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Settling into the new life

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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

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 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!

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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

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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

2020 comes to an end

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So here we are: the last day of 2020.  What a strange year and what a strange point we have reached with the virus.  Yesterday the Oxford Vaccine was cleared for use in the UK by the medicines regulator. On the same day new cases exceeded  50,000 and there were 981 deaths of people within 28 days of a positive test for covid 19.  So a strange tension between the hope that comes with the roll out of the vaccine and the tightening of restrictions to try to prevent the NHS from being totally overwhelmed by the increasing demand.  Here in Wales we have been in virtual lockdown since just before Christmas with an easing just on Christmas Day to allow a visit from only one household.  Yesterday it was announced that many more areas of England would go into Tier 4, not quite national lockdown but very close with all non essential retail closed and hospitality businesses open only for take away food.  It feels as if we are at a hugely significant point in the story of this virus.  If we can pr

Coronavirus at Christmas

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A press conference on Saturday afternoon, the 19th December.  Boris Johnson and his scientific advisers announce that the spread of a new strain of the virus is causing great concern.  This strain appears to be considerably more infectious so while the illness itself seems to be no more (or less) virulent, if it runs unchecked we shall have a huge increase in case numbers with the inevitable impact on hospitalisations and fatalities.  So fiercer restrictions are put in place in much of England and significant changes made to the arrangements for Christmas, reducing the period in which restrictions are relaxed from five days to one.  Here in Wales there is the immediate announcement of another lockdown, again with some very slight easing on Christmas Day, but otherwise a lockdown to mirror the severity of the one we had here in spring: no travel, exercise from home, no household mixing. It was not unexpected.  Cases had been suddenly rising in the South East and in South Wales and the n

Approaching Christmas and where are we up to?

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 Five things to be thankful for this Christmas. We are still here.  We come to the end of 2020 still alive, still living, breathing, laughing, doing, still here. Ian.  We have come through all these months of uncertainty and confinement together, looking after each other practically and emotionally,  keeping each other company, looking out for each other, enjoying our time together, amusing and occasionally annoying each other but always making each other's lives immeasurably richer.   Our wider family and friends.  We may not have seen as much of them as we like to do but we have been in touch often and just that sense of them being out there fills me with gratitude: a facetime degenerating into noisy chaos with the younger grandchildren, a call with the adults in the evening, a visit from local daughter and her family.  Knowing that they are there is like a warm fire in winter. The natural world.  We live in a beautiful place and like to spend a lot of time outside in it.  This y