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

Lockdown And INR Testing

I am on Warfarin and have to be tested regularly for my INR.

I have been doing it for at least seven years now and know that if I test twice a week and take four milligrams of the drug my INR stays well within limits.

This is a testing regime, which fits well with the COVID-19 lockdown, that I’m currently enforcing on myself!

April 3, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | 1 Comment

This Is My Second Lockdown

I can’t be the only person, but in the 1970s, I has locked myself away for nearly a year before. I did it to write the first version of the Project Management software; Artemis.

There are some differences between my situation then and my situation now.

  • My wife was alive then and we saw each other for perhaps two days a week.
  • I could drive and I occasionally went down the Clopton Crown for the odd pint and meal!
  • I hadn’t been diagnosed as a coeliac, as that happened in 1997.
  • There was no Internet or social media.
  • There was no Radio 5 Live.
  • I am a better cook now, than I was then.
  • I am within walking distance of a Marks and Spencer Simply Food store.

I think the rules for surviving are as follows.

  • Eat and drink enough.
  • Have entertaining radio or television on.
  • Break the day up with a bit of exercise.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Arrange good weather.

Let’s hope this lockdown turns out as well as the last.

March 31, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Health, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Social Distancing Is Working, Says Sir Patrick Vallance

This is a headline on the front of today’s Times.

Sir Patrick is the government’s chief scientific adviser and I doubt he would use words like that lightly.

He noted these points.

  • Hospital admissions are increasing by a stable amount each day.
  • The NHS is coping as numbers have stopped accelerating.
  • He felt that reductions in travel were working.
  • Public transport usage has severely reduced.

He indicated that more of the same was needed.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see that by the end of this week, we’ll be able to make much better predictions on the progress of the COVID-19 virus through the UK population.

Here in the UK, we could be approaching the End of the Beginning!

 

 

March 31, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

My Daily Exercise

My father always said I was born lucky!

When I bought this house in Dalston after my stroke, I bought it because of the location.

  • There are four London Overground stations within walking distance.
  • Four bus stops are within a hundred metres, which are served by five bus routes, one of which goes to King’s Cross, St. Pancras and Euston
  • There are more than ten bus routes within walking distance.
  • I have three bus routes to and from the Angel for the shops and Chapel Market, where my paternal grandmother, used to shop before the First World War.
  • If I walk the other way, there was the rather run down Kingsland Road with a Sainsbury’s and lots of unhealthy takeaways.

But then Marks and Spencer opened a Simply Food store in the Kingsland Road by Dalston Kingsland station.

  • It is about a fifteen minute walk from my house.
  • It has a full range of their gluten-free food.
  • It stocks everything I need regularly.

It was certainly my luck, that they opened this store.

Today, I took my daily exercise by walking to the store and bringing home enough food for a couple of days.

  • Is this killing two birds with one stone?
  • The walk along the Balls Pond Road was notable because there was only little traffic and few pedestrians on one of East London’s main arteries.
  • A sizeable proportion of the shops were shut.

It was also very breezy and was this good to protect me from COVID-19, by blowing it away?

March 28, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Lockdown ‘Is On Course To Reduce Total Death Rate’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Britain is on course for an estimated 5,700 deaths from coronavirus, far lower than originally predicted, experts believe.

It’s all contained in a paper by Tom Pike at Imperial College,

Apparently, it is based on the premise that the UK follows the lockdown and social distancing.

Here’s hoping!

The story is also in the Mail and the Express.

March 28, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Carry On Blogging

At seventy-two and after recovering from a serious stroke ten years ago, I could be considered to be in a relatively high-risk category from COVID-19.

I also live alone and am a coeliac.

But.

  • I have reasonable supplies of ready-meals, tea, milk, beer and packaged foods to last for a week.
  • I test my INR and on Friday it was 2.5.
  • I weigh about 61 Kg.
  • I exercise regularly and can easily walk a couple of miles briskly.
  • I have plenty of INR testing strips, with probably enough to last until August.
  • I have about two months of drugs, but there is supposed to be a system lunched this week to get drugs to people like me.
  • I have an on-line subscription to The Times, so I can read their news in detail and get access to all their puzzles.
  • I can walk round the corner to a shop, where I can get milk and other daily supplies.
  • I can easily walk to my GP’s surgery and the local Marks and Spencer Simply Food.
  • I have a son, who can put shopping on the door-step, ring the bell and run!
  • I have enough cash to pay for goods that neighbours or others might deliver.

I also have the great advantage, that my front door almost opens onto the street, so I can receive deliveries without meeting the courier, by just leaning out the window and telling them to put them on the step.

I very much feel, that I can set myself up to just carry on blogging.

Others can help here by doing the following.

  • Suggest topics, where they would like my comments.
  • Sending me stories, that I might like to read on topics like battery-power, branch line reopening, design, energy storage, hydrogen-power, innovation, extreme science, humour and life in general.
  • Sending me positive stories about COVID-19.

It’s probably best, if you don’t send me stories from the BBC and The Times as I read them extensively.

I shall always reply, if I can. Hopefully, I will try and treat subjects in a light-hearted manner to ease the burden of these serious times.

We must all carry on!

 

 

March 22, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Health, World | , , , | 7 Comments