LD 33

A busy rest of the week with two trips to work, decisions to be made and ensuring that everything just seamlessly carries on in readiness for students and staff return. My role in school is definitely a solitary one and the anxiety of missing something is profoundly felt, but I can only do what I can do and stressing about it won’t help.

Thursday was Georgina’s birthday, which her and Nicole had prepped food the evening before. The chicken gyros and lamb kofta looked and smelt amazing. The stuffed Portobello mushrooms too!

I woke early to decorate the kitchen and Pergola.

Georgina loved it and after breakfast and present opening we went to Norsey woods for a walk. The weather was beautiful as were the sight and scent of the bluebells.

The walk back also provided colour of different shrubs and trees.

I’d ordered a cocktail delivery from a local company, tappd cocktails and they were delivered safely and popped in the chiller.

Joe started the BBQ and we all got ready. The cooking started and the table was set.

The food was ready and even Kevin managed to join us!

The food was amazing, so flavoursome and certainly plentiful. Georgina is blessed with great friends and there were knocks on the door and social distanced felicitations, good wishes and presents. In fact, in light of lockdown, these visits are a testament to how loved she is, a little lady with a big heart and we are so proud of her.

Last but not least the cake and a fitting end to what had been a lovely day.

Work on Friday and a longer than expected foray! Luckily there was enough food from Thursday to sustain us and I enjoyed an espresso martini 🍸 and a quick loiter on the sun lounger.

The weather has been glorious but this is about to change so the next week will really challenge us all.

LD 29 and remembering a special someone

Today marks thirty years since my father in law, John, died. I can’t believe that so much time has passed.

It’s such a shame that we are social distancing, but a hug is in order, with so many memories of the relatively short time I knew John.

He had a real love for life, perhaps erring on enjoying some things too much, but his love for his children and grandchildren was so obvious, steadfast and true.

I remember his laugh, his walk and his easy manner.

His life was cut short at 54 and I’m sure not a day goes by when he is not remembered with love and fondness.

I still can see how full the crematorium was as we celebrated his life. I have never seen, before or since, one so full, all ages, race and denominations coming together.

Our youngest two never met him and that is sad for us and them, and now with great grandchildren he would have been as proud as punch.

Once this lockdown eases we can perhaps reminisce and look through photos and take comfort in a life lived and a reminder that things quickly change but memories remain.

Big hugs to Kevin and Viv today. ❤️❤️❤️

LD 25 and so it continues

Yesterday the lockdown has been extended for at least another three weeks.

I’m not surprised and what is surprising is how relatively quickly the last 3 1/2 weeks have gone. The measures appear to be working so let’s hope that continues.

There are worrying sound bites of social distancing continuing beyond this year and ramifications of coming out of lockdown. I do feel that we will all find a new ‘normal’ after this and for sometime to come be reticent in some things we have taken for granted.

I have been busy with making cards, making calls, checking work emails and trying not to do too much so that I get up to full speed.

I went food shopping too and that was a surreal, almost eerie experience. I was unsure of the correct social mores that had to be observed, but went as I was getting anxious about going out again, and I felt the longer it went on the more anxious I would get.

We all have down days and that’s understandable and important to accept these feelings and not dwell on them, but appreciate that we are ok and this will end at some point.

LD 20 Easter 2020

A few days have passed since my last blog with sunny days enjoyed in the garden.

We’ve enjoyed some great food, with popcorn chicken and beef stroganoff two of the faves.

I tidied a couple of drawers and did the whole Marie Kondo thing: feel if there’s joy in an item, so a few pieces were discarded, with the associated memories.

Joe went shopping and brought back something which was a reminder of Italy last year and did fluffy pancakes for brunch.

Nina and Joe went for a walk in the afternoon.

Saturday was my Mum’s birthday and we were also remembering Andrew’s father in law Tony, at 2pm, as his memorial in Tasmania is now cancelled. We first met Tony and Jen in 2009 and they are such warm, genuine, lovely people. We took them to our hearts, and we have been fortunate to have spent time with them, most recently in 2017. Jen did a wonderful reading and a video montage of photos that he took over the years and it did bring a few tears to my eyes. I still remember his speech at the wedding, just so funny!

I went out for a walk for the first time in two weeks, and Georgina did my nails.

We then called Mum for her birthday.

we could hear her but not see her and it was a bit strange. We’ll just have to make up for it next year!

Easter Sunday arrived and we spoke with Andrew and Lis, a bit of a lazy day followed with prepping for dinner.

We enjoyed a roast dinner with a kinder bueno cheesecake, which was divine. I made Easter bunny napkins for the table which was a bit of fun.

Tomorrow will be the end of the three week lockdown and we will find out how much longer the next stage and it’s measures will be. We are still safe and whilst today is chilly, the next few days promise warmer weather to brighten our days.

LD 16

Another beautiful day, which is helping with this situation.

A made floury rolls and sausage patties, poached eggs and ta da-fakeaway sausage and egg ‘muffins’ for breakfast.

After this I had a fairly chilled afternoon and did some menu planning for the week.

A shopping list was put together and items purchased. So looking forward to Easter Sunday and the kinder bueno cheesecake!

Delighted that garden bauble lights bought last year are still working. Bargain at £1.

Ruby has also had a lovely day out in the garden, chasing insects and anything that moves…..

Have a great Thursday!

LD 15

Yesterday I was meant to be going to Australia, but instead I went as far as the sanctuary of my garden.

Before retreating there I made flapjacks, and focaccia bread for dinner – a first for me.

I tried to pace myself to do as much as possibly to tidy up, without exerting myself too much.

The weather was glorious and it was so enjoyable for all, even Ruby.

I think the fence panels need some TLC so I’ll be checking the shed to see if we have any paint. With Easter fast approaching that’ll give focus.

LD 14

I didn’t post yesterday as despite the wonderful sunshine on Sunday, I had an overwhelming low day.

Not totally sure why, maybe a bit stir crazy, maybe it’s all part of a process, part of realignment of how life and how we live, will be changed for now and the future, or even the realisation that I should be travelling to Australia today. Also it was four years since the death of a much missed and esteemed colleague.

It was Palm Sunday and whilst in no way am I aligning myself to Jesus, but I reflected that we are all having to make sacrifices for the greater good.

My Mum sent me a lovely message reminding me of what I have done, where I’ve been and that I will be able to do so again-it will take time. My sister and family were brilliant in getting me to talk about how I felt, I resisted for most of the day but felt better for it, after the obligatory tears.

Yesterday I was looking through IG and saw Easter wreaths and I started researching how I could make one. I then thought when did that become a thing, why am I feeling compelled to make one?

So I stopped looking and instead thought fondly about my childhood where we boiled eggs, rolled them down hills, used food colouring to die the shells, had egg hunts. Simple pleasures.

Instead, I threw my energies into what we can have for dinner on Sunday, and found recipes for flapjacks, focaccia bread and a kinder bueno cheesecake!

This morning, I feel a lot better than I have for sometime, although sad that I’m not at Heathrow for my flight, but that will happen.

Found these lurking in the veg drawer, so I’m going to see if we can produce our own potato crop.

Have a great Tuesday.

LD 12

Day 3 in bed and it’s getting very boring.

I’ve had lots of lovely food, drink has been supplied regularly and a treat too.

Untold episodes of SUITS watched but not past series 3 yet!

A parcel arrived and it was such a sweet thought from an amazing person who has her own concerns and worries, so that and two FaceTime calls lifted my spirits.

Even had a relatively good nights sleep, but have woken up feeling pole axed again!

Hoping some sun today in the garden will help, as long as I stay 2m away from everyone 🤒

LD 11

Still in bed tired and achy, cough not too bad but rest seems to be what I should be doing, although it is boring, but I’m aware that I am lucky.

The Easter break has started and it made me think back to last year and the upcoming trip to Majorca, and remembered how lucky I was last year to also visit Florence,Venice, Ferrara, Borgotaro and Crete. Wonderful memories made that will sustain me/us now. How glad am I that the boys went to Kilimanjaro and made their own special ones too.

Let’s hope that we can get through this soon and can create a new normal with enjoying the simple things: a chance to hug our loved ones again.

I’m having the mickey taken out of me remorselessly when they pop in the room to provide food and drink, and it makes me laugh, well a wheezy laugh. At least I still have a sense of humour!

Photos are few and far between too!

LD 10

After feeling so tired and achy on Wednesday night, I woke up on Thursday with a different cough to normal, so I am now in complete isolation from everyone else.

I spoke with Andrew and Lis in Australia, and they are fine.

I spoke with my Mum after she said she had symptoms.

My photos are of the food that I had delivered, and of the completed puzzle.

Last year I bought a tray with kegs to be able to eat in bed. Well actually I bought it to ‘dress’ the bed with, but it is now being used for its primary function.

I’ve read half a book, and watched most of series 1 of Suits, as Joseph has put Netflix in my iPad.

My night’s sleep has been fitful and my chest is tightening, my voice is hoarse and from my ribs down I feel like I’ve been trampled by a horse.

I may not be able to keep this daily posts up, but will try even if it’s just a few lines.

Stay safe and well💕💕💕

LD 10

An early start to get this budget done. After a frustrating few hours, spreadsheets to complete in quadruplet, I finally press the button: financial year end closure, Ta daaa! Every year is the same, and because it’s something that’s done only once a year, you forget all the nuances, checks and balances that you have to do!

Next to interrogate the data, and new budget to go on.

I feel completely knackered, quite frankly.

Home , dinner of carbonara courtesy of Georgina , then lie on the sofa all wrapped up in a blanket, watching puzzle progress.

A snap sent from the afternoon tea on Saturday from Georgina: what a lovely afternoon that was.

Also it was Ruby’s first birthday, so a rousing chorus from dear Lucas was played via the phone.

One of the first pictures of Ruby before we brought her home
What’s that? it’s me birthday? Woohoo!

She’s a real cutie and has brought real joy to our family!

Keep safe and well!

LD 9

Work and more year end prep. The sun was shining although it was cold.

Home via the farm shop to pick up preorders of mince and chicken with all safe distances being followed.

Dinner prepared and a chicken tikka masala made for another day.

Puzzle was duly opened and pieces taken out to start.

A walk in the garden to see the flashes of colour and hope that after the winter the buds and blooms are beginning to show through.

Hopefully the financial year will be closed and I can begin to look at other areas that need looking at.

LD 8

A return to actually working in school. Financial year end waits for no man or woman, although the deadline has been extended to 17th April, but I’m confident that it will be completed by tomorrow! ( no, not an April Fool)

So lots of prep, contacting suppliers for invoices, deleting commitments, making adjustments, whilst remaining at a safe distance whilst speaking with colleagues, and enjoying videos sent by my daughter to brighten my day!

Home to a clean kitchen and a chocolate cake to be made.

Cake for elevenses

Dinner followed with the usual banter and a catch up with ‘Liar’ before heading to bed to read my book.

Early start Tuesday and see what that holds!

LD 7

The clocks went forward on Saturday which means an hour less to fill!

A walk to get supplies with hubby, feeling much colder and windy.

Returning hone it wasn’t long until we had hailstones, sunshine, more hailstones, then more sunshine.

We filled the afternoon with clearing, as much as we could in the old dining room. Everyone mucked in, maybe reluctantly and Kevin did a grand job of saying farewell to books.

It’s still got lots in it, but we’re getting there.

Paper to be stripped next at some point.

Dinner was bolognese for some and prawn and chilli for others! Impromptu caramelised bananas for dessert and before we knew it time for bed!

Ruby doesn’t look terribly happy here: she’d had a shower as she’d caught and eaten( outside) another mouse.

LD 6

Yesterday my husband and I were due to attend his club’s annual dinner on HMS Belfast, but due to CV it was postponed. An email was sent through on Friday that if possible still dress up and take photos! What a lovely idea!

I had booked afternoon tea to be delivered earlier in the week so the challenge was on.

In the morning breakfast was melon balls for me then onto my tasks: bread making, picture arranging and a walk round the garden.

Andrew’s mother-in-law has written a book about the ribbon boys rebellion ‘Bone and beauty’ – (which I love as Bone is her maiden name). It arrived yesterday from Australia, and I had hoped to take it with me next month to get it signed.

An amazingly talented woman, I’m thrilled for her and will enjoy reading the fruits of her labours. No doubt her family are rightly proud of her too.

By now the afternoon was with us and time to get ready for afternoon tea. The five of us all made an effort which was lovely.

Scrubs up well!

Even the cats joined in!

After tea a few changes into something more comfortable and we played a, on occasion, heated game of monopoly. The afternoon swiftly moved into the evening, and what a lovely way to spend it!