Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Life in Lockdown - K is for Kindle - A-Z Challenge 2021

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter K 

Click here for the A-Z blog to find out more about this challenge.

I don’t actually have a Kindle but I use the Kindle app on my iPad and iPhone.  Personally I prefer a real book and since I’ve been retired I’ve been making good use of my library.  Then….lockdown.  No more libraries.  To be fair they have offered a pick and collect service at certain times and even delivery in some cases but I didn’t actually take advantage of that.  Instead I made use of my Kindle.

I usually look for the special offers and the 99p books, there are plenty of them, but I’ve also bought others that have been full price.  After all I saved a lot of money on getting my hair done since lockdown so it was easy to justify expense on books.

I actually typed I made GOOD use of my Kindle originally but that wouldn’t actually be true.  I’ve actually struggled with reading during the lockdown.  I’ve had some good spells and if you checkout my Goodreads page I actually read 73 books in 2020, 3 more than 2019 and 35 were on Kindle.  But none of them were what I would call challenging books.  Some of them were chosen for a book club but none of them were really difficult reads.  I definitely opted for books that were easy to read and enjoyable.

The stupid thing is that lockdown actually gave me so much time.  And yet I can’t honestly say I made the best of use of it.  I certainly wasn’t motivated to take up new hobbies, create things and so on like some people did.

I definitely retreated behind the front door.

But I’m digressing, or waffling, as usual.  I’m supposed to be writing about a Kindle.  Which I don’t actually have.  The app works well though so although I’d probably struggle to read in the sun on my phone or iPad I don’t feel the need to actually get a real Kindle.  Of course I’m not likely to sit in the sun reading anyway.  I prefer to sit in the shade.  I’m not one for sunbathing which is probably just as well given the restrictions on foreign travel that don’t look like being relaxed any time soon.  But of course if we could travel, even within the UK, relying on Kindle is a lot easier than throwing a pile of books into my suitcase.

I’ve actually read all the books I have on my app at the moment but I’m currently reading a real book – Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore.  This was chosen for me – I was gifted a 3 month subscription to a book service that picks a book for you each month which was a really appropriate present for someone like me who loves to read.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Life in Lockdown - J is for Jabs - A-Z Challenge 2021

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter J

Click here for the A-Z blog to find out more about this challenge. 

To date Hubby and I have both had our first Covid vaccinations.  We’ve both had the AstraZeneca vaccine and fortunately we didn’t suffer any serious side effects.  Hubby has a spell in the evening where he felt very shivery.  I had a sore arm for a few days but nothing major. 

We’re now looking forward to having the second jab hopefully fairly soon.

I know that some people are nervous about getting the vaccine, especially following the recent reports of blood clots.  Having looked at the odds it isn’t giving me cause for concern.  The medications I take to keep my blood pressure under control all have various risks but that’s the price to pay to avoid having a stroke.  The very small risks attached to the vaccine weighed up against the risks of being seriously ill or even dying from Covid made it an easy decision for me.

Of course there is the worry that the approval for these vaccines has been rushed and does that mean that the appropriate checks and balances are in place?  I believe they are.  I think we all owe gratitude to the scientists that must have worked so hard to get all these vaccines in place.  I’m sure some of them have probably worked, lived and slept in their labs to provide us with a glimmer of hope in what has been a very dark year.

I know that many people still believe, based on information we’ve been given, that Covid is no worse than a dose of flu.  Well I’ve had a dose of flu and it took a month to recover.  Many people who’ve had Covid are still recovering.  Many haven’t lived to tell the tale.  I know which I’d rather have. 

Thankfully the vaccines and treatments that have been found to work on Covid are bringing death numbers down.  I don’t think it’s ever going to be eradicated and we will probably have to rely on annual vaccines to keep things under control.  Hopefully as more vaccines come on stream the programme can be spread worldwide and we can look forward to being able to travel again.

Today saw the next stage of restrictions being lifted here in England.  Some of the things allowed to re-open today are non- essential shops, personal care services, (yay I can get my hair cut!) and outdoor hospitality but my favourite has to be libraries!  I’m so looking forward to returning the books I took out back in September and getting some new ones.  Doesn’t take much to please me.

21 in 21 - Weekly photo #14 - w/c 5/4/21

Well I'm a day late posting but the photo was taken at the right time!

We had Nathan for the day yesterday and we went for a walk around the lake.  It's just over a mile to do the circuit from our house.  We kept him going on the promise of an ice cream - there's usually an ice cream van parked up on the road at the bottom of the lake.  He ate the whole thing lol.  And almost made it back home.  We carried him for a bit on the last stretch and then got him to walk the final bit by holding his hands and swinging him.  I'm not sure who was the most exhausted when we got back.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Life in Lockdown - I is for Inspiration (or Indecision?) - A-Z Challenge 2021

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter I

Click here for the A-Z blog to find out more about this challenge.  

My choice for the letter I was inspiration but I am totally lacking in inspiration right now.  Of course there are lots of inspiring people out there.  Some of them well known, others less so.  I could name lots that cause admiration, some that might actually motivate me but probably not for long.   I definitely wouldn’t call myself a creative person.  Of course I’m capable of creating things but usually following the ideas or instructions of someone else.  I could probably make a stab at copying a drawing or painting and I can follow patterns to create knitted or crocheted items as well as following recipes to make delicious food.

What I can’t do is start any of these things from scratch although sometimes the food might taste like I did.

Yet as a child I had a vivid imagination.  I even had an imaginary friend for a while so I’m told – I don’t really remember that.  But one of the few things I’ve kept from my school years was a story I wrote, probably towards the end of primary school, that detailed a girl’s journey around a fantasy island that earned me an A.  I put a lot of time and effort into that piece of work.  It was definitely one of my more original pieces.

As I’m typing this what I’m feeling is indecisive.  Should I stick with inspiration or choose another word.  What other word could I write about?  One of the issues with feeling anxious or depressed is that even the simplest decisions feel overwhelming so they tend to be ignored or pushed away in the hope that, eventually, the decision might not even have to be made.

But of course some decisions have to be made and this week we’ve actually made some progress on getting things done in our house.  It felt good to take charge of some things and move them along.

Lockdown of course has compounded the problem of indecisiveness but has also given us great inspiration.  Who can forget this guy?  Sir Tom Moore walking laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS.

Captain Tom Moore says a knighthood 'sounds alright' as fundraiser tops £20  million | ITV News

Key workers have just continued to do their jobs, despite the personal risks to themselves.  Volunteers have popped up all over the place helping others.  Scientists working on the vaccine programmes have probably been working around the clock to give us a way out of this nightmare. 

One thing I haven’t been indecisive about is whether to have the vaccination or not.  I’m one down, one to go.  More on that tomorrow.