THREE glimmers of hope this week. The boffins gave approval for the use of an antibody test. This means you can confirm you have had the virus. What you still won’t know - yet - is whether you will be immune from further infection and for how long, nor if you can infect others. The two leading UK vaccine researchers (there are at least a hundred more questors across the world) seem increasingly gung ho about the human trials they are conducting and there’s now talk about the possibility of an initial batch of 30 million doses - enough to vaccinate half the UK population - available as early as September. Quite rightly there is chatter about making sure we are equitable in supplying the vaccine globally. Not sure they’ll be having that conversation in China where they are increasingly hysterical about the suggestion there should be an independent investigation in who knew what, and when in Wuhan, with Beijing desperate for the world to “move on.” Not sure we will.

Then there’s the dogs who have been pressed into service as potential detectives in identifying Covid sufferers. Apparently, they can sense the equivalent of a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in two Olympic sized swimming pools. The increasingly tabloid BBC news described the canines involved as “Sniffer Dogs” - the ultimate tautology as I’ve yet to encounter a dog who doesn’t sniff. I put it to our much loved, but fundamentally useless flat-coated retriever, Arthur, that he could play to possibly his only strength and volunteer for the scheme, thus redeeming at least something from a decade of pointlessness. He remained unmoved, closed his eyes and went back to sleep.

The teaching unions managed to get their communications all wrong, painting themselves into a corner and drawing unflattering comparisons with their public sector colleagues in the caring professions. They weren’t helped by the likes of Unite’s Len McCluskey, whose every appearance, even socially distanced by a TV screen, makes you want to count the spoons. Meanwhile two of our grandchildren will return to their nursery on 1st June. Locally owned, they’re quietly sorting out distancing etc so they can get back to the business of providing a much needed service.

Nearer to home, Andy, the wet fish man from Brixham, gives the lie to the old saw, “Devon born, strong in the arm, weak in the head.” With a great deal of entrepreneurial gumption, he’s bringing much needed supplies of quality, fresh-caught fish to the piscatorially starved of the Bourne Valley. The result? Snaking, socially distanced, queues at his van providing a roaring business for him and an uplifting, “There you are, my lover!” for his grateful customers.

Much excitement around the lake with the hatching of nine cygnets - surely the largest clutch in living memory - proudly shepherded by their parents. In past years, cygnets haven’t all survived with foxes, possibly mink being blamed. We don’t think we have any pike in the lake, but you never know.

Saturday saw us travelling to five villages up the valley. There an enterprising pub landlord places a daily keg outside on a help yourself, honesty box basis. Starved of real ale, denizens of our virtual pub, The Corona & Sepsis, happened, in passing, to be able to draw a takeaway pint. One of our number, Mike C has revealed that he’s been dyeing his newly grown beard, undetected by his wife and family. He thinks this is highly amusing. He’s sworn us to secrecy so I am only telling you because I know you can be trusted.

Finally, President Trump has disclosed that he has been taking an unproven drug, hydroxychloroquine - normally used for malaria, as a prophylactic against Corona. “What have you got to lose?” What indeed? I say he should keep experimenting.