The Anonymous Widower

Surviving Lockdown

People ask if I am surviving lockdown.

I am lucky in several ways.

Housing

I live in a spacious house, which is comfortable.

Although, it does have problems.

  • It was built by a Turkish Jerrybuilder, who bought fixtures and fittings at the cheapest price possible.
  • It gets too hot.
  • The plumbing is suspect.
  • The air-conditioner is broken and the service company, have had my money to fix it, but won’t come.
  • The smoke detector above my bed is just hanging there, as I wrote in A Design Crime – The Average Smoke Detector

Hopefully, when we beat COVID-19, I’ll be able to move.

Finances

My investments give me enough to live comfortably. If you call, living in two rooms, never talking face-to-face with anybody living comfortably.

Exercise

I am still fit and can exercise as much as I need and is recommended.

I have a workout that I do twice a day, which includes movements like press-ups, stretches and single-leg stands.

I can do two dozen press-ups straight off or walk three miles, if I need to.

Health

My health is good, despite being a coeliac and suffering a serious stroke ten years ago.

  • I test my own INR.
  • I seem to have survived my fall of a month ago.
  • I only go to the surgery for B12 injections, drug reviews and the odd problem.

Other than that I just suffer from the problems of a healthy man of 72, like arthritis and hay fever.

I do have a strange skin, that leaks a lot of water and doesn’t bleed, when I have an injection or a doctor or nurse takes blood. I never have a plaster after either procedure.

Food

I am a reasonable and very practical cook, or so my son and various friends tell me. These are some meals, I’ve been cooking under lockdown.

Sardines And Baked Eggs

Pasta With Yogurt Sauce For One

Goat’s Cheese, Strawberry And Basil Salad

Cod And Tomato With Basil

Lemon And Spinach Cod Gratin

Smoked Haddock And Curried Rice

I shall add more here.

I won’t starve!

Shopping

A Marks and Spencer food store is fifteen minutes walk away, so I can get all the food I need.

I also got plenty of Adnams 0.5% alcohol Ghost Ship beers direct from the brewers delivered last week.

Their beers have been a lifeline, as they are gluten-free, thirst-quenching and don’t get me drunk. Even in quantity!

I also have safe delivery without any contact, as the couriers just ring my bell, we chat through the window about three metres away and they leave the goods on the step.

I didn’t think about lockdown, when I bought this house, but it is ideal for safe COVID-19-free deliveries.

Lockdown Practice

There can’t be many people, now going through the COVID-19 lockdown, wo have locked themselves away so many times in their life as I have.

  • At the age of about six, I spent three months or more, in isolation because I caught scarlet fever.
  • For the summer before A-Levels, my parents went to their house in Felixstowe. For part of the time, I locked myself in my bedroom and read up on my A level Physics.
  • A couple of times at ICI, I self-isolated with a computer to get important jobs done. How many have used an IBM-360 as a PC?
  • I self-isolated to write Speed, my first piece of independent software.
  • Pert7 and other software for Time Sharing Ltd was written overnight sitting in the window of their offices on Great Portland Street.
  • Artemis was written in an attic in Suffolk, with no-one else around for most of the time.
  • The special PC version of Artemis, that was a combined project management, database and spreadsheet program, was also written under lockdown.
  • After Celia died, I wrote Travels With My Celia(c) under lockdown. You can download the pdf file here.

Lockdown has almost been a way of life for me.

But on past form, I certainly have the mental strength to get through lockdown unscathed.

Conclusion

There must be a lot of others in much worse situations than myself.

 

April 18, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Food, Health, World | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Queuing For Marks And Spencer In Dalston

I took this picture of the orderly queue waiting to get into Marks and Spencer in Dalston.

It does appear that everybody was obeying the rules and I only took twenty minutes to enter the store.

  • The store was well-stocked, although there were very few ready meals with long Best Before dates.
  • Gluten-free bread, biscuits and cereals were at near normal levels.
  • There were about a dozen bottles of Adnams low-alcohol beer on the shelves, which I reduced by a couple.
  • There were no gluten-free cakes. Not that I buy them often.
  • Some lines like gluten-free sandwiches seem to have been dropped. Not that I wanted any, as I won’t be travelling.
  • The staff were being very professional.

I was able to get enough food in my bag to get me through to the middle of next week.

April 9, 2020 Posted by | Food, Health, World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Glorious Sight In Marks And Spencer In Dalston

I get through almost a dozen bottles of Adnams 0.5% alcohol beer in a week

Marks And Spencer in Dalston has both varieties.

As my body says the beers are gluten-free, I am grateful for small mercies.

But then, I’ve been drinking Adnams since I was about fourteen!

March 26, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , , | 1 Comment

Leon Has Smart-Looking Glasses For Gluten-Free Beer

I had lunch in Leon at Ludgate Circus.

It was only a chicken burger and fries, but I did have an Estrella Damm Daura.

It even came with a smart-looking Glass.

December 24, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , | 2 Comments

A Gluten-Free Lunch From Pret a Manger

This picture shows my lunch today.

The gluten-free open sandwich came from Pret a Manger and the bottle of Adnams came from Marks and Spencer, a few doors away.

  • The outlet opened today and a manager confirmed that they have done gluten-free for some months.
  • They also have a tablet-based menu checker.
  • It will be very useful for me, if it does well in Dalston.
  • The beer may not be gluten-free, but my body says it is for me.
  • It was a good delicious lunch for me!

It brought back memories for me of many lunches in the Bull at Burrough Green, where I would regularly have a similar lunch in pre-coeliac days.

December 6, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , , | 3 Comments

There’s Something About Felixstowe

I turned up at the station and the bar there had no decent real ale or low-alcohol beer.

In the end, I bought a hot chocolate in a cafe, which didn’t take cards. Luckily, I had some cash!

Felixstowe seems stuck in the 1960s. And boy, was it dull!

November 25, 2019 Posted by | Food | , | 2 Comments

A Quick Pasta Supper For One

A few months ago Marks & Spencer started selling an Italian made gluten-free passta, that is named prosciutto & ricotta cappelletti.

Marks recommend serving it with your favourite sauce or melted butter.

So I used one of my favourite sauces adapted from Serial Cooking – Quick Pasta For One. The idea came from a recipe from Lyndsey Bareham in The Times.

These pictures show the stages.

Note.

  1. I split frozen peas down into small one-portion pots.
  2. The yogurt is a small pot of Honey & Ginger West Country Luxury Yoghurt from Marks & Spencer.
  3. I generally drink Adnams beer!

I shall cook the second half of the pasta in a few days, which will be the fifth time, I’ve had the meal in three weeks.

 

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , , , | Leave a comment

Down The Pub For The Football

There is a typical man’s pub that does beer and pizza near me, where I go occasionally to watch football, if I don’t fancy watching alone.

So for tonight’s England-Argentina game in the Women’s World Cup, I walked along my road and had a butchers!

There wasn’t a seat to be had, so I may have got my gluten-free beer, but there wouldn’t have been anywhere to eat a pizza.

But it was gratifying to see the support for the women’s version of the National game!

 

June 14, 2019 Posted by | Food, Sport | , , , | 2 Comments

The Lucky Seven

Why the Lucky Seven?

Because i’m drinking them! Does that make us the Lucky Eight?

The seven were the last on display in Marks and Spencer on Finsbury Pavement.

The City is a good hunting ground for this excellent beer!

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

Stalybridge Station – 22nd February 2019

I took these pictures, when I visited Stalybridge station earlier this year.

Note that there appears to be no electrification.

But there is an extremely good real ale hostelry.

February 22, 2019 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | 1 Comment