Sunday, 31 May 2020

Lifestyle Goals | Monthly Review for May 2020

Here is my update for May, stating my goals and the bullet-pointed task list that I'll tackle during the month to help achieve the goal. Last month's ratings are shown in black and the start of the current month is shown in yellow.

My goal is to achieve a lifestyle where I can honestly say that I LIVE A FULFILLED LIFE [8][8]To achieve this I want to focus on the sub-goals shown in bold text. 

These are the sub-goals where I have achieved the maximum rating. Each sub-goal still requires a degree of effort to maintain that rating but I feel I have developed the habits to support this.
  • I am financially secure and am completely debt free [10][10]
  • I take an active role in my local community, and have strong bonds with family and friends [10][10]
  • My home is always clean and tidy [10][10]
  • I have a positive outlook on life and am benefiting by avoiding bouts of depression and keeping my emotional well being at a healthy level [10][10]

I have revised my ratings on the following sub-goal:
  • I strive to remove my attachment to material things [8.5][9] I have sorted a huge pile of items that can be donated once the charity shops reopen or taken to the recycling yard. I also have a small pile of things which can be advertised on eBay as I can work out the postage at home and post in the postbox rather than visiting a post office.
  • I live life now, in the moment [8][8.5]  I'm getting so much better at focusing on a single activity and giving my full concentration to whatever I have chosen to do. Even though these are simple everyday things, I am much more contented as a result and feeling happy with my lot!

The ratings haven't changed for the following sub goals and are the ones that still require improvement. 

  • I eat sensibly and healthily and am benefiting by losing weight and experiencing increased energy levels [9][9] I've lost some weight but nowhere near enough and I want to get back in the habit of eating when I'm hungry rather than eating just because the clock says it's time. 
  • I make best use of my time to lead a full and productive life [8][8] Nothing has got worse but I haven't improved either. It's partly because, now I can't go to the clubs or meet friends, I have too much time to fill every day. It doesn't feel like a priority at the moment as things are getting done ... eventually!
  • My garden is always tidy and presentable [6][6] The garden is a complete mess but D will be starting work on the 9th so this rating should increase to reflect an improvement at the end of the month.
  • I lead an active life, benefiting from increased fitness and improvements in my general health [7][7] This is the aspect of life that I am most concerned about so will be the focus goal for June.  I can exercise (with caution) so have to get back to the discipline of daily exercise.

My focus word for 2020 is simplify and I am starting by working my way through the house to remove excess, unused, and unwanted items. My SMART tasks (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) are all to do with simplifying life: 

My SMART tasks for May were:
  1. Monitor the food situation at home and meal plan to make best use of supplies - Ongoing
  2. Continue looking for someone to help with the garden - ACHIEVED
  3. Decide on a filing system for the digital photo files and start tagging and ordering the individual files - ACHIEVED
  4. Introduce a weekday schedule (suitable for the lock-down restrictions) - ACHIEVED
  5. Sort and tidy the top shelves in the biggest music cupboard - ACHIEVED

My SMART tasks for June are:
  1. Monitor the food situation at home and meal plan to make best use of supplies  - ongoing
  2. Complete the photo file organisation - by 30th June 2020
  3. Remove at least 20 items (sell, dispose or recycle) - by 30th June 2020
  4. Order additional pots for the garden - by 30th June 2020
  5. A minimum of 15 minutes of exercise - Daily

Weekly Reflections

Reasons to be cheerful ...
  • getting a supermarket delivery at short notice so fresh fruit and veg is back on the menu
  • trying new recipes
  • watching Hairspray the Musical for the first, but not the last, time. 
  • experiencing the pleasure of losing myself to the worlds created in books
  • coming up with ideas for the garden. To call it 'planning' suggests that this is organised but it's not - I just have a list of plants I like and ideas for features that will look good and make maintenance easier.
  • chatting with friends and family
  • a couple of short walks around the block 
  • having music in some form every day; playing, singing, listening, watching musicals. It all keeps me happy!

I am grateful ...
  • for antibiotics and eye ointment!
  • to whoever invented electric fans!

Saturday, 30 May 2020

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Saturday 30th May 2020


Outside my window ... it's a beautiful sunny day. Blue sky, fluffy white clouds .... and someone has a bonfire so I can't have the windows open!

I am thinking ... about the latest changes in the easing of the coronavirus lockdown. My great niece, Miss C, is in year 6 so is one of the children who has to return to school on Monday. I don't know what her parents have decided about this or whether they plan to wait until September, but I am worried for the strain it puts on her if she does go back - she is old enough to have an understanding of the situation and the risks and I know she will be anxious about catching the virus and infecting her family. I understand that the education side of things is important but don't think a return this early is worth the impact it will have on her mental health.

I am thankful ... that I have been able to continue with the decluttering. It's so close to the end that I don't want to stop now. 

In the kitchen ... I will be cooking a batch of bolognese sauce and freezing the extra portions. There is room in the freezer but I will have to do a bit of tidying to make that space evident!

I am wearing ... red t-shirt, black and red skirt. No bra - that's been the best outcome of the lockdown!

I am creating ... some origami flowers. Actually, I will qualify that statement .... I am trying to create some origami flowers to brighten up the living room. I thought I'd use up some of my crafting papers rather than buy new but the pretty coloured ones are too thick, so it's not going too well. I may have to rethink!

I am going ... to make a start on the SPSH next week. I have ideas for most of the prompts and should be able to take these photos in the home and garden. I still need to come up with ideas for about a third of the list so have expanded my search area to include the marina, as that should be a low risk place to visit with my camera.

I am wondering ... how long it'll be before a stricter lock down is imposed. The second stage of the easing starts on Monday but already some people seem to have their own interpretation of the new rules which result in mixing closely with more people than is permitted. Worryingly, I have seen some interviews with medical experts who have advised that the UK is 'sailing very close to the wind' with the speed and approach to easing the lock-down so a second spike seems in inevitable.

I am reading ... yes, that statement is true and I am back to reading properly and once again experiencing the pleasure of losing myself in the story. The genre for the Diversify Your Reading Challenge for June is non-fiction but I haven't chosen what I'll read yet. I can count the cookery books and gardening books I'm dipping into if necessary but I'd like to find a non-fiction book to read through, although there is nothing in the bookcase so I'll have to look for something (cheap!) for the Kindle.

I am watching ... much more TV than normal. I sometimes switch the TV on during the day just to hear other people speaking and this has resulted in discovering some new and enjoyable programmes. I discovered Monty Don's 'Big Dreams Small Spaces', and have enjoyed the all Chelsea Flower Show programmes. I try to catch Richard Osman's House of Games every day even though they are currently all repeats. I watch The Shows Must Go On release every week, which was Hairspray Live! this time, and also keep an eye on releases from the Bristol Old Vic, the Royal Ballet, and the National Theatre. Today I'll watch the Bristol Old Vic's screening of the Messiah which I tried to watch last night but couldn't get it to work properly. The Royal Ballet have released 'The Cellist' which I saw earlier this year but may watch again while I have the opportunity as it is absolutely beautiful ... it's the story of Jacqueline Du PrĂ©.  

I am hoping ...  that the local National Trust car parks reopen soon. I'd like to drive out to Avebury as there's plenty of space to keep it a low risk activity but it's a tiny village with nowhere to park if the NT car park is closed. I'm also hoping that Longleat allow access to Heaven's Gate and Shearwater soon as they will be good low risk places to visit as well. (note: I have seen photos on Facebook of people visiting Heaven's Gate and Shearwater but the official line is that access is not permitted so I am adhering to that)

I am looking forward to ... D, the gardener, starting work on the 9th June. She's tidying up the front garden first and will be here once a fortnight (I think) so it's going to take a while to get on top of things but it will be officially a 'work in progress' once she starts and I'm happy with that. I will be able to discuss some of my ideas with her and maybe get some things ordered - I've been looking at external pots with water reservoirs, which is one of the things I want to discuss with her, as this will make it easier to go away for short breaks in the future and not have to worry about the watering. It will also make the regular watering much easier as well which, taking into account the number of pots I will have, is important. If any of you have used the pots with water reservoirs I'll be interested to hear what you think of them please.

I am learning ... how important the little things in life are. Actually, I am constantly being reminded of it but it's something I've known for ages.

Around the house ...  it's clean and tidy but now has that lived in look rather than looking like a showroom! I still love the choices I made when I had the room redecorated and bought the new furniture, carpets and curtain ... it's home! 

I am pondering ... nothing really! I don't know the long term plan for the country coming out of lock-down so have no idea when normal life will resume, except that I can't see how it will be any time this year. I'm just concentrating on staying content and enjoying my days in isolation with only virtual contact with friends and family. The reality is that long term plans aren't happening, although I do know that my first long trip when it is safe, will be to see the sea again. 

One of my favourite things ... the 'pop' when you puncture the seal on a new jar of coffee.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... a drive out to Westbury White Horse (about 3 miles away), watch a Matthew Bourne ballet, choir practice, quizzes, Zoom afternoon coffee and cakes with J and L. 
  • Sunday will be whichever ballet I choose,
  • Monday will be the online choir practice,
  • Tuesday will be a drive to the White Horse and a Zoom meet up with J and L,
  • Wednesday will be a walk around the marina (5 minutes away), 
  • Thursday will be the online quiz with J and L, 
  • Friday will be the online choir quiz followed by whichever musical is released, 
  • Saturday will be the street quiz followed by a Netflix film. 
A peek into my day ... a morning in the kitchen and an afternoon reading. This evening I'll choose a couple of Netflix films.

A quote for today ... "Stay Positive. Better days are on their way", Unknown.

Friday, 29 May 2020


There are more signs that life is picking up, with leaflets drops from local businesses advertising their services and charity donation bags for kerbside collections posted through the letter box. Julie went back to work yesterday, and my nephew will be alternating between working at home and being on site. I feel a bit anxious about the changes and strangely, am feeling left out of things. I think it's because my daily routine won't be changing - there's no mention at all about when clubs and larger gatherings will be permitted, so I can't see an end to the current situation for myself. I know I am being contrary because even if clubs were allowed to restart I very much doubt that I'd feel confident about being involved yet?

I watched a new gardening programme yesterday, one of those happy discoveries found flicking through the channels. It features the wonderful Monty Don helping two families to design and create their dream gardens and as always with Monty there were plenty of tips and advice. One of the featured garden was a container garden which has given me loads of ideas and I'm busy listing plants and features etc. I like ready to discuss with D when she is here on the 9th. I can't remember what the programme is called but it's on BBC2 and this was the first in a series of six.

The meds are working their magic and I am feeling slightly better so will carry on with the photo files project this morning. A local IT company has asked for more old laptops which they then refurbish and donate to children who need them to support their education at home. I'm too late for this week but have contacted them to collect the three I can donate next week. I have lots of computer cables going spare so I will donate those as well, all of which means that another pile of stuff will be leaving the house by next Friday.

I'm reading Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart, which was recommended by the Richard and Judy book group. I started it yesterday and was hooked from page one so will be indulging in an afternoon of reading in the cool of the living room. This room is always noticeably cooler than the rest of the house so it comes into its own on hot days and there's always the fan if needed.

It's the choir quiz tonight and I'll hopefully watch the Bristol Old Vic's release of Messiah. afterwards, and then have an early-ish night. 

Thursday, 28 May 2020


I heard from G, my hairdresser, yesterday. She is hoping to resume work in July and, as well as notifying all of her customers, provided details of how she will operate to reduce as much as possible any risk of cross contamination between the houses she visits. One option, and the one I have opted for as I think it's the best, is to pay for my own gown, sectioning clips and comb as she won't be able to disinfect these between customers: I will keep these myself and she will disinfect the scissors each time she finishes a haircut (she does this anyway). She's obviously going to wear a mask as well. I paid for the goodies but don't know if I will want to have the close contact of a haircut, even wearing masks, in July ... it depends in part on the advice for high risk adults when the shielding date is up in June.

I've been sorted out by the surgery and now have all the ointment and tablets I need to get through the hay fever season ... the chemist delivered everything by midday, which was brilliant service. 

It's the quiz with J and L tonight. Well, it's supposed to be but at the moment I'm wondering whether I feel up to it, but it doesn't start until 8pm so a day of rest and meds should turn that round. I think it'll be another pamper day, maybe reading or watching a film, but I will drag myself away from the sofa to bring the wheelie bin in once it has been emptied!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

2020 Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt

The 2020  Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt starts on Monday June 1st. It's organised by Mary-Lou at Patio Postcard and she announced the list today ... I have copied her post below but please leave a comment on her blog if you are planning to join in.


Welcome to the 2020 Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt (SPSH) - the virus edition.

There's some searches for at home, close to home or away from home.  I hope some encourage you to think outside of  the box & some that may require an open eye to find.   

One rule ...  you use photos found between June 1st & September 30th of 2020, other than that, it's meant for fun.

There is no formal link in, but I'll connect everyone within a post. First check in/link up will be Tuesday June 30th.  

Find some or find all,  I hope everyone has fun with it.

  1. A favourite piece of jewelry
  2. Something with or in a knot
  3. Something with the colours of your country’s flag
  4. A toy you play with
  5. Something you have more than one of
  6. Something in the shape of a triangle
  7. Something that displays a rule(s)
  8. A leaf longer than your hand
  9. Something that starts with the initial of your name (first or last)
  10. Something smaller than a paper clip
  11. Something you need to throw away
  12. Something that holds your favourite beverage
  13. A rubber band/elastic in use
  14. Something with wheels
  15. Something inherited
  16. Something with rough texture
  17. Something naturally round
  18. Something that can go in the water
  19. A stone/rock/pebble with some colour in it
  20. Something with the number 7 in it

Alt A. An animal statue
Alt B. Something heavier than your shoe
Alt C. Something with four sides


Even from the confines of my home I'm aware that life is changing following the relaxing of the lock-down restrictions. I see more people passing by on the street and there are definitely more cars about. Families with young children in the Close are leaving their homes more frequently, still in family groups and observing social distancing, but are now out for much longer and for three or four times a day. All of them are on foot, so they are not travelling to exercise, and one family carry an enormous canoe with them so I assume they are heading to the canal for their fun. I'm told that 'everyone' in this area is observing the two metre rule, so it's 'safe enough', although photos on Facebook and in the papers seem to suggest otherwise. 

Then yesterday the government announced that stage two of the easing of lockdown will begin in June, which is the phased return to school for certain year groups and the re-opening of some non-essential retail businesses. But ... their strategy is supposed to be underpinned by the tracking and tracing system which is still in testing and training for staff on the tracing side of things still hasn't been completed. It feels like they are racing ahead and will prop up their systems after the event instead of having them in place and working properly beforehand. It scares me.

I'm not feeling too well today. The underlying reason is hay fever which has triggered earache and severe sinus pain, and I think I may have conjunctivitis (rather than just itchy eyes). I'll contact the surgery when they open and hopefully get a prescription to help. So it's going to be a pamper day, no housework, just sleep if I need to or listen to an audiobook if not.

One thing to look forward to is The Shows Must Go On offering for this weekend, which is Hairspray the Musical. I know some of the music as I've played band arrangements of some of the songs but I've never seen the show so this will be a real treat.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020


I spent a good part of yesterday sneezing and generally feeling pathetic and it doesn't look like today is going to be any better. It's hay fever season! I don't usually suffer this early and my worst period is normally July but this year nothing seems to be normal, does it? It's the itchy eyes that bother me the most so I'm staying inside today to see if that helps. I don't have anything to take as I usually have something from the GP for it, so I may need to ask for a prescription.

The grocery delivery arrived as promised and only the yeast was missing so I still can't make any bread which is disappointing, but I do have plenty of fresh fruit and veg so will be living on salads for a few days, which is perfect for the weather we are having. Because the online deliveries are restricted to 80 items and I was only really wanting fruit and veg I took the opportunity to add some of the items I don't have space for on my monthly order so I now have all the ingredients I need  to try out some new recipes later in the week.

In between sneezing and feeling pathetic I had my nose stuck in a book and reading that one, and starting another, was the sum total of my efforts yesterday. Today I've done a bit better and have hoovered and dusted the living room, and will clean the downstairs cloakroom when I've finished this post. I've also stripped my bed and the first load is in the washing machine. I'm hoping to get all the washing done and out of the way today.

Apart from those bits of housework I hope to do some more photo sorting. I'm at the easy, but time consuming, stage of renaming and tagging image files so nothing too demanding. I'm about halfway through the family and friends folders and these are the only ones I plan to rename as these are the ones of interest to other people in the future. I've brought the laptop downstairs and have set it up on the dining table so I can work on it when I'm waiting for something to be ready in the kitchen. 

Most of my time will be spent reading. I'm part way through Needlemouse by Jane O'Connor, which is okay but hasn't really grabbed my attention so far. I'm reading it on my Kindle and it's quite a short book so will finish it, but am seriously hoping that it livens up. I'll choose a proper book from the bookcase for my next read - maybe Once Upon A River by Diane Settlefield, or The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: stretching exercises
  • in the fresh air: open the windows to air the house 
  • around the house: living room, cloakroom, and laundry
  • achievement: renaming photo files
  • social: blogging, phone calls to family and friends
  • fun: reading

Monday, 25 May 2020

Me On Monday

After a quiet weekend, Monday finds me ...

... slightly confused by the latest information on the status of coronavirus locally. I've been deliberately ignoring the daily media reports, opting to check weekly but am now sort of wishing that I hadn't bothered. The local information is that this area, the South West, has the lowest number of cases and fewer deaths than any other region in the UK, which is excellent news and consistent with what's been reported all along. Strangely, however, the R number (the reproduction rate of the virus) for this area is reported as being the highest in the UK, which doesn't seem to make sense.

... planning some mood boosters. The two recent outside trips made a big difference to my mood so I am trying to come up with ideas for occasional activities to keep me feeling upbeat. Although I think the occasional drive out or a short walk locally is relatively risk free, the bottom line is that I am still supposed to be self isolating so I need to come up with ideas for mood boosters at home ... I'm thinking maybe weekly, but I don't know what will work yet.

... surprised to get a supermarket home delivery slot. I looked online yesterday on the off chance as I'm out of salad, fruit and fresh vegetables and picked up a slot for delivery between 9 am and 10 am today. 

... arranging a Zoom meeting with my niece, B. She is interested in the family tree but obviously can't come round so I am going to attempt sharing my laptop screen via Zoom and talk her through the research.

... over the moon that my enthusiasm for reading has returned. For most of this year I've mostly been reading magazine articles as I was finding it difficult to concentrate on anything longer, and the few novels I'd read had been a struggle. I don't know what's changed but I spent yesterday with my nose in a book and completely lost myself in the story.

... looking forward to choir practice tonight. M announced yesterday that she may try to organise a couple of outdoor, socially distanced, singing sessions sometime during the summer. It'll be brilliant if she can but I'm not getting too excited about it until I know where it is going to be and how many people will be involved.

It's a bank holiday today but I haven't arranged anything special. I'll be staying at home as I think there may be more people out and about today and will save my weekly excursion until later in the week. I hope you all have a lovely day.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Weekly Reflections

Reasons to be cheerful ...
  • finally getting the roof repairs completed
  • my first drive out in the car, venturing out of home for the first time since lockdown started
  • Zoom chat with J and L
  • another leaf appearing on the magnolia ... it now has two leaves!
  • quizzing with J and L, plus the choir quiz and the street quiz
  • completing tasks which have been ongoing for months ... several things have been ticked off of the Big List
  • a whole week of sunny days

I am grateful ...
  • for the procedures in place which allow me to have a telephone consultation with my GP
  • that my family and friends continue to be free of the coronavirus. 
  • for the Internet and how it reduces the feelings of isolation by enabling me to keep in contact with everyone

Saturday, 23 May 2020


I have a feeling that it's going to be a lazy day. I didn't wake up until just after 9 am and have no desire to do anything, so ... I'm not going to!

I thought the choir quiz was more difficult last night - I managed to get 58 out of a possible 72, so not too bad! I watched The Sound of Music afterwards and it was delightful. I really liked this production and the way they changed from one scene to the next but the film version starring Julie Andrews is still my favourite!

I think today will be taken up with reading, jigsaw (although I'm doing the sky and it's hard, so we'll see), and watching a ballet or a musical if I can find one. 

Friday, 22 May 2020


I spoke to my GP yesterday and got the reassurance I wanted, which is that it's unlikely that I'm risking further damage to the joint so I can exercise when I want and rest if the pain is too bad. So I went out for a short walk this first thing this morning, just around the village, which cheered up the start of my day.

I've decided that, if I am going to go out and about in the car, I need to be prepared with a face mask and disposable gloves. I don't intend to meet up with anyone or to go where there is a possibility of crowds, but I will need to go to the garage so it's better to have them than not. I don't have any suitable fabric to make my own face mask so have ordered a mask and the gloves online. 

The recycling yard is now open but only offering a restricted service. Only one person is allowed in each car and you are only permitted to take things that you cannot dispose of safely at home. I'm not entirely sure what items you can take but the majority of the things I have set aside for disposal can wait safely in the garage until the normal service is resumed. Starting next month I will have a load of garden waste to dispose of so, although I think the recycling yard may accept it, I have decided to pay for the fortnightly kerbside collection for the next year. It works out at less than £1 a week and will be much easier all round. This is another thing I can tick off the list!

We had a good laugh at the quiz last night, ending up with a score of 41 out of 50, one of our best scores so far. It's the choir quiz tonight and I'll watch the Sound of Music afterwards, which is this week's free musical. As for the rest of the day, for the first time in ages I am enjoying curling up and losing myself in a book so that's my plan for the day!

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: knee strengthening exercises, a short walk
  • in the fresh air: open the windows to air the house 
  • around the house: organise freezer food for next week
  • achievement: nothing today
  • social: blogging, choir quiz
  • fun: reading, watch The Sound of Music (stage show)

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Having A Pottering Sort Of Day

I don't have any housework on the list for today so will spend a couple of hours this morning pottering about. I know I have to tidy up the board games because I knocked them out of the cupboard last night when I was looking for a new jigsaw and I need to put all the pieces back in the correct boxes. It shouldn't take too long, she say's hopefully! There's some admin to bring up to date and a few odd jobs I'd like to get out of the way. Then I'll spend the rest of the morning working on the photo organising.

Pottering will continue this afternoon but this time flitting between fun things. It's most likely to be piano, jigsaw, and reading, but could be anything ... I'll see what I feel like. Tonight it's the online quiz with L and J, and afterwards I'll choose a film to watch. 

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: nothing
  • in the fresh air: open the windows to air the house 
  • around the house: admin, bits and bobs
  • achievement: continue sorting through the files from my old laptop 
  • social: blogging, quiz with J and L
  • fun: reading, piano, jigsaw puzzle

Wednesday, 20 May 2020


It's just after 9 am and all my chores are done for the day ... sometimes it's worth getting up early! I've just washed the downstairs floors and have settled in the living room to write this post while they dry.

Yesterday, in terms of the weather, was a bit disappointing as it was too breezy to sit out - I kept getting grit in my eye so abandoned the idea and stayed indoors. The breeze was whipping the plants around so photographing any if the flowers just wasn't going to happen either. Let's hope today is better!

I've reached the end of the first stage of sorting the digital photos so I could stop now if I wanted to. All the files are in one filing system on my laptop and I have cleared the old laptops and put them in the garage ready to be donated. I am going to carry on though, so now have to decide what I want do do with all the digital photos. I've already deleted any duplicates but need to decide whether I want to keep every single photo - I have so many photos taken specifically for scavenger hunts and I think most of them can go. The ones I used are on the blog and I can't see the point of keeping the ones I rejected at the time as I never look at them. There are a few which are 'good' photos rather than snaps so they will be staying but the rest will probably go ... assuming I'm brave enough to press the button! I'll work on the family and friends folder next as I definitely want to keep them so will l start labelling and tagging them to make searching easier in the future.

I'll do some work on the photos next and then move outside for part of the afternoon. It's supposed to be the hottest day this week so I don't know how long I'll last in the sun before I will! I've been spending my time reading a selection of articles to do with family history research but I started a promising novel yesterday and am itching to carry on with that - 'Haven't They Grown' by Sophie Hannah.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: nothing
  • in the fresh air: open the windows to air the house 
  • around the house: kitchen and dining room plus wash floors downstairs 
  • achievement: continue sorting through the files from my old laptop 
  • social: blogging, phone calls to family and friends
  • fun: reading, piano, watch a film

Tuesday, 19 May 2020


I am happy to report that yesterday can be marked down as a successful day. I arranged a GP telephone consultation for a few days time with no hassle at all - I didn't even need to give my life story to the receptionist!

I didn't get round to cancelling the roofer as he turned up to do the work so I just went with the flow and the lead flashing is now fixed back in place, sealed and watertight. That's one less thing to worry about and one more task ticked off the list. 

I had to move the car off the drive for the roofer so once he'd left I took off for a long-ish drive. I didn't stop for a walk, but drove around for 30 minutes or so with the windows down and the radio on ... and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Of course it's not all plain sailing as there are two warning lights on - one to say it's overdue for the annual service, which was due last month, and as I turned into my Close the tyre pressure warning came on so I will need to check the pressures next time I take the car out. The service can wait!

The drive out, and the pleasure of doing something 'normal' for a change has raised my spirits and I woke today feeling much better emotionally. I'm not exercising until I have spoken to my doctor so this morning is set aside for cleaning the bathrooms and moving some things to the garage.

If it's as warm as it was yesterday I'll eat all my meals outside and enjoy the sunshine while I can. Hopefully I'll find something interesting to photograph while I'm out there but if not, I will lose myself in a book.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: nothing
  • in the fresh air: sitting out on the patio 
  • around the house: bathroom cleaning duties
  • achievement: continue sorting through the files from my old laptop 
  • social: blogging, Zoom chat with L and J
  • fun: calligraphy, photography

Monday, 18 May 2020

Me On Monday ...

... is feeling relaxed and rested after a quiet weekend, and planning a few things for the week. I'd like to tweak the rhythm of my days, going back to doing exercise and any chores in the morning to leave the remainder of the day for whatever takes my fancy.

So, looking at this week I have a short list of must do tasks, which include ...

... contacting my GP surgery to arrange for a telephone consultation. I need some help with pain control and also want to discuss the recurring knee problem.

... speak to the roofer, who failed to turn up as promised. I think it's likely I will end up cancelling and finding someone else to do the work as he also let Julie down, so maybe isn't too reliable. Julie has found someone else for the work she wants done, so I will contact him instead.

... clear space in the garage for the items to be donated or disposed. The recycling yard has reopened but under the new arrangements the staff will not help you unload your car, which means I will have to wait until normal service is resumed as I won't be able to manage alone.

I'd also like to ring the changes with my choices for keeping myself amused. The days are starting to drag and a degree of boredom is creeping in so I will make the effort to do some different things. I have plenty to choose from but I think this week will include ...

... getting on with the crochet. I have everything I need so my only excuse is that I haven't been disciplined about doing this.

... resume some daily calligraphy practice. I've let this slip so will set aside 30 minutes or so every day to focus on this.

... take the car out for a drive. I still haven't decided where to go but the car needs a run out and I desperately need a change of scene. If the National Trust carpark has been reopened, a drive out to Avebury is a possibility as there is plenty of scope for social distancing there even if lots of other people have the same idea. If not, maybe a drive over to Bradford on Avon and a walk along the river.

The weather forecast is promising for the entire week so I'd like to spend as much time as possible  sitting out on the patio to enjoy the sunshine.

Today's list of things to do:
  • physical: knee strengthening exercises
  • in the fresh air: spend the afternoon sitting out on the patio 
  • around the house: dusting and hoovering
  • achievement: continue sorting through the files from my old laptop 
  • social: blogging, choir practice
  • fun: calligraphy

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Weekly Reflections

Reasons to be cheerful ...
  • remembering Ced on his birthday and celebrating that he lived, that I knew him, and that I was so lucky to spend 36 years of my life with him
  • long chats with friends 
  • chatting through the fence with my neighbours
  • finding a gardener to maintain the garden for me
  • an impromptu socially distanced picnic with L and P in my garden
  • texting with my sister
  • blue skies and fluffy white clouds
  • a gift of two magnolia plants from a neighbour
  • winning the choir quiz this week

I am grateful ...
  • for the technology that allows me to keep in touch with everyone
  • for supermarket deliveries
  • for friendships, old and new

Saturday, 16 May 2020

5 in 5 | Rediscovering My Garden

I'm late joining in with Sandie's 5 in 5 again! This is how the monthly challenge works:

1. Choose a location
2. Have your camera ready
3. Set a mobile timer for 5 minutes
4. Take as many photos as you can until the time is up
5. Choose 5 of those photos to share via the link on Sandie's blog on the 5th of the month

So, my chosen location was my back garden and here's what I found ...

... a promising sign on the newly gifted magnolia

... one of the many buds on one of the climbers

... next door's honeysuckle reaching up to the sky. It won't be long until it grows over the fence so I can enjoy it again as well.

... the only remaining clematis is flowering

... the Mexican Fleabane is providing some much needed colour.

Many thanks to Sandie for organising this challenge. It's not too late to join in if you'd like ... the more the merrier!