November 2020

Wintery and bleak, but still hopeful

Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

A short bike ride today, in bright wintery weather. I’ve got an electric-assist bike now, so it’s an easy ride up to the top of our nearest, steepest hill.

My Moulton bike resting at the summit

It’s been my only cycle ride this month, and as I whoosh back downhill, my elation is undermined by a feeling of guilt — that I don’t make myself go out more often.

Because, once again, I’m feeling overwhelmed by projects, unable to give myself enough time for exercise.

Monday, 30 Nov 2020

Throughout this month I’ve been working on a strange new woodworking project — a ‘Covid screen’. Our home has a living room with a French window at one end, and my idea is to split this room into two sealed volumes, to enable our family, or friends, to visit in the coming months — when UK rules for indoor social mixing permit.

I’ve designed a lightweight, transparent screen, made from a modular plywood frame and 0.6mm clear plastic sheeting. Already we’ve tried-out a smaller prototype across an internal door opening, with a couple of our family.

Because the plastic is unusually thin, sound transmission is surprisingly good. Definitely workable whilst having a meal or a chat on either side — but very, very strange, until we got used to it.

Assembling the first frame

So, I’m starting to build the real full-size version. My idea is to use closed-cell draught-excluder tape, like a huge gasket, to seal the frame to the room’s ceiling, walls, and floor. There are four separate frame modules, and assembly is proving quite challenging.

Also, now I’m having nightmares about the whole project — I don’t want to expose my family, or ourselves, to any risk.

If the project works out, I’ll post more details on this site.