Posts

Journeying at last

Image
On the 28th March we were at last allowed to stop "staying local" and travel within Wales.  Two of our children and their families live in Wales and two in England.  We had managed to see our North Wales daughter and her family through the lockdown from time to time, for childcare or, as things relaxed a bit further, outside for a walk or a play in the park.  The South Wales family we had not seen for months although we facetime and talk pretty often.  We would have to stay outside if we made the four hour journey down the border.  So Emma and I plotted together.  We could bring the campervan which would be our place to sleep and retire to.  She would buy a firepit so we could spend the evenings together outside on their terrace.  The weather forecast was consulted and two or three days of unseasonal warmth were predicted with winds from the south bringing some sunshine and higher temperatures so that was when we would travel.  Plan made. On Tuesday morning as we drove south

Has it really been a year?

Image
Has it really been a year since the first lockdown struck and we all retreated to our homes?  I went back and read my first blog about coronavirus  and see that I wrote it on 28th March 2020, so yes, a year ago almost exactly.  How long ago it seems.  This long slow year has chugged away and here we are now, with the vaccination roll out offering hope and the emergence of new variants reminding us that maybe, in some ways, coronavirus is here to stay and the world must adapt to it with annual vaccinations perhaps, as for flu.  We shall see.  I hear people talking about getting back to normal and I wonder what that will look like.  Somehow I find it hard to believe that it will be exactly as life was before the pandemic hit. A walk through the churchyard But there are lots of things to lift the spirits, chiefly from today that here in Wales we are allowed to travel anywhere in the country.  By "country" I do mean Wales as the rest of the UK is still off limits for the moment. 

New house, new month, new rules?

Image
 So here we are in the middle of March and on Friday the Welsh Government announced some small changes to the rules in Wales.  The vaccination programme is going well with more than 23 million people now having received their first dose of the vaccine across the UK and nearly 1.5 million having had both doses.  Across the UK we have also been in  lockdown which itself has an impact in reducing the spread of the virus.  Deaths have fallen sharply as have new cases and hospitalisations.  The death figures for today in the UK are 175 and there are 6,609 new cases.  There has been some pressure mainly from business and some politicians for coronavirus lockdown rules to be eased and in England the Westminster government has published a "road map"  giving various dates when changes will be made, assuming that cases continue to fall or at least to remain low.  Schools have gone back in England this last week and in Wales many more years of school will reopen next week so there is a

Settling into the new life

Image
It was such a huge thing to do, both practically and emotionally, to move out of our old house that it is astonishing to find how quickly and easily we seem to be settling into our rental house and a different life.  When we planned this transition stage we thought we would use the period of living in a rental house to travel and to spend time with our children and grandchildren.  Covid 19 has put paid to that for the time being.  The world may open up again.  We are beginning to wonder whether we might get to France later this year for a holiday with some of our children and a visit to our friends who live in Provence.  Will it work? Who knows?  There may be vaccine passports or closed borders.  For the time being all that is still off limits so what to do right now? We are visiting the building plot once a week.  The shape of the house is now clear and the whole plot is no longer a mud bath but ready for more building and soon an electricity connection.  That is the purpose of the ne

New place to live, first dose of vaccine

Image
 So we achieved our move,  completing on the 15th February, and here we are in our rental property.  It has been strange partly by not seeming strange.  After fifteen years and a deep attachment to our old house I had thought it might be a real wrench to leave but no, the long slow build up seems to have produced something where it was finally a relief just to get on and do it, make the move, get ready for the next stage.  The week before we completed was the hardest with boxes everywhere and the job of cleaning to do at the old house in readiness for handing it over.  Now things are falling into place, the boxes are being emptied and moved out to the garage and the house is emerging into some sort of order.  I do miss our stunning views but there are things about living here that I like. From the rental house is a short walk through the churchyard to the main street and the shops.  Today the sun shone and I took a detour right through the churchyard. Snowdrops drift out from the wall

Moving house in the time of Covid!

Image
Well here we are, today is the day, moving day.  How and why is a long story and I haven't wanted to write about it until now, some funny sense of maybe jinxing things maybe!   So for the various people who have asked about it here is the story. We have been here for fifteen years and have loved it deeply but there is only one life and one of the things which has always interested us is building a new house from scratch.  Lots of people watch Grand Designs and Amazing Spaces.  That might have been all we did too but we began to feel that doing something about that itch might be a way to resolve the question of whether we would at some stage want to move from here.  There are two houses here - an ancient farmhouse and a holiday cottage, many outbuildings, two acres of land.  It is high up on a hill.  Probably at some stage we would need to leave. Perhaps we might build something?  Did we have another adventure in us?  It hung around as an idea but building plots are few and far betw

2021 - here it is

Image
This morning we woke up to snow.   This snowfall took me by surprise.  Two weeks ago we also had snow but that had been clearly forecast in advance.  This morning's snow followed a week in which Storm Christoph had brought floods to many parts of Northern England and here in our area of North Wales.  On Wednesday night a bridge over a river nearby was swept away in flood water.  People in the nearby town of Ruthin had their houses or businesses flooded.  We are lucky up here on the hill and we recognise it.  For us rain and snow are an inconvenience rather than a disaster.  We are preparing to move house and the difference between what can be achieved on a dry day, however cold, and a wet or snowy one, is pronounced.  So today I am having a day off, focusing on knitting and reading and cooking, appreciating how very much worse it could be, and trying to find ways to enjoy the day. If I am honest with myself this is getting harder.  The news in relation to coronavirus continues to b