OUT IN THE FIELD: Bring on the AstraZeneca – and wine

Three weeks ago as I prepared to spend my week’s holiday in the delightful setting of Pevensey Bay, I wrote about my desire for the joy of the jab.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 11:46 am
Julie Palmer on Eastbourne Pier SUS-210804-144735001

I was eagerly anticipating a text from the doctors’ surgery at Stone Cross telling me I was eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination.

That very same day my phone pinged with the invitation to book an appointment and four days later I found myself at Princes Park Medical Centre along with other 50-somethings to receive the coveted inoculation.

It was the AstraZeneca vaccine and apart from a sore arm for a few days and nothing that some paracetamol and plenty of water couldn’t cure, I was absolutely fine.


And then came the fears and concerns about the possibility of blood clots in some people who have received the Oxford vaccine.

Now, Professor Jonathan Van Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, is something of a hero in our house and what he says goes. I recall him reading out the possible side effects of paracetamol live on TV and they included mouth sores, fever, difficulty breathing, being more prone to bleeding, bruising, fever, infections, nausea, sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, jaundice – to name just a few.

If JVT, as he is affectionately known, says the risks are minimal and the benefits outweigh the risks, then so be it. I can’t wait for my second jab and want to be at the front of the queue. And to quote JVT, the vaccine doesn’t save lives sitting in a fridge – it’s better in your arm. Bring it on.

Come Monday we will be able to go shopping, go to the gym, get our hair done and sit in a pub garden.

While I am not too fussed about the first two, I am looking forward to the Sovereign Centre pool reopening to members, getting my fringe cut properly – the natural grey is staying, the wonky hairline is going – and cannot wait to see five other friends for a glass of bottled grapes in one or two of my favourite hostelries.

It’s hugely exciting to see Eastbourne reopening again after the latest lockdowns and it’s vital we all support our local businesses if they are to survive what has truly been a ghastly year.

There is a real buzz in the town centre and other shopping areas as they get set to welcome customers back.

That stretches up to Eastbourne Pier too where many of the iconic landmark’s units have been taken over by independent traders.

It’s a real fresh start and makeover for the pier, which has been in darkness for so long now due to the pandemic.

As well as a new chippy and coffee shop, the amusement arcade has had a facelift and there’s gift shops, a candy store and of course the traditional glass blowing shop and fishing tackle retailer. And the bar at the end of the pier has been refurbished with seating for up to 300 people outside now with live music planned for the future. See you there.

If you go down to ASDA in the next few weeks, you could be forgiven for thinking the approach roads have been turned into car parks. The Sovereign Harbour Community Centre is the new vaccination clinic after relocating from the Sovereign Centre but parking is an issue.