Isolation day 24

I keep meaning to share this gem of science, and forgetting, so I am going to lead with it. The eternal conversation about the superior side on which to hang a toilet roll has definitively been settled. University tests show that having the roll hanging down on the side away from the wall — the “away side” — is the way to go. (This conclusion was reported in Lifehacker; the institution in this case is the University of Colorado. However these findings were published, if they were, they are referred to in the Lifehacker piece only as a “study”. The conclusion does not seem based on empirical evidence — although I might have that the wrong way around.)

Anyway, what was the reasoning behind this recommendation? If the roll is hung on the wall side, there is a greater possibility, when someone tears off a section of the roll, that the hand thus occupied could brush the wall. If that hand is contaminated, bacteria could transfer to the wall. Once there, they could transfer to any hands which brush the wall in future. Seems reasonable! Of course, washing one’s hands after using the toilet — for 20 seconds, as as we all do— would presumably remove any such contamination. However, to avoid a hazard in the first place is usually a good idea. 

This was a day on which a lot of unconnected things happened. One which I was looking forward to was the first ever Zoom meeting of my regular coffee get-together. A couple of people had trouble connecting, particularly for sound. As the person who had blithely suggested we transfer to the digital realm, I felt as if I’d bitten off way more than I could chew. In spite of calling the people affected, nothing I suggested seemed to work. However, the problems resolved themselves. People seemed to enjoy chatting and catching up. Meetings using the free version of Zoom are only supposed to go for forty minutes, but they kindly gave us unlimited time. (No doubt they hope to encourage us to shell out for the full-strength version.) Anyway, the get-together continued for over an hour. As the person who had set up the meeting, it was within my power to bring it to an end. After I finally did so, feeling like a party pooper, a message showed up promising the same largesse if we scheduled the next meeting NOW. I obediently did so.

Coincidentally we also had our gardener over to get rid of of some ivy and clear the gutters. (Social distancing was maintained at all times, and the usual coffee break was foregone.) His arrival preceded the group chat, and overlapped with it. When he had finished, however, I slipped away from the camera for a few minutes to bid him farewell. (I gave him also a packet of muesli bars with which to fuel the rest of his day.) The courtyard now looks presentable, and a hoya plant which had been disappearing from view has at least a fighting chance.)

Interspersed with this was a ring on the doorbell. My Basic Box of groceries, ordered after some humming and haa-ing, had arrived from Woolies. (Actually it was packaged in two boxes — but who’s counting?) This was a decent assortment of pantry staples — pasta, pasta sauce, tinned fruit and fish, a box of oats, jar of jam, and so on. (There were some nice chocolate wafers as well.) The Basic selection will handily supplement the fruit and vegetables we bought this afternoon, and the more specialised groceries that we will get tomorrow.

Throughout all this excitement my beloved kept working away in the meals area. Last night I had the idea that, if she turned her workstation (our dining table) around 180 degrees, she would be warmer on two counts — first, for being closer to the heating vent, and second, without having a glass door at her back. The new location will incidentally have the advantage of a better view, looking through the said glass door onto the courtyard. I was getting ready to carry out this project this morning, when she told me she had already done it — you go, girl! She kept her head down until a break for lunch, followed by a bath and a quick trip in the car to Ashburton for fruit and veges.

On our way back from that modest outing, we had a moment of a kind that only occurs between people who know each other well. We were chatting about my previous trips to Ashburton. On these occasions it was my habit also to browse around some op shops, then go for a coffee and a bun. I acknowledged these last indulgences had been perhaps too frequent for the sake of my silhouette. The discussion then turned to a couple of shirts I had ordered online from a well-known Melbourne gentlemen’s outfitter — during their Easter sale, of course! My beloved observed sensibly that, if I had not ordered the Extra Large size in these garments, I could exchange them for bigger ones. When I had recovered my composure, I was able to assure her that XL had been the size selected.

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