On the back of the envelope, from Harlow, which has the fourth highest Coronavirus infection rate in the country, Catherine says “Happy New Year to the Postal Workers, and Barbara’s Postman”. A kind and generous thought in this world of horrid acts and violence.
I’ve read Catherine’s 38th diary, looking for inspiration for a tea towel to use. There’s a lot about sleeping, going to bed, waking up early, I decided that ‘Goodnight’ would be appropriate.
28 January 2021
I have discovered a new kitchen skill, blanching. I mentioned to Mary about all the vegetables I had and she suggested blanching and freezing them, so I asked for the recipe. I did three parsnips, four carrots. On Sunday, I roasted a parsnip and it was tasty, so from now on I’m doing more blanching. Thank you Mary.
Sunday, a bad day for TV, I don’t know how I did it but I survived 8 hours, on and off, of ‘Lewis’. I’m not a great fan, and at one point, I went comatose, missed a couple of endings, nothing worse than not knowing whodunnit.
Jennie texted this morning: was I free for a visit?, always free I am. She was coming about 2pm so at 1.40pm I donned my coat, swept the footpath to acclimatise myself to the cold weather. I stood at the front door, Jennie at the end of the path. We chatted for half an hour, showed her my sprout Christmas decoration and sprout jigsaw and she had a good laugh over them.
I phoned Boots to order my medication as I don’t want to keep going up the town. With New Year looming it will probably take over a week. There is no rush as I’m well in advance.
29 December 2020
I had a tantrum this afternoon. Blackie more or less stays in the dining room, day and night with his own cat tray. I wanted to plug my small oven in. Instead of moving the cat tray, I squeezed past and somehow my foot caught the tray, it upended, litter everywhere, so cross was I. I then kicked it, bad move! Carpet got a good hoover, after I shooed Blackie outside, hoovered the kitchen, living room, hallway. I had done a good job, turned round to put the vacuum away and there was one piece of litter I’d missed, so irritating!!!. When I had sorted Blackie and his tray again, fed him. I rewarded myself with a large Snowball (the drink), no snow yet, maybe Friday or Saturday.
30 December 2020
Ventured out to the local shop for a paper, milk, eggs and TV Magazine. I needed a bit of exercise. I was going to pop a Thank You letter through Carol and Joan’s door but there are three steps and no rail to hold on to, so I didn’t chance it.
Delivery at 12.45pm, Amanda had put in Hagen Daas salted caramel ice lollies and frozen haddock for Tilly, Tinker and Blackie. They seem to like haddock more than cod.
1.45pm the Chiropodist arrived, feet comfortable once more. I had some left-over batter mix from yesterday so tonight I had pancakes with double cream and maple syrup. Delicious!
31 December 2020
Amanda was coming over between 11.30pm and 12.30am but circumstances changed. She offered to stand on the front path instead but I said no, much too cold to be doing that. I asked Amanda to sing with me, on the phone, two verses of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, which we did. It was for us, her Dad, Bruce and Christine. I had a couple of glasses of Prosecco then decided to have half a pizza, watched a bit of Jools Holland, bed at 1.20am.
1 January 2021
Happy New Year from Catherine, Tilly, Tinker, Blackie and Rupert. Early up, prepared my vegetables, a treat today, roast beef. The only problem is that I’m not very good at carving. Bruce was an expert; he could carve paper thin and thin is what I like. Never mind, did my best and it was very tasty. Vivienne and Wendy phoned to wish me a Happy New Year. I got gum ache as I had eaten too many salted caramel truffles. Ended up putting loads of Bonjela on; if you put it on the wrong bit of mouth, it stings like hell.
2 January 2021
Odd day with agitation. Up early at 6.30am, came downstairs to find the door into the kitchen open. I thought ‘where had Blackie got to?’, sigh of relief, remembered he stayed outside all night. Fed all the cats, made tea, put bins to edge of the path, yes, Barbara, why don’t I do it at night? I don’t know, it’s something Bruce always did and I have just carried on. Tea, Weetabix and LBC, shower then down to the shop for a paper and a lettuce (fancied a big Prawn Cocktail). On the way back, I discovered that someone had reversed into my garden, tyre treads on the mud. Yes, I know I have a broken fence which some part of it has been removed but they went over a Peony root. It was from my father-in-law’s garden, mostly white with a touch of maroon colouring. It’s little things that get to me. Then Tilly was eating but hasn’t ‘performed’ for four days. I did shout at her but then felt guilty and apologised. As Amanda said it’s not her fault. I’ve given her medicine but it doesn’t seem to be working. Calmed myself down, started on the crossword. Mary helped on the last few questions. During the morning I had a flying, non-seeing visit from Amanda: cat food, print-offs, a rake and a spade which I hope I can pick up the Peony with, if the ground’s not too hard. Blackie’s in tonight as it’s really cold outside. My electric blanket awaits me, see you tomorrow, sorry it’s tomorrow now. 1.10am off to bed.
3 January 2021
In some of my diaries Barbara has written about routines and I think since Christmas I have been out of sync and have been more agitated. Late getting up, haven’t had a shower to midday, chores got behind. Normally, I get my cereal out the night before, not been doing it, going to bed extremely late. So today is a fresh start, back almost in a routine, it can only get better. Amanda ordered envelopes on Friday, run right out, they came today. Down to local shop and bought Sunday Express, milk, potatoes and carrots. Arrived home and tested out new spade. Tried to dig the mud round the Peony but was too hard and I was worried I might topple over, a sight to behold!! I did some vacuuming then I made a milky hot chocolate and had the last two slices of Mr Kipling Christmas Cake. Finished at last. My other problem I was given some M&S mince pies for a present, no way can I eat 6 by tomorrow (out of date 4 January) and I’m not freezing, what I don’t like. Perhaps the birds might like them!
This afternoon Barbara answered most of the General Knowledge Quiz. We are still after the £1000 prize for our celebratory meal when the virus has gone. As I posted the Quiz, I said ‘good luck, break a leg’. It might help us to win. Treated all the cats to a chicken breast, not each, they shared one and I had half a pizza and homemade chips.
Last week I made two soups. Leek and Potato was Mary’s recipe. John Torode did one today and put lemon zest, lemon juice and loads of parsley in it. The other one I made was Leek (it was dying a death by the front door) and this time added green/grey lentils, very nice and freezed two bags of it. Last day tomorrow for the Sony Christmas Films. I have really enjoyed them.
4 January 2021
Fancy a change of colour (pen colour that is). Routine almost back to normal. Up at 7am, everyone, including myself, fed. I then decided to do a load of hand-washing, am up-to-date now. Frozen fruit out, ready for the ‘Bullet’, haddock for the trio, prawns for me, fancied another Prawn Cocktail. Pleased to say that Diary is also up-to-date, as I had lapsed there.
Best news today, Tilly, after five days, has ‘performed’ (too much information, Catherine). Amanda asked this morning. How do I know who does what? Will not explain in my Diary, might put you off but after 12 years I must be an expert.
I keep forgetting to tell you, I have a new pink bottom sheet, courtesy of Amazon. It goes with my nightwear and quilt. As I am now up-to-date, I am closing now.
Catherine is right about routines. these last few weeks have been very confusing with the ‘Rules’ changing, one day in Tier 2, next in Tier 4, break for Christmas and building up to a national Lockdown again. If the ‘Rules’ outside are changing all the time then it is difficult to keep to a routine indoors. Keep safe!!