Covid-19 Shielding Diary

A blow by blow account Month 2 -Continues from Month 1

6115/5An outing to see M’s sister and mother socially distanced, we in front garden they on door step. Then a walk in the park overlooking Rochester. Evening walk as usual then watched the film Misbehaviour about birth of Women’s Liberation with the protests at Miss World 1970.
6014/5Chilly start to the day but no evidence of frost. Gave all the plants a feed. Did afternoon and evening walks round neighbourhood. Redrafted my document on Consultation of PE finances and circulated to subgroup. Finished reading House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds.
5913/5Big outing to get petrol, price down to 99p a litre thanks Covid! Click and collect was quick and safe, thanks ASDA. Watered with new hose and covered the tomato plants as there is a risk of frost due to the cold arctic air we are getting that has driven day time temperature down from 20 to 12. Completed the jigsaw. Issued guidance to PE members that board had agreed on playing singles.
5812/5Watered and then my hose exploded, spent some time trying to fix it but decided to get a new one on our click and collect ASDA tomorrow.
5711/5Wild and windy, stayed in mostly jigsaw bound. Bean seed pots and basil seedlings brought in.
5610/5Nice morning, watered and prepared garden for expected cold snap tomorrow. Managed a walk after lunch and it was already very windy and so no walk after dinner. Started a new jigsaw! Updated the gardening project with pictures of status in May. see
559/5Trimming of the Bay tree escalated to a full blown pruning reducing it by about 30% then tidied and watered the garden. First green raspberries spotted and two bees using the insect house! Afternoon and evening walks undertaken. Could only spot 5 goslings today. Posted the Petanque England AGM papers which will now be virtual on the 30/5.
548/575th Anniversary of VE day celebrated on our balcony with afternoon tea of smoked salmon sandwiches, scones and prosecco. Two small walks and a full watering of the garden. On the afternoon walk it was high tide and a pair of Greylag geese were standing there with 6 goslings.Finished the cleaning of the car with a Turtle waxing.
537/5Gave all the plants their weekly feed while M did her virtual art group meeting. Potted up the new set of beans but now two of those that had been written off have just started to surface. The fist few flowers are out on the Blackberry bush and there is significant bee activity on the raspberries. The indoor tomato is now 94cm with the first truss just setting while the outdoor ones are 43cm and not yet flowering.
526/5Gave the car a run and noticed the nearside headlamp was not working. Fortunately I had a spare so put that in and washed the car. Again two walks, an after lunch and an after dinner. Finished the jigsaw. Started a new book on kindle, House of Suns by Alistair Reynolds. published in 2008 which I had somehow missed when it came out.
515/5Chilly and windy day so indoors mostly, jigsaw and brain puzzles. Two walks and watered a few plants. I think the bean seeds I planted have perished in the cold earth. Starting some more.
504/5Cleaning in the morning, then watered garden and purged greenfly from the raspberries. Walked twice today, did some jigsaw and looked at the Pop!_os by installing on old desktop. The version 19.10 was OK but the 20.04 had screen tearing and crashed when loaded Firefox. Investigated why M;s tablet doesn’t load some web pages but not resolved.
493/5Started new jigsaw. Added soil to the potato buckets, walked, puzzled (actually do the hardest sudoku and killer sodoku every day) and evening tv.
482/5Responsibility for M’s mum has passed to her sister. Obtained two jigsaws in exchange for 2 of mine. Dealt with an infestation of mites on an orchid and finished the day with a chicken caesar followed by a riverside walk. Watched some of the film “The accidental husband” but even with lockdown brain it was too dire to see to a conclusion.
471/5A day of sun and showers. An attack on my lettuce and carrot seedlings by unknowns, possibly birds or a cat. Strung the table to deter and set up the camera trap. A Skype call with the family in Dubai. Evening walk to the river then through Greenhithe and back via the station.
4630/4A successful bread bake (450g) using plain flour and whole dried yeast sachet, activated. Between showers did the weekly feed in the garden and added more soil to the potato buckets. Spent afternoon investigating virtualization on my i5 laptop. Enabled kvm in bios and then installed programme OK. Just about manged to launch Pop_os in a VM but display was too small, need to work out a better display resolution.
4529/4The highlight today was a trip in the car to collect a prescription! Noticed nearside headlamp not working. A slight change of routine, an earlier dinner, pasta bake then an evening walk. The first raspberry flower is out. Bird watch today- goldfinch, bluetit, starling, house martin, parakeet, pied wagtail, sparrow, magpie, crow.
4428/4A wet and miserable day, a reminder of what April used to be like before global warming. So it was a cleaning day then some work with the microbit. So far unable to control a motor with a simple circuit using only a transistor and a resistor. How difficult can it be? Grrrrr.
4327/4Used the ‘malt extract yeast starter’ to make a 450g hint of rye with caraway seeds loaf. Did a 30 min fermentation, kneeded and shaped, a 90mins rise and a 35 minute bake, result was great! Then went on to finish jigsaw which
was a bit tricky. Walked and watered and spent evening programming and a bit of TV.
4226/4On our walk the first house martins of the year spotted wheeling over the houses on the river front. Watered and soiled over the potato buckets. Some jigsaw progress and the Spiderbot assembled. Nice Sunday dinner, a Moroccan beef with cous cous, a glass of Chile Malbec reserve followed by apple strudel and custard!
4125/4A chilly morning spent lazily puzzling over the jigsaw. A sunny afternoon, walked and watered, first flower opened on the indoor tomato. Found a Spiderbot kit not used by grandsons so will use it for a micro:bit project.
4024/4The 40 day milestone. Watered and walked as usual. Started up a yeast culture using malt extract the aim is to build up my own stock pile of dried yeast. Did some jigsaw but it is slow going. Complted watching Unforgotten Series 3 with episode 6 this evening,
3923/4Next set of bean seeds have germinated so planted out today directly in their bed. Visited by a little green butterfly, probably “Green Hairstreak”.
Lilac is out. Gave all plants a feed with ‘Miracle Gro Organic’. Added soil to potato buckets to cover first shoots. The red current bush has flowers and even some small berries have set already.
3822/4Outing to M’s doctor’s surgery to give blood sample. Masked and distancing observed. Walked saw May blossom, watered and jigsawed.
3721/4Another sunny blustery day. Walked in the morning, made good progress with microbit programming, small progress with jigsaw.
3620/4Sunny but blustery day, so far beans are holding. Did our walk. The cottage pie was excellent!! On the petanque front I redrafted the consultation on future funding document and sent it out for review. Did a bit of jigsaw, all the edges.
3519/4Planted out the early bean seedlings in calm sunny weather but now it is gusty and I fear for their well being. Carrot seeds have germinated so planted them out also. Walked the neighbourhood. A Sunday roast with mixed results, M’s cauliflower cheese was excellent my roast beef was very chewy and has now been converted into a cottage pie for tomorrow! Started sorting the straights on a new jigsaw.
3418/4Got out for a walk today, did a bit on my programming and finished reading “Bone Silence” by Alastair Reynolds.
Made crystallised tangerine slices with some excess fruit.
3317/4So windy today that the bean seedlings which were out for hardening had to be brought in to save them from whiplash! The big event of the day was the Waitrose delivery, fridges, freezers and larder now fully stocked ready for next 3 weeks of shielding. Petanque – extracted the proxy data and sent to Ken for the AGM; did some work on consultation paper. Started looking at programming a controller for the microbit buggy. It will use the accellerometer for speed and direction control.
3216/4Delivery of groceries received from Bill-co so revisited the inventory of comestibles. Revisiting programming micro:bit to control buggy that won’t follow a line! Stated the second month of this diary on a new page and in a change from month one will keep the latest post at the top.
Continues from Month 1

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