Lockdown – Changing Values

One thing I hope will be interesting – as and when the current lockdown is properly eased – is to see the things that people decide are important, the things they’ve actually missed, as opposed to the things they’ve just not been able to go to as part of a routine.

For example, I wonder if [big chain] coffee shops will suffer, as people have (hopefully) realised that they don’t need all that caffeine and sugar.
[Note : I amended this afterwards, following Gordon’s comment, because I’d particularly meant big-chain (Starbucks, Costa et al) places rather than independents/locals that definitely deserve the business and support]

On the evidence of the things that’ve currently re-started, I don’t think it’ll be the case – as soon as they’ve re-opened, there have been huge queues outside places like McDonalds, Burger King and KFC.

It’ll be more interesting to see what happens longer-term, once the “Oh good, they’re back!” novelty value fades.


Lockdown – Blinds

A while ago, I ordered a vertical blind from Tuiss (Edited on 23/05 : who now sell as Blinds2Go – sorry, forgot to add this before) to replace the shitty curtain in the front room, and got it fitted.  I’ve been really pleased with it since, and it’s generally handled life pretty well.

However, two heavy-footed felines stomping in and out of it had meant that some of the clips to hold it all together (plastic chain with connectors onto each slat of the blind) had snapped, so it was beginning to look a bit ropy.  (Additionally, the fabric I chose is slightly rough, so grabs cat fur like an absolute bastard, but that’s a different issue)

Anyway, the number of snapped connectors was getting close to outnumbering the ones still intact, so I got in touch with Tuiss to find out whether I could get some replacement weights and chains.

As it turns out, when I say it was bought and installed “a while ago”, it turns out I meant “nearly six years ago”. All things considered, that means they’ve lasted pretty well.

Tuiss found my order, and we discussed what bits I needed – and at each point I was clear and said I was happy to pay for the pieces, it seemed only fair after six years.  But they’ve kept on insisting that they’ll just send them out – and they’ve done so.

The bits arrived yesterday, and are now all in place on the blind. I’m really pleased with it, and impressed with Tuiss. Depending on how things go, if I decide to replace the blind then I’ll go back to them and do so, and see what they’ll charge me for a replacement blind without needing the infrastructure (the actual holding frame/mechanism and so on)


Lockdown – Error #2 Revisited

Following on from when it broke last week, my boiler’s now been replaced and I have hot water again. (And heating, although that’s been less of an urgent requirement)

All told, it’s been quite an impressive process – one week from letting my landlord know that it was knackered, and it’s now sorted.

As with a lot of things currently, it could’ve been a lot worse. I know of other people who have waited six months for parts (admittedly on a new boiler where parts weren’t yet easily available) and others whose landlords wouldn’t work anywhere near as quickly to sort out problems.

All told, I feel pretty damn fortunate.


Lockdown – Ongoing

Tonight, the PM has announced a “conditional plan” to help the country get through the next phase of Covid-19.

To be honest, it is (as expected) a bit of a car-crash, with mixed messages, bloody awful phrasing, and no real clarity on any of it.

So for me (and, I hope, for a lot of others) I’m sticking with my own Plan A, which is to carry on doing what I was doing before.

I’m still planning on mainly using my office – which is OK (so far as I can tell) because I go from a house on my own, to a car on my own, to an office on my own, with no real human contact at all, and thus an absolutely minimal chance of catching it, or passing it on.  If my office building gets too crowded then I’ll re-assess and figure out a different plan. Until then, we’ll see.

Other than that, all I’m doing is keeping myself as safe from everything as possible, and hoping that everyone else is doing the same. Really, I don’t see that there’s anything else that can be done.


Lockdown – Error #2

Other than haircuts based on a misunderstanding, currently the worst thing that’s going on is that my boiler has broken. As in spectacularly, expensively broken – to the point where it’ll be better to replace it with a new boiler, rather than the costs of sourcing and installing the bits that’ve died.

Thankfully, in all the relevant ways, it’s not really my problem. My landlord was informed that it’s broken, an engineer came round the next day, and gave the verdict that it’s buggered. The landlord’s agreed to replace the boiler, and hopefully it’ll happen in the coming week.

Fortunately it’s not too cold at the moment, so I’m not too affected. The worst bit of it for now is that there’s also no hot water, which makes washing up a pain.  But to be honest, if that’s as bad as it gets, things could be a lot worse.


Lockdown – Error #1

This week – week seven of Lockdown, in case anyone is counting or cares – I learned something really important.

Hair clipper grades are not the length of hair in mm.

So this week, when I decided I’d had enough of my hair being too long (by my standards) I got my new clippers out, and put on the blade that would do a 2mm length. Because that’s a Number Two, right?

Wrong.  So, so wrong.

It turns out, each grade is 1/8th of an inch, so a Number One results in hair 1/8th of an inch long, a Number Two in quarter-inch hair (about 6, 6.5mm) and so on up to Number Eight, which is a full inch long.

So currently my hair is just under a third of the length it would usually be after a trim. It looks and feels like a kiwi-fruit. (However, it’s also lost the silver halo that was developing, andlosing that’s A Very Good Thing)

As it is, I really don’t mind it. I’ve done a decent enough job of trimming it, it’s smooth enough with no tufts, and I won’t have to do it again for a while.  It’s not the same as going to the barber, and it’s not something I’m going to end up doing for myself for ever.  (Besides, I actually like going to my barber)

All the same, I’ve had a learning experience, and I’ll know better next time.

 


LockDown – Getting On

It’s been a strange couple of months, with all the Coronavirus stuff, and the resultant lockdown. At the time of writing, we’ve completed five full weeks, and it’s looking like there’s still at least another couple of weeks of it to go (at a bare minimum)

All told, I’ve actually done OK (so far, so far) with the whole thing, and it hasn’t affected me too badly – indeed, for the most part my daily life hasn’t changed all that much.

A lot of people have found it tough to be on their own (or in a very restricted domestic situation) and they definitely have my sympathies, but for me it’s been much the same as usual. Indeed, the whole thing has really just proved to me that – for me – it was right to go back to being single, and staying that way. (That one might end up being a larger post in the fullness of time)

Additionally, a lot of people seem to have had real issues with shopping, panic-buying and the like – and again, so far I’ve been pretty lucky, and been able to get things done without running out of anything. (That’ll definitely be a bigger future post) There have been things where I’ve changed the supplier, or found a different method on-line, but so far there’s been nothing I’ve run out of (or even short of)

My health’s been fine, and so far there’ve been no signs of picking up the virus or anything. I’ve slacked off a bit on the whole exercise thing – although I’m still doing some, it’s just nowhere near what I was doing – and in a fit of irony, I actually lost a small amount of weight as a result. (Yeah, my body chemistry is still epically fucked)  But I’m also not snacking and nibbling – which again seems to be a lot of people’s coping mechanism – so in general things are pretty good.

Even work-wise I’ve been lucky and most of my stuff is keeping on going. Obviously that might change with time, but for now it’s all still stable, and going well. And there’s a couple of new projects coming in as well, which should (I hope) make things easier as well.

So all-in-all things are good here. And I know that makes me ridiculously fortunate, and far, far luckier than many others.