Corona Diary Day 13

Saturday, 28 March

The thirteenth day of isolation. It’s gone quite well so far and I haven’t felt under strain. Being able to go for walks in the nearby countryside makes a big difference compared with being cooped up in a city centre flat. And most days, I’m in contact with someone on the phone or have a video conversation (as well as a lot of mail contacts in between) so I think I’m doing alright on the mental hygiene front. probably slowing down a bit (I believe it’s called relaxing). I woke up at 08.45 and now I’ve just managed to get dressed after my morning bath before the morning was no more. I did think about this and that in the bath for a while but can’t have done so for three hours…. And my sense of time is slipping so that I am often up late in the morning and don’t get to bed until the small hours. I also have to make a conscious effort to keep track of which day it is, which I’ve always been a bit flaky about. It’s not difficult to establish a routine of doing this – you just have to remember to do it when you don’t receive any hints from the outside world that it might be a Saturday or Sunday (in fact with the deserted streets, it feels like Sunday most of the time).

The most frustrating thing is that things that were relatively simple pre-Corona are at present either impossible, risky or complicated. I would like to finish emptying my self-storage facility and no longer have that fixed cost. I’d also like to get another small bookshelf so that I can have a proper Swedish literature section. I have a decent collection of books on Sweden’s history and geography but the literature section is thin and scattered in different places here and at Kungshatt (our summer cottage). It doesn’t feel quite normal that a visitor wouldn’t immediately be able to guess that I lived in Sweden from an inspection of my bookshelf.

And I need someone to come and fix some small jobs with the computer. For some reason my printer refuses to work with my desktop. I haven’t managed to work out what’s wrong – it probably only requires a minor tweak to some setting. But just now, I don’t want someone coming to the flat unnecessarily so I’ll have to live with trip-friendly cables trailing across the floor to my laptop. And I need to let go of Windows 7 but am reluctant to take the step to Windows 10 without help at hand.

And I need someone to explain to me how my newly-purchased iron works. I should have bought a simpler model. This one has some advanced steam system but my problem is that I can’t even work out how to fill the iron with water. I’ve struggled with it but very cautiously and gently as I know how easy it is for me to break off a bit of plastic or damage it in some other way. I can envisage the look of wonder on the face of the person serving me at the repair shop and them saying “you didn’t try to put the water in there?” with the emphasis on there as I stand sheepishly with some bit of broken plastic in my hand. I think I have a reasonably good general purpose brain to get through life and even have some visual talents but when it comes to visual instructions, bits of paper with short sentences in 14 languages accompanied by a drawing, I really am useless. I just don’t know what they’re trying to tell me.

I did succeed in installing an unused anti-virus software licence for my third computer (after a struggle). I use F-secure which I was very content with to start with after a period of irritation with what I experienced as a confusing range of products from McAfee. F-virus was simple, clean, you could see what was happening, and it worked. Unfortunately for me, F-secure has changed owner and has now undergone a development which I experience as similar to McAfee with a lot of sometimes similar products that I find it hard to distinguish so I think it’s probably time to be moving on when the current licence period expires although I haven’t worked out where yet.

I have to roll over my plan of activity during Corona isolation to the second period as there’s a lot left to do. I have, however, managed to complete one project, which feels very satisfactory. I now have an “emergency file” for Anglia, with information and documents, including a guideline of how to prepare material for my accountant. It still needs a bit of tweaking but the heavy lifting has been done.  This is something I’ve thought about for a very long time, made a half-start on it, later abandoned and then travelled on with an accompanying feeling of guilt about not completing it.

And all 79 bookshelves in my work/living room have now been dusted so I’m ready for the next stage of creating a number system and index for my storage files on the top shelves (to avoid semi-death defying balancing acts when I try to find which box my postcard of Duisburg is in.

And I made a menu for the coming week and got restocked with food by my elder daughter.

2 thoughts on “Corona Diary Day 13”

  1. Hi Dave,
    Just to Iron out a problem, these days it’s a challenge to find an instruction book, but if you look on the web and key in the details you should be able to download one, even print it out if you don’t trip over the cables to the printer. Today I baked a loaf of bread in my bread machine, planted 10 2nd earlt tatties, watched some rubbish on TV, updated my Excel graphs to track the UK’s corona infections & deaths & did my bit of the cleaning/housework. All very prosaic which is probably why I don’t write a blog, though I did read an excellent review in a week or 2 old Observer of Picketty’s new book, which has now been translated into English. It was sufficient to persuade me that I shall not benefit from reading it. The clocks went forward an hour today so we must have gone to bed at 3.30 last night! It’s 1.15 right now so an earlier night with Hilary Mantels latest. I only manage about 1-2% at a go which is wonderful because that means it lasts and I can just plunge back into Cromwell’s world each day.
    Incidentally, Sweden has about the same number of recorded cases per head of the population as the UK. Our lockdown was last Tuesday and cases have been continuing to double every 4 days.

    1. Thanks Chris. My new printer was delivered yesterday. The logistics bit was efficient anyway. I managed to find the instruction book and open the box to check where the ink cartridge was so I’m going from strength to strength here.
      I must check Picketty’s new book although I haven’t read his first book, only bought it to give my son as a present, which probably only merits a half-point. Thanks for your mentioning the Clocks. They’ve been put forward a hour here too so I wasn’t up quite as early as I thought.
      It’ll be interesting to see whether Sweden’s deviation on the lockdown front ends in disaster. Difficult to draw firm conclusions though as Sweden is a sparsely populated country but presumably if you just look at the Metropolitan areas like Stockholm, it might tell you something.

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