Lock down journal - 2020

Week 16 – lock down in 1456 words

Car service

Picked my car up from its service in town today (Saturday). Despite the car having been given a clean re: all the touch points, I brought my own sanitiser and gave the inside of the car a good wipe down myself before getting inside to drive the car home. But here’s a question….

Update: Thanks to everyone who voted. The majority voted “No” by 85%.

The masked singer shopper!

Tomorrow (Friday, 10th July) marks the first day of it being mandatory for anyone visiting the shops in Scotland to wear a face mask. I have to admit, I don’t like wearing face masks but I’ve been wearing one in shops since week one of lock down.

Q. You may wonder why I feel so anal about wearing face masks and safety measures?

A. I had a flu virus just after Christmas 2019 and it took me weeks to recover after it. Started off with a dry sore throat, a headache which lasted 2 weeks, sweating, shivers, extreme tiredness, achy joints (which I still have), bloodshot eyes, dry cough and wheezy chest. I felt better at the end of the second week for a few days and then felt sweaty and terribly exhausted for another few weeks. During this time, I remained at home for the most part because a trip to the shops one time after I felt better resulted in me sweating buckets at the till packing my shopping and I was soooo embarassed. Heavens, an old woman offered to pack my shopping for me!!!

Hubby only had a sore throat but at one point I thought he was coming down with flu too but he was fine fortunately.

At one point, I actually remember telling my hubby that “there is no way an old person would survive this flu” because it felt like it knocked the stuffing out of me—a much younger person. I was exhausted with it and wondered if I would ever shift it at one point because it just seemed to linger.

Now if what I had was just plain flu, there is NO WAY I want to be infected with COVID-19!!!


Today (Sunday) has been a gorgeous day weather wise. The sun shone from early morning 4.27 am until it set at 21.50 pm. Glorious weather.

Just had a quiet day at home today. Read for a while (Collosians Bible study), sat outdoors in the sunshine, drank cups of tea, watched the musical, “Annie” late afternoon (which I loved). Went to bed early. Ha ha, must be getting older when I can’t wait to get to my bed and snuggle down in the evening. But seriously, I love going to bed early some nights. Hot shower, fresh sheets, new PJ’s….. I’m a real sucker for such. I’ve got a thing about PJ’s and have countless pairs. In winter, if we’re not going out anywhere, I love nothing better than getting changed into a pair of soft fleecy PJ’s and chilling after dinner. I’m a real home bird at heart.


This week I need to start working on my Serenity Circle post. The circle goes live on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. I’ve been a member for the past 3 or 4 years now and I enjoy creating posts sharing serenity moments through words and pictures. The Serenity Circle is a collaborative effort by various photographers from all over the globe and we post re: serenity moments captured throughout the month. You can read some of our serenity posts, including this month’s post here: Serenity Circle, and let’s be honest, we ALL need a splash of serenity in these current days.


Overcast

Without the rain we would never be grateful for sunshine.

Today (Monday) is overcast and dull—a far cry from the gorgeous weather we had yesterday. There’s nothing exciting doing here today unless you call housework, cooking and washing exciting!

Ha ha….I don’t actually mind housework!

To tell the truth, I don’t mind housework. I particularly enjoy hoovering and laundry and find both relaxing (I know, I know, I need to get out more).

I’m one of those folks who has a place for everything and everything in its place. I hate disorganisation—it’s just so much easier finding things when you know where everything is (or should be, lol). At the moment however, our house is stuck in the middle of a renovation and things are not as we’d like them to be and it’s driving us nuts big style, but we’ll get there….eventually! Covid-19 has really slowed down progress within the house.


Photography workshop

I’m hoping to get stuck into my photography documentary workshop, but so far, I’ve found it a bit tedious if I’m honest! Maybe documentary photography isn’t for me after all but I’ll give it another go before I decide. It would be really good to be able to document these times in a more professional way image-wise and this is why I enrolled, but not all genres suit all photographers and I may just have to accept this.

Nature (flora) photography

How does documentary photography differ from still life or nature photography?

Documentary photography involves anticipating that special one-off moment during a scene before you click the shutter—observing and quickly thinking on your feet. Still life and nature (flora) photography on the other and is much slower paced and affords you time to ponder and work a scene, i.e. walk around it, take your time to observe, try various angles, etc; your subject isn’t going anywhere or constantly evolving at speed, unlike documentary photography which has much more of an edge to it.

The boy


Our Labrador has been a little rouge this past week. He has a towel which he carries around in his mouth (aka his “foo foo”) and has done so since he was a puppy. Goodness knows how many old towels he has gone through these past 3 years. He likes to chew the labels off and spits them out just wherever. I hate having to wash his towel and hang it out to dry—it’s really embarrassing with all its frayed edges and there’s holes where he’s chewed it to bits.

This week, he decided he wanted to change his “foo foo” for one of my “good” towels which I found lying out in the garden under a tree this morning. He also stole socks and tried to make off with a t-shirt which he helped himself to from the wash basket. He hangs around me when I’m hanging out the laundry and when my back’s turned, he helps himself to anything in the basket (usually smaller items like underwear and socks). He loves to run around the garden tossing his “prize” in the air and showing off to the anyone passing by. He’s some dog, but I wouldn’t swap him for the world. He makes me smile every.single.day and is very affectionate.

Above is a rare moment re: our boy relaxing in the back garden with his well-chewed bone. He has a toy basket with various toys, but it’s this old bone plus an old green ball which are his absolute favourites.

Today we purchased our boy a pet puzzle dish from Lidl’s which has compartments to hide tasty bits and treats behind. It was so funny watching him try to sniff out the hidden treats. At one point I thought he’d eat the toy itself until he got the hang of it, but once he did suss things out, there was no stopping him. That’s my boy!

Our gorgeous boy

Baking

I baked a lemon cake yesterday and we had some of it with our afternoon cuppa. It was very tasty. Hubby doesn’t normally eat lemon cake, but I didn’t have to force his hand with this one…. in fact he had double helpings and I ended up having to hide it out of site for another day!

I need to buy some more lemons and make a few more of these cakes to pass around our neighbours. It’s a nice way to let them know we are still thinking about them in these times. I bought some proper cake tin cases to edge the tin before baking my next cakes—this prevents the cake sticking to the edge of the tin whilst baking. I didn’t have any for this cake and had to grease the tray instead; having the cake tin cake cases next time will be so much better, making it a lot easier to remove from the tin as well once the cake is baked.

Lemon Cake

INGREDIENTS
175g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
175g butter or baking margarine
175g sugar
3 medium eggs
2 tbsp milk
lemon zest from 2 lemons or 1 tbsp “instant” bottled lemon juice

DRIZZLE TOPPING
Juice of 2 lemons, strained, or 60ml bottled lemon juice
115g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180c, 160c fan, gas mark 4.

Grease and base line a 1lb loaf tin or use a 1lb tin cake case which you can purchase in Lidl’s.

Place all ingredients into a food processor (or bowl) and beat together until smooth. Cook for 45 minutes – 1 hour (check around the 45 minute mark using a skewer or cake tester).

I cheated and used shop bought lemon icing rather than making my own (time saver) and it tasted good too.


Gift

Some of the local schools clubbed together and published a recipe book to raise funds for the NHS recently. I received a copy through the letterbox a few nights ago from one of the families close by. These kind gestures make us feel very much a part of the community.


Hot, hot…. NOT!

Today (Thursday) we were supposed to be the hottest part of the UK according to the BBC weather channel last night. I woke up thinking “great” this was going to be a day for the garden and eating al fresco in the evening.

I jumped out of bed and flung open the bedroom curtains….but deary me! Instead of beautiful sunshine, it’s dull and overcast and it must have been raining during the night as well because the paths and grass are soaking wet. Ah well, on a brighter note, at least we won’t have to water the garden!


Well that’s another week’s journaling. It’s been a quick week yet again here on the NE coast despite it being an ordinary kind of week. Until next journal post, stay safe and well peeps. Bye for now.

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