Not sleeping in Amsterdam

Today saw the first ‘at home’ recording of the Talking Newspaper. Our Talking Newspaper that is. I have no idea whether other editions throughout the country managed to do it first. But, for us, this was quite a feat. The entire organisation and completion took under a week.

Obviously it was all spearheaded brilliantly by our technical manager, Charles. His willingness to give just about anything technical a whirl has really paid off. I truly hope our listeners manage to listen. It will require a change in access to some extent (if they have to listen online) but hopefully the familiarity of our voices and the news will, somehow, make isolation a bit more bearable.

While being stuck at home most of each day and not having access to restaurants, pubs and cafes is a bit of a wrench for us, I think it must be so much worse for the visually impaired. Or anyone with a disability.

In my makeshift studio

There were a surprisingly high number of happy news stories. I was particularly struck by the generosity and philanthropy being shown by so many people.

I was not particularly struck by the low lifes who are taking advantage of the plague for their own, nefarious, ends but that’s life, I guess. There will always be arseholes but, fortunately, at the moment at least, there appears to be more angels. In Surrey and Hants, anyway.

I had an email from Charles late in the day letting me know the recording was live. He apologised for the ‘lumps and bumps’ but, overall, was pleased with the result. For my part, it was a lot of fun and I quite liked working with Clive. Given we’re both Presenters, this doesn’t happen very often.

The recording is here if anyone reading this is interested in listening to our local news.

At the end of the recording, Charles let us know that there are another couple of readers who are willing to take part from next week. It means that Clive and I will take alternate weeks with a female reader each. Eventually, Ann, the chair of the group, wants to be a Presenter so that’ll make a good solid base of readers.

The recording (and earlier shopping) took most of the morning. In fact, it wasn’t until about 5pm that I suddenly realised we should have been on a train to the Netherlands. The only tulips we’ll be seeing this year will be mostly in our garden. Bloody virus, ruining our blooming holiday.

In the wider virus world, I discovered I know someone who has had it. Sue contracted it from her son and has only just managed to leave her bed which she took to a week ago. Being a healthy type, she is fine and just glad it’s over. She is now looking forward to Jem’s impending litter.

Our dogs, on the other hand, only look forward to walks. Today we went to Hankley, taking the old route.

Throughout the walk we saw very few people and the ones we saw were generally a long way from us. No problem with social distancing. Nearer to home, the park continues to be busy. I don’t see the sense in adding to the crowds when isolation is clearly better.

As the sun slowly set, Hankley became bathed in the warmth of twilights glow. It’s this kind of isolation which will get people through Lockdown. Taking it away would not be good.

Back at home I made salmon with a dill and walnut crust. I recorded it again – see the 12 minute video below – and Mirinda claimed it was an excellent idea. When I asked why, she shrugged and said if I caught the virus and died, she’d know how to make some Chez Gaz regular meals.

My wife, the pragmatist.

Actually, I sent a text to Starbucks Andrew earlier in the day asking if he was okay. I added that if I didn’t hear from him I’d assume he was dead and delete his number from my phone. That made him laugh.

My apologies for my head appearing at the end of the video. I only realised it was there when I published the post and now feel it can stay there.

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