The Untied Kingdom? - the British thread 2021

12357114

Comments

  • JapesJapes Shipmate
    edited January 5
    It is fair to say that England's state education system is currently highly dependent on those members of staff who are able to use their own laptops and who have reasonable home internet access as the limited number of spare laptops available in my setting are going to students as the first priority.

    I will not be best pleased if my current beastie dies in this round of on-line learning as I had noted the shortage of possibilities for the next beastie.

    I do wonder what would happen if we all withdrew our own devices for use for mandatory home working?
  • There were stories in the papers a few days ago that English sausages could no longer be exported to the EU - link to Beeb coverage of the story

    I have spent my entire career arguing that Yes, Minister is not real, then reality sticks two fingers up at me. Brittischerwurst, anyone?

    On laptops, earlier in 2020 I heard that many were stuck in supply chains between China and Europe, due to various delays caused by the virus. Now there are severe backlogs at various container ports in the UK so your ideal laptop may be in a stack of steel containers in Felixstowe or Southampton...
  • Japes wrote: »
    It is fair to say that England's state education system is currently highly dependent on those members of staff who are able to use their own laptops and who have reasonable home internet access as the limited number of spare laptops available in my setting are going to students as the first priority.

    Do you have a PC in the classroom in normal conditions? Is a computer part of your normal work, or is it something that you've introduced since the pandemic?
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    @Dormouse I have found Heinz baked beans in some branches of Carrefour. Obviously more expensive than in the UK (or M&S, which is where I usually get them), but not completely unaffordable in a pinch.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    Thanks for the suggestion of Dell. In the situation, getting the older ones, which have not had much use, working again is fairer all round. He has drawn a line at refurbished, though I know from my previous tech guy that there are people who will buy one, set it up, use it for a few weeks and decide it won't suit, so sell it on. He doesn't answer his phone any more, so I can't use him, sadly. and I would trust Morgan Computers - but, their refurbished are not much cheaper than anyone else new.
    I'm counting on the lack of availability to impel my friend to do the sensible thing and get his others going again.
    I can use all of mine, even the Asus Eepc running XP. Had to use that the other day to check out my central store which my hybrid claimed did not exist, though showing it on the screen. (Turned out to be a firewall problem, just on that computer, though they all use the same McAfee, and none of the others has had the problem- yet. Recent update, apparently, various changes visible in notifications.)
  • The list of businesses allowed to stay open does not include opticians (although they are not on the banned list either). Mine rang today offering me an appointment to try, fit and hopefully leave with my new ones tomorrow - if it turns out they should not be opening I hope no-one finds out until Thursday!
  • On the laptop front Dell Refurbished often have good offers on ex-lease models. I have a minor sideline in IT repairs and have a few laptops of various ages either ready to go or just waiting for a couple of parts. I'm intending to sell them locally but if anyone's really stuck PM me.
  • Offending cat just got kicked off the bed, and he’s absolutely fine. Just ate too much dry cat food too quickly and then had a drink....
    Dry cleaners are still open, so duvet was washed, sanitised and returned within a matter of hours. All other bed linen washed, dried, ironed if necessary and I’m currently snuggled up in bed with hot water bottle. No cat yet.....
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    It's cold and prettily sparkly in Linlithgow this morning, but I just looked at AccuWeather, and they're talking about sn*w. :cry:

    There were still quite a few people on the train, but Edinburgh's like a ghost town.

    I got the 37 bus, but there seem to be far fewer buses than usual - and fewer people waiting for them.
  • JapesJapes Shipmate
    edited January 6
    Japes wrote: »
    It is fair to say that England's state education system is currently highly dependent on those members of staff who are able to use their own laptops and who have reasonable home internet access as the limited number of spare laptops available in my setting are going to students as the first priority.

    Do you have a PC in the classroom in normal conditions? Is a computer part of your normal work, or is it something that you've introduced since the pandemic?

    The short answers are Yes, Yes and Developed how we use.

    Skip the rest unless you want to know just how computer-dependent education now is. And how students use them is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Using computers is the default way of working in our classrooms and has been since I returned to working in education full time about 12 years ago. All that has happened since the pandemic is that we have been practising using Google Drives/Docs more in preparation for working from home for both staff/students

    Our normal is one per student in the room, one connected to the smartboard, (usually the tutor's) and 2/3 laptops and, because of the nature of the students I work with, there are almost as many staff as students in the room.

    We do on-line registers, which still have to be completed daily from when students return to learning next week. (They were the bane of my life during Lockdown 1 and the 10 days my area was isolating pre-Christmas.) All tracking and evidencing is computer-based, which still has to be done from home once we have done our on-line sessions.

    Most of our resources are created at computers. I have to try to download the 2 specialist pieces of software used with my group sometime this week. 1 more vital than the other - the less vital one is more so I can talk through with a parent helping a student use it on his computer.

    We are still waiting to know which students will in the building. (Again, because of the nature of them, very few can be left home alone, so if key worker parents cannot access childcare by any other means... plus, a handful are deemed extremely vulnerable for other reasons and they will still be in college.) Releasing any laptops is very dependent on that information.

    Paper-based anything was very, very strongly discouraged from the start of the return to education buildings in September. Any college/home paper-based communication was stopped and switched to e-mail. We will be posting out some paper-based work (most of which will have been prepared at computers, at home, then sent to one of the few staff in the buildings for copying/posting) but we are strongly discouraged from doing that unless we know there is no other option.

    So, here's hoping my home laptop (which has more up to date software than my workplace... and I'm not convinced the specialist software will work even when I have it as I know we had a major crisis with this when the last whole college computers update was done,) will survive this level of work for which it is not designed.

    Yes, my workplace knows my views on the expectation my home devices are readily available for workplace purposes. First time round, it was exceptional circumstances and whilst I grumbled, I minded less as most of what we did was produce resources for posting out and we did just two short online sessions a week.

    This time around there's a higher expectation of daily, if not twice daily, online sessions with work done by students (who are all going to need massive levels of support to do it) to appear in the Google Drives.

    I did tentatively suggest staff be allowed in the buildings to work safely, (we can space out well when there are no students!!) use the unused desktop computers and do the online sessions/related official work from there, but I was left in no doubt this was a Very Bad Idea. Ah well, on we go.
  • Hmm, Lothian Buses aren't announcing any service reductions ...
  • Cold and dull here at present but looks like it might improve. I have another day of marking but I’m hoping to get enough done today that I can spend some of tomorrow studying instead.
  • Rights of passage time today - elder daughter is starting her first full time job. If not for C*v*d, she would be starting work in the same place (and the same grade) I did some thirty years ago...

    The ‘right of passage’ is mine, of course, not hers. How can I have a child in work??
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    Reading some of the posts above, I am SOOO glad Lord P is not in school.
  • There were stories in the papers a few days ago that English sausages could no longer be exported to the EU - link to Beeb coverage of the story

    I have spent my entire career arguing that Yes, Minister is not real, then reality sticks two fingers up at me. Brittischerwurst, anyone?

    I remember someone (journalist?) saying that Yes, Minister was Thatcher's favourite television programme because she felt it captured the relationship between the political and bureaucratic tribes more accurately than any 'serious' television.

  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    We got some good news this morning. Last year we were receiving a government benefit to help us with the cost of childcare. We stopped getting it when I lost my job because we weren't employing a nanny anymore. The government has now voted to keep on paying the money to parents who were in receipt of it before and have lost their employment.

    Hurrah for free money!
  • Yes, and vive la Republique for continuing to provide it.

    I daresay Captain Pyjamas is growing fast, and in need of new vesture about every other week?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I had a looong German lesson this morning - fried brain!

    This afternoon I will potter about the house doing ‘jobs’.

    🙂
  • Hurrah indeed LVeR.

    I love this time of year when my home suddenly feels much larger because the Chrissy Decs are down. I love it less so because I can see jobs that could be done. Mind you, there’s plenty of time to do them before the end of March - spreading out the “excitement” is a good reason to ignore those jobs.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    I too am enjoying the space in my small living room @daisydaisy, much as I like my Christmas decorations.
    The weather was almost pleasant today so we went for a longish walk that was very enjoyable. I like the getting back to normal after the Christmas holidays, even if things aren't exactly normal at the moment.
    Great news @LVER, that should help tide you over until your business is up and running.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    I never like the first few days after taking the decorations down, until I get used to it again. Also, once it's all away there's no excuse not to dust. Not that I need an excuse.

    I've been for a grey chilly walk - although not as cold as yesterday as there's no wind - and like the feeling that I've been out and can now hunker down in the warm house for the rest of the day. I'm trying to get into the habit of wearing my step counter every day, with the aim of 10,000 steps. This sometimes results in my taking the scenic route to the living room and dancing around the kitchen to hit the magic number.

    I've got a couple of Zoomies still to go today, with an early tea fitted in round them. Chicken fricassee, since you ask. :smile:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Ooh - Chicky fricky! When I worked at Orkney Health Board, it was the most popular dish on the menu of the staff refectory (they were blessed with a very good head chef at the time).

    I got a text message this afternoon saying the chairs will be delivered tomorrow, which is something of an embuggerance, as I've had to ask for the day off so that I'll be there when/if they arrive. They'd been saying they'd be delivered next week, which would at least have given me a bit of notice.

    On the plus side, the weather forecast is saying it's going to sn*w all day <eek>, so it'll be nice not to have to go out in it.
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    I don’t like it when the Christmas lights come down, everything looks so grey
  • PendragonPendragon Shipmate
    We have decided to keep the bay window string up until Candlemas, but pretty much everything else is down.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Because I'm going to be in the house tomorrow, I've put off dismantling the tree until then, so it's still lit.

    I'll say it's for what Newfoundlanders call "Old Christmas Day", or Epiphany.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited January 6
    I love the noise the Hoover makes when it sucks up all the needles off the tree!
  • I Wanted to keep all of the decs up.....

    However
    Democracy and all that!



    So we ‘ve kept the lights up
  • HelixHelix Shipmate
    I love the noise the Hoover makes when it sucks up all the needles off the tree!

    Brilliant ! I would invite you round mine for a spot of hoovering - but not sure you would be inspired as I didn't have a tree!
  • Indeed not!
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Nice try Helix. I'd appreciate someone to vacuum for me too - except they would have to quarantine for at least 14 days unless they lived here :cry:
  • MarthaMartha Shipmate
    I love the noise the Hoover makes when it sucks up all the needles off the tree!

    When I was younger I worked in a bakery shop, and the best bit was when we got the Henry out at the end of the day, and all the seeds made a wonderful noise getting sucked up!
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Piglet wrote: »
    Ooh - Chicky fricky! When I worked at Orkney Health Board, it was the most popular dish on the menu of the staff refectory (they were blessed with a very good head chef at the time).

    It's one of my favourite meals of the week; we have it on a Wednesday as it's quick and easy to fit in between my Zoomies. (Creature of habit? Moi? :wink: )

    I hope your chair delivery and decoration dismantling go smoothly.

    A cold one here today, and a heavy frost that's lined every twig with silver. Also, fog. Glad I don't have to go anywhere.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited January 7
    Cold here, and frosty - but brilliant sunshine which lifts the spirits (a bit). Washing it outside, gently steaming.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    My turn to cook today. I am making a Gary Rhodes recipe - beetroot bubble and squeak. The beetroot replaces the cabbage, and to make a main meal out of it you add black pudding and a fried egg.

    You have grate the cooked beetroot, and so to avoid scenes ressembling something from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I tried to get some disposable plastic gloves earlier. I couldn't find any in any of my local shops, which must be a Covid-related shortage. I was expecting them to abound, but quite the reverse.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited January 7
    Nenya wrote: »
    ... I hope your chair delivery and decoration dismantling go smoothly.
    So far so good: they were delivered (in a deceptively small box) within half an hour of when they were promised. The Christmas tree has been dismantled just enough that it fits in the box I'd allocated for it, and the lights relocated to the bookshelf in the hall, where they look rather effective.

    I decided (possibly in a moment of insanity) that I wanted to rearrange the furniture in the living/dining room before they arrived, which involved dragging and pushing a big corner sofa from one corner to the one diagonally opposite, plus several other relocations, but I managed it somehow and I think it's going to look quite good once the table arrives (it was separate from the chairs, and apparently hasn't been despatched yet).

    Actually, the real moment of insanity may have been ordering chairs that need assemblage: to say I'm a bit rubbish with a screwdriver would be an understatement.

    It's a bright, but slightly snowy day here; we got a light scattering of the white stuff overnight, but I wouldn't say it was on the scale being offered by the weather gurus.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Hope the chairs are just what you want @piglet and the table doesn't take too long to arrive. I remember once thinking I was quite good at assembling something from IKEA, till a friend arrived, took one look at the item, laughed, unassembled it and started again.
    A nice cold but sunny day here. We've been for a walk and I've done a couple of exercise videos.
    House move is waking up after the Christmas break. We've had the survey back and the place is OK. Only things highlighted are things we can sort out when we get there, nothing to put us off. Apparently our sale is 'ticking along nicely' too.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    That's good news on the house front @Sarasa . I hope all continues smoothly.

    Assembling IKEA furniture and other DIY jobs is something I rely on Mr Nen for and wouldn't know where to start if I had to do it myself. Nenlet1 assures me that "You just follow the instructions, Mum" but I suspect it's not quite that easy.

    I've been for a chilly walk and it's sausages and mash for tea in our house this evening. I am not, frankly, a huge fan of the sausage but Mr Nen enjoys them so I do them from time to time. I think the key is finding a Good Butcher rather than relying on Tessie Cohen.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Sarasa wrote: »
    ... I remember once thinking I was quite good at assembling something from IKEA, till a friend arrived, took one look at the item, laughed, unassembled it and started again ...
    If I could have a friend round to help assemble them, I would. :( Sod this bl**dy pandemic.

    Glad to hear the potential move is "coming at" as they say in Orkney.
  • @Piglet Don't despair, it should be quite simple.

    First off, have a cup of something and read the instructions, then carefully open the packaging and check with the instructions that you have the correct number of screws, dowels, etc. Next, assemble the tools recommended. Re-read the instructions while looking at the bits and then proceed to assemble.

    When all done, have a stiff drink.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    To which I would add, a girl's best friend is an electric drill with a screwdriver bit. That saw me through an IKEA table no problem.

    (However, when it came to the shelving units with drawers and cupboards and catches and 23 pages of instructions, I got a joiner).
  • Another one who is useless at DIY. I did use to try in my single days but my hands were always left raw from screwdrivers. Luckily Mr Heavenly is an engineer and a control freak.
    Marking again today....
    Tonight Mr H cooked homemade burgers with cheese, bacon and gherkins. Now I'm having a beer, a hoppy IPA made by a local brewery and delivered in a returnable flagon.
  • Ooh - a Flagon of ALE! How delightfully English! Cheers!
    :smiley:
  • I quite like building kit furniture. The most ambitious, some years ago, was a cabin bed with steps up, wardrobe and chest of drawers underneath. The most recent was a wardrobe with three doors, one door opening to a shelving section, the other two double doors to the hanging rail. The only bit I didn't enjoy was the step that required two people which I did single-handed: having had the whole thing face down on the floor to put the back on the next stage was to flip it for some front pieces then stand it up. Being one of IKEA's more substantial items, light it was not.

    Glorious crisp winter's day here, so lovely walk out trying to find less busy and muddy paths.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited January 7
    Thanks for the encouragement, @TheOrganist - I suspect I'll be needing the stiff drink long before I'm at that stage. Maybe I ought to invest in some GIN.

    Our previous dining chairs came from the Swedish Emporium, and by the time David was assembling the last one*, he could do it in under half an hour.

    * They were bought on several separate trips over to mainland Britain when we lived in Ireland, where they didn't get a branch until after we left; we were limited to two at a time, as that was the most you could fit into a Nissan Micra. :mrgreen:
    ... Being one of IKEA's more substantial items, light it was not.
    All the furniture that I bought with the flat is from Ikea, and I was quite surprised at the weight and solidity of some of it (especially the stuff I was hoicking around this morning).
  • HelixHelix Shipmate
    @Piglet Don't despair, it should be quite simple.

    First off, have a cup of something and read the instructions, then carefully open the packaging and check with the instructions that you have the correct number of screws, dowels, etc. Next, assemble the tools recommended. Re-read the instructions while looking at the bits and then proceed to assemble.

    When all done, have a stiff drink.

    Brilliant thanks @TheOrganist - I know now where I have been going wrong - I've missed out the pre- and post- drink.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    edited January 7
    Today's task, somewhat late, was replacing bulbs in the tree lights! I'd bought 8 bulbs, sure that I would be able to find the blown bulbs and replace them. Not a chance. I replaced the fuse in the plug. No light. So, it's farewell twinkly bright lights and on to LEDs, as they are much cheaper than a full set of bulbs, and I have been using them anyway. Sad to see them go.
    But how do they manage to burn out while switched off and in the storage basket, still on the tree?
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    When going to Wells (as we could pre covid), we would often go via Thatchers cider, which sells draught cider as well as the bottled variety. The draught cider has big signs on the barrels to say it should be drunk within 7 days. Neither of us drink a lot, so we were a bit horrified to see the size of the containers that the locals brought in to be filled.
  • Priscilla wrote: »
    When going to Wells (as we could pre covid), we would often go via Thatchers cider, which sells draught cider as well as the bottled variety. The draught cider has big signs on the barrels to say it should be drunk within 7 days. Neither of us drink a lot, so we were a bit horrified to see the size of the containers that the locals brought in to be filled.

    I think you misread the notice - it probably said said that YOU would be drunk FOR seven days...
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    I am the assembler of furniture in our house. Husband en rouge doesn't have the patience. He only participates for moments when two people are required, at which point he gets told very specifically what to do ("pick it up there <points> and we are going to raise it in the direction of the wall"). Apart from that, he leaves me to it and tempers don't get frayed.
  • I am the assembler of furniture in our house. Husband en rouge doesn't have the patience. He only participates for moments when two people are required, at which point he gets told very specifically what to do ("pick it up there <points> and we are going to raise it in the direction of the wall"). Apart from that, he leaves me to it and tempers don't get frayed.

    Ooooh! (Just like our house, where I follow instructions or suffer the consequences...!)
Sign In or Register to comment.