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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Eating out

We don't eat out very often but DB loves going out for coffee as being disabled and poorly it's the one thing he can enjoy. The lockdown hit him hard as he likes to go up to his favourite cafe on his mobility scooter every day to chat to people. A couple of times I ordered fish and chips on line and went to pick it up. Then as things eased up we have driven out to places on the river where the cafes were doing takeaway.

A couple of weeks ago we decided now places are open to go as a family to a pub nearby next to the river as it has lots of outdoor spaces. I downloaded the app onto my phone and booked the table. It kept telling me it wasn't confirmed so in the end I had to ring and was told it was confirmed!

When we arrived we were greeted at the gate of the garden and taken to our table. We had to order our meal on the app but it kept telling me it didn't recognize my email address even though I had received emails from them. I had to register all over again so it took half an hour to order but everything did come quite quickly afterwards. Tap water wasn't listed so I had to ask for it in person and finally it came. Four people were having chips and asked for salt and vinegar as we were told we had to wait until it was brought. They never did get any. One good thing was I paid when I ordered so no hanging about for the bill. We decided we wouldn't bother again.

However last week DB and I had 3 nights in a Marston's inn in Clacton so we could visit family. It was a bit different to usual as no staff were allowed to come into our room for the duration of our stay and each day we were handed a paper bag containing coffee and tea etc. We liked the fact that nobody came into our room to clean as it gave us more privacy.

The restaurant belonging to the hotel is where DD and I usually go when I visit her on my own. They have carvery but other menus as well and we love it. The staff are helpful and friendly and it was just the same this time. We didn't need an app although we had booked our table this time. One evening DB only wanted a sandwich which I collected from Lidls right across the road. Then I went in to the restaurant without booking and quickly got my meal brought to me. We also visited a couple of cafes, once sitting outside by the sea. It was all quite easy and enjoyable. Each time we had to give contact details in case of the virus being around.We had plenty of space around us each time and I actually felt better than being in the supermarket where people do not keep their distance.

Monday, 6 July 2020

A Discovery

I decided to walk along the river to a village a couple of miles away. I used to regularly walk there and back but haven't even walked one way for the last few years. It's very pleasant with lots of boats moored and moving about. Also lots of bird life. To my delight I saw the swan family with 5 cygnets. I had watched the swan on the nest and seen one hatched but when I went back they had all gone and I worried something had happened to them as didn't see them again.

I took my time watching buzzards, lapwings and grey wagtails plus the boats.

I started walking back along the road and then decided to get away from the traffic and try a footpath. My map is old and tatty but it looked easy enough. Walk through a little wooded area and turn left then come out in the industrial area nearer to my side of town. I seemed to be walking too far so took another path through a wood and came out by a group of fishing lakes. It was beautiful with lots of goldfinches on teasels and several men fishing. One man was putting stuff in his car and was friendly so I asked him what this place was. He said it was Timberland fishery and if I went past the lakes and the shop and cafe I would come out on the road. I couldn't believe I was right near the garage I use and only about two miles from home. I had never heard of those lakes but they seemed to be on the site of the timber yard that DB used to use. I looked them up later and found they are fairly new so not on my map. The footpath didn't seem to be there either. I think it's time to get a new map or buy the OS maps on line would be better. Who knows what is right on our doorsteps?

Thursday, 2 July 2020

After the rain

Its been horrible weather wise today. Heavy rain and strong winds all day. Then about 6.30 the rain stopped and the sun came out so finally I went out for a walk. Just down to the river and along the tow path as hardly anybody about. The flower meadows are changing colour from white to pink.

Boats on the river including this unusual bright coloured one.

I've never seen this little otter statue sitting by the path before.

Walking back past the pub next to the river lots of activity getting ready to open on Saturday. There is a lot of outdoor space there so probably better than other pubs. Its a nice place for a meal sitting watching the boats but I wont be going yet a while.