The Challenge of Social Distancing, Even f... - Weight Loss NHS

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The Challenge of Social Distancing, Even for Norbert.

BerlinBetty
BerlinBetty

Hello Darlings.

I hope you’re all managing under these new and very trying circs, though I note that some of you, especially those with conditions you have to live with, are finding Life Challenging, to put it mildly.

I had a dear German friend, now deceased, who translated a famous German saying for me: ‘Every house has its cross to bear’ and that’s particularly true for us all now. Every flat, bedsit, house or even mansion, has its cross to bear. Fear lurks near us, for ourselves and for loved ones, but in the long term so perhaps does frustration, boredom, loneliness and perhaps for some, despair. Some of our greatest challenges are surely going to be the psychological challenges of living on our own, or indeed being squidged up together with others in close confinement.

Living with those we love is a great privilege but it can also sometimes be, however much we deny it, a bit of a pain in the posterior. However much you love a Chap or a Dear Girl, living with them 24/7 can bring its own special challenges. I am already whinging at My Dear Old Lad for :

i)Leaving the loo seat up and an empty loo roll left for me as a kind of tip.

ii)Crunching crisps loudly and with maddeningly slow deliberation during emotional scenes on the telly.

iii)Clearing his throat over and over again for no particular reason.

iv)Toddling around the house emitting tuneful farts, just because he can (no behaviour-adjusting company to distract or shame).

v)Wiping his mustard/ketchup/mayonnaise along the edge of his plate, thereby making a sticky mess on edge of same and then never finishing the sauce he’s doled out…

Etc etc.

The Dear Auld Fart has probably got an even longer list of complaints against me, and I blame him not at all. Hard, isn’t it? We love those we love but they do tend to send us Round the Frigging Pipe (as Shirley Valentine would say) if we have them as full-time Boozum-Buddies for too long. And this is going to be too long. Anything between 12 and 24 weeks too long, possibly. We are all in for the Long Haul.

So perhaps some of us know already that loneliness can come in different shapes and forms. For those of us single and living on our own, this period of social distancing (perhaps soon to become social exclusion) separates us from dear ones, friends and colleagues. That might feel like a rest for a short while from work, for instance, but now we know it might be months, managing our lives, our fears, our dreams and goals – everything on ice for the moment - is Super-tough.

Last week, a week before Britain, the Portuguese prime minister, sanctioned by the President, sent the country’s children home from school. The little boy next-door, an only child, is now home for the duration. Portuguese schools don’t go back for the new academic year until mid-September. The government is dubious about the possibility of opening for summer term school, as indeed are all European countries. So his very loving mother is sitting him down for the advised four hours a day to do his schoolwork. He’s released to kick a ball around the back yard twice a day and these two breaks are the highlight of his current life: he’s Cristiano Ronaldo for two lots of half an hour. Today, it’s pouring down and will do for many days of the next six weeks. No footie. This little boy is going to find it hard, hard, loved as he is.

So why Betty, you may ask, do we have a picture of a sheep, the sort that looks like an extra from the Simpsons? What has this scraggy sheep know of social distancing?

This is Norbert. He arrived six weeks after the other sheep in our next-door field and was tethered to a tree for 24hrs while the sitting sheepy tenants got used to him. He’s a ram (well, probably a wether) of very little brain, a sort of woolly Pooh Bear. This was soon apparent by the number of times he set off to join the unimpressed flock, got to the end of his tether (literally), jolted to a stop, sorted out his legs from the rope with elaborate care, sauntered back to the tree, then five minutes later he’d do it all again, looking just as puzzled as he did before.

Do any of you remember sometimes not being that popular at school? Or just being new at school when others weren’t? Well Norbert was like that. His owner freed him on Day Two and after that I watched heartbroken while he spent three days trying to get them to accept him into the fold. He’d sidle up to them when they were feeding and they’d just drift off as if by chance. But I could see what was happening. They didn’t want him to join them in their playground games. He was different, and he didn’t belong. He was being socially-distanced, big-time. Eventually Norbert was allowed to be with them and he’s pretty much one of them now, especially as two small goats were added into the mix and he’s much more ‘normal’ then they are, so he’s gained a few Brownie points at last, poor Love.

Norbert talks a lot to me. He has a dark brown, resonant ‘Baaah’ which travels right across the field but he also climbs up onto tussocks to speak to me through the railings, and for a few minutes until he gets bored with me, we are close, at least physically. We lost our dear cat Bob in January, so Norbert’s attempts at making contact, and the hopeless affection we feel for this dim shaggy neighbour, feel very precious just at the moment.

It's not our fault we're all socially distanced now. We're not even new or unlikeable; we're just on the other end of Something Big of which social distancing is the unique result. So I can stand near Norbert but I can’t stand near or hug my precious English friends, or kiss or hug my Portuguese acquaintances – and they are very tactile people; they are going to find it harder even than I not to greet each other with kisses, hugs, an innocent hand on the shoulder. Then I chose to live abroad, so berate myself for the fact that I now cannot see my daughters maybe until Autumn – and that’s if we are lucky. Of course, I have to remember that it wouldn’t make any difference if we were still in Kent: we still couldn’t see them.

Thank goodness then, for the internet and for tv! What would we be at the moment without technology to move us, to help us communicate, to make us laugh, to divert us? The family and I are going to sit down to Face-time together when we can from three different places. We will each have a glass of wine and we’ll chat and laugh away, even if we are a thousand miles apart. It’s a small, but at the same time huge, consolation. Face-time and Skype were always miracles, never more so than now.

So whatever your tipple, and at the moment mine is sometimes red wine and sometimes home-made beetroot and apple juice, let's raise a glass to friends and loved ones, let’s keep chatting to those we love, writing or ringing those we know are on their own, let’s keep sharing ideas and watching shows and just basically Making Connections. We can get through this, all of us around the world. We need Courage and we need Love.

Of course, if you’re Norbert, you just need some fresh food and a sheep to sit next to who won’t move away when you sit down. Oh, and a silly old woman to shout to every day: ‘Have you any grass? No? Not much cop are you? But at least you’re my friend next-door. And it’s not your fault you’re only human.’

Love Betty xx

118 Replies
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jubbly1955
jubbly19551st 7lbs

I love your posts Betty. You always talk a lot of sense with a great dollop if humour. We are going to need that over the coming months. It’s not until it’s impossible that we realise how much we cherish those hugs and kisses. When life returns to ‘normal’ we will certainly appreciate them even more. Love to you and yours and especially Norbert xx

Thank you jubbly1955 yes we will all learn to really appreciate those we love, even if they leave the loo seat up! It's the one good thing which might come from this one Big Challenge to All Nations. We humans can show great strength and dignity when called upon to do so. I trust us to rise to this occasion collectively.

I will pass on your best to Norbert. He will appreciate it in his sheepy way... x

jubbly1955
jubbly19551st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

One other thing that has occurred is that the planet is having a rest. Apparently air quality is already starting to improve and pictures of the clear Venetian canals are amazing!

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to jubbly1955

That's interesting

Yes, isn't this great? I'm hoping that a few seriously good things come out of this otherwise shocking human catastrophe: that they rethink the need to expand airports and rethink the size and number of cruise ships, for starters. When we survive this, as most of us will, we need to take better care of our planet.

Particularly moved by your reference to Venice and its suddenly cleaner canals. Such a fabulous place and lovely to hear that it's had a temporary reprieve from diesel spillage, litter and cruise-ship fuel and human waste.

BB x

Tiggerr
Tiggerr10 kg

Love this post BB.

I've already phoned my parents heaps more than ever.

I've raised my coffee to you, Norbert et al!

wa2un7
wa2un7Maintainer
in reply to Tiggerr

My daughter is so stressed she jumps even if I sigh. She’s so terrified if bringing it in to me. I’m struggling with how to help her.

BerlinBetty
BerlinBetty
in reply to wa2un7

So sorry to hear this, wa2un7. You addressed this to Tiggerr but I hope you don't mind my answering too. This is very difficult for you and your daughter but try to persuade her that when some areas of lockdown are enforced (sooner than later, I believe) she will either be with you all the time, so she can relax in cosy isolation with you because she's stopped going out, or she will be ensconced elsewhere, in which case she can relax knowing that you are safe from all contact, including hers.

We all need to trust and to try to relax and make the best of our lot, whatever, and wherever that is. I don't say that lightly: my Aged Partner is 76 and I do worry on the quiet, though he's healthy for his age. We need somehow to get through this in the best spirit possible. Being in fear all the time can only take a toll on our health and peace of mind. Of course many people are fearful of shortage of money, and that's a whole other and terrible thing. But if we have enough to manage and we are safe now, we have to find that enough, to love and trust.

BB x

wa2un7
wa2un7Maintainer
in reply to BerlinBetty

Of course you’re right. I’m 80 in a few months with COPD and CDK which adds to her concerns. Schools have closed but she will still be on duty looking after the children of essential workers and the vulnerable children. I do my best to keep her spirits up with sharing the various humorous snippets I find about the crisis and in spite of the gravity of the situation it’s still good to laugh. Today was very emotional for her saying goodbye to her children and one autistic boy gave her a lovely poem his mum had composed for him to thank her for her work, That was a really bright spot. Thank you so much for your reply and I hope you and your partner well. Stay safe💕

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to wa2un7

It is sad for the teachers and kids alike saw something good on news yesterday a teenager said during year you don't always realise you like someone but I'm going to miss them. You keep safe. My neighbour who's got COPD and on oxygen 15 hours a day was rung up by respiratory nurse telling her to put notice on window saying no visitors so I just wave as we go past.

BerlinBetty
BerlinBetty
in reply to wa2un7

And you wa2un7 . Your daughter is doing really admirable work, especially over the next few months. BB x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

Yes it is worrying for the elderly even if they are healthy. And some are full of that bulldog spirit and say I'm not staying in but now everywhere shutting don't have much choice. Sadly though some of them used to go to cafes and pubs more for company than food though they could get a meal cheaper than made at home.

This is a difficult one, I agree. If I were even older than I am and on my own, I might be defiant too, but this defiance can only last as long as we are allowed out and about and the worrying model of Northern Italy suggests that we might have to go further into isolation for a while. The ones who concern me most are the elderly who have never learned to use a computer or a Smartphone and don't have any form of computer at home. I know one or two back in England who are now at home and totally isolated as a result of this. Our natural instincts to visit are irrelevant at the moment. Challenging times. Some kind bods are leaving messages of support and offers of help through the door. Such a good and valuable gesture. It's the best that we can do for them at the moment. BB x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

Yes my 82 year old friend only as a simple mobile phone and never wanted to learn about computers so doesn't have one. One supermarket here as set up a phone order line especially for that reason. She's a member of salvation army so support there. She's 30 miles away from me now she's moved and wouldn't let me travel that far just for her.

That's a difficult one. There ought somewhere to be a charity which sets up people with no experience in this area with a mobile phone which will utilise Whatsapp, perhaps a temporary ownership rather than a complex and expensive contract while this Thing takes its course. If the elderly could Facetime with friends and relation it would make all the difference to their lives. It's very important to maintain the emotional well-being of elderly people.

In the absence of that I suppose the good old telephone call will have to suffice, but it's a shame she can't take a virtual trot around everything that Youtube has to offer, including many singers and show she would remember from the past. Thank goodness for daytime tv; I hope she enjoys that, as my Auld Mum used to do. She said it was her great friend.

BB x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

I rang her tonight and she said she's got her knitting out. She's making baby cardigans and blankets for charity a salvation army one overseas and hospitals here. And this morning sergeant major of the core knocked on her window he was delivering flowers to all the ladies for mother's Day.

That's all so encouraging and moving. Sometimes human beings can be So Darned Nice xx

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

They can be but unfortunately we only hear about the bad stuff. This crisis on the whole is bringing out the best in people

BerlinBetty
BerlinBetty
in reply to Tiggerr

Aw thanks. Yes, it's great that we are all using the internet more than ever, so that we can stay together across the ether. The Aged P and I have started playing boards games again to help sanity, and that's the same for my eldest and her husband back in Blightie. Their Monopoly board is smoking hot!

BB x

Tiggerr
Tiggerr10 kg
in reply to BerlinBetty

My OH is stuck abroad for the foreseeable future so this forum is even more important to me than it ever was.

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to Tiggerr

Oh dear at least you won't be falling out with being locked in together. LOL. Seriously though hope she's ok

BerlinBetty
BerlinBetty
in reply to Tiggerr

Ooh gosh yes. Not the same but I would be wretched without the ability to contact my daughters in England every day, or for them to contact me. Remember the days when one went abroad and it was like being on the Dark Side of the Moon regarding contact with friends and relatives? Those strange old days of travellers' cheques and reverse-charge calling, and flimsy airmail letters. These had their own charm but my goodness, I'm glad we don't experience those delayed-time mechanisms any more.

When I was young (back in medieval times...) I spent two months in Italy. The rural part of the stay, five weeks of it, was in Umbria, on the coast. I wrote regularly to my parents and relations and put my post in a village box, which was then supposed to go to the post office for export. I found out later that on some days the local postman couldn't be arsed and so he used to throw the post into a ditch.

Whatsapp contact is a bit more reassuring and reliable!

BB x

OilpainterUS
OilpainterUS2020 February
in reply to Tiggerr

Sorry to read this, Tiggerr. Take extra good care.

Tiggerr
Tiggerr10 kg
in reply to OilpainterUS

Thanks Opaus, that's very kind of you.

I've been sitting here this morning wondering when we are going to meet and not sure if that's likely even three months from now. If I knew a date it would be easier to cope with but at the moment it's impossible to have any idea.

There I go, being self absorbed when there are people suffering much much worse. I feel better just typing this, as it puts everything into perspective.

Look after yourself! :)

BerlinBetty
BerlinBetty
in reply to Tiggerr

Yes but it hurts us all to be away from our loved ones and when we express those thoughts we are really celebrating the love we feel for others, so it's sad and affirming all at the same time. Love to all those on this forum and beyond who miss their loved ones and wonder when they will be able to see them again. It's not so very different from loved ones parted by war, and we will rise to the occasion in the same way, I'm sure.

Had a video link with my girls this morning. No flowers or cards this year for some of us who are Mums but a chat to see that they are well and managing is a jolly good replacement.

Have a good Sunday, All. Love Betty x

Tiggerr
Tiggerr10 kg
in reply to BerlinBetty

Sensible words as ever. Your analogy is war and mine was disaster movie but they're both the same.

OH & mum both doing well. Have spoken to them both.

BerlinBetty
BerlinBetty
in reply to Tiggerr

That's good to hear about Loved Ones.

Yes you're right: Reality and Art merge at a time like this.

Where's Bruce Willis in a dirty vest when you need him?... xx

Tiggerr
Tiggerr10 kg
in reply to BerlinBetty

:) I applied for the role but got turned down for some unknown reason :)

BerlinBetty
BerlinBetty
in reply to Tiggerr

😎🤣 xx

OilpainterUS
OilpainterUS2020 February
in reply to Tiggerr

You, too! I hope you're reunited very soon. separation can be very difficult.

You are clearly loved here, Tiggerr. I look forward to all you write so do come when you may. :)

Tiggerr
Tiggerr10 kg
in reply to OilpainterUS

That's a kind thing to say.

I'm in a really upbeat mood this morning. This is our 3rd day of blue skies (something I guess you get bored with) but this is the first time since we moved into this temporary accommodation since October :O :O :O and it's made me feel like getting on top of things.

OilpainterUS
OilpainterUS2020 February
in reply to Tiggerr

Happy to read this! Nice to read you're feeling better.

I have my non-winter home up north. After all the winters of huge snow and bitter winters, I appreciate all blue skies and warm days!

😅

.

Tiggerr
Tiggerr10 kg
in reply to OilpainterUS

Sounds like you get to see a good variety of weather.

Any joy looking up an Eton Mess recipe.

OilpainterUS
OilpainterUS2020 February
in reply to Tiggerr

Yes! Delightfu looking dessert! Subtle_badger offered that video and I bought items this morning to get one ready for the next visit. 😊

Thank you!

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

LOL hope they don't burn it may need it for a while yet!!!!

😆 xx

WestieMaltese
WestieMalteseRestart Feb 2020

One of your finest Betty. If you started a blog, I would be a faithful subscriber! I live south of Granada, and many people here are not even making eye contact right now. Our jolly little town has turned bitter, edgy - or is it just me!

Yes, we count our blessings; rent is cheap here, fresh food still plentiful and greengrocer is downstairs! I am so used to being with my OH 24/7 (he's 77 and doing great in spite of diabetes), that this seems quite normal. He is cooking and baking for dear life, a very desirable way to beguile his time. (From my POV!)

So many are worrying about health and finances, homes, jobs - on top of everything else. I hope they heed your very wise and kind words about staying connected and being kind and loving.

All the best to you, and to everyone here. And may your friendship with Norbert be mutually rewarding! xx

Thanks so much WestieMaltese. Yes at the moment things are well organised and calm here in central Portugal but folk are deffo more distant and a bit on edge, though they have not descended to the disgraceful sweeping clean of supermarket shelves which seems to be happening at home, such that the elderly and vital workers such as nurses find no food when they shop.

Yes, Norbert is lovely, but I fear that he, the two small goats, and the two now quite large lambs may be destined for Easter plates. Even Norbert should be making the best of every day. Animals seem to be better at this than human beings. We agonise and worry (I am past- master at this) while Norbert just lives his life as best he can, despite his raggy coat, slight limp and conditional sheepy friendships which leave him uncertainly connected with the flock.

BB x

WestieMaltese
WestieMalteseRestart Feb 2020
in reply to BerlinBetty

I think Norbert should be the poster boy for European society in the weeks and months to come. "Doing a Norbert" could become a byword for making the best of each day! All the best BB, thanks for the smiles xx

O that's just brilliant, I love that: 'Doing a Norbert' 😆

sunny369
sunny3692 stone

yes BB you are right that we are so lucky to have the wonders of the telephone, skype and facetime. I remember my grannie telling me that when her eldest son went off into the merchant navy in the 40's (and eventually settled in Australia) she felt (at the time) like she was losing him forever. Actually, I remember her finally going to visit Australia by 'plane in the seventies and getting to meet all her Australian grandchildren, but things have certainly changed since those days when you waited weeks for one of those slim fold up airmail letters (the ones where you licked them and stuck them together) I remember her receiving from Australia when I was young.

So sorry about your dear cat, I lost one of my darling dogs in January and the loss of our pets leaves us so bereft, I honestly felt heartbroken, still do actually, even though I still have his sister to comfort me. Do you think you will get another cat companion?

Thank you sunny369 for your kind thoughts and yes, we would love to replace Bob with some needy pusscats but we have two problems: the railings at the front of our little garden give straight out onto a road of occasional but fast-moving vehicles, and we can't get anyone to come out and chicken-wire it at the moment. Additionally all the vets clinics in the area have stopped seeing animals unless they are emergences, so no vaccinations or any other treatment for the duration. If some deperate pusss turns up at our doorstep we won't send them away, but otherwise it looks as if we shall be catless for a while to come. BB x

sunny369
sunny3692 stone
in reply to BerlinBetty

these are strange times indeed. We are all still getting our heads round the fact that suddenly nothing is simple, so many things we normally take for granted. Hold on to the thought that you will welcome a new dear cat into your home as soon as you can. Hopefully one who isn't too adventurous with that road. I lost a cat on our road once, but my next two cats didn't have adventurous spirits and never showed any inclination to go out much at all and lived to be aged over 20 the both of them.

Thank you. Such kind thoughts. Yes, cats have very distinct personalities don't they? Bob wasn't very adventurous but you can't know how they'll be until you acquire some.

That goes for partners and children too!

B x

sunny369
sunny3692 stone
in reply to BerlinBetty

lol, so true :)

Lavender54
Lavender542020 March

Hello Betty, did enjoy reading your post, thank you.

Poor Norbert, but at least he is accepted now. Interesting how different breeds are so tough on an outsider. I remember watching a Jacob sheep being bullied unmercifully by a small flock (about 5) of a different breed (can't remember what they were) that I phoned the owner and she removed the Jacob. One of the problems was the paddock wasn't big enough for the Jacob to hide.

My 2 Wiltshire Horn adored head scratchs, do you scratch Norbert's head for him.?

I too, am counting my blessings. I have a garden, I do feel for people in towns living in flats.

I have marvellous friends who watch out for me, at a distance.

My family are all in the UK and I must say it does sound dire with all this panic buying. Hopefully it'll ease off and less fortunate people won't suffer unnecessarily. A lot of people don't have the sort of income to afford to buy a years worth of groceries, let alone shed loads of loo roll.

There seems to be little shortage here, with the supermarkets well stocked and restrictions on the amount that can be bought of the non perishable stuff. Plenty of fresh veg etc.

Although I do live in a quiet area so can't say about the big towns.

Great idea getting out the board games, childhood memories. Remember playing Scrabble in French, and ofcourse that craze for Backgammon - doubt if I could even manage to set the board up now it was so long ago.

I could always get the chess board out and play against myself !

However the ironing beckons - trifle mundane but its been agitating for the last 2 months so no excuses .

Have a great weekend and take care, L

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to Lavender54

You could always play chess with someone on line

Lavender54
Lavender542020 March
in reply to Craftyperson

Hadn't thought of that, thank you.

I did so enjoy this, thank you Lavender54 . I'm not sure where you live abroad but I hope that the people and the weather are calm at the moment.

Yes, I think that the flock's acceptance of Norbert is conditional and unreliable. I often see him sitting on his own, and he comes alone to see me for a chat. He reminds me of so many children you see in school playgrounds who for some reason, some glitch of fortune or intolerance, are to be seen absorbed in a book, or seemingly intent on a flower or tree because nature or circumstance has decreed that they are deemed 'different', so alright to ignore or be unkind to. You can't put it right because you can't interfere as a teacher or you can make it worse. At least I can chat to Norbert but the railings don't allow me to reach out to scratch his head or I certainly would.

I've never played backgammon. Chess on your own - that's admirably intelligent and patience-requiring. Scrabble's good. When I had a child we had a Compendium of Games with all sorts of boards and pieces in it. My favourite was Halma - remember that? - that, and Snakes and Ladders.

Life's Snakes and Ladder, isn't it? We could do with a few more ladders about the place, just at the moment...

Lavender54
Lavender542020 March
in reply to BerlinBetty

Do you know we never played Halma, I wonder why. My father used to cheat dreadfully ar Scrabble, he'd put in a Greek or Latin word. I actually found the old pack of Kan U Go which we used to play as children, must be at least 60yrs old & not a card missing.

I live in quite a rural part of Spain, and everything is calm except no sun.

I agree we could do with a few ladders, but as everything this will pass, hopefully wthout the entire world grinding to a halt.

Have a happy day.

Don't know Kan u Go. Used to be completely devoted to Monopoly and still do find it hugely enjoyable. It brings out the furiously competitive in me, I'm afraid.

Greek and Latin in Scrabble! it was certainly a very sophisticated form of cheating!

Continue to enjoy the calm of rural Spain. I feel that you and I are lucky to be on the Iberian Peninsula just now, though I'm aware that things are pretty serious in the cities.

Yes, we will get through this, and hopefully we'll all be more appreciative than ever of those we love and the everyday things in life around us that we all took for granted.

Stay safe.

BB x

Morning Betty. Today is Day 6 of my 12 week self- isolation.. It already feels twice as long. I think I spent the first three days in shock, trying not to burst into tears at everything, and the last two enjoying the messages from old friends Ive barely seen, sharing the hilarious jokes and funny online videos that have popped up on FB and Whatsapp .

Waking up today to your lovely, witty post, I am.now starting my day with a big grin on my face.

Stay safe, and thank you ( thanks also to Norbert) 😆

Leeleepuss
Leeleepuss1 stone
in reply to elliebath

Gosh 12 weeks does sound like a long old stretch! This is going to be so tough on many many people. But we have such amazing technology available to us now that means we can still be part of a community while keeping ourselves and others safe. I hope you find things to do, do you have a garden? Any projects that you've been meaning to do? I still have to go into work but will be alone there for most of the time. Keep in touch with us all, always someone to chat with on here! Take care 😊

Oh gosh that sounds tough elliebath , really tough, and many congratulations to you for managing this feat of steady patience and self-discipline so well so far. Nothing wrong with submitting to the Old Waterworks when time gets tough. We all do it sometimes when we need to relieve the pressure.

Thank goodness, as you say, for a medium such as this to keep us all sane and sometimes laughing, when things look grim at the moment. Last year when things were a bit challenging I took to the habit of looking up performances on Youtube. Sometimes it was an old concert which would move me but I also took to listening or watching to much loved comedians, long-gone, who made me laugh all those years ago. It's marvellous that they keep them alive - and us laughing - in this way. Last time I did this was to watch Rambling Syd Rumpold singing one of his dubious ditties. You have to be a certain age to know who I'm talking about!

BB x

Leeleepuss
Leeleepuss1 stone

Your post made me smile, laugh and well up all in the space of a minute or so! I think Norbert is very handsome and that the other sheep will accept him soon, especially with goats on their midst, whatever next! It made me realise how much I miss my son at the moment, who is a mere hour away in Bournemouth at university and although the uni is now closed he has chosen to stay down there to keep us safe. While I find his actions very gallant, I would rather have him home and take my chances!! Oh no, I am now bawling!

Anyhoo, I hope you stay safe out there Betty and Norbert. Cheers! 😘

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to Leeleepuss

Oh dear you will miss him but as you say being gallant for you and hopefully will keep in touch

Dear Leeleepuss . Oh I do so understand how you feel about your son. The way things are, Bournemouth must feel as far away as my children in England do to us, who are in Portugal. He's being considerate, just as my daughters were when they wouldn't come over here where they'd be safer; they don't want to bring anything with them.

But of course we wouldn't care; we want them near even though they've grown up and can manage. They are always our babies just as some of us are still wrinkly children, even though we are supposed to have grown up!

Norbert sits on his own a lot in the field, by some decree as opaque to me as when a child in the playground is on their own and you don't understand why and you can't interfere. But the sheep nextdoor are a welcome sign of normality. They have no idea of all this lunacy and fear. Animals are such wonderful levellers. We could learn a thing or two from them, especially over the next few months.

BB x

lea57-49r
lea57-49r1st 7lbs

Love to Norbert, he sounds a character. Really sorry about your much loved cat. I understand how that feels and I indeed still grieve for pets I lost two years ago.

Thank you so much, lea57-49r for your kind thoughts. We could really do with some more cats to cheer us in our long isolation but all the vets have closed to all but emergencies at the moment and acquiring cats we can't look after properly seems irresponsible and selfish.

Meanwhile, both of my pusscats-past are in dear little boxes here in my study, either side of my artists' easel - a bit of space between them because they never really got on!

Hopefully in the future we can have cats again. So many of us have hopes and dreams on hold at the moment. We can at least share our thoughts, hopes and fears on this site, and so keep each other strong.

BB x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs

Hi BB a nice post as usual. I love Norbert. Funnily enough we have a lovely brown lamb in the field and he always seems to be alone. Poor thing, presume his mum is the one with a brown head and legs.

It is going to be hard not socialising, I go out with a group every Sunday for lunch but going to have to start making my own and eating alone!!!! Sob sob. Still I'll finally finish sorting out my spare bedroom/ craft room and start my Xmas card making.

You made me laugh with list of OH's foibles maybe we should ask him for yours?

I'm just off out for first time since Tues apart from walking Archie and hoping some stuff left in shops.

My physio appointment been changed to a phone appointment can just see him telling me how to manipulate my neck!!!!

Keep safe everyone

Poor little lamb! Wonder what is it's done or said, or perhaps it just smells different. Nature can be very cruel.

It's hard to give up nice habits like meeting up with bods whose company you enjoy, so good for you for getting your crafts together and thinking ahead, even as far as Christmas. There's something so comforting about arts, crafts and hobbies and they will be so vital to us all over the next weeks and months. A bit of music, a mug of tea and something satisfying to make must be one of the Big Pleasures in Life.

I wonder whether men will find it more difficult than women in that respect? Some, perhaps, if they were used to a daily pint at the local. Mine doesn't have to adapt: he quite happily spends 4 - 6 hours a day at his computer, doing research of one sort or another. It used to be reading and now it's the computer. It's a good habit for now, provided one get's one's exercise somewhere safe.

You asked for things that no doubt drive my Aged Partner Crackers on a daily basis?

Interrupting him while walking the hoover round his study.

Interrupting him so I can ask a question.

Talking to him when he's on the loo (book in hand).

Showing him something on my phone when he doesn't have his glasses on.

Indeed, showing him anything on my Smartphone, which belongs to this century, whereas he and his phone belong to the last.

I could go on but it's tedious; you've got the idea. On the whole he wants to be left alone and one way or another, I'm always at him.

I think Norbert is keener on conversation than my Dear Old Fart of a Partner.

But then the Aged P isn't going to be slaughtered at Easter to be served up with cabbage and tatties. So there is that...

BB x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

LOL leave him alone!!! Then he'll complain that your leaving him alone.

Yes maybe brown lamb does smell different he Def looks different.

I go along with all you said apart from tea can't stand the stuff yuk.

Yes you're absolutely right and I do try to leave him alone but sometimes one has to disturb the monarch on his throne or at his computer for vital reasons like 'What the heck is the nice chap shouting through the railings and holding up an oriental carpet trying to say to me?'

Yes, I know he's trying to flog me a carpet but beyond, 'Nao, nao, obrigada', which gets a nice smile and more carpet-shaking, how can I put him off for good because he doesn't believe me...

That kind of thing.

Of course if I'm listening to Spotify about 4 hours a day plugged in, he gets infuriated that I don't respond when I don't hear him, then I jump five feet if he suddenly appears beside me shouting a question.

Murphy's Law at work all round.

Have a good Sunday. B x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

LOL definitely kept me amused reading this you have a good day. Mine going pear shaped.

I recently bought a small slow cooker as only me now and gave my big one away. Fine you say.....well all they had in Lidl was a piece of brisket put it in pot and literally just fits with a bit sticking up!!!! Just went to turn it round and so tight hit water everywhere!!!! Just had lunch thought I've got a packet of gluten-free crackers have them, opened packet got 4 out then thought 2 will do went to put 2 back and dropped rest went in Archie's bed and on floor so had to through rest of packet away!!!!! And there not cheap either being gluten free grrrrr

Oh dear this sort of thing sounds so familiar to me - soz your day not exactly gilded. Can't tell you the number of times I end up wearing something I'm preparing or eating. I'm trying to eat the equivalent of a tablespoonful of black-strap molasses a day (part of an anti-inflammation diet). It works but me, my work surfaces, the floor, even the walls are getting in on the act too. It's REALLY diffy stuff to get under control. I'm trying to ration it (acquired thru online order) but for every dollup I get inside myself there's another adorning the tiles. Ah well...

Sorry to hear about your slow cooker. It's always the way, isn't, when one thinks 'I don't need this any more' and the moment I've let go of something Fate shows me one way or another that what I've given away is JUST what I need now. Murphy's Law strikes again...

BB x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

Or does law. Once was part cooked fit better just meant couldn't put my carrots in. But it was gorgeous and gravy so nice finished off with a slice of gravy and bread mmmmmm

Yummy

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

It was and that should have said sods law!!!

I really think you need to write a book as you are a lot more entertaining than those I read. Work has ground to a halt as nursery has closed and the handful of elderly clients I clean for really want me round but don't feel I can . However I have the 'amazing ' company of my other half who is supposed to be working from home since Wednesday .Now he has mastered how to use the coffee pod machine this is his new go to toy . The house smells as welcoming as Costa coffee but the dishwasher is constantly full of his cups and teaspoons that are conveniently dumped in the washing up bowl lying in a pond of grubby grey residue as he tends to just give them a little water maybe thinking it will stop them wilting . How they find their way into the dishwasher he will never know .

I hear him frequently laughing upstairs where he has his new temp office. I never imagined that his seemingly dull dreary job was so amusing. He has sorted out self isolation by constantly running out of something and having to go out to get it . How can a packet of rubber bands be so vital ? I said nothing as his coat went on for the second time in 4 hours as I didn't want his weird laughter to be averted on his return .

Weekend has arrived and I had to take him out for a walk . The constant rattling of cups and watching the reel of Sky News for hours even made me get out the ironing board . I would do anything to talk to Norbet and at least have a meaningful chat to someone .

We were going to Lisbon on the 19th and although our flight wasn't cancelled we didn't go . Easyjet sent me a questionaire asking how our flight went and when I clicked that I didn't go the response was a thank you but we have enough replies ..ha - I wonder why .

Take care BB. Keeping posting your rays of sunshine.

This is brilliant; I enjoyed it so much. We all need to share our experiences, highlights, lowlights and frustrations together over the next months. I hope we do. Sharing all of this should lift spirits and get us 'out there when we can't be 'out there'.

Whatever is he going to do for rubber bands when all shops/office supplies are closed?

Perhaps you can show him how to knit...

BB x

focused1
focused115kg
in reply to BerlinBetty

I prefer crochet tops although I would be terrified of him making something I was obliged to wear then shared on his matey Facebook page clearly showing his mad wife was also geeky.

I am unsure what he will do for rubber bands. I may slyly buy up all on Amazon and give them to my sons who can bombard him with them on Fathers Day .

Brilliant. Perhaps he will ping them all round the room in fun target practice.

I stopped using rubber bands years ago but then in Portugal asparagus is sold bound up in them, so I have started collecting again because they are good strong things and I don't like to chuck them away. I'm using one already for my second best reading glasses cos the hinge of the rigid case suddenly gave up the ghost, as if it couldn't be bothered any more, and let everything hang out.

I've spoken strictly to it about keeping everything together and being strong in these challenging times but it's not having any of it...

BB x

Just at the moment I think we'd all give a great deal to see one of his crochet tops...

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to focused1

Isn't it weird how men don't know how to put stuff in dishwasher? I once said to David why do you put stuff on work surface but not in dishwasher? He said well it would be in wrong place and you'd move it so best to just leave it up to you. Couldn't fault his reasoning!!! He would empty it and put everything away though

focused1
focused115kg
in reply to Craftyperson

This is the way to be . I have been married nearly 35 years . My husband is my best friend . We laugh , cry , argue ...plenty of variety but I can depend on him 200%

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to focused1

Same here we would talk about such silly things and have a laugh, you'd see people out never talking to each other we never stopped. He was my best friend but fitted in with my friends, everyone loved him and at his funeral one of my friends said who will I get to dance with me now? I never believe people who say never had a arguement boring life if you didn't just never go to bed without making up. You never know when it might be your last day/ time together

I found this very moving. You must have marvellous memories. xx

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

I do thanks

Yes, Snap. Great isn't it. Under these circs, a lot of breaking wind and Mansplaining can be forgiven pretty quickly and on a daily basis.

BB x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

Yes and maybe that's his way of letting you know he's around

🤣

Aghghgghghghgh!

Yes, well. Mine's phrase, 'You do it so much better than I do' rings out at this point.

Thing is, that my Dear One does all the tedious tax and utilities stuff, communication in foreign languages on e mails, and - horror of horrors for me - talking on the phone in Portuguese. He's downstairs hoovering as I write this, so all the infuriating things he does and doesn't do have got to be forgiven.

I suppose (teehee).

Betty

focused1
focused115kg
in reply to BerlinBetty

Oh mine enjoys the hoover too . He needs to be making a noise as this equals work . Give him a duster and the coffee machine will be on . In the UK we have strange ways of coping as the virus for some was initially treated as a holiday.Footage showed a busy outdoor market and a carnival atmosphere in a London park as cyclists , 4x4's and picnicers arrived as though WW3 had been denounced . I have never seen as many walking past my house . We aren't supposed to go to a public place , coffee shops , gyms are closed but I am sure my road is now doubling up as the road to Mecca . The weird gesture by supermarkets to allow NHS staff a one hour window to shop has made the most vulnerable people crowd on mass . Who though retail food assistants would have the most secure jobs going ?

As for the new woolly top or string vest goes . I feel it may be the opportunity to loose weight very easily . I don't think he is the ideal listener or learner so I would sweat buckets just getting the hook and wool set up .

My son who is temp residing here brought back a pack of cards on Friday with the hope of teaching Papa either poker , whist or rummy . We have just stuck to the memory game for now . I have hidden the Scrabble board .

Just brilliant. A very entertaining read.

Looking at Brit behaviour from afar and it's baffling in some cases but we see equivalences of it in almost all countries, including this one when two weekends ago the sun came out for real and hundreds drove out of Lisbon to bask together on the beaches of Cascais. Costa the PM had to close the beaches after that but the Portuguese are a convivial people and keeping people isolated, especially when attractions are just down the road, is going to be very difficult. There are twelve dying every hour now in parts of Spain so the PM and President will step up stuff very soon.

I've studied the photographs of people in parks in England and Scotland this weekend. Part of the problem is that some do seem to have gone out in couples and keeping the required distance from one another. But there are so many couples that the desired effect is destroyed. The crowded tube trains this morning in London were a sobering sight. It looks mindless and selfish but then how many employees are under pressure to use it? How many of these might be supermarket workers or takeaway employees, I wonder. The PM will have to shut it all down, however difficult that might be, and meanwhile these employees and others working long hours in distribution warehouses, hospitals and care homes, need the transport exclusively to themselves. After all, the transport employees need protection too.

I don't envy anyone in authority in any country at the moment, though it's hard to feel sorry for POTUS, who is getting more and more orange by the minute. His self-tanning cubicle must be his sanctuary...

I think we all should have a competition about making clothes, outfits etc at home and showing them off for amusement to each other; probably in words rather than images.

The other day I cut the Aged P's hair with a pair of lethal hairdressing scissors acquired through a certain well-known supplier. Promise I didn't use a pudding bowl.

Got to do my own next. No really, I have. Look like an old witch.

BB x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to focused1

Yes Skegness was heaving at the weekend idiots

I like to think they will be idiots at home now for the next three weeks, after this evening's announcement. x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

Let's hope so it will receive the demand on local shops

Yes! I see a certain well-known sports chain tried to defy the PM's lockdown by pretending the nation needed it to stay open, thus of course keeping profits going for the boss who treats his gig workers like slaves and making them remain serving the public, and thus putting them at risk. Delighted to see this morning that public opinion (and probably some quiet government advice) has shamed him into closing.

The German government sent a huge consignment of masks to Kenya to help keep the citizens safe, I think yesterday. The entire consignment was stolen at the airport - just disappeared.

So important for the majority of us to behave like decent human beings when there are these wolves in every society. Good will prevail but we all have to work at it. BB xx

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

That's terrible had to be someone in airport that knew it was coming.

The other day someone broke into a delivery van parked outside while making a delivery that stuff could have been going to a elderly person that that was their only lifeline scum

Yes, if you dwell too long on these creatures it can really sour your life-view. But after years of rumination on the failings and cruelties of some sections of mankind, I decided I was giving them headspace and therefore, somehow, even more power than they already have. So I'm trying to combat negative thoughts which dwell on these ills, doing what I can, when I can, and talking to bods like those on this community who, by and large, express themselves lovingly and supportingly. There will always be wolves, and what psychologists call chimpanzees (self-interested, potentially aggressive individuals who lack the capacity for finer instincts). We have to combat that stuff with good, somehow, and on the whole, I believe good prevails in the end.

Betty

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

Hopefully good will prevail. And yes I'm trying to ignore the bad posts and forwarding on the good ones like a shopkeeper that was handing out packages to all his elderly customers with hand gel, gloves and masks in.

Like the chimpanzee analogy

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

They do come in handy for some things, David used to vacuum as that hurt my back and cleaning far side of bath. And he did all the ironing!!!! I hated ironing

Funny you should say that. Himself wielded the iron for two hours today, bless him. Have just this now put his efforts in the airing cupboard. x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

Well done him. When David first left school he worked as an Hoffman presser so very good at it

Yes! You never forget those student or pre-student jobs. I worked for years as a shop assistant in a well-known family department store in Cambridge, long since gone. Loved it. A scarier job was working in a laundry staffed largely by ex-con women on piece-work. I learned to handle wet sheets, that's stayed with me. Also the threats and expletives I received if I didn't pass the stuff through the mangles fast enough. For these women, speed was money. They didn't have much time for a mardy student with floppy hair and a posh accent!

Never annoy a woman with tattoos on her knuckles...

Betty x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

LOL can just see you now feeding them through at double speed.

My first Saturday job was in a butchers can still remember eating the corned beef while slicing it naughty me and coming home on bus one day sat next to my friend and she said what's that smell? It was all the dried blood on my apron!!! I couldn't smell it cos so used to it

Wonderful.

My first job on Saturday mornings was working in a post-office, selling sweets by the quarter and I'm pretty sure cigarettes and baccy (I was 14...)! It was all very innocent, and frightening good for my arithmetic, since all change had to be calculated in pounds, shillings and pence on the spot while the till was open and some not-so-sweet old dear was waiting for his tin of Old Shag and his change.

I suppose it was all rather dodgy in terms of legalities but I gained a lot of satisfaction from it. I'm talking early-to-mid 60s. Ancient history now.

Guilty corned beef and blood on your clothes! Weren't we Brave and Feisty Young Tiddlers!

B x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

We were brave and still are.

I remember buying sweets by the 1/4 lb and black jack's and mojos 4 for a penny.

We had to add everything up in our heads as went along too and work out change. I was working there when decimalisation came in and the little old dears would say how much is that in real money?.

Some youngsters on tills nowadays don't have any idea I once said to one do you want the 10p or whatever then you can just give me notes. I can't do that she said that would be too much!!!!!!

Yup, that was brainy stuff by comparison. Not that I was a bright one at school. I struggled with the pages and pages of arithmetic questions and was considered slow. Remember those dreadful problem questions? 'Bertha goes into the grocers for her mother and asks for five and a half pounds of sago and a quarter of broken biscuits. She has a voucher for Omo for 10 percent off and a ten shilling note...' that kind of thing.

On happier memories - Aw Blackjacks and Mojos! A pocketful of those and a new copy of the Beano and I was a happy kid. x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

yes same for me but i loved the bunty remember cutting out the clothes on back page to dress your 'doll' also cut out of back page. and yes i remember those questions well was never that good at maths at school if you asked a question teacher whould say you dont need to know why just how and it is!!!! due to illness i missed a few months of school and teacher wasnt interested in helping me catch up was only interested in the clever ones. i passed my o level just i think c or d got a or b in everything else. after i had my accident and had to retire early i went to night school to keep my brain from rotting and the teacher told me why and how and i got a b which was highest level could get at intermediate so was well chuffed

Well done for that. Yes, I had a motley education for different reasons, so caught up with with I should have achieved when middle-aged. It started off as proving to myself that I wasn't as thick as I'd been branded and became something else. It just goes to show that it's never too late.

BB x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

No it's never too late and I did a 2 year pre nursing course till I was old enough to start training and did pre nursing maths which was working out doses of meds for different sizes and got a or b at that cos had good teacher. And when I was on SCBU with very premature babies really needed that could be 0.1 ml!!!!!

When I'd had to retire and been off work for some years I first did a return to learning course as hadn't done anything to do with computers and did a free computer course if did English or math's and so did maths and that's where met a great teacher who encouraged me to go on to do GCSE.

Glad you did your top up education

You must have found all that very rewarding.

There's such satisfaction in anything like that, isn't there? When I was a mature student I gave courses for Kent County Council for adults wanting to learn more about literature. I remember one course I offered included an ex-headmistress who had spent her life in science and management; she just wanted to read literature for pleasure. Also in that class were some who had no exams to speak of and just wanted to learn something that they had missed out on because they'd had a lousy education through no fault of their own. Then there was one chap who had had a breakdown and for whom literature was pure therapy. This was challenging teaching indeed but those teaching afternoons were some of the most rewarding of my career, and I'd go back to that kind of teaching again like a shot, if ever I settled back in Britain.

I still push myself now to learn new stuff. The more I learn, the more I know what I don't know! It's an everlasting pleasure, and a stimulating challenge. BB x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

It was very rewarding especially midwifery.

Your time teaching English literature sounds amazing I love reading and one of the things I did when went to proper night school rather than the return to learning was English literature I'd only done English language at school and I even enjoyed Shakespeare and Macbeth really interesting when you dissect it and came across a poem I love called when I grow old and loved the line.,.and learn to spit.

And yes good to still learn and keep your brain active

Yes I know that super poem by Jenny Joseph well. Children and adolescents love it too; it restores their faith in the capability of older people to be naughty and rude and unsuitable and outrageous and just plain embarrassing. This poem makes young people feel better about themselves. x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

Glad you know it and like it. It's very uplifting and inspired my signature on email which is

Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not. I'm never growing up. I've recommended it to loads of people the poem that is though other not bad either LOL

And thanks for reminding me who wrote it

Snap! I've never grown up either. Just a wrinkly kid, really... x

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to BerlinBetty

That's the best way to be

focused1
focused115kg
in reply to BerlinBetty

OMG ...I hope I won't be handling wet sheets any time soon . Husband is flapping a bit with cabin fever but calmed down with a trough of food and a can of something strong .

Troughs and cans sound good. We are all in for the Long Haul here. Better to be within-reason-a-wee-bit-chubbier and safe. I'm hoping we all of us get out our cookbooks or try experimenting online or taking up some weird and wonderful hobby. Anything to stay safe and occupied when things get tough. We're not there yet so I suppose the best we can do is prepare ourselves to hunker down for as long as it takes.

I'm not sure that men will handle this quite as well as women.

Now, THAT'S a challenge to any men reading this by chance. Anyone going to knock my cheeky gender assertion off its little pedestal? Hope so...

x

Lavender54
Lavender542020 March

Ha, well having a roof leak which has made a water stain on the curtain, I could adapt that, minus stain into a very fetching ball gown which probably wouldn't go round my waist.

Yes, complete lock down here and Police fining people who are out and about for

no real reason. Some bloke took his goat for a walk - thoughts of Norbert.

Waiting to hear from my sister in the UK. Her hubby sailed off shopping and was gobsmacked at the empty shelves. He obviously hadn't realised it was all over, not just the big cities. I suggested nearby small village shops/farm shops for stuff like milk & eggs. Shame her Silver Appleyards died of old age, they were prolific layers and slug eaters.

Still raining. Dogs bored witless, and Basil, the Norfolk has a meltdown when the rain becomes torrential. Tuck him up under a bed so he can wait it out in comparative quiet. Not like the kitten, Minisq who I reckon is either a complete idiot or thinks she has an invisible mac on, totally impervious, comes in soaked. .

The canary has been shocked into silence by the rain being noisier than him.

Ho Hum.

Have a nice evening. L

So brilliant. Loved it all xx

Craftyperson
Craftyperson1st 7lbs
in reply to Lavender54

Lol maybe he didn't have a dog so walked the goat. I read your post as firing people rather than fining!!!! Thought where do you live.

Wonderful, wonderful stuff Betty - thank you as always for your wit and wisdom - both are much appreciated and needed during these difficult times. Much love to you and Norbert - stay safe lovely lady xx

And you Darling. Testing times and we will rise to them. BB xx

rachelleigh
rachelleighVisitor
in reply to BerlinBetty

We do like a challenge ;)

Lavender54
Lavender542020 March

Good morning,

Is that a tiny ray of sunshine? Yup. Quick, washing on.

Talking of education...... my sister and I both went to the same boarding school.

During one games lesson I happened to mention to the games mistress something about my sister. 'Sister? You've got a sister? Oh yes, says me, she's older than me in FormX'

Oh dear.

My sister had never been to games ever, in 3yrs,

She read the entire school library instead.

Me? I was the hearty one. Still am, with my horses and dogs. She still reads voraciously.

I enjoy doing the Future Learn courses, mainly History, lots of fascinating content.

Hopefully the sun is out for you and you have a good day. L

Gosh wish I'd been the least bit hearty. Was tall and lanky so everyone expected me to be good at games and athletics and was a complete chocolate fireguard at all of them - except netball. Could drop a ball through the net every time. Small claim to fame.

I hear it's sunny for most at the mo, but then of course, people get tempted to go out and be daft, especially if they are confined to flats. With children that must be very difficult.

Yes, when young my idea of heaven was going down to Southborough Lending Library with my Dad, who went through books at a rate of knots. It was there that I learned to love Sherlock Holmes (first saw it on tv with Douglas Wilmer as Holmes and Nigel Stock as Watson). Then saw The World of Wooster with Ian Carmichael and Dennis Price so then read all the Wodehouse the library had, chuckling as I went. A happy habit to have got into, not only for later life as a teacher but now, when reading or re-reading is a smashing habit for the bored and/or anxious.

These online courses are wonderful, aren't they. Never a dull moment on the internet. x

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