Wednesday 31 March 2021

Winter Photo Hunt - the finale

I've mentioned before that I'm taking part in the Winter Photo Hunt that I first saw on Marie-Lou's blog and is organised by Eileen.  Thanks to both ladies for giving me a fun project to do over the winter months.  Slightly more challenging this year by being in lockdown but in some ways that's made it even more fun!

I've already shared some of my finds here and here but I still have the last ones to share so, with a fanfare may I present to you the last photos.

And that, as they say, is a wrap!  I really enjoy these photo scavenger hunts.  I'm hoping there will be another Summertime one this year.  Watch this space!

Monday 29 March 2021

Me on Monday

This weekend I reached a point where I needed something to look forward to.  This lockdown has gone on for SO long!  On Saturday we put together our outdoor table so we now have new seating if we should find ourselves catering for six people outdoors - now if the weather could just get a bit warmer that would be so nice as we enter the gentle easing of restrictions.

So, the big news is, we booked a holiday.

I had met up with the lady who looks after Coco last week and she was telling me they had booked a holiday with her daughter and family and if we wanted her to look after Coco, it might be worth reserving some dates.  It kind of gave me a little push.  Last year we were supposed to be going to Portugal with Rachel and her family but that was cancelled and she insisted that they still wanted us to go away with them this year to make up for it.  But of course, now Leo is at school so we are confined to school holidays.  

But I've found a nice cottage, within easy walk to the beach and shops, in the small town of Southwold in Suffolk (an area that Paul and I love to visit) I'm scared to get too excited about it because every time I've looked forward to something in the last 12 months, our PM has changed the rules and spoilt it all!  But at the moment I am cautiously optimistic.  Hopefully Paul and I will also get a few days away somewhere else in September when schools have gone back and places are less busy.

Remember the blanket I was crocheting with my leftover wool?  I only have one row of the border to do and it will be finished.  What am I going to do now to keep myself busy in the evenings?  Did I hear someone say 'start looking for a nice pattern for another one'?  😆

So today we start the next phase of slowly easing out of lockdown.  You can meet up in groups of up to six - or two households - outside (including your garden), outdoor sports can resume and weddings and civil partnerships can take place with up to six people attending.  Paul's badminton group have booked tennis courts for this evening so that they can meet up for a bit of exercise, I'm wondering how much they will be aching tomorrow after not exercising like that for over three months!  Also I cannot remember the last time Paul played tennis, let's just say that when he finally found the tennis racquet in the depths of the garage there were a lot of cobwebs to remove!

With Easter just around the corner we have tentatively invited our kids and their families over to sit in the garden, Jon on Friday and Rachel on Sunday.  Looking at the weather forecast I'm not sure they'll be staying for lunch but I'll stock up the fridge just in case and tell them to come with several coats!

Do you have any plans for the long weekend?

Thursday 25 March 2021

I did it!

 Our news has been somewhat dominated this week by the fact that this week marked the year anniversary of our first lockdown in the UK.  But there has also been one other (possibly more trivial) anniversary too 

Yes, I made it.  One year of learning Spanish on the Duolingo app!  I am only doing one short lesson a day so I'm not going to be anywhere near fluent for quite a while but in addition to learning Spanish I've learnt something else.  American English can be very different to UK English!  I've been caught out a few times when I've translated something and been told it's wrong when it is actually grammatically correct in the UK.  I'm not the only one, if you click on the comment box where you can report errors, it seems it is a big issue to us Brits!  It makes me realise just how many differences there are when apparently we speak the same language!  For example Duolingo does not realise that in the UK, pants are underwear not trousers and fall is something you do if you trip over whilst the season after summer is autumn!

Something else I did this week was a bit of a freak accident where I ended up picking cactus spines out of my forehead.  Yes really!  We have some small cactus plants on the window sill in our conservatory and whilst bending down to pick up a ball that Max had thrown behind an armchair I head butted the cactus and ... well you can visualise the rest!

I hope your week is less prickly than mine has been!

Wednesday 17 March 2021

What a year!

 Last year Ruth invited me to write a blog post describing how life was in my corner of the United Kingdom.  Little did we know that 12 months later, we would be in lockdown again - for the THIRD time!  You can find me over on Ruth's blog again today, reflecting on how things feel a year down the line.  

Hard to believe that Covid still remains headline news and just as it felt the we were moving into more optimistic territory, suddenly side effects of the vaccine have caused controversy in Europe.  I had the AZ vaccine and I will definitely be keen to get to the clinic to have the second dose.  Nothing in this life is without risk, and I feel we have to take a measured view considering that the benefits of the vaccine are, in my opinion, far outweighing the side effects.  

So, twelve days to go before we can meet more than one person outdoors ... now, if only we could guarantee warm, dry weather.  That's never going to happen here in the UK is it?  I'd better get making more blankets!

Monday 15 March 2021

Celebrating in lockdown

 Last year I just managed to celebrate my birthday before we were confined to home and banned from mixing and my son and I were the only ones in the family not to have a lockdown birthday.  We weren't so lucky this year.  

In fact, lockdown has robbed me of two celebrations this weekend as Sunday was also Mother's Day, what are the chances of two events on the same day?  Hey ho.  There was still cake, there were still presents, there was chocolate, there were ... 

... glasses of prosecco and there were cards.  One card especially brought tears to my eyes

Pretty sure my handwriting wasn't as neat as his when I was 4, he's obviously been practising during homeschooling!

So another week has bitten the dust and we stand at the doorway of a new one. Fortunately neither of us had any nasty side effects of our vaccine last week, and every day I hear of someone else we know that has come to the top of the waiting list for theirs - is that a little glimmer of light I see at the end of the lockdown tunnel? 

Tuesday 9 March 2021

One photo - Twenty words


This is a photo of someone who's just had their first Covid vaccination, and has a sticker to prove it!

Monday 8 March 2021

Me on Monday

 Today's the day we have been waiting for, a day we booked as soon as we could, an actual 'get out of the house and drive to the other side of town' kind of day.  

This afternoon we will be getting our first vaccinations!  We hadn't expected our age group to reach the top of the list quite so quickly so it's a great surprise.  I've already assumed that we won't be feeling that brilliant tomorrow as I've heard mixed stories about reactions and side effects.  Watch this space!

In other news, our new outdoor dining table and chairs is arriving this afternoon.  Ordered three weeks ago, what were the chances it would be out for delivery on the one day that we both have to go out at the same time?  Typical!  So a neighbour is on standby in case it hasn't arrived by the time we have to leave.  At least once we go into the stage of easing of restrictions where we can have people in our garden, we will be ready to invite people round.  Weather permitting of course, you can never take that for granted!

So all in all, it's a big news week.  Jabs, birthdays and Mothering Sunday in the space of 7 days!  How's your Monday looking?

Monday 1 March 2021

A sentence a day in February

 We start the new month in full lockdown, will there be a glimmer of hope for a slight easing of restrictions by the end?  Let's see how things progress ...

Day 1 My sister and her husband are having their first Covid vaccination today 😀 for me it was a day that included having new garage doors fitted #whataglamourouslifeilead

Day 2 Went for a long walk with my friend in the morning and in the afternoon found out that Capt Sir Tom Moore had died aged 100.  What an inspirational man he was, raising £33 million for the NHS in 2020.

Day 3 A damp and drizzly day, nothing to do but hibernate and do a bit more crochet, a bit more cooking, and a bit more reading.  Oh, and take Coco out for a walk trying to avoid the muddy area #almostimpossible

Day 4 Zumba on Zoom again - had this month's Covid test and got pretty wet on the afternoon dog walk

Day 5 Our little guests, Leo and Rosie, came to spend a couple of hours with us - it's so lovely to be able to do a tiny bit of childcare.

Day 6 Caught up on chores, did a few more rows of my crochet, only 18 more stripes to go until I have to tackle the border.

Day 7 Sunday was very cold, with the forecast of snow on its way, comfort food for lunch and wondering whether we would wake up to snow

Day 8 Snow!  Not too much but enough to build a snowman or slide down a hill on a sledge, spent time with Leo and Rosie who were so excited

(as you can see, Nanny is wearing many layers of clothing!)

Day 9 Coco had stayed overnight at Rachel's house as she was the subject of a 'show and tell' Zoom call with Leo's class in the morning #celebritystatus

Day 10 Jon came over with Max for a walk in the snow - it was so lovely to see them, even from a social distance - last time we saw them was just before Christmas

Day 11 Zumba on Zoom, I wasn't really feeling like doing it this week but gave myself a push as missing one lesson is a slippery slope, tried out a few different paint sample pots in the kitchen ready for decision making.

Day 12 Had Leo and Rosie over for a couple of hours in the afternoon which always lifts our moods, our son in law had his vaccination (he works for BUPA and they are offering jabs to their employees who are having to go into their offices to work)

Day 13 Boy it was cold! Made a lemon and poppyseed cake and tried to convince myself that it's healthy because one of the ingredients is natural yoghurt 

Day 14 Valentines Day - dinner for two and a cosy day at home

Day 15 Had Leo and Rosie over for lunch, rained most of the day, started the edge on my crochet blanket, part of me wants to have it finished but I'll miss having a project to do #willhavetostartanotherone

Day 16 Shrove Tuesday so pancakes for dessert this evening - caster sugar and lemon for topping.

Day 17 Painted undercoat on kitchen walls in morning, Jon popped over with Max in the afternoon

Day 18 Zumba in the morning, then was sent a video from Rachel showing us that Leo has learned to ride his bike without stabilisers (and almost came a cropper steering into a tree!)

Day 19 Finished my blanket ...  

I especially love the border!

Day 20 Went into town, bought some plants then spent the rest of the day in the garden tidying and planting.  Had a 'Pizza by Post' Do it Yourself pizza for dinner - stretching out pizza dough is not as easy as a chef can make it look!

Day 21 Painted some fence panels, chicken tagine for lunch, started a new blanket with my left over crochet wool

Day 22 Had Leo and Rosie here for a couple of hours - Boris Johnson on TV in evening explaining the next phase out of lockdown 

Day 23 Jon dropped Max at ours for an hour while he had a dentist appointment in town - what a treat (for us, not Jon!) Coco went to the groomers and I pre-booked a hair appointment for April

Day 24 A gloriously sunny day, mowed the lawn, cleaned the new decking area and moved the garden sofa into its new position, Paul jet washed the patio, all looking tidy out there.

Day 25 Paul started decorating the kitchen - one top coat done, it's already looking nicer - I contributed to the work by offering encouragement, coffee and biscuits 

Day 26 Went for a walk in the sunshine with a friend, was so nice to be out on a sunny day, had Leo and Rosie here in the afternoon

Day 27 A day in the garden, starting to see some real progress now and am pretty sure I've burnt off a million calories in all the exercise (she says optimistically) did an online Escape Room challenge with two other couples via Zoom in the evening #almostanightout

Day 28 Bright and sunny today, but after a very long dog walk and Sunday lunch, Jamie Oliver's Roast Chicken Margherita which was easy and fabulous, spent the afternoon in the conservatory reading.

So that's it, the shortest month of the year gives us a cheery wave as we welcome in March.  Restrictions are due to start to ease, spring is a little closer and it's my birthday month!

Here comes the 1 second every day mash up!

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