Our first Christmas here was very good, being able to have Christmas Day lunch locally with our son and daughter-in-law before a couple of days with grandson. We have had a very mild winter and been able to get out and about to see what Somerset has to offer. We found Langport a little dull, but Somerton and Wellington interesting. We had visited Wellington Monument some years ago but since then, the National Trust have renovated the tower (the tallest three-sided one in the world). We've spent some weeks decorating indoors, including new carpets and bed. Spring bulbs are raising their heads and I wait to see what will appear. Hope to visit Hestercombe Gardens shortly to see their displays.
Again, we have been busy getting the big jobs done so that we can relax later. The patio was re-laid and we were able to have a bbq inviting our immediate neighbours who had welcomed us on arrival and helped with our queries over the months. All seemed to enjoy the afternoon, especially as it was very warm weatherwise. Since then, we have been over to Lincolnshire to see our close friends, and down to Brighton for a long weekend. Garden produce has been flourishing here, much warmer than the Forest and we have been overloaded with tomatoes and runner beans, as well as a good stock of cucumbers (something I was unable to grow in the Forest). Nights are now drawing in, and we have some little jobs indoors.
Sorry it's been five months since I last updated my blog. So here goes. We've now been here in Woolavington for five months and hasn't it gone quickly. We've had a lot to do and be done by tradesmen since moving in, including a kitchen makeover, boarding the loft and getting a new ladder, having a new oil-fired boiler installed externally, erecting a greenhouse and constructing a base for a new summerhouse. I have tomatoes and cucumber growing in the greenhouse, and runner beans in newly-constructed raised beds. We await the re-laying of the patio.
We have both had our two vaccines and have kept within the government guidelines, not mixing at all, although we have been able to stand and chat (at the required distance) with new neighbours. We have been many times to the local tip, and the DIY store, and have within the last month been able to wander the supermarket rather than have our food delivered to the door.
We have no plans to go on holiday, abroad or inland, this year as it seems everyone else MUST have a holiday and we don't want to put ourselves at risk.
I've added some new photos to the Photo Gallery and hope you like them.
Now in Woolavington, having been here three weeks. Still lots to unpack and sort, but getting there slowly. It's very tiring and so after the first flush of the move, decided we would work in the mornings and rest in the afternoons.
We haven't been able to meet the neighbours and chat, but have had a lot of welcoming cards and notes and everyone waves as they walk past.
We have been able to find the local tip and the nearest DIY but other than that are having our groceries delivered and waiting with baited breath for news that we can have our Covid vaccination.
As you may see from the photos I've put in the Gallery, (and I will be putting more on from time to time), there's a lot for us to do including the garden.
A long time since the last blog, but nothing of great importance has happened in that time. Lockdown number two has meant yet again the Lunch Club couldn't meet up and plans for a Christmas lunch were scuppered. Because of the present situation it was decided to close the Lunch Club permanently, and hope that the friendships created can continue safely. In the meantime, we decided to move house and by the New Year will have moved from the Forest of Dean. A new phase in our life hopefully.
I've approached venues to see how they are arranging group lunches, and need responses from the Forest Lunch Club members in order to progress this, so do hope you are checking your emails regularly.
It's some time since I last posted on here. Days seem to be flying by. No sooner have the bins been emptied on a Wednesday, than it's the weekend and another round of trying to find what to do! I've been able to get out by car to various places in the Forest to take a walk without meeting too many people on the way. I've also done a lot of gardening, so much so, the garden is looking pretty nice now. Groceries are being delivered but a lot of planning has to go into that - especially as the best time to choose a Tesco delivery slot appears to be just after midnight or 6 in the morning, when you might be able to get a slot two weeks hence. I've been reading a lot, sorting out cupboards, writing letters rather than emails, and baking!! The veg patch is growing, with potatoes, runner beans, lettuce, radishes, strawberries, rhubarb, garlic and I have a couple of tomato plants in the greenhouse. A new flower border meant I was able to get to the local garden centre once it opened, although plants are not as plentiful as before. We've been pretty isolated here as we have no family or close friends nearby, so will be so glad once we can get to see them again.
A quick note to ask you all how you are coping, and hoping those of you who live alone have a relative or neighbour nearby to bring in your groceries. Have any of you tried using the OAP hour at the supermarkets to get your supplies? If you buy milk, choose "filtered" which has a "use by" date of at least three weeks later. Much better than the normal which probably only last up to a week even in a fridge. Did you also know you can freeze milk? I buy a 2pt bottle for emergency and freeze it, making sure it is fully thawed before use. Before the lockdown, I was able to get my hair permed and cut, so hopefully it will last a while. While the weather has been like a spring day, we have tried to do any outdoor jobs, such as mowing the lawn, cleaning the patio and windows, weeding the garden. We have made it a habit to do one job per morning, so that we don't tire ourselves out and they will occupy us for some time. Feet up after lunch usually means a half-hour Nanna nap! All I can say is "what a lot of tripe on TV!"
As you are all aware, we are in a unique situation with the Coronavirus spreading through the country, and you should keep an eye on what you should and shouldn't do to keep yourself safe.
Group gatherings are liable to assist the spread of the virus, and so our Forest Ladies Lunch Club monthly meetings will not go ahead until further notice. This does not mean we cannot keep in touch and hopefully all members will do so by phone or email to make sure each person is OK and doesn't need any help.
Happy New Year to you all. We were very busy with family visitors in December and were glad of a few quiet moments over Christmas itself. We had Christmas Day lunch at Forest Hills Golf Club - having done it before - which was very good, followed by feet up and a glass of something alcoholic. New Year was spent with my sister and family, seeing the New Year in with their neighbours. This time of year is usually expensive for us, but even moreso this year with three essentials having to be replaced - larder fridge, iron and built-in oven. Hopefully, if it happens in threes, we are OK now!
Had grandson staying with us for half-term, so spent a couple of nights in Chorley, Lancashire. On the first day we visited Southport, which was very blustery on the seafront; also the establishment where my hubby had worked when we lived up there, along with the house we occupied, and then met my son's close friend and grandson's godfather and family for an evening meal. The next day we drove up to Blackpool, took a ride on a tram, spent about four/five hours in the Pleasure Beach and then rode again on a tram up to Fleetwood before having a fish and chip supper before walking a considerable distance along the Blackpool front looking at all the illuminations, which were a fascination for the grandson.
We celebrated our golden wedding by going on a Viking cruise down the River Danube. The weather was good to us, and the scenery fantastic, visiting several towns with excursions included. The ship, Viking Egil, was a superb five-star accommodation with everything you could want or need. So much so, we put several pounds on and are desperately trying to get rid of them now.We started in Nuremberg, Regensberg, Passau, Vienna and Budapest. For photos, see "Photo Gallery".
Our Lincolnshire friends spent four days with us recently and the weather was good to us. We didn't go far, a trip to Lydney and out for Sunday lunch before they returned home. Immediately after we had our grandson with us for a couple of days, and spent a whole day in Cardiff Bay, visiting the Barrage, having lunch, and a boat trip round the bay. Everyone was tired, so an early night.
It may be the end, but it lasted a long time. We spent a week driving through France, Belgium and Holland visiting places we'd been to before as well as those we had not. We started in Namur with its beautiful Parisienne atmosphere and we sat having a drink in the evening and listening to a local accordian player. Next morning seeing the statue (below) in the Place d'Armees of the old town. We then travelled on to Vise (Visay) near to Maastricht and were lucky enough to see a marching band through the town on the Sunday morning. It would appear it only happens three times a year, so we were lucky. On to Maastricht where we stayed in the Derlon Hotel in a quaint square (although the hotel was very modern inside) in order to attend an Andre Rieu concert in Vrijthof Square. A fantastic show. Next day to Rochefort and Cambrais visiting the Thiepval Monument where my great uncle is remembered amongst 72000 other British soldiers of WW1. On to Albert and Arras, the latter very cosmopolitan. Our last stop was at St Valery Sur Somme which we had visited 30 years ago, with its quaint medieval old town and estuary. (More photos - see Photo Gallery).
Still further treats for my birthday with a weekend down in Brighton. Arrived on Saturday to some lovely gooey cakes (see photo). Sunday a trip to Lewes which has many 16th century buildings including Ann of Cleves' House and while there had Sunday Lunch out. Monday my son and his wife treated us to a fantastic meal at The Ivy, Brighton, and Tuesday we spent on Centre Court at Eastbourne Tennis seeing Johanna Konta and Andy Murray amongst others.
Not a lot exciting happening since Christmas and New Year. A very mild winter, so we've been able to get outside, although not gardening. A new roof required for hubby's workshop so have been labouring while he was up on the roof (!) measuring and sawing new joists etc. If we continue to have good weather, it could be completed in the next week or two.
Besides that a dental appointment and hospital for eye laser surgery, and now an appointment for removal of cataracts (something I'm not looking forward to). I have, however, joined a tai chi class which has been very beneficial for my arthritic spine.
A busy period. Family with us before Christmas and family with us for New Year. In between we went to the Forest Hills Golf Club for Christmas Lunch, something we have done before and really enjoyed. With the chance to catch up on some films, including "The Foreigneer"; "The Christmas Chronicles" and "Rex", it was feet up and a glass or two.
A planned surprise for hubby's 70th birthday saw us meeting up with son and daughter-in-law in London, a meal near Shaftsbury Avenue Theatre where we saw "Motown the Musical", an overnight in a hotel before visiting the Sky Garden, a fantastic and unique garden on the 35th floor of a glass building in the business quarter, where you could look out over London from an open-air balcony.
Recent visits to the cinema to see "Johnny English Returns Again" with Roan Atkinson (a good laugh); and "Bohemian Rhapsody" (the story of Freddy Mercury and Queen), the latter quite a sad and emotional film.
Besides the above, we've met up with friends in Lincolnshire, and also visited Batsford Arboretum (in the Cotswolds) with its spectacular autumn colours.
Retired, grandmother who enjoys cardmaking, gardening and genealogy with not enough hours in the day. Married to Tony who enjoys my gardening (!), and is an amateur radio operator with his own website.