I've just finished my eighth week working from home, a move forced upon me by the Coronavirus pandemic.  I last blogged about this while I was in my fourth week, so let's look at what's changed so far.

My mood

I'm told I'm more grumpy than I was initially, which is not something I notice per se.  What I can't tell is if this is due to lockdown, and not seeing people, or if I'm just in one of those moods!

Drawing

My wife and daughter had been drawing lots of animals thanks to a handy YouTube channel called Art for Kids Hub.  Drawing seems to have stopped for the moment but there's still many drawings across the house, including in the downstairs loo and up the stairs.  (Animal images copyright my wife and daughter.)

As you know, I'm a fountain pen user and I'm not much of an artist, however, a post on the r/fountainpens sub-Reddit inspired me.  I decided to have a go at drawing my own map of a made up place, Hoysted Keep, and you can see the results below.  I'm not completely happy with it (the fence line in the field was a mistake) but pretty chuffed for a first attempt.  Got to use four different pens and inks too.  There's a mistake on one of the letters too, bonus points if you can spot which letter that is!  (Not a typo you understand, just not correctly drawn for the font.)

Hand drawn map artwork of a made up place "Hoysted Keep".  The King's Forest is in the East, Mountains in the West.  There's a castle, church market and various houses.
The finished "Hoysted Keep" (bigger version here)

I was working late one night on that map when, like a complete rookie, I shook my Waterman Carène.  That produced an ink blot in the North East (top right) of the map which I couldn't remove by cutting the page as I'd already drawn various parts in line with it.  Now you know why there's disused mines in Hoysted Keep - I had to do something.

DIY

Some years ago I came across the NetPi project, that made a network analyser out of a Raspberry Pi, Bluetooth keyboard and a touch screen.  I'd been given a 7" touch screen for Christmas as part of that project.  Well, it's fair to say I hadn't appreciated the sizes involved (a 7" screen is tablet screen size, which I should have acknowledged) and that meant the box was quite large - too large to go in my work rucksack.  I also changed roles around that time, so the box was never finished.

We've been using a Retropie at home during lockdown which has allowed me to introduce my daughter to some old games without setting up an Amiga or Mega Drive.  I recalled the box, still sitting on my desk, unfinished, and decided to make some changes.  I've added the hinge (which was just sitting in the box), drilled holes for the HDMI cable and forwarded two USB ports to the front of the box.  I also had to remove the internal batons, originally destined to hold a shelf for the keyboard.  DIY is not my strong point, and I didn't have all the right tools, but I don't think I did an awful job:

The open box with the Raspberry Pi and 7" screen on.  On the screen is the EmulationStation front graphical interface.
The Retropie in its case.

I'm definitely not done.  The hinge screws need correcting (one set is rounded, meaning the hinge cannot shut fully), I need to tidy up the hole around the USB ports and need to run cables internally for the HDMI and USB (power) for the screen.  The box needs some paint / varnish / stain or a design too.

New routes

I am being more inquisitive when it comes to my walks and bike rides for exercise.  I've found a number of new (to me) footpaths which is good given I was seeing more people on my existing routes.  I've also expanded the cycle routes I use having decided to "see what's along there" and found myself cycling on a road through a lovely bit of woodland.  Once lockdown is lifted and it's safe to actually go for a ride with friends / family I think that'll be one of my first rides.

Goals - doing well so far

I'm keeping up with my goals at the moment, with a journal entry and at least one Welsh lesson each day - today I passed the 50 day streak milestone on Duolingo.  The only downside is there's no-one to speak Welsh to.  My daughter started to learn Welsh but I doubt she'll continue as she get's upset when she gets a question wrong.  I'm trying to explain to her that it's not like anything she's done before...

I'm getting out for a walk most days (although probably not today sadly) and I've done over 329,503 steps since my previous Coronavirus lockdown post.  Ten thousand steps don't necessarily get walked each day, but I try my best.

The Prime Minister is due to address the nation at 19:00 this evening to explain what's next for the UK's lockdown measures.  It'll be interesting to hear what he has to say.

Edit, following the PM's briefing:  The PM explained the five targets that need to be met in order for the lockdown to be eased.  He also advised that people can go out for exercise more than once per day, could use parks (e.g. for the children to play) and that those that couldn't work from home could start to go back to work.


Banner image: An excerpt of my Hoysted Keep drawing.