Thursday, 7 January 2021

New Year :: New Hope

Hello Lovelies, we are having some properly cold weather here at the moment. The frost has not melted all day today. It is pretty but I do worry chilly temperatures will help the virus to spread.
 Also I'm a bit miffed we didn't get a cold snap like this last January, when I was starting my 2020 temperature blanket. I use lilac and purple colours for negative degrees Celsius and they are so pretty. At least it's seasonal this year...the weather is behaving as it should, even if nothing else is. 

On New Years Eve it was so cold that I wasn't keen to go out in the garden and join Eldest's fire celebration. But in the end it was really lovely and not cold at all, sitting by the heat of the fire. He also cooked some Haloumi on the flames using a battered old frying tasted soooooo good.

Middle son saw me trying to get a half decent moon photo through the thin cloud. He set up my tripod and managed this, which I was impressed with considering the mist...and smoke :0)

 Four days into the new year it was announced we needed another lockdown here in England....not surprising to me as I'm a little bit data obsessed regarding Covid. It's a morbid fascination and not a helpful habit, but I feel the need to know. I've lived a lockdown type life since I retired in the summer, well 99% of the time. Not been in a shop more than a handful of times, nor in anybody else's house or a pub/restaurant/caf├ę.

 It hasn't felt like a hardship...well except mum and I did enjoy our afternoon cafe visits pre pandemic. Last summer she would come and sit in our garden and I'd provide tea and homemade cake. But that's all off at the moment. 

 Day to day I do enjoy my slow days though. I've rediscovered a love of ironing....which I used to manage little of when the boys were growing up and I was working. Simple tasks like this are therapeutic, if you have the time 

And my tea towel drawer looks so nice :0)

Being home all the time it's nice to have different things for lunch, not a packed sandwich at work. This was the last of the posh cheese we had over Christmas, which I have attempted to make more healthy by adding fruit :0)

 Yesterday the kitchen (which has no radiator) was so cold I resorted to baking to warm it up a bit. Nothing healthy about this ginger cake....ooops :0)

But treats are allowed, right. Just look at this mixture. Yummy

I also finished off my homemade mince meat by making one final batch of mince pies. These have almost all gone already...they are so popular. Eldest said they were the best I had made this year. I squeezed in more filling to use it up....that's obviously the secret.

My walking is going really well at the moment...what with a new exciting challenge and all that. I'm somewhere between Penzance and Truro in Cornwall at the moment ( that's 27 miles in ) in my virtual LEJOG walk

It was rather muddy but sunny yesterday, despite the cold. 

A small win of lockdown is that there is no golf balls to dodge as all sport ( except elite) is banned.

So I can wander across the fairways in safety (it is a public footpath).

I've also been making myself some new mittens. They are made with two strands of yarn held together to make them nice and chunky.

And the right hand is specially modified for phone photography :0)
 Looks a bit odd but it's better than taking my glove on and off or just wearing wrist warmers, which make your fingers and thumb cold.

It's all pretty wintry out there right now, but these catkins caught my eye.

And the roads are quiet again, due to our stay at home order.

There's so much light in the woodlands.

It illuminates any remaining greenery.

Testing my balance. Suck in those abdominal muscles Jacquie!

Phew, made it. Time to clean my boots. 

Oh dear a wet foot.

My faithful old wellies had split...sad times.

Back home these pretty violas on my doorstep brought back a smile.

Oh and I see Amazon has been :0)

And indoors I'm on the edge of my temperature blanket. Ta dah to follow shortly...I hope.

Crochet and sticky ginger cake, the perfect reward for a chilly winter walk and a wet foot.

Recipe's good!

I'm writing this post while admiring my Devon calendar....I'll be virtually walking there in a bit :0)....and we have dared to book an actual visit in September! It's a "cheap as chips" caravan mini break....but you have got to have something to look forward to I think. Got to have hope.

There's hope for my wellies too, as the husband has cleverly patched up two holes with bits of old inner tube and strong glue. I'm impressed and hope it lasts as they are old friends.

The main hope I wanted to mention in this post though was.....Mum (who's 90) has got a covid vaccination appointment very soon!!.....woo hoo!!
 That's seriously exciting and brings us so much hope for 2021. I know it's not the end of this whole scary saga....but it feels like a huge step in the right direction. Thank goodness.

Jacquie x


  1. Your mince pies look great! Fab photos. Liz

  2. I am so thrilled that your Mum is getting the vaccine soon, it certainly does give the rest of us HOPE. The mince pies and ginger cake look delicious.

    1. Thank you. Yes I'm so happy for her. It's been quiet a year of isolation x

  3. You are so clever, making that hole for your thumb! I looked at that recipe for Ginger Cake. I am in America so will have to use molasses and honey, so wish me luck!

  4. I enjoyed your sunny can-do attitude and all the neat photos. Now I want ginger cake! I even got some of that black treacle in my pantry! I'll go click on the recipe now. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    1. Oooh you have treacle Teresa. I'm surprised. Hope you are keeping well x

  5. Great news about your Mum's appointment for the vaccine jab. My uncle (103years old) had to postpone his last week as he was snowed in! I keep trying to convince myself that mud (in the words of the song!) is glorious but still don't like it. I often carry a walking pole but rarely use it for balance - it just inspires confidence! (Well, I am a good bit older than you!) As you say, hope is so important and I am looking forward to some get-togethers with the family in the summer to be funded by my walking challenge. I'm putting aside a set amount for each 10 miles walked and hope to have a reasonable sum for treats later in the year. I may just drop in from time to time to see where I've walked to on your challenge but don't think I've got the staying power to follow it regularly! Oops, I've drivelled on....... Vicki

    1. So frustrating for your uncle Vicki. It's always lovely to read your comments. What a great idea to save money for miles walked x

  6. The sneak peak of your temperature blanket looks lovely, so much hard work put in.Chunky mitts perfect for winter walking. Glad mum is getting her jab soon.I feel there is hope for 2021. Take care x

  7. We love a fire celebration here, and a full moon. Your cake looks delish and I'm looking forward to seeing your completed blanket. As always, I enjoyed coming along on your walk. Take care - and good news for your mum. x

  8. Cosy mitts for your walking. Glad your mum is getting her jab. Take care x

  9. That is great that your mother is getting the vaccine soon. Do love the mittens....hole in thumb very nifty. I bet it catches on. Lots of yummy goodies....delicious I am sure :-) keep well Amanda x

  10. Oh! dear I am a little behind!! I have been concentrating on getting the baby blanket I am making finished..done now..sigh! Awesome photos all these goodies look so scrumptious! Really like your mittens very original. I think the minus a thumb tip will catch on :-) keep well Amanda x

  11. Actually, your mittens are wonderful for cold winter days. Thanks for sharing.


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