Posts tagged ‘diary’

April 14, 2020

Year of the Plague in 2020 a far from average year – self-isolation diary. Week 4

Four weeks have come and gone. So far so good but there’s a long difficult road ahead.

Being even more canny with the anti-bacterial spray this week during the routine morning clean in case no replacement arrives in our latest shopping delivery, again. Still got plenty bleach and as our local GP has posted on the practice website 1% bleach to 99% water is an effective cleaner, if less easy to use.

Optimist that I am I’ve ordered more flour – both bread and self-raising and that rarest of consumables, yeast, with no real expectation of them arriving at the weekend. My son has managed to buy a bag of flour in town and my daughter is now the proud owner of two bags of SR flour. I suggested she places them on her mantlepiece as the rare specimens they are.

In my first plague diary I mentioned we were updating our wills but with self-isolation it is impossible to complete these in the customary way so we set up a video conference with our solicitor – a first for us and her. Had no great faith in managing it but it worked beautifully. Isn’t new technology amazing? So, there we have it our wills are signed off. Might re-visit signatures once out of seclusion and that’s something I look forward to.

In a rush of blood to the head(s) we decided to keep the family amused by videoing the two of us dancing to Springsteen’s Born in the USA. Blimey, does it go on. Seemed to have raised a few laughs from the ‘young ones’ that people so decrepit were capable of embarrassing themselves quite as much. I was even able to get out of bed next morning which was both unexpected and encouraging.

horned sheep and lamb 2

Weather is still very dry and so no excuse for not getting out for some daily exercise. However, I’ve been put off by the increasing numbers of heavy breathing cyclists and runners who haven’t heard of social-distancing and so tend to take my shorter walk along the farm track in preference to the slightly longer ones. The short one is nicer with lots of different bird song along the way, usually the sight of roe deer – three this morning – never close enough to get a good picture or rather I’m too slow to get a decent one – we came round a bend today and surprised a couple of them right in front of us but they fled before I got my camera out. Sheep don’t move as fast. More obliging for a slow-witted photographer.

Still no sign of the birdseed order arriving. Stocks getting low now. So many birds around – blue tits, great tits, blackbirds, chaffinches, sparrows (hedge and house), jackdaws, robins, siskins, woodpeckers, starlings, pheasants, collar doves, wood pigeons – so you see we go through a lot of seed. Off and on activity in the duplex nest across the road – where starlings and jackdaws are hoping to nest.

Finished Patrick Hamilton’s Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky. Definitely recommend it. The final story, of Ella, is a little repetitive but builds up to —I’ll let you discover for yourselves. Started to read Jack London again. Bâtard last night (in which a dog hangs a brute of a man) followed by part of To Build a Fire – man against nature (how apt) before my eyes closed.

Our daily (evening) two hours of television has moved from box sets to films as recommended by the BFI. Adelheid, set in post-war Czechoslovakia was satisfactory in the way a single slice of bread as a sandwich is. Next evening came something very different – Kurt Russell in Breakdown which we remembered having seen previously but it’s a very watchable slickly filmed yarn populated by slow-drawling rednecks up to no good. The fly in the ointment was the lead woman (although she hardly featured) presented as a victim incapable of behaving like an adult – “give her the gun” we kept shouting at the screen but Kurt Russell had to do what a man has to do and held onto it while driving. Last night we watched Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade. A rom-com with lots of very funny one-liners but in the end didn’t hit the spot. Why did Cary Grant have mauve hair? Perhaps there’s no need to ask.

Stay safe.

March 31, 2020

Year of the Plague – Self-isolation week 2

Another week of self-isolation and it’s beginning to feel normal. Odd that instead of lying in bed planning the next day’s activities there’s a feeling it doesn’t really matter because what’s not done tomorrow can be done the day after, the week after or the month after – all being well. All being well is the qualification of everything said and planned at present. All being well. The great unknown has taken on far greater resonance of late. About the only thing that has become regular and a priority is the daily assiduous bathroom clean followed by door handles including the front door, inside and out, the letterbox, doorbell and computer keyboards.

But, anyway, one or two events shook up the monotony of last week. My new spectacles arrived. As all deliveries are placed in quarantine for three days before moving into their permanent positions it took a few days to check them, usually done at the opticians. Two pairs, both varifocals – one normal and the other sunglasses. The sunglasses are fine although their designer case is way too over-engineered but the ordinary pair made me feel I was walking through syrup. Phoned the optician who were very good about it – clearly I couldn’t take them back or post them and anyway they were about to close down until – well, until whenever so I’m back to wearing my old pair.

Lots of deliveries this week from online shopping to join the specs in quarantine. Notice now up in porch for packages to be left there, quite safe as we’re always in except when out for a short walk and anyway all the criminals are in lockdown, too.

Mild panic when we couldn’t get access to our usual supermarket home delivery. Gave up after 30 mins on phone but days later persevered, waited over 50 mins and someone picked up. This someone was a young woman with young children who could be heard crying in the background. Felt for the poor woman. She sorted out our problem and a delivery is due next week – a moderate-no-panic-buying-type delivery. I’d highlighted an issue for people like me in Scotland on Twitter and it was taken up by an MSP who was straight onto the supermarket concerned and so now, hopefully, the difficulty is sorted for others in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. That’s one of the advantages of living in a small country, sense of collectivism. Also on Twitter had a bit of a run-in with someone from BBC Scotland over its haphazard broadcasting of daily updates on coronavirus from the First Minister, Medical Officer of Health for Scotland and a Scottish government minister. Radio listeners in Scotland have got used to second best but is it too much to ask for them to take Covid-19 more seriously than sport or local news bulletins? Evidently it is.

Been having usual sort of printer problems which involved having to order a supply of paper. It arrived about two weeks before the date given – that is blooming fast. So many jobs to do on the computer it was almost like being back at work but with the weather being generally good am still getting out most days for a walk on what has become far busier roads and even the farm track where it’s always been just me, my shadow and I is attracting neighbours in their multitudes (relatively speaking) entailing a good bit of nipping onto verges and general awkwardness. First primroses flowering, lambs appearing and dippers darting up the burn. Talking of birds the little hollow in a tree opposite the house where various birds have nested over the years is been investigated by a couple of jackdaws, one sticking its head right into the hole and another pecking down from the top. Today starlings looked like they were thinking of moving in. That’s not going to end well.

Eventually got around to running off the FT weekend crossword. It’s almost completed. As another week’s gone by there’s another one waiting to be run off. Rushed through His Bloody Project I mentioned last time. It’s set around Applecross but could as easily be set in Devon for as a Highlander I don’t recognise it as in any way Highland through description or language. Different setup for a novel. Just not to my taste. Still not finished watching Better Call Saul. We’re on season 4 and frankly it’s a bit dull, not as good as the first three. Began an occasional blog of quirky recipes for the self-isolating (nearly the whole of the world) but don’t think many are impressed with my selections so far.

Our household has had one birthday and one anniversary this week – with all the fizz of flat Champagne. There are far worse things to contend with. And finally, we updated our wills by speaker phone. Desperate times.

Stay safe.