Thursday 31 December 2020


 Outside it is cold and icy but it is sunny and at present the sky is a clear blue.   But underfoot is too slippery for me to venture out.   But I have plenty of reading matter -  Shuggie Bain is behind me.   I can't say I am sorry really - it is not a pleasant, easy read - but it is certainly a good, well-written  book, entirely deserving of the Booker.   Now I am on to the 2020 Book of Best Short Stories.   There is something that really interests me about a good short story.   So far I have only read two but they have both left a lasting impression.

New Year's Eve and at midnight we went into Tier 3.   My friends have just got me some money out of the cash machine.   These days we just never seem to need actual cash and yet there does need to be a bit of cash around - the paper boy needed a Christmas present - the Postie - I wonder just how long it will be before cash disappears altogether from the High Street.   This virus has certainly  speeded up the change in our shopping habits.   I have not been inside a shop in the past year - everything is ordered on line.  The Supermarkets, Amazon, PC World - these places must have seen a huge surge in business.

The Prime Minister is now telling us that by Easter - with 2 different vaccines being rolled out - things will be considerably easier for many of us.   I have not been vaccinated yet but have received a text to say 'don't call us, we'll call you ' and I have four drivers who have very kindly offered to to drive me to the vaccination place.   So I await a date.  Then I can ring round and see which one is available at the time.  

It is a very strange New Year's Eve and just let's hope everyone is sensible tonight and obeys the rules to stay home and celebrate with one's family.   A very happy and healthy New Year - and stay safe.

Wednesday 30 December 2020

In the morning early (it

These days my brain seems to function at a higher level earlier in the day.   I have to synchronise my hand with its shakiness and my brain in order to get maximum function.   It is 9.34am. my morning-carer has gone, after giving me a lovely hot shower. I have breakfasted, The Times has popped through the letter box and I opened the door to check that the money I left on the doorstep for the paper boy as a Christmas present had disappeared (it had).  I smiled when, just before the big day a small card from the paper boy, wishing me a Happy Christmas, appeared on the mat.   A reminder or what?   But boys will be boys.

It is very cold here but yet no snow to speak of - some forecast for later today.  There is blue sky out there so I have high hopes of sunshine.   As to the News -  I switched on Breakfast TV at seven and watched it until my carer came at 7.40 - and it was all Covid.   Such depressing news about it all.   And further restrictions coming in later today.  But something good is happening.   There is a blackbird on the end of my hedge just outside my window and he is singing his beak off so it is not all bad news.

I have finished 'Shuggie Bain' the Booker Prize winner which I had for Christmas.   Not a cheerful book - even the ending offers no hope - but by golly what a powerful read and what amazing imagery.   In so many of the incidents the reader is there with them - as they move house for example - full of such high hopes and only to be let down when they see the place.   Now I have the 2020 Book of Short Stories and Monty Don's Garden Book to go at - so plenty to go at.

So - it is away to The Times Mind Games before I wear out my day's quota of power.   Stay alert against Covid, keep warm, keep cheerful and listen out for that blackbird - he will be around somewhere.


Tuesday 29 December 2020

Yes - I know what day it is today!

 Tuesday.  All day.    And was it not for Bank Holiday New Year's Day on Friday, it would all be behind us.   Somehow Christmas and New Year have not been the same in this Covid 2020.   2021 and its vaccination programme can't come soon enough.   I sit here, arm-ready, waiting to be called.   Outside snow lies on the ground; only a light covering but enough to advertise from here in the warm that this is definitely not a day to venture out with Priscilla.   But the Mind Games in The Times wait to test my morning's Brain Power, a pile of new books from Christmas are shouting 'read me', a Pear and Ginger pudding with brandy sauce sits waiting to go into the oven for lunch (the last of my Christmas 'goodies') and there are exercises to be done.  And is there anything on TV?   I haven't looked yet - but surely there will be something.

It did strike me yesterday just how far things have moved on TV wise.  I remember watching the first colour film on television years ago and marvelling at it (just as I did at the first colour photos I took on my little camera) and yesterday I put my feet up after my walk and watched 'Murder on the Orient Express' - an old black and white film it seemed to be filmed in the semi-dark.   We do tend to take things like this forgranted now don't we?

I have friends who have hens - not many but enough to provide their needs egg wise.   Now all birds have to be shut up because of fowl pest.   My friends have taken great care with how they have housed their hens (lucky hens indeed) but I read in today's Times how many folk who decided to keep a few hens during lockdown can't be bothered with them now and have just 'let them go'.   I think we need to add the phrase - 'a hen is for life - not just for lockdown' - people are just so thoughtless aren't they?   That's my rant for today.

Mind Games and a cup of coffee call (and maybe one Milk Tray from the box one of my carers bought me).   And speaking of Carers perhaps I should explain.   The Carers I have are private carers, the price they have is negotiated between them and me - I pay their travelling expenses too - they come fully equipped with masks, aprons and gloves which they dispose of when they leave my property and I really cannot fault them.   They are good natured, will do anything at all I ask them to do, keep my washing up to date, cater for my every need.   Ten out of ten to both of them.

Monday 28 December 2020

Is it Monday today?

The days have gone completely to pot this Christmas - and then comes New Year's Day at the end of the week.   I shall not try to remember the day until next week begins.

I look at The News (there really is nothing else to watch as far as I am concerned) and see the awful floods some have endured over Christmas,  I see (for the millionth time) some politician  spouting on about Brexit and what a good deal we have got (or not depending upon who is speaking), or  listen to the latest depressing figures about Covid while sitting here waiting to be called for my vaccination.   None of the above makes for jolly thoughts.

In one way I am very lucky.   Because of breaking my hip (it is well on t he way to recovery now) I have Carers in morning and evening.   They are both pleasant, happy girls (well in their early fifties which is 'girls' to me) and we have a laugh and I have a couple of hours company to add to various phone calls from my son and from my friends - so I am very lucky.    My carer brought me a curry she had made for my lunch today so when I have finished this all I have to do is switch on the microwave for five minutes and enjoy a delicious lunch - she is a brilliant cook and often brings me a meal.

One day later this week my Physio has promised to come and actually walk with me and my Rollator (Priscilla) out in the roadway - weather permitting.   Apart from two walks on pleasant days along in front of my bungalow I have not tasted fresh air since the end of October (serves me right for falling over).  The best time to do anything like this is definitely early Spring.   If we get an icy winter - as is suggested at the moment - I shall be a long time inside - as will many folk my age.   At least I have a fantastic collection of books which were presents at Christmas and they will keep me going a long time.   I have started "Shuggie Bain" which was this year's Booker winner and I am really enjoying it - it is written so well that the reader is there - in the room - with the characters.   I can recommend it.

More blue sky than grey looking out of the window and the thought of curry calls - so see you tomorrow. 

Sunday 27 December 2020


 Sunday - nothing day really - I have totally lost count of the days this year.

One second ago there was a heavy snow blizzard here - now it is bright sunlight again.   Whichever, if I open the front door it is bitterly cold.  Storm Bella raged through our country overnight - luckily it does seem we escaped the worst of it up here on the River Ure - but looking at the News it seems that those around The Great Ouse really caught the worst of the storm with trees down and extensive flooding.   Greta, I know you often read my blog- if you are reading this I do hope the water didn't actually get inside and that you are safe and well.   Thank you for your Christmas calendar - I do hear about you from time to time and I did think about you many times yesterday, hoping things were getting better rather than worse.

How our weather has changed over my lifetime.   Is it my imagination or did it always snow in Winter, and were the Summers usually fine and sunny?   Or do we look at the past through rose-tinted specs?

I have, of course, spent the Christmas period alone - phone calls, plenty of new books to read, not a lot to watch on TV (is there ever unless one likes ancient films?), but actual face-to-face contact - nil.   The weather has been chilly so apart from religiously doing my exercises I have had little or no activity.   I watched HM The Queen as I always do - it is a ritual I have always watched and enjoyed - it is but a small part of the day.   Soon it will all be over and we shall be into a New Year - and it can only be better.   I await my Vaccination - as do most of my over - 80 friends.

In the meantime dea Blog Friends - Happy New Year.















Wednesday 23 December 2020

Two nights before

 How children used to love 'Twas the Night before Christmas' when I first went into teaching.   I would guess it has all got too sophisticated these days and certainly the days of stockings in front of the fire is long over - so few houses have fireplaces any more.   But perhaps I romanticise it all too much.   In my childhood we had far fewer presents - wartime, less money, no tradition of huge piles of presents, and our  meals were the good old fashioned fare (we usually had goose but this was because my mother dressed poultry for the village butcher and part of her 'wages' was a choice of bird.)   She loved goose and she loved the fat (goose grease) the cooking of it produced.   Not a lot of meat on a goose but we were a small family and a good joint of beef was also part of her wages so no shortage there then.

I shall spend the day alone this year as will many of my friends.   The rapid spread of this new variant means it makes sense to do so.   I have books on my present list, presents to open, a list of programmes I want to see, a pre-cooked lunch coming tomorrow with all trimmings included, a couple of days of complete relaxation will do me no harm at all.   (Bruises and aches are going by the way)

Carols from Kings will start the proceedings tomorrow at 3pm although that will be different with social distancing this year.   I don't think I shall post for a couple of days - unless I get lonely and feel the need for a chat - so


Tuesday 22 December 2020

Guess what

Would you believe it - I fell again?   I fell beautifully gracefully while pushing my trolley - it tootled away from me down the hall and left me flat on my face on the hall carpet.  My son could not get me up alone so he phoned my Lifeline and the Ambulance came.   They stood and pondered my position for all of a minute and had me up in no time.   Now I am none the worse for the experience except for a few bruises in places where I didn't know I had places - but oherwise unscathed.But what a strange Christmas it will be.  I shall be here alone and I am quite looking forward to it.  I shall mark out the one  or two programmes I want to watch on TV (Did anyone else watch Dr Zhivago on Monday afternoon - sheer indulgence - at teast the fourth time I have seen it), read the books I have asked for as presents, snooze (hopefully the bruises will have come out by then)

The sun is shining today - but then it would be now the Great Conjunction is passed I think we can say with certainty that none of us will be around  when Jupiter and Saturn pass again.

Yesterday I finished packing presents and tidied away the detritus.  Today I shall polish more furniture and begin to put out cards.  I love cards, to be reminded of friends, to learn once a year what they they been doing all year.   And I shall finish filing papers which have been hanging around since I came out of hospital - why do I keep putting it off?

My two early presents - one from my Daughter in Law's mother (an Amaryllis)and one from my two step Great Grandchildren D'arcy and Alphie (a White Poinsettia) are absolutely thriving.    I was hoping the Amaryllis would be our for the big day but I fear it will be a day or two late - but not long.   Watch out for the photograph.

Well I shall go and switch on the oven to cook my Tesco Finest Cottage Pie (delicious) and my Tenderstem Broccoli (three minutes trimmed, a drop of water added and done in the microwave), try not to look in the bathroom mirror at my black eye and probably have a sleep.

Sunday 20 December 2020

Five days to go

 Seven and it will all be over for another year.   Three weeks and all those flashing lights will be taken down, put back in their boxes and put away for another year.  And before you know it we shall be making a mistake and putting 2020 when we need to put 2021.   Happens every year, regular as clockwork.

I wish you could see the quality of light in my back garden - ten to eleven on a Sunday morning.   The sun is bright, lighting up the yew hedge along the back of the garden.   But the backdrop to that is a pitch black sky - amazing.  Lovely to watch from the comfort of my computer chair and the radiator.

I have learned a lot by having this accident - almost worth it. For example

1.  Be more careful.   Look where you are going.  Don't try to do two jobs at once or to try and reach a light switch or door knob just out of reach.   In other words - what's the hurry?

2,   Be organised.   I always thought of myself as quite a tidy, organised person.   This has taught me otherwise.   I no longer walk with a stick, but with a Zimmer Frame.   My carer ties a fresh plastic carrier bag on the front of it each morning and as the day progresses I put my rubbish (orange peel, envelopes from that day's mail, eventually the day's paper) in it and when the evening carer comes she takes the bag off and empties it.

3.  Plan your journey.   Here's an example  - jobs I needed to do - clear the dining room table, put away spare envelopes, writing pad, pens etc., find the files ready to file my papers which are on the top of the printer in the computer room, empty a carrier of books which has stood in the hall for the past fortnight.   Either I sit down and write a list of the order in which I shall do this or I trek back and forth and tire myself out going over the same ground again and again.

I made a list about two weeks ago of the jobs I needed to do: - presents to buy (this is surprisingly easy with the internet) and send. This is now finished apart from one or two to be wrapped and this is on my list for later today.   Incidentally a friend posted a parcel for me,  I wrapped it, ran out of sellotape and finished off the wrapping with string.   The postlady cut all the string off.   No string allowed on parcels now - it gets trapped in the machinery.

Is there a feeling more satisfying than crossing off a job done from a list you have made?   Answers on a postcard but no rude ones John or Tom!!

Saturday 19 December 2020

Varied weather

I don't think I ever remember a week with such varied weather - one day pouring with rain and the next brilliantly sunny - today is a sunny one with lovely blue sky.   I hope it is the same for John's (Going Gently) planned walk on the beach with friends.  They seem to be getting worse weather over there in Wales this week.

Christmas Day draws ever nearer.   I don't find the prospect of spending it alone at all daunting.   I have the lunch planned, I have unread books, my carers are coming as usual - what's not to like? And all my usual preparations are going ahead a bit at a time.   I have gone through and filed a lot of papers.   All my cards and presents are posted (thanks to various friends and neighbours,) my next job is to polish the Welsh Dresser in the hall with 'real' polish.   I always do this at Christmas before putting some of my cards there.   It means that when you open the front door there is a lovely smell of polish.  Alright - not many folk will be opening the front door this year because of Covid rules - but Santa will because I don't have a chimney.

Finally, if you don't already know - don't forget to look in the night sky on Monday (weather permitting)  as soon as the sun sets.   In the South West you will see Jupiter and Saturn coming together as 'the great conjunction' for the first time since 1623 (and thought probably to be the 'Star of Bethlehem' in earlier times).  Surely a good sign for a better year in 2021. Best viewing time in Britain will be between 4.30pm and 6.00.

Friday 18 December 2020

The 'taste' of Winter

 In Spring I always think 'Lovliest of trees the cherry now'.   In Autum n- as Tom always tries to be first to remind us - it is 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness'.   And at this season - as someone (Thelma?) told us - it was this Thomas Hardy:

This is the weather the shepherd shuns

and so do I.

When beeches drip in browns and duns

and thresh and ply.

And hill-hid tides throb throe and throe

And meadow rivulets overflow,

and drops on gate bars hang in a row,

and rooks in families homeward go ....

And so do I.


My sentiments exactly but Thomas Hardy can say it better and in so fewer words.   It was only as the rooks passed over late afternoon in the pouring rain - a bedraggled lot - that I was reminded of it.  No-one can say it better

Thursday 17 December 2020

Dark and stormy....

 It has been a lovely sunny day here and I fully intended to have a walk out in the fresh air.   Just as I was about to put on my coat the District Nurse arrived with enough bandages for a whole football team.   Yes - you've guessed it - I have to have my legs bandaged again prior to having stockings.   I no longer have Cellulitis but I do have an Odeama.   Once bandaged and socked there is no way that I can get my shoes on - so house bound for a week or so..  Hopefully quite a few good books to read.   Good job I am not a small child who needs reading to. It reminded me of a story my father used to tell me when I was small.   He was into his fifties when I was born - and a complete surprise by all accounts - but he was a lovely Dad and would sit with me on his knee for hours.   This  was one of my favourite stories.   I would say - Tell me the Antonio story Dad - and this is what he would say:  "It was a dark and stormy night.   The brigands and the chiefs were assembled in the caves together.   And the chief said onto Antonio - Antonio - tell us a story.   And it started like this:  It was a dark and stormy night (and so on - each time we came to the end I would beg just one more time)

I found sleep impossible for some reason last night and at half past one I got up, made two rounds of toast and marmite and a pot of tea, switched on the heating and watched a programme I have intended seeing on iplayer.  It was a programme about life in the Faroe Islands - it kept me awake and enthralled for a long time.   We expect the way of life in some distant country to be very different from our own but the Faroes seems more or less on our door step but once we get past the fact that we all speak English our lives diverge.   They live almost entirely on seabirds and fish - they didn't appear to have much in the way of vegetables- much of which they eat raw,   And their incredible cruelty in the catching of the fish and birds I found horrifying.  But it is a way of life and as such we should maybe respect it.   If anyone else watched it I would be interested to their point of view.

Now, of course, although only half past eight in the evening, I can' twait to get my head on the pillow.  Sleep well.

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Good taste?

 Just across the road from me there are a couple of houses with the front windows festooned with flashing lights.      One lot are electric blue and the next door are red.   They flash on and off, sometimes together and sometimes apart.   They drive me crazy and I like to get the blinds drawn before they are switched on.   Just up the road there is a motor home parked on a drive and on the side Mr and Mrs Claus do a complicated dance.   Luckily I can't see it from my window.   I understand that some people are putting extra lights out to thank the N H S this year - if so I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment but I can't help wishing we could have chosen another way of doing it.

I much prefer the gentle light of candles - trouble is the fire risk I know.   My contribution is small this year - I shall be alone - but I have had some lovely cards and once I have summoned up the energy to give a good polish I shall put them up and really enjoy them.   There is a feeling attached to Christmas which is hard to explain and which I think has little to do with religion these days but a feeling of goodwill - a warm feeling which I know that being alone on Christmas Day will make me feel good.

 Yes, it will  be different but there are plenty of memories there to hold on to aren't there?

Yes, it will be different but we all have our thoughts don't we?   I have ordered my Christmas lunch from my usual source and it is coming the day before.   There is enough for two meals and it has all the usual trimmings and instructions to plate it up and freeze one half for another day.   I shall do this, apart from the pig in a blanket - can't resist those so shall have them both on the big day.



Tuesday 15 December 2020


 Christmas has an altogether different feel to it this year and many people, me included, will be spending the day alone.   And I shall probably miss Tess most of all  - we have spent many Happy Christmasses together - she was such a companion.  Expect you will miss Winnie too John - yes both of these dogs had lived out their natural life span but they are still there in our minds.

Memories are powerful things aren't they.  I watched Mortimer and Whitehouse Going Fishing Christmas Special the night before last.  It is a gentle programme which I enjoy immenseley - full of gentle humour, pathos, words of wisdom - the lot all mixed in with a spot of fishing on one of the Northern rivers.   Do watch it if you get a chance.  Seven of my childhood Christmasses were spent during the Second World War.    My brother was a serving soldier, my parents must have been worried sick about him (he was at Dunkirk) but they always managed to make Christmas a happy one for me.

Our Christmas tree had the same ornaments on each year with one new one.  Do you remember the ornaments from your trees?   We had a little silver cottage with red windows, a silver swan, two small trees with silver stars on the top and a lot of red candles in red clip-on   candlesticks.    I wonder what happened to them.  They were very breakable in those pre-plastic days.

Lovely sunny day here today.   I have got quite a lot of jobs done which makes me feel positive.   Only another five days to go to the shortest day - then get Christmas over and we shall begin to see more light again.   It can't come soon enough can it.

Monday 14 December 2020

Sorry for the blip!

Yes - sorry about the blip in communications but am back - not fighting fit but on the mend.   Cellulitis is not pleasant but now I am wearing special stockings (the very devil to get on and off even for my experienced carers) at least I am back to walking again after a fashion.   Hopefully the Physiotherapist has promised to come one day this week and have a walk along the footpath with me if it is fine (the weather forecast for the week is abysmal although at present the sun is shining and that is a boost.)

First of all a message for my friends overseas who read my blog and who are in touch at Christmas - Frans and Riet in the Netherlands,  Joannie and Jessie in Australia,  Elisabeth in New York, Debs in Roaring Pines, Gayle and the four legged ones on the edge of the desert down in the South of the US and Margaret and Joel in the San Juan Islands - and I apologise if I have missed anyone - there has been no way to get my cards down to the Post Office - I still have not been out -and as we are on the edge of a high tier in Covid I can't ask anyone else to queue in a long Post Office queue.  So I am saying here to you all - stay safe and well and have a good Christmas and here's to a better, healthier 2021.   And those sentiments are extended to you all who read me regularly and who are such dedicated followers.

Hope to see you all tomorrow.

Oh and you two dear ones in Australia - those bulbs were so much appreciated - I was in hospital but my neighbour took them in, told my gardener and he came and planted them all - so I should have a lovely display to remind me of you in the  Spring.  x

Wednesday 9 December 2020


 Well, just one day of 'normality' and today my legs are back to being troublesome.   I have just spoken to the doctor and more antibiotics are on their way - a friend is collecting them from the Pharmacy as I write this.   Then I shall have a bite to eat, an antibiotic and go to bed for a couple of hours.   I did far too much yesterday I think.

Sad to hear that John's Winnie the bulldog has died, but she died peacefully at home without John having to take the final decision on life or death.   In fact it sounds as though she enjoyed life up to the very last minute. but we will all miss her - she has been part of our blog family for such a long time.   John will miss her and the other dogs (and Albert) will also miss her - she was a big presence and she will have left a big hole in their lives.

It is a grey, cold day today with no vestige of sunshine - just the sort of day to have an afternoon in bed - and that is exactly what I am going to do.   See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday 8 December 2020

Tuesday evening

 The sun - what there was of it today - has set;  the clouds - plenty of them - are clearing;  the rain - just a thin, miserable drizzle - has more or less stopped and night has fallen.  In other (shorter) words, it has not been a pleasabt day.   Luckily I put my coat on early this morning and walked up and down in front of my bungalow before the day got going.

I get tired surprisingly easily still and by the time I have had my little walk, made my mid-morning cup of tea and done a couple of The Times Mind Games I have to start thinking about lunch.   But at least I can now negotiate the step down into the garage so I can access the freezer for lunch (jacket potatoes with streaky bacon and cheese - very good.

The District Nurse came this morning and was very pleased indeed with the state of my Cellulitis in my legs.   I have finished my antibiotics today and (touch wood) they are clearing up nicely.

This will have to do for today because I have just woken up after falling asleep at the Computer.   See you tomorrow.

Sunday 6 December 2020


 A resolution.   Today I shall start writing my Christmas cards.   They have been sitting in the box since delivery and I have a lot to do - because I have moved a few times - Lincolnshire, Lichfield, Wolverhampton, Yorkshire Dales - because I have taught in several different schools and made lasting friendships - because I was involved in the musical life in the Midlands for many years - I have made many lasting friendships.   Now most of them - other than relatives and local friends - live far away, our only contact usually is at Christmas when it is nice to catch up.   So letters to write too.

Yes, I could send an e card.   But it is not the same as holding a card and a letter in my hand and I shall continue to resist the temptation.

So what else to tell you today?   Well it has been raining heavily all morning so far (10.40 now) and it is cold and wintry outside.   I suspect I would not go far up the Dale before the rain turned to snow. It looks so pretty as long as you are not driving in it.   One of my carers  comes through from higher up the Dale and it can be tricky this time of year, either with snow or - if there has been heavy rain for a prolonged period - with flooding.   If we get tw o days heavy rain the Ure can rise up to twenty feet in that time and the road becomes impassable.

Our Dale is called Wensleydale (after the village) but most Dales are called after the river which runs through them - Swaledale, Aire, Calder for example.   Our Dale used to be called Yoredale after the River Ure but changed many years ago.

I shall now go and prepare the second of my meals which Virginia from NewZealand sent for me so kindly.   It is Beef Bourginon and I shall serve it with the vegetables left from yesterday (and resist the temptation to add the sticky toffee pudding.)

Until tomorrow...


Saturday 5 December 2020


 Contrary to what the weatherman told us to expect it has been a clear, sunny day here.   Cold outside, but inside facing South a lovely pleasant day.   Apart from my morning and evening carers and my neighbour who kindly crossed the road and posted a letter in the box for me I have seen or spoken to no one, either in person or on the telephone.

This morning after my carer had gone I put my lunch on to a plate (roast turkey, pigs in blankets, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, honey glazed carrots and pickled red cabbage) ready to cook in the oven.   It was delicious.   While it was cooking I walked along the front of my bungalow alone today in the sunshine.   By the time I had cleared away my lunch things  I was very tired and sat down and fell asleep in the chair, waking up an hour later cold and stiff.   I had switched the fire off when going into the kitchen to eat my lunch. 

Things soon warmed up after I made a cup of tea but I was too tired to do more than sit and read today's Times.   Now, in the early evening, I am still tired and will have difficulty in staying up until anything like normal bedtime.   See you tomorrow.

Friday 4 December 2020

Friday again.

 The sky is dark and the rain is beating on the windows, coming in from the North - never a good sign.    What is falling as rain here is falling as snow higher up the Dale and everywhere it is cold.

Well, this morning was a surprise.   My morning carer comes at half past seven and I get up about half an hour before she comes, turn the central heating up from eighteen to twenty one and make myself a cup of tea.   This morning, an extra-dark one, someone suddenly took hold of my foot in bed - I was fast asleep and it was half past seven.   What a surprise!   Luckily my carer had the number to enter using my key safe.

Now, mid afternoon, it is clearing up and there is blue sky.   It has been a good day as far as I am concerned.   I still have my exercises to do but I am walking well, I have read The Times and done the Mind Games and my head is clear.   I really feel on the mend today.   And I had another lovely surprise.

I get superb ready meals every other Friday from a really excellent food firm called Fairhursts.   When my order came this morning there were some extras (including a sticky toffee pudding!!) and they had been ordered for delivery by Virginia in New Zealand.   Thank you so much Virginia - I was so touched by your kindness and I shall think of you with every mouthful of that pudding.

Yes dear friends - what would I do without you all?   You have all made my life so much richer.     Until tomorrow........

Thursday 3 December 2020


 Once more - Percy came into hospital so that the Physiotherapist could watch me walk with him.   She immediately condemned him as he had no brakes!    He went to the scrap heap (RIP) and has been replaced by a Percy lookalike who the Physio christened Priscilla.   Priscilla sits in my garage waiting for me to be strong enough to walk with her.

Yesterday for the first time I went out of doors and, with my walking frame, walked the length of my bungalow and back on the path with the Physio at my side.   It was a lovely little outing.  We are hoping to repeat the walk tomorrow, weather permitting.   But if it is anything like today it will be doubtful.

The sky is very dark and full of something which threatens to f......all on us.   I know that higher up the Dale (ie higher up into the Pennines) there has been a fall of wet snow.   Here, at present, it just hangs over us.

I am very stiff today after my walk but as I haven't actually walked since October 23rd it is hardly surprising.   I am doing my exercises twice daily and I hope that will help too.

So there is a vaccine about to be circulating.    And as I am classed as 'elderly' I shall be eligible for it.   Shall I have it?   I really don't know what to do - it seems so untried.   Have you any views on the subject?   If so I would be interested to hear them.       Until tomorrow...........

Wednesday 2 December 2020


The days drift by.   I suspect that during these strange times I am seeing more folk than most of you are.   Carers and professional NHS people dash in and out and I am able to do more for myself as the days go by so not sure how much longer I shall need them.   I certainly dare not have a shower in the house alone yet.

As I type this the rain has stopped and a weak sun has emerged   This year, more than ever before, I have been suitably placed to observe the trajectory of the sun - it rises at the left of my sitting room window, crosses low in the sky and sets at the right of the same window.   And now, sitting at my computer ina window at the back of the house I see that only the top quarter of the garden gets the sun in the winter.  I have been told to take two vitamin D tablets every day - chew them (they are not pleasant) and don't forget.  Maybe the plants could do with it too.

As I sit here the sky has completely cleared and is a beautiful, quite deep blue - I do hope we are destined for another nice day - the forecast for the weekend is pretty dire - snow at our height I believe.

Priscilla sits in the garage awaiting her first 'stroll' - and I wait for the delivery of a step and handrails so that I can reach her.   I do rather crave a breath of fresh air and tend to stand with the door open now and then.   My carer put all my recycling rubbish out for me last evening and the men collected it very early this morning ; isn't it a good feeling when you know it has all gone?

I hear on the News this morning that this year The Queen is breaking with a long tradition and not going to  Sandringham but going instead to Windsor Castle for Christmas. Showing a good example I am sure as so many people will be tempted to break the rules won't they?   So many people have a traditional Christmas where whole families congregate together - I can't help feeling that some members of these families will be glad of an excuse to have a change this year.

Get your vitamin D today if you possibly can!  See you tomorrow.