Friday, 5 June 2020


Like most people I've been keeping an eye on the whole Covid19 situation, although I don't and haven't watched the Daily Doom broadcast for many weeks. Some of the MP's were really starting to grate on me, with their lack of truthful answers, plus evasion of answers altogether. Brexit which dominated our lives for many years has well and truly taken a back seat but rest assured its still rumbling on in the background. Once Europe emerges from the pandemic the news roles will be reversed, Brexit will take a front seat and Covid19 will stalk us from the back. 

Many Epidemiologists believe Covid in some form or another will be with us for a long time. One argument is that the hot weather has helped evaporate the airborne droplets reducing both the spread and R number in many areas of the UK. However, most of them believe  it will return when winter comes along just like lots of other viruses. With no vaccination in sight and an economy in tatters the chances of a second Furloughed Lockdown are ZERO!  

With a lovely little win of £125 on the premium bonds yesterday I have decided to put it to good use.  I will start replenishing the Brexit stores that were extremely useful when panic buying lead to so many shortages. Plus building up my 'useful' stockpile will enable me shop fortnightly throughout the winter. I managed to get an ASDA  late night click and collect for next week and this will be the start of my stores. The order came to £57 and is all store cupboard items. Asda still has restrictions on certain items but apart from a few spices I wanted that were out of stock I've made a good start

There will be some sorting of cupboards and drawers over the next week to make space for more stores. The bottom freezer to the kitchen fridge freezer will store meat and fish only from the end of the month. Meat will be removed from trays and stored in bags to increase the storage space. 

Any excesses in the garden will be processed for use in the winter.
Last night I picked up 2 punnets of apricots from Lidl which was totally empty when I went. I'll be making  apricot jam, my absolute favourite. I also grabbed some crafting bits which are such great value from there. 

We have had 2 showers here on the Essex coast. One at 4 this morning and another a couple of hours ago. Neither have penetrated the dry earth. Fingers crossed for more. Bye for now. Tx 


Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Farewell and garden

First of all I want to say Goodbye to Suzanne of Daily Life at Number 38 who has decided to give up blogging after 7 years. I wanted to leave a message on her last post but can't, so I'm saying it here in the hope she reads it. 

Suzanne, I wish you and your  family good health and a happy future filled with lots of great memories.  Please don't delete your blog like I did when I stopped,  I regret that now.  We all become disenchanted with the blogging process at some point and there will always be a few nasty minded people out there, but blogland is predominantly good. You never know you may wish to return in the future, leave the door ajar to be able to do that. Take care. Tania x 


We started work on the garden over 6 weeks ago. It's been very piece meal because the ground was so hard and the weather too warm at times. Hubby wanted to hire a mini digger but that would have meant removing the rear garage door and frame to get it into the back garden as the side path is an 1.5 inches too narrow. Plus I wanted to be able to use the garden in the meantime because of Bertie. The thought of hubby and a digger filled me with dread, I had visions of walking out into a garden of piles of bare earth or mud. Bertie, already has to inspect everything that comes into the garden as you can see below. He had to be put on a lead because he was running through the top soil hubby had just rolled ready to be seeded. The newly seeded area has been sheeted to stop the birds and Bertie ripping it apart. 

We sketched out a rough plan thinking about growing some veg, the position of the sun throughout the day and evening etc. This garden is probably just over half the size of our last one and an odd shape so I had to realistic when it comes to growing areas. But I'm confident with successional sowing I can get a good return once everything is in place. I've already planted runner beans, French beans, a few peas, beetroot and lettuce. 

Last year we removed a large step from the outside the lounge French door, it was a semi circle of slabs with a stone brick base. We've reused all the stone base as hardcore for the shed base that we hope to complete shortly. Hubby wants my gardening bit out of the garage, he's of the opinion that  The slabs have formed the  base for my plastic greenhouse which has been on order since the beginning of March and due next week. (It's  the last thing I will purchase knowing it comes from China)  In the mean time I'm using my solar drier as a mini greenhouse to get my plants established. Everything is behind but as long as I get some food throughout late summer I'll be a happy bunny. 

The sleepers have been used as boundaries and all the original border soil has been taken up and used to level out the lawn
 that had two huge dips in it. Perhaps they had a pond at some point but it was dreadful.  Its taken every bit of excess soil that was piled high against the barge boards to fill it,  plus 6 bags of top soil. Its been seeded and fingers crossed for some grass in 2-3 weeks. 

Decking will be ordered shortly to form the patio which measure 4.1 x 4.1 metres approx. and will be the table and chairs live. Its a large set but I love it and its very comfortable. The slab work next to the bungalow will be done at the back end of the summer. 
Although we aren't overlooked in any direction I'd like some kind of gazebo with a backdrop to conceal the view of the rear neighbours orangery. It will all come in time. The budget isn't huge and as always we will look for a bargain. Back soon. Tx

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Time fly's

Although I'm quite aware of what date,and time it is, it has no real meaning at the moment. I haven't had the usual friend meet ups dotted throughout the weeks and months. And I'm really missing human contact. I know it will be a long time before hugs and kisses are exchanged but if families are allowed to meet next week I will be in the car straight away. I'll be quite satisfied to sit the opposite end of  a garden from them and just watch the grandchildren playing and chat. I think my wellbeing needs a lift now. 

Video calls are brilliant and I've been extremely grateful for technology throughout this period  bit it's all a bit staged, it's not spontaneous. And if your family are anything like mine some of the greatest moments and laughs have happened naturally.  I hope the weather remains kind to us so we can share each others company outside in the sunshine.  I know we are desperate for rain but please can it rain at  night  when it will do far more good.

A few weeks ago I posted a photo of the farmer drilling and sowing the field I cross. He had planted over the public footpath but the locals have reclaimed it back now. Can you see the line/path we have trodden. Each week it gets a little wider. 

I am curious to what he has planted as all the other fields are wheat but this is quite different. Do you know what it is? 

There is a tiny bell shaped flower at the top with multiple little buds ready to open. I tried my plant identifier app without success. Yikes,  my material parcel has just arrived. Now to find some old patterns I believe I still have. Back soon. Tx

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Twice the life ......

...for half the price. While I was chatting on the phone to another friend last week,  she said she was binge watching 'Twice the life for half the price' a channel 5 program. She was saying she'd often thought she should have had the courage to move somewhere more remote when she had a young family, in particular Wales.  For those of you who haven't seen it, its about people who up root themselves from busy towns or cities and move to the country or seaside etc.  I did watch the series over a few evenings but  was left a little confused by their mathematics regarding the 'half the price' bit, as many of the participants were either no better off or marginally better off moneywise then before. However, the biggest change was by far,  lifestyle and space. 

Strangely enough I had a conversation with hubby about the housing market shortly after I sold my rental house. He felt I'd been extremely lucky to have completed on the house when I did, as the newspapers were already full of doom and gloom regarding mortgages  and recession. But I actually believed and still do, that COVID 19 would push people to change their lives, take chances on things they'd dreamt of doing for a long time and put off. Well just 2 weeks later I was sort of proved right. Apparently Rightmove have reported a huge increase of people  seeking properties in the country or seaside. 

So Sue in Wales, I don't think you are going to have any problems selling your small holding in Wales when the viewing ban is lifted. I know Estate Agents are doing online viewings but no one is going to buy just from  a virtual viewing.....are they? Once actual viewings start I think the market will fly. 

I'd love to hear from you if the pandemic has made you think about doing something you've put off over the years? Big or small it doesn't matter. 
Mine is nothing major (unless I win the cottage competition) I want to start sewing again, proper sewing like making clothes or learning to quilt.  I find it quite calming and have enjoyed making the laundry bags for the NHS. I just need to sort the tension on the donated machine, if I can't I'll buy a new one. I've sent for some material just a few cheap bits to practice with as its been a long time since I've made clothes. I also want to learn to knit socks and master  crochet. I'd love to make more personal presents for friends and family. Bye for now. Tx

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Cabin Fever

Its all starting to feel a bit like Groundhog Day.  My Cabin Fever has been made worse by the fact I can't walk very far at the moment or stand for long periods of time. I have bought some foot supports for my trainers but there is no quick fix other than for rest. 

Before I get up most mornings I scan the news headlines in the various papers and have a quick read. Of course most of the headlines this morning were to do with COVIDIOTS as a result of the warm weather. Officers in Devon said Parking Wardens ran out of tickets as people from all over descended on their beaches, parking illegally and blocking footpaths completely.

People lay cheek to cheek on packed sun filled sands while others sipped beer brought to them by  a waitress wearing a PPE face shield and gloves. Queues formed outside stalls serving ice-cream and drinks. I  don't want to be a party pooper but has the sunshine made people forget what is happening in the UK? Has safe distancing hit the scrap heap? Where are all these people going to the toilet I ask myself, after all there are no public toilets open. Outings for any household at the moment can only last as long as your bladder! Of course anyone on the beach can walk into the sea for a wee as it eventually ends up there anyway. But what about all the others, where are they urinating? Will this spread the disease? 

Rant over. I bought some compost from Aldi a while ago and it was useless. Most of the seedlings came up but their growth stunted before they eventually died. So I've had to do a quick start on lots of things by putting the seeds in damp tissue. Its almost always successful. One they rooted they went into trays with better compost. My toms are behind but I'll just have to purchase a couple of mature plants for an earlier crop. Everything else isn't to bad and I'm really pleased with the beetroot, my favorite crop. I looking to get some stuff in the ground at the weekend.  It will have to be protected against birds and of course BERTIE!

Boy it was hot yesterday, what a day to work  in the garden! Mad dogs and Englishmen. I filled a storage box with cold water and I rested my weary foot every now and then, and it was heaven. We did have a lunchtime siesta.

Bertie also had a dip to cool him off. He will have to be clipped very short now the weather is getting warmer. The windows and doors were been open wide all day and the blinds drawn but it was still very warm last night. I think I may have to change to the summer 4 tog duvet sooner rather than later. 
We are off to our daughters shortly, she isn't home but we are taking delivery of a skip that we are also using. The local tip opened this week but its chaos apparently. So we will go with our trailer fully laden and put it in the skip along with the pile of rubbish on her front lawn. Back shortly with a progress report on the garden. Tx

Thursday, 14 May 2020

The New Normal

Firstly thank you all for your caring comments on my last post. I'm still struggling to walk but so far today I haven't felt like I need to go straight back to bed despite it being so cold and windy outside. So perhaps my metabolism is getting back to normal. My shiner is a lovely shade of yellow and getting smaller, and my forehead is less painful. Hooray! 

We all seem to be adapting to our new 'stay at home as much as possible' way of life.  I think this will be the new normal certainly for me for a very long time. I won't be fighting to get to parks or beaches anytime soon. Or going on my foreign holiday in September. 

  • Speaking regularly to a friend throughout lockdown I  realised that her lack of computer skills has left her very disadvantaged. The realisation happened when she told me how angry she felt when her energy supplier reduced her direct debit. However, when she attempted to call them to explain she wanted it left the same to cover the colder period of the year, they were only taking emergency calls. Of course they gave the usual blurb 'go online' and we'll sort your problem there. 

Over the last month I have had cause to ring my bank, the council, my solicitor and energy provider. Non of them excepting anything other than emergency calls! I was able to email, message and have an online chat to sort my problem.

She can't do that. She doesn't have a mobile phone capable of receiving the internet. She doesn't have data on her mobile account or understand what broadband is. In her words 'she has never needed it '. But Lockdown has forced her think again. She will be ordering a new mobile phone once we can see people again.  Her daughter and myself will be teaching her how to use it, when it's safe to do so.  She is already terrified but I've assured her in the nicest way that playing with it will provide a huge learning curve,  plus almost all devices are Idiot Proof!

Obviously we all use this sort of media to blog and I'll be the first to get frustrated when they change stuff. I'm not finding the new version blogger easy. I'll even hold my hands up to  accidentally deleting some comments and I apologise for that. But imagine having to learn this because  you have to. How many other people have been effected like this, I bet we all know someone. 

Back soon. T x 

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

It never rains but it pours!

My tiredness continued last week and I was starting to worry that I had one of the many symptoms associated with Covid 19.  I haven't had any other signs so it's probably still my thyroid imbalance that I know it will pass when the extra dosage of thyroxin kicks in. It has been all consuming and definitely  exacerbated by the changing temperatures. 

I did a very silly thing on Saturday while relaxing in the garden,  I wore some flip flops.  Now it normally takes me a few days to get used to wearing them, especially the bit between my toes.  My initial days  also include a few trips when I don't quite grip the shoe tight enough or lift my foot high enough and the front edge of the rubber shoe scuffs the floor propelling me forward!  I cuss loudly and carry on because they are my 'go to' summer garden shoes as  they slip on and off so easily.  
When I got up Sunday I couldn't put my foot to the floor due to heel pain. I knew immediately that I'd aggravated my  planter fasciitis. Lots of people suffer from heel pain and I thank heavens its only in one foot. I started the foot exercises straight away and did some hot and cold compresses, fortunately  it did start to feel a little better but I know all too well it can come back at any time so I've sent for some supports.  I first got PF when I had to start wearing steel toe capped boots full time in 2003. Working on a quayside is dangerous. The debris left behind by lorries is incredible, especially the glass, wire and bolts. Our boots had a complete steel mid sole to insure against inpregnation this meant they didn't  flex when you walked. It took me months to get used to them and a lot of money buying sole supports. 

Then to top it all I was getting the shopping out of the boot and thought the boot door was completely out of the way but it wasn't. I cracked my head so hard that I saw stars! I was really surprised when there was no mark on my forehead. I had a painful lump, throbbing headache  but no mark, well not for a couple of days. Strangely enough the bruise came out near my eye. So I look and feel like I've done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. 

Feet willing, I will be taking the opportunity to get out more often after Wednesday. My main walk will still be with Bertie distance wise but walking a dog  can be quite leisurely while he sniffs everything under the sun. I'd like a speedier walk to get my heart rate up. Hubbys boss has been in touch to say there would be a phased return  to work from 11th. Five members first then the rest in stages. Hubby was instructed to seek medical advice. The doctor  told him  he can't go back to work until 23rd June and then only if health and safety is in place.  Back soon. Tx