Sunday, March 29, 2020

   Blossoming Cherry tree we bought before the lockdown.

As you can imagine it's been a busy week as the world changed and a real crisis has taken centre stage as opposed to a manufactured 'climate emergency'. If they were honest and called it 'Humans fucking up the planet, using scarce resources and generally being stupid emergency' I would sign up to that.  
We aren't doing home visits apart from urgent ones and those clinical procedures that necessitate face to face contact. Lots of phone calls, supporting other agencies and ever more phone calls. I've had a few face to face contacts including one in a field and this was only the first week. This coming week could be interesting as home isolation, increasing anxiety and further restrictions will have an impact.  We are considering going to a seven days a week service and the extra hours I did last week might well increase. But...although we as a team organised our own response there has been a general lack of direction and a lot of confusion with different teams in the same building taking different and at times contradictory approaches. Outside of work things have become more organised and queuing for  groceries with a one in, one out system has worked at the local supermarket. We are also shopping for  some of the more vulnerable clients although most people are coping. Happily, most patients support our efforts and are understanding. 

Yesterday was the first day this week where I was able to go out for a walk and it is so surreal. The town is empty, few people around and it is so quiet. Essential shops open and I have the car MOT* to do tomorrow, so it is booked in at the local garage. I decided to continue with that despite the government giving a six month deferment on MOT's as I might be selling the car later this year. No 1 son has his eyes on it and as a twelve year old Mazda and with the coming financial crash it won't have much value. I need a more economical car for work but I am still hankering after a camper van, possibly one I could use for work as well as travelling. Again, this all depends on what the next several months bring because I do believe the world will be different after all of this has blown over. It's the elderly and kids I feel sorry for during this enforced lockdown and the general misinformation, bullshit and scaremongering has left so many people feeling anxious. I still have thoughts that this provides a convenient scapegoat for the financial crash that is coming but the truth is we don't know what other nasty viruses are lurking out there or if this one could mutate into an even nastier one. We shall see what the future brings and if the truth will out at all.

Otherwise this weekend has been given over to modelling, reading and listening to music. I had plans for the garden but rain, snow and hail stopped play. 

The weekend has seen further work on the Short Stirling bomber with airbrushing paint, some scratch built work as I lost an important part, clear coating a protective polish and I will brush paint further parts and hopefully get some decals on. I promised Sue I wouldn't buy any models for a few months (Yes, I ordered a cheap kit yesterday!) but I have bought much needed paints, fillers and research books. The books below have helped with this build and towards a planned future build of the same kit but an earlier mark. 'Most Secret War' by R V Jones is a fascinating account about the electronics warfare during World War 2, particularly in aircraft and radar technology. Jones was one of the chief scientists involved in it and I can recommend the book for anyone interested in that.

All put away for now as the builds appear to have a magical catnip effect on the cats and Sherlock has yet again knocked over a container of important parts and scattered them on the floor. Does he care? Not a jot as he insisted joining Watson and Mindy on the table seeking my attention.

Keep safe folks, look after yourselves and loved ones and keep buggering on as this too will pass.


* Ministry of Transport road worthiness test for cars three years and older.

Friday, March 20, 2020

That was a surreal week at work and I suspect next week will continue to push the envelope.
All non necessary face to face contacts cancelled with telephone calls, quizzes about physical health and support offered. Urgent visits still go ahead as do the clinics. Today I was duty worker and there was four of us doing the work of the whole team. With 8 a.m starts and 6 p.m finishes today took the biscuit with two of us dealing with one issue for half the day with police, safeguarding, crisis team, etc...roped in to deal with something we really don't want on the front page of the daily papers tomorrow. Mental health and potential homicides really do get the heart rate up! Hopefully all sorted for the weekend and we'll return to it on Monday.

                 Obligatory calming cat photo.

But it has all been surreal, like scenes from a disaster movie. Listening to the radio this morning, BBC radio 4 for the latest news but I mistuned the iPad and enjoyed twenty minutes of wine growing in the Lebanon which was enjoyable. The real news switched on and I felt like an actor in a disaster movie preparing to complete the opening scene. It doesn't feel real until I get to work and, more importantly, look at the empty shelves in the supermarket when I finish work. Eking out one slice per day of Hovis which is kept in the fridge and the use by date was a week ago. Toasted with Marmite and it is edible. Having to shop for vulnerable people who can't get out whilst greedy selfish swine fill their trolleys. Eating the pastries at work donated by a local cafe because they have no customers. The daily missive from the trust corona crisis committee which always manages to be 24 hours behind the latest developments. A noticeable absence of managers for our team and relying on managers from other divisions. Colleagues in tears and sharing laughs, black humour and very much near the knuckle jokes. We are stressed but carrying on. If there is any truth in doing this for the next twelve weeks I can see teams crumbling. But we are supporting each other, keeping tabs on each others well being and we have set up a team whatsapp to share shit and giggles both in and outside of work. 
I will stop there as I intend to get drunk and listen to music.
Keep well, look out for each other and be kind.


Sunday, March 15, 2020

A quiet day in as panic rears its ugly head in the various shops and the media spouts more doom and gloom as they add more fuel to the fire.

To be honest I have no idea what happens next and I still maintain we'll be ok, at least this time round.  I have spent the morning quietly working on this and avoiding contact with other people...

I ordered some more decals for this as I intend to model an aircraft from 149 squadron RAF otherwise I shall build it out of the box with no other added extras. My first British Heavy bomber and the earliest one to see use from 1941 onwards. By all accounts a huge aircraft and this kit, even in 1/72 scale is a big 'un.

Dry fit of the two halves of the fuselage and wings and this may well be my build during the zombie virus apocalypse if I have to lock myself away. I am back at work tomorrow and we shall see what happens next. We may well be re-assigned to provide cover, possibly in the crisis team or wards or we may have to work from home and telephone people. The problem is that if we get infected we can potentially infect others, particularly those in the higher risk groups. We have many older people with physical health issues and we may have to avoid any face to face contact with them. I don't really know what will happen and if we become sick ourselves, we can't work. I shall keep a watchful eye, swing my scented burning incense holder and offer loud prayers to the great Fubar lords of creation. 
Be safe out there folks and take care.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Not yet socially distanced from the rest of humanity but I am left scratching my head at the panic mongering by mainstream and social media, the panic buying in the shops in response to the former and the general nonsense going on. As somebody said in the super mercado this morning "It's like Xmas but not as much fun".

                         Not bovvered.

At work we are receiving daily missives plus rumours abound about what we are supposed to do to help out. No idea so we carry on as normal although hand sanitisers have appeared on every desk. Several scenarios plus accompanying plans have come and gone from various managers and departments. We calmly remind everyone we meet that it is not as dangerous as the flu for most people but might be dangerous for elderly people who have underlying health conditions. That applies to several members of staff across the teams so this could get interesting. The main complaint from people has been the shortage of toilet rolls (Why toilet rolls?), cancelled sports events and potentially cancelled holidays. My response has been to combine the three and state 'Shit happens' as there are more important things for people and some people are genuinely frightened by the doom mongers in the media. We can live without football for a few weeks and holidays can be moved although I feel sorry for those who had planned and book important trips abroad. It will be interesting to see how this pans out and I made the mistake of looking at tw@tt.r where the conspiracy theorists are more excited than usual. 

                         Poorly fella.

Otherwise life here at delcatto towers carries on as normal although No.1 son has just informed me his trip to Sweden next week has been cancelled. He was happy to learn he is eligible for an Irish passport which might make his future plans around travelling / living in Sweden much easier. Sue looks Danish and there is Viking* blood in my family on both my father's and mother's sides. So no surprise that No.1 passes for Swedish when he is over there. He returned from Gothenburg less than two weeks ago and after telling me about his trip I have started to think a trip over there would be nice. I would like to pay this place a visit and travel to the north of the country as well. Given the current pandemic and pandemonium I might have to resort to panning tourist CCTV's for a view of the country.
I must away as I have smoked haddock cooking in milk and butter with mixed peppers, courgettes, which I have added a spicy Mexican smoked spice mix. Very healthy...ish although the beer I intend to drink with it might not be. No, it's not Corona.


* I once stated it might be Anglo-Saxon / Germanic genes but that did not go down well with my Dad and Uncles!

Sunday, March 01, 2020

More progress on the armoured car with chipping reflecting a desert environment and a desert panel liner wash followed up by some pastels. I think it looks slightly overdone but there is still work to do including the tools, jerry cans and then I'll work on the figures. An odd scale at 1/32 when most of the kits I build is either 1/72 or 1/48 for aircraft or 1/35 for armour. This kept me occupied once we'd completed the shopping as the cats had run out of food and despite some sunshine today the wind ensured the cats remained indoors.

No.1 son is currently in Sweden and I collect him from the airport tomorrow. It's his 27th birthday today which made me stop and think. Where have the years gone? 

Otherwise I am pottering around although doing very little and thinking of my return to work next Wednesday. So two more glorious days of freedom which I intend to enjoy weather permitting.