Thursday 27 May 2021

Summer time snapping

What's the first sign of summer?  Baby birds leaving their nests?  Trees in full leaf? Barbecue food in the supermarket? Not needing to put the lights on until late in the evening?  Not having to wear socks every day?  All are relevant but then so too is the annual Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt!  Mary Lou has once again come up with 20 intriguing prompts for us to find and share, you can check out the list here - or here ...

  1. A Breakfast of Champions
  2. Favourite Time of Day
  3. Something To Represent Home But Not The Building
  4. Head In The Clouds; shapes or interesting patterns
  5. The Art Of The Fold
  6. Something That Makes You Laugh or Happy
  7. What’s In Bloom
  8. Window Views
  9. Something Older Than You
  10. The Delivery Van/Truck Making The Deliveries
  11. The Shape of Round/Circular
  12. Something That Is Cause For Celebration
  13. Your Marie Kondo Moment – Or Not
  14. Inside Your Fridge Or Cupboard
  15. Your Best Doodle Art (not public graffiti)
  16. A Guilty Pleasure; Something That Recharges You
  17. An Exit
  18. Upside Down, Right Side Up
  19. Steps, But Who’s Counting
  20. Decades Of Sharing; find something in your home that is from the 70s or 80s or 90s or 00s

If you have trouble finding any of those, the following substitutions can be made

A: show off your  COVID safety; masks, cleaning, or other related supplies

B: a local landmark

C: the most beautiful landscape photo of the season

All photos must be taken between 1 June and 30 September. The first check in with Mary-Lou will be on Wednesday, 30 June. Thirty five days to take a few photos to share on the first link up, what will be your first find I wonder?

Monday 24 May 2021

Me on Monday

 Oh the excitement - on Friday night we went out.  OUT!  To have dinner with friends, inside their house! Something we used to do regularly, taking it in turns to host, something we took for granted and on Friday it was something which became the social event of the year so far!  It was even nicer because we had a takeaway meal from my favourite Thai restaurant - and ... my favourite Thai dishes (salt and pepper squid with a sweet chilli sauce, red Thai chicken curry, pad Thai noodles and crispy chicken) I was as happy as a pig in ... clover ;-)

I even wore a smart dress and boots with heels - oh how nice to be out of casual clothes and flat shoes.  Even if it was to go just 5 mins walk up the road!  Of course it was blowing a gale and raining so that's why it was boots for footwear, but that couldn't dampen our enthusiasm.  I wore makeup, and I even put on some jewellery, it was like normal times - sigh.

We've also booked a day out for next weekend.  Going to Hyde Hall which is only just under an hour away from us but even so, we are going OUT!  Fully masked up of course and keeping a distance from others but they are restricting numbers and allocating times so hopefully it'll be relatively safe especially as it is mostly outdoors. 

So what does this week hold?  Our daughter has her vaccine booked for Friday which is good and our son's age group must be coming up soon too.  I've mentioned before that we have tests done every month as part of a research project but from this month onwards we are also doing blood antibody tests to see how the vaccine is working.  We had the first one last week, it was a bit daunting to have to stab our own fingers to drip feed the blood into the sample tubes until we had 0.5ml saved, but it was easier than I thought it would be so it will be interesting to find out the results.

Zumba will be back in the hall again, that was so good last week.  I definitely put more effort into it when I know the instructor is watching rather than being part of a zoom meeting.  It was nice to be part of a group again, and to actually see people face to face (or mask to mask!)

Hopefully I'll be spending some time doing my crochet, although I have slowed down a bit, I felt a bit tired after my vaccine last weekend and I haven't picked up the pace again just yet.  

In other news, I think that my Duolingo journey may be reaching its end.  I've done a lesson a day for 424 days without a break which is longer than I expected but 'object pronouns' are driving me mad!  Spanish adds extra words into a sentence depending on some vowels and changes the order of the words.  We say 'I know you' or 'I buy it', Spanish says 'I you know' and 'I it buy'. Then the 'it' changes depending on which gender the object is and I am making so many mistakes!  Another issue I have is that it is an American app and as we all know, we speak the same language but with different words!  So sometimes I translate something into English and get it wrong because it is different in American.  When I click on the 'comment' box I can see that I am not alone, there's a whole host of Brits saying 'it's not fair!'  It's frustrating to find that 'It is cold here in the autumn' is wrong but 'It is cold here in fall' is right.  

Hasta la vista!


Monday 17 May 2021

Me on Monday

 It involved queuing in the rain and it took over an hour but ta dah ...

We went to the walk in centre at the weekend and got our second vaccinations, two weeks early 😊

The only side effect when I woke up the following day was a sore arm which improved as the day went on, and I may have had (I definitely did have) an hour's snooze on the sofa in the afternoon.  So that's all good and just in time for the easing of regulations today.  We can finally hug our family and allow them indoors - so long as there are no more than six of us.  Restaurants can now serve food indoors too and my husband's badminton crew have booked a table at the local pub for Tuesday evening just like they used to do.

Coco is feeling better, and even managed to get herself on social media when we popped into our local pet shop to buy her a new collar

Shame we didn't wait until today as she is booked in for a groom this morning and that little paw will no longer be a grubby grey but a brilliant white again!

Would you like a crochet update?

It hasn't grown a tremendous amount this week as the patterns have needed a bit more concentration but I am about half way through it now and I am still loving it. It's so nice to experiment with different stitches and it's giving me the confidence to try more intricate patterns.  I love the way this one has texture, the dots you can see are actually bobbles and it makes it a very tactile blanket.  The row that I am on at the moment is basket weave and I really have to keep an eye on what I'm doing.  I just had to undo a quarter of a row as I'd made a mistake.  This is known as 'frogging' as you just have to pull the yarn and 'rip it, rip it, rip it' 

The weather forecast this week is a bit gloomy but with the new rulings we aren't so weather dependent any more.  Zumba will be in the hall again on Thursday which I am really looking forward to, even though it will be with reduced numbers and all doors and windows open, and on Friday we are going round to friends - to sit indoors and drink wine!  We may even order an Indian takeaway to eat with them.  It's a little bit of normal back again.  How's your week looking?

Thursday 13 May 2021

In need of cheer

We're feeling a bit down over in Deb's World this week.  So in an effort to cheer ourselves up, I'll share a few photos of some of the tulips we planted this year in the new raised bed.

Love the ragged edges of these ones, aren't they unusual?

So why are we feeling a bit down in the dumps?  Well this week our son should have been completing on a new home but on Monday, the day of contract exchange, the seller 'changed his mind' and decided he didn't want to sell after all.  Despite having 3 months to think about it, negotiating moving dates etc etc.  We are going through the stages of disbelief, anger and disappointment on their behalf.  It's easy to say that something better is probably out there, and all things happen for a reason but it's not what is on their mind at the moment.  They had already sold and moved out of their home, stored their possessions and moved in with Sophie's parents at the farm so they are really in limbo now.  I think it's time for another picture 

I liked the shape of the petals of this one

Now today I am going to have to call the vets as Coco isn't well.  She's happy and sprightly in herself but something is not good with her digestion and the last couple of nights she's had us awake in the early hours needing to go into the garden.  She is not a fan of going to the vet and especially at the moment when you cannot go into the surgery with them because of covid regulations she'll be especially anxious about going.


Hopefully an hour of uplifting dancing on my Zoom Zumba class will get the endorphins flowing, but at the moment the skies are grey, we're in the middle of a sudden downpour of rain and things feel a bit 'meh'. 

Monday 10 May 2021

10 things on the 10th

 This month's prompt from Leslie is 10 things you hate (or really dislike) to do.  I thought this might be interesting because one person's dislike is another person's happy place!  Let me share the 10 things that I really don't like doing ...

  1. Going in a lift.  This is not just a dislike, it's an all out proper phobia.  This is why I need to keep relatively fit, I need to be able to be able to climb a few flights of stairs.  Let's move onto number two before the thought of going in a lift gives me a panic attack!
  2. Ironing.  There, this one won't give me heart palpitations but I really don't like doing it.  Then the pile of ironing gets taller, the task seems greater and we're on a downward track.  
  3. The thought of eating oysters.  I know they are a delicacy.  I know that they have a certain reputation 😉 but the thought of that raw, slippery fish having to be swallowed whole ... ugh!
  4. Touching feet.  I can cope with babies feet, and little children's feet, I don't even mind my own too much but there is no way on this earth that I could ever be a chiropodist, touching feet all day.  So if you are looking for a foot massage, I am not the person to call. 👣
  5. Going to the dentist.  I had a horrible dentist when I was younger. Rude, abrupt and unsympathetic - all the things my current dentist isn't.  But I still get that horrible stomach churning feeling when I'm in the waiting room, and I am always skipping speedily down the corridor on my way out if I haven't had to have anything done. 
  6. Bats.  You're sitting out in the garden in the early evening in summer when out of the corner of your eye you notice a fluttering in the trees.  It's way past the birds' bedtime, it can only be bats flying around.  🦇 Oh how they give me the heebie jeebies.  Just thinking about them sends shivers down my spine. Can we move onto number seven please?   
  7. Being cold.  I really don't like feeling cold.  This may be why taking up crocheting blankets is the ideal hobby for me.  Once you get past a certain point, it keeps you warm while you are making it and you end up with something warm and comforting when it's finished.
  8. Being out of my depth in water.  I'm not a good swimmer and didn't learn to swim until I was an adult so I like to know that if I want to stop and put my feet down, I will feel the reassurance of a pool tile, or a sandy beach beneath me.  I had adult improver lessons about 30 years ago and the instructor was bemused by the fact that I could swim for ages if I thought the floor was within touching distance, but the minute I ventured down the deep end of the pool, I got in a panic until I reached the other side!
  9. Being stuck in traffic on a motorway.  We once spent more time getting home from a local airport than it had taken us to fly home from Barcelona to London.  I absolutely hate traffic jams.  I think it's because you feel so hemmed in with no escape because on a lot of British motorways the junctions where you can get on and off are few and far between. Then of course we have the issue of being in a queue and needing a 'comfort break' ... 
  10. Being bored.  I'm the kind of person who needs to be doing something.  I get restless if I don't have something to do.  So it's lucky that I enjoy crafting and cooking.  Not to mention reading, you can never be bored if you have a book to read can you?
That's it.  There are my ten things.  Do you have ten things you don't like to do?  Let me know if any of your ten match one of mine!

Friday 7 May 2021

One photo - twenty words


What a lovely treat!  We ventured out for a trip to Cambridge. Our first proper day out since lockdown ended!

Monday 3 May 2021

A Sentence a Day in April

 Here we go again - still in lockdown except we can meet up to six people outdoors, nothing much else has relaxed.  This month should include a much needed hair cut - I shall try and remember to do before and after photos!

Day 1 April Fool's Day!  Had our monthly Covid test

Day 2 Good Friday, Jon & family came over for a breezy, brief al fresco lunch followed by a lovely walk over the park so Max could see the ducks.

Day 3 Tidied up garden and kept checking weather forecast for tomorrow, keeping fingers crossed there really is going to be a big difference between then and today's chilly wind.

Day 4 A gloriously sunny, warm Easter Sunday with lunch on the patio - Rachel and family came over.  This was our first Easter Sunday with Rosie, her first was spent in hospital with a worrying blood disorder and the second was in last year's lockdown - third time lucky!

Day 5 Easter Monday and it snowed, just a few flurries but definitely freezing cold and snowflakes #whatadifferenceadaymakes

Day 6 Went to Waitrose to collect some outdoor tableware that I'd ordered from John Lewis and managed to spend £60 on groceries while I was waiting for it to be brought through from the warehouse!  Had Leo and Rosie over for a few hours this afternoon 

Day 7 Max came to visit today and Coco went to the groomers - 

Day 8 The guy who was coming to help dig out the path in the garden was let down by the company delivering the skip and gravel and had to reschedule his visit so we found ourselves with no plans for the day, I ended up tackling some of the shredding which has accumulated in the study.

Day 9 Suggested to Rachel that we took the children to the park with Rosie on her scooter and Leo on his bike, I didn't realise they would go so fast #notasfitasithoughtiwas

This was also the day that we heard that the Duke of Edinburgh had died at the age of 99.

Day 10 Discovered that our tv package now includes the new season of Greys Anatomy - if you need me, you'll find me in the lounge, catching up.

Day 11 Popped over to help steam clean the carpets in Jon's house ready for the sale to go through tomorrow - then helped them take some last bits to his in-laws house (where they'll be living until the purchase of their new home completes). A lovely excuse to spend a bit of time with Max.

Day 12 It was SO cold today, typical weather bearing in mind today was the day that restaurants and pubs can open to offer outdoor dining only!

Day 13 Change of plans today so flitted about doing nothing in particular and caught up with housework

Day 14 Much more fun today as we had Max for the day, thankfully it was bright an sunny (even if it wasn't warm!) because he loves to be outside in the garden!

Day 15 Zumba - followed by a well overdue haircut!

Yes I did forget to do the 'before' photo!

Day 16 The new path in the garden has been dug out, had gravel and paving slabs filled in and is looking good!

Day 17 Our first social engagement since lockdown ended - drinks with friends in their garden, thank goodness the weather was kind!

Day 18 Max came for lunch while his mum and dad had a pub lunch with two sets of his aunties and uncles.  

Day 19 Paul went to visit a friend who has moved away so I had a girly day with Rachel and Rosie, shopping in the morning then back to our garden for lunch and playtime

Day 20 Our first full day of childcare since December, Rosie was here from 8.30, then we collected Leo from school at 3pm and they were here until almost 6pm - it was a long day and we were exhausted.

Day 21 Jon brought Max over to see us and we spent a long time 'helping' grandad in the garden

Day 22 Went to a garden centre to get a few more bits and pieces for the garden

Day 23 Woke up feeling in a bit of a grouchy mood, couldn't really say why but I was just feeling a bit 'touchy' all day.

Day 24 Zumba on a Saturday for a change, then we went to see Leo at his football lesson in the morning, it was at the same place that we used to take our son when he first started kicking a ball around 25 years ago!

Day 25 An early start to the day, Coco decided she needed to go out into the garden at 4.15am 😬 Jon, Sophie and Max came over for lunch in the garden, was a bit breezy but the sun was shining.

Day 26 We received some lovely news (there's a clue in the video)

Day 27 Looked after Rosie today, Paul had to do a first aid course as part of his volunteer duties over our local park - he was surprised to find my Zumba teacher taking part as well!

Day 28 Looked after Max, he's really talking a lot now and copying everything you say.

Day 29 Too breezy for coffee in the garden with a friend so we went for an hour long walk instead #cantwaittomeetupindoors

Day 30 My sister and brother in law both have birthdays next week so they came over for a coffee in the garden to collect their presents.

Another month done and dusted!  I'm still remembering to capture one second of every day, and here's the video ...

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter