Friday, 14 August 2020

14-16th August Post Comment Love

We've had a good week social distance visiting family. Peter has no idea when he'll next be in the UK.

I'm taking Peter back to the airport today, then off to Bristol on my way home for a Covid - 19 PCR test to obtain a certificate to fly myself next week. Then driving to Oxford for a weekend camping with a friend and Bob.

Bit of a complicated journey and many extra miles driven and pennies spent, but plans change, the virus doesn't and we have to keep adapting if we want to be able to do things outside the home.

I've no problem wearing a mask in the UK, I'm indoors for only 30 mins max when I shop, but when I return to Dubai next week, I have to wear the mask whenever I leave my home, this doesn't include driving unless I am in a car with someone outside of my household.

I have no idea of current quarantine rules in Dubai as they have changed since I booked my flight and I'm assuming I will need another test to be allowed to leave Dubai at the end of my stay. I will find this out nearer the time.

Sunday I'm driving to Reading, then back to Malvern, another complicated trip but I'm collecting a woman who has kindly offered to house sit for 10 days before child 5 takes over. That then gives me Monday to pack and get ready to leave for Dubai, hopefully returning in 3 weeks time.

Stephanie and I would love to know what you've been up to this week.

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Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Day out with my dog - Cogges Farm Park

I've had 2 visits to Cogges Farm Park since lockdown was eased. The first visit was an accidental one when out in Witley, Oxfordshire for the day distance walking with a friend from the London area. It was a half way point meet up for us. We discovered Cogges just walking round a corner and seeing they were serving coffee and had toilets we could use, we couldn't resist. We didn't actually go in the farm as I had Bob the dog with me, but after booking tickets online for a few weeks later to meet another friend with her son there, I discovered dogs on leads were allowed in.

Sadly on my 2nd visit the coffee had closed but we walked into the town which is only a few minutes away after our visit.

The gardens are lovely and very well laid out. Just be aware if you do take a dog with you, there are random chickens, ducks and geese that just appear or run past at speed and several times, Bob nearly snapped my arm off several times.

Bob wasn't too bothered by the sheep as he has become used to their size, noise and movements from walking on the Malvern Hills.

Goats on the other hand are completely new to him, after an initial 'lets have a look' from both the goats and Bob, they parted company.

I'm afraid Bob barked at the pigs,  but he couldn't actually see them, he could smell them then they grunted at him through the pen, startling Bob who let out one loud bark, then dragged me away.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

A very merry unbirthday - My Sunday Photo

Due to living abroad and now with the Covid virus, Peter and I won't be around for our first grandchild's 1st birthday.

Peter returns to Dubai on Friday and we have no idea when he'll next make it over to the UK, we were apart for 4 months in the first wave. I am however flying out to Dubai the following week to renew my visa and as I am required to quarantine when I arrive back in the UK, I won't be able to visit them until after the actual birthday.

I love Alice in Wonderland, especially the Mad Hatters Tea Party, so decided an 'unbirthday' was just the way to go. 

Peter cut me some wood from the shed we've been repairing and I found some card and made sign posts, tea cups and hung playing cards from trees. The food was all heart shaped. 

Whilst Peter occupied child 2 and 2a, I set up the garden ready for the surprise.

We had a lovely afternoon, most of the food was smashed, but what wasn't eaten the dog hoovered up.

One Daily Positive - Week 32

I got stressed out with the mixed advice about the covid testing, according to the airline a NHS text is now ok, despite the UAE government website still saying it must be through an approved lab. 

I've been chasing a car hire complaint up since last December, they finally replied today after I sent a tweet and they said 'they are right, case closed'. Trust me Budget/Avis I'm not letting this drop.

Somedays I feel that Peter and I are the only ones following the governments rules on travel to the UK by isolating for 2 weeks. We have had a couple of visitors, but maintained social distancing and all outdoors and I've walked the dog, locally every other day, but not encountered anyone.

The best part of this isolation is we don't have to charge around seeing people and getting things done for others. We've almost completed the remaining jobs around the house and garden and it's really now feeling like a home again, apart from a lick of paint all we've done over the past 9 years is pay for damage caused by tenants to be repaired. I did the tax return form this week, a loss of £990, although we've had years when we've made a profit as landlords and we have had some really good tenants, we've lost any profit due to other tenants damage.

To do list: for me and Peter
Restore my old dolls house.
Transfer all mums photos to SD card.
Arrange Covid testing for Peter so he can fly home.
Prepare stuff needed for camping weekend.
Clean house.
Fix, sand and repaint shed.
Make dental appointment for Dubai.
Put up curtain poles/adjust curtains.
Hang mirrors.
Mow the lawns.
Build a rockery.

215 Sunday Up early, roast beef in slow cooker and mums SD card full of her photos I just happened to keep a copy of 'just in case', I did some ironing as it was only 8am and too early to start mowing the lawns without upsetting the neighbours, they got done at 10am and I created a new rockery in the front, weeded and tided up the border in the back. Peter put up curtain poles and finished the new door to the dining room. We ate mid afternoon and I hung the curtains in the evening before sitting down to watch TV.

216 Monday The wood arrived for us to re clad the shed. Peter got on with removing the old pieces and cutting the new ones. I intended to garden, but ended up help[ing by emptying the sheds, chasing up the covid test and sorting some issues out for mum online. I spent the time in between on my blog.

217 Tuesday Peter spent the day working on the shed repairs, I supervised, held planks of wood and I spent the rest of the time in the front garden, weeding and digging up over grown shrubs, walked Bob, did dinner and spent the evening in front of the TV after a long soak in the bath.

218 Wednesday Final day of shed repairs, just needs sanding and painting now, if we don't get chance to do it before Peter and I go back to Dubai, I'll do it in September when I get back and am isolating. I pottered around doing washing and some cleaning. Started preparing for our a surprise party on the weekend.

219 Thursday And we're out, freedom. 14 days isolation at an end and off to meet Mary @over40andamumtoone with her son at Charlecotepark. We had a picnic in the car park and I spent most of the time distracting Bob from the sheep. Glad he never spotted the deer the other side of the river.

220 Friday Up early and over the Malvern Hills with Bob, coffee stop and home 3 hours later. Peter finished the shed and Debbie joined us for chips and wine in the garden, the last one for 4 weeks until I get back from Dubai. Had a quick run to Worcester A&E at 10.30pm after something got in my eye, maybe glass from a broken bottle earlier on that evening. Very impressed with treatment time. Door to door in just over an hour (20 min drive each way) came home with a large scratch across my eye and some cream.

221 Saturday Off to visit mum to finish setting up her new TV package, a brief hello to the Things over the garden wall and drop in at a friends, then off to see child 2, 2a and our grandchild, we threw a surprise very merry unbirthday to you party as we will miss our grandchild's 1st birthday soon. All socially distanced, we took our own chairs, food and drink.

On the blog this week:

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Friday, 7 August 2020

Post Comment Love 7th-9th August

Pleased to report we're out of quarantine. It was a requirement that Peter isolated for 2 weeks on his arrival from Dubai in the UK, I isolated with him as we shared a bedroom, bathroom and living area. We've had a couple of social distanced garden visits and taken extra caution with the handling of chairs and cups etc.

Yesterday we visited a National Trust property with Bob and we're off for a walk with Bob up the Malvern Hills today, a picnic and coffee stop will also be included. Tomorrow we'll be off to my mums. She's had new TV and internet installed but there are a few issues with the TV I need to sort for her. In the afternoon we're off to sit in child 2's garden and for Peter to see our Grandchild. Sunday to the Cotswolds to see child 5 and a very brief stop in child 1's garden. I've only seen her once, briefly during lockdown as she lives in a care home. A social distanced 30 mins visit is pointless, she doesn't communicate, has poor eye sight to be able to see us from a distance and she will hardly be aware we are there and we'll spend the visit trying to dodge her to avoid physical contact, which will probably agitate her as she will just want to be with us.

Stephanie and I would love to know what you've been up to this week.
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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Day out with my dog - Croome National Trust

I didn't realise how close Croome was to our home in Malvern until I joined the National Trust after looking for places I could go with Bob the dog.

They've done an excellent job of creating a one way system and maintaining social distancing during the pandemic and I can't wait for the house to reopen to explore in their also, although I've no idea what I'd do with Bob.

As with some National Trust properties, dogs must be kept on leads and in several parts of the walk around the garden there were requests for dogs to be walked on short leads.

Bob and I made a picnic stop in the grounds and paid to a visit to the well stocked coffee shop and seating area where there were several dog bowls full of water at tables.

I'll will be revisiting here as often as possible. Later this week Bob and I off to Charlecote in Warkwickshire, another dog friendly National Trust property.

Monday, 3 August 2020

My garden in July and plans for August

I've really enjoyed gardening in July, finally all the hard work has paid off and now it's just regular mowing and light weeding, in the back garden at least. I still need to do an awful lot of work out the front.

All around Malvern there have been Hollyhocks growing. I'd really like to get some for next year for the front garden, any suggestions on where I can get them from?

The new border I dug is a little over crowded, but I've cut the shrubs back now and have beans growing up the canes and installed on obelisk for my second batch of peas. 

I was given a green house by a friend for my birthday. I've taken cutting from the Bay tree, which used to belong to my husbands grandmother and I've dug the strawberry plants up to put in there for next spring. The tomatoes are growing well and I have cucumber and pumpkins in flower

Family and friends have been sharing their harvests also. Mange tout from a friend and raspberries from my Daughter in Law.

I flavoured some gin with a raspberry infusion

Then ate the gin soaked raspberries with yogurt, they were delicious.

There's still a lot of work to do with the lawn, it's patchy and is really bumpy, but a good mow improves the look.

We've had our house rented out for the past 9 years, apart from major repairs from damage caused by tenants, something has been 'misplaced' after occupancy. Ladders, white goods and on this last tenancy, the lawn mower, lump hammer and some other tools. It would appear no one has a use for a scythe this days, including us.

I've managed to break a few tools that I purchased, but I only arrived in the UK during lockdown and only managed to purchase cheap equipment. I borrowed the neighbours mower before ordering one online and have since replaced the cheaper tools for more sturdier ones

I spent some time helping a friend out with her garden for the kids and created an area for a mud kitchen for the 3 year old twins. The twins helped with the weeding and digging while mum and dad worked.

I came home with a swing and a car for our grandchild, they will be dismantled and taken over on the weekend.

Jobs for August.

A friend dropped off half a tonne of rockery stone from her garden.

I need to tidy this area up and build a screen for the wheelie bins

This are had originally been reclaimed by the lawn which is 90% weed. This will be the third time I've dug deep and weeded. I'll be using the rockery stones to soften the corners.

Wood has been ordered for us to repair the shed, re clad, sand and paint. The weather for the rest of this week is looking good. I had it re felted during lockdown after the storms in January ripped the felt off and the rains in February were pouring through the roof.

I'm not sure if these up cycled cans will stay now. They were fun to do and did brighten up the garden.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Social Distanced Visits - My Sunday Photo

I'm rather enjoying the new way of life, getting creative to meet up with family and friends.

I hate shopping and anything that involves me being in side, other than the house, but if I'm honest I'd spend every minute of the day outdoors if I can.

Life in Dubai was lonely and isolating for me and the weather oppressive and I spent most of the time indoors under the air con, so I'm more than happy to be back in the UK, where even when it's raining I can be outside.

Apart from the neighbours and 2 friends who dropped things off for me before I got a car, the first person I met up with when we were allowed to meet one other in a public place was Natalie from @plutoniumsocks.

Next up was door step visits. My nephew and great nephew.

 Door step bacon butties.

Followed by garden visits.

Then meeting up with friends as venues start to re open.

 Bubbling with child 5.
Having other people in your home, but maintaining social distancing. Child 2 and his wife.