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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 18 January 2021

Jigsaw

 

When I am not doing the home schooling,  I like to do something that requires little thought and so one of the things I have turned to is doing a jigsaw. I have had this one for ages and decided to give it a try. I had forgotten how large a 1000 piece jigsaw is and I had to move this one a couple of times before I found a surface I could use.  The jigsaw is Chatsworth House, Derbyshire ( think of Mr Darcy, diving into the lake). Trouble is the picture on the box is 6ins square and gives very little detail.



If you are into jigsaws, how do you start? I always do the edging first and then something that stands out.

I then removed all the light coloured sky pieces as I think that's going to be the most difficult section to solve. Oh well it's something to occupy my time during this third lockdown!



Friday, 15 January 2021

Rain

 There's been a lot of snow throughout the country this week except here in London.  This week it seems to have rained 24/7. During a dry spot today I went for a walk in a local park. Perhaps a paddle would have been a better description!







Monday, 4 January 2021

New Year in the park

 

My first walk of 2021 was in Greenwich Park. It is my closest large park and I make sure I visit it at least once a week. Here are a few of my favourite sights this week.  The large, dried hydrangea heads cry out to be noticed make a good display








There are red and fallow deer in the park but they have their own large enclosure and don't mix with the public.



The squirels were as inquisitive as ever.

Plenty of Canada Geese on the pond.

A pigeon strutting its stuff.


Lots of camelias providing colour.




Things are bad here in the UK with regard to Covid. This new strain is having a devastating effect on the numbers being admitted to hospital. As from tomorrow the whole of the UK will be in lockdown with schools and businesses closed again. We will not be coming out of it until at least mid February . Although over a million people have already been vaccinated and that number will be greatly increased now we have the Oxford vaccine being rolled out from today, it still takes a further 3 weeks for people to build up immunity after the vaccination. Walking is the only thing that keeps me sane!

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Farewell 2020

 It is at this time that I like to reflect on the year we are leaving behind and take time to plan for the year ahead. Well, this will be a year I won't be sorry to bid farewell. It started badly in January with my daughter and then the rest of the family contracting a nasty dose of the flu. Whilst everyone around her recovered, my daughter had lasting effects which continued for many weeks. 'It can only get better!' we all said. Listening to the news from China of a new virus didn't have that much impact. They had said the same about SARS and the Ebola crisis but our lives were not disrupted. A pandemic? That doesn't mean anything to us. I had booked a three week trip to Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand for March. I had all the necessary vaccinations in early February but doubts were entering my head. Vietnam borders China so will I be safe? By March news of the virus spreading was big news and it was obvious that I would be taking a massive risk, not just with my health but that of my family's if I were to bring the virus home with me. I took the decision to cancel my trip on the 6th March. I should have flown to Hanoi on the following day. I left it until the last minute to cancel in the hope that the Government would ban travel to these countries and I could then claim back the cost of the trip. This didn't happen for a couple of weeks so sadly I lost thousands of pounds. Money is of no consequence when your health is at risk. With hindsight I don't know why I hesitated for so long but I'm glad common sense prevailed in the end.



So instead of flying to Vietnam I packed up the car and planned a round trip to Edinburgh visiting new places and old friends on the way. I did make it to Edinburgh but there was no visiting of friends, as the crisis worsened and I needed to get back to my daughter before the start of the inevitable lockdown.




I now understand only too well the meaning of the word 'Pandemic'. I miss seeing my son and DIL. Zoom and facetime are OK but it's not the same. We have experienced some very difficult family events when support has been greatly needed but no hugs and kisses are possible. The absence of the physical contact has been very difficult for so many of us. 



I like to look forward to a new year full of hope and promise and new experiences. However, we will start 2021 in lockdown again with the death rate rising and the numbers of confirmed Covid cases increasing by the day (yesterday 50,000 new cases!). But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The new vaccines are already being rolled out and with the Spring should come new hope and dare I say the possibility of travel once again. Even if it is just within the UK I will be grateful for the opportunity.

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and takes the time to write a comment. I cannot tell you how much those comments have lifted my spirits this year. May the world be a heathier and safer place to live in 2021.

(Photographs taken in an empty Greenwich market)

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Christmas lights



Merry Christmas to all my followers and friends๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ„














 

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Not much of a Christmas

 

We found out yesterday that the new strain of the Corona virus is 70% more contagious than the original virus. Consequently the SE of England including London is now in another lockdown with no meeting up with other households this Christmas. For one little girl it was too much. She just cried and cried last night when she was told she couldn't see her other grandparents or any one else this Christmas. At 6yrs old it's a lot to accept. On the bright side, Father Christmas is exempt from the rules.

Monday, 14 December 2020

The magic of Christmas


It started a couple of weeks ago when the grandchildren each received an invitation from Lapland UK to help Father Christmas.  The elves were behind with their toy making and needed some help.

It was difficult to contain the excitement as we set off through a magical forest in search of Santa's workshop.

We walked past various small houses. 


We found the factory and helped to make some wooden reindeers which the elves then magically turned into soft toys.

We helped to decorate Gingerbread men for Mother Christmas.









Had some fun trying to skate.


The highlight of the day was, of course, meeting Father Christmas. 
Sharing with Our World Tuesday