13th – GB News a new TV channel is launched on Freeview etc.

17th – Chesham & Amersham by-election Lib.Dem. candidate Sarah Green wins the constituency with 56.7% of the vote, a swing from the Conservatives of 25.2%. She is the first non-Conservative candidate to win this seat since its formation in 1974

17th – Manchester Arena bombing: A public inquiry into the 2017 suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena identifies "serious shortcomings" by those in charge of security

17th – The government announces that General Fusion will build a large-scale nuclear fusion demonstration plant in Oxfordshire, with construction starting in 2022 and operations beginning from 2025

23rd – A new £50 polymer banknote enters circulation. Featuring the face of computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing, it joins the updated and more secure £5, £10 & £20 notes that were introduced in 2016, 2017 and 2020 respectively.

25th – Health Secretary Matt Hancock apologizes for breaking social distancing rules after pictures of him kissing an aide, Gina Coladangelo, are published in The Sun newspaper

26th – A limited-edition £5 coin commemorating the life of the, Duke of Edinburgh is unveiled

26th – Matt Hancock resigns as health secretary, following the previous day's revelations. His successor is Sajud Javid

29th – UEFA Euro 2020: England win 2–0 against Germany in the last 16, marking their first victory over Germany in a tournament knockout game since the World Cup final in 1966

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