Is there ‘light at the end of the tunnel?’

Days 60- 70 of Lockdown. 22nd May – 1st June 2020

So the second half of May has seen some gradual release from full Lockdown. From being allowed to meet with one friend in a public place, we are now allowed to meet in groups of up to 6 people … even in our gardens – from tomorrow that is! Who would have known what joy and excitement that would bring. Who to choose first? Will anyone choose us? This could definitely play with people’s self-esteem!

A surprisingly large section of the population have completely gone to town already. Huge gatherings in the parks, beaches are crowded, littering is worse than ever. I hate to be a party-pooper but why can’t the nation listen and just ease in gradually – dipping our toe in the water so to speak. It’s like a bunch of teenagers pushing the boundaries , except that it’s people of all ages. The pictures this weekend have been a real shock.

Durdle Door in Dorset – Saturday 29th May … when we were still only allowed to be with one other person (other than our household) and 2m social distancing

Of course the Dominic Cummings episode has done little to help matters – “what’s good for the goose” … and all that! I’m still so furious about his behaviour but it doesn’t make me want to risk my own and others lives by not following scientific advice. So despite lockdown release allowances, Steve and I are going to tread carefully for a little while longer.

Walking and running

It’s been such a treat though to meet up with friends for walking/running this last week or so – albeit one at a time. So much to catch up on – plenty of chatting while exercising!

With Alli on a circular walk from Drayton Parslow.
Steve and Alli set out on a run … and I set off alone on a slightly shorter and slower run!!
And beautiful Furzton Lake to run around 😎

The weather over this period has been absolutely gorgeous – it’s like someone up above is looking after us during this grim time – glorious sunshine day after day.

Our garden visitors

I have to confess that we get SO much pleasure out of our feathery friends coming to visit. Steve is regularly updating the type and quality of feeders, analysing which feed is most popular, routinely refilling and chasing the bigger birds away (think we’re missing human company)!! This week there’s been lots of fledgling blue tits who fly to the feeder to be fed by ‘Mum’ and then nervously fly back to the nest, sometimes dive bombing us in the process.

But we did have a real garden visitor this week … our lovely friend Derek drove down from Birmingham to see us. It’s his first trip out since Lockdown and he wanted to give his new motor a run – much car envy!

Sewing face masks

A few requests for face masks received so I’ve been a busy sewing bee this week! They’ll be winging their way to family and friends – one little consignment even going Transatlantic – crossing the ocean to L.A.

So, after 10 weeks in Lockdown there is a feeling of some ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ But ironically it now seems a bit daunting going out into the big bad world – we’ve all been living in our safe little bubble. Slowly slowly we can do it! Hopefully this ‘Test and Trace’ system will work it’s magic and so keep the ‘R’ down (all this new Covid-19 lingo)!

Steve will get back to his group running shortly and we’ll hopefully be able to have some small gatherings in the garden (for those who can manage without the toilet)!! 🤣. So excited. Longing to have sleepover visitors sometime soon? 😘

Tomorrow, Steve, Tom and I are embarking on the first leg of the 60 mile MK boundary walk – breaking it down into chunks of around 10 miles … will keep you posted.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel ? 😊

Surprise surprise 😀❤️

Days 50-59 of Lockdown. 12th-21st May 2020

So another nine days of Lazy Lockdown living has drifted by. And I know I am getting lazier … I can tell by the snug fitting of my clothes. At the beginning of this Lockdown I was like ‘a man on a mission’ …. each day crammed with a variety of activities. Now, I get up later, get started on things later and finish earlier. I still manage daily exercise and one or two different ‘projects’ but I have slowed down tremendously. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing … even in retirement, Steve and I have continued to live life at quite a pace – and I’m sure we’ll return to that as soon as it’s allowed. So for now, I’m going to learn to be more chilled, there’s always tomorrow!

To address the weight issue however, I have returned to a little running and have upped the workout sessions by switching to Joe Wicks – that really gets the heart racing. Longing for my fitness classes at Shenley Leisure Centre to start again, hate working out alone!


Still enjoying some fabulous walks every few days. Never tire of being out and about in the countryside and around the pretty walking paths we’re so fortunate to have. One walk this week though got a little hairy at one point for a couple of reasons.

(1) We were quietly ambling along a deserted village road in Upper Weald when we were nearly knocked off our feet by a speeding Mercedes being pursued by a wailing police car … as far as we were able to see that chappie had no intention of stopping.

And (2) … just up the road from that incident our faithful Ordnance Survey app told us to turn left onto a footpath, so taking us off the road. Having been nearly run over we jumped at that chance. At the stile it seemed a little ‘unused’ but we carried on…. and then it just got more and more overgrown – no trace of a footpath … but of course, we just carried on. The last couple of fields we had to plough through before reaching civilisation, the grass was practically up to our waists – God knows what was lurking below. The obvious things lurking were nasty nettles, thistles and all things prickly – our legs were being torn to shreds! And not a dock leaf in sight – we had to resort to spittle!! Oh the joys of rambling!!

There’s always one!!
Some farmers are really kind
Local walking paths in MK

Sewing face masks

Have turned my hand this week to making face masks – these are my first two attempts – they’ll be winging their way to Manchester for Alice and Mel. Happy to make for anyone ‘in need.’

Zoom calls and quizzes

Zoom calls have become such a way of life in Lockdown – having to keep a diary these days for Lockdown appointments! It’s not the real thing but is an amazing substitute when you miss people so much. And loving the quizzes – questions are getting fancier and fancier – dingbats, ‘Have I got news for you,’ Logos, anagrams. Never win but love the fun we have.

Garden visitors

Steve is still keeping a close eye on our feathered visitors – this week’s been all about the Finches – Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch …

A return to House-hunting

We’re waiting to see if the offer we had on our house still stands after Lockdown but now that the Estate Agents are back in operation we thought we’d start to take a little mooch around … but only viewing if the houses are empty. Looked at one yesterday in Grange Farm – the Estate Agent goes in first, opens all the doors and anti-bac cleans all the door handles – but we were asked not to touch anything. Well, it’s something different to do!

And more garden visitors ….

The very very BEST thing of all this week was some truly special visitors … all entertained in strict Lockdown style, in the garden. Now that rules have relaxed a little we thought of meeting up with Tom and Jess in a public place – but then we thought what’s the difference between that and our garden. And so, we planned for them to come over on Sunday for a socially distanced barbecue. And as a surprise, Alice drove all the way down from Manchester to join us and, bless her, drove all the way back afterwards. It’s hard to describe how complete it made us feel to have them here … although we weren’t able to physically hug we were together, talking, laughing, feeling close. A perfect afternoon. ❤️

And I made cake for our visitors …. coffee and walnut 💕

Lockdown life is really OK …. we can do this! ❤️

VE Day celebrations, lockdown style 🇬🇧

Day 44 of Lockdown. 06/05/2020

Steve started fixing up the VE Day bunting and banners today. Had hoped that by Friday we might be able to celebrate with family or perhaps have a street party with neighbours … but that looks very unlikely. We intend to mark the occasion nevertheless.

And the best thing to happen in weeks … a visit from Tom (socially distanced of course). How special it was to spend an hour with him in the garden … strange not being able to exchange hugs but it meant the world to have that short face to face time. I even managed to bake him a lemon drizzle cake to takeaway – felt great to be able to do that ‘Mum’ thing!

Day 45 of Lockdown. 07/05/2020

Another beautifully sunny day – we enjoyed a fabulous countryside walk around Whaddon, Nash and Beachampton. 5 miles of pure pleasure.

Day 46 of Lockdown. 08/05/2020

🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧. 75th Anniversary of VE Day 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

Sadly we had to spend the day alone … Lockdown rules still applying. We paid tribute to the veterans though in our quiet way and reminisced about the war time stories we knew. We listened to Vera Lynn and to Michael Ball singing with our new hero, Captain Tom. I made scones and we had a scrumptious cream tea in the afternoon, once again enjoying a day of sunshine. After a lovely zoom call with Alice, Steve got going on our first barbecue in Lockdown – it felt like a real occasion even though it was just the two of us. We sat out in the garden till late evening … naturally the wine flowed!

Days 47 and 48 of Lockdown. 09 & 10/05/2020

A couple of quiet weekend days … it doesn’t ever seem like the weekend at the moment … all days roll by in a similar pattern. The weather had taken a drastic turn, from baking to chilly, so we were forced indoors.

I got stuck into sewing scrub bags for the NHS – have joined a local sewing group. It’s been great to dust off the sewing machine – am really loving it. If anyone reading is in MK and has old pillowcases they’re wanting rid of, please let me know – they’re so easy to convert. This assignment of bags are going to Woodhill Prison.

And Steve continued to explore with his camera ….

Of course, we were all waiting for Boris’ announcement on Sunday evening – the roll out of the easing of Lockdown plan – a road map as it was being called.

To say we were left confused is an understatement and I’m not being political. Changing the ‘Stay at Home’ message to ‘Stay Alert’ leaves the decision making very much down to the general public … and really, as a whole, are we up to that? Do our Covid-19 figures allow us the freedom of choice? Are we inviting a 2nd wave? It’s OK for Steve and I as we’re retired – we can just make the decision to continue staying at home and staying safe. But those who need to return to work, possibly the children and teachers returning to school, public transport use gearing up … I pray that no-one is forced into anything before there are safe enough practices in place.

Day 49 of Lockdown. 11/05/2020

Yet another stunning walk today. Having planned to coastal walk and travel in these our early years of retirement, naturally we were a little disappointed that we had to bring our plans to a halt during this pandemic. Having said that, we feel incredibly fortunate that we have packed so much in to the last few years, our experiences have been unbelievable … and the timing SO fortunate.

Discovering our local area of countryside during this Lockdown therefore has brought us amazing pleasure. Not to get too philosophical but the simplicity, availability and beauty of nature is incredibly empowering during this strange period when we feel deprived in other areas of our life. I just hope that in being reminded of the impact of simple and natural elements, that we don’t forget.


Rambling robots … and some flirting 😉🐦

Day 38 of Lockdown. 30/04/2020

My very first go at ‘Scan & Bag as you go’ …. it was brilliant, highly recommend 😊
Our Thursday evening neighbourhood clapping for the NHS and Carers ❣️

Day 39 of Lockdown 01/05/2020

Steve’s morning run recorded on Strava
My morning exercise c/o YouTube
We had a brilliant family quiz organised and hosted by Alice – donations to NHS ❣️

Day 40 of Lockdown. 02/05/2020

Another great zoom chat with my chums – Anne, Tina and Gina. We decided to show each other our face masks. Anne has a handy stock left from a recent visit to Japan. Tina has a pretty home-made one with handy pocket for disposable tissue. Gina has a super protective yet terrifying black number! And mine is a simple decorating mask. Don’t we look fetching!!? 🤣
A beautiful sunny day today – Steve out and about in the garden with his camera x
Friday night is steak night … but this week it was deferred to Saturday!

Day 41 of Lockdown 03/05/2020

My first ever attempt at trimming Steve’s hair (or anyone’s hair come to that)! Not bad I thought 🤔
Steve had run in the morning so I went out for a walk alone. Met this little guy in the woods. Am used to seeing them robot-ting along the streets but as it followed me uphill through a deserted Shenley Wood I got a bit spooked. Stepped aside to let it go past. Noticed it had written on the side “Hungry? Can I help you?” …. well, don’t mind if I do! 😉
One of the beautiful cottages in Shenley Village
Our bovine neighbours in the Toot in Shenley Village
And back home …. ❣️
…. to find Steve making turkey soup

Day 42 of Lockdown 04/05/2020

Another beautiful walk around MK today … exploring the city’s network of bridle paths
Chestnuts in full bloom
To mix it up a bit, took a stroll across Abbey Hill golf course on the way home
…. and bumped into another ‘Starship’ near home

Day 43 of Lockdown 05/05/2020

Got tucked into my home-made Dorset Apple Cake – apple, sultanas and cinnamon … so yummy with a dollop of cream
Received these amazing biscotti treats with a Wine Order this week – morning coffee takes on a whole new meaning!
5.00pm daily update – not so great today – high death numbers, testing not reaching targets, UK death tolls now the highest in Europe. Can’t see a let up anytime soon 😘
Lots of flirting going on in the garden though …. 🤣