Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020

[Day 99]

I think that today marks the three-month point since the nation went into lockdown. In any case, the expected major liberalisation was announced today and will probably get analysed to death – of course, these new arrangements are meant to start on 4th July ( a Saturday) but my hunch would be that many people will start to use the 1-metre rule from tomorrow onwards instead of 12 days time. One wonders about all of the signage in shops – will there will be a lot of felt-tip pens and Tippex in evidence as 2-metres of reduced to 1=metre plus (whatever the plus is meant to be). And, I suppose, you can keep the 2-metre markers and just add intermediate markers as from 4th July. We have now arranged a visit from our chiropodist who will be arriving o m Friday in full PPE (but if the weather is fine we will probably go outside). We have also made contact with our hairdresser who is considering how she is going to cope with a tsunami of her regular clients – still, it’s nice to be back into the system.

The major event for me today has been the construction of my 4ft high plant shelf to grace the outside of my study window. This involved various stages – first, the upper legs had to be braced and then affixed using some angle bracket. Then the lower legs had to be attached using steel plates of each side. To make the whole structure more stable, various cross-bracings had to be deployed so a certain amount of sawing was involved. The screwing process was quite involved – I have. a little Bosch handhand electric screwdriver which is excellent for its size. Nonetheless, for every screw hole that I made I first used a small bradawl, then a larger one, finally a hand-drill unto my drill bit broke at the last moment, then a fine guide screw and then the final screw adjudged appropriate for that particular fixing point. I always tighten up by hand, as well, using a rubberised glove that is nice and grippy – I reckon to have done this for above 80+ screws in total. This took me all afternoon but I had a break to FaceTime our friends which is part of our Tuesday pattern, then a quick spot of tea and then a final screwing together and tidying up that took me until about 8.30 in the evening. My hands are pretty sore but I am quite pleased with the overall result. I just need to put a bit of Creocote on some of the sawn timbers and do a bit of refinement and tidying before I move it into position probably on Thursday (as we are going out tomorrow). I am not a natural ‘do-it-yourselfer’ and therefore I am pleased when the whole job doesn’t look incredibly bodged up (whether the rest of my critical family agree is another matter) and I know I haven’t had to make too many compromises en route (there are always some problems that one has to work around). Looking in the garage, I find I have some Poundland adhesive vinyl squares in a subtle woodland effect (Poundland doesn’t often have the word ‘subtle‘ applied to it) so this will help to put the finishing touches to it. I just have to wait for my (Amazon-ordered) Lavatera to arrive and hope it is not too small and weedy – the problem with buying plants over the internet.

Finally, I read in tonight’s news that Americans are likely to be banned as and when the Europeans open their borders as the rates of coronavirus are disturbingly high in the USA. I wonder how ( or whether) this will actually get reported in the USA. Will Donald Trump tweet about it (I doubt it!)