Covid 19 Shielding Diary

A blow by blow account, Month 12 continues from month11

36515/3Today’s bread with 10% more water, small white, did give a softer less dense loaf. Put some brackets on the garden mural but then it rained so was prevented from putting up! Email problems, it seems Martin hasn’t been using his petanque-england address and mine was blocked at 206% full. Martin’s was an easy fix but moving emails to an archive was a tedious and time consuming chore that off an on took most of the day. Reviewed the small display requirements and ordered a few more bits ready for a test of the project with two boys at Easter. Acapulco chicken for dinner was yum.
36414/3In the morning went for a walk around the Village of Swavesey, a very interesting mix of old and new. Traveled home via Waitrose for a big half week shop. The Scotland Ireland match was a good one but a disappointment for Scotland who seem to have lost the dynamism they showed against England in week one of these 6 Nations – or were England really more terrible than we had thought? Peking duck for dinner was a lovely change. Did some work making a template for the Micro:bit 7 segment display and answered some PE database queries.
36313/3Made preparations for our trip to our bubble and then set off, very light traffic. After lunch did some rugby coaching with the grandchildren of the bubble, introducing some ideas from a NZ web site. Had to withstand a hail shower! Late afternoon watched England v France. At last England played properly and were well worth their narrow win 23-20. Very nice Mothers day dinner courtesy of Cote.
36212/3This morning M went shopping while I was on delivery watch. Varnished the final coat on the garden mural and spent several ours tidying away various old Lego models. A sunny afternoon so got in a walk round IP estate, still very windy though. watched Bristol v Wasps in the evening. Very wet conditions but Bristol still managed sufficient of their sharp attack game to win through comfortably in the end. Tift Eden hit the posts three times with kicks! Sent out an all member email to link to latest news on website regarding Inter-regional and return to play.
36111/3Bread this morning was a Walnut loaf (malted flour) which was excellent. Made big progress with the Lego Cam. It weighs 522g with battery. Band drive proved a bit flaky so switched to a hybrid of rod drive and only last link with a belt (rubber band).

Another wild and windy day so no work outside on the fence. An appeal for assistance with Petanque at the world Transplant Games has come in from Australia. Spent some time refreshing my memory by trawling my files. Sent off suggestion on preliminary things to think of re schedule and space required.
36010/3Too wet today to continue with the fence project so an excursion to Wickes to get wood with which to effect the repair. Also got a new light for the bunks room at B and Q, picked up colour cards for our contrast wall. M spotted a four stem orchid for £10, bargain. Also got a trellis for the trumpet vine and some brackets for the garden mural. Started a new phase of the cable cam – the construction of a Lego version that can carry more weight than the Can Cam, so more batteries and a controller board.
3599/3Repeat of the bread with milk powder reduced the salt to 3/4 and increased the yeast to 3/4 tsp result was lighter than the previous but could be fluffier. Loveley sunny day so worked in the garden taking down the first two fence panels and the broken post. Cleaned out the hole which is in good shape so cut off the rotten wood and stood the cut end in preservative overnight. Trimmed the panels and made a list of wood needed to repair. Just before dinner felt a Migraine with aura starting so immediately sat quiet and the visual disturbance passed in 10 minutes. This is the first incident I have had for many years.
3588/3Cleaning day, did the carpets, floors and sinks. M was engaged in the morning at her WEA course on Portraits. I started looking at the configuration of online event forms for the 2021 season which I am expecting to happen from the end of May. On the garden mural did two coats of varnish on the back. Our exercise was to walk arounf IP estate, Managed to avoid most of the Sussex drivel.
3577/3Today’s bread experiment, white with added milk powder. Looked OK but wasn’t as fluffy as expected, perhaps needs less salt? After Sunday breakfast, scrambled egg on toast, fried pancetta, home fries, croissant, coffee I applied a coat of varnish to the garden mural and then we went on a long walk through Greenhithe, Worcester Park to Stone crossing station and back via ASDA to get a paper. M did her Mothers day visit while I completed a working countdown timer using 7 segment display made from 42 leds programmed in code boack on the micro:bit.
3566/3A morning excursion to IKEA. Now pre-covid this was never a great experience but this was Click and collect at East Greenwich so first job was to find it without going through the Blackwall tunnel. So went straight there! Registered our order at the desk and then had to wait outside at a window bay for abut 20 minutes until a staff member brought our purchase. In the afternoon watched Exeter at Bath which started as so many recent matches with Bath dominant and Exeter a bit static 13-0. Gradually Exeter began to find their dynamism and from that point on scored five tries. Also assembled the cupboard. Evening entertainment was the Contender a good film about US politics.
3555/3First off the big weekly shop to JL Foodhall and MandS. Both a bit busier than in recent weeks but distancing and mask observance still 100%. In the afternoon M went for a walk in Camer park while I finished painting the wooden edges of the garden mural. Just the varnishing to do. Watch most f Leicester v London Irish but the latter seemed to lose their way and conceding the match. Curry night followed by Grayson’s Art Club!
3544/3A bread day – Spelt/malted flour tasty if an odd shape! M had her U3A art group meeting while I resumed battle with the shredder. No visible paper but still jammed so must be between blades, added some light oil and left to soak. Worked on program for a shot clock using a Micro:bit. In the afternoon tested shredder, which lurched into life, so reassembled and tested, working! Our exercise today was a short walk along the river bank to the marsh and back. Tide was high and the weather cold. Chancellor does a reasonable job but the shoots himself in the foot with NHS pay review.
3533/3Made a Cable Cam with a kit that is supposed to carry a tin can but I used my old Sony Xperia phone to cross the conservatory while filming the mural. Now need to think about adding remote control for the motor, perhaps with a Microbit or other wireless enabled board. The new bunk bed was delivered and successfully assembled. Is very sturdy and gives the boys more headroom.
3522/3The Covid numbers continue to decline but nervousness in government and media is still high, Used the new mitre tool to cut pine strip and glued it to the garden mural work. The first piece cut is still a fraction short so a slight gap on one corner needs to be dealt with. Good job I have plenty of clamps now. M had a lunchtime art so a short walk in the afternoon. Looked at programming Microbit for a shot clock.
3511/3A bread day, walnut bread made with malted flour. Controlled with a full half tsp of yeast down from 3/4 tsp – result excellent crumb, moist loaf no sag. Then a big clean for my morning exercise. After lunch had another look at the shredder to no avail and then went to the Dentist in Gravesend for a checkup on the new implant teeth. Slight adjustment to the bite and now signed off – they work really well! Popped into B&Q to get 2 more lengths of Hockey stick pine.
35028/2Happy birthday Nic! Celebrated by unblocking the shredder, amazing how much paper could be jammed in there. However it remains stalled. I am reading The Life Scientific explorers by Anna Buckley, the producer of the BBC 4 programme fronted by Jim Al-Khalili. Sunday dinner was rack of lamb I marinated with Rosemary/garlic/thyme/olive oil. Crushed potatoes with an anchovy butter that contained no anchovy, helda beams and carrot batons.
34927/2First excursion into attic to check on CH header tank which had been overflowing. No sign of a drip from the ball valve. Then into the garden to plant the trumpet vine in the courtyard. Our walk was to ASDA to get a Saturday Guardian but there wasn’t one, then back along the river. Started to do the trim around our garden mural. Thought I could get two pieces from 2.4m strip by reducing board to 1.2m -wrong! Hockey stick edge extends beyond the board not corner to corner so second piece well short.
34826/2This morning the big shop at JL Foodhall and the M&S Foodhall. After lunch, sun was shining so the exercise order of the day was a long walk to Bluewater where we picked up the lettuce we forgot in the morning and then the bus back home. Good distancing throughout, no crowding. The garden mural is nearly complete just needs edging and varnishing, early evening rugby was Exeter at Sale, a tight affair with Exeter playing most of game with 14 (another illegal head tackle) that Sale edged 25-20. Started work on a two digit display prototype using a Microbit.
34725/2A disappointing start to the day, my grapefruit had gone mouldy in the fruit bowl! Separated the bunk beds and added a temporary strut where the ladder had been. Almost got the upper bunk down but couldn’t manoevre it round the last corner. Decided to break for lunch. After M’s lecture took the headboard off and got the bed down. Some lads collected it later, I hope they manage the assembly OK. 11 clubs have so far expressed an interest in the canopy idea,
34624/2A white loaf day using the “French programme”. Dismantled the old bunk beds and cleaned up the little bedroom. Went on an excursion to the recycle centre with accumulated stuff from toner cartridges to worn out and unused electrical stuff. Called in at Toolstation on the way back as the new screwdriver hadn’t worked, to get a replacement. Charged and works OK. Finished the minutes of the events Group meeting from last week and sent them out.
34523/2My last day as a member of the Petanque England Board. Posted a farewell notice on FB, The new screwdriver is charged but doesn’t work, only the light comes on! So an excursion to Toolstation to return and order another,
The new sofa was delivered and installed. Looks nice and matches the curtains. Put out an enquiry as to how many clubs would be interested in piloting the canopy project and wrote up an Events report for the PE annual report.
34422/2While M did her WEA Portrait course I made a Walnut bread with malted flour. Came out great! After an early lunch made an excursion to Toolstation to get a watering manifold for the garden (the old one was split by the frost) and a new screwdriver, to Crossways to post a parcel in the dropoff box and then to Bromley to return the PE equipment from my garage to the store. On return we moved our sofa to the kitchen and then my neighbour helped me carry it down to the garage.
34321/2Lovely Sunday breakfast and the warmest day of the year so far in prospect. Our excursion was by car to Bluewater to grab a sandwich and then to Rochester. Everywhere there is crocus rage! The cold snap must have synchronised them. In Rochester we did the historic walk along the High Street and back round the Vines and castle to the esplanade. Home for afternoon tea, tidying in the garden and a quick wash of the car. Did some research on my next project, overhead camera dolly.
34220/2The bread today was a 300g white – nice rise, nice crumb. Petanque Board meeting in the morning which did commit to getting the charitable status application submitted within a month and a root and branch re-organisation to align with Sport England requirements. My three year term as a Board members expires on the 23rd and I declined to be renominated. Evening entertainment was the new Tom Hanks film “The world news”. Set in 1870 Texas – very good evocation of how hard life was for ordinary folks.
34119/2Our weekly shopping day resulted in a morning excursion to JL Foodhall where we got most of our needs and then a fly by of M&S for a couple of bits. Also called in at Screwfix to pick up some light bulbs and other bits. After lunch put up the bird nesting box that M received for joining the RSPB. Then we embarked on a tidying and cleaning of the non-car garage. Identified a pile to go to the tip so there will now be space to store the purple settee when our new one arrives next week
34018/2Started the day with making a loaf with malted flour using the recipe on the flour bag but without the walnuts as that would have been walnut bread – a future try. Did drop a bit, I wonder if the honey boosted the yeast? Made good progress with the minutes of the Events Group and did some experiments on what factors affect the range of the RF system I am using with the Display project. Increasing the antenna length of the fob was most effective but max range is only 10m.
33917/2Visitors have gone home so it was bit of a tidy and clean day and then in the afternoon an excursion to Gravesend for the dentist and the fitting of my implants. Really cannot tell them apart as the funny colour match is very good! The final touches made to the display project by boxing in the final bit of exposed wiring. Just needs a clamp to secure the mains cable.