Hello there….long time no see. I thought I would be back sooner than this but recent events have kept me busy and I am not just referring to the dreaded virus.
Thank you for all your lovely comments and well wishes, advice and suggestions on my last post – they were much appreciated and I hope you don’t mind me not answering them individually, it was difficult to sit at the computer until my back recovered.
Although I was housebound for a few days with my bad back I am now fully recovered…..just in time to be housebound once again because of the virus!
I feel as if I am about to journey through a long dark tunnel, not really knowing where the end will be. Plans we might have made for this year are now well and truly abandoned as are any visits to Scotland to our cottage and caravan. The garden up there will no doubt become wild over time and all the hard work we have put in over the years will be quickly lost. It feels like a repeat of what happened when the cottage flooded and 10 years of renovations were wiped out within hours.
We are managing to cope though – in fact we are in a very privileged positon both of us being at home and living on the state pension of DH and mine soon to come in May….we have few of the financial worries that others are facing, although this might come along after when we find many thousands wiped off the value of our private pension pot that we have not, as yet, had to draw on.
My main concern now is for my family and in particular for my dear mum – I am heartbroken for her as she faces weeks of isolation at a time when she cannot really look after herself. For those readers who do not know my mum is 94 and struggling to walk now because of osteoarthritis in her right hip, added to which she recently caught a sickness bug which completely wiped her out and the main reason for my extended absence in blogland. We managed to sort out some ‘aids’ for around the home and a walker so that she can get about her flat better and more safely. She is up and down each day, one day not even being able to get out of bed and the next feeling brighter and more able. Luckily a neighbour had been popping in to make her a cup of tea and my sister went every day but she had not fancied eating very much at all and had become quite weak.
I was unable to travel up to see her when she was first ill as I found it too painful to sit in the car because of my back. As soon as I could I was exercising my back each day, but it wasn’t until Mother’s Day that I was able to go up there, just before the travel clamp down came – we went knowing it would be my last chance to see her for the forseeable future. We took the little tin trough of pink carnations to cheer her up and a picnic which we ate indoors with her – she tucked into our home made leek and potato soup and a cheese and pickle sandwich – I expect she was quite ravenous not having eaten much for the past two weeks because of the sickness bug. I had also made her a fresh cream chocolate cake – her favourite – and left some in the fridge for later.
Because she hadn’t been out for a few weeks and hadn’t been able to watch the TV she had no idea how bad things have become in the world because of the coronavirus. We would have liked to take her for a short run in the car to the coast so she could see the outside world but she was not well enough and we would not have wanted to add to the madness that was out there that day. Instead we watched an old black and white film on TV together and just having some company for the afternoon cheered her up no end.
With the new government rules of no unnecessary travel in place I will not see her again for a long while added to which it is uncertain whether my sister will be allowed into my mum’s apartment block to care for her ….the apartment manager told me that it might be that only official carers will be allowed in soon. The apartments are classed as Independent Living, so if you need carers the management company are saying that you should not be living there. The only option for any residents that are not able to look after themselves may be to go into a care home but I can tell you these places are already booked up as the NHS are moving recovering patients into them to convalesce and free up hospital beds.
It has been such a worry for me but I have managed to set up one teatime slot for 3 days a week with a carer who will go in and help mum and provide some human contact and this should help if my sister is not allowed access. All the residents have been told they must stay in their own apartments and not pop in and out to see their friends and must keep their distance from one another. There are no papers being delivered either and as very few have the internet they are becoming more and more isolated.
As you can imagine mum is not happy at having a stranger forced upon her but we will see how she adapts in the next few days and I hope she will accept their help and not send them away. She also heard last week that her appointment to see the musculoskeletal clinic has now been cancelled – she was devastated – she was only a week away….it seems so cruel when she is in such pain.
In between all the phone calls and dramas I have been baking and trying hard not to waste any food. I had left over cream to use up from mum’s chocolate cake so I baked a batch of fruit scones….a little indulgent, but quite delicious.
I am trying to visit the supermarket as little as possible – this requires a lot of forward planning with menus to make sure we eat the fruit and veggies that have a shorter life first. Any green stalks and leaves cut off the vegetables go into our green soup. We even sprinkled the left over cous cous over the last batch together with some parmesan cheese as a garnish – it was actually quite nice.
I have been cleaning too. This virus makes me feel quite grubby every time we have been out for our essentials so I have been giving the bathroom and kitchen an extra dose of elbow grease and detox spray.
When the sun was out last week we had a lovely walk up towards the moors above where we live – there were people about but not too many and when we passed it was at a safe distance. Looking across the valley everything seemed so deceivingly normal and like the cat and the sheep, basking in the warmth of the sunshine, we felt relieved that spring had finally made an appearance.
Of course it was short lived and this week we have been plunged back into a cold spell with hail falling occasionally and a bitterly cold wind. So what better way of keeping warm than doing a spot of cooking in the kitchen. I had eggs to use up and a few pieces of cauliflower so made these little cheesy savouries in a muffin tin to have with some fresh salad.
I then used up the last of the mushrooms and leeks by making these individual pies topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
We are managing to eek out all our groceries so that our visits to the supermarket are as few as possible. I have spent some time this week reorganising my recipe folders and searching out new recipes to try. I will spend the rest of the week with a long overdue task of reorganising a box full of photos. I will at the same time be looking for one or two of my elder daughter to make a photo book of her life so far for her 40th birthday which is coming up soon. There will be no big party or celebration for her – everything is cancelled – we will have to have a party by internet connection of some kind. I am not sure how you can play party games via Skype or Zoom but we will find a way!
I have a great deal of catch up to do in blogland so will be hopping over to my favourite places and hopefully will not leave it as long next time to write another post.
Hoping all is well with you too. Many safe distance hugs to everyone. x