Tag Archives: isolation

Looking Forward

It’s not been one of my better times. Starting in August and continuing to the present, I have been dogged by a variety of conditions, which have all contributed to wearing me down. I’m hoping that there will be better times ahead. However, in August I seem to have thought that a week or two should do the trick, and that proved to be a hopelessly bad assessment of the situation.

Hopefully, I am now back and will be improving over the next few weeks. Having thought that in August and then again in September (just before I caught Covid) I am going to be slightly less vocal about my likely improvement. Even my ten days in isolation turned into twelve when Julia tested positive. Everything in my life seems to take longer and be less good than it once was. I suppose this is old age.

The good news is that I have definitely lost weight. The bad news is that none of my trousers fit and that although braces (suspenders) are a useful solution, they aren’t the full answer. I won’t go into all the details, but they aren’t quite as practical as a belt in some ways, and they carry a continuing risk of injury if over-stressed or under-secured. I’m thinking of wearing industrial safety glasses as  a precaution against eye-injury.

I’m also thinking about going the classic route and sewing buttons to my trousers but that involves serious thought about the style of braces and whether to go for six or eight buttons. Six mean less sewing, but eight mean you can use better quality braces. Decisions . . .

Time to Think

Julia came home from work with Bear Claws tonight.  In case you aren’t familiar with th eterm, this means that she brought fruit-filled danish pastries home. They are a treat and not a terrible deformity.

We sat round the fire, drew the curtains and reverted to winter, in  much the same way as the weather has done ever since I said that Spring was here. Tomorrow I was going to have  a walk, but the forecast is for rain, so I am reconsidering. Having lived as a recluse for the best part of a year I don’t really want to go out just to get wet. In fact I don’t want to go out. I’ve got used to having a lid on my life and I’m not sure about going out and just having sky overhead.

Stange how these things creep up on you. is it lockdown, or am I just becoming old?

I have been doing research on medals today for work. One was an interesting group –  aman who served 21 years in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the Boer War and Great War. He was decorated twice, wounded, had enteric fever, and became a publican after leaving the army.

His reward for for all his service – the death of his eldest son in 1941, serving in a second world war.

No mater how bad we may think things are, it sometimes serves us well to look back at history and see how much adversity other people had to face.

I note that daffodils are out now, and the crocuses don’t seem to be doing at all well.






Stir Fry Crazy

I backslid yesterday morning and went shopping on the way back from the hospital. I’ve let things slip a bit on the kitchen logistics and am short of a few things. This does not include carrots. We have enough carrots to eat them every day for the next week. In fact, we are going to have to eat them every day to make sure we get through them.

Julia made tea last night. I bought a bag of beansprouts while I was in the shop because they called me as I walked past. This was one of the high points, as were the four fresh rolls, the packet of ginger biscuits and the bunch of flowers. They didn’t have any decent marmalade, I didn’t see any mustard and there was, as usual, no flour.

It was tricky shopping because it was a spur of the moment thing and I didn’t have a list. I didn’t actually forget anything, but I did fail to find a few things that were probably there, such as the mustard. It was probably somewhere in the shop but it was Aldi and the aisles are narrow so going back would entail passing too close to people. At the best of times you get too close to people in Aldi, and there were several people shopping who didn’t seem too bothered about maintaining a proper distance.


The new flowers – artistic silhouette, or badly underexposed? The blue statice is the last survivor of the previous flowers.

I probably shouldn’t have gone shopping because we could have lasted until next week, but I’m beginning to crack under the pressure of lockdown. I did want a few supplies, and I did want to get something for Julia but I also, I admit, wanted to do something normal like shopping.

As you may be able to tell from the header picture, there is a possibility that Julia is feeling the pressure too. Look past the luscious fresh vegetables and the delicious chilli tomato sauce. Where, I ask, are the noodles you would normally expect with a stir fry? It did taste good with pasta, but it was a bit of a surprise.

I think the lockdown is starting to get to all of us in different ways…


Appointments, Complaints and Click & Collect

I can smell pasties. They are warming rather than baking in the oven, because I bought them instead of making them. In the end they will still taste good and it has saved time.

I couldn’t bake at the moment even if I wanted to. I do not have enough flour. I did have some on order for my Click and Collect run tomorrow, but I see they have cancelled it because they have run out.

It looks like I will be shopping in person next week because I cannot get a delivery or a Click and Collect slot for the next three weeks. Looks like I’m going to have to disguise myself as a pensioner again and see what is on the shelves. They cancelled my broccoli too, and the antiseptic wipes. It’s not much of a service really, even on the rare occasion when you can get a slot. Tomorrow I have to drive to the opposite side of town to do my shopping, but as it limits my contact to one shop assistant in a car park rather than dozens of shelf stackers and pensioners in the shop, I’m prepared to put up with the inconvenience.

Julia had an email last week, telling her she had an appointment with the doctor today at 11.10. She rang just after the email to query it but the receptionist said that the appointment had been entered on the system by the doctor herself and (a) she couldn’t tell Julia what was about or (b) why it was necessary to go to the surgery. You could probably have added (c) couldn’t be bothered to find out. To be fair they seem to be working with just one receptionist these day, so she probably didn’t have time to do anything else.

A few days later I had a letter from the hospital telling me that my telephone appointment with rheumatology had been brought forward and that I had to be at the hospital for 10.45 on Thursday morning. This arrived on Saturday so I had to wait until today to ring and check.

We obviously weren’t happy with these appointments as there’s no point in self-isolating if you get called out by the NHS to mingle with all manner of sick people.

We were on the point of leaving for Julia’s appointment when the phone rang.It was the doctor.

“Oh!” Said Julia, “I’m just setting off for the appointment now.”

This puzzled the doctor, who thought she’d arranged for a telephone appointment. Clearly, there is room for improvement with the system.

I then rang the hospital. It took me over twenty five minutes to get an answer as everyone passed me on or avoided picking up the phone. Eventually I did get an answer, the letter was a mistake and they would phone me to conduct the appointment.

So again, a system that isn’t working. It’s difficult to understand how, having sent me one letter with a telephone appointment, they didn’t just reprint it with the new details. This isn’t really a problem due to the coronavirus, it’s a problem with basic inefficiency.

However, I smiled and thanked everybody as they passed me on. They have enough problems without me grumbling and complaining.

But it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to grumble and complain on here – if we’d left five minutes earlier than planned, or if I’d just turned up at hospital what would they have done then?

Just to make my day worse the card reader on the computer packed up. I really don’t know why they can’t build one that lasts. Camera manufacturers seem able to build durable systems, why can’t computer manufacturers?

Fortunately, the pasties and ratatouille were good, and the rhubarb and apple crumble was excellent, so it all turned out well in the end. There is little that can’t be improved by the addition of fruit crumble.

Sorry about the lack of photos – I took an easy shortcut and duplicated a couple of recent shots.

Some Thoughts from Lockdown

I have just been complaining to Julia about the unfairness of life. Not the big unfairnesses like the lack of a lottery win, or not being born into generations of privilege, but the irritating little ones, like failing to go shopping the day before the panic started. Or being 61 instead of 59. (If you are 59 you are a lot less likely to die than if you are 60, according to the Government figures). And let’s face it, if you can’t trust the Government, who can you trust?

We bought memberships of the National Trust and English Heritage for Christmas, with the intention of visiting a lot of their properties this year. This  would have kept us active and given me plenty of photographic practice.

It hasn’t happened, and it is looking increasingly unlikely that it will happen at all this year, with most things being closed. To be fair, it isn’t all the fault of the virus, a number of local English Heritage properties were undergoing renovation anyway, and weren’t in a fit state for photography.

Looking on the bright side, it could be worse. We might have taken out Life Membership.

Having looked at the mortality figures for my age and underlying conditions in relation to the coronavirus, this would have been a poor investment. It’s always been ironic that by the time you feel able to take out a lifetime membership of one of these organisations it probably isn’t cost-effective.

From a bug that could be defeated by handwashing, and which only affected the over-70s with health problems, it seems to have changed into a bug that affects over-60s with a few health problems I hadn’t even thought of as problems. And it can now only be cured by spending 12 weeks locked in your house.

If I’d known that 12 weeks of lounging round snacking and watching TV was a cure for serious illness I’d have taken this medical stuff more seriously. In fact, considering my lifestyle (or life – there is, let’s face it, no “style” about the way I live), I really shouldn’t be ill at all.

I’ve also been reading articles on how to spend weeks cooped up with Julia without a murder occurring. I told her this, and she muttered that it was already too late. From the fact I’m still able to write I assume she’s forming an intention but hasn’t quite got round to method and means yet. I may have to start feeding her chocolate. It doesn’t mention chocolate in the articles I’ve read, but I’m pretty sure it will work.

Today’s header picture is an interesting stone from the car park at Aldeburgh. We were there in East Anglia for three days last week – which will form the third part of my A Week I Wouldn’t Want Again series.

If you are planning on three days away my advice would be not to set off on the day the Government tells you not to travel.