TradeShark Diary, 16th June 2020

Nick Kyrgios has accused the United States Tennis Association of being selfish by going ahead with the tournament from the 31st August. New York’s governer Andrew Cuomo has given clearance for the tournament to go ahead behind closed doors.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/53061192

The US Open will go ahead behind closed doors, says New York governor Cuomo.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/jun/16/nick-kyrgios-slams-us-open-tennis

Here is a decent round up of what has been cancelled and what’s coming up.

https://www.skysports.com/tennis/news/12110/12008554/how-is-coronavirus-affecting-tennis

Another quiet one yesterday. I hardly saw any news but the BLM protests seem to have gone off the boil. The feeling seems to be that the type of protests are probably putting equal rights back a few years. On the dog walk last night where two paths converge there was a guy coming towards me who was chatting on his phone. I got to the “junction” a little before him and could listen to some of his conversation. He was walking fairly slowly so he wasn’t within earshot for long but he seemed to be saying that the BLM protests were racist against gypsies. I must admit I slowed down a little to try and work out what the fuck he was talking about but when his conversation became very aggressive very quickly I dropped down a gear and pulled away.

There have been more weirdos around late at night. Charlie is a very good judge of character. He’s also a bit of a twat. I swear sometimes he looks at me as if to say, “Hey dad, watch this!” before he lunges at someone. It’s always teenagers who are acting like pricks. I am also convinced that he knows perfectly well that he can’t get to them as he is on a lead.

The duct tape turned up quite early. I love Amazon! I had a go at fixing the umbrella. After a couple of failed attempts I found a strong strip of metal in the shed which made a decent splint for the piece that had snapped. The repair withstood two stern tests when the umbrella blew over. The second time was when the thunderstorm started late in the evening. The wind was pretty fierce and actually lifted the umbrella up and down to the bottom of the garden knocking off a couple of hanging baskets along the way.

I had gone inside once the rain started. Our neighbour shouted over the fence to ask Sue if she was going to watch the storm. Sue loves a thunderstorm. Personally I think once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. Our neighbour sounded very excited and said that she was tracking 4 storms on her storm tracking app and that we were right in the middle of all of them. Fuck me I thought I was boring.

After the storm had died down Sue kept going on about how the storm was weird.

“How was it weird?”

“That wind was savage! I’ve never known wind like that in a thunderstorm and why was it ice cold rain? That’s never right!”

According to wikipedia, “Thunderstorms occur in a type of cloud known as a cumulonimbus. They are usually accompanied by strong winds, and often produce heavy rain and sometimes snow, sleet, or hail, but some thunderstorms produce little precipitation or no precipitation at all.”

I said that when I was rescuing the umbrella that the rain hadn’t seemed cold at all. She insisted that it was ice cold so I didn’t argue. She also said that the rain would mean there wouldn’t be any risk of a drought happening. I really should let these things go. I didn’t. I made a comment that 30 minutes of rain would not affect the chance of drought at all. Later that evening she showed me a video of some flash flooding in Ombersley which isn’t far from us.

TradeShark Diary, 16th June 2020 1

I was trying to figure out why my MI band (cheap fitbit) wasn’t telling me how long I had slept for. I found a setting that warns you if you have been inactive for too long. I set it for 1 hour. The wrist band vibrates and there is a message on the little screen. That could be very useful when tennis returns as I can often sit for hours without a break. I have until August to train myself not to simply tell the wrist band to fuck off when the alarm starts.

Stay safe.

   
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TradeShark Diary, The REAL 15th June 2020

I seem to have cocked the dates up a little. Really yesterday’s post should have been dated the 14th!

The delivery “window” for the gravel was 7:30 to 4:30. They didn’t put much effort into that window prediction. Rain had been forecast for later in the day so I was hoping for an early drop. By 3 pm it still hadn’t arrived and I was starting to think it wasn’t coming. Ten minutes later the truck pulled up outside. We were his last delivery of the day. The delivery was hassle free. The guy had to block the street for a few minutes but craned the bulk bag to exactly where I asked. That was the easy bit. 850kg of stone to move with a shovel. There was no sign of the rain and the sun was pretty hot. I cracked on with it and an hour and a half later I had moved almost the full load. The bit that was left was going in the back garden so I dragged the bag down the side of the house and through the back gate.

Diary

During the hour and a half I took 3 breaks. I didn’t want to get dehydrated plus it was bloody hard work! Sue was sitting in the back garden. When I sat down for the second time she said surely it was nearly done by now! Sorry if I’m not working fast enough while you sit on your arse drinking wine. That last bit was my internal dialogue. You have to bite your tongue in lockdown. I ignored her. When I took my last break I was pretty knackered. This time she asked me why I was breathing heavily. Are you for real?? That probably should also have been an internal comment but I was fucked and pissed off and she’s asking me why I’m breathing heavily.

I told her that I would bring the leftover stones to the back garden and she could spread it. There was probably 10 to 15kg of stone in the bag. She went to look at the front garden and said we needed to finish the front before we did the back garden. You could still see the black sheet in places. Having explained through clenched teeth that I still needed to spread the gravel with the rake and tidy up the edges I also explained that if she thought it was so bloody easy she could do that little job in the back. I just left her to it.

Half an hour later I was finished in the front. I had tidied all the edges and it looked pretty good. I went into the back garden. Sue was sitting down. I apologised for snapping at her. Now Sue’s almost never wrong. Her words, not mine although she didn’t use the word “almost”. Once she decides how something is, that’s it. However this was one of the rare occasions. Having shifted the 15kg of gravel she was knackered. Her tune changed a little.

“You’ve worked SO hard to get that done. It looks amazing. I can’t believe was a difference it makes.”

She was banging on about it for the rest of the evening and the last thing I remember before I fell asleep was her saying how hard I had worked and how pleased she was with the garden. It’s all or nothing with her sometimes. I woke up around 3 am with her digging her elbow into my shoulder saying, “you’re snoring! Lie on your side”. Ah the old Sue’s back.

During her exhausting afternoon in the garden she managed to break the umbrella/parasol. God knows how. All she had to do was wind the handle to put the umbrella up. One of the support arms snapped. I looked for a new one on Amazon. I had also been looking for more garden chairs as our daughter and the kids are going to come to sit in the garden on Fridays when Ella finishes school at 12. Prices seem to have gone up quite a bit. I guess people are spending more time in their gardens so they’ll pay the extra. The set of 2 chairs and a bistro glass top table that I bought last year was now over 250 quid. As a Yorkshireman if I had paid 250 for it I would remember. I would still be in counselling for it.

I found some chairs that seem to be decent quality without a silly price tag. I found an umbrella for 50. I was happy with that but Sue said it was too much. She wants me to try to fix the old one before getting a new one so I ordered some black duct tape. I think she feels guilty for breaking it.

That was pretty much our day. After we had eaten we watched Coronation Street and Sue went to watch a film in bed. I had a couple of episodes of “60 days in” to watch. I took the dogs out and joined her in bed.

Stay safe.

   
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