Tag Archives: list

10 Things to Do During Lockdown

I’ve been looking at several lists of ways to pass the time during lockdown and I decided mine was better, so here it is.

(1) Moan about the Government – despite what I have said recently about being positive, it’s important to vent your frustration so feel free to shout at politicians on TV and to mentally compose letters you intend sending after the lockdown. Feel free to include the WP spellcheckers and KFC in your ranting – even if you don’t have anything against them I do.

(2) Write something – blog, diary, poem, book. They all have their charms. Diaries never get seen so you can write what you like and write as badly as you like – it doesn’t matter and it might come in useful later. Blogs aren’t particularly taxing – look at me, I’ve been getting away with writing this tat for years. Poems are easy enough, I write hundreds every year. Sometimes I write a good one. Once in a blue moon an editor agrees. Books are trickier, but you might end up rich and famous

(3) Laze the day away – it’s a bonus holiday. According to what I read on other sites it’s important to have a structure in your day, so I timetable the time 9-10 for breakfast, 10-11 for coffee and biscuits, 12-1 for lunch, 1-2 for digestion, 2-3 for snoozing, 4-7 for quizzes and the rest of the evening for cookery and TV. That leaves an hour in the morning and the same in the afternoon for blogging and poetry. It’s not easy but I’m getting through it.

(4) Cook something new. I did Kensington Rarebit tonight. It was very good, though it isn’t, as Julia pointed out, really rarebit, just potatoes with grated cheese on top. I didn’t take pictures tonight but I will next time we have it.

(5) Read some improving literature. I have a copy of Mrs Dalloway around somewhere. I bought it as part of my attempt to read a selection of the 100 best novels. I looked at various lists, selected a number of books and started reading. My plan lasted about a dozen books. After struggling through Moby Dick, I made the mistake of starting Don Quixote. I wrote about that, several times, a few years ago. 

(6) Make inroads into your pile of unread books (not necessarily the same thing as Number 5). I just finished a couple of whodunnits –  Why Shoot a Butler? by Georgette Heyer, which is a middling sort of detective novel given to me by a neighbour. I thought she only wrote regency romances. It was OK, but I am not rushing to buy another. The other was Death of an Honest Man. It was dreadful, and is the last one of the series I will bother with. It’s like a mish-mash of all the Hamish Macbeth cliches thrown into a book and badly edited, if it was edited at all. It’s a sad end to a series, and an author, that I have enjoyed over the years.

I’m now on 1700, a book about London in the year 1700. I’m enjoying it, and it’s full of interesting detail.

(7) Work from home. Julia is doing this. I am definitely not. That is why she has high blood pressure and I don’t. Having said that, her blood pressure is going down as her workload goes up. I can only suggest that the doctor puts her blood pressure up. Last week (while we were theoretically on holiday) she was taking half a dozen calls a day and did three online courses. This week she has taken calls and written an online guide to making flowers from plastic bottles.

(8) Garden. Always a good thing to do. Sadly, we have had quite a lot of cold winds recently, which makes our northward-facing garden an unattractive proposition. You can’t do much apart from weeding anyway, as all the Garden Centres are shut.

(9) Talk to people (or text and email people). I am emailing and texting various people to keep in touch. I’m not very sociable, but it’s good to know that people are keeping well. You never know, I might even become a more sociable person at the end of all this.

(10) I’m leaving this one for you to fill in. What ideas do you have?

Small Cars and Wine Gums

I’ve put some really interesting stuff on eBay today, but as I left my camera at the shop I won’t be talking about that until tomorrow.

The man from the car repairers called today, dropped off a car and took mine away. As part of the process we had to fill in a sheet detailing all the blemishes on my bodywork. Two wheel centres missing, crumpled wing, damaged door, mystery paint transfer, mis-matched mirror shrouds, scuffs on the back bumper from dragging heavy loads out of the boot…

And there are a few minor marks too.

That is before we actually got round to the dinged wheel arch, scratches and paint transfer from the minor accident last week.

This is the car of a man who really needs to get a grip on his driving and the care of his car.

I might add that to my list.

I’ve done everything on the list and the two new haibun are now resting a while until I start the re-writing process.  The results of my car emptying are currently stacked in the house. I found four pairs of cheap reading glasses, which sort of makes up for the pair I lost last week.

I also found eight pens, two pairs of scissors, a bag of salt and  half a packet of wine gums. The wine gums are only slightly fluffy and soon cleaned up when I started sucking them, so all in all it wasn’t a bad day.

The courtesy car is a SEAT. I don’t know what model, but I do know I need Vaseline to get in and out. It’s a bit of a snug fit. Add that to a manual handbrake. a petrol engine and a clutch with a biting point that requires me to put my knee up to ear level when changing gear and you have a car that I’m not altogether familiar with. I also have a problem with feet which are bigger than the space allowed by the car designer.

Due to my generous proportions and a small door aperture I had to exit the vehicle by using a technique that looks a little like limbo dancing. Once I have enough of my lower parts out of the car I put my hand on the top of my head to compress my stiff neck and get my head out. With head and legs out I hook my elbows round the door frame and extract my body in the manner of a wine waiter brandishing one of those corkscrews with the two wings.

I may start adding sound effects tomorrow,

Fortunately it’s only for a week.

The top coin is a 1724 Guinea of George I, from the days when coins were better and monarchs were, quite frankly, uglier. In that year Jack Sheppard the highwayman was hanged and Longman, Britain’s oldest surviving publisher, was founded.

Another Day, Another Plan.

It’s about seven hours since the last post, but I’ve managed to sleep and get Julia to work in that time.

I’m hoping that today will be better in terms of productivity, decluttering and writing.

I’ve just about shaken off the bad cold I had last week and there has been no repeat of the nose bleed. I have a weak nostril that often bleeds when I have colds (maybe two or three times a year – but I consider that “often” for an adult).  It was a notable nosebleed, and though I don’t have a proper marking scale I’d rate it as high volume, short duration. My normal nosebleed is low volume but longer duration. Maybe the anti-coagulants are altering the way my nose bleeds.

Practical advice. Forget pinching the top of the nose or putting your head back or all that stuff. Roll yourself a decent cylinder from tissue and shove that up. You can leave gaps, and you don’t need to ram it home, as it’s a nostril, not a cannon. Just make it big enough to stay in without help. I find it usually stops the bleeding quite quickly.

When I finish this post I’m going to sit and write my plan for today. Top of the list will be “make chicken stew” and second will be “make soup”.  Actually, it may be the other way round, as I need the soup for lunch. Butternut squash and roasted Winter Vegetable Soup is the plan. Ready cut butternut squash was on offer yesterday and the veg are left over from yesterday’s tea.

After that I will “make sweet potato, lentil and chickpea curry” and put it in the fridge for tomorrow, “tidy living room” and “hoover”.

There will be other things too, but I’m just trying to convey an impression of the day, and I don’t want anyone asking me if I’ve done it all. Short lists are better for that sort of thing.

Plans, like blogging, are a good way of delaying work, but they have their uses too. They are a bit like meetings -everyone does them but only some of them are useful. About half of all lists and ninety percent of meetings would have been better if they had never existed.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to start that stew.

The Great War List

The Great War List

Captain W E Johns

Percy Toplis

Charles Lightoller

Ernest Hemingway (Nominated by https://salmonbrookfarms.wordpress.com/ )

John Francis Cecil Knight (Nominated by https://derrickjknight.com/ )

C.E.Montague (Nominated by https://beatingthebounds.wordpress.com/ )

Walter Tull (Nominated by https://johnknifton.com/ )

Leslie Buswell (Nominated by https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/ )

After thinking of Harry Patch and General Arthur Currie I’ve decided to leave them for a bit and see how things develop while as they are both quite well known, in fact Harry Patch had a book written about him.

Any more nominations?

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Hedd Wyn – poet

The picture is the Hedd Wyn statue at Trawsfynydd. He’s probably best described as a poet who served in the war, rather than a war poet. He was killed on the same day as the Irish poet Francis Ledwidge, who probably can be described as a war poet. I can see a lot more books ahead, as I need to correct a deficiency in my reading in this area. They are both buried in the same cemetery.

Neither of them appear on the War Poets’ Memorial in Westminster Abbey, so they are going on the list.

I’ve also thought of Edith Cavell and Captain Fryatt, but I’m not sure. Edith Cavell is very well known (she even has a car park in Peterborough named after her) and Captain Fryatt also seems pretty well commemorated for an “unknown” hero.

I may list Marie Depage, who I only knew because she was on a commemorative medal with Cavell.

And Thomas Dinesen VC. He was one of three Danes to be awarded the Victoria Cross, but the only one who tried to join the British, French and American armies before being accepted by the Canadians. He’s also the only one with a famous sister.

An Awkward Moment and Some Good News

I went to the dentist this morning, which proved to be a prelude to an embarrassing episode. As I was leaving, I noticed a couple of small pools of liquid on the floor.Oh dear.

A quick inspection revealed that the tap on my leg bag was open. Whether this was due to me not closing it properly, or whether I caught it at some point, I don’t know. Fortunately it didn’t leak on me, just the floor.

This left me embarrassed, and the dentist with the impression that he must have frightened me.

Ah well, I suppose it had to happen some time. If you store urine in a bag attached to your leg you must expect accidents. After my time in Male Urology I know that worse things happen…

The good news is that my teeth passed muster, though the gums need attention. As a result I’ve been trawling the internet to check on ways to enhance my gum health.

It seems it’s all down to eating the right things, and not eating the wrong things. In other words, it’s just like other sorts of health.  As you would expect, some foods appear on both lists.

I may start writing lists for the blog. How about a list comprising chips, chocolate, cheese and cake?

One week it could be Four Foods to Avoid, the week after Four Favourite Foods and the week after that Food Alphabet – Letter C. That’s before the sound of barrel scraping and the inevitable What I’m Having for Tea Tonight.

Finally, some good news. I’ve just had a letter from the hospital. They want me to present myself with an overnight bag in two week’s time. I’m not getting too excited after what happened last time, but it does seem that there might be reason for hope.