Saturday, 21 November 2020

Seriously, where is November going???

In all seriousness - where is November going? The 21st already!!
And only 5 weeks to Christmas!!

Maybe because I've had time off, managed to get out for a few walks but the time is just flying by. This was Jeff and I last Sunday, a windy blast of fresh air up on the Poldens, a change from work.

On Monday I headed over to Lollover Hill in Compton Dundon. 
A very muddy, race against the wind and rain.

I worked on Tuesday and then on Wednesday dashed up Wearyall Hill in Glastonbury. 
Just a quick burst of fresh air before the rain arrived.

And that marked the end of week two of Lockdown, round two!!

Thursday was the best day forecast, so I was up and out early, in the car park by 8.20am. My aim was to walk the final section of the Polden Way to Hurcot Hill, pictured above

It was sooooo muddy, made it really hard walking but I kept at it, 3 and half hours of continual walking and I was super proud of myself by the time I got back to the car.

I did take time out to photograph a few bits along the way!!

On Friday it rained all day but this arrived in the post to cheer me up. A belated birthday card from a Uni friend, my partner in crime for many years, she was there with me, the night I met Jeff. We always had THE best time on a night out!! Big smiles, bright red lippy, a little drunk!!

Anyway Friday was also pay day and we we've been given a little extra discount, for four days at work. So I went Christmas shopping!! Bought all the store cupboard stuff, jars, pickles, jelly, crisps, nuts, crackers, panettone, christmas pud, wine, loo rolls etc. Of course the hardest part was finding a home for it all, remembering where I've put it all and hoping it's all still there come Christmas!! Might do a smaller round two on Monday, just in case we don't get as much of a discount again!! I doubt it. Always worth making the most of these little extras when they come along.

Saturday and I persuaded this one to come out for a walk with me! Working from home, she can spend days where she doesn't even leave the house. She's always been one for the rules and with a huge fear of dogs, she doesn't enjoy going out walking but because Ham Wall is a RSPB reserve, dogs are not encouraged and have to be on a lead, so she had no excuse. We had a lovely walk and we left with the promise she'd do it again!! 

Anyway my time off is coming to an end. I've enjoyed having no set agenda, just being able to get up and go out walking, on my own, wherever I fancy. It's been nice having nothing specific to do, a lot more restful! I'm not looking forward to going back to work, it's already starting to get busy and I do find the increased responsibility quite stressful. Gone are the days when I was just on a till chatting away to the customers.... I miss it. I now run around like a little crazy, mad woman, running and doing customer service.....anyway just four Sundays to go, as I've one booked off, to put up the Christmas tree!! Five Mondays but one of those might be until midnight!! Five more Tuesdays, plus a bit of overtime thrown in for good measure. It feels awful counting down like this, work is always better when it's busy but we're often short staffed, so are doing above and beyond anyway. I'll need a bit more holiday the way this is looking but sadly have only 24hrs and 50 mins remaining until March 6th 2021!


Sunday, 15 November 2020

Mid November already???

So walking is still my happy thing to do. I've been on holiday, holiday booked last year, if I cancelled it to rebook it, where and when would I book it for before March!?!  So I decided to take it anyway and if dry, get out walking.

Having worked the Monday, on the Tuesday I got up and out early and walked up and around Dundon Beacon. This it photographed from Coombe Hill Woods. 

Annoyingly my walk didn't quite go to plan, as I met someone I knew from yoga walking her dog and sort of got hijacked into a fast paced walk to the top, where we then parted ways and I finished with a more leisurely amble through the woods!! It was lovely and I will go back to explore some more.

On Wednesday, after a quick Sainsbury's shop, I headed over to Combe hill woods. It was a race against the rain, forecast to arrive later in the day. I spent a good couple of hours, even Remembrance Hour in the woods, on my own and it was lovely.

Thursday and the promise of a sunny morning, I got up early and headed up Glastonbury Tor. Now I've not been up the Tor for a good year and a half. The last time I went there was when the festival was on and we went to see how much of the festival we could see. There were a few people around but not as busy as it has been during the first lockdown and the summer, that's why I'd avoided it- too busy!

I spent a good couple of hours after my initial climb to the top, meandering around the sides and lower area of the Tor and found an unexpected amount and variety of fungi to photograph.

Friday, another dry day, I got up early and headed over to Shapwick Heath Nature Reserve, neighbours with Ham Wall RSPB Nature Reserve, both within my 5 mile radius from home. It was so quiet to begin with but by the time I left, it had got quite busy. It felt good to be outside and make the most of the good weather as rain, continuous rain!! was forecast for the weekend.

And so Saturday, my 50th birthday, it rained ALL day! 
Not to worry I had a lovely day, felt totally loved and spoilt rotten by friends and family. All things considered, being in lockdown, everything cancelled, I had a lovely birthday.

Now to embrace my 50's!!


Saturday, 14 November 2020

The BIG 50!!

I'm 50!!!!!!

Came down this morning to a room full of balloons!! 
Had always said I wanted the big helium 50 balloons but of course they're not an essential item in Lockdown!!! So Sophie surprised me with these.

Had 'sparkling' panettone for breakfast, what a treat x

I had such plans for my 50th! Have never really celebrated a big birthday other than my 21st when I threw myself out of an aeroplane and did a parachute jump!! Big trips to Florence with my sister and Barcelona with Jeff were obviously cancelled!! Trip to Plymouth to see Deacon Blue play tonight obviously cancelled too. Trip to The Newt for lunch with my sister then cancelled too, and even a walk up the Tor with Sam cancelled, due to the rain!!!! There's a I'm cancelling turning 50 and going to stay 49 for another year, simple! I still feel 21 some days!

I've had some lovely presents, plus my camera.....

...and some lovely flowers.

I've eaten so much food.....

Sophie made me a cake....

....I taught her well!! 

Sam treated me to a 'Birthday Banquet' for lunch....

...and continuing with tradition, 
the first 'proper' mince pie of the year, on my birthday, always.
And a Chinese takeaway for tea, no cooking for me x

Finishing off the days celebrations with cake!!
All in all, a lockdown birthday made super special by family and friends.

Thank You xx

Thursday, 12 November 2020


Lockdown Round Two, week one, done!! 

All but Monday, when I worked, I've been out for my daily 'allowed' exercise. During the first lockdown, my daily 'Boris Walk' as Sam lovingly called them, was the one constant and thing I looked forward to. We were lucky with the weather and initially you weren't allowed to travel and were limited to an hour. Once we were allowed to travel, we explored just a little further afield and I discovered the Poldens

 This time round, allowed to travel for exercise, I have found my local woods my happy place. I've made an effort to get out daily for a couple of hours I'll admit, just me on my own predominantly and my camera. I share all my adventures in more detail over on Instagram but here's a roundup in pictures.

The Poldens

Ivythorn Woods / Walton Hill

Combe Hill Woods

Ivythorn Woods to the main road

Dundon Beacon, Compton Dundon

Combe Hill Woods

Yes we can travel this time for exercise BUT we are only to make essential journeys and stay close to home. So I've given myself a 5 mile radius from the house to which I feel is appropriate travel for exercise. Yes I'd love to be adventuring around Stockhill Woods, Wells, Ebbor Gorge etc but should I in lockdown!?! It's not like I don't have perfectly good places to walk closer to home and when lockdown is lifted, I'll have all these places to re-explore.

So Lockdown Round Two, Week Two begins....

And today, I got up early and went up and around Glastonbury Tor.

Will share more in my weekend round up!

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Week one of November and lockdown round two!!

Wow! A week into November already. 
Seems too late to say farewell to October and.....

....hello to November.

Seems slightly more frightening that it's already 5 years ago since the builders
 moved in and work started on the kitchen/bedroom extension.

It's been a busy week. I worked the Sunday and Monday, had Tuesday off as holiday, originally booked off for a trip to Amsterdam to celebrate Sophie's 21st but instead I spent the morning with Sam in Stockhill Woods, spotting the red and white wonderful Fly Agaric

And didn't we do well! It's the only place I've spotted them...

...and this lot too!

Wednesday was Sophie's 21st (see previous post)

And then Thursday we went into Lockdown Round Two!!

Not much changes for us as a family, just the meeting up for the special birthday celebrations, meal out... We're all still working and exercise is still allowed and this time around, you can travel to exercise. Although you have to question whether your journey is essential. So although I'd love to be revisitig Stockhill Woods, Ebbor Gorge etc, I think it's wrong to do so. I appreciate that we can drive for exercise and I'm lucky I have the fabulous Polden's just 5 minute drive from the house, Glastonbury Tor etc but I would feel wrong going to Wells or further afield, so I'm sticking closer to home and am going to get out in the fresh air every day if dry.

So on Thursday, day one of lockdown round two, I got up early and parked up by Combe Hill Woods and walked a stretch I'd not done before.

It was the first frost of the year, a car scrapper!! 
but as a result beautiful cobwebs....

...and the most fabulous sunshine, once it burnt through the fog.

A few finds found on my wanderings.

Friday day two and another early start, just me, literally, I didn't see another soul. I parked up at Ivythorn Woods and sloped off down into the woods that run parallel to the official Polden Way pathway.

worth it....

....another fab selection of finds along the way.

Saturday was just me again, the boys bed is too tempting for him, he needs his sleep!!
So back up to Combe Hill Woods and a very muddy walk.

But what a wonderful place to spend any amount of time. I'm finding the woods are my happy place. I love getting there early, having the place to myself and just stand in the most amazing surroundings, just breathe in the fresh air and just feel all the stresses and strains leave me. A friend from Uni days suggested I look up Shinrin Yoko - Forest Bathing

It describes exactly how I feel, when I just stand and take stock of my surroundings.

I even got to see some deer on my wanderings.......

....and fungi the size of my hand!!

Plus all of these.

So today, Sunday, a rare day off, booked as holiday for our trip to Amsterdam. I normally work an 8 hour shift every Sunday. Prior to today, I've had just 3 Sunday's off all year, so I decided to still take it. It rained, of course, so I enjoyed a lazy morning at home drinking coffee!

Once the rain cleared Jeff and I headed back up to 
Ivythorn Woods and went for an hours burst of fresh air.....

....and a few more fungi finds along the way.

It's back to work for me tomorrow and Monday and then I have more holiday, booked for my birthday originally but again, every plan has been cancelled, so I'm going to still take the time off but enjoy some time at home. More wanderings around the woods, a good clean and tidy up of the house, might even start to write a few Christmas cards.... a perfect, slow paced, nowhere to go kinda week x