Tuesday, 7 April 2020

I've been framed.

It's been a smashing day for working outside. I had a bit of woodwork to see to. This is a large picture frame which already had a back on it, but I wanted to turn it the other way round and put the back, on the front, but the piece of hardboard wasn't big enough. Luckily I collect useful pieces of wood and boards, and found a piece which needed trimming. So now this back to front frame becomes a shallow box which will be just right for an assemblage. Not sure what I am going to put into it, but something will appear eventually. 
This frame was a canvas, I ripped it off and will now put a hardboard back on it.

And the small shallow box I made last week out of two canvases now has a white undercoat on it.

Lunch was eaten outside in the sunshine. A perfect day for hanging out in the garden. The neighbours on both sides of me are singlies like me and are very quiet, I could hear some families further up the road enjoying their back gardens.

Now I'm going to do my two mile exercise walk around the village. Toodle pip.  ilona

Monday, 6 April 2020

All alone am I.

You have seen where I walk in the daytime, now have a look at where I walk at night. This was my Saturday night walk, I went out just after 9pm to do two miles. The weather was warmish, and it was very quiet. I saw one other person, also walking.

The weather is nice again today so I did my usual five mile walk. Stopped at the halfway point, sat on a bench and ate a custard tart washed down with orange juice.

Saw one couple coming towards me, I know them and they walk this route regularly. I cut the corner of the field to keep out of their way. We waved and said hello.

On the road past the windfarm there was an elderly couple ahead of me, toddling along with their walking sticks. I didn't want to catch them up so I slowed up a bit. Towards us came a family, mum dad, two kids and dog. Elderly couple stopped to say hello to them, but they decided to chat for a few minutes. This stopped me dead because they were in my way. I stood waiting and they realised they were blocking my path so they stepped to one side, still chatting. I passed by giving them a wide berth. There was a car heading towards us, it had stopped, then carried on. It was the lady who comes to see to her horses. We both waved like mad as she slowly drove by.

When I got back to the village, a bit of side stepping and crossing the road to avoid people. All done with good humour. You know how it is when someone comes towards you and you don't know whether to go to the left or the right. Two ladies walking and I did a dance to the left, we all laughed. The logistics of going for a walk has never been so complicated. Stop, slow down, wait, left or right, which way are they going to go. Like a game of chess, trying to work out what the other one is going to do.

This way of walking is becoming routine now, it's beginning to feel normal. I am sure I will be taking the same precautions when we are allowed to go further afield. A lot of it is common sense, keep away from people, for my own safety.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Sunday, 5 April 2020

The Meanqueen Sewing Bee.

The sewing machine has been busy these last couple of days. One bed quilt finished. It was partially made up, I had to trim the edges and sew the binding on, and a bit of quilting to hold it all together. It's not perfect but it's now usable. I made a quilt for myself once, and said that was the first and last time I would do that. It's not something I enjoy doing. There is another topper like this, all pink and flowers, waiting to be made into a quilt. I will make a start on it when I am in the mood. 
Another job I've had hanging around for a while is cutting up a duvet and making pet beds. This is now done, all recycled materials. I have twelve to sell on our cat rescue stall. These can also be used as seat cushions. Hoping that our Village Fair goes ahead at the end of June. Who knows, we shall see.
I've been out in the summer house today, fell asleep in the chair. Also done a bit of gardening, hedge trimming and weeding. Keep busy everyone. Toodle pip.  ilona 

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Warning - if swearing offends you, don't watch

A friend sent me this, pissing myself laughing.

C'mon folks, the sun is out, it's the weekend. I am partying in my own back garden. Stay safe.
Toodle pip.  Ilona xxx

Friday, 3 April 2020

When will it end?

Something on my mind. People around me are talking about having a big party when it all ends, a street party, or even bigger, on the playing field. I know it's nice to think about such things, to plan what to do when the veil is lifted and we can all go back to doing what we want to do. But my gut feeling is that we can't go back, this is a life changing situation that we are in. It's a wake up call telling us that we all have to take more responsibility for our own lives, and in many cases responsibility for other people's lives.

The question I ask is how will we know when the lockdown is ended? Are people waiting for the announcement from government saying that's it all clear, back to how we were. Well it ain't going to happen. The Coronavirus won't suddenly disappear one day, we won't wake up one morning and heave a sigh of relief thinking thank goodness for that, now we can start living again.

My logical mind tells me it will be a gradual process which could take place over a whole year. After this wake up call I for one will want to distance myself from other humans as much as I can. I will select the friends that I wish to stay in touch with. I will want to know something about their backgrounds, and I will be cautious about allowing new friends into my life. If this sounds a bit anti social so be it, it is my way of taking personal responsibility for myself. I am a friendly sort, I like chatting, but I will be more careful in future.

I don't think a party is appropriate for celebrating the end, whenever that will be. I will remember all the deaths, all the lives that the virus has claimed, all the families that will be grieving, and all those who have lost their jobs and have to make a new start. I just hope that people can pull through. I for one will be grateful that I am still alive, if I am still alive.
Look after yourselves.  ilona xxx

Thursday, 2 April 2020

If you fancy a fruity treat.........

Now look what you've done flis, got me back on banana sandwiches again. I had forgotten all about them until you mentioned them yesterday. I bought bananas and bread, so this was my breakfast. The little pot of scrumptious cider apple jelly was in a box of mixed preserves I had for Christmas. I must say it was a delicious accompaniment to the banana. I might look for a bigger jar of this when I next go shopping. 
My walk today. I made a video but the wind was so loud it was drowning out my voice, so I deleted  it. Oil seed rape is coming along. It was sunny and quite warm, but windy.

I've been playing with this. I made the box with two canvases I got out of a skip. I stripped the naff  pictures off them, nailed them together, and put a back on it to make a shallow box. I have an idea, but there is a problem, it is quite heavy, will need a strong hook to hang it on the wall. Will have to re think it. 

I've been machine sewing today. My nephew gave me an unfinished bed quilt that his wife was making but it got put in the loft. I am finishing it off, they can have it back when it's done.

Thanks for popping in, thanks to the walkers for updating your mileage, thanks to the NHS. I forgot to clap again. Toodle pip.  ilona

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

First shopping trip to buy food.

Hoooray, I have done my first shopping in 13 days. The fridge was bare, so now it's restocked. I had run out of Mayze's cat food , now we can carry on for another 13 days. 
The town was ghostly quiet, it felt very strange. I went this afternoon because I thought it would be less busy in Aldi. The bank was closed, they have cut their hours and finish at 2pm daily. Not a problem, nothing urgent, just a cheque to deposit for the refund from my road tax of the old car. It can wait. 
I got all the cat food I needed from Home Bargains, thankfully they had the varieties I wanted. Small Sheba pouches for Heidi, and Whiskas pouches for Oscar. Mayze only eats cooked meats from the chiller cabinet so I got that from Aldi. They all eat dry Whiskas as well. 
Aldi was quiet, only a few cars in the car park. I kept well away from people as much as I could, and didn't dawdle. Not a good idea to browse. 
Some of the things I bought. 
Bananas, grapes, frozen raspberries, yogurt Greek style, Eggs, Lentils, cheesy crackers, beetroot, iceberg lettuce, seeded bread, multigrain hoops, carrots, brocolli, potatoes, sliced ham, extra virgin olive oil, milk, cheese and onion quiche, cheese and onion rolls, pasta and sauce, egg custards, mayo, sugar, houmous, scones, and cheap white wine.  That will keep me going for a while. 
The car is very lovely to drive, don't know when I will be able to go out again. Maybe another shopping trip in two weeks time. 
That's me done for now. Don't forget, if you haven't checked in with your walking miles you can do it at any time.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Check in for the Walking Group.

Good morning, it's April the 1st, and we all know what that means. Yes it's April Fools Day, it's the tradition to play a prank on someone, make them look silly by inventing some kind of story or situation. There has been a few clever ideas over the years which make the national press. I can act the clown when the mood takes me, not good to be serious all the time, but I couldn't set out to deliberately upset someone by spinning a yarn and poking fun at them.

Anyway, this is no joke, today is when the members of the International Walking Group get together and send a comment on how they are getting on with their own personal walking challenge. As you know my annual target is 1000 miles and after three months I should be on about 250 miles. Well it's good news, I am on 269, so  good start for the next three months.

I am lucky that I live in a rural community, I can walk out of the door and be in the countryside in a few minutes. Plenty of space to keep my distance, sometimes I don't see anyone. You might not be so lucky where you live, all you can do is your best. Maybe try walking at night if there are street lights, or get up early and go for a walk first thing. Everyone's circumstances are different, remember to keep yourself safe.

I have to walk, for my sanity, and physical health. The great outdoors is a tonic, it feeds my mind and my soul, I would wither and die without it. It doesn't have to be pretty, and picturesque is a bonus, but all I need is space around me, and the feeling of being close to nature.

So let's hear it from you. Have you found a way to get your miles in without putting yourself at risk. Tell us about your routine, what have you found that works the best for you. I walk at any time of the day or night, the times which suit me best to fit in with whatever else I am doing. Maybe you aren't so flexible and prefer to stick to regular times. Let us know.

A pic from the files. Bamford in Derbyshire.

Thanks for popping in.  Toodle pip.  ilona

PS. Just popping back to say thank you very much for the lovely comments coming in. I appreciate your kindness. xxx

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

One day more, with the Marsh family.

Browsing the internet can be a mindless activity. It can deplete your brain cells and turn them to mush. I found this while searching for something that will add a little stimulation to life during this stay at home period. Sometimes you come across a little gem of a video, something that lifts your spirits, something that gives you hope that eventually we will come out of this quarantine.

The Marsh family have obviously worked very hard to adapt this song with their own words. It is heart warming to see them working together as a team and supporting each other. Well done.

Keep your pecker up, it isn't going to last forever. Toodle pip.  ilona

Monday, 30 March 2020

Jamming with the greatest.

Brian May, possibly the best guitarist in the world, (maybe joint best with Eric Clapton), isolated at his home, giving free shows and tutorials, how cool is that. He can't get into his studio, but has a few electrical bits and bobs with him to demonstrate his craft.

In this little clip he asks that people join him on this jamming session, so if you have a musical instrument handy have a go. Check out his other videos for instruction on how to play like Brian.

Eighteen years since this amazing moment happened. Not many musicians can say they played on the roof of Buckingham Palace.

This country has produced some fantastic musicians over the years, I'm glad I was around to enjoy them.

Did a six mile walk today, spoke to no one. I did see a strapping young man wearing shorts, with a child carrier on his back. His little girl seemed to be enjoying her ride with daddy. I thought, good for you.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Sunday, 29 March 2020

What a racquet

And finally......the badminton racquet is finished. It wasn't going to end up like this, it's not the picture I had in mind when I first thought of it, but it's ended up ok. The handle and frame were already pink, I wrapped some bright pink wool with a sparkly element over it. I see the lollipop trees are leaning a bit. 
First I wove the background onto the mesh. Then made up the rest as I went along.

The green leafy trim around the edge was white, I coloured it with nail varnish. There is a little gap at the bottom where it didn't quite meet.

Covered the back with a piece of snooker table green baize. Just need to attach the wire across to hang it.

My first idea was a single tree made with wrapped wool, but I made it too big. I will use it on another project.

I've got another project waiting to be started, if I can find the right bits. And a plan 'B' for a second project. Must keep the mind occupied. 
Onwards and upwards. This lockdown is not much different to how I normally live my life. The only difference is I can't go out in the car on sunny days to another area. Can't stop and chat to people in the street, a quick shout across the road will have to do for now. I don't like shopping anyway and only go when I have to, when I need food for me, food for the cats, and go to the bank. The difference now is that I don't dawdle, in and out, do what I have to do, then get the hell out of there. I don't like crowded places, so it's ok with me to avoid them. And I can continue with the Walk 1000 Miles Challenge because I can walk from my door. I can walk at night in the dark when I see no one, or use the footpaths around the edge of the village. Eventually the situation might improve, just have to keep calm and wait.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Friday, 27 March 2020

An experiment

Today I thought it might be a good idea to embroider a cheesy cracker. I made a start, then thought no, it's a daft idea. Now what? Sew some more and make a collage? 
Toodle pip.  ilona

Leave me alone...........

....I'm self isolating, I'm on lockdown, I ain't getting up, stop bothering me. 
Bugger off. 
OK, Mayze. Sorry to disturb you.  Love from mummy ilona xxx

Thursday, 26 March 2020

A different route today.

Another sunny day, had to go out, it would be a shame to waste it. This morning I did a Billy dog walk around the village. I spent most of it avoiding other people, crisscrossing the road, seems most people dog walk in the mornings. I told his owner that I would be walking him late afternoon/early evening in future, not so many people about. He's only got little legs, and doesn't want to go far, so 30 - 40 minutes is enough and he's ready to go home. 
After lunch I put my boots on and set off for my official exercise walk. I checked the OS map and worked out a circular route for just over five miles. That will do nicely. Most of it was along the edges of fields, official footpaths, public tight of ways. Not a soul about. It was bliss. 
Spotted a dovecote in a garden. When I first noticed it, it had three doves sitting on their perches. Then they went inside, and only one came out to have his photo taken.

This is a relic left over from a national cycle race which came through this village. It was a few years ago now, The whole route was marked with bicycles in gardens, at road junctions, and some on top of sheds.

It's nice to find a bench when you want to sit down. This is a memorial bench surrounded by fields. Someone is looking after it, there are fresh flowers in the vases.

Oooh that's nice, it's warm, a slight breeze, and big open spaces, just how I like it. Think I'll relax here for a few minutes. It's nice to get out to take your mind off what's going on in the world.

Five and a half miles walked today, which brings my total to 250, so on target for the first three months of the year. Five more days and I will be ahead by next Tuesday.

Look after yourself, take this opportunity to get your daily exercise.
Toodle pip.  ilona

WARNING...seriously cute

Let's lighten the mood. A few minutes of your time to forget all about what's going on in the big wide world. Let's have some little pockets of happiness and joy to get us through the day. My Auntie Pat is a member of a cat lovers Facebook group, and little gems like this keep appearing on my screen. There are many more cat on the piano videos, so you might find yourself hopping to the next one, and the next one, and maybe even falling asleep. Enjoy.

Sunny again, aren't we lucky. At least the garden is available for recreation. No need to go to the shops yet, eating what I already have. Maybe another week or so and I might have to get cat food. We'll see, take each day as it comes.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Wednesday, 25 March 2020


I've had a nice day in the garden. Sewing in the sun. Council tax paid at the Post Office.

Something for you to read, not my words, retweeted from Twitter.

A quote from a refuse collector: “In the past 2 weeks, we have seen a 30% increase in Food Waste collected from households, the additional weight is mainly fresh food that has gone out of date and was never even touched, some still in wrappers.

Guidance needed for double-manned trunking. Drivers cannot practice social distancing, are in cab together 13+ hours. Move to changeovers needed. Plenty spare trucks now. Pallet networks, we are told are still flat out.

Incredible! Just had a delivery point argue with a driver stating they wanted the goods in the house! they abused the driver and stated "don't worry none of us have it"! Really people come on can somebody really be that stupid

Absolutely thrilled that 405,000 NHS volunteers have already signed up. We are grateful for each and every one of you - doing your bit in the national effort to defeat

My wife just went to the supermarket. They were letting ten in, ten out. Everybody queued politely and 2 metres apart. When she got in, the shelves were full. Everyone was polite. We can do this.

Final call out of the day before I return home to my family, group of youths blocking a highway with pedal cycles, spitting at members of the public - Parents: WHERE are your children? And what are they doing? 

What is the point if the responsible majority in this country keeping two metres apart when people in London are still packed onto the tube like sardines

Update: We will continue to collect household waste. However from today the brown bin collection service will be suspended in order to concentrate on our core services and protect the vulnerable. Please do not put your brown bin out for collection.

The Humber Bridge Half Marathon has been cancelled. It was due to take place on 28th June. Anyone who has entered will be entitled to a full refund or have the option to donate their entry free to Hull Foodbank.

Good guys: Smokey Joe's Cafe north of Redruth on the A30 is closed but you can still park there and the showers and toilets are available. Throughout all of this, it's the little businesses and individuals that continually outshine the big companies.

There ya go, that will keep ya busy for five minutes. Now going for my daily exercise. Chow.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

My daily exercise.

My morning exercise walk for today was the same route as I did on Saturday. Taking advantage of another sunny day. Five miles, two hours. So what did I see. Wild garlic in abundance, a lush green carpet in the woods. 
There are vast areas of flat farmland, with not much chance of seeing anybody. Eye spy two people walking over there, I zoomed in, they are a long way off.

Another zoom in to get the tractor.

Over there at the base of the wind turbine are maintenance vehicles. There were no blades turning on all six turbines.

Four tractors were busy ploughing. Down the bottom of the lane is a farmhouse, two people and a dog are walking along the lane. They are a long way off.

Someone has dumped some fencing in the wood alongside the track. What a mess. 
Looks like someone else has decided to have a campfire, they have laid the concrete bases out in a circle to contain it. I expect they will be back and in time the wooden fencing will all be burnt.

Litter is normal here. Youngsters congregate with their takeaways and beer. I wonder if they will still be doing that now. Not supposed to be out in a group.

Busy lifting the turf and loading it onto a lorry.

I was on my way back, walking on a track between two fields, when I saw a group of five people coming towards me, they had two dogs. They were dressed in colourful jackets. I couldn't believe it, they obviously haven't got the message regarding group walking. I veered off to my left as soon as I caught sight of them, and went right over to the other side of the field, to get away from them. 
After lunch I had a lovely afternoon sat in my summer house. Terry is putting a video out every day, I watched it while I was eating my dinner tonight. How did you spend your day? 
Toodle pip. Ilona

Monday, 23 March 2020

How is the Coronavirus affecting everyone

Hello. The Summer House is open and I am sitting in the sun. We have another sunny day today, aren't we lucky. I did a three mile walk at 7am this morning. A quick wave and a Good Morning to a couple of people in the High Street, no stopping.

Just put this onto yoootooob, have a butchers, that means have a look, if you like.

Blimey, it's warmer outside than it is inside, so I'm off back to the summer house at the bottom of the garden.
Toodle pip.  ilona

History repeats itself.

I'm up early on this bright and sunny morning, no rain, so we can go outside. I've got a video simmering which will be uploaded to yooootoooob later. In the meantime I've come across this really good article about the Plague at Eyam in Derbyshire. For those who are struggling to curb their activities by staying closer to home, read it because it is about an important event in history which we can all learn from. The people of Eyam self isolated the whole village so they could contain the disease and stop it spreading any further. They saved many lives by doing this. The story is so relevant today as we find ourselves in a similar situation.
The plague at Eyam, link.

I went to Eyam in 2011, and stayed in the Youth Hostel. Here is the link to the blog post. There is also a short video on there about the story of the Plague. You may be sick of reading anything about the Coronavirus now, but I think this look back into history is something we need to learn about.

Catch ya later. ilona

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Take a walk on the quiet side.

The weather looks nice when you are inside looking out, but when you get outside its not very warm at all. I was cold when I set off for a walk today. Didn't put a heavy jacket on because I didn't think I needed it. I had to keep up a fast pace to try and warm myself up. Off I go along the edge of the field, turn left at that wood down there. 
Past the horsey field.

I came to a turf field, there is a lot of it round here. The soil looks very sandy, must be ideal conditions for growing turf. They have started harvesting it.

That's a mighty big mowing machine.

And a trailer with six pallets of grass seeds ready to sow. Enough for several football pitches I would imagine.

Into a village. This is the garden of one of the pensioners bungalows. In the summer they are often out working in it when I go by. 
A row of rickety old barns, with a splash of yellow daffs. These would make great cottages.

The church has an unusual spire, and a pond in the grounds.

The road goes over a disused railway line. You often see these converted into tracks for walkers, cyclers, and horse riders. Would be good if they did that here. 
Here is a little puzzle, what do you think this is? Seen dumped on a grass verge. Lots of small cardboard tubes. Have a guess.

On my way back now. Still a bit cold.

Arriving back into the village.

I enjoyed that walk. Five miles, two hours. I saw a few people, all with the same idea, and gave them a wide berth. Seems odd not stopping to talk to anybody. I think people understand though, just raise a hand and say Hi is enough. Not being snooty or anything, just want to keep a safe distance. I took a diversion and walked in the middle of a field to avoid a group of five strolling along. I wanted to get past them and I was walking faster than they were. There will be some more walks over the coming weeks. Anyone else getting out walking?
Toodle pip.  ilona