Thursday 30 April 2020


After nearly two months, I finally managed to buy some baking powder. Being a regular baker and bread maker, I know it is something that is not used often. I suspect that people probably panic bought it and much will end up in the bin. Still no flour (although I have some in my stores) but plenty of pasta.

My old tub was out of date and just viable so I was glad to get some. Also found some ready to cook Rosti which we love so got three of those.

I didn’t have to queue and entered Lidl at 09:00 and came out at 09:25. Wasn’t rushing either and also got some lovely mini tagetes. Inside was calm, maybe 20 of us but some still getting too close.

Gave a smile to the cashier (behind my mask) which he must have seen as he gave me a big smile back. "I can tell by your eyes you’re smiling" he remarked!

I was the only one using mask and gloves. DB donned gloves once I got to the car and packed it away. Gloves and mask off, opened the door with a clean hand then DB squirted hand gel on them so I would be clean in the car.

Whilst waiting for him to answer a text, I watched a youngish chap approach the trolley bay. First he put on his mask, answered his phone, put it way, donned his gloves before touching the trolley. So good to see unlike others who just wandered up and got one.

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Cot bumper

The current thinking is these are dangerous although we all used them when DS and DDiL were little.

I think some of the baby deaths have occured with people either not tying them on properly (including adding extra tabs to keep them straight and tight) or leaving the ties so long the baby got caught up in them, either way, a tragedy. There are ways to use them and be as safe as possible.

Anyway, I offered to make one (with copious short loops for tying on) and DDiL said okay. If they have now changed their minds, I really don't mind.

Anyway, here is a shot of some of it. I made it reversible so they can chose which side to have facing in, if they use it.

Monday 27 April 2020


We love trifle but I only tend to make it for Christmas, how ridiculous!

That was remedied over the weekend when I found one packet of trifle cake slices and a jelly in my pantry:

It took just two days for us to eat it - nom!

Friday 24 April 2020

Epic failure

On nearly all bean showings, just one came up. Quite a few first sowings of tomatoes also failed. Sowed second batch and some of the first ones decided to grow. Hopefully will have enough now and some to give away.

Just sown new beans and hope they come through. French marigolds have finally come through but nasturtiums not showing. Ah well, onwards and upwards.

Although it proved tiresome for some reason, with mini mistakes happening, finally got a batch of date slices made.

I don’t know about you but we are losing the plot. Doesn’t bother us much being at home but don’t  know what day it is half the time!

Thursday 23 April 2020

Hummus and a bit of sadness

Just made a batch of hummus and divided it into two old and saved bought tubs. One to use now, one to freeze:
There are lots of recipes on the internet and in blogland. If you print one, make sure to link back.

Other jobs still ongoing are painting our fences back to their lovely black. On the left is a finished panel, the right from 2 years ago, quite a difference:
Chris Whitty, Cheif Medical Officer for England, said yesterday that social distancing measures would need to remain in place until the end of the year. Whilst I can understand that, it makes me sad.

Will it mean we still won't be able to see our granddaughter although we would both be willing to completely isolate from everyone and everything for 7 days beforehand and not use the service stations if we could just see her!

Hopefully lockdown will ease soon so we can get a bit of normality back into all our lives.

I don't know what will happen re hairdressing as an aside. I am starting to look like a wild woman. Might have to get DB to give me a light trim, something he had never done even though I have cut his hair since we have been married.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

A World of Guinea Pigs?

I think in the grand scheme of the Coronavirus crisis, we are all guinea pigs.

Each country is reacting differently to whether they use herd immunity (primarily Sweden after we gave it up), a totalitarian style lockdown or a more lenient version of lockdown.

Lockdown is being relinquished in various ways, all of them experimental as no one knows which way, if any, is best. Either for their citizens showing unrest or to try and revive their economies.

Some have gone back into lockdown following a fresh surge of cases. We are now being informed that the virus could linger indefinitely and rear its head either each winter or just every now and then.

The thinking was the warm weather would put paid to it, the same way that flu cases reduce after winter. Why then, are hot countries experiencing cases?

Passenger planes are still flying albeit greatly reduced, why? Freight plane use is understandable, but passengers!

China appeared to be so slow in revealing the extent and deadliness of this particular virus that the rest of the world was slow to respond. They and us, were being told it was basically a mild version of flu. Unfortunately that has proved to not be the case as deaths from this particular virus continues to climb.

It is rampant, deadly, no one knows if they have it and are showing no symptoms, thereby spreading it further. Idiots continue to flout the social distancing, obviously believing they can’t get it “cos it only kills old gits”. Er no, it kills anyone in any age group, underlying conditions or not.

Have we passed the peak or not? I think once the non hospital deaths are fully included, then 30,000 or even 40,000 (hopefully no higher), deaths will probably be nearer the true tally.

I really hope I’m wrong.

Tuesday 21 April 2020


A couple of years back, I developed a perfect 1” wide circle of white skin on the back of my neck, as though I had been sunbathing with a circular plaster on. I knew it was vitiligo.

A couple of months after that, another small patch appeared under my chin.

A few weeks ago, I noticed some on the back of my right hand. A few days ago, more appeared on the back of my left hand. I don’t know if I have anymore, will have to get DB to check me out where I can’t see.

Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition where melatonin cells are killed off. No one knows why. It doesn’t bother me too much at the moment. Certainly on our ‘long gone’ walking days, I protect the white skin with factor 50 cream. I already have an autoimmune condition of mild alopecia, which developed about 25 years ago.

It will develop on my face eventually. I don’t go out much but if I do and it bothered me too much, I can always apply foundation to mask it. Time will tell where it next happens and how I feel about it.

Monday 20 April 2020

Family Sunday Afternoon

We try to FaceTime DS, DDiL each Sunday, usually but not always in the afternoon. They mentioned on our last call that they were doing family exercises with DDiL's sister who is a professional fitness instructor, and their mum.

Too much for us so we decided to link up and use our Wii consoles to do balance and aerobic exercises. Obviously we couldn't see each others tv screens but could watch them doing the same routine as us even if one of us was ahead or behind. We also shouted out our results to see who was doing better.

Yesterday was our first time and after a few hiccups got under way. Their bread maker was on and pinged just as we got started, two banana loaves were in their oven so we had to break when they were ready. Darling Granddaughter needed a nappy change and a feed so another delay. The batteries on their controllers went dead so another break for a battery search.

On our end, we had to keep stopping to change players, rejigging the balance board, make a cup of tea etc.

DDiL and myself did the first two exercises, followed by DS and DB. Then DS and myself, then DDiL and DB. All in all, nearly 2 hours passed in fun, laughter and mild competition.

I think they enjoyed the exercising downtime as were both aching from their other family routine!

Apart from aggravating an old knee problem resulting in me limping for the rest of the day, we shall all enjoy a repeat next weekend.

Saturday 18 April 2020

My darling Granddaughter...

After making such a dramatic entrance into the world, has finally reached her predicted birth weight. How great is that!

She continues to do well. You could say, one of the positive side effects of lockdown, is her mum and dad have just had to get on with things and find their way through the early muddle of parenthood. Yes, DDiL no doubt is asking questions of her mum and getting sound advice. I occasionally chip in. In the end though, they make of the advice what they will and get on.

We are so proud of all of them.

Friday 17 April 2020


Again, not being able to sleep, I was perusing the internet looking at garden fence paint. Although we had two tins from last year, they have almost been used up.

Now that lockdown has been extended for at least another three weeks, we wanted to get more, plus brushes to carry on. Maybe not essential to some but it saves my sanity to be doing something useful outside.

For the first time, we used Wickes DIY click and collect. Order was placed first thing this morning, we were warned it could take up to eight hours. Nope, within 20 minutes we had the text to tell us it was ready.

We drove the very short distance to them, less than for our weekly food shop, gave name and what our order was and within a minute, were given it.

All in, from order to arriving back home took less than 45 minutes so well done Wickes.

Thursday 16 April 2020


I can’t seem to get my shopping to more than a week but less than two weeks, it’s driving me mad as I really hate shopping at the best of times.

I think the problem is we like a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables and our fridge, reasonable size that it is, can’t hold enough. Also, we can only freeze so much milk and we use quite a bit. I am trying to do my bit for the farmers who are currently binning thousands of litres of it daily with all the cafes, canteens and restaurants being closed:(

There are so many things being affected by this pandemic that we normally never think about.

Shopping today, no plain or bread flour, no baking powder, no desiccated coconut (for baking with), very little pasta, no hand sanitiser but toilet paper! Most tinned goods were okay but on quite a few items, limited choice. I was glad to get outside and remove my mask as a chap was coughing a lot and barely covering his mouth. Yet again, one or two hovering within one metre. Just one other person had a mask and gloves on.

Once home, things cleaned and put away. All door handles washed with soap and water.

There is an interesting article on the world Coronavirus daily cases website about what they know so far about how it is spread, see here.

I think I need to update my cleaning processes!

Wednesday 15 April 2020

The blame game....

Every day during coronanvirus briefings, the blame game starts. Journalists tackle the government spokesperson about why people are still not receiving (either at all or in suitable capacity) their PPE. The government spokesperson responds by saying, every day, it is being continually dispatched to local distribution hubs.

If that is the case, why isn't anyone discussing what’s happening there? Who is in charge of these hubs and are they able to effectively do their job? Do they need help? How does distribution work? If delays are from there, what can be done to alleviate them?

Lack of PPE is a worldwide problem. From what I can gather, our manufacturers are now producing gowns, scrubs, masks, face visors, hand sanitizers, ventilators etc.

How long will it take to reach full production? Will there be a distribution problem from them to where they need to go and indeed where do they go from them?

Surely these are also the questions the journalists should be asking rather than the non stop blame game they are permanently playing with the government.

I am not a fan of politics. I don't have any affiliation with any party. Over the years, I have voted for most parties. I believe that whichever government had been in power, they would not have done things much differently, nor been able to respond any more quickly. As I have said though, I am not involved with the decisions nor those making them. I do not have all the facts concerned and whilst I may be sad and mad about what appears to be going on, I don’t feel in a position to adequately comment, one way or the other.

As we are constantly being told, everything is being done via the latest scientific and medical advice. The scientific and medical leaders are learning on the job, along with everyone else.

Lets face it, the whole thing is a logistical nightmare to deal with, respond to, and distribute what is needed, where it is needed and at the right time in the right quantities.

Lets try and stop blaming those who are doing their best, whereever and whoever they might be, even if they appear to not be doing what we think they should.

There will be time to peel the layers afterwards. Time for discussions on what went wrong, or right, who should have done what and when.

I want to see my granddaughter who will probably be on her way to being mobile when we do. We are all missing so much, losing loved ones, losing jobs and livelihoods, being assaulted in our homes, losing our way of life and our liberty. If we are still standing at the end, we will have won.

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Couldn't find Ruby the other day

DB had been hoovering the house and normally, it doesn't bother her. She will trogg around following from room to room.

After finishing, we couldn't find her. Eventually she was spotted:
Hidden in the depths of the shadows between the two armchairs - daft dog!

Monday 13 April 2020

Cheese, tomato and herb swirls

I picked these up in error thinking they were cinnamon swirls:(
Added a little extra cheese:

Anyhow, baked them and they were lovely, a bit like mini pizza's:

Sunday 12 April 2020


This pandemic must be getting to me!

In January I found a near cure for my insomnia, almonds. Eating 12 before bed, with a small glass of milk, sent me of to sleep most nights, for nearly 2 months.

Now, I can’t sleep properly again. In March it was 50/50 for natural sleep with no help required. So far in April, just 4 nights. I have barely any sleep on bad nights and was still awake and typing this at 04:00 hours:(

Reckon I fell asleep around 5am.

Saturday 11 April 2020

Busy bee busy bee...

Finished painting the lollipop fence down the driveway, just the gates to go. After that, fence panels down the drive will be started. The rest of it can wait until we can remove, prop up and paint in comfort!

Took Ruby for our once a day walk. She had a good run in the woods. We saw just one other family walking.

I miss my granddaughter. She is changing all the time. Even though I know it’s the right thing, I also know it is time we will never get back with her. Hey ho, needs must.

Dog training continues each day. Most of it she can do fine, just not so great looking at us, always got her nose to the ground. However, in the last few days, we have got her to look at us before she is allowed to eat so that’s good. Whenever she does look at us she is rewarded with a good and a tickle under her chin.

Friday 10 April 2020

Weetabix Loaf

Following a recipe from Sue's blog
I duly made us a weetabix loaf.

I used just 1/4 cup of sugar and it was sweet enough. It is a loaf rather than a cake we think so doesn't need to be too sweet. I think you could use any dried fruit. We served each slice with butter - yum! I also didn't soak the ingredients overnight, just for a couple of hours.

I will make it again but maybe add some cinnamon or mixed spice:

Thursday 9 April 2020

Strange Shopping

As I mentioned a while back, our kitchen tap is falling apart. Now, normally, DB would do this but with the current situation, he is a bit worried about a leak that he might not be able to fix. With that in mind, the whole tap replacement will wait until we can contact a plumber in case of said leak.

Unfortunately the new tap is a slightly different size (isn't it always) so just switch the handle of the tap can't be done. Now he is trying to switch the main on off bit inside the tap head.

We ordered our new tap online via click and collect with B & Q. Several emails ensued telling us how and when to pick it up.

Once it was ready for collection, we drove to the store, had to park inbetween well spaced car parking slots, edged by pallets of compost! The chap came to within 2 metres, asked for DBs name and for some form of ID. He then used his walkie talkie to ask them to bring out our order.

It was placed inside a blue box 2 metres away from our car. He then backed away, DB got out, picked up the tap and off we went. Very civilised.

On our way out, a woman drove in, ignoring the flagging down instructions from one of the chaps, and just parked where she wanted. She didn't get the chance to get out (presumably didn't realise the store was shut), before someone marched over to her, shouted at her to stay in the car and move to an appropriate slot.

Herewith a picture of the bit of our broken tap:
Whilst out, we did a bit of shopping in Sainsburys, Queued for a very short while to get in (2 metres apart), had my mask and gloves on. I was only one of two people wearing a mask and hardly anyone had gloves on:(

It was fair to say that a good deal of food and toiletry items are still missing and there were still about 15% - 20% of empty shelves.

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Corned Beef Bake

This is a recipe slightly adapted from Frugal Queen in France on Facebook. I can't seem to post the link!

Anyway, I used 2 very large potatoes and two onions, sliced on a mandolin type thing. Potatoes, onions, slices of tinned corned beef (using 1/4 to 1/2 a tin per layer depending on depth required). Then repeat.

Cover with some gravy and bake at 200C for about 1 hour, mine took a little longer. I also used a slightly too big dish but hey ho!

It was lovely. We had it with vegetables and although the gravy evaporated slightly too much, there was enough. We ate half for tea and the other half the next day.

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Busy bee...

I haven’t had a walk for two days to try and ease the bursitis in my right hip. It has been problematic for quite a few weeks but is slowly easing. I plan on walking today.

Our 4 raised beds give us 16 sides to paint. Today I managed 8 of them. All being well, the rest will get done today and Wednesday. They look so much better.

I did think Boris would have a problem with him still having symptoms on day 10. Everything I have read about this nasty disease indicates such an occurrence and I hope they can keep him safe. So many families torn apart by it. So many of us doing our bit and still too many idiots not taking it seriously. Still sunbathing, having parties and get togethers, still visiting family members for coffee and to see them.

If your family members DO NOT live in the same house as you, it is NOT okay to visit them. If you think you will not catch it or spread it with your stupidity, watch this:

Monday 6 April 2020


And the day before, I got two full washes dried on the line. We also raked back gravel from the outside bases of the raised beds. Then we (though mainly DB), scrubbed as much algae as possible off them ready for painting. They haven’t been done for two years.

We got some of the painting done yesterday. A double coat on the tops most exposed and one coat on the inside where the wood meets the soil. On the left is unpainted. On the right, first coat of two:

The radishes I planted a few days ago have started to sprout. I think the lettuce will be next.

I also made myself a mask designed for a man from the pattern I obtained previously. I felt the one for a woman was just a tad small:
This fits a lot better. Although the wearing of masks are not recommended, because this one has a third layer tucked inside, that is non woven, I think it is as good as I can get it. I wore it for the first time a few days ago when I went shopping.

Sunday 5 April 2020

Baking a new cake

We baked an Apricot and Custard cake as per this recipe. Before baking:
After baking. I didn't have any apricot jam to brush on the top. Nor did it contain vanilla extract as I didn't have any. I think actually it would lend itself nicely to almond extract:
We divided it into 12 slices and ate it over several afternoons. It is very nice and we shall make another one sometime.

Saturday 4 April 2020

What part of staying in do people not understand?

It appears certain shops have been allowing people to buy non-essential goods rather than just pharmacy products. Shame on them.

Some quick food establishments have announced they are planning on opening next week, shame on them and any other establishment that does the same. Shops etc., doing this, encourage people to go out to shop or eat. The more places that do this, the faster this deadly virus will spread.

It smacks of profits before the health of their customers and the country as a whole.

Getting that meal could cost you or someone else, their life. It’s no good dyeing your hair, wearing makeup to look pretty, if it kills you or someone you come into contact with.

Nice weather is coming and there is nothing I would like more than to visit the seaside but I won’t. However, other people will, in the same way idiots are zooming around the Welsh countryside on their quad bikes.

Let’s face it, as always, the idiots will probably survive, may not even get ill, but those they come into contact with,  probably will. Ever was it so!

Friday 3 April 2020

Poor Ruby

We try our hardest to groom Ruby as often as possible. She has quite a long shaggy coat (unlike most of her siblings) and it can be difficult to maintain. We thought we had been doing well but the other day, found two huge mats around the area where she sits down.

None of the tools I had could release them so working slowly and carefully with blunt ended scissors, they were chopped into and then removed just above skin level. She looks a mess with her choppy cut but at least she will be more comfortable. Under her tummy and on her chest has also been cut back a little. She also had her nails clipped, hair between toes clipped and ears cleaned. Finally, she had her teeth cleaned, something which I also try to do several times a week but haven't. Must do better.

The track leading up to our woods (and grassy edges) is getting more and more covered with dog poo. Most locals pick theirs up but we have seen a large increase in people driving there, parking and walking their dogs, people who we never normally see.

Ruby usually isn't too bothered but yesterday ate some. Within two hours, she threw up all over the carpet. The stink is amazing and it took quite a time to clean it up and the carpet itself. She was due her tea but we waited an hour before giving it to her and she was okay thank goodness.

Thursday 2 April 2020

Double yuk!

I was taking my last antibiotic at night time and coughed as I was about to swallow it and the water. Yep, you guessed it, water and pill shot up to the top of my throat and into the base of my nose.

After choking on the water coming down my nose, I realised the pill was also there, dissolving and burning as it did so.

I surprised DB in the bathroom, rushing in as I thought I was going to throw up. There then proceeded about 20 minutes of me grunting like a pig trying to forcibly breathe in to dislodge it. I wasn’t sure whether to squirt water up my nose as well but didn’t.

Eventually it dislodged and I swallowed it, with loads of milk. I was uncomfortable all night:(

There, hope that brought a smile to you all! I feel much better now after my course but still have some catarrh. Now to eat several days of live yoghurt to help return my internal flora and fauna to normal.

This morning I was making cheese scones and for the first time, managed to grate my finger, ouch!

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Sewing a face mask - Daily Figures Updated...

4324 new cases and 563 new deaths including two teenagers. Come on certain people, start taking things seriously!

There are many different types of mask available online to make. I prefer this style as it sits just slightly away from your nostrils allowing free breathing. I also made a few adjustments to the pattern.

I got the original pattern and instructions from: here.

I did the basic pattern but extended the sides slightly as I wanted to thread elastic all the way through as per the end bit of this vidio (using 22" of elastic): here.

I used a plastic coated bin bag tie for my nose piece. As an inside filter, I used a non iron on vilene interfacing fabric which is not woven so makes a reasonably good seal between the layers of material to keep out as many germs as possible. The author of the site offers further ideas.

Anyway, this it what it looks like when on:

I can breathe through it quite well I must admit so shall wear it next time I go shopping! Whether anyone personally thinks such masks are useful or not doesn’t matter. For me, everything I can do to protect myself and DB is better than nothing. I also wear gloves.

Oh, prewash material if new, I didn’t and this shrank. I shall probably make another one soon. Also use good quality cotton, denim, nothing thin or stretchy.