Lockdown Day 69

Another gloriously sunny and warm day today.  We got up early and went for a 10km walk to the reservoir, via the canal and Halton village, with a little stretch through farm land and the woods too.  It was absolutely lovely.

Can't believe how the cygnets have grown!

I had to catch up on some work this afternoon, which was a rather unpleasant shock to the system, but the rest of the day has been extremely relaxed.

On the dinner menu: prawn and avo salad

Steps walked: 16 091 Distance: 10.43 km

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 372 334
UK: cases 274 762 and  deaths 38 489
Buckinghamshire cases:1005
South Africa:  30 967 cases,  deaths 643

Lockdown Day 68

Grant and I got up early this morning and headed out for a walk.  We went into town and did a circular route, through a part of the residential area, along some footpaths through a farm, past the allotments, down to the canal and then looped back into town where we stopped at the Bakers shop to get a pastry for breakfast and some sausage rolls for our picnic this afternoon.

We met Rox and Jon for a picnic in the field along the avenue.  Grant and Jon headed off for a 5km walk along the fitness trail, while Rox and I enjoyed some time together with the kids.  Loads of Hide and Seek was played - it's definitely the current obsession!  Once the guys got back, we enjoyed a picnic lunch and a beer before Rox and Jon headed home with the kids and I came home for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Gotta love this girls attitude to life... that could NOT have been comfortable for Grant!

On the dinner menu: leftovers!

 Steps walked: 13 007 Distance: 8.43 km

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 368 395
UK: cases 272 826 and  deaths 38 376
Buckinghamshire cases: 997 (not updated)
South Africa:  29 240 cases,  deaths 611 (not updated)

Lockdown Day 67

After a quiet morning, I met up with Paula and we took Issy for a walk along the avenue in the woods, to the Pirate ship play park.  It is very frustrating to see all this lovely play equipment and yet, because of the pandemic, we can't allow the kiddies to use it, I must say the children have been very understanding about the situation.

It was such a beautiful day today, the weather was absolute perfection.

This evening Grant and I hosted the weekly Quiz Night, always a fun part of the week to look forward to.

After the quiz I (very bravely!) agreed to another nighttime walk in the woods.  We didn't go into the dark part of the woods, so it was all okay and I actually thoroughly enjoyed it.  We did hear some strange animal sounds, but it turned out to be badgers (not Big Cats LOL!) so I was fine with it.  We also saw the "sinister" man again... he turned out not to be at all sinister, so I am going to have to concede this point to Grant....

On the dinner menu: Tuna pasta

 Steps walked: 11 942   Distance: 7.74 km

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 367 555
UK: cases 271 222 and  deaths 38 161
Buckinghamshire cases: 997
South Africa:  29 240 cases,  deaths 611

Lockdown Day 66

Battling to keep up with my daily posts here!  Issy is with us for her weekly stay and I find my normal routine goes to the dogs when the little princess is here!  I'm far too busy playing Queen and servant (guess who is the servant 😉) Hide and Seek, and Snap!

So it was a fairly ordinary day around here.  Grant went to site, so I did my usual housekeeping, admin, work routine.  Paula came for a tea-time picnic on the lawn and we enjoyed the beautiful weather together.

I got some terrible news this afternoon, a friend, Heidi, who I worked with for many years passed away very unexpectedly today.  It is heartbreaking, she was my age and so looking forward to the birth of her first grandchild in August, she was literally posting on Facebook this morning and this afternoon she was gone!  Her family must be absolutely shattered!  I'll always have fond memories of the fun times we had at staff weekends away.

This evening we had a Fish and Chips picnic (we are BIG into the picnics around here at the moment!) and then we took a walk down to the roundabout to see the tractor and truck parade and the last Clap for the NHS and key-workers.  The kids were there and it was lovely to see them enjoying all the goings-on.  It's amazing how you enjoy things so much more when you see them through the eyes of your grandchildren! 

We took the long route home and Issy did an impromptu play for us on the way.  She has definitely reached the "play" stage and doesn't mind where she is and who is watching.

On the dinner menu: Fish and chips

 Steps walked: 7 682   Distance: 4.99km

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 362 827
UK: cases 269 127 and  deaths 37 837
Buckinghamshire cases: 997
South Africa:  27 403 cases,  deaths 577

Lockdown Day 65

Grant went to work on site this morning, so I used the alone time to catch up on some housework and admin tasks and do a little bit of work too.

We changed up our walk a little today and went for a nighttime stroll instead of our normal daytime walk.  

It was not without excitement!  Grant and I were walking along, in a particularly dark part of the woods when all of a sudden a loud grunting scared the shizzle out of me!  My initial thought was "BUSHPIG!" - quite why that was I don't know because the closest I have ever come to a bushpig is the carcass of one on a spit braai!  But if I were to imagine what a bushpig sounded like, this ghastly noise would be it.  I was petrified and started telling Grant that we need to turn around and go home, and that being out here at night was a bad, BAD idea!  Grant assured me that there was nothing in these woods that was likely to attack me, or eat me... which is exactly where my thoughts were going!  I then pointed out that I follow a group on Facebook called  "Big Cats of the Chilterns".... Grant remained unimpressed.  Next thing a deer came rushing out from the area where the grunting had been happening.  Who knew that deer make grunting noises?!  (I still think maybe a Big Cat was chasing it....)

After a couple more minutes I think Grant could see that I was genuinely quite rattled and he suggested that maybe we turn back, which we did and I did some serious speed-walking all the way home.  The situation was not improved by the sighting of a man in the shadows with a large white dog... just standing there.... Grant is adamant the man was being polite and waiting in the shadows for us to pass in order to maintain social distancing.... I don't think so... I think he was being.... sinister!  I was very glad to get back to the quiet wildlife-free confines of my own home.    Note to self: we wont be going on another late night walk unless there is a large group of us to chase away all the big cats and sinister strangers that may cross our path!

On the dinner menu: Avo, butternut and halloumi quinoa salad

 Steps walked: 7 660 <= but some of those were very fast!!  4.97km

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 358 104
UK: cases 267 240 and  deaths 37 460
Buckinghamshire cases: 994
South Africa:  25 937 cases,  deaths 552

Lockdown Day 64

Guys, I just can't seem to ditch this "going to bed late and waking up late" thing!  It's doing my head in!  I really, really need to be getting to bed, at the very least, an hour earlier and then waking up more than an hour earlier.  I don't know if the problem is being on lockdown, or whether it's the fact that it's Summer?  Maybe a bit of both.  But in any event, I need to address this problem because I am getting properly cranky now!

Today was a really warm day.  One thing I have noticed, here in the UK, is that the hottest part of the day isn't at midday, as it is in SA, it seems to be hottest at around 2pm here, sometimes even a little later.  I suppose it makes sense considering that it only gets dark after 9pm currently.  Grant and I went for our walk at about 2pm today and I found it really warm.  We walked up the hill and did the fitness trail.  It was very busy up at the top of the hill, loads of people picnicking and enjoying the warm weather.

Today's flower spotted on our walk is the Dog rose

This afternoon Paula and Cal came over and we had a little sundowner get-together on the lawn outside our flat.  We are making good use of our little patch of grass!

I tried a new dish for supper again tonight, it was SO delicious - I've linked to it below.

Steps walked: 13 272    Distance: 8.61 km

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 352 753
UK: cases 265 227 and  deaths 37 048
Buckinghamshire cases: 989
South Africa:  24 264 cases,  deaths 524

Lockdown Day 63

Such a gorgeous day today and it's a bank holiday, so no work for Grant!

We went for a lovely picnic in the woods with Rox and Jon today and then we had a little mini-picnic in the garden outside with Paula and Cal - at a 2m distance of course!

I love how people are doing fun things to entertain passers-by during the lockdown.  These were spotted outside a couple of houses in Prestwood:

This particular family have a different scene created with the stuffed toys every few days, it's too cute!

Jon's baking spree continues and today we were presented with delicious homemade Hot Cross Buns - I've already placed my order for next Easter!

This evening, after supper, Grant and I took a walk in the woods.  We are loving our evening walks at the moment, the woods are quiet and so pretty at this time of night.

Steps walked: 14 748    Distance: 9.56 km

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 348 364
UK: cases 261 184 and  deaths 36 914
Buckinghamshire cases: 987
South Africa:  23 615 cases,  deaths 481

Lockdown Day 62

2 months of lockdown!

I had a bit of a lazy day today - it was windy again and after braving the elements yesterday, I didn't feel like heading out into the wind again today.  So I faffed around at home and got some random things done that I've been meaning to do for ages.  

Jon sent some freshly baked bread over - that's one very positive aspect about lockdown - Jon has honed his baking skills and is turning out the most incredible loaves of white bread and he started a sour dough culture and is making an impressive sour dough too!  

After supper tonight the wind had dropped completely so we did a lovely 3.5km loop in the woods, a nice way to end the day!

All the talk in the UK at the moment is Dominic Cummings and his trip to Durham during lockdown.  The press and opposition parties are baying for blood.  It's all really unpleasant.  Personally, I feel they are making a massive mountain out of a molehill.  I wish they'd just let it go now and rather focus on the plan for getting us out of lockdown and fixing the economy.

On the dinner menu: steak sandwiches with Jon's freshly baked bread

Steps walked: 7 307    Distance: 4.74km

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 347 381
UK: cases 259 559 and  deaths 36 793
Buckinghamshire cases: 977
South Africa:  22 583 cases,  deaths 429

Lockdown Day 61

Such a weird day weather-wise today!  Grant and I went on a walk this morning - it started out a bit windy and cloudy, it then got really cold (on goes the rain jacket), a couple of minutes later it was pouring rain (thankful for the rain jacket!), 15 minutes later it was partly cloudy and very warm (peel off rain jacket) and about 1/2 an hour later there was a howling gale (on goes the rain jacket) - we headed home at that point and by the time we got home there was broad sunshine and a stiff breeze!  Talk about 4 seasons in one day! 

The parking lots and some of the toilets at Wendover woods have been opened this week.  We noticed that they have now cordoned off the different elements of the fitness trail - I assume that they believe the open parking lots will result in more visitors to the woods, so they are taking extra precautions? It seems weird that it has all been open for use up until now, when we are almost 2 months into lockdown.  

Today's flower is the Common elderberry:  

I've always wanted to try my hand at making elderflower cordial.  I found a recipe here.  I need to find out whether it's okay for us to pick wild elderflower.

Rox and Jon had planned to camp in their back garden tonight, the kids were beyond excited, but unfortunately the wind came up again, so they have postponed to tomorrow night.

This evening it was our weekly pub quiz, always a fun time!  Tonight we had a funky hat theme and Impi joined us too, so that made it even more fun than usual.  Cheryl and Glynt hosted tonight's quiz which gave Paula and Cal an opportunity to join in as participants, instead of hosting, and they promptly knocked Grant and I off our perch and won the game!  Grant and I will be hosting next week.

On the dinner menu: Briyani from Durban Spice - Yummy!

Steps walked: 10 238    Distance: 6.64km

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 344 417
UK: cases 257 154 and  deaths 36 675
Buckinghamshire cases: 977
South Africa:  21 343 cases,  deaths 407