31 December 2020

2020 - End of Year Roundup

What a year it has been.  Who would have predicted all that has happened this year?

On the whole not much changed in our house.  Hubby had to work from home and the Younger Male and I continued to go to work.  Some weeks I only worked part time and did some work at home but then from 1 June I was back to full time.  There were plenty of restrictions in place and lots of hand washing and mask wearing. 

I don’t know about you, but it’s now become second nature to do these things.  It used to be “Have you got your keys?” when we left the house, now we ask, “Have you got a mask?”  The answer is simple.  Yes!  We have them all over the place.  In the car, the kitchen drawer, work bags and pockets.

Dealing with local restrictions and national lock downs has become part of our everyday life and if we all continue to do what is asked we should see the light at the end of the tunnel next year.  Fingers crossed.

So, what did I learn from 2020?

·         Don’t take the things you have or the freedoms you enjoy for granted.

·         Make the most of the time you have with those you love.  It was such a joy to able to see our grandson during the summer when the restrictions were reduced for a short while.  Talking to them, face timing or texting just isn’t the same as seeing them in person.

·         I crave the company of friends and family.  My best friends live 420 miles away and have totally different restrictions from us, so it has not been possible to arrange a time to visit when it has been safe(ish) to do so.  Our son and grandson only live 2 hours away but are in a different tier from us so that has been difficult to manage too.

·         Communication isn’t for everyone.  Some people just don’t want it.  Let’s leave it at that.

·        Having to stay home is not a chore.  I love to go out and visit friends and new places or revisit old favourites, but I can also find things to do whilst staying home.

·        Hobbies are a must.  Being in the same house with others for weeks on end and with nothing to do can be a challenge.  Luckily, hubby and I both have hobbies and time apart doing them has been a good thing.  He has been busy in the shed with his wood lathe and I have had time to make lots of blankets and scarves for Christmas presents.  All items made this year, I am glad to say, have been gratefully received.  It is so nice to get a thank you from someone who appreciates the time you put into their gift.  After all it doesn’t take much to say thank you does it?

·        Housework.  I know it’s not everyone’s favourite thing, but it has been so nice to be able to keep on top of the dusting and ironing.  I’m loving the empty ironing basket.

·         Shopping.  For me this is a nightmare.  I like to go in, buy what I need and come home.  I stay apart from others; I gel my hands and I stick to the restrictions.  I don’t understand people who wander about just for something to do or stand so close to you when you’re looking for an item or are at the checkout, or those who simply won’t wear a mask (and I don’t mean those who are exempt).  Moan over!

·        You can’t change the way people see you.  Even a global pandemic can’t change that.

·        Moving home isn't easy during a pandemic.  This year has given us time to make decisions on moving to a new house.  It hasn’t been an easy year for house sales etc, but it has been a good time to decide what comes next.

·        I am thankful for a lot of things this year.  From small simple things like good friends and being able to donate blood, to larger things like being able to pay our bills and to still having a job at the end of all this. 

This year has been a good reminder to be grateful for the lives we have and the people we have in them.  I hope that 2021 will be a much better year.  I know it won’t happen overnight, but it will be good to put 2020 to bed and embrace what the new year has to offer.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and safe and healthy 2021.

19 December 2020

Merry Christmas 2020

 I'm taking the next few weeks off ,but before I go I want to wish you all a very
 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Here's hoping that 2021 is better for all.

17 December 2020

Crochet Keeps Me Sane - the COVID Edition

Covid, Covid, Covid.  You certainly did a number on us this year.  

But on a positive note you gave me time to make some "Corona Blankets".

There was the Persian Tiles Blanket.

The Beachcombing Blanket

The Nature's Walk Blanket

The Rainbow Sampler

And the Demelza Blanket.

Look at all that wooly loveliness.

The Etsy shop is looking like a good idea!!

15 December 2020

Gordon Castle Gardens

Not far from our old house in Scotland is the Gordon Castle Estate.  For many years it was just a family home but in the last 8 years they have turned it into a successful business.

The kitchen garden area was a mess of tall grass and broken greenhouses and they have worked hard to make it a gorgeous place to wander around.

If you're ever in the North of Scotland pop in and have a walk round.

13 December 2020

Bit of an Update

I've been missing in action from blogland for the last few weeks.  Mainly because I've been so busy at work that I just couldn't face any more screen time.  I'm hoping that with the holidays coming up at the end of next week I can get back to planning posts etc.

It hasn't all been work, work, work though.  We did find time to be silly and try on our hats ready for Christmas Hat Day in aid of Claire House in Liverpool.  Everyone in school can wear a silly hat next Wednesday and as it's the same day as Christmas dinner it should be a great day.

Hope you're all still safe and well and looking forward to the Christmas holidays.

7 December 2020

Quarantine Time Capsule

I like the idea of a little journal hidden away in the attic for family to find in years to come.
In the past I would have scrap booked about it but as I gave all my scrapbooking supplies away to a friend I will have to do with an old biscuit tin and a small album.

In the tin we have:

The COVID -19 timeline

The letter from the UK Government telling us about Lock down.

A copy of the speech given by her Majesty in April 2020.

Cards about how we are all feeling and how much petrol is etc.

Bits and bobs from our VE Day picnic.

An email from the Department of Education to say 'Thank You' to all those working in education.

A list of the Tier 3 Restrictions.

My journal of all thing Corona will have 

Photos and writings about:

Working from home, how we did the shopping, or managed without a hairdresser!

The Boy and his corona beard!

How tidy the garden looks.

My Corona Blankets and other crochet items made during my time at home.

The story of tennis elbow, which I got from too much crochet!!

My home & garden. 

Places we have ventured too.(distance permitting).

Ideas about what comes next.

There will also be information that is yet to be released, as lets face it.....this is not over!!

Are you keeping details of the first global pandemic for 100 years? or would you rather just forget it ever happened?

26 November 2020

Chester Zoo Revisited.......or Not!

I feel sorry for the folks at Chester Zoo.  They have had to close again for the second time this year.  Hopefully only for 4 weeks this time around.

I really miss not being able to just jump in the car, head 30 minutes up the motorway and spend an hour or two wandering the grounds with a coffee in hand.

I'm hoping it's not too long until we can see these guys again.

The lovely Ring Tailed Lemurs

See through butterflies who's name escapes me!!

The Asian lions in their new enclosure.

                                                                and My lovely Aardvarks 

Unfortunately by the time we get to visit again the Caribbean Flamingos will have left the zoo for their new home and we will have new flamingos in a new enclosure.

I hope we don't have to wait too long.

23 November 2020

Right Now

Right now I am .....................

  • Looking forward to the Christmas break.  It's been a very busy term so far and the next four weeks don't look like slowing down.
  • Listening to Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith on Audible.  
  • Watching The Undoing on Sky Atlantic and Queens Gambit and The Crown on Netflix.  All very good dramas and well worth a look.

  • Waiting for all my lights to go up.  I love Christmas lights and could leave them up all year.
  • Wondering if the vaccine for Covid 19 will work.  Our age group is way down the line of those who will get it so we should know if it works by the time it's our turn.
  • Starting a new crochet blanket.  Something to throw on our bed when it gets a bit chilly.  It might take a while as it’s a king size bed.

19 November 2020

Something Beginning with C

 I've been trying to tidy up my photos on the PC.  If I'm honest I'm not having much luck as I keep stopping to trawl through old pictures.

Having said that, I thought it would be a good idea for a blog post to find things starting with the letters of the alphabet.  So here goes.

The Letter C

1. Cactus. Arizona 2016

2.  Certificate.  Graduation from High School 2015

3.  Chocolates/Candy. 

4. Conkers.  Fochabers 2009

5.  Cowboy Night.  A night with friends 2014

16 November 2020

One of Those Weeks

Last week was one of those weeks.  One where I was so busy at work, my head was mince by the time I got home.  One where I couldn't think any more and couldn't be bothered to do anything.  No blogging, no walking and no crochet.

I manage to end the week on a good note though, and joined in with Children in Need at work. Albeit Covid style :0)

I'm hoping next week is better.

9 November 2020

Crochet Keeps Me Sane - Pt 7


2020 may have been a bit of an odd year for most of us.  One where we stayed home, then we didn't and then we did again.
During this odd year I have been able to crochet to my hearts content and have made several blankets to give as gifts.

The red one was for my friend J's birthday and one, she tells me is used every night at the moment when the nights are chilly.

The blue and green one was a housewarming present for friends at work who have just bought their first home.  It has pride of place on their sofa.  Or so they tell me.

The pink star was a pram blanket for my friend's first granddaughter who was born in April and who  she has only just been able to see.

And the cream one was one my friend asked me to make for her to give to the same granddaughter.

All are being used every day and it makes me happy to know that they are being loved as much as I loved making them.

Maybe I should open my own Etsy shop!!

4 November 2020

Fall Homes

Back in 2014, when we first got to Texas our realtor, Nancy invited me to view some "Fall Homes" .

These houses were enormous in comparison to UK houses and each one was decorated differently for the season.  Some for fall/Halloween and some for Christmas.

The starting price was a cool $750,000.00.

Come and take a peek.

Some had amazing lounge areas......

Some had awesome dining areas..........

Some had their own cinema/movie room.............

But my favourite rooms were the kitchens..........................................

Especially the one with the walk in wine cellar.  Heaven!!  :0)

Bedrooms, bathrooms and games rooms to follow.