29 June 2020

This Weekend...

This weekend was like most other weekends recently.  We didn't go very far and found things to do at home.
Unlike the half a million people who decided that the beach was a good idea this week I'm still cautious about a second spike and happy to stay close to home.

I managed to get all the laundry done and dried, in between showers.

Sorted out my wardrobe (a well overdue task) and bagged up items for the great Slimming World clothes throw (when we can actually get back to club to do it).

Sewed in all those end on two blankets.


Started to arrange a date for our son and family to come and stay once we're allowed to after 4 July.

Wished our grandson a very happy 4th birthday. He had a lovely day.


Started counting down the days to my haircut next weekend.  The first one since 29 Feb 20.

Booked an appointment for the menfolk to get their hair cut on 6 July.  Such excitement!

Started my first crochet commission.  The Demelza Blanket.


Got the ironing finished.

Didn't get out for a walk as it rained :0(

Had a lovely roast pork dinner made by hubby.

Watched a film with hubby and had a glass of non-alcoholic fizz.

All in all a quiet weekend.  Next week will be the total opposite as I have the hairdressers on Saturday followed by our first trip to the zoo this year on Sunday.

How was your weekend?














26 June 2020

Local Walks - Canals

We're very lucky to have canals so close to where we live.  A few weekends ago, whilst most people were at the beach we took a stroll along one in the peace and quiet.


We met a few people on bikes and out for a walk with their dogs.


But for the most part we were by ourselves.


How lovely would it be to live in one of those houses?


The views were wide and peaceful


and I must admit to feeling a little bit jealous of anyone who gets to live close by.




24 June 2020

National Trust - Plas Newydd

Plas Newydd (meaning New House in English) is a National Trust property on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales.  We visited one very wet day back in May 2018.


Normally you can see across the Menai strait from Anglesey to North Wales but the day we went you were lucky to see the end of the lawn.


I'm sure in the sunshine the gardens would look spectacular.


It's definitely a place to take a picnic and relax for a few hours.  You could spend a good hour or two just wandering the grounds.


You can read more about the house here

Plas Newyyd is also home to the famous Rex Whistler Mural, although if I'm being totally honest I'd never heard of it, or him really.  Sorry Rex.


Commissioned by Charles, 6th Marquess of Anglesey in 1936, much of the composition of this picture is purely imaginary, although there are some recognisable architectural features and personal references to the family. The young man sweeping up leaves at the end of the arcade is a self-portrait of the artist. This is the last of Rex Whistler’s extensive murals.  It is painted on a giant single canvas, woven in France, of 58 feet in length. The artist, a prominent stage designer, painted it in a theatre workshop in London, before it was taken to Plas Newydd on the Isle of Anglesey, Wales, in 1937 and completed there.

Rex Whistler always intended to return to Plas Newydd after the Second World War to complete some of the unfinished details of the mural.  Tragically, he was killed on his first day of active duty in France on the 18 July 1944. 

 


22 June 2020

Baking in Lockdown

When lock down first started the whole country went mad for baking and you couldn't get flour anywhere.  I will admit to being one of those who baked a lot.  Unfortunately I ate a lot too so put on a lb or 2 and  soon stopped!!

Here's a list of what I made.....


Banana Loaf - A good way of using up all those "rusty" bananas.



Lemon Drizzle Cake - A request from hubby.  It didn't last very long :0)


Brownies - Sticky chocolate brownies to be exact.  From my old faithful "What's Cooking - Chocolate" book.


Beer Bread - To be honest, I didn't like, I don't see what all the fuss is about and I won't be making it again.  Hey ho!


Rocky Road - A request from the younger male in the house.  Lots of chocolate, marshmallows and digestive biscuits.  If I had made them for me I would have swapped the marshmallows for cranberries.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake - My favourite.  I could make this over and over but have made a conscious decision to only make it occasionally so those lbs don't creep back on!

What did you bake whilst in lock down?





17 June 2020

Walking the Wirral Way

The Wirral Way is part of  the Wirral Country Park and is a walk along the old railway track from West Kirby to Hooton.  It's approximately 13 miles.  


Hubby and I took a short walk along it a few weeks ago.  It looks quite quiet on this stretch but cyclists at the moment are a nuisance.  They have to share the path with walkers but don't seem to have read the signs that say "Slow" and "single file".


We stuck the the bridle path instead (as did quite a few others) and we only met two horses.
The view across to North Wales is usually stunning but we had trouble seeing the hills this time.


As it was a driech day and we only did the 4 mile stretch from Thurstaston to Heswall.  We're planning to do the whole thing once things have calmed down.





15 June 2020

Lockdown - How am I feeling?

A few weeks into lock down, when I started thinking about blog posts, I wrote down how I was feeling.

 Week 2

How am I feeling?  That's a question a lot of us are asking ourselves.  The answer is:

I'm doing OK.  I'm not thrilled at having to stay home and not see family and friends but at the same time I'm happy to do so if it keeps everyone safe.

I have good days and bad.  Some days I don't want to do anything and others I'm like a woman possessed and if it isn't nailed down it's getting cleaned/tidied.  I watch the daily briefing every day and it saddens me to see the increased numbers of people dying from this virus.  I'm content to stay home but also enjoy my few days at work.  

I'm enjoying walking with my boy and I'm not bored as I can always find something to do.  All in all I'm doing fine.


Fast forward three months.

 

Week 12


When lock down was first put in place I used my time off work to spring clean the house.  Getting into all those nooks and crannies that had been missed in previous months.  I embraced staying in and found new ways to keep myself occupied.  I didn't embrace the on-line exercise culture that seems to be the new thing for a lot of people but I made sure I went out once a day for my daily walk.  I did our weekly shop on-line (if I could get a slot for deliver or click & collect).  I enjoyed working part time.

Twelve weeks later and the novelty seems to have worn off.  I still keep on top of the dusting and the house is still tidy, the shopping is still done on- line but I have now gone back to work full time.

I still go for a walk everyday (except when it's raining) but now tend to go in the evening.  It's usually just me and hubby but sometimes S joins us.

I miss being able to sit in the afternoon and crochet or plan blog posts

It’s like living in two separate worlds.  There’s the one at home where we’re still sticking to the rules and hubby is still working from home but everyone else seems to have given up and are having parties or going to the beach or meeting up in huge groups. 

Then there’s the one at work where social distancing is still in place, where our meetings are done via Zoom, where hand washing is a must, where hand sanitiser is used when entering and leaving a room and where only certain children are in school.

It feels a bit like we've gone back to normal but we haven't if you know what I mean.

 Is this the new “Normal”?  I don’t know if I like it.



12 June 2020

Currently

I've done it again and have "borrowed" this idea from Deb at Deb's World.


Discussing - I seem to have spent a lot of time this week discussing how to safely manage the children when they are back in school.  There is a lot to be considered from PPE to transport and lesson planning to attendance.  It is like a military operation and we only have 27 out of 122 at the moment.  The teaching staff are still on a two week rota but it's back to work full time for the office ladies.  I spent a lot of time getting things ready for the children coming back only to find out, last Friday, that they wouldn't be coming back the following week as the R number for the North West was over 1 and didn't conform to Government Guidelines.  Never mind.  We're all set for when they do eventually come back.


Craving - Seeing our grandson.  He's 4 this month and it will be the first time we haven't been there for his birthday.  Unless the rules change by the end of the month we will have wait for our hugs.



Buying - Apart from food the only thing I have bought recently has been a new set of shelves for the hall.  I ordered them at the end  May and they should be delivered on 11 July!!  It's a two man job and can only be delivered to the front door.  They can't unpack it and aren't allowed to take the packaging away.  It looks like I'll have to chop the cardboard into small pieces to get it in the recycling bin as a trip to the tip is still taking three hours.

Feeling - A little overwhelmed and restless.  I can feel myself heading back to where I was three years ago and I don't like it one bit.  Luckily I have a great circle of family and friends here to help me through it and cheer me up when needed.  I am indeed blessed.

Wearing - Last week it was shorts and t-shirts but this week has been cropped off trousers and jumpers.  It felt really strange to wear socks the other day after not wearing them for so long.






10 June 2020

Crochet Keeps me Sane - Part 6

This is post is extremely photo heavy and for that I make no apologies.  😊

This was my first move into advanced crochet and I'm very proud of myself for being able to complete the whole pattern.

She is called Sophie's Universe and was designed by Deirdre Uys.  Her crochet-a-long was so popular she published the pattern in book form.


Sophie is a big blanket.  All 113 rows of her.


I started on 5 July 2019 and crocheted every day.


She started off round and gradually gained some corners.


and lots of flowers.


She started to grow into eight sections.


and grew so heavy it was difficult to keep her on my knee.


She was squared off again and the final rounds began.


Finally on 20 August 2019 she was finished.


She was so heavy it took both boys to hold her up and even then she sagged a bit. 😊



She definitely earned her keep earlier this year,  keeping us warm on those chilly winter nights.

I have plans to make another one this winter.

To be continued.............








8 June 2020

Blogging

70 Interesting Sunflower Facts To Brighten Up Your Day | Facts.net

It's been good to get back into blogging after two years away.  The process has been made much easier by not having to work full time.  When you have time during the day to plan posts it's easy to do five a week.  Once I'm back at work full time I think it will be more difficult.
I don't want to stop again but I'm thinking I might have to limit the amount that I post each week.  That would probably fit in better with going to work, doing the housework and getting my daily walks in.  I don't want to feel tied to the laptop everyday.

I'm not  great writer.  I tend to write as I think and don't use long words when an everyday one will do.  It is what it is.

I've started a little diary of what I'm doing each week in the hope that it will help me with ideas of what to blog about.  At the moment it seems to be the same things in rotation, which I feel is getting a little boring.  That said the rest of this week is the same old stuff again.

I'm hoping that once we come out of our current restrictions, and we can get further afield I will have something new to blog about.







5 June 2020

On This Day


On this day 5 years ago, the young man graduated from Seven Lakes High School in the USA.

It's something neither he, nor we, could ever have imagined.  Mum made the trip to Texas to see him graduate.

I think she was the proudest Granny in the world that day.

4 June 2020

Daily Walks - A little Further Afield




A few weekends ago we were officially allowed to travel to exercise and we chose to go 5 miles up the road to the Wirral Country Park at Thurstaston.  We went early to beat the crowds and it turned out to be the right decision as the car park was full when we got back at 10.45am. 


After a short walk through the woods and along the cliff top you reach the Tinker's Dell steps down to the beach.  Going down gives you a great view of the Welsh hills on the other side of the River Dee.


The beach had a few dog walkers on it but for the most part was empty.


Off the beach, the main route back to the car park is along the old railway line.  The line originally ran from West Kirby to Hooton near Ellesmere Port  but closed in 1956.  The walk is approximately 13  miles each way.  

We didn't walk the whole thing! 






2 June 2020

One from The Archive - My Boy


♥♥♥

Oh how I miss this boy.  
We lost him six years ago today, just before we moved to the USA.  
He was 11 years old and having to let him go was one of the worst experiences of my life.

Would I have another dog?  
Yes, but unfortunately until I stop working full time it's not practical.  
Roll on working part-time or retirement (whichever comes first).

♥♥♥

1 June 2020

One Sentence a Day - May 2020

Debs, over at  Deb's World  did one sentence a day last month and I thought I'd give it a go.

1.        Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.

2.       J spent the day in the shed making a crate for my milk bottles.  

3.       The boys went to B & Q to get chipped bark for our neighbour but didn’t get any as the price had gone up to £9.00 per bag!

4.       A HUGE Thank you to the staff at the Blood Donor session tonight for keeping going during lockdown.

5.       Popped into work to give J her Birthday presents – A crocheted blanket and a beehive 😊

6.       Busy day at work today doing all the little jobs that normally get kept until the holidays.

7.       I could get used to working part-time.

8.       We celebrated VE Day with a picnic, bunting, Winston Churchill, and the Queens message.

9.       Such excitement over a shopping delivery from Tesco.

10.   I totally forgot to put the milk bottles out and now I’ll have about a dozen to return next Wednesday.

11.   Organising some advance posts for my blog takes longer than you think.

12.   Today I wrote a diary for the Mass Observation Archive.

13.   How to lose a whole hour out of you day by waiting in line outside Halfords!

14.   A busy day at work catching up with invoices and orders for PPE.

15.   It’s been so long since we walked along the prom that I’ve only just noticed that the Pirate Ship has sunk!

16.   J only went out to cut down a rose bush and ended up felling the Sycamore tree between us and next door.

17.   We took a lovely stroll along the beach at Thurstaston.

18.   The holiday diet starts just in case we’re still allowed to go.

19.   A few hours crochet this afternoon saw me catch up with two projects I have on the go.






20.   A 4½ mile walk tonight was difficult due to people not understanding the rules on social distancing!

21.   Trying to be good a work and eat more fruit.

22.   We took part in our first “Pub Quiz” on Radio Lancashire.  42/60.

23.    J made an amazing Slimming World curry for dinner tonight.

24.  We needed a 4 mile walk from Thurstaston to Heswall to walk off last night's dinner.


25.  J went fishing for the day and caught not only the sun but lots of fish too.

26.  Joined in with my line dancing class via Facebook and it was just what I needed.

27.  Took S to work to pick up books, did shopping and was home drinking coffee by 9.15am :)

28.  I finally managed to work out how to "reply" to comments on my blog thanks to instructions from the lovely Mary-Lou at Patio Postcards.

29.  Today I had a lovely chat with my nephew via Whatsapp.

30.  The blackbirds in next doors hedge have fledged and we have two babies in our garden being fed my mum ♥

31.  We stayed away from the crowds today and drove 20 minutes outside town for a walk along the canal.