Thursday, 2nd April, 2020

[Day 17]

The highlight of our day always seems to be our daily walk to the park where, with luck, we can bump into old friends and acquaintances. Today was no exception as we met one of our Waitrose friends who had been out exercising and was just completing what may have been an hour-long tour of the park and its environs. By a careful piece of foresight, I had brought my daily newspaper tokens with me – although the son and heir is always telling me that I ought to just read it electronically, I am still sufficiently old-fashioned ? stuck in my ways? to enjoy reading the authentic article. Anyway, our friend secured my newspapers for me ( a five minute walk away to our local Waitrose) and I had a book full of ‘schoolboy howlers’ (most of which I had already read before ) which I readily gave her in exchange for her efforts. I remember one of these schoolboy howlers as it was particularly apposite to our current times, assuming that we are experiencing at the moment has its parallels in the Black Death 1347-1353 (Thank you Google!) The question asked was ‘What did a big red cross signify when painted on the front door of a house?’ And the answer – ‘There is a fully trained member of the Red Cross inside ready to administer first aid’ We also struck up a conversation with an assistant from the local veterinary practice who was giving some walking therapy to an injured dog (a poodle and pointer cross since you ask) which had been badly injured in a road accident and had spent some six weeks as an ‘in-patient’ in their clinic. We exchanged some stories about the capacities of dogs to read human body language (researchers from an Italian university have recently investigated this and argue that dogs have the ability to read body language both in humans and other dogs- apparently we as mere humans lost this ability a very long time ago in our evolution)

This afternoon was meant to be a ‘tidying up’ afternoon but somehow, I never got round to it as I got diverted updating/refining some websites which I maintain more as a hobbyist/filing system rather than for any real computing intent. I have discovered a British website that offers ‘free’ unlimited webspace and the ability to create some subdomains which act rather as though they were completely independent websites. Normally, I am a little chary of such things but I am just putting trivial things on them (such as a minimalist HTML template, or a simple HTML lister) so that no real damage if the whole lot gets junked. They make money from advertising not on your website (which is a traditional model) but on the Control Panel which is used for maintenance purposes – which I then block in any case with an ad-blocker (although I do get messages requesting me to unblock my ad-blocker which is, I suppose, to be expected.)

My ex-colleague Eric has passed onto me a URL which gives an up-to-date picture of the latest published COVID-19 statistics so I will pass on it one for those readers who are compulsive followers of such things!

Just as an afterthought – today being Thursday, we all hung out of our windows and applauded all of the public sector workers (ourselves) is what is becoming a weekly tradition. However, the response was somewhat down on last week which was the first of these events – and as the hour had gone forward, it was still not quite dark so the dramatic effect was a little muted. Still, we did our bit! During the day, I took the opportunity to order 1000 single-use plastic-type gloves – I reckon this is going to go for months and they will always be useful. Delivery time is about 2-3 weeks but we can hang on with some that we already have in stock until then.