Thursday, 7 January 2021

Here we are again!

Happy 2021, everyone! I trust you all had as good a Christmas period as could be expected under the circumstances. It certainly was an unusual one and, hopefully, one that won't be repeated next year. My birthday and E's birthday were similarly affected. Thank goodness for Zoom is all I can say.

The UK has now gone into Lockdown #3 and the novelty has well and truly worn off. January is normally the month when people hit the gym in an attempt to work off the excesses of the festive period. Not so this year. Apart from our daily Government sanctioned exercise, we are stuck indoors getting progressively more unfit and, presumably, more susceptible to the effects of the virus. 

I received a letter from my GP this morning inviting me for a flu jab. I've always refused in the past on the basis of there being more deserving people. This time I wanted to ask why, if they had time to stick a needle in someone's arm, it wasn't with the Coronavirus vaccine? Obviously, being English, I didn't. So, on the basis that I don't want influenza (only had it once in my 20s and it knocked me flat for a fortnight) and Covid simultaneously, I will go along in 2 weeks, stand in a car park and await my turn. R isn't going - his argument being (and it's a reasonable one) that if we aren't allowed out we are more likely to catch something at the surgery. Still, it's a trip out and there are precious few of those at the moment! :O)

I've a few photos from 'the Christmas that is best forgotten'. We attempted to do secondhand or homemade presents again this year. It was trickier though; partly because the charity shops were closed for a lot of the time but also because people's creative mojo disappeared along with our liberties. You would think that having all that time at home would have helped but it just left us feeling a bit 'Blah' about it all. The gift photos are here as a reminder to myself, so I hope you will forgive me for posting them.

There are also: some photos of our walks; a reminder of a trip to the theatre that we miraculously managed to sneak in before they closed them again; a photo of my cosy memory blanket that grew during December thanks to the yarn from Barbara's wonderful advent calendar, and a photo of my kitchen dresser as a reminder that I have started spring cleaning early this year - it's a way of keeping my mind off the bigger picture!

My dresser - it may not look it but it is considerably cleaner than it was!:


My Cosy Memory Blanket - the top 2 rows and the 3 squares on the left of the row below are from Barbara:

My Christmas Eve cast on in West Yorkshire Spinners 'Silent Night':

My Christmas jigsaw from L. I'm finding this VERY tricky. I'm hopeless at jigsaws, being completely incapable of holding a shape in my head. This one, apart from the birds, is a sea of cream and green, so I can't rely on the design. Apparently, L's reasoning was that she would be home to help me with it.  :O(  To be fair, the one I found for her was a picture of sprouts; just sprouts, all green ...... and it was double sided! She also made some chilli jam and pannetone (both delicious).

A yarn bombed phone box on our Overton walk:

Picnic lunch view. We have specialist equipment for maintaining dry bottoms whilst sitting on the ground - a couple of plastic bin bags that we shove into the side pocket of the rucksack. It's all very high tech around here!

Donnington Castle on New Year's Day:

Bagnor Hill - it was very cold but at least the mud was frozen! :

Aldermaston Wharf:

Ashdown House:

Birthday presents from E. If you haven't read it, the book is adorable - very reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh. The tea is also delicious: 

Coombe Gibbet walk:

Soap nuts from E:

Along with a muffin mix......

.....and ginger and pecan chocolate bark (Yum!):

Underglazes from R . I have tried them out on a pot but failed to take a photo and it's too dark now. Maybe next time ...... 

.... and a new squirrel-proof bird feeder:

Also, some yarn. Actually, I ordered these and gave them to him to give me on Christmas Day! The Alegria yarn was one of the ones in my advent calendar. I liked it so much that I asked Barbara if she could remember the name (she could!) and then ordered a skein:

Bampton walk:

A red kite in the garden:

Our trip to The Watermill:

My money plant (Jade plant) flowering:

And finally, a green woodpecker on the lawn:

Well, that's all from my camera for the moment. On a serious note, my heart goes out to everyone who is struggling in any way during the current restrictions; for many they will be devastating. I truly hope that the repercussions don't turn out to outweigh the benefits.

Happy New Year, my friends.

Toodle pip for now. x