Saturday, 28 March 2020


Good morning.

My thanks to Sue from A Smaller and Simpler Life for the tip about ordering the Radio Times online as a subscription.  I always get it if I can - it's a good read, there's quizzes to entertain, and keep your brain going and, of course, programme listings.  Also, it will be really nice to have something popping through the door each week.

Well, I did the PE with Joe again after Thursday's little cop out . . . or, as the subtitles have it, 'Pee with Joe' which really does put a whole new slant on the thing, doesn't it?  He probably shouldn't have done it yesterday as he had an operation on his hand (something broken, I think) later in the day and was 'nil by mouth' as they say.  The poor chap kept looking round for his non existent water bottle and by the end he seemed knackered, he really did.

I caught up with the Jamie Keep Cooking programmes.  There were three available and now I've set a series link so won't miss any.  OK, so his idea of store cupboard ingredients is maybe a bit more lavish than mine but that's a very personal thing and it's not hard to swap in other stuff.  Some really good ideas so good on ya, Jamie - and Joe - and all the other celebrities who are rising to the occasion and helping out in their own way.

After that I walked to Morrisons, gloves on and scarf around nose and mouth and feeling a bit foolish and rather over-heated but I wasn't the only one.  There was a queue, a long queue, but they let me in because I was just going to the pharmacy so ten minutes later I was walking home again, feeling all the better for the exercise and the fresh air.

The washing went out on the line, making me feel good as it billowed out in the breeze.  It was all white things which always look great and fill me with satisfaction.  I saved the ironing for today!

Beth and I had another video chat which was really lovely.  We've decided to do this every other day so the next one is Sunday.  It's very reassuring to actually see her and we chatted about all sorts of things.  I do wish Dad did this too, but he doesn't.  Never mind, can't be helped.

To my surprise and relief, the cleaners turned up, professionally garbed in gloves and masks.  I suppose they are counted as a support thing; I know they clean for quite a number of elderly people.  I sort of hoped they might as I hadn't heard they wouldn't but you never know at the moment.  Anyway, they washed hands and faces, gave me space to vanish upstairs and worked their usual magic before calling up that they were leaving.

Today has started early with a two o'clock wake.  I did try to get back to sleep but it eluded me so I'm downstairs at just before four.  I've done an inventory of the pull out unit in the kitchen and now all I have to do is the main part of the chest freezer.

I'm combining some of my 'somethings' - there were far too many.  I guess they are a work in progress until I'm totally happy with the headings.

Something energetic (inside and out):
No Joe today, it's not a school day so I'll stick with Lindsey's programme and maybe some salsacise
The front strip is showing a few weeds so I can rake over that and I want to move some strawberry plants that seem to have strayed along the bed rather too far.

Something social:
It's quite hard when you can't see anyone.  I do try to be really encouraging on our local SW fb group page and I'm in touch with family via email very regularly - must do an update today!

Something in the house:
An inventory of the pullout cupboard in the kitchen - already done.
Ironing and sorting out one of my bedroom cupboards
Having found an embarrassingly old pack of dried marrowfat peas, I'm in the middle of turning some of them into mushy peas.  When they're cool, I'll portion them out and freeze them.  They're great as a veg and in soups.

Something creative/relaxing:
Knitting.  I rarely sit down without doing some.
I'm loving The Crown and looking forward to watching a few more episodes today.

What are your lockdown plans for today?

Friday, 27 March 2020


Good morning!  Wasn't the weather lovely again yesterday?  Today looks like being just as lovely, according to the BBC.  Long may it continue!

Such a lovely thing happened yesterday morning.  I opened the front door (actually to put a thank you note out for the bin men) and there, beside the door, was a box of fifteen happy-hen eggs.  It was from one of my mums who can get into the shops early, being an NHS worker.  So, so kind and it brought tears to my eyes as you may imagine.
Image result for thank you
I may freeze some of them in little pots as most of my egg usage involves whisked eggs and this seems to be a sensible way to preserve them.

Of course, it was a really great start to the day?  Acts of kindness really help so much.

Bang on eight, I went to Morrisons in the car.  It actually opens at seven but the first hour is for NHS workers who have to wear their badge to prove it.  My heart sank a bit as I saw a bit of a queue but it was only the changeover and people were moving in easily.
To my delight, I managed to get just about everything on the list Beth had emailed over to me.  No flour, of course, no baked beans, no anti-bac stuff (I got her some bleach that she can dilute and use) but there were eggs and there was plenty of fresh fruit and veg, bread (restricted to three items only) and even some paper tissues.

The check out queues were pretty long as people were maintaining distance but the shop seemed empty enough by then.  I chose a checkout with a friend manning it.  She seemed to be having some trouble with customers trying to buy too much and arguing the point but the till wouldn't check out more than the permitted amount of anything so, even if she'd been so inclined, she couldn't give way!  Bottles of wine seemed top be the main point of contention for many!  Oh, dear.

When I got to the front, we had a good old chat as she checked me out which was nice.  The only thing I couldn't have was because they seem to have lumped chopped tomatoes and pulses in the same category.  Why?  I have no idea and neither did C but no point in arguing, I decided to hand back the can of butter beans as I had given Beth some pulses last week so I reckoned she was OK for them (and so she was).

When I got out, I realised why there weren't many people in the shop.  Because of the early rush, they had started a one out and one in routine and the (distanced) queue spread right along to the end of the shop and down to the end of the car park!!  Rather like those old clips of WWII.

I shall definitely go early next time again!

After getting the shopping back to Beth (still maintaining distance), I went home and, I'm ashamed to admit, I rather slumped for the rest of the day, not in a sad and depressed way, just in a lazy way.  I was very tired, of course, after being short of sleep; maybe that's my excuse.  I even skipped PE with Joe, bad me.  So, if you see anything reappearing as a Thing to Do - that's why!

Today's plans.
Something physical:      
PE with Joe and Lindsey's PT programme.  I MUST do some today to make up for yesterday

Something outside:       
My prescription has arrived so I will walk to the chemist in Morrisons and get it made up.  In the sunshine, that will be lovely.  If there's a queue, as I'm just going to the chemist, maybe they will let me in.

Something for someone else:      
I shall be checking round the family today.  I know Dad is being well 'looked after' by his lovely support network which is a great weight off our collective family mind.  He even asked me how to cook mince - that's pretty much the first cooking from scratch he has done in a very, very long time.

Something in the kitchen:  
Prepping some peppers for the freezer.  I lay them on easy leave on a tray and open freeze them before bagging them so they don't stick together.

Something for the house:  
changing the sheets, washing and ironing - should've done this yesterday, I know

Something creative:  
knitting - I started on my new yarn yesterday.  I just couldn't resist it, even though I only have one sock from the yarn I was working on before.  At least I didn't start a new one half way through a sock!  That would have been daft.
Pink and pretty!

Next winter, I will have cosy toes!
(it looks as if I've made a mistake in the ribbing - I haven't, it's just uneven and will even out after wearing and washing)

Something social:  
As I'm off to put in my prescription, I'm sure I will exchange smiles and brief words with people as we pass.  Everyone wants to engage now.  And I might have a vid-chat with Beth, if she wants.

Something entertaining:  
The new Mike Jeavons thing will be up on YouTube and I want to finish the last week on Muscle food too.  I'm well into The Crown now and must have my daily fix!

What are your plans for today?

Thursday, 26 March 2020


Good morning!  Another stupid o'clock waking this morning.  I've stopped worrying about them.  I just settle down to something and go back to bed if and when the spirit moves.

Yesterday turned out to be quite a day in a small way.
Last week, Beth got my laptop set up for an online interview she was having and I'm grateful for that because yesterday it came in useful!

First, though, after getting the message from Chris, I popped over the cul de sac with one of the sliced, frozen loaves, left it on the door step, banged on the door and stepped back.  We had a brief shouted conversation at a distance which was jolly nice before I came back in for PE with Joe.  I found it a bit of a killer - it seemed to have more squats and I'm not good with them!  I'm afraid I wimped out of a few sections!

Then it was general housework, prepping meals properly so it would be easy to stick with the plans, until midday when, after a bit of a hassle, Lindsey and I had an online personal training session together, using the bits and bobs I have at home - balance ball, balance plate, some of the resistance bands, weights and a step (actually an old Wii step with a riser).
You know what - it was brilliant!  She'd worked out a programme for me and it was almost as good as f2f with all the chatter and jokes, etc.  Lovely to be interacting with someone.

In the afternoon, Beth and I were facebook chatting when we thought - why not give a video chat a try.  So we did and yes!!  Because I could see her face and she knows me anyway, I could hear pretty well and we had a good old chat with Alex joining in now and again.  It was really lovely!

And then, as if that wasn't enough, Jennifer (SW consultant) had set up a meeting using Zoom and some of us were in the first group to give it a go.  There were a few teething problem, I got chucked off once and when I got back in the band width was low so the picture kept freezing and, due to that and the fact that several people talked at once, I really couldn't hear a lot.  Never mind - it was great to see different faces.  I wasn't the only one to have connection issues in the first group.  However, the second group had fewer issues so it's really a case of live and learn with what was a new medium for a number of us.

So an exciting day in my own, small way.

Add to that the fact that my yarn arrived (yay, cheers) . . .

 . . . and so did five 10k bags of granular salt.  Heavy things but I can get them stacked in the shed one at a time.

Today, I think, will be calmer!

Beth has sent me a shopping list.  She can't get out, of course, having been ordered to isolate for health reasons.  Alex doesn't drive.  So I will pop to Morrisons at eight and see what I can get before dropping it round to her.  There's a fair old bit of wishful thinking on her list, I think, but I will do the best I can.

I will miss the live PE with Joe, but that's OK, I can do it later.

I have a few YouTube things to catch up on.  I enjoy the Mike Jeavons 'A week on . . . ' series and he's started one called 'A week on Apocalypse food' which should be funny is an understated, ironic way.  I can catch up with days one and two of that.  There's another one I'm half way through watching called 'A Month on Muscle Food - do the unthinkable' and I want to watch more of that too.

I'm going to deal with my peppers today!  I seem to have rather more red and green peppers than I need but I know they will freezer well because I've done it.  I de-seed them, cut them into slices and open freeze them before bagging them and I'll just keep a few for salads.
I know it's my fault - there was a bag of wonky peppers and I love getting wonky veg!

I also had some - cough - red wine left over from the blowout on Tuesday so that's going into small pots to be frozen too.  I can use it for cooking.

After reading an entry on Sue's blog about simple living where she talked about her activities going under headings, I thought of my own to organise my day.

Something physical: today that's PE with Joe
Something outside: shopping for Beth
Something for someone else: ditto
Something in the kitchen:  avoiding food waste by prepping and freezing
Something for the house:  changing the sheets, washing and ironing
Something creative:  knitting and sewing
Something social:  difficult but I do email Dad every day and Beth and I might have another video chat
Something entertaining:  That's the Mike Jeavons things

God grief, that's twice as many headings as Sue had but I do like her idea and I won't have something under those headings every day.

Have a positive and safe day, everyone.  xx

Wednesday, 25 March 2020


Good morning, everyone.  It's another fine and frosty start to a day that looks as if it is going to be sunny and bright again, thank goodness.  The sun shining through the glass makes downstairs lovely and cosy without any need for thicker jumpers, etc.

Yesterday was a very odd feeling day indeed.  I spent most of it in quite high anxiety.  It would have been fine if BJ hadn't made his announcements on Monday evening, stopping unnecessary journeys, staying at home, etc.
Yesterday morning, Beth set off in the car for Norwich (about two and a half hours each way) to pick Alex and all his bits and bobs up from Uni and bring him home to security and safety.  All day I was envisaging police blocks, being stopped by the army, all sort of worrying and highly improbable stoppages such as arrests, having bail them out, etc.
Of course, it was all wasted worry - it was fine, the traffic was quite light (well, it would be under the circumstances, but the A12 can be horrendous so it was a relief), she wasn't stopped once and she was able to have a good rest while Alex went to and fro loading up the car with all his stuff.  She stayed in the car as, officially, she is isolating for health reasons.
It came under the heading of support for a vulnerable person so most likely would have been OK anyway but - oh, the worry.  Not a nice day.

Other things were also just slightly off beam.
Last week, I mentioned about getting some bread delivered.  It came yesterday but, of course, now I have no way of getting some to Beth as originally intended so I had four pretty large (and very delicious) wholemeal loaves to deal with somehow.  I sliced them all and, fortunately, managed to get them into the freezer so when we can move around a bit more again, they will be there for her.  I asked round the cul de sac (we have a FB/Messenger group thingy going on) but everyone seems fine for bread.

And then there was the paper.  Last week I needed more printer paper which I use for printing tuition work out.  I looked all around but there was none because, I guess, parents had bought it all up for the work the schools are sending home.  Fair enough!
So I went online to Amazon and ordered some.  It seemed more sensible to get five reams and certainly more economical.   And then lockdown happened so no tuition anyway!
Now I have five reams of paper that certainly won't be wasted but need a home.  Upstairs in the guest room is probably the best place and, thinking positively, great exercise if I run them up one at a time!

After the sudden release of tension when Beth let me know she was safely home, I'm afraid I lost it a bit, food wise, so yesterday's carefully thought out food plans ended up in great disarray but not to worry.  It was one part of one day, that's all.   Back on plan now!

The good things were that I enjoyed the PE with Joe half hour (I adapt some of it, in case you're thinking I can do more than I really can) and, having very much in mind that I was almost out of granular salt for the water softener (talk about first world problems), went online and found places that deliver and now I have some 10K bags being delivered today.
Also, I am thoroughly enjoying The Crown, I really am.  I wonder what the Royal family itself makes of it.
Finally, Dad is being very well looked after by Ann, the next door neighbour.  She got a next day 'geriatric' slot with Sainsbury for home delivery and added Dad's requirements to her order so he's well stocked.  Also, like me (after all, we are father and daughter) he doesn't believe in running stocks down too low anyway and has a one open and one on the shelf policy.

Goodness, I have gone on - sorry.  It's really helped to type it all out and I'm left with a very thankful feeling that Beth and Alex are safely home.

On to today, there's three organised things.  Firstly, PE with Joe at nine which I really don't want to miss as it's a great start to the day, no matter how irritating I find his perpetual chatter!
Then, at twelve, Lindsey and I are going to attempt an online PT lesson, she recording and me typing in answers and doing what she says.  We'll see how it goes.  A good thing is that I will have a recorded work out for the rest of the week too, if it's needed or wanted.
Finally, at four thirty, Jennifer (SW consultant) is going to start some online training of a system that SW is setting up in place of the real meetings.  I have no idea what that will involve but I will give it a jolly good go.

Between times, there's a kitchen to tidy and clean, washing and ironing, knitting, sewing and telly.  I won't be bored, that's a fact!

Last of all, one positive thing - it may be that working on allotments might be allowed, perhaps under the 'one form of exercise each day' heading and also because it is, by its very nature, an isolated experience and, of course, food production in a small way.  Fingers crossed.

On that positive note, have a great day, whatever you have planned.  xx

(Just as I was about to click on 'publish' a message popped up from Chris over the cul de sac.  She will take one of the loaves.  Three cheers!)

Tuesday, 24 March 2020


Good morning.
More changes, eh?  I stopped all tuition last night (shame I'd planned a session before hearing the new rules, darn it) and Lindsey is now delivering my personal training online.  I've sent her a photo of the equipment I have.  It looks a bit feeble but she says it's fine.

Yesterday went fine.  I now have a complete and working back gate again (thanks, Jeff) and tuition was good.
After tuition, I went on to YouTube to find the Joe Wicks PE half hour and enjoyed it very much indeed.  I'm sure I will be able to keep up with this every day, Monday to Friday.  Come the warmer weather, I could even do it in the garden, couldn't I?
By the time I was able to sit down and relax, it was half way through the afternoon so I got the paper pattern for the skirt cut out but no further.  I can carry on with that today.  In a way, I don't want to go ahead with it too quickly; I want it to spread out and take time.
I got the sock finished so that's another pair done.  Maybe the new yarn will come today, fingers crossed.

Also, I have got round to ordering the tomato plants plus some strawberry plants (the strawberry bed is looking a bit thin) so if I can't get to the allotment (likely), I will still have a bit of produce and I always plant runner beans in the garden too.

So - on to today.
I am hoping to:
do the Joe Wicks PE lesson
wipe over everything
get the skirt cut out
start a new sock
watch more of The Crown
I want to see if Morrisons has any eggs - I'm getting short of eggs.  Life will go on without them but it would be handy to have a few more.  Hopefully, that counts as necessary grocery shopping.
I'm hoping Jennifer will do an online SW meeting this morning - that's when the 'real' group would be.  I'll be there, if she does, that's for sure.

Have a good day as you get used to a new way of living, whatever you have planned.  xx

Monday, 23 March 2020


Good morning.  The sun is shining brightly, the sky is a beautiful blue and Jeff is mending my gate which fell off its hinges on Saturday morning.
Admittedly, it had been going for ages and he was scheduled to mend it this morning anyway but the gusty wind just finished it off.

I slept very badly over Saturday night so yesterday ended up a very long day indeed.  I sorted out the fridge and one compartment of the chest freezer.  Precious little to discard, thankfully, and I dealt with the buildup of ice by getting a plastic thingy and scraping most of it down and then out.

I did all sorts of bits and bobs, just one little thing after another really.  I was going to take a tentative trip to Hobbycraft to get sylko for the fabrics I want to make up but first of all had a look through they sylko Beth and I already have and I found matches for each one which is great.  Then I went online and ordered some waistband elastic so that was off my list.  If I need zips, I can do the same thing and if the match isn't quite right I can look upon it as an opportunity to practise the perfect concealed zip!  Fortunately, I'm still at the simple pattern stage!

I finished one sock and started its partner.  That's gone well, I'm past the heel so should finish that today.  Then I wait for my order to arrive. 

Dad and I had an email conversation regarding me going over - well, he said don't and I agreed!  It's not sensible for him.  He's very much in the vulnerable category for many reasons and, although I'm distancing and feel fit and well, you just don't know.  I shall miss him but it's par for the course at the moment and I message him every day.

Today, once Jeff has finished the gate, I'm off down the road to tuition and then back home for the rest of the day.

On today's to-do list is less housework and more stuff I enjoy.  I've dug out the patterns I want and have the fabric and the sylko so I will start on a skirt and a top (not matching) and see how far I can get today.
If I feel like it, I may start on the main body of the chest freezer but only if I want to.  It can wait and I feel like being a bit more lazy - or maybe I mean self indulgent - today after a bitty and busy weekend.

I did get round to starting The Crown yesterday and it really is great entertainment.  I can see it will keep me well occupied for a while to come, interspersed with less serious things like Star Trek and whatever offerings there are on the telly.  I'm loving House of Games at the moment; a much more cheerful choice than the news!  I see the Great British Menu is back - I approve of the changes - and there's always the latest version of an old favourite, Ready Steady Cook.

I'm not going to be able to catch all of the Joe Wicks PE lesson today so I'll do what I can and catch up with the rest later.  I must write it in my diary until it gets to be habit.

It's a very bitty entry today, reflecting how things are at the moment.  Most of the usual and ongoing things that give the week structure and shape have gone.  It won't be long before I have to check the PC to remember what day it is!!  No grumbles, one can get used to anything!
Stay safe and well, everyone.  xx

Sunday, 22 March 2020


Morning, everyone.  This is even more stupidly early than usual.  I knew when I went early to bed that it would happen but maybe not quite as early as this and I was falling asleep anyway.  Too many thoughts buzzing around in my head, I think.  Hopefully sleep will return in an hour or so.

After realising I was getting a bit low on things like washing up liquid and hair shampoo and conditioner (definitely first world issues), I popped round to Morrisons yesterday and got them.  There wasn't a full shelf there but enough and I just got what I needed.  At half eight on a Saturday morning, Morrisons is usually deserted but not yesterday.  I wouldn't say it was teeming but it was definitely busier than usual and almost all the checkouts were open.
It was nice to walk out in the fresh air - and boy, was it fresh yesterday!  Quite a stiff breeze at times and chilly, despite the bright sun.

I got the ironing done and there's not much more generated for today as most of what was on the line could be folded, aired and put away.

A little bit of the chest freezer is now tidy.  I'll tackle the fast freeze compartment today.  Little and often is the name of the game here. 

Beth came round and it was good to chat although we both kept distance from each other.  She finished off a weighted quilt she is making for a friend although goodness knows when it will get posted.  When she left, she took with her the sewing machine, some fabrics and other bits and bobs plus some rhubarb from the allotment and a bag of Delia's veggie sausage rolls from the freezer.

Today is more of the same really.  I'll get the ironing done, such as it is, and I think there's enough for a load of darks; the weather forecast was good so they can go outside to blow and freshen.
I think I will turn out the fridge, not that it needs it but as I'm doing all the other kitchen cupboards, etc, I may as well do that as well and it's never the wrong time to wipe over the shelves, etc.

I have some planning to do.  Tuition is continuing for now as long as it is possible (and, hopefully, it will remain possible because that will mean everyone is fit and well).

I started watching 'The Crown' but didn't get very far because Beth arrived.  Maybe I can watch a bit more today.

The top didn't get started but maybe today . . . it's not that important.  However, I finished one sock and have started on the other.  I was hoping they would do for Beth but they aren't wide enough so I will make some more in a larger size.  The yarn I am using is old yarn that I bought because it was £1 a ball so I have enough.  Mother and daughter matching socks - how about that!

Today is a bit sad because it was Mothering Sunday one year ago when Mum died.  The actual date was the last day of March.  I will keep busy and do useful things to keep positive.

So my list for today (which includes things that didn't get done yesterday) is . . .
washing and ironing
wipe all surfaces
order plants (again)
cut out top

Nothing terribly exciting or innovative there.
What's yours?  xx