Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Monthly Photo Challenge - Beginning With 'D'

The theme for the June challenge was 'beginning with D'. 

drive thru at KFC

a dozen eggs

daisies in the grass

defibrillator at the village hall

a drain cover

a masala dabba (spice tin)

more daisies

diminuendo symbol

dog token from the Monopoly game

dice

dongle/memory stick

a stack of (dusty) blank DVDs

(a rather dirty) duck keyring

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 July is 'many' and I'll post a linky at the end of the month  Have fun! 

Thanks to everyone who has taken part in the May challenge. Here's the linky  .... please link to your challenge post, not just to your blog. 


SPSH - 1st Link Up

It's time for the first link up and I've managed to find photos for 9 of the prompts so far. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's photos and sending a big thank you to Mary-Lou for organising the hunt. 

No 9: something older than you - a small collection of stone age arrow heads


No 10: the delivery van/truck making the deliveries - two for the price of one, the Tesco van outside my house and a DPD van on the corner by the white house.


No 18: upside down, right side up - playing cards


Previous posts can be seen here:

No 2: Something To Represent Home But Not The Building, No 3: Head In The Clouds; shapes or interesting patterns, No 7: What's In Bloom, No 11: The Shape of Round/Circular, No 17: an exit  

No 7: What's In Bloom

Alt B: a local landmark


The complete list for the 2021 Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt is:

  1. A Breakfast of Champions
  2. Favourite Time of Day
  3. Something To Represent Home But Not The Building
  4. Head In The Clouds; shapes or interesting patterns
  5. The Art Of The Fold
  6. Something That Makes You Laugh or Happy
  7. What's In Bloom
  8. Window Views
  9. Something Older Than You
  10. The Delivery Van/Truck Making The Deliveries
  11. The Shape of Round/Circular
  12. Something That Is Cause For Celebration
  13. Your Marie Kondo Moment – Or Not
  14. Inside Your Fridge Or Cupboard
  15. Your Best Doodle Art (not public graffiti)
  16. A Guilty Pleasure; Something That Recharges You
  17. An Exit
  18. Upside Down, Right Side Up
  19. Steps, But Who's Counting
  20. Decades Of Sharing; find something in your home that is from the 70's or80's or 90's or 00's

ALTERNATES

A: show off your COVID safety; masks, cleaning, or other related supplies

B: a local landmark

C: the most beautiful landscape photo of the season


There's plenty of time to find your photos so please join us if you'd like - the more the merrier. It honestly doesn't matter if you don't manage to finish, the aim is to have fun. Patio Postcards organises the SPSH and the rules are detailed in this post.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Tuesday

The deliveries all arrived as promised yesterday and the timings from the three different couriers meant that I was able to fit in my daily walk - around the marina and a short way along the towpath. I got all the washing done and hoovered upstairs but still need to hoover and wash the downstairs floors, so that's a job for today.

Once the housework is over and done with I'll turn my attention to the decluttering. It's going well! Today the focus is on sorting through some of the music books. I still have lots of my reference books which I no longer use or need as the internet has made them redundant for me, but they may be of use to anyone studying their higher level music exams so I will make a start on listing them on eBay. I've also remembered that Ziffit accept music tutor books so also on the to-do list is to check the ones I've already sorted and put aside for charity. Yesterday I found someone to buy the collections of badges, so if the paperwork turns up I can get those in the post today - there's nothing of any great value so this is just a sale based on quantity to realise some cash rather than send it to the charity shop. C will be here tonight, and tomorrow night if necessary, to help me catalogue the remainder of the photography equipment so once that's finished I will be able to sort out the paperwork for the quotes - so not quite a completed task as I don't know how long it will take for the companies to quote but the hardest part will be done, which is a relief.

Slowly, step by step I am getting there. Last time I considered letting these items go I struggled to make a decision as I wasn't ready but I've obviously moved forward as this time, although there's still an emotional element to it, I'm finding it easier than I expected. I don't find it as difficult with my own property like the music books and my old cameras, but the emotion is tied up in all the items that belonged to my late partner. It is time though, long overdue, and making the effort to dispose of some more unwanted items is lifting a weight off my shoulders.

At some point in the day I'm hoping to catch up with J, assuming she's not tied up with grandma duties, and there's my daily walk to fit in as well. It should be a productive day!

Monday, 28 June 2021

This Week ...

I have another week of waiting in for deliveries (all to do with the garden) so will need to be flexible and time spent with friends and family will have to fit around the dates and times notified by the various couriers.

Social: It's choir practice tonight which I'm looking forward to. I haven't seen the email yet to tell us what we will be singing, but I don't think there will be any new songs this term. We have our end of term (online) concert in a couple of weeks so will probably be singing through some of the songs previously learned just to refresh our memories.

I'm hoping to see Joy for coffee in her garden one day this week, and to meet up with J and with L as well. It all comes down to when I have to wait in for the last lot of deliveries so it's a case of taking it one day at a time. 


Online Classes and Talks

Wednesday: Nutrition Club

Thursday: Indian Cooking 

Friday: Nutrition Focus  


Health and Fitness:

I'm aiming for a 30 minute walk every day, outdoors if possible. Also at least one of the 20 minute exercise videos.


Home and Garden

Home: The focus on decluttering continues. C will be here one evening to help me catalogue the video equipment and then I will just need to submit the forms and sit back to wait for the quotes. Completing the forms is a time consuming task in itself so I'm not anticipating having the time to tackle any of the other items on my decluttering task list. I love lists!! I'd also like to catch up with the housework as I didn't finish everything over the weekend. There's still a couple of loads of washing to do and the floors to be hoovered/washed, so I just need to set to and get it done.

Garden: It's just watering duties this week plus any deadheading that's needed, so an easy week for me. M will be here on Friday and there will be loads for her to do - move some plants, deal with all the new ones, and the never ending weeding. If she has time we can make a start on transferring the remainder of the topsoil from the drive to the garage. 

  

Food: This week I'm meal planning for an entire week of Indian meals using the recipes from the Indian cookery class for all the breakfasts, lunches and dinners in that week. I'd like to get to the stage where I can create a shopping list, especially for the spices I'll need, but I haven't yet decided on the date I'll actually put the meal plan to use. It's a work in progress! 


End of Lockdown Adventures

  • this week: arrange to meet with friends for coffee 
  • by the end of June: at least one more trip to National Trust/English Heritage property  
  • within twelve months: complete a minimum of twelve items on my post lockdown wish list


and finally, Hobbies:

Reading: still listening to The Red House Mystery by A A Milne

Italian: 15 - 20 minutes daily practice, 

Piano: 30 minutes daily practice

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Weekly Reflections

 Reasons to be cheerful ...

  • chatting with family and friends
  • getting some bargain plants from the new-to-me plant nursery
  • gifting the recorders and tutor books to C & H, and
  • spending a laughter filled hour with them
  • having a speedy recovery from a migraine
  • indulging in some retail therapy
  • making progress with the decluttering, donating music books and clothing to charity
  • enjoying time in the garden, and
  • getting excited as the plants purchased online have arrived
  • appreciating the small changes that signal a return to something resembling a normal life
  • getting out of the house and going for a long drive 



I am grateful ...
  • for the Satnav in my car
  • for C's offer to help catalogue the video equipment I want to sell
  • for Joy's contribution to the decluttering - plenty of bubble wrap so I can pack the camera equipment properly
  • for the generosity of my sister - another bag of books and three huge garden pots 


Lifestyle changes
  • exercise (30 minutes minimum every day): achieved 6 days out of 7 
  • weight: no change!


End of Lockdown Adventures
  • In the next 7 days: visit the garden centre at Market Lavington this week - Achieved

  • In the next month (up to the end of June)two trips to National Trust/English Heritage properties by the end of June - Started: spent an afternoon at The Courts Garden

  • In the next 12 monthscomplete twelve items on my post lockdown list. I've booked tickets for two events but that's all so far.

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Saturday

In the garden ...


I'm not sure what to do with myself today. I feel restless, though can't quite work out why or what I can to do to recover some focus and calm. There is housework to do, the photography equipment to be catalogued, and garden tasks I need to attend to, but I can't summon up the enthusiasm for any of it although the garden watering will get done this evening. I have the feeling it is going to be one of those days!

I have to wait in for a delivery this morning and once that's here I think the best thing to do is to pack a picnic, grab my camera and go out for the afternoon. Let's see what happens!

Friday, 25 June 2021

Friday

In the garden ... 



I'm still waiting for five plants and some more pots to be delivered but nothing is due today as far as I know. I ordered a bulk bag of topsoil yesterday morning and it was delivered in the afternoon, so can't complain about the service from that company! There is plenty here for M to work her magic on next week!

I'll carry on with sorting through the photography equipment today. I've reached the time consuming part - providing full details for each item - and it's going to take an age, but if I want to sell all of it I have no option but to keep going. I doubt I'll get it all done today as I need to go out later on, so will carry on tomorrow ... the housework will have to wait.

I'll text Joy later on to see if I can call in to collect the bubble wrap she is kindly giving me (and which I'll need to pack up the photography equipment), and I also have to drop off some greeting cards to a great niece and a couple of friends. While I'm out I'll pop into the garden centre to see if they have any more of the lightweight pots to save ordering them online, and on the way home I need to pick up some bread, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms.

As for the rest of the day ... I don't have any firm plans, except there is a nutrition class to watch this afternoon if I want (they are currently recapping everything we've discussed so far),and then I'll probably finish watching The Coroner box set.

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Thursday

In the garden ...


The last photo is of one of the hairy alliums and their days are numbered. They've been a disappointment - much taller than expected (40+ inches instead of 6) and the flower head is tiny and not as colourful - so they are going to someone, which sounds a bit vague but someone who's seen them really liked them and will be taking them away. I just can't remember who that someone is! To be honest, they give me the creeps so whoever it is will be doing me a favour!

About half of the new plants are here now and, I think, the rest are in transit so everything should be here in time for M's next session. I still need to buy some more containers and a check of the topsoil confirmed that there won't be enough so I need to speak to M to decide what to do - another bulk bag, the majority of which will need to be stored, or just a quantity of smaller bags from the garden centre to complete the current planting.

It's the Indian cooking class today and this week's recipe is chicken jalfrezi, which I am really looking forward to. Around that, I plan to spend the day moving all the old photography equipment to the playroom and start completing the forms to sell online. I'm approaching two companies who buy used equipment and will sell to the one that offers the best price. I'm not expecting to realise a lot of money for each individual item but there is a lot of stuff in that grey area where it's still worth too much to send to one of the charity shops, so because of the sheer quantity to be sold I should end up with enough to buy a new DSLR if that's what I decide I want to do ... which I'm sure will be the case ... and I may have started looking at the latest models already!

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Wednesday

 In the garden ...


I didn't get much done yesterday. I took the tutor books to the collection point as planned but then came straight home and straight to bed with a migraine. The medication stopped the pain eventually but I felt sleepy for the rest of the day so I didn't push myself to do anything ... today will be a much better day!

As soon as I've eaten breakfast I'll potter in the garden for a while, mainly for some fresh air but there's bound to be some deadheading to do ... I can see that in the first photo! It's the nutrition class at 10 o'clock and then I'll look through my clothes to see what I can let go. I've lost enough weight for some of my clothes to be too big now 😊 so they can go, and also the items I've kept hold of 'just in case' ... there's bound to be some. It can all go out for the next kerb-side collection, which I think is tomorrow and can count as today's decluttering effort. 

I have a short list of admin type tasks to do today which won't take long. I have a coin collection to sell so want to make appointments with a couple of dealers to get a valuation, and the same for a collection of car related badges and caps. I still need to arrange for a plumber to come to sort out the water supply to the external tap at the back of the house, and arrange for a decorator to quote for painting the spare bedroom. I also need to make a doctor's appointment, which should be easy but will probably take longer than anything else on the list!

I missed out on the quiz etc. last night and went back to bed instead. This afternoon I'll watch the box set on catch up TV.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Tuesday

Yesterday's haul ...

... one each of Fuchsia Natalie, a Fuchsia Pyramid, and Savlia Wishes & Kisses, and two each of Poppy Allegro and Gaura Lindheimeri Rose. The salvia and possibly one of the gauras are destined for the centre bed and the others will be grown in containers. All of these were on my list for next year so I'm happy to have found them in the sale and saved myself about 60% of the costs ... a bit of  TLC, and they'll be fine.

It was that horrible drizzly rain all day yesterday. I was soaked by the time I'd finished at the garden centre so abandoned my plan to visit the Priory at Edington on the way back and came straight home instead. I sorted out the music books and recorders for the girls and dropped those round once school had finished for the day ... two happy girls!  And that was about it for yesterday. 

Today, I've sorted out a huge pile of assorted tutor books to take to the collection point for Oxfam. This is in Bradford on Avon so while I'm there I will try to take some more photos for my monthly photo challenge and also fit in my daily walk. I need to be home by 11:30 am at the latest for a delivery and then, assuming it stays dry, I'll enjoy some time in the garden to read, finish off the deadheading, and just relax. Tonight I'm taking part in an online quiz with friends and after will have a look at the box sets available on catch up and choose one to start watching. Any recommendations?

Monday, 21 June 2021

This Week ...

I think it'll be an 'at home' week as I am expecting several deliveries ... all plants! The forecast has improved from last week and instead of the promised week of rain it looks like we'll have mostly sunny days, so I should be able to get out for a walk on most days in the evenings. 

Social: There's no choir practice tonight. It was supposed to be the end of all lockdown restrictions today so M left the evening free for people to celebrate. She'd arranged her own celebration so, even though restrictions are still in place, she can't run the session tonight. 

I'm going to see my nephew and family instead. I'm taking a set of recorders (sopranino, treble, tenor and bass) plus the relevant tutor books round for Misses C & H - I gave them descant recorders when they needed them at school.  I don't plan to stay long and it may be a doorstep visit but it'll be lovely to see them (and it helps with the decluttering!). 

We haven't arranged dates and times but I will also catch up with J and with L, hopefully in person but it may have to be phone calls.

And finally, I'll see my sister at some stage this week. We're doing an exchange of goodies - she has books and a couple of bigger pots for me and, once the relevant delivery arrives, I have a couple of Foxglove Panther plants for her.


Online Classes and Talks

Wednesday: Nutrition Club

Thursday: Indian Cooking 

Friday: Journaling, Nutrition Focus  


Health and Fitness:

I'm attempting to tweak the daily walking to complete the 30 minutes in one session rather than the 10 minute slots I've been doing. I'll also do at least one of the 20 minute exercise videos and possibly an online Pilates class over the course of the week.


Home and Garden

Home: The focus is on decluttering this week. The aim is to move something out of the house every day this week, starting with taking some instruments and tutor books to my great nieces today. I have a stack of music books to take to the Oxfam collection point in the Sainburys at Bradford on Avon and a few bits and pieces to take to a charity shop. I've decided to have a final go at selling some of the items designated for the auction house on eBay and/or Gumtree, so will also make a start on that this week. I plan to clear the table in the dining room and set up to take all the photos tomorrow with the aim of getting the ads placed by Thursday.

Garden: I've ordered some of the new plants for the next stage of the planting and the majority of them will be here this week. Today I'm off to a new-to-me plant nursery at Market Lavington who have a 50% sale on and I'm hoping to pick up the rest of the plants I want. I'll also be looking for some additional pots but don't know if they have much choice so may delay those purchases until the September sales start.

  

Food: There's not a lot happening on the cooking front this week which is probably just as well after yesterday's mishap. I really fancied a tuna pasta bake; tuna isn't my favourite but every now and then it's the only thing that'll do, and yesterday was the day. I followed my usual in-my-head recipe and it looked lovely as I took it out of the oven but I was really disappointed with the flavour. I'd nearly finished before I realised that I hadn't added any tuna!

For this week I have plenty of meal choices in the freezer as well as a fridge full of salad stuff and fresh veg, so it's going to be an easy week for meals. 


End of Lockdown Adventures

  • visit the garden nursery at Market Lavington this week
  • at least one more trip to National Trust/English Heritage property by the end of June 
  • complete a minimum of twelve items on my post lockdown wish list within twelve months. 


and finally, Hobbies:

Reading: listening to an audiobook, The Red House Mystery by A A Milne - see Divers and Sundry's post here 

Italian: 15 - 20 minutes daily practice, plus investigate the possibility of a local conversation group 

Piano: 30 minutes daily practice

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Weekly Reflections

 Reasons to be cheerful ...

  • chatting with family and friends
  • enjoying lunch with J - our first face to face meeting in about a year
  • enjoying a picnic with L and P in the garden
  • the watering duties are so much easier with hose pipe
  • planning the next stage of the garden planting, and
  • having a reason to buy some more plants!
  • trying out some new recipes
  • watching the finals of The Great British Sewing Bee and The Great British Photography Challenge - happy with the result of one of them, not so pleased with the other one!
  • treating myself to a bunch of peonies
  • achieving a big leap forward with the last of the items to be decluttered

I am grateful ...
  • for electric fans!
  • for online ordering and home deliveries 
  • for rain for the gardens

Lifestyle changes
  • exercise (30 minutes minimum every day): achieved 
  • weight: no change, which is a huge relief considering all that I've eaten this week!

End of Lockdown Adventures
  • In the next 7 days: try my hand at photographing birds this week - A complete fail! Must do better next week! 

  • In the next month (up to the end of June)two trips to National Trust/English Heritage properties by the end of June - Started: spent an afternoon at The Courts Garden

  • In the next 12 monthscomplete twelve items on my post lockdown list. I've booked tickets for two events but that's all so far.

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Saturday Garden Update

It poured down yesterday but M, despite being soaked, carried on and worked her way through my list. She is absolutely brilliant.

The impatiens, petunias, dwarf sunflowers, and sweet peas have been planted and that will probably be it for summer annuals for this year ... but I will be visiting the garden centre to buy other things so who knows what will happen!

We discussed the next stage of the planting to work out how to achieve some autumn and winter colour and interest. There are already plants in pots that address this - euonymus, leucothoe zedlibgaultheria procumbens, and the autumn flowering camelia (once it's grown up!) - but have decided to add two climbers to fill in the gaps on the fencing. I've chosen a cotoneaster and a red jasmine as both will provide interest for the majority of the year and have berries in the winter for the birds. 

As part of the discussion about autumn colour we also reviewed the centre bed and the changes that we both think are needed. I like the knautia but think they will look better in the far bed against the garage wall so will be moved once they have finished flowering. The honey garlic is going; they are not as colourful as I was expecting and I just don't like them enough for them to stay, so M is having them and in return will give me some more sedum from her garden. This leaves the alliums, gladioli and nandini in this bed and the gaps will be filled with the shorter versions of verbena, salvia, wallflower, foxglove and something else I've forgotten the name of. There will also be spring bulbs in pots ... coloured pots! 😀

At the moment this bed also has an obelisk for the sweet peas (if they ever get their act together and grow!) but for next year they will be pot grown instead. 

We had a long chat about the existing white rose. It's not looking too healthy so M has suggested that, at the end of this season, she prunes it right back and moves it to the front of the house and I choose another one to replace it in the back garden. I queried the problems with planting a rose in the same spot where a rose has been grown before but, it got quite technical here, there are ways round it and it's worth a try so that's what we're going to do. I don't know that I want the white rose at the front of the house so will decide about that later on - my nephew may be interested as they have hardly any plants in their new garden.

I think that's about it for now. There is still the ground cover to address but M wants to get the structure plants in place before worrying about that.

Friday, 18 June 2021

Friday

I'd love to have a garden full of peonies but I don't have room, so treating myself to the occasional bunch of pale pink peonies is the next best thing.

It's gardening day today. M will be here later and there's loads for her today, starting with planting up some more pots - dwarf sunflowers, busy lizzies, petunias and, in the centre bed, plant some more sweet peas as the first lot disappeared never to be seen again! The weeds are taking over in places, so lots more ground cover is needed sooner rather than later - I'll ask her for suggestions and then go and buy them while she is here so that whatever I get can go in the ground today. The two existing roses need to be moved off the trellis, which is broken, and trained along wires instead. The rambling rose is looking lovely but the white rose next to it is suffering from the attentions of the previous gardener who pruned out the centre of the plant and it now looks rather sparse. I'll see what M suggests to sort that out. 

The vegetables are not doing as well as I'd hoped but look as good as any of the neighbours efforts - I asked D to check them for me and he couldn't see a problem, except for the obvious damage caused, we think, by a cat who has climbed up on the pots and crushed one pot of mangetout and a couple of the tomato plants.  Again, I'll see what M suggests.

This afternoon it's the nutrition class but I'm not worried if I miss it this week as it is a recap of carbs, fats and proteins. Once M is finished for the day I'll make a start on reorganising the freezer, and then make some more meals to be frozen in portions - cauliflower cheese, savoury lamb mince, vegetable curry, and a bottom of the fridge soup. That'll take up a good part of the afternoon so I'm not likely to get out for a photo walk today, but never say never as there is nothing I want to watch on TV today so there's at least a chance of a walk around the marina tonight. 

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Thursday

In the garden ...


I didn't get out to take any photos yesterday but for a lovely reason ... a surprise visit from P & L who were travelling back from Oxford earlier than planned and called in to see me on the way. It was just like old times, no advance planning, just a phone call to confirm I was a home. They arrived with a picnic, which we ate in the garden, and stayed for almost three hours ...  what could be better than time spent with friends. I couldn't summon up the energy to go out once they'd left so pottered around at home for a while, watered the garden, and then vegged out in front of the TV until bedtime. 

This morning I need to go to the bank and then call in at one of the garden centres to pick up the rest of the annuals I need. I can't decide whether to do a couple of hanging baskets as well - I wasn't going to bother because it's hard work to keep them watered when you're just using a watering can but now I have the hose pipe it will be much more manageable ... always assuming there isn't a hosepipe ban this year!

After lunch it's the Indian cookery class. I have no idea what's on the menu this week as they haven't published the recipe yet, so this week's Saturday night treat remains a bit of a mystery for now! Once that's over I have plenty of deadheading to do, so I have an afternoon in the garden to look forward to - deadheading followed by a reward of homemade lemonade, left over from yesterday, and time to read my book. M will be here tomorrow so I also need to work out what I'd like her to do. 

I'll finish with a question ... does anyone know the difference between core Pilates and slow flow Pilates, please?

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Wednesday

In the garden ...

I'm delighted that the burgundy clematis, which was moved from the back wall of the house and replanted against the side fence, has settled in and is now flowering 

I didn't compensate for the bright sunshine, sorry! The rambling rose is flowering.

another allium ready to flower

the fuchsias are covered in buds

Yesterday turned out to be a lovely day and my mood brightened as the day progressed. I met J for a long lunch and that was just the perfect medicine for both of us. We're hoping to meet again next week, probably for a coffee and a walk.

Today will be a bit quieter and for the most part, spent at home. It's the Nutrition class this morning and, if I've remembered correctly, it's a recap of some of the topics we've already covered. Then the Tesco delivery is scheduled to arrive between 11am and 1pm; I was going to shop in store but the list was getting so long I opted for a delivery instead as I tend to get a migraine if I stay in the big supermarkets for too long. That delivery will bring the rest of the ingredients for the new recipes so I can make a start on a new-to-me ragu sauce recipe as soon as it arrives - this recipe has lots of hidden veg to help with getting my 5 a day.

We were originally forecast for rain today but that has now changed, although there is still a thunder warning in place. If it does stay dry I'll be going out later this afternoon to try for some photos of birds; the swans at the marina have cygnets so that will be my first stop but it depends on being able to get in a good position without upsetting them in any way. If not I can try in BoA to see if the kingfisher or the heron are near the town bridge. 

It's the final of The Great British Sewing Bee tonight, so that's a must watch - I'd really love Serena to win but I think that honour may go to Raph. I've surprised myself by enjoying Joe Lycett's humour in this series and I'm debating whether to get a ticket for his 2022 tour - I usually find him quite irritating so can't decide whether I could sit through a whole evening of his particular style of humour. Afterwards I'll watch the final episode of The Great British Photography Challenge on iPlayer to see which one of the contestants is declared as the  winner. With only four episodes, it hasn't been going long enough to really get to know the competitors so I don't have a favourite and don't mind who wins.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Tuesday

 In the garden ...

another surprise plant - is this an aquilegia?

I'm feeling rather down today following a long chat with my sister yesterday, during which she told me she'd heard that someone we went to school with died of a heart attack just before the first lockdown and another one has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I was never close friends with either of them but it hits hard when you hear this sort of news about your own age group. 

There's only one task on the agenda today and that's to collect the garden hose I ordered last night. It's too much like hard work to try to do the watering with a watering can, which is what I have been doing, so I'm following my sister's suggestion and I ordered an expandable hose last night. I was reliably informed by my BiL that I'd need a hose capable of expanding to 100 feet to reach from the external tap on the front wall of the house to the farthest corner of the garden so I chose one, then thought I'd better check to be on the safe side as he'd estimated this from the other end of the phone. I needn't have bothered - 15 minutes later I'd confirmed that the correct measurement is 98 feet! I don't know how he does it! Anyway, I ordered it last night and have to collect today so that should make things a bit easier. 

I'm collecting from Melksham (about 5 miles away) and will time it to collect and then meet up with J for lunch at the Milk Churn ... yesterday, she was 85% that she'd be able to make it so I am keeping my fingers crossed. If it doesn't work out I'll head home and spend the afternoon watching the 2021 Queen's Club tennis tournament.

Monday, 14 June 2021

This Week ...

It's another fairly full week which, once again, I'm looking forward to. 

Social: it's choir practice tonight as usual. The outdoor workshop has been cancelled as only a few people signed up to attend, so I won't be missing out and there will be an extra online session to make up for it. I'm not sure whether the lack of interest was due to anxiety about mixing in a large group or due to clashes of commitments, so it'll be interesting to see what happens when the in-person practices resume. 

I'm hoping to meet J for lunch on Wednesday but it depends on her other commitments, and I have a Zoom meet arranged for one evening with E, P & L when we are hoping to take part in a quiz or do another online escape room. 


Online Classes and Talks

Today: Photography, History in Music

Wednesday: Nutrition Club

Thursday: Indian Cooking 

Friday: Journaling, Nutrition Focus  


Health and Fitness:

I'm hoping to complete 30 minutes of walking every day, still in 10 minutes slots, and also re-introduce the daily knee strengthening exercises, which I've stupidly let slip and am now paying for! If that goes well, towards the end of the week I'm hoping to re-introduce one of the 20 minute exercise videos.


Home and Garden

Home: The weekend housework routine is going well and I seem to be more focused with only the two days to fit it all in. I have found that, so far, I am not looking for all the excuses under the sun to avoid getting started! I also have a short list of odd jobs, each one of which can be completed in under ten minutes, so I'm hoping to clear that list this week.

Garden: I think it's just a week of enjoying the space. M will be here on Friday for a bit more planting, give some attention to the two existing climbers, and carry on with the weeding. That list may change because we are forecast rain from Wednesday to Saturday so, depending on conditions on the day, only the new planting may get done. 

  

Food: I'm reviewing my meal plan for June/July. I don't plan for specific days but have a list of suggested meals for each week so it's flexible and suits my needs. I have lots of new recipes I've added to my folder which I still have to try out so some of those have been written into the plan. To start with, this week sees the addition of four new recipes in the meal plan; I don't usually try quite as many new recipes at once but there are no new ingredients so everything should be fine from an allergy point of view. I have to finish off the shopping list and then hit the shops either this afternoon or tomorrow. 


End of Lockdown Adventures

  • take some photos of birds this week
  • at least one more trip to National Trust/English Heritage property by the end of June 
  • attempt some bird photography I've revised my yearly goal as it was a bit too wishy washy, so this goal is now to complete a minimum of twelve items on my post lockdown wish list. This was something I created during lockdown of all the places I'd like to visit and things I'd like to do once it was safe to do so. For now, this will have to be limited to places I can easily drive to but hopefully I will feel more comfortable about train travel in the not too distant future so that I can visit and tick off some of the more distant places. The first three things, in no particular order, are: visit one of the cathedrals on my list, eat fish and chips at the seaside, and visit Corsham Court. Of course, it all depends on access to some of the places on the list as I know that some of the cathedrals are still restricting access to parts of their buildings so I wouldn't be able to see the one thing I'd be wanting to see, so I'll just need to be flexible - there are plenty of ideas on the list so I shouldn't be lost for places to visit!


and finally, Hobbies:

Reading: listening to an audiobook, Young Prince Philip by Philip Eade  

Italian: 15 - 20 minutes daily practice 

Piano: 30 minutes daily practice