Wednesday 31 March 2021

An annoyance, but something to look forward to

 My ankle is much better this morning, I can walk on it without pain, but my shoulder and elbow are worse.  I dare say they'll get better in time.  Couldn't get comfortable again last night, as well as things preying on my mind, which kept me awake for 3 or 4 hours....I spent the time alternating between sitting up in bed reading, in my bedroom recliner chair trying to doze, or downstairs surfing the internet and drinking warm milk.  I'm getting on average about 2 or 3 hours sleep a night, which means I'm constantly knackered, suffering from perpetual brain fog, find it hard to concentrate, and am fit for nothing every evening.  It's a good job we have nothing special or urgent to do.

It's all medical stuff - for both of us - at the moment.  Comes with age, I guess.  Husband has 2 hospital appointments coming up in the next month, and his 2nd Covid jab on the 24th April.  I have my post-op consultation with my lovely consultant in a fortnight, followed by a GP appointment a week later.  When the receptionist asked the other day if I needed an urgent appointment and I said no not really, I didn't expect it to be that long, nearly 4 weeks wait is definitely non-urgent!  Oh well, hopefully I'll be able to last out until then.  My 2nd Covid jab should be around the 2nd week of May, I think.

We'd ordered a rattan glass topped table and 2 chairs for the garden, it arrived earlier on....unfortunately, the glass top is completely smashed into tiny pieces, and the fittings for the table are missing 😖.  It's impossible to get through to the firm on the phone, we've tried 2 or 3 times, the phone just cuts off as soon as it's answered, so I've emailed them, sending pictures of the smashed glass.  What a bloody nuisance.  To be honest, I don't really mind if the glass top isn't replaced, the rattan/wicker table top will be fine without it, but I'll expect a discount, of course.  They do need to send us the fittings for the table, though.  Nothing is ever simple is it.

We've booked a break away in a static caravan on a very small site (just 3 vans) near Lyme Regis in May, we both feel we need to get away somewhere and it's not yet possible to go and stay with family, sadly, the rules are you can only stay in self contained accommodation from the 12th April, I think until the rules are relaxed in June?  The owner of the site where we're going has assured me on the phone that they have very thorough and high standards of cleaning, and we will be the first occupants of the caravan this year, they're not renting them out until then.  There's nobody booked into the other 2 caravans either, we'll be there on our own.....although that could change between now and then, of course.  Husband is hoping to go and visit his daughter up in the Midlands as soon as it's allowed to stay with people (so June, probably) - he hasn't seen her or his grandchildren for 18 months or so.  I'll be staying home with Betty - stepdaughter has a dog, Milo, and Betty and him don't see eye to eye.

Tuesday 30 March 2021

Over and done with

 I didn't want to postpone the smear test, because I'd already put it off for a few weeks - I should have had it back in January.  However, following the bladder op I had, when I was in so much pain and bleeding for several days, I didn't fancy the idea of having anyone else poking and prodding me around down there, so postponed it.  Getting on and off the couch was ok - the nurse lowered it right down to make it easier for me, although apologised for not being able to physically help me on and off - Covid and all that.  Which actually seemed a bit daft, considering what she was about to do to me!  The smear test hurt though (or rather, the speculum did) - that's never been the case before, it's only ever been slightly uncomfortable a few times, never painful like today.  I guess it's down to a combination of age (things drying up/shrivelling down there - delightful!) and anxiety - I really wasn't looking forward to it, although smear tests have never bothered me before.  What with my physical aches and pains and hovering in and out of depression at the moment, it just wasn't the best time to have it, I suppose.  Still, it's done now, and it's the last time I'll ever have to have it.....well, I won't get automatic invites anymore, although I could choose to have one if I ever want to (doubtful!).

I did go shopping this morning, having strapped my ankle up - husband would have done it on his own, but I would have had to write a detailed list as he just can't do the shopping without one, despite coming with me most of the time.....he just wouldn't remember half the stuff we needed, and I wouldn't trust him to be able to get things like the toiletries I use.  As he's quite severely dyslexic, a written list is a bit difficult for him anyway.  I was glad to get back in the car, it did hurt my ankle walking around.  I could have asked the nurse to look at it after she'd done my smear test, I suppose, but didn't think of it and just wanted to get home and sort myself out.

It's been a nice day, I've sat in the garden for a while.  Got some plants to put in pots tomorrow, and a few to put in the ground.....I'll get husband to do the ground ones.  He's got some paving slabs to lay as well, I've told him to take a few days over it and do just 3 or 4 at a time, he doesn't need to do them all at once.  He's definitely slowing up nowadays, things tire him out much more than even last year.....well, he is 70 with heart failure, so it's no surprise.  I've made a point of telling him that nowadays there's no rush to do anything - we can do everything at our own pace, as and when we feel like it.


 I fell heavily on my left side yesterday, consequently my left shoulder, elbow, hip and knee are all really painful today, as is my right ankle (it was my right foot going into the hole in the sand that made me lose my balance and fall, so I must have twisted that foot as I fell).  Add to that the bursitis in my right hip and my normal back pain, and I'm one gigantic ball of pain today.  Took codeine and paracetamol and went to bed at 8 pm, that helped me to sleep for 3 or 4 hours, but tossed and turned all night after that, painful no matter which way I lay, even after taking more paracetamol during the early hours.  Don't think I'll be doing much today.  Oh, I've got to go to the surgery for a smear test this afternoon, that'll be fun....just getting on and off the examination couch will be a bit of a trial.

Monday 29 March 2021

Sod's law

 So much for things to make me smile.....well, it did for a while, it was going so well....

We arrived at the beach just after 10 am, it was practically deserted:-

The weather helped with that, at that time of the morning (bearing in mind it would have been 9.00 ish last week, before the clocks went forward) it was still cloudy and not overly warm yet.  Our normal practise, pre-Covid, was to walk up the beach right to the end of the holiday park, then back down through the park - the park is currently closed though so we had to stay on the beach.  No hardship, it was fine, Betty was having a wonderful time as usual, off the lead running around:-

I normally keep a good eye on where I'm walking, as the beach is covered with stones and holes.  Unfortunately, I took my eyes off my feet for a split second to take this photo of Betty, and promptly put my foot in a hole and fell over.....luckily it was a soft landing and I didn't fall on any big stones.  I did hurt my ankle though, and had to hobble back to the car....we were on our way back by then and not far away, fortunately.  Now, back home an hour later, my ankle is swollen and hurting like hell - it's not broken, just sprained or twisted.  My left shoulder feels bruised too.  Oh well, a good excuse to just sit and do nothing for the rest of the afternoon.  If it still hurts tomorrow morning, I'll send husband to do the shopping on his own.....I probably won't fancy walking around a supermarket (we were planning on doing the shopping first thing, before having the afternoon out somewhere).  

It would have to happen on the first morning of a mini heatwave and when lockdown restrictions have been eased though, and I was so looking forward to getting out and about for the next couple of days.....sod's law.  It's sunny and very warm now.

Doing things that help me to smile

 Thank you so much for the comments and emails, they really help.  It's lovely to have friends who care, even if I've never met you.

I can't really explain how I'm feeling at the moment....well, I could, but it would take too long and I don't really want to.  I'm just finding life really hard right now, will leave it at that.

I've been watching quite a few youtube videos of flower drawing and done some practise pieces.  Learning how to do shading and detailing, it's absorbing and enjoyable and passes the time.  

I bought a new lamp for my bedroom, I like the lamp but it has a plain white shade which I don't like.  Husband said why don't you decorate it?  So I did.....

I've since gone over the drawings with felt pens, the pencil colours didn't show up much once the light was on, the stronger colours of the felt pens show up better.  I've also added some grass along the bottom of the shade.  Will  have to take another pic.

Today is the day some restrictions are lifted here in England, the Stay at Home rule has been changed to Stay Local.  I don't know exactly what 'local' means, but I'm taking it to mean we can go a bit further afield....not miles and miles though, still can't go and visit family.  But it means we can get out and about now, rather than just for essential shopping.  6 people or 2 households can also meet in gardens now, which will be lovely, it's been one of the things I've missed the most.  Today we're off to my lovely beach with a picnic - I just hope everyone else doesn't have the same idea, Betty really doesn't like crowds (nor do I).  Sunshine and warm temperatures are forecast for the next few days, so looking forward to actually going places.

This gorgeous dog always makes me smile, even when I don't think I have a smile in me.

Saturday 27 March 2021

 Sorry, I'm not writing for a while - my heart's just not in it.  

Tuesday 23 March 2021

All skipped out, and worries

 Husband was up exceptionally early and was out with Betty and back home before 7 am.  He had breakfast then started on filling the skip.....I did start off helping but soon scooted back indoors - don't know where the promised sunshine is but it's blooming freezing out there.  Having spent years suffering from terrible hot flushes and wishing I could sit inside the freezer, I've now gone the other way and really feel the cold....must be getting old.  So I kept husband supplied with tea and got on with stuff in the kitchen - I've made tomato and bean soup for lunch, and some raisin cookies....well, he's worked hard, he deserves a treat.  I've also cooked a chicken for meals during the week, and got the washing out on the line.

10.00 and he's nearly filled the skip now (it's only a relatively small one, next size up from the smallest), he's a good man and does what I ask of him (with a bit of prompting!).  So most of his accumulated junk, plus the old stuff I sorted out from indoors, has now been cleared into the skip.  Just a case of not accumulating any more junk now!

For those of you who mentioned our neighbours....yes we do have lovely neighbours.   Being a small hamlet of only about 20 houses, everyone knows everybody and we all get on very well.  Apart from one obnoxious bloke who seems to actively try and upset people and is as grumpy as hell, but we'll gloss over him.....he's got a bad back so perhaps that's why.  How his wife, who's a sweetheart, puts up with him I don't know - even she says he's a grumpy old sod.  We got lots of help offered by neighbours when husband's foot was in plaster and he was unable to drive for 6 or 8 weeks, we're lucky to have such good neighbours.

It appears our landlord is possibly intending to put our rent up by a large amount - he's told conflicting stories to all of us tenants (there are 4 houses here owned by the farm).  Why he seems to think that none of us talk to each other and compare stories I don't know.....or perhaps he just forgets what he's told to whom.  So that's a bit of a worry.  He doesn't belong to any kind of fair rent scheme, so it seems likely he can increase the rent to whatever he likes....his attitude is if you don't like it, then leave!  Which is what I think he wants us all to do, as he'll be able to charge a lot more if he can rent all 4 houses out to workers from the new Hinckley power station.  But so long as we keep paying the rent.....the current rent, that is.....he can't kick us out - as far as I'm aware, there are new laws concerning evictions and landlords have to have a very good, valid reason (such as rent arrears or damage to property) before starting eviction proceedings.  Can do without this sort of worry though at our ages.

I don't know whether I'm coming down with something, or suffering from lack of sleep (for a change), or possibly just anxiety over various things, but I haven't felt very well for a few days.  Roll on better (warmer) weather and the end of lockdown.

Monday 22 March 2021

A nice day wasted

 After 2 phone calls to the skip hire company, and waiting in all day for it to arrive, we finally had a call from the driver at 5.15 pm.....saying he couldn't find our house.  Hardly surprising - he was in the wrong road and about 5 miles away, and he didn't have our postcode on his paperwork!  He finally arrived about half an hour ago, just when I was about to serve dinner.  Honestly, why can't firms just get things right?  How hard can it be?  So a whole day of good weather has been wasted - it's forecast to be showery/rainy from Wednesday onwards for a week.  Bloody nuisance.  Still, it's here now, and we'll have to be busy all day tomorrow chucking everything in, before the rain arrives Wednesday morning.  Can't really start doing anything now, husband has to take Betty out, she only got a short walk earlier as we were waiting for the skip 😠  And we don't want to upset neighbours by making a load of noise now when they've just got in from work and want a quiet evening.

Kindness and mental health

 Thank you for all the lovely comments about my lavender drawing.  I put the photo on FB too, a few minutes later there was a knock at the door, it was one of my neighbours, the very talented artist lady who drew my fabulous Betty portrait.  She'd seen my drawing on FB and, knowing I'm just starting out with artwork, she brought some of her stock of different types of art paper for me to try out.  She explained the differences in paper types and what they were best suited for, and gave me some tips on buying coloured pencils.  How lovely of her to take the trouble, people can be so kind.  I wouldn't even have thought about there being different types of paper, other than the thickness of it.  She's also going to sort out some of her (expensive and quality!) pencils for me to try.  What a lovely lady, we have such nice neighbours.  One of the reasons why I don't really want to move from here, unless and until we have to, for health reasons.

Just waiting for the skip to arrive.  Husband is breaking up our old wooden garden seat, which is falling to bits, I've just sorted out the big plastic box full of littler plastic storage containers in the kitchen.  There were loads of split tubs, or tubs without lids, or lids with no tubs.....they've all filled a large carrier bag to go in the skip.  I don't really want to buy any more plastic tubs in the future.....although to be fair, they're not single use plastic, they get reused umpteen times.  I think I've got enough to last several years anyway!

Now I need to do a freezer inventory and menu plan for the week....that's sort of been forgotten about lately, it's just been a case of looking in the freezer in the morning and pulling out something for the evening meal that day.  I much prefer having a plan though and knowing what I'm doing each day.

Does anybody watch Line of  Duty?  I'm happy it's back on with a new series, I love it - although do find it a bit confusing at times, especially when they talk in abbreviations.  Like last night, they kept saying a word which I guessed was an abbreviation or acronym (ooh, get me), and quickly fathomed what it meant....the word was CHIS (which I initially misheard as something very rude!! 😳  Shows my schoolboyish sense of humour, I couldn't help laughing every time they said it after that 😂) and I gathered it meant an informer.  Apparently (I asked my ex-policeman brother) it stands for Covert Human Intelligence Source - what a mouthful, no wonder they say CHIS....but what was wrong with informer?

I've been very down the past couple of days, desperately missing people.  Sod this bloody lockdown, I've just had enough of it, missing our friends/family and physical contact is just so damaging to our mental health.  It's a pity that isn't understood more.

Sunday 21 March 2021

Boom! and my new favourite craft

 How annoying, I typed most of my blog post this morning and then it just vanished 😠

Anyway....yesterday afternoon husband came back from dog walking and asked "Did you hear that big bang?".  "What big bang?" (so no I hadn't heard it).  I was busy in the kitchen, had the radio on and I'm partially deaf anyway, I hadn't heard anything.  Apparently he'd heard a big bang, like an explosion, but in the distance.....Betty heard it too and stopped in her tracks, lifting her head up and listening, he said.  Well, in the paper this morning it said a meteor had crashed into the earth's atmosphere around 3pm yesterday, shattering into bits and causing a sonic boom which was heard in Devon, Somerset and Dorset.  So there you go.

We've got the skip arriving tomorrow, most of the junk is now ready in the garage waiting to go in it.  Husband is clearing up a few more bits in the garden today, then we just have the final clear out of the utility room and my kitchen equipment cupboards - I have so many old baking tins, saucepans and ancient plastic containers I no longer use.  I've got rid of some stuff on the local neighbourhood FB pages, and we've got the trailer up for sale on there.  The new car doesn't have a towbar and we don't intend to fit one - now we've got/are getting rid of most of the junk we no longer need the trailer.  Husband said once the garage is cleared of the junk tomorrow, we'll be able to fit the car inside....for the first time since we moved here 9 years ago 😂 (the previous tenant left a load of rubbish and old broken furniture in the garage, grrr).  We won't be putting the car in there though - the garage leaks like a sieve and isn't fit for purpose really, it needs knocking down and rebuilding.....not something the landlord is at all interested in getting done!  He's a right skinflint.

My new favourite crafty interest is drawing with coloured pencils, especially flowers - I never knew I could draw until last year, although, as I've said before, my Mum was a talented watercolour painter.  My sister is also very talented, she makes soft furnishings and does decoupage, neither of which I've ever attempted, or even wanted to.  Here's a quick sketch I did last night, whilst the rugby was on:-

The coloured pencils I have at the moment are just cheap ones, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on them when I didn't know if I'd be doing much drawing (or be any good at it).  But I do really like doing it, so have ordered some professional type better quality pencils.

Friday 19 March 2021

Human again

 My hair's been cut and I feel human again.  I got friend H to cut it slightly shorter than I usually have it, so I won't need it doing again for a while.  Now I just need to colour it again.....I was debating whether to carry on with the silver shade I've been doing it for the past few months, or go back to blonde.  Whilst I love it blonde, there's so much grey nowadays and the roots come through very quickly and the blonde doesn't even cover the grey very well, hence why I had decided to work with the grey rather than fighting against it all the time.  My natural grey is a bit nondescript though - it's more just faded rather than a definite shade of grey, just like my Mum's was, which is why I chose to go silver instead.  It's better for highlights, should I choose to do them anyway - I like electric blue or pink highlights occasionally, the silver provides a really good base for them.

I've been gardening the past couple of was nice yesterday, quite warm when the sun came out, but it's been cloudy this morning and decidedly chilly.  We've more or less finished everything that needed doing in the front garden now, everything has been cut back, weeded and pruned, dead plants chucked, pots emptied, and a few new plants put in....agapanthus, ranunculus, cally lily.  I've got lots of plug plants on order, which should be delivered in stages between the end of this month and into next month - some are to go in the beds, some in pots - so it's just a case of waiting for them to arrive, at least the beds and pots will be ready for when they do turn up, after they've been potted on and hardened off first.

I've made a cottage pie for tonight....instead of mashed potato topping, I've used mashed cauliflower with grated cheese and smoked paprika stirred into it - trying to cut back on carbs.  

We had chicken curry last night, I used Mayflower curry sauce powder - used it a few times now and we really like it, lots of flavour but not too hot.  The only thing about making curry though is that the kitchen stinks of it for a couple of days.

Tuesday 16 March 2021

Hair and cauliflower cheese!

 Dreary morning but it's supposed to clear up this afternoon.....I hope so because....I'm having my hair cut this afternoon.  After reading Happy Hooker's comment about nearly scalping herself with the trimmer, I've bottled out, I just don't think I could do it myself properly.  And I don't trust husband - he'll probably scalp me.  Or slice my ears off 😂

So my lovely hairdresser neighbour/friend has agreed to cut my hair.  We won't be using her little home salon, we'll be in her garden....hence hoping the weather improves, although she does have a big garden parasol thing.  We'll both be wearing masks and gowns, she'll just be cutting my hair, not blow drying it, and I won't stay for coffee or a chat.  So thank you for the suggestion, Mrs LH.

Cheryl from the US asked about cauliflower cheese (fancy you never hearing of it before, we have it regularly).  I've frozen it both cooked and uncooked (just assembled), it works both ways.  I would just say if you've frozen it cooked, when you come to reheat it, put some foil over the top if you put it in the oven, so it doesn't burn.  Or you could heat it up in the microwave.  We sometimes have it as a main meal rather than a side that case, I use broccoli as well as cauli, and add diced bacon or sliced sausage and onion (which I quickly fry off first), and some cooked pasta mixed in with it too, so it becomes a sort of cauli mac n cheese with extras.  I also add mushrooms, peas, diced peppers, or any other veg that needs using up.  Let's face it, anything tastes good with a cheese sauce over the top.  I sometimes sprinkle the top with a mixture of breadcrumbs, herbs or smoked paprika and grated cheese before putting in the oven.  Or croutons rather than breadcrumbs - they give a nice textural crunch.  Experiment, using what you've got - I do it all the time.

Oh good....the sun's just come out 😁

Monday 15 March 2021

40 years....where does the time go

 Thank you for your kind comments, Mothering Sunday is a difficult day for those of us without our Mums - and for those who couldn't see their Mums or indeed their children this year, due to the pandemic.  But each day now is a day nearer to when we can see all our loved ones again, and have a cuddle!

Today is our 40th anniversary - that is, the anniversary of the day husband and I first met and he asked me out 40 years ago.  Funnily enough, I actually turned him down that day.  We met on a bus - he was the driver, it was a Sunday and the bus was virtually empty, so we got chatting....I did actually like him, he was cheeky and made me laugh and I've always been attracted to men who make me laugh.  He asked me out for a drink with him after he'd finished his shift, but I said No because I didn't want to seem too eager (pays to keep them keen 😉) so I told him to try asking me again the next time he saw me.  Which turned out to be 2 days later....he asked again and I said Yes that time.  We dated for a year, then moved in together, and finally got married 14 or 15 months after that.

Seeing as we can't go out for a meal, we talked about what to have as a special meal cooked by me.  We decided on duck, we both like duck but, for some reason, hardly ever have it.  So I'm roasting a whole duck and making a marmalade and orange glaze to finish it off.  We'll have it with baby potatoes roasted whole with rosemary and sea salt, cauli cheese (which I made and froze previously) and buttered Savoy cabbage.  Lemon cheesecake for pud - bought, I'm not spending hours in the kitchen!  I'll probably do a stirfry with some of the duck tomorrow, and freeze the rest.

Sunday 14 March 2021

I miss you Mum

 It's the second Mother's Day without you, Mum, but somehow it matters more today than last year.  I'd give anything to be able to talk to you one last time, you were so wise and always knew what to say to make me feel better.  And I really need that today.  I miss you so much Mum 💜

Saturday 13 March 2021


 One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post....haircuts!  Or rather, the lack of.

I have very fine, flyaway, fairly straight hair, which needs to be kept short as it won't hold a style - any hint of dampness in the air, or if it's allowed to grow a bit, and it goes limp.  Pre-Covid, I had it trimmed about every 6 weeks - as I've mentioned before, my lovely neighbour and friend H is a hairdresser, she lives 2 doors away and has a small purpose-built salon attached to the side of her house.  Obviously, haircuts aren't allowed right now and weren't for the better part of last year, so I've hardly had it cut at all for a year.  It's just hanging limp and straight, no body, almost down to my shoulders and no hint of any recognisable style, it's awful.  And having the central heating on quite a lot in recent weeks means my hair is full of static electricity.....sometimes I look like I've been playing with that thing we used to have in science lessons at school - do you remember?  It was like a big shiny metal dome thing on a stand, you put your hand on it and it made your hair all stand up on end.  

It's got to the stage where I really hate my hair right now and am desperate to have it cut....I have hacked my fringe a few times, and got husband to trim a bit off the length at the back 3 or 4 weeks ago.  But all the layers have grown out and it's just got too much length all over - I like it short and spiky normally.  

So I am seriously considering letting husband loose on it....well, not without supervision or direction, he's not going to be allowed to do what he likes!!  (I dread to think what he'd do to it if left to his own devices).  He's got an electric beard/hair trimmer with lots of attachments, he normally does his own hair with a No. 2 comb attachment.  I had a look in the bag and he's got lots of these combs, the biggest being a No. 8.....I'm thinking I might let him use that one on my hair, all over.  How bad can it be? (don't answer that!!).  Anyway, my hair grows fairly quickly, and with lockdown I won't actually have to leave the house for a couple of weeks if it's that bad.....😵😜😲😂

(my hairdresser will have a fit!)

Friday 12 March 2021

Nearly a year

 So it's been nearly a year that we've all been under the Covid restrictions, how has it affected you?

1.  For me, and for most of us I suspect, the biggest thing has been not being able to see friends and family.  February 2020 was when I last saw my sister and younger brother, January 2020 when I saw my nieces, nephews and cousins at Mum's funeral.  Elder brother I saw once during the brief relaxation of rules late last summer.  Friends who live nearby I've only seen a handful of times, and then mostly at a distance.  Of course we keep in contact via phones and internet, but it's not the same, as we all know.

2.  Hugs!!  I'm a very huggy person, and OMG do I miss it.  I think when restrictions are lifted and we can have physical contact with our loved ones again, I won't let go for hours 😂

3.  I miss being able to just go for an unplanned, spontaneous day out on a nice day.  On the couple of occasions in recent weeks when we simply had to get out of the house and went to the beach, or the nature reserve, it seemed everyone else had the same idea and so they were too busy for my liking.

4.  Garden centres....I love them and really miss going.  I know they're open for business, but our nearest one is 15 miles away, so it's not really allowed.  And coffee shops, we did like going for coffee and cake when we were out.

5.  Food shopping, I hate it with a passion now.  I've mostly given up with home deliveries, it's the missed off items, or unsuitable substitutions, or poor quality of fresh veg & fruit chosen I don't like.  I have no objection to wearing a mask in the shop, but some people just don't adhere to social distancing and reach over you to grab things off shelves, or get too close in the queue....I feel constantly on edge and can't wait to get out.

6.  Everything seems to be about Covid, it's like it's taken over everyone's lives (I suppose it has) and sometimes it feels like there's no other topic of conversation, or news.  I know things aren't going to go back to what was normal pre-Covid, but a more 'normal' way of life with more freedom can't come soon enough, as far as I'm concerned.  I've felt like a caged animal sometimes and it's affected my mental health a lot.  

We are extremely fortunate that we haven't had Covid ourselves (I didn't fancy our chances of survival much if we did get it, with our underlying health conditions).....several of our family members have had it, mostly not too seriously, except for my cousin's husband and my husband's brother in law who were both quite ill but luckily recovered.  I am glad my mother died just before Covid started, she wouldn't have survived in any case if she did get it, but as she was very poorly indeed in hospital for the last few weeks of her life, she wouldn't have been able to have any visitors due to Covid restrictions and she would have absolutely hated that.

Each day now I wake up (I'm thankful that I do wake up!) and think well it's one day closer to being able to start seeing people and doing things get back on track.  

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Gardening this year

 Thank you for all the lovely comments yesterday.  As we've decided we'll not be moving from here for a couple of years yet, it's been nice doing a major declutter and change around of furniture and rooms - long overdue anyway.  I'm very happy with how it's bad weather is forecast for the next couple of days, that'll give us plenty of opportunity to finish the remaining rooms and chuck all the unwanted stuff in the now decluttered garage.  And getting a skip next week will enable us to finally get rid of everything we've thrown out, and that's the house sorted.  Garden next.

Tania asked about us growing stuff to help with the budget - we always do grow fruit and veg, have done for years.  How it normally works is this....

At the start of the new year, we sit down and work out what we want to grow, go through what seeds we have and make a note of what extra we need.  We draw up a plan of which veg is going in what raised bed (it's all raised beds), having regard for crop rotation.  And then husband totally ignores the plan and just grows whatever he wants, wherever there's a space 😒😠.  It's not a case of him deliberately being contrary....he's just the most disorganised person on the planet.  To be fair, he is dyslexic, which I am quite sure contributes to his disorganisation, as does some of his heart medication.  He also grows far too much of everything, enough to feed half our hamlet!  We do swap produce with neighbours, but he still grows much too much - he can't keep up with the looking after, watering and weeding, and I get too inundated with mountains of produce to prep, freeze and preserve later in the season.  And we simply haven't got enough capacity to store it all!

So this year we are definitely growing less, I'll make sure of that - only enough for our actual needs.  And I will have to be more involved in the veg garden, to ensure it all stays on plan - up till now, he's been in charge of the back garden (all fruit and veg), whilst I do the front, and where we sit out.  Fingers crossed it works!

Monday 8 March 2021

Getting on with things

 It's been a very busy couple of weeks.  Husband has finally cleared most of the junk out of the garage, so it's now nearly empty, whatever junk is left will be going in a skip.  We've decided we're not going to the tip anymore - it's a lot busier now than pre-Covid for a start.  And having been a few times in the past week, it seems every time we go we get held in a queue just sitting and waiting for 30 mins or so at a time, whilst lorries load up with stuff to take away (white goods, or big oil drums a couple of times last week).  Or the on site big digger thing is being used to squash down the rubbish in the skips to make more room, and whilst all that's taking place the staff close the gate to the public (elf n safety).  It all takes so much time!  Husband found a skip company offering a reasonable charge for a smallish skip, we were going to have it from the middle of this week but the weather forecast is so bad we'll leave it till next week.  At least we can now store the rest of whatever we chuck out in the garage until then.

The bedrooms are now sorted and decluttered, more or less, as is the lounge and dining room.  The utility room, kitchen equipment cupboards and my craft room are left to do, along with the poly tunnel which is falling apart - well, the cover is - and has just become another big shed for husband, being full of more of his accumulated old bits of wood and metal, and broken tools.  He's such a hoarder, and an untidy one at that....makes me look like housewife of the year 😂😂

And we've finally traded in our big gas guzzler 4x4 for a nice little car...well, it's a bit of a Tardis, looks small on the outside but surprisingly roomy inside.  The point is, it's a lot more economical in terms of tax, insurance and fuel, which is what we wanted now our circumstances have changed.  Pity, we liked the 4x4, it was a nice car and very comfortable, but needs must, we couldn't really afford to run it anymore.