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Reflections 2020 w14

Another week without signs of infection, but one of my cousins is on isolation due to a cough. I think by now we all know at least someone who knows someone, and with the hay fever season starting it has a chance to spike, what with the runny noses, sneezes, and watery eyes, we constantly need to touch our face.

With the talk of the virus being defeated by warmer weather, I took a look at the temperatures around the world, I could not see how the entire planet is at roughly the same temperature for that to be true, or if it is not true about an average temperature – does that mean that hotter countries are virus free?

No, Kenya has a temperature of 25degc, which is 8 degrees higher than a typical uk summer. If we were to rely on the heat, we would be screwed. Our only weather hope would be if it got fed up of all the rain and buggered off.

I’m luckier than most, I have an allotment, which gives me time outdoors in fresh air, also a curse with pollen, pick fresh food and some social interaction over the fence. Now that more of the plot holders are going up, my time has come down. When it was just the two of us I could stay here for an afternoon – more isolated than at home. But now it is just half an hour, and a half hour dog walk.

Being a countryside dog walker (Usually) also gives me another advantage – hand sanitiser stock. I had some in two separate bags, the car, the dog drawer, and the poop bag hand sanitiser combo key ring. When you pick up poop to carry for miles you tend to have a special bag/container for it to be stored in, bagged of course, and hand sanitiser to deal with any germs – just to be safe for the cuppa or sandwich later. I also carry a couple of baby wipes for hand wiping, so I have a couple of packs of them too.

But I come from a family that has a pantry – a stocked pantry. So when the shelves ran dry in the supermarket we coped. I learnt the wisdom of having two weeks food in stock when my static nerve stoped me in my tracks a number of years ago, it took weeks until I got to the shops. I think many may rethink the empty cupboards after this if they are in the position to afford even one extra item a week that has a long shelf life. And  for those that cannot, the food bank donation boxes started to get donations again last week, hopefully they will get more deposited so they can help more to eat. We all have had a sample of going without something, and having to come up with alternatives.

It would not be the first time one has wiped my butt with leaves.

Take care, stay safe.

Reflections 2020 w10

Today I transferred the strawberries from last year into their new plot and dug up the asparagus from last year that did not grow at all. One has potted them up in the green house – just to make sure they are done.

It was my fault, the crowns looked lovely when they arrived, but the weather had been against me on rearranging the plot, and I fell behind. BY the time I quickly prepped the asparagus bed they had gone mouldy. I washed them off and planted, like I had found to do on the internet, and then I waited, well, sort of. One did not expect to see any growth, and one did not.

So I ordered some more to replace them, a collection of Autumn planting crowns. This would at least give me time to just do the Asparagus bed properly.

But there was a problem with the supplier and they were being delayed to this year.

I have deleted the email at some point, and the order number I wrote down cannot be found. Truth be told I think it got burned with last years diary.

I don’t think I cancelled the order. But there were a few orders that got messed about last year, so there are refunds for items. But was this order one of them?

One has not long had the strawberries plants ordered last summer. It was that kind of year.

To top it off, the company has just upgraded its computer system, catalogue and site. Did the outstanding order transfers? If at all it exists.

So now I wait for an email, sometime over the next week or so.

Before I dare to order again. I have not the space for two lots. If the crowns that did not fall apart I dug up today are alive — some are going to find themselves in unusual homes. Or kicking the little flower strip out of its bed.

But at least the plot is in front with the growing this year. A week of time and dry weather will see the painting done. Then I have all year to do the water butts.

I have all year to do ONE job.

That feels strange to write after the upheaval one gave oneself last year.

I have photos of the plot as I took it over, I’m sure of it. One will post a then and now Later in the season, if I find them.

Reflections 2020 w09

We are having another storm, and we are on the watch for another next week as well. This one brought some snow and hail for a couple of hours before washing it away, what that is going to do to all the early blossom on the trees one has no idea. Nature is just as confused as us at the moment.

Plants are flowering way before the season they are supposed to, the frogs were about the day before the snow, and the birds are acting like they have young. All I need to see now is a butterfly flying past the window, to confirm the confusion.

Good news on the notepad and pen front — it has been found.

Twas hiding in Spots carrier. What it was doing there I have no idea, but the notepad search is done.

Well…

Not quite.

Whilst the pad And pen has been on its vacation, a spare one was being used. This I went for at the discovery of the missing pad, it has some poems to transfer to the computer, before placing into semi retirement. It was at this point one discovered that this pad has now gone missing. !!!?

I looked down at Spot, curled up in her bed, looking all peaceful, and asked her…”Are you messing with me?”

She stirred a little, looked at me with un-interest at the subject and went to sleep.

I feel now it is I, that is messing with me.

But why?

Reflections 2020 w08

The problem with long depressive episodes is not caring where everything goes, and if you are sorting out your belongings to either sell or make room for something else at the time of the episode, you tend to place something you cannot find at a later date. Or worse you have cleared it out — for some, now unknown, reason.

It appears I have done this with a notepad I cannot find. Fast running out of places to rearrange once again, in a hope of finding it, a common side effect of coming out of a low dip, is leaving one perplexed. I know I have not thrown or destroyed the notebook, because it has a parker pen connected to it, my blue ink one.

I can only locate my black ink one, this has a different colour clip for identification purposes. The blue one originally had green ink, with really helped with the words not moving around, but had the annoying habit of  clumping ink on a regular basis before depositing  it to be smudged on the second pass of my hand. So I changed it to blue.

The black is just for coursework or form filling.

I like my blue pen, and I dislike the black hole of memories depression leaves.

Which is why I have the notebooks.

Reflections 2020 w07

Last week I wrote about the storm that had come through, and this week there is another storm coming through.

Now I live in an area that has not been hit hard nor flooded, but the dog walk at the local park had an area flooded over the path, the first time I have seen this in the 7 years of walking there, and the normally ankle high, slow flowing brook, is currently at least 2ft high and flowing like a downhill mountain stream.

I only hope that the areas flooded have a chance to drain the water away before another storm hits, we are not having enough time to dry out between rains. And the UK is renowned for being wet.

If anyone is interested there is a video on the 100 year flood by practical engineering on youtube. It goes a way to explaining how we are exaggerating the flooding by how we build houses and roads, it is not as many think, about how we build defences.

This may go to explain why previously unaffected areas are now being hit, It acts like a domino effect, one raindrop affecting the next.

One wonders, will we ever learn how to live with nature in this modern world, or will it take ever increasing ‘freak’ weather occurrences to get our attention?

Reflections 2020 w01

One got to paint some of the shed today, the parts that were next to a fence in its old location, and boy did it soak it up. However, the preservative that is supposed to be red cedar – is definitely more… Orange.

The salad seedlings have sprouted and are looking good, nice and healthy in the greenhouse. Also the garlic and onions are looking well. The broad beans however have had something sitting in them – B’ cats.

I have to work out what I can do to keep them off the plot. If they are not pooping everywhere they are digging up and flattening. Somehow I think i would get into trouble if I located the owner and posted a photo of the cat and its poop through their door, but it is acceptable for their cat poop to get on my clothing, footwear and hands whilst I garden.

I don’t hate the cats, I hate the law that says it’s ok for them to do it, but if Spot was to wander around pooping in the neighbours yards, that would be illegal because she’s a dog.

And yes the dog owners that do do that are equally disgusting…To the point I would create a new crime called A Dirty B*****d, complete with a national newspaper mug shot when convicted. Just so the paper can print Mr/Mrs XYZ today was found to be A Dirty B*****d is such and such court. For every pet found fouling without the owners picking it up and; I would like to stress this, BINNING it.

You may have worked out I ‘found’ some more today.

On good news I have purchased some Pork Floss, it will be trialed next week with my sister, who also wants to taste it. She does not however want to try the other snacks. In fact she definitely pulled her face at the fish sticks. I am giggling as I remember her look right now. Just wait until I get the item they did not have.

Here is the haul, my impressions will be forthwith upon consumption.

 

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Reflections 2019 w48

Another post a day late.  One did not feel like writing yesterday, my back has been , quite frankly, annoying the hell out of me.

Playing with the kids on Saturday pulled a muscle in my lower back which has irritated one of my disc bulges that I was just getting over again. Who would have thought hitting children with balloons, their game rules not mine, could cause such pain.

Therefore my insomnia has a new play pal for my attention, a constant distraction from sleep. I now have a lot of naps 1/2 an hour after pain medication.

Also, my mind is trying to work overtime on foodstuffs for a walking holiday next year. This may sound insignificant to most people, and to myself pre-breakdown it would also have been, but not now.

Now I have major depression and high to severe anxiety; this I know all too well. So in order to walk Hadrian’s wall next year one has to take several attacks into account. Overcoming these has taken the form of routines or patterns of familiarity. Food wise one has to have my entire menu for 14 days sorted bagged and labelled, so that eating is a routine and not something one can skip.

Not just labelled into meals…Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner.

But by the day. Including teabags to be had, when to have them etc. It is the only way I will not become overwhelmed by simple decisions. Normal tea or Green tea can become an hour of indecision, not able to do anything else whilst my brain buffers the information.

But, another concept that is going to be new for me, is keeping the food weight down. No cooking fresh chicken on this trip. And with being in the UK, there is no real supply of dehydrated meat that I would want to trust, except the very expensive stuff, which would also be too much for one to have in a week, the usual time to consume once opened.

With that being said, one has researched online, and I have to admit there has been a few surprises. Mainly in the dehydrating meals wise. My dehydrator is a simple one, it has no temperature control, and although it does say it can do meat – I do not trust it for that. Therefore the cooked meals are going to be out for home dehydrating, and have you seen the cost for the camp meals already done? Wow, I would need a small loan just to eat, and a blood flush to get rid of the salt concentrating in my veins from eating them for a fortnight.

To be honest, like most people who carry a Trangia cook set, boiling water and then soaking for ten minutes to eat a warm meal, is just not that appealing. It is why they are called a cook set. We can cook with them, and I have had some nice meals in a tent before…Wild boar, Pheasant, Ostrich, Kangaroo, Bison, Venison and fillet steak.

Just because one is in a tent does not mean one cannot eat like a king.

Spoilt and over the top.

Admittedly one was working unto 70hrs a week when those meals were ate, and getting a discount for the meats due to the job one was in.

So this time around one is going to have to work out meals based around dehydrated veg, I cannot imagine meals without veg, tinned fish/meat and a new thing one has found called TVP, a soy product, I will not call it a meat alternative, because I have yet to taste a meat alternative that is either…An alternative to meat, or, just better to to call it vegetarian/vegan. My brain is not left feeling conned when the taste just does not match up to what they say it tastes like. Sometimes one wonders if the person has even ate the foodstuff being copied.

I started the idea of the walk in October, I started the meal research in November, now  one is looking for recipes to try to create from dehydrated veg in December.

When is the walk you may ask?

Next August, I just hope one can get things sorted by then.

Starting a new habit or routine, even a new thing to become familiar, takes time. These meals I have yet to create have got to become all of the above, so I do not have to think about them to do them.

It may be even harder to do if some of the ingredients have got to have a gradual introduction to my food chain. It took me 12months to introduce courgettes into my diet, to the point I can eat a whole one in my meal today.

Luckily the veg to be prepped are all staples in my current diet, but will they work dehydrated???

Reflections 2019 w47

Friday the 13th and we had a bad day, a known serial liar was (because of first past the post) elected prime minister.

This is the thing I do not understand; how do people think that this system serves the country?

The Cons got 43.6% of the vote which got them 365 seats, but if labour 32.2% had formed a coalition with Lib dems 11.6% alone ( I know that would have not happened, but it is hypothetical to prove a point), they would have had a greater %age of the votes, 43.8% of the votes. But this would have only gotten 214 seats – less than 60% of the Cons, despite getting more votes.

It gets even worse for some parties…

The Brexit party got 0 seats for 2% of the votes (642,303)

Beaten by the Green party 1 seat for 2.7 % of the vote (865,697)

Both dwarfed by Other parties getting 3 seats for 2% of the vote (700,886)

Now, if you believe the prime minister to be an honest guy, the new boundary system will make sure, and I quote, that every vote counts the same.

Under that guise his huge majority becomes a minority government again.

Somehow one does not think this countries career politicians are going to be even close to having proportional representation. It’s our club v your club, we will do it our way, and act like a bunch of frat members whilst doing it.

Time and time again it is mentioned that a proportional representative government won’t get anything done – because coalition governments don’t. The difference is one party will not use another party to get their way, knowing they can blame them for anything unpopular in five years time when they hope that they are not needed.

 

Now to those that believe that Great Britain is full of politicians who can get things done, why is working together for the benefit of the country so impossible to do? It would remain the same for MP’s voting on proposals bought up.

 

On a personal note, I am going to try and order my walking trailer spares from Europe to get here before the end of January, because i’m buggered if I am going to pay the extra in duty like I do for goods from America.

And if we do get that ‘wonderful’ trade deal from the US, I’m going vegetarian, or more likely a great fish eater if the price drops by half to compensate for the fish our fishermen cannot get to Europe.

I am sure not paying out for medical insurance to risk salmonella from chlorinated chicken.

To those in Europe that read my blogs…Not all English People think you are out to rule us and take our jobs whilst being here illegally on benefits. Nor do we all want to listen in to your conversation, or complain when we do not understand what you are saying to one another in a non English language. But then not all of us have a passport and travel to your country expecting you to talk english either.

No, some of us will just ask about the food you are eating, especially if it looks delicious.

Or maybe that is just me.

Reflections 2019 w46

Four more days to find out what the hell is going on.

Is this the decline of the UK?

Or are we already there, we just do not realise it is over.

Sounds like a marriage that is ending in divorce. And we are the one that thinks everything is ok.

 

But there are voices that sound from the past…Blame the immigrants/other religion, blame the sick, blame the unemployed, blame the disabled…Say we need more power to get things done for the best of the country, blame those in government that oppose ones will. Change the government system to stay in power, it’s best for the country.

The use of language and tactics of a universally hated moustached person to sway public opinion, whilst championing a course of ‘democracy’.

Using propaganda via media to sway opinion, the truth need not apply, repeat it often enough  it sounds authentic. A tactic the above fella used.

Fake is real – real is dismissed.

Knowledge is mistrusted, eyed suspiciously, because a charismatic non-expert says it’s the worst case scenario. If one feels it enough it will work out better than a plan based on facts. Facts are fiction – fiction is whatever you can get away with.

You cannot hold a discussion when the other person is plugging their ears with their fingers whilst going lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala.

So now we rely on those that feel disenfranchised, disconnected, apathetic and disgusted to get out and be counted.

What is the point of democracy if 1/3 of the country do not take part?

So why not change to a dictatorship?

You only need just over a third of the population to back it, to bring it about. Then what are those that stayed at home going to do…Complain? Rebel?

Not likely if they cannot even put a cross on a piece of paper with a pencil.

And yet those are the very people that can alter the political spectrum by taking part.

 

We are going to need a Christmas miracle to not end up in the history books as the country that threw democracy out with the bath water.

 

I do not think even a cup of tea will help with that one.

Reflections 2019 w37

Ahh, a day late. To be honest I fell asleep.

We are on the last bits of clearing Uncle Joe’s house, well I say last bits, I kinda added some work to the list by going over his garden and giving it a tidy and the grass a mow. It did not feel right to leave it in an unkept state, I never saw it that way when he was alive, and I wanted the garden area to be playable straight away if children moved in.

Tomorrow should be the last day at the house, and to be honest I am not looking forward to leaving it for the last time, empty and partially gutted. I now only hope that an item or two is accepted at my local museum. I spent many an hour at that place as a child, fascinated at the “modern” items they have on display. I think it would be nice if a piece of my uncle and aunts life got to do the same for other children.

Maybe my son and nephew can play spot the item on future visits.

At least his galvanised watering can that I am turning into a planter, with his fuchsia coming out of the top, will be around for a while.

It is going to my allotment gate, with my plot number on it.