Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Friday Jottings!

It’s a long time since I wrote a knit and natter post- I stopped sometime last year when we were house hunting and knitting took a back seat, I’m still not knitting that much. In fact I’m not doing much of my usual stuff on account of Covid- 19, usual life has just stopped.

But there are things to be said, and things I can share which may resound with you, or not, a place where we can be honest and say yes we are frightened and we don’t like what’s happening, and we don’t understand why, but we will be good citizens and try to stay home, try to stay active and well, and we miss our family and friends, and we are scared for them, and everything is a displacement activity.

So I am creating Friday Jottings, where we can cheer each other on, chat to each other, maybe have a giggle or a moan.

Why Jottings- unashamedly pinching the word jottings from the book I am reading at the moment -Summer Lease by John Mortimer- one of the characters has a weekly column in a paper which he calls his Jottings.

Something nice about the word, jottings- implies things written on the back of an envelope or scrap of paper. I write a lot of lists on random bits of paper- things to do, things to find, phone calls to make. I love a good list, for the sheer pleasure of crossing things of- it makes me feel I doing something.

So after eight days of effort with solicitors, estate agents, emails, phone calls, internet research, and would you believe a phone call FROM my MP in response to my cry for help, we managed to get a months delay agreed on our house purchase. It is a relief to know that we are not squatting in this house, but I am very sad because I was expecting that today we would be moving into our new house, that this weekend I would be welcoming family to our home, meeting the new neighbours, exploring local countryside. Instead of which I am regretting packing some things- my paints, poetry books and parts of the stitchbook project which I have already completed.

I am trying very hard to be positive about what I do have- so far we are both well, we have a roof over our heads, a garden to walk in, and although I had virtually emptied the freezer we have food, and my family is OK.

Everyone has their own story. I realised that last week when I did my first queued shop at Lidl. There were three chaps behind me , it wasn’t long before two of them realised they knew each other by sight. The chap behind me told them he was still working as a delivery driver, he was tired and worried as he had no protection. He was shopping as he was the one going out of the house and he preferred his wife and children stayed safely at home. Then being blokes their talk turned to football, and how sorry they felt for Liverpool who are just two wins away from winning the league, and how would some of the clubs survive financially. The lady in front of me had been having a long phone call to her Mum, working out what shopping she needed. Then we swapped our stories- she has two daughters, one sent home from Uni- clearly a well organised Uni- she was getting online tuition and work to complete. Her other girl should have been doing A Levels, hoping to go onto Uni in the Autumn- now no exams, and her holiday job in a local cafe gone too, money needed for her future.

I wonder what is your story, how are you managing with a stalled life?

I notice that the on-line social media jokes about toilet paper have gone in favour of feel good pet videos, happy memories and upbeat positive memories which have started to grate on me, even though I know that’s just mean of me.

Any way we can get through these times is good. The mood of people reminds me of the enthusiasm with which young people volunteered as soldiers in WW1 and 2, 750,000 people who have volunteered as communty helpers, the rainbows/teddies being displayed in windows to cheer us all on, and of course lack of proper equipment and black marketering- make no mistake some people will make their fortunes from these times. And heros will appear from unlikely places.

I “met” down the aisle of the supermarket one of our elderly library regulars, we stood the two metres away to stay safe ( described on the radio farming today programme as being the length of a cow) . She is missing her friend Sylvia who has gone to stay with her daughter- they always came to the library together for a natter after doing their market day shopping- no more market, no more library and no more friendly chats. She can’t even see her family……

At the moment cookery is my salvation- I try sewing, and my heart isn’t in it, but looking in the fridge, finding half a pack of mushrooms and turning them into soup which was delicious beyond belief did give satisfaction. I wonder what activity is helping you this week?

I’m told lots of shops now want you to do contactless card payments- we don’t have these cards. I tried phoning the bank- one hour on the phone listening to musac before giving up didn’t help. Next attempt might be to drive 12 miles to the bank to see if I can do it in person…..

As Joni Mitchell sang “You don’t know what you have till it’s gone”. How true.

Last night I joined in the 8pm clapping for everyone who is going out to work still to show my appreciation. Tonight I read people are asked to go outside to shine a torch skywards to remember all those who caught Covid-19 and lost their lives. The really sad thing for families who loose someone now for whatever cause is that they can’t come together to grieve and remember their loved ones and hold a proper funeral. Sad times.

Let’s see if I can find a nice picture to cheer us all on to end this post.

There you go, taken April 2018, flower display in Whitby.

Now just like back in the days of Knit and Natter posts, I hand this post over to you, please feel free to jump into the comments, chat to each other, leave links….

Stay safe, stay well,




Comments on: "Friday Jottings!" (52)

  1. This was a brilliant post, And I know that Joni Mitchell lyric! Sending good thoughts and thanks for candidly sharing your struggles. Iโ€™ve notice that weโ€™ve moved beyond toilet paper humor to try to add some cheer ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thanks Tierne. Like you we had to make a decision on moving and we tried to outrun the restrictions and failed. Life will go on.

  2. Itโ€™s not easy for sure! Iโ€™m trying to focus on the tiny and so essential things around me, lots of journaling and art journal. As well lots of cooking! Sorry to hear about your moving, everything will work out fine and you will have more joy latter on.

    • I am learning the joy of taking care of the little things, mindfullness in action. I love your art journal posts and deeply regret packing away my paints, paper and glues…

  3. Joanne S said:

    What a stressful time it is – and then, to top it off with your moving plans all haywire. I look forward to Friday Jottings! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s taken me a while to adjust from packing up boxes, to finding a way to be in Lockdown. But whe there is no choice you do just have to get on with life somehow.

  4. It sounds like you are having a rough go of this sheltering in place, but I am glad you got the moving sorted out. Now to stay safe…

    We are doing OK here, both still able to work, so the days are somewhat normal, though we are now doing that work from home whenever we can. Only go out to the grocery store and similar errands once a week. Yesterday was spent doing some crafting, including sewing masks for us to use this week when we go out. I know we are very lucky to actually not feel too disrupted. My heart goes out to people who live alone, and like the lady you met at the store, are now cut off from all social activity. How very lonely and frightening that must be.

    • At this time it must be hard to be alone. My lady was always with her friend, and now all by herself. I hope I helped her a little bit. So glad you can both work from home, stay safe and thank you,xx

  5. You have answered my questions here. I like ‘jottings’. I jot down lots of notes and things as well. All over the place and love to run across them much later to see what was on my mind.;) I agree with everything you said here. I try to put on my smiley face and when no one is looking, let the tears flow so they don’t drown me later. I have plenty to do, creatively and work wise. The dust piles up and the quilt sits waiting. The chocolate I’ve stashed is almost gone. ;( Since no one can ‘drop by’, why bother to do much cleaning other than the dishes and the laundry. My daughter made a quick run to the market last night just before closing, hoping it would be empty. Not this time so when she put the groceries away, she dropped the bags and what she was wearing into the washer, just in case. She goes masked and gloved since I’m compromised with a DNR order on file. If I get this, I won’t be treated. I agree with Pauline. Sometimes you just need to go to the top of a hill and yell. I do it in my daily journal pages since I’m surrounded by houses everywhere. We can be grateful and still be very weary of the situation. I can’t see my sister right now and her health is more compromised than mine. Her oxygen tank won’t last long enough to do the hour drive each way and I don’t want her doing it anyway. At least I have my daughter here with me, working from home. Small blessings but… I’m glad you were able to work out the legal part of the move. Who knows what a month will bring. I hope it brings resolution for you and others in your situation. I found it interesting to watch the goings on across the street from me in contrast to what was happening to you. Shaking my head here. Feel your feelings freely but don’t give up. We will all stand behind each other with encouragement. Bear hugs with tissue.

    • It is good you have your daughter there. I’m lucky to have Mr E still- it was touch and go with him two years ago. The antics of the new neighbours must have been quite entertaining in many ways. Easter is going to be very quiet! Stay safe. xx

  6. Sorry about the house move , so stressful.

  7. Oh Cathy, so happy that things are settled for the moment, One giant thing that can leave you alone for a few weeks! I wish you had been able to move in schedule, but then being in a new community with all these restrictions would have been really challenging too. Enjoy the garden and the rhubarb, and I do hope that some yarn and a pattern grabs your attention, or an excellent book in your pile!
    By the way, Bellewether is quite the story; I have really enjoyed the last 100 pages, and will finish it this weekend. I have had another week of giving lessons online, and my task for the weekend is to make sure I can do a “world premiere” on YouTube for the recital. Good news is that if I manage it, I can invite all of you as well!
    I am so glad that you started Friday Jottings, it is a fabulous idea, and I will look forward to your posts; you have a gift for generating conversations, and I enjoy reading all,the comments too. Thank you!

    • Oh my I am invited to a World Premiere, it has made my day. I shall behave like a VIP! I have seen women dress up to put their dustbins out, we could all dress up for you!
      Being in a small town that I know extremely well has it’s advantages at this time for sure, knowing where to go for what, working out the shortest route from car to shop, etc. It would not be as easy in a big new town.
      I shall now turn my thoughts to Easter and how I can manage to celebrate this important time.
      Take care, stay well and good luck for the recital. x

  8. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    I am glad you have got the one month extension on your house move. Main thing is to stay safe and well

    • Staying well is my priority now, it’s all we have to do, and the route through of staying home is pretty easy to follow.

  9. cherielanglois said:

    Thank you for this post, Cathy–reading your lovely words and all of the kind replies here makes me feel less alone and more hopeful. There are so many wonderful people out there, all around the world, going through this trauma together. I’m so sorry this virus wrecked your moving plans, too. It boggles my mind to think how fast our world changed and everything came to a halt. After this is over, I hope it’s a long, long time before I hear the word “canceled” again. You captured my feelings so well. I’ve been very scattered and have found it hard to focus on creative pursuits, too. When I read too much about this virus (which is too often), the fear and grief is so intense. I recently lost my father to cancer, so that grief is there, too. I’m trying to avoid the news more, keep up my exercise routine, be present in the moment, and tell myself it’s okay not to put on a happy Facebook face and be constructive all of the time. Focusing on nature has helped a lot–especially the birds at my feeders and the deer who graze in our fields. To them, all is normal. And I’m so incredibly lucky to live on a small farm, with room to roam! Anyway, this is getting long. Just know you’re not alone…Take care!

    • cherielanglois said:

      One more thing: I love “Jottings” and never realized this was something I love to do too!

      • Thank you so much for this incredible comment. Grief is so hard , and the loss of a parent no matter your age, takes everything you knew and destabilises you. You must miss him a great deal. I know that right now I would love to be able to talk to my parents, to have a hug of reassurance, to be told we would be ok. Instead I am the grown up who has to take on that role.
        Seeing nature coming to life again really does help, for me it’s visiting the frogs in my pond which is now a swirling mass of spawn. When we moved here the pond was full of fish, which we housed and then turned into a wildlife pond. Every frog here doesn’t know it, but I am responsible for them being here, and that is an amazing thought.
        Being on a farm and seeing the turn of the season must be wonderful, but I know from listening to farming programmes that there is real concern about labour shortages, and the loss of foreign and restaurant markets.
        You have my very very best wishes through this time. Take care and stay well, x

  10. I love knit-and-natter posts. I only wish things were going better for you. Stay safe and strong!

  11. Glad you were able to put off your moving, though I know you were looking forward to it. I do hope that you are able to find something to keep yourself busy. Thank you for your post. And the picture of the beautiful flowers. Take care. Be safe and stay healthy.

    • I keep reminding myself that we are safe and well and that’s all that matters for now. I am now going to focus on Easter which I have been surprised to find is next weekend , crept up on me for sure. Take care, x

  12. I am so glad that this is somewhat sorted out even if it’s sad that the move hasn’t happened yet and you are still living among the boxes. I’m wishing you all the best – shopping is strange here, too, and I just hope that you find something relaxing to do over the weekend!!

    • Thank you so much for this comment. Shopping has gone from something we don’t think about to something akin to a major expedition. I am going to make a big effort this weekend to relax.

      • It’s the same exact thing here!! I feel you – I hope the weather is great so you can be in the garden a bit.

  13. Lovely idea for a post. What a stress to be trying to move house in the midst of this. I’ve been struggling to focus on hobbies I’d normally enjoy as well, it’s just such a strange and uncertain time, I think many of us are struggling to adjust to how fast and drastically life has changed. My 2 month old daughter is a good distraction, as is my cat, and getting out into the garden helps. Hope you and your family remain safe and well. X

    • It must be a strange time with a new baby. I have read stories of new Mum’s struggling to cope without their Mums, and family and friends able to visit the newborns. Grandparents staying outside for the first view of their grandchild, deprived for the best of reasons from that most magical cuddle.
      We charged down 12 years ago now to visit my first grandchild and I was heart broken to come down with a really horrible cold and have to leave him- we went back a week later to visit, but at the time I was devestated.
      You enjoy these precious days with the babe, the dusting and crafting can wait but the cuddles can’t.
      Stay safe, x

      • I feel really lucky that she was born before the lockdown so all the grandparents got to spend some time with her, and I had great support from midwives and health visitors, but missing my family and friends now – though we’re keeping in touch through messages, phone and video calls. Take care. X

  14. Cathy, you’re a real trooper. With all that fuss and bother and disappointment, you still manage to sound positive-ish, if distracted. I reckon Jottings is the way forward for you just now, deprived of al your other pleasures and pastimes. You give us all such a lot of pleasure with your entertaining, insightful posts. Please keep it up ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kate thank you. I’ve been so busy with coping with the fall out, I barely have time to worry about the illness. I have to keep reminding myself of how terrible it is for people who are poorly or whose family or friends are poorly. I have to be grateful that we are safe. I shall try to Get a Grip this afternoon! Take care and stay safe.x

  15. Glad you’ve got the legal side of your house move cleared up – moving house is stressful enough as it is! I think a lot of people are finding it hard to settle to do anything, our minds have got too much whizzing round. Although I’m still sewing etc, I know I’m not being as productive as I could, I’ve now stopped flicking onto the news or facebook more than once or twice a day, trying instead to ring friends regularly, ones I’ve not chatted to an ages – at least we know the chances are they’ll be at home. It has made us appreciate the home and garden we’ve got even more – it’s not a bad place to be isolated, I really feel for those in small flats with families! Keep well, and keep your pecker up ๐Ÿ™‚

    • One of our aims in moving house was to have a smaller garden, I am now so glad that we still have our biggish one with its pond full of frogs busy doing what comes naturally , and rhubarb!
      It hasn’t helped me that I have been following avidly the government updates on Covid19- searching for information on house moves- which turned up in a FAQ update- the poor solicitors had a hard time getting information on how to handle it all.
      I have always been quite interested in politics and watching the updates come in has been at times quite interesting- little things that people forget about, like rules and regulations on the ventilators, how to export to France, what schools and care homes should do about safeguarding, and they come in at all hours, some cvil servants seem to be working all round the clock. But being this informed, can be dispiritng too. maybe time to stop reading them!
      I have talked so much to people sorting out our situation it will be nice to start talking to old friends instead.
      Take care down in South Yorkshire- we are both so lucky to be here. x

  16. Sorry about your move, so frustrating to have to live with things packed away, but happy that at least you’ve got the legal side sorted for a delay. Sorry too that you can’t find comfort in sewing creatively. I am finding crafting and blogging is the one thing I can concentrate on but with all the upheaval my mind is very restless and reading a book is difficult because my mind keeps wandering away to other things. Yes I am sure we are all worried about the risk of catching the virus and for our families. Going for a walk to Southampton Common should be restorative but I find the attention needed to avoid getting within 6ft (I try for much more if possible) of other people, makes it less relaxing and even a cause of strain.

    However I have a lot to be thankful for. A warm home, no money worries and even people who will get shopping for me if I can’t shop online or need milk. I have bought lots of yarn lately, for reasons not connected to the present situation, so I will have plenty to do. I feel that I should spend the extra time on housework, you should see the dust building up! but I just can’t get up any enthusiasm for it.

    One day this will all be over and we can all laugh as we tell our funny stories. Well that’s waht I tell myself.

    • RJ what a wonderful comment. One day we will laugh and tell our funny stories- I love that so much.
      I agree it is stressful going out and trying to be sensible- shopping is hard, worrying if you are too close to someone, or did I just hear someone cough, did they have a tissue… and where are the children, so quiet, I miss the toddler tantrums and the hungry babies in the supermarket- it’s so darned quiet………….
      How good it is that you got in extra yarn- I’ve been trying to run that down too, ready for the move. I have plenty still and as I always buy yarn and pattern together, so no shortage of projects really. Just lacking the mental will to get going.
      I think I shall try to plan for Easter, dig out my Easter decorations which I hadn’t packed just in case.
      Take care and stay safe, x

  17. What a beautiful post. You brought a tear to my eye with your beautiful jottings. Yes indeed a great word – nice and positive and just a touch jovial. I’m glad you’ve got some clarity with the house, but of course this was such a huge thing to have grind to a halt, especially after you’d spent so long getting to this point. Remind me, I’ve forgotten, where are you going to be moving too?
    You’re absolutely right, or Joni is, you don’t know what you got until it’s gone – but I would put a more positive spin too on that by saying now Harry and I are restricted to walks we can reach from home on foot and are deprived of anyone else’s company on those walks, I see so much more than I did before – partly I think because I didn’t do them as often and partly because I was often too busy nattering.
    Sorry to hear about the cards – I hope you get that sorted soon.
    And finally I may have already said this to you, but I think the key to finding something crafty to do is to do something you’re good enough to do without really having to think about how to do it and that has a rhythm to it. Much love xx

    • Bekki, thank you for this really nice comment. I love seeing your Sunday Sevens, especially the spot Harry ones!
      We are hoping to move to Wiltshire to be close to our family in our dotage! Trying to be sensible as we get older- the irony of our current situation is not lost on me.
      So far all my walks have just been “round the block”, I think as I am allowed to walk further than that I shall make the effort now I’m not sat by the phone or by the computer waiting for calls and emails.
      Maybe I shall try some knitting again too, see how I get on.
      Thank you for the encouragement, really appreciated, stay safe x

  18. I am sorry your moving plans have been put on hold. We are living through strange times. My sister was supposed to have moved out of her house this week, leaving it with tenants in situ whilst she travelled for a year in a camper. I know how frustrated she is, but also that she is trying to make the best of it. I hope there is a little consolation knowing you aren’t alone in having to stay where you are for a while, perhaps if it’s possible you will enjoy it more when your move eventually goes ahead. I am glad to be home with my family, glad they weren’t caught abroad when we went into lockdown. At the beginning of all this I sat down with them and explained that there will be times when we get angry and frustrated and we are bound to take it out on each other. Not many families can live in total harmony forever, there’ll be bumps along the way. So far I’m the only one with the tears but then I’m the only female and we all know men tend to hide their emotions. If you need to cry or shout I say just go ahead and get it out of your system. It helps me!

    • Thank you so much for this lovely comment. I read about your sister in your post, and could really feel sorry for her. Hopefully she will be able to set off on her journey, and it will be all the more amazing for the wait. It would have been hard to to move closer to my sons and still not be able to see them, better to wait I know till we can. It’s odd but I am not scared about getting poorly myself, just for my family, and I don’t mind being at home, it’s the responsibilty and the difficulty of getting things done that gets to me. I have actually roared a great big AAAGH in sheer frustration once or twice! You are so right we have to be kind and forgiving of each other and ourselves. Take care, and thank you, X

      • I have had the occasional loud ‘grrrr’ myself this week – frustrated too. If it helps, roar more ! x

      • Cathy, I am sorry you feel scared by this virus. Of course, it is sensible to be careful for oneself and considerate of others. However, there are things which might be worse.

        One of my friends who has Type 1 diabetes has come out of quarantine today after having the virus. She said it felt about as bad as a normal cold. On the other hand, another of my friends died on Thursday from an aggressive secondary tumour in her spine.

        Anyway, I hope that come next month it may be possible for you to both move closer to and see your family. Not being able to visit my mum and dad is probably the single hardest thing for me.

  19. I’m so sorry Cathy that this came and you are one of the people whose plans have come to a screeching halt and you’ve been half forgotten about in this time of social and political upheaval. Moving house is stressful enough when the times are plodding along in ordinary days – you’ve been asked to hold your breath just as you were getting ready to climb aboard the moving van! It makes me wonder how many other people were stopped on the very verge of stepping into big life changes. A friend of mine in the US has just moved her wedding from May to September – that’s been a turmoil – and expensive too – for them. These are trying times and we can’t always be ‘up’ and the endless memes drive me nuts too somedays. I think we have to be really kind to ourselves and be okay with being out of sorts with what is happening, ride it out, because on some other morning we will wake up and be a bit more at ease with where we are at. The thing is that the whole world is undergoing this impromptu time out. Nobody – except the numpties of course – is going anywhere. We are all going to be challenged somewhere along the line. We will all have to make our own peace with whatever we are dealt. It’s scary! Crafting gives us some respite from the scary and the frustrating I think. I’d encourage you, if it is at all possible, to find something you have packed away and give yourself some hours of quiet concentration that allows your mind to rest and your fingers to fly. xoxo

    • Pauline, thank you so much for this very kind comment. I recall two years ago being handed a leaflet about Mr E’s Cancer that began , this is not a tragedy. Having your voice box removed because of cancer flippin well is a tragedy, it might be something people learn to cope with, but it really does change lives forever, and not for the best. Covid-19 is also a tragedy, and it has changed everyone’s life. I shall escape to happier scenarios in books and films, look at old photos of happier days, remember how we did get through other hard times, try to be grateful for what I do have, try to be sensible and not compound the problem, let nature work it’s magic, and try really hard to find something totally absorbng to do. Stay safe , and enjoy some contentment in your crafting, and thanks again, x

  20. Well, that month’s grace must be a relief Cathy. As if the whole moving house business isn’t stressful enough in ‘normal’ times! I’m just glad we didn’t start the ball rolling with ours – we only didn’t because we wanted to get several ‘home improvement’ jobs done before putting it on the market so at least we can now use the time unexpectedly available to get those finished.
    I’m sorry you aren’t finding knitting or sewing a comfort. It seems that lots of us do but I can also understand why you can’t settle to anything. I am feeling like that occasionally but, once I get stuck in to something, with an audible book going in the background, I can at least temporarily forget the outside world.
    I have a quick look at the news in the morning and then don’t look again – that way madness lies.
    Mr. Tialys – who is lucky enough to have got stuck at this end of his commute and end up confined with me ๐Ÿ˜‰ – is a good cook and, if he wants a decent sized meal, he tends to take over in the kitchen in the evenings. With the result that, when all this is over, I will probably be a much more rounded person in more ways than one. Plus, having put off my last hairdressing appointment until it was too late, I will also be finding out what I look like with grey hair. I will be able to move about the place incognito as nobody will recognise me which may or may not be an advantage.
    I hope you are still managing to find some sort of escape in your books and try to remember that, apart from keeping yourself and Mr. E. safe, the bigger picture is out of your control so constant stressing will do you no good.
    Virtual hugs to you both x

    • Thank you so much for this encouraging comment. I am so glad Mr Tialys is there with you, one less person to fret about. I think I shall try to put house moving to the back of my mind now till after Easter, get out in the garden, make an effort to take my daily allowance of walking, and let nature heal my spirit. It is totally out of my control now. I really loved your dog and lemur – stabbing away at felt is quite therapeutic I imagine. Maybe I shoud do some unpacking- Mr E is unpacking his 3D printer this morning! X

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