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

Sunday, 29 November 2020

In memory of Mum


This week would have been my mum's 100th birthday. She has been dead for over 3 years now and in many ways I am glad she has not had to suffer through this pandemic. We would not have been able to celebrate her birthday. How awful would that have been. Anyway I decided to go walking with a couple of friends, Mark and Carole. Not strictly allowed but we met in the open countryside of Kent and kept or distance as walked.
It was an 8 mile walk on a miserable November day but although we didn't see any blue skies, the rain kept away.

We had to walk across this very muddy ploughed field. We kept to the tractor marks to make it a little easier.

A converted oast house (originally used for drying hops in the brewing process).

An old barn next to the oast house.
I have never seen fungi as large as this. I put a 500ml bottle next to it o give you some idea of its size.

We scared a field of gulls to take to the air.

Mark and Carole had provided a feast of food and some mulled wine to toast Mum.
Keeping a safe distance from one another, of course.

We ended the walk at the Bough Beech reservoir where we had left our cars. I had so much mud on my trousers I had to roll them up as far as possible to try and keep it off the car seat. When I got home I not only had to hose the mud off my boots but also my trousers before I could put them in the wash. However it was a lovely antidote to life in lockdown.

Thursday, 19 November 2020


 Two weeks into our second lockdown and it is sometimes easier than the last one and sometimes more difficult. One difference this time is that we are allowed to go walking with one other person as long as you are outside and social distancing. In my local park is this outdoor table tennis table where I meet up with one friend and we play a few games together. Trying to play when it is windy is almost impossible but if gives us a laugh. Desperate times call for desperate actions!

Monday, 16 November 2020

More travels in Afghanistan

These photos were taken in 1978 whilst travelling from London To Kathmandu. I think they were taken when travelling from Herat to Kabul across the desert in a coach. 

The coach attracted attention wherever we went. Although the coach looks modern it did not have a toilet  nor  air conditioning and this was in August. Not sure why anyone in their right mind would be crossing a desert in Afghanistan in mid summer!

On the journey we came across nomadic tribes.

We were welcomed into the tents to take photos.


Tea shops were a must in every small town.