Applauding the NHS

A quiet day in the home office today, in contrast to yesterday I had just one meeting; a team social to keep everyone in contact while we all work from home.

One team member prepared a quiz with questions from the British Citizenship Test. All the questions were based on British history, such as who is the famous English, Elizabethan playwright?, and which British sportsman won five consecutive gold Olympic medals in rowing? (Shakespeare and Sir Steve Redgrave). I’m quite a fan of British history so was pleased to have won the quiz. There were three out of the 30 on the call who scored 11/15, however I answered the questions quickest out of the three top scorers, so claimed the trophy (it would have been 12/15 if I’d have got to the first question in time!)

IMG_7626

After the quiz I decided to take my “one daily exercise” allowance and walk to the Iceland frozen food store up the road. I was almost out of milk and bread, luckily they had both in stock, and I picked up some other bits as well, including my personal favourites, chocolate Hobnob biscuits and Jaffa Cakes! Life in lockdown is much more bearable with hobnobs and jaffa cakes.

I managed to dig out the rest of the space I needed for my compost bin later in the afternoon, then spotted my neighbour sat outside his house when I was finished. We had a good chat about the surreal situation we’re living in, while keeping a good few meters apart over the garden fence, before heading inside again for the government press conference that’s become a daily 5pm routine. Today, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, put in place a bailout scheme for self-employed people who were unable to work because they have to stay at home. They’ll now get 80% of their annual profits paid by the government for the next three months adding another £9 billion to the aid package the government have put in place.

The rest of the evening news was given over to a campaign to give the doctors and nurses working for the NHS a round of applause. Every household was asked to open their front doors and clap at 8pm. TV news crews covered it around the country and neighbours could be heard clapping along the street and neighbouring streets. It was a really moving and emotional experience with the whole country showing their appreciation for those putting their own lives at risk to save many others.

 

Spring has sprung

Today has been the warmest and sunniest day of the year so far. After checking the new laws to make sure the girls could legally travel between me and their mum, she picked them up at lunch time; hopefully having a regular change of scenery will help avoid complete boredom for them.

I took the opportunity to sit outside for a while at the picnic table. Three hours worth of teleconference and video-conference meetings in the morning, then a video presentation in the afternoon left my throat quite dry.

I picked up the cough from Chloe a couple of days ago, but during my presentation I found myself increasingly coughing and losing my voice to a dry throat. I had to pause the presentation at one point and head to the kitchen for a glass of water. I’m seriously wondering now if I might be carrying the virus.

Fortunately, after that final meeting I was able to retreat back into the garden and the fresh air did me some good and settled my throat. I decided to put my evening to good use and dig a patch at the back of my garden which has just been a wasteland since we moved here 10 years ago. An area about 3-feet by 12-feet is a hill of soil and other debris, with a large tree or bush in the middle. The only thing I use it for is composting grass after mowing the lawn, but when the horses from the farm come out around Easter they’ll eat the grass clippings and that can give them huge problems with their stomachs and potentially kill them.

I decided to dig out a portion of the ‘hill’ nearest the farm, just big enough to slide my large compost bin into. I can then put the grass cuttings into the composter and keep a lid on it, keeping the horses safe and dealing with my own garden waste. I dug and moved earth of a couple of hours but only got half way through the hill. The rest will have to wait, but at least I’ve been able to get outside and have plenty of fresh air and exercise without actually leaving my home and breaking the law!