27 January 2021

Wednesday

 

The window fitters have arrived.  This is day two of the installation.  Replacing dated 1980’s style brown plastic window frames with …. white plastic window frames.  Aesthetically it would be more pleasing to have hardwood frames but from a maintenance point of view upvc is a clear winner.  The garden room sliding doors at the rear of the property will be a contrasting dark gray and will slide back far enough to open up the room to the garden in summer.

The work should be finished by the end of the week.  I just can’t wait to get my home back to myself.  Luke and Andy are nice guys but Covid rules and regulations prevent us from casual chatting; they are not even allowed to accept cups of tea and biscuits!

Yesterday I did a Covid antibody test.  It was part of a government sponsored research study.  I had to prick my finger with a lancet to draw blood and then use something like a pregnancy test kit to get the result.  This was followed by an on-line questionnaire.  Easy enough to do and, as I expected, it was a negative result – no coronavirus antibodies.  The spring-loaded lancet was a vicious piece of kit though, my finger is still bruised!

 



24 January 2021

Nature's Work of Art

 One of the rewards for getting out of bed early in the morning...



This spectacular sunrise didn't last long and we now have a thick cloud cover.  The south of the country seems to be covered in snow so it might just reach Lincolnshire later today.  



21 January 2021

I'd do anything to lose weight...

... except eat less and exercise!

Seriously I really need to shift some weight.  I didn’t eat that many mince pies over Christmas but somehow I have managed to gain two kilograms.  It’s too cold to cycle but I do take Rick out for a walk every day.  Paul and I also spend an hour dancing most mornings, it’s a bit of a giggle and some of the more energetic routines like Jerusalema are excellent cardio workouts.  I don’t exercise unless it’s fun.

However, this activity alone will not reduce my weight.  I really should eat less but, right now, we look forward to meal times, they are the highlight of our day.  At this time of year it’s more about soups at lunch time rather than salads, although poached egg and chorizo on salad is still on the menu.  Today Paul has made a celeriac and apple soup, not one that we have tried before.   Tonight I am roasting some cod fillets and I shall try and resist the temptation to serve it with a creamy sauce.  Can’t resist the roast potatoes though!

 

Paul at work in the kitchen

Dare I have a biscuit with my afternoon cuppa?

 

 

17 January 2021

House Projects


It’s been over two years since we moved into our bungalow in this quiet Lincolnshire village.  During that time we have made quite a lot of changes to the place including new interior doors, bathroom, kitchen and most recently, garage doors.  In the next few weeks, if lockdown allows, we shall be replacing the old units in the utility room and replacing them with Shaker style cupboards to match the kitchen.  Replacement windows for the whole property are due to be installed next Monday, including a new front porch door and big sliding windows in the garden room.

 

utility room waiting to be re-fitted

Like Dick Strawbridge (Escape to the Chateau), Paul always likes a project.  In true Angel style I am happy to come up with wonderful new ideas to keep him busy!  The bungalow has an attic room complete with dormer windows and heating;  the previous owners used it as an office. To access this room it is necessary to release a hatch in the ceiling and lower an extendable ladder.  I struggle a bit to climb this ladder and I can see it will pose problems for me as I get older and less agile.  We don’t really need this extra room and at the moment it is a dumping place for various trunks, boxes and old photo albums.  But I have a vision.  Some sort of spiral staircase leading from the hallway to allow easy access and then turn the room into a cosy snug with soft lighting, nice bookshelves and a comfortable chair.  Or maybe an artist’s studio.  Or a sewing room.  Or a Moroccan style Bedouin tent room…

At the moment it’s just a whimsical idea but if Paul gets bored enough – who knows! 

 

 

9 January 2021

Saturday

 


Sarah was sadly unable to join us for Christmas from Australia but she generously gifted us a very extravagant hamper.  I hold her fully responsible for the 2 kilograms I have gained over the holiday period.

 

The brandy butter was delicious with the Christmas pudding but we still had half a jar left over.  This morning I decided to make some oat biscuits using the brandy butter.  They were very good although I think they would have been nicer with a chocolate topping!

My wrist is slowly improving after my fall although it’s not strong enough yet for me to take Rick out.  It is another frosty morning here in Lincolnshire but with blue skies and sunshine, much nicer than yesterday’s freezing fog.

Life is a bit dull at the moment in lockdown but I am thankful that Paul and I are both reasonably fit and healthy right now.  I doubt that we will be summoned for our vaccination jabs before the middle of March so we will be patient.  Spring is not too far away and it is reassuring to see the first snowdrops peeking through.  

We have more building work (windows and utility room) scheduled for February so I think I’ll just try and enjoy the peace and quiet while I can.

 

 

3 January 2021

Should have listened to Saffy

 


My daughter has turned into Saffy from Ab Fab (Absolutely Fabulous - British sitcom).  She thinks she has very irresponsible parents.  I protest, we are merely a bit daft.

Kat gave us a gift before she left for Brize today, a pair of plastic tongs so that Paul could avoid electrocution by using metals ones for getting toast out of the toaster.

Early this morning she told me to be careful when taking Rick out because it was still a bit dark.  In my defence my mishap would have happened in exactly the same way in broad daylight.  It had been raining and the white frosty winter wonderland had disappeared so it did not occur to me that the ground was slick and shiny with ice, not merely wet.  It happened very quickly, one minute I was walking towards our driveway and then the next moment I was up in the air.  I came down to earth with a terrific thump and then slid along the ice, gradually coming to a halt next to the car.

I managed to get into a sitting position to find Rick next to me, shaking and trying to keep upright on the ice.  Kat had heard my shriek and came hurrying to the front door with Paul.  I warned them to stay away, otherwise they too would slip on the treacherous black ice.  I grabbed the car door handle and pulled myself upright.  Walking alongside the car I passed the dog lead to Kat who pulled Rick to safety, and I eventually managed to get back indoors.

I am now nursing a painful wrist, a bruised butt and suffering Saffy’s admonishments of  “I told you to be careful.”