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pandemic

Day 37 – St George’s Day

I was working from home again while encouraging the children to do their schoolwork. Alexander seems to have done a fair amount. Lucy less so, but she has done quite a lot of computer skills, specifically finding images and saving them. Also the importance of file extensions, what they tell you about the type of file, and also how to attach files to email. Learning a lot, but I’m not sure how much of it is on the national curriculum!

Car Problems

The car is unwell. The electronics have been cutting out intermittently. When Tracy came home from the hospital yesterday the electrics failed while she was driving down the hill from Caterham, even though the engine kept going. It cut out again when she pulled up on the drive.

So at lunchtime the recovery truck came to take it to the garage. Before that though I persuaded the kids to help me empty the car of all our stuff, and to put the rubbish in the bin. The crate in the boot went into the garage, and a load of Lucy’s books and toys came into the house.

Breadmaker

While we were stashing things from the back of the car in the garage I spotted our breadmaker. We thought we’d given it away, because we’d stopped using it. It was in the part of the garage where we stage things before they go to the tip or a charity shop. There were other things on top of it, which I moved to make space. So I brought it back into the kitchen and cleaned it up.

The instructions were tucked inside it, with the specific recipes optimised for it. In my lunch break I decided to make some bread with the wholemeal bread flour we got at the weekend. I couldn’t find the measuring cup that came with it, so I extemporised with scales and a rough approximation of a cup being 8 ounces, a tablespoon one ounce and doing teaspoons as 5 grams.

As you can see it sort of worked. I think I might have got too much fluid in it because I used milk in place of dried milk powder. I also measured everything by weight rather than volume, and that’s likely to have skewed it a bit. It tastes fine though and has a good crumb, even if it has sunk on top.

Food

With us both working, and Alexander catching up on a heavy day of school work, I went freezer diving to see what would go with fresh bread. We’ve got a lot of meat still in the freezer, but it’s a lot emptier looking than it usually is.

The cancelled Easter trip to see Tracy’s parents meant that it didn’t get filled with fish and farm meat. Trips to Lincolnshire always have a full coolbox on the return leg because the market in Cleethorpes is close to both the fishing industry and the food preparation factories that get it direct from the farm. Everything is both fresher and cheaper than Surrey.

I eventually pulled out some bacon and tomato based pasta sauce we’d prepared some time ago. There was also some ham and cheese tortellini in the freezer. I thought that might supplement the dried penne and go well with some fresh bread.

Scouts Promise Renewal

This year’s St George’s Day event was online rather than in person. We got 47 families connected on our zoom account, many with more than one beaver, cub, or scout. We renewed our promise and then we watched a video from the Surrey Scouts County Commissioner. Lucy thought it was a very nice video. She also enjoyed the opportunity to wear her cub uniform for the first time at an official event.

After the event we went out for the Thursday evening clap for carers and essential workers. We took a couple of photos because it was suggested as a good idea by the scout association.

When the clap was over Alexander and I went out for a walk to get some exercise. We stopped and had a chat with a couple of neighbours, maintaining a safe distance. One of our neighbours thought he has had the virus. He’d just got up from ten days mostly in bed. At one point he was coughing up blood and was seriously considering dialling for an ambulance.

Car postscript

Tracy was a bit late home, which is getting pretty normal lately. However she came home in the car. The garage ran a load of tests, cleaned some bits and took it for a test drive. It seems to be okay, for now. If it goes again we’ll need to get a specialist mechanic to look at the electrical systems in it.

Or maybe we’ll just trade in for a newer car.

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