Thursday, 30 April 2020

Organising, Puzzles, and Quizzing With Friends

Procrastination ruled for a while in this house yesterday. After breakfast I went up to the playroom to make a start on the photo project and then promptly did everything else rather than make a start! I went through the household paperwork and disposed of some of the older stuff, answered some emails (which didn't need immediate attention but got it!), finished the shredding, and put the first load in the washing machine ... all with breaks for coffee, of course.

In the end I pulled myself together and connected my laptop to the one Ced used and transferred all the photos across. There wasn't much else on his laptop so I decided to transfer all the other files and clear the hard drive ready for disposal. All the old laptops and computer equipment will be donated to a charity who rebuilds them for use in schools. I spent the rest of the time dealing with the documents from his laptop. I think most of the photos will turn out to be copies of ones I hold so I will wait to sort through until I have all the digital files in one place.  Tomorrow, I'll carry on and transfer everything from my old laptop. I know all the photos have already been transferred to a separate hard drive so I don't think there will be much else to deal with, but that's the next step and then the old laptops can go, or at least be stored in the knowledge that they are ready for disposal.

After lunch I flitted between playing online games, some piano playing, and starting on my final jigsaw puzzle.  This one is much harder than I thought it would be: it's mostly shades of brown (!) and the pictures on the box are only an indication of things that will be in the completed puzzle as the final image is photographed from a different angle and everything will have been moved around. I haven't even managed to join all the straight edges and corner pieces yet!

In the evening I watched Repair Shop and The Great British Sewing Bee, then had a bath and read for a while in bed before settling down for the night. I'm not sleeping too well lately so in the end I only slept for a couple of hours before I was wide awake again. I knew that I wouldn't get back to sleep so I finished off this post and then carried on reading. I can always sleep during the day if I need to.

The highlight of today will be bringing the wheelie bin back in and accepting delivery of the toiletries and cleaning supplies. Did I mention there will be a supply of sweets and chocolate bars in the box as well? I will transfer everything from my old laptop in the morning but I think it'll be a lazy rest of the day, reading and enjoying some of the chocolate. 

It's quiz night with J and L so that will take up most of the evening, and then I'll either watch the National Theatre's release of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch, or will choose a film on Netflix.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: nothing
  • in the fresh air: the forecast is for rain again so it's likely to be an indoors day
  • around the house: maybe clean out cupboards in the cloakroom ready for delivery of toiletries and cleaning supplies
  • achievement: transfer files from my old laptop
  • social: quiz with J and L
  • fun: reading, jigsaw puzzle, eat chocolate 😁

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Mini Project No 1 | Organising Photos

Yesterday was such a grey drab day. It rained continuously and, yes I know the gardens needed it, but I could have done without it! But ... I live in the UK and there really is no point getting grumpy about the weather, so I pulled myself together, cheered myself up, and had a good day.

My evening at the theatre was a success and both plays were enjoyed. The Croft is a haunted house story and I'm usually a bit of a wimp with those, ending up having to check the house afterwards to make sure the local axe murderer hasn't taken up residence - I always laugh at myself because I know there's nobody hiding but also know I won't rest until I check, and I have absolutely no idea what I'd do if I did find someone! Anyway, although described as a thriller and hinting about a 'dark history', I was able to watch it without scaring myself witless and thought it was a clever production. I watched the Alan Bennett play, The Habit of Art afterwards, which I'd had tickets to see at the Theatre Royal in Bath but which was obviously cancelled so I was delighted to find it available online. This too was a couple of hours well spent - I do like Bennett's work. 

I realised yesterday (when responding to a comment!) that one thing that is missing is the lack of any real purpose to my days. Prior to the lock-down I'd been concentrating on the decluttering and although progress was slow I did feel I was achieving something. However, there is no way of completing that at present so I need to start looking at what else can be done around the house. The first thing that springs to mind is that I need to finish organising all my photos, which includes digital copies, prints and negatives. I say finish organising but the reality is that I've had several half-hearted attempts at this and have barely started. It'll be a time consuming but worthwhile job and the progress and sense of achievement is measurable, so that will be my first mini project, starting today. 

I want to carry on with the family tree this afternoon but I'm not sure what I'll do tonight. I'm dithering between an André Rieu concert or finding a comedy film to watch. I think I need something cheering and undemanding to round off the day.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: nothing for a while, doctor's orders.
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden if the rain holds off
  • around the house: shredding, laundry
  • achievement: transfer digital photos from the old laptops
  • social: blogging, phone calls with friends
  • fun: piano practice, reading, family tree research

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Organising, Reading, and a Trip to the Theatre

I felt a little down last night after listening to the Downing Street briefing. They only confirmed what I was expecting - that lock-down cannot be lifted and that measures in some form are likely to be in place for the foreseeable future - but actually hearing it said knocked me back a little bit. 

The choir practice worked it's magic and I felt more relaxed afterwards. There's no point in worry about something I can't change and there was a hint that the current restrictions although still in force may change, although no detail was given. I think it's the constant hints and suggestions that stress me, rather than actual having facts to come to terms with. 

On to today, and I'm tidying up in the playroom this morning. I have some paperwork to file and need to tidy up one shelf where files and books fell out when I pulled the jigsaw puzzles out and I just crammed them back in. This shouldn't take up too much time so once it's tidy I will go through the boxes of scrap-booking and card making resources to see what I can donate for local families to use, and will also have a look through one of the bigger crates to see what else can go.

This afternoon is set aside for reading and playing the piano with a bit of jigsaw puzzle in between. I'm on my last puzzle now so will need to think about getting hold of some more. I usually buy second hand ones but that doesn't appeal to me at present so I will go online and see what is available, although I remember reading last week that there has been a huge demand for jigsaws and lots of places are out of stock.

This evening I'm off to the theatre to watch two plays - The Croft starring Gwen Taylor, and The Habit of Art (which I had tickets to see at the theatre), starring Matthew Kelly and David Yelland. I'm looking forward to seeing both of them.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: nothing for a while, doctor's orders.
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden if the rain holds off
  • around the house: tidy the playroom
  • social: blogging, phone calls with friends
  • fun: piano practice, reading, jigsaw puzzle, watch The Croft and The Habit of Art.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Me On Monday ...

... is feeling reflective. 

My chosen word for this year is 'simplify' and there is no denying that,  even if not in the way I had envisaged, many aspects of life are simpler as a result of the restrictions imposed due the coronavirus pandemic.

The pace of life is undoubtedly slowing down, I am listening to my body, eating and sleeping to its demands rather than following a schedule dictated by the clock. An unwelcome addition is the constant feeling of anxiety for a situation where the resolution is out of my control and that feeling underpins everything - it's that fear for the safety of family and friends, and for the reliance we all have on strangers to play their part in keeping the population safe and the complete failure of some to do this. I know that everyone one is in the same position and I cope by taking one day at a time, accepting the situation and not driving myself to distraction by focusing on what I can't do.

I'm trying to approach this as exactly what it is - another stage in my life, the duration of which is unknown and although it's a change I didn't choose, it is what it is. With this uncertainty in mind I owe it to myself to continue to strive for ways of achieving the fulfilled life I am seeking. The restrictions of the lockdown have certainly had an impact on how I live my life but it is increasingly revealing things about myself and about the things that are important to me. Family and friends obviously top the list of the important things in life ... but I already knew that. Contact is maintained via phone calls, messages, zoom meetings and WhatsApp videos until such time as face-to-face meetings are possible.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that having music in some form in my life is a need rather than a want. I currently have the weekly choir practice and I do play instruments at home but I think there is room for more, to fill the loss of the band and all that playing an instrument in a group environment brings. This is on the list to rectify when possible but for now, the need is satisfied by the virtual choir practice and playing at home.

The same goes for doing something that requires concentration, focus and is enough of a challenge to make me use my brain. The puzzles and quizzes help but it is the family tree research and the algebra course that really meets this need ... not every day necessarily, maybe a few sessions a week.

My love of reading is still there, as is my love of photography, although with both activities I'm in a bit of a slump at present. I'm sure this will change though. The other big thing in my life, and which I want to do more of in the future, is to see more plays, musicals and films. My big plan for this year was going to be a fortnight in London seeing a different show every night. That will still happen at some time in the future but for now I can still enjoy virtual trips to the theatres to see the offerings released online by the National Theatre, Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Globe, and Sandlers Wells. 

Around the house I have abandoned any attempts at following my cleaning schedule and am doing the housework as and when I feel like it. The house still looks clean and tidy but I felt the need to ease off on what I was doing and I am happy enough with how things are going. I can't say the same about the garden though so am actively looking for someone to help out. 

The only issue is that this situation means a pause in completing the decluttering which is frustrating. I don't want people calling at the house and I can't go to the post office so there is no way to sell anything at present. However, I am re-sorting everything and being much more ruthless about what will possibly sell in the future and disposing of the rest. I have a lot of card making and scrapbook resources which I will  be sorting through to offer to local families for free - I'll follow the examples of others and put a box of goodies outside for people to help themselves.

I've waffled on for ages so well done if you got this far. There are other changes that I will make but they need more thought so I won't mention them now except to say that I have a fairly short list of things I think I want to remove from my life when normal life resumes but for now, despite the strangeness of the situation, life feels good. Confinement to home has stripped life down to the basics and in a relatively short time I am clear in my mind which people and activities enhance my life and so are the important ones to take forward. Family and friends are well and that's all that matters really. Everything else is a bonus!

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Weekly Reflections

Reasons to be cheerful ...
  • replenishing my food supplies with a supermarket delivery and being lucky enough to book another delivery for mid May
  • visits to the theatre and fun quizzes via Zoom, but especially seeing the Les Miserables Staged Concert (for the third time this year!)
  • a visit from Julie, observing social distancing, so she sat in her car and I stayed in my doorway while we had a loud (shouted!) conversation.
  • hearing from my niece to say that she's been accepted for her teacher training at a local school in September. She's retraining as an Early Years Teacher.
  • finally getting the kitchen cupboards sorted ... so much better now!
  • finding photos and videos of Baby P in my inbox ... she's a beautiful little girl and I have loads of cuddles to catch up on

I am grateful ...
  • that the plumber was able to repair the leak before there was too much water damage
  • for the support of friends and family

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Books and Shakespeare

It looks like it's going to be another lovely day so, once the sun moves round to the back garden, I will make myself comfy on the garden bench to read and enjoy the time outdoors.

My new books arrived yesterday and tempting as it is to read them straight away, I need to wait for a few days. Dealing with the post and parcels takes ages now doesn't it? As well as the books I received a parcel containing all my medication so, gloves on, and the external packaging has gone in the wheelie bin, contents have been wiped down and have been put to one side for a few days before I put them in their correct places. Then everything the postman may have touched has been wiped down and hands washed more than once. It's become routine to do this, so much so that I wonder if this will be the norm for years to come. 

I counted the Harry Potter books for the April theme in the reading challenge, which was 'young adult' - they're not strictly in the young adult genre but close enough for me! The May theme is science fiction but I don't have anything that comes close. I was planning to borrow books 2 and 3 in the Silo series by Hugh Howey from the library but that's no longer possible so I need to rethink. For today, I'll pick something for the bookcase - I have plenty of choice for crime, fantasy, or non fiction books, so it'll probably be fantasy.

Tonight I'll be watching the National Theatre's Twelfth Night. It's not my favourite Shakespeare play but Tamsin Greig is playing the Malvolio role (described as Malvolia, a transformed Malvolio) so I'm interested to see how it impacts on the play.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden
  • around the house: as little as possible!
  • social: blogging, phone calls with friends
  • fun: piano practice, reading, watch Twelfth Night

Oh, I did okay in the choir quiz ... 56 out of 78!

Friday, 24 April 2020

The Weekend Starts Today

I'm having an easy-ish day today. The downstairs floors have to be done without fail (one carpet to hoover and the hard flooring to be washed) but that's all as far as housework is concerned. The weekend will start as soon as that's done!

I want to spend most of the day working on my family tree - I've reached an interesting stage in my research. Well it's all interesting, but I have been able to clarify key information on an individual who was proving to be a bit of a mystery character, and an added bonus is that I have made contact with a distant cousin who has the same person in her family tree. We are sharing information so I'm hopeful that will open up some new lines of research.

We did the online quiz last night, just myself and L as J had to work, and we didn't do too well this time. Our final score was 27 out of 50, mainly due to our poor performance on the sport and geography rounds. It's the choir quiz tonight and then I'll watch 'Love Never Dies', the sequel to Phantom of the Opera. I read today that Broadway will be releasing their shows worldwide for free so I've signed up for the newsletter although there's no indication yet of when this will happen.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden
  • around the house: downstairs floors
  • social: blogging, choir quiz
  • fun: jigsaw puzzle, family tree research, watching Love Never Dies

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Shopping, Reorganising, and Cooking

Maggie mentioned buying toiletries and household cleaners from Amazon to leave the supermarket order purely for food items. Brilliant idea, so I thought I'd do the same ... but in the meantime had been told that Poundland do home deliveries. There's a clue in the name so I've been able to order all the toiletries I use, buying my usual brand but at much cheaper prices. I've also ordered the majority of household cleaning products I need, again at a big saving though not my usual brands. The only thing I couldn't get is washing liquid and conditioner combined so will add that to the next supermarket order. With Poundland there is a minimum order value of £30 so I may have made up that value with chocolate bars!!

I used the last of my Christmas and birthday tokens and ordered three books for myself, and solved the problem of a lack of male birthday cards in my stash by ordering one from Moonpig to be sent directly to my brother-in-law for next week. All the rest of the birthdays this year are for the females, children and adults, but I have a good selection of cards so am prepared. I always give the children money so, if movement is still restricted, I will be able to gift them via bank transfer or I still have plenty of time to get hold of some cash.

I finished sorting out the kitchen cupboards, then cooked up some portions of curry for the freezer. I found some fish pieces in the freezer which really need to be used up so, now I have some potatoes, will make fish pies and shepherds pies today and while they are cooking I'll roast a selection of veg for the freezer as well.

I want to take some time to look over my budget. I haven't overspent but have bought things earlier than normal and also need to account for the plumber's bill. I'm definitely spending less overall since the lockdown started and the majority of entertainment is free or at a much reduced price. It'll be interesting to see how much I've saved.

On one of the local community sites there was an enquiry asking for recommendations for someone to keep their garden tidy, which got over twenty responses. I will follow up on those and see if I can get someone to help with my garden. From the responses it seems that quite a few gardeners are still working as they are able to follow the need for social distancing. 

I watched the National Theatre's Treasure Island yesterday afternoon (very good) and the Les Miserables Staged Concert in the evening (absolutely brilliant!). This afternoon plan I to relax, play some online games and fit in some more research on the family tree. Tonight it's the online quiz with J and L. 

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden
  • around the house: probably nothing!
  • social: blogging, virtual quiz with J and L
  • fun: online games, family tree research

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

House Repairs and Getting Organised

The leak has been repaired and the new kitchen tap fitted. It all took ages! After he'd left I wiped down all the door handles, and the bathroom and kitchen units where he'd been working, by which time it was well past lunch and I was hungry and headachy. I didn't get round to doing any more reorganising in the kitchen so will carry on with that today.

Julie called round with the potatoes she'd bought for me and we had a long chat - she sat in her car and I sat in my doorway! She is shopping for her mum so has to come this way every week and we agreed that she'll try to get any bits and pieces I may need at the same time but I'll still buy my main shop via supermarket delivery. I was lucky enough to book another supermarket delivery for May 11th but will need to top up the fresh fruit and veg before then. I spent the afternoon tweaking my meal plans, looking for a couple of new recipes, and updating my list of the food I have in the house. 

I didn't get round to watching Les Miserables last night as the headache didn't really go after I'd eaten at lunchtime and the stiff neck I'd woken with hadn't improved at all either, so I had a soak in the bath and an early night. I feel fine today and will watch it later on.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden
  • around the house: continue rearranging kitchen cupboards, 
  • social: blogging, phone calls to friends
  • fun: jigsaw puzzle, Les Miserables

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Organising and Musicals

I didn't do any of the planned cooking yesterday as I didn't want to start it until the plumber had been and gone and he didn't make it! He's arranged to be here by 9 am so the leak at least will be sorted today. 

What I did instead of the cooking was to start sorting out the kitchen cupboards. Once I've finished the task, the majority of the plastic boxes I use for freezing will be stored in a large storage box in the understairs cupboard with just a handful in one kitchen cupboard for easy access. Removing all the plastic boxes frees up about a quarter of the cupboard storage in the kitchen (my kitchen is tiny!) so the next stage will be to rearrange the food storage. It's ended up being a bigger job than I'd thought so I'll do that extra bit and wipe all the cupboards inside and out while I'm at it. I won't do the bulk cooking now until I finish rearranging the cupboards.

In between there is a lot of shredding to do now I have gone through the pile of papers I found in the music room. The kerbside collection which includes the shredded paper is tomorrow so I want to get it done and out of the way today.

The All Star Staged Concert of Les Miserables is available online for £9.99 from today, raising money for the NHS, so guess what I'll be watching tonight! Also, Andrew Lloyd Webber announced that the musical being released on Friday is Love Never Dies, the sequel to Phantom, so I have that to look forward to as well.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden
  • around the house: continue rearranging kitchen cupboards, shredding
  • social: blogging, phone calls to friends
  • fun: jigsaw puzzle, Les Miserables

Monday, 20 April 2020

Food Deliveries, Cooking, and Water Leaks

Yesterday's big event was the long awaited supermarket delivery. They delivered everything I'd ordered with the exception of potatoes, which is a shame because I saw an interesting potato curry recipe on the TV while I was waiting and now will have to wait to make it. Julie is shopping today and has offered to get some for me if she can, which will help with sorting out some decent meals.  Deliveries are currently limited to a maximum of 80 items, so although everything I bought is much needed, it's not the variety I'd normally buy. I need to puzzle out how to rectify that in the future as I think the lock-down will continue for longer than the current extension of three weeks.

Today's culinary efforts are chicken and chickpea curry, lentil curry, fritatta, and some sort of pasta bake. Everything will be portioned and frozen. I also need to think about replacing my stock of tiny portions of the foods I can digest easily after a migraine as I noticed they are getting low. These are mostly 150 ml of blended soups that are fairly low on seasoning - bland at any other time but always help the final stage of recovery. I freeze these in thin layers which, when broken into flakes, reheat quickly in the microwave.

I'm waiting to hear back from the plumber. There is a leak in the family bathroom which I noticed yesterday as it's stained the ceiling in the downstairs hall immediately below the bathroom sink. I'm hoping it can be repaired without having to remove the cupboard installed in front of the pipes - there is an inspection hatch but I don't know if it's big enough. The kitchen tap also needs replacing, which he already knows about, and as I have already bought the replacement tap I will ask him to install that at the same time.

It's choir rehearsal tonight and then I will choose a film or start watching a TV series to finish off the evening.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: open the windows to air the house
  • around the house: cooking for the freezer
  • social: choir practice
  • fun: jigsaw puzzle, reading, listening to music

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Weekly Reflections

Reasons to be cheerful ...
  • rain ... the garden needed it!
  • Visits to the theatre and fun quizzes via Zoom
  • a phone call from Little Misses C and H
  • a long chat with Julie
  • seeing the blossom on neighbour's trees
  • joining in with the online activities organised by the groups I belong to, and keeping in touch with everyone in these groups

I am grateful ...
  • for the technology that allows me to 'see' my family and friends during this strange time
  • for online purchasing and non-contact deliveries
  • central heating and hot water when it's needed
  • that my mum taught me to cook from scratch

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Quizzes, Puzzles and Musicals

One of my neighbours has organised a quiz for all the houses in the Close. It's a puzzle one along the lines of "200 P for P G in M" * but this one is based on the titles of nursery rhymes. We have until Sunday morning to complete and return it and the winning household will win a small prize.

The choir quiz was hard this week - there was an extra round with famous lines from movies but I'd only seen three of them so lost a lot of points in that round. I ended up scoring 50.5 out of 73 but didn't completely fail as the winning score was only 56. I did much better in the Harry Potter quiz once I'd found the correct event and scored 87 out of 100 ( at least I think it was out of 100 but there were so many questions where you could score more than 1 that I lost track. I'm pleased with how I got on though. 

I seems to be in the mood for puzzles at the moment. I spent time working on the jigsaw yesterday and will do the same today. I also played scrabble online with a friend and I had a go at some logic problems in one of the puzzle books. 

Today, I'm turning to musicals to amuse myself. I'll definitely be watching Phantom of the Opera this morning as it is only available for 24 hours from it's release at 7pm yesterday,  and then will probably watch Beauty and the Beast on DVD. In between, to take a break from staring at the screen, I'll do some piano practice.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: not today, it's raining!
  • around the house: nothing, it's the weekend!
  • social: phone calls to friends
  • fun: jigsaw puzzle, piano, watching Phantom of the Opera

200 Pounds for Passing Go in Monopoly" 

Friday, 17 April 2020

A Lazy Day

If bringing the wheelie bin in from the kerb counts as a productive day, then yesterday was a success! That was the only thing I did, except sort out meals and drinks. 

I've started a new jigsaw puzzle, the picture is an assortment of Roses chocolates - it'll take a while to finish but it's a pleasant enough way to pass the time.

The quiz was harder than usual and we weren't too confident of some of our answers but in the end we scored 37 out of 50, so not too bad.

Today I have to contact the optician to reschedule next week's appointment but that's the only thing on the to-do list. It's the choir quiz tonight and I've also seen a notification for a Harry Potter quiz which I may have a go at if the timings work out. The HP quiz starts immediately after the choir one so it'll depend on both quizzes running to time. It's also the release of the Phantom of the Opera musical but I may wait and watch that tomorrow.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden
  • around the house: sorting paperwork?
  • social: choir quiz
  • fun: jigsaw puzzle, family tree research, Harry Potter virtual quiz

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Yesterday and Today

In the end, yesterday turned out to be more productive than I'd expected ... not by normal standards but certainly by how I'm feeling in these strange times ... two loads of washing dried and put away, clean sheets on the bed and bedroom dusted, and kitchen bins emptied and grey wheelie bin taken to the kerb.

I sat outside for a while until an enormous sparrowhawk turned up to keep me company when I very quickly decamped indoors. I kept myself busy  during the day doing some more on the jigsaw puzzle, reading, and started back on the family tree research. I had a long chat with Julie ... B and K are both back at work, so that's good news. In the evening I watched the Repair Shop and then read until it was time for bed. All things considered, it was a good day ... and no weepy moments!

On to this morning and as soon as I go downstairs I'll throw the last of the vegetables in the slow cooker along with some lentils and stock, which will sort out one of my meals for today.  The remainder will be portioned and frozen for future meals. 

I'd like to carry on with the family tree today. It needs tidying up a bit before I start searching for additional information but I feel in the right mood to make a start. I decided that I need something I can get involved in that requires me to concentrate and this fits the bill. The time should pass quickly.

Tonight is the virtual quiz so I'll be linking up with J and L to see if we can beat last week's effort. It finishes just after 9pm so I will go on up to bed then and read until I feel sleepy.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden
  • around the house: maybe sort out kitchen cupboards?
  • social: virtual quiz with J and L
  • fun: jigsaw puzzle, family tree research

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Let's Try Again!

Yesterday started out okay but I couldn't get going and it got steadily worse from there! All I achieved from yesterday's list was to watch 'Curtains', which I enjoyed, and to do a bit of piano playing. 

I don't feel any more motivated today but I will at the very least change, wash and dry the bedding. I can make that statement with some confidence because I stripped the bed as soon as I got up and it's in the washing machine as I write this. So that's one thing to be ticked off the list today. Will I reorganise the kitchen cupboards or start work in the garden? ... your guess is as good as mine!

I don't want to let the housework and gardening go but equally, this is not the right time to push myself too hard ... the current situation caught up with me yesterday and I had a few weepy moments. There was no specific trigger for the tears, it was just about everything and nothing in particular! Please don't be too concerned. I think this was a much needed release, not a sign that a bout of depression is returning and today I feel at ease emotionally, just too lazy to do the housework or garden!

So for today, and the next few days, I will be doing whatever I fancy and if that includes housework (unlikely!) or gardening (possibly!) that's fine. 

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden
  • around the house: change bedding, laundry
  • social: blogging, and phoning friends
  • fun: jigsaw puzzle, piano, and crochet. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Organising, Garden, and Another Trip to the Theatre

The holidays are over so I want to give the house some attention. It's actually tidier than usual but I want to get back to my routine and I also have a couple of reasonably simple projects I'd like to get done. One is to reorganise some of the kitchen cupboards and the other is to finish off sorting the paperwork, which I thought I had completed but the pile of papers I found in the music room cupboard suggests I still have some work to do! I'll do one of them today, probably rearranging the kitchen as that's irritating me so the sooner I get it done, the better.

Providing it's warmer than yesterday I'll make a start in the garden but if the wind continues I'll tidy the end of the garage where all the garden equipment is stored instead. 

Late morning I've arranged to phone J and L, and then it'll be a quiet afternoon, dividing my time between crochet, piano, and a jigsaw puzzle ... and anything else that takes my fancy. Tonight I'll be watching 'Curtains', a musical starring Jason Manford, which I'm looking forward to.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: Doctor Jo's knee exercises
  • in the fresh air: time in the garden, hopefully weeding a couple of the flower beds
  • around the house: change bedding, laundry
  • social: blogging, and phoning friends
  • fun: jigsaw puzzle, piano, and crochet. 

Monday, 13 April 2020

The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window ... it's still early but it looks like it will be a beautiful day

I am thinking ... about the coronavirus, it's constantly churning away at the back of my mind. I am trying to keep myself informed by listening to the daily Downing Street briefing but am ignoring all the other news report. The news overload is both stressful and the route to depression, so I need to keep it to the bare minimum.  

I am thankful ... that close family and friends are responding positively to the current situation and are all following the lock-down advice. Two family members are classed as key workers so have an ongoing requirement to work outside of the home but are exercising sensible precautions to protect the safety of their individual households and of themselves. Three friends, sisters, work in the NHS and two of them have contracted the virus but are recovering. So far, everyone I care about is safe!

In the kitchen ... it'll be a day for using up some odds and ends of veg, so probably a batch of soup because that's nice and easy. I also want to make up some more spice mixes.

I am wearing ... a blue fluffy dressing gown - I'm sat up in bed typing this!

I am creating ... a ripple blanket. It may be finished by the end of the decade! I'm sure I'll speed up as I get used to the instructions.

I am going ... to focus on the garden this week. The forecast is for sunny days up to and including Wednesday, then three rainy days with the sunshine returning on Sunday and all of next week. If I can get all of the weeding done and tidy the patio, I will be a happy bunny. I'm assuming that the compost and bedding plants ordered from a local garden centre will not be delivered so if it does turn up it will be a bonus. In the great scheme of things, it's not really that important.

I am wondering ... how much of my supermarket order will be delivered at the end of this week. I hear reports that stocks have improved and the majority of things are now available but each time I've checked back on my order, there is an increasing list of goods that are out of stock. I will have to make a list and check back just before the deadline for changes to make the best of what is available. Serious food allergies mean that I don't usually allow substitutes of any food items but I may have to this time, but make it perfectly clear that they can't include any beef products.

I am reading ... the Harry Potter series of books, currently on book 4. Reading seems to be a struggle lately but I have enjoyed some audiobooks and have others lined up on this site. I usually enjoy the quiet of living alone but lately am finding the 'company' of another voice to be comforting.

I am watching ... lots! I've listed my viewing of films and theatre shows on the tabs above. On TV I've been binge watching the first two series of Killing Eve and have two more episodes to watch before the new series starts tomorrow, although I will probably watch that on catch up. I'd like to try another series, Dark Matter, but it's not available on Netflix in the UK so I either need to work out how to view the US Netflix (which seems to be possible) or to use Amazon Prime and watch it all during the 30 day free trial!!

I am hoping ...  that the government reports are accurate and that we will soon see statistics showing that the cases of coronavirus have plateaued or are decreasing. 

I am looking forward to ... the end of the lock-down, although I think it will continue for a couple of months at least.

I am learning ... to understand the ins and outs of algebra, and how to crochet - not at the same time, you understand!

Around the house ...  it's clean and tidy, probably the best it's been in a long time and there are no visitors to see my efforts!

I am pondering ... how quickly I've settled into the lifestyle changes that have come about as a result of the lock-down, and the positive things that I am benefiting from on a daily basis. The most important benefits are that life has slowed down for the majority of people in my life and a direct result of this is that everyone is making more effort to keep in touch. I am now proficient in setting up Zoom meetings or WhatsApp Video calls and the best thing is that people are taking the time to talk properly and nobody has had to end the call because they have to rush off to do something else. Everybody has expressed the hope that this continues once the lock-down is lifted, but I wonder if it will be possible .... 

One of my favourite things ... the dawn chorus giving a cheerful, if noisy, start to the day.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... well, I won't be going out at all! During the days I'll divide my time between crochet, algebra, gardening, music practice, and reading. The evenings will see me at the theatre, quizzing with friends, or at choir practice ... 

  • Tuesday will be 'Curtains', a musical comedy starring Jason Manford,
  • Wednesday will be the National Theatre's Jane Eyre, 
  • Thursday will be the online quiz with J and L, 
  • Friday will be the online choir quiz followed by whichever musical Andrew Lloyd Webber releases, 
  • Saturday will be the National Theatre's Treasure Island, 
  • Sunday will be whichever ballet I choose, and 
  • Monday will be the online choir practice.
A peek into my day ... a morning in the kitchen and the garden, an afternoon taking some photos, and an evening at the online choir practice. This choir session is a bonus one as we wouldn't normally meet during the Easter holiday but for some reason, none of us had anything better to do so we will be practicing! This time we are working on Brave, Golden Slumbers, and YMCA!

A quote for today ... "Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives", the UK Government's message to the nation to do their part in the fight against coronavirus