Saturday, 31 October 2020


Having slept through most of yesterday I am determined to stay awake and enjoy today!

If the forecast is correct it will rain until lunchtime but we're promised a dry period this afternoon so, no excuses, I will be going out for a walk. I need a good dose of fresh air so, as I'm still without my car, I'll walk along the canal ... and maybe buy some chocolate on the way back home!

My car will be sorted out next week. T, my mechanic friend, is on holiday this week but will fit mine in when he starts back next week. I don't know if he is doing it here or taking it away - he'll let me know on Monday. I haven't needed it at all but I will still be relieved to know that I have a working car on the drive. 

There's a rattle in the attic when it's windy which is loud enough to keep me awake at night, so that's the next thing that needs attention. It's a fairly recent thing and I'm hoping it's as simple as air coming in through the air brick and making something up there flap in the air flow. It's not a continuous noise and only happens on windy days so I just need to puzzle out what's causing it. Only part of the attic is boarded so if I can't see what's making the noise in that area I will need to ask my nephew for help ... I just know that I'll end up coming through the ceiling if I try to walk across the rafters so best leave it to someone competent!

Apart from the walk and my daily Italian language practice, I don't have anything else I particularly need to do so it'll be a day of reading and an evening of TV, or Netflix if there's nothing worth watching on the Freeview channels.

Friday, 30 October 2020


Yesterday ended with everything in the correct room and in it's correct place. Nothing was attempted in the way of cleaning and won't until next week now as I'm feeling tired, so it'll be an easy day with nothing planned (but there are a few very quick and simple tasks on my list if I do feel the need to do something productive).

I have a few ideas for how to keep myself occupied today. I've missed a couple of the Churches Conservation Trust's lunchtime talks so could catch up with them on their YouTube channel, or there is bound to be something to watch on Netflix. Italian practice will definitely happen, but there's also piano practice, reading, and online games .... and one or two naps!

I'm not sure whether I will bother with 'The Shows Must Go On' offering tonight. It's Midnight Tango and stars a couple of the professionals from Strictly Come Dancing, but it's not really my thing. 

Thursday, 29 October 2020


My plans to do some housework fell by the way yesterday but I am pleased with the reason for the change and with what I achieved. 

I had a bit of a Eureka moment after breakfast. I'd put the breakfast dishes to be washed up, started the first load of washing and as I turned round to face the rest of the room it suddenly hit me - the rooms needs a good clear out! There's still some things in the room which are left over from the last big decluttering and sort out, all things I want to keep but which don't belong in this particular room. So that realisation was the starting point, and as I started moving items to the correct rooms I realised that I most likely gave up last time before I finished the job - there's nothing else to be disposed of but most rooms contain items that belong in other rooms. The house always looks tidy but it's just not quite how I want it.

Hindsight being a wonderful thing, I do wonder whether this has subconsciously played on my mind and is maybe a factor leading to the depression. Anyway, I started reorganising and ended up at the 'looking worse before but gets better' stage when I'd had enough for one day. Today I'll carry on, starting in the living room where there really isn't much to do, and then move on to the dining room. As well as putting all items away I plan to clean through each rooms before moving on to the next, and I'm starting with the downstairs as there is less to sort in these rooms. I feel quite positive about doing this so that in itself makes it worth the effort.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020


Yesterday was rather mixed but thankfully the good outweighed the bad. The bad, to get it out of the way first, was that my car wouldn't start. (In my expert opinion) the battery is completely flat - I don't know if the solution is a new battery or whether it can be jump started/recharged, but there will be a relatively simple solution so I'm not losing any sleep about it. I don't need to use the car in the next few days so will hopefully get it sorted at the weekend, with help from my nephew, my neighbour, or T the mechanic - I will take the supervisory role!

The good news is much more cheerful. First off, a lovely gift from J and R as thanks for letting them store things in my garage prior to their relocation. I am now the very happy owner of four packs of Christmas cards and two large planters, a very generous way of saying thanks.

Next, the post brought a couple of the goodies I'd ordered - the paper cutting kit and another puzzle book, both of which have been put in the cupboard for now. 

The last bit of good news was that the birthday card for my niece - the card I was late posting and which had my one remaining stamp on it, second class instead of the first class it needed - arrived on time for her birthday ... breathes sigh of relief!

Today I can't ignore it any longer - I need to do some housework so it's laundry day and I'll clean the downstairs rooms as well. I still have work to do on the shopping list part of the meal planning so I'd also like to get that finished and out of the way. The laundry will take most of the day because I will have to use the tumble dryer to get it all dry, but I hope to get the cleaning part over and done with this morning so that the rest of the day can be filled with more pleasurable activities ... piano, Italian practice, reading, and watching The Show Must Go On's screening of The Wind in the Willows musical.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020


It's turning out to be a productive week with minimal effort from me. My neighbour took all of the rubbish from the garage to the skip yesterday afternoon so I have done as much as I can in sorting out the garage for now.

I didn't go to the charity shop because a bag for a kerbside collection by one of the cancer charities was posted through the door so I'm repacking my donations and that will be collected from the front of the house tomorrow. This way it is guaranteed to be taken away whereas the charity shop have the option to refuse to take it if their stocks are too high. The kerbside collection will take books so I have quite a few that can go, and I will also take the opportunity to look through my clothes and household linen and add any unwanted items to the pile.

After a couple of false starts, my Christmas preparations are coming along nicely but I won't bore you with it until December, except to say that I ordered a couple of treats yesterday and will be ordering the rest today.

The choir concert was a brilliant way to end the term. Because of the time lag between Zoom and the various computers we are all muted and can only hear M (the choir leader) so each choir member is effectively singing a duet with her although she can't hear us. It's not ideal but definitely better than no choir at all, and M is so full of personality that she never fails to make the sessions a success ... she's amazing!

Today ... I don't really know what I fancy doing. I will carry on with the meal plan and the shopping list, and also with the family tree, but apart from that it's anyone's guess. 

Monday, 26 October 2020

Me on Monday

Me on Monday is ...

... holding it together as far as the depression is concerned. The good news, although it is very early days, is that I've put the brakes on the decline for now and am still managing to attempt and complete simple tasks. I wouldn't say that my mood is improving yet but the fact that I can still make the effort to do something every day is a very good sign.

... moving some things out of the house today. I sorted out some donations to take to a charity shop and will try today at the hospice shop - they accept a maximum of five bags per people from 10 am until their quarantine room is full, so I plan to take three bags there for their 10 am opening time. This afternoon my neighbour will take a car load to the recycling yard for me, so that will clear out the majority of rubbish from the garage.

... meal planning for November/December. I have a supermarket delivery booked for the 10th November so want to work out what I need to buy for some of new recipes I'd like to try, plus it's also time to restock most of the cupboard basics.

... thinking about how to celebrate Christmas this year. I was going away but that was cancelled back in June so I need to make some decisions on what to do for a solo Christmas at home. I'll definitely spend the holiday season at home on my own even if the rumours of relaxing restrictions for the Big Day prove to be true. I'm quite at ease about being on my own but do want to make it special, so I am hunting for ideas.

... looking forward to choir tonight. It's our mega sing through of all the songs we've worked on since the start of lockdown, so practice time is over and it's our virtual concert! Christmas music starts next week 🎄🎶

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Weekly Reflections

  Reasons to be cheerful ...

  • receiving interesting parcels filled with fun activities
  • booking a supermarket delivery slot for the first week of November 
  • the relief that twisting my knee last Sunday didn't set me back for too long
  • flowers on the table (even though I had to buy them myself!)
  • making progress on the family tree
  • edible treats!
  • watching The Shows Must Go On, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of War of the Worlds
  • all the bulbs and plants are in the ground
  • a long chat with J
  • a visit to the Animal Park with L

I am grateful ...
  • for the support of friends 
  • for the technology that enables me to purchase everything I need online

Lifestyle Changes
  • Knee Strengthening (every day): achieved
  • Exercise (a minimum of 4,000 steps every day): only achieved on 6 days out if 7. We won't mention last Sunday!
  • End of Day Routines: well it's heading in the right direction! Mornings are easier than nights which is probably to do with not being active enough to be tired at bedtime.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Garden Update No 9

Apart from the fruit trees, which still haven't been despatched, the rest of the back garden is planted up and we're now playing the waiting game. There's still room for the  gladioli and Angel's Fishing Rods, which won't be sent until next year, and somehow we will have to find spaces for some Summer Snowflakes but that's it for planting in the ground. I've been given my orders to wait and see what it looks like next year before I buy anything else, when it'll be clear if there are any gaps or if things need to be moved round. 

M was here for a couple of hours yesterday, planting the alliums and spring vetch, and just generally tidying up. These are the alliums I chose ...

Allium Eros

Allium Silver Spring

Allium Christophii

Allium Oreophilum

and these are the plants ...

Spring Vetch

Knautia Macedonica

This means the winter months will be the time to decide which annuals I'd like to replace the potted bulbs that will be removed once they've flowered, and plan what I'd like to do with the front garden - I currently have no idea!  I also want to give some thought to the plants in pots on the patio - there are still some empty pots to fill and my original plan was to buy quite a few more, all different shapes and sizes to add some variety. 

Friday, 23 October 2020


It's gardening day today. M will be here this morning to plant up the four plug plants (can't remember what they are!) and the allium bulbs. I'm still waiting for notification about the fruit trees but as M will be working in my neighbour's garden and has an hour or so to spare, it makes sense for her to come to me too.

Today's task is to complete the tidy up of the laptop and phone. There's not much more to do and if I finish early enough I will make a start on the letters I want to write - all are family tree related and while none of them are urgent, it'll be good to get started on the enquiries.

It's scheduled to rain this afternoon so I won't be going out but I have arranged What'sapp calls with a couple of friends so have something to look forward to and it will break up the day. Even thought I not getting away from the house for walks and a change of scene, I am still achieving my daily steps targets so I'm pleased with that.

Tonight I will definitely be watching The Shows Must Go On's offering which this week is Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of War of the Worlds. I love the music and, more importantly, this will bring back special memories of so many evenings spent listening to the album with Ced.

Thursday, 22 October 2020


I ended up changing my plans yesterday but despite that I had a lovely relaxing day, complete with the added pleasures of cheesy loaf, chocolate, and salted caramel ice cream! I didn't quite finish the daily task and decided against going for a drive round but did do the shopping, hence the tasty treats.

I ordered a death certificate as part of my family tree research and that arrived yesterday. I'm glad I ordered it because the name of the wife wasn't the name she was known by in the family but this piece of information has helped me find some other details on my grandfather's brother, so it was money well spent. 

It's supposed to be sunny today so if that turns out to be the case I will take the opportunity to photograph the patio furniture with a view to selling it. Today's task is to finish off the filing and then find out all the stuff in the garage that's due to go to the skip; my neighbour is going to take it to the skip for me so I want to reorganise the bags to make the disposal easier at the other end. It won't take long and I'll feel better once it's done.

I need to post a birthday card so that'll definitely get done and, energy levels permitting, I'll carry on along the road and walk around the marina. The tiredness is a symptom of the depression and will correct itself in time so I'm not fretting about it and if I don't feel up to the marina walk, then that's fine. I find it helps to have an idea of what I could do even if, more often than not when I'm feeling like this, I choose not to.

I'm on a roll with the family tree so that will definitely get my attention today and today's task is to tidy up the laptop and phone, deleting unused bookmarks and documents I've saved 'just in case'. I'm not sure how long this will take and, as I still need to complete the filing from yesterday, it may end up being finished off tomorrow.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020


Yesterday is over and done with! It wasn't too bad a day as days go, but everything needed more effort than it should have done and all I really wanted to do was sleep. I did get the shredding completed between naps and it's in the wheelie bin ready for the kerbside collection today.

Today I'm waiting in for a friend who's due to arrive mid morning to store some things in the garage, and then I'd like to go for a drive round. It's supposed to rain on and off, so not the best day for walking but there are plenty of places to park up and simply enjoy the scenery. On the way home I'll do a bit of food shopping. I need eggs and fruit, but would also like a three cheese loaf if the smaller Tesco has one - I don't want to go to the big superstore - and I think a few edible treats will help cheer me up. 

Today's tasks are to get some recently received paperwork filed away, and then work on the family tree - either continuing in my attempts to find an elusive sibling of my grandfather, or I have a few emails to send to various Records Offices around the country, requesting information that's not available online.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020


First the good news ... I can load photos taken on my camera. Lady E suggest trying a different web browser which I fully intended to do but thought I'd have one last try and the problem, whatever it was, seems to have gone. 

This photo was taken yesterday and is cropped from the full sized image, which is why the focus is not as sharp as it should be. It's one of the wooded areas at the local animal park where I spent a very pleasant afternoon with L, taking photos for my monthly challenge. An added bonus was that I completed my daily steps target without even trying!

It was good to get out in the fresh air and we had a laugh. Afterwards we went to the Costa at one of the retail Parks for a hot drink and more chatting time. It's a big place and was practically empty so social distancing was easily achieved.

The evening was filled with choir practice followed by 'Who Do You Think You Are' , which fitted in nicely with my reinstated end of day routine.

Today, there is nothing planned. I need to hoover the carpets and also complete one task off my list - probably shredding as it goes in the wheelie bin that will be emptied tomorrow - and I will also do my daily Italian and piano practices. As for the rest of the day, I don't know. I have the animal photos to edit, the family tree research, and plenty to read so I'll just see what I feel like doing.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Taking Stock

Yesterday started well, turned into a bit of a pity party, but ended on a better note. Starting well was down to completing my knee exercises, followed by a good breakfast of bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes. I then started off a bottom of the fridge soup in the slow cooker which used up all the bits and pieces of veg and I 'shopped' from the garage freezer, moving the food for this week to the kitchen freezer. So far so good, and then as I walked from the kitchen to the living room I somehow twisted my knee and initially I couldn't bear any weight on it ... cue start of pity party!

I got myself to the sofa and just lost it - I cried and couldn't stop! After what seemed an age, though probably wasn't that long, I pulled myself together but was definitely suffering from a bad case of feeling sorry for myself. To cut a long story short, from previous experience I know that I have crossed the line and am undoubtedly in the early stages of depression.  I've sort of known it for a while so it's time to take action to turn it around. Acknowledging the depression is the first stage and I have a lot of experience of coping with and reversing this stage without the need for medication. I've identified a list of things I can do to try to turn things around and I will get started today while I am still able to help myself. Strangely, although I can't deny that the depression is taking over, there are still huge areas of my life that provide much contentment.

I know that some things important to my wellbeing have relaxed as a result of the lockdown and the subsequent restrictions to our everday lives, so my starting point is to re-establish these, starting with end of day and start of day routines. This involves a quick tidy round before bed, a soak in the bath and then reading for a while before turning the light out at the same time every night. The morning involves setting an alarm to wake at the same time every day, shower and dress, then downstairs for knee exercises followed by breakfast. It may sound too rigid, but it's a tried and tested method that works for me.

I've already anticipated the need to have a variety of fun activities to keep me occupied during the colder months and ordered most of the things on Saturday. The remaining two items will be ordered today. I have written a list of one-off tasks, all of which are weighing on my mind for some reason, so will attempt to tackle at least one of these task every day. Today's task is to print out some recipes - easily achieved, but something I have been putting off. I also have to phone the doctor today to make an appointment.

Oh, the yesterday ending on a better note part was down to my knee holding up to walking again, watching The Greatest Showman, but mostly due to deciding to take positive action to turn things round.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Weekly Reflections

 Reasons to be cheerful ...

  • phone calls with family and friends
  • meeting L for lunch
  • preparing the slide presentation of the family tree, ready for the family evening
  • dippy egg and toast soldiers for breakfast!
  • the allium bulbs have arrived ready to be planted next time M is here
  • discovering that the original series of All Creatures Great And Small is available on catch-up
  • chats with my sister and my niece
  • The Greatest Showman is on Channel 4 tonight 😁

I am grateful ...
  • for the IT training I received when I worked in an office
  • for central heating and hot showers
  • helpful neighbours

Lifestyle Changes
  • Knee Strengthening (every day): achieved
  • Exercise (a minimum of 4,000 steps every day): achieved

Saturday, 17 October 2020


Today, day two of my weekend, is all about retail therapy (this morning) and decluttering (this afternoon.

I have a few orders to place online for replacement household items (tea towels, floor mop, and frying pan), a couple of gifts for friends (they read this blog so I can't say!), and a selection of treats to help brighten the winter days ahead (jigsaws, puzzle packs, books, photo printing paper). I still haven't bought the winter woolies I was looking for a few days ago so I'll also be looking for those. 

The decluttering is more an admin task rather than sorting out anything else to dispose of. I will try to book a recycling yard slot, and a donation slot with one of the charity shops. The final thing is to re-send the photos of items I want to sell at auction. I haven't heard from the auction house so will send the email again and follow up with a phone call on Monday. I'd love to get all of those items out of the house as soon as possible ... I'm ready for it to be finished!

In between that I'll do my Italian practice but most of the spare time will be spent curled up with a book and sometime during the day I want to catch up with the Alfie Boe concert, The Shows Must Go On's offering for this week.

Friday, 16 October 2020


I've been notified that a parcel will be delivered today so that's set the scene for a day at home. I'm quite happy with that as I don't fancy doing much at all, so a lazy day early start to the weekend feels just right! 

So, a day filled with binge watching the original version of All Creatures Great And Small, some reading, a bit of piano and Italian practice, and plenty of naps ... I haven't slept too well this week, so need to catch up on a few zzzs.

Thursday, 15 October 2020


The family tree won out yesterday. I've finished the presentation to the stage where it contains all the details of the people I want to talk about and now I am adding additional information in anticipation of some of the questions I think (know!!) will be asked. I don't want the presentation to be highjacked by certain family members who will certainly affect the pace of the presentation, expecting me to stop while he/she works out where a village is in relation to our home town, or whether someone is the correct age, or how a person is related to us. So I now need to include a simplified map, add everyone's age (not just dates) and detail the relationship to myself. It's probably another day's work but entirely worth it!

I'll carry on with it today and get it finished. Yesterday I was so focused on what I was doing that the day passed in a flash and I'm sure today will be the same. It's made me realise, although I knew it already, that I need to find something else to do that keeps my interest as much as this does. Family and friends have always had me marked out as 'that person' who, as soon as they retire, studies for a different A level every year and although it's tempting, I'm not sure that it's the right choice at present. I'm already learning Italian (which is progressing much better than expected 😁) and am also working at improving my standard of playing on the piano, but I can see that I need something else as well. Even if I decide to resume the photography degree it's completely practical so doesn't make me use my brain in the same way that, for example, an A level in a previously unstudied subject would. I need to give it some thought.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020


Well it's supposed to be a sunny day today but I'm in two minds what to. On the one hand it'd be lovely to get out for a drive and to take some photos, but on the other hand I'm on a roll preparing the presentation for the family and don't want to lose the momentum. I can't really understand why, but the thought of doing a bit of both unsettles me ... very strange, so it'll have to be one or the other! Decisions, decisions!

I spent some time chatting to my sister yesterday, hoping she had some idea when a certain article appeared in the local newspaper but she wasn't able to help. I phoned the Records Office and spoke to a lovely helpful lady there who confirmed that the archived newspapers are available on fiche and access isn't restricted at present. Apparently where it says access to documents is restricted they mean that you now have to book your place one week in advance, everyone is restricted to one visit a week and you can only order 6 sets of material to use during that visit. Usually you can just pop in and can 'follow' your research through as many documents as is needed, but this new arrangement suits me just fine. I've booked my place for next week and have asked to view the archives of the local newspaper to see if I can find the article in question. I'm waiting for confirmation as I'll need access to the viewer and printer so it'll depend on whether it is already booked out for that day ... fingers crossed!

I have the entire family tree presentation mapped out. I'm using Powerpoint to create a slide show and so far have created a draft of every slide. I now have to make it look more interesting with a consistent style, add the transition instructions, and check some of the historical dates, and then I'll be ready to show the family. This is just the history of my maternal grandmother's line, which is the family we all grew up knowing as family, but if it goes well and assuming the others are interested I will be able to do the same for my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother's lines. I've spoken to some of my family and so far everyone I've spoken to is interested to see the presentation. I still have others to invite and then it'll be the nightmare task of arranging a date and time that's acceptable to everyone. 

I discovered that the Drama channel on UKTV Play currently has all the episodes of series one of the original All Creatures Great And Small starring Christopher Timothy and Robert Hardy on catch-up, so plan to start binge watching that this evening (and may give up on the new series as I don't like how they have altered the character of Tristan!!). I'm a bit late to the game so there are only 11 days left to be able to view episode one if anyone else is interested.

Tuesday, 13 October 2020


I had a lovely time with L yesterday and we've made arrangements to meet up again next week. Choir practice was a riot, singing through eight of the lockdown songs. This wasn't the 'sing through the entire lockdown repertoire' evening but a last chance to have a bit of a practice. The 'sing the repertoire' evening is at the end of the month and then we make a start on a mini Christmas repertoire for November and December. 

It'll be an 'at home' day today. I want to continue preparing the family story in the format I'll be using to show other member of the family via Zoom at the end of the month. I don't need to do any research for this, it's more a case of presenting our family history as a story and trying to put each generation in context by briefly mentioning the major event happening in the UK during their lifetimes, rather than just presenting a long list of dates and names. I've had a couple of false starts trying to gauge the level of detail but I think I have it right now. 

Apart from that there'll be some reading and probably some piano playing, and on the housework front it's laundry day. Two or three loads should see it all washed and dried and, as most of it doesn't need ironing, I'm hoping to get it all folded and put away today. Best go and get started!

Monday, 12 October 2020

Me on Monday

Me on Monday is ...

... looking forward to meeting up with L this afternoon. We're supposed to be going to the local Animal Park (so I can take some photos for my monthly challenge) but it's forecast to rain on and off all day, so we'll meet up and then make a decision on what to do. 

I'm also looking forward to choir practice this evening as we are starting a mammoth sing through of our entire lockdown repertoire ... should be fun! That's followed by 'Who Do You Think You Are', starting with Jodie Whittaker's family story. 

... wanting to borrow some non fiction books from the library. The ones I want are in the system but not at my local branch so I'll need to reserve them.

... considering a visit to the Wiltshire Records Office in Chippenham. I want to follow up on an event for one of my ancestors but am not sure whether there is now a restriction on documents the public can access. I'd also like to look through some of their old photos but again, I don't know if they are restricting access to their collection. I need to phone them and find out exactly how, if at all, their Covid precautions will impact on the documents I want to access.

... wondering when the fruit trees and nut bush will arrive. The order confirmation stated that delivery will be in October but I haven't received notification of despatch yet. I may be getting excited about it though! 

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Weekly Reflections

 Reasons to be cheerful ...

  • phone calls with family and friends
  • meeting J for coffee and cake
  • the fantastic news that my niece, studying as a mature student, has been awarded a First Class Honours Degree
  • enjoying a shopping trip and, for a short while, feeling that life is normal again!
  • finding out that a new series of 'Who Do You Think You Are' starts on Monday
  • taking positive action to improve my everyday life

I am grateful ...
  • for new glasses
  • central heating
  • for the techniques I've learned over the years to avoid sinking into depression

Lifestyle Changes
  • Knee Strengthening (every day): achieved
  • Exercise (a minimum of 4,000 steps every day): achieved, plus I've managed to add an additional 10 minutes (at least, sometimes more) walk every other day.

Saturday, 10 October 2020


I have to be at home between 1pm & 5pm for the supermarket delivery but have nothing arranged for either side of those times so will make the effort to go out. I've had an idea for a still life photo project bubbling away at the back of my mind for some time so I will at least go out to get some of the things I need for that even if I don't get time to actually take the photos today. I'm testing the waters to see if I want to resume the photography degree I put on hold when I was told that Ced was at end of life. I feel that, now the decluttering is all but completed I need something else to get stuck in to and this fits the bill. My reason for hesitating on this is that it's something I shared with Ced - we used to chat about my photos and come up with ideas together, but of course that can't happen now, and I'm not sure whether I want to continue alone.

Anyway, I need some suitable materials for backgrounds so will buy one or two of the big black shiny floor tiles, and also a selection of fat quarters, hopefully in muted colours. I can walk to Wickes (DIY store about 20 minutes walk from home) for the tiles so am counting that as multitasking as it'll be part of my daily exercise as well! I will have to drive to town for the fat quarters, which isn't ideal on a Saturday but the fabric shop is just off the town centre so that street shouldn't be too busy. If it is, then I'll wait and buy the fabric next week.

I also want to pick up some seasonal things, like berries, conkers, leaves, and acorns which is a bit more weather dependent and I'm not sure what the forecast is for today so that may be a task for next week instead.

Apart from the photo stuff and the food delivery, I want to watch the new Sarah Cox show 'Between the Covers' where celebrities discuss their favourite books. I'll have to watch it on iPlayer as I missed it last night but am hoping for some recommendations. 

Friday, 9 October 2020


The trip to the garage convinced me to think seriously about changing my car. There wasn't anything suitable on the forecourt but he'll be ringing the changes in a couple of weeks so I'll go back and have another look then. To be honest it's not urgent and it was just too wet to want to hop in and out of cars so, although I don't know which day I'll go back, I do know that I'll choose a dry day!

The rest of the day was spent catching up with all those bitty tasks that mount up ... well they do with me. Each individual task doesn't take that long to sort out so, with a bit of perseverance I got everything up to date - I need to reinstate an admin morning to avoid this happening again.

Today it's raining again so I'll be staying in and will make a start on some deep cleaning upstairs, starting in the en-suite. It's not a huge room so I'll do it all in one go and move on to the bedroom if there's any time left before lunch. 

This afternoon I'm carrying on with the family tree. I've finished transferring the data and am now putting together a presentation to introduce some of the more interesting characters to the family via Zoom, hopefully later this month. 

'The Shows Must Go On' offering this evening is 'The Phantom of the Opera', but I'll probably give it a miss as I watched it back in the summer. I don't know what I'll watch instead, probably something on Netflix, but fancy a comedy.

Thursday, 8 October 2020


Yesterday's shopping trip was partially successful. I picked up everything I needed  but the treats side of things was rather lacking.

I didn't buy any new clothes. There wasn't much choice in Matalan for winter woolies in colours I'd wear and I think that's going to be my problem this year. Two of the clothes shops in the town centre have closed because of the pandemic so I will now either have to go to Bath or look online to see what's available. You're not allowed to try things on in the store so I will probably go the online route as the returns side of things will be easier. 

I ran out of time to choose any new books but for a nice reason - I bumped into an ex-neighbour and we chatted until it was time for me to meet J so I paid for the stationery items and left. It was lovely to see her and we exchanged numbers so may meet up one day in the not too distant future.

Yesterday turned out to be a 'friends' day. I met T for a chat, had lunch with J, had a long text conversation with L to arrange to meet next week, and then was on the phone with Julie for over an hour catching up on all her news. I ended up the evening taking part in a virtual quiz with four other friends, which was good fun but we didn't get many of the answers!

Today, I may take a drive out to the car dealer at Southwick to see what's available on the forecourt and what I'll get in exchange for my car. It's just an idea at the moment and not urgent but in the long term I need a car with a decent sized boot. Apart from that I have nothing planned so the rest of the day will be pottering about at home.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020


I have written a list! I have to go to town after lunch to collect my new glasses so will take the opportunity to pick up the rest of the things I need and quite a few other things that I want ... it feels like the right time for a few treats.

I'll start off in one of the Retail Parks to shop in Home Bargains and B&M to pick up some odds and ends of foodstuffs, cleaning products and toiletries, and then have a look in Matalan for some new winter woolies. I don't really 'need' any new clothes, especially as I'm not going out anywhere at present, but I fancy having some baggy jumpers or cardigans to wear with leggings or trousers around the house. Oh, I'll need to buy some leggings or trousers as well! And maybe a new jacket!

Back in the town centre I'll have a look in W H Smiths and Waterstones to top up on stationery, magazines and books, and have a look at the A4 binders and box files to see what'll work best for filing the ever growing pile of family tree certificates, newspaper cuttings etc. I also want to buy some more jigsaws puzzles for the winter months but that may need to be an online purchase as I don't think there'll be much choice in town.

My opticians is right next door to Waterstones so once I have collected my glasses I'll walk through the precinct to the café where J should be waiting and the plan is to have coffee (and cake 😁) and spend an hour or so having a natter and a laugh. Afterwards, on the way back to the car, I'll pop into Iceland to buy some things to top up the freezer. Then I just have to call in to the farm shop on the way home to buy some eggs, and I will have completed my list!

I had a long chat with L last night and will be meeting up with her one day next week, once the weather improves.

I didn't get round to dealing with the photo issue yesterday so hope to deal with that this morning. I can load the photos taken on my phone to Blogger which can be uploaded directly from the phone. It's the photos taken on my camera which I am having problems with, which have to be uploaded to Blogger from my laptop. It'll probably be something obvious but if I can't see what it is, I'll give in and ask my nephew for help.

It's supposed to stay dry today so if all goes well I may go for an early evening walk along the canal. The clocks change soon so there won't be many more evening walks along the towpath this year.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020


I'm playing catch-up today. There was a series of power cuts through most of yesterday afternoon so I didn't get the washing and hoovering done. It wasn't out for long each time but of course, each time the heating also went off as did the wi-fi so in the end I admitted defeat and snuggled up with a blanket to keep myself warm and carried on with my book. Whatever it was was sorted by 5ish so I was able to cook a hot meal and still 'went' to choir practice in the evening.

So today it's housework first thing, followed by a Zoom chat with friends at lunchtime (four of us, each with our own lunches to share a meal together and put the world to rights). I don't know what time that will finish but once it's over I am hoping to be able to sit down and work out why I can't upload photos taken on my camera to the blog ... wish me luck!

Monday, 5 October 2020

Monthly Photo Challenge | Green

I can't seem to load any of the photos taken on my camera, so while I attempt to work out why this is happening I will share some of the photos I took on my phone.

These are all for my mini monthly challenge where the theme for September was 'green'.

Luckily there were five photos on my phone so I've just scraped in with the minimum requirement!

The challenge is to take photos on the set theme; the photos must be taken during the month (no archive photos), a minimum of five photos but no upper limit, and there will be a new theme every month. The theme for October is 'animal(s)'. Have fun! 

You are quite welcome to join me in this challenge if you want to ... the more the merrier! 

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Weekly Reflections

 Reasons to be cheerful ...

  • discussing my family tree research with siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews through texts and phone calls
  • knowing that all the bulbs have been planted so I have the promise of beautiful spring colour to look forward to
  • chatting with friends
  • trying a new recipe for curried fish (thanks for the idea, Bless)
  • regaining that feeling of contentment after a few days of being completely unsettled by the coronavirus situation in the UK
  • knowing that every area of the house has now been sorted and unwanted items removed 
  • Zoom quizzes with friends ... we were useless!

I am grateful ...
  • for M's hard work in the garden, and her generosity in sharing her expertise
  • central heating!

Lifestyle Changes
  • Knee Strengthening (every day): achieved
  • Exercise (a minimum of 4,000 steps every day): failed miserably! I changed things round this week and was aiming to fit in one long walk early in the day with a view to increasing stamina. But, it didn't happen so it's back to what I was doing before ... a minimum of 4,000 steps during a day and forget about the long walk idea for now.

Saturday, 3 October 2020


I have an appointment for my flu jab first thing but that's the only thing in the diary. Once that's done there are a few foodie bits and pieces I'll pick up if it's not too busy in town, but I can manage without if necessary.

I'll have a break from the family tree today. I have a couple of YouTube videos to catch up with if I want something to watch but I actually fancy a day just reading and relaxing ... it makes for a perfect day but a boring post! Have a good day x

Friday, 2 October 2020

Garden Update No 8

M is officially brilliant! Yesterday was bulb planting day and, within a couple of hours (minus the time we spent chatting!) she had them all been planted ... and there were a lot of them! M gets excited about bulbs - I listened to her planting ideas and gave her free rein to do what she wanted provided she made sure to fill at least one of the large pot entirely with daffodils.

I also said that I'd like some of the bulbs in the borders, clumps of daffodils maybe, so M suggested that she plant them in the plastic pots that new plants arrive in and then plant that pot in the soil. After the bulbs have flowered the pot can be lifted out of the soil to be replaced by annuals and the pot of bulbs can be placed to one side to die back. We're trying it like that for this year but it is what she does in her own garden, and I know it is possible to buy the proper planting baskets to do this, although I'll stick to the freebie pots if they work. Anyway, there's been planting in sunken pots, some more in the soil amongst the new shrubs, and in six big and three small terracotta planters nearer the house.

There aren't any photos. The spring colour, the combination of bulbs in pots and soil will be a surprise for me, which I'll share with you as they bloom.

Most of the shrubs in pots are ready to be moved to bigger pots and I was originally planning for that to be done yesterday but changed my mind as none of the empty pots are really big enough for the job. I need, honestly it's a need not a want, to look round for some bigger pots ... a trip to the garden centre has been planned. So repotting the shrubs is a job for another day.

We haven't booked another visit. M doesn't want to just make work and it's all looking good at the moment. There are still some plants on order so we've left it that I'll phone her when the fruit trees are despatched to arrange the next visit. There are some other plants on order but I don't think they'll be sent until the end of February, and of course there's still the repotting to be done once I find some bigger pots.

My 'homework' is to look at possibilities for ground cover planting for the front garden. It's looking tidy but just a bit bland and I'd like some drought tolerant colour out there.  Any ideas?

Thursday, 1 October 2020


It's gardening day today and M is due this morning at 9:30am. It rained most of yesterday and throughout the night and the clay soil in my garden will now be heavy to work so it may be the day for sorting out the rest of the pots. To be honest I won't mind if she reschedules her visit as there's nothing requiring immediate attention. I'll wait and see what she decides.

Apart from that I want to cook up a batch of chilli and some individual shepherd pies for the freezer, and while I'm in the kitchen want to check the spices to see if I need to restock any of them.

Once that's done it'll be more work on the family tree. I should finish transferring all the entries today and then I can work exclusively on the new software. It has lots of extra new-to-me features which I want to have a play with. It's possible to colour code every person to assign them to a specific branch of the family, and also link records to form all sorts of groups (location, education, occupation, etc.) - that's what I'll be doing in preparation of showing the tree to interested family members via Zoom some time next month.

I missed this week's episode of All Creatures Great and Small so will find that on iPlayer for tonight's entertainment.