Covid-19 Shielding Diary

A blow by blow account.

116/3Preparation. Garden, On-line shopping, Mum’s room
217M. sorting mum’s prescriptions
D. Garden project – Tidy, set seed potatoes on damp paper.
318D. Garden – Started construction of salad table.
419M. Collect prescriptions, and sorting mum’s stuff.
D. Too cold in garden! Started video conferencing project.
520Finally collected all prescriptions! Too cold for garden. Successful VC testing use for petanque meetings. Completed Salad table design.
621Strange not to go shopping on a Saturday. Discovered the Washington Post’s excellent coverage. Salad table, supports for trays added and wood marked up for supporting the liner.
722A low key Mothers Day, turkey dinner for three. Chris did call round to see her mother but we made her stand outside. Put some bean seeds on wet paper to start germination, seed potatoes are chitting! Latest shortage – no hair dye available on line!
823Mainly a day of domestic chores. Prepared the tomato grow bag and planted up the indoor tomato to give an early crop in the conservatory.
924First time 1. our neighbour, Grant left us some fresh milk on the doorstep. 2. deliveries today of printer toner cartridges and a jigsaw were left on doorstep and when taken in sprayed with disinfectant before opening!
Did some work making the salad table and cut holes in three buckets for the Potato project.
1025Finished the Salad table.
Table baseFinal frame Ready for soil
1126/3Planted Carrot seeds in Table, potatoes in 3 buckets outside. Planted beans in germination tray inside.
1227Tried to revive some yeast from very old packet of Allison dried yeast, two test bakes were disappointing! Sowed Basil seeds in germination tray. Finished reading Graham Powell’s trilogy “Embers of War”.
1328Attended Petanque England Board meeting by VC, went well but not looking good for AGM. Big outside effort today fixing extra supports to the fence which is moving in the wind. Couple of the posts are rotted but putting off replacement until autumn at earliest. Completed my first 1000 piece jigsaw of the confinement. Yeast culture is not looking good.
1429Driving hail and high winds curtail all outside operations. Initiate new jigsaw, “Tobermoray 1000 pieces). Calculated possible course of pandemic, my prediction for UK peak is 12th May!
1530Another raw day, short walk but otherwise an in day. Started second jigsaw, a view of Tobermoray which looks like it should be quite easy but is proving a bit more challenging. Started the latest Alistair Reynolds book, Bone Silence.
1631Another in day doing small household jobs, jigsaw and the big shop arrived with supplies for the next three weeks when we have our next delivery slot.
171/4Progress with garden project today. Tedious but necessary sieving of soil from the old bean beds to remove invasive raspberry roots. Lettuce seeds arrived in post. Worried about family who are at the fever stage of Covid infection.
182/4Garden: Green bean beds prepared with mix of fresh soil and horse manure compost. Mended back gate and completed another jigsaw, 1000 piece Tobermoray.
193/4Finished the Green Bean beds.
204/4Garden: Planted out tomatoes in a grow bag and then built a windbreak to protect them from the swirling breeze. Planted Cos lettuce in table and set, Romaine, Dill, Coriander and Parsley seeds to germinate. Cleaned all the windows inside! Happily the Family are over their Covid infections but will need some days of recuperation now. M made a cauliflower and carrot soup from first principles – delicious.
The epidemiologists are revisiting their models so shall I. The reason being that there seems to have been a lot more Covid-19 in the population than was thought in January and February. Some was covert disease (symptomless) other was misdiagnosed as other respiratory conditions. So in my revised model I am assuming a greater start number of infectiousness in UK such that we are now over 2 million, this puts the peak at April 22nd forward from May 12th and a possible total penetration of 40M by the end in late July.
215/4For exercise cleaned the outside of the Conservatory windows! Swept up all the garden furniture and deck ready for the summer. Unfortunately the decking looks in need of some tlc.
226/4The Cruise brochures continue to arrive in the post, why?
Started work on a new Microbit project. see
237/4The Romaine lettuce seeds have started to germinate so planted them out in the Veg Table. A few Basil seedlings are showing in their tray. Spent the afternoon cleaning the deck with my neighbour’s power washer.
248/4Found some Decking oil in the garage, just enough for one coat applied sparingly! On the daily walk remembered to take my binoculars, spotted a pair of greenfinches and a heron circling the edge of Black Duck marsh. Unable to see any heron nests though. Mailed our U3A Natural History and Science group with this link about the evolution and transmission of Covid-19.
259/4After 5 days on the damp kitchen paper some of the coriander and dill seeds are germinating so planted them out. A 7g sachet of yeast arrived from my friend Jim so used 1g to make a starter. Set off nicely, divided it and put the first part in the fridge for bread tomorrow. On the Petanque front drafted a consultation document on the funding of International teams and sent it out for comment.
2610/4Planted out a few more Coriander and Dill. Made a loaf but it didn’t rise that well, more yeast or wetter mix? Watered and walked but otherwise a quiet day so started a new jigsaw, 1000 piece winter scene.
2711/4Another quiet day, enjoyed sun in garden, bit of jigsaw and a Sandra Bullock/Hugh Grant film “Two weeks notice” which was a bit “Notting Hill” but enjoyable and had a cameo appearance by a middle aged Donald Trump playing himself! Tried another loaf better but still a weak rise.
2812/4Suddenly all the parsley seeds germinated so planted them and the remaining dill and corriander. Set some carrot seeds to soak. Watered everything, as 23C. Did some jigsaw and petanque admin. Marked 4 wks in with Rose prosecco at dinner,
2913/4No gardening as temperature drops to 9C. So cleaning, me vacuuming, M steaming and ironing me linen, M clothes. M started chinese water colour project , me did some jigsaw.
3014/4Lettuce are starting to show. I finished the jigsaw.
while M made bread by the baking powder method which made a good lunch.
3115/4The yeast starter that I have been nurturing was given a boost with sugar and then used to make a small loaf, 300g of flour. Rise was OK and the loaf made a good lunch. Some potatoes are showing so added more soil, started to harden the bean seedlings outside but took them in for the night.


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