Thursday, 26 March 2020

Before Staying Home


I wasn't sure how I should open this post. Nothing that I can say seems appropriate at the moment but I hope you are well and are finding a way through these troubling times. Life has changed for all of us, for some in the worst possible way, and so to those still working and providing vital services I cannot find the words to explain just how much it is appreciated. Thank you.

As expected, school closed last Friday for the foreseeable future, so for the moment we are learning at home. School had already prepared for this outcome, so we have learning packs and online resources at our disposal and for now, at least, I have a willing pupil. How long this will last, however, I'm not so sure. Zumba classes in the living room have become a thing and, no, they have nothing to do with me - Lily likes to freestyle! Fortunately, she appears unconcerned by recent events and I hope that continues to be so. Her only disappointment right now is not being able to go swimming.

On my last visit to the supermarket I was reassured to see most of the shelves had returned to having almost normal stock levels. The panic buying of the previous two weeks seems to have calmed down now, although I still haven't been able to buy flour, not even from the farm shop. I'm missing being able to bake (not a real problem, I know) and although I have a small amount remaining in the kitchen cupboard, I am going to keep it for a real baking emergency. Thank goodness Lily loves flapjack.















Before the official lockdown, we went for a walk up Steel Fell. I had been wanting to walk it since climbing the nearby Helm Crag earlier in the year but the weather hadn't co-operated. Again, I wasn't sure, even on the morning we set off. There had been conflicting social distancing advice and I would never put myself or anyone else at unnecessary risk, but with the possibility of a week at work ahead of me and the knowledge that Steel Fell is one of the quietest fells in the Lakes, we set off. And what a glorious day for it. Fresh air and the most beautiful blue sky. We could see for miles and, if it was even possible, under our present circumstances I appreciated it all the more.

Life is undoubtedly different for us all right now but in amongst the uncertainty I have been heartened by acts of kindness and people reaching out to one another. The words social distancing are in daily use but I don't know about you, thanks to the wonder of technology I have been in touch with friends more than ever and I hope it continues to be this way once we are over the worst.

Conversations will not be cancelled.
Relationships will not be cancelled.
Love will not be cancelled.
Songs will not be cancelled.
Reading will not be cancelled.
Self-care will not be cancelled.
Hope will not be cancelled.
May we lean into the good stuff that remains.
– Jamie Tworkowski


Stay well.
J. X



58 comments:

  1. You stay well. As I just suggested to my son and daughter-in-law have a picnic in the garden. It can be any meal.
    I came to the conclusion we'll all have emmaculate house and gardens after this lockdown is over.

    Julie xxxxxxxx

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    1. I love to have a picnic, and it's the perfect weather for it at the moment. X

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  2. What wonderful photos. How good it must have felt to walk with the sun on your back, balm for these crazy times.
    I'm glad Lily isn't one of the many children full of anxiety from the covid sitution, you're obviously a brilliant parent.
    Stay safe, stay positive! xxx

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    1. Thank you, Vix. It was good to get out and enjoy what will have been our last 'proper' walk for a while. Lily is quite happy to play in the garden and I am so grateful to have some outdoor space during this time. X

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  3. Sending you hugs (long distance and government permitted safety levels allowed!!) Sometimes the innocence of children help keep the situation to a acceptable level, instead of baking with flour, try 'cooking' other things like sowing seeds and gardening - she will love it - especially is such glorious weather. stay safe x

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    1. Thank you, Kate. Since I wrote this I have fortunately managed to buy some flour, so I baked a Weetabix cake this morning. Until now I have always taken for granted being able to bake whenever I choose. We've done gardening too! :) X

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  4. I hope you don't mind me reconnecting with you. I retreated from the blogging world but realised how much we need our blogging friends right now. As for shopping online, it's a necessity for us right now but although I have a contract with Tesco for my "anytime" home deliveries I cannot get a slot but I expect they will still take their monthly fee. I have had to reluctantly ask in-laws to help us. Your photos are lovely and those words are meaningful. Wishing you and your family well Jules, take care and stay healthy x

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    1. It's so lovely to hear from you, Eileen. I had no idea you had started blogging again, so I'll be over for a catch up later. I'm sorry you are finding it difficult to get a home delivery at the moment but I'm sure your in-laws are more than happy to help, just as I know you would be if roles were reversed. X

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  5. What an excellent post Jules, thank you for sharing your thoughts and your FABULOUS photos.

    Very reassuring to hear a small amount of order returning to supermarket shelves, I know I need to go out later to get some fresh vegetables but am already concerned about what will - or will not - be available. Off to the greenhouse now for more painting, will email later. xx

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    1. Thank you, Jayne but as usual, it's not my photography but the subject matter which is fabulous :)
      It's a relief to see the supermarket shelves carrying normal stock levels once again. I got my flour! X

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  6. I'm glad you managed to get out for that beautiful walk, the weather looked good which makes it all the better. The supermarkets here are as mad as ever, there's still empty shelves and people jostling to get what they need. We're trying to shop a lot less than usual and what we can't get we just have to do without, we'll manage.

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    1. I really enjoyed the walk, Jo, and the beautiful weather was the icing on the cake.
      I hope that since the supermarkets have introduced new measures that shopping will be less of a challenge. X

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  7. You have started my morning off so well thank you. Blue skies again here today which makes such a difference. Yes I think kindness abounds everywhere at the moment. Long may it last. Take care. B x

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    1. It's amazing the difference that having a beautiful blue sky can make to a day.
      Yes, I do hope if anything positive is to come out of this horrible time, that we will all continue to be kind to one another. X

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  8. Thank you for this lovely post Jules. It is so lovely to have the comfort of other bloggers right now, we are all in this together and we can support each by our kind and thoughtful posts. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful poem. I am glad to hear that you are managing in this time of uncertainty xx

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    1. Having the connection with other bloggers is a huge support right now. A few kind words can make all the difference when we are struggling. I hope you and your family stay well. X

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  9. A lovely post, Jules, and the accompanying photos are wonderful! I am glad you were able to go on that walk. I hope Lily continues to enjoy being home schooled for the duration and everything works out well. Wishing you and yours the best of health in the coming days and weeks.

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    1. Thank you, Bless. Sending you and your daughter my very best wishes. Stay safe and well. X

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  10. Words from your heart to ours, beautifully expressed, a difficult time indeed. Take care,

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  11. Lovely photos and true words at the end, we still have so much to be thankful for.
    How old is Lily? Might she like watching the new adaptation of Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton on BBC I player. A friend is watching it one episode per day. Lovely escapism. I too am enjoying it. :) X

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    1. Thank you for the suggestion, shazza. I will take a look. I never read any Mallory Towers books, and Lily is only six, so I'm not sure if they might be too old for her at the moment. X

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  12. Very uplifting Jules ad those photographs are a virtual walk for me in themselves (I am so lacking in mobility). Stay well

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    1. Thank you, Pat. I'm glad you enjoyed them. Stay well. X

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  13. Timely post. Wow those pictures are great. He who made all of that grandeur,is with us all now even through this. Stay well. There is as you said so much we can all still do, that which has real meaning and purpose. Stay well.

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    1. Thank you, Faith. It's times like this that make us realise what truly matters. X

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  14. A good post and great photos Jules, trying times for all of us just now, I hope you and Lily stay well :)

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    1. Thank you, Eunice. I hope you are managing OK. X

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  15. Looking at those wonderful photos it's hard to believe anything out of the ordinary is happening in the world right now isn't it. I think going for a good walk was the right thing to do given that none of your photos ever show another person near you :)

    We're struggling a little with food where we are but for the main I'm getting everything I need with a little adaptation here and there. But as you say in the grand scheme of things I'm not even counting it as a problem.

    I'm not a lover of modern technology, mainly because I'm useless with it, but I'm grateful we have it and are able to stay in touch with each other. I'm also grateful for people's sense of humour that continues to shine through and being able to laugh in the face of adversity.

    Take care of yourselves. xx

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    1. I was thinking exactly that while I was walking, Suzanne. Up on the fell there was no sign of anything out of the ordinary. It felt good.
      As I said to Jo, I hope the new measures supermarkets have put in place will help with the stock levels where you are and that you've been able to get what you need. Thankfully, it seems the limitations have put an end to the panic buying.
      Keep well. X

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  16. Technology has really come into it's own now. The fell looks amazing. I'm still walking on the farm land public footpaths as they are do close.

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    1. I don't know how I'd manage without my phone at the moment. It's such a blessing to be able to keep in touch with friends and family. X

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  17. So Wise... Your ending. These will continue. And "this new normal" will end. We just need to stay calm, and do what is needed, and we will get through to the other side.

    As always, you are surrounded by beautiful country side. In which, you can certainly roam, without bumping into many people.

    Also glad the wild buying, has eased off. It was rather silly, to wait till the last minute, and then panic, anyway.

    Let's hope that people will have learned, to keep a bit ahead, all the time. Just on general principals. -smile- More like in the old days.

    Gentle hugs,
    ๐ŸŒธ ๐ŸŒธ ๐ŸŒธ

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    1. Yes, thank goodness we've seen an end to the panic buying and greed. To see photographs in the news of our wonderful NHS staff faced with empty supermarket shelves was truly heart breaking. X

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  18. I enjoyed these photos, thank you. We went a lovely but less exciting walk in the countryside north of Glasgow when you were climbing Steel Fell. It was still beautiful and I'll remember that later when doing our daily exercise in the immediate neighbourhood becomes a bit tedious... I don't mind being in lockdown for now and I am rather enjoying not having to DO stuff all the time, other than work and help the children being happy. I hope you can get hold of some flour next time you find yourself in shop. It is the staple food item we miss most I think. Take care x

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    1. I understand what you mean about the lockdown situation, it's just a shame it has taken something so serious to put things in perspective for everyone and to appreciate what truly matters. I know I am reassessing many aspects of my life right now and I'm sure many of us will be making some adjustments when we've gotten through this.
      I managed to get my flour :) X

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  19. Beautiful photos, Jules. It sounds like you are adjusting to this new way of life. Thank goodness for the Internet! Can you imagine if we didn't have it? I hope you are able to stock up on flour soon. I bought a big bag a couple of weeks before this all happened. Even so, I am trying to eat just a couple of cookies a day, to stretch the supply.

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    1. Thank you, Stephenie. I wouldn't like to think how we would manage without the internet right now. It's been invaluable for keeping in touch with family and friends, and for keeping up to date with the news.
      I managed to get some flour and baked a cake this morning :)
      Stay well. X

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  20. Thank you for taking me (virtually) to your beautiful part of the country. Truly a joy to behold! Stay safe and well, Jules.

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  21. There is fear, lots of anxiety, and tragedy out there but the beauty of spring still came. Live in the moment and stay safe.

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    1. Yes, spring is still happening out there. A sign of hope. Stay well. X

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  22. we usually make bread and pizza but no flour here either, think this is a result of the earlier stockpiling issues. I am grateful our government is allowing walks, they are so uplifting. you live in a beautiful place.

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    1. We've walked along the river bank this afternoon. It felt good to breathe in the warm spring air. I hope you manage to get your flour. X

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  23. What a beautiful area you live in. Wonderful that you were able to enjoy that walk. It seems that you are looking for, and finding, the joys in your everday. Zumba in the lounge room sounds fun! Meg:)

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    1. I feel fortunate to live where I have easy access to such beautiful countryside. Zumba in the living room I could probably manage without, however, it's a really small space. X

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  24. I too have spent more time chatting to people bot online and in person on the phone checking on the older ones I know. It's amazing what conversations and giggles you can have even in these times.
    Take care x

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    1. It's these conversations and connections online that will help us through this difficult time. Stay well. X

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  25. The scenery is absolutely fantastic, Jules! I hope Lily continues to be unconcerned by the current problems and continues to enjoy her Zumba sessions! Keep safe xx

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    1. I hope she does too, Ann. However, the zumba sessions I could live without. ๐Ÿ˜„ Stay well. X

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  26. Wonderful photographs again, they are appreciated …
    Hope Lily continues to enjoy her Zumba.
    The grandchildren are following the Joe Wicks PE videos being shown Monday to Friday 9.00am on his site. I see he is donating any profits made to the NHS, so as well as clapping the NHS, I'm clapping Joe too.

    Stay safe and well.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I've not watched Joe so far, although I think it's fantastic what he's doing. I'll have to get online and give it a try. X

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  27. Stay safe Jules. Glad Lily is doing ok. Most of my grandchildren are too, but grandson age 3.5 is really struggling. He is very sad and has really picked up on the general worried mood.

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    1. Thank you, Eloise, you too. I'm sorry your grandson is struggling right now. It will be really difficult for some children who are missing their friends and usual routine. X

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  28. All that open space looks so inviting. Being retired, things are not all that different for us, but still it seems different. I am sure having children at home is both a blessing and a challenge, but most assured more the former than the latter. We've out out for walks, but are really hoping for a few dry days in a row so we can tackle yard work. Yes, I, a woman who my husband sometimes chides about not setting foot on the grass, is looking forward to yard work. These are strange time, indeed. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    1. The home schooling is at least giving some structure to our day, which I am sure is really helping us at the moment. Fortunately the weather has been dry and sunny recently, so we've still been able to go for walks in the local area. Good luck with the yard work :)

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  29. I'm glad Lily is a willing pupil. I've been teaching my music lessons via my school music blog and some pupils have diligently been doing their lessons but I replied to a year 6 girl asking her how her sister was getting on with the year 3 recorder posts and she replied and said her sister hadn't done anything as she didn't want to (which didn't surprise me!)

    OOoh, that sounds like a place fell to do- was it hard? I haven't been to the lakes for a while, not since my Father in Law died - he was our fellwalker (actually, I may have been to Ullswater and Hellvelyn actually subsequently...)- my favourite to do is the Rannadale Knots near Crummock Water- so simple but so interesting and you can swim after!!

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    1. I think that at primary level children are more used to school being their main learning environment. It will be difficult for many to make the switch.
      Steel Fell is an easy one to climb with no difficult sections and a lovely view of Thirlmere from the summit. It's incredibly quiet too. X

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