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VE DAY 75

What an emotional day. Naturally as soon as I got downstairs this morning I switched over to BBC1. They really do the whole patriotic big commemorative event thing so well, and they didn’t disappoint today.

By 10am I was already in tears. Seriously, I’m almost certain that I’m a reincarnation of someone who lived during the 2nd WW. It never fails to move me – listening to and watching footage from that period.

Whenever I hear Winston Churchill’s voice I literally get goosebumps from head to toe and tears well up in my eyes. I remember my visit to the War Rooms in Whitehall many years ago. I was meandering around the rooms looking at everything when suddenly his voice boomed out over the tannoy with his famous “We shall fight them….” speech. OMG I was rooted to the spot, tears pouring down my face…felt a bit of a twit, but fortunately it’s quite dark down there and no-one noticed.

The Spitfire flypast over the White Cliffs of Dover had me in tears once again, and how magnificent the Rex Arrows over London….oh how much I would have loved to see them for real.

Damn you Covid-19…

During my break I walked around the village capturing images of the decorations and bunting, and one street really got into the whole thing with flags, and bunting, tables and chairs out on the front of houses, tea sets and scones, champagne and the National Anthem…I chanced upon that just as it rang out from a huge speaker on someone’s lawn πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ God Save the Queen πŸ‘ΈπŸ» ❀❀

I got in a decent 3.49km and managed to walk along as many cut through as I could find…..added to my Hadrian’s Wall challenge πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜€

This evening’s programmes were equally as moving with snippets of interviews from around the country…its really impressive to realise just how many 100+ year olds there are in this country.

The Queen’s speech at 9pm was equally as moving and as always she was perfect; her look, her words, her delivery. How lucky we are to have her.

I compiled a short video of all the decorations and hope you enjoy it.

Stay safe, and long live the Queen

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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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So this is what Lent feels like…I haven’t had physical contact with a single person for 40 nights and 40 days. May as well live in the desert…

I suddenly realized today that I haven’t had any physical contact with anyone since 22nd March when I said goodbye to my daughter….its bizarre. I’m quite a tactile person and even when I was walking the Camino on my own in 2017, I still had loads of hugs from fellow pilgrims, albergue owners and sometimes just a fist bump with a random stranger.

Much as I’m really glad the earth is getting a chance to heal, I’ll be glad when lockdown is over, although I suspect that hugging and fist bumps will no longer be on the agenda. How awful its going to be, to be afraid of hugs. 😭😭😭😭

I just hope that we won’t lose much enjoyed hugs between family. Talking of family I had a delightful facetime with my daughter and grandson today. Gosh he’s adorable. I was talking to him and blowing him kisses, so he took the phone away from his Mummy and walked around kissing my face πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ» oh my gosh it was so cute. All I could see was his forehead and the adorable curl on his head…my daughter was beside herself with laughter…he’s a real charm.

My days in Nether Stowey are numbered now, only 9 to go and I’m off….although of course, all being well I’ll be back in July. Weirdly I’ve been quite happy here and although I’m desperate to see my family, and I’m really quite tired now (and sick of meal planning πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ), I’m quite sad to go. It’s a lovely area and once we got past the initial issues, I’ve gotten on quite well with my client. I am not looking forward to the journey though. Its going to be long…I just hope there will be trains πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

I’ve started a new book; The Pure in Heart – Susan Hill….one of my favourite authors. So this will be the 9th book I’ve read since being in lockdown.

Had a lovely long walk today; 5.4 kms. I just felt like I really needed to stretch my legs, and the area is so beautiful its hard to resist…although of course I have done quite a lot of that πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

My sister mentioned that the SA government has now started on phase 4 ; a lifting of the lockdown is in progress…means they can now actually go out for a very short walk. It all seems very organized and puts our shambolic government to shame

To see how the number of deaths is mounting is quite terrifying, and seeing how the government is putting a spin on everything is disgusting. I’m so sick of their dishonesty. Even one of the most fundamental issues of getting a grip on this virus; testing, has had their warped spin applied

https://www.hsj.co.uk/quality-and-performance/revealed-how-government-changed-the-rules-to-hit-100000-tests-target/7027544.article#.Xqw3EoFpNi4.facebook

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/01/ministers-accused-of-changing-covid-19-test-tally-to-hit-100000-goal

I truly hope there will be a public enquiry and that certain members of the party will….I’d like to say hang, but I guess that’s a bit harsh…however if you consider the number of people who have died due to their incompetence…well…perhaps drawn and quartered might suffice.

Piers Morgan wrote a very accurate piece on the Covid-19 timeline and how the Tory government seriously missed so many red flags….while our emperor was cavorting with his latest piece of fluff, Rome, so to speak was burning….or in this case the UK. And now we have the 2nd highest number of deaths in the world, the most shambolic distribution of PPE and a bunch of bald-faced liars who pump up the numbers to make it look as if they’re being ‘successful’. The day of reckoning will come. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8275365/PIERS-MORGAN-Boris-boast-wants-death-toll-tells-real-story.html?ito=facebook_share_article-bottom

I’m not (usually) a Daily Mail reader and I’m not actually a fan of Piers Morgan, but by golly he’s hit the nail on the head.

And do another day goes by…who knows what the future might hold. With all the saber-rattling going on in the White House, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw nuclear warheads flying overhead between Beijing and Washington one of these days.

Stay safe folks…

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Gosh, I’ve been so weepy today, its absolutely ridiculous. I am tired, that I know for sure…working 35 days without a break, even though I’m not especially busy, is tiring. I’m really grateful I’m not in a more physically demanding position.

It all started off when I saw the photo of all Capt. Tom Moore’s birthday cards β˜ΊοΈβ˜ΊοΈβ˜ΊοΈπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ over 125,000 so far and they’re still coming….I’m guessing he won’t be reading mine then πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

Image from Facebook..some of the birthday cards
Absolutely extraordinary

Then I saw the fantastic mural created by Bradley Scott Windows – it is stunning.

Capt. Tom Moore

After that I read an article that said he was definitely going to get a RAF fly-past for his birthday, which would include a Spitfire; not the Spirit of Kent, but close enough ☺️ https://www.itv.com/news/2020-04-28/raf-flypast-for-captain-toms-100th-birthday/

and then to add to all that, a photo of him with 2 Guinness World Book of Records Certificates….it seems he’s been accepted into the Guinness Book of Records for 1. Being the oldest person to reach #1 on the music charts and 2. Raising the most amount of money for charity – as an individual.

So much wonderful news in one day and I just cried. ❀❀❀

We’re so used to seeing sad, and shocking and terrible news these days, that any good news is overwhelming.

Had a wonderful facetime conversation with my daughter and grandson during my break today….he’s growing up so fast now and the changes are amazing. He always gives me the most beautiful smiles and that just makes my day.

Seems I’m a Trail Blazer πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ completed 9kms today and that takes me to 17kms down and 127 kms to go to the end of Hadrian’s Wall….its been raining today so I tracked my kms indoors instead of my daily outdoor excursions. Its amazing just how many kms I walk in a day when I’m working. At other jobs I’ve done well over 12kms on some days, and most of that is climbing up and down stairs πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ I forgot to put my phone in my pocket a few times today, so probably did more than 9kms, but hey, I’m good with that.

Hoorah…making progress

Now if only I was walking the route for real. Post-lockdown goal….watch this space πŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ‘£πŸ‘£

The only other person I’ve spoken to today besides my client and my daughter was the District Nurse. Poor girl nearly jumped out her skin when she wanted to close the door behind her….as she went to put her hand on the latch I shouted “don’t touch that, I’ll do it” 🀨🀨 I’ve kept the virus out the door for 5 weeks now, I’m not having anyone touch anything in this house if I can help it.

The 1 minute silence at 11am to remember the many, 140 plus, NHS staff and Carers and other frontline staff who’ve died, was so poignant and very sad, my heart aches for their families πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’” Their deaths have all been totally unnecessary and completely unacceptable. This government has much to answer for. I wanted to shout at the TV when they showed those hypocrites Johnson and Gove et al standing there with their heads bowed. Bloody hypocrites. They’ve been cutting funding and selling off the NHS for years, refusing to increase junior doctors pay just a few years ago…and now they stand there for all the world as if they are innocent. Gahhhh. I hope there is a hell….

Other than that, it’s been a quiet day. I’m trying to not watch the news anymore and I definitely cannot watch the daily briefings🀬🀬🀬….the TV is not mine…and I can’t afford to replace it….

I read that New Zealand and Australia have tentatively lifted the curtain slightly on their lockdown….let’s see how that goes. Hopefully no 2nd wave as predicted.

That’s it for today. I’m quite impressed that barring a few days, I’ve kept up my journal this long. I’ve never blogged this often before…

Goodnight and stay safe

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Gosh, could it really be 2 years ago already!! My beloved daughter gifted me a flight in a Spitfire for my birthday 2 years ago…I’m a bit of a Spitfire fan 😊😊 It was truly a most extraordinary gift and experience ever.

A most extraordinary experience

My excitement levels on the day were through the roof….besides the very amazing experience, what is most memorable, is that on the day, while we were watching the other people having their flights I patted her on the belly and said “the only thing that could top this is a grandchild “….little did any of us know that she was already 2 weeks pregnant 😊😊😊😊 We waited a very long time for this baby, a boy, and he has been the gift that keeps on giving.

The gift that keeps on giving πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»

Interesting comment made by Brian Cox on the Andrew Marr show this morning…they were discussing online science lessons for 10-11 year olds that he, Brian, was creating, and the challenges that entailed. In response to a question from Andrew Marr he said…..

“Following the science” really means we don’t know enough yet, or don’t really understand. Quoted by Brian Cox on the Andrew Marr Show. Yet our government continues to say “we’re following the science” – πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ€¨

My client and I were just reminiscing about ‘the old days’ and I was telling her how my mother used to send my sisters and I to the public swimming pool….a good 20/30 minute walk from home, and how we’d spend hours there on our own…me about 14, my sister 11 and the youngest 4 years old.Β  Perfectly safe, and most kids did the same. I was also telling her about the African ‘mielie man’ who cycled about the neighbourhood on Friday evenings with two great big hessian sacks hanging off the back of the bike filled to overflowing with fresh mielies ‘corn on the cob’, still wrapped in their leaves with the brown hairy tufts, shouting “mielies, mielies” and my mother would give us money to go buy a bunch for supper. We’d eat them piping hot, smothered with salt and proper butter that melted and ran down our chins…so hot we would burn our fingers and lips…but we would fight over who was going to get the last one πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ and then I reminded her about the ‘rag and bone’ man, or the haberdashery carts that had every single item needed for sewing or knitting or hair accessories that you could ever wish for….such a shame we’ve lost all that.

I saw this on Facebook today πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

First, we hear alcohol may prevent the virus… now research suggests the opposite. Then we’re told heat and humidity has no effect, but wait… direct sunlight might quickly kill the virus….. So, if you come across a 65 year old woman, standing in the front yard, intoxicated and naked, leave me alone… I’m conducting important medical research.πŸ™…β€β™€οΈπŸ€·β€β™€οΈπŸ™Žβ€β™€οΈπŸ™†β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

(Yes, I stole this post. Yes. You can steal it, too 😁) Change the age! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Day 1 of my Hadrian’s Wall Challenge done and dusted….I completed 4.28 kms-140.52 kms to go. The Hadrian’s Wall walk; 90 miles of Roman defence structure between England and Scotland, stretches across the country from Wallsend on the east coast and finishes at Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast. I’ve reached Newcastle on Tyne so far…I’ll have to get a move on if I plan to finish in 6 weeks πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

Newcastle Upon Tyne

If you want to join in the fun and walk Hadrian’s Wall…virtually of course πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ this is my referral link

The only cost involved is for the purchase of the Badge, proceeds of which do not go to me. There’s an app that needs to be downloaded and you have to register an account/profile. I’ve found the app a little on the wieldy side, but I’m managing to navigate it with s bit if back and forth…its not 100% user-friendly but I’m figuring it out as I go.

Hadrian’s Wall, also called the Roman Wall, Picts’ Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, is a former defensive fortification of the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Opened: 128 AD

It was a lovely day for a walk albeit quite hot. I stopped at contemplation corner to contemplate life for a brief moment or two, then followed my usual route past the farms, through the fields, round the mound from base to summit in ever decreasing circles, and then back down again.

Contemplation corner

The views from the top are stunning

The Bristol Channel in the distance
Today’s walk

Take care folks and please continue to practice social distancing and follow government advice regarding outings etc…and remember to wash your hands

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Just another day in paradise….

Whatever you do….don’t forget the meteor shower over the UK this next week https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/18382169.lyrid-meteor-shower-visible-uk-tonight—see/?ref=fbshr

β€œIt is the oldest known meteor shower still active and was first observed in 687 BCE. As they come through the atmosphere, the meteors reach speeds of 50kms a second, but most will burn up before reaching the surface of Earth.” Thankfully the weather has improved and we have clear skies so I’m hoping I get to see this!!!

Actually it was a lush day after all despite a grey start. So much do that I went out for a walk and managed a decent 3.56kms.

Lush all round

My daughter phoned just as I got to the mound and it was amazing to chat to them again πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° and so thrilled to hear my grandson say “Granny!!” properly this time πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ» He is such a little charm. Cannot wait to see him again.

My little boo πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ₯°

On my way back to the house I spotted some more free books, so added a few to the collection πŸ˜‰πŸ€£πŸ€£

I read so many interesting articles today that my head is swimming. Not least of which was about China. Seriously if the West doesn’t wake up soon, the Chinese government is going to own the world. https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-ends-chinas-honeymoon-africa-205217380.html?soc_src=community&soc_trk=fb

I’m thrilled to note that the chap, Chris, who is walking the coastline of the UK to raise funds for SSAFA has smashed his target of Β£100k πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

https://www.facebook.com/chriswalksuk/videos/655847218318343/

Absolutely brilliant. I’ve been following his story for some months now and he is so inspiring with his determination and goodwill. Magic.

Other than that, nothing much else happened really. Covid-19 is wreaking havoc and the debates etc etc etc rage on. The orange swamp thing in the WH is completely off the rails in the US, while in the UK Bojo is still in hiding while different ministers are being wheeled out of the cupboard, dusted off and trotted out to stand in front of the camera and say whatever it is that they say….none of it means anything anymore and most certainly, any trust that may have existed is gone. The results of their actions are becoming increasingly obvious and it’s an ongoing farce. Promises are broken quicker than they are made. Urgh.

Anyway, it will play out the way its going to play out…..life will never be the same again….

Oh wait….I found my favourite sweet at the shop today πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Bonus!!!

All the best folks stay safe

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And another day down, another day bites the dust – will this ever end? Not for a while apparently…its so bizarre.

The numbers are just escalating and the number of people who are infected is frightening….somewhere, somehow, we are all going to come into contact with this thing…and no-one has any ideas….

Our politicians; not just the UK, are all just marking time and making noise….because no-one has a clue.

So lockdown till mid-May 😱😱😱 I simply cannot imagine how people are coping. I really do consider myself to be one of the very lucky ones…I’m working, getting paid, in a safe (for now) environment, I have food to eat (paid for by the client) and I don’t have to venture out unless I choose to. I have books to read, a window into the world (my phone) and my family are safe. I am totally blessed.

I spoke to my daughter today via facetime and watched my grandson playing in the garden 100s of kms away, heard him say Granny for the first time πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° and chatted briefly to my son-in-law about his job. He was wearing a pair of wellies I bought him some months ago and apparently he was walking sideways at first trying to get used to them. πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™ He’s such a funny little boy, so intent and so focused….when he sets his sights on something it’s like a laser….and he will not be diverted. He sometimes walks with head down, his hands behind his back and absolutely focused on getting to wherever he decides to go…looks like a little old man 😁😁 They’re safe and healthy.

Finally my walking poles arrived….but not to where they were addressed….no, instead they arrived at the ‘return’ address 🀣🀣🀣πŸ€ͺ which fortunately I thought to have added as it’s my daughter’s address. So I shall soon be reunited with my trusty walking buddies. Gemini, I have missed you…wish you were here.

I finished reading the 8th book since I arrived here just 2 days short of 4 weeks ago…it was a different world then. This has been a rare luxury and I haven’t read this many books in such a short period of time for decades. Literally decades. I used to read vociferously in SA, and although I’ve read plenty of books in the last 18.5 years, I’ve not read 8 in 4 weeks 😁😁 a bit of a record.

An unexpected but satisfactory ending

Just before I hopped into bed I leaned my head on the windowsill to listen….to the sounds of silence. No cars, no bikes, no barking dogs, no TV, no music, no people talking….just pure palpable silence. Bliss.

I’ve been on Facebook for much of the day πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ€”πŸ€” bloody hate it, but it’s so addictive. I follow a few Camino pages and every day I’m astounded at the number of people who seem to think that they can still walk the Camino this year. A common question is: “my airline has cancelled my flight for June, should I book for September?” Seriously, these people are living in lala land. If they could pull their heads out their proverbial….they might just realise that Spain is not going to be remotely able to deal with a bunch of tourists…pretend pilgrims. Ignorant…!!! So many people who are involved with the Camino have posted on the pages about the devastating effects of Covid-19 and how the infrastructure is struggling and yet these ‘pumpkins’ just don’t get it. Gahhh.

Talking of pilgrimage….I bought the April edition of Countryfile a few weeks ago and am just about to delve into an article about Holy Island and St Cuthbert’s Way. On my list of walks to do….I’m guessing that the Camino I planned for 2021 is going to be on hold…instead I’ll look at walking a few of the long list of UK walks I want to do, 3 of which are pilgrimages following in the footsteps of Saints.

Nothing much else to add really. I didn’t go out again today, had a snooze instead which is a treat. But I think I will make an effort tomorrow. I only have another 8 days here so want to make the most of it while I can. I’m booked to return in July for 3 weeks, and hopefully by then the lockdown will be lifted and I can venture further afield.

I’m looking forward to the return of blue skies….

Stay safe folks……

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