Category Archives: My Blog

Anything about my Blog which does not fit any of the other categories!

What Will You Do?

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Ignoring the fact that when Lockdown is lifted I think we will all be rushed off our feet with work/swimming etc, my question is

What Will You Do First?

Obviously I think the first thing will be a family get together and hopefully the weather will be good and we can be outside.

Then a friends get together.

A non-food shopping trip, even if I don’t buy anything it will be nice to be out and about.

Go for a drive in the countryside and perhaps walk just because we can.

Trip to the cinema if there any films we want to watch.

I am sure life will very quickly establish its normal patterns once the Lockdown is lifted, as we have seemed to get used to this not doing what we normally do!!! Perhaps it will also teach us not to rush around so much and take things a little slower and also appreciate our families and what we do have.

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It is Easter this weekend and for a lot of people it is going to be very different to normal with no Church visits and seeing family.  At least with modern technology you can take part in Church services on the TV or via your internet and the radio and calls to family can actually be made and you can see them which will bring some comfort.  I am really hoping that the sun is going to shine as that always makes things seem a little better.

We have a lovely sunny warm day here again in Derbyshire and I am very thankful for that.

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Treacle is making the most of the sunshine!

I have been working all morning and this afternoon I am doing home jobs, a huge basket of ironing to be precise!!!!  However I get to watch something on Netflix and that usually keeps me entertained whilst ironing.  I have to watch TV when I am ironing!!  I will do a post about what I have been watching.

Happy Wednesday (yes it is Wednesday in case you were wondering!!!) and Stay Safe.

Hugs & Love Susie xxx

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Week 3 of Lockdown!

How is everyone doing?  Life seems to be settling into a pattern and the thing I have noticed most is how much slower everything is.  As we cannot rush about here, there and everywhere and really are living each moment it is, in some ways, quite refreshing.  The Boys are finding it quite hard, however, as they are not at work which they hate and can’t wait to get back!  DH and I are keeping our business ticking over and hopefully we will be okay. 

I think my only concern is when, eventually, the restrictions are lifted it will be immediately manic mode and we will be then running around like headless chickens!!!!  I think I am going to try and make the most of this time whatever!!!!

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Over the weekend the weather was very nice and Spring like so I started the Spring Cleaning and got our Den completely cleaned from top to bottom.  This is where I work each and every day and DH when he is in, which is of course more at the moment!!!  One room down, eleven to go!!!

DH and Eldest continued with the front of our home project extending the drive.

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This is how it looked with the plants removed but the garden and wall still there.

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This is how it looks now!  We will eventually get some plants to put in at the top and down the side to make it look a little better and we will need some more stone to bring the level up before we get it filled in with tarmac. 

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As you can now see we can get three cars side by side and when it is finished we will be able to get Youngest & Girlfriend’s cars on the drive and DH at the front so we will not be creating a problem for our neighbours!!!!

Youngest and Girlfriend were busy, he was building small jumps for Simon, the horse (!), for when Girlfriend is training him.

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To also give Simon something different to look at when practicing they also built this, with the tops of the pillar conifers we took down.

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How about that for re-cycling!!!!

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It is great what our Boys are finding to do whilst they are off!!! 

I got some seeds planted and generally tidied up and have started to wash various items in our home that get done during Spring Cleaning, throws, cushions, curtains etc!!!  My only thought is I must get the Spring Cleaning finished before Lockdown ends because as I said earlier I think it will be manic when we are back!!!!!

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Our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has now been admitted to hospital for checks as he has been self isolating for two weeks but still has a high temperature.  We wish him a speedy recovery. 

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The Queen addressed the Nation last night from Windsor Castle, only the fifth time in her 68 year reign to have done that.  In those 68 years and during WWII she has seen the best and worst of humanity and had to navigate many turbulant times.  My personal view is that she is the Mother of our Country and we all know how much better we feel when our mothers are around.  We always listen to her Christmas address, but I think it was a great benefit to hear her speak last night. 

The four other times she has addressed the Nation, outside of Christmas, was during the First Gulf War in 1991, after Diana, Princess of Wales, died in 1997, when her own Mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, passed away at the great age of 102 in 2002 and on her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Have a great week, whatever you are up to self isolating.  Stay Safe.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Sneezing Oh No!!!!

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No don’t worry I don’t have it!!!!  But what I do get at this time of year is a little bit of hayfever.  I have narrowed it down to a tree which is coming into bud at this time of year, I don’t know which tree it is but it always happens when the garden starts to wake up!!!! 

However in the current situation every little sneeze sends you running for the thermometer and I find I am checking the glands in my neck more often!!!  In fact you start to become a little bit paranoid!!!

This is not a new phenomenon for me ever since I was diagnosed with breast cancer when our Boys were six and two!!!  I was very lucky in that it had not got going as I was being screened at the Hospital ten years prior to my Mother’s first instance of breast cancer having had her first breast removed at 45.  Five years after this she had her second breast removed.  I was screened for the various genes involved and yes I had a faulty gene so it was, as they say, inevitable.  I had to have a mastectomy but again I was very lucky in that I did not have to have any further treatment and went straight into re-construction.

However after that I did find that every time I had something wrong my mind immediately jumped to the worst conclusion. 

Of course it was nothing and so in this current climate, when paranoia can take over quite easily, my advice is to:

Firstly: Stop the negative thoughts immediately and go and do something to distract your brain.

Secondly: When you have had time to calm down, write down what is worrying you.  Seeing it on paper and actually writing it down helps alot as it gets it out of your thoughts. 

Thirdly: Objectively look at what you have written and see if there is anything you can do about it?  If you can’t then stop worrying, if you can, do it.  At least then you will know what you have resolved the issue as far as you can.

I do this alot with issues I have (anyone who reads my Blog knows I love lists) because I find writing things down really helps me.  You have to find what helps you the best and practice it for anything you are worried about, little things and big things and once you get into a habit of doing it then it does make things easier.  Our brains like order. 

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Of course it’s Friday today and we are almost at the end of our second week of Lockdown.  The Queen is due to speak to the Nation on Sunday evening which I am sure we will all be watching as we start Week 3 of Lockdown.  Sunday day is supposed to be lovely and sunny and very warm so the officials are worried that people will be out and about when they really souldn’t be.  We won’t be, in fact it will be a great opportunity to be in the garden again getting jobs done (I am a fair weather gardener after all!!!!).

I hope your week has gone okay and you, your families and friends are coping with this new reality. 

Have a good weekend and stay safe.

Hugs & Love Susie xx

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Treacle for the Day!  Her new favourite place now we have cut down the conifers!!!!

What Day Is It?

With this new reality it is like being on holiday where you lose track of what day it is!!!  Our week is normally so structured with certain days are for certain tasks but at the moment they are all mixed around!!!

Not only are we having to cope with the restrictions of the current situation the news is not good for favourite events.  It is understandable that things this month and next have been cancelled but big events later in the year are now also being cancelled.

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One of my favourite events has fallen to the current situation, Wimbledon is not to go ahead for the first time since WWII! They also feel that they would not be able to hold the tournament later in the year.

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DH and I were due to go and see Queen + Adam Lambert in June in Birmingham for my Birthday present.  They have cancelled the whole tour but fortunately have re-arranged it for the same dates next year!

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The Edinburgh International Book Festival which takes place in August has been cancelled along with the Edinburgh Fringe.  They will be back next year as there is no suggestion of holding the event later this year.

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The Festival of Quilts has still not decided whether the event will go ahead, again in August.

I really do appreciate why these events have to make decisions now because of payments which are incurred like the hire of the venues, payment of staff etc but it is such a shame and obviously it does seem that people think that there will still be restrictions right up to August!

DH and I were due to head to The Highlands this Saturday but obviously have cancelled and have transferred the booking to Easter next year.  We are also due to go in August but am wondering now whether that is going to happen!!! 

However, despite what some in our media are saying, I do believe that the restrictions we are living in now are needed and are not over zealous!  One of Eldest’s friends Mom who is a nurse is now very ill and in hospital herself (she has been working all the while since the crisis started) so as far as I am concerned it is serious and we must ALL do what we can to keep ourselves, our families and everyone as safe and healthy as possible and to ease the pressure on our hospitals and their staff!

I think our Government, whoever is in power, has an unenviable task of trying to contain this horrible thing and protect us all, whilst trying to not completely cripple the country financially.  It is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation!  I also think that when it is all lifted and we start to get back to normal, we will all be rushed off our feet!!!!

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As it is Thursday, I think (!), here are some #TBT pictures of previous visits to our Highland Hideaway!!!!  Enjoy and stay safe.

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The view from our cottage!

Boys at Inverness Locks

2006 – Eldest was 10 and Youngest was 6.  They are standing on one of the Locks of the Caledonian Canal.

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A hidden Loch away from the World!

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2007 – Glen Urquhart Castle!

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Foulis Castle where we stayed in 2011.

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Depending upon when Easter is as you can see you can get quite a bit of snow in the Highlands in March!

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Snow covered mountains.

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The view from the cottage out of the back.

Have a great Thursday.

Hugs & Love Susie xx

How Are We Doing?

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A Treacle A Day, Keeps The Doctor Away!!!!!

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Here she is at the top of the stairs waiting for Eldest to get up this morning!!!!! 

After last nights national address we have been fielding calls regarding whether the companies we work with will stay in production.  Quite a few make parts for the medical field so will continue as long as they can but implement the social distancing rules whilst at work.  As they are running machines etc they are, of course, unable to work from home.

Quite a lot is being talked about working from home, especially with your partner/spouse.  Of course DH and I have been doing this for 28 years since we first started our business, so I could say we are experts at it!!!!  Quite a lot of people we know have said they could never work with their other half at home but DH and I have never had a problem with it. 

Our golden rules to working from home are:

1.  Get up early and having had breakfast get down to work and do not get sidetracked.

2.  It is fine to make drinks during the day and lunch but again don’t get sidetracked or wander off doing something in the home instead of working.

3.  If you can finish at a normal time, 5.00pm or 6.00pm do.

I found the thing I do working from home is I will sit down at my desk to do just one or two things in an evening say or at the weekend and still be sat there three hours later!!!!!!

I have never had a problem of coming down and sitting down at my desk to work but I do know of several friends who have tried to work from home and they just can’t.  They find too many things at home to do rather than work!!!!!!!

I think we really do have to take each day at a time at the moment!!!!

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It has been a really lovely warm Spring day today again and Treacle has spent quite a bit of time outside!!!!  However it drops cold in the evening and we might even get a frost tonight.  The skip has gone and we are now waiting for the stone to arrive to try and finish the drive.  At the weekend the weather is supposed to be dry and cool so hopefully we will be able to get the confiers done.  I will show you pictures as we progress.

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This picture is a throwback picture to Easter 2012 when we were in Scotland for the Easter school holidays and it snowed, a lot!!!!!

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As you can see it was very sunny but very cold.  We had taken walking boots and coats with us but no hats, scarves or gloves!!!!!  The Boys had a great time in the snow though!!!!!

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Stay Safe All.

Hugs, Susie xx

Our World Has Tipped Again!

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Our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has just addressed the Nation and we now have new restrictions;

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

To ensure that we do as requested by the Government they will;

  • close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship;
  • we will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with;
  • and we’ll stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals.

His final words were;

“Each and every one of us is now obliged to join together.

To halt the spread of this disease.

To protect our NHS and to save many many thousands of lives.

And I know that as they have in the past so many times.

The people of this country will rise to that challenge.

And we will come through it stronger than ever.

We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together.

And therefore I urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.”

This will be in force for a period of three weeks and will be reviewed after then. 

Eldest’s work will be closing from Friday and again will be reviewed, Youngest’s work is making a decision tomorrow and DH is working from home anyway.  I have not been out since last Thursday when I went grocery shopping and do not intend on going out at all if I don’t have to. 

This year will be one of those defining years, just like 9/11 and, as someone mentioned for the UK, the death of Diana Princess of Wales.  These have certainly been in our living memory and of course the World has faced the two World Wars.  We need to do everything possible to stop this virus in its tracks and although we are having to stay in place we are certainly very lucky to have lots of modern technology to keep us in touch with one another and entertained and not feel isolated.

Please All Stay Safe and we shall see you all on the other side!!!  I will be posting something happy tomorrow!!!!

Hugs & Love Susie xx

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#TBT.

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Seventy one year’s ago my parents got married!  Here they are outside of the Parish Church after the wedding.  Dad was 24 and Mom was 19.  Eldest is the same age as my Dad now and yet my Dad looks so much older, a result of being in the RAF during the Second World War I think.  Looking at this picture now of 1949 and our current situation it seems so much like a link between the years.  My Grandmother, who taught me to cook, bake and sew, saved up their ration coupons so she was able to make their two tier wedding cake.  My mother’s wedding dress was also made by my Grandmother and again they had to save their coupons for the material for that.

DH and I cleared out our attic last year and we had some old family photographs which were still in their frames, although damaged.  One was of this picture and as we took the picture out my Grandmother had placed it on top of another picture of my Mom as a Bridesmaid for her best friend!!!  We would have never seen it had we not taken the frame apart!!!!

Great #TBT picture!!!!!

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I went grocery shopping this morning and despite the claims of the supermarket chief executive that supply lines are not a problem and there is plenty to go around, the shelves were empty!!!  No fresh meat, no cereal, no orange juice, no crisps and no tinned goods of anything!!!!!  Do you remember in the Harry Potter Film “The Order of the Phoenix” Umbridge’s special pen?  “I shall not tell lies” Mr Chief Executive!!!!!!!!

Our schools in the UK are closing tomorrow two weeks before the normal Easter break to try and protect the children.  They have, in the newspaper I do read, been asking for tips on how to work from home and look after your children at the same time.  Now I am an expert on that having worked in our business from home since both our Boys were born!!!!!!  In fact I don’t think we would have been able to have children had we not worked from home as we have no family whatsoever to help out with child care!!!!

When the Boys were tiny and primary school age, I used to find I would get up really early and work before they were up.  Once they were up I would deal with them food wise and then we would play and do things and then, when they still had sleeps in the afternoon, do more work, then  when they woke up let them play on their own for a bit whilst I kept one eye on them and one eye on my work.  I would then also work in the evening when they went to bed. 

Obviously as they got older it changed and as they needed less input from me, it was just keeping an eye on them.  At least we are going into the better weather months hopefully and if people are lucky enough to have gardens the children can be out there.  Someone did comment that we will all have immaculate gardens this year as we have all this time on our own and being outside of course lifts the spirits and is good for your health!!!!!

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My other thought on the current situation was; has anyone seen a big blue giant of a man with a metal glove and five shiny stones in it recently???????  I mean we have had all the fires in Australia, the floods here in the UK, the locusts in Africa and now this virus!  Either a big blue giant or the Four Horsemen!!!!!  

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I have had a few new Followers join me on this blogging journey and I just wanted to say Welcome and Thank You for Following and I do hope that you find some fun, some facts, some quilting (eventually!) and some Friendship here at my Blog. 

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I am off now to get home jobs done!!!!  Wish me luck!!!!

Hugs, Susie xx

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Finally wanted to say that in the midst of this situation things happen which we all have to face at various times and we need to spare a thought for all those going through a terrible time as well as trying to cope with this difficult situation. 

A very good friend of mine her father has just passed, not because of the virus and is having to deal with that as well as the restrictions to do with Covid-19. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with her and all that are having to cope with the same situation amidst this terrible time.

Take care and stay safe all.  xx