Saturday 30 May 2020


WEEK 10!!!???!!!

The week my sister and I should have gone to Florence. Hugely disappointing not to be able to go but we have it to look forward to next year, along with everything else that's being re-scheduled!!

This has been a tough old week for Sophie - 3 exams this week. 
Her exams are all 'open book' as there's little anyone can do to check up on a students integrity whilst doing exams remotely but I will say, she's put in the same amount of work and effort had the exams been done normally, in an exam hall under exam conditions. 

Jeff's been on half term this week and although I traded in my days holiday from work on Tuesday, I kept the Friday, originally booked for Florence, as holiday.


Time to tackle my hair again! This time Jeff gave me an under shave! Neither of us braved him actually cutting my hair, so we go rid of a chunk by shaving underneath. I'm hoping it'll keep me going until the hairdressers are allowed to open up again! The weather has been fantastic, the only positive of not being able to go to Florence. I'm just pretending I'm there, breakfasting outside, imagining I'm frequenting some little Italian street cafe!!

Jeff and I 'Boris walked' along the top of Street and Walton Hill, to the windmill and back. 
Stunning views as far as the eye could see.


With Jeff on half term, we decided to walk the last section of the Polden Way again. Sam and I had done it a couple of weeks ago but Jeff had been teaching. 

It was perfect for the hot weather, as most of it was through woodland and there were plenty of shady spots along the way. We even saw a slow worm enjoying the sunshine, out on the pathway.


Friday and the last exam for Sophie and the end of her Second Year at UNI!
Sadly no celebrating with friends, other than virtually that evening but we raised a glass or two and had a special meal, enjoyed outside in the garden.

Jeff and I got up super early and decided to head to the coast for the morning. It's getting to be a bit groundhog day but the rules do state you can drive anywhere and we went to exercise and the duration of exercise was longer than the drive there!! It's funny how you feel you have to justify your actions and we did discuss whether it was within the lockdown rules. 
If it had been super busy we would have turned around and come home but we got there early, just after 9am, had chosen a piece of coast just 45 mins from home, less popular than the likes of Lyme Regis on the South coast and were the only ones there. We walked the coastal path too initially and didn't pass another soul. The beach there isn't a sunbathing/swimming beach, so certainly didn't attract the masses but by the time we left at about 11.30, it was getting busier and we were glad to be heading home. I'm glad we went and I shall definitely go back, to walk further next time. It's another beautiful part of Somerset, on our doorstep, that we've previously ignored!!


Today has been a 'relax out in the garden' type of day. The sun has been shining and really hot, so I've sat out in a shady corner reading my book. I've been making the most of the glorious sunshine, as it's back to work tomorrow! I've no holiday booked now for the next six weeks, when we should be going to Majorca! May re-think, as I'm pretty sure we won't be going anywhere! Maybe cancel a few of the longer days and trade them in for a few more Friday's, as that gives me 4 days off together. I do think this is a way to survive the new 'normal' at work, taking the odd day off and having lots of little mini breaks.

Anyway here's to a good week, a week of disappointments (Florence), a week of hard work (exams) but also a week of the most fabulous sunshine and family time together,


Saturday 23 May 2020


Lockdown week nine! 
The week Sam should have had his first A Level exam...

...the week we should have enjoyed Scouting for Girls and McFly at the Bath Festival! 
In fact I should be there right now!

My 'Life is Sweet' original painting arrived to cheer me up.....

...and the stones at Pomparles made me smile on our Tuesday evening walk.


Wednesday was a hot, sunny day. A day I regretted saying I'd work. I swapped my hours around to help them out, turned out to be the best day of the week. Got home in time to enjoy tea out in the garden and Jeff and I sat out on the bench in the front garden to make the most of the evening sun, before going out for our walk.....

....just a quick walk across the buttercup fields.


With nothing to do and nowhere to go, the day still seemed to pass me by.

Jeff and I still went out for our 'Boris Walk'. 
Other than Sunday and Monday when I work 8hr shifts, I've gone out every day.


Considering this was the day I swapped in for working on Wednesday, it was disappointing weather wise. It stayed dry but it was quite blustery and hard to find a sheltered spot to enjoy the sunshine. I did a big Sainsbury's shop in the morning, to make use of the extra discount we've got at the moment (queuing to get in is the new normal) and then tried to read in the afternoon.

Jeff, Sam and I went back to Coombe Hill Woods for an evening walk. We had the place to ourselves, partly due to the time of evening, partly due to the blustery wind and I'm guessing, partly because you are now allowed to travel further afield!?!


So today has fallen into a new routine, quick food shop, bake cookies, catch up with phone calls. We opted for an afternoon walk, as Sophie and I plan to watch Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage version of the 'Sound of Music' this evening. The first musical Sophie went to see in London age 7, following on from the TV show 'How do you solve a problem like Maria?' Jeff took Sam on the London Eye to kill time and spent the rest of the time riding around on the London Underground, as Sam loved the TV programme 'Underground Ernie'!!

Today Sam loves the woods. He's so much more of a country than city boy. 
He's in no great hurry to move away from this area for the big city.

So here's to another week in Lockdown!

I'll be honest, I don't feel as a country we have been in proper lockdown. I personally feel it's been more of an inconvenience to many, rather than a properly enforced lockdown that many other countries have endured. With restrictions easing and people doing as they please, I do fear we will have a new peak and end up in this cycle for longer than is necessary, with more lives being lost. 

The best thing of lockdown has been being in it together, 
spending more time together as a family......

.... and our 'Boris walks' x

Saturday 16 May 2020


Week 8 of Lockdown....

8 weeks of 8pm clapping our thanks to our fabulous NHS, Carers and Key Workers.

Would like to say 8 books read but 4 is still a pretty good achievement for me!

It's 8 weeks ago I was due a haircut and colour!

That's 12 weeks since it's actually been cut and they're saying it'll be another 7 weeks at least until hairdressers can open, on or after July 4th! I have had to resort to allowing Jeff near me with the clippers! I don't know who was more scared, me of the outcome or Jeff blamed with it!! All in all, he did a good job, as long as you don't look too closely.


So as with a few other previous weeks, I've taken the Friday off as holiday and given myself a 4 day mini break from work. The weather wasn't so great, really chilly, so caught up on jobs around the house and that haircut!! Quick walk around the block with Sam for a burst of exercise in the evening, whilst Jeff had his weekly Spanish lesson with Daniel in Mexico.


Thursday was sunnier but a chill breeze, so Sam and I decided to head off in the afternoon for our 'Boris Walk'. We of course clapped dutifully at 8pm (hot water bottle to hand!)

Walk at Combe Hill wood, even saw a deer.


With Jeff teaching and Sophie revising, Sam and I went off out for the day.

We headed back to Combe Hill wood but planned to walk the final stage of the Polden Way to Hurcott Hill, then back. We took a picnic with us and found the perfect spot to have our lunch with a view. It's such a fabulous walk just 3 miles up the road. A huge positive of lockdown life.


Jeff now has Saturdays off in lockdown. Whilst he ran, I did the food shop, then came home and  baked  the weekly batch of cookies. I contacted our Hotel in Pisa to cancel our booking and they very kindly exchanged our current booking for a voucher, to use at a later stage. Just waiting for EasyJet now to cancel the flights, so we can get a refund or rebook. It's so disappointing but I obviously know it's for the best and we will get to go when this is all over. Jeff still immerses himself in his learning of Spanish, he should be reasonably fluent by the time we are allowed to go again!!

Sophie and I walked around the block, a break from revision for her, she's another exam on Tuesday. She has had more details through about her Placement Year with the ONS, so is confident it will definitely go ahead, even if it has to be remotely initially.

I saw this fabulous Angela Smyth original earlier on in the week and decided to treat myself with my bonus from work. It made me think of Italy and all those yummy treats we are going to miss out on. Still, eventually we will have it all to look forward to again x

Saturday 9 May 2020


Crikey, week 7! 
To be fair that's actually come around quite quickly and I hope will continue for a few more weeks yet. Boris is due to speak tomorrow evening about the next steps. I seriously hope he continues with the lockdown, as we will hit another spike if not.  

I try not to overthink the situation, try not to listen to constant news updates,
instead I try and focus on the small positive around me, like my beautiful alliums....

...and my figs!

As usual I worked the Sunday, Monday but swapped my Tuesday for a Wednesday early start. It still felt like I had a good chunk of the day off. Sophie had her first exam, one down, five to go!  The weather was great, so another tea enjoyed outside.....

...and a walk in the evening. We had to deviate from our intended route due to a field of cows but discovered new places on the way. Places I didn't even realised existed!


Jeff, still teaching, had to take a virtual assembly in the morning, lockdown uniform of course!! I put some bunting up ready for VE Day on the Friday and ready for our Clap the NHS at 8pm.

We walked up to Admiral Hood Monument in the evening.


75th Anniversary of VE Day

I worked an early on Friday morning. I don't mind swapping around at the moment if it helps them out. I haven't exactly got anywhere else to go and this meant I was over and done with by midday! It was another beautiful day, so we had all our meals outside again, although no street party here!!

Sam stood us up for our 'Boris Walk' in the evening, so just Jeff and I went for a walk, starting at Ivythorn Hill, along to the top of Walton Hill and the Windmill. Absolutely stunning views!


Today was sunnier than expected, so I whizzed off to do my food shop first thing, then spent the rest of the day out in the garden reading, making the most of this glorious weather.

We walked a little later in a hope of catching the setting sun but alas cloud stopped play for the final 10 minute money worthy shot! Still it was a lovely walk across the buttercup filled fields to the weir and then back to the bridge before heading home.

So another week in Lockdown. A big announcement due tomorrow to outline a way out of lockdown and another busy week at work ahead. Although I booked Friday in as holiday a few weeks ago, so will get a 4 day burst off again, just what I need at the moment.

Sunday 3 May 2020


How have we been doing this for 6 whole weeks???

I think because I've stayed working, life doesn't seem so very different for me. Obviously work itself is different, in the way we go about our daily procedures etc but we're a good supportive team - in it together! I got asked to design a poster for an in store competition. Felt good to do something a little creative for once, although who knew rainbows were actually quite tricky to draw!?!

We said farewell to the month of April on Thursday.....

.....and welcomed in the new month of May!
Who knows what lies in store for us all in the month ahead.

The weather has changed this week, much more unsettled. I worked the Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and although I didn't have a full day off on Friday like the past couple of weeks, I worked 6-10pm, so it felt like I had a good break away again.


Stayed at home, baked, 'Boris Walked' and caught up on odd jobs at home. 
A lot of our planned events from this year are being rescheduled to next year. Hopefully all will still be achievable to get to, lots to look forward to.


We always clap for the NHS/Care Workers/Key Workers on a Thursday evening, it's the new routine but today we also gave thanks to Captain Tom who celebrated his 100th birthday, a man who has raised millions for the NHS recently.


A local man Stanley, also celebrated his 100th birthday this week. He's a customer in Sainsbury's, who obviously hasn't been in of late. I was sad to miss wishing him a happy birthday in person but happy to see his family, neighbours etc celebrated with him (from a distance)


The sun returned on Saturday, so I spent the afternoon out in the garden, started my 4th book!! In the evening we decided to drive to our place of exercise. We've been doing out 'Boris Walks' from our house and within the allotted hour but new guidelines say you can drive to your place of exercise, as long as you exercise for longer than the time it takes you to get there! 

The Polden Way/Combe Hill Woods are literally 3 miles from the house, a 6 minute drive, so we headed there on Saturday evening, avoiding the busy part of the day and hardly saw another soul. Absolutely stunning scenery and definitely worthy of a return visit.

The worst bit about lockdown is all the baking I've been doing. Far too many yummy treats to resist. This week alone I've baked fork biscuits, almond oat slices, rocky road and rock cakes. To be fair I'd rather bake and they all eat this, than processed, sugar laden treats from the shops but still..... my body won't be summer ready if we can suddenly go on holiday in July!! 
(not that for one minute I think that's going to happen!!)

Anyway the sofa is calling me! An 8 hour shift at work is exhausting at the moment and I've to do it all over again tomorrow. This is my favourite shot of the week, from our walk last night. Sophie won't come due to her fear of dogs, which is a real shame, so I make sure I get her to come with me a couple of times a week, just around the neighbourhood. She starts her exams this coming week, so it does her good to walk away any stress.