Wednesday 31 March 2021

Times have changed

 This afternoon I watched 'Flog it' for my rest period - anyone who is not familiar with the programme it is a programme where items are chosen from things the general public bring along which are then sold at auction.   Often there are surprises. and often there are lovely things on the programme.   Today there was an item  which set me thinking.  Somebody today brought along a pair of Asparagus servers - I would not have known this had I not been told and I have certainly never seen such a thing.   I can't really think why it is not possible to serve asparagus with a tablespoon.   What made these special was that they had been taken on a particular Arctic Expedition which had been a failure as one of the team and six of his dogs had disappeared for ever down a crevasse.   The owner of these servers wanted a large sum of money for them - can't remember how much - and it did strike me why an expedition to such a place would find it necessary to take such an item.   The servers didn't sell and I asked myself would a present day expedition go to the trouble of taking such an item.?  Surely not.  In fact would they even consider taking aspatagus in the first place.

It has been another lovely day here today with pure unbroken sunshine all day.   Priscilla and I had our walk round early this morning.    Since then I have done mundane things like empty the washing maching and put the washing in the drier so that I could put it all away later(this helps my carer), emptying the dishwasher when it had completed its cycle, getting my clothes out ready for morning and then sitting on Priscilla for half an hour in the garden in the sunshine.  This gave me a chance to complete a Sudoku and also admire the garden now that my gardeners have made such a good job of doing it all yesterday.

And tomorrow?   Where am I going?   Not very exciting I'm afraid.  I am going to have a Bone Scan - as a result of breaking my hip last Autumn   I shall wait and see what tomorrow's weather is like to decide  what to wear.  There are rules - no jewelry, no zips, no wired bras - but how many layers will depend on how chilly it is.

I wish you could see my garden - It took two of them all day but it is immaculate and full of daffodils and dwarf tulips.   Some of them came all the way from Australia last Autumn (thank you J and J if you are reading this).  Spring bulbs make it all look so cheerful don't they.  Until tomorrow......

Tuesday 30 March 2021


 What a difference company makes to the day.   In these Covid days. when one lives alone, the days can seem long.   I like my own company and can usually find something to do - read my book (at present Monty Don's Japanese Gardens), read The Times, do the Mind Games in The Times, call up a friend, watch a programme on TV.   But there is no substitute for a bit of human contact.   Walking out with Priscilla I usually meet two or three people for  quick chat - socially distanced of course - and my neighbour M is fantastic at nipping out if she sees me coming.   All that plus J my carer, for an hour each morning, means that although I live alone I do get company.   My son, who lives nearby, rings me every night for a chat (last night he tried explaining the Zen idea of one hand clapping.   I am still having to think about it but hope that by the time I have finished the Monty Don book I might have  understood the concept.)

But today - a lovely warm, sunny, Spring day - my two gardeners - D and J - have arrived to mow the lawn and make a start on clearing up after winter.   It is good to see them wandering around outside the bungalow.   I have just made them a drink and we had a five minute chat while they drank it.   It is all company and it makes my heart a lot lighter.   And what a difference the weather makes too.   Yesterday, as the day went on, the weather improved.  So after tea Priscilla and I did walk round the block and I did meet G out for her walk and we had a chat - rather hampered by the fact that I had taken my hearing aid out to make a phone call and forgotten to put it back in.   And incidentally I had missed a couple of days walking because the wind had been too strong and by golly I did notice it.    It did reinforce the fact that as far as muscles in the legs are concerned - if you don't use them you lose them'.

It's good to see that at long last the ship blocking the Suez canal has been freed.   Can someone please explain to me why although everyone is calling it the Evergiven as far as I can see it appears to clearly say Evergreen on the side.   Or are my eyes so bad they are reading it wrongly.  Also I think I heard on theN ews that there were cattle on board and they were running out of food.   Did I mishear?  I know I am old but hopefully I am not losing eyes and ears!!  (and senses)

Monday 29 March 2021

Desperately looking.

 The weathermen have been so gushing about what the weather is going to do for the next two or three days (before becoming winter again just in time for Easter) that I keep looking out of the window expecting miracles (we are above six hundred feet in the Yorkshire Dales and it is gusty and windy) but so far no sign of anything at all like that.   This morning it is so gusty that I watched out for the Post Lady coming and then asked her if she would take a letter to the postbox for me.   Both our postmen are so good and always oblige.    I just dare not cross the road with Priscilla until the wind dies down.  (The Post box is directly opposite my window).  The sky is a uniform grey and the patio is wet.   I am afraid it will be another day of exercises rather than walking unless there is a dramatic change.

John (Going Gently) speaks today of favourite places.   I think we all have places which are dear to the heart but I don't think that necessarily means we would wish to go back there.  In fact my view is that it is never a good idea to go back to where one has lived before and live there again.   Places change, people change.   I thought of this yesterday afternoon when my dear friend J, who still lives in the village where we both lived as children, rang for a chat as she often does, bless her heart.   We are both in our late eighties - in fact she is ninety in mid December.   Thank goodness we still both have our marbles intact so we can (and do) reminisce about 'the old days' but that is as far s it goes.   Other than that we have lived apart all of our lives and had totally different experiences.   This is why, when my first husband and I retired, we chose to come up to The Yorkshire Dales rather than return to Lincolnshire.

I have now lived up here for thirty three years and yet I still don't consider myself 'a local' and I am sure the locals feel like that about me too.   My lovely carer was born within five miles of here and has lived all of her fifty odd years in and around that radius.   If I mention anyone local she has either been in the same class at school with them (or their brother), has worked with them, her knowledge of the locals is huge.   I can still remember people I was at school with as I am sure you can - but not necessarily the history of the locals to here.   I really don't know which is better - to stay in one place all one's life or to travel around, to holiday on the local coast every year or to travel the world.   And does it really matter which one does?   Whichever life style we choose, all our knowledge and experience dies with us doesn't it?   This was brought home to me most strongly when both my first and second husbands died.

Another post ends dear bloggy friends.   A zoom with my friends who have recently moved to Grange over Sands this afternoon.  Before long, all being well Covid-wise, we might be able to meet again.   Wrap up well - you can always cast a clout if that elusive sun does actually finally come out.

It is now Tuesday morning.   This post has not appeared on my page but my son tells me it has appeared  on his - with comments.   I am adding this and trying again in the hopes that it appears.

Sunday 28 March 2021


 I see in today's Sunday Telegraph( I take it as an alternative to my weekday Times, but am getting tired of it because it is so difficult to manipulate as it hasn't gone tabloid,) that High Fearnely Whitttingstall is complaining about the labelling of Supermarket produce.   I have long felt this and have tried, in my shopping days, never to fall into the trap of believing what it says on the packet.   He speaks of 'traditional farm' and 'farm fresh' as examples and complains of how supermarkets have made up names of farms in order to give 'a subliminal reassurance that customers are buying a product  which is good for the environment'.

I eat very little meat and a lot of vegetables.   In my days on the farm the farmer had a big vegetable garden and we always had a selection with our dinner every day.   Then when I moved here almost four years ago after the farmer died, I bought fresh vegetables and kept frozen as a back up.   Now my carer brings me a cooked lunch every day - salad twice a week - today is one of my salad days.   She is a keen veggie eater so I still enjoy that kind of diet.   Meat I could almost do without but I remember how my mother, who absolutely loved meat, used to love a good piece of sirloin of beef.   I still recall the best piece of beef I ever cooked.   At the farm we often had friends staying.   I ordered a piece of rare breed beef for Sunday lunch from our local Deli.   It was Highland Beef and when I unwrapped it it was a large piece of Sirloin and it was totally marbled with veins of fat.   I do not like fat meat and I was horrified but I cooked it.   When it came out of the oven there was no sign of that marbling - it had melted away into the lean meat and it was, without a doubt, the best piece of meat we had ever had.   Now I prefer to not eat meat - I love fish and I love quiche and when my carer brings my lunch with meat I eat it - but I love salad days best.

It is cold, wet and windy here today.   The weatherman talks blithely about how warm and sunny it is set to be tomorrow but today the wind is too strong to allow me to walk with Priscilla.   She is very capricious and temperamental when it is windy and I rather feel she has a bit of a desire to really blow me off course.   Percy was never like that - he always had my intere - sts at heart.

When one lives alone in these Covid times  Sundays are never very cheerful days.   In the weekdays various people I know walk past on their 'allowed' dog walks - a wave, a cheery Good Morning, or even a couple of minutes chat - all make the world go round.   Sundays everyone seems to 'go to earth' and everywhere is quiet.   Hopefully this will change when we come out of Lockdown enough to at least  meet others for a chat outdoors.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 27 March 2021

Grey skies

 How fickle our British weather is, especially at this time of the year.   There is a strong breeze today and, as I had stayed in feeling bad after my booster yesterday, I made myself walk round the block but nearly got blown away.   The morning started out sunny and blue skied but now at four in the afternoon the sky is a uniform grey.   My tete a tete daffodils on the rockery are cheering me up though.   Yes, Spring is on its way.   The weatherman says we are in for a very warm spell on Monday and Tuesday when temperatures might 'soar' to twenty in some areas.   Then, in typical British form, he told us that by Easter the temperature would have gone back rapidly and Easter would be cold..   Well, being we expect that kind of thing don't we?

I recalled this morning when we had our usual Saturday morning Zoom meeting that in 1952, the year I married my first  husband, he took me  on Whit Sunday to meet dear friends of his for the first time.   They lived in Sleaford, twenty miles away from where we lived.   My favourite coat at the time was a Petrol Blue Windsmoor coat with a huge shawl collar and I remember being delighted that it was snowing so I had to wear that coat.

Isn't it funny how we remember clothes we have worn which we adored?   I had a brown checked suit with a brown velvet collar - I never wanted that to wear out I loved it so much.   Do any of you  remember a favourite garment?   Now I suppose it has to be either of my two leather jackets.   I have always loved clothes and especially now that I am so immobile - and always likely to be from now on - I seem to get even greater pleasure from them.

Until tomorrow dear bloggy friends.

Friday 26 March 2021


 Friday again - how quickly it comes round.   It is almost eleven o'clock and I have read the comments on yesterday's post - and commented - and moved on.   Now my mind has to turn to what to write about today.   At my age it is very good to have to do this - keeps the old brain working.   The weather is always a good place to start and we have woken up this morning to a much colder day with the promise of heavy showers with sleet and snow mixed in.   We have just had one of those but now the sun is out and the sky is blue and the patio is drying up nicely.   The weather man also says that after today and tomorrow the weather will improve and by the middle of next week it may be up to twenty degrees.   My old bones will welcome that.

I have no side effects from my second Pfizer vaccination yesterday.   I am a bit achy and weary but can't blame that.   However, because it is so cold, I shall not venture out with Priscilla today.

Looking out of my window as I sit here I see that yesterday's sun has brought out a wave of miniature daffodils planted for me by my gardener just after I went into hospital with a broken hip.  Good for the soul.

See you later if anything occurs to liven up the day.

Well it is now 'later' and nothing has 'occurred' apart from the delivery of a new pair of ankle boots - because of the weakness in my right ankle (started because I broke it some years ago and now much worse because arthritis set in) I need extra support around the ankle and can no long wear anything resembling sandals.   I can't say  I am feeling brilliant this afternoon - it is now a lovely - but cold-day but I have no energy to walk round.   I am beginning to wonder if this is, after all, an effect of my vaccination yesterday.   But it is pleasant sitting here at my computer and looking out into the sunlit garden and it will be an opportunity after writing this, to make my notes ready for my 'presentation' for my Book Group.

But this will do for today.   I have said hello to you all so enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you tomorrow when I hope there will be at least something more exciting to report to you.

Thursday 25 March 2021


Jab day!   Yes folks, at half past eight this morning I had my second Pfizer injection.  My carer comes from seven thirty to eight thirty and was happy to take me.   My part of the agreement was to be up, washed, dressed and breakfasted before she came so that she could concentrate on getting all her usual jobs done before taking me.  This meant I got up at half past six and by the time she came I was more or less ready.

We arrived at the site with almost a quarter of an hour to spare and were allowed to drive right up to the door so that Priscilla and I could walk in in style.   There was already a long queue - socially distanced of course.   And as last time I came for my first jab, the volunteer marshall on my section happened to be a member of my Book Group so we were able to have a good discussion on 'Where the Crawdads sing' our book for this month (my choice).

I never felt a thing, sat for my quarter of an hour afterwards. came out and J brought me home   I had a coffee and a Bounty Bar as a treat after she had gone and then, an hour later than usual, I did the Times Mind Games.  My mind was really in gear this morning and I sailed through them (another morning and it would all be a struggle).   This was followed by my daily walk round the block.   I didn't feel like going but I know if I don't go - and keep my muscles working - there will come a day when I can't go.

Well so far that has been the highlight of my day.   But it is still only ha;lf past two so you never know - something else might happen.   All week I have been expecting my gardener to turn up to give my garden and lawn its Spring tidy but there has been no sign of him and if only I were mobile enough I would be out there with the secateurs cutting off some of the dead growth from last year.   But I am sure a week longer will do no harm - it is destined to turn cold tomorrow so last year's growth will give a bit of protection.

Today there is a lovely photograph of Princess Anne's daughter Zara, together with her husband the Rugby player  Mike Tindall- apparently yesterday she gave birth to their third child (a boy called Lucas Phillip) on the bathroom floor.  It is a nice touch that they have named him Phillip after his Grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh - who will be 100 in June.

 When Priscilla and I went on our walk late this morning I saw two signs of Spring.   Up here at 600 feet asl and in the North too Spring is always a little later arriving but as we walked along the footpath part of our daily routine I saw that the hawthorne hedge on the side which gets absolutely no sun at all was beginning to sprout new leaves.   When we were kids we used to pick these from the hedgerows - we called it 'bread and cheese '.   I remember we had a hawthorn hedge along the bottom of our garden when I was a child and when it was newly sprouting in the Spring if my mother was making a green salad she would go down the garden to cut a few bits of lettuce sprouting under glass, add a few sprigs of parsley from just inside the greenhouse in a pot and then pull just a few hawthorne sprigs.   The lot would be washed and chopped up small and seasoned and would make a nice salad with a couple of chopped up hard boiled eggs.   Try it sometime.

Also further along the path I walked under a tall evergreen tree and there, sadly, on the ground, was what looked like a blackbirds egg judging by the size and colour - it had presumably been robbed from a nest above - maybe by a magpie - dropped on the ground and the contents eaten.

My friends P and D who have recently moved, have a very large garden.   Yesterday they walked round Sizergh Castle, which is a short distance from where they are now living.   They walked round the garden and found something called 'A Stumpery' - they are now very enthusiastic about building one in part of their garden which is shady.  A stumpery is a shaded area which has tree stumps added, and logs and branches.   Mosses and fungi are encouraged (if you want to see some absolutely beautiful fungi go to 'By Stargoose and Hanglands' on my sidebar) and parts of it have ferns and hostas and other shade-loving plants.   Bulbs are planted for early interest - they said it was absolutely fascinating and they can't wait to get started.   If anyone has any knowledge of stumperies then they would appreciate your letting me know.  (they were very interested in your replies when I asked you the other day if you would have taken the photograph of the couple when out walking in these Covid times).

Well friends, that is definitely all for today.   See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Another day

 Yes - Tuesday again and the day after tomorrow I have my booster dose of Pfizer.   This morning fell into its usual pattern - porridge and toast with coffee, shower and dress, five minute chat with my carer before she tootled off - then the Mind Games in The Times while my mind is empty of detritus which builds up during the day and hinders my thinking.

Half past ten and time for my morning walk.   It is on with the woolly hat and gloves and top coat - all still necessary as there is a chill wind.  I never feel like it but I know it is necessary and by the time I get to the bottom of the drive I am glad to be out.   Every step serves to reinforce the fact that my daily walks are making my walking improve.  I kept a mental tally of encounters this morning.  Six doors up the road I met J - although she lives so near it is the first time I have met her.   J greeted me cheerfully and informed me that she too was a carer and knew my carer well.   We had a brief chat and she rushed off to have a shower between clients.   I turned along the footpath and met two lots of dogwalkers -I meet them both most mornings.   The dogs and I greet one another and I resolve yet again to remember to get some treats on my Tesco order so that I can have a few in my pocket.  The walkers and I have a brief chat - usually about the weather (sunny, breezy and a bit chilly today) then Priscilla and I continue.   Rounding the last corner for home I meet M - we haven't seen one another for a couple of weeks so we stand masked and distanced and have a chat to bring us up to date on the pretty non existent news.   Then it is up the drive and home again - and coming into the garage I know how much the walk has done me good.   I feel justified in sitting down with a cup of coffee from the flask my carer has left me and having a read of The Times.   Then I come on here and write this.   I'll be back later - you never know what excitement there might be later in the day - but if there is none then at least I have met and chatted to various people and that has got to be a plus.  See you later.

Well nothing has happened since I wrote last.   My son has broken up from school so I had a long chat with him this afternoon on the phone and that's about it.   The sun has long since disappeared and it is cloudy which means there is a real chill in the air.   I had a delicious lunch - salad with cole slaw and beetroot, a chicken breast and a jacket potato and now, although it is half past five in the afternoon, I am not at all hungry.   I shall probably boil myself an egg later (my friends, who supply me with eggs) are happy because so far it does look as though they might be able to let their hens out again at the end of the month (they have been shut up everywhere because of an outbreak of bird flu).

The most exciting thing tomorrow will probably be the delivery of my Tesco order in the morning.   What an exciting life I lead!


Monday 22 March 2021

Good Morning!

 Good morning everyone - yet another week begins - and next Monday we shall have added British Summertime.  I hope someone will inform the weather.   It is a sunny day today and I enjoyed my walk, but golly I needed my woolly hat and gloves.   At the speed I walk (getting a bit faster) it was cold in the stiff breeze.   One of the good things about my daily walk (please note, I don't always feel like it) is that I usually meet several other folk on their daily constitutionals.   We always observe social distancing but we often stand and chat - only for a couple of minutes but it is always human contact and that is so very important, I am sure you will agree.


There is not a lot to report so far today and a roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding - courtesy of J, my carer-  sits awaiting the press of a button in the microwave so this will sit quietly until later in the day after our afternoon's Zoom with P and D in Grange and then I'll be back.  But I will just leave you with something to think about because I would like to know what you think.    Lately there have been a series of programmes on television about the Royal Family.   I have found them most interesting - re telling a lot history which I knew about vaguely but went back to my very young childhood - for example, I can rememb   er the abdication well but I knew nothing about the background - the autocratic nature of King George V and Queen Mary, which was at odds with Edward's outlook on the monarchy.   Yes - I think we have been lucky that he abdicated in favour of his brother George who became George VI and thus now gave us our present Queen - but the finer details were lost to me, so I learnt a lot.  But last evening there was a programme on the present Queen and her marriage to Prince Phillip.   Some of the details were personal to say the least and were the result of recent papers - my personl view is that nothing has been gained by publishing them --our Queen has done a jolly good job (whether you are Royalist or not you most likely agree) and she has been supported by Prince Phillip.   Do we really need to know intimate details about their marriage and possible cracks in it when they were young?   I personally think not.   Both in their nineties now - couldn't all this have waited a few years?

And after our blog with P and D here is another question for you.   On the way to the shop for groceries this morning P was approached by an elderly couple who held their camera out to him and asked him if he would please take their photograph.  He apologised but refused saying with Covid restrictions in place he really didn't think he should touch their camera.   Would you have done this or would you have just taken a photograph for them?

Sunday 21 March 2021

A Cautionary Tale

 Here is a tale to begin with today.   On Breakfast television was a picture of a Giant Walrus basking on some rocks somewhere around our coast.   Last week it had been seen in Kent and was obviously going around, presumably looking for a mate at this time of the year.  Sadly it is doubtful it will find one because it is an Arctic giant walrus it is thought it probably arrived here after going to sleep on an icefloe and  floating  South.  I have not seen a Giant walrus before so have no idea whether it is a young, inexperienced animal or an oldie beginning to lose its marbles.   The fact remains that it has arrived out of its comfort zone.   Let that be a lesson to all of us oldies - don't fall asleep on a train because you may well arrive in Land's End when you intended to go to John O'Groats.

Sensibly this morning I went for my walk fairly early.   I saw four lots of folk to pass the time of day with, Matt mowing a lawn for a lady (it sounded hard going), then my neighbours off for the first time this season on their electric bicycles for their  (one hour) bike ride.   The weather was warm and sunny and it was a lovely walk.   Now, sitting in my window typing this I see that the sky has clouded over and for now at least the sun has disappeared.

I am not posting this yet.   Something else to cheer my day might happen yet so I shall keep it for later and see you  then.   Now it is indeed later and not a lot has happened.   I must report that I am adding this to avoid doing what I really must do this afternoon, and that is make a start at making notes on 'Where the crawdads sing' which was my choice of book for our book group this month.   Our  meeting - via Zoom - is actually on Easter Monday - we decided we could have it on that day because none of us are allowed out to go anywhere so it will give us something to look forward to.   And, of course, because it is my choice I have to give a presentation first - hence my note-taking.

I have enjoyed the book - a first novel written by a woman who is a scientist and has written several non-fiction books.   And I must say it shows - it is a book which is written in a very ordered kind of way - and at the same time the marshes, which figure largely in the book, are described so well.   I hope all the group have found it a good read.

Take care dear blog friends - see you again tomorrow.

Saturday 20 March 2021


 Has Spring ever been more welcome?   I doubt it.   Today here in the North East we are getting the best of the weather - the weather man told us that this morning and I believe him.   The sun has shone all day.   But when I set off with Priscilla (my best walk incidentally - the Physio was quite right - the more I do it the better I shall walk) I rounded the corner at the bottom of my drive, out of the shelter of the hedge, and was hit by a brisk, West wind with a distinctly chilly edge to it.   So out came the pom-pom hat I keep in Priscilla's box.

Interestingly - the combination of age, cold weather, recovering hip and Covid make even the most ordinary happening into an event.  I rounded the corner on to the footpath and came face-to-face with the lady who used to groom Tess for me.  So we stopped for a short, socially distanced chat.  (first my carer for an hour, then forty minutes coffee morning on Zoom with my Saturday morning gang and now this - how could I contain the excitement?)  She had two small children - one around three and one around three months.   Their names ?  (both girls) the elder of the two - Jersey - and the baby - Winter.    How the fashion in names has changed.   I think of my mother's generation - Maude, Alice, Gertrude, Mary.   Albert, Abraham, Thomas,- My mother and her siblings.   Then we seemed to go through a stage of classic names - Elizabeth, Catherine, Valerie, Rosamund.   Now anything goes.

We parted and I walked on home, closed the garage door on Priscilla and heated my delicious casserole lunch in the microwave.   I ate my banana and orange pudding and then (asusual) fell asleep for half an hour).

Next on to my blog and a read of all your posts - as usual all interesting and a connection with you all - one which I enjoy tremendously.   Then think of something to write about.   Now it is time to make my ham and Dijon mustard sandwich for tea, along with a handful of Piccolo tomatoes.   My god-daughter rang in the middle of writing this and we have been talking for three quarters of an hour - lovely to catch up all her news.

Take care everyone and see you tomorrow.   I am getting together a list of blogs that I have missed - still am not sure how to put them on without them coming up in red at the top - so back to the drawing board!

Friday 19 March 2021


 Oh dear!   I have done something wrong again and - sorry 'Breath of Fresh air' but you have appeared in red above my blog list -  I have just managed to put the Bike Shed in the correct place (thanks Rachel) when it happens all over again.   I am afraid it is usually down to my shakes.   I have an inherited condition called Benign Essential Tremor - my father had it and my sister inherited it and now me I am afraid.   It is, as it says, a benign condition, but it does cause problems on some days when it is bad.   My hands shake so much that I easily hit the wrong key and you get a garbled reply - hence my location yesterday.  It is easily mistaken for Parkinson's Disease but is in fact much more common and   not at all serious.   I try to choose a time of day when it is not all that bad for the time when I put on a post but it doesn't always work.

A lot of you having tried to read Anne Mustoe (and Graham Swift) found the books impossible and didn't finish them.   It just proves one thing - our reading tastes vary.   We did have a discussion about this in our Book Group a few months ago.  For some people the story is the most important, for others the quality of the writing is most important and for some it has to be both. I think I probably fall into the last category.   I do like a good story line but far more important to me is the standard and the quality of the writing.   But whichever it is, one thing is for sure - I would have been absolutely lost without books during our Lockdowns.   Not only have various friends supplied me with books but I think the number of books I have bought on line probably balances well against what I would normally spend on petrol.

Sorry I appear to have moved to some remote place in Australia yesterday folks - I assure you I am still here in my little cosy bungalow in the Yorkshire Dales.   I have no intention of going anywhere - not to Australia, although Joany and Jessie ring me regularly from there and it would be lovely to go an see them.   In fact getting round the block with Priscilla is my absolute maximum so far this year and it is not likely to improve much.   I dare not try to alter that because I might make it worse.   Mary (Breath of Fresh Air) I see you are actually in both places - but my son will hopefully move you from the top when he breaks up from school and has more time.

I saw this morning on Breakfast television that it is sixty years ago today since the E type Jaguar was launched.   I remember it well - it always seemed to be red - and I rather think it cost around six thousand pounds (I am sure somebody will correct me if I am wrong)  One thing is for sure, it was the very height of sophistication - and I really think it still is.   I have never ridden in one and really have no desire to do so.   I do know that, a week after selling my little three door Corsa I am still missing the sight of it on my drive.    But - as they say - onward and upward.   There is no point in looking back.

The sun has just emerged from behind the clouds so I shall go round the block with Priscilla.   If anything earth shattering happens on my walk I will report it back to you.

Back from my walk, it is pleasantly warm but hardly a soul about.   Round here people are really obeying the Covid rules.   We have a large vaccination centre in our little town - at present using the Astra Zeneca.   I go for my second jab on Thursday next week and I shall be getting my top up in Pfizer, as that was what I had the first time round.  As with all of the centres, it is all well-organised - in and out in no time at all.

I came back in after my walk - the longest I have done, put the lunch my carer had brought for me (casserole of beef and vegetables) in the microwave to heat.   Within five minutes I was eating a delicious lunch.   I took my pudding (a banana and a tangerine) into the sittingroom to eat while watching the lunch time news, promptly fell asleep and woke up when the news was over.   My walk had tired me out - but I don't mind that;  it means my muscles are getting stronger.  My friend must have been while I was out  or asleep because magazines were through the door when I came through the hall.   I shall now send her an e mail to ask her.   Until tomorrow friends.



Thursday 18 March 2021


So far, as Rachel has let me know this morning, Cro is missing from my new blog list.   So sorry my son missed you Cro.   I have tried to put you on this morning but sadly my shaking is so bad this morning that I can't manage it.   Rest assured that as soon as he finishes today's on line teaching I shall contact him and ask him to reinstate you.   I can't do without my daily dose of your delicious meals and what is growing well at Haddocks.

I finished 'A Bike Ride' by Anne Mustoe last evening.   It was recommended to me by S, who lives on the Isle of Man.   I have enjoyed every word and do recommend it to anyone who likes travel books.   Anne did the ride in the late eighties/early nineties after resigning as Headmistress of a Boarding School.   She was 54, overweight and out of condition (she says) and wobbled because cycling was unfamiliar.   As a Classicist she gives us a ride round the World - the highs and lows of the actual ride and a short history of Classical times as she does it.   I see she also wrote two more travel books afterwards.  Looking her up I see that on her last ride she was taken ill in Syria and died in hospital in Aleppo.   What a wonderful way to go.

My new bloglist is interesting.   With the exception of dear Cro I think all my familiar friends have been transferred.  But as I said last evening, if my son has missed anyone else please let me know as soon as you realise and  I will get my son to add you on.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon yesterday but there is much more cloud today and I guess it is cold out there.   Nevertheless I am now going to put on my coat and hat and walk round the block.   I will hopefully add more later in the day so am putting this on hold. 

Thank you to Rachel who sent me clear instructions on how to add blogs to my list - it is so long since I added anyone I had forgotten how.   I added Cro in a second with no problem.   We couldn't manage without his daily dose could we?

Nothing else to add today - cool weather, a long(for me) walk, a nice chat to a neighbour, several phone calls and now it is tea time.   Until tomorrow......

Wednesday 17 March 2021

Piccadilly Circus

 Yes - it really has resembled Piccadilly  Circus here this morning.  First of all my carer J arriving  'on the dot' at seven thirty, then at nine fifteen A came with my order from the Deli (still waiting to be unpacked).   Hardly had she disappeared when the Physiotherapist came to walk down the road with Priscilla and I to check on how I was walking and no sooner had we had our walk and shut and locked the garage where Priscilla lives, than friends S and T called to collect my bank card so that they can get me some cash.   I am anticipating the appearance of my gardeners D and J any day and they like payment in cash.  It is still only a quarter to eleven and I am pretty shattered.

I am also in a bit of a state about my blog.   I am enjoying reading The Bike Shed so I decided to put him on my side bar.   It is a long time since I added anyone to my list and I must have pressed a wrong button somewhere.   Instead of coming up under my normal blog list he appeared in red along the top.   I went back to the beginning to change it and I have inadvertently completely removed my whole blog list.  I tried ringing my son to ask him to help but he must have already started teaching - I have left a message on his answer phone.   Now I am telling you all.   Is there a whizz kid out there who can tell me how  to get my blog list back where it belongs please?

Obviously an eventful day - I shall put this on and go back to a coffee from the flask J has left for me and then relax with The Times until S and T return with my money.

Thank you so much Bike Shed for your detailed guide to getting back to normal.   Before I could follow your instructions my son has redone my list for me, taking off a lot of people I haven't blogged with for years and adding one or two new ones.  So thank you D for your help.   I have just sat here and read through them all and I can't help thinking it was a blessing in disguise that I wiped my Blog List off - this is a much more up to date one.   However - should you be a blogger who does usually blog with me and your name is not on my Blog List - please make sure you blog with me so that I can add anyone that has been missed.    Not sure you are here Si - if not do let me know - I just can't imagine managing without your lovely photographs and your constant update on Newark - my old stamping ground of yore.

Tuesday 16 March 2021

It comes to us all.

If we live long enough we all reach the age when, like it or not, we have to slow down.   There is a saying four legs (crawling stage), two legs (most of adult life), three legs (two legs and stick when we age).  I don't know where that leaves me - I suppose I am two legs and four wheels (Priscilla) at present.    But whatever I am I know one thing for certain.   I have slowed down. 

My teaching life was hectic - rushing from place to place,always in a hurry.   My early retirement was a pleasant, leisurely pace but still we went to many places on holiday where we rushed from place to place making sure we saw everything.   Now, of course, arthritis, old age and a broken hip later, my pace has been forcibly slowed down and frankly I don't mind all that much.

I remembered this morning that many years ago I wrote a poem about it.   At one time I wrote a lot of poetry and put it on my blog but I haven't done so for years as I suddenly realised that my 'poetry' was really not very good.   However, I found a book with my poetry in it yesterday so I put here for you today a 'poem' which tells you how I feel about being in the slow lane - like it or not - now:


                                Take the Slow Train.

        Take the slow train, let it wander

        through the meadows.  Count the buttercups,

        Watch the river as it glides under bridges,

        over fields.   See the sunlight on the water,

        dappling patterns through the trees.

        And listen - in the stations -

        to the birdsong in the silence.

        You'll arrive there just the same -

        only later.   And your head

        will be full of nothing more

        than the pleasant, country scene.

        Or take the fast train, the express,

        as it hurtles through the fields,

        over bridges and through stations,

        empty platforms - 'til it shudders

        to a halt.   At its final destination

        and you step out to a whirl,

        to a crowd of busy people 

        all intent on getting somewhere

        in the very shortest time.

        I'm a slow train kind of person.

        I need time to stand and stare.

        If it comes to travelling quickly

        I'm not going anywhere.




Monday 15 March 2021

Sunshine at last

Yes - the sun is shining and there is but a small breeze blowing.   Of course that doesn't tell me the temperature when viewed from inside the room - but I shall dip my foot in the water later this morning with Priscilla and find out.   Meanwhile Monday is always my favourite day for The Times Mind Games and I sit an hour after J has brought me my breakfast and go through them all.   Now, at almost half past ten here I am with a bright and early post.

I have already had one smile this morning.   I see from The Times Obituaries - I always read them as they are so well written. - that Murray Walker, the Formula One Commentator, has died this week at the ripe old age of  97.   It seems no time at all since he was commentating but I read that he retired at the age of 89 after breaking his pelvis on a river cruise.   He fell down steps on the boat.   Then in the same year he was diagnosed with lymphoma.   But his Obit tells how he continued to watch the sport whenever he was well enough.   What made me laugh was in the Obit, reading about his absolutely unique style the Times tells of one of his best Murrayisms, when he said 'The Williams car is absolutely unique except for the one behind which is identical'.   Good old Murray - they don't make them like that any more.

Other happenings at this time in the morning?   Well I am finding the book Sue from the Isle of Man recommended 'A Bike Ride' very readable - if you like travel books do give it a whirl if you haven't already read it.   It has been written for almost thirty years but is very enjoyable - one of those books where you are with the author every bit of the way.

How Springlike is the weather in your neck of the woods?   It is reasonably dry here - just the odd heavy shower - but by no means Spring-like temperature yet. This time of the year don't we all long for a warm spell, especially this year when we have all been incarcerated for almost a whole year.

The paper today, of course, is now full of the Police  action at the vigil for Sarah Everard.   How sad it was that it all got out of hand.   With hindsight I do wonder whether it might have been better to ask all women to take part by putting a candle in our windows at a certain time.   I would certainly have liked to pay my peaceful respects in this absolutely terrible tragedy - and I still would - but it needs to be a peaceful, quiet and thoughtful caring time if only for the sake of Sarah's parents.   One can't begin to imagine what they must .be going through.   It is to be hoped that it might be the start of a gigantic effort to somehow make our streets safer for women but just for now I think Sarah's family might prefer peace in order to grieve for a while.

Well dear friends, outside calls while the sun is shining and hopefully I shall return with an appetite for my lunch of roast chicken and ham with cauliflower cheese, carrots, sprouts, Yorkshire pudding and roast and mashed potatoes - all sitting in the microwave.   All I need to do is push the button .   Thank you J - worth your weight in gold.

Sunday 14 March 2021


 Sunday again - my least favourite day because there is nobody about and few pass the window so there is nobody to pass the time of day with - allbeit just a wave through the glass.   At least my Carer came for an hour at  seven=thirty and so I did have an hour's human contact.   She has now had her first vaccination a couple of weeks ago and I have my second dose on Thursday week so it is all looking safer.   But as I am sure many of you who live alone will testify it is becoming quite a burden to have no human physical contact at all.   This is why I find a Daily Posting such a comfort - it makes me think of something to write about and then it make me come into the Computer Room, sit  down, switch on and actually Communicate.

As Anne quite rightly said in her comment on my yesterday's post - it has been such an eventful week - and not good events at that.   There was that Interview (I do wonder if they are beginning to regret it )-   when I was a child we had a small poker work picture on our living room wall which said 'Think before you ink' so true - and I think we could also add think before you say something you might regret.   Then there was the dreadful murder of the young lady on the streets of London - quite unthinkable, andthe subequent events at the vigil last evening.   Nothing much to lift anyone's spirits at present.

Priscilla and I walked round the block.   I don't know about Priscilla but I didn't really feel like it.   Looking at the trees outside the window it was quite obvious that there was still quite a strong breeze, but I must get the strength back in my legs so we set off and it was a struggle but we made it and I suppose it gave me a bit of an appetite of J's lovely lunch of chicken breast stuffed with blue stilton and wrapped in bacon and served with a salad of tomato, cucumber, lettuce, beetroot and cole slaw and potato curls (the potato curls and the chicken heated in my Remoska).   Then I rested with my feet up and watched Michael Palin in the steps of Hemingway in Cuba.   Now it is almost time for tea.

For some reason best known to itself my computer this morning had decided to change the date and the time - both were totally inaccurate.   I was very pleased with myself as I managed to change it - I do tend to go into panic mode but I didn't this time.

See you tomorrow dear friends:

Saturday 13 March 2021

Another week bites the dust

 Saturdays seem to come round incredibly quickly.   I suppose in one way it is a good thing = at least I can't say that Lockdown has been a drag.   And most days there is some little 'happening' or mini drama to enliven the day.

Today's drama was that after 'playing up' for the last few weeks, the plug in the bathroom washbasin at last  decided that today was the day to finally say 'enough's enough' and stop working altogether.   It is spring-loaded and has to be pushed down to spring up if you understand what I mean.   No amount of pushing by either J or I would result in the water emptying from the bowl.   J left a message for the plumber on Facebook,   I left a message on his answerphone.   A couple of hours later he was here (he only lives about ten doors away) and it took him all of five minutes to put in a new spring-loaded middle piece.   The sound of the water running away was music to my ears.

Our Zoom Coffee Morning went off happily - only four of us this morning but as you can no doubt imagine, we found plenty to chat about.   It is not the same as meeting in the flesh but it is better than nothing.   Then I had to post a letter.   All the office work to do with selling my car needed doing and as is my way - when it needs doing I like to get it done.  So the cancelling of my RAC was popped into the letter box before the postman emptied it.   Now everything is filed away and I can put it out of my mind.   But I must say that when the garage door went up for Priscilla and I to go on our walk to the Post Box it was with a tinge of sadness that there was an empty space where my car had always been.

It is a deceiving sort of day today.   The sun is very bright - 'glishy' as my mother would have called it. But don't be deceived - the wind is bitterly cold.   And when J comes this morning she tells me that the river (the Ure, which flows through Wensleydale) is banking and looks as though it has been over onto the fields overnight.   And Penn Hill is white.  It may only be ten days before it is officially Spring but winter is still having its last little fling with us.   Don't start casting a clout yet.


Friday 12 March 2021


 Farewell dear little car.   I didn't watch her go.   The chap from the garage where I bought her came this afternoon to take her away after they agreed to buy her back from me.

I am sad but I am also realistic and I know that my eyesight and my mobility problem combined make it sensible to quit now.   A - the salesman from whom we have bought our cars for a good few years - came to collect her and brought me a delightful bunch of flowers - roses, tulips, tiny-flowered daffodils,  a couple of hyacinths and an iris.   Now I ponder where to put them that is not near a radiator.   At present they sit in the kitchen and may well stay there.

Another happening today was that S, a friend from the Isle of Man, rang for a chat - what a delightful surprise.   Thank you so much S if you are reading this - you started my day off on the right note.   I opened up my laptop to send you an e mail but can't find your e mail address - please do send me it if you can find my e mail address to send it to!

Another day of heavy downpours interspersed with sunshine.   Because I had to wait in for my car to be collected I missed my walk but then I also escaped a drenching if I had been caught in a shower.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday 11 March 2021

Horrid Day

 Horrid day here - sunny one minute, pouring with rain the next, gale all the time.   This means no walk out with Priscilla; too risky out in gale force winds.   So it has been a long day livened up with an hour with my jolly Carer, a call from friends T and S with eggs for me and a new book to read.   I am happy with the book - I have almost finished Elizabeth von Arnim and then need something new.   Now I have it.   Two or three phone calls lightened the atmosphere and several letters came in the post which needed an answer so I answered them straight away rather than putting them in my 'to do' file (note to self - always the best idea).

The upshot really is that my mind is a blank when it comes to writing to you all today - nothing has happened so I have nothing to comment on.  Yes, the News has not all been about Covid, which would normally make a change, but not when it is all about the dreadful murder which has happened and which has shocked everyone so much.   Our thoughts must be with her family now - surely destroyed for ever - apart from the young life taken in such terrible circumstances. And then there is even more about THE interview - publicity the couple have really got - day after day of it.   How does the poor HM the Queen cope with it all I wonder.

Well dear friends.   Tomorrow is another day - let's just hope it is a better one than today.   Take care everyone.

Wednesday 10 March 2021

What next - the 'floppy?'

I am sure it hasn't escaped your notice how styles change over the years - and not just for women (although I must admit we tend to do it more thoroughly than men who probably just think leaving off their tie is a huge change of style).   These days, even on television, very few people dress 'up to the nines' any more.

But a giant change of fashion has occurred during lockdown  and it will be interesting to discover when lockdown ends whether the change is permanent or just inevitable under the circumstance.   I mean, of course, hair styles.   The likes of me are just putting up with hair which grows longer and less styled by the week and can only be described as looking 'a mess'.   I suppose about the only plus to lockdown is that nobody can see it because we can't go anywhere to show it off.

But don't you notice how most people on television seem to have long hair these days and to wear it in what I can only describe as an unkempt style.  And women who are reporting out on location are having to constantly tuck their hair behind their ears as it blows across their face. Won't it be interesting to see how it all emerges?

Other developments today?    Well it is now wet and windy but I managed to ge t in a walk with Priscilla while it was still dry and it was also warm.   After a depressing walk yesterday when I struggled to get round, today we went round the whole block in record time and I enjoyed every moment of it.

See you tomorrow. 

Tuesday 9 March 2021

This and that.

 What a twenty four hours it must have been for the Queen. I am by no means a Royalist but I do think the Royal Family has been 'trashed' over the last few days and a lot of it quite unnecessarily.   I think of the dignified way in which Princess Anne cleverly managed to extricate both Peter and Zara Phillips seamlessly, no doubt knowing the kind of life they would live if they stayed 'within' the Royal family, I can't help thinking more thought should have been put into all this fiasco.   Now that I have got that off my chest I shall not mention it again.

What else has happened today?   Not a lot really.   I have walked round the block with Priscilla but, in spite of doing it most days - unless it is raining or very windy - I am not finding it any easier to do.   I am hoping that when the warmer weather arrives I may find it easier, but at present it is not the case.   Any minute now the Student Doctor who is monitoring my case is due to ring and I can't say any great step forward has been made since he last rang.

What else have I done today?   Had a chat with M my neighbour, who kindly always pops out when I walk past - and keeping social distance -  stops for a chat.   I do appreciate it.

Read a couple of chapters of Elizabeth von Arnim's 'Elizabeth's German Garden'.   It is one of my favourite books and when I have nothing to read I tend to read it again.   von Arnim was a friend of Vita Sackville West and also a friend of HG Wells (I rather think more than a frriend).   It makes for pleasant, untroubled reading.

My lunch - from my carer as usual- was smoked salmon with a hard boiled egg, cole slaw, beetroot and a simple salad.   I microwaved a jacket potato to go with it and it was all delicious.

Well tomorrow is another day as they say.   Sleep well.

Monday 8 March 2021


 When one is incapacitated as I am now, getting around is tiresome.  This morning two or three things happened in quick succession - a phone call meant walking with my Zimmer into my office, getting a couple of files out of the filing cabinet, sitting on my bed to sort things (I sleep and compute in there), sorting out the relevant papers, going back into the sitting room and ringing my son to sort things out. My tremor gets worse when I do things like this so I end up flustered and it is all very tiring.   That sorted, the lady in charge of Lifeline - a super organisation but one at the moment where the carer can't come in but rings from her car at the bottom of the drive - rang to check that I was well and had no problems;  we had a nice little chat and I have no problems - that was another half hour gone.   Then it was time to put my carer's lunch in the microwave - today roast pork, apple sauce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower cheese, mashed and roast potato and a Yorkshire pudding, followed by a fresh fruit salad of strawberries, green grapes, mandarin orange segments and a banana for me to slice into it.   That has to be heated and then transported on my braked-trolley from the microwave to the table for eating and then afterwards the plate rinsed and put into the dishwasher.   By this time, any thought of a walk with Priscilla was out of the question - I was exhausted by all the to and fro.   I sat down to watch the News and promptly fell asleep, waking up when it was over.

All I have done this afternoon is read posts, add a few things to my next Tesco order, and prepare for my usual Zoom with friends at 4pm.   They have just e mailed to say can we change it to 5pm - andas neither W nor I can make that time things are off for this week.

It's a grey old day here today and still cold so now - at a quarter past four - I shall make myself a sandwich (maybe a very small tin of red salmon mixed with black pepper, mayo and a dash of cider vinegar) and hope that The Bidding Room has been transferred to BBC2 for half past four (there is yet another update on Covid on BBC1 I believe).

Tonight I intend to watch THAT INTERVIEW.   The papers are, of course, full of it - all varying in what they have to say about it so I would like to watch it for myself and thus make up my own mind.   The Comment column in The Times has what I think is a good article on the whole thing - it will be interesting to see if I agree after watching the whole fiasco.   If you happen to have read the Times comment page I would be interested to hear what you have to say.

Until tomorrow friends

Sunday 7 March 2021

Dozy dreams

 I got my walk with Priscilla in before lunch because my son has promised to come round this afternoon and just give my car carpets a brush with a stiff brush for me - to spruce the inside of my car up before I say goodbye to it for the last time.   Looking at the inside, because I had seat covers on because of dear old Tess, once the floor is swept it looks like a new car.   Someone is really getting a good buy as I expect the garage who have bought it (the one where I boought it new) will sell it with some warranty too.

Walking before lunch meant that I was tired after eating the lunch J brought me (pork chop in honey and mustard sauce, with leeks, onions, new potatoes and carrots) so for the past hour I have relaxed dozing in my armchair.   Dozing - and thinking.   And I got to thinking about things we bought when I was young.  Clothes - do you remember suspender belts girls in pre-tights days?   And roll-ons?   At the slightest sight of a stomach we all wore one and what a bind they were .   Now they let it all hang out.   Once, when I had a bad back, I remember being prescribed at corset.   My back rapidly improved - was it due to the corset?   No fear - I only wore it about twice  - exercise and rest cured it.   And my father's long underpants on the washing line in winter and his vests with sleeves,

And food.   We tended to only eat what was in season.   I don't know whether you could get out of season vegetables - I suppose maybe you could in big cities and posh restaurants but certainly in the Fens of Lincolnshire you mostly had what your Dad could dig up and bring in from the garden.   And how you longed for the first boiling of new potatoes (usually eaten for supper, dug up, put into a bucket, covered with several lots of water stirred round with the copper stick and then gently boiled for ten minutes or so and doused well with butter and salt - and none of that fancy Sea Sea - but plain old salt).  Then it would be the turn of the first green peas, the first tender little broad beans, the dwarf runner beans, the kidney beans - and then the giant marrows which my mother would stuff with a delicious mixture of sausage meat and onion and herb stuffing and roast in the oven in thick rings.   Parsnips would come later.   Carrots my Dad could never grow on our soil and after a few years he gave up trying and grew giant Savoy cabbages instead.

And then I thouht of all the glamorous things my sister used to wear - she married when I was very young but I remember being old enough to pick up and sniff Evening in Paris perfume in its little dark blue glass bottle with its silver label - so exotic.   And her box of Coty face powder with its orange-flowered lid, which she kept on her dressing table.   And her black velvet evening shoes.   Ah memories, memories.

Saturday 6 March 2021

Nothing to report

 Nothing much has happened today - usually like this on Saturdays and Sundays - apart from our Zoom Coffee Morning this morning - forty minutes chat with five friends - something which happens every Saturday morning.   I followed it by a walk with Priscilla across the road to the post box and then round the block.   It was very cold and when I got back home I had my lunch (sweet and sour chicken with sweet potato chips and garlic bread followed by fruit pie and custard - both supplied by J) and fell asleep in the chair and woke up two hours later.   I really don't know why this happened as I slept well last night - probably something to do with the cold weather I suspect.

I spent an hour gathering together everything I need to give to the garage when they call to collect my car.   I shall be sorry to see it go and with it my independence, but I have to accept that I just can't drive any more..   It isn't the actual driving, it is the getting in and out of the car and the mobility needed to get from the back of the car to the driver's seat once I have managed to put Priscilla in the back.   And that is always assuming a) I can lift the folded Priscilla and b) she will fit in the back of the car.   I am sure I shall get used to it.

I do sometimes wonder how we are all going to adapt to going out again after a year of confinement give or take a few weeks in the middle of the year when we thought perhaps it was all over.   And - at my age I wonder whether or not I really wish to adapt to going out again or is it too much physical effort?   Time will no doubt tell.

Now time to make a bit of tea and sit and have another try at the Ladygram in The Lady magazine.   I love it - it only comes once a month and it does get the old brain working.   I have a few anagrams to work out while I have the computer on - then it's make myself a sandwich and sit and watch the News at tea time.   Then it is Michael Palin in Bhutan tonight - a programme I love - having done such a lot of travelling in my life both with my first (always to the East) and then with my second (always West) husband, my travelling days are over - but Michael Palin is to travel what Monty Don is to gardening as far as I am concerned.   Have a pleasant evening.   See you tomorrow......

Friday 5 March 2021


 I try never to be political on my blog - but I really must touch on the insulting offer (and that is all it is at the moment) of one percent for NHS Staff.   These are the people who have put themselves in the front line of danger throughout the past year.   These are the people who we applauded every Thursday evening on our doorsteps (including the Prime Minister).   These are the people - some of whom died in the effort - who have slaved all year to save lives.

During that year I was in hospital.   Not with Covid thank goodness - I broke my hip.   I spent a week in Darlington Memorial Hospital where I had a hip replacement and a week of brilliant care in isolation because of Covid.   Then I was transferred to The Friary Community Hospital in Richmond and had a fortnight in there - it was like a first class hotel.   I cannot fault the lovely staff - men and women who worked from 8am to 9pm - thirteen hour shifts with just their meal times off.   They were without exception cheerful, fun-loving people.   They jollied us along, they helped where necessary (one of the sisters took my dirty laundry home and washed and dried and ironed it and brought it back the next day and I didn;t even notice it had gone from my cupboard).   I was sorry to come out and they kept me in an extra couple of days until I got private home care sorted out.

These are the people who it is suggested should be content with a one percent pay rise.   I will say no more except to say 'food for thought.'

On another subject entirely, sadly I have sold my beloved little Corsa.   He has served me well for the last four years and I don't want to sell him.   But I know in my heart of hearts that I will never be able to drive again.   Driving means pushing Priscilla to the boot, folding her, putting her into the boot (lifting her in) and then I am marooned at the back of my car with no means of getting back to the driver's door because I can't walk without Priscilla.   It is a decision I had to come to and the garage I bought it from have bought it back from me.   There will be a few tears when he goes.

It is a chilly, semi-sunny day here for my walk out this afternoon with someone from the Falls Team, but at least it isn't raining.   See you tomorrow.

Thursday 4 March 2021


Budget week - out comes the little red case - really tatty, old and scratched when the television cameras get up close on number eleven's steps on Budget Morning ( still probably valued at thousands on Antiques Road Show).   How times have changed.   I know this year has been an exceptional year (apart from the fact that they are extending the Furlough scheme I really didn't understand a word) but I thought back to the old days.   I remember my father listening seriously from start to finish - twopence on a pint of beer, a penny on a packet of cigarettes, petrol going up - and then a 'sop' as my father would call it when they took two twopence off income tax.

And I thought of all those Cabinet Ministers in their offices in the Houses of Parliament, concentrating on their own little area of 'importance' - housing, health, employment and the like - working away (one hopes) with their so called 'underlings' and being expected to know everything about their 'area' of responsibility and then suddenly the P M has a big cabinet reshuffle and in the flash of an eye  expected know know everything there is to know about a completely different area of expertise.   At least Rishi Sunak (who is a very nice chap and also happens to be my MP) was in Finance . before he became an MP.   What brought on my thinking - a combination of the Budget and watching an old episode of 'Yes Minister' (they don't make 'em like that any more do they?)

Any other thoughts to share with you today?   Well the weather was still chilly and dull but reasonable enough to walk round the block with Priscilla and stop and have a chat with M my neighbour for a while - any chat with a friend breaks the day up nicely.  I got back just in time to answer the phone to a member of the Falls Team who told me that she will come at two tomorrow afternoon and walk round the block with me to assess how well (or otherwise) I am walking.   I was relieved she wasn't intending to come this afternoon as once round the block is as much as I can manage in one day.

See you tomorrow....



Wednesday 3 March 2021


 Wednesday - all day as my mother would say - and a cold, miserable, wintry one at that.   I have had a busy morning - first of all emptying the washing machine which my carer left on and putting the stuff into the tumble drier and then my Tesco order came.   The staff who bring it are always, without exception, such nice friendly men (or once a  woman).  They push the liners into the kitchen from the garage so that I can empty them bit by bit by using my trolley.  I have finished that now and needed a rest before eating my delicious-looking chicken salad she has left me, hence an early posting which might well be extended later in the day.

A few days ago I spoke of Graham Swift's 'Mothering Sunday' and how much my Book Group had enjoyed it.   I spoke of the trial over the content of DH Lawerence's 'Lady Chatterley' and said it was in the twenties.  Itwas in fact only in the sixties. I was astonished - that means that I was in my thirties when it took place.   The article also spoke of Philip Larkin - in my view one of the best  poets of the twentieth century.   Larkin thought Lawrence 'The greatest writer of the century'.   He said Lawrence was 'flexible, vivid, tender and sharp and that he had more genius than any man could be expected to handle'.   Whatever your views on Larkin or Lawrence for that matter - one thing is certain - Lawrence opened the floodgates and we have come an awful long way since then.   Wouldn't you agree?


It is now mid afternoon.   I have just had an e mail from my neighour.   In 'normal' times we would be having a cup of tea and catching up on news but of course these are still not normal times are they?  I just switched on to look at The News - all Budget of course and more or less gobbledegook to me so I switched off again.  See you tomorrow

Tuesday 2 March 2021

Chilly again

 Ah well - it is still almost three weeks to the first day of Spring (yes, I admit to being old-fashioned) so I shalln't complain but those lovely warm sunny days of last week are a distant memory and we are back to very chilly weather again and today at any rate no sign of the sun.

I shall however, after writing this, put on my coat and pom pom hat and walk round the block.   The old legs need their outing every day - as do I suspect the old lungs.

When one lives alone speaking to other people during this enforced period of isolation is so important..     Face to face (socially distanced of course) is best, Zoom (still almost face to face) is maybe second, phone calls come after that and then last of all texts and e mails.  Even just a few words literally face-to-face is better than nothing.   The postman, a neighbour in the garden, someone walking past - I find they all lighten my day.   Of course in addition I have J, my morning carer and we have an hour together early every morning.   She is suitably dressed of course in gloves, apron and mask - all of which she bins as she leaves.   And we chat as she is whizzing round doing all the jobs she does so efficiently.   And it does set me up for a day of solitude - until my son calls for a chat during the evening.   I am very lucky compared with so many folks.

It is now eleven in the morning - time for my walk.   I shall sign off and if anything else happens during the day then I'll be back before I post this.   So I hope I'll be back.

No sooner had I written those words when my dear friends called with a present - a plastic box of dressed crab for my sandwiches at tea time.   I love crab, and on brown bread and butter at tea time it was delicious.   So that was another highlight to my day.

After lunch it was really so chilly and foggy that I  didn;t walk out; instead I did my exercises twice over - that means I did each one twenty times - pretty tiring as they are strenuous.  After that I needed a nap before what used to be 'Escape to the Country' and is now 'Escape to the small town' - today the town being Melton Mowbray (of pork pie fame).   Now at seven in the evening I am finding it difficult to stay awake!

Monday 1 March 2021

Book Group

It was our on line Book Group this morning - always an enjoyable hour or so.   We were talking about Graham Swift's 'Mothering Sunday' and with the exception of one member of the group we had all really enjoyed the book and thought it beautifully written.   We had a good discussion.   The member who hadn't enjoyed the book had not for one minute objected to the sex in it I have to say = she had just found the story unconvincing.

Someone who reads my posts wrote last week that her Book Group had read book. In fact they all seem to have been disgusted by it.  I suppose all we can deduce from this is how Book  Groups vary.

Next month is my choice and I have chosen Delia Owens's 'Where the Crawdads Sing' - another book which I have enjoyed very much.  The month after that G, another member of the group, has chosen 'The Count of Monte Cristo' - so you can see we do have a varied choice.

Not such a lovely day here today.   Fog has been lingering on and off all day - one minute sunshine and the next fog rolling in.   But only three weeks now to the first day of Spring - and then the changing of the clocks - Springing forward an hour.  It can't come soon enough.