Monday 29 March 2021

'Stay Local' and a birthday!!

The 'stay at home' rule is lifted today, replaced with the 'stay local' rule!! A lot of personal interpretation there and peoples 'moral compass' will be tested. I read it, as being able to travel within Somerset, allowing me to diversify my walks, meet up with my sister, possible trip to the nearest coast etc. Still unsure if a day trip to Cornwall to see family is within the rules, a 6hr round trip, might leave it a few weeks still.

Anyway I'm sure things will become clearer as the weeks go by. One definite thing happened, we celebrated a birthday yesterday, poor Jeff has had two lockdown birthdays. I was working all day but we had a nice family tea and tried to make it special.

So Cheers....... the birthday boy, lockdown slowly lifting and the promise of warm, 
sunny weather for a couple of days xx


Saturday 27 March 2021

LD3/WK12 - last week of lockdown!!!

So week 12 of lockdown, the final week!!
If all goes to plan, on Monday, the 'stay at home' rule is lifted, that means lockdown comes to an end. It's a little up to personal interpretation, as you are still encouraged to 'stay local' as much as possible but travel outside the local area is allowed. You are also allowed to meet outside, following the 'rule of six' and this includes meeting in private gardens.

Whilst we are confined still to home, I encouraged Jeff to cut the front hedge. It's an annual thing, last year Jeff did it whilst I was at work, needed a little supervision to get it level!! 

Sam and I whizzed up to Walton Hill after tea, to catch the sunset. 

So glad we made it up there in time, so worth it x

On my day off on Thursday, Jeff and I went off out for a long walk...

...the footpath takes you through this beautiful private garden.
It felt so wrong walking through someones private property but the owner was actually out in her garden and stopped to have a nice chat too.

Beautiful spring blossom.

With the weather warming up and the prospect of time out in the garden, Jeff asked if it was the start of my reading season. I only ever read on holiday or whilst sat out in the garden. I ordered The Switch as I loved the Flatshare last summer. The horizontal pile, are books read last year in enjoyment order, the others are left over from last summer, The Beach Read was a Christmas gift, so plenty of reading material to get me started.

So this morning Jeff and I headed out for another walk along the river Brue. Part of it was new to him, I walked it the other week, takes nearly 3 hours but you've the ever changing view of the Tor along the way and a meandering river to follow.

A week or so ago I took this picture, I wanted to return when the blossom had come out a little more.

 Today was the day to capture it again and with a bonus blue sky - perfect Spring colour combo!!

More bright yellow in the house, perfect Spring bunting! 
We have a birthday in the house tomorrow, poor Jeff gets to celebrate two lockdown birthdays! He was lucky last year, I was organised and had bought his gifts before we went into lockdown. This year we've agreed not to buy for buying sake, so nothing too impulsive in the pile!

Have made birthday brownies!!
Naughty but VERY nice xx

Saturday 20 March 2021

LD3/WK11..... a year on from the start!!

So lockdown 3, week 11 (sigh!!)

Jeff and Sam have broken up for the Easter break, a week early than originally planned, due to Covid!! They go back a week early, so have a longer Summer term. It means the weather will be colder and Jeff's birthday will be in the holidays rather than always just as he breaks up.

I went for a walk on Wednesday, I was determined to get out and ended up walking 11.29km or 7 miles. Part of it was new territory, out along the River Brue......

....with the Tor always in view.....

....although it's amazing what you can crop out of a photo!!

Wednesday also marked the One Year Anniversary of going to Reading to collect Sophie and bring her home. At no point did I expect it to be for a whole year but here we are, a full year on and she's still very much at home, still a little hopeful of some time in Cardiff, even if it means commuting or staying overnight in a hotel. The following day a year ago, Sam was told to stop working, exams were cancelled and school was over. He's now accepting his place for University in September ....

So today, to mark the start of Jeff's holiday, we went walking. Actually did the same distance as I did on Wednesday 11.29km but we cheated slightly and got Sophie to come and collect us

We walked all out along the South Drain to Ham Wall Nature Reserve.

Made a friend during our coffee stop!

And celebrated the official (astronomical) start of Spring x
So many signs, everywhere you look.

Jeff managed to try out every bench and seat along the way!! 


We're thinking of taking a picnic with us next time x

Monday 15 March 2021


Feeling thankful and relieved.

On Thursday morning I received a text inviting me to book my jab!
9:10 am this morning, Monday 15th of March...... 

....I received my first dose of  Astra Zeneca (The Oxford One!!)

I will say, it was a very slick operation up at the West Mendip Hospital, all very efficient and I've come away feeling very grateful. Having the vaccine gives me a sense of hope and honestly, it's a huge relief given I work in a Supermarket, where you have to mix with so many people on a daily basis and you have no idea what level of social distancing, following of the rules etc, they're actually doing.

We seem to be about a month ahead of schedule here, I was pleasantly surprised to be offered the jab as early as I have. It just bodes well for Sophie and Sam, I really hope they'll get both doses before they head off to Uni in late September and we'll easily be done by July, when all being well we go to Greece to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.


Mother's day

Well these two surprised me on Friday with flowers. Sophie was insistent on taking her car out for a drive at lunch time, as it had not been used. I'll be honest, I thought they were getting a McDonald's, particularly when Sam bounded down the stairs to open the door for her on her return but no......

....instead I got given these beautiful flowers.

Despite working all day, I still felt spoilt. Sam left his card out for me to open in the morning, we got given a bag on mini eggs from work! When I got home my coffee was waiting for me and Sophie was cooking tea and then when Sam got home from work later, I got given a few more bits. Totally unexpected! Some rhubarb starters and a 'Pacmat' a waterproof square to sit on, for when I go out on my walks, perfect, as it folds up really small, better than the carrier bag I currently use!!

I've loved having the two of them around this year. The pandemic has been awful but bonus time with these two, at this time in their lives, has been priceless!

Of course I wished my Mum a lovely day, looking forward when we can visit 
and actually hug each other again, It's been over a year!!


And always, we remember Jeff's Mum, who was taken far too soon.
The life and soul of the party. We miss her xx

So, as with all these things, that's the day over for another year. Next year I might not have the pleasure of their company, so I'm making the time I have between now and September and them both going to University, count xx

Hope you all had a lovely day too x

Saturday 13 March 2021


Week 10, just a few more weeks to go!!

The week that schools reopened, which meant it was back to work for both Jeff and Sam. 
It's only for two weeks though and then it'll be the Easter holidays.

My sister and I decided to reschedule our 50th Birthday trip to Florence. I didn't realise you could change your flights now with no extra cost! EasyJet opened up their 2022 availability, so we have transferred it all to 2022, including our hotel booking, which I will say have been great.

With holidays in mind and several vouchers to play around with from our original Summer holiday cancellation last year, we then have another voucher as a result of our cancelled Seville trip this Easter, we have booked a few days away to Palma in October. If it's not safe or allowed, we can simply move the flights to a different date. It gives me something to look forward too. My 50th birthday trip to Barcelona is on hold. I want to go to Barcelona when it is back to normal, when you don't have to wear a mask, when you can sit in busy restaurants and street cafes, so with this in mind we will wait and re-book when it feels right. I've only waited 50 years to go there, what's another couple!?! We've been to Palma before, just for a day but it wouldn't feel as bad there if things weren't back to normal, if you get my drift, as we've experienced it properly before.

IF!!!! If we are able to fly this summer, it's just 16 weeks until we go to Corfu for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. Jeff is pretty hopeful that the trip will go ahead. I'll be okay if we don't have to isolate on our return, I don't have spare holiday to use for it and actually don't want to spend 10 days cooped up in a hotel room after a lovely holiday.

I am quite hopeful though, as my invitation for my vaccination has come through. Monday 9:10am I will get my first dose, so both doses would be done before the Summer. It surprised me actually, how relieved I felt to get it booked in. Somehow a great weight lifted off my shoulders and I felt a real sense of hope and that life might just get back to some sort of normal eventually.

The evenings continue to get lighter and the starlings flight home to roost gets later. The past few evenings we have had huge groups fly over the house just before 6pm. 
It really is quite an amazing sight.

Having made the decision to stop feeding the birds close to the house, due to my mice visitors, the occasional visitor does frequent the window feeder. It's my only chance to photograph anything up close now!!

So mid March and the daffodils continue to see me through and brighten these cold, grey months. We've had really wet, windy, gusty weather this week. I've not walked, it's been too wet but am hopeful I might get out more next week. I've had plenty of jobs to catch up on inside, particularly with Jeff and Sam out of the house. I need to be ready to enjoy the nice weather once it arrives, so I'm feeling motivated to get stuff done. It's all this talk of holidays, it's giving me something to look forward to.

Have a good week.

Saturday 6 March 2021


Week 9 of lockdown 3!

Yes, that's right, we have survived 9 weeks of lockdown and it's slowly coming to an end! 
Well you could say it's already ended given the number of cars on the road, people meeting up, the number of people who come in shopping together but officially we've three more weeks to go, with the 'stay at home' rule lifted on March the 29th.

We have said good bye to February......

....and welcomed in the merry month of March!

Jeff had some good news. After a worrying couple of weeks, part of his job ceasing with 8 roles going down to 4, he found out that he was one of the successful ones and will start his new role in September. Schools go back on Monday, so that's both Jeff and Sam returning to work. It'll do Sam the world of good to get back in to some form of routine.

I've had an unwelcome visitor, well more than one..... the time has come to stop feeding the birds. I've moved the table further away from the house, will finish any open packs of food, then stop completely. I'll want to open the doors soon and leave them open, without risk of a furry visitor inside!!

I have enjoyed honing my photography skills and capturing the birds up close.

I worked my normal Sunday, Monday, Tuesday then extra overtime on Wednesday. I've been asked to be the Great Place to Work Regional Rep, so had to attend my first zoom meeting with reps from the other stores in the region. I then have to feed back to our store reps in a meeting this week. It was grey and cold on Thursday, not a day for venturing out and about but I did go out on Friday.

Back to Combe Hill Woods. I've not been back there since November because it was just so muddy. Still extremely muddy now but better than before.

It was just lovely to be back in the trees. So many lovely signs of Spring about.....

....including these Scarlet Elfcups.

Final Saturday walk with Jeff today, it's been nice to have him around on a Saturday. 
I'll not only lose him to work soon but he'll also be back refereeing when he can.

We walked back through the school campus - it was looking as beautiful as ever at this time of year. There were people about, coming in to do their tests before school starts on Monday. Jeff went in and had a test on Friday, not sure what Sam will be required to do.

So the end of home schooling (forever) we hope!
It's been a bit of a slog but we've survived. I'm so glad we don't have school age kids, Jeff teaching from home has been hard enough.Sam's furlough will be coming to an end, although he was paid barely anything, so didn't benefit greatly financially. He did however get to enjoy a period of time, when he had absolutely nothing to do!!

So on Monday we enter a new phase, the first date in Boris's phased return to normality - all schools go back and you are allowed to meet with another person, outside for recreation 'a coffee on a bench' but still the 'stay local' rule is in place.

Slowly but surely, a year on from when this all started, there is a glimmer of hope that things will one day go back to normal.