Sunday, 30 August 2020
The Distancing Diaries - Day 162 & 163
Friday, 28 August 2020
The Distancing Diaries - Day 160 & 161
On Thursday (day 160), after my Wii Fit workout and our breakfast, we got dressed and got cracking in the garden. The Midlands been issued with an amber warning for rain so we wanted to get as much done as we could.
|Wearing: Vintage block printed kaftan and 1970s quilted jacket (both eBay), tooled leather belt and Clarks' Orinoco Club Chelsea boots (both charity shopped), vintage umbrella (car boot sale)|
I cooked! Tea was roast peppers stuffed with couscous, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped olives & Feta cheese. We harvested our first courgette yesterday so I made a Greek yachni using a recipe I'd adapted from the lovely book our friend Lynn sent us.
As I'd only got one courgette I added a handful of frozen okra. The book says that, when using tinned tomatoes, Greeks often add a dessertspoonful of Worcester sauce to bring out the flavour but, as a vegetarian, I use tamarind sauce as it's fish-free.
8oz courgettes (roughly chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
Tin of tomatoes
Dessertspoonful of Worcester / Tamarind sauce
Fresh chopped parsley
Ground black pepper
Ground sea salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- Sweat the onion in olive oil until translucent
- Add the rest of the ingredients
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes
After tea we watched a few episodes of Gone Fishing on the BBC i-player. Jon's already seen a few and loved them & I'm late to the party. Who'd have thought that a programme about two middle-aged men going fishing would be such fun?
On Friday I was up at 6am to book a slot for our next National Trust adventure. The sun made a brief appearance as I did my last Wii Fit workout of the week but soon descended into the same old grey murk. We'd just eaten our fruit & yogurt breakfast when the My Hermes driver arrived with a parcel. Earlier in the week I'd visited the website of one of the several UK stores on the brink of closure and bought Jon four pairs of shorts, reduced by 75% in their Summer sale. All four pairs got the thumbs up and fitted perfectly so yesterday's packing is going to have to be re-thought.
Jon wasn't the only one being treated, look what arrived for me (although I think we'll be sharing it!)
Despite the rain we cracked on with the border clearance, Jon lopping and sawing and me shredding beneath The Egg. Those are the surviving garden lights, the ones closest to the house were destroyed by Storm Francis.
The postman arrived with the new-with-tags Zara bikini I'd treated myself to from eBay. I tried it on and left glowing feedback for the seller.
Tea was the rest of the other night's pizza as Jon had forgotten to cut them in half and freeze them. Tonight we'll be partaking in some rum & cola, served - as always - in charity shop tumblers. I don't think I ever shared the JH Lynch coasters I found for £1 in the charity clearance shop earlier this year. They make drinking in the house a bit more special.
A year ago tonight, I was dressed in a Lurex halterneck maxi, sequinned coat and barefoot. We closed our shop at the Towersey festival and danced to The Selecter in a field. Tonight we'll be staying in with the central heating on, the curtains closed and watching programmes about fishing and gardening....what a strange year!
Stay safe, stay fabulous and see you soon!
Wednesday, 26 August 2020
The Distancing Diaries - Day 158 & 159
Tuesday (day 158) dawned, bringing with it Storm Francis. When I got up at 6.30am the rain, which had woken us in the early hours, remained torrential and the sky was so dark that I needed the light on for my Wii Fit workout. The irrigation system was working perfectly although hardly necessary. After our breakfast Jon popped out for a few bits & to do a post office run whilst I caught up with blogland.
When the weather's miserable I find it really hard to get motivated but with the incentive of a browse on eBay once I was done, I talked myself into sweeping the kilims in the middle room & the stairs and also to dust the frames on the Wall of Misery before joining Jon for a mug of tea when he got back from the shops.
Stephen had been for a run out in the garden first thing but Frank, who hates the rain had stayed indoors with a plate of cocktail prawns. By mid-morning the deluge had stopped so he accompanied me into the garden so I could drag out the garden waste bin ready for collection in the morning.
The previous evening we'd taken the lids off our water butts and positioned every receptacle we could lay our hands on to collect the rain. Our houseplants will be happy.
I bought this 1970s Anokhi pinafore from eBay last year. I'm quite high-waisted & the bodice was too long so I'd taken up the shoulder seams by a couple of inches which lifted the waistband to my natural waist.
|WEARING: Vintage Anokhi pinafore dress, 1970s Ayesha Davar cheesecloth blouse, Doc Marten oxblood Darcie boots (all eBay)|
A year later and I'd still not got round to cutting off the excess fabric and stitching the seams properly so after our noodles, I stripped off to my knickers and got it done. It took all of forty minutes.
By now the wind we'd been threatened with had arrived with avengeance. I heard a sickening crack & looked out of the window to see a huge branch from next-door's lime tree flying through the air. It missed Gilbert by inches but our poor garden lights weren't quite so lucky, bringing them down in a hail of broken glass. Once we'd recovered the lights and raked up the best we could, we drew the curtains, cracked up the heating and spent the rest of the afternoon reading.
After tea (half a quiche with a Greek salad and coleslaw) we watched three episodes of Diarmiud Gavin's Gardening Together (we'd watched three the night before) until Jon was hit by a bout of musical inspiration and had to lock himself into his music room composing a tune.
It was still blowing a gale when I got up on Wednesday (day 159) and I discovered that Storm Francis had claimed another victim, The Egg.
At 6am I was outside staking my Delphiniums and Black Eyed Susans which had taken a severe battering overnight.
After my Wii Fit session and our fruit & yogurt breakfast the wind had finally died down so we popped into town as we needed a few things from Wilkos - new secateurs as ours had gone missing over the weekend, a lump hammer as the top kept flying off ours, a pack of replacement paint brushes and, after studying Lord Jon's gardening catalogue that had arrived yesterday, I fancied planting some Queen of the Night tulips.
We called into the clearance charity shop spending a total of £4. We stocked up on books. I used to confuse Jodi Picoult with Jojo Moyes, mistakenly thinking she wrote chick lit (which I loathe), her books involve moral dilemmas or courtroom dramas and really make you think. I adore Harry Hole and haven't read Knife. We also bought another vintage egg poaching pan, 'cos two clearly aren't enough.
We drove over to Liz and Al's as we'd a birthday present for him. We sat in the garden chatting and eating homemade birthday cake for an hour or so before heading back home for lunch.
|WEARING: Diya Studios maxi skirt with cotton camisole (new, retail buy), 1950s Tyrolean souvenir belt, Indian sponge coral beads.|
I'd left the house wearing something entirely different but when I got back there was a parcel waiting for me. At the weekend I'd received an email from a lovely lady called Ellen who'd been stalking an Indian cotton maxi skirt in her local charity shop for weeks and, finding it reduced, she'd bought it, listed it on eBay but said that if I liked it to pop in an offer for the price she'd paid and it would be mine.
Thanks so much, Ellen! I love it!
A walk around the garden revealed yet more havoc wreaked by Storm Francis, with branches snapped off both the buddleia and the magnolia. And to think I spent a couple of hours on Sunday tidying up that area!
Jon set to work with the hacksaw, assembling a pile ready for me to turn into mulch with the garden shredder tomorrow (weather permitting) and then got a bit carried away, lopping away until we'd got a huge gap in the border. I've been wanting to clear the area for a while and now he's started I'm excited.
Depending on what the weather throws at us - bearing in mind there's a Bank Holiday weekend coming up so rain is almost guaranteed - we're going to continue with the clearing and see what happens. Obviously no trees will be harmed on our quest, we don't want a fine of £2,500 per tree!
The Egg lives to see another day! We'll be having a cheeky Wednesday evening beer in there after our tea (pizza with salad, including lollo rosso, rocket, basil, parsley, Oriental leaves & chives from the garden).