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News - 2020

2020

January

Following my partner’s accident in December 2019, we slowed our pace and did the necessary, including medicine changes, CT Scan etc. OK progress.

Produced 4 videos for the Twinning web site - some nice compliments received.

Updated mail-lists with approvals from Twinning heads both sides of the Channel.

Visit from friends, including Chinese artist ‘Nie’! (He completed the adjacent drawing for us.

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February

Flight to London for administration, the dentist, house & garden and to visit my Club in town to swim & see friends.

Meeting with IFA (new investment) and checked Internet & Wi-Fi speeds while considering upgrading to Fibre.

Gave some computer advice for a friend in Washington DC, huge amount of emails, tractor maintenance: keeps one busy!

 

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March

Database updates, using some recent learning on the colourisation of blacl & white photos and contacts with the Old Boys Association of my Grammar School.

A very short visit to Paris to check out friends, a restaurant (last day before closure due to Covid-19 lockdown, French-style with Attestation forms, masks, short outings for shopping - not good.

Much work in the orchard to keep me occupied. The start of cancellations...

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April

Learned of the death of Fred Sheppard, Chairman of the UK side of our Twinning - very sad & occupied with obituary, his history and web site updates. Started a video on his life.
See also: Comments 2015-2020

More bad news re cancellations of flights for our expected visitors and our trips too.

Some difficult / time consuming correspondence concerning my Will.

 

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May

Orchard work, pool cleaning & R&D for the video - a challenge because of lack of access to photos due to Covid-19.

Much communication via social media, emails & calls concerning the health of family & friends, Calls with friends / family in Canad, Australia, Malaysia and the USA.

75th Anniversary of VE Day update for the Twinning web site.

Installation of Internet fibre connection in London.

Planted the raspberry bushes kindly given to us by a neighbour, temperatures rising - hot air under the pool cover and a bit of ‘bronzage’ (sun-bathing). Pool turned green so needing various expensive products to deal with the problem.

 

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June

Catching up with the house & garden maintenance not done due to 2019 hot summer: high pressure water hose, tractor, strimmer etc. Painted part of the shed while my partner went to Paris - by train & still recovering.

Fruit collection (cherries) in between the main sections of the video preparation, collection of music, stitching it all together and upload to YouTube for evaluation Updates.

More communications with ex-colleagues in Penang, Las Vegas, Lund (Sweden), UK and Cyprus - good to keep in touch.

Visit to a Chateau garden with friends.

Web site,database, finance, other history records updates and modifications to photos for friends.

 

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July

Despite all the issues with the pool - still swimming every morning!

More detailed research on relevant music for different video sections; new photos arriving & being integrated. Final reviews confirmed video OK to publish - so done and message to both committees and the supporters in England and France.

High pressure water hose to clean the conservatory roof instead of the planned visit to Malaysia and Bali - cancelled of course.

Compensation in the form of a super visit to Concarneau, Dinan & Dinard in Brittany. Sea swim in Dinard! Returned home for more maintenance work.

A month with many birthdays...

 

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August

A short visit to London before the lockdown: some very good meetings with friends and good food, not to mention the lubrication by good wines.

Admin, house cleaning & gardening all done.

Ordered and self-administered a Covid-19 test. I received the negative result just after landing in France - but 14 days self-isolation was the order of the State so that kept me in.

Pruning bushes...

 

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September

Some good feedback on the video, especially from Fred Sheppard’s family.

Assisting a relative with a complex non-functioning French government web site - sad to see familiar issues on something so important for many.

Excellent help from a local friend to move the bee-hive to a better place - bees happy and buzzing gently as ever!

More pruning of bushes.

A super trip south via Bordeaux to l’Hérault for a birthday party and social (but ‘distanced’ as per the Covid rule book. Visited Béziers and Mont d’Or in the Auvergne on the return trip.

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See 2020 Verdois Maintenance Projects (12 minutes)

https://youtu.be/PNNSPcuO0WU

 

October

Occupied with organising the removal of the falling gate and a bathroom repair in London - success nontheless. Also following the sagas of the USA election, Brexit and Covid-19 in several countries - becoming tiresome!

R&D for purchasing a new laptop - two main suppliers refusing to do international delivery from either the USA or the UK - no QWERTY keyboards in France.

Calls to Aus, Scotland, Cyprus & Penang, R&D on Windows file synchronisation - will use the free download software later.

Short visit to Paris before another lockdown - achieved the essentials but a bit rushed. Preparing  a video for the friend who cannot travel to us as planned - poor compensation for him but some successes put on film for us.

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November

Surprising increase in LinkedIn activity - and some interesting articles / videos. Good to keep up. Also doing a major clean up and organisation of the private and public videos I have produced over the years.

Twinning web site update with a video of the Remembrance day ceremony in our village. As sad as ever, but no demonstrators like in the big cities.

Another month with many birthdays of of friends, family and ex-colleagues.

Developing database of passwords from existing sources which work fine but are becoming unwieldy.

Modified a US training college video to help a French friend: extending parts, sub-titles and translations. Good to help out.

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December

Only half way through but very busy creating the Twinning website’s end of year videos (a new housing estate & Christmas wishes), helping a friend to find mislaid photos, communications with friends, family and associates and preparation for the rather limited festivities ahead.

Almost needless to mention is the daily news with the major topics of Covid-19, riots & civil wars and of course Brexit, the saga that has still not ended on 13/12/2020...

 

Wishing you the best possible Christmas 2020, given the weird and not so
wonderful situation we are all in...
Champagne Glasses1