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w/e 2020-11-22

As the weeks slide silently past I find myself craving to even see other people, never mind have conversations, no matter how meaningless.

Photo of a very large tree full of orange autumnal leaves at the side of a country road
A tree up the road

Whenever I go for a walk I hope I’ll cross paths with someone and, despite usually having little interest in small talk, I look forward to a quick chat with a neighbour or stranger about anything. This week a near-neighbour told me about an apparently ownerless dog he’d just seen. A highlight of the week. 🐕‍

But this week we did A Big Shop and going back to a supermarket after a few weeks of this rural isolation was a bit stressful. Everyone was wearing masks, distances were roughly, mostly kept, everyone was calm and polite. But, still, ugh, too many people, too much Potential Virus in the air for comfort. 🦠🛒🦠

This week I’ve had several dreams in which I’ve had nice chats with friends. In person. That was about all that happened in them.

I know we’re supposed to be easy on ourselves and all that but I’m still concerned that I’m not achieving much, aside from some occasional work. At some point I feel all this shouldn’t be an excuse any longer. This week it felt like a great achievement to fix a tiny bug in one of my own projects and think through the implementation of a small feature in another. 👨🏼‍💻🐛❌

§ This is not so much a “pro tip” as an “obvious amateur tip”: If you make cheese on toast under the grill* and, after you’ve got your tasty cheesy toast on to your plate, there are some crumbs left in the tray, don’t try to tip them out on to your plate while holding the loose rack itself in place with nothing but a fork, because the rack will fall off and hit your arm and leave a nasty burn and you’ll feel like an idiot. 🔥💪🥵

* That might be an “oven broiler” to any Americans reading?

§ We finished watching the second season of Gomorrah this week which was OK but not as good as the first. Aside from the always eye-opening Trumpian styles of interior decor, it was mainly gangs of men fighting among themselves over turf and it was a little hard to care what happened, even when we could untangle who was against who. 💉🔫🤷🏻‍♂️

§ We’ve recently started watching some easy, stress-free TV, including 12 Puppies and Us in which women get new puppies and the viewer gets to roll their eyes at how their male partner reacts, or how daft they seem, or what a hash they’re making of the training, or, sometimes thinking how cute the puppy is. I don’t know why the owners are all women, whether that’s planned or a coincidence.

I say it’s easy and stress-free but episode two concluded with a card containing a brutal update about one of the nicest owner-dog pairings (spoiler). Oof. 🐶🚗⚰️

§ We’ve also enjoyed two of the three episodes of Saving Britain’s Pubs with Tom Kerridge, which reminds me a bit of The Restaurant Man, which was also good, in which Russell Norman gently helped people starting restaurants and pubs. Both BBC programmes avoid the fake jeopardy common in most shows like this and both hosts seem genuinely keen to help out without being all GORDON RAMSAY! about it.

Watching all these nice pubs full of people enjoying themselves was both heartwarming and Oh God When Will We Feel Comfortable Going To A Pub Again?

And then at the end of episode two the early days of the virus arrive and the landlords/ladies are wondering whether and when and how it will affect them. Episode three isn’t going to be much of an escape from all this is it. 🍺🍻🦠

§ But, an actual televisual escape: over the past two or three months I’ve been watching The American Version Of The Office, as I believe it’s officially called, which I’ve never seen before. I don’t think I could face watching The Original British Version Of The Office again, although I loved it at the time. Just the thought of David Brent makes me grimace.

It took me the first couple of episodes of The American Version Of The Office to get over my initial, “This is terrible, how do any of these people continue to work here, he’s unbearable, how has he got a job, this is a whole month of Ask A Manager questions every episode,” reaction and I’ve been really enjoying it since.

I love the balance between the characters and between the bits that are horrible, funny, and touching. I feel like I’ve been watching it for ever and I’m only three seasons in. There are 201 episodes! How do they do that?! Anyway, it’s a joy so far, so that’s good. 📺🏢😀

§ That seems like a lot of telly. Never mind. 🔲👁👁

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