March 2021


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Wednesday 31 March 2021
16:45
Epoch Seconds: 1617205551


Day 5 of Hotel Life

My first day "back at work" today, and as Kim was out, I just worked from the room excusing myself on video calls for my messy bed and things behind me.

Because of security concerns, my work laptop won't connect to hotel Wi-Fi, so tethering it to my company iPhone seems to or well with Teams (including video calls), so all is OK.

Gas

The gas feed to our house has been capped off while they gut the asbestos.

Asbestos

So, every time I have drilled into my walls, I've been going through asbestos sheets? 🤔



Tuesday 30 March 2021
19:40
Epoch Seconds: 1617129633


Rumour Control

Today Kim bumped into a guy who says he's the carpenter for our house. He said that he's booked in to start on the rafters/joists on 12th April. So that definitely points to us being here in the hotel for over the 14 nights we are currently booked in for. I imagine that he doesn't start until then as they have to gut the asbestos and remove the bio-hazard of the woodworm?


Tuesday 30 March 2021
18:20
Epoch Seconds: 1617124842


Gideons' Bible

I've started editing the bible in my hotel room.


Tuesday 30 March 2021
15:22
Epoch Seconds: 1617114179


You Are Doing It Wrong

Sandwich
Sandwich


Tuesday 30 March 2021
13:45
Epoch Seconds: 1617108351


Ass-wiping machine

Whilst contemplating my impending dotage yesterday, I ruminated over the care home where some poor person has to wipe my ass (or arse, if you prefer).

With all of humankind's massive technological advances, why haven't we invented a machine to wipe our asses sufficiently?

Many countries have the bidet to jet-wash the rectum, but don't have any other way of drying it than paper towels.

Why are we still (literally) doing this by hand??

Surely, that's a basic human right (the ass-wiping machine)?


Tuesday 30 March 2021
13:41
Epoch Seconds: 1617108104


Day 4 of Hotel Life

My final day off before two whole days of working from the hotel before jumping into the Easter Bank Holiday.

It's a beautiful spring day, so a long mooch about town and the Hoe has given me some rays and much-needed Vitamin D.

Talking of Easter, the religious say that Jesus died for our sins. But he didn't, did he? He went on a bender for a few days and then woke up in a cave - we've all done it. And nowhere in the books does it say that he died again (or at all). So he didn't die for yours or anyone else's sins...



Monday 29 March 2021
14:25
Epoch Seconds: 1617024315


Barnard Castle


Monday 29 March 2021
14:19
Epoch Seconds: 1617023973


City Break

I fully recommend taking a City Break in your own city!

I have started exploring Plymouth through a tourists eyes (but obviously, I know my way around). I am walking places and looking at the architecture, the monuments, and the plaques that I've never noticed before - We do live in a beautiful part of the world and we sometimes forget to just be mindful and be there in the moment ad enjoy our city.

It's really refreshing.


Monday 29 March 2021
14:13
Epoch Seconds: 1617023595


Day 3 of Hotel Life

Day Off!

Well, I'm really glad that I booked a couple of days off to help me get used to hotel life. I think I may actually try to remember every year to book the days after the clocks go forward because my body clock hates the change to BST.

Today is the first day that we've had our room actually serviced due to Covid-19 and restrictions, so it's lovely and fresh again now (but we knew about it so had kept things relatively clean and tidy anyway).



Sunday 28 March 2021
22:57
Epoch Seconds: 1616968658


You

I'm so glad that you exist.


Sunday 28 March 2021
22:13
Epoch Seconds: 1616966011


Memes

I haven't added any memes for a while.

I have now.


Sunday 28 March 2021
18:39
Epoch Seconds: 1616953168


First Faux Pas

To watch today's Bahrain Grand Prix (Well done, Lewis!) I took my tablet down to the business lounge of the hotel. Sitting quietly in there with my mask on should be OK.

One of the receptionists walked past me at one point and said, "hi".

She returned about 10 seconds later and asked if I had permission to be there. I told her that I had permission to be there to work, but not technically to watch the Grand Prix.

She told me it was fine, but I wasn't allowed to have alcohol in there because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Ahhhh, I pointed out that my bottle of Becks Blue was alcohol free...

She said that was totally OK then, but I said I wouldn't even bring those with me if it was a problem? - She told me it was absolutely fine now she had seen the label 😂😂


Sunday 28 March 2021
11:56
Epoch Seconds: 1616929007


Language Kimothy!2

The BBC is running a good article on The real reason humans are the dominant species. It's really interesting, but it misses a huge point in our evolution - language.

When we learned to speak, humans really took off. We could conserve the energy outlined in the BBC article merely by communicating about things e.g. rather than going to get the rock in the distance to show Eric, we could say "Look Eric that rock over there is shiny". We could project our thoughts to say "Meet me at the shiny rock when the sun is directly overhead tomorrow"and organise ourselves. This new language tool3 was a massive energy conservation device.

I think that in the story of human evolution, speech and language are as important as opposable thumbs, brain size, and farming.


Sunday 28 March 2021
11:13
Epoch Seconds: 1616926383


Day 2 of Hotel Life

All's well here - I think we've just resigned ourselves to it an are getting on with life the best we can.

We have been home to do the weekly clean of Bud's cage, and bought some bin bags for the rooms (the cleaning isn't being done everyday because of Covid-19, so we are sorting ourselves out).

At least I can watch the Bahrain Grand Prix on my tablet in the business centre this afternoon (Go Lewis!).

And, out of necessity, I've learned all about ssh and authorised key entry to remote into my webserver at home from the hotel. If you are reading this, it has worked...



Saturday 27 March 2021
13:39
Epoch Seconds: 1616852345


Suez Canal Blockage

On Thursday this week, a huge tanker managed to get stuck and block the entire Suez Canal, costing $9.7bn per day in lost shipping.

As ever, the internet was ready with memes 😂😂


Saturday 27 March 2021
08:38
Epoch Seconds: 1616834296


Day 1 of Hotel Life

After moving into the hotel yesterday, we have now spent our first night in our new "home".

All things considered, it's not to shabby.

Food is ordered by dialling for room service and ordering from the menu below. They then call you to collect it from reception. Drinks have the same process.

Jury's Inn Plymouth Menu
Jury's Inn Plymouth Menu

The bed is comfortable, and the traffic noise is probably less than at home!

The breakfast bags left outside of the room consist of granola yoghurt, fruit pots, pain au chocolate and orange juice. Not too bad either...



Friday 26 March 2021
18:47
Epoch Seconds: 1616784453


Jury's Inn

So, here we are at the Jury's Inn in Plymouth.

Jury's Inn Plymouth
Jury's Inn Plymouth

At least 14 nights in a hotel in a global pandemic where all the hotel's restaurants and bars are closed. Room service only.

Still, it's a decent room, so mustn't grumble too much...

🙄


Friday 26 March 2021
15:30
Epoch Seconds: 1616772657


Moving Out

So, as soon as I set foot back in the house after dropping Daryl home, I received a call to tell us we have to move out immediately. The house is riddled with woodworm and the sheer amount of asbestos in the house means that we have to go to a hotel for a few nights - well, we're booked in for 14 nights, but it may be more!

Interesting times indeed...

Got to go - need to pack!


Friday 26 March 2021
15:10
Epoch Seconds: 1616771426


Wales

We successfully delivered Daryl home yesterday after him popping down "for Cristmas"!



Wednesday 24 March 2021
19:22
Epoch Seconds: 1616613773


Bathroom / House / Stepson

Wow! What a day.

My stepson was taken into hospital yesterday with suspected dehydration - he's still in there tonight. We are/were due to take him home to Wales tomorrow after he was locked down here at Christmas.

Kim and I are staying in Bristol overnight to break-up the long and very tiring drive.

However, after the surveys we've had done on the bathroom, we had a call this evening to tell us that it's bad. Very bad. Woodworm throughout the joists. Rotten joists. Some joists no longer actually attached to walls (so all this time, my bath, the water and my weight had been supported by 4 nails!). And all of it is clad in asbestos sheets.

So they've told Kim and I that we have to move into a hotel as a temporary measure - for a couple of weeks at least.

They will allow us to keep the cats and parrot here and us to come in to feed them etc.

So...Interesting times!


Wednesday 24 March 2021
14:45
Epoch Seconds: 1616597142


Avril Avocado

Sprigs forming on the main roots now...





Tuesday 23 March 2021
21:36
Epoch Seconds: 1616535394


Bathroom

Well, it got worse - the floor joists are riddled with woodworm, and one of the joists wasn't actually attached solidly to anything (held by nails on a cross-member. So all this time our bath has been perched precariously on a couple of nails - no wonder it creaked with me & bath water in it!!

We have structural and asbestos surveyors coming in tomorrow...


Tuesday 23 March 2021
06:40
Epoch Seconds: 1616481619


Bathroom

Our bathroom refurbishment started yesterday.

When Sean (builder) took out the bath, he said that he put his screwdriver right through the structural joist that has been holding the bath (and us) up all this time - completely rotten.

So, now all of the joists have to be replaced...

  • You can see daylight through the floor, highlighted in the red square
    You can see daylight through the floor, highlighted in the red square
  • It's like pooping "al fresco"
    It's like pooping "al fresco"
  • Bath drain
    Bath drain
  • Bomb site
    Bomb site
  • Rotten joists
    Rotten joists


Monday 22 March 2021
15:50
Epoch Seconds: 1616428210


Wendy

Today we said goodbye to Wendy as we laid her to rest in Weston Mill graveyard.

It was a beautiful service, if only attended in-person by 16 people due to Covid-19.

She would have been very pleased with everything today.

Wendy Maureen Parker
Wendy Maureen Parker



Sunday 21 March 2021
12:38
Epoch Seconds: 1616330293


Parrot's Cage

Having an external tap and a power washer makes cleaning the parrot's cage infinitely easier...

  • Before
    Before
  • After
    After


Saturday 20 March 2021
10:53
Epoch Seconds: 1616237630


Manly

Never underestimate how manly power-washing your patio for a couple of hours feels...

(Wish I'd done before/after pics)


Saturday 20 March 2021
08:26
Epoch Seconds: 1616228775


Un Bon Oeuf

Bud had a present for us this morning

Bud's Egg
Bud's Egg


Saturday 20 March 2021
08:14
Epoch Seconds: 1616228043


Book Review - Jews Don't Count

Jews Don’t CountJews Don’t Count by David Baddiel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent book - and forget that it's written by David Baddiel whom you will have heard of, it's brilliant in its own right.
It is thoroughly thought-provoking and moving and funny and tragic. It made me (as a Anglo-Saxon, white, middle-aged male who doesn't think he's anti-Semitic) feel guilty that I may have had an unconscious bias in not seeing the everyday racism towards Jews - I hope I haven't, but this book does an excellent job of pointing out the inequity of the Jewish lot, and the so-in-your-face-you-can't-see-it paradox of Jews being seen as all-powerful masters of the financial dark-state, yet also the lowest, filthiest, scabbiest of vermin. And having read this on the back of Ian Dunt's great book "How to be a liberal", the historical play-book of this deception is now fully lain bare.
It's a fairly short book but could have easily been more - and I want more.


View all my reviews


Friday 19 March 2021
15:29
Epoch Seconds: 1616167744


Book Review - Animal Farm

Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow!
Why has it taken me 46 years to read this book/essay?
What an incredible indictment of the human condition, and what a prescient peek into the way society holds itself.
If Brexit had a blueprint, then Animal Farm is it...
Absolutely brilliant!

View all my reviews


Wednesday 17 March 2021
11:49
Epoch Seconds: 1615981748


Avril Avocado

She's really taking off now!

  • Avril Avocado
    Avril Avocado
  • Avril Avocado
    Avril Avocado


Tuesday 16 March 2021
12:44
Epoch Seconds: 1615898642


Downtime

Well, my SSD has arrived and I'm chomping at the bit to install it.

Now, I came on here to give you notice that I'd do it this weekend...

...but a shiny new version of Ubuntu (21.04) is being released next month - shall I just wait until then 🤔



Monday 15 March 2021
18:20
Epoch Seconds: 1615832403


RIP Merlin

Today we lost our Bearded Dragon, Merlin

Merlin
Merlin


Monday 15 March 2021
18:08
Epoch Seconds: 1615831685


Annoying

Today, a bill has been introduced which chips away at our rights to peacefully protest.

Once again, David Allen Green sums it up perfectly for us.



Sunday 14 March 2021
18:23
Epoch Seconds: 1615746186


SSD

So I've decided to give my Linux box some TLC and have invested in an SSD for it.

I'm going to do a complete new install, so it means that this site will be down for a few days while I work out how to install and configure Apache (again).

It's a 5-minute job, so I am planning three days for it...


Sunday 14 March 2021
10:03
Epoch Seconds: 1615716190


Sarah Everard

Last night a vigil was held for the recently murdered 33 year old Sarah Everard.

Earlier, police and officials had asked for people to hold a candlelight vigil at heir doorsteps, but Several hundred people gathered on Clapham Common on Saturday evening.

Officers were seen handcuffing and leading women away from the event.
Police said four arrests were made at the vigil to "protect people's safety".

People have asked for Priti Patel (The Home Secretary) and Cressida Dick (MET Police Chief) to resign.

We are under lockdown under Covid-19 and large crowds are forbidden, but IMHO this was handled terribly. It was far too strong a response for the crime committed.

As we head toward an authoritarian state, with nationalism seemingly having taken hold in this country and us living in a slow coup by the Tories, we should rightly be worried about things such as this back-door chipping away at our rights:


Sunday 14 March 2021
09:49
Epoch Seconds: 1615715343


Books

Books give soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.

Reading

Reading is staring at a stained shaving of congealed wood pulp1 and hallucinating vividly.



Saturday 13 March 2021
18:38
Epoch Seconds: 1615660726


Orwell vs Huxley

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another, slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Breve New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Saturday 13 March 2021
18:23
Epoch Seconds: 1615659792


RIP Murray Walker

Today we lost the most famous voice of Formula 1.

Rest in peace, Murray.


Saturday 13 March 2021
18:21
Epoch Seconds: 1615659709


Stop Overthinking

If you succeed in this, tell me how...

Tell me how!
Tell me how!


Saturday 13 March 2021
17:56
Epoch Seconds: 1615658173


Volunteer Vaccinator

Still no ID, so I still cannot vaccinate people.



Wednesday 10 March 2021
13:54
Epoch Seconds: 1615384476


Avril Avocado

She's certainly got long legs!

  • Avril's Legs
    Avril's Legs
  • Avril's Top
    Avril's Top

Wednesday 10 March 2021
11:31
Epoch Seconds: 1615375865


Volunteer Vaccinator

Hooray, this morning I signed up for my first (induction) shift at Home Park as a volunteer vaccinator.

I've asked for Tuesday or Thursday afternoon next week - the idea being that we only sign up for a single shift next week to allow as many of us as possible to complete our inductions.

Let the needles meet the arms...



Tuesday 09 March 2021
18:36
Epoch Seconds: 1615314974


Book Review - How to be a Liberal

How To Be A LiberalHow To Be A Liberal by Ian Dunt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a MUST read!
A brilliant précis of the global history of liberalism and the freedom of the individual.
As well as being utterly thought-provoking, it will, or should, drive you to tears when you read about WWII, the ship with the Jews and the holocaust. The world said then, "Never Again!", but we find ourselves again in the midst of a global nationalist movement that threatens our very freedoms and everything we hold dear.
This is one of those books that I'll probably buy many copies of for many people. It should be on the school curriculum!



View all my reviews


Tuesday 09 March 2021
10:27
Epoch Seconds: 1615285641


Happy Birthday

It would have been my Gran's (Marjorie Lillian Atkinson (nee Kelman, nee Bignall) birthday today.

Happy Birthday Gran!



Monday 08 March 2021
06:52
Epoch Seconds: 1615186369


Mornings

Noticeably lighter this morning when the alarm went off - It's a crisp (-2.9 in the garden) morning, but beautiful.

Of course, this means that the buggers will be changing to BST soon (28th March) and that morning light will be gone 🙄



Sunday 07 March 2021
18:29
Epoch Seconds: 1615141758


Monitor Arm

Got myself a proper monitor arm - now I can have my monitor at the actual height of my eyes - so no more neck bend downwards...

New Monitor Arm
New Monitor Arm



Sunday 07 March 2021
13:08
Epoch Seconds: 1615122525


Census 2021

I like that they've separated sex and gender ID in the Census! Well done! I think that's great progress.

I wrote in my nationality as European. As far as I'm concerned, that's what I am.

And it'll take more than the morons who voted for Brexit to change that for me.

EU & GB Flag Civis Europaeus Sum GB & EU Flag



Sunday 07 March 2021
10:33
Epoch Seconds: 1615113206


Diary

I must try to write more (or preferably daily) on here. It is quite nice to be able to revisit last year and see what we were doing then.

As my teachers so often said, "Must Try Harder"



Saturday 06 March 2021
19:04
Epoch Seconds: 1615057463


Productive Day

It's been quite a productive day, today.

So far, I've:

  • Tidied the Airing Cupboard
  • Recycled a load of clothes
  • Put up a curtain rail (bedroom)
  • Put up new curtains
  • Cut my own hair
  • Cooked meatballs

BUT, it's been a really bad day - nothing's gone right...

Drivers on the road were stupid, a bag of sand split in the boot of my car, I broke a drinks glass, the curtain pole was cut at a horrible angle, and I keep losing at online games! I think I'll just go to bed early on the hope that tomorrow is better!



Thursday 04 March 2021
13:18
Epoch Seconds: 1614863910


Book Review - The Thursday Murder Club

The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1)The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A truly excellent novel.
Fun and gripping in equal measure and quite a nice homely feel to it.
The characters are well thought out and the plot line was good.
I detected that the ending felt a bit rushed, but that may have been my excitement of having all the pieces fall into place.


View all my reviews


Thursday 04 March 2021
13:10
Epoch Seconds: 1614863436


Avril Avocado

Her roots are coming along nicely

Avril Avocado
Avril Avocado


Footnotes

  1. Or a sequence of lighted pixels through glass, of course. (back)
  2. You have to be of a certain age to remember that catchphrase (to Timothy, not Kimothy) being shouted at Ronnie Corbet by William Moore in 'Sorry!'. (back)
  3. "A tool is a device that enables you to expend fewer calories performing a task" - Mark Andrew Smith 2019 (back)

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