in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #148 — Almost normal Christmas

My COVID-19 quarantine finished just in time for the Christmas break. Monday was a rare day where I was the only person in the house not at work or school. My wife’s school had decided to close a couple of days early due to the pandemic so she only needed to work on Monday morning. She joined me for lunch at home and an extremely indulgent hour or two in front of the TV.

This Christmas week has been a bit of a return to the normal of previous years in that we’ve been able to visit our relatives. The biggest difference is that socialising has been limited in the run-up in order to try and keep ourselves virus-free. We’ve done our lateral flow tests numerous times and nobody in our group seemed to have it, so hopefully we’ve escaped the clutches of the virus for now.

Many people seemed to have ramp down their socialising in a similar way. I assume that this must have caused major problems for bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues with reduced takings in what would normally be a peak time of year. One of my friends who has recently had the virus sent me pictures of a tragically near-empty gig at the Roundhouse. If there’s no government directive to close, I guess the show must go on as the artist, promoter and venue would lose even more money otherwise.

This was a week in which I:

  • Enjoyed a wander around town, running errands, stocking up on Christmas food, getting a haircut and buying some last-minute presents.
  • Spent a lot of my week trawling through the some 6,500 notes I have accumulated in Evernote, with a view to transferring them out to OneNote once they are in shape. This is step one of my latest quest to sort out my digital life.
  • Had a Christmas Eve wander around Ross-on-Wye. I’ve been there so many times, but every time I look I notice something new. This time it was ancient almshouses that the plaque tells us were repaired in 1575. Apparently they were built in the 14th century and are still inhabited today. I don’t think I had ever noticed the inscription on the Man of Ross House either, despite it sitting in a prominent spot in the town.

  • Had a wonderful Christmas Day with a bigger group than usual of my extended family. After five minutes of arriving at their house I wasn’t hungry for the entire rest of the day. Wonderful food and great company.
  • Went out for a couple of Christmas runs. I’m now walking around like a very poor excuse for a John Wayne. It would be great to keep up with a bit of running so that this doesn’t happen every time. I’ll try and weave it in around my indoor cycle rides when I can.
  • Ploughed my way through most of East of Eden, the latest in my chronological journey of John Steinbeck’s works.
  • Enjoyed watching Mare of Easttown. A great story, superbly acted, with some unexpected twists. We also started watching Only Murders In The Building, which is great just to see Steve Martin and Martin Short together again.
  • Worked my way through the first few Billy Joel albums after receiving a beautiful vinyl boxed set for Christmas. I know his most famous songs but have never listened to one of his albums, so it’s a new adventure. So far so good. It was interesting to read about his first album being such a mess from a mastering standpoint; the version I have sounds fine to me.

Next week: Another week off. Hoping for a break in the rain so that we can get back out on our road bikes after forced hiatuses due to COVID-19 and Christmas. A planned family day out in London. And I’m turning 45.

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