2021 week seven

A much-needed few days off.

It being half term and M being off work, I took a few days off myself. Partly so that we had a block of time where we were both off work – rather than one having to tiptoe around the other. And partly so we could maximise on what we are currently able/allowed to do that most closely resembles taking a short holiday.

This mainly meant: some baking and cooking, whereby I mean more advanced/time consuming cooking. It’s a rare day that we don’t prepare one or both of our main meals from scratch, but with time off it’s fun to try out a more laborious recipe. Or make a cheesecake, which M did admirably and I was very lucky to devour a lot of it.

There were some days of watching films and TV without worrying if it was for “too long”. And there were a couple of days of extended walks in the local area. We challenged each other to plan a circular walking route that the other would end up either lost or at the very least going somewhere they’d not been before. We both succeeded on those counts.

It struck me, one of those walks having been to both Willesden Cemetery and Kensal Green Cemetery (and St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery next to it), how cemeteries are about the current equivalent of an outdoor museum or art gallery. That slow, self-guided shuffle around the various objects. Spotting interesting items and stopping to read the details of the ones that really stand out. We saw a number of names that deserved a quick Google – a renowned newspaper hoaxer, whose epitaph was simply: “Storyteller”; a pioneering aviatrix microlight instructor who tragically died pursuing her dream; and so on.

It’s nothing new that I enjoy spending my time wandering around cemeteries. But it struck me recently, it having been such a long time (bar one lucky afternoon) since I spent time in a gallery or museum, that this is very much an equivalent pastime in a number of ways. We were given a stark reminder that such places are not merely mothballed recreational spaces, however. The running order displayed at the entrance to the crematorium at Kensal Green Cemetery was fully loaded, and we saw some quite neat logistics involved in getting hearses and funeral parties in and out down the limited roads. A sobering sight. I am always careful to be respectful in cemeteries, but especially at the sight of a funeral party while visiting.

The other walk (which touched on the route of the first, in a neat sort of butterfly-shaped layout with one wing per day) took us around a planned housing development complete with community buildings and so on that we’d never really seen before. Rows of terraced housing and associated working men’s clubs and the like and it felt rather like parts of Manchester. And I discovered a park I’d never heard of which a) had a cool name, b) had a walled garden designed by an architect I’m familiar with, and c) has a combined children’s adventure playground and goat enclosure. Like, actually combined. Not a Venn diagram I ever thought would overlap, but here we are. No children being headbutted out of the way today, but I must return when lockdown lifts so I can see how the two sides interact.

We also stopped to pick up expensive bread and beers from local places, which really helped make it feel like a city break somewhere new. Our flat isn’t quite a neat and tidy AirBnB, but it’s not far off, and I count myself lucky to call it home, let alone pretend it’s a holiday home.

So, a successful few days of holidaying. I also took some pictures on my Minolta Hi-Matic 7s for the first time in about nine months. The stark sunshine was perfect for the black and white film. I’ve had some issues with the scans, but it may be due to the type of film, rather than an issue with the camera. Hopefully anyway. More on that in another post perhaps.

Here’s a shot I had to take, as I was channeling my inner Shawn Granton:

This weekend I had a bash at a project for Sunday Sites, which encourages participants to create simple one-off websites following a simple theme or prompt. The latest was trying out a WYSIWYG web editor, something I’d not tried in years. Didn’t even know they were still around, to be honest. Anyway, my thoughts (and the results) are here: https://wysiswyg.glitch.me/

Long story short, it’s fun to make simple standalone web pages and I want to do it more often. I know my understanding of web development will never really advance beyond what I’d learned by mid-2002, but maybe that’s fine, and if it’s fun then let me have my fun, I say.

As usual I feel I have more to say, but if it ain’t coming, I shan’t force it. Thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “2021 week seven

  1. Hi Paul,

    Enjoyed your post, as I always do.

    Have you seen Go Jauntly? It asks you for a starting place and desired distance, and calculates a circular walk for you. We’fe found some nice new local walks with it.

    1. Thanks very much Jamie, likewise. I haven’t actually – I did use something like that but it merely plots a radius on a map for how far you can get in a given time. Useful for working out lunch break walks. Will check this out, thanks!

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