Wednesday, 25 March 2020

The Distancing Diaries - Days Five & Six

The weather's been so beautiful over the last couple of days it's hard to believe that the world is in crisis outside the confines of our garden. Here in the UK, with the exception of key workers, we've been on lockdown since midnight on Monday.


So, on to Tuesday, day five of house arrest. the day started with Wii Fit and fresh fruit and yoghurt. I got dressed (in a 1960s Leo Narducci kaftan) and caught up on my blog comments whilst Jon tried to follow the government advice and order our food online but none of the supermarkets has any slots available for the foreseeable future so it looks like we'll have to leave the house and go hunting for supplies very soon!


I cleaned the bathroom and mopped the floor.


The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice the loo roll, we're not stockpiling- Jon bought two multipacks before we went to India, he must be psychic!


I gave my air plants their fortnightly feed. This was my eBay bargain of last year, two plants, some unused speciality food and two handmade macrame plant hangers for a Buy-it-Now price of £5 including postage. I'm amazed I haven't killed them yet!


Jon took himself off outside to tackle one of the garden sheds, ably assisted by the cats. I washed the vintage glass in the bathroom and on the landing & cleaned the picture frames on the Wall of Misery.



I took down the me-made blind from the top of the stairs and gave it a thorough beating in the garden covering myself in clouds of dust, I've no idea when I last cleaned it - if ever!


We'd been promised temperatures of 16°C (warmer than Rajasthan) and by lunchtime, Jacob had awoken and was stomping around the kitchen so I popped him in his pen with a bunch of dandelions to munch on.


After lunch I pottered around the garden, pruning a couple of misshapen shrubs and cutting some Forsythia for the house. It reminds me of Grandma, who always filled a vase of it in the Spring.




I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting outside in the sunshine reading Arthur and George.


After tea (a tin of baked beans with jacket potatoes and grated cheese) we watched The Big Sick on the BBC i-Player which had been recommended by the 6Music film critic, Rhianna, as a wonderful diversion for the weird times in which we're living. As a rule, we detest Rom-Coms but this was a joy. Highly recommended for a welcome bit of light relief.

SOURCE
On the theme of brilliant TV, if you haven't seen the wonderful BBC mockumentary, This Country, about village life in The Cotswolds, all nineteen episodes are available on the i-Player. It's in my all-time top five British comedies, I love it.

SOURCE

Wednesday (day six) started the usual way - thirty minutes on the Wii Fit and fruit and yoghurt for breakfast. After getting dressed, I stripped the bedcover and bolster case off the bed in the spare room, washed them and hung them on the line to dry and took Jacob outside for a run in his pen.


When I drew the curtains this morning I noticed I'd missed a tear when I'd mended them so did a quick repair by hand before dusting and sweeping the spare bedroom, then I cleaned all the mirrors in the house with white vinegar and an old tea towel. Jon decided to tackle the contents of the coal house.


After lunch (noodles, as usual!) I had another wander around the garden and filled a basket with more twigs and broken branches. The weather's set to get cold again at the weekend, although the night time temperatures have been pretty icy all week, so we'll doubtlessly be lighting the wood burner as we can't afford to be frivolous with the central heating.


 I didn't empty any of my patio pots last year and many - despite being annuals - are showing signs of life so I gave them a good soaking.


Daily tasks completed, I spent a couple of hours of reading in the sunshine and watching the birds whilst Jon mowed the lawn for the first time this year. I'm now supervising Jon who's making a potato, broccoli, mushroom and wild garlic frittata to go with our salad. The washing-up (A dishwasher? Us?) should keep me occupied for a while.


Tonight is Wednesday which means rum night. Believe it or we only imbibe alcohol on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (and pre-lockdown, the occasional Monday) even though the coronavirus situation is enough to drive us to drink on a daily basis!

Wishing all you lovely people positive and healthy vibes and please share what you've been up to in the comments - I and my readers love to know how you're passing the time.

PS Don't forget to join the volunteer army and help our NHS here

74 comments:

  1. Air plants! I love them, they even come back to life if left for months on end without water. Mom bought me 2 for my birthday a couple of years ago and I found one in a thrift store (looked like it was plastic but I knew what it was) for .50 cents including the shell it was glued to. That is the one that looked dead but has come completely back to life.

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    1. The lady I bought them from thought that they'd gone past the point of no return but I soaked them in water for 24 hours and gave them a trim and they were as right as rain.
      They're expensive to buy new, aren't they? xxx

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  2. Hi Vix I have always fancied an air plant, thank goodness for the warm weather at least we can keep busy? Have you started your seed sowing yet? I have made a start, I have spent most of the time in the garden the last few days.
    Lovely to see Jacob. We need a few more supplies as we haven't been out for about 9 days so need milk, and veg etc, all the healthy stuff. Really enjoying your blog, busy reading the archives. xx

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    1. Hi Marlene! This glorious weather makes me solar powered and gives me loads of energy. I'm losing my momentum a bit this morning although I'm determined to accomplish a few tasks before I crack open the rum later!
      Our seeds haven't arrived yet although the greenhouse is imminent. I wish they'd hurry up, I'm dying to get cracking! xxx

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  3. How cool that you have a tortoise! Reminds me of Gilbert White's Timothy.

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    1. They're such fab creatures, aren't they? xxx

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  4. The actors/writers in This Country are real life cousins. Arilx

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    1. They're brother and sister - Martin's their real life dad and grumpy Len is their uncle! x

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  5. I love that the cats are assisting Jon, and hello, Jacob! We had a small turtle growing up, and I'm quite fond of them. I'm in awe of your cleaning - please come do my house! I cleaned out a drawer today and it felt quite good, so I guess that still counts! I have heard good things about "The Big Sick" - thanks for the recommendation.

    We have not gone on lock-down yet, but it feels like it's coming...

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    1. The cats are very helpful, bless them! They also like to make sure we're up early enough to make the most of the weather (5.40am on Thursday morning!)
      The Big Sick was a wonderful diversion, the opening track was Devil's haircut by Beck so I knew we were going to enjoy it. xxx

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  6. I’m at work at the moment (I work at a hospital). Found out late yesterday they’re cutting our hours down to twenty-four. However, one of the young ladies I work with opted to to take two days off a week and the remaining eight hours will be rotated between myself and the other ladies I work with. When I’m not at work, I’m trying to catch up on three crochet projects. We were told yesterday (Tuesday) that at midnight we will be on lockdown until April 8th. We will only be allowed to leave our homes to go to and from the grocery, you’re allowed to order food to be delivered to your house (but to be dropped off at the door), and if you’re an essential worker(like me). My daughter is doing her schoolwork online (my mom is supervisions her if she does it while I’m work).

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    1. I'm glad you've got a few extra hours to make up for those being cut, times are hard enough at the moment without scrabbling around for money.
      Hope lock down is going okay for you and that you and your lovely daughter are staying safe. Big love for being on the front line. xxx

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  7. gee, I'm getting bored but not clean the house bored. I did a clean and sort of all the bookshelves last month, and finally got the Dr's massive surf music CD collection sorted and back on the shelves. Turned out we didn't need to buy a new one. My county, but not the state is pretty much on lock down, no show to work on, so I'll be at home for the next couple of weeks.

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    1. That sounds like quite an accomplishment. I'm looking at the bookshelves and steeling myself to tackle the bookcase on the landing, maybe a job for next week if it's going to stay as cold as it is now. xxx

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  8. You're a rain of sunshine in these dark times. I love that yellow maxi on you.
    Your home is so beautiful. Your bathroom is fantastic. I remember it from your previous posts, but it looks even more gorgeous now...maybe because of the light.
    The purple maxi you're wearing is fantastic as well.
    Stay safe.

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    1. Thanks so much, Ivana! I'm slowly working through my wardrobe, giving everything a wearing during lock down!
      Stay safe! xxx

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    2. that's a great way to keep positive. I don't have all my clothes here since I moved temporarily for work and didn't see the point of dragging it all but I might try out the things I do have here and do some closet shopping.

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  9. Love your caftans! I always think that making the effort to dress well and look your best can make any crappy day feel almost bearable. Clothing as armour!

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    1. Yes, that's exactly what I think, clothing as armour. I feel invincible in good clothes! xxx

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  10. Air plants are such fun, and nearly impossible to kill. I've been getting the garden in shape, and the first peas and spinach are starting to come up. I feel like I'm doing so much more being at honme, I haven't had a chance to get bored. Probably good in the end.

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    1. That's exciting about the peas and spinach. We've got wintery showers and frost forecast so possibly a bit too soon to get anything going outside just yet. I did think about moving my geraniums to the patio as they've been overwintering inside but I've had second thoughts now. xxx

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  11. What a delight to see dear old (48?) Jacob emerging to sample greens and sunlight! Do you give him an update on the news each year this time? Hope for his pleasure you have a good crop of wild strawberries this year.

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    1. He's looking good, isn't he? No strawberries just yet but luckily there's dandelions which he loves! xxx

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  12. Looks like your handling the shut down quite graceful.
    Coffee is on

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  13. You're so industrious!!! I'm only half-assed doing chores--- you're house always gives me so much inspo!! You look great in that blue maxi dress. I'm going to have to probably go grab groceries soon, too--- hopefully they're stocked up again.

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    1. Good luck with the grocery run - wear something fabulous! xxx

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  14. I love reading your blog posts, Vix, and seeing what you get up to during this unusual time. Your house is going to be spotless by the time this virus is finished!


    I have been working in the mornings, reading, exercising, video-calling friends/family and wandering around isolated areas of nature. X

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    1. It sounds like you're making the most of your free time , Jess! Chatting, keeping fit and appreciating your beautiful surroundings. Keep healthy and safe. xxx

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  15. hello jacob!
    gorgeous flamboyant kaftan! and dusting all that framed mysery looks like a one needs a lot of patience.... your beautiful glassware is shining like jewels now and i´m still in love with your cosy bathroom. (we have this wooden seat too!)
    your garden will look fabulous by may! xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! Dusting those picture frames was rather tedious, no wonder I never do it.
      fancy us having the same loo seat, we've got great taste! xxx

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  16. Your blog is such a Happy place to be Vix.I have thoughourly enjoyed seeing your amazing holiday adventures,it looked absolutely Magical.I don't think you both had returned home long before all of this kicked off had you?Well you really are making the best of things in your World-I am getting cabin fever as I usually walk in the countryside with my 4 dogs for 1 and half hours each day but as it's a drive there and no parking it's impossible.I too shall need to go out for food but possibly can wait until next week.I did make a 3 layer cotton mask as I was going for usual yearly dog booster at the vets but only emergencies at the moment which is sensible.The Vet will consult on the phone if required luckily.I love your Blog and thank you so much x

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    1. Thank you so much, Flis! We're all aware of the horrible situation going on around the world so I'm trying to make my blog posts a bit of an escape and hopefully motivating people who are struggling to get a few things done and to still get dressed.
      I hope you're managing to find quiet places to walk your dogs and it's good that you've got a bit of protection with your me-made mask.
      Grocery shopping wasn't as crazy as we'd feared, maybe those inconsiderate stockpilers have tired of their shopping now. Stay in touch and stay healthy and positive. xxx

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  17. Such colour in your life. I love your bed. Is it French? I've joined a little French online community on FB via my fave crochet designer and everyone is so friendly and kind, as is everyone here. I've also joined an online yoga class because the yogi looks like Jesus and if the truth be told, I think he partakes of the weed before each class, he's sooooooo chilled! Thank goodness for our gardens if we're lucky enough to have them. Thanks for sharing your kaleidoscope of colour with us.xxx

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    1. Thanks, Anne! The bed is French (in both bedrooms), I love a bit of over ornamentation and frou-frou! I'm part of a little slow fashion community on full of lovely people posting happy things, just what most of us need.
      Loving the sound of stoned Jesus, I think I'd be tempted to sign up to his yoga classes, too. xxxx

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  18. I'm keeping my sanity by spending as much time as I can outside. I'm slowly tidying the greenhouse after it became a dumping ground over winter. I'm giving the container posts a few inches of new compost each, and just generally pottering about. Sock and Tinker love it when I'm outside and often follow me about the garden, and snooze in the sun when I'm in the greenhouse. I panted some sunflower seeds yesterday, I haven't grown may flowers before but this year I'm going to try to add as much colour to the garden as possible.
    Take care Vix
    xx

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    1. I do love a bit of pottering! I'm dying for our new greenhouse to arrive, apparently it's imminent!
      Flowers sound like a lovely project, beauty in a time of crisis! xxx

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  19. Took cat to vet, went for a walk in the woods and round the estate, worked from home in my new set up, some people had broken boilers, flat car batteries, gas leaks so sent some help for them. Lots of fun skyping with colleagues so we can help each other with customer queries when stumped and can feel connected to each other. Had veggie sausages on my break, finished work 9pm and watched MasterChef. Cat came home at five and we had a family meeting about her prospects (cancer tumor and diabetes) as we hope to manage her at home. Off to the land of nod! maybe I will do a bit more blogging of my (boring) daily doings..... love your gardening enthusiasm, might get myself out there doing a bit.

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    1. Loved your blog catch up, you have been a busy bee!
      My enthusiasm of gardening is waning a bit this morning, it's freezing out there! I might have to dig out my fingerless gloves and woolly hat before venturing forth later! xxx

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  20. I don't know of anyone else who continues to look so glamorous on lockdown. You are as fabulous as ever.
    The glorious weather and time spent at home is making me feel quite guilty at the moment. For now, at least, it feels like a long weekend, although I'm sure that will change as the weeks go on. X

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    1. You are kind, thanks Jules!
      Much as I absolutely loved the glorious weather this week I think it did give a lot of people the impression that we were all on some kind of holiday. The police had to break up a mass BBQ in Birmingham earlier this week. Idiots! xxx

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  21. Lovely! Very impressed once again..So much so..
    I'll send this link to my daughter, l sent the
    last one as l knew she would love it, l raised
    my daughter on my own since 1980..for 14yrs...
    And being raised as a Sicilian myself, l taught
    her many things, as Sicilian boys are raised very
    much like Sicilian girls..so..l taught her to cook,
    sew, knit, do hair..etc..
    She's done me proud by going further in her talents..
    Mind you..she is 43 now..HeHe! Catching me up..! :O).

    Ah! Bless! A Tortoise..Their lovely..And look after
    him..there are still, dare l call them 'kidnappers'
    tortoises are worth a lot of money on the, is it
    called the black market..! I don't know..!
    But they can fetch thousands of pounds..! So, keep yer
    eye open..don't want Jacob doing a 'runner'...Bless!
    Jacob..Love it..very biblical..! :).

    Well..best get this off to my daughter..And! And! l
    might just send you some photos of my most famous
    downstairs loo/toilet/latrine/bog oooops! Sorry! :0).
    πŸπŸ‚πŸƒπŸπŸ‚πŸƒπŸπŸ‚πŸƒπŸπŸ‚πŸƒπŸπŸ‚πŸƒπŸπŸ‚πŸƒπŸπŸ‚πŸƒ

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    1. Hello, Willie!
      Talking of Sicilian, the BBC are showing repeats of Montalbano - hooray! The best news I've heard all week.
      Hello to your daughter!
      Believe it or not Jacob used to have a brother - he did a runner in 1975 and we never saw him again, it wouldn't surprise me if he turned up in the garden in the future. xxx

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  22. The weather and the state of affairs are certainly at odds, aren't they? Frankly speaking, I am finding it hard to cope, but wearing colourful and fabulous clothes, like your Leo Narducci kaftan definitely helps! I've said it before but you really do have the bathroom of my dreams, and your Wall of Misery certainly puts a smile on my face. I always think of your wall whenever I see one of those pictures in the chazzas! I do hope this gorgeous Spring weather continues so that we can be out in the garden and do some more rigorous pruning. Just found out that we might be able to get some much needed plants after all, as quite a lot of things have died on us. I know Dove Cottage needs a good top to bottom clean, but we are not desperate enough yet to overcome our aversion to cleaning ;-)) xxx P.S. no dishwasher at Dove Cottage either!

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    1. It is hard to get your head round what's going on in the rest of the world when the sun's out and everything in the garden looks rosy. No news today, just 6Music blasting away and the fire roaring behind me.
      I do find pruning very therapeutic plus you can see the results of your endeavours immediately, very rewading.
      Look aftre yourselves. All this will pass. xxx

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  23. Love to see you rocking this Fabulous kaftan, looking like a ray of sunshine!. Gorgeous colors and gorgeous You!
    Isn't it amazing how many details in our homes are unnoticed?, I've been dusting and cleaning some corners for the first time!.
    So lovely to see that you're taking care of your garden and also enjoying it. I think that growing your own food in your garden is so rewarding, hope you achieve it soon!.
    I always enjoy some pics of your delightfully fabulous house, and I'm admiring particularly your extensive glass collection. So amazing!
    Thanks for recommending us some tv series and shows, I'm in need of some light-hearted shows!
    Sorry that the weather is becoming colder!
    besos

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    1. I thought the sleeves on the kaftan would impede my cleaning but I managed okay!
      Yes, I've seen corners I've not noticed for years (and the cobwebs to prove it).
      It's really cold today and very gloomy but I'm determined to get outside once I've ticked off a few jobs inside.
      Stay safe. xxx

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  24. Your house and you are both looking fab. All that beautiful sparkling glass and your sunny yellow kaftan are perfect mood boosters....the sun helps too. xxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Sally! Hasn't the weather been wonderful? Today is a shock to the system, I'm steeling myself for going outside a bit later, it looks like rain (or snow) at the moment, we've even been forced to light the fire. xxx

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  25. Hi Jacob - so nice to see you! I was inspired by you and am wearing an embroidered caftan/tunic over my jeans while working from home today. I've been doing bits of cleaning here and there, but nothing like what you're accomplishing. It's times like this I wish I had a garden to tend to. XO

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    1. Was that the gorgeous garment you shared on IG? I love it!
      I'm so grateful for our garden, it's been lovely to get out into the fresh air this week although it's a tad too fresh for me this morning. xxx

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  26. The weather is deffo kind at the moment, have you seen meet the tuckers its similar to this country? I binge watched the lot on catch up lol. I have to venture out today to go and do a big shop for me and my mum who is self isolating. Also got a meds run to do too. Keeping my distance at all times. Hoping the panic buyers have stopped now so i can get my normal weekly shop in one place. Trying to limit my exposure as much as possible. I've got some painting i'd like to get done (kitchen benches) i have been threatening to do them for last 2 years and not got round to it. Take care xx

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    1. Oooh! Thanks for that, Meet the Tuckers looks right up my street!
      Our foray to the shops was absolutely fine, I was expecting chaos.
      Enjoy painting those benches, or at least the feeling of accomplishment when you've ticked that job off your list. xxx

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  27. I'm also keeping very busy during the shut down, but looking nowhere near as gorgeous as you. I keep hoping that eventually I will catch up on some of the tasks that I've been woefully behind on. Here's hoping. I just posted on my blog how I'm spending my days.

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    1. Hi Mel! I enjoyed your blog post, you're certainly making the most of your lockdown time! x

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  28. I didn't think you could top your India travelogues - but this post is such a tonic Vix - and a reminder to seek out your bliss (even in cleaning/mending/tidying). And yes to getting dressed and tuttivated - we are not barbarians lol!

    Much love xx

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    1. Thanks, Elaine! Glad you enjoyed the extended travelogue!
      Yes, we aren't barbarians - yet! xxx

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  29. oooh just got this in my inbox and thought you'd like!
    https://www.east.co.uk/blogs/journal/india-with-love

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    1. Wow! All the places we visited in Jaipur last year! Loved the post about the art district of Delhi, definitely planning on visiting that soon. xxx

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  30. More Spring cleaning! The urge hasn't hit me - yet...how lovely to see Jacob; is he very old?

    Loved your dress. Did you enjoy Arthur and George?

    I love forsythia - it grew round the door of our first house when I got married in 1973. I loved picking it and putting it in a vase; only I hadn't any and used milk bottle instead!

    Good luck on your shopping trip today. I went to Lidl today and it was both well stocked; non rationed and not very crowded!
    xxxx

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    1. The glorious sunshine (no sign today!) keep shining though the windows and highlighting all the dust, I don't think I'll ever be a convert to domesticated bliss!
      I've almost finished Arthur and George and really enjoyed it, all the references to Walsall do make me smile.
      Well done on getting your supplies in, the Co-op only had three other customers, maybe the idiotic stockpilers have all maxed out their credit cards and can't afford to shop any more. xxx

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  31. You have a really beautiful and original looking house <3 Regards:**

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  32. Love that caftan, and I think I'd have remembered if you posted with it before. Thanks for sharing it today!

    I have noticed that tp is still hard to find. For the past six or seven years (probably more), we have had a manual "butt sprayer" hooked up to our toilet. I needed it when I had fibroids and never ending periods. Now that no one can keep tp in stock, it's helped cut down on our usage a lot. That's an indelicate comment.... sorry!

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    1. Toilet roll is seldom supplied in Indian guesthouses as most home are fitted with the same device as yours, i think they're brilliant and much more hygienic! xxx

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  33. Your house is truly awesome! Love the vintage glass. Jacob looks like he's enjoying his dandelions and Spring sunshine. Love your kaftan too. My mom grew up during the Depression so she's always been a stockpiler of food and other essential items including paper products. She has a ton of tp, paper towels and tissues. My husband always jokes about her prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse, but now if we need anything we know where to get it if were willing to drive the 50 miles to her house. Thanks for the Punjabi Vegetable Sabzi recipe. It was awesome! I used a bag of frozen sweet potato since I didn't have a regular potato. There's enough for dinner so I don't have to cook tonight. Take care

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    1. Hello Cheryene! Hooray for your Mum's hoarding tendencies, fancy having access to loo roll, it's more valuable than caviar these days!
      I bet the sabzi was gorgeous with sweet potato - something I love but Jon loathes.
      Lovely to hear from you. xxx

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  34. What a fantastic home, Vix. Your Misery wall: In New Zealand where I live, there was a young female street artist (walls, etc - and not commisioned lol!) who painted a girl called Misery. Ginormous eyes. She drove around in an old van with Misery paintings all over it. Well, she became famous for her Misery artwork, especially in Japan. Next came tee shirts, amazing clothes. A couple of years ago. I walked onto a property where there was a massive Misery artwork wall, by her pool. I was so excited to see it!!! So, yeah, i love your Misery wall, because the pictures all remind me of... Misery.

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    1. Loved your story about Misery! I used to feel sorry for these pictures as they were always left behind at car boot sales and jumble sales so i decided to start collecting them, never paying more than £1 for any of them. Now they're the "in-thing". People are so fickle! xxx

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  35. I love hearing about your days. You are a busy bee! Lovely frocks, you do gardening and housework chic very well. I've been living in my dungarees, lots of gardening and housework here too in between baby care! Xx

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    1. I bet baby care takes up a huge amount of your time, I'm impressed that you even find the energy to get dressed! x

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  36. Ahhhh, the wall of misery! I missed seeing it!!!! Well done on all your exploits! I am impressed at your industriousness!!! I attempted to tidy the spare room earlier but there are still bags of stuff everywhere (including that parcel that I meant to send to you in December but was disorganised!) . Ah well, I did change the bed linen which is a good thing!

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    1. Haha! I'd forgotten all about that parcel!
      Jon's decided to sort out a cupboard this morning, I dread to think what he's unearthed, he's very quiet. xxx

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  37. Hello, I sent a message here yesterday but it didn't work for some reason, I'm out of practice with blogging! Anyway, thank you for the brilliant Distancing Diaries, they are so positive and helpful. We have watched The Big Sick and This Country on your recommendation and both were fab! Could you please tell me how you make your lunchtime noodles? They sound delicious. I'm going to try the Sabzi this week too. With love, Jayne (in Coventry) xx

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