Monday, 2 May 2022

In and out the dusty bluebells ...


On a clear day you can see Barbury Clump from the fields nearby my house. It is about 8 miles by car,  less  as the crow flies. It is a National Trust viewpoint. At the edge of the copse you can see see over the pretty town of Faringdon and down into the Thames valley. Extra lovely at the moment as it is filled with bluebells. The smell was intoxicating. We went after dinner at around 6.30 pm as the visitors had mostly gone. There wasn’t a breath of wind and the sight was magical. 

A real treat for the senses.
The photos don’t do it justice as there was blue in every direction covering all of  the woodland. 
 Back to reality with a trip to Tesco and Home Bargains in Faringdon on the return journey. At least I escaped reality for a few moments today. That is precious.

Monday, 21 March 2022

A garden day.

 Today has been warm and balmy and I have spent most of it outside. So many garden jobs to do and I felt overwhelmed at first. When I got going I was spurred on by what I was achieving. After covid I have felt a bit weak and sickly so this was the thing I needed today. The first thing I did was walk out to the front garden and enjoyed the Spring colour.

It has been a long week out of action with covid.

I then got out my fork and prepared the little veg patch. It made me puff a bit but I got there. 
I the took a break and wandered around just enjoying being out there after so long. 

I had lost my sense of smell with covid  but I could smell these beauties.

So much weeding and tidying to do but it can wait.

I unwrapped the banana tree and all looks good.

There is Spring loveliness everywhere. Even growing among the gravel.

I had a quick tidy around in the greenhouse and found this bendy trug which had a split in the bottom.  Excellent for some potatoes.
Well that’s enough for one day. I’m cream crackered. Tomorrow I will be doing a bit more gardening. Work on Wednesday as that will be day 10 of covid. I tested this morning and there was still a faint grey line. I’m hoping tomorrow that will have disappeared. Stay well everyone!

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

It got me.

  I’m well and truly stuck inside now. I have managed basic tasks today such as getting up and dressed and pottered around tidying.
Diamond Dave is still at home but seems better today. His test yesterday was positive but with a more faint line than before. Mine however is thick bright red.
I thought I would just do a symptoms diary to log how things are progressing. I know everyone is different. This is my experience.

Friday. Woke with slight headache. Went to work. Took painkillers at lunchtime as it wasn’t lifting. Evening, headache back with a vengeance. Went to bed 8.30. Test negative.

Saturday. Woke with slight headache but got up, donned my mask and went to Aldi. I was very careful to give everyone a wide berth. It was quiet and I was in and out in 20 minutes. Just got on with normal tasks although headache was annoying. Headache lasted all day. Made meals as usual but not really hungry. Took some paracetamol before bed. Test negative.

Sunday.  Headache still there when I woke and sinus’ congested. I was convinced I must have succumbed so did an early test. Faint line positive. The rest of the day I didn’t do too much and although I had headache, didn’t take painkillers as my reflux pain was really bad. We had a freezer meal in the evening Battered cod, chips and peas. I couldn’t eat much. Running nose now. Took temperature just out of interest. 37.7. A bit up on normal.

Monday. It had been a bad night. Vivid dreams, hot and cold, blocked nose. My kidney area ached and just generally uncomfortable. Severe headache. I was desperate to take ibuprofen for this but reflux pain was so bad I just managed with paracetamol. I didn’t really feel like getting up so stayed in bed for a bit. I got showered and dressed but was shivery so went back to bed. Didn’t achieve anything much all day. Slept all evening on sofa. Temperature now 38.0.

Today. Woke with only slight headache and blocked sinus’ runny nose. No aches and pains and temperature normal. Still don’t feel very energetic but feel relieved the severe headache has lifted. I’m hoping the severe symptoms are over. No cough to speak of and breathing fine. Taste and smell still functioning. 
I would say the worse symptom for me has been a debilitating headache. I looked on the Zoe COVID app and that is a strong feature of omicron in their studies.

The Mum in Law sounds quite poorly so BIL is going to assess situation this morning. In theory Diamond Dave could go over and help but had a couple of dizzy turns yesterday so leaving it to BIL. He’s 10 years younger than us so happy to go and assess. She is very independent and insists she’s fine but we are not totally convinced. Best to check in person.

Sorry such a boring post. My van renovation plans have been put on hold as I haven’t the strength to do it yet. I bought new fablon sticky vinyl for worktops and table. The curtains are all washed and ready to hang. DD filled some cracks in the ceiling ready for painting. I have a new sticker to put on side of the van to cover bad paintwork. It has been in a tube waiting to be done for weeks. The weather to do it has been ideal but Life is temporarily on hold.

Yes this is mainly a mild illness for many but it does pack a punch for some. 

Stay safe everyone out there.

Friday, 11 March 2022

Tales of the unexpected.


Diamond Dave has somehow caught Covid and passed it on to his mum who is 88. After 2 years of avoiding it, it has arrived in Cotswold Corner. He had an irritating cough for a couple of days which we put down to him using some roof insulation at work. Then he said this morning his cup of tea tasted salty. That rang alarm bells for me and I got the Covid tests out. I am negative at the moment but I’m sure I won’t be able to avoid it. 

At the moment symptoms are mild and he is frustrated he has to stay in. The family are going to give us a wide berth for the next week or so. Guidelines have changed so I had to go to work as normal.

Yesterday I applied for an allotment local to us. I was amazed to get an email back almost straight away. I was a tad excited until I read I am number 52 on the list and the prediction is there should be one available in the next 6-8 years. Our small veg plot will have to do it’s best to help feed us. I will plan carefully to see what other growing space I can find in the garden. It does me well for tomatoes beans peas and spinach but I would like to grow more root veg especially potatoes. I think they may become very expensive to buy soon. I got lots of seeds free with my gardening magazines I had for Christmas. Time to start thinking about sowing some of the early stuff in greenhouse. 

Son in law filled up his work van this morning at the price of £101 for diesel. Being self employed this is a major blow for him. Hopefully prices will stabilise soon. At least we won’t be using any fuel for a few days. 

As we are going to be housebound for a while, I will be using the time to clean and tidy some neglected corners. I had a cupboard that I called my brexit cupboard which is nearly empty of stored things now. I think I will have to  go back into putting  a few extra things in there for a rainy day. I hate the idea of panic buying so just an extra thing here and there when I shop. 

It is raining and gloomy so time to put the kettle on and have a nice cup of tea and maybe a biscuit. Happy Friday all.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Depressing post alert.

 Diamond Dave took his Mum to a funeral today. It was a neighbour of hers and she passed away one day before her 90 th birthday. He came back with an order of service and a brown paper envelope. Inside were wildflower seeds. She loved her garden and nature. She went out with the tune of Coronation Street. A life well lived. What a lovely idea to give everyone seeds to plant.

Diamond Dave took my car to take his mum leaving me car less. This was good as it made me get on with things. I sorted out more for the charity shop, had a good clean and tidy and sorted and stacked logs. We are thinking we may need to supplement our heating with the wood burner even more next winter. He did fill up with petrol which is now £1.51 per litre. I feel we mustn’t waste a drop. 

The news makes me anxious. I live very close to the largest RAF base in Europe so am aware if this war escalates we will likely be obliterated. I remember being anxious about that in the 1970s/80,s. The RAF delivered a survival leaflet to every house in the area. It scared the living daylights out of all of us. Seeing as technology has moved forward and the and the missiles are so much more powerful, I’m sure they won’t bother with a leaflet this time as we definitely wouldn’t survive anyway. I will admit I have been looking on rightmove site to move away from this military madness. Diamond Dave says there’s no point as we are such a tiny island. I don’t think living where I do will have so much appeal to buyers at the moment. I love where I live and want to stay. It is sad that World Peace has been shattered in just a few days. There have been lots of heavy aircraft taking off bound for Poland. When they wake me at 3 am in the morning I can’t help but think about those people trying to get out of Ukraine. Our village has set up a station to collect goods for the Ukrainian people. They are asking for toiletries on the list so I will drop off my spares of soap and shampoo. It seems so little but I hope they know how much we care and we are thinking of them all the time.

I had a tidy around at the front of the house. The Border has colour popping out. It was very cold though. I wore my woolly hat.

Not a very cheerful post today but as I sit here writing this I am safe(for now) warm and well fed. That makes me feel grateful. I have so much to be thankful for that I don’t even know how this post managed to sound so miserable. Keep smiling everyone. 

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Going South

 Yesterday the sun was shining so we had a day out going south. We crossed over the border from Oxfordshire to West Berkshire to visit National Trust Basildon Park. 

We crossed the Thames at Radcot bridge, up the hill to Faringdon and into the Vale of White Horse, through to Wantage and beyond. Just before the little town of Wantage is a reclamation  yard/ junk store. We couldn’t resist a little look around.

I was very well behaved and didn’t buy anything. The prices were very reasonable. Less than charity shops.

Over the county  border we met the Thames again, much wider with grand houses scattered along the banks. Basildon Park is elevated with lovely views but we couldn’t see the river. The main line to Paddington was below us with trains swishing through the woodland below us. You could tell by the tell tale stripes above the roof we were also on the Heathrow flight path.

The gardens were quite bare of colour. Lots of daffodils in bud but not quite out yet. Inside the house was very grand.

The ceilings were very ornate. Apparently this one has never been restored so original from 1700’s. The table set for dinner was scary. I wouldn’t know which cutlery or glass to use. It would be very stressful.

I wonder who gets to clean this.

Some good banisters to slide down if no one was watching. A bit too treacherous for kids though.

I liked this cosy sitting room. I could imagine taking afternoon tea by the fire. 

A posh loo in disguise. 

Lady Charlotte who resided here embroidered all the napkins with the family crest. Poor girl obviously didn’t have much to occupy her days with. She also liked to collect sea shells. 
There was a whole room full of them.

It was a good day out in the sunshine. We decided we should go out a bit before fuel prices mean these trips are not affordable. It was a 82 miles round trip. The petrol stations were rammed with people buying before the price rises. We didn’t bother as we had over half a tank and my car does about 47 to the gallon. Not sure what that  is in litres but if it does go up to £2 a litre we will have to prioritise our leisure journeys. The Motorhome is diesel so even worse value for money. I shouldn’t even moan. My heart goes out to the families in Ukraine. It does my anxiety no good at all looking at the news. I am thankful I live in the UK safe and well. A trip out distracted me from the doom and gloom of the news. Have a good day everyone. Enjoy the sunshine if you have any where you are.

Friday, 25 February 2022

The Long Winter.

In Cotswold Corner we have kept the wheels of real life turning. It feels that the time is coming  to emerge from hibernation for me. The sun today seems to tease of Spring. I tend to hibernate a bit over the dull and cold weather. I find it hard to do more than the usual day to day stuff sometimes. I don’t know if it is a kind of depression, I don’t feel particularly sad or hopeless but I’m wondering if I suffer from SAD syndrome as I normally feel better when there is sun and light. I may look into buying a light treatment lamp next winter to see if it helps. I randomly came across this article questioning whether humans could hibernate. I definitely have symptoms of a slowing metabolism.

February has been a time to plan and take stock. I have decided we have too much stuff that we hang on to. We tend to keep things that  might come in useful one day. This is all very well but if you forget what you have kept I don’t see the point any more. So, it’s lots of bags for charity today. Sometimes our local hospice shop has a notice outside saying no donations. I think this happens when the manager isn’t in. I could sell stuff but I like the fact that our local hospice charity shop can be supported, and people in the local community can buy things they need at an affordable price. I have loaded up the car boot so hopefully I can drop off later.

It is half term this week so no work for me and lots of child care needed. It was an arty day yesterday. We had episodes of hail and some thunder and lightning. A lovely rainbow appeared although I didn’t manage to get a good photo of it in time. We chatted about how rainbows happen and the colours in order.

An arty kind of a day. These people look a bit glum and are not smiling much:) 

It hasn’t all been doom and gloom. On a sunny day I grab opportunities to go out when I can. We took the van out for a run recently before the storms hit. We went to Cirencester and stopped at the Dobbies  garden centre for compost.

We had a little person on board so  went home via Bourton on the Water to find some ducks to feed. The ducks had competition from gulls and scavengers. 

Bertie the pup visits a lot.

He’s doing well with his training and although a really active breed he’s very obedient most of the time. He’s very loving and such fun to have around.

I’m doing an extra half day at work so not so much free time these days. Im ok at work once I get there. It keeps me active when I’m feeling sluggish.  I’m taking advantage of that to get a few extra pennies for days out and holidays in the van. 

I have been enjoying reading my favourite blogs. I get inspired by people’s energy and creativity. It helps to keep me positive on those dull days.

The daylight hours are getting longer and the solar lights are showing signs of life at the end of a sunny day. Spring will be with us soon. Take care all.