Thursday, 22 April 2021

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


 For the first time in what felt like weeks, Wednesday was overcast, grey and drizzly although I thought like a gardener and knew it would do our newly transplanted ferns some good. After my Wii Fit workout, we had an early breakfast and Jon drove me to Morrisons' car park where I'd got my three-yearly NHS mammogram, offered free to all women between the ages of 50 and 71. I was the first patient of the day and was in and out in less than ten minutes.

As I needed to strip down to the waist I wore vintage Anokhi separates. I rarely bother with a bra so it was just a matter of unbuttoning my blouse and swapping my mask for a surgical one, handed out at reception. It's my third mammogram and despite all the warnings to the contrary, it's never hurt or felt particularly uncomfortable. When you get invited - go! 


Back at home, I spent the rest of the morning doing more ancestry research. After our noodles the sun was starting to break through the clouds, we filled the garden waste bin - which had been emptied whilst we were out then Jon went online and checked the live feed to the council tip. For the first time this year, there wasn't a queue so we filled the car with as much of the bamboo roots as we could cram in and drove over, came home, refilled the car and went back to the tip. 


The postwoman was doing her rounds and she handed over our mail between trips which we opened back at the house. It included this incredible dress. Late last year Amanda had left a comment on my blog, telling me about Dilli Grey, a British company selling contemporary artisan fashion ethically made in Rajasthan. I'd drooled over their dresses for months and was delighted when the one that had particularly taken my eye popped up on eBay. The seller was kind enough to accept an offer and having handled it I can understand why they aren't cheap. It's handmade from organic cotton, block prints with French seams and pockets. What more can a girl ask for?


I spent the rest of the afternoon pottering around the garden, moving plants and watering everything as, despite the earlier drizzle, the ground was still bone dry. Three little boys in school uniform stopped and said hello. Their mum said that they'd been wanting to write me a letter thanking me for making the litter signs which they love to read on their way to school but as they'd finally seen me in person thought they could say thank you face to face. 


Tea was a salad with masala chips and a vegan sausage roll accompanied by a glass of wine. I mopped the kitchen floor and then moved to the lounge for rum and cola and an evening of Waking the Dead and The Great British Sewing Bee.


On Thursday the glorious sunshine had returned. I'd put a load of washing in the machine before I'd gone to bed which I pegged on the line at just after 6.30am. I opened up the cold frames and cloches to get some sun on the seedlings and topped up the birdbath. After my Wii Fit workout and breakfast, Jon made sandwiches, we then climbed into Gilbert and made our way to Shugborough Hall, this week's National Trust adventure.


We've visited Shugborough in the Summer (HERE) and the Winter (HERE), this was the first time we'd seen it in the Spring, and it didn't disappoint.


Although chilly out of the sunshine, it was a gorgeous day.

















We stood transfixed watching this moorhen feeding her colourful young.
















We spent ages strolling around and had a leisurely lunch in Gilbert with his doors wide open and the sunshine flooding in. Although Shugborough Hall is only half an hour up the road it was mid-afternoon by the time we got home. 


I spent the rest of the day on the lawn, finishing The Silence of the Girls and sewing a craftivism banner for my new friends. Jon and I shared gardening watering duties and had tea.


I'm so looking forward to having a haircut tomorrow, it's driving me daft.

See you soon!

42 comments:

  1. Glad your appointment went will Vix. All the photos from your National Trust adventure are so beautiful, but that photo of the moorhen is amazing. I've never seen such colorful little babies before! Oh and I love the new dress too. :)

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    1. Those moorhen babies wouldn't look out of place in your tropical paradise! x

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  2. Love your new dress. That moorhen and her babies - so amazing

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    1. Thank you! Aren't those babies gorgeous? x

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  3. What an amazing place to visit! I will return for a closer inspection tomorrow. You always show such beautiful places and make me wish I could tour National Trust with you. Well, at least I can do so virtually!

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    1. I'm always happy for you to join me virtually! x

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  4. That's nice having your work appreciated. Have the signs lead to a noticeable reduction in litter yet?

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    1. I can't believe how clean Walsall is looking, whether it's the residents being more aware of more volunteer pickers I'm not sure! xxx

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  5. Really stunning photos. We’re in Autumn heading into winter soon. Had the hedge cutters / tree pruners here today for 8 hours. Got woken so early and the noise horrendous all day but oh so worth it. They always do such a great job. Do like your new dress Viv. đŸ„°

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    1. I bet eight hours of strimming had your teeth on edge - worth it though! Bet your hedge is looking lovely now. x

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  6. I certainly recommend regular breast screening even though I am only 46, I have to due to my family history, I did tell them once to cut them off as I didn’t need them anymore. But they refused. I watched my mil die from it and it was horrible I still miss her now.
    That moorhen photo was beautiful, we have a swan nesting in the National park and there is warning signs all over to keep away from the nest. We do see them the odd time on the lake and she certainly draws a crowd.
    The garden is slowly taking shape. Not to happy with the contractors I feel Iike giving them the boot. But Paul is home today so I will let him deal with it. That dress is wonderful. I bet you can’t wait to go back to India when this all settles down. Take care and keep safe love and hugs

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    1. It's such a painless procedure and free, women are crazy not to go for their appointments of they're offered one.
      Swans are gorgeous. I tried to take a photo of a nesting one at packwood the week before but she wouldn't look up. Spoilsport! xxx

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  7. How lucky to get such a good sight of those deer little baby moorhens and what a beautiful place for a day out. Your Dilly dress is pretty and a great find. I had my screening recently, I have a friend on the generous side up top who made a right fuss but I thought it was fine and so worth it, it doesn't hurt imo just a squeeze!

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    1. I delighted to spot that moorhen and her babies, I could have watched them all day!
      I'm really pleased that I spotted that Dilli Grey dress, it's such a lovely thing to wear.
      The first time I went for a mammogram I was expecting it to be torture but I hardly felt a thing, some people don't half love a whinge! xxx

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  8. Glad that your mammogram was not even uncomfortable, mine is usually annoying (but this doesn't deter me!). Great idea on picking easy-to-wear clothes, and still looking fabulous in your red blouse and skirt, so beautiful colour and matchy earrings!.
    No wonder you felt in love with Dilly Grey dresses, they're really gorgeous!, and yours is particularly cool!. Such a lucky find!. Lovely that you wore it for your National Trust excursion, looking so fabulous. Thanks for these sunny photos and the cuteness of mom moorhen!
    Lovely that your banners have some young fans!, you're rocking it!
    besos

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    1. I think the only problem with mammograms is the weird positions you have to get into when you're not well-blessed in the boob department!
      I'm very excited to finally add a Dilli Grey to my collection, I can understand why they are so expensive to buy new. xxx

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  9. Well done for snaffling that Dilli Grey dress on eBay - it looks gorgeous on you. Keep an eye out for Naked Generation dresses too, they are also fab block print Indian dresses and the business owner is a lovely lady based in Cornwall.

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    1. I used to follow naked generation on Instagram - gorgeous tones in their clothes. There's one currently on ebay but still rather pricey! xxx

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  10. The dress is beautiful sister. Looks like spring is well underway for you guys. What a lovely garden wander.

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  11. We're so lucky to still have the breast-screening facility in the UK. People who complain about it being sore or uncomfortable need to woman-up! Love the folly at Shugborough. Your new dress is perfect on you. Have a good weekend all. xxx

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    1. We really are lucky to have free breast screening. I love how they bring the clinic to supermarkets rather than having to travel to the local hospital and have to pay the over-inflated car parking prices! xxx

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  12. Gorgeous sunny day! I'd have made the trip if only to admire the Moorhen and her brilliant babies. Had I seen you and Jon in your bright blues (and reds) that were so appropriate for the site and the occasion, I'd have probably sneaked a nap of you, too. Exactly the correct attire for an expedition into time travel.

    So good to hear the youngsters appreciate your banners! Admit I'd like to snaffle that "Staff and pigs only" notice for my door.

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    1. I had no idea baby moorhens were so exotic looking, I was mesmerised!
      Isn't that staff & pigs sign hilarious? I think I want one, too! xx

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  13. love the red ensemble and the dilli gray dress is incredible beautiful!
    is´t it the best reward to get a thank you from your neigbors and their kids too? you are a good example for the little ones.
    your trip looks gorgeous - bright sunny weather and so many lovely things to discover - that moorhen!! the old car! love the beds in the lawn......
    did cut a bit of my hair lately too - it was getting to heavy.
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! Isn't it reassuring that there's still companies out there producing beautiful - and thoughtfully made - clothes? xxx

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  14. Your weather has obviously been better than ours, as we did have our fair share of overcast days these last couple of weeks. Fortunately, some sunny, blue-skied ones as well, but these were generally a bit too chilly for the time of year. The weather certainly couldn't have been more perfect for your trip to Shugborough Hall. It's always worth revisiting gardens in different seasons. How absolutely delightful is that photo of the moorhen with her babies!
    Your newly acquired Dilli Grey dress is stunning, and it certainly deserved a NT visit as its first outing! I'm sure your new friends will be thrilled to bits with their own Craftivism banner. And ooh, a haircut: you must be so excited! xxx

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    1. We've had glorious sunshine almost non-stop for over three-weeks now. The garden is as dry as dust but it makes me deliriously happy! People keep saying how cold it is but with a walled garden we've got a bit of a micro climate going on so it's bikinis almost evry day - hooray! xxx

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  15. Shugborough looks lovely and those little baby moorhens are so cute.

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  16. Oh my gosh, what a wonderful day-trip! Your pictures are gorgeous - I love the one of the folly/ruins. Great outfit for your mammogram (I don't have a GP, so can't book one...but breast cancer/any kind of cancer is pretty much unknown in my family).

    Have a wonderful weekend, Vix!

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    1. It was a wonderful escape, the weather was perfect! I love that ghostly looking folly and am dying to have a mooch around the house when we're allowed back indoors! xxx

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  17. Fab photo of the Moorhen Vix! I wonder if the chicks are so brightly coloured so that mother hen can keep a beady eye on them. I always used to dress my kids in fluorescent clothes when they were really little. I especially like the 'Staff and pigs only' sign. Looks like you had a lovely day out. Lulu xXx

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    1. I couldn't believe how bright those moorhen babies are! We could have stood oohing and ahhing at them for hours.
      I wanted to pinch that Staff & Pigs sign, I'd have loved it on my gate! xxx

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  18. What a lovely post! no change there. Happy Saturday morning Vix! Firstly, bet you were the most stylish lady turning up for screening. Loved the outfit. How lovely the children stopping to say thank you be that made their day when they saw you in person. I think you are becoming a bit of a celebrity in your town. I think Walsall is lucky to have you. What a stunning NT trip the photos are glorious all of them. Enjoy your haircut! The dress is divine and sounds a quality garment. Shazxx

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    1. Hello Shaz! You are kind! The only other patient was wearing grey jogging bottoms, say no more. I was very touched by the mum and her three lovely boys. I shall hand them some banners when I see them walk past, I hope they like them! xxx

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  19. The dress from Dilli Grey looks beautiful. French seams and block print- indeed who could ask for a more in a dress. I hope I still remember how to do french seams from the sewing course I took. Your two piece outfit for the mammogram is lovely. I will definitely go whenever I'm invited. I think that in Croatian also you get mammogram invitations after a certain age, I think that's how my mother went, she got her invitation in mail. I think it's a great initiative to remind women because some probably just forget. Better safe than sorry.


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    1. Thanks, Ivana! I do love a French seam. I always turn clothes inside out when I'm in charity shops and overlocked seams usually put me off, made on the cheap! xxx

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  20. THAT PHOTO of the coot and her babies is wonderful! I think it is a Coot rather than a Moorhen isn't it? https://www.bto.org/develop-your-skills/bird-identification/videos/identifying-coot-and-moorhen . Look at them all poking out!
    Your new Dilligrey dress is superb and SO you!
    Shrugbrough looks so beautiful- I'd like to visit it!
    Love your breast screening outfit- so comfortable AND practical!

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  21. That looks like a lovely trip out. Lots of sun and beautiful flowers.

    Can't beat a well-finished piece of clothing. I french seam or flat-fell most of the stuff I make, just to make things last longer. That dress is gorgeous.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix