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Saturday, 31 July 2021

That was July, what about August?

 I've been doing my report about me and to me for July so now you get the edited highlights.  Sorry about that. 

The month seems to have been dominated by the saga of the shower. although I haven't blogged much about it.  I am waiting for an assessment by an Occupational Therapist before my landlord will install a wet room but OT has quite a backlog so it could be a Very Long Wait.  I had a shower which was a little unpredictable(!) but I was prepared to tolerate it until I could get the bathroom sorted completely,  However, on 3rd July I didn't have a shower, I had a dramatic waterfall which was flooding the bathroom so I turned off the water completely and reported the problem.  My landlord had a plumber here within an hour,   The faulty shower was removed and the water supply turned on again.  For the next couple of weeks I visited friends a couple of times a week for a good shower and between times "made do".  Anyway, a shower has now been fitted but I still await the OT assessment.

The garden has been lovely this month especially as I have been getting spring onions, potatoes, lettuce and tomatoes.  I am especially pleased with the potatoes which taste delicious.  What's even better is that the spuds Jack has been growing at home have been rubbish so I have been able to give him some of mine.  One up to me.

I've ventured out a little more than I have for over a year.  I went to a local cafĂ© but ate outside.  I've seen my spiritual counsellor for the first time in eighteen months.  I've visited a friend in a residential home.

I've been decluttering.   Big Time.  The biggest thing to go was a freezer but my felting machine and loads of clothes and household items have also gone.  The departing clothes are particularly exciting as I have lost weight!  Yay!

And between all that excitement I've done sewing for a friend, I've got started on my Christmas cards and I've been preparing photobooks for printing.

I don't know yet what August will bring.  Card making, sewing, a few days out - they're all possibilities.  Bring it on!

Sunday, 25 July 2021

500 days

 It was on the 11th March last year that I started a new diary called, "Personal thoughts during a pandemic"  Back then I wrote, 

The corona virus seems like a real menace and I feel I want to protect myself and others.  I’ve decided to restrict my social contacts without totally withdrawing. . . I reckon the “crisis” will last until at least Easter so my plan is for that period.  I need to keep myself active and happy.  I want to use this as gift time: time to be used as a bonus in a weird sort of way. 

Would that it had all been over by Easter 2020!  I think if I'd realised how long the pandemic will last I would have been far less optimistic about keeping myself active and happy.  

But I'm glad that I did make that resolution back then.  These five hundred days have been (for the most part) active and happy.  I've decluttered and reorganised.   I've upped my technology and other skills.   I've got to know my neighbours better and to appreciate my friends in new ways.  I've taken time to smell the roses and to taste the coffee.

One thing I have done very little of is to conduct worship but tonight at the end of my five hundredth day of this new life, I was invited to lead Evening Prayer at a little church on the Lincolnshire Wolds.

And I've put some new hanging baskets in my garden.

(I'm not sure of my Brownie points status.  Jack has been "mentioning" that it's a long time since I've blogged.  However, I have put the hanging baskets in the garden without his permission.  It could go either way.)

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

An Admirable Man

 I'll start by saying that I have absolutely no interest in any sport whatsoever.  I haven't been watching Wimbledon, the Euro's or even the local tiddlywinks competition.  I have no idea who won anything at tennis but I do know that Italy won the Big Match on Sunday.  My congratulations to them but my ability to comment on any sport is zilch.  

However, while I don't watch sport, I do watch the news and I have total admiration for Gareth Southgate, the England manager.  He has managed the team incredibly well to get them to the finals and he has taken responsibility for his choice of the players to take part in the penalty shootout.  He has accepted that responsibility totally in a way which is rarely seen in those in any kind of leadership.  He has made his contempt for racism abundantly clear.  There was no ranting, just a calm, rational man who made no attempt to shrug any blame onto anyone else.   There are many in authority in many fields who would profit from watching his style.

Friday, 9 July 2021

Thank you

As in most beautiful towns it's the work of volunteers which makes Caistor such a lovely place to live in.  They've been busy these last few weeks and we have our customary floral displays.

The barber's shop
A tub in the market place


Outside the oldest house in Caistor

The trap in the churchyard

It's the same everywhere: volunteers make this a lovely land to live in.  Thank you to you all.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

This and that

When I mentioned Christmas preparations in my last post it seemed to send shivers down a few spines!   It really is a case of old habits dying hard.  When I was working I always had presents bought and wrapped and cards written by the end of October so I could use November to do my "professional" preparations and leave December for panicking.  Christmas is lovely but it is hard work for vicars and, quite apart from the services and parish visiting before Christmas, it also fell to me to cook Christmas lunch for quite a few family and friends.  Anyway, so far I have been thinking about the design for my card and have done a few experiments.  Next Monday I hope I will get much of the card making done as I've booked a crafting session with a friend.  

Now to Jack's dog, Millie.  Here she is 

And Jack has a new hat.

And thank you, Rambler, for threatening to tell me if Jack uproots my poppies.  He's never met you but you've got him scared and even though he was weeding in their vicinity yesterday, he's left my beautiful papaver.  He's just a pussycat really.   

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Into July


One thing I forgot to comment on in my last post was blogging itself.  Back in May I decided to give myself a kick up the proverbial and I resolved to do twenty posts before the end of June.  Well, I managed seventeen.  Not Bad but Could Do Better.

My July hopes are directed towards crafting and making things.  I've usually got my Christmas cards made by the end of July so that has to be a priority.  I've got a day booked to make cards in company with my cousin and I'm looking forward to that.  

I also want to make a few Christmas presents and to build up a small stash of gifts for when I need a quick "Thank You" or "Happy Birthday" or whatever.  I've been sorting the room where I sew so now I want to enjoy the fruits of my labours.  There is still, however, more sorting to be done.  

A few days out would be great.  I want to get out before the school summer holidays.  Children are great but they can't cope with the idea that while they stand staring at my trundle truck I can't move!  It may be that I will be called for surgery before long so if I'm having days out they need to be soon.

I've got a session booked with my spiritual counsellor.  I haven't seen him since before the pandemic and I have much to reflect on.  These last sixteen months have been "gift time".  However, covid infection rates are rising again and, although I have been fully vaccinated, I still feel very vulnerable so I may face further seclusion which I want to use well.  

And maybe I can keep up the blogging momentum!

Thursday, 1 July 2021

That was June!

 I keep hearing about extreme hot weather in various parts of the world but Lincolnshire has missed out on the heat - I had the heating on for a brief period this morning as I was so uncomfortable.  

But June has been quite a good month.  We had our annual family picnic at Clumber Part.  Four more people had planned to come but chickened out because the weather forecast was foul.   As it happened the five of us and Zola the dog didn't see any rain.  

My weight loss has continued at about a pound a week so I am happy about that.  I haven't tried to walk much as I await surgery but as yet I don't know when that will be.  

I've been very busy decluttering and have disposed (by various means) of six hundred items since March so the house is losing weight as well!  

The garden is flourishing thanks to You Know Who.  At the moment I'm harvesting just spring onions and salad leaves but soon there will be more.  Yum!!

I've been venturing out a little more and have visited friends as well as going to a few shops.  I had the privilege of taking the funeral of an old schoolfriend's mum.  This lady was wonderful and she used to hide us in her house when we bunked off cross country running all those years ago.    What's more she lived next to the headmistress!  The funeral was my  thank you after all these years.  

I also helped a couple re-affirm their vows after twenty years of marriage.  And at the same time I blessed their baby granddaughter who has a great grandad you may have heard of - Jack!  

I didn't write this

 Jack did.

Today Jack brought Sweet Williams

Hi everyone

Hope you're all keeping well and staying clear of the covid bug.

Firstly today I must say well done to my vicar friend on her weight loss.  I'm sure she'll feel better for it in body and mind.

Well, that's enough of the niceties.  She'll think I'm going soft and she takes enough liberties already.  Her main topic is my slightly receding hair line.  Just lately she's been telling me about Zooming with another lady vicar whom I've met on occasions.  Her church is on the highest point of this beautiful county.  The only sort of zooming I know about is when she met me at a garden centre with her trundle truck.  She did plenty of zooming around that day.  Those things go at 8mph and I was expected to keep up with her with my hands full of plants and a bag of compost on my shoulder.  

We still ring each other every morning and I'm sure she looks forward to our chats as much as I do.  I take Millie, my little shih tzu with me when I go to the garden at her house.  My Millie makes herself at home and sits on the vicar's knee even when she's trying to use her computer.  At lunch time anything which gets dropped is soon hoovered up by Millie.  On my last visit she gave Millie some beef then had the audacity to say I spoil my dog.  Also on my last visit my friend was in constant pain with her knee.  I sincerely hope she has her knee replacement operation soon.  (Oh, there I go being nice again)

I now seem to be her personal shopper.  The last time I went I fetched her a coffee machine and I  told her a big fib about how I got it.

I'm so glad for one lady I bring joy to - I remind her of her dad as we both have the same name.  It gives me joy to know I bring happiness to people all over the world by something I've done or said.  I like to leave people smiling wherever I go and that includes you, Vicar.  I know we don't agree on everything: it wouldn't do for everyone to be the same but you've tried to keep me on the straight and narrow as best you can.  So thank you for trying and keep up the good work.

I hope the vicar enjoys the poppies in my part of the garden.  Don't let on to her, you bloggers, but I'm pulling them up next time I go.

And roses, of course
As you may know she's given me a new title: Horticultural Enhancer.  She's up to something but I'm not quite sure what it is yet.  Her best talent is making lists.  

Well, I've given you a little insight into the vicar's life but one thing is for sure, she's got a heart of gold.  I hate to say it but I would miss our banter.

This post is the kindest I've written about her and it won't happen again.  But once again a big thank you for all you've done for my family, Vicar.

I hope she puts all this on her blog and that she doesn't take advantage of me because of what I've written.  If I am allowed I will write again in July.

Love your neighbour, take care of one another, God bless, and keep smiling