diamond geezer

 Wednesday, July 01, 2020

30 unblogged things I did in June

Mon 1: Supermarket update: Enjoyed the quietest lockdown-shop yet, but that's Monday mornings for you. Also hurrah, cheap bagged carrots, I have missed you.
Tue 2: During the process of changing my email address I've received a folderful of automated emails either asking me to confirm settings or telling me that my email has been changed. The most trigger-happy organisation was Nectar, who sent four, closely followed by HMRC, TV Licensing and Southeastern who despatched three each. Eurostar only sent one, but had by far the most error messages during the attempted changeover process.
Wed 3: Conkers are growing on the horse chestnuts on the East Marsh. It's great to know that autumn is on its way.
Thu 4: Discarded atop one of the grassy ridgetops in the Olympic Park: a tub of French yoghurt (unfinished); a jar of Turkish olives (still half full); two plastic bags (wind-swept).
Fri 5: Ever since 21st April, when I bit into a Wagon Wheel and it tasted funny, I haven't properly been able to taste anything sweet. Other flavours have all tasted fine, but chocolate biscuits, Cornettos and even strawberry yoghurts weren't quite right, just sadly bland. But today I had a slice of apple pie with custard and it suddenly tasted normal again, so that was a relief.
Sat 6: Full marks to the children on Mabley Green engaging in socially distanced football practice, and zero marks to their parents clustering on the touchline while having a good gossip.
Sun 7: Until today I hadn't bought anything for home delivery since lockdown began, but it struck me some cloth masks might be useful, so I supported the local economy and bought a couple from Studio Masachuka at the other end of Stratford High Street. Super-stylish, numerous Japanese designs available, six quid each.
Mon 8: My six-month-old boiler broke down today leaving me without hot water again. Nobody wants to see a heating engineer at a time like this, so I was fearful things might get rather awkward. Thankfully modern boilers are smart, so when I read out the error code to an engineer he talked me through which two knobs to twiddle and the system reset itself.



Tue 9: If you live in the E3/E15 area and have an urban garden in need of restocking, hurrah for @theboatwithplants. This is moored up on the River Lea between Three Mills and Bow Locks with trays of seedlings on its roof, alongside a sign saying Get A Plant For Your Garden, Pay As You Feel.
Wed 10: Supermarket update: While bagging up I had a long chat with the cashier about all the planned schemes to rebuild the store that have fallen through over the last few years. No immediate sign of the latest "rebuild it a quarter of the size on the other side of the road" plans, thankfully.
Thu 11: A hand sanitiser dispenser has appeared outside Pudding Mill Lane DLR station. Better late than never.
Fri 12: My attempts at comprehensive spring cleaning have stalled with one and a half rooms to go, partly because I'm no longer staying indoors quite so much, but mainly because I may need something to keep me occupied through the winter.



Sat 13: Discovery of the day was a pair of roadsigns in Poplar directing traffic towards the A102(M), a motorway designation which hasn't existed hereabouts since 16th September 1999.
Sun 14: I'm not sure precisely what building work nextdoor have been up to recently, but I can now hear a creaky floorboard through the wall... once first thing in the morning and once last thing at night. I hope they can't hear mine.
Mon 15: Westfield reopened this morning with a lot more activity than a normal Monday. Most shops were queueless but several had long lines outside, appropriately spaced, especially shoe shops, phone shops and the Apple Store. Even Flying Tiger - the epitome of a non-essential store - had 30 customers waiting patiently outside. But the malls themselves were a bit of a free-for-all with no evidence of a functional one-way system, and groups of shoppers milling everywhere, hence somewhat uncomfortable. I haven't wanted to go back.
Tue 16: Swans Open, says a newly hung banner on a bridge in the southern Olympic Park, should your family fancy a £22 pedalo ride.



Wed 17: Signs have appeared on the walls of the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre saying No Ball Games. The building's timber exterior has recently been scarred by hundreds of small circular marks, so I get where they're coming from, but seriously? Unintended outcome: a thoughtless muppet practising his tennis ball skills against the back of the Eton Manor war memorial instead.
Thu 18: I'd forgotten what heavy rain was. An excellent crowd-dispersal agent, that's what.
Fri 19: Supermarket update: The queueing slalom round the back of the building has been removed, as has the filter system to access the tills. Just the one-way system remains.
Sat 20: Over the last week a ring of barriers has reappeared around the Olympic Stadium in readiness for today's first West Ham home match. Today all the doors were clanged shut, and security were explaining to bullet-headed men in claret and blue why they couldn't congregate outside. No you cannot buy a replica shirt, sir, please go home.
Sun 21: Walking over the Lower Lea Crossing I was pleasantly surprised to bump into top London blogger Ian Visits walking in the opposite direction. What are the chances etc etc? We stopped for a catch-up, an appropriate number of steps apart, and I'd like to apologise to the other pedestrians on the bridge who were forced to divert briefly into the cycle lane.
Mon 22: The library books I took out in mid-March have had their return date re-re-extended, this time to 1st September.



Tue 23: Now that London buses have limited capacities, BUS FULL signs are appearing behind the windscreen when maximum numbers have been reached. At Bus Stop M the 276 is the bus most likely to pass while displaying a yellow sign. That said, I have seen a lot of definitely un-full buses with the sign in the window, either because drivers are finding it hard to keep count or because some of them keep forgetting to turn the card back over.
Wed 24: On Forest Gate's main street are the remains of Barry's Meat Market ('established since 1985'), part of a parade of boarded-over shops awaiting imminent demolition by the same team that levelled Discovery Park in Sandwich and BHS on Ealing Broadway. Expect a Lidl.
Thu 25: My brother gave me a giant Toblerone for Christmas, which I managed not to open immediately, then decided to save for a special treat precisely six months later. What I hadn't reckoned on was June 25th being the hottest day of the year, which made its triangles awkwardly pliable. Worth the wait though.
Fri 26: At the northern end of the Olympic Park I discovered a secret clearing shielded amid trees on a mound overlooking the river, with a handwritten copy of John Clare's sonnet to summer pinned to a tree.
Sat 27: I've never been to Glastonbury, nor even to Glastonbury, but watching a slew of past highlights on TV somehow makes the summer feel more normal.
Sun 28: Walking across Bow Creek at eight in the morning I first heard the tell-tale sound of rave music playing from a patch of woodland below the bridge, then spotted a group of young revellers taking a break beside the river wall. Three new attendees came wandering across from Canning Town station, all wearing sunglasses, one carrying a large bottle of water and another shamelessly dressed in a black hoodie with a smiley face on the back. Even in the inner city, partying in plain sight is easy.
Mon 29: Supermarket update: I found a large bag of Jersey Royals reduced to 60% off, but also one day past their sell-by date... so I grabbed them before anybody told me not to.
Tue 30: I may not have ventured more than 3 miles from home this month but I have walked a total of 200 miles, which is further than in any other month in the last two years. This is where not riding public transport gets you.


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