Friday, 22 January 2021

The Distancing Diaries - 21st & 22nd January, 2021

 Storm Christophe was in the midst of his final fling when I got up on Thursday, the window panes rattled and the rain bucketed down. The lads sat by the open front door and waited patiently and, by 7am, all was calm and they were finally able to escape the confines of the house. I did my Wii Fit workout, wrapped the overnight ebay sales and, whilst waiting for Jon to get up, managed to buy myself a pair of leather ankle boots I didn't really need but were too much of a bargain to resist.  

Thursday's sunrise was somewhat ominous

Jon dropped the parcels off at the post office and returned home reporting that he was the only customer.

Wear:Sleep:Repeat continued with the reappearance of Wednesday's Kashmiri wool work waistcoat, worn with a 1970s Ayesha Davar block printed midi skirt & a polo neck jumper (both eBay buys) and Mum's Biba boots.

The details: Earrings from an Afghan refugee charity (via eBay); a white metal cuff (charity shop) and articulated Rajasthani bracelet from India; vintage leather belt from a charity shop; Victorian Ruskin ceramic brooch c.1890 (a jumble sale find donkey's years ago).

It might have snowed on Wednesday night and the temperatures are hovering around 5°C but look! Jacob's out of hibernation. 

Don't worry, he won't be going outside for months yet, from past experience he'll amble around the house, find a warm spot under the curtains and go back to sleep for another couple of months. 

It turned out to be a beautiful day, if a little on the chilly side. I took some stock photos and, after a break for noodles and a walk around the block, uploaded a few more listings to eBay.

 Sheila, Vronni and Kezzie have all posted lists of the books they'd read in 2020 which is something I've also been meaning to do, so after I'd finished my ebay listings, I went through my blog and made a note of everything I'd read. I'd expected to read loads but, like with everything else during lockdown, I've learnt to slow down and take my time. I haven't included any books I abandoned halfway through reading or Queen's Gambit which I started at the end of December as I didn't finish it until 2021.

  1. The Runner - Peter May
  2. The Blue Nowhere - Jeffrey Deaver
  3. Speaking in Tongues - Jeffrey Deaver
  4. The Likeness - Tana French
  5. The Coffin Dancer - Jeffrey Deaver
  6. Personal Injuries - Scott Turow
  7. The Vanished Man - Jeffrey Deaver
  8. The Winner - David Baldacci 
  9. Triangle - Jeffrey Deaver
  10. Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Alborn
  11. The Stone Monkey - Jeffrey Deaver
  12. Faithful Place - Tana French
  13. In The Woods -Tana French
  14. A Small Town in Germany - John Le Carre
  15. The Kashmir Shawl - Rosie Thomas
  16. Arthur & George - Julian Barnes
  17. A Rising Man - Abir Mukherjee
  18. Our Game - John Le Carre
  19. I'm Travelling Alone - Samuel Bjork
  20. Devotion - Louisa Young
  21. The Stationery Shop of Tehran - Marjan Kamali
  22. The Memory Box - Margaret Forster
  23. Snow Blind - Ragnar Jonasson
  24. A Good Place to Die - James Buchan
  25. The Distant Land of my Father - Bo Caldwell
  26. The Alienist - Caleb Carr
  27. In The High Pyrenees - Bernard Loughlin
  28. This Night's Foul Work - Fred Vargas
  29. Red 1-2-3  - John Katzenbach
  30. Fashion Victim - Michelle Lee
  31. All Greek To Me - John Mole
  32. The Greek For Love - James Chatto
  33. Spanish Lessons - Derek Lambert
  34. Exile - James Swallow
  35. The Lacuna - Barbara Bolsover
  36. Doors Open - Ian Rankin
  37. Night Blind - Ragnar Jonasson
  38. Wild Thyme in Ibiza -  Stewart Anderson
  39. A Man Called Ove -  Fredrik Backman
  40. Life in a Box  -  Sarah Jane Adams
  41. Don't Look Back - Karin Fossum
  42. The Fourth Passenger - Mini Nair
  43. Midnight Blue - Simone Van der Vlugt
  44. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows -Balli Kaur Jaswal
  45. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - Arundhati Roy
  46. The Cairo Diary- Maxim Chattam
  47. The Given Day - Dennis Lehane
  48. The Devil in the Marshallsea - Antonia Hodgson
  49. The River King - Alice Hoffman
  50. The Mountain of Light - Claire Allen
  51. The Cathedral of the Sea - Ildefonso Falcones
  52. The Chemistry of Death - Simon Beckett
  53. Love is Blind - William Boyd
  54. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
  55. Begging to Die - Graham Masterton
  56. Sanctus - Simon Toyne
  57. The King's Witch - Tracey Borman

(The books in bold are the ones I most enjoyed)

Tea was haloumi with roasted vegetables and cranberries (unusual but a success) accompanied by a cheeky beer. Later we watched the rest of Monster which I thoroughly recommend if you like your thrillers dark, icy cold & bloody and aren't offended by full frontal nudity.

On Friday morning I woke to a heavy frost. I did my final Wii Fit workout of the week, caught up with Blogland and, after checking the contents of the bathroom shelves, placed an order with Superdrug before breakfast.

My Wear:Sleep:Repeat challenge continues!

Today it's the turn of Thursday's trusty black polo neck jumper, worn under a vintage block printed Phool midi dress (Second To None, 2019) along with my handmade Ilse Jacobsen rubber boots (retail), me-made crochet hat and the 1950s leopard print sheepskin coat (borrowed from the Kinky Shed)

The details: A vintage bracelet with semi precious stones (gift from a fellow vintage trader), a fabulously chunky bejewelled cuff (charity shop), a Rajasthani enamel pendant and some silver bell earrings (from our much-missed festival neighbours Shilpa Silver aka Silver Bubble)

It was a glorious day, icy cold but who cares where there's sunshine and blue skies? I took advantage of the light and took some stock photos. Who says menswear has to be boring? A 1950s drape jacket, a 1970s velvet blazer featuring a fish print and the type of vintage sheepskin-lined antiqued leather flying jacket most of us cash-strapped students in 1980s Britain could only dream of owning.

It wasn't an easy task, next door's crazed tabby, Kitty, appeared on brick wall and tried to pounce on my pom pom. 

We have it on good authority from Rob & Morgan, Kitty's humans, that Frank and she regularly sleep together, the saucy minx!

If you're wondering why I'm wearing wellies, it's because after I'd downloaded my photos, I met up with Liz for a socially distanced walk, whilst Jon & Al did the same. I'm not quite sure why I feel the need to keep emphasising the socially distanced bit, I'd like to think that everyone who pops over and visits my blog does the same.

If you don't live in England let me clarify our lockdown rules. We can exercise with one person from another household in an open public space but we must stay at least two metres apart from each other at all times. We are allowed to exercise once a day but must stay in our local area ie., the town or village in which we live. So we adhered to all the rules, staying in Walsall (although you'd be forgiven for looking at this rural vista and thinking we'd escaped from our industrial town!)

Vintage sheepskin, 1970s sunglasses (Kinky Melon), Pom pom hat (crocheted by me!)

We were looking for something for Liz to capture for her series of mini art pieces she's selling on her website HERE .

I can't wait to see what she creates with this winter bouquet.

Back at home we lit the fire and had a deliciously lazy afternoon. We cracked open a beer, Jon lit the fire and we had Indian food for tea. 

And talking of India this was a year ago today....

Standing on the roof of Jaisalmer Fort, looking out over the Thar Desert. Whilst neither of us can complain about living under lockdown or not living our lives as best as we possibly can despite the restrictions, I CANNOT fecking wait to get a jab, get on a plane and escape! 

Anyway, it's Friday, it's rum o'clock and there's a dark Scandi Noir awaiting. Stay sane, stay safe and see you very soon.....