2020. Oh. (Part 1 maybe)

“The year in review” is a post that I’d write anually, going through some of the highlights of the particular year that we’re about to leave behind, and maybe pick up on some of the highlights that weren’t covered by the blog. Many, many people would quite happily sit down and write this off as the worst year on record, me included, so just for fun, I’m going to go through this year with the palest rose-tinted spectacles imaginable, sift through the excrement and see if I canpick out a golden nugget of sweetcorn that makes me think, and you, my dear reader, that 2020 wasn’t all bad.

JANUARY

Yep, so there it is. Exactly midnight. I can confirm I brought in the new year filming my watch on my phone. I think this was about as rock and roll as it got. January 2nd saw our bin not getting emptied because someone had dumped a black sack into our recycling bin. But wait! January 3rd made me discover a culinary delight…

Roasties Butty Day… the day where I went to Fast Snacks for a chip butty, only to find out they didn’t have any chips. What? Turns out that roasties in a bun, plus a bit of curry sauce over them is actually pretty awesome. Sadly, I didn’t get a photo of them so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

January 11th saw a trip to Betterzade, the record shop in Northallerton. I think I managed to get there twice this year, maybe three times? Other shops were involved too, of course. And I con’t care how old I get, doing this is still funny, and always will be…

Turns out I was predicting the future there, and it turns out 2020 was an absolute BF H of a year.

January 18th appears to be the day I started playing Pokemon Go again, thanks to the new phone. This has genuinely been the only thing keeping me sane in the last 12 months. I didn’t realise it’d been that long.

January 25th saw one of only two music gigs in the entire year, at Newcastle for Insomnium.   Really enjoyed this night. I think, by this time, rumours of the pandemic had just started to circle No concern at this point, obviously.

Insomnium, at the Riverside, Newcastle, 25th January 2020
Conjurer supporting.

FEBRUARY 2020

So far, my one and only trip to PLAY BREW in Middlesbrough, barring a brief stop during the easing of lockdown. A nice little “micro brewery” in the middle of an industrial estate in Middlesbrough.

This was a good night out, which ultimately ended in Loons, which is standard for a night out. Little did I know this was the only time I’d be in this establishment this year. 

The weather was a little stormy around this time, with Storm Ciara whipping the sea up and keeping me awake. No sooner had Storm Ciara dissipated, Storm Dennis moved in.

Storm Dennis

I bought a motherboard from Jamie o allow me to upgrade the Mean Green Ripping machine. It’s not mean and it’s not green, but at least it’s got a new motherboard. I also stuck an SSD up its grundle, and it runs like an absolute dream. Its a shame that I’ve hardly had chance to use it. I typed this on 25th February…

In other news, the mean green ripping machine is complete. I might have to pick up a wireless dongle for it though as it’s a bit of a pain dragging that 15 metre cable through the house. Probably should have got one when I was at Falcon [Cmputers, in Sunderland], but then I didn’t know that the one I had for it was complete rot.

Talking about complete rot, my foot flared up again, Turns out there was another infection on it which required different antibiotics to what I’d had in the past

My foot wasn’t the only thing getting infected, as the “entire world” was starting to get infected with COVID-19. The news of this bloody virus spread throughout the world, and cases began to rise. It was clear that a lockdown was inevitable. Thankfully, this didn’t happen quite yet, and I was able to attend one final gig in Newcastle. It became clear, however, that having so many people in such a small area is something that was not going to happen anymore


The month ended with the only Hartlepool record fair, where I ended up smashing a record 30 seconds after getting it home. Unbelieveable. This was on the leap day.

It was a particularly windy day too as I found out to my cost too. I picked up a particularly cheesy single for 66p. I got it home, took it out the back to take a photo of it, and it blew off the wheely bin, blew across the garden and snapped in half on a chair. Wounded.

MARCH

Word had began to circulate that we might have to start working from home. It was only a rumour, however, and for at least, for the beginning of the month, the world continued as normal, except that the paranoia started to kick in, especially when on the bus. The sound of every cough and sneeze being amplified. The grime etched into the stop buttons becoming even more noticeable.

The most exciting time of the year so far happened when the fluorescent “circline” tube in the front room died. It became mercury starved… for environmental reasons, the amount of mercury vapour in fluorescent tubes has been reduced. Over time, the mercury vapour that is in the tube seeps into the glass, meaning that over time, there’s no ultraviolet light formed to excite the phosphor on the inside of the tube, meaning the tube essentially dies by lighting a very dull pink. This had happened over the period of a few weeks, until the light output “fell off a cliff” so I’d already ordered a new tube in preparation. Surprisingly the first time I’ve fitted one of those tubes.

March 7th saw the last day out before lockdown, as i got the bus to Durham. I discovered there was more than one record stall in the indoor market. This would be my last record purchase until the summer, which is just as well, as it contained The Krankies’ “Fan Dabi Dozi”.

March 17 saw the beginning of the end. Shops were starting to run out of the essentials… even Iceland had ran out of eggs.

March 18 was the last time I’d be in the office, and March 19 was my first full day working from home. Initally, I didn’t like it….

It’s pretty lonely sat here. I’ve had Talk Sport blasting for most of the day just for the sound of someone else’s voice. Daddykins was downstairs for most of the day, so I could at least say stuff to him, but even then, he’s buggered off upstairs, so I’m left with this laptop. I’m getting sick of talk sport, so I can’t even listen to it anymore.

And that’s where I’m going to leave Part 1. We’re deep into lockdown by this point, and I’m going to need to do some proper research if I’m going to pad it out enough for a Part 2…

Day 4 – HariBoJo

Ugh. I’m really not liking this working from home lark. Fair enough, the sleep-ins are nice, and being able to get out of bed at 06:50 and be ready to sign on at 07:00 is a nice bonus. Of course, today didn’t work out like that, otherise I wouldn’t have mentioned. Cirtix required an update, and seeing as the laptop’s instruction manual was printed in Latin, it wasn’t going to be a quick procedure.

Eventually on it came, and the morning was pretty busy. I clearly can’t say much about what I did, that’s because I’ve forgotten most of it.

Lunchtime came, and instead of food, I thought an extra hour in bed would be ideal. A big mistake, and I woke up feeling worse. Food consisted of a frozen kebab in a pitta bread. Pretty disgusting, but it guarantees my daily intake of earholes, eyeholes and arseholes I suppose. Yum.

Later on in the afternoon, Daddykins went out to make sure the car was still functioning. It hadn’t left the leafy gravel driveway of Mercuryvapour Towers since Friday, especially since we had to sack the chauffeur thanks to social isolation. I joined him, because I wanted to see something other than the artexed walls of the kitchen. Technically this trip out is allowed, as I went into a shop in Blackhall to pick up some essentials. 8 cans of coke, a bag of Haribos, packet of beefy Space Raiders, and some apples to balance everything else out. The search for a fresh loaf of bread continues.

And this is where you see me now. I watched the local news. Lots of camera shots of deserted streets, and news reporters with extended microphones patronising the local residents. One woman was asked why herself and her husband were out. She said she didn’t know. Suppose if you don’t have a telly or the internet, you wouldn’t. And especially how we’ve been told to distance ourselves from other disgusting horrible filthy human beings.

Never fear, as the government have sent text messages to all of our phones. To be fair, if you’re out and about now, you’re not going to be taking any notice of this now, are you?

Myyyy Corona!

I don’t really have any need to leave the house at the moment anyway. The charity shops are closed, Maccy D’s has closed. I’ve let my Pokemon Go day streak lapse, so there’s not even any point of walking to any of the nearby pokestops.

So, tonight I’ve been playing records. And I’m quite aware that Days 3 and 4 have been posted within minutes of each other, but I doubt anyone is reading this tripe anyway. As you were!

Day 3 – there’s going to be a lot of days like this

You’ll probably find there’s some days where I don’t do updates. You can safely assume that the day is going to be a carbon copy of what today was.

Woke up early, went downstairs to work. Stayed there until my dinner at 11. I broke protocol by going down to the butchers, in the hope of finding something edible, and there were warm pork pies. Spot on. So, that was dinner. I got talking to the lovely lady behind the counter, and found that they did deliveries for anyone in dire need in the local area. She handed me their business card, and she would be the last person other than Daddykins I would see that day. They also took card payments, which I didn’t know. Hurrah for contactless. I returned home to pouch on my porcine pastry

That was pretty much it. Returned home, and completed my work shift. I finished work, and went straight to bed. I was that bored.

I was awoken by my tablets. I’ll leave it at that. It wasn’t pleasant.

I then went downstairs, and found that the country was on full lockdown. Oh, nice. Of course, this made Boris Johnson the first person to officially end the DFS sale.