On-Line Shopping

We have completed week one, of Phase One, of the Great Isolation. I somehow think there will be at least a Phase Two or even more before we return to some sort of normality. There is still going to be chaos even after the isolation is over, with companies that have gone bankrupt, and others heading that way in a hurry, and people suggesting ingenious ways of making models from toilet paper

Suddenly on-line shopping is becoming a must to survive within the rules. We finally had an internet shopping slot for groceries today, and even though it was only ‘click and collect’ we have got far more than we have been able to get in the last three weeks that we have been home.

My new watch also arrived today, and after several attempts, the strap now stays on my arm. It seems I have very thin arms as the setting is now on the shortest length.

Next comes the replacement can opener. I was obviously a little over enthusiastic with a tin of tuna at the weekend, and it broke into two parts with no hope of repair. We have had it for many years, so has done us well. I tried to avoid Amazon initially, but my faithful Argos had nothing that could be delivered quickly enough to enable us to have anything from the traditional cans.

Sadly I had to drop my objections to the mighty Amazon, so we should have baked beans again by Saturday.

Next came a rather more expensive spend. I have noticed that my Tablet developed a ‘go slow’ switch on a few weeks ago. I went to the extreme of a complete refresh to factory settings, and that seemed to cure the problem … but only until it had updated the operating system again.

I wonder if this is another ploy by the manufacturer to convince me I needed a new one?

Well, it seems to have worked. It was noticeable that the battery was going flat very quickly as well, and that was the final incentive to look at the Amazon offerings.

I had been looking for a replacement for several days, but today I decided to bite the bullet and hit the ‘BUY’ button. My new super tablet will be here on Friday, along with the can opener.

My watch arrived as we were just about to have our lunch, so after eating while watching Bargain Hunt, and snoozing through the news bulletin, Deb and I set off for a walk again.

Today we added a bit more to the route, and although the down-hill bits were OK (if a little rocky) the up-hill bits really took it out of me. I think this minimal exercise regime is not doing my fitness level any good. I may have to resort to an extra session on my exercise bike.

Weather wise, Roseland Parc has enjoyed the sunshine for virtually all the day, but the chilly North East wind has not relented. I suppose we have been very lucky that it has at least been dry for many days, and the ground has recovered from the almost constant deluge since Christmas.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the beginning of a Star Wars film that I recorded recently, then I had my shower. I noticed the bedroom heating had switched on, so it was time to close the window. It is now heading towards Tipping Point on the television, and then dinner time.

… and I do like dinner time!

All the best everyone, and “May the Force be with you” as you do your best to avoid the cough.

Almost a Week

Well, it is almost a week since we listened to Boris telling us to go into hibernation. It has not been easy, and certainly the improvement in the weather hasn’t helped to keep people in doors.

After several attempts, Deb has managed to get a slot in Sainsburys for a click and collect grocery order. This is still not a delivery, and we have to go and fetch it, but hopefully the pickers will have found more at the beginning of the day, than we would have found later by going into the shop.

This morning I decided my attempts with the model Titanic have finished. It has been an interesting little project – little being the operative word – and if this isolation was to be extended, I might think about ordering another online.

I am quite pleased with my efforts

The remainder of the morning was spent looking at my accounts spread sheet, which allows me to see almost everything we earn and spend. I discovered yet another error that has been bugging its accuracy, and that has now be corrected. But I haven’t dared to look at the three previous years worth of data to see if this has been going on all that time.

After lunch Deb and I set off on another walk, and we reversed the route we did last Friday. This meant the long hill was now upwards at the end, and we were both aware of a slight quickening of our hearts.

for me the quickening was actually quite a lot

Rather than returning straight home, we extended our walk by looking at the wooded area of the site that is just below our apartment.

It has a grassy path that meanders around three little ponds, and is sheltered from the wind, and all noises except the chatter of birds. As we came out of the woods we had a chat with a pair of ladies who live in an apartment overlooking the wood, and who are regulars at the resident group for quizzes and Yoga sessions. We haven’t seen them since we left on our cruise at the end of February, and I think it will still be quite a time before we can meet and chat face to face.

Officially the lockdown is for another couple of weeks, but I suspect that this will be extended for quite a while yet.

It’s time now to take a look at what I recorded on the television yesterday. Maybe there is another old black and white film to relax to.

Look after yourselves everyone, and stay at home to give yourselves the best chance of not catching the virus.

Muddy Trainers

Today we walked a different way again.

It was a completely different direction and the route was along a path that went around the fields that are our view from the balcony.

We walked along a little lane called Cuby Crescent and then down a narrow dried up mud track. It allowed us to see our apartment from a different view as well. The path took us around the two fields where the farmer had his cows in the autumn, and past the group of trees where I regularly see the sun coming up each morning.

From there our walk went down at an even steeper rate with loose stones and sticks all over the place. We both said we ought to invest in a walking pole if we are going to attempt this sort of walk.

As we neared the lowest point, a stream flowed over the path making a little muddy patch. After considering for a moment if we should turn back, we bravely carried on with careful clambering along the bank of the stream, and back onto the dry ground again.

Now we came to the point where we had to begin walking upwards again. The stream now completely covered our route, and the accompanying mud could not be avoided.

Refusing to give up after coming so far, Deb picked her way across the mud, and stayed clean (ish)until the final couple of steps.

… Muddy Trainers!

We continued, with occasional stops to wipe the mud away on the grassy banks. One bonus of crossing the mud was that Deb grabbed a stick to keep her balance, which broke off.

She now had a natural walking pole. As we now climbed up the other side of the valley, Deb spotted a suitable stick for me as well. Although I have never thought much of these poles that I have seen so often, I now accepted it fully. It gave that extra degree of balance as we walked over the rough stoney path.

Nearing the top of the climb we stopped to say hello to a horse, that gratefully accepted us giving its face a rub. A couple walking the other way made us keep as far to one side as possible, and after quick greetings between us, they also said hello to the horse.

Finally we reached a point we recognised where the noisy collie dogs barked wildly again. Now Deb and I were on the familiar roads heading back home.

Our sticks were left outside the front door for another time, and our trainers were put in a plastic box to dry out before being cleaned.

It had been a really enjoyable adventure, and far more satisfying than the familiar short walks we have had so far.

It was time to go back into isolation mode, and I settled down to watch the remainder of ‘Jayne Eyre’ film that I recorded yesterday.

Cheerio from Roseland Parc for today, and all the best to you.

Spring Colours

It is day five today, and the morning began for me by spending 30 minutes touching up the paint of the Titanic model, while Deb refilled her medicine pill pots.

It was time for a walk.

The Roseland Parc site has several wooded glades with flowering bushes and trees. They provide various shades of red, but below them are bluebells, white wild garlic, and several patches of little yellow flowered ground cover plants. Before moving here I would have described these plants as weeds, but now their brightness brings a smile to my face. There are also various shades of primroses or primula flowers, as well as so many different types and hues of the green leaves and stems.

I am really looking forward to what other magic our amazing gardener has created, as summer encourages other plants to show off.

Today our walk took us a different direction, and we explored a lane that displayed a ‘Public Footpath’ sign. It took us down a hill, which was silent except for bird song, and the sound of a small brook trickling along with us. The lane was a rough and ready track with several patches of mud, and a lot of rocks to test our walking balance as we glanced around us. At the bottom of the hill we came to a signpost with arrows suggesting there were more public footpaths in three directions.

One took us into a field, and we could see that it eventually comes out on the Truro to Portscatho road. That looked a little too far for this morning, so we turned to the left which appeared to be heading back towards the village. It was uphill now of course, and my legs, that had temporarily recovered, soon began to scream submission again.

The latter part of our walk was through familiar areas of the village. This period of isolation has spurred on all but the laziest to get out in the garden to cut lawns and tidy up hedges. Many fences and gates have a fresh coat of paint, and most cars are gleaming from multiple washes.

Back home again, and it was time for coffee plus the last piece of cake. Deb has promised to bake this afternoon with a sweet treat for the next few days.

The weather looks lovely from the inside, but out on the balcony the sunshine is tempered by an annoying wind still coming from a cold direction. The outlook is similar for the rest of the day, but tomorrow the wind is going to increase. That means the loungers will have to come in tonight before they start to rattle and clank around on the balcony.

One weird aspect of this isolation, is that the days all feel the same. The weekend is no different from a normal week day. This means there is no excuse to have a restful couple of days.

Stay safe everyone.

Day 4

Friday 27th March and the sun is shining on Roseland Parc. The wind appears to be quite light, but remains stubbornly chilly.

This morning we decided to go and find somewhere to shop.

The cupboards are not bare yet, but we need to get the essentials. Being mindful that the shops have a happy hour for the essential workers, and older people, we timed our arrival in Truro for 10:00.

Tesco had a queue that went around two sides of the building, and then snaked across the car park.

… we drove straight out

At the roundabout heading to Sainsbury, the queue was out to the main road. That is 100 metres or more to the shop doors.

… we drove around the roundabout and back towards home

Just in case, we dropped into Waitrose, but yet again the queue was around two sides of the shop.

Time to give up, and go home.

Rather than going straight back, we diverted to the village of Portscatho to pick up my prescription. This is a slightly annoying trip every four weeks now. Our surgery is a five minute walk from home, but they are now not dealing with prescriptions. Portscatho is a 14 mile round trip.

At least there was no queue.

Back home with a cup of coffee and a piece of Heva cake I sat on the balcony and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Spring.

I feel I should point out that as a child we always referred to this Cornish cake as ‘Heavy Cake’. Still tastes the same.

The trees are really getting started on waking up, with some already looking quite green. Others have little shoots suggesting that leaves will soon appear.

The birds are making their presence very obvious, and the air is full of their sounds. There are masses of sparrows that chatter constantly as they spread gossip and rumours about each other. Then great tits, possibly the odd finch, robins and starlings scream out where they have found food.

Of course there are wood pigeons with the males showing off in front of prospective mates, and cooing their finest serenade. And we even have at least one pheasant in the woods below us, giving an occasional call.

Then there are the rooks.

We have two separate gangs of them that roost in the trees to the front of us, or in another clump of trees behind us. They are always shouting about who is the biggest and bravest, and whose new nest is an eyesore, while theirs is a palace.

Just when we get used to these various bird sounds, there are what I refer to as seagulls. I don’t know what particular make of seagull they are, but being close to the sea, we have a lot of them. And when they decide to tell everyone about their adventures, they cannot be ignored.

Occasionally the sound of sheep and new lambs blow over the hills, and the odd ‘moo‘ suggest our local farmer has some new beasts to rear in the nearby fields.

I tried to have a nap as I listened to the wildlife, but it was just a little too cool today. Never mind, it was time for lunch.

This coincided with my discovery that my watch has broken. It has been with me in three houses now, and done me well. I will have to look on line now for a replacement.

The television news reported that dear Boris has caught the bug, and his health minister has succumbed as well.

After lunch, and Bargain Hunt, (they were useless again) Deb and I went for a walk. We returned to our usual stroll route today, and on the way back joined a queue for the village shop. This time there were just three people in front of us.

Deb just bought some milk, plus fruit and salad stuff to keep us going.

I am feeling strangely uncomfortable without my watch, so I’m going to finish this and get onto Google for a new one.

Stay safe everyone, and once again, I want to express my admiration and thanks to our Health Service.

Extended Walk

Following on from yesterday’s plan to make our walk around the village longer, I can announce that it was successful.

We now have about twice the previous distance with more up and down hill sections to get the heart pounding.

The route now is along a lane that runs behind the main street, which then continues down Well Lane, until it meets the road that I believe is called Tregony Hill. Going further down we come to the edge of the village, and the road from Truro leading to various villages on the Roseland Peninsular.

Across the road now we have another lane that goes back up into the village towards the Main Street again. That is quite rough with lots of rocky bits, and grass in the middle. This allows us to go back to our original walk either up the street to the Church then down Back Lane, or vice versa.

I will admit that we didn’t do that part yesterday, as the new bits were sufficiently challenging.

There were new treats of things to look at, including animals. In Well Lane someone has quite a large patch of land where they keep chickens, geese, and four pens with collie dogs. We stopped to look at the geese and that annoyed them so they gave us a right telling off. Then we looked at the dogs, who also took offence and barked loudly – but their tails were wagging very enthusiastically. The dogs were all inside the pens, but we spotted two puppies, that were outside of the pens.

It looks like they had squeezed out though gaps in the cages, and were free to wander around and investigate the world. Perhaps the barking was a warning for us to stay away.

The puppies were wonderfully cute and cuddly.

This morning (Thursday) we repeated the new section of the walk. Today the puppies were back inside the cages, but the dogs still gave us a warning bark, and still wagged their tails.

The geese had gone on an adventure and were a couple of hundred metres away down the hill to where there is a marshy area near the river. At least they didn’t get vocal with us today.

Back home, Deb and I spent some time on the loungers out on the balcony. There was still a cool breeze, but the sun was delightfully warm as I dozed. Below us, some of the dog owners were getting their exercise, and we chatted with them as they passed by.

Sad news from the village shop this morning.

They have had to stop stocking daily newspapers. It appears that a lot of people drop in to just buy a paper each day, and that is probably causing a problem for customers having to stay two metres apart. Of course the knock on is that villagers can’t get their papers, and will have to go without, or travel into the city.

After lunch we changed the furniture positions in our lounge to create more space around the dining table. Now it can be used to make jigsaw puzzles, and still leave space to eat our meals.

We are most of the way through day 3 of the lockdown, so over 10% of the isolation is over. Personally I don’t think we will all be allowed to return to normal after those three weeks.

The simple pleasures of moving furniture, jigsaw puzzles, models of the Titanic, and strolls around the village are amusing us at the moment, but I wonder how long they will be sufficient. Fortunately there are some programmes on the television to enjoy as well, although Bargain Hunt is losing its appeal slightly. It is fun however seeing how much of a loss they can make.

Thanks to all the health workers around the world who are performing miracles. They are putting their lives on the line while the rest of us are tucked up safely in our homes.

Thanks so very much.

Isolation Day 2

Is it day two already?

Gosh doesn’t time fly?

It is a lovely Spring morning in Cornwall. The sky is a little hazy, but otherwise it is delightfully blue from horizon to horizon.

Our balcony doors (upstairs) are open to give our apartment a good dose of fresh air. There is a cool breeze keeping it a little too brrr! to put the loungers out there, but the forecast suggests the wind will drop this afternoon.

We are putting off our walk until after lunch. This will spread out the excitement a little.

Deb has been cleaning the windows, and I have been doing a little more to the model of the Titanic. Sadly my eyes and slightly shaky fingers make it difficult to paint the tiny weeny little bits, so it is going to be ‘Titanic in need of a repaint‘ – and in need of a new mast at the front which snapped while my clumsy fingers were manoeuvring the ship to fit the lifeboats.

Deb asked what I was going to do with the model when it is finished, and I suggested launching it on the fish pond, and perhaps filming a remake of the movie.

Our plans for the afternoon walk include investigating a couple of lanes that are behind Tregony’s main street. We have walked down one of them before, but it has been too muddy during the last couple of months. If that is now walkable without wellies, and the other lane is equally decent, we can almost double our permitted daily exercise walk.

Just to change the subject for a moment, I thought I could bore you with an update on my dodgy arthritic joints.

When we came back from our cruise I had an appointment to see my doctor about his attempts to relieve my pain. He has now put me on a new drug which is completely different. It is not traditional pain relief, but has been found to work for some people.

I won’t name it in case it starts another round of panic buying.

Anyway, I was told to persevere with the drug which might take six to eight weeks to really start giving me relief.

Well, after 12 days, I can report that the pain in my knee does appear to have decreased, and the niggly shoulder is also a little friendlier. Unfortunately the thigh, of the leg with a hip replacement, is not playing nicely… yet.

This could be good news, as if I can exist without resorting to daily doses of paracetamol and codeine, I might be able to do some DIY work that is currently on hold.

Enough of my ramblings for now. It is midday and Bargain Hunt will be on the television in a few minutes.

Wherever you are in the world, look after yourselves, and remember:

Get Home – Stay Home – Save Lives.

News Flash

As anticipated in my last post, the Roseland Parc Retirement Village swimming pool and library have been closed.

Deb was on her way to have a swim and discovered that another exercise option is now off the list.

Hey, ho.

Many of you are aware of our love of cruising, and here is a bit of news.

Two of our friends (Angie and Richard) are on the P&O ship Arcadia on a Round the World voyage. As Coronavirus has struck our planet, more and more countries have been affected, and closed their ports to cruise ships.

Arcadia was last docked in an Australian port over five weeks ago, and have been diverted from the planned route, and heading towards South Africa. Of course that country is also now in trouble, so Arcadia has been floating around just off Durban for several days.

The ship is not allowed to dock and allow the passengers to get off. It has however been given permission to dock and refuel, plus getting new supplies, but the waiting time for a docking slot has been a long time.

When they eventually leave Durban, they have to make the return trip to Southampton, and are due there 12th April. By the time they get home, they will have been stuck on the ship for over 50 days.

I will say however, that it is probably more fun on Arcadia than the position we are in at home.

Isolation Begins

OK, the Country has been put into a near total isolation. We have been expecting this to happen, but it is still a bit of a moment of:

Wow!”

Deb and I did a bit of a shop yesterday, so we have the essentials to keep us going for a few days. The village has a little shop for any odd bits and pieces, but we will continue to attempt a weekly shopping trip to one of the nearby supermarkets.

Our visit to Tesco yesterday suggested the worst of the panic shopping prats have no space left to store tins and toilet rolls, so hopefully it will be slightly less of a chore from now on. There arelines to indicate how close to stand at the tills, but it might become difficult when there are children involved.

This morning we combined our daily exercise with a visit to the surgery to pick up Deb’s pills. Our regular walk is about a mile and takes us around most of the village. It has both ups and downs to give our legs a work out, and to push the pulse up a bit.

But perhaps it is getting a little boring.

At the surgery there was a queue system outside of the door to pick up prescriptions, but that is about the change.

The Tregony surgery is one of three practices, and once any prescriptions in the system now have been collected, all future ones will have to be collected from the central practice in Portscatho. Initially we thought that might be annoying, but we realised we can combine it with a walk along one of the beaches.

Entertainment in isolation will no doubt become a problem, but I am scanning the TV channels for old films to record, and catch-up TV allows me to see programmes that I have missed. I also have a plastic model kit of the Titanic to build, although much of it is now completed. The funnels will soon be fitted, and then it is propellers and the last of the tiny bits. There is also a lot more painting needed, plus touching up where I have made a booboo.

Deb has brought a couple of puzzles in from the site library (while it remains open), and there are also DVDs and a lot of books to choose from. She continues to make the most of the swimming pool, but that could soon become another casualty.

I will have more time to settle into writing my books, and as a break I can turn to my e-reader and enjoy someone else’s writing.

And Radio Cornwall is keeping us amused as well.

As for the television channels, I am not so pleased. The BBC is continuing to inform us about Boris’s decrees – which I find OK – but they follow each Boris Broadcast with a News Bulletin that repeats the same information.

I would rather see and hear about the good things the country is doing. The volunteers helping to feed, and keeping in contact with the most vulnerable, should be highlighted.

Turning to the lack of sport, I don’t think showing the best of Match of the Day is necessary. To be radical, I think all the TV companies could make their sports pundits temporarily redundant and let them survive on the Government handout of £2500 maximum a week, rather than continuing to be paid a fortune.

OK, that is our life at Tregony brought up to date, and yes, I will try to post a few words as often as I can while Britain, along with most of the world, is trying to reduce the spread of this plague.

The facts are startling, but if we can all keep away from each other for three weeks, the chances are that the number of new infections will be drastically reduced. I loved a comment made by a Cornish Councillor:

(In a broad Cornish accent)

Get home – Stay home – Save lives!!”

p.s. – should the Queen be forced to return to her primary home, rather than getting away to Sandringham?

A Bit of a Blow

Its a bit windy in Cornwall today.

Yesterday evening I noticed a draught coming in through the balcony door, and realised the wind was getting up. At least it didn’t interfere too much with the evening television offering of multiple Coronavirus briefings, followed by the news, featuring the Coronavirus briefing.

Surely at this time when we have to isolate ourselves, it would be a really nice gesture for the television companies to show some ‘feel good‘ programmes. Yes it is important to highlight the constantly changing things that are happening, but we do also need to be entertained.

Anyway, the wind increased and the noise grew as any miniscule gaps around doors and windows allowed whistling. By the time we went to bed there were roars of anger from the East every couple of minutes as the wind peaked to over 50mph – and we are in a quite sheltered spot.

After reading a few pages of my book, the lights were turned off and we settled down to sleep.

Along with the roaring gusts, there were various rattles and clonks from things moving around outside. Since being in this apartment Deb and I have been less disturbed from the wind, and don’t have the rattle of roof tiles anymore. But tonight the wind was coming straight onto our bedroom window.

Sleep was beginning to block out the noise, but then there was an almighty roar and a groaning sound from outside. Our bedroom has a balcony and we have a storage chest, and a small plastic greenhouse out there. When I looked out through the curtains I saw the greenhouse as it began to launch itself into space.

Deb and I quickly put on some clothes and went out in the gale to retrieve the offending greenhouse.

It then sat in the bedroom for the rest of the night.

Now I could not get to sleep, so got up and had a cup of hot chocolate and a read for 30 minutes.

After that I finally got to sleep.

It brought back a strange memory of when we were cruising around the Scottish Isles. I don’t recall which one it was, but we were looking at an incredible archaeological site in a really stormy wind. Sand from the nearby beach was blowing into our faces, and everyone was leaning into the wind to avoid being blown away.

Somebody asked if it was often like this, and the guide replied in a broad Scottish accent:

Och, its just a bit of a blow“.

We weren’t living in Cornwall then, and had forgotten what the wind is like on the coastal extremities of Britain.

We have remembered it now!

Stay safe everyone, and keep away from strangers!