Wednesday, 22 April 2020

At the beach.

This is the nearest we will get to a beach for a while.
We had to take a five minute drive to deliver essentials to the parents. At the edge of their village is a farm track that goes straight on through fields until you reach the Thames. The land here is flat with fields as far as the eye can see.
As a child I used to cycle here with friends on hot days for a paddle. There is a shallow edge here that     was ideal for accessing the river. The Thames could be deep and dangerous. In the middle of the river it was deep enough for swimmers but the the bendy river caused nasty currents.
Many former generations of my family would have learned to swim here. No humans here today  except for us.  It was glorious in the sunshine.
I am feeling delicate with ongoing tooth trouble so this was a good gentle flat walk for me today.
I wrote to my MP  to vent about the dental crisis due to COVID 19. After speaking to my dentist at last I got an inkling of what is actually going on. The 219 urgent dental hubs promised are not operating. There are none in our area at all. This is because they can’t safely treat patients due to PPE shortage. My dentist said he will ring me tomorrow with an update but he is waiting to be told what to do and where he can refer emergency patients. On the news, Sarah Burley head of the BDA assured the public that the hubs are up and running with plenty of correct equipment. This is a blatant lie. Just a handful are open in secret locations so desperate patients won’t arrive at the clinics. Absolutely none here though. I am guessing London area would be the nearest but we won’t be able to get treated there. I can understand the problem completely. What I hate is that the government and those in charge choose to lie about it. Maybe they actually believe that everything is in place. Who knows? I hope that Matt Hancock can get someone to organise the manufacture and distribution of PPE much better than what is happening at the moment. Meanwhile it will be painkillers and lots of saltwater rinsing and mouthwash. I think this could be a long term problem. I’m trying not to panic !!!

Saturday, 18 April 2020

NHS Dentists Come Back !!

This was erected by my son in law in honour of his sister and sister in law both on the front line. One is an ICU respiratory physio and one a children’s ICU nurse. We are anxious for their safety and health but recognise they are committed to putting their patients’ safety first.  He found some Christmas lights and nailed them on to make this.

The NHS has seemed far away the last couple of days. I had to ring 111 as I have a tooth abscess. I was due a dental appointment on 31st March and this of course was cancelled. I have been managing with salt water rinses and painkillers. I got to the point I couldn’t go on and discovered by googling it is quite dangerous to do  so. 111 put me in touch with a dentist and  after a video call he prescribed amoxicillin to bring down pain and swelling. No hope of treatment though as he just said if it gets worse we will have to see you. It will need sorting out sometime soon  and I am feeling very anxious about being left in pain with no where to go. I totally get why Dentists can’t work. They would need full PPE and I would imagine they won’t be first in the queue to get it. So my heart goes out to all people who lose crowns/ fillings and have dental infections. I’m sure this is a small daily occurrence in the general population, but at the moment it would have to be serious or life threatening to get seen. Keep safe everyone.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

No spend upcycling

Thank you for leaving comments and welcome to new followers. I am beyond chuffed that people read my ramblings.
After tidying the shed we had a paint stock take. Diamond Dave has repainted the hall way.  It was lavender white but had faded to a greyish dirty white. All fresh again.
He used every last drop in the tin. We had plenty of white emulsion and some satinwood too. This old cabinet in the sun room is 35 years old. It had plenty of life marks and is often a dumping ground of things I don’t really have a home for. That was next for a makeover. The sliding doors came next.

Then we found some china knobs in a bag left over from some ancient chest of drawers years ago. They were perfect for a finishing touch.  If you stand still enough in this house you might get painted!  I’m liking the fact that all we have spent is time.  The bedding plugs I bought from Aldi before the lockdown have come out a bit early.
I may have to move these plants to the cooler greenhouse so they slow down a bit.
I am keeping busy and I love getting all these jobs done but I miss my children/ grandchildren so much. Skype and FaceTime is lovely but I miss them getting out the toys and running around. Exciting for us, I have a Tesco delivery later. So far Tesco have come up trumps with click and collect. This is my first delivery. I don’t feel too guilty about taking the slot as I am shopping for My parents and Mum in law. Keep safe Bloglanders. I love reading how you are all coping in these strange times.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Well that was Easter 2020

 One  day  rolls into another and we are trying to keep busy. The COVID 19 has passed through the Essex family and little Artie is much better. However  his mummy has been left with a post viral rash. She called her GP who told her that she had heard of this happening to others after other symptoms have disappeared. It really is a sinister virus that we are learning about as we go along.
It has been colder today so inside jobs, but we have been outside as much as we can. Yesterday, Diamond Dave fixed up and painted an old pallet to make a plant  display. Too cool for plants at the moment though. They will go back in the greenhouse. I bought the little hanging pots in Poundstretcher last year. I had intended to hang them on the fences but the hooks weren’t wide enough. This pallet will do a perfect job.

We have walked across the fields every day. Yesterday was so quiet. There were a few rumbles of thunder later in the  day, but thankfully we were home by then. Walking through open fields is not such a good idea in a thunderstorm.

Yesterday sun hats and shorts but today back in coats.
These lovely horses are in our local country park. They are made of steel that has gone a lovely rusty colour. It looks empty here but there were a few walkers about. Everyone was polite and social distancing. We had booked up at Easter to take the van away. We weren’t going far in case the weather was cold as it can be at Easter. It would have been perfect this year. It didn’t seem like a bank holiday today. I wake up every morning and really have to think what day of the week it is. Well I suppose this is the new normal for now.  I hope everyone is keeping busy and safe.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Family drama

Brr there is a nip in the air today. The cloud has gathered now it is afternoon but still has Been a bright day. Dave the Diamond has made me a raised planter out of an old wooden gate and bits and bobs out of the shed.

I am very pleased with it and it cost nothing. I filled it up with topsoil from the veg plot and  homemade compost. 
We wanted to keep busy as we were very anxious today.
My daughter and family have been struck down with probable Covid 19  in Essex. My son in law started it off with mild symptoms 2 weeks ago. He works in the city. (Working from home now) and then my daughter who was ill enough and just recovered. Now 10 month old little Artie has symptoms and had to go into hospital as he had a temperature of 41. The hospital  resorted to ibuprofen in the end to help but the consultant wasn’t happy to do it as it is not recommended at all. However, it was all they could do. It worked to bring down the spike. They gave him oxygen for a few hours as his breathing was laboured. His chest X-ray showed nothing bad.  He’s home now and we are wrecks.
We could not have been there to physically help as no one can. I am  hoping he will not have a temperature spike again tonight. Scary stuff. Daughter has nothing but praise for the treatment. They were totally isolated, gowned and masked. They were the only ones in triage so that was heartening to hear and it seems to be rife where they live. For anyone thinking this is a mild disease, yes it can be for some like my son in law but not for everyone. Babies are usually not badly affected but this is such an unknown virus that we can’t predict. Stay safe everyone.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Cotswold new way of living.

There are quite a few holiday cottages around here and although people have been asked to stay home (mostly London and Greater London) we know they haven’t. It is still easy enough to keep your 2 metre distance if you are savvy about the local paths. This is just 5 minute walk from my house.
There is a little gate in between the houses that opens out to this.

It is a public footpath that says Burford 2 miles. You can walk over the rolling hills away from the main road. It is quite hidden so not everyone realises the gate isn’t someone’s garden. It was so peaceful. We saw red kites and heard bird song. The blue skies and sunshine makes our daily exercise joyful. 
I haven’t been to the shops for 8 days and think we can stretch another 2. I feel for people who are living alone. I hope all this makes us appreciate how lucky we have been to have freedom to go where we like and buy what we like. I think life might change a bit after this and we will be more mindful of what we have and how lucky most of us are.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Wychwood Wild Gardens

In the village of Shipton under Wychwood there is a quiet place behind the cricket ground where you can walk alongside ponds and trees. It was designed in the 1860’s and now the villagers and volunteers  look after it. It was a lovely place to see snowdrops.

A wintry scene. Even the ducks were hiding.
As I wanted to do more steps on my Fitbit, it was a short car ride to the village of Bruern. There is a nature reserve where I thought there would be snowdrops. As I was muddy already I decided to walk along the road instead. I only saw 4 cars and 2 cyclists while I walked.  The Cotswold Line runs through here between Charlbury and Kingham station. There is a level crossing but no station here now.
I did see the crossing gates close up and a train roar through but didn’t catch it on time with my camera. 
The train starts at Hereford or Worcester and goes to London Paddington. Depending on which train you catch it can be a direct train that stops at Charlbury Oxford and Slough only. The slow train stops at most of the pretty Cotswold stations, Shipton under Wychwood, Finstock  and Combe halt, but not so frequently these days. I feel miles away from London but it isn’t really. An hour and a half or so by train and you can be in a different world. The best is coming back from the city. Once past Oxford, the countryside opens out into fields and rolling hills and I know I’m almost home 

Sunday, 2 February 2020


We promised ourselves a post Christmas treat. We visited Kew for the day. Probably not the best time of year to go. We went by train as parking is apparently limited. We parked all day at the station for £4.20. The return fare for two was £37.50. £36.00 to go into the gardens. Approximately £12 pounds on tube/overground. Another £10 in a cafe ouch!! I’m no mathematician but I could feel the money flying away. I don’t know if it was the time of year but l was underwhelmed. The first thing I noticed was the flights rolling in or out from Heathrow.

We walked around and saw all that we could.
I had a congratulations message on my Phone from Fitbit as I don’t normally clock up this many steps. 
The Temperate house and the palm house were lovely. 

The site is alongside the Thames but the riverside walk has very little view of the river. On the way home from the train station, we treated ourselves to food at a Thames riverside pub called the Rose Revived. It was amazing to think we had followed the river all the way to being nearly home.

That was yesterday. Today we have had a thrifty day out. We gave the motorhome a short run to National Trust Hidcote Manor gardens. We took a flask and sandwiches. We had a good walk around and enjoyed this just as much. No aircraft overhead and just the wind through the tall trees and sheep bleating. 

Sunday, 19 January 2020

A snatch of sunshine.

Blue skies today so making the best of where we live. Just minutes away by car from where we live is a wintry Bibury.
The National Trust Almshouses have people living in them. Not very private as tourists stop for photos on the doorsteps. I dare say the occupants come and go from the back of the houses.

The ducks were few and far between today.
It was uplifting to see signs of life here and there.

After a walk here we went the back road about 3 miles to Northleach. As a Cotswold small town I think it gets overlooked.
We walked around the quiet narrow streets up to the church. It was gloriously warm in there and the sun was streaming through the stained glass window.
We then decided to warm ourselves up by having a hot drink. (the pastry was for the OH)
It was a lovely Cotswold wine bar/ cafe looking out on to the sunny market square. All a few minutes from home. It does me good to visit these places around us. So much better when not teeming with tourists. I think the cold put off the day trippers today.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Weathering the storm.

I don’t even want to open the curtains this morning. I know it is dark and dreary. I think I am solar powered as As soon as the sun comes out I am energised and get stuff done. I haven’t achieved much at home recently as the parents have both been unwell. Both on anti biotics for a chest infection.  I did plant some sweet peas when the sun came out briefly yesterday. 
The motorhome will get some attention today. It really needs a good outside clean but inside will get an overhaul. I will check nothing is damp and hook up electric to run a heater for an hour or two. 
Nothing interesting to write about but I wanted to say welcome to new followers and thanks for reading my ramblings and leaving comments. Hopefully I will out of hibernation mode soon and have more interesting things to report.  Keep blogging everyone! Reading other blogs gives me inspiration on these dark days.

Monday, 6 January 2020

One of those days.

We woke up and I prepared a flask and sandwiches as we intended to go out in the motorhome to warm up the engine. That didn’t happen. Nothing wrong with the motorhome but OH decided to shift the work car over a bit to make room on the drive. He hasn’t used it for two weeks. Something must have been left on as the battery was dead. Still no joy after jump starting so it was decided we had better go to Halfords and get a new one. 112 pounds spent. No time for a picnic as he wanted to come back and get the job done. The porch light didn’t work. We had never changed it since moving in. It was a two pin bulb that no one stocked so I had to order on Amazon 8.68 spent. So much for a planned no spend month.  All this before I picked up the essentials from the shop that we needed. A phone call from DIL who couldn’t stop being sick. (12 weeks pregnant) so we acquired a 2 year old helper for the rest of the day as daddy was at work.
As it grew dark it occurred to me that the house with the Christmas lights display in town would be the last day so at dusk we took little man down for a look around.

We put some pennies in the charity box. 
It wasn’t the day we planned but life often has other plans. Poor DIL has been admitted to hospital to get sickness under control. I think I’m going to be seeing much more of my my little helper over the coming days. 

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Low key celebration.

New Year’s Day marked my parents’ 65th Wedding Anniversary. 65 years ago they married on a snowy New Year's Day. It was at Tawstock Church near Barnstaple in N Devon. My Mum was from the hamlet of Lake nestled in a valley between Barnstaple and Tawstock. She settled here with Dad in the Southern edge of the Cotswolds. We had lunch at a local pub Ye Olde Swan Radcot beside the river Thames. This was my Dads local pub in his youth. He and his friends (all now departed)used to cycle a mile or so from the village to enjoy a game of darts. Dad is in his 95 th year and Mum is just a spring chicken, 10 years younger. It was just 6 for lunch. Parents, My brother, S I L , OH and Me.

Happy New Year to all.