Thursday 31 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone!  After my whinging yesterday, the weather cleared up and we had a good share of sunshine through the day which was lovely.  It did get chilly though and this morning we have quite a frost.  The sky looks clear though and the sun is rising so three cheers.  Beeb says sunny intervals and a fresh breeze which is quite a change from the snow and sleet predicted at the start of the week. 
What's it like your way?

Yesterday was a lovely day.  I bustled around, prepping meals for me, Beth and Alex before the garden room man, Duncan, turned up.  He's given me plenty to think about in terms of what's possible, the extras I would like and what probably wouldn't work/be necessary and he had some really good and helpful suggestions.
There is a huge amount of flexibility in terms of size as they don't use kits as such but build them from scratch to the customer's requirements.  So, for example, make the shed area just a little bit wider and the freezer could fit in sideways and really not cut down on storage space all that much, especially with shelves or a couple of cupboards above (allowing for opening).   Then it wouldn't need to go in the garden room area.  I'd not considered that and I like it very much.  
He also looked carefully at access and where a skip could go, etc.  And again, the ball park estimate was well within what I am prepared to pay.

After that, I had breakfast that then drove round to Beth's with their dinner.  I was glad to see Beth was asleep so I had a quick chat with Alex before topping up the car and coming home to a few chores.

I'm definitely picking up - I felt more energetic at personal training and, while I got breathless, it wasn't half so chesty as last week and even Monday so that's good.

Today has started with me making a couple of mini crustless quiches, one for lunch today and one, probably, for the freezer.  I do like to get everything more or less prepped for the day first thing.  It waves a lot of hassle later on and keeps me on track much better.

At ten, Chris and I are having our chat but online this week as Chris and Steve are isolating before a weekend visit to someone vulnerable.  After that, I will have my breakfast and then, barring emergencies and accidents, I am definitely off to Greenwoods for a swim and a chill.  Everything is ready as I packed my bag expecting to go on Tuesday; I just have to remember to take my Kindle and a few magazines as I fully intend to be lazy in between swims and read on a sun lounger.  

This evening, I have a Zoom chat with John.  There's various Executor things we need to talk about and a chat will work so much better than emails.  I must remember to print out some paperwork he sent me - it will be easier than swapping screens all the time.

So that's my day.  Quite busy again and busy on my terms.  After a fortnight of enforced idleness, it's really lovely to be up and doing again.

Chris, I've re-entered your details as you sent them to me.  I need to delete the old links now which I will do later on today.  In the meanwhile, can you check and see if it's OK now?  Thanks.

Have a great day, one and all.  Stay safe, stay warm and be happy.  xx

Wednesday 30 March 2022


 Good morning!
Well, the lovely weather has well and truly gone away.  It was raining yesterday evening and it is still raining now.  It feels a lot colder and my heating is turned up a bit.  We're supposed to be having a little bit of sleet overnight tonight but, thankfully, nothing worse.

Yesterday morning was really busy.  I got a message from Alex asking if I could get a few more things and saying would I stay for a cuppa and a chat.  That was big for him because, being autistic, he's very big on rules and he has his pretty rigid 'covid rules'.  He must have been sure that I posed no 'danger' to him - or less than he in in at the moment anyway.

The shopping took longer than I expected so I was later home, had to put everything away, let Al know I would be late over, go over, etc.
Our chat was much longer than I expected but that was fine, it was a really good chat.  The poor chap was feeling really overwhelmed with it all plus the responsibility of looking after his mum, etc.  He's not in any way incapable but the autism does complicate things considerably.  The chat moved on and we 'explored' a number of things on his mind so I'm really glad I went.

All of the above is a long winded way of explaining why I never got to Greenwoods.  Disappointing, but I have another 'slot' of time tomorrow!

Today is another reasonably busy day.  
I've already made my breakfast in advance plus macaroni cheese and vegetables to take round to Beth and Alex - everything just needs warming up so that's easily done.
In a while, the garden company person is coming to look at what I want and give me a quote.
Then I need to go back to Morrisons as Beth asked could I get some cat food which they forgot to put on their internet order.
Things settle for a while but I have washing and drying (no chance on line drying today) and a house to tidy up a bit.
Later in the afternoon, I'm off round to Lindsey's for my personal training session.
No chance of getting bored today, is there.    :-)

Stay warm and dry, everyone.  What are your plans for today?

Tuesday 29 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  It's just getting light, it's cloudy and there's a bit of rain in the air, just like the last two mornings.  They both cheered up by lunchtime and we had lovely sunny afternoons; however, Beeb weather says it will stay dull and damp all day today.  Oh, well, that's the way it goes and the good weather will return at some point, I am sure.

Yesterday ended up a bit hectic.  

I got myself into town and to the bank where, after five minutes of talking at cross purposes with the bank assistant, I realised she'd got it totally the wrong way round, explained again and, hey presto, a couple of minutes later it was all done and dusted!

I used the opportunity to go to Boots, Primark, back through M&S, into Lush (a rare treat but I want to try their hair bars) and finally to Lakeland as I needed some stay fresh longer bags.  These are really good at prolonging the life of fresh stuff and, although they cost more, I wash and reuse them and they last much longer.

Then I went home to be greeted by a message from Beth saying that her test was positive.  Ho hum.

Circuit training was OK - I'm still not quite right and got a bit puffed and dizzy but I did what I could and I'm glad I did.
When I got home, there was another Beth message asking for various bits and bobs so I went to Morrisons, got what she wanted and a few more things and then took them over.  I wasn't too worried about infection, seeing as my antibodies must be high right now but I masked up, all the same.

Later on, I did the long delayed tuition session and it was fine.  There's five more sessions left now, all being well, and the mum has asked for one extra as he's missed two.  So that is now all sorted and arranged.

Just a normal day really, with covid complications.

Today I am doing an early morning shop, taking some stuff over to Beth and Alex (who is stressing about his responsibilities at the moment) and then I am hoping to go over to Greenwoods for a swim and general relax!  Fingers crossed it all happens as planned.

Have a super day, everyone, and stay warm if the temperature drops again.  xx

Monday 28 March 2022


 Morning, everyone.  After a dull and damp start yesterday, the sun came out later and it was a really sunny day.  Today looks to be much the same with a slightly lower temperature but I see that on Wednesday there's a little sleet symbol - oh my!

However, sadly, I didn't get to Beth's.  She was feeling unwell so cancelled.  She tested but it didn't show positive within the half hour although it did after then.  She's testing again this morning and won't be the least bit surprised to see a positive.  Obviously, I am rather concerned as she is asthmatic . . .
She won't have got it from me but, as it's been a holiday week for her, she has been out and about more than usual so could have picked it up anywhere really.
I am most unlikely to have got it again, from her, so soon so I'm just being sensible and masking up whenever it is appropriate.

It is worrying though as she is asthmatic.  Positive vibes for her, please.

So yesterday was a much quieter day than expected.  I looked it up and you can freeze meringues so I popped the one I made into a bag and it's now in the freezer.  You can freeze whipped cream too, I gather, so today I will do that and it can join the meringue in chilly splendour!  I think it does better if you add a bit of sugar - is that right?

Today I have to go into town to sort out some executor paperwork first thing, then there's circuits and later on tuition.  I've asked the last two if they are OK about me coming and they are fine with it.
That's about it really.
Have a great day, everyone, and stay safe.  xx

Sunday 27 March 2022

Mothering Sunday


This morning, I am thinking of my lovely Mum who passed away early in the morning of Mothering Sunday three years ago.  She was the very best and I still miss her very much indeed.

Good morning, everyone.  Isn't it typical that just as British Summer Time starts, the lovely weather breaks and this morning is dull and rather damp with a misty light drizzle in the air!  It looks as if it's going to be dull and a bit damp all week, turning colder again in a few days.  
Poor plants - just as they get used to a bit of sunshine too!

My little fruit trees are definitely budding up nicely now.  I so love those fresh little baby leaves emerging from bud and sniffing at the fresh air.

Loads and loads of flower buds on the flamenco apple.  Last year (its first year) there were two clusters of flower buds - at the moment there are at least twenty.

The Beth pear is also now coming to life.  As it is the first year for this and the Victoria plum below, I don't expect very much but just lots of leaves will be fine and enhance the garden.,

The Victoria plum . . .

The little fig leaves are so cute!   I really am not too fussed about fruit - I just love the shape of leaves and plant.

Must get the codling moth trap thingies sorted out for this year before too long.

Yesterday was a quiet and gentle day.  I woke early after sleeping badly but Beth, bless her, didn't emerge until the afternoon.  It's her holiday week so why not?  I wish I could!

I really didn't do much.  A bit of kitchen pottering, a bit of tidying and quite a lot of watching telly, reading and snoozing!

Today, I am off to Beth's later on for lunch - a sort of Mothering Sunday treat.  
Also, tuition resumes tomorrow (must check though, not just assume) so I need to go over my planning.  Apart from that, I am going to take it easy as the weariness is still hanging around, although it is much better than a few days ago.  No point pushing things too far though.

Whether or not you 'do' Mothering Sunday, I hope you all have a great day with plenty of happiness.  xx

Saturday 26 March 2022


 Good morning,. everyone.  It's just getting light at around half past five but, of course, tomorrow the mornings will be darker again as we put the clocks forward.  To balance that, the evenings will be lighter, which is lovely.

Yesterday was good, even though the weigh in was extremely ouchy!  Oh, well, onward and downward again!

I had a lovely time at Prezzo with Beth although aren't taxis expensive nowadays?  I think from now on, one of us will have to be the designated driver.
We started off by sharing starters - crispy mozzarella and some mixed olives and then I had a chicken, pepper and balsamic onion pizza (delicious) and finished off with raspberry sorbet.  I brought half the pizza home with me.  At first I thought they had brought me a large one instead of the regular I asked for . . . until I saw a large one.  Blimey!!!!

We started off with a cocktail each and I tried a blackberry negroni (Campari is my absolute favourite drink) which was absolutely gorgeous.  I'm definitely making some blackberry liqueur this year so I can have it at Christmas!  So delicious.

After such a lovely evening, I've had a rotten night's sleep.  Maybe a too active brain or perhaps the coffee I finished off with was too strong although that's not usually a problem for me?  I don't know.  Hopefully, Beth has slept better than I and I will probably have a good sleep this afternoon to make up.  We will see.

There are no other plans for today so I will take it as it comes.

Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Friday 25 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  Yet again, the day starts with a frost and promise of plenty of sunshine to come.  I've been so enjoying relaxing out in the garden.  Long may it continue.

Sue C, the new banner photo is that daffodil bank I mentioned in my comment yesterday and here's another.  It's a real picture at the moment.

Yesterday, after a lovely chat with Chris, I set off for Val's and from there we drove the extra ten minutes to Cressing Temple Barns.  It says on the web site that it is a 'unique piece of history' and it really is with its 13th century Knights Templar barns, restored Elizabethan walled garden and other old buildings, its Well House with a deep, deep well that is 25ft to a wooden planform and another 25ft to the water level and plenty of space to walk and to just breathe.
Here's a link to the web site and I will drop a few photos in below the link

They were going great guns building their nests and shouting to each other through the branches!

In the walled garden, just one clump among so many.  Everything was waking up!

The centre of the walled garden from the viewing platform . . .

And just to the right of the feature above, one half of a knot garden area.

One of the old, medieval barns - sadly, they were both closed for their spring clean but should be open again soon.

The well house . . .

. . . and the well, well protected.

Just a general view from one side.

There's also a Tiptree Tea Rooms there so Val and I had lunch - I had a very nice brie and bacon toastie and I also found a nice little selection of Tiptree jams in a box to give to a friend whose birthday it was yesterday and who I will be seeing at Slimming World this morning.

Today starts with Slimming World.  I'm rather dreading it after four weeks not weighing, including a holiday and then comfort eating for England and beyond.  I am perfectly capable of gaining up to a stone in that time and I expect that's what I have done.  Oh, well, I know what to do!

After that, I did um and ah about going to Greenwoods but I decided not to.  I have been feeling very, very tired come the evenings this week, unsurprisingly, and this evening Beth and I are going to Prezzo for a girly cocktail, meal and chat.  If I want to stay awake, I need to be sensible so I will stay in, get the home ready for the lovely cleaners and then, I hope, snooze a few hours away. Beth is staying for the night and we are taxi-ing there and back, so it's a proper evening out and I am looking forward to it.

Just before Covid and Lockdown struck, two years ago, we had decided that an evening out once a month would be a Very Good Thing to do.  We had a couple and it was lovely but then, of course, it all ground to a halt.  It feels very good to be able to start it up again.

Have a fantastic day.  Mary, I do hope you aren't feeling too unwell and that healing comes quickly.  
Stay safe and be happy, everyone.  xx

Thursday 24 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday was the warmest day yet, weather-wise, warm enough to have breakfast and lunch out in the garden which was great.  At the moment we have a frost but the sun is emerging and it's going to be good again, I hope.

After a bit of a ponder and consideration of the pros and cons of Greenwoods, Nuffield Gym and nothing which, to be honest, didn't take too long, I drove back to Greenwoods and took out the six week trial membership.  Now it's up to me to see if I really will use it and six weeks is a fair time, I think.  I don't have to book, I can just turn up and, if I don't want to eat there, there's a pub over the road or I can always bring a packed lunch.  The grounds are in a beautiful state and it will be nice to picnic.  Of course, I don't have to eat there at all!!

I was thinking about opportunities - Tuesdays are almost always free days, as are most of Wednesdays but I wouldn't want to go Wednesday as it's personal training later on.  Thursdays are pretty free apart from my chats with Chris and Fridays are also a possibility after Slimming World.  There's also weekends and I will try a Saturday and a Sunday but I gather it can be fairly busy at weekends, understandably.
Anyway - we will see.  Maybe tomorrow?

Sharon turned up a bit earlier than expected and worked her usual magic on my hair.  It's good to have shorter hair again if I'm going for more swims.  Then I drove over to Lindsey's and had my hour of personal training.  I won't say it's back to pre-Covid level yet but I don't think it was far off yesterday.

A bit later, Dave came round - he needed a bit of help with something and I was glad to be able to offer it.  So that was good.  It's always nice to be able to help, isn't it?

By eight I was so weary, I had an early night.  OK, so I woke at stupid o'clock this morning but I had a good long sleep and mornings are rather lovely now so no complaints.  In a couple of months, hopefully, it will be warm enough to sit outside right from the start of the day.  That will be super.

Today starts with the usual chat and coffee with Chris.  She's coming over here and I'm hoping we can sit out.
After that, I'm driving over to Val's and we're going to Cressing Temple for lunch and a good stroll around.  Oh, it's so nice to be able to get out and about again and what cooperative weather too!

I'm looking forward to today!  
Stay well and be safe, everyone.  xx

Wednesday 23 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  After a lovely, sunshiny day yesterday, today looks like being exactly the same but maybe a bit warmer.  Lovely!

Yesterday was absolutely great.  Greenwoods is a lovely place (I have been there before but before it was a spa and hotel) with beautifully looked after grounds and with staff that are friendly and very helpful.  If you're not bothered about an almost blow by blow account of the day, feel free to skip several paragraphs
< grin >

We arrived just after ten after a very easy drive (Stock isn't far out of Chelmsford) and started the experience with coffee and pastries in the lounge (yum) before we made our way to the spa.  

On the way, I popped my head into the gym which looked really good - not enormous but big enough and there seemed to be a class going on.  I'd brought some workout kit with me but, as it happened, I didn't use the gym (this time!).

The pool is gorgeous.  It's much bigger than I expected with loungers round two sides and one long side with big windows (on the left) onto an outside area that looks a veritable sun trap.  

I had to be careful not to catch anyone in my photo, hence it being cut off on the right.  Back right (where the hand rails are) is a jacuzzi with a really good bubble and to the right of that are dry and steam sauna rooms, quite small ones with temperatures just right for us.

We swam, bubbled, steamed and rested with our books (when we weren't chatting, that is) before getting dressed again for lunch (hotel rules!)

I was a bit concerned about a three course lunch but, as it happens, portions were sensible and it was all quite light.  They mushroom soup was proper mushroom soup, made with real mushrooms that gave a proper flavour and texture, not just a slightly beige and gloopy liquid.
Beth had a butternut squash risotto that tasted so good I wished I'd chosen it too.  However, my chicken was delicious and the green beans were perfect.  I'm not that fond of fondant potato so left most of that but I'm sure it was good.
What can I say about dessert?  We shared!

After another relax in the hotel lounge, we went back to the spa and did the whole thing over again, finishing off in they early evening with a really nice pot of tea before driving home.

We had such a lovely time.

I made tentative enquiries about spa membership, expecting it to be way out of my league, and was surprised to discover that it wasn't.   In fact, it is less than the Nuffield gym in town which I have been umming and ahing about.
They do a six week trial membership for what seems to be a very reasonable sum when you consider how much as spa day costs individually (Beth and I got a half price special offer voucher).  It doesn't include food, of course, just the use of the gym and spa but with a bit off any food and a bit off any treatments.
Apparently, it gets quite busy at weekends but during the week much less so and, certainly, yesterday had enough people there to make it interesting but not in the least bit crowded.  And Tuesday is my 'nothing in the diary' day . . .
I'm pondering but I expect I will give it a trial and see how much I actually manage to use it in that six weeks before making a commitment for a year, which is what you have to do.

Anyway, that's that, I'm so glad Covid didn't sabotage it and I know Beth had a great time too - she works very hard and needed a bit of spoiling!

Today I thought I would have to be dressed and presentable because a garden room rep was coming (cancelled from last week) but when I looked in the diary, nothing.  Oh, thought I, and looked up the email from them.  It's next Wednesday and that IS in my diary.
I'm glad.  I'm feeling quite weary after yesterday and have a hair appointment and personal training this afternoon so a restful morning (hopefully in up to 18 degree sunshine in the garden) sounds perfect!
My shoulders and neck are aching but that's the swimming, not Covid after effects.  I was surprised how much swimming I managed to fit in actually, between chatty sessions.

Time for my second coffee so I will stop now and sign off.  Have a super day, everyone, and take care.  xx

Tuesday 22 March 2022

Tuesday: garden edition

 Good morning.  Another delightful day yesterday with wall to wall sunshine, albeit a bit hazy at times.  Today doesn't matter so much but it looks promising, all the same

Yesterday was great.  I got my deliveries, circuit training was good (I took it a bit easier and coughed a lot but nothing worse) and it was so fantastic to be out and about again.  Everything has turned so green in the fortnight I have been imprisoned!
After circuits, I drove on to Hobbycraft, got the missing thread and now the  stacking teacups picture is completely finished.
I also played about with the little elephant.  I have to change the button - I didn't notice it had a flaw - and a blue sky would have been nice but it was too late for that.  I quite like the little daisies in the grass - see the French knots!!

(It's a scan so there's some shadows showing - it's not dirt, just shadow)

There's one more thing to do.  Annabeth has been kind enough to give me some little beads (thank you so much) and when they arrive I will use one for an eye.
Also, I am wondering about a yellow button for the sun top left and I need to sew a border as well.  I might leave that last for another one where I apply what I've learnt and do things in better order.

Finally, it was warm enough to sit out in the afternoon so I did and it was so pleasant although it still chills quickly as the sun starts to go down.

If you remember, last month, rather than start on the allotment then, I said I would wait until after the Potters weekend and then get going.  The best laid plans . . . here I am, a fortnight down the track and I haven't even been there, let alone started.  This week is a bit of a washout too so next week - that's allotment start date.  Better late than not at all.

I had a good nosey around the garden and took a few snaps.

The little trees are showing signs of waking up, particularly the two that saw last summer through with me.

The flamenco apple (I wonder how many apples I will get after the seven last summer),
the minarette Braeburn
and the fig (might not get anything from the fig but it will look great, I hope).

The Victoria plum and the Beth pear are not so exciting yet.  The buds are swelling a bit but nothing particularly noticeable.

The alstromeria . . . 
. . . and the penstemon, both acquired last year, are looking hopeful.
The daffodils are starting on the downward slope now but the hyacinths are still gorgeous.  It's just a shame the bulbs have to look so messy for a couple of months until the leaves all die back.
I had no idea the clematis was so forward as it was hiding behind some daffs.  I moved the planter after taking that photo because the garden room will cover that bit of fence and if I didn't move it soon, it would be too tangled up with the fencing.  I'm not sure it's the right place for it but it will have to do for this year.
The pink blueberry did nothing at all last year so is on its last warning.  I cut the other blueberry back quite a lot so it might not do much after a fab harvest last year.
My little pot of lily of the valley that Mum gave me several years ago is sending up new growth.  I split them a couple of years ago and planted half out the front so fingers crossed.

Today is spa day with Beth.  I'm all ready and will be picking her up around half past nine, I expect.  I'm really looking forward to it so much.

Have a super day, everyone.  xx

Monday 21 March 2022


 Morning, everyone.  The sun is shining again but, brrrrr, there's quite a hard frost right now.  Beeb says it will warm up quickly and could get to around 15C this afternoon (and higher tomorrow and Wednesday) so that's great
Yesterday wasn't so warm - the sun was intermittent and I didn't sit out at all.  I got some clothes nice and dry on the line though so no complaints!

First of all, the biggie.  If you saw my edit yesterday, you will know that I had my first negative LFT.  I have just done another one this morning and it's another negative so it's freedom day after nearly a fortnight!    This is no longer a house of plague and I can take the red cross off the door!!

However, I'm still pretty tired - I guess that will take a little bit longer to sort out.  After fighting and losing yesterday evening, I went to bed at eight and didn't wake until about half six this morning.  That's over ten hours of sleep - most unusual for me.

Here's the photo of the cross stitch, with a close up of the bit that still has to be done.  You can see how important it is so I've decided to pop to Hobbycraft (now I can) after circuits and get some more of the necessary.
I'm really pleased with it.  It needs a 'squeeze though in warm, soapy water' as there's a bit of grubbiness, but once that's all done, I will be happy to have it framed and, maybe, it will look nice in the garden room.

And here's the heart that I was using to practise  the needle turn edging.  You get a more two dimensional effect from it plus you don't need any fancy stitching to edge it as you do with raw edge applique.  I did the outline afterwards because I like the effect.

Don't get me wrong, I'm really pleased with how it came out, but the whole point of practising like this is to see faults and improve so, wearing my positive criticism hat, I can see that where I have fastened off (on the right), I caught the top layer just a little bit and it shows.  Also, I think I need to stiffen the shape with some single sided iron on interfacing type stuff, just to give it a little bit more substance.

It needs a bit of decoration - perhaps a bow fastened on with a button or even a flower?  If the latter, it should have gone on first - planning is essential. 
Any suggestions?
I'm happy with it though.

Now I am blanket stitching a little raw edge elephant onto white fabric.  I realise doing it just on white is not that effective, especially considering the fabric I chose (doh) and if I was any good at fabric painting, I'd have a go to create backgrounds.  I'm not, so I need to trawl through my fabric stash which, really annoyingly, I sorted out a while ago, getting rid of scraps - just the sort of scraps that would be really useful now.  
Oh, well . . . 

Do you think if I chose the background fabric the same as the ear, that would look good?  I think I need to ponder on that.  And, maybe, the elephant could hold a flower in his trunk? Or is that just feeble?
(I wish I had the creative mind that my daughter has!)

Anyway, enough of that.

I had a lovely Zoom chat with Beth yesterday afternoon.  She is now on a week's holiday and so, so looking forward to it.  We have a few plans - apart from the spa tomorrow, we hope to have dinner at Zizzi on Friday and then, on Sunday, I'm going to hers for lunch.  Lovely!

Today is less busy than I thought it would be.  I won't be doing tuition today because we decided that, as there are health issues, it would be best to leave it for this week.  I'm good with that and totally understand.
So I am waiting for a delivery and am off out to circuits today.  As circuits is on the way to Hobbycraft, it will be a great opportunity to get that thread I need and, dare I say it, have a nosey through the fabrics?  

The other thing I need to do is go online to the spa and just check what Beth and I need to take with us tomorrow.  

I'm sure there's other stuff but there's no washing in the basket and only a titchy bit of ironing so, assuming and mice, warm afternoon, I may end up stitching outside.  Nice!

Have a great day, whatever you have on your To Do list.  Stay well.  xx

Sunday 20 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  It's going to be another lovely, sunny day today and, according to the Beeb, from tomorrow, the temperatures will be in the top teens which would be amazing.  Today - not so warm but sitting out really depends on how much of a breeze we have.  It's perfectly still right now.

Like most of these things, when I finally got round to it, putting together the egg chair was an absolute doddle.  The instructions were really clear (they aren't always, are they?) and none of it was too heavy or too awkward for one person to manage.  I need to take off the chair part when moving it in and out but it was so, so easy.
I though it might have to sit in the corner of the living room until the Garden Room is done but I think that as long as I bring the egg part in (much easier to carry than the frame) while the forecast is good, it will be fine and I looked on Amazon and ordered a nice zip up cover for it so, when that arrives, the whole thing could stay out if I want.

(not the best place in the garden for it but in the afternoon it was in sunshine)

Talking of garden rooms, I was pondering on the visit next Wednesday from another company when I realised that I already know a building company that has done great work for me before and has a good name, and that's Seth and his team.  I fired off an email to Maxine and got a reply straight away saying yes, it was the sort of thing Seth does and he will make a time to come and talk to me about what I would like.  Once that's done, I should have three quotes, three lots of 'what can be done's' and, perhaps, negotiation material.  Why didn't I think of it before?

I enjoyed the sun for a while - it was OK for a short time, then I got my owl fleece and enjoyed more sunshine accompanied by Kindle and chilled white.  Slightly less wind and a few more degrees would have been better but it was nice, all the same.  Very comfortable and, while a strap stops it from swaying too much, the gentle rocking was very relaxing.

Once inside again, I got on with the counted cross stitch and it's now finished apart from the places where the thread has run out.  Fingers crossed that I can pop over to Hobbycraft tomorrow.  It's looking really nice and, of course, NO BACK STITCHING.  Yay!
(I'll try to remember to take a photo later on today)
The other thing I did was practise my applique, this time a heart with the edges turned in - I think it's called 'needle turn' applique but am happy to be corrected.   I don't think there's much I can do with it really as it's too big for a card, but it was a learning thing.

I'm testing today (later on) so fingers crossed, please.  
Apart from that excitement, there's nothing on the agenda until this afternoon when I'm having a Zoom chat with Beth.  There's not an awful lot to do apart from rest, enjoy the sunshine and generally potter so I will have a go at using a cute little elephant motif to create a card.  

This is the motif and I thought I'd do four, using some of my fat quarters fabric and raw edge applique and, if I can find any small enough, buttons for eyes.  If not, maybe a bead would be nice.
There's a friend's birthday coming up so, maybe, it would work for that?
I ought to try some sewing machine applique at some point but not today!
If I hadn't been feeling rotten, I would have enjoyed this last week with no responsibilities or commitments.  I'm thinking that, with forward planning, it would be perfectly possible to repeat the experience (without the Covid complication, I mean) and really enjoy a week of crafting.
I will ponder on it!

I's better stop rambling and get the day started, I suppose.  I do hope your sunshine is as lovely as it is here and that you have a lovely, peaceful, restful Sunday.  xx

Later edit:  negative - woo hoo!!!!!!!!

Saturday 19 March 2022


 Morning, everyone, and it's looking good out there again this morning.  Three or four lovely days on the trot is officially Spring, don't you think, and very welcome.

Yesterday passed OK.  It should have been hair day but Sharon's coming next Wednesday instead so I will have to put up with feeling messy for a few more days to come.  Oh, the hardship.

I mostly pottered around, watched rubbish on the telly and got on with my counted cross stitch - I'm really on the last lap now and should finish it today apart from the thread that's run out - fortunately, just one colour.  If it was just a little bit, I might patch in another toning colour but it's not, it's several patches so it wasn't just a tiny bit short.  Naughty.
I'll take a trip to Hobbycraft as soon as I can but it won't be this weekend.

My cleaner arrived.  We kept distance, me staying downstairs as she did upstairs and then we swapped over.  I may have snoozed off a bit while reading on my bed!!
She gave me a bit of extra time, giving everywhere a thorough cleaning and wiping over and also doing the windows, inside and out, so the place is shining this morning.  It feels nice but rather guilty but it was their choice.  Personally, I would say it is debateable whether it's 'essential services' - it would be for some but for me?  open to interpretation, I would think.
I had all the windows open pretty much all afternoon and we stayed well apart so it should be OK.

My online order is due to turn up this morning and that's probably the highlight of the whole day.  I'm not testing today.  I don't plan to go out until Monday (if I can) so I'll test tomorrow and let's hope . . .
I also have a bit more washing to do and line dry - I think we all love line dried clothes, so fresh and fragrant after a good soaking in sunlight.

As Brenda commented (I think it was Brenda), Covid's left me easily tired which is going to be a right pain when I look through the diary for the coming week that contains not only the already planned stuff but also a number of rearranged things.  Oh, well, I must do my best and not worry about the rest.  I'd rather be negative and rather busy than the other, after all.

Hoping you all have a wonderful weekend, especially if your week has been hectic.  Sooze, have a wonderful weekend at the caravan.

Stay safe.  xx

Friday 18 March 2022


 Morning, everyone.  After a gorgeous day yesterday and a slight frost earlier, this morning has started off just the same and the Beeb forecast looks great, just as sunny and a bit warmer too.  As I have to stay to house and garden, the weather couldn't be more cooperative!

Yesterday felt 'normal'.  I got the sheets changed, the washing done, line dried AND ironed, I had a super online chat with Chris, added to my online shopping order nd sorted out a few more bits and bobs.  I was a bit tired by the evening but nothing too overwhelming.  Things are definitely getting back to normal again.

Today, I've just seen a message from Jen letting me know she's found someone to do the weighing this morning at SW.  By next week, I will be there to do it myself again but I felt bad about letting her down, even if I couldn't help it, so I'm glad to know she's got help.

I haven't heard yet from the cleaners - usually I get a reply almost straight away.  I don't yet know whether they are coming or not but the house isn't too messy really; it won't take long to declutter a few corners, so I will do that anyway.

Apart from that, there's not a lot to do.  I need - or maybe that should read 'want' - to make a Lakeland order as I'm running short on certain bits and bobs, I have a bit of money moving to do and stuff like that and there's always that chair to put together.  I don't know why I'm procrastinating about it, it looks dead easy.

And that's about it really.  I'm not testing today, there's no point and I don't intend going out and about before Sunday at the very earliest.  I'm still very chesty and full of coughs and splutters, but it doesn't hurt any more and the headache has definitely done a runner.  It truly is like a chesty cold now, nothing more.

I have a nearly full cafetiere beside me, the sun is shining, there's not a lot I have to do - it's going to be a very nice day, I think.  Time to refill my mug and open the window for a while to freshen up the downstairs.  Just think, in two or three weeks it might be warm enough to sit outside with my morning coffee and use the laptop to do my blog.  How lovely would that be.

Actually, I've just done the maths and in four weeks I will be enjoying my coffee in the Premier Inn at Bury St Edmunds, looking forward to three days away over the Easter weekend and the famous Premier Inn  breakfast before I set out for some sort of jaunt or jolly.  Must start planning, I think.  Anyone who lives round that way - what's worth a visit, please?

Have a super day and may everything go well for you.  xx

Thursday 17 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  The sun is shining brightly and it's going to be a lovely Spring day, I can feel it in my bones!  We did have some heavy rain yesterday but that's all gone and, although it's a bit chilly right now, I will be opening the windows wide in a while, to flood the house with fresh Spring air.

A clump of hyacinths and if you look bottom right, you can see that my hostas are also starting to make an appearance.  Lovely!
(just ignore the weeds, please)

I had the low-key personal training sessions with Lindsey yesterday and it really helped.  I was rather tired afterwards but I'm so glad I did it and it was fab to actually chat to someone and catch up on all the news.  The others in the 'Potters Group' who also came down with Covid are all doing fine, quite a number are back in circulation again now, having tested positive sooner than I so that gives me hope.  Maybe I can be back at circuits on Monday.  Fingers crossed.

I did a load of washing but totally forgot to get it out of the machine so it's having another wash as I type and I will get it straight out on the line.   I think I will change my sheets today - it's long overdue - so they can also wash and dry in the sunshine.

I'm rather liking online supermarket shopping - I have an order for Saturday morning so must have a think about what else, if anything, I would like to add to it before midnight tomorrow!  It's been a very useful safety net for this last week and a half but I much prefer the proper thing, I have decided.  Apart from anything else, I like to see the fruit and veg before I buy it!
Another sign of improvement though - despite that last statement, my order has rather a lot of F&V in it - I've stopped craving sugar, carbs and fat and I am rather wanting fresh fruit, fresh veg and lean protein again.  Thank goodness!

What I didn't do is get the chair set up.  I think that must go on today's list, given the good forecast.  I did have a good nosey through the instructions and they look pretty straightforward, which is good.

So today starts with another positive LFT but like yesterday, I had to wait several minutes before the line showed and it's fainter so I can see the light at the end of this particular tunnel.  The aches are now mainly in my neck and shoulders, the sore throat is easing off, yesterday's headache has gone and the chesty cough is - er - less!  I've fired off a message to Jen with fingers crossed that she is able to find someone to help with weigh in tomorrow.

At ten, I have an online chat with Chris.  We missed last week's, of course, because I was feeling rough, so there's plenty to catch up on.  I'm so looking forward to it.

Later on, I need to have my phone turned on and up loud so John can contact me if he needs to - something to do with setting up an executors' bank account relating to Dad's house sale  which is all going through slowly.  Also related to it is some paperwork I need to read through, answer where I can, and return to John.  Rather boring but it has to be done!

It's so nice to be talking about normal stuff again.  < happy smiles >

Have wonderful day, everyone, and I hope you are also having Spring sunshine.  Stay well and safe.  xx

Wednesday 16 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone.   It's a grey old start to the day out there and the forecast is for quite a lot of rain round here but - big but - look further on that today and it is sun, sun, sun.  Spring, springing, in fact.  How lovely is that, eh?

Looking out on the garden, the hyacinths are now flowering and it looks so colourful.  Some rain will be good for them today and then - bring on the sunshine.

Thank you again for all your lovely and supportive comments.    They cheered me up no end.  xx

I had a slight - er - well, something but not enough for a panic when I unwrapped and checked over all the parts of the egg chair yesterday.  As you do, I got all the bits out of the plastic bag and checked them through against the instructions and all was well apart from one little nut.  Seven instead of the required eight.  Darn it!  I checked and checked again (how many times can you count to seven and get it wrong?) before moving all the furniture to see if it had rolled underneath anything.  I was just about to contact Aldi when I remembered that Dave actually unpacked the box in the garden on Monday so I looked on the patio and there it was, smiling sweetly up at me.  Phew.

The excitement rather knocked me out so I had a little snooze and felt a lot better afterwards.

Seriously, I really did feel loads better as yesterday progressed.  Yes, there's still a chesty cough and lots of aches and a bit of a headache but, all in all, I am loads better this morning.  I wasn't going to test today but Jen (Slimming World leader) got in touch to ask about Friday as I do the weighing as part of the social team and we decided that if I was positive today she would ask someone else to do it this week.  I know theoretically I could be negative tomorrow and Friday and be 'legal' but I want to be on the safe side as there's a number of vulnerable/elderly people in the group, as does Jen.

Apart from finding the nut, yesterday was marked by rearranging things with friends.  Apart from Jen, I also 'chatted' to Lindsey and we have arranged a gentle 'get moving again' personal training session for this morning not too long and to my agenda.  It sounds good to me.
Sharon (lovely hairdresser) also got in touch and has rescheduled my appointment for next Wednesday, bless her.
The Garden room company has rescheduled for  next week too.
I even did a load of washing and got it dried on the line.  Yay!

I've tested and, yes, still positive but nothing like yesterday's immediate and very red line.  I wouldn't call it 'faint' by any stretch of the imagination but it's less than yesterday so that's brilliant!  I hope Jen finds someone to help her this Friday.

So it's all good.  Today I have my gentle session with Lindsey, I'd like to put the chair together before Any other bits go walk-about and, if I really feel energetic, I have a small pile of ironing.  Apart from that, there's the usual.  I haven't started any applique because I've been focusing on the cross stitch and it's so close to being finished, I will concentrate on that, I think.  I'm definitely going to have to get some more threads which is a right nuisance; I'll wait until I know exactly how many and get them all in one visit to Hobbycraft, when I'm OK again.

It's really nice to be looking forward to things again!   :-)
Have a lovely day, everyone.  I do hope you're all feeling happy, despite all the stuff going on at the moment.  I'm looking round and appreciating the small things.   Lovely!  xx

Tuesday 15 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  The sun is doing its best to shine through some hazy cloud and yesterday was rather lovely too.  Aren't we having some lovely weather at the moment.  Well, round here we are anyway - is it good where you are too?

Thank you so much for your lovely, kind and concerned comments yesterday.  It wasn't a great day but I'm feeling much more me again today, thankfully.
I've just done another test and it shows strongly and immediately positive which hardly surprises me.  I just felt I ought to do one after five days.  I won't bother tomorrow - it's not going to turn negative in that short time and I'm very glad I cancelled everything this week.

Remember that egg chair I ordered from Aldi?  I understood it to be out on March 31st but that must have been my mild dyscalculia talking and it really said March 13th because I woke up from a snooze yesterday to find a huge, enormous box outside, pretty much blocking my front door.  Just what I did NOT want to see!
I made a bit of an effort to get it through the front door but between the covid aches coughs and the fact that it was just too wide, I couldn't manage it.
Thankfully, my lovely son emailed to check how I was and came over, dragged it round the side of the house and into the back garden, unboxed it and lifted it over the back doorstep where it is now sitting, tucked into the corner, until I feel up to putting the bits together (it doesn't look hard).  If I do and if the weather is mild, I could sit out in it, couldn't I?

I am now three films through Harry Potter so today is the Goblet of Fire.  The main problem is that I keep dozing off!  Still, sleep is good and I am sleeping really well overnight too.  Part of the healing process, isn't it?

I've just cancelled the already rescheduled garden room company visit.  They seemed happy to come anyway - I am not!  Hopefully they can come next week instead.  Surely I will be OK again by next week.

So, today is Harry Potter 4, YouTube, telly, sewing, knitting and a bit, just a bit of housework.  I've already given the kitchen a good anti bac wipe over which makes me feel better and I will do the loos later.  There's now a basketful of washing to be getting on with too so I'm going to make good use of the sunshine.

However, I'm not pushing it.  Things aren't right and, while I do feel better again, I don't think it would take much to knock me back again so I'm being sensible - and thinking of all those antibodies!!  :-)

 Goodness, what a moany blog today - sorry.  Things will be back to normal soon and there will be more interesting stuff to talk about, I hope.  In the meanwhile, I do hope you are well and having a great time, whatever you're doing.  Stay safe and well.  xx

Monday 14 March 2022


 Covid is fighting back!!!  Short lived, I am sure, so I'm continuing to rest up.  I'll be back in full voice tomorrow, I'm sure.

Take care.  xx

Sunday 13 March 2022


 Morning, everyone.  It's really weird - the day before yesterday felt like Saturday all day and yesterday felt like Sunday.  MUST remember today is Sunday.  Without any of the usual markers, it's harder to keep touching time-base accurately.

The sun is trying to shine again this morning but the sky is looking a bit ominous and the forecast is for 'gentle rain' so we will see.

Yesterday plodded along slowly.  I did a lot of cross stitch, sucked a lot of boiled sweets and things picked up, gradually.  No new aches, just an overall weariness which seems to be pretty common for Covid.  I'm nursing the sinuses that always play up at the least opportunity with a bit of gentle face massage which always helps.

I found I was getting short of certain things that normally I would just pop on the Tuesday shopping list - first world stuff like dishwasher tablets, etc, so decided to use Morrisons home delivery.  You have to order more than £40 but, let's face it, £40 doesn't go very far nowadays, does it?  I also popped a few treats on the list and got a slot for early this afternoon which is great.   The mask is by the door to remind me to take all proper precautions before opening it.
I could have asked family or friends but it was more than just a few things so I'm pleased to do it this way.

The cross stitch is coming on nicely.  I might finish in in the next week, assuming I don't run out of any of the threads.  This particular brand of kits is a bit naughty at skimping on the threads - there are comments about it on reviews.  It's a shame as the designs are lovely, intelligently created and so easy to follow.  It's just the skimping on the thread and, goodness knows, I'm not a thread waster, I use every possible bit.
Anyway - what do you think (with apologies for the poor light - the fabric is actually white)?

Last night I had my first proper night's sleep in what feels like ages.  Since the sore throat started on Monday night, I've woken often and stayed awake for what felt like ages most nights.  However, last night I must have been fast asleep by about nine thirty and, yes, I woke for loo-time once or twice but don't even remember falling asleep again.  Although I'm still feeling tired, that's only to be expected and I can snooze when I fancy.

I'm going to tackle a bit of housework later on.  It's getting me down now, the state of things, and ten minutes here and there will make the world of a difference.  I'm also going to start meal planning and get back on the old SW wagon again.  It's nice to be considering normality once more.

I didn't start Harry Potter yesterday.  By the time I'd caught up on a bit of other saved stuff, it wasn't worth it so today's Potter-Fest day!

I have so much to be thankful for, don't I?  No big responsibilities, plenty to do but nothing I absolutely have to do (although washing my hair is rapidly becoming a necessity), online home delivery shopping, proper sleep, nice things to do, treats and feeling a bit better.  No grumbles from me today!

How's the weekend going for you?  Whatever the plans, have a happy day and keeeeeep smiling!  xx

Saturday 12 March 2022


 Morning, everyone.
After yesterday's confused cock up, I'm being extra careful this morning to get this in the right place!

It was a very pleasant morning yesterday, not quite as nice as Thursday but mild and a bit sunny but by mid afternoon the sun had gone, the clouds has rolled over and the rain had started.  A shame but there you go!
The sun is shining again this morning.  It's a bit chilly but I have opened the French window for a short time, not because of infection (I don't think you can re-infect yourself, can you?) but because it's nice and fresh and however covid has affected me, it's not done anything to senses of smell and taste.  No complaints there!

There's not a lot going on at the moment, of course.  Chris had included a few items for me in her pick up online supermarket order and brought them over yesterday morning, leaving them on the doorstep.
Later on, Anna popped over to collect another print out, drop off some boiled sweets and to take a letter for posting.
And that was about it.

I felt rather yuck in the morning with a bad cough and a sore throat but water, pain killers, cough linctus and boiled sweets of various kinds made a big difference through the day.  The diet has gone to pot - I'm not off food, quite the opposite, and it's all carbs and sugar.  I will have to get that sorted pretty speedily!

This morning, it's more of the same.  The tickly, dry cough has been replaced by what I believe they call a 'productive' cough which is a lot easier, even taking the sore muscles into account.  Things are definitely looking up!  If I didn't feel morally bound to stay safe inside, I might even fancy a walk but, being a Good Girl, I won't.  

So what am I going to do.  Honestly, not a lot.  I've made great strides with my cross stitch and will try to remember to take a photo.  I will continue catching up on old, recorded programmes and I might start another viewing of all the Harry Potter films; it's been a while since I did that.  Oh, and I want to start an appliqued beach hut - I've got the shapes cut out!
So there's plenty to do while I don't feel up to more fine and upstanding stuff like housework!  

Have a great day, enjoy any lovely weather you might have and stay safe.  

Friday 11 March 2022


 Oh, deary me.  You can tell my head isn't quite in the right place today.  The blog post that should have been in here ended up in my other blog, the Slimming World one.  Goodness knows why but ooops!  I won't delete it from there because there's some comments, but here it is in the right place - better late than never!

Morning, everyone.   Wasn't yesterday a gorgeous day.  Because it was mild as well as sunny, it felt like the first really spring day and I had the French windows open to let the air flood in.

Thanks for all the lovely comments yesterday.  This thing isn't very nice and the cough is a particular nuisance at the moment with all the usual side effects but I have honey, I have meds and there are lovely people offering to get anything I need so no complaints.

I had a great night's sleep, only waking to get rid of the copious amounts of water I'm drinking at the moment and to stock up with tablets for the aches.  

Yesterday, Dave brought round a nice bottle which I have tucked away for when I feel like it and he picked up some stuff I had printed out for him.  Beth popped round with some strepsils and Chris popped some sucky sweets through the letterbox.  I really am a very lucky bunny.

Today is more resting between coughs which seem to be 'loosening' a bit now.   I'll probably nod off from time to time and am so very thankful that I only need to be responsible for myself, not for anyone else.

I hope you have some great plans for today.  Stay safe and well and be happy.  xx

Thursday 10 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  We have more sunshine this morning and no frost!  Maybe it will be mild enough to sit out in the sun for a while - wouldn't that be nice?

I heard back from Lindsey pretty quickly yesterday.  The morning circuits group involved equipment so wasn't suitable for online delivery.  She agreed that personal training was best done online but by the afternoon, I was feeling worse so we agreed to give it a miss this week.

In the meanwhile, another lady in the Potters group posted to say she was testing positive, followed by another.  And then, this morning, I tested and . . .

I'm not surprised - I was more surprised that Tuesday's and Wednesday's were negative, to be honest.
Whether it is Covid or a nasty cold, the symptoms seem to be the same, but I will be isolating.  I know you don't have to any more but I definitely will.

So this morning I have emailed around to people to whom I have commitments . . .
Beth - obviously
Dave and Anna - again, obviously, and they were coming over for dinner tomorrow.  I have hinted at a consolatory bottle to be left on my doorstep, but you never know . . .
Jen, my Slimming World consultant
The Facebook Potters group - Lindsey is using it as an information centre so she knows what's going on.
Chris - to cancel our chat today.  It was going to be online but if I talk, I cough, and that's a bit ouch.
Gabriela - no being spoiled by my cleaners tomorrow.
The garden room company that was coming next Wednesday.  There's a chance I could be OK by then but it makes more sense for them to reschedule rather than wait and then have to cancel anyway.
Val - I was going to hers for lunch next Thursday
Sharon - I will take her advice as she was coming to do my hair a week tomorrow.  She might say wait and see or she might prefer to reschedule.
My student's mum to cancel tuition.
Jenny who shared my car to and back from Potters over the weekend.

Oh, my!  What a busy life, eh?   :-)  Thank goodness I don't have to work around others in the same home.

Well, with nothing in the diary for a week and no-one calling round, I can sew, knit, read and generally chill to my heart's content and, if the weather plays ball, get a good old dose of vitamin D in the garden.  And just think of all that immunity!  Yay!

On a much cheerier note, I have a lovely friend (I used to teach her son - surprise, surprise) who has a local floristry company and I ordered some flowers from her to take to Lindsey as a thank you for organising the weekend.  As I couldn't take them round myself, she delivered them and sent me some photos.
Isn't it a lovely display?  

Stay well, everyone (listen who's talking!!!!) and have a lovely day.  xx

Wednesday 9 March 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  What a gloriously sunny day it was yesterday and today's forecast looks positive too.  It's not so warm and there's a bit of a frost right now but that's OK, it is only March, after all.

I have a few more photos from the weekend to share.  Outside the bungalows, there were some very nice displays of bulbs, pretty much all miniature types, in raised beds.  Here's a few . . . they were so pretty.

I seem to have acquired a cold from someone over the weekend, waking up yesterday with some aches and pains (which could have been exercise based) that developed into a very sore throat and a bit of a cough.  At least, I hoped it was a cold but a couple of people in the Potters' group sent messages to the Facebook group yesterday, saying that they had just tested positive to Covid.  Obviously, I tested straight away and it was negative.  The aches have gone but the sore throat is still here so I tested again this morning and it is still negative.  I've taken some pain killers and the throat is easier; I just don't have much of a voice!  :-)
I'll keep testing!!

Before I heard about the others in the Potters' group, I had popped out to Sainsbury's to do some shopping and top up with petrol.  The bank account has taken a battering but at least, if I do have to isolate, I'm well topped up.

The rest of the day continued as planned.  I got three loads of washing done, dried on the line in the sunshine and ironed.  It's aired overnight so this morning I can put it all away.  Ironing line-dried fabric is so pleasant - a lovely fresh smell and it smooths out so easily.  I was feeling quite zonked so took things quite easy, reading, cross stitching and watching telly (and ironing!!!)

Today I had planned to go to Lindsey's Wednesday group circuit class because I was still driving home on Monday.  However, given the situation, even though I am testing negative, I think it would be better for me to access the class online, if possible (it usually is) - some of the Wednesday group were at Potters and probably wouldn't appreciate any germ laden people turning up, whether positive or negative.
I was then going back this afternoon for personal training and have asked Lindsey for advice.  If she'd rather do it online again, that's fine and, obviously, I will test again before I would set out anyway.

Apart from the above, whether it be online or in Lindsey's studio, I don't have much else planned.  No washing, the house is still in a reasonable state, I'm starting the allotment work next week (weather permitting) and so I may as well continue to chill anyway.  I haven't caught up with the final of Throw Down (although I do know who won - no surprises there) so I have that to look forward to.

I hope you/we all have a lovely day without too many hassles.  Take care and stay safe.  xx