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Archive for the ‘me and Peanut’ Category

Two years ago today, at exactly 12:46 this precious little cherub came into our lives, and in an instant my baby became a Mummy, and I became a Granny. πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

Just a wee scrap
Skin time with Granny
Special times πŸ‘΅πŸ»πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»

Its been an amazing journey ever since – he lights up my life, bringing so much love, joy and laughter. From a tiny wee scrap, he’s now a super hero who builds snowmen and keeps me fit on the beach.

Spiderman!!!
Building his first snowman
A photoshoot on the beach by createdwithlightphotography

Wishing my beautiful, funny, crazy, adventurous, smart and joyful grandson a very happy 2nd birthday, you are most precious to me πŸŽ‚πŸŽπŸŽŠπŸŽ‰2️⃣

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Well, would you just look at that!! Just over 24 hours to go (UK time) and we say goodbye to 2020. I can hardly believe it.

Not that the new year, 2021 is going to start off very well at all with now 8 in 10 people in the UK going into tier 4 and virtual lockdown. Although 2020 didn’t do too well at all, 2021 is not going to get off to a very good start.

To say I’m peeved at our useless government would be an understatement because tomorrow brings the double whammy of the final twist of the Brexit knife and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to really give this year a bad name. And do I believe our feckless PM when he spouts out his nonsense about having got a good deal?? No. I do not.

Meanwhile I, like millions of others, am trying desperately to keep my head and not fall into the pit of despair at the way life seems to be spiralling out of control. To that end I’m not watching the news nor reading the papers and still off Facebook. I am however spending quality time with my family and walking….walking and walking. I’m also grateful to still have work.

Although I only started in April, having the Conqueror virtual challenges has been a bit of a life saver really because keeping up with my targets gets me out, and the walking, which I love, keeps me sane.

I’m nearly at the end of the 2020 challenge and yesterday I completed the Mt. Fuji challenge after a fantastic walk from Margate to Herne Bay 22.18 kms. Although it was bloody freezing, I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and was not only surprised at how quickly I walked the distance, but also at how easy it was.

I’ve long wanted to walk from Broadstairs to Reculver after visiting the Roman site a few years ago, so it was absolutely thrilling to finally make the journey, albeit only from Margate. Except for one very short section, there is a promenade/footpath and the sea the whole way. The final section to Herne Bay was a breeze…literally and figuratively. I nearly froze πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ it was so darn cold – at one stage I was sucking my thumb just to get some warmth back into it.

Fortunately the cafeteria at Reculver was open so I stopped for 15 minutes to rest my feet and warm up with a hot chocolate and a yummy caramel fudge brownie…delicious.

Herne Bay is a fascinating place with so much history, not all of it good. But they do have some fantastic fish and chips shops….😁😁 I have to give a shout out to Gary of EKS Office Equipment in Herne Bay for not only agreeing to charge my phone (for free) but also allowed me to sit in a corner of the showroom to eat my chips while I waited. It was very much appreciated.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the walk, despite the cold, the saddest sight was the vast amount of plastic pollution that quite literally lined the whole 22kms….I could have filled 50 black bags and still not cleared it all. Its terribly painful to see all that pollution.

So as the year comes to an end, I have one final day of walking to do to finish my 2020 km challenge. Its been a most satisfying pastime and I must thank my daughter for introducing me to the Conqueror Virtual Challenges….thanks to that I have improved my fitness levels, walked extensively in areas I would likely have not except for wanting to meet the challenge of the challenges πŸ˜‰ and I’ve inadvertently accumulated way more medals than I had planned. Its been a fairly expensive hobby, but so much fun.

I’ve started on the Alps to Ocean, NZ challenge and hopefully tomorrow I’ll complete another decent distance as my final walk for 2020.

Other than that, I have finally found a suitable place to rent. Went to look at a room last night….and as Goldilocks said “it’s just right ” and I’m saying “It’ll do Pooh” πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ It’s not a huge room, but it’s on the top floor, its spacious, it has cupboards, and a bed, and a skylight for summer nights, and a desk for my books and computer and MOST importantly, the landlord said Jamie can visit. So HOORAH!!! after 18months I’ll have a place to go ‘home’ to. I’m feeling quite emotional. It means I can get my clothes out of storage, and my books and Jamie’s toys and my amazing South African mattress. I can brighten it up with my own bed linen and pictures and bits and bobs.

Today we had a photoshoot done. The fab photographer of @createdwithlightphotography on Instagram did the shoot for me with my gorgeous grandson. We had lots of fun and then had hot chocolate to warm up, because of course it was freezing on the beach. β˜ƒοΈβ˜ƒοΈβ˜ƒοΈβ˜ƒοΈ

Me and my boobee πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

Tomorrow, weather depending I’ll walk from Ramsgate to Margate one last time before I tackle the next section of my own challenge….to walk the whole of the English coast within next 5 years.

Cheers folks, thanks for reading along with me. In case I don’t get to write a post tomorrow, although I probably will, I wish you all a VERY safe, healthy and wonderful New Year.

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There is nothing more precious to me than hearing my grandson from behind the door saying “G’anny” when I ring the doorbell and then seeing that beautiful little face lit up with a smile. And a cuddle follows close behind β˜Ίβ˜ΊπŸ’™

He is my absolute joy….

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I finished knitting this little matinee jacket for my soon to be born grandson πŸ’™β˜Ί

balls of wool and a set of needles
An intricate pattern
Making progress
5 pieces completed
They all come together
And it’s done πŸ˜ƒπŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»

6 weeks before he was born I completed the jacket. This little item was one of many little cardigans and jackets I knitted for his layette. I love knitting and it was such a joy to prepare these little items for him.

When my daughter was a baby, I knitted a full set of dress, jacket and bootees in green, using the same pattern. Continuity. I’ve still got the set in storage.

And continuing with the same pattern, I knitted a blanket for my daughter. It was meant to have been knitted while she was in labour, but as it turned out, the birth went very differently to what we anticipated and I participated in his birth right from the first contractions till he took his first breath.

And so the blanket took a tad longer than expected….like 18 months longer. But eventually it was done

And its done πŸ˜ƒ

It’s now being used for when he goes out in his pram

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Sounds like the name of a band….😁

If I remember correctly, I think there is a band with a similar name….Smashing Pumpkins?? Which sounds just as much fun, albeit a lot messier than carving pumpkins πŸŽƒ

Its amazing how many British traditions we have been introduced to since living here for the last 19 years.

Although we came late to the tradition and have only carved a pumpkin once before, now that my grandson is older we’ve introduced him to the tradition and the fun of carving a pumpkin for Halloween.

Growing up in the UK, I’m pretty certain that this won’t be the last time we carve a pumpkin, and it will become a new family tradition.

My daughter bought the pumpkins a few days ago and yesterday we sat in the garden, thankfully it wasn’t raining, and carved our pumpkins.

Daddy of course honoured the boobee with his name and I went for the more traditional scary face, and for good measure and keeping it contemporary, I also carved out the word Covid…πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ Its current news, so I had to.

We left them outside to start drying out, a hopeless endeavour since the weather is so grim, but they were sufficiently dried by evening. Daddy sourced some candles and lights off, candles in and we had our ‘scary’ Halloween.

The boobee was more interested in retrieving the candles and ‘blowing’ them out than the actual pumpkin faces….πŸ€”πŸ€”

A lovely family day.

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One of the very first buildings I noticed from the taxi when I arrived in Lewes 2 weeks ago, was this amazing place

I’m totally smitten with this place
The 15th century bookshop 😍😍

I only caught a glimpse of it as we rode past but that was enough to tickle my fancy…..and the very next day, during my break I set out to explore. And I’ve had plenty of adventures….

But I determined that I simply had to visit this bookshop, only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at least once while I was here.  So yesterday, after visiting the Lewes Castle and the Martyrs Memorial, I popped in for a visit on my way back to the house.

Bought by the current owner in 1986, the stock consists of thousands of second-hand and collectors’ books, from rare and collectable to recent over a wide range of topics and interests. Its amazing that the same person has owned the shop over 30 years!! Wowww.

The interior of the shop, smelt musty with the dust of aeons. It was deliciously cramped with books overflowing their shelves and stacked high on the floor. Books from decades ago piled up in a kaleidoscope of ancient dust jackets and calligraphy.
Sheer heaven for a book worm; metaphorically and I’m pretty certain…actually. How the owner ever finds a requested copy is anyone’s guess, but I’m willing to bet she knows where everything is.
I had the audacity to ask if she had a particular book from 2019, and in a very dour voice she replied “I only sell old books”.  Brilliant. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰ Of course…2019 is so last year…

And of course you can’t visit a 15th century bookshop and not buy some books… Obviously I had to buy a couple for himself who loves books, although lord knows he already has a massive collection. The Rupert Bear book is a 1984 edition, and the Bobbsey Twins from 1959!! I could have bought another 15 at least, but reason prevailed, I’d have to lug them all back to Ramsgate next week…

However if I ever find myself in Lewes again, I will be sure to pop in and buy a few more. Delicious. I love books and really wish I could have spent a few hours there looking through the shelves. But with Covid-19, and only 3 customers in the shop at a time, there was a young man waiting patiently outside…

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Hoorah! Today’s walk was fruitful albeit shorter than usual. Not only did I finally find the blessed Egrets Way path after going off in COMPLETELY the wrong direction πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ and wasting 45 minutes of my break in the process (Passing the railway station should have been a clue…πŸ€”πŸ€”),

But I am once again a ‘Trail blazer’ However, whilst it may appear that I’m a trail blazer, I wish I could tell them how useless I am at reading Google maps, especially when the map moves as I turn my phone to see which way to go🀨😠

And my mileage reached 40% on the Ring of Kerry virtual challenge and so another tree will be planted.

As for the toads crossing, I wonder what happened to the fast toads… 🐸🐸🐸

Alls well that ends well…and another day bites the dust. I only have 7.5 days to go and I’m off, back to Ramsgate. Can’t wait to see my Boobee

This adorable, funny, gorgeous little guy who holds my heart in his hands – my Boobee

His nickname came about from 2 sources….he has loved playing peek-a-boo from when he was tiny, so I started calling him Boo, and now he says “boo” which is just so cute I could eat him…. Meanwhile his parents have been teaching him sign language as a tool for better communication with people who have no hearing. He learned the sign for bee 🐝 and it was so cute I kept asking him to sign it….and one day, I got all muddled when playing with him and called him ‘Boobee’. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚β˜Ίβ˜Ί so now he’s my special special Boobee…..aka The Blur because he’s never still for one second and I can seldom get a photo of him that isn’t blurred….his Mummy, who sent me this photo, has the same problem…our phone cameras are just not fast enough to capture him in one place ☺☺

He’s a charm; funny, smart, cute, humorous, outgoing, friendly, loves Peppa Pig madly and is just adorable. I am so blessed to have him in my life.

Some other random photos from today, not as interesting as usual as my 6.84km walk wasn’t either….

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Don’t miss this!! https://www.meteorwatch.org/iss-international-space-station-times-uk-may-2020/

So enjoyed watching Sir Keir Starmer at PMQs today. Wonderful to listen to calm, reasoned questions with no bluster or sulky undertones. I did enjoy his question on the statistics….he prempted Johnson’s reply and had his rebuttal ready πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ in the form of a hard copy of the government’s own figures. Hah!!

I watched the BBC1 Michael Ball tribute to Capt. Tom Moore and cried all the way through. I think that, above all else, has defined the true spirit of people, and how one person can become the hope of a nation…he will go down in history as the little light in the darkness of this time πŸ•―

It was a fantastic day in Somerset, so I took myself out for a walk, followed my favourite route and along the way I stopped off at the corner of quiet contemplation…..at that point we had a grandparents facetime with the boo. He was meant to be eating his lunch…but that went by the wayside with all the attention πŸ₯° . I am so grateful to my daughter for these calls, they have kept me sane.

My corner of quiet contemplation

afterwards I walked around the mound, first the ramparts, then the moat, then I climbed to the top of the mound for a stunning view of the countryside. I will miss this very much.

Another 3.5km to add to my Hadrian’s Wall challenge πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜„

The best news today was that Richard Branson’s begging bowl was not filled with money from the public purse – money that is needed for the public. However, my sympathies go to the 3,000 staff he is now effectively kicking out of his company. Let’s bear in mind that these same people have enabled him to continue to live on his private island, in the luxury to which he is ‘entitled’, but of course it’s not convenient for him to now support those same people, despite him falling into the category of ‘billionaire’. He has argued that the billions aren’t lying around in a slush fund, but rather tied up in paper shares….and of course there’s no opportunity in these difficult and trying times to convert some of those into cash in order to support his staff. He offered to put his island up as as collateral for the required loan from the government, so why not do that in order to support his ‘valued’ staff. I used to admire RB, but when a billionaire puts his hands out for a loan from the public purse, is when my respect goes down that stinky drain. I have 2 of his books in storage….when its suitable, I shall have a bonfire…they’ll make good kindling.

And so to bed perchance to dream….

Before locking up tonight I stepped out into the courtyard and saw the moon πŸŒ• so beautiful

Nearly a full moon

Take care folks….

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I really really need to finish working soon…..I woke up this morning straight into a full-blown panic attack. Scary. I struggled to breathe and my heart felt like it was going to jump out my chest. I’m not sure why!! Is it because I’m beginning to feel really closed in (despite being able to get out for walks), or is it my underlying stress of travelling next week? I don’t know. Or is it because the true reality that life post-lockdown is never ever going to be the same again, is starting to sink in.

Frankly, I’m really glad the planet is getting a chance to recover, that pollution levels are down, and the skies, rivers and seas are benefiting from less traffic, and animals are enjoying the freedom of less humans. But it’s the underlying fear of being in contact with ‘other’ people who may or may not have been exposed to the virus, the fear of inadvertently coming into contact with a smidgen of the virus left by someone else on a bus rail, supermarket trolley, underground escalators and so on. My grandson, although he doesn’t know it yet, is going to grow up in a world where hugging and playing with his school mates is going to be fraught with anxiety, a world where he will be wearing a mask….the most sinister aspect of this whole scenario (besides the virus itself), the worry of hugging my daughter and son-in-law when I visit – the inherent possibility of inadvertently passing the virus on, of entering someone else’s house….are they as hygienic as what I am? Do we still hug family when we see them again? Do we allow anyone to kiss us…even on the cheek? Being tactile could be the death of them or me!! Fortunately I’m not a very sociable person anyway and seldom go to places of high-density gatherings anymore, but there are still times when BC-19 we could just freely and easily mingle….especially the many wonderful London events I used to attend. Will all the amazing historical events go by the board? The annual traditional events around the country? Will I ever get on a plane again? All of these thoughts jumble around in my head…day after day. I leave here next week. I know I’ve been absolutely militant about keeping the house as uncontaminated as I possibly can (even upsetting the district nurses as I’ve said before), but I’ve got to work again…a new client, at new premises….has that environment been kept sterile? And then there’s the fortnightly travel from ‘home’ to work. I feel like just decamping to a remote island 😜😜😜

The fact that the UK’s death toll is now the highest in Europe doesn’t help either. And I’m not even sure we can trust that the government is giving us the full picture. They did a sneaky job of not reporting the care home deaths in the first few weeks, leading us to believe its less than it was….I’d rather it was less, much less, but to under report the true situation is just dishonest.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-coronavirus-death-toll-highest-europe-cases-covid-19-italy-spain-a9499181.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1588669521

After all the misinformation and inconsistencies he has made so far in relation to the true number of deaths (under-reported) and the correct number of tests done by 30th April (over-stated), I for one will treat this statement with the suspicion it deserves: “Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there is “high privacy” in the coronavirus contact-tracing app.” So no go app… https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breaking-uk-now-highest-coronavirus-21975258

I won’t be downloading it. I simply do not trust anything they say, anymore.

Anyway……

I didn’t go out today, decided to have a sleep instead….either read or sleep in times of trouble 😜😜 and afterwards I had a marvellous facetime call with my little family again….my grandson, albeit only 15 months old, is very astute. Normally either my daughter or son-in-law will give me a call and the boo will be with them or running around….but today Mummy was in the bath when she called and added Daddy and the boo to the call….he found it absolutely hilarious that he could see her in the bath and on the phone…..he immediately picked up the absurdity of the situation and went into gales of laughter. At one stage he closed the door between himself and the bathroom as if to say “I’m not getting involved in this silliness “. He’s such a divine child. We laughed so much at his reaction.

I’ve been watching the BBC1 programme ‘Life and Birth’ πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° its so extraordinary watching those babies being born, I cry each and every time. It truly is a miracle. Each time I see that little life come into the world, I’m reminded of the extraordinary day my grandson was born….being there to watch him make his way into the world, was an experience beyond all others. Truly we are blessed.

And that’s it really…a relatively quiet day…..cooking, cleaning, preparing cups of coffee and….et al. I love routine, but its beginning to wear on me now….5.5 days…

As a matter of interest, if you have the time, I’d be interested to know whether or not you would download this new app they’re talking about?

Take care folks and be safe.

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Never in my wildest imagination did I think that when I started blogging my Lockdown mullings and meanderings, that 6 WEEKS later we’d still be in lockdown! And as yet no definitive date for easing.

My ‘work’ lockdown ends next Monday and once again, despite looking soooo very much forward to my family, I’m approaching the date with trepidation. πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ˜£πŸ˜£

I finished 2 projects today πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ 1 small and 1 large.

I walked all the streets, roads and closes on the west side of the village during my break today- hoorah

Which brings me up to 24% of my Hadrian’s Wall challenge completed.

Anddd finally after 38 hours of knitting, spread over 16 months 😜😜, I finished the baby blanket my daughter ordered in 2018…..its been a huge undertaking and I didn’t realise just how much time it would take. I could have finished it months ago, but as it got bigger, so it got more and more heavy and my hands would ache after a few rows. The pattern rows took 8 minutes to knit from one end to the other, and the plain rows 5 minutes. But now its done and I’m so proud of it. It looks amazing… different perhaps to what was expected, but I added my own little twist by using up the oddments of wool I had left over from all the little cardigans I so lovingly knitted for my grandson’s layette. I’m not sure that people who don’t knit can really appreciate just how much goes into a hand-knitted item. It was a labour of love. I’ll post a photo of the full blanket once my daughter has seen it.

Knitted with so much love

And talking of birth and babies….I just love love this story πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ https://www.channel4.com/news/wild-stork-chicks-to-hatch-in-uk-for-first-time-in-over-600-years

I chatted to my sister and brother-in-law in Cape Town this afternoon. He’s making steady and good progress recovering from the heart-attack he had last month. Although considered a mild attack, its still knocked them for six and they are both in recovery….

I told my client today that I would be leaving next Monday and she’s quite upset. Bless her, she thought I’d be here till after lockdown is lifted…and at least 5 or 6 times today she’s asked me “what day is it you’re leaving?” and when I remind her, she says the same thing “that’s awful, I’m really sorry you’re leaving I’ve really enjoyed having you here. ” Its really interesting, but she has absolutely no recollection of the first 5 days….I’m still traumatized 😜😜😜 But I’m glad its all worked out well in the end. I try to never leave on a bad note, although that does sometimes happen…mostly cause I don’t tolerate abuse….regardless of the situation, and sometimes it isn’t even the client but the family who are the nightmare. Thankfully not in this instance.

I’ll miss village and the quiet easy days in the countryside, although I suspect that once lockdown is lifted, its not going to be quite as ‘sleepy’ as it has been the last 6 weeks. Already there’s been an increase in traffic and the nights are not as quiet as before. The neighbours have been lovely too, and today one of the ladies dropped off some lovely cupcakes

But on the upside, I’ll be seeing my family, and that overrides everything else πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

I saw some beautiful flowers on my walk again today and got to wondering which flower has the smallest petal …..I did some research and found this “The world’s smallest flowering plant, the Wolffia Globosa, has come in to bloom at the Tsukuba botanical garden in Japan. The plant, more commonly known as Asian watermeal, is so small that to the naked eye it is impossible to tell if it has flowered” – not quite the smallest petal, but the blooms weigh the same as 2 grains of salt. Wowww

One thing I am looking forward to as well is breakfast at our favourite cafe; Beaches in Broadstairs….

Meanwhile: Couldn’t agree more!!! Support small local businesses. I refuse to support Amazon as a matter of principle, but I’m going to double my efforts to support local businesses going forward

I’ve been following some really interesting articles about Covid-19 and our not so esteemed government. Hmmm. The fan is beginning to spin and the spin is not working too well…

“The countries that moved fast have curtailed the epidemic. The countries that delayed have not. It’s as simple as that.”

Dr Richard Horton, editor in chief of The Lancet medical journal, is even more damning: “The handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the UK is the most serious science policy failure in a generation.” https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/biggest-failure-in-a-generation-where-did-britain-go-wrong-20200428-p54o2d.html

“In the past 24 hours, ministers said just under 76,500 tests were carried out, a drop of more than a third on the 122,000 tests carried out on 30 April.” – let us consider that Hancock didn’t promise to continue with 100,000 tests a day AFTER 30th April….especially consider that they bumped up the number of tests done, with tests sent out but not yet confirmed…a typical ‘pull the wool over your eyes’ strategy…a one trick pony. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52522936

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/04/rival-sage-group-covid-19-policy-clarified-david-king?CMP=share_btn_fb

https://www.politicshome.com/news/article/coronavirus-government-complains-to-bbc-boss-over-panorama-show-about-ppe

In closing…. point #1 especially

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