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!

Saturday, 21 November 2020

21st Day of Gratitude

 Today's prompt is Warm Beverage

For years I only drank coffee, except when I was pregnant and for some reason I had months where I couldn't enjoy a cup of coffee.  That was a long time ago now and I am happy to say that tea once again tastes like tea ought to taste!  But only when it's drunk out of a china cup or mug.

I'm not one to start decorating the house for Christmas before December is here but I'm happy to use a Christmas mug (you'd need to zoom in to see the holly sprigs and robins!) Naturally, any mid afternoon cuppa needs to have a biscuit (or two) to go with it, however I am not a 'dunker'; I don't like soggy biscuits and I especially don't like the way crumbs fall down to the bottom of the mug ruining that last bit of tea!

PS Daily Update - Today Rosie is two!  In some ways it feels like that time has flown by and in others it seems like such a long time ago that we had Leo come to stay with us while his mum was in hospital.  We will be popping over later to wish her a happy birthday and maybe take her and Leo over the park to feed the ducks.  Unfortunately because we are in lockdown, no other friends or relatives can come into their house to spend time with her but maybe there'll be a belated party at some time in the future. (We have formed a childcare bubble with them so can spend limited time with them - I hope we can be there long enough to have a slice of cake!)

Friday, 20 November 2020

20th Day of Gratitude

 Today's prompt is Play

Hmm ... play.  What do I play with?  Who do I play with?  Well in normal times the answer would be duplo, farms, teddy bear picnics, race tracks and all the kind of things that little children want Nanny to join in with.  But, you know, lockdown - there's been little playing going on here!  But I have been jigsaw puzzling, does that count as playing?  

I have a friend who runs a jigsaw swap circle and so there is never a lack of puzzles to be had.  There's something quite compulsive about having a jigsaw on the table, I can't walk past it without seeing if I can add just one more piece.

PS Daily update - My friend who lives in Florida has had a positive test for Covid 😢 apparently she lost her sense of taste and smell at the weekend then developed a headache so had a test to be on the safe side.  This is only the second person that I actually know who has contracted it. Let's hope she is one of those who only has mild symptoms.  We've finished our second week of lockdown 2 here, so half way through and the rumours about relaxing rules in time for Christmas, and also the possibility of a vaccine in the new year are all encouraging.

In other news - we woke up to a frost this morning!  That's the first this year - Winter is coming!

Thursday, 19 November 2020

19th Day of Gratitude

Today's prompt is Work 

I had to think carefully for this prompt because I took early retirement over two years ago now, so don't officially 'work' any more.  Instead I turned my attention to what I consider to be work around the home.  

Not just any old work, the worst work.  The work I put off for as long as humanly possible.  Ironing.

Oh how I detest ironing, and the minute you clear the pile, you do another batch of washing and guess what?  You have more ironing to do!  When I look back to the days when Paul was working and the kids were at school, I had 15 shirts to iron before you add all the casual clothes to the mix.  

But, having ironing to do means I have clothes to wear, a washing machine to do the hard work of washing for me, a washing line outside for drying in the good weather and a tumble drier for when it's raining that means I don't have to have wet washing draped over driers around the house.  So there is gratitude to be had for sure.

But the greatest thanks I have is when the pile of clothes above, turns into the neat, freshly ironed pile below.

Yes I do seem to have rather too many striped tops!

PS Daily update - Today is my Zumba from home morning, plus I also offered to make the sponge cake for Rosie's birthday - I will hand it over to Rachel for icing tomorrow. I'm more than happy to do the baking, but don't have the patience for the decorating - I'll leave that to R's expertise!

Yesterday, while taking Max out for a bit of a walk we happened to walk past (who am I kidding?  I have been planning to go to this shop since the first lockdown!) a chocolate shop called Hill St.  At the beginning of the year they were visited by Jamie Oliver as part of his Friday Night Feast programme (more info here) and I have been anxious to visit ever since! The chocolate is hand made, and oh so delicious.  It is expensive but the quality is so good that you don't need to eat lots to satisfy that chocolate craving.  And one of their dark chocolate moulded shapes is just the perfect reward for a morning slaving over a hot iron 😉

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

18th Day of Gratitude

 Today's prompt is Hobby

So as I have already shown my collection of knitted socks, today I will share one of my other hobbies - sewing

I've enjoyed sewing for years, probably since I was in my teens and learnt sewing at school.  I can't imagine not having a sewing machine and am always on speed dial whenever someone in the family has a sewing/mending emergency.  Needless to say that once masks became mandatory in the UK, I was soon delving into my box of remnant fabrics to go into production!  The project under the needle in this photo is a mending challenge, my husband had managed to tear one of his favourite shirts, thankfully it was a simple repair.  

My favourite projects are patchwork quilts although I haven't made one for a while, maybe I will start the investigation for a pattern to make a quilt in the new year to finish off the new look lounge.  The problem I find is choosing the fabric, it's all well and good to scroll though the online shops but there's nothing quite like going into a shop and actually seeing and feeling the fabrics.  Maybe in the new year?

PS Daily update - today we will be popping to see little Max for an hour or so, to take him out for a walk so his Mum and Dad can get on with working from home.  So long as we stay outdoors we don't have to consider it a childminding bubble, just walking for exercise.  Also, don't tell Coco but R and her family are probably getting a puppy!  Now they will have a larger house, they will have room and although Coco is really R's dog, she has lived with us for so many years now, it wouldn't seem fair to give her back - she is used her routine here and I'm not sure that, as a more mature lady of nine years old, she would enjoy having children around all day every day!  I will share more news and and when we know more.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

17th Day of Gratitude

Today's prompt is Evening

 Now that the nights are turning chillier, and it's getting darker earlier every day, this is a very welcome sight in the evening

Of course we never get pole position in front of the fire because Coco always finds 'her' spot.  

With sunset happening around 4pm in the afternoon, it makes it feel like we have very long evenings and I'm ready to climb back into my pjs about 8.30pm.  Please tell me I'm not the only one!  

PS Daily update - We had the news yesterday that our daughter's house sale contracts exchanged so they will be moving next week.  Looks like we will need to form that 'childcare bubble' with them as I think they will need help with the children during the move!  They aren't moving far from where they are now - less than half a mile - so they don't need to change schools or childminders and we can still pop and see them when out on a dog walk!  They have a busy week ahead with packing now they know it is all definitely going ahead, no wonder they say that house moving is one of the most stressful things you can do.  Not to mention the logistics of doing it during a lockdown situation!