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Friday, 26 February 2021

A beautiful day

I have had a busy day. I left home at 8am to drive to Home Bargains and B & M which are near each other. I was actually quite excited as I haven't been there for months. The virus numbers are down in our area and I have had my jab so still taking all precautions such as going early when it is quiet, I sallied forth. I walked up and down the whole store and had a good spend up which is very unusual for me but I probably wont be going again for months. I don't really like shopping but it seemed like a treat today. 

As I was on a roll I cleaned the house and still felt quite as it was such a beautiful day I had to get out and enjoy it. I live right on the edge of town so drove a little way out and parked the car next to a footpath which leads to the river. It was quite a nice little path along the back of houses which were hidden behind fences and trees. Lots of bird song and tree blossom. I saw all the usual little birds including a robin singing its heart out then cormorants. 

Lots of boats on this part of the river and people out enjoying the sunshine but not many on my side of the river. 

These apartments have a great position. They are very nice inside too as I had to visit a gentleman there when I was a carer. 

I then gave the car a well needed clean when I got home. Sunshine really invigorates. I will probably be exhausted tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Olio etc

 I had heard of Olio but as I use all my food so have none to give away and I don't really need free food I never joined. Then I found they do non food items and as I had a few things to give away and no charity shops or freecycle open, I joined.

I had put a shopping trolley, shoe rack and 2021 desk diary on my covered patio with a notice saying "Free, please take". After one week somebody took the shoe rack and then I found out about Olio through a frugal green FB group. Within days the diary went and somebody was going to collect the trolley but messaged to say they couldn't make it that day so I offered to hang on to it until they can get it. It has been interesting looking at the offers. There is a new still in the packet address book which I like but it is a bit further than I want to walk as its  through a built up area and I haven't driven that way lately. There has been lots of food offered and some of it quite close to me. I wouldn't have used it and know there are people who need it anyway. It reminded me of the time 45 years ago when DS was a baby and we were staying with friends in Northumberland in a cottage out in the country. Sunday morning I was in the kitchen and a strange woman walked in with a mixing bowl. It was the next door neighbour who had made too much pastry and thought we would like it. Our friend did! No Smart phones then. 

Even before I was born neighbours shared spare food. My family were very poor then even though dad worked but no help for big families living on one low wage. A neighbour would give mum the ends of the loaf as her family didn't eat them. My brothers were happy to oblige. 

Clothes were regularly handed down from friends and relatives. My best friend's mum was a trained tailoress so every year she made matching coats, hats and sometimes muffs for her two daughters. My friend was the same age and size as me, her sister was 3 years older and my sister 3 years younger so we received the coats when they grew out of them. I loved our matching outfits and didn't mind at all that they were used. We all kept things out of landfill but we didn't know about being green and the environment. You would think now that upcycling and recycling were new inventions but most people we knew were experts. I am glad it has become fashionable though as I do hate waste and enjoy making a little go a long way. 

Friday, 12 February 2021

A walk in the park

 I haven't had any proper walks this week as I was afraid of falling on the ice. Normally I love to get out and walk in snow but this snow was so thin it just turned to ice and was treacherous to walk on. As our local hospital has ten wards of covid patients, I do not want to end up there. 

Apart from a few patches the ice has melted so after taking DB to his weekly appointment at the ulcer clinic as it was a bright but bitterly cold day I went for a walk in the park. Pet's corner is closed but lots of animals are in the paddocks and they do make me laugh. Here are alpacas, llamas and goats.

I walked along to the water gardens to see if I could spot the pair of mandarin ducks that are hanging out there. As I got near I saw DS with little GD watching the ducks. He was trying to wear her out. Not much chance of that. He told me the ducks were the other side of a wall and that also they had seen the kingfisher. We used to regularly see a kingfisher around this spot but not recently. Some years ago when DS was still a child we were standing by the pond and a kingfisher was sitting in the tree right next to us. A man came along and obviously hadn't seen it so DS told him about it. He was amazed as he had never seen one before. I took some photos of the ducks.

The female is much plainer than her mate. We followed the stream as we thought the kingfisher might be further along and sure enough we caught that wonderful flash of blue as it took off. 

It takes ages to walk anywhere with little GD. It is lovely though to see her delight at all the simple things. She collected lots of cones to take home for the squirrels in their garden. She loves the animals and pushes her face through the fence to kiss the sheep. One of them kept bleating really loudly right in her face and she thought that was hilarious. She doesn't seem to feel the cold but we were with all the standing around so I started playing chase with her to get her moving. She loves it but I was so tired when I got home, I fell asleep on the sofa. I doubt if GD did.

Thursday, 4 February 2021

New things

 Normally when I think about new things I think about traveling or visiting new places but this is out of the question for now. So my new things are a random selection.

First last Wednesday the new mattress was delivered. I suddenly realized the old one is not new anymore as it was bought about 12 years ago and may be the cause of my back ache. 

Then on Saturday DB and I had our first covid jabs. I was very impressed with how well organized it was. As it was at a Dr.'s surgery, I hadn't thought of taking the wheelchair as we don't need it at our own Dr.'s. It was a huge new practice and the disabled parking was too far for DB to walk so I dropped him off at the entrance. When I got back, he was sitting in a wheelchair somebody had kindly provided and just as well too as we had to walk quite a long way. Well it was for him anyway. We were ushered in straight away and then afterward directed to an area to sit for 15 minutes. A volunteer took our names and noted the time. She then asked me if I recognized her. As she had a mask covering most of her face that wasn't likely. When she told me her name I knew she was the ex wife of DB's cousin. She is a lovely person and I haven't seen her for some years. Then she pointed out her son-in-law who we have seen at family funerals. She said her daughter now works in the voluntary sector and was responsible for getting the team together so roped her mum and husband in. It took me ages explaining to DB who she was especially as the cousin's sister has the same name. Since his stroke some years ago he has a struggle keeping up with conversation. 

I have been trying out new recipes so also on Saturday I made a carrot cake as a treat to brighten us up. A few years ago I found a lovely little tea-time recipe book in a charity shop in Cockermouth. The idea being to start having afternoon teas for friends but what with having two years of a gastric problem, then moving and now the pandemic it hasn't happened but I have been practicing. Every thing I have made from this book has turned out well and the carrot cake was the best I have made. I felt a bit sad as it is DD's favourite cake but now I am looking forward to making it again when we can get together. It will be a celebration. I did try a new pasta recipe from on-line but I wasn't too keen. It was vegetarian and had pesto in it which is a first for me too. I wasn't sure if it was the pesto or the fact there wasn't enough sauce so the pasta seemed a bit dry. I wont make it again. 

For my walk on Monday I revisited a huge country park about 3 miles away. I used to walk there a lot with DD and her dogs but haven't been for ages. This time I went to a bit I hadn't seen before but it was terribly muddy which made it very slippery in places. I will go back again when its drier. 

Even the board walk was covered in mud but it was worth it as it is a lovely place and I felt very refreshed. Now I'm just starting a new jigsaw.