Herefordshire Week 044: Tuesday 27 October – Monday 02 November 2020

November already.

Greenhouse delivery. Pizza with neighbours. Office swap.

MORE unpacking – but the end is in sight….

… unlike COVID: the second England-wide lockdown announced (eventually).

My birthday / staying greenhouse from dad and Jean was delivered on Tuesday afternoon. It comes flatpack so now all we need to do is build it. Dad’s happily perusing the instructions.

The Greenhouse has arrived
The Greenhouse has arrived

We need more insulation added to the existing 100mm in the loft and want to get the “extension” section boarded out so that we can use it for storage, and on Wednesday evening a local property maintenance man came to take a look. A much more positive experience than the home energy solutions team. So, fingers crossed for a good quote and timetable.

Other admin: The box of “cottage folders” wiped down and shelved, and the folder of 40A instructions manuals deduplicated (with dad’s input). Landlords insurance sorted, eventually. Dore Abbey crockery returned. Paper form completed to get online patient access at our local surgery. Shower upgrade recommendation / quote pondered. Phil fielded a few calls from Frank Harris – keep your fingers crossed.

Dore Abbey Crockery
Dore Abbey Crockery

A sociable week – VWW on Wednesday, Zoom with Helen and Hazel on Thursday, tea and hot cross buns at Dinedor on Friday morning (after returning library books and trundling around Asda, hence HCBs) and then catching up on the phone with Steffi in the afternoon.

The highlight – novelty! – was having our neighbours from down the road up for pizza on Friday evening. A late night, and two bottles of red between three. Not quite WW standards, but better than I would manage on my own.

And two more Zooms over the weekend – with Hazel and Cat on Saturday, and Rachel (and Carl) on Sunday.

The weekend’s main event was scheduled in as “sort office”, which morphed into “swap offce”.

New office
New office

As the nights had started drawing in, and the central heating is now on, I’d been rethinking our office allocation. I can’t remember why we initially decided I’d have the “small” bedroom and Phil the larger one (formerly home to dad’s train set), but 10 months in, we both agreed we should swap.

Phil uses his computer for work and play (and Pepys, which is a blend of the two, I’d say), and his office is home to his piano too, so he’s in his office a lot more than I am. Which means being warm while he is in there is important. As readers of my trekking posts will know, I “run hot”.  Phil doesn’t, so it makes more sense for me to be in the larger, colder room in the older part of the house.

A secondary reason is that the larger room doubles up as the spare room (or will do, when we’re allowed to have guests….) if we need to use the twin trundle beds. I’m at my computers less, ergo it’ll be less disruptive for me as and when guests need to use “my office” in “spare room” mode.

(As an aside, in these unprecedented times, I do wonder if it’s timely to revisit Pretend Office….)

Although it was a bit of pallaver moving the furniture around, which we did on Saturday, it did mean I tackled The Boxes over the weekend.

As well as more cards and postcards, this week’s rabbit holes included my primary school reports. There’s a theme:

Mary needs to take more care with her handwriting. (July 1978)

She still needs to practise her handwriting. (February 1979)

My only complaint is that the quality of her handwriting still leaves much to be desired, but doubtless she will rectify this in time. (July 1981, in Mr Whittington’s beautiful cursive….)

I’ve now got 3 1/2 plastic boxes ready to go into the roof. Once we’ve got the loft sorted …

Phil and I did the Bacton Square on Sunday morning, a little earlier than usual so not quite as sociable. Grappled with the boxes for most of the afternoon, pausing for a Zoom with Rachel accompanied by a cup of tea and a hot cross bun. The imminent COVID-19 lockdown couldn’t have come at a worse time, but I’m determined to manage a trip to visit them both before Christmas.

Monday brought showers, with bright sunshine in between. I abandoned the idea of going for a walk and spent most of the afternoon making more chutney to go into Hereford Food Bank’s Christmas Parcels.

Telly: Roadkill (so so) plus the first series of Gomorrah. I didn’t watch the Lockdown press announcement.

Podcasts: History Extra (lots to catch up on)

Photos: Herefordshire week 44 on Flickr.

Phil: Weeknotes for w/e 2020-11-01