Sunday 17 January 2021

Lockdown Number 3 and a cold spell


Lockdown number three is upon us. Nowhere open other than essential shops; no swimming; indoors or outdoors. Stay at home, save lives, save the NHS is the repeat mantra; as our hospitals become overloaded with covid patients. It was brought home to me on the Tuesday before last when I went to the food bank. The food bank is considered an essential service so it stays open. One of our drivers has covid and was hospitalised just after Christmas and was on oxygen. Luckily, he was recovering; but because of this we were asked to start wearing masks in the warehouse.

When I was at the charity shop before the Tier 4 restrictions and the current lockdown closed it; I wore a mask there for about four hours at a time. I'm usually only at the food bank for 2.5 hours; but when the manager told me to go to the bathroom and look at my face about 11am; I was startled to see that all my eye makeup had run and I had two big panda eyes! I can only put it down to the coldness of the warehouse which exacerbated the condensation between my mask and eyes; this has never happened to me before so it must be the difference in the air temperature between the food bank and the charity shop. The outcome will be that I shan't bother wearing make-up to the food bank anymore while we have to wear masks.

 I wore this on Tuesday with thick leggings underneath and a slip and of course a vest underneath the top. The skirt is by George but bought at our local QD store for 4.99. I spotted it when I went to buy some bird food last week. The jumper is by Next and was donated by my daughter; the shirt by Hawes and Curtis underneath was also a retail buy; as were the boots bought in a Sainsbury's sale. For a change, everything I'm wearing is retail!

All jewellery charity shopped -  I reapplied my make up when I got home...

Tuesday was also my middle grandson's 16th birthday. I made him a birthday cake using a Mary Berry recipe. The ganache topping was a bit bitter I thought; as there was no sugar included in the mix. If I make it again I will add some caster sugar to counteract the bitterness of the chocolate.

On Wednesday I went out for a 6.5 mile walk along the river. The water levels had partially subsided; but as you can see in the photo below, where the flood water spilled over the river bank; all the (mostly plastic) debris was caught in the lower branches...

I wore this and just added walking boots:

Everything charity shopped. The skirt, by Juice, was charity shopped in West Drayton last summer. The green jumper by Seasalt and the green boots were charity shopped at my Barnardo's. The jacket by Country Casuals is another of my winter jackets. I can't remember where I got it from but it has become a wardrobe staple. It wasn't warm enough for my walk on Wednesday so I added my navy blue coatigan and gloves.

To match the multi coloured skirt I added multi-coloured jewellery. My brother, Mark, brought me those earrings back from a holiday in Spain some years ago and the necklace was bought in a Co. Kerry charity shop. The scarf was also charity shopped at my Barnardo's.

On Thursday, my daughter had to work so I childminded the middle grandson. That meant doing home schooling with him from 9am until 2.30 when it was outdoor play! We did maths (percentages and pie charts) SPAG (Spelling and grammar - colons and semi-colons) English (Ernest Shackleton's Polar Expedition). For outdoor play we went for a walk into Bedford and I showed him the house with the blue plaque to Aeneas Mackintosh; who was also on the Shackleton polar expedition. My daughter has to go into her school twice a week starting next week to teach the children of key workers and vulnerable children. I shall be spending the remaining Monday's throughout this lockdown; homeschooling my grandson!

Everything charity shopped. Skirt by French Connection, top by Classic and shirt underneath by Chico's, Black suede knee high boots from my Barnardos.

                                           All jewellery charity shopped.

I had to go shopping on Friday because of childminding on Thursday. I went to Sharnbrook for more coal and kindling; Lidl and Aldi. In the afternoon I walked into town to go to Iceland; and stopped at our  Sainsburys Local on the way back. Then I drove to a newly opened branch of 'Home Bargains' and picked up some items there; including more bird seed and bird treats. I was surprised to see a new Lidl had opened up beside them. We now have 4 Lidls in and around Bedford; 3 Aldis; 2 Tescos; 1 Morrisons and 2 Sainsburys.

Everything charity shopped except M&S boots bought from a local buy and sell group. Knit dress by M&S; knitted jacket by Elizabeth Scott; floral tights also charity shopped in my Barnardos.

All jewellery charity shopped.

We've had a very cold spell since just after Christmas and this weekend was no different. There was also freezing fog on Saturday. My daughter and I went for 5.5 mile walk along the river to Great Denham. My neck scarf was wet when I got back; and so was her hair. It was because there was so much moisture in the air from the fog.

Everything charity shopped except boots and the fleece lined leggings; both online retail. Skirt by M&S; jumper by Oasis.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I did a bit of a lamp reshuffle after Christmas and found myself a lamp short to go on this this table in the dining room. When I was out walking on Wednesday I passed a house which had a pile of stuff by the bins; including this lamp which has a silver lampshade, although it looks gold in this photo. I knocked at the door and asked if I could take the lamp and they said yes. I was surprised it still worked! The metal jug originally contained birthday flowers from my son and I will re-use it as either a vase or a plant pot. Sunday was a less cold and sunny day. Hooray for the sunshine! I went for a walk of 4 miles just around and about; and made Sunday dinner for everyone after doing the housework. In the evening we started to watch the TV series 'The Serpent' set in 1970s Bangkok. Very well made and the fashions bring back so many memories of my misspent youth...

On Monday, I home schooled the youngest grandson from 10 am until 2.30pm with an hour break for lunch. I took him home at 3pm where he was going to spend 30 mins doing basketball practice or 'outdoor play' according to his timetable! He got a mobile basketball stand and basket for Christmas. He is missing his football practice on Wednesday evenings and Saturday football matches; and his basketball practice on Sundays; but strangely enough he's not missing school! 
My brother Julian, who lives in London called me to say he has had Covid, had been unwell; but was feeling much better and was out of isolation on Wednesday. This seems to be the difference with this current outbreak; I know far more people personally who have had it this time; than when we had the first lockdown back in March 2020.

Note the Fortnum and Mason hamper doing duty as a table and storage unit. The A3 sketchpad sitting on it at the moment is where I drew up my family trees. I'm just waiting for the photocopying shop to open up again and I'll get copies made and posted off to some of my cousins in Ireland.

Back to the food bank on Tuesday. I was busy and got lots done. I wore this outfit; another skirt. For some reason I can't fathom I've been wearing a lot of skirts lately. It's strange because the weather's been so cold trousers would have seemed the better option; but it's the skirts that have been calling me...I remembered not to wear mascara to the food bank this week!

Everything charity shopped. Denim striped skirt by Per Una; shirt by Punt Roma and top by Classic. Boots by Vanilla Moon and bought in my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings; from Sainsbury's.

After the foodbank I walked into town to go to the bank. I then went to Asda in Rushden (our nearest branch) to pick up another click and collect order. When I came home I made a pot of soup from Sunday's leftover chicken and a bread and butter pudding from leftover Christmas Panettone. I spend Mondays and Tuesdays catching up with Blogland; but I usually write my own blog on a daily basis. This is normally because I'd forget otherwise; but with this third lockdown it's rare to do anything other than shop, walk and home!

Wednesday was cold and miserable; it rained for most of the day. I wanted to go out for a good walk; but fields were out because of the mud and the rain scuppered other plans. However, I had to walk to the sorting office to pick up a parcel and then I had to go to Argos to collect some new landline phones. Our current landline phones which we've had for more than 10 years had died. I've also recently changed my landline package to a cheaper one; and if it wasn't for the occasional relative in Ireland who calls me on the landline; I would give it up. Almost everyone has a mobile phone now; and of course it's easy to make (free) international calls with Facebook and What's app.

Sorry about the photos; the light was not good as it was a gloomy grey day; and if I put the light on it always has this weird yellowish tinge. Don't worry I'm not jaundiced like this in real life!

These are the leggings I collected from Asda; (along with more underwear - badly needed). I find their bras fit me the most comfortably; and as I'm not a standard size have experienced some very uncomfortable bras; including ones from M&S. Everything else is charity shopped. Top by Swamp and striped top underneath by F&F; boots charity shopped from my Barnardos.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which were bought from Etsy.

Thursday was another wet, cold day. In the afternoon an icy wind  also developed; but luckily we haven't had any snow although it was forecast for the weekend. As I drove to Sharnbrook for kindling and logs, I could see water-logged fields again. I went to Aldi and Lidl as per usual on a Thursday and in the afternoon had to walk into to town to collect the final part of middle grandson's 16th birthday present. 

I picked up more flowers from the local food project charity on my way home from town putting the metal jug to good use.

I decided to wash all the crochet blankets in my living room and found that one had come apart in one area. I decided to mend it; and as I did I remembered I had some left over hexagons from a previous project. The footstool in the living room was pilling on the top due to the friction of our feet, so I decided to make a mini blanket/throw to cover and  protect it. I needed to sew the hexagons together and make a good size border to make it large enough to cover the footstool. I think I might have my crochet mojo back again as I'm also looking forward to starting a brand new project and using up some of my wool stash - what better way to spend the lockdown than creating something new out of secondhand wool?

This could be my next project; the 'Cheerful Circles Blanket' pattern by Marion Mitchell of ''.

I made something similar a few years ago for my eldest grandson.
I made this 'Circle in a Square' blanket which is quite similar for my eldest grandson a few years ago.

It was like this all day...

Everything charity shopped except leggings. Tunic by Zara and jacket by Concept UK; can't remember where I got either of them from the boots which are by Next came from my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped.
(I hate this about Blogger; for some reason unknown to me it will change the font and although I try and change it it doesn't allow it. I used to know how to correct this on the old Blogger but not this one).

I wore this on Friday. Everything charity shopped except the boots bought online retail last year.The top is by Gudrun Sjoden charity shopped in my Barnardo's; and the cardigan was bought in the Animal Welfare charity shop in Donegal town for 3 euros.It has rosettes around the collar which you can see more clearly in the photo below. Jeans by M&Co.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which were a present from my ex mother-in-law. My fitbit was donated to me by my daughter. It's great for keeping track of my steps and reminding me to get up and move when I've been sitting too long; usually when I'm on my laptop, crocheting or reading. I've set it so it doesn't do that after 6pm and won't interfere with TV watching. Talking of which we finished watching 'The Serpent' on Friday evening. A totally brilliant series based on a true story and the 1970s fashions were amazing!

I went for a walk of 6 miles along the river on Friday The river had overflowed the banks in a couple of places. In one place the river meadow was so full of water and mud that I had to divert my route back onto the tarmac footpath. The weather was dull but it didn't seem as cold as it has been; we have snow forecast tomorrow and this is often what happens before the snow falls; the temperature rises slightly.

I wore this on Saturday.

Everything charity shopped except the boots; online retail. Red jeans by Laura Ashley; red shirt by Primarni and striped top which is years old is (and is on back to front in this photo!) is by Mercer Madison.

All jewellery charity shopped.

There was no snow on Saturday but there was rain. I waited for it to stop then went for an urban walk. I walked 4.5 miles around our town streets. I enjoy walking the streets occasionally. I like to see what's new, what's different; what haven't I noticed before? There were quite a few people out and about so it seemed like everyone took advantage of the gap in the rain.

Sunday was bright and sunny! It was so good to see the sun and it lasted for most of the day. I went out for another walk and walked to Bromham Village; turned by the bridge and came back via the by-pass. 5 miles in total. It was quite warm but there was a cold wind. Still lots of water-logged fields, unfortunately. I might try a field walk next week maybe on Tuesday afternoon after the food bank.

Everything charity shopped. Cord trousers by Trader; top by M&Co and orange jumper underneath by TU. Orange clogs by Seasalt;
charity shopped in Teignmouth.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I did the usual housework and cooked Sunday dinner. I have home schooling to look forward to on Monday (not) and am praying for good walking weather as it's walking that keeps me sane in these lockdown days!

Monday 4 January 2021

Happy New Year 2021!

 Happy New Year to everyone! I would like to thank all my blogging friends and followers for their support and positivity over this last horrible year. Blogging is pointless without comments so please keep reading and commenting; your comments are precious and much appreciated! Now on to more practical matters:

Winter Coat/Jacket No.10

Sorry for the crappy photos - the light was not good on Wednesday before Christmas. It rained all day. Just as well my group walk was cancelled.

This is my trusty black leather jacket bought for me by my daughter some years ago. I should have zipped it up for the photo; I wore it zipped up whilst I did the Christmas food shopping on Wednesday. It wasn't too manic; the food shopping, but I was glad it was finished. I unpacked the shopping took the youngest grandson home after making him some lunch. I did several washes including washing all the cushion covers from the living room sofas. I then made a South African dish for dinner; cabbage beedie. It's basically a lamb stew; using neck of lamb braised with cabbage, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and onions; and par boiled potatoes are added last so it's a complete meal in one pot.

All jewellery charity shopped.

The skirt was bought in a Bury St Edmund's charity shop this year; it's by Red Herring. I wore this navy fine knit jumper by Next with it also charity shopped; and my red boots are by M&S and bought from a local buy and sell group.

We started watching a Belgian drama 'The Twelve' and I also watched a rather odd movie called 'Phantom Threads' with Daniel Day-Lewis. I remember the movie coming out in 2017 and as it was about fashion; I wanted to see it. Well, three years later I have! The frocks were gorgeous...

Winter Coat/Jacket No. 11

I went to Sharnbrook to buy more coal and kindling on Thursday. Normally the drive between Bedford and Sharnbrook is flanked on either side of the road with fields and the occasional glimpse of the river - The Great Ouse. On Thursday's drive however it was like driving past a series of mini lakes. The river had overflowed its banks in places and the fields had turned to lakes; complete with water fowl! It had rained heavily and there were flood warnings so I shouldn't have been surprised; but I always am when I see the fields like this. It was also a very cold day and I wasn't warm enough in my Susan Bristol woolen jacket:

I bought this in the Red Cross when I volunteered there in 2015-2016. I paid 5.00 for it. The previous owner of it had kindly put press studs betweens the buttons so it doesn't gape. I'm a little tired of it now and I don't wear it that often so it will be donated to the charity shop.

Everything charity shopped except the leggings by M&S retail. Dress by Boden; no label on the navy chevron patterned cardigan. Boots by Vanilla Moon from my Barnardos; as was the headscarf.

That's my chicken door stop on the floor in case you're wondering why I have a dead chicken on my floor; it was of course charity shopped!
All jewellery charity shopped.

OH arrived home early on Thursday which was Christmas Eve with this:

Normally, he gets an Amazon voucher (which he prefers!) from his company at Christmas: but this year he got a posh Fortnum and Mason Christmas Hamper which was full of:

And buried in the straw/hay (which we'll use as kindling on the fuel burner) were these:

Wine, champagne, posh biscuits; shortbread; teas x 2; coffee x 1; a Christmas pudding; some posh jams (conserves if you're posh) brandy butter; a large jar of cranberry sauce; (I'll be using that jar for something else) chocolate reindeer noses and a chocolate gingerbread man! Within minutes of unpacking the hamper I'd scoffed the gingerbread man and had a cup of Fortnum and Mason coffee with it. Then I took the empty hamper upstairs to my study and filled it with my wool collection. All my wool is in one place now instead of spread over half a dozen different places. The hamper has the added advantage of having a flat surface so I can rest my cup of tea on it instead of on the floor...

It was such a busy day on Christmas Day I just had time to take a selfie and that was it. I wore the Oliver Bonas dress I bought in my Barnardo's for 5.00; lace tights and some long black suede boots with a small heel I found for a 1.00 back in the summer in the Barnardo's in Ampthill. You can see the dress (above) is a lovely rich green. All my jewellery was charity shopped. 
It was a lovely boozy sort of day with much food being consumed. There were members of the family missing but that was to be expected. I just hope next year's Christmas will be back to normal. My eldest grandson was most put out we were having Christmas at his mum's instead of at my house! Here he is on Boxing Day with his girlfriend:

As you may have heard we had really bad flooding in Bedford. I felt so sorry for anyone who lived near the river. People were evacuated to the Athletics stadium and one of the outlying village halls; if they had no relatives or friends to stay with.  Tier 4 restrictions on households mixing were suspended for people in this situation. The flooding had subsided  somewhat by the end of Boxing Day; but when I drove the grandson and his girlfriend back to London on Sunday; the fields were still flooded in many places. I can't see me doing much walking across fields for a while; it would be too muddy and horrible. 

Last year we decided that instead of all the adults buying all the other adults presents we would do a Secret Santa instead. We buy a gift for one adult up to the value of 30.00 and it can be cash - some of us are very lazy when it comes to Christmas shopping; yes I'm looking at my brothers here! I had to buy for grandson's girlfriend this year and bought her a new embroidered rucksack; some Nordic thermal socks (I liked them so much I bought myself some, too); a Christmas mug and a fold up shopping bag that fits in a pocket or bag, so that you always have a shopping bag when you need one. I still buy for OH and for my daughter, son and three grandsons.

My daughter bought me this lovely Buddha statue made by a local man for my garden. I just have to find the right spot and choose the right plants to surround him.

She also bought me three books and got this photo of OH and I framed. The glasses holder was a gift from son's family; it has my name on it; along with an Amazon voucher and bottle of sparkling rose wine. I spent the voucher on another book; I preordered a 'London Grammar' CD due for release in February 2020; and even had enough left over for a pair of earrings!

My Secret Santa gifter was my eldest grandson. He bought me these PJs and slippers, the Buddha head and mustard tights below:

The yellow PJs were also a present from my daughter; OH bought me the perfume and a couple of CDs. Didn't I do well? I bought OH more than he bought me. He got a new tracksuit; a lightweight top for Spring; a new scarf; some aftershave and a new pair of headphones. Unfortunately, he won't be able to use the headphones with our TV as it doesn't have Bluetooth. However, the TV in the spare room does and we may swap it over...

 I did go out for a 5 mile walk on Sunday and felt better for the fresh air and sunshine. It was very chilly, though.  I made soup with the leftover turkey which I had bought fresh from Sainsbury's; and I also had my one and only turkey sandwich on Sunday; complete with Fortnum and Mason cranberry sauce - delicious! It won't be long before that jar is empty...

On Monday we did the housework we usually do on a Sunday; and I went to Sainsbury's to see if there were any bargains to be had. I often buy crackers and Christmas items when they're on sale after the Christmas festivities are over; but nothing caught my fancy. I still have a box of very reduced crackers I bought last year sitting in the loft ready for next year! The weather had turned very cold since Christmas Day and today it was 1.5 degrees. I wore one of my warmest winter coats to go to Sainsbury's.

Everything charity shopped. Roll neck top by Oasis, pinafore dress by Matalan, animal print leggings by New Look. Boots; Sainsbury's sale in the summer. 
All jewellery charity shopped. 

Winter Coat/Jacket - No.12

Although this is not a very good picture; this coat by Autograph (M&S) is a fake Astrakhan coat and is very warm with full sleeves.  I paid 25.00 for it which is the most I've ever paid for anything in a charity shop. I found it in the RSPCA in Newport Pagnell just before Christmas 2019; the purple gloves were charity shopped in the BHF in Huntingdon.

The weather was set to to get colder as it neared the end of December 2020 and it did! We kept the heating on all day and we lit the stove daily by 4pm. I'm dreading this quarter's fuel bill. When I'm here on my own I try not to put the heating on until after 3pm. On Tuesday, there was no food bank volunteering for me as it wouldn't reopen until 4th January. When I went to Sainsbury's yesterday the food bank donation bins were full to bursting so I am assuming our (volunteer) drivers are still picking up from the supermarkets...

I stayed with black/white/grey outfits for some reason. Everything charity shopped except boots as above. The dress was bought in a Co. Longford charity shop; but I can't remember where I got the cardigan from and I've had it for years. I'm wearing a full length slip underneath this dress and would like more of these as they do keep you very warm. The downside is that sometimes they are a little long and hang down under the clothes; but can usually be adjusted at the shoulder straps.  They do occasionally pop up in charity shops so it will give me something to look for when they eventually reopen. Another thing I need to look out for is a new meat plate. I had to keep my lovely Staffordshire meat plate in the cupboard under my sink as no other cupboard was large enough to accommodate it. It fell out when I opened the door and smashed and broke on the floor tiles. Two things on my charity shop list now!

All jewellery charity shopped.

I browse our local FB buy and sell group regularly; and on Christmas Eve I picked up some drawer dividers for 2.00. There were enough to fit two of the drawers in my bedside table; the third drawer already had some Lakeland dividers in it and it's where I keep my knickers. I'm sure you wanted to know that...I had to ask OH to cut down the drawer dividers I bought as they were too long; but when done I was able to reorganise the two drawers. One has my bed socks, foot, hand creams and slips in it; and the other has black and navy tights in it. I keep the rest of my socks in three baskets (divided into patterned socks, walking socks and plain black, trainer and mini ankle socks) at the bottom of my wardrobe. The remainder of my tights are kept in two baskets under my bed where I store the different colours (blues, greens, yellows, reds/oranges/pinks and floral) in shoe bags in one basket; and in the other I store dark reds/brown and purple tights. When you have as many clothes as I do organisation is key; otherwise I'd never find anything!

I walked into town on Tuesday morning to pick up some items I ordered for middle grandsons sixteenth birthday in early January. I don't know where that time has gone and how he can possibly be almost sixteen. I can still clearly recall the phone call my son made to tell me his partner was pregnant; I was working at the Further Education college then. I wasn't present at his birth but I was for my other two grandsons.

On Wednesday OH and I did something quite mad. We went here:

Woburn Lido - 13 miles from Bedford; and we swam! Water temperature: 12 degrees and air temperature: 1.2 degrees. I swam 20 lengths (it's a 25 metre pool) and got out because it was - believe it or not - quite crowded with only two lanes! Getting out and partially dressed was the coldest part; no changing rooms so just removed my cossie and put my dressing gown and boots on. Then it was into the car, heater on,  hot coffee and a mince pie.  I would like to come back to Woburn Lido for a swim; but I hope it's less crowded when I do!

It was also announced on Wednesday that our Tier 4 restrictions would continue and more parts of the country would be joining us. In fact three quarters of the country would now be under Tier 4 restrictions.

Thursday was freezing; 0.5 degrees! I drove to Sharnbrook to the Farm Shop for kindling then went to Aldi and Lidl for the weekly food shop. When all the shopping was packed away I went to QD to top up on bird stuff; and on the way stopped off at the Community Larder charity and bought three bunches of flowers at 50p per bunch:

On the left Alstromerias and on the right some Lisianthus and a couple of roses. Jug on left by Anthropologie; charity shopped at my Barnardo's and jug on right also charity shopped but from 3:16  charity shop.

Winter Coat/Jacket -  No 13

This camel coloured cape was bought with a Christmas M&S voucher OH received about 6 or 7 years ago from his company. He doesn't like M&S men's clothes so he always passed it on to me. I bought this in their after Christmas sale. Scarf and gloves charity shopped.

I wore my Alpaca skirt and top for warmth; charity shopped from the Cat's Protection League a few years ago. Worn with OTK boots online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Winter Coats Nos. 14 and 15

Suede coat by New Look bought at a car boot sale for 2.00! It's full of wavy lines around the collar, up the front and around sleeves - no straight edges anywhere. I didn't wear this in the end but opted for the knitted jacket below:

On Saturday I had to go to our nearest Asda in Rushden to collect new underwear for OH and me; bought in their online sale. If the charity shops were open we would have had a browse but as most of the country is in Tier 4 lockdown only essential shops are open. I do wonder how the decision on essential shops has been made. I've seen Vape shops open and a wine merchants. Are either of those essential?

On Saturday evening we watched, with great excitement, the latest and final series of 'Spiral'; a French crime drama series on BBC4. I shall be so sorry when it ends; it's been one of  my all time favourites. We're also enjoying 'Before we Die' a Swedish crime drama and in fact are working our way through the entire collection - well those we like the look of - of 'Walter Presents'. We usually watch in the evenings only; but so desperate were we to find out what happened next; we watched a couple of episodes of 'Before we Die' in the afternoon. That's lockdown for you; normally we'd have gone for a rummage instead!

Knitted jacket bought from Donegal Donkey Sanctuary shop for 5 euros.

Everything charity shopped except boots; online retail. Top by Isle, trousers by Matalan and shirt underneath by Primarni - bought at a church jumble sale in Ireland.

All jewellery charity shopped.

We took down our decorations on Sunday. I kept the tree in its pot and put it in the garden as it will make a useful bird feeder and it's already festooned with fat balls etc. 

This was our Christmas mantel. Next year I shall have lots more greenery which I can forage for when I'm out walking; but at least we had a Christmas cactus this year! I also picked up another illuminated 3D Christmas scene on Sunday; reduced, as the one below was to 1.49 - bargain!  The rooms do look bare when the decorations are down but we soon get used to it.   

I've found a permanent resting place for my Buddha in the front garden...he looks like he's always been there.

I've done my annual count up of how many books I've read this year; the total is 109 or about 2 per week, roughly. That sounds a lot but I regularly read more when I was working! I don't know how I managed that. In 2020 I discovered a new to me author; Ann Patchett; who I highly recommend and have read everything she's written so far; but am saving her final book which I have on my Kindle to read soon. Other highly recommended books (you can see all that I've read at the top of my blog on the tab 'Books Read') are those by Sue Gee; 'The Mirror and The Light' by Hilary Mantel; 'I Know This Much is True' by Wally Lamb and 'Ironopolis' by Glenn James Brown.

On Monday I childminded my youngest grandson as his mum had a teacher training day; and his school is not opening until later in January. Usually on a Monday I drop him to school in the morning. When he had gone home I walked into town for some bread and eggs and then set out for a 6 mile walk around Bedford. It wasn't that cold but the wind was icy and my cheeks were frozen. I wore this grey knitted headband my daughter bought me some years ago to keep my ears warm:

Winter Coat - No. 16

This is the last of  my winter coats. I've only featured a couple of winter jackets and I do have more to show you in future posts. This is a Welsh wool cape bought at the Red Cross charity shop about five or six years ago. I usually get a couple of wears a year out of it every year. Red leather gloves charity shopped in Bury St. Edmunds.

Everything charity shopped. Striped roll neck by John Lewis; black loose trousers by M&S and black and white tunic; unknown label.

All jewellery charity shopped.

As I write this there is another announcement by the Prime Minister due at 8pm today. It looks as if we will go into a full lockdown again as the virus continues to spread far and wide. Scotland has already announced it is going into a full lockdown from midnight tonight. I think it's what we have been expecting so here we go again, folks...

See you in a fortnight!

Blogoversary and some other stuff

Hello again!   When I left you last I showed you my latest TBR pile. What I realised later on that day was I had already read two of them. W...