Week 16: Shopping
- I cycled up to the City of London on my lunch break on Wednesday. My quest
was to get an international stamp from a post office and to pay a cheque into
the bank. Being in the city was much like being there at the weekend, mostly
deserted and very pleasant to cycle around, though I seemingly hit more than
my fair share of red lights. I could have achieved both of my goals closer to
home, but fancied the excuse to stretch my legs and by going into the city I
was able to achieve both of them without standing in any queues or coming
into contact with anyone that wasn’t behind a plexiglass screen.
- One item that has proved elusive while shopping during lockdown, which unlike
most other things can’t be easily substituted, is strong white bread flour.
The sourdough starter, which has been alive since way before this all kicked
off, has been getting more desperate for supplies. We’d found a mill who
would ship us some of the good stuff, the only challenge is like lots of the
internet they now have a virtual queuing system. Trying to get a slot
however, was proving challenging.
- So I decided to automate the queue search for us. I knocked together a
Lambda which polled the page on a regular interval and then send a SMS
through twilio if a slot came available. The first day nothing came through,
the first night we got a number of notifications in the small hours.
Unfortunately due to do not disturb we didn’t notice until the next morning
when they’d all gone again. So the next night I disabled do not disturb and
at 2:00am I was up and at my computer getting my slot to order some bread
- I assume this is how everyone is shopping now during the lockdown?
- I cleaned the outside windows this week. I never really notice that the
windows are dirty until I clean them and then I’m amazed I’ve lived for so
long without cleaning them. Outside looks so much more vibrant now. I should
probably put something in the calendar to remind me to do it again before I
leave it too long again.
- I assume window cleaning anecdotes is what you were read these week notes
- At the weekend I went out on my bike and cycled past Alice’s to say hello
from the end of her front garden. Seeing a friendly face not at the end of a
webcam was the best. We could have a conversation without awkwardly starting
to talk over each other every 30 seconds.