Tuesday 21 April 2020

40 Days & 40 Nights in #Lockdown

I'm starting to feel as if I’ve been cut adrift. There is no definition to a month, no weekends or weeks as each day blurs one into the other, and I'm going to bed later and later as I stay up to watch late night films, not something I usually do.

While the weather is good I spend hours pottering in the garden and sitting in the sun but then the rain closed in around me I became more achy and less optimistic but this was a brief change, the weather's improving this week.

I need to find a different way to schedule my day so I'm going to make ideas cards with options to choose a more flexible timeline or timetable to suit my mood versus the weather.

Boring jobs and interesting activities with occasional treats for good measure and each card will have a time frame so that I can switch in / out my choices to find away to make each day a little different from the previous.

I haven’t left the house for 40 days and eventually I'll get braver and go out for a walk perhaps just to the post box and back because it’s strange that the highlight of my week is putting out the bin and joining in the clapping for the HNS.

The only visitors to my front door are delivery people, postman and food supplies for which I'm grateful.

I'm struggling to settle to read so for now I'll focus on listening to stories online until my focus returns.

Each day my aim is to be kinder to myself as I don’t have to be anywhere except in the moment.

If you had told me a year ago that I'd spend time alone at home without leaving the house for more than a month I'd have looked at you askance and said: 'don't be daft.' But here we are.

I'm not the most sociable creature under normal circumstances but I do miss visiting my grandchildren, my family and friends now. So staying in touch is vital for me, FaceTime is the new normal for my grandchildren and I've resorted to snail mail for all family birthdays.


Saturday 11 April 2020

One month of #Lockdown

The last time I ventured out was 11th March. I saw my grandchildren.

I've been indoors on #lockdown for one month now.

I'm coping okay and quite surprised that I'm not going stir-crazy yet, probably because I've accepted that I don't have any real choice in this matter other than to hunker down because I don't want to get Covid-19. There's no one to look after me if I get ill and that prospect is a tad scary.

I'm lucky that I have a garden and the weather has been good these past weeks so I'm keeping myself occupied by pottering in the garden. I'm no gardener but now I have planted seeds and the coming weeks are going be interesting. Watering these pots and fighting an imminent slug war might be my new hobby. I'm no gardener, I buy plants from the garden centre usually and plant them. If they survive all good and well. If they don't make it, hey ho, I put it down to experience. So growing from seed is going to be a new experience.

However, I'm going to miss seeing my grandchildren the most. Maya crawled for the first time this past week and I'm sure that by the time I get to see her in person, she will be walking and talking! Charlie and I are close and for now he understands that I can't visit him because of the Virus. My fear is that I may not be able to see either of them for possibly six months.

The way this epidemic is being handled here in the U.K. worries me that I'm going to have to remain in #lockdown for entire six months, and that means I will miss Maya's birthday and may not even make it to Charlie's!

As I post this note I can hear a Woodpecker drumming, it's still outside and calm.


Friday 3 April 2020

Finding happiness in these troubling times

I've decided to start writing again to try to make sense of how I feel during these worrying times. The Coronavirus has changed all of our lives in a heartbeat and few of us knew it was coming. My lockdown and self-isolation started a little over 20 days ago because I'm a Carer. I can't afford to become ill as there's no one to look after me if I catch this virus.

There are people I am going to miss during this period of isolation, namely my grandchildren. Usually we are close and I am lucky to see them frequently but that stopped abruptly on the 11th after making my decision to self-isolate.

The other night I read my grandson a bedtime story over the phone. It was a first for us and a lovely, fun experience. I read Bringing Down the Moon By Emmett and he had a copy in his room so that he could follow me reading the story, I told to him when to turn each page and then something unusual happened. I ended up helpless, and in fits of laughter. I announced 'the end,' and he hung up the phone! Just like that, no goodnight, no questions, nothing. He's only three but tech savvy which is a worry, they learn so fast and copy their parents.

This bedtime reading session is going to be a necessary connection for me over the coming weeks as the news grows ever more dark and frightening. An escape from reality just for a short period of time.

My granddaughter will be one this Spring and I doubt I will be allowed to meet her to to celebrate her first birthday. Thankfully she won't remember this non-event later in her life but maybe I can adopt the Queen's routine and elect to have an official and an unofficial / public birthday date when this pandemic is deemed to be in remission or finished.

During our last FaceTime call she was trying to climb into the screen, she could see me and wanted to reach out to touch. I wonder if she understands that I am not in the room with her despite her being able to see me and hear me. I will never know. But it struck me that her generation are going to be so tech able because of this need for physical connections via technologic devices during these unprecedented times.

And now while I've been writing this blog post this evening, a text message with an attached video popped onto my screen. My grandson has asked me to read him another bed time story, tonight, I am made up and I know I am very lucky.

My heart goes out to all those grandparents who can't see or contact their grandchildren now for whatever reason during this pandemic.

It's going to be tough to find fun activities away from my grandchildren unless I make a concerted effort to do this by doing something that gives me and them pleasure. And I am going to have to make an accommodation to find time for this new fun activity.

After reading this do one thing. Smile x


Saturday 22 April 2017

My personal ‘Gut Regime’

It’s three weeks since I took myself in hand and went to Grayshott Manor Spa in Hindhead Surrey. During my 40’s my health wasn’t great (but I managed) and by my early to mid-fifties I felt my body was falling apart, and there still wasn’t time to stop and draw breath and take stock, until now. As I’m rapidly approaching my sixties it frustrates me that my eighty plus year old Mum is far faster, fitter and slimmer than me.

For the life of me I couldn’t work why my weight kept creeping ever up and up as I didn’t over eat and when out in company often people commented that I ate less than them, however the weight continued to load up until I reached my heaviest weight ever and being as short as I am, this wasn’t good news.

I found Grayshott Manor last year (April 2016) and as a newbie to a Spa resort I wasn’t brave enough to sign up to the Gut regime, until now; however last year’s visit did encourage me to do so, in fact almost a year on from my original visit.

I can only praise the 7 day Gut Regime course. A lot of what is discussed in lectures I knew but had let slip whilst being too busy at work etc, some evidence and specific scientific points were new to me and I did agree with the suggested eating plan.

The food is superb, I mean completely off the scale good, being waited on at table also helps hugely, not having to think, shop, prepare food, cook: a hidden blessing! All I had to do choose from the menu offered.

The spa treatments and therapists made me feel pampered and special and during any free time I turned back into my 6 year old self becoming a mermaid in the pool. And my fellow Regimer’s were awesome; all there for a variety of reasons, mostly personal health issues. Our group of 14 gelled well. Even on days when we fasted, we sat after the Bone Broth supper talking, mostly about food and what we were learning.

On our final day, the final weigh in bought amazing results. The men lost more weight in 7 days than the women, however some of these women’s losses were equally amazing. I lost a lot of weight in 7 days; it’s staggering and likely all fluid; however the significant impact I saw was that the inflammation and swelling in my arthritic left knee significantly and noticeably abated.

Just this single result alone is sufficient reason for doing the Regime and my original driving force to sign up. I’ve a two pronged attack this summer, either get match fit and slimmer ready for the big knee operation later this year or if I lose sufficient weight just maybe I can postpone and hold off this huge operation as my lovely Surgeon has requested me to do.

This is the start of my journey. My new clean eating regime at home. A bit like learning to ride your bicycle for the first time without stabilizers…

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Garden observations...

I grow Hostas. Well let me clarify that statement, each year I attempt to grow Hostas. Usually these are poor attempts, smallish plants ravaged by slugs eating the tender green leaves as one of their five a day! Turning my dreams in to a mottled frilly fretwork of uneven holes.

A few of my friends, who are more gifted than me, grow magnificent plants far larger than mine and I often wonder how they succeed when I view my efforts.

After some recent heavy rain I noted that one of the pots was water logged and turned it on its side to let the excess drain. Then I did nothing as it didn't cross my mind to right the pot in case it got water logged for a second time.

In yesterday's glorious sunshine I inspected my garden for the first time this year, as I'm a fair weather gardening, allowing my garden to rest over autumn and winter months. That is the best excuse I can find for not gardening in the cold and inclement weather.

I righted the pot; to my surprise this pot had a healthy head of live Hosta shoots, far in advance in growth than any of the other five remaining pots! It appears that by turning the pot on its side and placing the crown of the plant in an enforced darkness has encouraged a forced growth!

I'm off to rescue these tender shots now from a slug invasion as I imagine that within a five mile radius these tender shots will attract many more slugs than I already house in my clay logged soil. And perhaps it might be wise to turn the remaining five pots on their side too, and place them in an enforced darkness now.

Let’s see how these fare in a week or two…

Monday 13 March 2017

The great slug escape

This afternoon was the first time in ages, in months even, that I’ve sat in the garden and done nothing. Well not quite nothing. The sunshine was glorious and its the first proper chance I’ve found to top up the Vitamin D naturally.

It was a mellow moment.

Wonderful bird song filled the air. A lot of noisy wing flapping and posturing by two doves as they made ‘whoopee’ in a large bushy conifer close by drew my attention. A big ol’ bumble bee busied itself buzzing around my head looking for nectar, and the blue canopy of sky seemed further away than it’s done in a while and I couldn’t help but notice that my patio was strewn with large lumps and clumps of drying moss, presumably removed from the roof tiles by the early morning birds looking for nest building materials as there’s a lot of dried stringy plant fibre too and I’ve no idea where that’s come from…

A damp cushion retrieved from the ground was laden with slugs, on its underside, all shapes and sizes, simply Yuk. I pegged the cushion on the line out of the way, while I wandered off to find gloves and removing implements to de-slug it. This was when the moment the conniving slugs made their escape.

I returned to find an unusual sight and as I stood and watched an elongated slug spun itself a fine sliver of a clear trail and suspended from the edge of the cushion it dangled several feet above the ground. The wind buffeted this slipper strand that stretched and stretched until it finally, under the weight of the slug, it snapped and the slug plummeted to the soft new grass below. I’d not seen these slug acrobatics before and discovered there were none left to retrieve!

Before settling down to bask in the warmth of the suns rays again I sprinkled seeds a few Love-in-the-mist and Californian Poppies. If the birds don’t find them tomorrow theses seeds might thrive. As I wandered back to find my seat I spotted a splendid fungi right next to the path, a home for fairies perhaps.

But best news of all is the cherry blossom is in full bud! Encouraged by the warmth of this morning's suns rays a few buds have burst open to reveal soft pink petals. These late winter days, before the Spring solstice, that hold the promise of a Spring day yet to come, is undoubtedly my favourite time of year.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

A farewell kiss.. (unedited)

Being brave...just letting my words fall on the page.

sometimes there are things
that we didn't realize we miss

until a sudden flash of memory
recalls the reassuring sound of the sea rolling in

and then there are people we miss
the people we want to hear from again

a need to see you in person
yet there's nothing I can do to return this loved one to my presence

perhaps a good memory can flood our body with a satisfactory moment
to fill that longing and desire

but that's never as rewarding as the close physical embrace
when arms wrap around warm bodies pulling each loved one nearer
as if drawing them within the whole

missing him

missing her

missing them

missing from my life

missing from your life

missing from theirs

but what is it I am needing you ask?

or to hear you laugh again...

a laugh tinged with excitement
to hear my own laughter respond with joy

that moment of unbridled happiness when two people share ecstasy
when their lives sync

to know with certainty that the one place I want to be is close to you
to do nothing in particular accept enjoy each others company

never be sorry for sharing happiness
never be sorry for spreading joy

knowing that your smile hides secrets
that have hidden depths

and once revealed
there's pleasure to be experienced

remembering a farewell kiss
and longing to see you
once more