Challenging Times Continue

The mixed messaging and new challenges seem to be continuing here confusingly in the UK. One minute the government tell everyone that if they can keep their children at home to do so, and home school. The next they can return in July. Then they can’t. Now if you don’t send them back to school parents will be fined! Oh for goodness sake, have some humanity people, maybe consider a staged return? Some children will find going back extremely hard emotionally. It feels as though the ‘rules’ are all being made up on the fly, written on the back of an envelope. For us, we’re taking everything one day at a time for the foreseeable future.

Turning Around

Today we left Ellesmere and returned to Bettisfield, where the Internet is better. We also need to start heading off the Llangollen Canal in readiness for our journey towards Leicester. Yes, that place where it’s now locked-down! Fortunately, we shouldn’t need to go near the boundary, and we have got over six weeks. As we all know anything can change on a daily basis.

NB Areandare moored on the Ellesmere Arm

CRT Amazon Smile and #PlasticsChallenge

I have a bit of a conundrum in that I’m aware of issues regarding supportive working practices at Amazon and the obscene amount of profit the company is making since lockdown. I’ve mostly avoided buying anything from them, apart from the Prime series ‘Chernobyl’ that we found fascinating recently.

However, what I did discover a few months ago is that we can nominate Canal and River Trust as a charity on Amazon Smile. We now do. And I’d encourage anyone interested in the Inland Waterways to do so too. They’re way behind other charities as you can see!

We frequently pick up litter and plastic from in and around the canals, and one day soon I aim to take another walk like I did at Hurleston Reservoir, with a rubbish bag and gloves, to pick up more. This time I’ll hashtag PlasticsChallenge. Once again I encourage you to join me. Check out this inspiring fact to motivate you:

Every year an estimated 14 million pieces of plastic end up in and around our canals and rivers. These plastic bottles, food wrappers and bags can harm the fish, swans and other wildlife that make the canals their home.

If everyone who visited one of our canals or rivers picked up just one piece of plastic, the water and towpaths would be clear within a year.”

Take your Plastics Challenge by tagging @canalrivertrust and using the #PlasticsChallenge.

Lockdown Weight Challenge

I suspect I’m not alone in becoming aware of how much of a slob I’ve turned into during lockdown. Finally plucking up the courage to weigh myself late last week and was horrified to have gained half a stone. I was already a stone over the weight I’d be healthiest at! So I was a little freaked out. Size 14 clothes are fitting far too snugly and I am determined not to ever have to go up to a 16. My plans so far to feel fitter are:

  • I’ve signed up to the couch to 5k – yet to start it though with the inclement weather and a packed schedule.
  • I’ve stopped drinking alcohol Monday to Thursday. Tonight is the third night and all’s we’ll do far. I haven’t missed it at all.
  • No more cakes, crisps, biscuits, milk chocolate or sweets. Dark chocolate over 80% cacao is ok in small doses.
  • Meat-free Monday’s and doing my best to eat more healthily.
  • Considering stopping bread. I’ve not bought any this week so just a few slices to use up.
  • Drinking more water.

Beeston Brilliancy

Yesterday we met Lisa and the boys at Beeston Castle, a forty-minute drive from Ellesmere. It wasn’t a problem as we’ve got the use of our son-in-laws’ car for the foreseeable future, to enable us to see them regularly – without having to use public transport.

English Heritage has a system of managing bookings online, whereby you book a time slot and buy tickets in advance. Lisa had booked a 2 pm slot for us all, and we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon there staying almost until closing at 5 pm! It was all so brilliantly managed, with a clever one-way-walking system.

Beeston Castle

The recently added Bronze Round House was a massive hit with the boys, they’d not seen it before. A great way of experiential learning about history 😉

Beeston Castle Bronze Age Round House

I’ve even got a few photos from Barry once again:

Beeston Castle
Beeston Castle
Beeston Castle
Beeston Castle

Mystery Plants Update

I’m happy to report that the chillis/peppers plants continue to thrive. It’s rather exciting watching and waiting to see what they all are! Hopefully, they’ll produce their wares before the next six weeks and three days is up …

I’ve felt childishly encouraged by the cherry tomato plant and relished devouring three to date, with five more to come. Which means another one’s sprouted recently. Life is full of simple pleasures when we look for them.

Can you believe it’s July already! I’ve been waiting to turn my Klimt calendar to The Sunflower …


COVID-19 Symptom Study Citizen Scientists Still Sought

As usual, we’re still reporting daily to the Symptom Study App, along with almost 4 million others in the UK – 4,940,608 today to be precise.

Professor Tim Spector recorded a video plea for more people to be citizen scientists recently, to increase the reliability of the data. Are the number of daily cases really going down? Without a larger sample who knows how accurate it is … If you’re not already doing so, and you live in the UK, please sign up. You can also report for your children and elderly relatives of course 😉

All appendages remain crossed that we’ll get back to New Zealand before a second lockdown in the UK …

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