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.
It’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.