Week 11: Christmas

A bit late this one, because I was too busy eating chocolate, but the 18th-24th December was a lot like this:

  • Both kids had symptoms (although different ones) and so needed taking for Covid-19 tests on different days, which meant we had to isolate all week but they both came back negative, hurray!
  • On Christmas Eve I wrenched my back horrifically. I’m sure this will heal quickly and next week will be fine.
  • My son has been playing a lot of Minecraft this week in his bedroom, where the wifi signal is terrible. I expect more remote teaching to be happening in the new year and so I have bought a TP-Link Wifi Powerline adaptor (the TL-WPA4220KIT) in order to improve his connectivity. I am really really impressed at how easy it was to set up, and when I connect to it via ethernet I get about 80% of the speed of plugging directly into the router! That is pretty good for internet running over my existing oldschool power wiring!
  • After a billion months of everything being zoom-this and remote-that, I finally took part in my first zoom quiz. Very weird. We won.
  • My daughter has not yet, as I previously worried, popped before Christmas arrived.
  • Merry Christmas!

Week 11: spaceships

  • I have (nearly) finished the main story mode of Star Wars: Squadrons, which is short, but satisfyingly so, and I’ll definitely give the earlier levels another try. It really wants you to play online though (of the 48 trophies on the PS4 version, only 17 can be completed in single player and some of those are pretty tricky to get), which I’ve given a bit of a go and seems to work well most of the time. I normally shy away from online games on non-Nintendo systems because of y’know, the humans. So far I haven’t had to hear anyone else, so all is good.
  • I love everything Johanna Rothman writes about management and delivery. Everything is easy to read, understand and, depending on your org, easy to apply. Brilliant.
  • It was last week, but it’s still amazing to watch the video of a test flight of the SpaceX Starship rocket. Not _entirely_ successful, and I can’t help be horrified at the thought of humans in it as it “belly flops” at6:30 and hurtles towards the ground!
  • Season 2 of Hilda starts this weekend, hooray!

Week 10: tractors

  • We are nearly at the Christmas holidays! Come on people, you can make it!
  • We took our daughter to see Father Christmas making his way down a nearby road, on a sleigh being pulled by a tractor. We are in the west country, after all.
  • As part of my “classics I’ve never read” series I am reading Little Women. I like the story, and the writing, but each time we get a homily about how hard work, modesty and gratitude are all that’s needed to succeed in life, I want to push the mother off a cliff. Let’s see her get out of that with just a Protestant work ethic.
  • Did I mention my daughter now owns a singing Christmas jumper? This is what 2020 has reduced me to.
  • I am still very much enjoying the Something Rhymes with Purple podcast. Great lightweight listening and learning.This week two lovely pieces of art have made me happy. The first is watching Tony Hart drawing with pastels and the second is Watercolor by Shibasaki as he paints a tree. Both videos are so relaxing to watch and inspirational in their approach.
  • I am also enjoying Star Wars: Squadrons, a direct descendent of X-Wing, which I played as a teen. Pew pew pew!

Week 9: decorative

  • Our Christmas tree is up! My daughter may actually explode with excitement before Christmas arrives but hopefully she’ll hold on for the next 4 weeks.
  • She is half way through dividing her epic Christmas list into three categories: “don’t really need”, “can wait until my birthday” and “can’t wait – ask father Christmas”
  • We have loads of ice lollies in our freezer left over from summer (and some from the summer before). It is now my mission to eat them all before 2021.
  • Apparently this is the time of year that I start singing East-17’s “Stay” non stop til January.
  • I have introduced my son to Worms Armageddon. I can think of no finer way of reliving my own gaming experiences of 1995.
  • I would love to export all the photos people have added to a particular on Facebook which I have liked. On looking at the Facebook API this does not seem possible. Solutions on a postcard please.