Archives for March 2021

Yogi looking beautiful

Yogi Bear

No one could have believed, in the closing minutes of the third month of 2021, that minds immeasurably superior to ours were plotting against us.

WFG evolved

Working from the garden

Working from the garden

A year on, and working from the garden has evolved.

Garden early spring

Garden early spring

Early spring in the garden. Stuff peaking through, saying hello to the new year.

Tear drop field

Tear drop in the field

After the flood the field cried.

Come rain or shine

Rain and shine

Rain and shine

Come rain or shine, Ewok's range of favourite places are always just right.



I can think of worse ways to ease into a relaxing weekend. Like most of the past 52 weekends we're planning not a lot. I might stay here for a while...

Shoes Box

Shoes of lockdown

After a year of on-and-off lockdowns, why do we have sooooo many shoes?

End of Day

Day End

COVID home testing

COVID testing

COVID testing

First attempt at COVID home-testing ended up with a void result. Turns out that there's insufficient buffer fluid in the sachets to overcome the surface tension on the inside of the extraction tube. When you invert the extraction tube to get drops of fluid onto the test strip the fluid sticks to the inside of the tube and never makes it to the end.

From a box of three tests we got one success. I guess penny-wise and pound-foolish means you can count a larger world-beating amount for the number of test kits supplied, even if those kits don't work.

You might think that the requirement to report results would let someone wise up to all the void results. But the reporting site is a PITA. You have to give it an occupation even though you've already said it's for a student. You have to say what country you're in even though you've already provided a postcode. And the final nail in the coffin? You have to prove that you're not a robot by identifying objects in pictures that are meaningless in British-English. Here fire hydrants are underground so good luck identifying with those bollard things while a crosswalk is about as easy to spot as a cross oak. The UKs GDS even published Design Principles for all this:

> We’re designing for the whole country, not just the ones who are used to using the web. The people who most need our services are often the people who find them hardest to use.

Private Eye 1543

Thirty-Seven Billion well spent.

Sorry, I did promise a less snarky C r o s s o a k. It might be a while.

Ipsden Woods

Ipsden Woods

Ipsden Woods

Ipsden Woods

Ipsden Woods

Back to Ipsden Woods for a little potter around. Lovely.

Friday night now burger night

Friday night is burger night

We started lockdown with Friday Night is Movie Night. A year on, Chef F has surpassed the accompanying pizza extravaganza with his amazing burger bar. It encompasses Chef H's trademark secret sauce (a ketchup & mayo mix). Yummy yum.

Ewok found a new bench

A new bench ewok

Ewok had enough of the pew and opted for a seat that was a bench with a view.



Cream tea for mother's day? Waitose-on-Thames had sold out. Fortunately Mary Berry came to the rescue and I didn't know better than to try.

Beginner's luck or fooled by randomness.

Looking at the back of the daffs

Back of the daffs

Looking up the garden admiring the view that the daffodil's have. That's why they're all looking the other way.

The Queue

The queue

There was a queue to get in this morning.

Sky with hail incoming


Local by-bike deliveries for Fay. Dodging the March hail showers.

Running again

Running views

Note to self: starting to run in your late 40s, stopping for a month, and then starting again aches. Aches a lot.

Which way the wind blows

Which way the wind blows

"So Yogi, which way does the wind blow?"

"It'll be next month's hair style across the sixth form" he replied "Mark my words".

So far, F has been silent on the issue.


Hair cut

F had a haircut. It cost less than the £37 billion allocated to the UK Test & Trace system and, unlike the Commons Public Accounts Select Committee conclusion about Test & Trace, there is clear evidence to judge the haircut's overall effectiveness.

At some point the usual, slight less snarky, service on c r o s s o a k will resume. In the meantime I bet you wished I'd stuck to the abstract stuff.

Do we have a problem?

Syringe x N


Don't be a tosser

Apparently somebody got upset that Boris has made a right mess of things and has covered the town with appropriate signage.

A f£$%"#g year of Working From the Garden‽

Working from the garden

A year ago I started Working from the Garden. What a ‽‽‽‽ of a year.

A year and a bit ago I was in Seattle, stumbling over a prophetic quotation:

> "The 20th Century was about getting around. The 21st Century will be about staying in a place worth staying in."

James Howard Kunstler

c r o s s o a k had more posts last year than in any other. I wonder why.

Looking back to last March I shared these stats:

> In the UK, today is day 53. 8,077 cases, 422 deaths. Twelve days since I was last in the office. Four days since the schools shut. Six days since H came home from university. One day since the government said "shutdown".

The government reported total deaths for the UK as of yesterday was 124,797. Wikipedia's list of UK causalities of war provides some context. It's greater than all UK civilian deaths from conflicts since 1900.

I'm very fortunate to be working, and even more so to be able to work from a garden, but when we look back on this period, I wonder what we will have learnt.

Blinded by the Light

Ewok basking in the sun

"A bit bright this morning" said Ewok

Ewok basking in the sun

"I think I'll need to lie down and take things easy later."

And, he did.

Signs of Spring

Morning in the garden

Morning in the garden and there's the first few signs of spring.

Walking in Ipsden Woods

Ipsden woods

Ipsden woods

Ipsden woods

Early morning reports from Devon that the weather was brightening up, and an introduction from Hazel to a new spot to walk, resulted in a very pleasant wander around Ipsden woods. The boys were impressed.

The Studio

The studio is always this tidy

Wow, a tidy studio! How did that happen?

Shillingford Road

Shadow road

OCC restored the pavement. w00t! Worth a thank you.

Missing in the Mist


I was looking for the river but it's lost somewhere in the morning mist.


Sunny inside