Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Covid-19 Chronicles . Weeks 6 and 7.

I spent a lot of Tuesday crocheting and reading.  It was a chilly, wet day and not conducive to walking. I did do a wash, though, and filed my paperwork. I have a system for paperwork. I plonk the important stuff in my bureau and every couple of months file it properly in my portable concertina file. It must have been quite a while since I last filed; because I found a tax code notification for the tax year 2019/2020 and I've already received one this year for the tax year 2020/2021! OH re-hung two of the upstairs curtain poles as each had come adrift on one side and were crooked. They've been like that for several years and I'd got used to them; but it's great to have them straight again! You can tell I'm not a perfectionist - just as well really.

The other job I'm hoping OH will do while he is on furlough is put some window film on our  lower front windows upstairs and down. As we live on a pretty busy street people are always peering into our living room. I don't blame them; I do the same myself. The window film will allow the light in but the nosy parkers out; and upstairs I can prance around naked should I choose to do so without fearing a double decker bus will be passing at the same time - we're very close to a bus stop! UPDATE - he's done it!

On Wednesday, I got up and walked 6 miles around my usual route -  from youngest grandson's school to the village of Clapham; following the farm track to the village of Ravensden; and back to grandson's school. It rained for the last mile but not heavily and I was wearing a waterproof jacket with a hood.

Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 8

 I'm not completely sure I haven't already counted this jacket in the previous jacket challenge but what the heck!  I wore it to London over a maxi dress for my brother Julian's birthday celebration meal.  The jacket is by Zara and came from my Barnardo's, as did the turquoise patterned shirt. I bought the shirt on the very last day at the charity shop when we were instructed to go home and shut up the shop; as the lockdown had begun in earnest.  Monday, March 23rd; it seems like aeons ago!

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Jeans by Next; charity shopped and cut and frayed by me. Shoes; Donegal charity shop.

I didn't wear the jacket round the house but I did wear it to Aldi where I went in the afternoon to pick up bits we needed. It saved me going there on Thursday when I did the weekly shop.

Thursday - the weekly shop. Highlight of my week! This was what I wore:

Everything charity shopped. Jeans as before. Top by Wallis; Irish charity shop; woollen waistcoat 1.00 rail somewhere, Shoes; Donegal charity shop.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped. The necklace came from my Barnardo's.

I'd stripped the bed and was letting it air....

I woke up early on Thursday and the sun was shining brilliantly. I should have got up and gone for an early walk but I turned over and went back to sleep. By the time I was up and ready and had done the shopping there was torrential rain and the temperature dropped to 7 degrees.

Friday was brighter and warmer. I decided to walk to the village of Bromham and have a look at my old house. I lived in this village for 10 years; 8 years in this particular house. I walked 6.5 miles in all and saw lots of amazing blossoming trees:
And I got more Wisteria envy:
This was what I wore but with walking boots and socks. I took a waterproof coat with me but discarded it after a while as I got quite hot.

Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 9
I still haven't made up the spare bed - with grandsons not staying anymore there is no need.

Everything charity shopped. This is the second kimono I ever bought. I think I got it in the Red Cross shop when I volunteered there. It's by Peacocks. Trousers by F&F and shoes by Clarks. Hair freshly washed and not looking too bad...

All jewellery charity shopped except the silver cuff; a present from my friend Ann. I miss her and can't wait to see her again when we can start visiting friends and family....

On Saturday, I walked around the town and managed 5 miles in total; no rain but nice and sunny in parts. In the afternoon and evening I finally finished my blanket. I've used most of my blue and green stash now but I would have liked the blanket to be a few inches wider; it doesn't quite fit a double bed as you can see. I like the edging which I adapted from Attic 24 Granny Blanket edging HERE; I didn't have enough turquoise left to do the three rows of edging so opted for just one row instead.

My plan for my next crochet project is to pick up and carry on the 'Willow pattern' squares I initially started in Ireland in 2018 and got bored because I was only working in two colours. I like lots of colour. I have a box full of pink and purple wool to use up so I intend to make a throw for my bed. We sat down to watch the BBC4 9pm Scandi series but was rather disappointed and gave up after 15 minutes. Life's too short...we started to watch 'Killing Eve' on catch up instead. That would keep us going for the week ahead.

Sunday was a cool but dry day and I went out for a 4.5 mile walk before I cooked dinner.

Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Tu; lace top no label and cardigan bought in Irish charity shop. Pumps by Next.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

We had a family Zoom meeting in the evening and it was lovely to see my brothers and eldest grandson. Everyone is well, thankfully, and all curious about how the easing of the lockdown will play out... we would find out by 10th May when the Prime Minister would announce what measures were to be taken.

Monday was the beginning of week 7 of the lockdown. OH and I did the housework; I did a wash and hung it out. It was quite breezy but sunny. In the afternoon I went for a 6 mile walk meeting up with my daughter but keeping our required distance.

I finally got round to making the bed up.

Everything charity shopped. Jumper by Next; trousers by Tu; shoes by Clarks.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped except the earrings; a present.

I was looking forward to the food bank on Tuesday having not been needed last week. I spent the morning making up hygiene packs for families; 2 toilet rolls; 1 washing up liquid; I bottle spray household cleaner; 1 cleaning cloth; I bottle of washing liquid (Ariel) for clothes; I bar of soap, I pump hand wash; 1 shower gel and 1 toothpaste. The van came and collected all the ones I'd made up and put into crates so I made up another 12 crates for collection later in the week. I was in the big warehouse on my own with only the warehouse manager coming in and out.

Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 10

Everything charity shopped.  Trousers by Zara; top by G21 and kimono charity shopped somewhere in Ireland. Can't remember where the shoes came from either.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

My daughter gave me her old fitbit watch in February. It took me a couple of weeks to sync it to the Fitbit app and I've been wearing it daily since about the middle of February. I got a message from Fitbit the other day telling me I had walked the length of Italy; according to the number of steps I had accumulated! It is quite amazing how many steps you can clock up in a day; and in my case not always including a walk.  For example, I've done 13,000 steps before just around the house and garden. I had a break from walking on Tuesday. I'm scared of straining my knee the way I did a couple of years ago. I always try and rest from walking at least one or two days a week. It's a bit annoying as I have the time to walk daily now with far less commitments on my time because of the lockdown; but it's better to be safe than sorry as the saying goes.

On Wednesday it was the most beautiful day, sunny, warm and very little breeze. I went for an 8 mile walk following the walk route I was supposed to lead for the Ramblers on 18th March just before lockdown proper began. I saw an unusual bird  on my walk - white head, reddish back; but couldn't get close enough to see the detail; I love spotting new birds when I'm out. Having looked it up, it's possible that it might have been a Red Backed Shrike but I saw several perched on the overhead wires. and they're quite rare.. so probably not. I also saw 2 grey partridges, pheasants, and heard several green woodpeckers (yaffles) and saw and heard lots of wonderful skylarks.

Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 11

Thursday was busy. I took my car in early for a service and while I waited for the call to collect it; did a wash and hung it out; worked out my monthly expenditure - my pension was paid early as Friday had been announced as a bank holiday. The car needed a new rear tyre and there was a small oil leak. I'd have to take the car to Bletchley; as due to the virus their specialist tech person was not travelling around the branches so we have to go to him. I then went to do the weekly food shop at Lidl and Aldi. After that it was off to Sharnbrook to the farm shop for coal and kindling; our evenings are still chilly. Once I'd packed all the shopping away I put on my walking boots and walked 5.5 miles. It was very warm and I felt more tired doing this 5.5. miles in the heat than I did  on Wednesday when I walked 8 miles!

Everything charity shopped. Skirt by Rapp; from Daycare Hospice shop; white top 1.00 rail somewhere; jacket by M&S; Red Cross shop. Shoes from Donegal charity shop.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

It was still warm on Thursday evening so we didn't need to light the fire. That's the first time in weeks. .

Friday was another very warm day and a bank holiday to celebrate 75th anniversary of  Victory in Europe Day. When we walked through the village of Beddenham they must have had a sort of street party. Lots of houses had put their tables and chairs at the end of their drives; someone was playing music from WW11 over a loudspeaker and champagne buckets were on some tables but there was no one around. It was a bit spooky to be honest...

More Wisteria envy and a beautiful horse chestnut tree complete with candles; both spotted on the walk of 5 miles. OH came, too. Apart from the walk and a quick walk into town earlier to pick up some hooks for the bathroom I didn't do much else. I tidied up an area of the garden by putting all the loose bricks and broken slabs into a container ready for the tip. That left a clear space next to the Hibiscus bush where we can put more pots of flowers or maybe another climber; decisions, decisions!  When I was in Lidl I bought some begonias for the hanging baskets and a fig tree. I'm hoping it will do as well as the Fatsia Japonica I bought from there years ago; and if it does it could maybe go  into this new vacant space...OH managed to pick up a hosta plant so we're hoping by smearing vaseline around the top of the pot we'll keep the slugs at bay.

The planter is blooming nicely....

I also got rid of some of the rubbish in the alleyway - OH throws nothing away - aaaaggghhhh!  There was lots of cardboard to break down and plastic packaging all to be recycled. I also contacted a fellow Rambler who collects scrap metal for a charity; and asked him if he would like the metal bed frame and the few other metal bits blocking up our alleyway. He agreed to pick them up on Monday - hurray! We also had an announcement from our Mayor to say the tidy tip would open on Monday; but that we would have to book in advance. Visits will be organised into 15 minute slots and there will be a one way system in operation to maintain social distancing. I'll wait until the metal has gone from the alley way to see if we still need to visit the tidy tip; somehow I doubt it.

Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 12

Everything charity shopped except the shoes; online retail.
Trousers by John Lewis; top no label; lace jacket no label and I can't remember where I got them from. The last time I wore this lace jacket was to Cousin Marian's birthday bbq last June...

 Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

Saturday was another beautiful hot day.

Everything charity shopped. Skirt by East bought at The Guildhouse when I volunteered there. Both tops 1.00 rails. Red Chinese embroidered slippers; British Heart Foundation.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

We had a barbecue in the garden and lots of wine was consumed...hence the rosy cheeks!

Sunday was a complete contrast; temperatures much lower, very windy and rain! The English weather never ceases to surprise. A quiet relaxing day with not very much happening. Reading; a bit of crocheting etc. I've sorted out quite a lot of clothing for the charity shops and luckily there was still an almost empty clothes bin where I park my car for a countryside walk; I've managed to get rid of two plastic bags full since the lock down. I've also saved quite a bit of money as I haven't been able to go for a rummage. There's always a silver lining to every cloud! The announcement from the PM was a bit of a damp squib and lacked detail on some important issues. I expect it will become clearer over the next few days...

On Monday, I ventured to Sainsbury's where OH had spotted some footwear he'd like for his birthday. I queued for about 3 minutes and was in. I need to buy him some of his favourite aftershave as I know he is running out. Normally, we would have a night or weekend away to celebrate his birthday but I'll have to owe him one until we can travel freely again. We also usually have a celebratory birthday meal  out with the family; but that will have to wait as well. Monday saw the beginning of week 8 since lockdown began. I went out for a walk in the morning before I went to Sainsbury's and walked 6 miles. Still quite chilly but sometimes sunny with the occasional strong breeze. I forgot to take photos but I wore my new to me Seasalt clogs around the house...

Tuesday brought a much better day. Sunny, little wind and a bit warmer. I set off for the food bank as usual and wore my M&S charity shopped coat.

I don't like this pinafore dress on me so it will be going into the charity shop bag. The neck needed to be a V or a scoop shape; I look all bosom! Everything charity shopped except the leggings.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

The sun has obliterated my feet!

The food bank was busy. I spent the morning dating and sorting pasta and rice, making up hygiene bags and unpacking dropped off donations from the public. Still only three of us in; plus two managers and one admin staff. I can't see it going back to normal as when we're up to normal staffing levels it would not be possible to social distance from one another in the warehouse. There has been so much donated (thank you!) we also now have another warehouse a few miles away but it is just for temporary storage. The council loaned it to us.

 I am in the  midst of a Scandi Noir reading crime fest trying to read as many of my crime books as I can - a shelf and half full - and I've given about half a dozen away. I  can now legitimately meet my daughter and walk together from tomorrow. That's about how exciting life get's at the moment! See you in a fortnight and thank you for comments; I appreciate them very much.


  1. again i´m swooning over your kimomo outfits! so glam!
    but the one with the mustard jacket and very cool maxi skirt is fabulous too!!
    we have many openings her and people act as if is no covid virus around at all. nobody seems to know how much 1,5m is....
    since today i go to work again for some hours - the office is in rather chaos as the main secretary stays at home with neck problems. and next week the driving lessons starting again - i fear i have everthing forgotten.
    love the photos from your walk with all the blooming trees!

    1. Beate, thank you! Don't worry you won't forget what you've learned. When I first learned to drive I had 10 lessons then a break of 18 months. When I restarted I hadn't forgotten anything and passed on the 2nd attempt.

  2. I'm loving that Rapp skirt, the East skirt and that wonderful turquoise top in the first outfit - not that the rest aren't lovely!
    I've got one of those at home, too - a man who hates to throw anything away - although I'm rather appreciative at the moment. The tips in Walsall open next week but looking at the absolute chaos in Birmingham with people queuing for up to four hours I can live with the humungous pile of garden waste we've generated over the last 7 weeks!
    Loving the window film and that lovely wisteria. I don't think I'd have the patience to have to wait ten years for it to bloom, should have planted some when we moved in 15 years ago!
    Enjoy your Scandi Noir fest, I'm not sure what to read next! Stay safe! xxx

    1. Thank you! I'm really enjoying my crime fest reads; it's my guilty pleasure...

      We have had our garden waste collections resumed from last week with an extra 'drop your own' garden waste facility laid on in an empty car park in town.

      Today I saw the market cafe open for takeaway only - it's in the market square so all very open. It feel like things are slowly returning to normal!

      Take care

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  3. You are still managing to get out for some great walks, despite the lockdown, and all those beautiful blossoms on the way!

  4. Oh dear, I am just as bad with paperwork filing! It must be because I am already doing enough of it at work. I plonk everything in a concertina folder and then, about once a year, I classify everything properly in separate files. By then, it has become one hell of a job! It's taking me ages to get Jos to do anything too. He made me all kinds of promises when he retired, but it has all come to nothing. Or nothing much. I have to keep nagging him! I love that first outfit you're wearing very much. The sleeves of that jacket are delightful, and I do love that shade of blue on you. Also loving the blues and yellows of your second outfit, and both of your maxi skirt outfits. Imagine having walked the length of Italy. That is quite a feat! Jos hardly ever throws anything away either - but then I am guilty of that too. And it seems the Belgian weather is much the same as the English weather. Summer one day and almost wintry temperatures the next! Stay safe! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann!

      I've been very lucky with OH; he's cleaned windows (twice!), adjusted curtain poles; re puttied a window; given the garden a thorough going over; put up window film; assembled and hung a new bathroom cupboard. I'm not complaining!

  5. Amazing how we all are gradually cleaning out our garbage and donations, isn't it? I'm glad you're able to safely go work at the food bank, Vronni, and that you're still able to go out for your massive walks. Glad to hear you're resting at least a day - those long walks can be hard on our old bods!

    My husband's 50th birthday is coming up, and I can't buy anything for him! We are going to basically "redo 2020" next year and have a big celebration then.

    Love your Rapp skirt (the mustard outfit overall is just wonderful), the East skirt, and I thought you were wearing a suit in that amazing black and white ensemble! Your hair looks awesome, with and without your head-wraps! I'm also enchanted by the ginormous sleeves in that first outfit. Your outfits make me happy - such wonderful colours!

    Good to hear from you - stay safe!

    1. Thank you, Sheila.

      I'm on my third bag of donations and the wardrobe is thinning out - at last.

      It's shame about the birthday but next year will be a bumper year for celebrations instead!

  6. woww, lots of lovely outfits, lovely walks and lovely flowers blooming!, I admire your walks and those wisterias!
    Love your style, your colorful headscarves and delightfully matchy necklaces and bracelets. Also love your monochrome outfits, particularly the Day#9 kimono and fab jewellery!.
    And love how fabulously you look in your maxi skirts, the yellow-mustard jacket ensemble is so elegant and cool and also love the maxi skirt with the striped top and denim waistcoat, it's a really delightful color combo and you rock it!
    Lovely to read your posts!

    1. Thank you, Monica,

      Hope you're still managing to get out for a walk...

  7. Such strange times.
    I am in love with your black and white outfit-all the pattern mixing is fantastic. I'm also enchanted by that large green beaded necklace. Wish your OH a Happy Birthday for me.

    I have never seen a shrike. They have a bit of a bad reputation for eating the eggs from other bird's nests. I'm sure they've been framed and didn't do it!

    I have to do the once a fortnight shop tomorrow. I'm a bit scared, but I'm sure it will be lovely to get out. Have a good week!

    1. I hope the shop went well, Goody.

      Thank you for your comments.

  8. One good thing from this is that all the little
    niggly jobs are getting done! I like peeping in windows too so I'm pleased you can dance around naked now! Love all your blossom shots and the sister is and horse chestnut. I have laundered and bagged up all the kiddies bedding until that glorious time when we get into sleepover territory again.
    What is the new scandi series you abandoned?
    There's probably lots I've forgotten to mention here! Wishing you a fab fortnight, x.

    1. I can't wait for sleepovers either, Mary. Hopefully we won't have too long to wait.

      The series was called 'State of Happiness'.

  9. You've surpassed yourself with those outfits - particularly the striking black and white patterned outfit with pearl necklace, and the turquoise patterned kaftan at the top with turquoise head band. I don't know why I don't have any kaftans, they look great. I only saw 1 wisteria on my urban walks and that was at Sainsburys! I guess if I was out in the countryside I might have seen more. Now I'm admiring all the roses. Stay safe x

    1. Thank you, Gail!

      Yes, the roses are worth stopping for. I'm always surprised at how so many have no smell but some have a wonderful scent.

      You must have a very classy Sainsbury's if it has Wisteria!

      Take care

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  11. A great collection of outfits there - I really like the way you layer stuff up.

    Well, by the time I'm replying to this post the advice has got even more confusing... insofar as the government dished it out but can't manage to stick to it itself. Bunch of fools!

    ANYWAY good to see you're having an active lockdown - you're doing loads more walking than I am. It must be doing you good. Hopefully you'll be able to see your grandsons and friends sooner rather than later.

  12. Thanks, Mim!

    I'm really enjoying the extra walking. I can only manage it as I don't have all the other usual commitments - and I could get used to it!

    Bunch of fools is right; they're like a car crash in slow motion...

    Take care