31 March 2020


A new delivery service that brings cocktails to your front door has just been launched in Lincoln.  I’ve never really been into exotic drinks (although I’m quite fond of a pina colada) so I’ll probably just stick to wine.  With bars, pubs and restaurants closed across the nation it’s interesting to see what other initiatives people will come up with.

It’s quite sunny today so we have been working outside in the garden.  I have been clearing up piles of catkins that land on our patio from the Poplar trees that border our property; they make such a sticky mess.  I used the garden vacuum which is quite heavy and my shoulder is suffering now.

just the doors to make now

Paul has been busy building a housing for our external gas bottles (they feed our living flame gas fire).  He has had to improvise by making wooden shingles for the roof as we can’t get tiles at the moment.  I think it will look quite smart when it's finished. Rick has already put an order in for a kennel.

P.S.  Kat landed at London Heathrow just after seven this morning.  It’s good to know she’s back safe and sound.

30 March 2020

On Her Way Home

Kat is currently travelling at 514 knots per hour, 30,000 feet above the Great Victoria Desert of Western Australia heading for Doha.  If all goes well she should be landing at London Heathrow early tomorrow morning.

We are very relieved that her Qatar Airways flight was not cancelled after so many people have been stranded.  Although her sister would have gladly accommodated her for a longer period she needs to get back to RAF Brize Norton where she will be part of a busy team keeping the transport aircraft flying.

The timing of her holiday was perhaps a little unfortunate, Kat and her sister Sarah have spent her final week indoors drinking cocktails and watching a lot of Netflix.  But at least they had a wonderful camping trip and managed to enjoy going out and about to bars and restaurants in Sydney during her first week.

I don’t know when we will see Kat next.  (We haven’t seen her since last October before she was posted to Cyprus.)  It could be months before we are reunited.  It looks like we shall be looking after Jeremiah for a little longer than planned.

28 March 2020

Sardines on Toast

I’ve just walked through the village to post a letter with Rick and didn’t see a single soul.  It is eerily quiet out there.  On the plus side it did mean that there were no cars for Rick to chase either.

The fish man from Grimsby delivered to our door last week and said he didn’t know when he would be back again as the fish market was closing.  We bought some cod and sea bass for the freezer and last night I pan fried the cod.  It was deliciously tender, moist and flaky.  I served it with a lemon and caper sauce and spinach from the garden.

Today we had sardine bruschetta for lunch.  It was a bit posher than sardines on toast because I made an onion marmalade and used last night’s leftover lemon and caper sauce as a dressing.  Piled high on a thick slice of toasted home made bread it was a class act.

Paul’s cooking dinner tonight – Malay Chicken Biryani.  I would invite you all round to join us but apparently it’s not allowed!

27 March 2020

Garden Design

At 8.00 p.m. last night Paul and I stood outside the front door and, feeling slightly foolish, tentatively started to clap.  Not far away we could hear the sound of other people in the village clapping until the sound got louder and louder.  I didn’t feel foolish anymore, just terribly sad.

Another beautiful day here so once more we are outside.  Gardening helps us to forget the woes of the world for a moment.  One of the things that attracted me to this bungalow was the massive terrace that runs the whole width of the building.  After we had pulled all the weeds out when we moved in it looked very impressive but a little stark, too much bare stone.  Yesterday we removed some of the paving stones and filled the spaces with white gravel.  I wanted the spaces to look random, not an easy task with square pavers.   I’m quite pleased with the result and I’ve ordered some black mondo grass and blue festuca grass to plant in the gravel.  I’m hoping it will look quite contemporary and Zen like.

The ferns haven’t got their summer foliage yet but we placed some new solar powered spotlights underneath the plants last night and were very impressed with the result.

garden spotlights
It's good to stay busy at a time like this.

26 March 2020

Silly Boy

Another glorious day of sunshine and blue skies so we have been working in the garden.  Rick loves being outside but just can't stop himself from chasing the butterflies and bees.  He rarely catches them but unfortunately, yesterday, he managed to swallow a bee and got stung.  Immediately he began frantically eating grass and after a while he was sick.  I watched him very carefully for any signs of allergic reaction but, apart from feeling a bit sorry for himself, he seemed fine.

I hope he has learnt his lesson but somehow I doubt it.


24 March 2020

Lincolnshire Lockdown

Turmoil in the world but life continues almost as normal in our corner of Lincolnshire.  Yesterday we had a tonne of gravel delivered which we intend to distribute in various parts of the garden.  This morning we concentrated on a patch that we cleared last summer ready for ferns and hostas.  We weeded the area, spread out some material that suppresses any new weeds, and then covered it with the light coloured gravel.

I’m very pleased with the result although I suspect the blackbirds might toss some of the gravel and make a mess.  It will look better when the hosta foliage appears and the young ferns get bigger.

Paul baked some bread for lunch using a mix of spelt and normal bread flour.  It turned out very well.  Hopefully there will be flour on the shelves when we next venture out to the shops.

The girls have returned to Sarah’s apartment in Sydney; Kat is still waiting to find out if her flight will be available on Monday.  In the meantime they are 'being sensible' and staying indoors.


22 March 2020


The sun is shining this morning but there is a very cold wind blowing from the east.  Frost has been forecast for tonight so we shall wrap the hydrangea bushes and bay tree with fleece as a precaution.  Paul will light the greenhouse heater to protect his young plants and seedlings.  This year it seems more important than ever that we get a good harvest of fruit and vegetables from the garden.

Rick has been looking longingly at the garden.  I took him outside for a game of ball (he is getting much better at bringing the ball back and releasing it) but he was more than ready to come back to the warmth of indoors after our game.

Earlier today I spoke to my Dad on Skype.  He is celebrating his 90th birthday tomorrow.  He seemed to be unfazed by what is happening in the world at the moment, he said he will happily go outside in his garden, sit by his pond and pretend he is on holiday.  When we spoke about the empty shelves in the shops he said rationing wasn’t a problem when he was a boy because his parents didn’t have any money to buy things anyway!

Sarah and Kat messaged me first thing to wish me a happy Mother’s Day.  They were sitting next to their camp fire watching the wildlife.  Australia is locking down so they will be forced to head back to Sydney soon.  The other side of the world seems very far away to me right now.