On November 4th we entered the second lockdown. As South Yorkshire was already in tier three I thought this would not make a great deal of difference. But with non essential shops closed, it did make a depressing feel for the coming season. How will we get through winter? What will Christmas look like. Tonight it is confirmed that the lockdown will end on 2nd December as planned, but then we will see where our area is in terms of the tiered restrictions again.
I had a letter from my hospital reminding me “don’t go shopping, shop on line” which is like the shielding of the earlier lockdown, without calling it shielding. Then a letter from the local council with the same message. Then a phone call from the coucil’s voluntary sector checking I am OK mentally.
I am doing OK. Very well. I have painted two walls, up a ladder, using a paint pad. I have painted pictures with acrylic paints in my shed. I have walked round the park with my daughter or my neighbour, I have baked. I have been so busy I still have things to do tomorrow.
I have shopped on line – not just for groceries, but for Christmas gifts too. Soon we will discuss Christmas plans. We might postpone a get-together till new year, when the kids have been out of school for two weeks.
Vaccination is becoming a reality on the horizon. All done by Easter? Bring it on.
South Yorkshire was moved from tier 2 to tier 3 – the highest level – last week.
Lockdown without the lockdown
Schools kept open, allowing bubbles to pop to mix and spread the disease all the way back home.
It’s harsh when the first person you know that actually has the virus is your asthmatic daughter and her son. My daughter works in a local high school. There is no doubt that’s where she picked it up. Although it could have come from her son’s school, which closed two of it’s school years the week after he tested positive.
Pubs that serve food kept open. Only in households, only up to six people, and only alcohol with your meal.
You can’t invite someone into your back garden, but you can walk round the park, 2 metres away from them. You can’t have your brother in your house, but the gas man can come in to service the boiler.
There’s no ketchup or brocolli in the shops again.
I am finding painting to be theraputic and relaxing. Whether it’s painting things – like wood for the bench – or a picture – acrylic on canvas – I find it very satisfying.
I totally dismantled our old bench and sprayed the metalwork a silver colour. The painted slats were sanded down to the wood (I had help with that) and were then primed with an emulsion and painted blue and white.
My little beach area now has a lovely fresh blue and white deck-bench. The white is magnolia really, but it’s a good effect.
The front garden is looking fairly good.
When we came out of Morrisons (after looking for Lamb and buying salmon) we noticed a rather good outdoor plant sale where we bought a few colourful bits to brighten up the raised bed. And a rosemary plant for our herb department. (this is the first one, LOL)
Anyway, with help form Grandson number one, who had never planted anything from a shop, we planted our bits of colour, and it looks much better. (The centre lilac one was from Markham Grange a few weeks earlier)
As a reminder for next year, so I can appreciate the improvement to the back garden, here is a picture of it at the moment. The rotavator was far too heavy, the lawn roots are still too lumpy and the whole area has been covered in the hope that the summer heat and lack of light will break it down ready for tilling and seeding later. Not sure how much later 🙁
Top soil and manure bags on the old patio at the far end. Things can only get better.
We used to like going out for a meal. Even before the Pandemic lockdown, we had stopped having steak when we went out because a, it’s expensive and b, it is a bit random/hit and miss what will be served up. We have had some raw cow and some shoe leather, and most with burnt dirty grill lines on them.
For a fraction of the price, we can buy steaks from the supermarket and cook them exactly as we like them. The cost must still be considered, but it is our monthly treat. This month, it was accompanied by creamed leeks and sauted corgettes. It was really delicious.
We rarely eat fish. We might enjoy fish and chips occasionally, but I can’t have the batter unless we go to Whitby’s, where they do it gluten free on request.
We went to Morrisons, (to price up some lamb actually) and saw they were selling off some salmon that was on it’s last day for display. It was a bargain not to be missed. After all it is supposed to be good for you, and Jeff had just seen Jamie make a Salmon dish that looked easy and tasty. So we bought two packs of salmon. Just needed asparagus, creme fresh and some pasta. Didn’t find any Lamb.
Topped up the veg with some broccoli, used greek yogurt instead of creme fresh, and used some gluten free tagliatelle. Nommy.
Just a little blog of what we have been up to.
We went to Conisborough, intending to look at the viaduct. It was too challenging to make the walk to the bottom, but we had a wwalk across (onto) the top – there are no rail tracks and its all tarmacced. Here’s a view of Conisborough from the top.
You can just see the castle, centre.
Then we travelled through Doncaster, to find a couple of interesting bridges at Bramwith. The first is a swing bridge and the second a lift up bridge. They go over the Dun navigation and River Don, respectively
It was a lovely day. Afterwards we would kick ourselves for missing an interesting aquaduct which is also in the area. We will visit that another time. We just watched some cows.
A couple of days later (having given Jeff’s leg a recovery day) we ventured to Manvers lake, which is close by, and nice and flat for walking. Lake is much bigger than we thought, and we didn’t go very far. Nothing else of much interest there unless you want to fish. Might be busier with boats and water sports when things are “back to normal”. The geese seemed happy enough.
I’m not really shielding now.
We have masks. I went shopping with my daughter. Most people are not wearing masks. The procedures for going into and around shops is fairly well organised and most people are keeping the 2 metre distance. It was so nice to be out with her, and I think it did us both good.
We (hubby and I) bought a car and went for a little run out in it. It was refreshing even though we didn’t go far and he can’t walk round much.
So that takes some of the pressure off the car repair issue. We can now get about, while we sort out the back garden project.
Hairdressers have opened but I haven’t been. My hair has grown quite long and I’ve got used to it. So apart from a trim I might keep it longer for a bit longer 🙂
It’s recommended that everyone in the borough gets tested for Covid but I wouldnt want to make a special trip to get tested.
Government food packages stop at the end of July and those “shielding” will be out of lockdown on “pause”. Well I was supposed to be in that group according to governemnt, but the medication I have (my Golimumab jabs) only put me in the moderate group so I don’t feel too bad about being a bit more flexible. I’ll be glad not to have the Boris Boxes though. Not much in it worth having. Most is not gluten free, and we have enough soup to get us through next winter! I still get priority slots at supermarkets, and that is set to stay until October.
The lawn grass has been killed off. The decking has been removed. So for the rest of the summer we have no “garden”. This is just a temporary situation as we are going to grass all the area.
It looks dreadful and I’m not happy. I just need to think about how lovely it will be when it’s all level and seeded and lush. I’m planning to treat myself to a swing seat which will go at the “evening sun ” end of the garden, on an original patio that was under the decking.
So the rotavator is coming tomorrow. More pictures to follow.
We have had ten bags of top soil and ten bags of manure delivered, to work into the lawn to nourish it. Very heavy, and will be an interesting struggle to get them through the back door and out to the back garden!
Well the shops are open, but I haven’t been.
The pubs and restaurants are opening next weekend, but I won’t be going anytime soon. We thought about having a Chinese take away. It was only a thought though.
Learning to slow down, expect less. Potter about. Focus but no rush.
Counting blessings. Health, no major money issues, no job to get back to. All family OK.
Cannot imagine being able to do any of the things I had got used to. Coffee mornings in the small room at Oddbods. Badminton/ping pong at the Centre.
Not sure if i will even get opportunity to set up poetry book readings or attend open mic sessions. Even just travelling anywhere on a bus or train is a bit scary at the moment.
Maybe it will feel different when we get the car back on the road.
As part of the easing of restrictions, single person households can combine with another household and form a “bubble”. As my daughter is classed as a single person household, she and her children will be allowed to come and visit us indoors. We can even have hugs!
Although I am shielding, we know they have been shielding too, so extremely little risk of any virus germs between us.
Yesterday I made a cherry and pecan cake with white choc drops sprinkled on top before putting it in the oven. Of course, as so often happens with my gluten free flour baking, all the fruit, nuts and chocolate fell to the bottom. Nevertheless, it is very tasty. I made it in 2 loaf tins, so there is a full loaf to share when family visit tomorrow.
Until now, I have been able to go little walks on my own, and then in the last week or two, with one other person at two metre distancing. This is awkward on narrow footpaths – always having to have one behind or in front – not great for conversation. It will be lovely to be able to walk beside one another.
And of course they could stay for dinner too! Hurray!