A Ramble about Lockdown Projects and Stuff..(Trials and Tribulations)

Kitchen
I decided to write about my exciting projects that have ensued during the last couple of weeks. The first being, (not at all exciting) is decluttering my kitchen cupboards and shock horror deep cleaning them and spraying with disinfectant (obviously) which, due to the lockdown thought might be prudent. Not exactly going to stop me getting Coronavirus but still. I also managed to get some yukky, stuck on, cooking debris surrounding and on the cooker hood off too. Very pleased with the overall result. The kitchen is now sparkling. One thing I’ve learnt about Lockdown cleaning is, it is better to concentrate on smaller areas but deep clean them properly. Boring as it is, at least it is done and you can declutter at the same time. I listen to podcasts during this task to make it less tedious. Oh, and who else is washing up their food shopping? The hot soapy water comes out and everything gets a good sloshing. Jeez. What a waste of time.


Lounge
Now I hate being stuck in the house for too long but even I’ve realised if the lockdown is going on for ages (ever!) then I will have to make use of the time. To be perfectly honest, all this flinging myself around the lounge, doing home workouts, doesn’t achieve much. Well, not really.
Now our lounge needed decorating and hubby and I hate decorating but I decided we should get on with it rather than procrastinating. Let’s face it, there isn’t much else to do.
Incidentally, I’ve started a small business which I’m supposed to be making official with an online shop but it includes being out with the public and so this isn’t going to happen now. So, the time had come to just get on with other isolation shite! Decorating. 
Bless him, hubby doesn’t do things by half. If we decorate it has to be thorough, and I mean thorough. This includes removing the blinds, our pictures, furniture, and covering the floor with taped up old sheets. We then locate and fill in the tiny cracks, and then rub them down and wash every surface. All this took a couple of days before we even start to paint. Phew. Exhausting this decorating malarkey. I do agree with doing all of this though, and as we haven’t decorated the lounge for ages, it was necessary to do it thoroughly. Also, it kept me occupied and for the first time in my life I quite enjoyed the tasks.
During all this, we texted the youngsters and my daughter was astounded and remarked: “Two days preparation? Cor, I barely do an hour and then tosh the paint on!”
Which to be honest, is what I suspected. People who enjoy decorating, probably don’t do it properly! There. I’ve said it. To be fair, sometimes it doesn’t need all the preparation but our lounge certainly did. Young people just move furniture out of the way, shove a few sheets over their stuff and paint. Yes, I’m probably being unfair. Who cares? I’m in a grumpy lockdown mood these days haha. Anyway, we did eventually paint the ceiling, walls and that was another surprise. I started painting the wall a light yellow and moaned I couldn’t see where I’d painted. My husband found the original paint pot and realised we’d only gone and picked the same colour! Couldn’t believe it, after all these years.
We had to ‘click and collect’ the paint (because of lockdown) so I knew the paint colours were a bit of a risk because we couldn’t just replace them. However, it is easy for me to make excuses not to decorate so I decided to take the risk on both colours and amount.
So, luckily, whilst we were choosing paint, we decided we were going to do one wall different because it would all look similar, although somewhat fresher. We painted the other (fireplace) wall green and of course, it dried out minty green and I wanted a lighter garden green, you know when the leaves first come out, sort of green. So that was a bit disappointing although I have to say, now I’ve got all my artwork up and furniture in, it looks kind of funky and modern and I’m really pleased with it. All the hard work paid off. I haven’t bought any new lighting, rugs, etc. because I feel it can wait until we are out of this lockdown.
All in all, I enjoyed the above tasks. It is better than being bored and scared. I found the whole project of decorating quite cathartic. No, I can’t believe I’ve just said that either!!! Fundamentally, it is good for my head to get on with stuff.
One thing I’ve learnt through this, is that I thought I was quite lazy but I actually like to keep busy. Hubby often walks into a room, sees me doing something, and mumbles something about “what is she up to now?” One tip, I can mention is to change your ornaments/art/photos etc. around. It gives the room a refresh. I took a much loved surrealist original painting from the dining room, into the lounge and changed all the other paintings and I love the change.
Since all this I’ve been reading loads and surprise, surprise escaping the world, by walking.

Thanks for reading. It is a bit of a rambling ‘type and post’ one. Comment about what you’ve been up to.
Toodle pip.
Andrea x

Books – Travel, Memoir and a Dystopian Tale…

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I have not blogged for a while because I’ve finally realised if the Lockdown is going on for a few weeks, I will have to do some projects around the house. More of this coming but in the meantime here are some books I’ve been recently enjoying. 

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

My daughter recently bought me the above book for Mother’s Day and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it so here is my review.

The book is about Helen Russell moving, with her husband ‘Lego Man’, to Legoland, hmmm meant Jutland, Denmark.

A hilarious memoir about living in Denmark with mishaps, misunderstandings and discoveries relating to the Danish culture. An enlightening book where you discover the differences between British and Danish life with sassy, humorous and fascinating commentaries taking you through a whole calendar year of family life in Denmark.

Danes pay high taxes but work fewer hours, have a good work-life balance and a strong welfare state. The state provides free or low cost healthcare, childcare and all education, including university. There are some judgements Russell made about Denmark, which are probably just her specific experiences, such as Danish socialising construed as obligatory evening classes and traditional village activities. Obviously, people are proud of their environment and want to relay a particular image to foreigners. Although, to be fair, Russell did admit that Denmark isn’t quite the gender-equality utopian ideology which is proudly conveyed by the Danish community.

I didn’t agree with everything she said about British life. I think some of her comparisons were based upon London middle class rat race commuter life. For example, most people don’t work longer than their allotted hours.

This book got me through the first few weeks of lockdown and I was sorry when I finished it. Highly entertaining. 

Here are some other books I’ve enjoyed:

Body Tourists Jane Rogers

An intriguing book about a scientist who has worked out how to transfer digital identities of rich, dead people into the bodies of young (poor) volunteers. A dystopian view which is so weird it is fascinating. There are thought provoking questions to consider throughout and I won’t forget this book for a long time which is always a sign of a good read, don’t you think?

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Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

A moving portrayal of Toru Watanabe’s memories of a previous life as a student in the 60s. His friend suddenly died and he has a troubling but close relationship with Kizuki’s girlfriend, Naoko. The book explores love, rebellion, mental health, friendship and vulnerability. The story is an intimate snapshot of life in 60s Japan too.

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Mrs P’s Journey by Sarah Hartley

A true story about the woman who created the A – Z London map book! A portrayal of Phyllis Pearsall’s life during her traumatic childhood, unsatisfactory marriage and subsequent frustration at the lack of maps of London. Phyllis set about covering 23,000 streets, on foot, and then produces the relevant maps and eventually sets up her own company. Pure brilliance.

Calypso by David Sedaris

Oh this is another hilarious book! Fabulous and well written. Sedaris buys a beach house on the Carolina coast and with his sharp observations about middle age and mortality the story is uplifting, contemporary, insightful and a little dark too. I can highly recommend and writing this has reminded me to read more of Sedaris’ stuff.

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Thanks for reading and stopping by.

News, Meditation and Wellbeing

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News chat

As I mentioned, I’ve decided to watch less news and just read the BBC news once or twice a day. To be honest, this is still probably too much. It is vital to be informed but there is only so much to can endure before you realise that…

I know enough
I’m doing enough and I’m playing my part to the best of my ability…

Everyone is expected to be well informed but all the news is about one thing. To some extent, it is understandable but you can watch too much and become more and more scared. Also, it does help to occupy yourself to the best of your ability to take your mind off all the bad, negative stuff and not waste time. Well, we can waste a bit of time, but not too much. Haha.

The Hippy Bit…

I belong to a mindfulness group. Not sure if it is my thing but it is interesting and we put the world to rights after the mindfulness bit, over a cuppa and biscuits.

Now we have a Whatsapp group and a few things have been suggested to do now we can’t meet up. Looking and watching nature, is one thing. Is it me, or have all the birds come out? We’ve got a sparrow who keeps tapping manically on the window (eek). Also, under my summerhouse, there has been a tiny chaffinch fluttering about making noise. They seem more prevalent but this could be because we’ve time to notice.

Another thing mentioned has been a meditation app. called Virtual Hope Box. The Mindfulness leader asked us to try the Beach meditation where you imagine a transcendental beach scene. Guess who didn’t want to wake up? This is quite uplifting and relaxing, so worthwhile. I also do a controlled breathing exercise. Hope this may be good for the lungs! The app is free which is another added bonus.

During this worrying time, it is useful to find ways of disciplining yourself and focus naturally. Meditation is said to help you become happier, relaxed, focused, sleep, reduce pain, lower blood pressure and connect to others. If you focus on sounds whilst meditating, it helps to relax and stop your mind over thinking which is often, in these scary times. I like to try to meditate whilst moving. The endorphins help reduce stress levels in the brain, reducing worry and helps explore more positive feelings. This seems to work because if I’m feeling miserable it is usually because I haven’t been moving enough!

For me it is a new skill and has deemed to be a profound, valuable and calming effect. It clears my mind and encourages feelings of peace and a sense of awareness that forms an enriching experience.

Chat…

Life has certainly become quieter and slower. I don’t know about you, but my gratitude for the natural world has gone through the roof. Always been a city girl but this whole time has made me more present in nature. From what I’m hearing, I’m not the only one either. Little shopping, no people and rediscovering how to stretch food and enjoy countryside walks. So there are positives so long as you don’t catch the disease. Each day, I wake up I’m thankful I’m not ill. It feels like a permanent Sunday, doesn’t it? I’m surprised how I’ve just got on with it without becoming bored or lonely. Maybe in a few weeks…

If you are struggling at the moment, I can suggest trying meditation. There is an abundance of free resources online which are certainly worth exploring.

Things to do which may help…

Exercise.. stroll/walk/run/workout/Garden
Meditate
Cook/Sew
Read
Write or do something creative
Start a project (decluttering, organising, decorate* or make something)
*A doctor on television suggested that we don’t do any DIY because the NHS does not what people coming in with injuries.
Phone someone and chat

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Television, Walks and Favourite Podcasts

I’ve decided to stop watching the daily updates and news for a few days as it just creates anxiety. Unfortunately, it is all bad news so I will be reading my news on the BBC page which is comprehensive and useful.


Television (Netflix)
We’ve been watching Jack Whitehall Travels with my Father, whilst drinking beer in the evening and this has been a roaring success. Nothing like having comedy on to cheer you up. Also, it is about the countries they visit, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and fascinating as a travel vlog. Father and son go off together for a ‘gap year’ which Jack didn’t finish in 2009. His father, Michael Whitehall, is an unadventurous well dress gentleman whose obvious distaste of most things Jack related, is hilarious. They journey across South East Asia to partake in some rather curious explorations, mishaps and escapades, and comically demonstrates two diverse perspectives. However, ultimately they find it is a good way to strengthen their father and son bond and proves a successful adventure.



Walks Tuesday
We’ve continued with our country walks. The first one with David (husband), included a trip to the other end of the village where there is a private school and The Old Church. This is set in copious amounts of farmland, orchards and woodland. The sun was shining and we really appreciated being outside. When we arrived at The Old Church we met and chatted with another couple (4 metres plus away) who was discovering all the local walks during this (lockdown) time, having moved to the area of Kent 11 years ago! They are certainly making up for it now. Their walks were derived from some printed maps given to them when they moved in.

Yesterday – Wednesday
I decided to go for a solitary stroll across the local recreation ground and into the woods. I really enjoyed walking for about 50 minutes which got me out of the house. Don’t get me wrong, I have been decluttering, organising and cleaning my home but I’m afraid I will always find ways to escape the four walls into the outside world.
Whilst walking I listened to the Minimalists podcast which is one of those easy to listen to chatty podcasts which is often thought-provoking. To be honest, these days I listen to BBC podcasts but forgot to download for my walk, so I just tried this one which had been downloaded but not listened to…

The Minimalists 197 Successful People

A listener asks ‘How do I find what I’m passionate about and when should I give the passion up?
The basic premise is not what are you are passionate about but what you are enthusiastic about? Everyone knows what they are enthusiastic about. Which friend am I passionate about or which friend am I enthusiastic about? This stops the excitement perspective which doesn’t necessarily translate into a long-term interest. You just seem to know what you are enthusiastic about.

30 Day Challenge
Answer 3 questions for 30 days.
What made me feel enthusiastic today?
What drained me of energy today?
What did I learn about myself today?

Don’t give up until 30 days. You will feel like you’ve got all the juice out of the lemon before 30 days and will see a pattern after the 28th day. Not before.

Favourite Podcasts

5 Live Science Podcast (like the Aussie Dr Karl)

Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee

Fortunately… with Fi and Jane

The Infinite Monkey Cage

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

The Minimalists


When I got home, I set about making a huge bolognaise sauce full of beef, tomatoes, stock, herbs and masses of vegetables. I plan to make it last several days, so I even added grated carrots. Probably on the second day, I will add chili and beans to turn it into a chili con carnie.

Thursday
I just listened to music and did a home workout. All good fun. I’m enjoying the soulful tunes of Lianne La Havas and Marc O’ Reilly on Spotify, at the moment. During the afternoon we popped to a nearby brewery and bought lots, and I mean lots, of ale for both of us. After that excitement, I read my book (a review will be forthcoming) The Year of Living Danishly and then cooked the dinner (Chili Con Carni).

During the evening we had a lively chat with family which is always fun. I’m glad to know they are well and busy working from home. I’ve recently heard of someone with the virus and am very concerned for her. Hopefully, she will make a quick recovery.

Anyway, I will sign off here. Let me know how you are passing the time?

 

Cooking Spanish Tortilla…

I did my workout this morning which has cleared the mind and is good for the soul and decided to cook something different for lunch…


After much thought, I decided to cook a Spanish Tortilla. Only 3 ingredients and seasoning. What’s not to like?
I chopped some potatoes, small onion and beat 5 eggs. This will last us 2 days of lunches.

Cooked the potatoes for 10 mins, on a low heat. Added onions for another 10 minutes and seasoned the egg mixture.


Poor the cook potatoes and onion in the uncooked egg and leave for 10 minutes before you cook. This part, is the bit that makes a true Spanish Tortilla.
Throw everything in a pan and cook for, you guessed it, 10 minutes.
Turn over carefully and cook the top for 5 minutes and slide onto a plate. Done. We had salad with ours and thoroughly enjoy it.

By the way, the film was Film Stars don’t die in Liverpool. Quite enjoyed it and based on a true story. About the actress Gloria Grahame who finds romance with a younger man, but then her life changes when she becomes seriously ill. I can recommend it.

 

Workouts, park woodland walking, chatting, clapping, a visit to The Lockdown Inn and thoughts…

As the days flow by, I do seem to be slightly less apprehensive and more resigned to the situation. For some reason, that I can’t fathom, I became calmer once the UK lockdown was announced. This is probably because everything has become rigid but more organised.


There is a queuing system at our local Tesco’s now, only allowing 40 people in the store at once. The online and click and collect is now more or less reserved for the vulnerable folks, which is fair enough and the mass hysterical panic buying has abated somewhat. At least loo rolls seem to be filtering back into some of the stores. Hooray for that!


Thursday –

The day was spent doing exercise! Thought I’d try The Body Coach’s workout at 9 am. It is meant for school children but what the hell. Anyway, it is really good and consists of arduous exercises (running, lunges, planks, box kick, Russian twists, squats, crunches, push-ups, etc). Then I tried a yoga video (Beginners Yoga with Adrian) which I am rubbish at but was sort of relaxing. Lots of breathing, downward dogs, twisting, warrior posing and more breathing. All of the above is on YouTube and can be transferred to your television by pressing the square Wi-Fi type sign, in the right-hand corner.


During the afternoon, I drove a couple of minutes to our local park for a walk. Don’t know about you, but I can’t stand being indoors all the time. The park is a beautiful space but, on this occasion, too busy for my liking. Kept dodging people by walking on the grass. Trying to keep more than 2 metres away from everyone! What a weird situation we are all in. Still lovely to get out and people watch. I didn’t have Oscar with me, so pondered whether park visitors may think I was strange, bonkers or stupid wandering about on my own. They didn’t. Everyone else seemed to be doing the same.


During the evening I cooked a salmon dish with mushrooms, peppers, onions, red wine, herbs, mustard seeds, fennel and a little cream cheese. We had boiled potatoes with the fish. After this, I had a video chat on WhatsApp with my daughter. It is lovely to catch up. Miss seeing family and friends but we will get through this. We temporarily ended the call to go outside and clap for the wonderful work the NHS, etc. are doing. This was an incredibly successful event. You could hear clapping, cheering and pot banging from miles around. Fantastic and quite emotional! At least it shows we care. Also, the Government has had over 600,000 applications for people wanting to assist the NHS as voluntary Responders, which includes picking and delivering prescriptions, phoning isolated folk and taking people for medical assistance, etc. Feeling proud of the UK at present. Shows how, as a nation, we can pull together.


Friday

Again, the sun was shining so David and I decided to venture out for a long walk in our local woods. We have a footpath walkers’ map and have become accustomed to using it again. We used to go for long walks with our children and they enjoyed marking the map to demonstrate where we had been. Anyway, the light on the trees was incredible and it was uplifting as we strolled about the orchards, fields and woodland. We really enjoyed it. One thing that has come from this experience is that I am discovering the outdoors again and small independent shops. Maybe, this will change how people live their lives.


When we arrived home, we had a sandwich and then got the deckchairs out and sat in the sun. It was a bit chilly (it is only March after all) but really enjoyed the warmth on my face and even got a little burnt. Before I knew it, my husband woke me up with a toasted, buttered hot cross bun and cup of tea which was devoured very quickly.


I had a phone chat with a friend who said, when I told her about feeling anxious, that it is about changing your mindset and getting into a routine. (She had been laid up for 6 weeks after an operation.) However, being laid up, is not the same at all. Everyone is scared and frightened. Although, the ‘jolly hockey sticks, stiff British upper lip’ attitude is probably correct. One of her friends said she felt she was on holiday in her own home. Must say this is a thought-provoking perspective on the worldwide situation.


I am trying to keep my worries under control by keeping busy and not watching/reading the news more than necessary. Must say, incidentally, how impressed I am with how the British government has dealt with this. It may not be perfect, but considering it is a new situation, they are, like everyone, doing their best to help and inform the British public.


Saturday – A visit to The Lockdown Inn

Now although I have endured and enjoyed plenty of exercise there is no denying, I like a drink or two. So, I spent much of the morning working out to a The Body Coach’s 30-minute HIIT session (exhausting), read in the afternoon and then had a boozy call with the young family folk. We chatted (via Zoom) about our week, where we’d been for exercise, beer, restaurant takeaway meals, and of course, the current situation. Really revelled in it all.


Thoughts

So, I’m constantly washing my hands, cleaning door handles and even food packaging. Who would have thought it? My husband is, when he sees me with a bucket and cleaning materials, actually saying sentences like ‘What are you cleaning now?’ I am trying to keep busy, sorting, decluttering, cleaning, listening to podcasts, music, walking, writing and reading, all of which I enjoy. I’ve even unpacked my case this week as we were supposed to be on a holiday.


Overall, the struggle to adapt is real but I’m pleased to come through another week without catching it.


Thanks for reading my rambling post. Speak soon. Take care and stay safe.  Andrea x

The new shopping experience and ideas for my future blog…

Apparently, in Italy, they had panic buying but after a couple of weeks the shops were fully stocked again and people calmed down. To be fair, I’ve been fairly lucky because David and I did a big shop before the panic started and were able to buy loo rolls and essentials. However, I understand it has been dreadful for people, particularly the elderly, vulnerable and health workers who have worked long shifts.

I can’t understand why people cannot shop as normal. Food shops won’t close even in a lockdown situation. Apparently, the supermarkets are employing temporary staff. Anyway, recently I had a bad day, full of anxiety and decided to go to our local farm shop. It was fully stocked with fruit, vegetables, pickles, mayonnaise, salad, wine, beer, ham, bacon and it was quiet. Bliss!!!

When I told my friend, she could shop the first hour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to our local supermarket, she informed me she was going to make use of her local grocers and the farm shop ‘because we don’t want to lose it’. Very sensible.

So, thought I’d remind people there are other options other than supermarkets:

Tips:
Go to your local shops
Farm Shops
Garden Centre (Ours has an excellent meat counter)
Small ‘I sell everything’ grocers
Pubs/Restaurants are now selling takeaways
Order online (which I’ve only done once, and hated)*
Click and Collect*

*These options don’t appear to be available at the moment. Panic buying!

After this post, I will be writing most days a diary type blog. I think it is vital to record what you are feeling, doing and seeing.

Update: David ventured forth to the local middle sized supermarket and remarked that ‘it wasn’t too bad.’ Although still didn’t have loo rolls and limited brands. Perhaps, the nincompoops now have enough sanitiser, baby food, wipes, washing powder, ready meals, etc. Let’s hope so.

Thanks for reading my blog.

 

Hastings Old Town

The Home Workout

Sunday…

Today I decided to do a home workout. Luckily, we’ve some dumbbells and kettlebells, a mat and some knowledge from years of going to a local gym. However, you don’t need equipment or knowledge. There are plenty of inspiring experts around on the internet especially YouTube. Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) is doing a school fitness session every morning Mon – Friday, at 9 am. He has loads of videos on Youtube too.
I’ve been doing the home workouts for a few weeks and quite enjoy the exercise. What better way to strengthen your immune system from the comfort of your own home. Also, it is a healthy pursuit which passes the time because it is boring when you can’t go to the pub. A home workout will, with some effort, improve strength, performance, and endurance.
Plus, although I do actually like going to the gym there are some advantages. You don’t have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction, you won’t have to endure an I.T. degree to work out the equipment, and if you fall asleep on the yoga mat (through boredom) no one will know!

“I walked into, and knocked over, a Christmas tree at a yoga studio… admittedly it was a “yoga” styled tree (i.e. some twigs with lights on them). I couldn’t put it back together. I ruined the zen of the studio and my ego.” – Diane

If you are just beginning, start slowly as you don’t want an injury now! You can use other things for weights such as a tin of beans (if you can get them) or a filled up a bottle of milk. Use the milk and fill it with water, of course. Don’t slosh water over your face whilst exercising (or your hands, which you’ve washed eight times before breakfast).
To get my sleepy limbs going, the warm up usually involves some protracted movement and moaning but when I’m in the swing of it, I quite enjoy the exercise, believe it or not. Also, it helps me build a routine into the day.
Make sure you do a good warm-up to get you firing on all cylinders. Some days are better than others. This morning I felt quite decrepit but kept persevering. Yes, you guessed it, I had a few glasses of wine last night.
My routine involves:
Warm-up
Kettlebell exercises
Stair exercises
General exercises (without weights)
Dumbell exercises
Gentle Yoga type stuff
Stretch
Relax Mindfully

 

 

 

 

 

Walking Ideas (whilst we can)

I thought I’d better start with this topic because it is important. Especially at the moment. Disclaimer: I’m not a qualified health professional, so these are my ideas.

I’m focusing on coping mechanisms over the next few weeks which I hope will be helpful. Rather than wallowing in thoughts, as prone to do, it is better to be proactive.

A family member suggested I write again, so here goes. The best way to prepare is a plan so I’ve made a list of stuff (see yesterday’s list) but may also be inspired by some online education, virtual tours with an imposed virtual social life. This is going to be a tough period but we have to make the best of it.

As I’m trying not to struggle mentally, I feel it is vital to plan, in some gentle way, what you can do in the coming weeks. Even if you aren’t into the natural environment, now is the time to make changes to your routine and try ways of getting some fresh air and find your ideal space and interests. It’s easy to sit around and become bored so google some local green spaces or just check out some old maps you’ve probably got lying around. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been struggling too!!

As we can still go out, in some capacity, we should. Obviously, avoid busy places. Although, they don’t exist anymore. I’ve been going to the local park, woodland walks and wandering around the village.

The local park has a beautiful tranquil lake with plenty of space, away from others. It’s a few minutes’ drive so I usually take Oscar, a friend’s dog, as it has elegant wild grassy slopes, flowers, trees, fields, streams and is not too muddy. A great place to be mindful with magnificent views across the lake.

However, yesterday, I just went for a solitary walk through my local woods. This is great because it is a 5-minute walk from my home. Nothing like a woodland walk to calm your worries. I didn’t go with my friend’s dog so just walked along the top path near housing. It was quite special hearing the birds, seeing the blossom, walking through copious amounts of mud, taking photographs and not seeing anyone. It felt good for the soul and safe. I was going to go back along the road but realised the school would be finishing so turned around and ventured back the  way I had come. I tend to walk for about an hour, quite briskly to get the old heartbeat up. I take my phone, but only because I nearly got lost in our local woods a few years ago. Apart from emergencies, I tend to ignore it and I’d rather not have it on me.

Of course, not everyone has a park or woods near them. I would suggest a speedy walk along the pavements. Try to go when it is quiet (early morning/evening). I’ve had people walk round me into the road so as not to walk past me!

Walking can help mental health and overcome feelings of anxiety and creates a feeling of being with nature in a natural environment. It is useful to see what is around you and listen more and notice more than you normally do.

Most people have parks, woodland or green spaces near them which will have a positive effect. Go on, give it a go.

Tips:
Look on local maps and explore local green spaces
Walk for at least half an hour
Don’t look at your phone
Enjoy the peace and quiet
Submerge yourself in your surroundings – Be mindful, visually and be aware of the audible range

Back to Blogging…

Sorry, it has been so long! I’ve been meaning to return for some time. Obviously, with all that is going on in the world, now is a good time to blog.

Deciding what to write isn’t as complicated as you would envisage. Focusing on what you can do rather than what you can’t, is my intention. We are, at the very least, social distancing or even self-isolating. Or, as I am, somewhere in between.

Topics will be the usual MISHMASH. The content will be suggesting and exploring ideas rather than telling you what you should be doing! The aim is to be as helpful as possible, in these troubling times.

As the whole business, is so worrying at present, I aim to inform, entertain and maintain wellbeing. The content will be researched, informative but also just fun.
Here are some topic which I will be investigating:

Health, Fitness, and Wellbeing
Gardening
Cooking and Food Shopping
Podcasts
Books/reading
Social Media, online education and virtual tours/life
Photography, films, telly, etc.

Hopefully, my new chatty approach will be interesting and if you’ve any ideas let everyone know in the comments.