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pandemic

Day 7 – Tuesday 24th March 2020

For the first day of general lockdown the street outside my window was pretty busy. I saw several people make multiple journeys, and quite a lot of others taking their exercise on the green. More than I usually see when I’m working at home (I tend to look out the window when I’m on conference calls).

We decided last night not to sweat the schedule and to set staying sane and happy as our primary priority as a family. Tracy had today as her normal non-working day, and we all managed a lie in until about 8am. I got straight on with work while Tracy looked for Lucy’s tablet, which was last seen on Sunday. In the meantime I gave Lucy my tablet, and she and Alexander got stuck into the newly released Disney plus.

With Tracy off I was able to get quite a lot done, mostly reading in the morning, and several chats in the early to mid afternoon. This despite some IT issues with the worm laptop. Some of which were user error, and others bandwidth problems. I also got three texts from the government, two identical ones that I think every phone in the UK got telling me to stay at home. I also got one from DWP informing me that I’m a key worker and an essential part of the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Search for the Lost Tablet

Tracy was determined that she was going to find Lucy’s tablet. The last time that anyone remembered seeing it was Sunday morning. Lucy was certain that she’d had it in our bedroom. Yesterday we’d already looked in and under the bed, and on the bedside surfaces. We’d also looked on and under the sofas in the living room.

While I was firing up the work laptop Tracy had another look around our bed. It wasn’t visible, and we thought maybe it had been taken elsewhere. So Tracy went downstairs and moved the sofas and cleaned underneath them. All sorts of interesting things were found, but no tablet.

Shortly after that Tracy came upstairs and pulled everything out from under our bed and swept all the rubbish and dust that had accumulated between all the suitcases that live under there. At one point I came back into the bedroom with some coffee, where I was working in the corner, and all I could see were Tracy’s flip flops sticking out from under the bed. She was completely under the bed! Tracy found £1.35 in coins, but no tablet.

Freezer Diving

Frustrated by the inability to find the tablet Tracy went into the garage to see what we actually had in the freezer. We’ve run out of bread, and the next food delivery isn’t until Friday.

The results of the freezer Diving was an eclectic lunch. When I was called down to eat Tracy was eating some crab sticks. On the kitchen worktop was a pile of small wholemeal wraps, carrot and cucumber batons, hummus, salsa and a baking tray with a selection of Swedish meatballs, fish fingers, vegetarian sausages and a small pizza.

It was a case of last to arrive doesn’t get to choose. I was third in. So I had quarter of the pizza, some meatballs and salsa in a wrap, and a couple of fish fingers along with hummus and carrot. It was a pretty good lunch.

Technology Wrangling

While I ate lunch I plugged an external hard disk into Tracy’s Lenovo Yoga 300. It hasn’t been happy with Windows 10. So I copied all the music, photos and documents off it.

Later on, after dinner, I formatted the hard disk and installed Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS on it. Then I set it up with user accounts for Tracy and Lucy. It was a really smooth install and it was noticeably more responsive with Linux than it had been under Windows. The only functionality glitch was the right click on the trackpad didn’t seem to work. However a minute in Google revealed that it just needed a two finger click.

On my way back to work after lunch I had a very quick look for Lucy’s tablet. I thought about the behaviour of putting it down. Usually I try to plug it in, and I hate leaving it on the floor because there’s a high chance someone will stand on it. So I looked around. Tracy has a movable table with her sewing machine on it, so I looked there. On the lower shelf, under the box with the nail varnish, was Lucy’s tablet.

Tomorrow

I’m going to try and preserve my non-working day tomorrow so that Tracy can get more done. It worked pretty well for me today. I worked pretty solidly from half eight until six, and barely stopped for lunch.

I’ve got to make sure the kids get some school work in, but no more than they would normally do if they were at school. It’s pretty noticeable that Alexander’s teachers are pretty optimistic about what can be done in a given time. Messages on the mum network, and the teenager channels, show that everyone is on the same page. So there’s been some gentle pushing back on the school.

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