Monday, 6th July, 2020

[Day 112]

This morning after we had breakfasted, I thought I would pay another visit to our municipal tip to dispose of some ironwork – last week, we had an abortive attempt when the queue was some 20 cars long so we abandoned it. Today, I sailed through as there was only one car in front of me and although there was a degree of ‘social distancing’ within the tip site, it was easy to dispose of my unwanted items. Then upon my return, I spent some time getting all my wood-working bits, drills, screws etc. in some semblance of order. It sounds as though I lead a sad life! However I now know that when joining two bits of wood, you need a narrow drill for the pilot hole, a wider drill for the clearance hole and the PosiDriv bit that exactly fits the screw that you are driving, so one has to be organised. I have also experimented which of the various hand drills I have acquired seems to work best if you are not relying upon a cordless driver. About a year or so back, I acquired a block of beeswax for a £2 or so, so I use this now to lubricate my screws before entry (Some say you can just use soap, whereas to others this is anathema!) Although it sounds incredibly nerdish, I found the following video clip of how to drive in screws to join two blocks of wood incredibly informative (and I actually learnt quite a lot) Here is the URL for the practically minded: Wood Screws

This afternoon, the weather was quite bright and sunny so I busied myself applying my remaining dregs of creosote to some staves which I already shortened to peg size so that I can shore up my ailing Tilia Cordata – hopefully tomorrow if it is not teeming down. Having completed this little task, I then set about refurbishing and polishing a couple of items which I may well make into surprise presents – more will be revealed in the fullness of time. I have had to have recourse to a very old-fashioned remedy (sugar+olive oil or I suppose sugar+washing up liquid) as a means of removing ground-in dirt on some of the fingers and thumbs. It is not an unknown problem for me but I suppose I should always get used to wearing gloves, even light ones when doing any manual type jobs.

I see that Boris Johnson has tried to deflect criticism that the residential care homes have been huge repositories of the COVID-19 virus by claiming that they ‘didn’t follow procedures’. It seems a classic ‘throw sand in the eyes of the enemy’ tactic to disguise the fact that there have been multiple failings in the ways in which this government has handled that end of the pandemic. For a start, care homes were practically forced to accept inmates untested as the NHS went about emptying wards as fast as possible to prepare for the assumed wave that was going to hit them. Secondly, they were at the back of the queue when it came to PPE. And thirdly, nobody properly realised that agency staff moving from home to home would act as efficient vectors for the transmission of the virus. Let us see what the official enquiry says (whenever that is)

Next week, Meg is going to have a routine ophthalmology appointment at the Worcester Royal Infirmary (at which I was treated for bowel cancer two years ago now. Strange to say, I am not really looking forward to the experience of negotiating a hospital out-patient department – I am sure it will be full of masks, hand-gel and social distancing but I think I will regard any hospital appointment with some degree of trepidation from now on. I am sure that the risks are absolutely minimal but as we have got used to avoiding meeting people in any kind of building for several weeks now and although not of a nervous disposition, one does wonder where the virus is still lurking in our community (and hospitals must still be high on the list of suspects)