I think it might be summer - at last!
We really enjoyed our trip to the cinema last Monday evening; even though we started out at the wrong cinema and had to hop in the car and drive to the other cinema venue! I'd got so used to walking into town to the cinema I'd almost forgotten there were two cinemas. There were only about 12 people in total in the cinema we finally arrived at; all well socially distanced. I was so glad not to have to wear a mask throughout the screening. We really enjoyed the film (Nomadland) even though not a lot happened. It seems we have our own tribe of RV (recreational vehicle) dwellers here in the UK; according to a recent Guardian article HERE.
Another colleague returned to the food bank on Tuesday and intends to carry on; that will make 4 volunteers and 1 manager there on Tuesdays on a weekly basis. Occasionally, the warehouse manager is in on a Tuesday as well. The plan is for all the volunteers to return by September, but I know several of the original ones won't be returning.
Although I booked as soon as I could there were no places left on the Rambler's Wednesday walk. It's one of the things I dislike most about the pandemic; having to book everything. It does reduce the joy of spontaneity. I thought I might go for a walk by myself later in the day but never made it. The weather forecast said no rain but I just didn't trust it!
All jewellery charity shopped.
Wednesday was pretty busy. I went to the hairdressers in the morning and then went to Home Bargains to buy yet more bird food supplies and a couple of household bits. I came home and walked into town to get my eyebrows done and run a couple of errands. On the way back from town I stopped at the food charity and bought some flowers; stocks and lisianthus.
I cleaned out the fire and relaid it ready to light when OH got in from work. Our weather forecast was showing warmer and sunnier weather from Thursday. I was hoping I wouldn't need to buy anymore coal as supplies were running low and it would mean I could save some money. We don't normally light the fire this late in the year. I spent time in the afternoon catching up with blogs; I booked next week Rambler's walk and I tried to book for cousin Marian and I to go and visit 'The Red House' in Bexleyheath. I was hoping to take Marian there as a birthday treat in June, but the National Trust seemed to be releasing booking dates only one or two days ahead at a time. 'The Red House' is the Arts and Crafts home of William and Jane Morris who were central to the 'Pre-Raphaelite' movement in the 19th century.
The long awaited change in the weather on Thursday was remarkable. It was warm and sunny with the temperatures peaking at 19 degrees in the afternoon. I did the food shopping in the morning (Lidl and Aldi). I decided to make the most of the warm sunshine and go for a good walk rather than a swim. I'd also had my hair done the day before and wanted to keep it looking nice longer than a day! The walk was wonderful; 8 miles across fields. I saw brimstone and peacock butterflies; rabbits; a pheasant, three partridges and red kite eating carrion on the ground. It flew away with the carrion in its mouth when it saw me but dropped it. The air was full of the sound of birdsong.
There were several of these flowers in one particular area on my walk. I looked them up when I got back and they're Salsify. I believe you can eat the root.
On my way over to the starting point for my walk; I spied this in a skip and rescued it!
On Friday, I got up very early and set out for Kettering. My youngest brother, Tony, was having an angiogram and stents inserted into his heart. I took him to hospital and picked him up 8 hours later having had two stents inserted. All done through his wrist; it's astonishing really. He watched the video replay of his heart's blood flow prior to the insertion of the stents and after. He said the difference was amazing. Our NHS is truly wonderful. He's back to work on Monday! I stayed over in case of any issues, but was back in Bedford by 8.45 am on Saturday which was another lovely, warm sunny day.
Thought to have been built in 1590 by Richard Smalbroke; a member of one of Birmingham's leading merchant families. Blakesley Hall is a museum and under normal circumstances open to visitors. Unfortunately, it hadn't reopened since the first lockdown but next time I visit Dawn we have both said we'd like to have a look around and a cup of tea in the tea rooms. There was a brief shower about 6.30 pm which cooled things down a bit; the temperature gauge in my car said 27 degrees as we drove home from Birmingham. This was what I wore and I didn't need the denim jacket at all!
All jewellery charity shopped.
It was very nostalgic visiting Birmingham again. It was about 10 years since I last visited and that was for a work related training course. I did a Clinical Nurse Teaching course between 1984 -1985 at Birmingham Polytechnic and did my teaching practise at Kings's Norton, Monyhull Hospital and in Kidderminster. I stayed with Dawn whilst I did the course travelling back to Bedford at the weekend; and my children went to school there for a year.
When I got back home a leaflet had been delivered about milk deliveries by a milkman. I went online and set up a thrice weekly milk delivery in an attempt to cut down on my plastic footprint. If you're interested (it's a national scheme) see HERE. My trip to Boots was also an attempt to cut down on plastic waste; buying some solid shampoo bars they had on special offer. I've found the online buying of solid shampoo bars quite pricey. I'm using my second solid shampoo bar now; but they were both sample size and were pretty small. I still use my purple toning liquid shampoo and conditioner for silver hair about once a month; when those bottles are used up I won't bother anymore. On my way back from town I stopped at the local food charity and bought some flowers.
All jewellery charity shopped; also hat and sunglasses.
I bought myself another pair of plimsolls/pumps and an orange skirt in Barnardo's. I did two washes and both were dried and put away by the evening. Another wonderful thing about the brilliant weather we've had.
The garden has blooms in abundance. Bottom right; pansies from the garden on my hall table. Bottom left; this delphinium has many flowers. The other delphinium hasn't so much as a bud on it and it's not as tall; I moved its position in the garden to see if that would make a difference. Top right; we have quite a lot of dianthus in both back and front garden and its all doing so well. I can't wait for the sweet peas to bloom and then I'll have bunches in the house filling the air with their beautiful fragrance.