Saturday, 30 May 2020

My 2nd favourite place

Early this morning we went to the Marshes (our local nature reserve) for the first time in months, it's been open for local residents who live within walking distance (we don't), but the car parks, hides and toilets were all closed.  They've reopened the car parks but not the hides or toilets.  We got there just before 08.30, even then there were quite a few cars in the various car parks.  However, we saw hardly any people (it does cover a very big area, including the beach) - there were 2 couples walking in the far distance, and 2 cyclists and a jogger passed by us and that was it as far as people were concerned.  The car park we used was empty. 

Had a really lovely hour's walk, Betty had a fantastic time too, she likes  to throw herself down in the long grass verges and roll around on her back, and the front half of her body is always disappearing into the undergrowth when she hears a noise or smells something interesting.  A few photos:-

Shows how hot and dry it's been, the last time we went (early March) this area was under a couple of inches of water - the tide comes in from the Bristol channel twice a day

Pair of swans and 4 babies.  There were several coot families too, they all kept diving under the water so difficult to photograph them.  Several swallows swooping down and taking insects off the water too - no chance of me getting photos of those

Crowds (!!) in the distance heading for the beach

Cows and a nice 😝 view of the power station (Hinkley Point) on the horizon

And finally, a couple of bums

We saw reed buntings and skylarks - well, more heard than seen in the case of the skylarks, they have such a beautiful song.  There's one thing I would have loved to take a photo of - a red kite soaring way up overhead, it's the first time we've seen one round here.  I had heard they'd been seen in the area over the past couple of months but hadn't seen any ourselves up till now.  My phone cam is nowhere near good enough to take a photo of a kite way up in the sky though, even with zoom it would still have been just a speck.  Lovely morning.

Another nice chiropodist rang me a few days ago, she's allowed to start working again from Monday (she works from a hairdressers salon, but the hairdressers aren't allowed back yet).  She has to wear full PPE - she always wore gloves and a mask anyway, but will also be wearing a full apron and a face screen from now on.  Customers have to wear mask and gloves too, she will supply them if they don't have any, and she's operating a strict one in, one out policy - you have to wait outside the salon until the previous customer has left.  I had an appointment booked in late March, obviously she had to cancel it and I can now go on Monday afternoon - brilliant, pedicure and foot massage to look forward to.  She apologised for the fact that she's had to put her prices up by £5, due to the cost of PPE rising so much - someone (not her) is clearly profiteering - she said as an example the gloves she uses were £12.99 + VAT per box prior to Covid, now they're £50 + VAT!!

Friday, 29 May 2020

Hot and drippy

I know I shouldn't complain, but I really don't like this heat, makes me feel listless and headachey.  I take after my Mum, she couldn't take hot weather either.  We lived in Gibraltar for a couple of years when I was a child (Dad was in the RAF and was stationed there), I remember the very first time we spent the day on the beach, Mum got sunstroke and had to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

After my week or so of feeling generally unwell, I do feel better's just that the heat is draining me.  I try to get jobs done in the mornings, as I'm fit for nothing come the afternoon when it's hottest.  The dog and I lie down in a darkened room (she can't take the heat either), whilst husband is out in the garden working or stretched out dozing on his sun lounger.  He's as brown as a nut, whilst I'm still pale (and not even interesting!), apart from the odd pink bit where I've caught the sun whilst putting washing on the line or doing a bit of deadheading.  Oh, and then there's the heat rash all over my feet and ankles....very attractive 😒 (and itchy).

We're forecast to have the hot weather for at least the next week - am I the only one who thinks 'oh no'?  And the garden desperately needs some rain....we do water every day, but the plants do so much better with rain rather than tap water.

So Boris has now said we can have up to 6 people in our gardens from Monday, which will be nice.  Socially distanced still - no hugging, sadly.  Oh I can't wait to be able to hug people.  I'd love to be able to go and see my sister and 2 brothers, but we can't as yet - it's just too far to drive there and back in a day (as overnight stays aren't allowed yet).  Even if we could, it's just not doable anyway seeing as we wouldn't be allowed inside to go to the loo!  I know we're able to drive further now for exercise, picnics and even some shop visits, but the fact that public loos aren't open makes it impractical.  And the virus is still out there, it's not gone away yet, so I'm still very wary of going anywhere where it might be busy.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Getting arty

I've not been very well for several days, hence the lack of posts.  You're all safe, I'm not infecting anyone, it's not the virus - well, it could be 'A' virus, I suppose, but it's not 'THE' virus.  Actually, I don't even think it's a virus, I reckon it's a diabetic thing.  For the past few months I've started to have some diabetic complications, a few different ones....I've been diabetic for about 9 years now, so it's not surprising I guess.  It's generally well controlled, but my control has slipped a bit over the past year and my BG has risen, I think stress and anxiety has a lot to do with that.  The specialist I had my phone consultation with last week is referring me for a scan and some tests, no idea when that will be though.  Anyway, I've been like a limp rag, worn out, no energy or enthusiasm, random aches and pains, just generally feeling yuck.  I did feel a little better when I got up this morning, just as well as I needed to go shopping.  We went early as usual (husband stayed in the car), Sainsburys was fine, no queue outside, hardly anybody inside, only 1 person in front of me at the checkout.  There was a big queue outside waiting to get in when I came out, though.  By the time we'd got home and I started unpacking the shopping, I was shattered and had to go and lie down, husband finished putting the shopping away.  I've done nothing much since, we're having a bacon and leek pasta bake out of the freezer for dinner, with some frozen veg, so nothing to do there.

I did go up in my craft room for an hour, to practise a new technique for doing a card background.  I must say thank you to Cherie (North Yorkshire's Craft Guru) for introducing me to this, Cherie, you put a link on your blog a few days ago to a YouTube video, a crafting lady showing how to draw various things like birds, she's called Barbara Gray and has a craft supplies company, she apparently does presentations on one of the crafting shopping channels (I've not seen one as yet), as well as on Facebook.  She also has a blog (called, which is lovely, a mixture of card crafting and life.  And she's really funny and down to earth.

Anyway, she gives clear instructions for what she calls her 'doodles' - very clever calling it doodling, rather than drawing or painting - it makes it much less intimidating for those of us who aren't gifted artists - anybody can doodle, right?  Following her instructions for drawing birds, I drew them within seconds - who knew it could be so easy?!  Glancing through her blog, I came across a post showing a technique for making an abstract background for a card and thought that looks interesting, so I gave it a go this afternoon.  Wow, it's brilliant, I love the effect and it's so easy and fun.  I'll do a bit more practising and show the results on my card blog in a few days.  Basically, it involves using ink pads to stamp randomly on card, then brush over the results with some water to blur all the colours, then carefully press a blank card onto the wet ink, giving you a lovely abstract pattern on your card blank.  So I've learnt two new card decorating techniques in the space of an hour.

My laptop is a big problem, I don't know what to do about it.  The new battery isn't charging....that indicates it's a problem with the charger I suppose, not the battery.  However, as I said before, the machine is still overheating randomly, very much so, and I don't know if the charger being knackered (I know how it feels) would cause that.  It was suggested that I buy a new charger, but I don't really want to throw any more money at the machine if it turns out that it's not the charger causing the problem either.  Basically, I need someone to have a look at it and diagnose the problem and be guided by them.  I don't feel up to dealing with it at the moment though.

Husband has bought me a new Fire tablet - I already have one, a small old one which was only really suitable for reading books, so he's got me a bigger and better one, as an anniversary present (it's our anniversary tomorrow).  It's fine for what it is, but does have limitations - I wouldn't be happy doing banking on it, eg, and don't like typing on it, although it's perfectly good for reading emails (and sending short replies), blogs and FB.  It'll do for now, it's filled the gap left by the laptop and I'm pleased to have it.  

Friday, 22 May 2020

Some good, some not so

Well, after psyching myself up and watching the instruction video on Youtube my friend sent me the link to, several times, I changed the battery in my laptop.  Had a few minor problems, but it was actually fairly straightforward and didn't take long.'s not cured the problem.  So maybe it wasn't the battery after all.  Bugger.

I'm lost, I have no idea what's wrong with it (the battery still won't charge, the laptop overheats and the fan is in overdrive all the time).  Friend suggested it could be the charger - well I guess that's logical, seeing as the battery won't charge, but would that make the laptop overheat?

I can only use it for short periods of time as my friend suggested it could catch fire 😮, so am paranoid about it now.  The computer repair shop is currently closed, so until I can take it somewhere to be looked at, there's nothing much I can do.  I do have my phone and a cheap Amazon Fire tablet I can use for internet stuff, but they're both a bit limited.  Never mind, it's better than nothing.

We've been eating out of the freezer this week, the big upright freezer needs defrosting - mistake on my part last weekend, I hadn't pushed one of the drawers in far enough, and it prevented the freezer door from closing properly, so got all iced up....luckily not too bad, I discovered it just a few hours later.  As luck would have it, the freezer is pretty well as meat and veg, there are lots of ready meals I'd made and frozen.  So all week we've had something out of the freezer every day - handy, as I've not been feeling too good and it's saved me cooking, I've only had to do some veg to go with the ready meal each day - sometimes frozen veg so no prep needed at all.  I'm really glad I made and froze so many meals, it's been so helpful this week.

I've got a phone consultation with a specialist today, for a new health problem that arose about a month ago, I feel very fortunate that a) I've got the appointment very quickly, and b) that I don't have to go to the hospital to be seen.  Hospital is not a place I particularly want to go under the present circumstances.  No idea how it can be sorted out over the phone, but at least it's a start.

Raining a bit right now, which is good as the garden really needs it, the plants always do better after rain, even though we water the garden every day.  It's forecast to stop very soon though.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

2 beach walks, and laptop problems

When I was in junior school, many (MANY!) years ago, I vaguely recall our class having some sort of music tests....somebody (I can't remember who, not one of our teachers) came into the music room, played the piano and got us all to sing a few notes, I think.  A week or two later, I was informed by the teacher that I had musical talent and was going to learn how to play the violin, much to my disgust (they didn't ask me if I wanted to - which I didn't - I was just told!).  Well, I absolutely hated it.  I got as far as learning to play (very badly) Twinkle Twinkle Little sounded to me like nails screeching down a blackboard and to this day I hate the sound of violins.  Anyway, the music teacher eventually decided I had no talent after all and gave up on me, giving me a recorder instead (I think all the pupils with no musical talents were given those, or a triangle).  I didn't do any better with the recorder, and stopped playing it (well, attempting to) as soon as I could.  I like singing (not that I have any talent for that either!  I just like to sing), but have never been interested in playing any instrument.  

This is leading up to saying that the little girl next door, I think she's 6 or 7, is now learning to play the recorder.  In the garden.  And it sounds exactly how my efforts did all those years ago!  Fortunately, like most kids, she's got a short attention span and gives up after a while to go and do something else.  Thankfully.  I don't think my nerves could stand hours and hours of it 😂

We've been to the beach again today.  We got there about 10.30, about 8 or 9 cars in the car park, but again hardly anybody in sight on the beach (it is a very big beach).  But once again it was grey and dismal with a freezing cold wind....not what had been forecast.  After walking for about 20 mins we both decided we were cold enough....not that Betty was bothered about the temperature, she was having a whale of a time as usual.  Our intention had been to have a good long walk, eat the picnic I'd taken with us, then go on to Minehead for me to do the dreaded shopping (didn't need much this week).  As it was so cold though, and I knew it was forecast to warm up, we decided to go shopping and come back to the beach afterwards.  So that's what we did, I did the shopping, husband went off to get petrol (for only the 2nd time since before least we're saving money on fuel), then we went back to the beach about an hour later.  

By this time the sun had come out and it had warmed up considerably - it had also brought more people out, but it still wasn't at all crowded.  There were about 4 or 5 families on the beach and a few dog walkers - a lot less people than there were cars (by this time the car park was about a quarter full).  Lots of people go on longer walks on this beach - one way leads to Minehead, the other to Blue Anchor Bay, so most of the car occupants must have done that.  We ate our picnic, Betty included (we always take snacks and water for her) then had another, much warmer, walk.  It was really lovely, the tide was out a very long way and there were clear views across the channel to South Wales.

My laptop needs a new battery, it keeps overheating and is no longer charging, I've ordered one and it'll be here tomorrow, hopefully.  Due to lockdown, I'm going to have to attempt to do it lovely friend normally does any computer stuff for me.  He's assured me that I'll be fine, and has sent me a YouTube instructional video - he has more confidence in me than I do!  My last laptop had very easy access to the battery, it was just a case of opening a flap and taking it out, it wasn't fixed in at all.  This one though is screwed down with 100s of screws, the case then needs to be prised apart, and the battery disconnected from wires - I'm breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking about it 😱.  Wish me luck!

Thank you for comments on the last post.  Oh, and GoldenSunflower, I didn't mention Southend, we live on the opposite side of the country!  Think it was one of my readers, possibly Chris?

Monday, 18 May 2020

Thank goodness for my garden

I'm really finding lockdown hard now.  I know we're allowed to go out a bit more now, but that in itself I find hard too - it frightens me a bit, to be honest.  E.g., we went to B&M (a large home and garden store, for overseas readers) the other day, to get some trellis and things for the garden.  There was no queue outside (no staff member on the doors to enforce one!), but the shop was quite busy, and a big queue for the checkouts - which was quite well managed, to be fair.  However, the sheer numbers of people in the shop made me feel really anxious, I couldn't wait to get out of there and get back home.  We also noticed a lot more traffic about.  The prospect of being in a crowd scares the hell out of me, frankly, so we won't be going anywhere that's likely to be busy.

I am desperately missing seeing friends and family, as everyone is.  Yes there's the computer and phones for keeping in touch, but it's not the same as seeing them in person.  I know we're all in the same boat, it's to keep us all safe, and it won't be forever.  But it feels like forever.

My front garden is looking really lovely, still a couple of things to do to complete it and more of the shrubs I planted last year to grow a bit more and come into flower, but I'm so pleased with the progress so far.  Betty jumps on the long flower bed in front of the fence when the postie or a delivery driver walk past, she just wants to greet them (she's such a people dog, everybody is a potential new friend as far as she's concerned).  I do get her off straight away, or head her off before she gets on it if I hear someone coming, but unfortunately she's already broken a few plants by trampling on them - my nice clump of Canterbury bells, eg, all snapped and crushed.  Husband suggested putting a picket fence along it, but unless it was a high one Betty would just jump over it - for a stocky chunky dog she's a surprisingly good jumper.  So I've put a few rockery stones (the previous tenants had an overgrown rockery) and some plants in pots dotted around in the bed, to fill up gaps.  I'm sure once the shrubs grow thicker and fill out the bed more, it'll be more of a barrier and she won't have the opportunity to jump on there.  Meanwhile, I'll just have to be vigilant and keep training her to stay off.....being half Shar Pei though, she's very stubborn and only listens when she wants to!

We're putting the gazebo up today - there's good weather forecast for the next fortnight and as our front garden is south facing and gets the sun all day, it's too hot and sunny for me to sit out without some shade.  Too hot for Betty too, but she self regulates - she lays out in it for about 10 minutes, then comes indoors of her own accord, has a drink and lays on her cool mat for a few minutes, then goes back out again.  

We're so fortunate to have a garden, I can't imagine what hell it must be for people in flats.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

The beach

A headline I read online said that visitors are flocking to UK beauty spots.  Well, this was the beach yesterday:-

Looking towards the right

And then the left

When we arrived at 08.45, there were about 6 other cars in the car park.  Parking was free, the machines were covered over with black plastic.  We'll buy an annual season ticket when the little holiday park, which owns the beach, reopens.  For the whole time we were there, we only saw 2 other people, both with dogs, and they were so far in the distance we could barely see them.

Although there was weak sunshine in between the clouds, a bitterly cold and strong wind was blowing, so it was freezing - not that it bothered Betty, she had her usual whale of a time, charging around like she hadn't been off the lead in weeks (she's off the lead in a field every day), digging in the sand and playing with the seaweed:-

She grabs mouthfuls of the seaweed and shakes it violently, as if she's killing a rat.  Then spits it out and charges on to the next offending lump of it.  She had a wonderful time.

It was so lovely to be back there, I couldn't sit anywhere, had to keep moving as it was just too cold to sit.  We stayed about three quarters of an was still no busier by the time we left.  

Then on to Minehead for shopping, which was ok - no queue to get in, not many people in the shop, everyone keeping their distance, minimal queue for the checkouts, no drama.  Husband went off to the garden centre to collect his veg order, he said it was very well organised, barrier across the entrance allowing in one car at a time (there was only 1 other car besides his anyway) to collect your prepaid order from outside, placed in numbered bays, one staff member checking your name off a list and directing you to your bay.

The chip shop is apparently open, but we didn't get any - it was too early for lunch and too cold to go back to the beach to eat, we'd have had to stay in the car.  Besides, the cold wind was making us both need the loo - the beach toilets are closed - so we went straight home after shopping.  It was so lovely to be able to go there after so many weeks away, I missed it terribly.  

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Just my luck

Sod's law that I have a really bad night the night before we're going on our first beach walk since before lockdown 😒

What with husband being really fidgety and sniffing all the time (his hayfever is kicking in now that mine is coming to an end), and my back and hips deciding to be extremely painful, I didn't get a lot of sleep.  Well, we're still going, although I might not be doing much walking....the beach is a mixture of soft sand and big stones, not exactly comfortable for walking, not that I mind usually, I just have to be careful.  There are plenty of groynes though (thick wooden fence posts to help with beach erosion) so I can just sit on one and watch dog and husband and look out to sea.  It's just as well we're allowed to sit now!

We're combining several things today....after the beach we're driving on a bit further to Minehead, not to go into the town though (I expect most of the shops etc are closed anyway, not that we've been since lockdown).  There are 3 supermarkets there just outside the town, so I'll be going in whichever one has the smallest queue and least people.  Husband meanwhile will go to the garden centre there and pick up his click and collect veg plant order.  The garden centre remains closed but they're operating a controlled collection system, you order and pay for your stuff online or over the phone and they give you a fixed time to come and collect the order from outside the store, so you don't have to wait in a queue.  Sounds a good system.

There's a fish and chip shop in Minehead we really like....well, there are several actually (obviously, being a seaside tourist place)…..this particular one is in a back street and frequented by locals, not tourists.  They do the best butchers sausages I've tasted from a takeaway, and gorgeous chips too.  I bet they're closed though - pity, as we could have got lunch from there.  I'll see if I can find them online and check before we go.

I'm finding now that I'm having to take a bigger dose of the CBD oil for pain management - my body's obviously got used to the lower dose I was originally having.  It's not cheap anyway and I'm getting through it quicker now, but it's worth it for the pain relief.  Or it is when I actually remember to take it!!  I forgot last night, hence why I'm in such pain now.  If ever I was uncertain that it actually does work, forgetting to take a dose proves it does, as I'm in agony when I do forget.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Odd jobs

It's been a morning of doing some little odd jobs that I've been meaning to get round to for ages - you know, the sort of thing you think you should do, but put off because you can't really be bothered.  And then eventually you have to, as it's in danger of becoming a big job if you don't do it RIGHT NOW.

First of all, I deleted a ton of emails, both received and sent....there were 100s, in the end I was sorely tempted to just delete the lot, but there were some I really needed to keep so I couldn't do that.  Then I had to have a break from the computer to have a coffee and gaze into space as my eyes and brain felt glazed over.  I need to do a similar thing with my phone as well - so many photos, texts and WhatsApp messages are clogging it up....might leave that till tomorrow, I can only cope with so much techie stuff in one day, haha.

Then I went through my spice cupboard....found several spice and herb pots/packets that were months, if not years, out of date and smelt of nothing, clearly no use anymore so chucked them out.

Sat down to do a bit of darning.  Now, sewing is not my forte, never has been.....years ago my soon-to-be husband jokingly asked me if I would be the sort of wife who darned his socks - Nope, I said, I don't do darning and if that's what you want you're marrying the wrong girl.  He married me anyway 😉….oh and he darns his own socks!  His choice, I've always told him to chuck them and buy some new ones, it's not as if socks cost a fortune.  My mother thought I was terrible, she always darned socks....probably why it put me off, watching her do it so often.  Anyway, it wasn't socks this morning (never darned a pair in my life), it was a pair of my jeggings which have developed a couple of small holes.  I wouldn't normally be worried about holes in jeggings.....I have lots of pairs, some of which I only wear at home, others (smarter ones) I wear when going out somewhere.  These ones are a pair of smarter ones and are fine other than the little holes, so thought I'd darn them to make them last a bit longer before becoming 'home' ones.

Well, I remember now why I don't like sewing and do as little as possible.  Threading the needle was a pain in itself, my eyesight has deteriorated so much I could barely see the hole.  The cotton when sewing kept twisting and knotting, frustrating the hell out of me.  I accidentally caught a bit of the other trouser leg whilst sewing the hole in the first leg, and didn't realise until I'd sewed a bit more, so had to unpick it 😆.  And I pricked my finger and thumb umpteen I know why Mum always used a darning mushroom.  I think that's my darning career over 😂.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Not much is changing

Well, following Boris's address yesterday (which I'm not commenting on, everyone has their own opinions and mine are my own), our lives are not going to change significantly.  Except for one thing - on Wednesday we will drive to the beach with Betty, for the first time since lockdown.  Whether or not we get out of the car remains to be seen.....if it's busy - which it rarely is but who knows now?! - we won't be walking on the beach.  We'll then carry on to the supermarket for shopping - as usual, husband (and Betty) will stay in the car whilst I go in by myself.

If the beach isn't crowded, then we will start going a couple of times a week, but whether we actually get out and walk will be dependent each time on the number of people there.  I have no desire to get too close to people, or to walk amongst crowds.

Lots of people are saying on social media this morning that they don't understand why they're being told they can go to work or go out more to exercise, but they can't meet up with their families and friends.  It seems obvious to me - you don't generally hug and kiss your workmates or strangers in parks, you'd keep your social distance.  But would you stay socially distant from your family/friends?  I think the temptation to grab them for a great big hug after so long apart would be too great.  And therein lies the danger of infection.  Unless each of you wears a Hazmat suit before cuddling!  

It's quite bright here this morning, but very breezy and cold, such a pronounced difference in temperature.  Not a day for going to the beach, even if it was allowed today!  (Wonder why Boris said Wednesday and not from today?  Seems a bit arbitrary).  Bit of housework this morning, then some cardmaking this afternoon, I think.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Bathing Betty

Betty doesn't really like water, she never has - although she loves the beach, she's not keen on going in the sea....she might have a brief paddle in the shallows, but if a wave comes she runs away from it.  Streams she'll go in at the edge where it's shallow and have a drink, but doesn't plunge in or swim, unlike her frenemy Poppy the spaniel, who dives straight in.  It's just as well Betty's not keen on deep water, as brachycephalic dogs aren't really supposed to swim in it as they may have breathing difficulties.

She's not keen on having a shower or bath either - I put it down to husband drenching her with the hosepipe (and thus freezing cold water) when she was less than a year old.  We did try washing her in the bath when she was young (our shower is an over the bath one) - she hated it and fought tooth and nail to get out, so we didn't try again.  She's always gone to the groomers ever since, the local agricultural college has a dog grooming section with a proper salon, trained and highly experienced staff and eager students, young and older, who all love dogs and want to be groomers.  It only costs £10 (an absolute bargain) for her to be thoroughly brushed, washed and dried and have her nails clipped.  She's not awfully keen on going, although the 2 staff love her and say she's as good as gold, and she's always very pleased to see us when we collect her.

We generally take Betty every 6 weeks, so during lockdown she's now missed 2 sessions, as obviously the college is closed right now.  She is decidedly smelly and dusty, so this morning we decided we must wash her.  We did it in the garden, tied her to the washing line and used warm water and doggy shampoo and then towelling her off afterwards.  She didn't like it much but we did it quickly and without fuss, talking to her calmly and reassuring her.  She was surprisingly well behaved and we didn't even get that wet!  Afterwards she ran round the garden shaking herself vigorously, I gave her a couple of treats and then she sat down beside me, pressing herself right up against my leg.  She's now laid out on her blanket on the sofa, sleeping it off.

Her claws need cutting too, I've never done it before.  I bought a pair of clippers with a guard attached, to prevent cutting too much, they come with instructions and I've seen the groomer and the vet do her claws several times, so I know what to do.  It's a case of taking my courage in my hands (literally) and getting on with it, and Betty letting me do it!  Twice now I've sat down beside her to do it, she sees the clippers and takes off like a rocket.  Oh well, we'll get there eventually, I won't give up.  Best to catch her whilst she's sleepy and docile.

It feels quite muggy right now, cloudy with sun coming and going, forecast to get much colder and windier later on this afternoon.  I wonder what Boris will have to say this evening in his update to the nation....mind you, he's only on for 10 minutes so it won't be a lot!

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Bread, (no) booze and annoying techie stuff

I was up at 05.10 making bread this morning....well, I made the dough yesterday, it was a no-knead one, so I just had to shape it, put it in the heated pot and bake it.  It looks lovely, will have a slice with a poached egg on it in a minute.  I didn't get up specially to do the bread, it was my normal time - well, anytime between 4 and 6 is normal for me, usually around 4.30-5.

We had our cream tea and glass of wine yesterday....a rose one (I don't know how to do the accent thingy on the 'e' in rose, sorry - technophobe blonde here....more on that later).  I didn't like the wine, not even with sliced strawberries in it - I gave up after a few slurps to toast Granddad Harry and FiL Albert and just ate the strawberries.  Over the past 3 or 4 years I've more or less given up drinking alcohol - I might have a glass or 2 of wine or G&T perhaps 2 or 3 times a year, if that.  With my 2 liver diseases (neither of which are alcohol related, just so you know!!), I'm not really supposed to drink alcohol anyway.  I have found that the less I drink any kind of alcohol, the less I like the taste of it - well certainly wine anyway, I still like the taste of gin.  And the more it seems to affect me now - I felt a bit light-headed after less than the one glass yesterday!  So that's my lot for the next few months, I'll go back to being a non-drinker.

It's forecast to be very warm today, it was too warm during the night, I had to keep kicking the duvet off (how it gets back on me again I don't know!).  Apparently the temperature is going to drop quite dramatically tomorrow - British weather for you....some areas up North are even forecast a bit of snow!  It's not supposed to be that cold down here though, thankfully.  Although I will move the pots I've put bedding plants in next to the house wall and cover them with fleece overnight, just to be on the safe side.

It's so tempting to go out for the day, picnic on the beach would be lovely.  But we won't, of course.  

An annoying techie know the little icon pic things for apps we have on our phone screens?  I cannot for the life of me remember what they're called! (combination of age, being blonde and a technophobe).  Well, one of mine has suddenly disappeared off the screen, a result of an update the app did I think.  The app is still there in my list of apps in Settings, so I can still use it, but that's too many steps to get to, I prefer the quickness and simplicity of just tapping on the little icon thingy on the phone screen.  I've asked my best friend, who's really good with tech stuff (that's why they're my best friend - haha no M you know I'm just kidding 😉), for help, I'm sure they'll be able to give me (very simple) instructions.

Have a beautiful day, everyone.  Oh, wasn't the Queen's speech lovely?

Friday, 8 May 2020

Harry and's to you x

Thank you all very much for comments.  I am ok, struggling a bit with lockdown but taking each day at a time.  Will be interesting to see what Boris has to say on Sunday about starting to ease lockdown.  We won't be rushing out to any shops though, nor the recycling centre which is apparently reopening on Monday - it'll be heaving, I expect, how they're going to enforce social distancing and cope with the queues of people that will probably be waiting to get in I don't know.  I'd like to go to a garden centre, but if they reopen, no doubt they'll be busy too.  I'm very reluctant to mix with crowds, I'd rather wait until it's all quietened down a bit.

It feels like we ought to do something to celebrate VE day, to honour the memory of my grandfather and husband's father, both of whom fought in the War.  My Granddad fought in Italy and India, father in law was in the SAS, one of the first members.  Although they both had very different experiences (Granddad was an infantryman, FiL a parachutist), the one thing they had in common was that they both refused to talk about their experiences in the War.  I can't begin to imagine how traumatised they must both have been.

There are just 8 houses in our little lane, and because of the way it's laid out and the fact that most have high hedges around them (ours included), we can't actually see each other's front gardens easily....we can only see our immediate neighbours on one side.  So not much point in a street front garden party!  One of the neighbours has bunting out - ironically, she's American, although has lived here for 40 years, married an Englishman and officially became a British citizen some years ago.  She retains her American accent, amazingly, but considers herself an honorary English lady.  Good for her for embracing this country so wholeheartedly.

So I think I'll make some ham and egg n cress sandwiches, and scones for a cream tea, and we'll watch the celebrations on TV and raise a glass to my beloved Granddad Harry, and husband's lovely Dad Albert (Nobby to his friends).

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Feeling overwhelmed

In the past 2 years a lot of stuff has happened.  Lost 2 people I loved who were really important to me - Aunt Sylvia and Mum.  Husband diagnosed with heart failure and having to be in hospital for procedures for it twice.  Then all his prostate problems (still ongoing) and the resultant repeated UTIs.  I was found to have 25% hearing loss and given hearing aid.  Finding out I have stage 2 liver disease (the 4th stage being cirrhosis).  Having to get over my phobia of the dentist (well, get past it, I'll never get over it) and go to have 2 teeth out, having never had so much as a filling before.  Having to have an abscess lanced in hospital, following the worst pain I've ever had.  Suffering with anxiety, stress and panic attacks and having to take medication for it.  Other serious life impacting problems I don't talk about on the blog, and a new health problem which I've just been referred to a specialist for.  And all the coronavirus stuff.

I'm not asking for sympathy, loads of people have far worse problems and many have lost their loved ones to this terrible virus - 3 of my family members have had the virus but thankfully have all recovered.  At least it's not affecting us financially (other than food prices going up), unlike thousands of people who are out of work, who must be worried sick.

It's just all overwhelmed me and i'm finding it hard to cope right now.  I just take each day as it comes and make my way through it as best i can.  We're all struggling right now - please, please look after each other and keep in touch and let your friends and family know you love them, you never know just how much someone may be struggling, or what is round the corner.  Please stay safe x