Saturday, 28 March 2020

Keeping busy





I hope you are all safe and well,. 
What a difficult year this is turning out to be, who would have thought at the start of the year when we were all making our plans that we would be in this situation. 

I went into work on Tuesday morning but it was only to clear what work I had been doing and show the management how to divert calls.  I don't have to work from home since my main job is answering calls.  Mark came home the same afternoon, they were hoping to carry on but could not continue working and follow the separation guidelines, so the site was closed down for the foreseeable.

On Tuesday the weather was beautiful, so as soon as I got back home I decided to clean out my little blue house, all spiders evicted, (there weren't that many considering no one has been in all winter), while everything was outside I thought I might as well give the floor a fresh coat of paint too.

Mark went on to paint the outside of both the shed and my little house on Wednesday while I did some tidying up around the garden and mowed the lawns, the borders are still too heavy to turn the soil over yet.  Up until this week I've had no desire to get out and do anything in the garden but the few days of sunshine we has spured on.

I've been shopping this morning, not much to get but I only want to go once this week and I had to get a few things for mum too.  I didn't like being in the supermarket, they were only letting a certain number in at a time and people were being very good about keeping distance but I still felt uncomfortable, I was glad to get home.  I've wiped all my shopping with antibac wipes before putting it away, some might think that's a bit extreme but it makes me feel better knowing it's done.

It feels a bit like we have retired being at home together, lol  If you've read this blog for some time you will know that Mark works away all week and I'm used to my own company and like my own space, so this is going to be strange for both of us.  So far we've been ok, it's only day four though, ask me in two weeks time and the answer may be different, lol  
We work at different speeds me and Mark, I get up and get straight on with what I've got to do, whereas Mark will get up, watch the kettle boil, stand and have a cuppa, and then walk aimlessly around for a while.  By the time he's thought about doing it I've done it and moved on to the next thing!  I've said we must make a list of things to be done and get on with them so that we have some sort of routine, I know it will be hard come next week for him because he used to working not being round home all the time.

Not much stitching or knitting going on this week but there will be plenty of time for me to do that over the next two weeks.

Stay safe and stay at home

-X-

Sunday, 22 March 2020

In Threes again

I took a few minutes this afternoon to sew the buttons on another In Threes cardigan I made for Bonnie some weeks ago.   It's a little too big for her at the moment, I knew it would be, but Joanne can put it away for her to wear later in the year.  

I used some drops yarn I had in my stash, so no money spent again :-)


I used three buttons I bought from Wool@13 last year


I finished stitching my April Calendar Girl on Thursday,  I sorted through my fabric bits for the backing, I don't have many blues, which would have been better, but I think this polka dot one will be ok, what do you think?

I'll set aside some time in the week to put it all together, I have to get some threads to make the cording anyway.


The weather was lovely yesterday so we had a few hours tidying up the garden, the grass is still really wet and because we have mostly clay soil, the borders are still sodden.  Mark managed to get another layer of leaves up but there are still many that are too wet to suck up.  I did manage to get all my Dahlia's planted up in pots, I bought nine tubers this year, I don't know if I'm going to put them in the ground or in pots yet, the slugs had a feast on them last year and they didn't thrive very well.




It's lovely to see a bit more colour outside after all the dull weather we've had, although the Tulips I planted and looked forward to seeing are not doing very well this time, a combination of pesky squirrels and wet weather I think.  There are some along the edge of the path that might come good, we will have to wait and see.

Thank you to those who commented on my last post, it seems this panic buying is not limited to the UK alone.  
The announcement on Thursday to close all pub's restaurants, cafes and so on from Friday seems to have lead people to panic buy wine and beer now, there was no wine in Aldi on Thursday and the beer isle was almost empty in Tesco too.  I really do find it hard to believe some people.

Today I've seen posts on FB showing the crowds of people waiting outside Tesco and Asda, more akin to football crowds, it's crazy.  The closure of places of public gatherings was to protect people and to try and slow the spread, so why do people think that this sort of crowd does not fall into that description?  

I'm trying not to dwell on the news so much because I'm thinking about it too much afterwards, Friday I felt particularly down about the whole thing, not helped by the fact that someone has left a very nasty anonymous comment.  I guess they are not brave enough to leave a name, I do wonder at the mentality of those that feel the need to do something like this.  It did bother me for a little while in as much as I couldn't understand why someone would be like that, and then it annoyed me that I couldn't answer back and call them out for what they are 😠

If anyone knows how to block anonymous comments please let me know.  For now I've left the comment there, you can read it if you go back to my last posts comments.   If they come back I hope they're shamed, (but I don't expect they will be).

Stay safe and take care all
-X-

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

What it's like at the moment

 I know many people are not mentioning Covid 19 on blogs, but I have decided that I am, and If you're not interested in reading this post, that's fine, i'm putting it here mainly for me to record what things are like here for us at the moment.   But if you do want to comment on what things are like where you are then I'm happy to read them.

This pandemic is like nothing we have ever seen before, we can't ignore it or what is happening around the world.  The closing of shops, offices, factories and schools will have repercussions for a long time to come, not to mention the effect it will have on our National Health Service, and to be honest what is happening is very very scary.  

I'm not normally one for watching the news but I find myself searching out news items and tuning in to hear what the latest Government Cobra meeting is announcing every afternoon, I don't want to get hung up on doom and gloom but I do want to know what's happening.  I have even been drawn into reading a couple of the conspiracy theory's out there, mainly on FB, until I thought, what a load of 💩, why are you even reading this, and click off it.  If you look hard enough I suppose you will find a conspiracy in anything.

Today Boris announced the closure of schools and nurseries from Friday 20th, until further notice, they will however still have to provide care for children who's parents are key workers, Police, Health Services or delivery drivers or for children who are vulnerable.
I have one daughter who is an Early Years nursery school worker, she does not know yet if she will be required to go into work after Friday, if she doesn't, she won't get paid, her boyfriend works at a car plant, there is talk of shutting that, again he won't get paid if they do.  My eldest daughter is a Police Officer, she will have to continue going into work, as her mother of course i'm worried about that.

I don't want to compare how we are doing things differently to other countries, each country deals with things in a way that is best for them, taking advice (we hope) and steps when necessary, and no one knows enough about this virus to know that one way is right and another way is wrong, we have to trust, to a certain extent, that we are being given the best advice and to take responsibility to keep ourselves as safe as we can.

This weekend I should have been going to the craft show at the NEC in Birmingham but of course that's now been cancelled, they will be honoring the tickets for the show at the end of June, all being well.  So many places are shutting their doors as this 'thing' escalates, I fear for smaller businesses surviving these tough times, and of course there are people who are being told to stay at home but wont get paid.  We are usually paid when off sick, not everyone is, but of course companies would not survive at all if they had to pay workers and at the same time were making no money, it's going to be tough on everybody, no doubt about it.

In the supermarket I have managed to get most of the things we need.   They still have a limit on the number of items people can buy, two packs of nappies or wipes, one pack of toilet roll and four of anything else.  Makes sense to me, if people only buy what they need there will be enough to go round, even so, there were no baked beans, nappies, tinned soup or tinned peas on the shelves on Wednesday and low stocks of other tinned food and biscuits.  I didn't look at the frozen section but fresh food seemed to be ok.  Some supermarkets are opening early just for pensioners to shop but there are queues outside waiting for them to open at 8am.  They are starting to close at 6pm.  From what I saw in Aldi people were still buying trolley loads of food though.

Everyone in our office has been given the option to work from home, except us on reception.  I've been a bit peed off about this if i'm honest, not because I would rather sit at home, but because we don't seem to have been considered at all.  An email was circulated saying people could work from home but they were going to keep the office open so that should anyone need to come in, for paperwork or conference calls they could.  As nothing was mentioned about reception we took it that we would be expected to carry on.  What I was not happy about was the fact that nothing was mentioned to us regarding deliveries coming in or the fact that we are the first point of call for anyone and we are the ones out of everyone that come into contact with the most people.

I had to send an email out myself to say please use the hand sanitiser as you come into reception and on returning at lunch time.  I've also put a notice on the door saying the same thing.  To be honest we haven't had that many deliveries the last few days but I'm going one step further now and asking them to leave them in the little porch we have rather than letting them in the building.  Again, this advice has not come from management.  We always joke we are the last ones to be thought about, but this just proves it.

I've just looked at the statistics for tonight, as of 9pm there were a total of 2,626 cases with 676 confirmed cases.  Our borough is showing at 10 cases.

Wherever you are, I hope you are keeping safe and well

-X-

Sunday, 15 March 2020

There's a long way to go yet

This week I thought it was about time I started adding squares to my mitred square blanket.

I made a very small start on this before Christmas but I now have all those gorgeous minis from my Advent calendars to start adding.





It's got a lot of growing to do, If I can I'm going to try and fit in one square a day until the end of the month, although, once you get going it's very hard to stop at one square, I love dipping into my baskets and choosing the next colour. 


Like the rest of the world I've bee following the news on this coronavirus, It's very frightening how quickly and how far it has spread in such a short time. 
I think we must all do our bit to ensure we are keeping ourselves and our family as safe as we possible can and to try and minimise the spread.   
We have decided that unless it's absolutely necessary we won't be visiting my mum, if we are out shopping and work we can't be sure who we have been in contact with and would hate to think we have inadvertently taken something into her house.  We will drop shopping to her and leave it in the porch from now on.  Better safe than sorry!

I am not one of those people who has gone out and done enough shopping to fill a small bunker, I am just doing (or trying to do ) my normal shopping.  I have always shopped for cleaning supplies once a month, I know how much stuff we get though in a month and it gets replaced every four weeks, luckily had just done that at the end of last month, so we are ok for those things for a while yet, I will not be going out to buy more before I would normally shop again  Personally I think it's appalling how people have been selfishly loading their trolleys with all this stuff, I dislike unfairness.
My daughter could not get any baby formula last week and had to ring round every supermarket until she eventually found some, and they had only got four tins!.   This week there are no nappies or wipes to be had, (yes she knows there are alternatives for these things), but If people are going to clear the shelves then It's only right that supermarkets limit the amount you can buy.  

At the moment we are still going into work, although we have all been given the means to work from home if, or when the time comes.  Most of the the lads in the office are up and down the country to different sites and meetings etc throughout the week, it's really only a matter of time until someone has it.  I've decided that from tomorrow I'm not signing for any deliveries, I will ask the driver to sign my name for me, you don't know who's hands have touched that machine and I will be asking visitors to use the antibacterial gel as they enter and leave, just sensible precautions.

I hope that wherever you are you are keeping yourself and your family as safe as you can.

Take care

-X-

Sunday, 8 March 2020

This weekend

 I'm a grass widow this weekend, Mark had to work so I was left to my own devices :-)

I was in the mood for a bit of Spring cleaning, I've washed all the cushion covers and throws, cleaned windows, sorted all the kitchen cupboards and drawers and sorted anther bag for the charity shop, amazing what you can get done when there are no interruptions (ha ha)

It's not very often I get to spend time in the house on my own now, I must say, I've enjoyed the quiet time.  I've not picked up any stitching during the week so yesterday I sat and put quite a lot of stitches into Autumn Dream.

There is more stitching in this piece than you imagine when first looking at it, it's not going to be finished anytime soon.


I took down my February decorations and put out some Spring ones
Do you like my little bunny vase?  He has a yellow pompom tail too :-) cute!!
The candle you can see behind the little pillow is a Hot Cross Bun one, it smells gorgeous!


 The stitched pillow is a Little House Needleworks, the cottage of the month series, although March is the only one of this series that I stitched.


There are signs of Spring in the garden at last, we have had more than our fair share of rain and wind over the last couple of months but today although it was windy the sun has been shinning beautifully.




  I really should have been out there enjoying the good weather and catching up on clearing some of the debris of sticks and twigs left in the garden but I haven't, I've been sitting with my feet up stitching on my new April Calendar Girl and binge watching Tourchwood for a second time.

I hope you have had a great weekend too and enjoyed whatever you got up too.

See you soon

-X-

Monday, 2 March 2020

Hello March Calendar Girl

I'm really enjoying stitching these calendar girls each month, they are quite quick and with only a couple of changes in thread colour between each one I've been able to kit the ones I've done so far out of stash.


 The backing fabric I've used for this one and the previous two finishes was from stash, as were the buttons.


My aim this year was to spend less, on everything in general, but on craft supplies in particular.  I've reached a stage when I want to use what I have rather than keep adding to it, there are only so many charts you can stitch in a year after all.

I've got April all ready to go, I had all the threads apart from one :-)

Have a lovely week

-X-