Tuesday 28 April 2020

Covid Chronicles - Weeks 4 and 5 UK Lockdown

Hello; I hope you are all bearing up. At the start of writing this blog post the UK government had just announced another 3 week period of lockdown; the position would be reviewed again on 7th May.

I gave up with the blanket and turned it into a cushion cover.

Don't worry my hands aren't idle; I've started a basic granny square blanket instead. It's a great stash buster. I started with some of the leftover blue and then began on the green stash. I'm hoping by the time I've finished it it will cover most of a double bed. It will be my second contribution to 'Knit for Peace'; a charity that sends knitted items to conflict zones around the world and to people in need. A big thanks to Mim HERE for telling me about them.

On Wednesday, I walked 7 miles following a walk route I've led in the past. It was a lovely sunny, warm day and it was a pleasure to be out. I saw a fox crossing a field but wasn't quick enough to take a photo.

Like most of the bloggers I follow we are all revelling in our gardens. I was almost orgasmic on Thursday when I got to Lidl for the weekly shop and found they had busy lizzies! Then, needing to pop into Aldi for a few other bits; I found they also had (reduced) busy lizzies! OH replanted some in the window box that had ranunculus in it. I bought the ranunculus and had no idea it would grow so tall and wasn't well suited to a window box. Gardening to me is very much trial and error.

Here are some pictures of the garden which is finally beginning to bloom and show some colour - especially for Sheila!

By the kitchen door.
We have gooseberry, strawberry and blackberry plants; some roses, lupins, marigolds (not my favourite plant but OH loves them) and some night scented stocks and busy lizzies. The pebbles cover a drain...

Along the back wall. 
To the near left you can see a magnolia flower. There are pansies, geraniums,  night scented stocks, rhododendron, tiger lilies, ranunculus (replanted from the window box), lavender, cyclamen, wallflowers, a camelia and fuschia plus the unnamed purple flower.  I'm trying to grow a pyracantha bush as the birds love the yellow berries. If it's successful it will come out of the pot and be planted in the very narrow strip of earth that runs round three sides of the garden. There's also a kiwi plant  in a pot - I'm interested to see if it bears any fruit!  Growing up the (rickety old) trellis which came from my mum's garden; is a honeysuckle, a passion flower (which fruits) and there is a buddleia tree to attract butterflies. The branch you can see growing up the wall nearest to camera is our grape vine. We had grapes for the first time last year but the birds ate them! Against the fence we have clematis, more lavender, canna lilies and a hibiscus bush (out of shot) which has now turned into a tree! The birds like to eat the buds and I hang a suet block for them in the tree. It still manages to provide lots of flowers in the summer. There are also strawberry plants here.

Left hand side of garden. 
We're planning to buy trellises (when things return to normal) and put them up near the top of the wall that demarcates the neighbours garden. Update - we bought some trellises in B&M and ordered a jasmine; another honeysuckle (pink) and a yellow clematis; called 'Bill Mckenzie' from the local nursery. The trellis will give us and the neighbours a bit of privacy and the climbing plants should smell lovely! Can you see my overripe banana hanging on the free standing trellis - it's to attract butterflies. The bowl is a bird bath. It's almost 50 years old and used to be a taller pot with a narrow neck. The frost got it and all I have left is the base. It has lived in my garden since my mum died in 2009. The pot was originally made by a close friend of the family when he was 14; somehow it came to my mum and she kept it indoors! We have a red robin in a big pot;  a hydrangea; more ranunculus; montbretia, irises, more wall flowers (1.00 in the farm shop);  the mad succulent; more stocks, some newly planted busy lizzies and cyclamen. The fatsia japonica was bought about 8 years ago in Lidl and was about 18 inches high originally - it's nearly as tall as me now. We moved the pot of lavender back as we now have a pot of deep pink dianthus on our doorstep instead - thanks to B&M again! You can see one of the seed kits on the ground in the sun.

Now with added trellis...

The house side of the garden. The wall is painted a pinkish red. As it's an East facing garden; the sun stays until about 3pm; then it's sunny at the front until sunset. That is if we have any sun! That gate is the entrance to our alleyway and leads out to the street. It's currently filled with stuff that needs to go to the tip (closed); gardening equipment; spare chairs for outside and other bits and bobs. Years ago the children used to use the alleyway to come in and out of the house as they were always losing their door keys; but now it's almost inaccessible. The planter on the wall you've seen before. I don't know what the plant in the pot is but I think it's some sort of fruiting plant; we shall see! The wisteria has recovered from the brutal chopping I gave it but it's too late to flower now - we've only ever had one flower on it so I have high hopes for next year. The next thing to do is to plant up some hanging baskets. At least lack of time isn't an issue at the moment!

Our very small front garden area. Basically, it's about 2 foot wide and runs under the front windows and behind the brick wall that separates the house from the pavement!
A hydrangea; more monbretia/crocosmia; geraniums and pansies in full bloom.

Freshly planted window boxes; busy lizzies on the left and fuchsias on the right. I'd love to have plants in pots on the wall but they would get nicked or knocked over by drunks and rowdy clubbers on their way home. We've had our wheelie bins taken for a walk to the other end of the street; once a very drunk young guy tipped out the entire contents of the bin; and tried to use it to transport his black plastic bags full of his belongings (his girlfriend had thrown him out). I made him put all the rubbish back and gave him a couple of huge shopping bags to put his stuff in! One of the few disadvantages of living in the town centre.

A pot of lavender on my doorstep.

On Thursday I did the weekly food shopping. I didn't bother with the big Sainsbury's and just did the usual Lidl shop and Aldi. I bought the few bits I needed from our Sainsbury's Local. It's just around the corner from me. I bought my house specifically because it was near the town centre. I reasoned that when I was an ancient old crone with my zimmer frame; I'd still be able to make it into town to shop at Sainsburys - we used to have a branch there. Of course it closed down soon after I'd moved in but the Sainsbury's Local  is great and very close.

In the afternoon I went for a 5 mile walk. Another beautiful sunny day.

Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 2

I've decided to incorporate kimonos into the jacket challenge because I need to amuse myself and I wear both interchangeably.

Everything is charity shopped except the kimono - a present from my daughter years ago.

Camouflage leggings; my Barnardo's, red top 1.00 rail somewhere. Chinese embroidered slippers bought from the British Heart Foundation last summer.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 3

Friday's outfit. I had a break from walking.
Everything charity shopped except leggings bought in Forever 21 sale. Dress by Tu; Cat's Protection League. Shoes bought in Kells charity shop in Co. Meath.

All jewellery charity shopped except ring from Sainsbury's.

 Kimono by Indigo, M&S; can't remember.

Jacket/Challenge - Day 4

Trousers; La Redoute sale. Tunic by White Stuff; 1.00 rail and kimono (home made) from my Barnardo's. Shoes from Donegal charity shop.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

OH and I walked 8.6 miles on Saturday afternoon. We walked along the river to the village of Cardington. A woman runner who passed us shouted at me that she liked my outfit and that I looked amazing - what a lovely compliment!

Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 5

Shoes by Clarks but can't remember where I bought them.

Sunday's outfit. Everything charity shopped. White top by M&S; 1.00 rail;  cotton homemade jacket; my Barnardo's and the jumpsuit, too. I had a break from walking.

Monday brought us to Week 5 of 'Lockdown'. So far, so good.

My task for Monday was to go for a walk, which I did in the afternoon. A sunny day but the wind was quite fierce. I walked 6 miles in total.

Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Zara; cardigan by H&M, top by Primarni. I got the cardigan at my Barnardos but can't remember where I got the rest.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Shoes by Hotter; charity shopped in Stevenage. On Tuesday I wore the same trousers with a yellow jumper to the food bank. It was the same three of us; all practising social distancing. I went to collect a prescription from the chemist in the afternoon - what an exciting life I lead! The weather was fine and sunny with a bit of a breeze. The plants in the garden are loving the sun and OH religiously waters them every evening; front and back.

Wednesday - too hot for a jacket!

Went for a 5 mile walk checking out a route I haven't walked for a couple of years; it was very warm 23 degrees. Everything charity shopped. Trousers; 3:16 charity shop; top 1.00 rail, lace shirt; can't remember or where I got the shoes.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Before I went out for a walk I went through my fiction books picking out the few I'd read and didn't want and those I wondered why I bought in the first place! I put them in a box outside the front wall with a sign saying 'free - help yourself'. Just lately on my walks I've found a few freebies. On one walk there was a box full of jade plants in pots and on another walk someone had books and magazines outside with a similar sign. I picked up some interior design magazines to drool over...

Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 6

Thursday's outfit. I wore this to do the weekly shop. The weekly shop has turned into the highlight of my week! How sad is that? I've given up on big Sainsbury's as the queues are never ending no matter what time I go. I only buy a few things in there anyway and what we can't have we'll go without. I went to the farm shop but this time there was no queue. They had started selling plants and I bought a trailing fuchsia to go in one of the hanging baskets and the usual coal and kindling. Although the weather's been pleasantly warm the evenings are mostly chilly so we've been lighting the fire.

Everything charity shopped except jacket Beales retail about 4 years ago; green shoes online retail.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Skirt by Betty Jackson bought in my Barnardo's and top by Toast bought in Daycare Hospice nearest my home.

Wisteria envy... passed on my walk on Friday in the village of Biddenham. I walked a 6.4 mile  walk covering another route I hadn't walked in a while. There were plenty of people about; walking, cycling, running. strolling...I started from Queen's Park; walked along the river to Great Denham; through the estate over the golf course into the village of Biddenham; and then home. I passed my Barnardo's on the way -  I am missing it but not as much as I thought. The thing I miss the most is being able to go swimming.

Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 7

Saturday was a lazy day - like all the others really. I didn't go for a walk although I had planned to and spent hours poring over my OS map to look for a new route. When I walked on Wednesday I forgot my walking boots and socks and was too lazy to go back and get them. So I walked 5 miles just wearing my comfortable shoes and no socks; but ended with blisters on both heels. The one on the left heel had got progressively more painful as the days went by and I couldn't face it on Saturday. I had three plasters on it, too!

Everything charity shopped. Kimono by Topshop; can't remember; trousers by Papaya, my Barnardo's; top by M&S; Red Cross shop. Brothel creepers/beetle crushers 3:16 charity shop. I've had to bin these as one of the soles tore away from the upper. It could have been restuck but the faux suede coating was crumbling in places so out they went.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

Sunday was the usual housework and cooking Sunday dinner but first I got up and went for 6.5 mile walk in Milton Ernest. A beautiful day with the air full of birdsong.

On Monday I went into town to get some items in Boots. When I got back I went for a 4.5 mile walk. Monday was a cooler day but still very pleasant. It also marked the beginning of week 6 of the lockdown. This was Monday's outfit:

Everything charity shopped; trousers by New Look; white top by Next 1.00 rail; tunic charity shopped in Ireland, I think but can't remember where. Shoes on line retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

My hair looks ok when it's just been washed but other wise it's gone mad; I cannot wait to get to a hairdressers but I fear it may be a while yet...

I mentioned coincidences in my last post and I'm now going to tell you about a really, really strange coincidence. OH and I met almost 22 years ago. We did online dating before there was on line dating - in those days it was teletext or newspaper columns.  He lived in London and I lived in Bedford. Anyway, after knowing each other for 2.5 years OH moved in with me, permanently. One day I was showing him my photo album when he suddenly exclaimed 'I know that woman'! That woman was my ex-sister-in-law. Many years ago, when OH was married to someone else; he and his wife met my ex sister-in-law and her daughter in a hotel in Spain where they were all on holiday. In fact, they became so friendly that OH and his wife went to visit her several times at her home in Cardiff. This was before she met up with my brother-in-law and therefore before I even knew her!  Is that a coincidence or what?

On Tuesday I was up at 7 am, showered, ironed my clothes, dressed and was eating my breakfast when the phone rang. It was the food bank saying that I wasn't needed as there had been very little in the way of food parcels distributed on Friday and Monday and consequently no need for more to be made up. How strange given that the demand in general was up by 50% in previous weeks.

Never mind; I have this book to be getting on with and the blanket is almost complete - just needs a few more rows before I use up all the wool.

This  is my TBR pile (to be read) - all fiction. Once I've read the fiction pile my plan is to read through a shelf full of detective fiction. Once the lockdown is over or things start to ease; I can scour the charity shops for more!

I wonder if anything will have changed much in two weeks time?

Tuesday 14 April 2020

The jacket challenge continues/ finishes and starts again..

Who knew we would adapt so well to a form of imprisonment and enforced idleness? Surely after this people will realise that it is possible to work from home; that maybe not all of us have to work at full time jobs and could reduce hours; that it's great to spend time with the family; and that less pollution is a win win for everybody AND the planet? We shall see...my friend Hilary says her chestiness has gone (she's asthmatic) for the first time in 30 years. She puts it down to the lack of traffic pollution.

As for me it feels like I'm on holiday. I'm going to bed later and getting up later but still trying to keep a structure to my day by setting tasks to achieve on a daily basis; including down time for reading and crocheting.

This was Wednesday's outfit on Week 2 of lockdown. Everything charity shopped except the OTK boots - online retail.

Skirt by M&S; 1.00 rail in a Stamford charity shop. Top by River island;  1.00 rail somewhere.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

OH started furlough on Wednesday. He spent ithe day in the garden. It's looking so neat and tidy and we managed to buy some more plants (Lidl and B&M). My daughter bought me a beautiful pink rose for Mother's Day and it's now planted in the garden where it will hopefully last.

I went for a 6 mile walk in the afternoon. Just around the streets of Bedford; there weren't many people around but everyone who was was cheerful and practising social distancing when we passed each other.

Jacket Challenge - Day 8

Thursday's outfit. Everything charity shopped except boots - online retail. Tunic; Monsoon, RSPCA charity shop; trousers by Zara; 3:16 charity shop;  Navy jacket by Classic; 1.00 rail in Melton Mowbray Salvation Army.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Life goes on in the new normal. If it's Thursday it must be food shopping! Lidl was fine again; but I heard the staff telling an elderly gentleman that he shouldn't be buying one or two items; that only a large shop should be done necessitating a once a week trip. Not so easy for elderly people or people who live on their own...There was a humongous queue outside Sainsbury's stretching back through the car park and spaced out with people standing 2 metres apart. It moved quickly though. Once again I got all the things I needed but it took twice as long as usual. I'm not complaining. In the afternoon I walked to the post office to post a present to my son as I won't be seeing him for a while. 

I have not had much luck with my new crochet project -  in terms of following the pattern, I mean. This is the second pattern in a row I've given up on; despite having already made a blanket in this same pattern in the past.  Now I have abandoned the pattern and am doing my own thing -  which I'm calling 'The Wavy Line Striped' blanket which I think is a pretty fair description!

Jacket Challenge - Day 9
All jewellery charity shopped
Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Zara; can't remember, River Island boots; my Barnardo's; top by Kim and Co; can't remember; Jacket by Indigo Moon; Barnardo's in Sandy. The light in my my bedroom gives this gauzy effect which is why I usually take the blog photos in the spare room. I've had to get rid of these trousers as there was a stain on one knee. I applied stain remover and rewashed them but it seemed to be an oil based stain and won't come out.

I wore this outfit on Friday. I had to go to Aldi to buy things I'd forgotten; basic things like bread and milk even though I written a shopping list... there was a queue to get in but it moved very quickly.

Saturday was such a beautiful day. I couldn't wait to get out for a walk.

Typical UK footpath. Blackthorn on both sides. This year I am determined to collect the sloes and make some Sloe gin. The Ramblers have been running a campaign called 'Don't Lose Your Way' to reclaim over tens of thousands of  miles of 'lost' footpaths before the law changes and they're lost forever. You can see more about it HERE.

This path is a continuation of the path around the Iron Age hill fort site at the back of the golf course. It leads down to stables where they have not one but two exercise rings for the horses. One is covered to protect from the weather; and the other open to the elements but with sand on the ground. Mostly, I see the horses in the surrounding fields. The path then takes to the road and it was walking up a steep part of this road called Church Hill, that I turned my ankle on an unlevel bit at the side of the road and fell in a heap on the ground. My goodness was the ankle sore! But I could walk on it and continued on another 4 miles. By the time I got back to my car I was in agony and couldn't wait to get home and put ice on it and rest it. It was pretty swollen but nothing was broken. In fact, the injury to my ankle left me hobbling around for days and I think I may have torn a muscle or a ligament. It was still swollen and a bit sore a week later.

 On Saturday evening we had another Zoom meet up and drink; it was good to see everyone.

Jacket Challenge - Day 10

I have to say I'm quite enjoying the jacket challenge because it enables me to show off some of my collection of brooches. I'm hoping to follow Ann; HERE; who has been posting lovely photos on IG of her amazing brooch collection; and do a blog post about my brooch collection soon.

Everything charity shopped except the boots; donated by my daughter. Jeans by Next 1.00 rail; top by M&S; can't remember. It has quite full sleeves which made the River Island blazer (1.00 rail; Barnardo's) a bit tight and uncomfortable, so I swapped it for a floral cardigan in purple, turquoise and green when I went out for a walk - and swapped the boots for walking boots and socks. It was so warm I didn't need a jacket. I'd planned to take another photo of the revamped outfit but injuring my ankle put paid to that.

All jewellery charity shopped. That's my Cuban silver spoon necklace; and I'm wearing a two little birds brooch. Remember that Bob Marley song? I know, that was 'Three Little Birds' but you know what I mean (listen to it here) the brooch reminds me of it everytime I wear it!

Jacket Challenge - Day 11

My beloved Next denim jacket. About 5 or 6 years old and charity shopped somewhere.
The dress is made in the USA and is by Tua. I paid 5.00 for it in a charity shop in Olney; one day last year after a Rambler's walk there.

Boots online retail. I only managed to wear them for a little while. I put my winter coats away on Sunday and a little bit of my winter wear.  The weather had definitely taken a turn for the better - much warmer and sunnier. Hooray! That's my wrap around felted wool coat on the line; just washed and ready to go up in the loft with the heavier winter items.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Due to the swollen ankle I had to resort to flip flops on Monday...
Everything charity shopped including the flip flops! Trousers by Laura Ashley; top by Masai; and dress worn as a shirt by Red Herring; 1.00 sale, Bedford Daycare Hospice. Flip flops; my Barnardo's.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

I managed to order some more plants (Stocks and lupins) from a local nursery over the phone. They could be picked up from the nursery gates. OH spent the day putting up a planter made out of a pallet that I bought from a local buy and sell group; just as lockdown was hitting us. Once we have it filled with plants I will share it with you.  OH also managed to buy more plants from B&M;  some sweet peas; more pansies and a lovely purple plant one that neither of us know what it's called.  All the plants were reduced; a lot were dead and beyond saving OH said. B&M weren't expecting further deliveries of plants either. I read somewhere that all the tulips in Holland had to be destroyed. Can you imagine that? I can't. Fields and fields of wonderfully coloured tulips - gone.

Other than cleaning out the fire; doing a wash; and making a casserole, Monday, the beginning of Week 3 in lockdown was a day of leisure involving day time crocheting and reading! Like many other people I volunteered to help vulnerable and self isolating people in the community. I was asked to befriend someone who was social isolating and call them regularly. I began doing this on Sunday. When my ankle is back to normal I may also be needed to shop for or pick up prescriptions.

On Tuesday, I was able to wear proper footwear again. Ankle improving; still puffy but not as bad as the weekend, I went to the foodbank where we operated the same system as last week. Only three of us in and practising social distancing. It was busy but we finished earlier than usual. Demand is still high for food parcels and hygiene packs.

Jacket Challenge - Day 12

Everything charity shopped.Clarks shoes bought from Age UK in Stamford.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Jeans by Next; spotted top no label 1.00 sale; Daycare Hospice shop. Jacket bought in Co. Donegal Animal charity shop. I'm sad to report that this green spotted blouse has been thrown away. When I was going to bed I saw an ominous orange stain on the front  - yes, a bleach stain. Why does it always happen to clothes I really like?

I spent much of Tuesday afternoon in the garden.  It was sunny in bursts but when the wind blew it was chilly. Did two whites washes and hung them out to dry. It's so good to get the washing on the line and it dries in no time. I miss going out on walks but the ankle wasn't up to it. I'm hoping it will be back to normal by the end of this week and I can get back to regular walks. I'm also badly missing the hairdresser's; but I'm a bit curious to see how my hair will look as it gets longer. I've had it short since May 2009 so I will find it strange! I did manage to go out later for a walk round the neighbourhood with OH; we passed this mural on the side of a house on the way back. There are several frescoes around Bedford; this  one is number 2.

Jacket Challenge - Days 13 - 16

As the weather has now become warm and sunny, I am less likely to wear the warmer of my jackets.  Once again I'm going to cheat and show you photos of when I've worn them before. There is one jacket I haven't yet worn; which you'll see further on.  That brings the final number of jackets up to 17 - and I put one in the charity shop bag!

Day 13

Boiled/felted wool jacket;  2.00 rail Willen Hospice, Newport Pagnell.

Day 14

Country Casuals jacket - can't remember

Day 15 

M&S jacket 50p sale; my Barnardo's

Day 16

Orange boiled/felted wool jacket by Fenn, Wright and Manson; 8.00 in Daycare Hospice Shop, Kempston. This was taken the Christmas before last.

Jacket Challenge - Day 17

Everything charity shopped except the navy top; sale in Store 21 in Rushden. Linen trousers by Next; jacket by Indigo Moon; bought in Barnardos in Sandy the day I walked there from Bedford. It has sequins on it. As it was such a warm day on Wednesday I took the jacket off and replaced it with a kimono in the afternoon.

Shoes are by Clarks and I use these as summer walking shoes as they are very comfortable.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I walked into town as we needed some things and combined it with a short daily walk. My ankle was a bit sore when I got home so I'm planning to do a 'normal for me' walk tomorrow i.e. at least 5 miles; and get back into a walking routine.  I complained to the council about the road verge where I hurt my ankle and they sent me a claim form...watch this space!

I've now finished the Autumn/Winter clothes challenges and with that in mind I spent the rest of Wednesday swapping my wardrobe over. I just hope and pray we don't get a cold snap now!

Here I am in Thursday's outfit; all charity shopped. Kimono is actually a dressing gown; trousers by Zara and pink tee shirt years old.

Shoes by Clarks as before.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

I went shopping on Thursday for food and essentials. Queued for 25 minutes at the farm shop; 10 minutes in Aldi and 10 minutes in Lidl. The queue for Sainsbury's started at the entrance to the car park and went round the entire car park in a big U shape - I drove in and out again. OH went out later in the day when there were shorter queues. My brother told me he went to his pharmacy to collect his prescription and queued for 90 minutes!  OH and I went out for a walk in the evening. We took carrier bags with us and collected fir cones for kindling  in a couple of different places. We hadn't lit the fire for two evenings as it had still been warm; but we had plenty of kindling for when we do!

Shoes recently purchased from a charity shop but can't remember which one. Trousers bought in a La Redoute sale ages ago. Yellow kimono by 'Look at the Stars' (!) charity shopped in my Barnardo's; as was the top from the 1.00 rail.

All jewellery charity shopped. I've taken to tucking my hair behind my ears as it has grown so much.

I went back to where I injured my ankle on Friday,  to take some photos to send the council; and had a short walk around the village. Apart from doing some washing, all I did all day was sit in the garden and crochet. The sun was lovely, the air was full of birdsong and the thrum of bees. I read somewhere that butterflies like really ripe bananas; and as I had one, I hung it up with string to see if attracted any. I didn't spot any  butterflies in the garden but saw several on my walk.

Do you believe in coincidences? Here's one for you. I received some Amazon vouchers for my birthday and spent them on a couple of books; one called 'Square Haunting' which was a series of mini biographies of five women who all lived in Mecklenburgh Square in Bloomsbury. In the book similarities were drawn with one of the women's (Hilda Doolittle or HD) style of writing to someone called Dorothy Richardson who allegedly wrote the first 'stream of consciousness' novel 'Pilgrimage'. I liked the sound of 'Pilgrimage so ordered it - a Virago edition which I collect - and it arrived on Friday. Searching for something to watch on TV that evening I watched a programme about Virago books we'd recorded ages ago; and lo and behold they talked about 'Pilgrimage' and its importance to the feminist literary tradition.

On Saturday I plucked up the courage to go for a proper walk. It was a glorious day.

Everything charity shopped except Caterpillar boots; car boot sale.
Dressed for a walk complete with walking boots. I walked 5 miles without any ill effects to my ankle. I walked again on Saturday managing just over 6 miles. It's lovely walking in the countryside - I don't see a soul! The oil seed rape has started to bloom so there are fields of yellow everywhere...

Monday saw the beginning of the 4th week of lockdown. It was decidedly chillier with a strong breeze but the sun did come out later in the afternoon. I walked to Wilco in the morning to get some essential household items. They had plants for sale and some were reduced.  I bought some seeds as well as some miniature kits for sowing seeds under a protective cover. OH will be busy! I bought delphinium, larkspur, foxglove and chinese lantern seed. We've never had success with growing from seed before so I hope the covered trays might do the job. I also managed to buy some petunia plants which OH planted  in the pallet planter; as well as a trailing succulent plant that has gone mad and some transplanted pansies. I would liked to have planted busy lizzies in the planter but it's a bit early for them; the nursery suggested I try again at the end of the month.

As the sun was out in the afternoon I went for a brisk 5 mile walk to Biddenham village and back into Bedford. I passed this house on the way back; I've got wisteria envy again...

I've found my days are beginning to settle into a routine even in these strange times. I get up, eat breakfast, get showered, changed and make up on. I then go for a walk or to pick up things we need from the shops. I spend a portion of time each day on my lap top trying to keep up with blogs and to write my own. I spend time talking to the person to whom I'm a befriender and talking to various members of the family. I'm reading and crocheting, washing, cleaning and cooking. On Tuesday mornings I'm at the foodbank. I haven't missed rummaging strangely; except today when walking down the High Street towards Wilco and peering in the charity shop windows!

Summer Jacket Challenge - Day 1

A sunnier day on Tuesday but I was chilly! I wore this to the food bank where we spent the morning making up food parcels for the distribution centres.

Everything charity shopped. Jacket by Fenn, Wright and Manson; Keech Hospice shop. Skirt and tee shirt by BHS (remember them?) my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity except the earrings from Bedford market.

Can't remember where I bough the Clarks Mary Janes from.

That's it from me; I have another, this time remarkable, coincidence for you in my next blog post. Meanwhile stay safe, sane and keep on blogging!

Very proud mummy.

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