Friday Catch Up

If you are of a certain age and live in the UK you may recall the radio show Listen with Mother? Daphne Oxenford always began with the words, “Are you sitting comfortably…then I’ll begin”. I hope you are because there’s a lot to get through today, so let’s crack on. Nothing scintillating, just a rambling selection of disparate topics – so often the case. I’m always faintly surprised that anyone carries on reading!

Have you noticed how many daddy-long-legs are about, and they are huge! I hoped that we’d left them behind when we left Devon but we’ve been plagued by them at home too. Apparently, the species is in decline. Really? I counted nine in the living room last night!  Hopefully now Autumn has well and truly arrived, the cooler temperatures will see them off.

lickey-hills-1It’s a beautiful day but there’s a definite nip in the air and as I sit here blogging, the trees are dancing madly in the strong breeze. I love this time of year – the first thing in the morning slightly damp, loamy scent that accompanies this season is one I remember from childhood. No, this is not a photo from my window but on of the nearby Lickey Hills.

More things I love about Autumn: winter coats, thick black tights and boots, scarves and my beloved leather gloves (an obsession in every conceivable colour)!  As I was changing the bedding this morning I thought that I may as well change the quilt for a warmer one as last night the dreaded foot cramps began again. I’ve been months without any but my legs had got cold in the day yesterday and that usually triggers it. A hot water bottle is the best solution but whilst I love the concept of ‘warm and cosy’ the reality is that in bed I hate to be too warm. 

Another autumn joy – soup’s back on the menu. I’ll be making a chunky leek and potato later and spicy parsnip (has to be smooth) will make an appearance within next few days since I had a variety of veg in last night’s shopping delivery. The shopping arrived with eleven items substituted.  That’s a rare occurrence for Ocado so it’s looking like we are back to panic buying. Unwilling to pay an additional £15, I rejected six items and went to Tesco this morning. It wasn’t as bad as at the start of lockdown but there was no flour, only a few boxes of teabags and the eggs and toilet rolls looked to be running out. Fortunately I was able to get what I wanted. I’ve always kept well stocked up, even in ‘normal’ times, but I wonder – is it a mother thing, do you think, that having back-up in the food cupboards (fridge and freezer included) is a source of comfort? A friend who has never had children seems to cope quite happily with a half a loaf of bread, a tin of beans and a couple of tomatoes! She just buys what she wants every couple of days or so. I, on the other hand, would feel very jittery about that!  Apparently Tesco and Morrisons have already begun restricting sales of items such as rice, flour, oil, toilet rolls, pasta, wipes and hand sanitiser. We are lucky at work to manage the storage and transportation for one of the companies that supplies hand sanitiser so we’re well catered for there. Talking of work…….one year, two months and three weeks to go. Not that I’m counting or anything! I don’t intend staying until I’m 66. 

I’m going back to Slimming World on Monday.  It’s six whole months since I stopped going, reasoning that the fewer places visited the better. As it was, groups closed a couple of weeks later anyway. I did sign up for the Zoom meetings but although I stuck with it, I didn’t really enjoy it. During these past months weight went down, then up, then down again but the holiday scuppered that modicum of success. Overall, I think I will be returning weighing very slightly less than when I left so a sort of result.  I’m not sure that I want to return to being the weighing clerk at the moment in case I find that I just want to ‘weigh and go’ because I’m still feeling a little wary. However, other members tell me that the social distancing is well observed and there are lots of safety precautions in place. If we’ve got to live with this thing then I guess we have to try to follow Richi Sunak’s advice to ‘live without fear’.  Sometimes I feel very sad about it all and think –  what if this is it for our generation?

WordPress tells me that traffic is booming: Blog stats for the past three days show 1642 visits and that the most popular post has been Introducing Jessica.  I’m still struggling with WordPress in some areas: re-sizing photos has become a protracted process and I’ve spent two hours work out how to edit the list of ‘blogs I like to read’ widget on the sidebar. Although I’ve worked it out, I found it in such a roundabout way that I have no idea how I actually achieved it!  I’m feeling very wound up and all ‘widgeted out’ so it’s time now to post this and go and bake a cake to help me calm down.

 

10 comments

  1. During lockdown, a cricket came to live inside with me. How cute, I thought. But it was so noisy. I found out that 15 others had moved in with him…… all of my non- violence went out the window. I caught them all and, well I won’t say what.

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  2. That’s a lovely scene in that picture.

    Autumn – today’s high temperature is supposed to be only 85F (cooler than yesterday’s), but, the forecast calls for temperatures above 100F, next week. 🙂 I did make some soup, already, though, because I had some dental work done and soup is easy to swallow without much chewing.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend and the week ahead will be a good one. Stay safe!

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    • You’re right, Jean; all seasons DO have their own joys. A crisp, fresh morning in winter is wonderful and I love the colour that a late afternoon sunshine in winter casts.

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  3. We had a fakeaway tonight and it was delicious-I can’t bring myself to go out to eat. We have been barred from visiting each others homes for a few weeks, as our area has rising figures. Autumn is certainly romping in and I put away the few summer clothes I had bothered to get out. Boots will soon be on which is fine as they are my favourite footwear. I have rediscovered my crafting mojo and spent yesterday and today prepping some Christmas goodies for a zoom class. Happy weekend and yes we also have enormous jenny long legs!

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    • Jenny long legs! Not heard them called that before. I do love regional language variation. I’ve visited a garden centre cafe and one other. I’ve eaten outdoors on the harbour front on holiday but I’ve not been to a pub or restaurant – just don’t feel comfortable. I think a lot of peopke have discovered, or rediscovered, crafting. I’ve not made any cards lately but did some crochet and knitting through lockdown.

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  4. Yes, soup, one of the best things about the new season, Eloise. I’m not that keen on parsnip soup (with or without any spice) but i love leek and potato and I’m going to make a leek, potato and bacon bake soon.
    As for Daddy Long Legs or crane fly, I’ve not seen any, but they wrecked our son’s lawn last year with their larvae. It was just a mud-heap. He had expert advice which was to get nematodes (not sure of spelling) and put them on the lawn to feed on the larvae (leatherjackets) – or something like that – and then he got topsoil and grass seeds and re-seeded his lawn (which had cost a fortune for it to be laid a year or two ago) and he managed to get it looking good again by the summer, and now he’s seen Daddy Long Legs all over the place again!
    Margaret P

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    • We saw dozens of daddy long legs where we were staying in Brixham! I thought that maybe they particularly liked being close to the sea…until we got home and saw loads more! Maybe they’re just attracted to my scent! Parsnip soup is one of my favourites, especially with some apple included. Yum! Oh, you mentioned the problem with your son’s lawn but I didn’t realise that it was daddy long legs larvae . Nematodes are also supposed to address slug problems. Ugh, no wonder I don’t do gardening.

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