Saturday 28 March 2020

Random thoughts from Isolation

Hello everyone out there !
 We live on the route to the Peaks and Matlock Bath. Last weekend was RIDICULOUS. Hoards of people driving past us on their way to stand shoulder to shoulder in Matlock Bath and the pubs actually serving them only two days after being told to shut!!
Our local pub, which is already struggling, would love to stay open. David meets some friends there once a week' David didn't join them last week because we have been staying away for some time, but joined in via his mobile. This week one of his friends organised a video link and everyone joined in from  home on their phones. The screen on his mobile got a little crowded but it worked pretty well really.  David says he will get his tablet up and working for next week. I wrote his answers down while he held his phone, which was pretty civilised, as I sat by the fire with a cup of tea. The only down side is that I really dislike quizzes and can't avoid them under these circumstances!
 Has anyone tried to get groceries delivered from the supermarket ? Our grandson, J. organised a delivery for us online a couple of weeks ago. He chose Asda as Sainsburys was booked up for three weeks and Asda only one. We ordered 2 weeks supply,  thinking we would order another two weeks in a weeks time. Hah! Fat chance !!! All the supermarkets are fully booked for slots for the next four weeks, taking no orders  at the moment for after that. He and I have been trawling the sites looking for an empty slot as we have been told to do. This morning I thought I had one, which turned out to be a click and collect slot. Okay I thought J. will pick that up for us I am sure. Err it was for 6 o;clock on a Sunday morning 2 weeks away at a store a good 10 miles away! After a pow wow with J he tells me that by Monday he will have isolated himself for long enough since he was laid off from his job when he was in close contact with the public. So we have agreed that next Monday or Tuesday he will go with my list (and his own) and buy that which we need. I hear he may have to queue to get his car parked and then take his turn to go into the shop, but eventually he should get the deed done ( I wonder how his Aspergers will cope with it!)
 We have reorganised one of our veg plots this week, the weather being so good and us not going anywhere. I have to say the two plots we are working are looking pretty good (for us) and I might even take a pic as they look nearly as good as the tidy gardens fellow bloggers have.
 from early in the week here is a corner of the first garden. with Spring cabbage  "Durham Early" to the rear and (late) garlic to the fore of these.
 This next is a poor picture of the peach blossom. We had no peaches last year, but 40 the year before and they were absolutely lovely. The variety is  "Newhaven".  If the blessed birds will leave the buds alone we could get a good crop again in 2020
As we have pulled up the drawbridge we are not selling our eggs and honey from the door  the hens, of course are laying for England so we have trays building up. I have been trying to buy waterglass to preserve these eggs, knowing I will be extremely happy to have eggs for the slack times later in the year. I have struggled to find waterglass of food quality anywhere. I asked a smallholder facebook group I have just joined if they knew where to get it. One of the suggestions was that I look on Pinterest. I hadn't thought of that. So I dived into that cornucopia of interesting things to do. The only help that I could relate to was from Leigh at "5 acres and a Dream" who I follow  (and she me) Unfortunately I cannot get the make she suggests as they don't sell to the UK , but I do have somewhere to start looking over here now.
On a different issue (there she goes again at a tangent) one pursuit to interest me over the last week or two has been trawling the Net for parts to repair a couple of early Edison Phonographs for a friend of mine. He has two  early 1900s phonographs, both needing belts and needles and one needing a horn. I have found and bought a horn and some needles in an original tin but haven't had any luck with  the belts and I really would like to buy a couple of sapphire needles too. These machines are things of beauty. this one doesn't have a horn.

All for now
Anybody else missing their family ?
love Gillx

Tuesday 24 March 2020

STILL Isolating

 Me again
Well at last our PM Has grown a pair and done the right thing
I thought I would start this post by giving the heads up on where the important people in my life are  while we settle into our self-isolation.
My elder daughter and her husband and daughter live in south Yorkshire where she has  a very senior management position in a statutory agency. She can work from home some of the time if needed. She did indeed  have to a while back after a conference  when she found she had been in contact with  someone who was being tested for Covid 19. She went home and self-isolated for a week, living and working from a bedroom, with her meals being left on the landing by her husband! Anyway she is clear and currently she is working every hour God sends ensuring the public gets a service and responding to changing directives. Her husband, an engineering manager who will no doubt now be working from home. Their daughter aged 14 has been studying from home via computer.This system seems to be well thought out and working presently. As her mum is a Keyworker she could go to school but is perfectly able to look after herself,
My younger daughter works on a large engineering project in Jersey. Most flights into /out of the Island are now closed and she doesn't feel she will be home before the end of the earliest. If she leaves Jersey now she will not be allowed back in.
Her son is a resteraunt supervisor in a  popular local resort . He has been laid off now and like many others is unsure what happens next.
His sister, who you may remember had her surprise wedding at our yearly festival last July is 17 weeks pregnant ( I can't tell you how excited we all are about this!) she works for Fire and Rescue service and along with other pregnant woman has been sent home.  Her husband is a self employed Trees Surgeon,  they think he may have to stop work.

 I have been alternating gardening with sewing. One of the projects has been altering David's new bee suit. They say that women are pears and men are apples. It is fair to say this of David and he is definitely an apple and a Bramley at that! Apparently, according to his new suit,  with his girth he should also be 7 ft tall The legs are sooo long. I have taken 10 inches out of each leg and they should now do.
A Facebook post by our local Smallholders states that one of the committee has been approached by a newspaper for their views on recent thefts of chickens because of the shortage of eggs! I understand the shortage of eggs as we have had to take our signs in today and are supplying only our regular customers and those with specific needs. Anybody else heard about thefts of chickens?
All for now
lots more to share, but my posts get too long don't they?
Keep safe

Friday 20 March 2020

Isolating in Derbyshire III

 Here is a picture of the loaf I made yesterday. It really isn't bad for non-yeast loaf. It is quite moist , with a nice crust. It is a little sweet, possibly because there is no salt and sugar from the beer. It didn't taste beery in any way. This is deffo  something I shall make again.

 As I said the other day, David has spent much of his lock-down time cutting and splitting wood. Some of this wood came from our old apple tree that is in our front garden. This tree is huge and very old. We sent samples from this tree to Brogdale for identification. They do not recognise it and say it was probably grown from a pip and that we can name it ourselves. David calls it Gilly's Pippin. We had a branch shear off a couple of years ago and now see that it is going rotten in several places and have been fearful that it would break and fall into the house. H. our eldest granddaughter's husband, who is a tee surgeon, has stepped in to make it safe. He has cut away all the dead and split wood, leaving some that could still thrive. It looks a little odd but it is now safe and there is the bonus of fragrant apple wood for the fire. Here is David ( 6 foot tall)  standing next to the tree with the end of the house in the background.
And here is H. up the tree, having removed two large branches and now tidying up a smaller branch.
Since then H. has dropped off some more wood from a job he has been on this week and David's cup now runneth over!
 On a sadder (for us) note. We have sold eggs, honey, veggies etc from the gate for nearly 40 years, using an honesty box. This has worked well for us and more recently, being self isolated means that we keep away from our customers!. However in the last week we have had eggs and sticks taken without any money being left. This is a first for us and I admit to being upset by it. People have often called us naive for being so trusting , but we have never had reason not to be. It really isn't the money that bothers me.
 Anyway, on a positive note, the hens are starting to lay well now and are happy to have some sunshine.
Back soon
Love Gillx

Thursday 19 March 2020

Isolated in Derbyshire - part II

 Me again,
Well, it's going a bit mad out there isn't it?
One of the things I am trying while confined to barracks is looking at different recipes for bread, using different ingredients.
Today I have made beer bread - Here is the recipe - one pound (454g) Self Raising Flour; I tablespoon sugar; 330mls beer.  yep that's it!
Mix together and put in a lined 9" x 5" loaf tin and place in an oven pre-heated to 180  for 50 to 55 mins. Allow to cool in tin.
Could anything be easier? I am sure that it wont be light as a feather bread, but if you are struggling with supplies and need a chunk of something to go with your soup I don't suppose you would turn it down would you?
I took a pic of before and after and will taste it later with some lentil soup.

Restricting visitors is challenging for us. We are a noisy busy household with the kettle always on, meetings held around our kitchen table, between 6 and 12 for tea each sunday and guys with special needs for respite and daycare. As we are particularly bothered about David's health (I'm as fit as a flea) I am meeting with those we need to see, but keeping a physical distance between us.  I really don't see how families can keep apart for 12 weeks. Obviously if they live a distance away and don't see each other very often anyway it might be easier. Our grandson who works at a well known Derbyshire attraction is keeping his distance from us while ever he is working with the public as he does. Mind you, he is more than likely out of work soon as they will undoubtedly shut the venue down and there will be another zero hours contracted young person out of work without money. he is currently contacting us daily and can run errands if we need. When he came to pick something up at the beginning of the week he didn't get out of the car and I just passed the stuff to him.
  One of the benefits of there being few "distractions" (Friends calling) is that we are getting on a pace clearing the gardens and greenhouses for planting. David is also getting a good pile of wood chopped, which is a very satisfying sight.
One of the things I am looking forward to is having a go at using some of my fabric and wool stash. While looking through some old pattern books I came across this knitting pattern for a swimming suit. I remember these well, when they got wet they sagged to the floor exposing your nippies and weighed a ton.. Anybody else remember these?

That's enough for today, I know you have other blogs to read.
Back Soon

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Isolating in Derbyshire

 Hello All
  Here I am again/at last. If you are reading this I thank you for still being around!
  Well, it's a funny old world out there isn't it?
We have been self-isolating for over a week now as David has heart failure and a couple of other things I won't bore you with and was told by "his" nurse to stay at home and that things are "getting very serious indeed". Actually he didn't really need telling after the awful time he had  health-wise only a few months ago.
So here we are in our little bit of Derbyshire with our loins girded and if honest rather looking forward to making do and managing.  I thought I would try to record  the way our lives may or may not change over the next few weeks.
  We are considered to be "Preppers" by those that know us, so you would not have found me panic buying at Sainsburys as I always have supplies in of dry essentials at anytime. However if we need stuff I am not going to the shops anyway at the mo. My grandson lives locally and went to the shops the other day, which he said was absolute madness and suggest that have stuff delivered which ensures we are safe  from crowds and that we get what we need not what may or not be on the shelves. He trawled the online shopping sites and found that Sainsburys have a three week waiting list  for home deliveries and Asda only a week, so he organised my list with Asda and the delivery will be here next  Monday morning between 8 and 10. He gave instructions for the goods to be left at the back door as the house was self isolating. Apparently I must leave boxes / bags for the provisions to be unpacked into. This is the norm as they no longer use single use bags for orders. (pleased with that!)
   When we looked into our whisky supplies we were pretty smug to realise that, counting Christmas and birthday presents and a thank you, we had five bottles of scotch in the cupboard. Now one of those pop up thingys have just informed me that alcohol can weaken your immune system. Come on! Now that is taking the biscuit!
B****r it I'm off to get some ice and I really will be back soon
Love Gill xx
PS Welcome to a couple of new followers. I'm afraid I can;t work out who you are but you are vwry welcome