Friday, 4 December 2020

Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt

 You know I'm always up for a scavenger photo hunt - and there's another one starting over at Patio Postcards which is hosted with Eileen at A bracelet of days

I've never joined in with the Winter one before but thought that it will be an ideal project for Winter 2020.

So as an introduction to the hunt, I've dived straight in with No 10 - Work in progress

Yes folks, it's Christmas card time again.  Cards are bought, address labels printed, stamps ready to stick on envelopes and pen ready for writing messages inside.  I'm going to spread this out over a few days this year, usually I set aside one evening but then the messages on the final few cards are always slightly shorter than those I did at the start when I was full of enthusiasm!  

Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

A sentence a day in November

 Oh November, you didn't start off too good did you?  Being plunged back into lockdown was not how I wanted to spend this month but hey ho ...

Day 1 Had Rachel and family here for our last Sunday lunch for a month, feels a bit unreal to think that we are heading back to lockdown in a few days time.

Day 2 Went into town to pop into the 'non essential' shops that will be closing on Thursday.

Day 3 Childminding for Leo and Rosie, haven't mentioned to Leo that he won't be able to come to Nanny and Grandad's house for a while as I don't think he will take it too well.

Day 4 Looked after Max and felt quite emotional when he went home as we know it will be four weeks at least before we can see him again.

Day 5 Guy Fawkes night, no organised firework displays this year so a few people nearby are having a few fireworks in the garden - we have an unhappy dog.

Day 6 There was the most beautiful cloud formation in the sky this morning as I took Coco for her walk, had our 3rd Covid test in the afternoon, takeaway pizza from our favourite local Italian restaurant (good to support local businesses that can open for takeaways during lockdown)

Photo taken on my phone with no filter - it really was this beautiful!

Day 7 Saturday - which is much like every other day when you are in lockdown!  Baked a coffee and walnut cake - must remember not to do too much baking this time around.

Day 8 Lazy Sunday, dog walking, lunch, jigsaw puzzling, catching up on programmes we had recorded and the Strictly results show in the evening

Day 9 A day for doing jobs I have been putting off for ages - cleared the rather large ironing pile and defrosted the chest freezer in the utility room.

Day 10 In an effort to have a little normality on a day when I would normally be looking after Leo and Rosie, I picked Leo up from school and took him to the childminder, we had a nice slow walk to make the most of being able to have a socially distanced walk in the fresh air.

Day 11 Jon and Max popped over for a socially distanced walk and a visit to the local playground, was a lovely way to spend the morning and almost made up for not being able to have Max in the house all day as normal, also the guy building our decking returned to add the final lattice panelling

Day 12 Zumba on Zoom, and today there was homework!

Day 13 Bit bored today so did a bit of baking - remembered to freeze half the rock cakes so that we didn't 'accidentally' eat all twelve.

Day 14 Went to a new farm shop which has opened fairly near to us - they sell my favourite locally produced ice cream - so happy!

Day 15 Quiet Sunday just the two of us, had a little visit from Leo who was out on a bike ride with his dad, that cheered us up!

Day 16 Car went in for service, batch cooked some ragu, finished a jigsaw, had another Covid test

Day 17 Finally got my car back - they were short staffed apparently which is why a standard, minimal, first oil service and software update took 2 days instead of one morning!

Day 18 Went to pick up Max to take him for a walk and run around the playground.

Day 19 Zumba! Went to Rachel's garden in the afternoon to dismantle the playhouse in preparation for their move next week.

Day 20 It was more than a little bit chilly this morning, I needed a hat, a coat with a hood and my gloves for the dog walk

Day 21 Rosie's birthday!  There was cake, there were candles, there were balloons and there were presents - I don't think she realised that anything was out of the ordinary with her lockdown birthday.

Day 22 Gloriously sunny morning, nice relaxing day, just Paul, me and Coco here for a roast chicken lunch - guess who was first in the queue for dinner ...

Day 23 Had to clear frost off my car - that's a first for this autumn

Day 24 Trying hard to convince myself I haven't chipped a piece off one of my back teeth (spoiler alert - it's no good being in denial - it is chipped and I have an appointment to have it looked at on the first Monday in December 😢)

Day 25 Rachel and James got the keys to their new home - now the unpacking begins

Day 26 Spent the day stripping wallpaper and painting to help R&J get their new home ready for carpets to be laid on Saturday

Day 27 Popped into town in the morning - lockdown means that the shops are all closed except for click and collect and essential items, have decided to put together a food parcel to take to the Food Bank - collecting 24 items during November to hand in for distribution in December

Day 28 Had Leo and Rosie here for the day so that the carpets could be laid and unpacking continue in their new home

Day 29 Our house is nicely emptying of all the things Rachel has been storing here ready for the move, I'd forgotten how nice and clear the garage used to be.

Day 30 Popped over to Rachel's to play with Rosie while she got on with even more unpacking - I see they have their priorities right, boxes of essentials still waiting but the Christmas tree is up!

All we need now is the monthly video ...

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Sunday, 29 November 2020

What would Leo do?

 We are two days away from our second lockdown here in England, and once that ends our area (along with most of England) will be in Tier 2 which is full of restrictions.  The rules about who we can and cannot see now, and then in the days over Christmas are still strict and it would be easy to become a bit despondent as Lockdown fatigue sets in.  

It's not like that for all of us though.

Leo and Rosie have been spending time here while their mum and dad move everything into the new house, and yesterday we combined a dog walk with a walk round there to see how things were progressing.  Leo was full of beans and excited to see his new bedroom.  Once he'd inspected all he wanted to see, we came back home to have some tea.  He's just learnt how to skip, so he was running ahead, then skipping along.  It was dusk and a lot of houses along the way had already put up their Christmas decorations and there were lots of twinkling lights wherever we looked.  He was SO excited, and as he skipped along holding onto Rosie's buggy, he turned to me and said 'Nanny, this is going to be the best Christmas ever!'

So when I'm feeling down, and fed up with not being able to do things we would like to do, or have family here for lunch like we would normally do, or just see a friend for a coffee I'm going to try and channel my inner Leo and see the things that are allowed, the things we can do, and the things that make us smile and remember that Christmas is just around the corner and every day that passes is a day closer to normality returning.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

25th Day of Gratitude

 Today's prompt is Family

This is the last day of this project and while I feel like I should be going out with a bang, with champagne corks popping and firework displays happening in the background, today is a somewhat chaotic day for our family so please bear with me!  

In my opinion, being part of our family means supporting and helping and enjoying spending time together and so for today's prompt I will share a photo which sums this up

Yup, that's right, a picture of me and Max being silly in town.  Were you expecting a picture perfect snap of everyone?  That really wasn't going to happen today!  Our day started early with a call from Rachel at 6am to say could she bring the children round to get ready for school and have breakfast here as they were already driving her to distraction.  So that's what happened, then Leo went to school, I dropped Rosie off at her childminder, Rachel went home to await the removal company and Paul took Coco out for a walk.  

Onto family part two.  Due to lockdown restrictions we can't have the children of two different families in our home for childcare so we can't have Max here as normal.  But his mum and dad both had important conference calls this morning and really needed an hour or so 'Max free' time.  So we jumped in the car, headed off to their house where we picked up Max for a wander round Saffron Walden, checking out the ducks at the duck pond, eating hot sausage rolls from the bakery (Paul and me) and gingerbread men (Max).

So I'm currently feeling that we have helped both our 'children' as much as we can today and given them both our time when they needed an extra pair of hands and that's what family's all about isn't it?  

PS Daily update - we are home on our own now, enjoying the quiet and relaxation before chaos breaks out again. I'm guessing Rachel and James will soon have the keys to their new home and will be busy unpacking all that stuff they have boxed up over the last few weeks.  It's a stressful time isn't it?   Worth it in the end though! 

Thanks for joining me on the 25 Days of Gratitude project, normal blog service will resume very soon!

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

24th Day of Gratitude

 Today's prompt is - Quiet

When the house is calm and there's only the three of us here, this is Coco's quiet, happy place.  Fast asleep in the middle of our bed.  She does look totally relaxed though doesn't she?  

PS Daily Update - It has been a kind of quiet day here today.  Sewing, cooking and a nice long walk with a friend this afternoon.  Just time to write this quick post and then head to school to collect Leo.  I bet things are not so quiet and calm at his own home today - the penultimate day before moving!  From memory that was the worst day, trying to pack the final bits and still having to try and do all the normal day to day bits like eating lunch and a last nights sleep ...

Monday, 23 November 2020

23rd Day of Gratitude

 Today's prompt is Books

I am so close to the finishing post with this gratitude project and yet nearly came a cropper today - I thought I had a post drafted and schedule to go live this morning and guess what?  I didn't!  I can't fail this close to the end!

So let me introduce you to a selection of my cookery books, I do love a new cookery book and have to restrain myself when I realise that I already have probably far too many.  Having said that, I do use them a lot and if you were to see the other side to the book you would see many post it notes and sticky tabs on the edges of the pages, marking tried and tested recipes that I return to time and time again.  You will note there seems to be favourites in there, you can never go wrong with a Mary Berry recipe, nor a Jamie Oliver!  The Gino Di Campo books are actually Paul's, and have been the ones which have inspired him to learn to cook since retiring.  He loves all things Italian and Gino's recipes are easy to follow and delicious to eat - they have been a very worthwhile purchase!

PS Daily Update - Have spent most of today helping with keeping Rosie occupied while Rachel continues to pack.  Fortunately her husband seems to be feeling a bit better and was working in London today so fingers continue to be crossed on that front.  Paul has helped by taking a bootful of 'stuff' to the local tip and as we went home this afternoon, I felt that with one day to go, they are now organised and the amount of packing is definitely doable.  If you had asked me how I felt when I was there on Saturday afternoon, it would have been a very different answer!  

Time to go downstairs and find out what Boris has said about the next stage once we leave lockdown.  Rachel had always said that if they were in their new home by Christmas she wanted to host the day and it seems like we will be allowed to do that so woo hoo!  What a treat to be a Christmas guest and not a Christmas chef!

Sunday, 22 November 2020

22nd Day of Gratitude

 Today's prompt is Good Health

Now I'm not a fitness fanatic, I haven't been inside a gym for about 15 years, but one thing I do enjoy to keep myself healthy is my Zumba class.  It's such good fun!  My teacher has managed to move her classes onto Zoom so we could keep going through lockdown, we returned briefly for a few weeks to restricted numbers in a Covid safe hall, and are now currently back to Zoom.  

I really enjoy Zumba, it's a great mix of musics and dance styles.  My teacher is Venezuelan and likes to incorporate a lot of latin dances into our routines.  One dance style I never really thought I would enjoy was Bollywood.  I was wrong - I love it!  When she tells us to put on our belly dancing skirts I immediately smile.  There's something about hearing those coin skirts jingle as you shake your hips!

View from above!

One piece of advice when doing your Zumba class via Zoom in your lounge?  Always remember to close the curtains just in case the window cleaner turns up half way through the session! (It has happened 😳 )

PS Daily Update - Quite apart from the fact that Rosie couldn't have all the normal family and friends visitors on her 2nd birthday, even her daddy was missing during the afternoon.  He spent 5 hours in A&E with an inflamed appendix!  Fortunately it seems to be 'just' inflammation at the moment, but speaking as someone who has had appendicitis and also who saw how much pain Rachel was in just before she had hers removed, we are all crossing fingers that it calms down and doesn't progress. This is not what they need in the week leading up to moving house!