Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Rachel's gift

The very talented Rachel makes dog walking bags - small bags with a strap to wear either across the body or round the waist (if you're lucky enough to have a waist!), leaving hands free for holding leads or throwing balls.  The bags are small enough to hold just purse, phone and keys, or bigger to carry a water bottle too.  They have lots of pockets (always useful), including one at the front designed especially to hold poo bags and the pocket has a small hole set into it so you can pull out a poo bag quickly without having to scrabble around for one - genius!  Rachel makes them in 3 sizes and different materials and colours.  They are so useful and clever because they're designed and made by someone who understands what's needed because she's a dog walker herself.

I've been in correspondence with Rachel to discuss size and colour of one for myself.  The gift she sent me yesterday was this:-

One of her lovely bags....As a GIFT to be going on with whilst she sorts out material and makes the bag I'd chosen.  How lovely is that?  See the purpose made hole with a poo bag poking out of it?  Rachel puts in a roll of poo bags in a matching colour - I didn't even know they came in different colours, we've only ever had black.  And the bag is made from a pair of red jeans, and the checked lining is from one of her daughter's old school dresses - upcycling genius.

Thank you so much Rachel.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Thank you Rachel!

Today I received a totally unexpected homemade gift from fellow blogger Rachel of Eternally 28.....I'll put on a photo of it if she gives her permission.  We've been corresponding concerning some of her homemade goodies, but I wasn't expecting this.

Thank you so much Rachel, it's the perfect size, and it's so beautifully made, you're very talented!

It's dry but cloudy with the occasional short burst of sunshine today, and a few spots of rain - literally just spots.  Very breezy though.  I did a 'dog wash' this morning - the towels we use to dry Betty off after a muddy walk, plus the throws she lies on, on the sofas, I was in two minds whether to put them out on the line as the sky was quite dark.  I took the chance and they all dried in no time at all, because of the strong breeze.  Put the throws, which now smell fresh and lovely, back on the sofas and Betty came to investigate and have a sniff straight away - she clearly likes the fresh clean smell as well as she jumped straight up on one, curled up and was asleep within seconds.  Wish I could sleep as easily as my dog!

Saturday, 27 June 2020


Thank you for comments.  Flis, how horrible to find a tick embedded in your tummy!  Gemma's P, yes Betty's hair is short but she does have a very thick coat, and around her neck she has an extremely thick collar of fur.  The tick on top of her head was quite easy to spot, the ones she's had on her neck haven't been visible at all, I've only found them by running my fingers through her fur, which I do every day just to be on the safe side.  Since we put her back on the medication from the vet the other day, the ticks have disappeared and no more to be found.  Thankfully.

This month we've had several unexpected expenses which have cost us a lot of money and left us short this month - well, all bills paid but nothing much left.  And have you noticed how much grocery prices have gone up?  Went shopping yesterday, just a small top up shop, but it cost nearly as much as a full week's shop used to cost me a few months ago.  Things haven't just gone up a few pence, it's 20 or 30p or even more, doubled in some cases.  E.g. the coffee I buy for myself (cappucino sachets) is nearly always on special offer at £1.50 or £2.00, now it's £2.98, full price.  I wasn't going to pay that so bought a cheaper own brand, but even that was £1.30, having previously been 99p. 

As we made the decision months ago to eat less meat and more vegetables or meat-free vegetarian meals, veg and fruit make up a large part of our shopping bill.  Thus I'm very glad that husband's back garden allotment is so productive, we're now getting our own home grown produce to eat every day, so that will start to cut down the shopping bill.  This week we've had peas, carrots, beetroot, courgettes, strawberries, blackcurrants and raspberries.  Will be having our first new potatoes tomorrow.  Still have cucumbers, tomatoes, French and runner beans and broad beans to come soon, followed later on in the year by leeks, purple sprouting broccoli and butternut squash, plus loads of apples, pears and blueberries.  Oh, and for the first time ever we actually have some Victoria plums, the tree has never fruited before.

We've decided to get rid of the blackcurrants and raspberries after this year (neighbours have said they'll have them).  It's only me who likes them really, husband doesn't, although he will eat them under sufferance.  After some discussion we've decided to have an apricot tree on a dwarf rootstock for next year, possibly a nectarine or peach as well.  And I'd like a lemon tree, probably in a pot.

Changing the subject, I need to have my hearing tested again, I know my hearing has deteriorated.  To be honest, though, I reckon it would actually be an advantage not to have to hear some people!  Or most of the news reports.  I do get fed up with having to constantly tell my husband that if he's talking to me from another room, I cannot hear him - he forgets ALL the time.  (Or maybe he doesn't! 😜).

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Too hot

Thank you for comments, lovely supportive bloggy friends as always.

Impossible to sleep last night, too muggy and head full of stuff (why do things always seem worse at night?).  Hips are a bit better today so that's a positive.

Betty's had 2 more ticks, horrid things, so the natural herbal tablets aren't working. So we've had to go back to the vet for a supply of the drug ones, the vet said there's an explosion of ticks this year.  This dog costs us a small fortune, it's a good job we love her to bits.

Have just made 9 days worth of dog food, and a beetroot, feta and salad veg bulgur wheat bowl for lunch.  Sliced all the veggies for the frittata we're having with salad and spicy wedges for dinner.  And that's it, I'm doing nothing for the rest of the day, it's too hot.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Mental health -v- physical

I know, bad blogger, been several days again since I last posted (I sound like I'm in a confessional...bless me Father for I have sinned, it's been X days since my last blog - not that I've ever been in a confessional box, I'm not Catholic and it would take too long for me to confess everything 😂).

One of the reasons for not posting much is that I now have to use husband's desktop - my laptop is well and truly dead.  And I don't get on with husband's puter at all - it's slow, clunky, noisy and makes the desk vibrate, which in turn makes my hands and wrists ache.

It's hot, muggy and sticky, and forecast to get hotter as the day goes on, and tomorrow too, so I'm already headachy, sweaty and irritable.  And the pollen count is very high, although my hayfever is generally over by now it's hanging around this year, I could scratch my nose and eyes to bits they're so itchy.

I had a discussion via email this morning with my's clear we have very different views when it comes to lockdown and virus stuff.  Fair enough, each to their own.  I think they're overreacting, although I do understand why that is, they think I'm cavalier and reckless.  Which I'm not.  I don't know about you, but each time Boris comes out with a new rule (well, they're not rules, they're guidelines for the most part) it just confuses me even more, they often seem contradictory and making no sense in view of what he's already said or what we're already 'allowed' to do....or not.

I've been finding lockdown incredibly difficult mentally, more so as the weeks go past, it's colouring my whole life and making so many things very difficult indeed for me.  My anxiety levels are through the roof, am having to take double my anxiety meds most days (I don't overdose, I'm just taking the maximum prescribed dose rather than the minimum I used to take).  Sleeping, well not actually, is ridiculous.  I can't concentrate, I feel claustrophobic, I desperately miss human contact.  Small things become huge and irritate the life out of me - like my dead laptop, it's not earth shattering in the great scheme of things but makes things very difficult for me, I have so much stuff saved on there and do so much on my laptop which I have difficulty doing on husband's puter.  We do go out more now, but it's governed by my health situation and how busy where we go is - I have no desire to be anywhere near crowds and if wherever we go is at all busy, then we just turn around and leave.

However, I do feel like I really want to start doing more 'normal' things and getting to meet up with friends and family, it's getting me down so much, to the point where I'm getting more and more depressed.  My view is that good mental health is as vital as my physical health - without being melodramatic, poor mental health is as dangerous to me as the virus is. 

We spent yesterday morning at the beach....not particularly busy, and as I've said before, it's such a big beach it's easy to keep away from others (the dogs don't take any notice of such things, of course).  We had a long walk first along the dunes, right the way down to the end of the campsite (which is planning on reopening on 11 July).  It was gorgeous, hot but a bit of a breeze to take away the sting of the heat.  We took food and had lunch, the little snack kiosk and the toilets were open for the first time since lockdown, which was good...not that we buy anything much from the kiosk, it's expensive.  It got too hot for both me and Betty after lunch, so we came home then.  Betty slept the afternoon away, and both husband and I had short snoozes too.  

My hips and back are agony today, I enjoy a long walk whilst I'm actually doing it but the day after, especially when we've been walking on uneven ground like the sand dunes, I really suffer.  Never mind, it's certainly worth the pain.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Hello and welcome

Thanks so much for all the replies, it's so nice to know where everyone lives - some from all corners of the globe, amazing...plenty from all over this country and some right here in Somerset.  And it's lovely to read a little bit about you all.

Sorry I'm not posting much lately, nothing much to say.  Found a couple of ticks on Betty this week, horrible things, several neighbours have mentioned finding them on their dogs too.  She's never had them before, we've temporarily doubled the dose of the flea and tick medication we give her.  It's a natural product, brewers yeast and garlic based, I buy it online from a reputable pet supplies company.

It's the early hours of the morning, I'm awake and downstairs more than I'm asleep lately, betty is beside me on the sofa snoring away, at least someone's getting some sleep.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Here and stealing

Thank you for comments and sorry for being missing.  For the last couple of weeks I've not been well at all - a combination of my diabetes, liver disease, arthritis and bad back all being problematic at once.  Added to that, several times recently I've felt like I was getting a cold, only for it to wear off then reappear a day or 2 later.  Disturbed nights too, worse than usual, pain and anxiety keeping me awake, been downstairs almost more than I've been in bed every night.  So I've done virtually nothing this week, certainly nothing to write about.  Kath (HH) thank you for being concerned, much appreciated.

Not really got anything to say today either, but John of Going Gently had a brilliant idea for a blog post, so I'm going to steal it...

I've often wondered who my blog readers are, so please tell us if you'd like to:-

a) What's your name? (Doesn't have to be your real name)
b) Where do you live?
c) Do you have a blog?
d) Tell us something about yourself - anything you like.

I look forward to reading the answers.

Sunday, 7 June 2020


The TV is up on the wall - a few hiccups but nothing too major.  And it's not fallen off yet!  Husband has always done (and been good at) DIY ever since I've known him....he built a lovely pine kitchen in the first house we bought.  It wasn't a flat pack or bought off the shelf, he built it himself completely from scratch, it was beautiful.  As he's got older, though, poorer eyesight, arthritis in his hands and less patience means his DIY skills aren't so good.

I'm worried (worrying about a few things at the moment) that we're going to have a second wave of the virus and another, possibly confined to local areas, stricter lockdown.  I read yesterday that Weston General Hospital, one of the major hospitals down here and about 30 mins drive from us, has around 100 staff who have tested positive for the virus.  And the scenes shown on TV yesterday of the 1000s of people demonstrating for the Black Lives Matter cause - yes, justified, but the very fact of so many 1000s of people not socially distancing is quite terrifying.

We've been running down our stocks of frozen and store cupboard food over the past few weeks, one reason being the big freezer needed defrosting.  Husband has done that this morning, I'm about to go and wipe it out and put the frozen food (packed in our big cool box) back in.  So we now have plenty of space both in the freezer and food cupboards in the utility room.  We're going to do a big stocking up shop this week, so in the event of another, possibly stricter, lockdown I won't have to go shopping very often.

I've ordered a couple of handmade washable cotton face masks, once I get them and see how they're made, I might have a go at making some myself.  Up till now I haven't been wearing them, although I do wear disposable gloves when going shopping, but think it'll be sensible to do so from now on (yes I know it's a bit late!).

Friday, 5 June 2020

One job leads to another....

I checked my phone this morning to see what the date is and was surprised to see it's Friday.  I don't know what day I thought it was, but the week seems to have rushed by without me even noticing.  I've not read or commented on many blogs this week, sorry about that, time has run away with me.  It's not even that we've been terribly busy - busyish, but I'd be hard pressed to come up with a long list of what we've done.

Husband is in the process of fixing the TV to the wall in the lounge, so as with every DIY job he does, there's lots of noise and cussing going on.  He's wanted to do it for a while but I wasn't all that keen - I have visions of the TV falling off the wall, most likely when it's just me and the dog here.  I'm not denigrating his DIY skills, it's me being pessimistic that's all.  However, since we've rearranged all the lounge  furniture, I can't see the TV properly from where I sit, so the only solution (without moving it all around again) was to put it on the wall.  It makes more space on husband's desk anyway, which was so cluttered it got on my nerves every time I looked at it.

He's going to have to relocate a large picture that was on the wall where the TV is now going, and move another metal poppy wall sculpture too.  He's now discovered that one of the leads from the TV won't reach the electric socket, so is muttering about having to fix an extension lead to the wall as well.  Sigh.  Nothing is straightforward.  I shall just keep out of the way until it's all done....although he says he'll need me to help hold the TV whilst it's being fixed to the wall bracket.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020


Thank you for comments, we both feel better after resting.  Goldensunflower, you asked about my chiropodist....I started going to her for 2 reasons - because of my bad back and arthritic hips, I find it very difficult bending over to cut my toenails, the second reason is that I have a small but painful corn on the sole of my left foot.  Well, I did have, Grace (the chiropodist) dealt with it the last time I went and it's been no bother at all since.  I know Grace does some home visits - well, she did before lockdown - so am sure others would, you'll have to ask.  As for feeling embarrassed.....don't be, I am quite sure they've seen everything!  They won't be shocked or critical, feet are their job.  Go for it, my feet feel marvellous afterwards, I'm sure you won't regret going.

I've settled into a routine of going shopping in Sainsburys, we get there for 9 am (it's old and vulnerable people between 8 and 9 and I'm not in that category yet!).  It's no bother at all then, there's no queue, not many people in the store, everyone observes social distancing and it's easy and quick going through the checkout.  We usually go on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, we would have gone today but had to wait in for an electrician to come and fix 3 electric sockets in my kitchen (which all, oddly, stopped working within a few weeks of each other).  He was supposed to come sometime in the morning....he finally turned up at 2.30 pm.  Bit annoying but no matter really.  I'm going to try Lidl for a change tomorrow morning, I'm not overly keen on the quality of some of their veg and fruit but do like their ham and cheese selections.  And they are quite a bit cheaper than Sainsburys - I've noticed my shopping bill has gone up a lot since I've been shopping there.  I won't be shopping there every week, but like a change of scene once in a while.  

They're building a new Aldi in the town - there is one already, but it's old, tired and very scruffy, I don't like shopping in there, it looks like a jumble sale and is cramped.  The new one will be nice though, they opened one up at Highbridge last year and that's lovely, spacious and tidy with a bigger range of goods.

Shopping is still a necessary evil, but it's not as traumatic as it was a few weeks ago.  I'm still in and out as quick as I can though (fairly easy without husband there, as I mentioned before he stays in the car), there's no browsing, and certainly no going in the café for a coffee and teacake - obviously the cafe's not open anyway.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Feeling knackered

Thank you for comments....Marlene, yes I'm guessing it is what used to be Steart flats, having only lived here 7 years we've only known it as Steart Marshes, the WWT have done a fantastic job of creating a lovely wildlife haven.  You'll have to go and have a wander round next time you come to visit your brother.

It was so lovely to have my feet done yesterday, Grace my chiropodist was fully PPE'd up with gloves and mask (she always wears those anyway) plus apron and plastic visor, I wore a mask too.  She asked if I minded if she took off the visor (I didn't mind at all) as it was making her sweat and steaming her glasses up.  I really don't know how nurses can wear all that lot all day, and especially in this heat, just that makes me admire them so much, never mind what they're doing for us in caring for us and those we love.

I think the heat was getting to Betty yesterday, she was listless and unsettled all day and was sick a couple of times in the evening....she was ok through the night though (I came downstairs twice to check on her) and seems fine this morning, back to her usual self.  It's forecast to be cooler with some showers from tomorrow, which will be welcome.

We're having a relaxing day doing nothing much - we had a very busy day yesterday, rearranging the entire lounge (not really a sensible thing to do in the heat!) and were both shattered come the evening.  Husband's strained a muscle in his shoulder so he needs to rest it anyway, and my back is killing me.  I think all the upheaval probably contributed to Betty feeling unsettled too, so a quiet day for all of us.