Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Lockdown diaries - week 9 🌡

Hello, here we are again! I have a great read coming up for you, including more snail eggs, more socially-distanced socialising, a new TV series addiction, and one completed project! Hold onto your hats, we're in for quite a ride.

Day 57 (Tuesday 19th May) - whilst Ed went running I got my ingredients ready to make a yum bread recipe I saw on TV last week (here's the link), fed my snails, and found A THIRD clutch of eggs! Then we ate pancakes and watched the news. Spent most of the morning making bread, put my succulents outside for some fresh air and attacked some mealybugs (my nemesis). Ate some hot bread for lunch and watched Outback Opal Hunters (quality show). Did my week 8 blog post, recorded worship with Ed, and our John Lewis wedding present delivery arrived! Later on I brought my plants back inside, we had lamb chops for tea, then Ed and I went for a walk and saw 12 cats! We watched the first 2 episodes of Christopher Eccleston Doctor Who (the memories!!!).

What could be better than cheese, bacon and bread ?

In our recording booth (my room)

Day 58 (Wednesday 20th) - went for a run, prayed with Ed, brekkie and Doctor Who, went to the house to drop off the wedding things, came home for lunch and watched more Doctor Who. Did some drawing, then some newspaper puzzles, knitted, watched Pointless, then had dinner followed by dad's homemade rice pudding! House group zoom, followed by Doctor Who (the addiction has begun).

The only photo I took today was of a dead mouse on my run. Sorry!

Day 59 (Thursday 21st) - chilled morning, breakfast and The Great British Sewing Bee, knitting, repotting, fed the snails, worked on my blanket. Lunch and Doctor Who. Then we went for an 11 mile ish bike ride, stopped off at my mum's and borrowed some crochet hooks for the next stage of my blanket! Ed made risotto for dinner, we watched Stacey Dooley's Lockdown Heroes documentary and clapped for carers (the last one??), then Ed and I watched 3 episodes of Doctor Who and I began crocheting the trim on my blanket.

Mum's roses

Day 60 (Friday 22nd) - breakfast, Doctor Who and crochet allll morning (I had to stop for breaks because my hands got so sore), then did some garden jobs before lunch and more  Doctor Who. Then we went on a walk and discovered a new forest! (Day 60 and we're still discovering new lands just down the road!). Then I baked some cookies and Ed and I got hooked watching videos of vintage clapping monkeys on youtube. Yum pork for dinner, followed by Doctor Who of course (to quote myself: "we might as well make it a whole day"...I think we did 7 episodes?)

They didn't look like the photo on the recipe but tasted delish

Day 61 (Saturday 23rd) - went for a run and saw 2 cats, listened to a podcast about prayer, then breakfast and Saturday Morning Kitchen, watered my plants, had a finances sesh with Ed! Lunch and Doctor Who, crochet, then mum and 2 siblings visited and we talked through the car window. I finished my National Geographic drawing, had a zoom call, said hello through the window to my brother who'd come on a bike ride! We made arancini with the leftover risotto (yum!) and watched Britain's Got Talent lol, then more Doctor Who.

Copied the boy and his cat from June 1994 issue of Nat Geo 

Day 62 (Sunday 24th) - Tom woke me up at 8am and we went outside to say hello to my sister who dropped by on her way home from a night shift, then back to my usual morning routine and Bible reading, followed by breakfast and Gardener's World. Church livestream, then zoom catch up. Ed and I went for a lovely picnic under a big oak tree! Idyllic! A very warm, sunny day and we saw a jay, read our books on a blanket in a sea of long grass. Picked a bouquet, came home and watched Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages and it was about Devon and Cornwall! Pasties for tea, then we zoomed with Ed's family, then had ice cream and watched Antiques Roadshow. I FINISHED MY BLANKET! Then we watched Doctor Who.

Met some cows with hair like Boris

Day 63 (Monday 25th) - woke up, fed Tom and saw a seagull in the garden! Brekkie with Ed before he went to work (after his car wouldn't start so dad had to use the jump leads). I tidied my room, then went to Asda, photographed my blanket, repotted my fig tree, then had lunch. Dad and I went to my grandma's for a bike ride and it was so nice! We had a cuppa in her lovely garden, then came home. When Ed got back I made fajitas and nachos. Followed by a cuppa and some chocolate fingers. Grayson's Art Club, then Killing Eve! I started some new crochet because my hands yearned to be doing something whilst we watched TV.

Bonus content:

  • Watching Doctor Who is really fun because Ed and I were both fans when it was first on TV and it's kind of crazy how many details we can remember after not seeing it for 15 years. Great childhood mems. Also it's funny remembering how much I loved (idolised?) Rose Tyler lol.
  • My hair is long enough now to tie up fairly successfully so I have been enjoying the old messy bun most days.

  • My monstera leaves are all open!

  • One of my cacti has flowered! HoORAY!

  • Must include a pic of Tom, he was a bit neglected in my last update. Here he is just waking up from a snooze on my bed as if it's his. He has also been enjoying more time in the garden recently with all the warm weather we're having. 

  • I'll conclude this post with some photos of my finished blanket because it's very exciting! I think I started knitting these squares back in 2015 or early 2016 so it feels good to finish such a big project. 


Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Lockdown diaries - week 8 πŸ“

As lockdown goes on and on it is losing its novelty and I'm beginning to think these posts are silly and repetitive. What if I can't go back to work for ages? I can't keep making these until October! At least I'll be able to look back on this time in great detail.

Day 50 (Tuesday 12th May) - woke up and went for a run, breakfast and Friends, cleaned out the snails and found more eggs! Had lunch and zoomed with Elli and Imogen, wrote my week 7 blog post, had a phonecall to say I can't go back to work yet!!! Knitting, burgers for dinner with The Good Life. Then we watched a bit off Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off, followed by Paul Hollywood Eats Japan, then Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and a guy got £500,000 (whilst I wrapped my sister's birthday presents).

Sharing a bowl of special snail porridge (the perfect date)

Day 51 (Wednesday 13th) - woke up and fed my sourdough baby (I do this everyday but for some reason I decided to document it today), prayed with Ed and had a wonderful cup of tea, then breakfast and we finished Friday Night Dinner! Went and got diesel and dropped off my sister's birthday presents, then went to Asda. Came home for lunch and watched a couple of episodes of Fresh Meat but decided we didn't want to watch anymore. Then we we spent the afternoon making a quiz for housegroup! Leftovers for dinner and The Simpsons, then a birthday zoom call with family followed by zoom house group with our quiz which was fun! Then Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Bought reduced flowers in Asda

Day 52 (Thursday 14th) - went on a bike ride with Ed to new undiscovered lands, breakfast and The Great British Sewing Bee, made banana and strawberry nice cream (YUM), put some dye on my hair, watered my plants, pottered around, washed out the dye, had lunch and watched Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures (we have reverted to children's TV and we love it), chilled and watched some youtube videos, made sweet potato fries for dinner! Phoned my grandma, went for an evening walk, chilled.

Day 53 (Friday 15th) - woke up and pottered around until Ed finished his Joe Wicks work out lol, breakfast and Animal Cops, knitting, embroidery and Born To Kill documentaries, lunch and the news, went to my grandparents house to collect Ed's plants (which he had been pining after for the past two months), had a socially-distanced cuppa with them in the garden and it was so nice, their garden is heaven and I picked a bouquet of flowers. Came home and had fish and chips for dins avec Richard Osman's House of Games and some cookery TV. Then Gardeners' World (RIP Nigel), followed by Jools Holland which was great because it showed a 1997 BjΓΆrk performance.

Day 54 (Saturday 16th) - went for a run, breakfast and The Simpsons, fed the snails, looked up recipes then made some sourdough flatbreads, lunch and The Worst Witch (CBBC rocks), sewing and podcast, sewing machine sesh (a new project!), duck for dinner! Eurovision and knitting. Also spoke to Ed's parents.

Ed and his beloved trees

Day 55 (Sunday 17th) - woke a little later, breakfast with James Martin and Ainsley Harriott as usual,  knitting, church livestream, John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen, then church zoom call, followed by a family call. Then we had lunch with more CBBC and Barbie. Did some sewing, made a nice summery tea, followed by Biscoff cheesecake! Then Ed and I went for an evening walk, then came back and watched A Room With A View.

Day 56 (Monday 18th) - did (half) a Joe Wicks video, breakfast and Killing Eve, played ukulele, lunch and Jamie's 30 Minute Meals, did a painting whilst listening to music then a podcast, followed by dinner and we watched Zulu. Spoke to the siblings on the phone, then Grayson's Art Club.


  • I'm on the final square of my knitted blanket! The end is in sight!
  • I thought I'd share my 2020 playlist, I've been adding songs as I get into them this year so it will develop as time goes on -

  • I have two more monstera deliciosa leaves which are about to open, will share pics next week.
  • I've had a few moments this week where I've lacked inspiration and felt like I'm racking my brains for something to do but I don't have the motivation to do anything that comes to mind. A bit sucky but probably normal. I've mostly overcome it by just forcing myself to do something (i.e. the painting and the new sewing project) and that usually helps. Starting is the hardest part, once I get into it I'm really into it and the hours fly by.
  • Dusky sunset walks are really nice.
Good bye, fellow people living through a pandemic. I hope you can enjoy a sunset walk soon.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Lockdown diaries - week 7 🐣

Bonjour again! I'm getting deja vu trying to start this post...I talked about the weather last week and how it had been almost wintery, well it changed again this week and we were back to blue skies and hot temperatures! I don't know what else to say except I feel like this week has consisted of knitting and watching tv.

Day 43 (Tuesday 5th May) - got up with my alarm for a change, made tea, emptied the dishwasher, listened to Concerto for a Rainy Day by ELO and it was raining, made notes for house group, breakfast and Friends, more notes, made my week 6 blog post, lunch and Friday Night Dinner, knitting, recorded worship songs with Ed, did some writing, roast chicken dinner, cuppa and Maltesers, watched a bit of tv and more knitting, then Ed and I watched Big Fish.

My assistant

Day 44 (Wednesday 6th) - went for a 2.5 mile run, prayed with Ed, brekkie and Friday Night Dinner, washed some clothes and hung them out to dry, posted another blog post, worked on notes for house group, lunch and Friends, went for a walk, knitting, pizza and The Good Life. Zoom house group! Followed by Paul Hollywood Eats Japan!

Day 45 (Thursday 7th) - chilled wake up, breakfast and The Great British Sewing Bee, fed the snails, got things out from the loft, worked on my Friends video, lunch and Bargain Hunt. Went to the house to do some jobs, came back and watched The Simpsons, curry for dinner, The One Show, Dad's homemade chocolate cake, clapped for carers, Ed and I went for a lovely dusk walk, then we watched a Louis Theroux zionist documentary and then stayed up researching Israel vs Palestine.

Day 46 (Friday 8th) - got up and went for a bike ride with Ed, came home and had sausage sandwiches with Dad and watched a documentary about African forests, I finished the Friends video, bought Hayley William's new album (Petals for Armor), lunch and Friday Night Dinner, published my video, worked on my blanket, repotted a Christmas cactus. Leftovers for dinner, The One Show, VE day programme, Gardeners' World, then also ended up watching QI (my first time).

Day 47 (Saturday 9th) - breakfast and Friends, knitting, reading, sewing whilst listening to Petals for Armor, lunch (bacon sarnies), more sewing, walked around the lake and it was so hot, saw 5 stock doves and loads of squirrels, and a woodpecker, and a heron, and a moorhen sitting on her nest with 3 chicks! Came home and watched Celebrity Mastermind, scampi for tea and watched the birds in the garden - 3 collared doves, starlings, sparrows, a robin and a goldfinch! Then a zoom quiz with friends, then watched American Gospel with Ed and stayed up late having a DMC about life and Christianity and worship etc.

Day 48 (Sunday 10th) *Ed and I decided to have a no phones day* - breakfast and cookery tv, church livestream followed by a zoom, lunch and Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook (we love Ainsley), had a phonecall from work and found out they are opening again. Gave Ed a haircut, planted some string of pearls cuttings, watered our seedlings, went for a walk and picked flowers, saw our fledgling doves from last week! Came home and ate a cookie and phoned my mum and siblings, knitting and watched a beautiful programme called Wild Japan, then ate eggy bread whilst watching Boris' announcement, made some sourdough and watched Friday Night Dinner. 

Disclaimer: even though it was a no phone day I did use it to take a few snaps.

Day 49 (Monday 11th) - phoned John Lewis and arranged for our non-wedding wedding presents to be delivered, breakfast and Friday Night Dinner, knitting, mask-making and podcasts, baked our bread, lunch and Lorraine Pascal, more masks and music, went for a walk, macaroni cheese for tea!!! Yum pudding followed by Grayson's Art Club πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’› and Killing Eve.

DIY cute fruit facemask courtesy of youtube tutorials 

More ramblings:

  • So after receiving a phonecall from my workplace I was expecting to be going back this week...I was all ready to call this my final lockdown update and enter the outside world, I  even made myself a cute facemask. But plans have changed again and I can't go back after all! I imagine lots of people are in this situation, waiting on each phonecall and email with no idea when things will change and then change again. Also, Ed and I might not be able to get married until June at least. Trusting God in this time where everything feels unknown.
  • Tom has stopped sneezing which is great news.
  • The seeds which Ed and I sowed last week are doing well! 

  • I only have 5 more squares to knit for my blanket and will give it a crocheted trim, then it will be finished! 5+ years of on and off knitting almost complete πŸŽ‰  Also, this week I picked up a piece of embroidery which I started back in August and then abandoned for 8 months. Hopefully I will find the motivation to finish it during lockdown!
  • One of the things I have been looking forward to most each week is Grayson's Art Club, it's honestly what keeps me going sometimes. It's so calming and I love Grayson and Philippa's relationship, it's nice to just feel like you're hanging out in their studio whilst they potter around and make stuff. It reminds me of being back at uni and having the space to talk about art and take it seriously but also have fun and be creative and silly. 
Farewell, and stay safe if you're back to work this week! Meanwhile I'm gearing up for another week on the lockdown train, yee haw.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020


With all this free time (and that 10 albums challenge I've been tagged in on Facebook) I've been going back to some old music that I used to listen to. Flyleaf was one of my favourite bands for a while when I was about 15 and quite sad. I discovered them because I was searching for "screamo Christian music", sounds weird, I know. But I wanted to listen to music that reflected my Christian world view, that wasn't offensive or inappropriate, but also was raw and emotional and comforting. At that time I found a lot of Christian music to be too jolly, annoyingly happy clappy, and I couldn't connect with it.

I ended up with a long list of bands to try out, one by one crossing them off when I didn't like their music or their message, or both. Until I found Flyleaf. The first song I listened to was All Around Me which I immediately enjoyed, and I was intrigued by the very cool looking lead singer Lacey Sturm. I went on to watch countless videos of her sharing her amazing testimony about how God rescued her from suicide at the age of 16 and from then on I didn't look back. This was a kind of music I never knew existed! Heavy and rock-y but with a heart that beats for Jesus, passionately sharing a message of hope in the darkness. Their music got me excited about the Bible too, I used to highlight passages and annotate them with the Flyleaf song which I recognised them from.

"Sitting closer than my pain, He knew each tear before it came"

This particular song Sorrow is one that brings back memories of a sad time in my life but I'm so glad that I could find comfort in music that pointed me to Jesus rather than allowing me to wallow in the gloom. That line at the end: "JOY WILL COME", was such an encouragement to me and somehow it felt more real being screamed. Life is different now, I'm definitely not in that place anymore but I suppose during this pandemic the message reminds us that we do have a hope and this situation will end. Also it's just a great song.

P.S. I would recommend Lacey's book The Reason if you want to read her story.

"Weeping may last for the night but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Lockdown diaries - week 6 πŸ“š

Back again! 42 days down, roughly 60,480 minutes, or 3,628,800 seconds if you were counting. I wasn't, I just googled it because I thought it would be funny. We've seen a change in the weather this week which is actually quite exciting, it's been almost wintery at times, how novel! Speaking of novels, I finished one this week, you'll have to read on to find out more about that and also other fascinating fragments of my lockdown life. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin...

Day 36 (Tuesday 28th April) - got up and went for a two mile run in the rain (I almost didn't go but didn't want to cancel my only plan for the day) which turned out to be enjoyable, breakfast and Friends, knitting, wrote my week 5 blog post, had lunch and watched a chef programme with Dad (Alex Polizzi: Chef's on Trial), hoovered, spoke to Elli on the phone whilst doing some colouring, planted some seeds with Ed and moved my mystery bean plant outside because it's so big! Ate yum meatballs, followed by Dad's DIY trifle and watched Murder on the Orient Express (not as good as the book in my opinion). Then Ed and I watched Paul Hollywood Eats Japan.

I stole this meme from an IT Crowd fb group sorry

Day 37 (Wednesday 29th) - Ed and I prayed and did communion using squash in egg cups and homemade bread lol, breakfast and Friends, fed the snails and found 305 eggs when I was rummaging around! Spent a while gathering, counting, and sensitively disposing of them, then I tidied my room. Lunch and chef programme part 2, then we made bagels, went for a walk, then made scotch eggs for dinner, then zoom house group followed by some reading.

Tom snoozing on Ed during house group

Day 38 (Thursday 30th) - went for a run in the rain again, brekkie and Friends, washed some clothes, packed some clothes, watched The Great British Sewing Bee, lunch and the chef programme part 3 and knitting. Then I cleaned the bathroom whilst listening to a podcast, fixed my ripped (again) dungarees, drew, ate yum pasta for dins, watched The Good Life with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Then Ed and I watched Captain Fantastic which lead to some great conversation. 

The blanket is progressing well

Day 39 (Friday 1st MAY) - breakfast and Friday Night Dinner, then Ed and I cleaned and polished our cars allll morning, then lunch and the final of the chef programme! I watered my plants, drew, read my book, then we went for a walk, leftovers for tea, then we watched Stan and Ollie and ate junket (google it! eek), then Ed and I watched Gardeners' World. I stayed up late ish because I had to finish my book I'll Never Be Young Again by Daphne du Maurier, a quote from my journal "I thought I didn't like this book because the main character was awful but SUCH A TWIST! SO MANY TWISTS! Turned out to be an incredible book!.....How does Daphne write like this?! In the 1930s!! Mad."

Shiny car

Day 40 (Saturday 2nd) - went for a run round the block with Ed, made drop scone/pancakes for breakfast and watched Saturday Morning Kitchen, I started working on a video, packed some more clothes, then lunch and Friday Night Dinner. Then did some reading and my doll arrived in the post! Packed books, spent a while fixing my broken bed with Dad, then had a nice dinner followed by a zoom call with some of my old school friends! It ended up going on for 5 hours lol. Very fun, lots of laughs and memories.

Day 41 (Sunday 3rd) - woke up with a headache for some reason (maybe all the zooming), brekkie and church livestream which we played on the TV! Had a church zoom, then lunch and reading, then I finished my drawing. We went for a walk and saw some collared dove fledglings which was very sweet. I read, then videocalled with my fam, yum pork for dinner, then phoned the siblings with Dad, then made a cuppa and zoomed with Ed's family. Many family catchups today! Finished off with some reading.

Ed at the Eden Project (July 2019 mems)

Day 42 (Monday 4th) - woke up and went for an earlyish run, breakfast and Friday Night Dinner, collected the hair clippers back from my brother and then went to Asda, then had some jobs to do at the house such as cutting the grass which had become a jungle. When we got home I checked the snails (now that I know they are capable of reproducing I must keep an eye), photographed my newly opened monstera deliciosa leaf, then had soup for dinner with The One Show. Ed and I watched our beloved Grayson's Art Club, followed by Killing Eve (yikes, that episode).

Extra info:

  • I have found the cure for my running boredom is to listen to a great podcast. It doesn't matter how many times I've run the same local route if my mind is elsewhere! Also the chilly, drizzly weather has added a bit of spice to the running routine.
  • I hit a 100 day streak on the Bible app! I only started using it regularly last year and am loving the daily devotionals you can do. My current one is The Bible Project's Bible in a year, it is SO helpful having their videos interspersed among the readings. I am currently up to 1 Chronicles and am finding that although I have read the Bible before, this time I am really understanding the context of each book a lot more and am taking more in whereas before I might have struggled to see their relevance to my life or how they relate to the rest of the Bible. I realised I never mention my daily reading in these blog posts because it's just part of my morning routine like cleaning my teeth and it doesn't cross my mind but maybe I should document it more.

  • Yes, the snails laid a big load of eggs! It was quite an exciting surprise, and I was glad of the confirmation that I am keeping them in adequate, cosy conditions. BUT I am not in the position to be able to feed and house 305 fully grown giant snails (imagine that!) so had to freeze the eggs so that they won't develop. 
If you've ever wondered what a Giant African Land Snail egg looks like 
  • Tom has been sneezing this week but is otherwise fine and behaving normally so I'm hoping the sneezing will go away by itself.

  • I'm currently reading a book called The Blessings of a Good Thick Skirt by Mary Russell, which I picked up second hand last year because I thought it looked intriguing. It's about female adventurers.
  • A few weeks ago I mentioned I'd gotten a bit addicted to looking at vintage dolls on eBay because I was missing browsing the charity shops...well this boy is the result of all my scrolling. It was the first time I've ever bidded on anything on eBay so it was a learning experience. But £5 for a doll from the 1950s is pretty good I think! No rude comments about his odd eyes please, I don't want him to feel self-conscious.

Good bye from us x