Monday, 13 April 2020

Lockdown life

Easter has come and more or less gone, and despite the rain that gave them a second lease of life the tomato and zucchini plants are coming to the end of their productive time.

The runner beans, which didn't do anything much until February this year have died off and it's now looking like time to start thinking  about some winter greens. Normally I just grow some for fun, but this year with the sometimes erratic supply of fresh greens, there might be a bit more purpose to it.

Not that we have any reason to complain. We have a traditional 1000m2 block which gives us enough garden space to grow a few veggies, have a barbecue (just us of course) and sit out. Despite the odd glitch, the local supermarket is well enough stocked.

In fact, apart from the social distancing rules, and the lack of functioning cafes and restaurants, life is fairly normal, we even managed to oil the deck this weekend.

To a large extent that normality's been possible due to having reasonable internet. J's been able to have an online yoga session and meetup sessions with groups of fellow artists working in the same mediums, and while the online book trade has more or less ground to a halt, ebooks are providing a reasonable substitute, the only problem being that gap for books from the eighties and nineties that the original digital masters have gone walkabout.

One of the problems was that online storage space was expensive then and often once the book had been typeset, the master file was either saved to something like a zip drive - which no one can read these days, or simply junked after the print run.

Sometimes it was simply cheaper to have the text retyped in India and then have the book re typeset -one of the weirdest things I ever saw in my text conversion and data recovery days was a room full of typesetters, each with a state of the art Mac, and each with a single full screen terminal window handcoding TEX using vi ...

Still, online book buying apart, life's still not too bad, we're healthy and the sun is (still) shining ...


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