Tutorial

Isolated at home - discussion

Isolated at home - discussion
Userlevel 7
Badge +2

I have been provoked to start this Topic by new Forum Member @Paschale Straiton who was responding to another discussion about Energy Bills during the Covid-19 emergency.

Paschale wrote:

I’m a self employed street theatre performer, linked to the events industry and my boyfriend has just started a street food business so we’re both out business, for the next 6 months or more most likely.  So like many, many others with no financial security, we’re likely to be in a tricky situation regarding bills pretty soon.

Now that’s a highly relevant point…. and certainly worthy of us starting a new Topic.

Whatever happens over the next few months, the effects of both the Coronavirus outbreak and Brexit mean that we are going to emerge into a society which is fundamentally changed.

Like the wake-up call to the Climate Emergency in Spring 2019, our outlook on life will be different.

We can use these periods of self-imposed isolation to worry about our future, or we can do something about it.

I favour the second alternative. It’s unhealthy to live “under the circumstances”. We should instead try to change those circumstances, and create a future which is better than it would otherwise have been.

For myself, I tend to pick up new skill sets. In the past 2 years I have

  • learned to design electronics operated by Arduino micro-controllers
  • learned to plaster a wall
  • learned how the Smart Meter system works

So I’ve already got items at home, ready for me to add yet more skills and knowledge to my armoury:

  • teach myself and my 2-year-old to make scones
  • learn how to Tig-weld
  • learn how to pebble-dash a wall
  • learn how to paint with acrylics

And if anyone has a suitable/simple scone recipe, then please post it here!

 

In the case of Paschale, both she and her boyfriend come from a background that is essentially creative and entrepreneurial. That’s a fantastic starting point from which to shape the future.

In the short-term there are jobs in the UK for which we have too few workers and those from Eastern Europe can’t travel here to help us out.

A: Fruit & vegetable picking. Strawberries and new-potatoes come to mind, and those who are picking will in any case be over 2m apart and be required to wash their hands!

B: Visiting homes with pre-payment meters that need topping up when the house occupants are quarantined. Not sure who will do this, but BEIS have just announced it, so look out for short-term job adverts!

C: Once someone has had Covid-19 and has immunity from re-infection, then I’m sure many there will be hundreds of care-workers needed. Personally I love the idea of a care home having someone from a theatrical background to work there for a few months :clown:

I’ll pause there and see what others think.

 


55 replies

Thanks @Transparent. Yes many of my fellow colleagues are already working out how we can share our skills with the public and care work is likely to be a popular avenue. I agree that we absolutely have to stay positive. There will most certainly be grief and hardship for us all, but I  think that we can take some solace from the fact that communities are already rallying together to support the more vulnerable people in society. 

I’ve been helping to spread information about some brilliant organisations out there that are really well placed to help people across the country stay creative and would like some virtual company to do so - so here is some information about some of them:


64 MILLION ARTISTS offer a great example of FREE CREATIVE ONLINE COMMUNITY BUILDING and are kick starting #CreateToConnect, two weeks of fun, free creative challenges starting from Monday 23 March. This is designed for anyone who is at home and wanting a creative boost to their wellbeing and to connect with others. Sign up HERE

VOLUNTARY ARTS is launching #CREATIVE NETWORK - a daily online get-together open to anyone involved in arts, culture and creativity who would welcome the opportunity to talk to others about dealing with the current situation, challenges of working from home. These get-togethers are starting on Tuesday 17 March, head to their TWITTER to double-check the daily time slots.

 

Thanks for the tips around fruit picking and potential jobs from energy companies. I think that the Post Office and supermarkets may well be needing a few extra hands too. 

All the best, 

Paschale 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Those projects look great @Paschale Straiton Thanks for providing them here… and for being so quick to pick up how the Forum links work! :slight_smile:

So you and your colleagues in the arts community are brilliant at thinking up ideas and finding ways to implement them.

What I’m concerned about is how you’re going to pay your bills during the next few months. Offering free online creative workshops won’t put food on the table! :curry:

Even after we emerge from the pandemic, Brexit will be fast upon us, and government grants for arts are unlikely to be a high priority.

As I see it, there are two issues:

a: what work can artistic people do until autumn which will earn money?

b: what skills can I pick up now (whilst at home in isolation) which the country will need next year?

 

We’re going to need a strategy similar to that which emerged in post-war Britain. Those returning from fighting couldn’t just return to their original jobs. But there were lots of new opportunities which emerged from the chaos.

In the UK, we do tend to excel in technological innovation. But that also requires artistic input before it becomes publicly accessible. A good example are the Westfield autonomous electric pods being introduced into the Lake District:

 

On a much smaller scale, let me pick up what I mentioned above about Arduino micro-controllers. These are cheap single-board devices which can drive LED lights, motors and a host of other items. They are readily available from the likes of Sparkfun or direct from Chinese suppliers via AliExpress.

Once you’ve understood the basics, which takes a couple of days, then you can build them into whatever you want. And that includes sewing them into clothing.

I don’t know if they do actually use Arduino devices, but have a look at Light Balance on YouTube to get an idea of what’s possible.

 

So why mention that now?

Well being able to build stuff using Arduino controllers is a very transferable skill. There are manufacturers in the UK who would quickly snap up such people to join their workforce. You might find yourself building a mini-submarine or a device for automatically harvesting vegetables, for example.

That would add a fascinating skill-set to people who later deploy it in artistic scenarios.

Oh… and that means you can earn money in the meantime. Good eh?

All really good thinking @Transparent

Of course artists and creatives of all descriptions are going to have to use their inherent flexibility to earn. There is so much potential for seismic change in terms of social connectivity, sustainability and sharing. 

Those pods and Light Balance are fantastic - as you say creativity will be needed to help smooth the resistance to new, forward thinking technologies. I’ll do some investigating...

Hope to be back in touch soon with some positive outcomes! In the meantime I might make the most of Future Learn...

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I have been using this time to catch up on a huge backlog of video games before the next gen consoles are released 😂 Now Doom Eternal is released this has only added another game to my collection. 

 

 

With everyone self isolating. It has been nice and quiet taking the dog in the fields for her walks. Unfortunately self isolating a lurcher is very hard as they need a lot of walks :-(

 

 

 

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Bah!  Typical Generation-Y!  :confounded:

When the Government said we were in a battle scenario against an indiscriminate viral attack, they weren’t thinking of Doom Eternal ~ nor any virtual conquest for that matter!

I forked the other Topic about Coronavirus so that we could discuss here ways for certain sections of the population to be able to earn an income whilst their usual mode of employment was unavailable.

Now I’m pondering how video-games and dog-walking are going to provide a revenue stream for those whose skills are suddenly deemed non-essential or a threat to society.

:face_palm_tone2:

[/rant]

I don’t know what sort of IT Project work you’re currently doing @ITGeek123 - but is it one which will still be required in a year’s time when we emerge from Covid-19 and Brexit?

What about the concept of automated vegetable/fruit harvesting I mentioned above? Does your IT knowledge stretch that far?

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

@Transparent 

I'm actually a millennial ( I think) 1992 baby 👍

At the moment I am in a very laid back and chilling mode. Unfortunately I have to be in the mood or enthusiastic when it comes to learning new things IT.

this is where video games come in handy and help waste my days better haha

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Well, yes @ITGeek123  you’re a Millennial if you divide generational characteristics according to American ideas. But Millennial breaks down into Generation-Y and i-Gen.

Gen-Y tend to value the opinions of their peers more than hard facts. i_Gen are likely to check out what’s actually true. (Think what’s happened about “Climate Change” recently).

Gen-Y show less respect for older people with greater knowledge/wisdom. In the workplace they see nothing wrong with contradicting a more senior colleague. This makes for great TV (The Apprentice is an excellent example - where overly self-centred upstarts tell Sir Alan how to run a business). Understandably it makes them nightmare employees!

i-Gen can retain contradictory facts as being valid. At school they would fail to interrupt a science teacher who told them that earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago, despite hearing in the previous RE lesson that it was merely a few thousand years old. But that characteristic also enables them to more quickly evaluate alternative scientific theories, such as you’d find in sub-atomic physics.

 

Anyways… moving back on subject, we’ve had some teenage girls join our household this weekend:

 

@ITGeek123 may be less than impressed, but they’ll produce a lot more eggs than his lurcher ever will! :slight_smile:

Userlevel 7

@ITGeek123 you just got pelted with a lot of ‘Gen-Y’ flak. Battle stations ding ding ding

 

Dog walking is actually not a bad shout. With some people unable to leave the house with pets, dog walking might be a very useful tool for people…..

 

 

 

^ These are beautiful! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

@ITGeek123 you just got pelted with a lot of ‘Gen-Y’ flak. Battle stations ding ding ding

 

Dog walking is actually not a bad shout. With some people unable to leave the house with pets, dog walking might be a very useful tool for people…..

 

 

 

^ These are beautiful! 

It's ok. I'll let it slide this time haha.

Working from home I am being productive while waiting for helpdesk tickets to pop in by expanding my knowledge on Amazon AWS. Obviously very hard to sit down and concentrate while my partner is off on maternity leave too. With a baby crying it's hard to focus on things like this.

Userlevel 7

Obviously very hard to sit down and concentrate while my partner is off on maternity leave too. With a baby crying it's hard to focus on things like this.

 

Wow yes I can imagine volumes might be high - that’s a whopping silver lining to a lockdown though!

 

Any other stories from people’s ‘stay at home’ days? 

 

How about series recommendations - I heard that True Detective is a must watch… Anything good on Youtube I can watch for free?

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

If you want to find video games suitable for the current global virus attack, I would’ve thought “The Last of Us” would provide a wealth of practical advice! :wink:

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

So, has anyone else signed up to be an NHS Volunteer yet?

If so, what are you up to?

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Nice looking chickens @Transparent. Speaking of chickens. I recently visited a local farmer who sells free range eggs. But recently he sells fresh milk, bacon, vegetable box and more. It’s all within a vending machine. You enter the number, pay via contactless and take your items. 

Egg Machine 

This is an excellent idea. The farmer noticed my Leaf and we got talking, he currently owns several Nissan E-NV200 vans for his colleagues to deliver. Just goes to show EV is the future and even local farmers are choosing to go this way. :smile:

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Two decades before you were born @ITGeek123 a Devon-based inventor called Harold Bates actually ran his car from chickens…

well, more precisely he ran it on the methane produced from a bio-digester he designed and built, which was fueled with chicken manure!

Today, of course, he wouldn’t be permitted to do that. The insurance industry would soon stop any useful developments from taking to the road. :tired_face:

And if you think Mr Bates bears more than a striking resemblance to Doc Emmet Brown in Back to the Future, then you’re not alone! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

I’m relocating the following bits from over here on a different Topic, which wasn’t such an appropriate location:

As of last week, @ITGeek123 I think half the country doesn’t know what they do for work!

I’m a self-builder. I’m doing a large-scale renovation of a 1930’s farmhouse, to which I’ve added a contemporary extension. But more importantly, I’m taking the opportunity to test and incorporate all sorts of energy-related features.

 

to which @ITGeek123 replied:

@Transparent is this your home? If so, it's beautiful! There's me in a 2 bedroom terraced house 😂

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Yes that is my home.

… still a “work in progress” but getting there.

And here’s a couple of shots inside two of my three workshops:

 

So @ITGeek123 whilst we’re sitting at home considering imminent Doom

… is a 2-bedroomed house in S.E. England where you wish to remain?

Coz, if not, then these next few weeks/months might be usefully spent evaluating the options.

 

Living in high density towns/cities might be considered less attractive once we emerge the other side of Covid-19. At the time of writing (26th March) we are just starting to wonder if antibodies from any potential vaccine will give us immunity, and for how long.

After all, the common cold is a coronavirus, and it’s been decades since we started looking for a cure.

Is this perhaps the moment of realisation when we have to rethink how we live, and in what style of houses?

Might we be better off living in small groups of (self-build) houses with a community-based heating plant running under-floor heating from a mix of renewable energy sources?

Should we be deliberately occupying such “hamlets” with a mix of different skill sets who can work together for the common good. Is the IT specialist worth any more or less than the family with the knowledge to grow the fruit and veg?

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

@Transparent 

I mean, Living in Kent is nice. I live outside of the town which means I can enjoy a lot more of the country side. With loads of fields to walk through with my dog, it’s nice to empty my head and escape from reality.

As for the Covid-19 virus. I refuse to follow the news, read any articles because all the media will do is scare monger people and make the situation worse. Hence the panic buying people have been doing:face_palm:  I am comfortable working from home, playing video games and going for walks for now. 

Userlevel 7

Two decades before you were born @ITGeek123 a Devon-based inventor called Harold Bates actually ran his car from chickens…

well, more precisely he ran it on the methane produced from a bio-digester he designed and built, which was fueled with chicken manure!

Today, of course, he wouldn’t be permitted to do that. The insurance industry would soon stop any useful developments from taking to the road. :tired_face:

And if you think Mr Bates bears more than a striking resemblance to Doc Emmet Brown in Back to the Future, then you’re not alone! 

 

Sorry to bring it back, but this is hilarious! It totally is a real life Doc Emmet Brown :joy:

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

So here’s another suggestion for those with families having to stay at home over the Easter holiday:

Instead of entertainment through a video screen, what about playing some of the excellent table-games which have been released over the past few years?

One that I favour is Saboteur, published by Z-Man Games.

The rules are basic, enabling a 7-year old to play with adults. Each player takes on the role of a miner.

There are no dice. It requires strategy and risk.

The game involves taking turns to lay down cards which form a continuous tunnel towards three target cards, one of which will yield up a golden nugget.

Unknown to the players, when the cards were originally dealt out, one or two of them may have been designated saboteurs. The saboteurs win the round if they can prevent the miners from reaching the gold.

I have sometimes changed the game, removing certain cards from the pack to favour younger players or to encourage more collaborative play. Each family can decide for themselves what modifications they might wish to apply.

I originally bought the French version of the game because it was a better price and came with the extension, Saboteur-2. A photocopy of the rules in English was helpfully included! The only word which features on the playing cards is “Saboteur”. So feel free to buy whatever language pack is the better bargain!

The rules in English are available online here.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

It’s not often I play board games. But when I do, I do like to play Zombie Fluxx. Nice and simple for someone like myself haha 

https://www.looneylabs.com/games/zombie-fluxx 

There are many decks to collect. Or something I haven’t managed to get around playing with friends is D&D.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Oh, yes! Fluxx is great. And it’s also easily payable with children in the family.

My personal favourite version is Pirate Fluxx:

 

Userlevel 7

I’ve heard that ‘Ticket to ride’ is a great board game!

 

It’s all about trains, but it is fun

 

Scrabble tonight though 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Ticket to ride’ is indeed another great family game @Tim_OVO :slight_smile:

When I’m looking for such table games, there’s no better way than to consult the winners list of Spiel des Jahres (Game of the year), which is judged annually in Germany.

Their table games market is much more mature than ours here in the UK. It is quite common to find groups of young adults in a German bar for the evening, gathered around tables where these games are played and tactics discussed.

Ticket to Ride won Spiel des Jahres in 2004.

It is almost always the case that winners and nominees for Spiel des Jahres have YouTube entries giving you the basics of game-play before you decide whether to buy.

Here, for example is a video-link to one of my all-time favourites, the 1995 winner, Settlers of Catan.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I see a lot of board games becoming available here. Do I hear Game board night over OVO office :smile:

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Given the age-range of the majority of OVO employees, they are typical of the user-group most likely to participate in these well-designed table games (a high percentage don’t actually have a “board”).

If I was an employee, I’d be suggesting a 2nd-hand Table-Game “shop” based in the Atrium. It’s tricky to run it as a lending-library because the loss of one small piece could change the odds against a player, for example.

But with a 2nd-hand market, the onus is on the owner to look after it because only intact games could be offered back to the “shop”.

Proceeds could go towards one or two of those projects being supported by the OVO Foundation perhaps?

Reply