Archive for March, 2021


Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

In the early eternal light there is perfect clarity. I gaze ahead into the distance. Everything is there. Born with a set of preprogrammed memories.

My cup of tea has gone cold. This is my fault. The pot was made just as I was sitting down to breakfast but I left it there until I was ready to walk to the shed. Now in the shed I will soon have to go back to the house to make another pot. I drink too much tea. 

Perfect spring day. Golf this pm.

It was just one of those perfect golfing afternoons, the weather being more like late May or June. Played a 6 ball around the Laughterton par 3. Although I hit a few good shots the overall quality was pants but the banter was great and a good time was had by all. Stiff now, not having used some of those muscles for 5 months since Lockdown 2  began. I’m told the weather is taking a turn for the worse over the Easter weekend so I guess we took advantage of it whilst we could.

I sense if I got back into golf properly I could sort out a decent handicap. My lowest has been 13 but in the years with 4 kids at home and lots of travel I wasn’t playing enough to sustain it and the handicap began to rise. Eventually I packed in my membership as I wasn’t getting good value out of the £800 subs.

the end?

Monday, March 29th, 2021

Is this the end of lockdown 2? It might be although the pubs won’t be open for another couple of weeks. The death rate continues to drop. Only 19 were reported yesterday. Golf courses and outdoor swimming pools are reopening. I’m playing golf tomorrow and we are looking at booking a slot in the Jubilee Park pool in Woodhall Spa. Will be pretty cold mind you brr.

In truth this is only a partial end and I will need to decide whether the posts I put up remain under the lockdown 2 category. See how it goes innit. It’s not a biggie anyway is it 🙂

Sat at my desk in the shed in a bit of a zone. Have fired off a couple of WhatsApp messages to get the day going and now pondering when to pour the tea. Important things in life. Anne is out surveying her garden empire. Staying on top of things. All is well.

It’s a good drying day. Prevailing Souwesterly Gale Force 5 according to the Meteorological Office. They don’t actually say Gale Force 5. I had to look that one up. It’s 19mph, apaz. If you  were out on the open sea you would be having to constantly watch the sails I reckon. Not that I am an expert although I have been on a yacht a few times.

Some tedious admin out of the way and the sun has now begun to shine on our small plot of land. Pondering a plan for the day. Was supposed to be going to Newark to pick up some paving slabs but the donor has gone quiet on us. Suspect someone else has come along and whipped ‘em. In the end we bought 16 slabs at £2 each from someone called Billy who delivered them for a fiver. Result. That’s my bank holiday weekend sorted.

Turned out a beeeooootiful afternoon.

all is calm

Monday, March 29th, 2021

All is calm. The chicken has been stuffed and the parmesan parsnip prepared. Mrs Davies fach has peeled the spuds and topped and tailed the green beans and carrots. We are ready for the day.

The jammed loft ladder has been unjammed and the new semicircular shelf for the little table at the bottom of the garden has been made and fitted, the latter done before breakfast. This was quite satisfying as it involved rudimentary carpentry.

Yesterday was a productive day. We had a Beyond The Woods site visit with the Peachy production team and the marquee guy. Much was achieved. We decided to change the site layout to improve the audience experience and the outcome is looking pretty good. 

The cedar wood planter I started last year has been assembled and finished off for putting on the deck in front of the shed. I’ve sprayed it with wood treatment in situ. It’s quite handy that the deck benefits from wood treatment. When I did it on the grass last summer it killed off bits of lawn!

cricket going well

Friday, March 26th, 2021

In the shed the cricket is on the telly, the rain has stopped and a son is talking loudly on the phone. I have a conf call myself in 20 mins so hopefully he will have finished by then 🙂

I try to finish at lunchtime on Fridays but made the schoolboy error of saying I was available in the afternoon. Kept seeing the occasional email about it and a reminder arrived today but I had forgotten to stick it in the diary. Had to adjust my afternoon so now off for a walk. 3.30pm sharp.

The cricket is going well, for a change. 175 for 1 after 27 overs. The emotional rollercoaster is once more headed upwards.

Tonight’s tea was beef curry fried rice from the Newport Arch chinese. tbh It’s a while since I had a good beef curry fried rice. C’mon Scotland.

when heaters break

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

Another flip flop day powered by a bit of sunshine on the shed and back garden. Not exactly warm in here though as the heater somehow switched itself off last night. It’s done this before but I can live with it. It isn’t worth the effort of debugging to find out if something is amiss. My hands are warming over a cup of tea and the blistering pace of typing this post.

It’s do the accounts and payroll day today. A bit tedious and actually one of the accounts department in the Netherlands does most of the work but I need to keep an eye on it. Also I still have to do the festival stuff myself. Once I get going on it I’ll be fine but it is an effort to start with.

The news this week has been full of rows over vaccine supply. The EU placed its order with Astra Zeneca three months after the UK as it appears to have spent the time haggling to get the best deal. The UK went in early and paid perhaps 3 x what the EU did but this was to fund the building of manufacturing facilities. In return the UK got first dibs on supplies. The EU didn’t get this and so is now whining that Astra Zeneca is not fulfilling the contract. The EU has vaccinated 12.9% of the population compared with 44.7% in the UK. I was a fan of the EU and voted remain but I have never been a fan of its bureaucracy.

The heater is broken and needs replacing!

fly away Trefor fly away Anne

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

Not sure what I’ve done today so far and it is gone lunchtime. I did wake up at around 6.15 and booked a couple of reward flights to Trinidad for next March. Unlikely in the extreme I’d have paid for them at £8,300 one way for the two of us. Good use of Avios though. I’ve been building up to this point for weeks so it is good to get it out of the way. Now we can plan the rest of the trip at a slightly more leisurely pace. Hotels aren’t even booking that far ahead yet.

Whilst yesterday was declared the day that shorts would henceforth be worn today is flipflop day. This is partly driven by the fact that without socks my “back garden” shoes were squeaking when I walked. I know I know I could have put socks on but let’s face it. If it is shorts weather it is also barefeet weather and indeed this means flipflops.

Flipflops actually fit well with the longhaired hippy festival goer image I want to promote. I’m not even sure what smart gear I have left anyway. Certainly a load of Hawaiian shirts and flowery jackets but it is not yet Hawaiian shirt weather.

In the garden things are coming along nicely. The onions are doing well as is the garlic and the plums are starting to show new growth. Coming up to the best time of year. Moreover I have no plans to be anywhere else until the end of June at which point we are having a couple of nights of unrestrained blowouts in London, if it is the will of Allah. Or the Force. The Force is with us.

To write the rest of this piece I have removed my specs. In consequence I’ve had to zoom in on the page to effectively enlarge the font size in order to be able to see it. My eyes are 70 cms from the screen and at max zoom the writing is still a little blurred. Just need to rest them a little. I might go for an eye test. I rather fancy a green pair. I’ve had my current pair for years and the lenses are a bit scratched. If I squint a little the writing comes into better focus. I’m not sure whether this is down to some Fraunhofer effect through my eyelashes or a distortion of my eyeball altering the lens a little. 

As a bit of an experiment I’ve projected this onto the TV using Chromecast. At almost 6m ay I can’t read it without my specs. The writing on the monitor on the desk appears twice the size. 

Enough digression. Bring on the dancing girls. I’m digressing even further now! 

Talking about desktops I have yet to fit my new standing desk. This is because the job entails stripping everything off the current desk and placing it upside down on the floor to attach the standing desk mechanism. This is a bit of a faff as my monitors will need detaching and the Mac Mini removing from its mounting under the desk. There is also the very slight issuette that the desk exceeds the max dimensions specified for the frame but which they only elected to tell me after I’d ordered it anyway. It’s not a big difference and I’m sure I can sort it somehow even if it involves the judicious use of a circular saw. I doubt it will come to that.

Listening to a bit of Swan Lake on my shed stereo. Quite stirring. Was this or some rock but stuck with what was already lined up on Spotify and I think I’ve made the right decision. 

All is calm.

life is short wear shorts

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

5.20am and the clock ticks. I am up with the birds and the occasional shift worker. Figured I’d get some Anne’s Vans stuff done but it’s a bit too early for my brain to be in gear. It’s not even my turn to make the tea. Too early for breakfast. Papers and emails read, Facebook scanned and WhatsApp cursory glanced. I realise that last phrase is not grammatically correct but it rolls nicely off the tongue and does convey the meaning.

On the unit in front of the TV lies my latest read: Tudor and Stuart Lincoln. It is interesting but is so packed with information that I have decided to shelve it as reference book as opposed to digesting it cover to cover. If I ever need some facts on Elizabethan Lincoln I know where to go. Same applied to Medieval Lincoln. When I first arrived in Lincoln I borrowed these books from the library and read every single word.

Covid mortality rates continue to drop. Only 17 deaths reported yesterday. I have already begun researching walks in Swaledale. We are off to Keld at the end of May. One of my fave spots. Totally chilled out. Quite excited about going.

The one large cloud on the horizon that may yet ruin the summer is the increase in covid infections in Europe. Will this be another of those occasions where we are saved by our island nation status. Sceptre protector. Liked that 🙂

It’s another reason why I need to get the new Anne’s Vans site finished. I’ll have to drop everything to do it shortly. It’s a bigger undertaking than I had initially realised. Just needs a burst of energy and clearly 5.20am on a Tuesday in March ain’t where that’s at.

Soon be April though and the clocks go forward next weekend. Cue wearing shorts. Might even try them for comfort today. Life is short, wear shorts.

is it time yet?

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

Tis a beeootiful day in Glockamorra. And Lincoln. The sun verily shineth and all that jazz. If you are ever going to be full of the joys of spring today is the day. Early to the shed looking for early worms. Sounds of life all around. Some building work somewhere within earshot, traffic on the road outside, birdsong and the Cathedral bells heralding the bottom of the hour.

In the days before people wore watches the cathedral bells would have been quite handy. Time was not so important as to be worrying about accuracy of less than 15 minutes. I like this and will see how practical it is to introduce the concept into my life.

How about removing clocks altogether? I’ll meet you at sundown. Or I’ll swing by your house when I’m ready to go for a walk or when I’m hungry. How did people order their lives without clocks?

Funny how the slow lane becomes increasingly attractive as you get older. 

Over 848,000 people received covid jabs yesterday. That’s a lot of people. It’s a lot of needles. Amazing logistics. Fair play. The news today is all about speculation surrounding whether the EU will block exports of vaccines. Apaz they export to 31 countries. That’s one big diplomatic problem staring them in the face. That’s all.

A more important question of the day relates to this diary. It is a diary of Lockdown 2. Some refer to this as the third lockdown but I go by the number of times the pubs have shut. So in theory Lockdown 2 finishes on April 12th when the pubs reopen, at least for drinks in beer gardens. However golf is allowed from 31st March so is that the date I should use? Like I said. Important questions of the day.

lovely day

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Lovely spring day and have been getting on with the jobs in the garden. Needs some managerial input now and the whole management team is at a virtual church service so it will have to wait. Building a management breakout area at the bottom of the garden using an old bit of trellis and a side from our the building formerly known as the playhouse which in later years was stripped of its internal fittings and used as a garden store.

The plant pots have now been fixed to the old standalone candelabra that seems to have appeared from somewhere. Unsure whether this was inherited or procured from a charity shop which is quite likely. Now it is an elaborate plant stand. Just needs the glue and sealant to properly set and it can be painted.

The jobs list has been cleared. Only two jobs remain: paint window frames on potting shed and varnish kitchen window sill. These are jobs I added to the list myself so they can be completed at leisure. Ordinarily I’d get Stuey in to do the painting but he has broken his collarbone.

The remainder of the afternoon will to some extent be given over to food preparation. We have a fore rib of beef to enjoy later with all the trimmings. Ciao.

campervans, rugby and curry

Saturday, March 20th, 2021

Somewhat stiff this pm having been on my feet all day down at the garage sorting out the campervans. Bit of elbow grease innit. Spit and polish. Taking a few pics in readiness for some revamped handbooks. Stuff like that.

Then swung by Waitrose to get some rugby watching supplies. Originally headed for the downtown Tesco which is just around the corner from the van depot and therefore the obvious place to go. However there was a queue. It isn’t really worth queueing to get into the downtown Tesco so I didn’t.

Big rugby day today, the finale at 8pm being France v Wales for the Grand Slam. It’s going to be a long old afternoon as before that game we have Ireland v England at 4.45. The Scots have just beaten the Italians. I’ll be treating meself to a beer shortly. Gorrabedone. Only problem is that the Ireland England game is on ITV. The commentary whilst it’s improved since they started covering rugby is not nearly as good as on the Beeb.

Also treating ourselves to a takeaway curry from the Castle View Indian. Simply the best restaurant in Lincoln of any genre. Gonna be eaten in the shed whilst watching the rugby.

And to finish it must be said that my locks are really starting to flow. Am quite liking the curls. Don’t have any issues with my hair getting in my eyes because it is all swept back. Befitting for a vintage campervan rental business and festival owner. That’s all.

First day of spring btw. Rule your world!

the drone

Friday, March 19th, 2021

Sigh. Listening to someone droning on about audits. I’ve switched off my camera and muted my mic so that I can do something more interesting without anyone noticing. Just have to have that sensor going to listen out for my name. This is a bit like the phone listening for an “ok Google”. Only problem is if I get asked a question I might not know what it is about. It’s a risk we take. Reality is this 30 minute talk can probably be condensed into one slide. It is all relevant stuff but still boring.  Also delivered in a monotone Dutch accent.

I’ve moved on from the boring. Life needs to be cool and funky. When lockdown is over I’m going to start inviting people to the shed to do interesting things. A bit like the salons of old. If anyone is interested in being invited let me know. You have to be able to contribute something. Poetry, singing, discuss a certain branch of philosophy etc etc. Or bring the beer.  Or the curry. Stuff like that.

The shed is also a venue for watching rugby, cricket and tiddly winks when that becomes a televised sport.

The good news is my 12 o’clock meeting has been cancelled. Also my new standing desk has just been delivered. The bad news is that the standing desk requires assembly. As a general principle I try not to order things that require assembly. This is a mandatory rule when it comes to flatpack furniture. I guess I am prepared to waive this for the desk especially as it is already here in the shed waiting. Patiently. Will have to be Sunday morning now. Quite excited to see how I get on with it.

rugby tickets?

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

The build up starts again. More Rugby World Cup tickets are released at 5pm tonight. I was in the car when they released the first batch on Monday and by the time I got to where I was going the queue was so large that it wouldn’t even let me onto the end of it. Just told me to bugger off and come back in a few hours. It was middle of the evening before I could get in.

Their systems really are crap though. I get the email in French addressed Bonjour Huw. When I go for the English translated version it starts with Hello Luc. I also note that the email comes from Claude atcher. Either he trendily doesn’t use upper case for his surname or the attention to detail is not good. You decide.

Today is a different sort of day on the work front. I am at day two of the conference that started yesterday but I don’t have to do a talk so it is an easy one. I don’t find public speaking difficult but to be successful at it your mind does need to stay focussed in the run up. This is not the case if you are doing the same talk week in week out but all mine seem to be one offs!

Had a couple of calls but am now kinda chillin for the rest of the morning. The birds are once more in full voice. There is a conversation going on. “Don’t forget to bring back a worm”. They have been next building.

Another observation is that the sycamore seedlings are starting to come through. We get thousands every spring. The only thing to do is mow the lawn. You can’t pick them out individually. The borders and veg patch are a different thing. It’s all about hand weeding. All seems to get done magically! 😉

This afternoon the T20 cricket is back on. It is convenient to have it on in the shed. Muted when necessary.



Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

At 11.58 the morning is nearly over. The afternoon is spoken for and I have thirty minutes to fuel my body in anticipation of a long few hours ahead of me. The sunflower bird feeder has been refilled and the level is already dropping. Hungry robins. The fat balls and other/seed feeder don’t seem to have the same attraction. I may replace them with something newer and more appetising.

At 14.27 the afternoon has still some way to go. I am stuck in a virtual trade show waiting for people to rock up at our booth. At least I am doing it from the comfort of my shed. It feels to me to be an odd concept attending a trade show in a shed. I go to lots of things here. Sporting events, pub crawls, stuff like that.

God it’s boring. You may or may not know that my day job is in the telecommunications industry. Every conference session has people droning on about innovation, verticals, conferencing and collaboration. Why can’t they talk about fun stuff like festivals and campervans and barbecues and beer and rugby and cricket and other interesting things like rear admirals, downhill skiers, bookbinding techniques, jazz music, floral displays, great philosophers of Ancient Greece. That kind of thing.

I’ve put them on mute. I am doing a talk later. It’s about our middleware that drives automation – customer acquisition and self care. That sort of thing. Yanow. I might jazz it up a bit. Actually it isn’t easy to jazz up a call about Application Programming Interfaces especially when the audience all normally wear suits even though they might not be when stuck at home in their kitchen or spare bedroom at a virtual conference.

Now they are talking about EBITDA and multiples. Sigh. These things are slightly more interesting especially if you have skin in the game.

France 2023

Monday, March 15th, 2021

Sbeen a busy ole day now being finished off watching the pool in the shed. With ma girl. Checked out the Rugby World Cup France 2023 tickets sitch. No gude. Told me to come back in a few hours the first couple of times I tried. Didn’t even make the queue. After this I opted for the reminder email 10 mins before they were going to let me progress. This evening I remembered this and looked only to find it had arrived three hours previous with a ten minute validity for the link. Somewhat dischuffed I clicked anyway and found that I was in and 43% of the way through the queue. In the meantime Jezzer appeared on the whatsapp group saying that everything decent was gone. I can confirm this to be the case. The site gives you the option to hold tix for 48 hours so assuming that every man and his RWC registered dog have put a hold on a chunk of billets. Will look again in 48 hours. Truth is I don’t really want a 4 game team pack or a 3 game city pack. I will take pot luck nearer the time and if it comes to the crunch watch every game in the bar drinking Kronenbourg and pernod. Not really. I don’t like Pernod. Yuk. We have provisionally decided to go for the month of September. It’s a long way away yet so plenty of time to sort. Bit of an adventure innit. The stroll every morning to the boulangerie to pick up a fresh baguette and the occasional croissant. A simple lunch of salad and white wine outside a cafe on the busy boulevard Saint Jacques, whoever he was. Degustation patron. A walk around the harbour, stroll around the art gallery. That kind of stuff. Nice is a long way down in a vintage VW campervan. I’m thinking 3 or 4 days to get there with the same coming back. What’s the rush? More as I think of it.

the closing zip

Saturday, March 13th, 2021

Anne just called me on WhatsApp. Answered but it was clearly a misdial. She had just sent me a message. All I heard was the sound of a zip closing – obviously put her phone into her bag.

This is an everyday occurrence somewhere. We have all experienced it. It doesn’t feel like something that might appear in a history book. Even her trip to the shops wouldn’t make the historical record although that to some extent depends on how long google/mobile phone company/the government keeps the data. It wouldn’t be something you could easily access anyway.

Life is full of so many interesting things. Most folk would probably think you were crazy thinking that hearing someone’s bag being zipped up from the inside was interesting. In a thousand year people might look at it differently. “Oo they used to use bags”, or “what’s a zip or a phone?”

It’s a work of art in its own right. You may not think it is but it is. 

“Handbag zip being closed heard from the inside”

There is more. I was the only one who heard this happening. It is a work of art that I have described to you that you need to picture in your own mind.  It’s a virtual work of art. 

I present it to you with no thought of remuneration. Your enjoyment is my reward. Please accept it in the spirit with which it was offered.

Thank you.