March 31st – First car journey???

OK!! Calm down…. 🙂

We ventured out today to enable Denise to donate some blood (considered essential travel for the NHS). But this was a tough decision, as on one hand we have been self isolating as she is an asthmatic and so the decision to go into a public place to donate needed to be weighed up against the requirement of blood (especially B negative which only 2% of the population has) for the NHS.

After a phone call to ensure that our recent travels wouldn’t prevent her donating, and a few questions on precautions being taken to minimise the risk of catching the Corona Virus, she decided to go ahead.

There were good 2 meter marks on the floor, queuing outside was well ordered, chairs were well spaced, hand sanitisers were available, staff had masks, and you needed an appointment as opposed to drop in, so numbers were less than normal.

Well done to the donors and staff collecting. People still vital need surgery during these testing times and stocks of blood are lower than normal so if you can donate, please contact them (details here)

March 30th – A message from Turbo…

Well, today was our scheduled return date from our trip, but we are mighty glad that we decided to make a run for it and got home earlier.

Self isolation is tough, I’m sure you’re all agree but it is for the good of all. But here in the first world we need to thank our lucky stars that we have homes to remain in. As this horrid disease spreads around the globe, imagine the impact on people living in high density shanty towns, with limited running water (so vital to wash hands thoroughly), sanitation, food or health facilities, so when we all get a little stir crazy, take a time to think how lucky we are in comparison to others.

Our friendly tortoise, Turbo, has a message for everyone. Slow down, chill, eat well, stay warm, clean and stay isolated. It’s worked for his species for millions of years, and they live a very long time. Stay safe and well friends.

March 28th – Chickens

Today’s picture features our chickens, most of the hens are old, and no longer lay that many eggs, but we let them retire in peace, to thank them for their eggs when they were laying.

They are entertaining creatures, and I’m really not sure how they got the reputation of not being brave. If ever I’m in the chicken run, digging up nettles or other maintenance the chickens are all over you, and you need to be very careful not not to spear them with the garden fork as they jostle to get close to where the next worm maybe dug up. When we ran our B&B, our guests used to love the fresh eggs for breakfast.

Our lovely neighbours chickens used to come through and their cockerels had their wicked way resulting in our new, very pretty cockerel called Nemo. He is coming up to a year old now, and likes to strut his stuff, but the old hens aren’t so impressed.

March 28th – Escape, Run for the hills!!

OK, a bit dramatic I’ll grant you, but it was great to get out with the 4 legged children this afternoon.

We are extremely lucky to live where we do, and although we love travelling, the countryside right on our doorstep is just stunning.

The picture’s below is inspired by the classic film – A sound of music. The title??:

“The Hills are alive, with the sound of Alfie”

Whenever a camera, or in today’s case a camera appears, he feels compelled to talk… Callie and Velvet just look in amazement.

Anyway, where ever you may be, why not have a wander in isolation to see what you can find. Breathe in and smell the fresh air, listen to the birds sing, watch them soar in the skies. Appreciate what you have, rather than yearning for what you haven’t. Stay safe, isolated & well my friends x

The Hill’s are alive , with the sound of Alfie……

March 27th – Water

Well what a week it’s been….. This time last week we’d just got back from our trip (that now seems like months ago). Since then we have been self isolating, helped out by fantastic people in our village getting some supplies for us.

We did have a surprise guest today featured in today’s post. We decided during our trip to be more conscious of the water we use. As mentioned in a previous post, when travelling in a motor-home, you can only carry 100 Litres which really makes you conserve water.

Anyway, as part of our commitment, we decided to get out water metered, and they arrived today to ‘enable’ it. I’m was a bit surprised that they arrived today, as I thought the government said that all but non-essential work / travel should be avoided??

Of course the water companies need staff to fix issues, but fitting a meter is hardly essential. I do think some companies are not treating taking the Governments guidelines seriously, which could jeopardise the health of their workforce and extend this crisis for all of us, something none of us wants.

Stay safe people x

March 26th – Behind the scenes heros

Today’s image focuses on our beautiful countryside, and the farming communities that keep food on our shelves.

During the Covid-19 crisis, the NHS staff on the front-line rightly get a lot of thoroughly deserved praise and recognition from Government and the media for the fantastic work they do for those poor souls that have been taken poorly by this virus and other causes.

However, in this post I personally want to think about all people that keep all vital services, products and utilities running.

The list is endless, and I am bound to miss our some for which I apologise profusely, but without food from our farmers; without the lorry drivers that transport the food; without distribution centres and office staff coordinating supplies into our shops; without staff in our shops willing put themselves in contact with potentially infected customers etc etc we would all be in dire straits.

All of us rely on energy for our homes and to keep these vital services running; Telecoms to keep us in touch with loved ones and emergency services should the need arise; water that is safe to drink when we turn on the tap. These items do not just occur without huge teams working behind the scenes, quietly and without fuss.

It is so easy for us to take our whole supply chain which we rely on so heavily for granted, so along with the hero’s on the front-line, I’d also like to give a huge THANK-YOU to everyone else that keep us fed, watered, warm, informed and safe.

Let’s not forget where our food comes from ….

March 25th – Another weird day down….

As we close the day, living in this strange new physically isolated world, I hope you’re all well. We are keeping ourselves busy, as having come back from our trip around Europe there is plenty to do.

We are very fortunate to have great neighbours, and we have had a few 2-3 meter chats over the fence. We’ve also made a few phone calls to just catch up with people to break their, and our feelings of isolation.

Our dogs have had great walks, playing in the local fields, still oblivious to the challenges their human friends are starting to experience.

As far as my new years resolution goes, to take a photo every day, I am feeling more pessimistic, especially as we are self isolating, but I won’t give up easily and tomorrow I plan to take the camera out on a little bike ride to see what we can find.

Take good care of yourselves, and stay safe. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

March 24th – Chilling in the spring sunshine

Callie says ‘Hi’ from our back garden. It has been a bright spring day, and she has had a great time playing ball, eating and snoozing in the sun. It will soon be cuddles time, an evening ritual that she insists on.

Thankfully, she is completely oblivious to the current Covid-19 crisis, however many are very stressed and anxious.

If you know anyone that maybe feeling down, or doesn’t respond well to change, please give them a telephone call to cheer them up. We need to be isolated physically for very good reasons, but you can make a difference by spending a few minutes on the phone, chatting to people that you’ve not spoken to for a while.

Why not take this enforced free time to re-connect with people via the phone?

Hugs from Callie & I. Stay strong and positive.

March 23rd – Social distancing

I’m not sure the 4 legged children have got the idea of social distancing or self isolating…. It would be great to have 2 minutes to sit quietly and use my laptop or phone without aforementioned kids shoving a wet nose in your face, giving you a wash or using you as a bean bag.

Of course I joke, and to be honest I was struggling to think of something to write about this evening until I was pounced upon.

I was incredibly lucky to get a round of golf in with 3 buddies today, due to the course management team keeping the course open, but with really strict rules regarding people staying 2m apart, which was policed by course marshall’s going around in buggies. Other rules included no hand shaking at the end of the game, no rakes in the bunkers, reduced hole depths, and no removal of the flags, but the mental benefits to my mental health was tremendous.

Outside, with friends that understood the rules and respected others health, but we still had a great laugh, put the world to right and hit a few balls.

My fear in these ‘different’ times is that the actions of a few who are not taking this seriously will make the lives of the majority a lot more difficult…. I hope I’m wrong.

Assume your infected and have a mindset that you don’t want to infect others. If you have been infected, even mildly, and you recover you can still be infectious to others, and you can catch it again – Full story here

Stay safe and well x

March 22nd – Hope….

Today’s image was taken from the sanctuary of our back garden, and with so much doom and gloom in our world at the moment, it made me think about the future.

The buds on our cherry tree are symbolic of our situation at the moment. They have been isolated and dormant, but are now showing signs of coming out after a long winter, and we finally have blue skies.

Our lives will be like these little buds in a short while. Like the buds, we have to be patient, stay isolated and reserve our energy for when this nasty bug retreats from our lives.

It will happen, things will get better, and like these little buds, our lives will flourish again, and businesses will re-open.

I feel desperately sorry for the businesses (especially in the hospitality and tourism sector) that have been hit so hard and quickly. Let’s all spare a thought for those people who may be struggling with a business, or have been laid off due to this crisis.

I am putting a little money aside each week of this crisis that would have been spent on the odd coffee, or beer and will pledge to spend it locally once we get back on our feet.

Stay strong, be sensible and patient, and happy Mother’s day to all the amazing Mum’s out there x