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Archive for the ‘family and relationships’ Category

As we enter the 2nd week of lockdown it seems that finally the message is getting through to the last of the laggards. People are staying home πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Thankfully I love reading and although I was only expecting to be here for 2 weeks, I brought 3 new books with me. I can’t tell you how often in the past I’ve worked in homes bereft of books!! How do people not have books to read??

As it turns out, I’m going to be here for 5 weeks!!! And bonus…unusually for me there are hundreds of books in this house, and most are by authors that I enjoy…so I have a huge selection and choice to keep me going.

I finished the 1st book a couple of days ago and started reading another of my favourite authors…Lee Child. The Midnight Line features Jack Reacher and as with others in the series it doesn’t disappoint. I read until 11.30pm last night and until I couldn’t see anymore πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ it’s a page turner.

I had the joy of a facetime call with my grandson this morning πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™ He’s ever so cute and developing so quickly. Apparently he’s started calling me nan nan πŸ₯°πŸ₯°…still finding it difficult to say Granny πŸ‘΅πŸ» Its an absolute joy to watch his development and I’m in awe of how much he has grown and changed in the last 14.5 months. From a tiny, helpless baby dependent on us for his every need, to an adorable toddler with a very determined mind of his own….and if he’s deterred…he has a bit of a meltdown…a real drama llama πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ It’s so cute.

I had a fabulous walk today. I retraced my steps from yesterday and went a wee bit further. The weather was perfect for walking. What a beautiful area of the country….although my time is limited, the Quantocks are right on my doorstep and I am so lucky. I only passed about 8 people today, we all waved, said hello and asked if we’re doing good…all in very good spirits. The path I followed runs right next to a bubbling stream and at one stage I was inspected by a very energetic little dog who had no clue about social distancing πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Countrywide the news is not good. This horrible thing is spreading so fast now and as fast as its spreading so our government is lagging behind. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. If nothing else, being in lockdown gives us a better chance to scrutinise what our government is doing and they’re not doing too fantastically. The medical profession are begging for PPE and other supplies, and the current spokesman stands there and talks πŸ‚πŸ’©. The current crisis is fully in their hands.

So here we are, at the end of another day and I am thinking more about how much I have to be grateful for….others feel the same way too

Take care folks, stay safe

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So not only was today a ‘stone’ day but I also have no network.

Being a fresh air fanatic sometimes has its downside…if the temperature drops during the night you wake up freezing. Okay maybe a slight exaggeration, but yeah, damn cold. It was 3 degrees this morning!!!

I saw on Facebook a couple of my friends mentioned snow in their neck of the woods!!! Really?? Although it was cloudy here we still had intermittent sunshine. But evidently things were a bit different elsewhere.

I didn’t go out during my break for my usual walk today; just too tired so I slept instead. The clocks went forward today and required an earlier start to the day and besides that I’d had a bit of an upset in the morning that just tipped me over the edge and into a depressed mood.

Thankfully my client has been very pleasant the last 2 days and that has relieved some of the stress, but the news is so depressing and apparently we’re going to have even tighter restrictions…so tomorrow I’m out for my walk regardless.

I had a lovely chat with my sister in Cape Town this afternoon which was lovely and they’re bearing up okay… their lockdown is even more severe than ours and people are not even allowed to walk their dogs. Although it has affected everyone in the country, in a weird way the white South Africans are now getting a taste of what life was like for black and coloured South Africans during the apartheid era. Being restricted to their homes, freedoms curtailed, arrests for breaking the restrictions…I’m waiting with bated breath for what will be an inevitable blow up.

I’ve started a new book; The Midnight Line by Lee Child featuring Jack Reacher. I enjoy these types of books and of course reading takes your mind off everything. This is also one of those times that I wish I had access to Netflix, but no such thing here and the programmes on TV are terrible.

Perhaps I should get back to my book…

Anyway, another day has passed and life goes on…for some of us anyway. The rise in the number of Covid-19 deaths is quite terrifying. Its Its really hard trying to comprehend all of what is happening and it all feels like a very bad dream.

In case you were wondering the reference to the ‘stone’ day its from the John Denver song “Some days are diamonds, some days are stone.”

So take care and stay safe

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Lovely sunrise this morning. Twas a beautiful day in Somerset although as the morning has gone on, so more clouds are building up. That rain they were talking about perhaps…

“With the new day comes new strength and thoughts”. Eleanor Roosevelt

I popped out to the store as usual just to get more milk and bread. My client goes through lots of milk each day and I’m concerned we’re going to run out. Especially after seeing this posted in the walk 1000 miles group this morning:

Not sure how accurate it is, but considering the pattern of infection in other countries it makes sense. So far we haven’t had any cases (that I’ve heard of) in our neck of the woods, the closest being Taunton. But this thing travels fast, so…

This is a text from an NHS worker

“As of tomorrow, do not leave home for bread for anything! Because the worst begins tomorrow as the incubation date is met and many people that are positive with the virus start to peak!! It’s at this time other people are most vulnerable! so it is very important to stay home and not to be in contact with anybody, even members of your family if possible!! Being very careful is very important and very crucial at this time!!

As from tomorrow we are going to see the start of the peak of those that are positive, then there will be two weeks of calm and then two weeks where it decreases.

  • What happened in Italy is that they neglected the contagion period and that is why all the cases turned out together and so badly, plus they didn’t know what they were dealing with *.
  • And finally, please do not receive visits from anyone, not even from the same family. This is all for the good of all. * WE WILL BE IN THE MAXIMUM STAGE OF INFECTION.
  • DO NOT HOLD ON TO THIS MESSAGE, PASS IT ON TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS *

So forewarned is forewarned/ and better safe than sorry…

Isn’t it ironic that the very people who are meant to be leading the country during this time have tested positive and have clearly NOT been following their own advice.

To avoid watching any further depressing news I’ve been watching Call the Midwife….so much more palatable.

My daughter has given me permission to share the WhatsApp image she captured yesterday during our grandparents call. The wonders of technology

My lovely family πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»

I had a spot of luck this morning…on my way back from the store I happened to notice a box of stuff on the bench near the clock tower. Looking closer I saw a note from a local farm; Inwood Farm, saying to please help ourselves to the items..free in order to not waste. I took a few boxes of chocolates and 2 boxes of biscuits and one packet of tortilla wraps. How lucky is that. There were quite a lot of items so I hope other people also got to share in the windfall.

All I wanted to do was sleep this afternoon after a bout of wakefulness in the early hours, but I forced myself to go out for a walk since if indeed the virus infections are going to peak next week, we may go into total lockdown and be unable to get out. So making the most of it. I managed 2.4 kms… This area is so gorgeous

Nether Stowey Castle from across the road

I followed part of my usual route and then crossed the road and climbed to the top of the next hill. This is reminding me more and more of the Camino πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ It was very cloudy, windy and cold up there but oh, the views…with a fantastic view of the castle. From that elevation, 140.3 metres I could see Steep Holme Island in the Bridtol Channel. Stunning.

Nether Stowey Castle

The steps leading up to the field reminded me of Box Hill and the fall I had that put an end to my pilgrimage in 2018.

Steps

I’ve just finished reading a brilliant book: The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid, one of my favourite authors. It’s the first book where she introduces Tony Hill and Carol Jordan of Wire in the Blood TV series. Now I’ll have to follow the editions and reread some of the later books I’ve already read.

Altogether a good day.

Hope you all had a fab day and are taking steps to remain safe. I suspect things are going to ramp up quite a lot over the next couple of weeks so please observe the protocol for keeping safe and try to not get the virus.

The very best to you all

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How absolutely wonderful it is to wake up to the sound of birdsong in the morning. Although I wrote a separate post earlier today, it has really stuck with me the whole day. Its such a privilege.

Pretty much a quiet day. Got all emotional watching the footage from last nights 8pm #clapforourcarers initiative on the news this morning. So amazing. Our NHS staff seriously are heroes in all this…them and all the other support staff: police, ambulance, garbage disposal services, street cleaners, postmen/women, and all the other people who provide the services that keep a country running. The UNDERPAID people/workers who keep the country running.

And of course ‘Breaking News’ – Bozo…I mean BoJo the clown has got a ‘mild’ case of the virus. Seriously. And did you notice that coward, Dominic Cummings literally RUNNING away from #10? So much for his ‘herd immunity ‘ theory. Coward. The skittles are falling….sadly we are now forced to watch that despicable dishonest creepy Gove delivering updates. Seriously. I can’t watch him. I switched off the TV. Even if he was announcing the arrival of the undead and giving us advice on how to escape I’d still switch off the TV. I’d rather slit my wrists. BoJo get well soon…all is not forgiven but I seriously cannot watch that horror….

As for Richard Branson. Krist!! What a greedy capitalist he is!!! Last week he tells his staff to take 8 weeks unpaid leave and now he’s asking for a bailout package for Virgin Airlines. I swear to God, if our government bails him out with money from the public purse I will never pay another blue bloody penny in tax. They can put me in jail, but will refuse to pay. The government is providing funding to small businesses and employees who lost their jobs and self-employed, but the money is on loan, its not a gift…so if they bail that greedy bastard out it would be immoral. 🀬🀬🀬🀬 But then again…it us the government after all. Urgh- moving on before I burst a blood vessel πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The weather is really stunning at the moment although today it turned quite chilly with a stiff breeze.

I took a different route to the castle during my break; along Butcher’s Lane and then through the fields uphill and eventually into the castle grounds. I encountered 2 stiles enroute – my nemesis when walking The Pilgrim’s Way in 2018.

The countryside out here is really beautiful and again I have to remark on how peaceful it is without constant traffic.

It was very windy on top of the mound today, so I just walked the lower perimeter and collected some more tufts of wool for crafting with my grandson in years to come. Them nosy sheep came trotting over to see ‘who goes there?’ when I clanked the gate shut. Or maybe they want their wool back πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Talking of my grandson….a total highlight today was a WhatsApp group call with all the grandparents of the wee cherub and his parents. He’s ever so cute and blew kisses to all of us. I do miss him so much and can’t wait to see him again after this is all over. My daughter and her husband are struggling a bit. She’s self-employed but only recently having converted from a PLC to self-employed due to changes in her company and future direction. Previously a social media training company she’s started focusing more on her photography business which was starting to expand and she lost a lot of commissions with this sudden coronavirus development. So lots of stress there. And of course she doesn’t qualify for the government offer due to the timing. On top of that, Baby fell yesterday and scraped his finger and despite careful cleaning, by this morning it was red and inflamed and required a trip to the pharmacy…in these times, a stressful excursion

I’ve been reading a lot more, trying to not watch the news. I did some scrolling through the channels…seriously is anyone else pretty much sick of game shows and Flog It et al? There’s absolutely nothing to watch. Krist I sound like a grumpy old lady today πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ‘΅πŸ»πŸ˜ πŸ˜ 

Hope you’re all well and keeping safe. I’m glad I don’t live in South Africa….you’re not even allowed to walk your dog there. Not that I have a dog, but still. And no alcohol!!! That is not going to end well. My niece and her family live in Qatar and they’re not even able to get out for walks due to restrictions there. I think we in the UK are pretty lucky.

Folks keep well, keep strong and be safe …..and if you see folks like this lot, remind them they’re meant to be practicing social distancing πŸ˜‰πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄

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Okay so today has been both bad and good. My client has been in a bloody strop the whole day and made life absolutely miserable. Urgh. πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

But it was a beautiful day so I went out for my daily shop and topped up a few items. Saw a few people about – we all observed social distancing but managed to have a brief chat anyway.
As usual I listened to the news, but it’s all so depressing and repetitive that eventually I switched the TV off and spent some time between duties to cut snippets of interest out the newspapers.
I’ve started a time capsule for my grandson; a record of interesting things: big and small that is happening around the world. I plan do do a capsule for each year of his life till he’s 10 years old…or more. Then one day I’ll give him the box/boxes and he can amuse himself looking back at history that happened during his life.

Jamie’s time capsule

My break couldn’t come soon enough today and at exactly 2pm I stepped out the door and into the sunshine. A few people strolled by and again we were all very British and very correct about keeping our distance. It is rather nice actually, people behave differently during a crisis and whereas they might normally not give you the time of day, now we all say hello, comment on the weather (wouldn’t be in Britain if we didn’t) and wish each other a lovely day and stay safe. It’s all rather cosy tinged with a dose of fear.
I walked to the top of the hill and onto the castle where I saw that the baaaaabarians had breached the castle walls…

Baaaabarians have breached the castle walls
Baaaaabarians everywhere

My plan was to settle into the nook I’d seen a couple of days ago and just soak up the sun, the peace and the birdsong…
Which I duly did. Not a soul bothered me.

My view

My daughter called and we facetimed via WhatsApp ….it was lovely to hear her voice and see her face and my grandson is just adorable. So cute and so funny.
He races back and forth, grins at me and then dashes off again. What an absolute joy that child is.

The Blur in action πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™


After our call I lay in the sun looked at the sky and watched the clouds go by and snoozed till it was time to get back to work.

Watching clouds and contemplating life

On the way down I stopped to collect tufts of wool scattered around and leaning down to pick up one such tuft I very sensibly put my hand right on top of some stinging nettles. That was 6 hours ago and its still stinging. Fortunately I had a tube of aloe vera in my pocket so rubbed some onto the area. It would have been much worse if I hadn’t. The reason I collected the wool is so that my grandson can use real wool to make a craft sheep….if he ever has to make one…

Tufts of wool

Back at the house, time dragged till dinner time and of course I watched the chancellor’s speech. Krist, hasn’t he learned how to be a politician pretty damn quick!!! Incredible. He’s slotted into the role as if he’d been doing this for years. Do they have a course we don’t know about? ‘How to be slick in 10 easy steps ‘.
Mind you has he ever been dumped in the deep end….I wonder what Sadiq Khan thinks of this…lucky escape or lost opportunity to be a hero??
To be honest, I know this is a terrible time and I worry about my family, but truthfully, I’m exhausted with hearing about this damn virus. The news is like Brexit on steroids.

My stress levels increased exponentially at about 6.30pm when I lost network. I couldn’t send or receive messages and I nearly lost it. My phone is my lifeline when I’m working and I cannot bear to be without reception. Especially at a time like this. It righted itself about an hour later, but my life expectancy has shortened.πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ‘΅πŸ»

The 2nd bright spot of the day came at 8pm…ohhh my gosh. Thats one thing I love so much about this country…when it really counts, people come together.
I stepped out the door into the street half expecting to be standing on my own clapping for the NHS and our wonderful NHS staff, but no….the street was lined with residents and we clapped and cheered loud and strong for our carers. As soon as the clapping started I started crying and couldn’t stop for well over an hour. So amazing to see people out and participating.
And now the day is drawing to a close, I’m in bed and just about to put the light out.

I only managed a collective 1mile today but for sure climbing that hill to the castle must be equal to at least another 2 miles….its that steep; a good cardiovascular workout πŸ˜‰ my excuse anyway.
3 days done 18 to go. Let’s hope this initiative works and we see a drop in new cases.
Goodnight all. Stay safe and wish you all well.

High enough!! πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“β€

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I got all emotional when I got this via a friend. I’ll be in the depths of Somerset and I’m sure they’d think I’m daft if I stand on the street, but I can share this with you and hopefully you’ll be able to join in, I’ll certainly be applauding from my room.

The NHS staff deserve our highest appreciation and gratitude for all that they do. We can self-isolate, or stay at home for a few weeks, but the NHS staff are on the frontline of this pandemic. Let’s show them how much they are appreciated

#clapforourcarers

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My next job/assignment starts today and the day hasn’t had the most auspicious start.

My alarm didn’t go off when it was supposed to πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ Fortunately I had been awake for a few hours already and thought to check the time….only 10 minutes out, but with a taxi booked, I had to hustle.

I got to the station with plenty of time to spare and whilst waiting for the train, heard the dreaded announcement….my train was cancelled due to trespassers on the line 2 stations down.

I immediately sought out one of the station staff and secured authorisation to travel on the highspeed route instead…so

At the moment I’m travelling on the highspeed route to St Pancras. And its surreal….

This route is always packed to the rafters with commuters and you would be lucky to get a seat. The train is virtually empty…besides that

The train is stopping at all the small stations it doesn’t normally stop at, and I had a momentary flutter of concern…am I on the right train? But yes, it seems I am.

These are extraordinary times. Very few cars on the road, people few and far between- social distancing πŸ˜‰ and an empty train

I’m just hoping that I don’t have any issues with the underground getting to my next departure point. The services have been drastically reduced and I am a tad nervous about making my connection. Besides the reduced service, I have 2 heavy grocery bags to carry and an unwieldy suitcase to lug around. πŸ˜•πŸ˜•

I haven’t seen anyone wearing a mask yet 😷😷😷 and no-one has sneezed 🀧🀧 in my vicinity…so far so good. I’m being careful about what I touch and my elbows are getting a good workout πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

One of the people in the houseshare coughed pretty much right through the night (hence my lack of sleep), so I used a sock on my hand to open or close doors, turn on taps and flush the 🚽 and I’m diligently washing my hands at every opportunity 🧼🧼🧼🧼

Fortunately I haven’t had any contact with her, so I can only hope her note on the fridge door was truthful “Sorry for the coughing, I have a cold.” Everyone and everything is suspect now and its quite unnerving.

Strange times. But the air feels cleaner and last night the sky was so clear I could see hundreds of stars.

Stay well every one and please be sensible about following government guidelines. I have a healthy distrust of the government on most days, and I have a healthy regard for some of the conspiracy theories that abound, but I’m still not at all keen to either contract this virus or pass it on to my loved ones….so to that end, I’ll take the news at face value and I’m being a good girl and not rebelling against the advice….

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