Thursday, 20 January 2022


Good morning everyone!  It's a cold and frosty early morning here with a brilliant moon and twinkling stars in a clear sky.  Gorgeous!

Thank you so much for all your helpful advice regarding my camera.  I dug out the other two batteries I have and also the other memory cards.  The new battery seems to be holding its change fine so that's sorted that and why I didn't consider that is beyond me!!
It looks as if I've been doing things wrong so I need to consult the relevant part of the manual and start chapter two of the course again.  It puts me rather behind but not to worry.  And if I really can't do what's required in the course because of camera limitations rather than my own limitations, then so be it.  For those who might know, it is a Panasonic DCM TZ70 (if that means anything at all).
(and apologies for being so grumpy about it yesterday)

I thought I had most of the day to concentrate on all of this but I don't as Lindsey contacted me to ask if I could go to personal training today rather than tomorrow as she was feeling a bit rough.  I agreed, of course.  

I got the rest of the ironing done - three cheers - and I spent a most enjoyable time online looking at middle of the road country cottages in the Peak District, ending up with a short list to send to Suzanne to see what she thinks.  Does anyone reading this have any suggestions - two bedrooms, Wi-Fi and off road parking space are the three must-haves.

I think I was just generally feeling a tad grumpy and down in the dumps yesterday.  Maybe it really is a thing - third week in January - January blues (that rings a bell)?  Anyway, time to pull myself together and move on, I think.  After all, even if I can't get my head round the camera course (grrrrr), I am still lucky enough to have a nice little camera that takes pretty OK photos all by itself without me needing to understand how or why.  And some lovely friends in here who take the time to comment and advise.  That makes me both happy and blessed, doesn't it?  
(I've been testing for Covid because I've been a bit achey as well, but all's clear in that direction)

So - after that bit of pondering, what about today?
Well, fist of all, Chris is coming over for out usual Thursday hour of coffee and a good old natter.  I'm looking forward to that very much.

Then I have less than an hour before I drive over to Lindsey's (assuming she is feeling well enough) and in that time I will have my breakfast and get changed and ready.

Once that's over, I will tackle the camera stuff again and see if I can 
a) understand what it's going on about in chapter two and
b)  get my camera to behave!!

I took a few more flower photos - just because it cheered me up to see them.

Well, better stop rambling and get on with other stuff.  Have a really super day, everyone, stay safe and warm and happy!  xx

Wednesday, 19 January 2022


 Good morning, everyone!  I've just been to the shed and it feels a lot milder than yesterday morning.  The sky is pretty clear but there's no frost; my fingers and toes feel warm, always a good thing!

Yesterday never really brightened up - it was misty pretty much all day so I didn't bother with putting any washing out.  Despite that, I got four loads done and dried, one way or t'other, and three loads got ironed and out away - yay!  The last load dried overnight and now just needs an iron which I can do this morning.
It's so nice to have empty washing baskets!

It was so dull and dreary yesterday that I felt quite unmotivated so, after breakfast (I eat late), very much on the spur of the moment, I jumped up, got a few things together and set off for Hyde Hall.  There wouldn't be any views and it was cold but, on the other hand, it was very still so it would be OK on top of the hill and I just needed to get out into the fresh air for a while.

I am so glad I did.  There were enough people there to make it pleasant without being in any way crowded.  Also, it was a bit clearer out in the country and the sun almost - but not quite - nearly broke through.
There wasn't much to see in the way of flowers but their snowdrops are more advanced than mine and there were loads of little green bulb spikes sticking up.  I'll go again in about a month - there should be plenty to see by then.
There was a lot of work going on all over the place and I noticed that they have planted a small orchard of Japanese cherry treelets which will look a picture once established.  So pretty.

I spent quite a while watching a cheeky robin who was far to bouncy for a good photo, a blackbird who was more accommodating and some ducks on the bigger pond who were idly dabbling in and out, while I chanted to myself as much as I could remember of the delightful 'Ducks' Ditty' from Graham's 'The Wind In The Willows'. 

All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all!

Ducks’ tails, drakes’ tails,
Yellow feet a-quiver,
Yellow bills all out of sight
Busy in the river!

Slushy green undergrowth
Where the roach swim—
Here we keep our larder,
Cool and full and dim.

Everyone for what he likes!
We like to be
Heads down, tails up,
Dabbling free!

High in the blue above
Swifts whirl and call—
We are down a-dabbling
Up tails all!

(I can hear Mum reading it to me as she did when I was a little girl)
I don't think Mr Blackbird agreed though!

I was frustrated with my camera.  I think I must have changed some setting somehow and things were going wonky so I did a factory reset and now I can only take a small number of photos before the battery is empty which is so annoying.  Today I must got back to the manual and find out what I have to do to sort it out.  

Also, discouragingly, I'm not doing very well at all with the camera course - and by that I mean I can't get my brain around it and I hate to go on when things aren't sticking.  Maybe I haven't got a good enough camera for things to be able to work in the way the book says they should.  
I am obviously lower in the pecking order  than an absolute beginner and I really must sit down, first with manual and then with book and try to sort something out.  

So today is ironing, personal training and seeing if I can make head or tail of the camera course.  I won't throw the book in the bin in frustration, I promise, but I may come close!!  But I have to sort out the battery thing first!

I hope your day goes better than mine promises to go - lol!

Tuesday, 18 January 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  We have another frosty start to the day here with a crystal clear sky and a shining not-quite-full moon.  It's beautiful out there.

After a leisurely breakfast, both of us chatting nineteen to the dozen, Suzanne collected her things together and departed and I got my things together and set off to pick someone up and head for circuit training  The sun was shining, the roads were pretty clear and it was very pleasant.

Lindsey worked us very hard during circuits - which is just what I pay for so no complaints - and I'm beginning to be able to do some of the higher impact stuff - so I'm doing, for example, ten star jumps and then ten of the no jump alternatives.  That's a bit improvement on even just before Christmas and it felt great!  After the summer injuries, I am being extremely careful, but it's great to see progress.

Suzanne let me know she was safely home after a remarkably easy journey, considering she was on the M25. 

Later on, I set off down the road for tuition and that was good too.  My student's teacher is back today having 'had his baby' and some time off.  I am guessing there will be a few celebrations in the staffroom at some point - cake, for a start!  I remember playground cake with great affection.

When I got home from that I suddenly felt absolutely shattered.  I'm very much an introvert and, while I love meeting up with others and enjoying their company is absolutely fantastic, it does drain me - I get my energy from being on my own.
I was so tired I ended up in bed before eight o'clock, thinking that if I did wake early, so be it.  I might have had a wakey spell in the night, I don't remember, but I woke just before five this morning and feel a lot livelier again!  Phew.

It's nice that I have a day in today.  Nothing in the diary at all.  Normally, I would think about doing my weekly shop but, looking at what's on the list, nothing is particularly urgent so I will give it a miss this week and just use up what I have.

The biggie is washing.  I have a full basket plus towels and bedding, so that's top of the list really and, assuming a sunny day like yesterday, I might get some of it out on the line.  It might not completely dry, but it will freshen up nicely in the sunshine.
The other is sorting out the Sunday chicken.  Having boiled up the carcass overnight in the slow cooker, I have to sort that out, get it into little pots and into the freezer.  Ditto with a bowl of chicken 'bits', always useful for pies, pasta, pate, etc.  
I also want to start looking for country cottages in the Peaks.  Suzanne has never been and I would love to go back, so it seems a good place to start our holiday adventures.

Well, better go.  The first load of washing should be fairly close to finishing so I can put in the next load which will then go in the tumble dryer so there's no piles of wet washing waiting for space on the drying rack.  The third load can probably go outside on the line.

What are your plans for today?  Have a good one and keep safe and well.  xx

Monday, 17 January 2022


Good morning, everyone.  I'm back properly after a lovely weekend.  This morning, unlike yesterday morning, is clear, dry and frosty and looks lovely in the light from the street lamp.

We went to two places.
On Saturday, as I said, we drove out to Greensted Church which is a lovely small wooden based church, the oldest surviving wooden church in Europe at least.  Their bumph actually says in the world.  We spent a while wandering round the outside, getting thoroughly chilled, and than we went in to look around.  It was a bit warmer inside but still quite cold and, because the day was very dull and misty, it was rather hard to read all the stone tablets, etc.  The last few times I have visited, the sun was streaming in through the stained glass and it made such a difference to the lighting.
We had a chat to a very pleasant gentleman who goes around taking photos of these old churches in hopes of increasing interest in them.  He was very concerned that many of these wonderful old building might be lost to future generations in a short time and was really interesting.

Yesterday, we changed our minds as the day started out misty and damp again and, instead of Hyde Hall, we went to Cressing Temple Barns.  I love it there.
Of course, while we were driving over, out came the sun and the rest of the day was glorious!!
After lunch at the Tiptree Tea Room (tomato and red pepper soup - yum!), we just wandered about, dipping into all the old buildings, reading the information and chatting nineteen to the dozen.

It was been such a lovely weekend.  We've decided that it would be nice to have a few holidays together in the UK so I'll be doing some research over the next few week.  We're both retired so we can go whenever it suits us.

Back to normal life again - well, when Suzanne leaves this morning it will be - so I have circuit training midday and then tuition after school.  I haven't prepped anything yet but there's things left from last week that we can work on so I'm not so concerned really.

I didn't take my camera with me on either day so no photos but both places have sites.

Have a great day, everyone.  It's pretty cold so stay warm and cosy and be safe.  xx

Sunday, 16 January 2022


 Thank you for your comments, everyone.  I'll be back properly some time tomorrow.  We're having a lovely time - well, I am and I expect Suzanne is too.  We're making happy plans!


Friday, 14 January 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  It's a very cold and frosty morning today but, so far, lovely and clear.  The threatened mist never developed yesterday and we were treated to a beautifully sunny day that felt almost warm in the direct sun.  It would be lovely to have more the same today.

I had my chat with Chris - as always, it was lovely.

Then, after breakfast, I drove down the the car valeting place and sat in splendid idleness while they washed and wiped, polished and dusted, swept and shone until the car looked an absolute show model (apart from sundry marks, etc, that won't come off - it is about eight or so years old, after all.

Then I came home and stopped off at Morrisons to get my meds and, fingers crossed, some lateral flow tests, only to be greeted by a sign saying the chemist was shut for an hour over lunchtime, apologies, etc.  My slight irritation was thoroughly swamped by my pleasure that somewhere still had a lunch break, just like the olden days!  I suspect it was more covid related, but never mind, it gave me a little jolt of reminiscence.  When I was little and went home from school for lunch, I knew that if Mr Beresford had opened his shop for the afternoon, I was likely to be late.  The number of times I ran from Berro's to school . . .
And it wasn't a problem as I am there again this morning after Slimming World, to get a few things for the weekend.

Today, I've fixed with my cleaners to come a bit earlier so they are finished before Suzanne arrives.  They are very obliging in things like this so I don't like to take it too much for granted or mess them about too much.  I don't know when they are actually coming so I need to leave for SW knowing that the place is ready for their ministrations, bless them.

Then it's just a case of getting stuff ready for the weekend. My LFT was negative, as was Suzanne's, so we're on for a pleasant weekend, I hope.  I've planned a couple of outings.  One is to Greensted Church (I'm pretty sure Suzanne hasn't been there) which is the oldest wooden church in the world (it says) and the other is to dear old Hyde Hall, weather permitting, on Sunday and we might possibly have lunch there.

We will take things as they go though so nothing is tablets of stone.

I have a leek and potato soup bubbling away nicely in Thermione and smelling very good so I'd better close now and soo how it's doing.  It is most unlikely that I will be in here over this weekend but I should be back later on Monday.
Have a good weekend too.  Be safe and stay warm; it could get quite chilly.  xx

Thursday, 13 January 2022


Morning, everyone.  It's a typical winter early morning - frost, clear skies and a light mist to the air that might or might now develop into something thicker.  Beeb says it won't, it's going to be a lovely day, cold and sunny.  Bring it on!

I'm very happy to say that I went online yesterday and paid off the rest of my holiday in May.  Southwold once more; last year things were pretty restricted because of the big C and I missed out on Sutton Hoo because it was closed due to high winds.

It means I can take another trip to Framlingham - I really love Framlingham - and maybe look around the lovely church next to the castle.  It was closed last year.
See - holiday planning already!

My pillows arrived, oddly in two separate boxed delivered by two separate companies.  They feel great and I road tested one overnight.  Very comfortable.  It's nice to know that my guests will be more comfortable and I am now umming and ahing about some for myself.

I so enjoyed personal training yesterday.  All the hard work and the squat challenge each day it making such a difference.  There is still a slight residual weakness in calves and ankles but the rest of me is stronger and fitter than before Dad was ill and I had to stop for a while.  It's really odd that I am enjoying it so much because I've never been a sporty person.  Show me a competitive game and you'd be surprised how far and fast I can run - in the opposite direction!  This is different.  It is personal and the only competition is myself, Lindsey listens to me, take what I say seriously and adapts things accordingly.

I have a List for today.
Pick up meds and LFTs - I have a collect code for the latter but the chemist may not have any, of course
Tidy out car - I have a whole load of stuff from Dad's in the back - garden chairs mostly - that I haven't got round to moving to the garage.  It's time to do it.
Take car for wash and clean out.  A treat for me and they do a really good job.  The car will end up shining!
Make bolognaise - that's for the weekend when Suzanne visits.
AYWMC - get back on it again!  I'm devoting an hour or so to it because I'm a bit behind.

Before all of that, I am popping round to Chris' for coffee and a chat.

What a nice day!  I hope you have some good things planned too.  Whatever they are, stay safe, warm and positive.  Love to all the recovering 'invalids' < grin > - I am very glad things are looking up for you.