Tag covid

Oh Deer

Covid Christmas

Corona. Still.


It's now 653 days and counting. Remembering the five million who have died1, including the many thousands of deaths in the UK that could have been avoided.

  1. John Hopkins University data and dashboard


Heading to boardmasters

Dad joking about isolating before the Boardmasters Festival hits him hard when Covid comes home.

It was worth it says F, just don't say that to H.

Well, I guess it took us seventeen months (almost as long as the gap since the last update of c r o s s o a k), although one of us was suspiciously ill after a week in Seattle in January so maybe that was it too.

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 covide.gov.uk 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.

Lockdown Sports

Lockdown sports

Ten months after the UK locked down for COVID and we're running out of indoor sports.

In the vague chance that you stumble upon this, please please do not try this at home. Or at the shops. Or at the park. And definitely not at school.

A two coffee day

Two coffee day

Two coffee day

Today was a two coffee day. Recently many days have been like this. I'm blaming a COVID-restrictions induced brain-fog.

Or maybe just a love of coffee.

It was the night before COVID Christmas…

Dogs Christmas

Dogs Christmas

Dogs Christmas

Ranking Chocolate

Ranking Celebration Chocolates

Ranking Celebration Chocolates

Ranking Celebration Chocolates

Ranking Celebration Chocolates

Day Θ in the Lert Hands Face Space COVID-avoiding house, and we've resorted to ranking chocolates. This series ranks Celebrations. I'm pretty sure there will be more to follow.

If you want to play along at home, print this post, fold down the middle to hide the hands, then ask the players to guess which person ranked which chocolates which way. Hours of family entertainment.

Widget gadget holder thingy

Widget gadget holder thingy

For seven months of COVID I've been using this widget thingy for the complex multi-household shopping extravaganza.

Yesterday I figured out that the trolley has a holder widget for the barcode scanner gadget.

I'm getting somewhere. Slowly.

London. Again.


London. The third trip since March. Probably the last until next year.

A beautiful Autumn morning for a ride through the city, from Paddington to Shoreditch House. But things were very quiet. Whether the backstreets around the British Museum.


Or the lack of the usual (pre-COVID) traffic queue from Chancery Lance to Holborn Viaduct.


Or Shoreditch High Street at the A1202. All quiet.

And yes, you can see where I used to work in that last picture. I nearly popped in to say 'Hello', but there was nobody there.

The Barn at Hardcourt


Path to the barn

If you1 have money (£5.45) and either young children or older relatives then the place to be on a sunny Autumn Sunday was Hardcourt Arboretum (part of Oxford Botanic).

The barn

I was promised a Gnome workshop. I was disappointed until I realised there was one accompanying me.

  1. Bonus points if, despite the COVID signs, you also don't know how far 2 metres is. 

Another Day Out in London

Paddington. Platform 1. 0840 on a Friday rush hour.

Paddington. Hammersmith & City Line. 0845 on a Friday morning rush hour. Covid.

Another day out in London. The second in five months. That's a little less than the four-times a week I was averaging. The trains were quiet. Paddington too. And the bike?

Paddington, five months later. Still there.

Still there. Just a little dusty. I brought it home for some TLC.

Dinner at Pebble Beach

Dinner date

A lovely meal out with Fay (it's been a Covid-while!) at Pebble Beach. Not a bad view of the needles in the evening light. Not a bad sunset sky on the stroll home either.

Worldclass Telecoms

World beating telecommunications

Many things are world class these days. Our response to COVID. Our democracy. Brexit. We even have world class telecoms. This post posted courtesy of a home broadband connection that is 10x slower than the one we had 10 years ago. There's a certain symetry there. Maybe we could adopt this phone box for the community. It's outside St. John's school. I wonder what it could be?

Bike Ride Views

Rest stop

Sky from the ridgeway

A ride with Finn. Our exercise for the day...

> You should only leave the house for very limited purposes: > * shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible. > * one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household. > * any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. > * travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home. > >These reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household. > >These measures must be followed by everyone.

Guidance: Staying at home and away from others (social distancing), UK Government Cabinet Office, Published 23 March 2020