Do you have unmetered Internet access?
Do you have a nearby neighbour with either metered or no Internet access?
Give them your wireless password for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. (You can change it later, to lock them out when the crisis has subsided.)
At this time, access to the Internet is literally a lifesaver. Not only that: with video calls the only human interaction some people have, lots of data is a lifesave. A connection limited to some number of Gbits per month is not going to cut it.
My eldest son, Daniel, just turned 22. Sushi is his favourite food, but of course we couldn’t take him to a restaurant during the Coronavirus crisis — and even in peacetime, the nearest good sushi restaurant to us is 67 miles away in Solihull. So I prepared his birthday meal.
Here, I am making the last of the nigiri — mostly salmon, some tuna. In the middle of the plate is a roll of my own invention, inspired by Peking duck pancakes in Chinese restaurants. It’s shredded chicken, sliced spring onions, hoi sin sauce and avocado. It was a big hit.
I’m fond of the old WWII slogan Keep Calm and Carry On. It’s not just that it captures something appealingly British (yes, there are still appealing aspects to the stereotypically British character), it’s that in most circumstances it’s such excellent advice.
These are not most circumstances.
Our family was away from 24th-31st July, cruising in a boat on the Norfolk Broads. In fact, we were in this specific boat, “Glistening Light”:
During that week, my middle son Matthew had a burst of creative energy, and wrote and recorded an EP of five instrumental tracks (six if you count the very short track “(edited)”), which he titled Head in the Clouds. It’s very sunny, optimistic and quirky.
We’re fortunate to have a lot of green space out the back of our house — it came about because we moved out of London to rural Gloucestershire, and the prices of property vary wildly between the two places. There’s about an acre all told — some of it garden, some of it largely unused field.
When we moved in, there were basically no trees on the land at all (see above, taken from the top floor of the house in November 2005, a few months after we arrived.)
Late last year, I spotted a treble clef, growing naturally, in the wisteria on the front of our house: