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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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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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This whole scenario is beginning to feel more and more like the height of the 1960s Cold War ….we’re fighting an invisible enemy and looking suspiciously at anyone we come into contact with, avoiding contagion at all costs, taking extraordinary steps to avoid the virus.

‘Careless contact costs lives’

This will be a short blog (possiblynot πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ€ͺ), but I wanted to share this video with you. There is so much information about this virus already and loads of articles about avoiding contagion.

But they mostly deal with you; washing hands, sneezing tissues, social distancing etc….and not your groceries. So when I saw this video I felt I really needed to share it.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sjDuwc9KBps&feature=youtu.be

Well before lockdown and social distancing etc I took my grandson to the park….he loves to swing (takes after his Granny πŸ˜‰). In the bottom of his pram was a bottle of disinfectant spray and paper towels and a glove. Before I put him into the swing I sprayed it down and wiped it off.

There are so many opportunities for contracting this virus that we simply must become absolutely paranoid about what we touch. That plastic bottle of milk has probably been touched by at least 3 people before you. When I look back now at the shopping we did when we got home a couple of weeks ago, I shudder and I’m amazed that none of us have so far contracted the virus.

I’ve just been out for my morning supplies and when I got back it was all sprayed with flash, rinsed off with hot water and wiped down with a separate all purpose cloth before drying and packing it away.

Supplies sprayed down and washed with hot water

I also sprayed the coins in my change, soaked in boiling water then dried with a paper towel. I’ve kept a foil container for this process and put aside separate cloths for washing and drying.

Sprayed with flash

I’m happy to be paranoid about this thing. I plan to be able to go back to my family after this current assignment.

Covered with boiling water

My hands have not been in contact with the coins or supplies….

#beparanoid Be safe….as much as possible

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The very best thing to come out of this current situation is that the earth; nature, is getting a chance to breathe.

Every morning now I listen to birdsong outside my window and I can hear even the tiniest of birds.

I can hear them at noon when I’m out walking and I can hear them settling at night.

I found this poem on Google, it seems quite apt

Miranda Renea May 2016

Birdsong Have you ever heard the birds sing?
Everyone is always listening to
Lifeless steel hanging at their side;
It follows as they switch their hip
And walk on by. Sometimes, I wonder,
Why haven’t you heard the birdsong?

No cars rushing by, no trucks or vans….just the gentle breeze and birdsong. Long may it last.

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So my working day has been much the same as usual, so I won’t bore you with the details.

Its been an extraordinary day once again in terms of the response to this virus as the news rolls in from our esteemed πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ PM, and other countries. Shocking to learn that New York has 5,000 new cases in one day, and on the tail of that, the orange swamp thing maintaining the US will nail the virus by Easter. Krist what a numbskull…

Did you know that India has 1.3 billion citizens??? 😯😯😯 Puts our piddling 58million into the shade. I simply cannot imagine how the millions of people who live in the most awful conditions of severe poverty in India will be able to stay at home.

So I had 2 outings today….first to the store for basics…I’m trying to keep our supplies stocked up, just in case it all goes tits up later on in the process. It’s quite a responsibility caring for a bed ridden 90 year old, but if it gets dire her family will have to step up and deliver supplies.

Secondly I made the most of my allowable time again and went out for a 3.2 km walk around the village. It transpired today that I’m in fact going to be here for 5 weeks as opposed to the initial 2 weeks. The agency are short of carers so I offered to stay on..

I’m guessing I will know this place inside out by then.

I also wanted to ensure I make the most of the weather…I believe there is rain on the way. Urgh

I met very few people and on the whole we all observed social distancing and one or the other crossed the street or walked with a car between us. Talking of cars, its really weird to see so few vehicles on the road. But its gratifying to note that people generally are taking this more seriously.

The roads are bereft of vehicles

Even more inspiring has been the number of volunteers who have stepped forward to support the NHS. That’s one of the things I love about this country….when the going gets tough, people step up. I just wish the government would pay them at least something for their efforts. They’re absolute heroes.

On a sad note was the news of the young woman of 21 with no health issues who contracted the virus and has died. That’s heartbreaking. And scary.

The village is not big and I seem to have walked pretty much right around the perimeter…I saw a few animals along the way and stopped to chat to a pretty little cat.

Such a sweetie

There’s a lot of history in this village and I walked past Samuel Coleridge’s house. He was a friend of William Wordsworth who visited the area frequently. Virginia Woolfe honeymooned in the area.

Samuel Coleridge’s house..only for 3 years 🀨🀨

I passed a sign that read

πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

So I took a small bundle of daffodil bulbs for my daughter’s garden.

I loved this little sign I saw in the side of the road.

🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈❀❀

I had a facetime chat with my daughter and grandson on WhatsApp. Oh gosh I miss him so much. As glad as I am to have this work, I am missing him so much and this will be the longest I haven’t been with him since he was born…πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™ He’s ever so cute.

Other than that, it was business as usual on the work front and watching the news, as well as our PM making promises he’s unlikely to follow through on. Just been reading an article in The Daily Telegraph by Tom Welsh…he totally nails it. The Government are intent on diverting attention away from their own failings and unpreparedness by blaming the public for the spread of the virus. The reality is that the Tories have been dismantling the NHS for bloody years and they have left it virtually on the brink of bankruptcy. I won’t go into my opinion of why this has been done, suffice to say that they have made a bloody great cockup by their neglect, and now their chickens are coming home to roost, but they’re trying to shift the blame. I hope BoJo doesn’t get much sleep at night. As for Hunt he should stfu. Pointing a finger at Hancock, he forgets that 3 are pointing back at him. Tosser.

In case you haven’t guessed…I’m not a fan of the Tories πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

Oh and I bought my daughter a new washing machine. Theirs packed up yesterday mid wash. If ever there was bad timing, this was it. Literally the day after the government announces a lockdown, the machine packs up. Wtaf. Seriously. Anyway, they’ll get it by Monday, but will have to install it themselves since Argos are not currently installing due to the current situation.

How was your day?? πŸ˜‰

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Typical innit

At a time when we could all be out and about enjoying the glorious weather, we’re on lockdown πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺβŒπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I can hear the birds πŸ˜ƒπŸ•ŠπŸ•ŠπŸ¦

For me, in my job, its business as usual. This is my life…confined to the house for 22 hours a day, 2-4 weeks at a time, with a few outing exceptions like hospital visits or the doctor or a bit of shopping. I don’t mind so much in winter when its cold and rainy, but it’s a mental (and emotional) challenge in spring, summer and autumn. 🌸🌼🍁

But, I am making the most of my break and getting out while the going is good and making the most of my allowable time off and out ….adhering to work and government guidelines. Thankfully this position is not like many others I’ve had in the past where I’m not allowed to leave the house at all for 2 weeks at a time due to the nature of the client’s condition and requirements.

Make the most of your time out allowance and enjoy the fabulous weather….the air is clearer, I can hear the birds, there’s less pollution, I can see the stars at night, and nature is drawing breath….

Clear skies 🌝🌝

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I’m going to try keeping a diary over this period and blog on a daily basis….

However, I do get lazy and distracted by reading/social media/tv/OPB/BBC πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ but I’ll try my best. (OPB = other people’s blogs).

Frankly my life hasn’t changed that much. As a Carer for the elderly I’m classified as a ‘key worker’, and yesterday, after a 6.5 hour journey on 2 trains, 2 tube rides and 2 taxis, I arrived at my next assignment. I’m meant to be here for 2 weeks, but that could change due to the lockdown, and I may end up being here for 4 weeks….not longer. My birthday is coming up soon and I DO. NOT. WORK. ON. MY. BIRTHDAY.

So for me its same old same….different place, different client, same difference. In other words, my jobs entails pretty much the same thing every day for 14 days, but just a different location and different person, but same issues.

I get sent all over the country and sometimes to places well off the map, mostly never heard of except by the residents.

But often the dice falls in my favour and I get sent to a place that has all the elements that get me excited…. in this instance, not only is this village a Domesday Book Village, but it has had some famous residents and boasts the ruins of a Norman motte and bailey.

Following Johnson’s announcement of a nationwide lockdown last night, I took my 1st ‘allowed’ excursion this morning to the store for basics. I’m going to make use of this time every day for a breather and stock up on the basics needed to feed my client, and other such things.

Then this afternoon I used my 2 hour break to take advantage of the allowable exercise outing. I usually do take this time to get out and walk anyway but now of course it’s a privilege rather than an expectation.

What a charming little village this is. Quaint old houses, a little brook dashing through the streets, a clock tower, and oodles of history….one of the Guy Fawkes protagonists was born here. How awesome is that!!!

Quaint old cottages and a clock tower
A bubbling brook
Bad lad…boom!!

I’m staying in a quirky 16th century cottage with more steps and landings than I care to count πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ if I lift my hand I can touch the ceiling….and I am not tall…just 5ft 5 inches. I’m guessing people were much shorter in the 16th century. Last night when I went to bed, last thing before I switched off the light…I reminded myself about the step outside my room so that I don’t fall flat on my face in the middle of the night.

I pretty much have the house to myself as my client has been practicing ‘social distancing’ for the last 4 years…apparently she took to her room 4 years ago and refuses to come out unless she has a medical appointment. This is not unusual.

I set off at 2pm and after a short walk I found an information board about the village and that’s where I discovered there’s a castle. Whoop whoop. Needless to say it’s on the top of the hill πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈβ›°πŸ° a steep climb. What’s with those Normans anyway, building their castles at the top of the hills…I mean seriously, no cars, no buses, no escalators, no lifts…but they build on the top of the hill πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ˜‰

It’s at this point that I miss my walking poles the most. It really feels weird being out walking without them. But onwards….

I soon reached the crest of the hill and to my delight there was the castle. Okay its totally overgrown now and there’s nary a stone or wooden pole to be seen, but it’s so exciting to walk in the footsteps of people who lived here nearly 1000 years ago.

Norman motte and bailey
Hinkley Point in the distance

The views are spectacular…you can see for miles and miles, even the Bristol Channel, and in the distance I could see Hinkley Point Power Station. The village looked cosy snuggled as it is in the folds of the valley.

I’m sure the air is fresher….I sat out on the highest point I could find and just enjoyed the quiet, the brisk breeze and the delicious sunshine on my skin. There’s a grassy bowl towards the middle of the castle where I could easily spend the day…a blanket, a good book, flask of hot tea and packet of biscuits and I’d not leave all day.

Perfect spot to spend the day

I phoned my little family on the other side of the country and enjoyed seeing my adorable grandson and chatting to my daughter and son-in-law. They’re bearing up and enjoying being home, creating fun things to do for the baby.

A few other people made the most of the lovely weather and walked around the perimeter of the mound.

After 20 minutes of gorgeous warmth I walked back down into the village and along one street to the outer edge then turned back and made my way back to the cottage. A pleasing break and added 3.2 kms to my walk 1000 miles challenge….although as things are going, its unlikely I’ll reach my target this year.

Edge of the village

Then it was back to work and supper preparation and frequent visits from downstairs to upstairs πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ I told my client that at this rate, with the number of times I respond to the bell, I’m sure to get fit and lose weight.

At the moment I’m watching TV and writing this blog while counting the minutes till bedtime 😁😁 end of day one of 21 days of lockdown. 20 to go…its frustrating of course, upsetting and unsettling and we have no idea how things are going to pan out, but in the greater scheme of things…time out is no bad thing, and like I said, my life has not changed that much…

I saw this sculpture at the edge of the village…it made me smile and think of bonkers Boris….”stay home or else ”

Stay at home πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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