Goodbye, 2020.

I shall be very pleased when this year is over, although things clearly won’t magically improve overnight. Our area in the West Midlands, UK, is now in Tier 4, which is currently the highest state of lockdown. We can buy food, or get medication, but that’s about it. Any doctor’s appointments are by phone, unless the doctor asks to see you. We’re just awaiting our vaccination letters. Hubby will get his first, as he’s 75. I’m 65, almost 66, so will have to wait for mine. Even then I don’t expect things to suddenly improve.

Decided I’d read fiction at bedtime, non-fiction in the day. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. Currently reading “Rage” by Bob Woodward, which is interesting to say the least. The Trumpster didn’t co-operate with Woodward over the last book, apparently regretted it, and has co-operated with this book. Just the conversations/interviews between the two men are interesting. I can only cope with a couple of chapters at a time, because it’s all quite intense. I am highly relieved I am retired and never had to work in such a high pressure environment.

Then we watched an episode of West Wing last night, which restored my faith in humankind. Without that, I would have no idea about how the US political system works. Mm.

It took me weeks and weeks to finish this jumper. I knitted up the whole back before I realised that I’d knitted it a size too big, and wouldn’t have enough yarn (discontinued, of course) left to finish it. Sigh. So I undid it all and started again. It has been well received, and this particular grandson is, shall we say, quite particular about what he will and won’t wear. Phew. He loves green, so I was hopeful. Love this little guy. The yarn is Bergere de France Magic+ (Aran weight), and the colour is Lichen. The pattern is called Jake. (US$5) When I was (much) younger, knitting patterns were numbered, not named. Mm.

I did have a small crochet moment or two (I was referring to it as a “frenzy” but my sister called me out on it!) and made four of these. It’s simple craft cotton, DK, and I used a 4mm hook. The pattern is Crochet Coasters (free) by Coats.

And here is some snow falling. It didn’t stick, but it is very cold and frosty here.

I wish you all a much, much better 2021.

Not Knitting

Not knitting, not at all, but managing to get things done in the garden. Took three heathers out of their pots and planted them in the ground. Briza Media (perennial quaking oat grass) arrived and is now in its own pot. Hubby cut down intrusive tamarisk tree and we cleared the ground ready for the new bird-feeder, and put down a concrete slab so hopefully this one won’t rot.

Reading a lot. A lot. Currently three quarters of the way through Beth McColl’s book about mental health. Oh. My. Days. She’s in her twenties, but so wise. As a sufferer from mental health issues she really knows what it can be like.  And the writing style is very engaging and friendly. I’m finding it so reassuring, because the things she recommends are the things I do. But then I’m 65 and have had mental health problems all my life, even in childhood. So I would expect to have learned how to manage it, and mostly I do.

Ordered another wildlife camera – we have one, but keep missing the woodpeckers and the jay for one reason or another. A second one, I thought, would give us more chances to capture pictures of interesting things. Still awaiting delivery. Just realised I only ordered one memory card for it. Two would be much more sensible. Hm.

We are “doing” the next fam-a-lam quiz, so are busily setting up questions. It’s good fun, and we are bouncing questions off each other to see if they’re appropriate (too hard/easy), because it all depends on your knowledge and experience. Hubby seemed to think I would easily recognise something (can’t say what), but I assured him I definitely wouldn’t!

Still in lockdown, by choice, because I do believe that capitalism has become more important than human life in whatever meetings are being held. But thanks to Zoom, and the telephone, and WhatsApp, we are keeping in touch. Missing family and friends though. Mm. And now they’ve found this dexamethasone helps a lot, that’s encouraging.

Keeping calm and . . .

The gloves for my arthritic hand(s) arrived today. I’m wearing just one on the worse hand and it does seem to be helping. Might even glovetry knitting again – tomorrow night perhaps. I’d rather wear a funny old glove than take painkillers, not least because you can’t always get the painkillers at the moment. 🤷‍♂️

After the doctor’s surgery phoned us, we seem to be on the list for supermarket deliveries (not Sainsbury’s, however, just Waitrose – maybe they use different databases) which has eased my anxiety somewhat. It’s still difficult to find delivery slots, but at least there are some.

Poor old Boris. Not quite so invincible as he thought, after boasting a few weeks ago that he would continue to shake hands with everybody, even those with coronavirus. I don’t wish him ill, and actually hope he gets better, but honestly.

Twice a week we do a video chat with the five year old grandson in Southampton. It’s always entertaining. Clothes – meh, they’re just a nuisance, according to him. Wearing clothes simply creates washing, apparently. I sing him a couple of songs (the Welly Song by Billy Connolly and Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud by Flanders and Swann) and today I did Forgiven (A A Milne) and Jabberwocky(Lewis Carroll) [If English is not your first language, be warned that Jabberwocky is full of nonsensical, invented words.] He liked them both, having checked that Jabberwocky included death. It does. So that was fine.

Went for a walk round the block – about 8 minutes I’d say, depending on my walking speed. I also bumped into a particularly interesting feline, who hates our cat, in our garden, but loves anybody who is walking along the road. I think it’s a female. Long-haired, slightly pushed-in face, grey and brown colouring, and a very assertive miaow. Yeah. Hubby had to rescue her once from next door’s roof. With a ladder. At 5 am. Mm. Luckily nobody saw him and called the police . . . . .

The postal service seems to be almost normal now. I think that our post office workers, our refuse collectors, our street cleaners, all our public service workers, supermarket workers, and particularly our doctors, nurses and pharmacies, are doing an absolutely wonderful, wonderful job. It’s all so fraught, and everybody is potentially in danger, but they’re just carrying on. Strict rules of course about keeping your distance from others, and some items are rationed in the shops, but fair enough, that’s just fine with me.

I do worry though about people with children of any age stuck in a high-rise flat. How on earth would you manage? I’d go bonkers in very short order, I know that.

weestorybook says that lockdown is mildly conducive to online shopping (I paraphrase). Mildly? Mildly?? here on planet loonyfeminist, it’s my new hobby. Just ordered some new tops, some from Laura Ashley, some from Seasalt, and then received an email from Seasalt telling me that one of the tops (my very favourite of course) wasn’t actually available. It took me all day to realise that I could get it elsewhere. So I did.