Thursday 31 December 2020

Goodbye 2020 & here's to 2021!

When I posted my last Friday's Fave Five we were still on course for a family Christmas.  We were all so looking forward to getting together as a family.  It would have been the first time the new babies met each other - and the first time all the aunties and uncles would have met all of them.  It was going to be wonderful.  I had the house prepared, tables borrowed and so on.  It was so exciting.

But Covid numbers were rising and there were rumours of the 5 day Christmas break being reduced and we were being asked to be sensible and use our common sense.

Then on 19th December London was locked down, again, due to rising Covid cases.  Christmas was cancelled.  We had gone from Tier 2 to Tier 4 in just a couple of weeks.  We were (and still are) on a Stay at Home order. 

This of course meant my son and his family would have to stay in Nottingham.  Thankfully they were able to see his in-laws who live nearby and who they are in a support bubble with so their Christmas wasn't totally ruined.

We then had a dilemma.  We had formed a support bubble with my daughter and her family so we could still see them but that would mean excluding my younger son and his family.

After much debate and soul searching and, given that we have all been really careful during the whole pandemic but particularly in the week or so leading up to Christmas, we settled on spending Christmas Eve at my daughter's house, doing presents, big dinner etc and then my son and his family came here on Christmas day and stayed until the next day.  We all agreed we were using common sense.

It was wonderful having them here after hardly seeing them but it was heartbreaking when they went home, not knowing when we will be able to see them properly again.   We did get out for a walk while they were here:


As you can see we still needed our wellies and poor Rory kept saying "I don't like it" when he was sinking in the mud lol.  He only fell over once bless him but we were glad of the foresight of taking wipes to clean up his hands and the all in one waterproof suit!

We managed to use the large turkey I'd ordered in anticipation of there being 8 adults for dinner and couldn't subsequently cancel.  Nick's turkey broth was excellent as usual although it never tastes the same twice as there is no recipe to be followed.  His turkey curry went down well too.

I don't think we've finished all the parsnips though.  I ordered 2 packs of the honey roasting parsnips as on the left in the picture.  I intended using one with our meal at our daughter's and one at home with our son and family.


Unfortunately the supermarket only supplied 1 of the ready prepared pack.  So they substituted with ordinary parsnips as on the right.  6 bags of them!  Just one bag was probably more than the prepared version but 6!  The good thing is that I've grown to like parsnips over the last couple of years but not by that much lol.

But now Christmas is done and we're about to see in the new year.  My decorations are still up and will probably come down at the weekend.  

2020 has been the strangest year of my life and it's been hard not being able to see family and friends as we would like but, we have all stayed well and although those who work may have found that working from home isn't all they thought it might be they do still have jobs.

We have moved house and gained 3 grandchildren.  That's how I'm going to remember this year and hope that 2021 is even better.

Wishing you all a better, and healthy year to come.

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 30/12/20

The Hodgepodge reached a milestone last week of 400 posts.  Many thanks to our host Joyce at From this Side of the Pond for all the time and commitment she gives to this lovely meme. 

I've missed quite a few weeks over the last few months but I couldn't miss the last one of the year.

1. Tell us about your favorite moment or share one of the bright spots from the year we're leaving behind. 

Despite that thing I don't want to mention 2020 has been a memorable year for us for 4 good reasons:

We moved house and we gained 3 more grandchildren. You're probably bored of seeing pics and hearing about them but I just have to share this pic - the collage was put together by my DIL and is the wallpaper on my phone

2. What do you wish you'd known at the start of 2020? Elaborate. 
That the pandemic was coming?  I've been doing an annual list for the past couple of years as in number of things to do during the year, e.g. 18 in 18, 19 in 19 and so of course I prepared a 20 in 20 list.   I didn't feel it was a particularly ambitious list but I was soooo wrong! lol

It hasn't put me off doing a 21 in 21 list but it's going to be very basic and take into account where we're at now.

3. Best book you read this year? If you did not read any books this year, what's the best thing you ate all year? We've all eaten, right? 
Oh I've definitely eaten!  I got hubby walking most days when we were really locked down on the promise of chocolate if we walked.   Well now we just have the chocolate anyway.
As for reading.  I had fits and starts and found it hard to concentrate on anything heavy.  However I did meet (and surpass) my reading target and looking back my favourite book was probably The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  It's one I've intended to read for ages because it had such good reviews but this year I also decided to read 12 books from my To Be Read pile so I finally got to The Book Thief.  I was not disappointed.  

4. The Pantone Colors of the year for 2021 are ultimate gray and illuminating yellow (a bright shade)...are you a fan? Would we find either of these colors in your home or wardrobe? 
Definitely not in my wardrobe, especially now I've let my hair go back to it's natural colour (white/grey) and when we were looking at houses we saw so many that had used a grey and white theme throughout that I think I'd like to do something different here.  

5. If you were/are making a list of 21 things to do/accomplish in 2021 what is one thing that would be on it? 
Ha well I've already said I'll be doing a list but it is hard to know what to put on it. I try to have things on it that are either achievable or at least measurable.  However I did have "be kind to myself" on my 20 in 20 list which proved to be very apt as the year turned out.  For 21 in 21 I think I'm going to include "be positive".  I'm often a glass half full kind of person and I envy those who can always see the good in things and look out rather than in and so on so I think I need "be positive" on my list!

6. Insert your own random thought here:
2020 has certainly been the strangest year of my lifetime.  But it could have been so much worse and for that I'm grateful.  Condolences to anyone who has lost loved ones this year and for anyone unwell best wishes for a speedy recovery.  Happy New Year doesn't quite have the same ring to it at the moment so I'm settling for being glad that this year is almost done and wishing you all a better year to come!

Sunday 27 December 2020

20 in 20 - Final round up.

Well we're almost at the end of 2020 and I'm sure for many of us it can't come soon enough! Here's my final summary of my challenges of the year:

1. Fill out weekly/daily planner
Well this has suffered it a bit over the last few weeks but I have a shiny new book ready for 2021 so I will keep at it! ❌

2. Garden projects: Get window boxes for front garden plus big planters. Stepping stones for rear garden.

Well of course moving house changed all of the above. In my last post I mentioned the shed arriving. That's now full of our gardening equipment. We've also had the outdoor security lights replaced. Nothing much has happened but it's that time of year when the garden doesn't require much attention. ✅

3. Plan a lunch date/date night with Nick once a month (theatre/cinema/meal/outing)
Oh goodness this is virtually impossible during the current pandemic. Of course we have had spells when we could have gone out but given we are not so young anymore and we've had 3 pregnant DILs to consider we have been very cautious about being out and about. So this is a definite fail.❌

4. Eat at 6 new-to-me restaurants
The final total still stands at 3.❌

5. Complete the A – Z blogging challenge
Done ✅

6. Plan Family weekend for my birthday
Next year? ❌

7. Take up an exercise class
Not happening! ❌

8. Plan a road trip/holiday with hubby.

9. Visit the beach

10. Complete my reading challenge (52 books for the year)
Done! Currently on book #72. Full details can be found on my Goodreads page here. ✅

11. Keep a gratitude diary

12. Blog at least once per week (plus regular memes)
November and December were not good months for blogging. Overall I've done as much blogging as last year but I haven't done as well with original posts as I'd have liked. ❌

13. Take a photo each week and blog about it.

Well I managed 38 out of 52 and I did take more photos, I just didn't get around to putting them into a blog. ❌

14. Read 12 books on my TBR pile.
Completed! ✅

15. Finish knitting WIP (blanket of squares)
Well I didn't touch my blanket of squares but I did make a blanket for each of the 3 new grandbabies that I had no inkling of when I set this objective so I'm giving myself a ✅

16. Try out a new recipe or do a bake each month
I made sausage rolls for Christmas. Does that count? This was another ❌

17. Visit/see Noah every month
Of course this has been out of our control but it hasn't made it any easier to cope with.

18. Get damp treatment done in house
This became redundant when we moved house!

19. Maintain weight
Not sure what Christmas might have done with this but giving myself a ✅

20. Be kind to myself. Whilst I think it's good to set myself challenges sometimes life gets in the way or I just have days where I really can't be bothered. I need to accept this and not be hard on myself when things don't go to plan.
Ha! If only I'd known in January how true this would turn out to be! ✅

Overall looks like 7/20 (35%) but of course the pandemic, moving house and new babies did have a big effect on 2020.

Well hindsight is a wonderful thing and had I known in January how the year was going to pan out my targets would have been very different. I've decided to go ahead with 21 in 21 but it's going to take some thought to allow for this continuing pandemic.

20 in 20 - Weekly Photo #38 - w/c 20/12/20

Christmas didn't go to plan for many of us this year but we spent it with these guys.  It was wonderful.

Saturday 19 December 2020

Friday's Fave Five - 18/12/20

Well when I sat down to prepare this post it was still Friday but the clock has since ticked over into Saturday.  A gap of 2 weeks again since I posted.  Days are flying by at the moment but that's why it's good to just stop for a moment and think about the good things going on (especially during these difficult times) and join in with Susanne at Living to tell the Story (and others) and share.

1)  Despite an absence of 2 weeks this post will bring my total posts this year to 241 - the same as in 2019 so that's a positive for me.  2019 was my best blogging year for a while so to equal that feels like an achievement and maybe, just maybe, I might get a couple more posts done before we welcome in 2021.

2)  Being part of the blogging community.  I was looking back over my last couple of posts just now and it was lovely to see lots of comments on them.  I haven't had much time lately to respond to them or leave comments elsewhere but I definitely appreciate knowing that I'm not alone!  

3)  Stamina.  We're still spending quite a bit of time at our daughter's house helping out with the new baby, the toddler and a Mummy who is still recovering, especially now our daughter is back at work.  At work being in the top floor bedroom and therefore in reach of the toddler who actually has been quite good about that, at least while Grandpa is there anyway.  With the travelling there and back these have been quite long days so I'm glad that I've been coping with it all but it is very tiring and I sit down in the evening having good intentions about posting a blog or at least visiting blogs but usually find myself falling asleep in front of the TV or just going to bed early.  Things are improving though and Ella is still being quite a good baby.  And of course it's lovely having time with her while she's so little. (Although she's gaining weight really well and seems heavier every time we go!)

4)  Covid restrictions are still being relaxed here in the UK for a short period over Christmas (23rd to 27th December) so we will still be able to get together as a family.  There has been a lot of debate about the wisdom of this, I could/should probably write a whole post about it.  However, we can get together with all our kids within the rules and it will give us the first opportunity for all the grandchildren, especially the new ones, to be together since I can't even remember when.  (Possibly back in February!)

5)  Plans coming together for Christmas - such as we now have a new fridge and freezer.  Hubby's hifi system is now set up and our TV is on the wall.  We have a new bed frame and the mattress is due to arrive on Sunday.  This will help with sleeping arrangements.  Online shopping making things easier.  My Christmas decorations are up!  My cards have been posted.  My to do list doesn't seem to get any shorter but I'm definitely ticking things off!

We even have lights outside.  Not a huge display but I felt the need to do something.  Our new area has lots and lots of houses that are decorated.  One road has even set up this:

We'll enjoy taking the little ones for a walk next week to see some of the displays.

Well, definitely time I was off to bed.

In case I don't get back here again before next week I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas, hopefully with those you love.

Friday 4 December 2020

Friday's Fave Five - 4/12/20

Friday's Fave Five is hosted by Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story.  It's a lovely reminder to sit down and think back on the week and find things to be grateful for.  Pop over to Susanne's site to see who else is taking part.

I last posted here 3 weeks ago.  We've had a busy time and were away from home for 2 weeks and I just didn't have the energy, or time really for blogging.  I haven't even really kept up with what others have been posting so apologies for that.

BUT, I do have lots to be thankful for as follows:

1)  A Granddaughter!  

 More photos here

Ella Susan was born on 17 November.  I keep joking that she's either going to be a Princess, bossing all the 5 grandsons around, or she'll be a complete tomboy and wanting to join in with them all.  Time will tell.

2)  Thanksgiving dinner with our son and our American DIL

Our DIL provided us with a lovely meal.  Rory was really excited to see us and we had a lovely time.  And cuddles with Vinny!

3)  Coping with Nathan.   His Mummies were in the hospital for several nights after his baby sister Ella was born so we moved in to their house and looked after Nathan 24/7.  It was the first time we had looked after him overnight let alone several days and nights but he was actually ok.  Of course there were a few tears when he wanted Mummies but generally he was much better than I'd anticipated but of course regular Facetime/WhatsApp video sessions helped.

He was happy to be bathed but hair washing definitely didn't happen.  Probably just as well - look at his lovely curls!

4)  Lockdown is over, a vaccine has arrived and we can get together with the family at Christmas!

We're still being very cautious and trying to stay safe but, all being well, our eldest son and family will be with us for a few days at Christmas and the others will join us.  Can't wait!

5)  Beautiful flowers from my daughter and DIL

A thank you for having Nathan and then staying to help out when they first came home with baby Ella.  Sadly Vicky's Mum died some years ago and of course at a time like this she is sorely missed.  Ella's middle name of Susan is after her departed Grandmother.

We were there 2 weeks in all so I'm also thankful for sleeping in my own bed now.

Have a good weekend all.

Thursday 26 November 2020

20 in 20 - Weekly Photo #37 - w/c 23/11/20

Look who's here!

Say hello to our granddaughter - Ella Susan, born on 17th November.

Finally we can buy pink!

Now there are 6!

2020 has been a difficult year but for us it's also been full of blessings.

Friday 13 November 2020

Friday's Fave Five - 13/11/20

Thanks to our host Susanne for reminding us to be mindful each week and find five things to be thankful for. You can join in by clicking on the link below:

Living to the the Story

Well we're in the second week of the second national lockdown here so it's been quiet this week but there are always things to be thankful for such as:

1)  Time with Grandson Nathan and his Mummies - yes we're in lockdown but we're in a childcare bubble with them.  Nathan is always so excited to see us.  I love being a grandparent.

2)  A shed!  We've actually had the shed for a few weeks but the installers came this week to assemble it.  They were supposed to come on Wednesday but after a couple of calls to them it turned out they couldn't make it Wednesday and they rescheduled us for the 1st December!  As you can imagine I wasn't too impressed.  Then at 7.30 pm I got an e-mail saying they could come yesterday.  Well of course I said yes and the shed is now up.  Now we can clear out the things that are in the garage and garden room that belong in the shed and that will be a bit more progress!

3)  A chat with my best friend.  She dropped a parcel off to me yesterday and we had quite a chat.  Of course she couldn't come into the house, even though she really wants to see our new home, but she did venture into the garden which can be accessed without going through the house to get a look around the outside.  Yep call me a rule breaker!  We've only seen each other  a couple of times like this since this pandemic began.  Her husband is in a vulnerable group and he also has elderly parents that they've had to protect so understandably they have been very cautious.  We're so looking forward to being able to meet up properly again and chat over a cup of tea rather than the phone.

4)  Food shopping deliveries booked up until Christmas!  Because I signed up to a delivery plan with one of our big supermarkets I save money on deliveries and get priority for things like delivery slots at Christmas.  Today was the day that the slots became available and I got one without too much waiting online.  One less thing to worry about.

5)  The realistic prospect of a vaccine for this horrible virus.  This seems the only way we will get back to anything like normality so I'm just hoping that the reality will be as good as what the trials are suggesting.

Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 11/11/20

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is hosted by Joyce over at "From this side of the Pond".  Pop over there to see who is playing and how to join in.  If you do join in, remember to visit your neighbour on the Linky List.  Have fun.

1. It's the 11th day of the 11th month and bloggers often make lists on days like today. Let's go with a list of eleven things you're feeling grateful for today.

  1. I'm well
  2. I have a roof over my head
  3. I'm financially secure
  4. I have a wonderful hubby
  5. I have great kids who have lovely partners
  6. I have 5 gorgeous grandsons  
  7. It's not raining
  8. The prospects for a Covid vaccine are looking more promising
  9. The blogging community
  10. Time to do the things I want
  11. Online shopping

2. What's something you decided to do or act on at the '11th hour'? 

Sit in silence and reflect. I actually had the TV on which was showing the service at Westminster Abbey.  A very curtailed event in the current Covid situation.

3.  Apparently the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe contains 11 herbs and spices. What's a dish you make that calls for exactly eleven ingredients? Feel free to share the list and/or recipe. 

We do a pasta dish that includes macaroni, sausagemeat and carrots plus 8 other ingredients.  Quite similar to a bolognese in its method but it's really tasty.

4. Something you remember about your 11-year old self? 

Starting secondary school and feeling like a little fish in a very big sea compared to primary school.

5. The 11th of November is Veterans Day in the US of A. This is a day to honor those who have served their country in war or peace-dead or alive-although according to the government's website it's largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices. 

Memorial Day is when we honor military personnel who died in service to their country. 

Share a thought relating to Veterans Day or tell us something about a Veteran you know-love-admire.

My Dad was a veteran of WW2.  He was already in the army when war broke out - he'd enlisted as he saw it as a better alternative to working in a coal mine.  But then he found himself caught up in the war and being one of the many soldiers rescued from Dunkirk.  He saw some horrific things which he never really spoke about but he also saw a lot of places he would never have otherwise travelled to.  Plus it gave him engineering skills which served him well when he left the army.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Really glad to hear this week such positive news about a vaccine for Covid.  We need a way out of this nightmare.

Monday 9 November 2020

Monday - again! 9/11/20

The weeks seem to be passing by far too quickly.  I hope it stays that way though as then our current lockdown won't seem so long.

I'm trying to get out for a walk each day or if it's too wet use my exercise bike.  I've managed everyday since the beginning of November apart from the day we were looking after Grandson Nathan.  However I usually get quite a bit of exercise while we're there - chasing after Nathan and doing a few chores which usually requires going up and down the stairs.  Their house is like our old house - it has lots of stairs!  Not surprising when I get home from there I just want to sink onto the sofa.

The weekend was quiet.  Hubby has discovered Netflix and spends a lot of time watching the TV.  In between the series he has found we did follow the election news from the USA.

Thanks to my American DIL I've got my head around the way the system works even though it does seem complicated.  It feels like this election is going to run and run though with all the legal challenges etc.  I hope it gets resolved quickly.  Clearly whatever the final result is it will only please half the people.  I also hope that despite all the differences people can start pulling together. 

It feels like it's the same as it was here after the BREXIT vote.  Our country was deeply divided but what's done is done.  We can't go back and undo the vote.  I might not like the decision but we have to make the best of it.  Another vote on it isn't going to happen.

At least Americans have another chance in 4 years time if they're not happy. 

But hey, enough politics, don't want to spark nasty comments.

Have a baby pic instead! (or 2 or 3 lol)


Can't wait for the 3rd little one to arrive.  Not long now!


Saturday 7 November 2020

Book Review - Life or Death - Michael Robotham

Life or Death

Life or Death by Michael Robotham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Why would a man escape from prison the day before he's due to be released?

Audie Palmer has spent a decade in prison for an armed robbery in which four people died, including two of his gang. Five million dollars has never been recovered and everybody believes that Audie knows where the money is.

For ten years he has been beaten, stabbed, throttled and threatened almost daily by fellow inmates and prison guards, who all want to answer this same question, but suddenly Audie vanishes, the day before he's due to be released.

Everybody wants to find Audie, but he's not running. Instead he's trying to save a life . . . and not just his own.

I've read and enjoyed a couple of the Joseph O'Loughlin books by this author so when I spotted this one in the library I thought I'd give it a try. It's quite different, particularly being set in America but very good nonetheless.

When Audie Palmer escapes from jail one day before he was due to be released it raises all sorts of questions. Not least is he going for the missing money from the armed robbery that he was in jail for? Of course as with all good thrillers things are not what they seem. The book follows Audie as he tries to stay one step ahead of those trying to catch him and also switches back to the time leading up to the robbery.

A roller coaster of a ride that kept me turning pages and left me wanting to read more books from this author.

View all my reviews 

#SoCS 7/11/20 - Jour(ney) through lockdown.

#SoCS is hosted by Linda - here

Pop over to her blog to see how to take part and who else is joining in.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “jour.” Find a word containing “jour” or use it as is. Bonus points if you start or end your post with that word. Enjoy!

Journeying through lockdown - again! Yes we're in our second lockdown thanks to the rising numbers of Corona virus cases, more hospital admisions and, inevitably more deaths.

Someone asked me in a comment yesterday what the lockdown meant and I decided to blog about it rather than just reply to the comment.  And then today's prompt seemed rather apt so here we go:

Our first lockdown began back in March 2020. (24th to be precise - I made a note of this.)  Initially it did feel like we were under house arrest.  You could only go to work if you couldn't work from home, no contact with anyone outside your house.  It was awful.  But we adapted.  We had to.  There seemed to be no end in sight as we watched the numbers climb and climb.

Living in London we saw the worst of the numbers.  The awful situations in the hospitals, the temporary morgue built at the end of the road.  

Things didn't start easing until June and then it was only gradual.  I couldn't get a haircut until July.  We didn't go out to eat until the end of August.  Schools reopened in September.  Universities reopened in October and then numbers started to rise again.

A tiered system of restrictions were tried but, as numbers continued to rise a national 4 week lockdown was imposed for England from last Thursday.

Which means we are supposed to stay home as much as possible.  People have to work at home unless they can't.  Only essential shops and services remain open although places such as coffee shops, pubs restaurants etc can serve takeaways.

We can go out to exercise but can only meet up with one person from outside our household.  This means I can meet with my son OR my DIL but not both at the same time.  They can bring the little ones with them though as they're aged under 4.

Schools and universities will remain open but uni students are finding uni life challenging.  Many have been isolating in their halls of residence as corona cases in unis have risen.  One uni in Manchester tried to fence in residences.  Students, understandably as there was no warning of this,  were not happy and protested.  The fences were torn down.  Unfortunately during the protests many students can be seen without masks and definitely not social distancing.

We are constantly being reminded of HANDS, FACE, SPACE i.e. washing our hands frequently, wearing a face mask and leaving space between us. 

Thankfully we can form a childcare "bubble" with one other household so we've done that with my daughter and her family as their second baby is due later this month and we will be looking after our grandson when that happens.  This means we can visit them in their home and even stay overnight when necessary.  But this does mean we can only meet Grandsons Rory and Vinny's parents as described above.  We also cannot travel to Nottingham to see my eldest son and his family.  That's hard when they have a new baby too and they change so quickly during these early months.  I console myself with the photos/videos etc and contact that social media enables and that the baby is none the wiser really as to what is going on.

Our Prime Minister has advised that the lockdown will end after 4 weeks.  I'm not holding my breath on that one but hopefully things will be easier by Christmas.  I think the biggest of the many mistakes the Government have made were allowing households to mix in places like restaurants and pubs where face and space were totally disregarded and allowing unis to open to students rather than doing online tutoring.

Another failing has been in our Track & Trace system which is still nowhere near good enough.  They changed course on this too and now we have an app that only works on some phones - I've recently upgraded my phone and now have the app but my old phone, and that of my husband were unable to download the app.

Testing has also been patchy.  In some areas it's been fine but in others it's proved difficult to get a test and then results have taken too long to be returned. 

Of course this pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for world leaders and even some of those that seemed to be doing well initially are now battling increasing cases.

Some asian countries (South Korea is often quoted) seem to be doing better but I can't help but think their citizens are more likey to comply with restrictions and instructions than others that see them as draconian and an infringement of their civil liberties.

As an island nation we should have done better.  New Zealand set a good example but we haven't followed it.

For Hubby and me the lockdown is not really that hard.  We have a nice home, hubby is still employed, we've managed to get our shopping online right through this difficult time and we are in a nice area for getting out for a daily walk.  Things could be a lot worse.

Yes I'm desperate to be able to see more of the kids and Grandkids and to be able to give them a hug.  A holiday would be nice but I think it will be a while before I take that sort of journey.

Friday 6 November 2020

Friday's Fave Five - 6/11/20

Thanks to our host Susanne for reminding us to be mindful each week and find five things to be thankful for. You can join in by clicking on the link below:

Living to the the Story

Here are my faves from this week:

1) A walk in the park with Grandsons Rory and Vinny and their Mummy. This was on Monday. The weather wasn't great, we had to dodge a shower at one point, but it was lovely to see them.

Rory is very good at standing on his buggy board.

2) I'm not a great fan of halloween but I did love getting pictures of my Grandsons dressed up for it:

3) A new dishwasher! Ours broke down and the outcome of getting it looked at was that it would be quite an expensive repair, it was quite old and therefore it would be better to get a new one. This was ordered, delivered and installed this week.

4) Walks around the lake. It's still very muddy but it was just good to get out in the fresh air especially as we are now totally locked down for the next month. I posted pictures here

5) Social media. Thanks to WhatsApp we get lots of pics of the new little ones, which we really need, especially of Miles as we can't get to see him. We got these two pics this week:



Aren't they gorgeous? We also had a zoom chat with extended family recently on one of their birthdays which was fun.

Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday 4 November 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 4/11/20

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is hosted by Joyce over at "From this side of the Pond".  Pop over there to see who is playing and how to join in.  If you do join in, remember to visit your neighbour on the Linky List.  Have fun.

1. How do you define peace? 

Well a trite answer would be to say no wars going on but I'm not sure that's ever going to happen.  For me I'd define peace as when I can sit somewhere quiet and just enjoy the view or solitude or companionship of my hubby and my brain isn't racing around trying to work out how to do 101 things in less time than possible and just enjoy the moment.

2. November 3rd is Election Day in the US of A, but did you know it's also National Sandwich Day? Let's vote, shall we? egg salad or tuna salad? chicken salad or grilled chicken on a bun? peanut butter and jelly or a bagel with cream cheese? turkey and swiss or ham and cheddar? grilled cheese or pimento cheese? roast beef-corned beef-or make mine veggie? 

  • Egg salad
  • Chicken salad
  • bagel with cream chees
  • ham and chedder
  • grilled cheese
  • roast beef.

3. When did you last say (or feel) 'no rest for the weary'? 

Probably a lot of times over the last few months as we packed up and then unpacked our home lol.

4. This time last year, where were you? 

Ha!  Helping my daughter and her family move house and looking after Grandson Rory 2 days a week.  I was probably saying no rest for the weary then too!

5. Share a favorite song, verse, or quote featuring the word 'peace'. 

Well I am rubbish at remembering song so I used google and according to one list the best song about peace is Imagine by John Lennon.  Not a bad choice.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Tomorrow we go back into full lockdown here in England as our covid cases are rising rapidly again.  The confusing thing is, due to our set up, the individual countries forming the UK can do their own thing which means the rules are different in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  The stupid thing is we're an island!  We should have followed New Zealand's example but then they're led by a sensible woman and not a buffoon!

Tuesday 3 November 2020

20 in 20 - Weekly Photo #36 - w/c 2/11/20

Well here we go again after a long break so a few photos to look at.  Most of them were taken today, a couple are from Sunday.

Today I ventured out for a walk - I'm getting to know the local area around the lake and park close to our house.

I was very glad of these:

It is very muddy as we have had soooo much rain. Some parts of the path are really only suitable for wellies.


We live close to the river Ching which winds through the forest area. This is one of the bridges over it.


Not particularly secure looking but it serves its purpose.


It's not a particularly big river and it twists and turns.

The forest gives way to the open parkland.

There is a play area for children and also a cafe that's still open for takeaways.

And then back to the forest again.

The lake


Another bridge over the river that also seems a bit rickety but at least there are guard rails on this one!


Plenty of squirrels about today.

These fallen trees are an important landmark when heading home - get to these trees and then turn left (or right depending on which direction you've come from) to find the path that leads out onto the road for home.

The circuit from our house through the forest and around the lake is probably about a mile and a half - I keep forgetting to set my Fitbit to track it when we head out. Next time!