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Day 28 – Back to Work Tuesday

The four day weekend is over, although the kids are still off school. Tracy was back on the ward, and I rolled out of bed and logged into my work laptop to catch up on what happened over the weekend before Lucy woke up.

Last night Lucy had decided to sleep under her bed, which I only realised this morning when she told me. She wanted a change and built herself a nest in the area under the bed. If you look closely you can see her bedtime reading, Bedtime Stories for Rebel Girls. She’s gone to sleep in there again this evening.

Working

My work was in three distinct phases. From 0700 until just after ten, and then from 11 until after half two, and then three until just before five. Lucy had a martial arts grading by zoom and a birthday party. In between those I read a lot of emails, and spent some time on the phone and video. Over the weekend I found an attachment to hold a mobile phone on a camera tripod. I fitted that to my mini gorilla tripod and am now using that for video conferencing.

Birthday party

Lucy’s friend Amalie, who lives round the corner, turned 8 today. Because of the lockdown she couldn’t have a proper party, so her mum organised one on houseparty. Lucy wrote the card out, and wrapped the present (Lego dots – a flexible wrist band with Lego studs on it that you can decorate with Lego pieces). Then we decided to go and deliver it in person just before the party.

We met another of Lucy’s friends on the way out. Lola and her mum had the same idea as us, and their car was parked in front of our house. So we waved and said hello for a minute. Then Lucy and I went round to Amalie’s house and left the present and card by the door. We waited at the end of the drive and had a chat with Amalie and her mum for a few minutes before going back home.

Once I’d got Lucy logged into the houseparty app on Tracy’s phone I hid in my bedroom so that I could carry on working. From the excited shouting coming from downstairs I’m pretty certain Lucy enjoyed the party. I only had to intervene once!

Shopping

It’s Lucy’s birthday in a few weeks, and I needed to go to the Argos at the back of Sainsbury’s in Redhill to collect the present I’d ordered. We also needed a few things, including cheese, diet cola, pasta, flour, cotton buds and any cheap Easter Eggs that might be left over. Immediately after dinner I took Alexander with me to help carry it all.

We did OK on the Easter egg front, scoring four medium and one large egg for £5. I also found the pasta aisle had been restocked, although only with penne and fusilli. There still wasn’t any flour, but I found the paprika that we hadn’t been able to get last time, and everything else that was on our list, plus half price grass seed for outside my hut. We also got a video that Tracy said she wanted to watch and some sweets as small treats.

With the shopping done we collected Lucy’s present. It was rather larger than I’d expected!

Exercise

Having spent most of the day behind my work laptop I needed some exercise. So I took the kids on four laps of the green in front of the house, and we had some fun with a ‘magic’ stick. Alexander pretended to be Boblin the Goblin and did a character voice and walk. Lucy turned herself into Vikki the Fighter from Carmena. I was Dad the Bad, and we each took a turn wielding the stick to chase the other two round the green. There was an extended roleplay story going on as we raced round at a fast walk.

Once Lucy had done four laps I took Alexander on a longer walk over the railway and back down through the rec to home. We got in about three miles. That gave Lucy enough time to be in bed so that we could stash her present in the garage.

Technology

The last thing I did, before writing this and going to bed, was to try to fix a couple of issues Alexander has been having with his laptop. His school uses Microsoft office 365 for the schoolwork, and go4schools to allocate homework. Alexander hasn’t been able to print to our printer and couldn’t open PDF files or PowerPoints from the browser. Each time he tries to open one (from a link in Firefox) it causes a cascade of new tabs. You need to kill Firefox to make it stop.

I installed a PDF reader to solve that issue and it was straightforward. I tried the same with a PowerPoint viewer but that didn’t work. It garbled the presentation. But I did discover that saving the file locally and then uploading to open in the PowerPoint web all worked fine.

Alexander’s printing issue from Office 365 is a feature, not a bug. The web versions are not as good at layout as the native apps. So they produce a pdf instead. You are then supposed to print the PDF from your preferred PDF viewer app.

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