Thursday, 15 April 2021

Life in Lockdown - L is for Lake - A-Z Challenge 2021

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

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

One of the things that has helped lockdown more bearable is walking.  Before we moved we lived in Forest Gate and looked out onto an area known as Wanstead Flats, an open space with ponds, park land and trees.  We were also within walking distance of Wanstead Park which is another woodland area.  Both are part of Epping Forest.  We could step out of our front door, start walking and feel like we were in the countryside.  Originally Forest Gate would have been a gateway into London from the forest.  

Now there are lots of towns between Forest Gate and the main part of the forest.  When we decided to move, we knew we probably wouldn't get the outlook we had but being close to a walking area was important.  Highams Park ticks that box.  We still close to Epping forest and we are within walking distance of a lake. 

A circuit from our house and a lap of the lake is about 1.75 miles.  It's a good daily walk.  Especially as the weather improves and the days get longer.  I'm not the best photographer but these are a few pics I've taken over the time we've been here:

Late autumn 2020

A family walk at Christmas 2020

January 2021

February 2021
April 2021 - baby Coots

It's been drier the last week or so and the footpaths are finally drying out.  During the winter the paths around the lake were just sooooo muddy.  Thank goodness for wellies and waterproofs!

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.