Lockdown Support Zone: Life as we know it

An area for ideas and suggestions from our members to keep going in these difficult circumstances.  Anything from recipes for easy to prepare food with staple ingredients, to your favourite podcast or book.  Maybe you have an idea about how to cope with isolation.  Thoughts and links please by email to    

Necessity is the mother of invention:-  Select here to see a video of how to get around the social distancing rules by inventing a hug glove.  Ingenious!  Thanks to Bruce Chalmers for sharing.

Thanks to Steve Crossley-Smith for sharing this picture of a lady wearing a face covering in Thailand.  A multi-buy pack from Tesco?

 The ultimate in social distancing

 As reported by Anne Hodgson.  Photo taken at Sugar Hill toilets just off the main road  through  Addingham.

This is how some of us feel!

Thanks to Jean Smith and Pam Harris for posting these images on the members only forum.


Others add their own lyrics to the tune of “It might as well rain until September”, Thanks to our most regular contributor Bill Jones for sharing this.  With apologies if this is your special song.  It will never be the same again.  Click here to watch the video.

An update on virtual choir practice.

David Howarth has sent a further update on the local rock choir based at St. Margaret's Church.  One of their members, David Hoyle, continues to run their virtual choir practice.  Select here to see the session of a few weeks ago (David is in the middle with glasses) and select here to see the latest offering.  The complexity of organisation, the skill of compilation and the end product are amazing.

Spotted in the letter pages of The Times

Toilet roll dominoes

If we had a category of making bad use of spare time, this video fits the bill.  At least we now know who purchased all the toilet rolls!  A judgement call on whether to add this video but 10 out of 10 for inventiveness.

A short film of Ilkley in lockdown

Enjoy some quite beautiful drone footage of Ilkley in lockdown by selecting the above link.

Steve Crossley-Smith has provided this delightful film, reminding us all we are living through a truly historic period.  Future generations will learn that 2020 was the year when a virus overtook our planet and the outcome will depend on how we all respond in the next x number of months and years. Click on the picture to see the film.

Two examples of how local organisations are leading the way to ensure that social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t still be sociable:

David Howarth writes:  We are in the local rock choir based at St Margaret’s Church and have sister choirs in Keighley, Wakefield and Leeds. One of our members, David Hoyle, came up with the idea of a virtual choir practice.  It was great fun.  Select or click here to see the end result.   I am in the middle with glasses, my wife is to the right of me, being the last face to disappear from the screen.

David is a wiz with technical equipment. He sent us a backing track and we all sent our individual efforts in, sounding a Capella as we had head/earphones in/on.  Dave then worked his magic merging all the videos and playing the backing track himself.

Robin Leleux writes:  All churches are closed so services are being held ‘virtually’ over the internet.  St Peters at Addingham is playing its part and is bringing the week to a close on Saturday evening with a Service of Light which is anticipating the light brought to the world by the Resurrection of Jesus.

The picture shows me recording one of the Bible readings for that virtual service, easily done on my laptop with Windows 10.

Someone will then be compiling the lot into one service available via an internet link later in the week.

Click on the picture to hear Robin’s Bible reading for the Easter Service of Light at St. Peters Addingham.

How are you relaxing these days?


Jeanette Wallace recommends this version of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.  Quite mesmerising. 

Click on the picture.

More musings from Bill Jones

  •        I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.
  •      Still haven't decided where to go for Easter ----- The Living Room or The Bedroom.
  •      I don't think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks we'd go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone.
  •      I'm so excited --- it's time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?

Coronavirus has made us all northern

Select or click here for an interesting observation from an exile of Leeds now living and working in London. 

Thanks to Marten Koopmans for sharing this.

Have you been watching the daily media briefings by UK Government?

One of the charts regularly used shows the reduction in travel by railway.  This is made up from many different sources, including the footfall at key stations on the network.  You may find this chart relating to Leeds Station to be of interest.

And this chart on air quality shows how the levels of nitrogen dioxide has declined in London since lockdown


If you over indulged with Easter Eggs, Snoopy knows how you feel.

With thanks to Deirdre Clowes for this contribution (via Jean Smith)

A Passion for Poetry

U3A member Josie Whitehead has a passion for writing poetry.  Select here to read a poem about her favourite spot in Ilkley as a reminder of what we are missing.  Lots more on her website with many aimed at children (of all ages!)

There is light at the end of what is going to be a dark period in our lives

Brian Spence shares these thoughts about Covid-19 from a Chinese teacher, a contact of his daughter, which gives us all hope.

We are just finishing our 7th week of E-learning, seven weeks of being mainly housebound and seven weeks of uncertainty.  We are healthy, we are happy and we are humbled.  To read more click here.

Top Tips for looking after our mental and emotional health

Barbara Tyas has an Occupational Therapist friend who has recommended the attached 10 Top Tips for looking after our mental and emotional health as well as physical health during the next few months.  It is clearly set out and very helpful.  Select here to read the full text.

How are you sleeping these days?

Neil Stevens recommends counting sheep.  All you have to do is to count how many you see in Neil's video which gets its premier on this website.  Select this link:

Have you been on a U3A group visit to Ripon?

Thanks to Brian Ormondroyd for spotting this Yorkshire Post article about how the famous horn blowers have been confined to their homes for the first time in over 1,000 years.  Read the article here.

Beware of Scams

More Advice on Avoiding Scams

I have attached the latest booklet published by the Metropolitan Police on scams & online fraud. A little light reading during these more challenging times, however, a time also when criminals are resorting to alternative means of stealing money.  Click here to see the booklet.

A useful check list

Thanks to Owen Wells for suggesting this useful check list which might help to make any hospital stay a little more bearable Pack (and keep to hand) a bag containing:

  • Dressing Gown
  • Pyjamas
  • Slippers
  • Clean pair of underwear
  • Sponge bag (especially containing toothbrush and toothpaste)
  • Phone charger and long charging lead (the electric socket may be 2-3 feet from your bed)
  • Reading glasses and a couple of books
  • Keep a piece of paper in the bag upon which you have noted all the medications you are taking and (especially) a note of any that you are allergic to.  With the current shortages, one of our U3A members has written to comment that you are now expected to take into hospital your current medication, not just the prescription list.

Very likely, you won’t feel like reading but you may well want to listen to an audiobook, to a podcast, or Radio 4 so pack a pair of headphones then you can listen without annoying the person in the next bed

Keep a piece of paper in the bag upon which you have noted all the medications you are taking, and (especially) a note of any that you are allergic to.

To glove or not to glove, that is the question

Nigel Mapstone sent a text suggesting always use those disposable gloves when filling the car with fuel and then throw them away afterwards.  Apparently hard surfaces that do not get cleaned between uses seem to get a lot of bad press.  I noticed recently that some shoppers in Tesco were wearing gloves on the trolley handles for similar reasons.

I think internet response times are definitely slowing down

So I asked Google.  Apparently Vodafone has reported a 30 per cent rise in internet traffic across its home Wi-Fi and mobile networks this week, while TalkTalk has seen traffic jump 20 per cent since Monday.

So we can blame the virus but this one manages to affect humans as well as computers.

Do you want to take this opportunity to learn new computer skills?

BT have links to an extensive range of online courses covering everything from basic email, shopping on line to advance PowerPoint presentations.  Just follow this link:

Also worth remembering this chap.  Thanks to Bill Jones.

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