Lockdown 2

gardening hard knocks

When I was a kid Saturday morning would have a routine centred around TV programmes. White horses, The Banana Bunch, some cowboy programme whose name escapes me for the moment. I’m sure there were others. Is this still a thing for kids? Not sure we let/encouraged ours to watch TV on Saturday mornings although for the life of me I can’t now remember what they used to do. Some sort of club probs. Or maybe they didn’t get up!

These days Saturday morning is often a working morning. Either jobs list or there’s the 10am Beyond The Woods festival management meeting. We were in the news yesterday as Joe was on Radio Lincolnshire talking about whether festivals were going to go ahead this year because of Covid. Too early to tell for us.

Now I’m sat in the shed “waiting for the host to let me in”. I am early. I like to rock up early to meetings. Not late. Today I am able to squeeze in some ritin while I wait.

I quite like to use my own spellings for words. Part of it is my philosophy that as long as people understand what you are trying to say that is all that matters and part of it is putting others out of their comfort zones. I wouldn’t do it in a work setting obvs (maybe not obvs :).

The shed has two sources of background noise, excluding the occasional wood pigeon on the roof and small branches dropping off the evergreen oak above. These are the electric panel heater that periodically kicks in when the temperature drops to a certain level and the Stella Artois fridge. I say Stella Artois because that is the branding on the outside and not because it is full of Stella. Bought it a few years ago when I had the office at the University. 

Always wanted a beer fridge in the office. As it happened I rarely drank beer that was kept in it. Too busy. Now that the fridge is in the shed it does get used more for that original purpose. That’s what sheds are for innit. These background noises are not intrusive although I’d quite like a mechanism to scare off the pigeons.

As I write the Cathedral bells tell me that the hour of the clock is eleven. The cathedral also has a sundial but it isn’t much use at this time of year and I wouldn’t be able to hear it anyway. I refer you to this previous and most relevant post

Just listening to Neil Young sing. “I saw you across a sleazy bar” or words to that effect. Decided to ramp up the noise levels here whilst I write and take tea. Once the tea has been consumed I must away to put up a wooden hand towel roller holder thing in the utility room. It used to be in a different place in the same room but we had some shelves put up so needed moving. All part of the service madam. It is a service I am quite happy to perform. Atter all I only have to do it once every ten years or so. Anne brought me the tea, quite voluntarily. Fair play. I made it at 7am. Just so you know.

As we were walking back to the house to assess the roller towel hanger job I happened to spot that our one and only cauliflower has been devastated by frost. This is most upsetting. We only had the one and there seems to be a shortage of caulis in Tesco. Empty shelves and all that. I guess we will need to review our cauliflower planting schedule for the coming season. It went in last autumn because we had some space we thought we might as well use. 

A lesson learned the hard way. School of hard gardening knocks. No wonder your average gardner looks gnarled and grizzly. I used to think it was because of the time spent in the great outdoors but no, it must represent failed crop disappointment. 

More tea vicar?

Lockdown 2

The Slowish Start

Slowish start to the day. Sokay. The sun is low at this time of year and the bright early sunshine was dazzling as I ate my bran flakes. Dunno about you but I find a cereal for breakfast quite invigorating. Of course I also like a bacon sandwich but that does not revitalise in the way of bran flakes. Food for thought?

Bad news yesterday. Heard that a friend who had covid passed away. Everyone is devastated. He had been in hospital for an operation of some sort but caught the virus whilst inside. That’s the second of the “boys” to go since Christmas. Certainly makes you stop and think. Not naming him here as this is something private but the news has its place in what is essentially a diary of the lockdown.

Sat in the front room and realise that the doors to the conservatory need a clean. Only noticed because of the low sun. Will have to get someone in 😉 We do have a window cleaner who comes every now and again to do the outside. He was here earlier in the week and Anne left me some cash to pay him as she was going out hunter gathering. After he’d been and she was back I was asked how much he had charged. I don’t know as I just gave him all the cash she’d given me. I had assumed it was the right amount. Ah well. Belated Christmas bonus.

Now in the shed with the Sri Lanka 2nd Test on mute. Taking me a while to get started but I do have a regular Friday morning 10am team call so that will force me into action. Also on my fourth cup of tea of the day. No wonder I keep having to go to the loo!

It’s not just covid in the news, or the USA elections. The fall out from Brexshit continues to entertain. Import export problems. The government having only succeeded in training 12,000 out of the 50,000 customs officials they said they would need but have now run out of money. Unhappy fishermen. Unhappy importers and exporters. Unhappy musicians who now find it difficult to work in the EU and who can’t recruit from the EU to play in the UK. Ah well it might get sorted one day. Probs. Maybs. Shrugs shoulders…

It’s now 14.25 and official business has finished for the day. All I have left in my calendar is “pay tax”. Nothing that won’t wait 🙂 I do have lots of stuff to do but it gets to a certain point in the week where you have to officially declare that le weekend est arrivee, or words to that effect. At some stage I shall be stepping out of the house for a walk during which perambulation I shall purchayse a low calorie drink. It’s called gin. Anne reminded me that Friday is gin day. She is a good girl.

The red arrows have been very active again today. Practising their loop the loops and daring wing tip touching stunts (ish) over the house. It’s a bit annoying. Not because they keep flying over the house. Because I don’t have enough time to run out and be ready to take a pic before they have gone again.

In other news my new Lincolnshire County Edition of the Domesday book arrived today. Very generously given to me by friend Stephanie Watson who is not from Lincolnshire and who inherited it. Weighs a ton. It is very generous of her and I shall treasure it.


Lockdown 2

There is a hill in Lincoln

There is a hill in Lincoln. We live at the top of it. The water table is quite high at the bottom of the hill. It is an area that the Romans drained. They were good civil engineers. If global warming kicks in big time we won’t be living at the top of the hill. We will be in a marina. Will have to buy a boat.

Not given much thought to what sort of boat. Ordinarily I’d say yacht, with sails, but Lincoln is nowhere near the sea, although that will clearly change under the circumstances being considered. Would have to be a reasonable size – sleep 8 or 10 perhaps. We would want to go off with crowds of friends, to Scotland, Scandinavia and even down to France, Spain and the Med. Sounds good innit.

I’d have to learn to drive it but that is mere detail. Having enough spare time would also be an issue. Or not. It’s going to be a while before the level of water gets high enough for this life changing clause to kick in. Not going ot buy a boat before then. Better to rent it. You know the saying…

My Lebara SIM rocked up today. Took me a fair old while to unlock the phone, previously constrained only to EE. EE’s online instructions were not really good enough and I needed two chat sessions with their helpdesk. Someone called Sreeta or similar got me there in the end. I congratulated them on India’s win over the Aussies.

My 2nd SIM now works and am now just waiting for the geo number to be pointed at it. Cool eh? No longer will have to answer the phone “yo” for campervan enquiries. I can say “Hi Anne’s Vans, Tref here how many weeks dya want a van for?” :). Will still say yo for other calls, or not answer the phone at all especially if I don’t recognise the number or it is withheld. I’ll let you have the number as soon as it is live, in case you want to call to hire a van. Sgot a different ring to my mobile number. I like the idea of having two SIMs. Innit.

My mobile contract is up shortly. Been thinking of getting the latest and greatest Samsung but tbh I’m not sure the difference between that and what I have now is worth it. Will probs save some dosh and stick with the phone I have. S10+. I will need to choose a SIM only deal from somewhere though. I doubt I’ll buy a phone on a contract again. Did some sums (should have done it last time) and it is about £500 cheaper over two years to buy the handset up front. It was the first time I’d bought a phone on a contract.

The driver for upgrading phones is really the camera. I have periodically considered investing in a good SLR camera. I have two problems with this. Firstly they don’t fit in the pocket for rapid access to take opportunistic pics. Then a good camera costs a lot of dosh. It isn’t the dosh that puts me off but the fact that digital camera technology moves on so quickly and so that expensive device could quickly become obsolete. Wasn’t really the same in the days of film. I’m not enough of a camera geek to spend the cash really either. I wouldn’t use it enough to justify the spend. One day , maybs.

On the coronavirus front things don’t appear to be improving. The death rate is still on the up and the infection rates seem to have stopped falling. Heard the sad news today that a friend of ours died yesterday. He caught the virus whilst in hospital for another treatment. That‘s two contemporaries in three weeks. A little close for comfort. On the positive side the rate of vaccination is growing. No idea when we will get the call. This, to be quite honest, is fucking crap.

Our circumstances are fortunate. We are comfortably off, have lots of space and our various businesses have either not been affected by covid or even benefitted. Anne’s Vans should do well out of the staycation trend, once lockdown is over. Everything crossed eh?

There is a hill in Lincoln. We live at the top of it.

3rd law Lockdown 2

bye bye don

If you ever find you’ve woken up far too early just head downstairs and spend some time online. I came down at 5.30am and it is now 06.10 and nearly time to make the tea. The fact that it isn’t my turn doesn’t really matter. Anne does a lot for me 🙂 This is the third law of the internet in action. 

Amazingly it’s nearly eleven years since the third law was stumbled upon (you don’t invent a law of nature/you don’t make these things up). The third law says that if drinking a hot drink when surfing the internet it always goes cold before you finish it. It is a fact that has been proven many times over. I’m sure the reader will have evidenced it themselves.

One thing I’ve just thought of is whether the 3rd law existed in another form in the days before the internet existed. Is it something that has always been there but needed the invention of the internet for the proof to surface. Is it really the third law of something else just manifested as being of the internet because that is the one scenario to which it applies that I’ve been able to identify. Sounds like an area for some interesting research. Not today though.

I did write the book “The 3rd Law of The Internet” but it needs some heavy editing and I have no idea when it will surface if ever. In the meantime the initial early version is available free of charge over at philosopherontap.

Outside I can hear heavyish rain. It must be heavish because I can hear it on the conservatory roof even though the doors to the conservatory are closed. It was forecast. Storm Christoph. This doesn’t feel like one of those raging gale storms that force you to do up all your buttons (or zips) and bow your head into the wind whilst holding onto your hat. Just a heavy rain storm. I’ll find out soon enough on my commute.

Today is the day we wave goodbye to the orangudon as President of the US of A. No tears will be shed unless they be tears of joy. Relief perhaps. What a disaster. It’s made the whole world take an interest in the US Presidential Elections like never before. When Don took an aggressive litigating stance against the results we all held our breath. After all stupider things have happened, maybe, and he might have been able to strong arm his way through. Fortunately common sense took over, for now at least. I look forward to watching the court battles to come. It will be a distraction from the pandemic.

Lockdown 2

A busy day in Lincoln Town

A busy day in Lincoln Town. It follows a busy day yesterday which was itself followed by a good night ‘s sleep. Not without my snoring apparentlement which I regret. Am currently sat in the front room waiting for the tea to brew.

The time now is 16.07. It was a busy day as foretold but I have now elected to throttle back and do some non workey stuff. The lights in the shed have been changed to night mode. This involves switching on the “cold beer” sign and the two other designery lamps made by my pal Jonathan. It is still light out. A sign of the moving times. More than halfway through January.

Went for a walk to the Bail before lunch. It is not particularly nice out but significantly warmer today than it has been so I didn’t need the down lined parka that has been a feature of my attire of late. Back for a bit of tinned salmon with a not unpleasant kale salad for lunch. Anne had to nip out and buy a new tin opener for the occasion 🙂

Tonight we are in the shed watching the imps. Don’t recall who they are playing but they will be on pay per view. We discovered this a couple of weeks ago. We like to support our local team innit. The commentary appears to be that of BBC Radio Lincolnshire although I could be mistaken. The perfect combination. A bit like how it is better to have the Test Match Special commentary on whilst watching the SKy Sports TV coverage of cricket. The only problem is the lag between the two. I think you hear what is happening before you see it. The knack then is to sync the two using the stream from 5 Live or Radio 4. You never get it perfect but near enough. TMS on its own is also fine. 

We still await news as to whether Anne’s Vans will be on Look North tonight. It is going to be this week sometime. I do occasionally watch Look North, at least after the late night news. Rarely have the TV on at 18.30. 

In other news just ordered a Lebara sim. £4 a month. Unlimited texts, 500MB data and 200 mins of calls. No contract. I only need it for inbound. They will make money out of me:) Gonna be cool. Was easy peasy to sign up for it. Will wait and see if the delivery performance matches the sales slickness. 

Stay tuned for the inbound number announcement. I need it so that I can answer the phone “Hi Anne’s Vans” when punters call. Currently I just say “yo” which is my standard mobile response. After all if they are calling my personal number they should presumably know who it is they are calling. Most calls we get over the winter are from people looking to hire a transit or similar! Anne’s Vans is a cool name though.

On the world news front it is orangudon’s last full day in office. Papers reporting he is intending to pardon 100 people. Worra star. The reality TV show continues. I don’t normally watch em but I will probably tune in to this one.

As I write I’m listening to a bit of Stacy Kent – Ces Petits Riens. It’s in the French Cafe Lounge playlist on Spotify. Almost makes me feel that I should have a glass of pernod on the desk in front of me, were it not for the fact that I don’t like the stuff 🙂

Lockdown 2

staycation time

Just watching the cricket from Galle in Sri Lanka. Looks like they have had a lot of rain. My reason for mentioning this is nothing to do with the weather but that I quite like the round/ oval shape of cricket grounds. Seems to complement the relaxed feeling you get when watching the game.

I say relaxed but in reality that is just my utopian nostalgic head in the clouds perception. Cricket is often like riding an emotional roller coaster. It has lofty highs but also crashing lows where you can’t bear to watch and keep having to turn off the TV. In an ideal world I would watch all 5 days of a test and occasionally doze off on the settee, waking up to find that not much has happened and the score has just moved on slightly.

Back in the real world it’s orrible out there. Cold and wet with slush still on the ground. A hot breakfast is called for. Stay warm everyone. I did a quick run in the defender to Waitrose, risking life and limb.  The new faster spreading UK variant of covid was hiding behind every counter ready to jump out at my face and permeate my somewhat flimsy face mask defences. Warily I strode quickly up and down the aisles, cursing under my breath the one couple who flaunted the rules and jeopardised my personal safety by defiantly going the wrong way down the one way system. Dirty diseased ridden contemptibles 🙂

Was too busy to write yesterday. Have spent the last couple of days staring at a description of our support services that needed radical surgery but which needed my brain to engage far more than it had. Finally started to make progress when I hit the hard stop that is gin o’clock on a Friday night. Gotta get your priorities right. Will probs do some more work on it over le weekend.

Did have some exciting news though. On Thursday a BBC journo had contacted us to write a piece on staycations featuring Anne’s Vans. Cool. Then Friday afternoon someone from BBC Look North called, the upshot being that they are going to do some filming on Monday using Zoom. Time for me to change my virtua background to feature the Anne’s Vans logo and a couple of the vans 🙂

The staycation piece went live today Fame for Anne 🙂

It has immediately brought a few people to the Anne’s Vans Facebook page – likes. All good stuff. Bring on the new season.

Lockdown 2

it is snowing

Well it is snowing but it is fairly wet and not sticking. Temperature needs to drop a degree or two. We have plenty of coal and the freezer is well stocked so we could manage if snowed in for a few days and I could always head out in the defender for the odd pint of milk. The Beast from the East is not growling particularly ferociously. More of a whimper.

Out the front I see a man in a red coat, head bowed, pushing a pushchair and dragging a small kid in a pink coat. Not a nice day to be out and about.

Inside the shed is warm and brightly lit. I have a pot of tea brewing and removed my jumper. Almost feels as if I should have a nice fire burning in the middle of the floor but that would not be sensible in a wooden shed 🙂 A full day ahead of doing stuff. The shed is under a big evergreen oak and is getting a lot of drip water on the roof. It is a reminder of the weather even when I have my head down.

The investment in the shed two summers ago has really paid off. I sometimes feel a bit guilty if I am sat in here and Anne is on her own in the house but tbh even if we were both in the house we would still be doing our own things and at least with this setup Anne doesn’t wander in for a chat. This can be quite distracting when I am trying to get my head around a difficult email for example (long words etc 🙂 ) I do like it when she brings me a pot of tea in the shed though.

Found my wallet you will be pleased to know. This is a recurring problem in our house as I put it down somewhere and the next day can’t remember where. Today it was on the table under the TV. Not sure I’ve ever left it there before! Burglars would never have thought of looking there.

More snow now but it ain’t gonna stick.

Lockdown 2

Suspended animation.

Suspended animation.

Awake early. Again. Just after 5am. Lay in bed with a big decision in front of me. Should I get up and go downstairs and do something or stay in bed? In bed was a state of extreme coziness. Outside of the comfort of my down duvet it was cold and uninviting. Too early for the central heating to have kicked in.

I wouldn’t say my emotional state was anything like anguish but it was headed mildly in that direction. Staying in bed fully awake was a bit like being in suspended animation. What a waste of time. A valuable resource. I wasn’t dozing I was just lying there awake with thinking being the only activity I could perform.

Devoting some time to thinking isn’t a bad thing. These can be creative moments. I like sometimes to set aside time to do this sort of thing. Not sure people typically do it but why not? A bit like setting time in the calendar for business brainstorming or planning. This isn’t planning per se but if you want to get the most out of life you have to do stuff. I don’t want to look back and not be able to feel I’ve made good use of it. Mind you when I get to that stage I will probably have other things to think about.

The problem with lying in bed just thinking is remembering those thoughts afterwards. What I really need is to be able to dictate mental notes that I can later retrieve. In reality what happens is that note has to be something particularly significant for me to remember it. Otherwise it is consigned to a big pile of other mental notes that are not catalogued, indexed or otherwise made easy to find. I might get lucky and come across it again when shuffling mental notes but usually it is gone. 

I’m not sure how I can even tell you this as in order to do so I have to have remembered that mental notes were made and subsequently lost.

Gotta go and make the tea…

Lockdown 2



Just watching the imps v Accrington on ifollow/chromecast. Looks bloody cold out there. A day of getting on with things here. Anne and I now in the shed for the footy. Warm here. In the house we have the fire on and the central heating. To some extent this is because the boiler was out of service for some of the afternoon after the Worcester Bosch engineer deemed it unsafe. Plumber Andy swung by and sorted it. Won’t bore you with the deets. Things are going well on the pitch. We are 3 – 0 up 65 minutes gone.

Started a new Facebook group yesterday for people called Trefor. Only one member so far. Me 🙂 Did spend 10 minutes earlier this evening messaging other Trefors inviting them. See how it goes eh? Bit of fun.

Lockdown 2 poems

end of day

Nightfall. A day quickly over. Curtains closed on a cold and inhospitable world.

Lockdown 2

sand still flows

A new week of lockdown. Same as the last one but the weather is a little milder. Lulling us into a false sense of security. Not mild enough for us to be breathing in deeply the sweet new smell of spring. It will be some time before we can enjoy that.

When spring does arrive this year we will all have different expectations. Hopes. The hope that life will return to normal or at least as near normal as if can be after what will have been at least a year of pestilent disruption. You feel that had Samuel Pepys been alive today he would have been in his element. Bring out your dead.

Can we even remember what spring is all about? Interminable darkness has that effect on the brain. The candle has been lit but it still flickers in an ill wind (I’m on a roll here 🙂 )

This morning is the first working week proper. Last week there were quite a few folk still on holiday and productivity levels were down. Mentally I have prepared myself for invigoration. Energy levels must be high starting the new year. Run don’t walk. Set the year up for success. Whatever your definition of success.

There is no point in planning anything before Easter. We might as well be on Mars, or the moon if that is more convenient. Easier to get to as it is  nearer but to all intents and purposes equally remote. I’m expecting things to pick up big time as soon as the end of lockdown is announced. Especially Anne’s Vans campervan bookings.

I’ve been looking at the Caribbean for Spring 2022 but other than a bit of general planning there isn’t much point in firming things up yet. Flight schedules are disrupted and even for later this year they haven’t been published yet.

Other than the three week jaunt to California which is so long ago it feels like something I read in a history book, last year our holiday was a week in wet North Wales. A good time was had but the CV restrictions did impinge on it a little. Things like not being able to stand at the bar and reduced menus. We stayed in Portmeirion for a couple of nights. It felt strange seeing the day visitors stream in at 10am. I think we would like to stay there again. Do the steam railway up to Blaenau Ffestiniog n stuff. This year I sense the already booked trip to Rome in June will not take place. Can’t see the European Football people letting spectators in to watch Italy v Wales which is the purpose of going. We might take a van somewhere in the UK. See how it goes.

In the meantime we await the invitation to be vaccinated. There is a vaccination centre in the hospital social club around the corner from our house and our GP has also been set up for the same. Spoilt for choice as opposed to if we were invited to one of the seven super hubs or whatever they are called. The nearest one for us is at Birmingham’s Millennium Point which is 100 miles and a two hour drive away. If that was the only choice on offer I guess it would have to be hello Brum.

Sand flows through the glass…

Lockdown 2

Deep frost

Deep frost out there this morning. I’ve set the fire. It should light itself from yesterday’s embers but if not will help it along. Also have a pot of cawfee on the go at the request of the lovely Mrs Davies.

Today is the Sabbath. In the UK. Sunday 10th January. The virtual church service which has lately been dogged by technical problems and not therefore been streaming is going out as a prerecorded gig. I don’t know how many of the faithful tune in but the church is staying in the game. The institution will have had to survive much greater hazards than covid

Despite being a day of rest I sense that some jobs will still get done. Replace kitchen light bulb sounds doable. I only just noticed it was on the list so it must have sneaked on yesterday. It shall be done. That is the purpose of having an online list. Of the two porch door  bolt handles the top one seems to have been fixed but the bottom one needs some more work. May well have another go at that one this am.

Four paragraphs in and the fire is alight. Very satisfying when that happens. Not everyone is any good at lighting fires you know 🙂

The house is quiet. Not much traffic on the road. It is early, cold and we are locked down, I guess. During the first lockdown my hair grew longer than it had ever been. It came as a relief to eventually get it cut. However I can see the same happening again. Will need to dig out the Alice bands again. No idea where they got to. My biggest issue first time around was managing the beard. Not being a beard aficionado I didn’t do a good job of keeping it trimmed which put me off having it really. See how it goes this time. Maybe I’ll invest in a trimmer!

Winter never really arrives in the UK until January. December is typically quite a miserable month weather wise. How often do we get a white Christmas? “Not very often Tref”. January is real winter and comes with the low light levels that make you hanker after sunnier times. This year I shall be heading neither to St Moritz for the skiing nor Moustique for the winter sun. Not a skier anyway since I broke my leg on a school skiing trip to Italy. Not a sun seeker either 🙂 What am I? You don’t need to answer that 🙂

Lockdown 2

it is time

Was awake early this morning. Again. Lying in bed I glanced at the clock radio which showed 05:57. “It’s about 6 o’clock” I said to myself. It was Anne’s turn to make the tea but too early yet and I doubt she would have appreciated being woken up to be told.

This made me think about the importance or otherwise of having a clock. Sure I need to know when I have arranged meetings with work and sure we need to know the kickoff time for a game we plan to watch. However I am up now, showered and sat on a sofa writing this and the time is unimportant. Breakfast has not yet been taken. The time I eat is irrelevant. Should I just eat when I am hungry?

Is bedtime important? If I go to bed at 8pm I will wake up at 2 or 3am. That would probs be a bit of a nuisance as Anne would still be asleep and I would either have to lie there patiently waiting for morning or get up and do something downstairs (been there).

Anyway thassitfornow. I’m off for a bit of brekkie. It is time.

Lockdown 2

broken boiler?

Woke up to freezing temperatures outside. The house is warm although we have a boiler issue. It’s a new boiler and already leaking so andy the plumber appeared at 7.00am to take a skeet. Seals furred up and disintegrating! At 9am ish the boiler company was on the blower and has arranged for an engineer to come out on Tuesday, earlier if poss. This is good responsiveness. As long as the leak gets no worse we will be fine. Otherwise we will be huddled around the fire in the front room or spending more time in the shed which is toasty and well insulated.

Insulation in the house has improved over the years as we had pvc double glazing fitted to the rear elevation (as they say). The house was built in 1939 so it is not inherently well insulated. Sokay.

Our previous house in Greetwell Gate was built in 1870 and when we moved to this one we imagined the storm clouds gathering overhead as the first occupants took ownership. A few interesting ghosts still in residence no doubt. German bombers used to use Lincoln Cathedral as a navigation point en route to bombing industrial centres in the midlands. The house has changed significantly since  those days. Five bedrooms not three. Three loos not one. A shed etc. We are in number 118 but next door is 76. We think that the prewar numbering had been designed for terrace houses aka most of the rest of Lincoln but the postwar recession and presumably a reduction in the industrial base in the city must have affected this.

Although today is a Friday it doesn’t really feel as if it is.

In other news I’ve been partially cracking through the jobs list. Hanna’s bed was moved back into her room and the chair that had been downstairs but moved upstairs temporarily is now back downstairs. Nobody ever sits in it though! A new light fitting has been ordered for my office (bit of effort that was), the vent cover for the downstairs loo extractor put back in place by the back door (flappy bit is broken though so we will have to see if that matters) and I checked out the broken light bulb in the back porch. The bulb is fine it’s the fitting that is knackered so that will have to wait. Later we are moving the bit of sofa back from the downstairs store room into the TV room. Then that’s more or less it for the jour.

Seeing as it is Friday, regardless of whether it feels like it or not, I might treat meself to a drop of something later. Will have a root through the cupboards in case I missed any gin though I think we are out of the stuff. My 3pm meeting has been put off until next week so that’s me done for the week. Hello weekend.

Lockdown 2

A frosty start

Big nuze from the former colony now known as the USA with riots going on incited by the Orangudon. We had to swap back and forth between watching that and the Man City victory of Man U in the shed. We were watching in the shed, the game wasn’t happening there. Nor the riots. I won’t elaborate. You all know what’s occurrin.

V frosty walk to work this morning but it is a nice sunny day. I’m going to walk to the post office in the Carlton Centre later this morning to post parcels to Tom and dad. Dad’s feels like as if it is a bit of a red cross parcel with a bar of chocolate and some choccy biscuits. He is still in isolation at Ty Llandaff in Caerdydd. The ten days is up on Saturday I think where the other residents will probably throw a welcoming party where they have lots of cups of tea and ideally all get their first covid vaccinations done. Happy days 🙂

Doesn’t feel right calling it Ty Llandaff. You will know that it should either be Llandaff House or Ty Llandaf. They are mixing their languages but I guess that’s marketing for you. Probably the same firm chose the name that advertises broadband speeds in mbps. Knowworramean?

Moved the Christmas tree out to the front of the hoose after breakfast. Anne is now annoyed as she has to hoover up millions of pine needles. In the past I have taken it through the double doors of the conservatoire which have a wider opening but I am not here to argue, merely to obey.

We did last night compile a new jobs list for me for 2021. I have to have a jobs list to get things done. I can’t be relied upon to realise what needs doing without it being shoved in my face. Otherwise I would spend all day writing this stuff. The job of walking to the post office is a good one. It will make me get out and have some exercise. Put my tweed cap on to keep my head warm on this cold day. Feels very old man ish to talk about wearing tweed caps but my kids also wear them so I am on safe ground there. 

The jobs list is a paper on although I might suggest that Anne transfers it to a google doc where it can be easily accessed. The rule with paper jobs lists is that all the jobs have to have been struck off as complete before any new ones get put on. This doesn’t always work but I do need the sense of satisfaction and achievement of seeing the whole page full of crossed off jobs. Sometimes I do a job and don’t mark it down as done, just to see how long it takes Anne to notice. Little amusements eh?

The good thing about making it an online list would be that I would have a historical record of jobs done whereas bits of paper are thrown away when finished with. I think I’ll start one. I have one for shopping. Each year I do a new list that just gets added to for each new shop. I can then refer to the list on my phone when walking around Waitrose. It doesn’t give me the perfect record of my shopping that say a copy of the scanned items list would but it is interesting enough (I think).

I looked at Waitrose this morning to see what the click and collect sitch might be. There are plenty of slots a couple of weeks out. Suspect the click and collect days are over for us. We (I) spent a ridiculous amount on it during the first lockdown. It is too easy to add items that you don’t really need. Also despite my protestations I have come to accept Anne’s stance that Lidl is a lot cheaper. Yesterday I paid £1.40 for a pot of cottage cheese in Waitrose that Anne got for 60p in Lidl. Quality probs not quite the same but not 80p different. We have to train me 🙂

The long darkness of a January night has descended. I am sat in the shed watching the daily covid briefing. Bojo is taking it today. I’ve also occasionally been dipping into CNN to catch updates to the orangudon sitch. They hit the hay at 4am in DC (to use the American vernacular) which was 9am for us so we had to wait for everyone to get up, have breakfast, do their teeth etc before any action was likely. It is now lunchtime in Washington. Will we have to wait until after they have had lunch or is that off the menu today? Really we are after some impeachment action or 25th amendment. Notice how familiar I have become with American political terminology.

Sitting back as I am in my chair I can’t see whether the light is on in the kitchen. This is relevant because light means activity which in turn means food. We are finishing off the steak pie from the other day yum. Not sure what’s on the agenda after that. 

I might pick up another book. I finished the one about the growth of religion in Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire between 1851 and1851. I found it to be an interesting read. Increased my knowledge base on the subject. The ultimate goal is to write about my family going back before the middle of the eighteenth century. We were involved in farming, religion and the woollen manufacturing industry. There was much action in all three of those areas in the 18th century and earlier.

It remains cold outside. Last night was the coldest for a couple of years apaz. Stay warm. Not everyone will be able to.