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Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

the lockdown log 18


Last week the garden project took a big step forward and I needed to stop faffing about and get a new shed. My problem is that when I started all of this off about four months ago I could have had a shed delivered within two or three weeks, but now three to four months seemed to be the norm. Where am I top to now; plan K perhaps?

A local tip off suggested that there was someone across town who might be able to do better and so it proved, but it meant a drive pout to a garden centre where the company had a sales office. After all this time of masking up and going to supermarkets you might think that this would be no problem, and I have been to a garden centre once already this lockdown, but this trip made me feel uncomfortable for some reason.

I could have just ‘phoned, but I wanted to see the product before buying as I want to be sure about the quality of the product, so a personal visit was essential. All was fine and a new shed is on order for delivery in early September, not ideal, but six weeks is better that twelve. On my way home I stopped off at one of the out of town M&S food stores we have here and ended up doing what will be the main shop for this week, so a double win.

We have seen a surge in Covid-19 cases here in Swindon over the last week and people are getting a bit twitchy again. There is the usual claptrap on social media; one comment about several cases at a local distribution warehouse blamed it on casual workers there claiming that “they come to work and then go home”. Don’t we all do that? I have been trying to look at Facebook and Twitter less lately as even the hypocrisy of my Lefty friends has become boring rather than a source of daly amusement.

The Berkshire Belle had begun to make encouraging noises about possibly venturing out, but with a new surge of cases she has retreated into her shell and I know better than to try and prod her out of it. We are coming upon on the twin anniversaries of 29 years married and 31 years together so I might, just, be getting her worked out.

The problem with this mental health thing is that it is all in the mind. As long as I can keep a bit of mine behaving itself I can usually overcome the negativity in the rest of it, but what works for me doesn’t;t necessarily work for everyone. It helps that I am a natural optimist, even in the face of seemingly overwhelming forces I am always looking for the solution. The BB’ glass is always half empty though and maybe that is what we are still together after all this time; we balance each other.

In other news my lockdown diet has seen me drop 5 kg in four weeks so I am happy with progress there, especially as many others have gone in the opposite direction during lockdown. I am also drinking less alcohol and am down to a couple of glasses of wine a week, although that is not much of a reduction; I have just cut our the odd bottle of beer here and there.

Another week done. I hope that you are all staying safe and well too.

the lockdown log 16


A bit of a rant to start this one off and the topic is face masks. I have worn one to shop from the early days of the plague back in March. Yes it is a pain at times, especially when it fogs up my glasses (and yes, I have tried all of the remedies with little success so far) and it makes it hard for shop assistants to understand me when I ask for help finding something, but it seemed like a sensible precaution so I have worn one, mostly to protect others in case I have the lurgi and don’t know it yet.

Now the Mask Stasi have emerged, with brigades both for and against. The pro lobby are virtue signalling with gusto, posting photos of their disguised selves on-line and, often, being very patronising to those not wearing masks. The anti lot are just being obnoxious and both camps sicken me.

I wear a mask whilst shopping because, as I said above, it seemed sensible to do so. I don’t need the government to tell me to do it, but now they have. I am a big bloke with a big pair of lungs and can easily soak a mask in the course of a 20-30 minute shop. That makes it more risky for me, but if everyone is wearing a mask it brings that risk back down somewhat.

As someone who wears hearing aids both sides I have sympathy with those who need to lip read. Even with my assisted hearing I can rarely understand anything that someone wearing a mask says to me. OK, that is, in part, because so few people make any effort to enunciate well these days, but there is a bigger problem here that we are trying to fix.

So, bottom line, wear a mask in public, wear it properly and try to contribute to society. Rant over.

Back in lockdown mode I am back from the weekly shopping trip this morning and looking forward to spending some time on garden projects. One of the problems of ordering on-line has shown up this morning when the postman brought me the garden gate hinges that I ordered. For from the robust look that they had in the photo the pair that have slid out from the Jiffy bag look far from strong enough for my needs. I could have made a trip around two or three stores, but I don’t want to expose myself to more people than I have to. Perhaps the gate improvement project will have to wait.

I am emerging from the slough that I slipped into a couple of weeks back. I have tried to be positive throughout (my glass is always half full), but sometimes it takes a bit more than just telling yourself to buck up before it works. In my case I have had one job that I cannot do solo, at least not fast enough, and have been let down by contractors. Now I have that sorted and work starts next week so I have some hope of being able to make significant progress over the back end of the Summer.

It is nice to be planning things again. Whilst I have been a bit down I have been working one day at a time and trying to end each day with a summary of having achieved something. It works for me.

Stay safe all.

the lockdown log 13


It has been an odd week; torrential rain followed by temperatures in the thirties midweek, but today, Saturday, is grey and wet again. That’s how it goes these days, but the extremes and unpredictability seem at odds to what I remember from even ten years ago let alone thirty or forty. All signs of climate change I suppose.

Despite the relaxation of lockdown we ware still at the Full Monty here. I go to work five days out of seven and do odd shopping on my way home with a big shop on my day off while the Berkshire Belle stays stoically indoors. It suits us.

The behaviour of some of our fellow UK citizens is beyond belief though and we are appalled by their senseless acts. If this is what this country has come to then I am glad that I do not have too many more years to endure it.

Some of my projects have ground to a halt whilst I wait for certain trades to get back into action and that is a frustration as is the weather in the way that it has impacted on outdoor works. Taking stock of what I have managed to do though gives some encouragement and we have been enjoying the first fruits, literally, of some of my gardening.

Our shopping habits have changed in that we buy some food and all non food on-line now. We have found a fishmonger and a suit & veg box greengrocer Along with the butcher that we used to drive to once a month who now does on-line orders and those three provide our core needs. We have also benefitted from one of our favourite restaurants now providing mail order dishes and the first of those has been a great success. With me being able to bring home the odds and ends of basic supermarket shopping we are doing well enough.

The joy of shopping for us was always being able to wander around and look at stuff, often coming home with things that we had no intention of buying when we set out, but that is not going to be something we can return to for a while yet. We need a new TV as the current one is showing distinct signs of problems. Yes we can buy one n-line and may well have to do that, but we would prefer to be able to go and look at what is on offer. It is not that simple as yet. Our lives have changed and we do not yet know by how much.

We are not complaining about these changes; we accept that we are very lucky and regard this year’s radical change more as something that we have to live with. We would not have chosen it, but tough; life is like that. We will almost certainly not get our US holiday this year and are philosophical about whether or not we will ever go back there because the America that we love does not currently exist. Things there are turning into a disaster in terms of Covid-19 and what will emerge from the aftermath there we have no idea about at present.

There are a lot of folks much worse off than us so we will stick to our lockdown and enjoy what we have.

Stay safe one and all.