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Sunday 27 September 2020

Adjusting 8: 200 days


It was 11th March when I decided that I was too uncomfortable to go out.  Corona virus was hitting the headlines but there was no lockdown.  Many countries were banning international flights but on the 12th the UK government advice was just don't go on a cruise!  Other European countries were closing schools or going into lockdown but the UK was propounding "herd immunity" conveniently forgetting that immunity comes only after most of the "herd" has had the disease.  

Lockdown didn't start officially in the UK until 23rd March but I count my "withdrawal" from 11th March, hence 200 days.  I emerged a little during August/early September but I've largely withdrawn again now.  During my withdrawal I've scanned a lot of photographs, made numerous phone calls,  completed craft projects, experimented with recipes, written letters and a thousand and one more things.  I've tried to think of this as a time when my cry of "Stop the world, I want to get off" has been answered, like it or not, so I have tried to make the best of it.  It's been a time of putting my life in order so that one day (DV) my life will be better than ever.  

I've been grateful for the help of others (shopping etc.) but I have tried to be of service by telephoning people who are alone and by doing knitting for various charities.  I've been involved in leading a small on line worship group and I have written "Reflections" for our deanery newsletter so I have tried to keep by brain working.  

I've taken care to dress properly and to eat properly.  I've written this blog and a daily diary to keep myself in order.  200 days and nearly fifty thousand words in I think I'm as sane as I was before this withdrawal started (my standards of sanity are quite low!). 

Which all leaves me wondering, what things have helped you?

Saturday 26 September 2020

A little treat and a little sadness

A girl needs a treat occasionally.  Well, this girl does.

Yesterday I realised that I could order a bar of chocolate from Amazon and as I have Prime membership I wouldn't need to pay postage so I splashed out the princely sum of £1 and waited.

It didn't arrive until late afternoon so by the time it arrived I was really looking forward to it.  A whole bar of chocolate, just for me!  

And I'd been given a magazine so I decided to keep it until the chocolate arrived so I could have a period of total self indulgence.  I settled down with both my treats.

I thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate but the magazine just made me feel sad.  Covid won't make a huge difference to my Christmas Day as I normally go to church then come home and spend the day alone.  This year I'll watch a streamed service then settle down as usual.  For me the real meaning of Christmas will still be there as will its joy.

But for so many of my friends Christmas should be a time to spend with their grandchildren and the likelihood is that won't happen this year.  Some will find the loneliness unbearable.

I enjoyed the chocolate but the magazine? - no.  It left me wondering if there is anything I can do to help my friends.  Any suggestions very welcome.  

Monday 21 September 2020

An infectious disease


Each morning Alexa and I say "Good Morning!" to each other.   Alexa then tells me a special fact for the day.  Today she told me that it is International Gratitude Day so this morning I decided to have a Thankful Day.

It started with reading blogs while sitting in front of my SAD lamp and drinking coffee.  So much there to be thankful for!

Then I had a lovely hot shower in my lovely bathroom.  Sheer bliss!

I had an appointment for a flu vaccination in Brigg and as the weather forecast looked good I decided to spend a little time in Brigg.  I took a mask and did a little shopping.  So much effort is being put into keeping us safe.  Who couldn't feel grateful!  I trundled along the river bank enjoying the glorious day, the swans on the water and the sheer bliss of being out.

And best of all, a lady called Pat (whom I'd never met until today!) stopped me and thanked me for my smile.  She'd been feeling glum but my smile had made her feel happy.  She said my smile was infectious!

How lovely is that!  Maybe I could start a pandemic!

Tuesday 15 September 2020

A Bit of a Treat



This could be a long, lonely winter so I need to take good care of myself.  I can't visit friends but I can visit places.  On Monday I visited Gunby Hall Gardens.

 The NT is trying to make open spaces available and safe so at the moment one has to prebook to visit their properties.  I went to Clumber Park a couple of months ago and Gunby is the other place within reasonable distance.  Gunby is a lovely place less than an hour's drive away.

I had a pootle around the gardens on my trundle truck.  Truth to tell they would have been even lovelier a few weeks ago but they are still pretty good.   

Much of the work is done by volunteer gardeners although the NT has professional staff as well. 

There's a one way system and many areas are completely roped off.  Wouldn't it be delightful to sit in this little shelter and enjoy the garden!

I enjoyed my day but I think I shall leave my next visit for covid free times.  People are very kind and no-one tried to make me feel uncomfortable on my scooter when I was in the way but I found it hard to relax.  I'd hoped to sit and people-watch but there were very few benches.  

I've got an idea of somewhere to visit next month which has very wide, open spaces.  

Thursday 10 September 2020

Thank you, NHS

I don't think there has ever been a year when people have said, "Thank you, NHS" more frequently.  Our health service has responded magnificently to the Covid crisis.  But there are more illnesses than "just" covid making demands on the medics.  I've just been making my own demands.

I have a faulty gene which means that I have a very high chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer.  Several years ago I had bilateral mastectomy and an oophorectomy to minimise my risk but I still have a risk.  I check my "breasts" regularly which isn't easy as the surgery left me with very lumpy pseudo-breasts.  Last month I felt a lump and my bra became very uncomfortable.  I contacted our local breast care service (I'm allowed to bypass the GP) and made an urgent appointment.  Before I could go in my breast started to "weep".

Last week I had a clinical examination, a mammogram and an ultrasound scan and samples were taken for examination.  Today I have the all-clear.  My lump was a cyst which had burst harmlessly.

Thank you

Monday 7 September 2020

Adjusting 7

 'Ere the winter storms begin.  Actually, it's not storms which are bothering me this year, it's boredom!  Every year I get the winter bleughs and as I think this year it may well be worse than ever, I need to prepare now.

At the moment I am making some very small visits out.  I've been to our veg stall in the market place a couple of times, I've visited a few friends and taken advantage of their gardens to chat while the weather has been OK, and I've even visited a few cousins in their homes.  Soon however, all that will stop as winter weather drives us all indoors and my own preference for safety means that I stay very isolated.  I may be looking at six months of being on my todd.

So I need to look after myself, not just by staying out of harm's way but by being well prepared for worse than usual winter bleughs.  I'm thinking of getting a SAD lamp and wondered if anyone has tried them?  One of the big problems of being alone is motivating oneself to cook healthy meals so I'm cooking soups and stews to freeze.  

And I'm trying to think of treats.  I shall make sure I have freshly ironed bedding even more than usual.  I shall paint my nails!  I shall order flowers to be delivered to me.  I shall plan on giving other people small treats - that bucks me up too.  I shall wear my favourite perfume even though only I will smell it.

So, anybody got any more ideas about small treats?  

Thursday 3 September 2020

Credit where credit is due!

You will have gathered over the past few months that Jack spends a fair amount of time chez moi.  He drinks a fair amount of tea, ticks me off and eats the home made goodies on offer but to be fair to him, he does lots of other things too.

This plant container started life as a water feature but for several years now it has stood near my front door with a floral display.  I think this year's display has been the best ever.   

He has made a new number for the front of my house, adorning it with butterflies.  This was at my request because I loathe trying to find a house when there is no clear number so it seems only fair that my house should be clearly labelled.

He's done loads in the back garden too (the veg patch is my best ever!) but I'll show you that another day.

Putting my house sign on the blog has reminded me that I've been wondering about the letter swaps.  That was a few months ago - how is everyone getting on?