18TH – 24TH May

Wednesday 20th May 

Car has now been MOT’ed, serviced, air con working, new tyre plus tracking adjusted = hefty card payment. Oh well, I have been saving on other things – like meals out, holiday, garden plants, and other fun stuff – grumble, moan. However it was pleasant having a walk back after dropping the car off, and another to collect the car – walking for a purpose!

More of the Greek Mythology course: getting near the end of the Odyssey now, thankfully: getting a bit fed up with it.

Had a chat with S and T: S’s doing a Zoom call with a bunch of Bowie fans on Sunday nights; T’s just generally chilling out – after 24 years of being retired, he’s pretty used to doing very little.

Susannah, West Yorkshire

Friday 22nd May

Our main compensation for the week has been the daily challenge from his U3A Photo club. It arrives at 8a.m.each day and we need to post a result before bedtime. Themes vary in their difficulty,  Up, Yellow, Lines, transport, odds and evens, shadows, B&W, Flight. Each is quite a challenge for a photographer who can’t walk further than the garden. We both enjoy thinking of off-beat ways to interpret the day’s subject. Usually I think up the idea, then N spends ages getting a technically correct picture.  He is keen at the moment on ‘Macro,’ partly because he can use his tripod for it and that overcomes the essential tremor in his hand.  A macro blurs the back ground and sometimes splits the spectrum.  The most fun was ‘Glasses.’  We stood 3 decorative wine glasses on a mirror and he carefully dissolved turmeric in hot water to the exact colour of white wine. He originally used beetroot juice to simulate rose wine, but then I put a whole beetroot in to make it a deeper pink and jiggered the colour - Barbie Pink. He was not pleased.  Today’s theme is ‘Frozen.’  N eyed a joint in the freezer with obvious frost inside the plastic lid, then did a close up macro photo of the ice crystals so it was an unrecognisable abstract.   My own pleasure has been coming to the end of my Advanced French MOOC. It did not turn out as interesting as I had hoped but there is a certain satisfaction in finishing it.   Then joyfully, this morning we went OUT, the first time in 8 weeks. Timothy’s Garden centre and Budgeons, our favourite shop, full of local foods.  The wind on my face felt delicious, and just seeing other people, albeit at a distance.  This must be what prisoners on day release feel like. The gorgeous new bronze alstroemeria and 3 white dianthus are booked to be dug into their new home tomorrow. I am disproportionately pleased with them.   

Angela, Gloucestershire

Sunday 24th May

Weather still sunny, but a very strong wind. I booked a passage on the Ferry for 9.50a.m. and before we left I fetched the paper, did Pilates and weights, made a picnic and left a stew in the slow cooker. J mended a puncture he discovered when he got his bike out of the shed. The Ferry was running a little late and appeared to have a bit of engine trouble, but departed only ten minutes late. The strong wind made docking at the other side very difficult and the skipper had to have three attempts. I was hoping the engine trouble did not re-occur. We needed all the power of the engine to battle onto the pontoon. There was one other passenger, also a cyclist and we spent the journey exchanging cycling tales, particularly how lovely it was for the first couple of weeks of lockdown when the roads were virtually empty and how it is great, but also faintly annoying, to see so many people have taken up cycling. Bike shops all over the country are selling out of stock. Once out on the road we had a wonderful trip. The bucolic Suffolk lanes almost empty of traffic, pretty cottages, grand houses and estates, ponds and lakes, plus the riverside paths full of flowers were all beautiful and again we discovered paths we have not previously encountered, even though we have done this ride several times before. At one point we met another of J’s cousins out walking with his family (he comes from a large family) and we stopped for a picnic once back on the Essex side of the river. Back home we spent two hours of the afternoon having a Virtual Committee Meeting on Zoom discussing plans for our Festival. It had already been agreed that we cannot hold our usual one this year, so discussions centred on future plans. Then a short melodeon and ukulele practice before dinner.

Pam, Essex

Week One

23rd - 29th March

Week Two

30th March – 5th April

Week Three

6th – 12th April

Week Four

13th – 19th April

Week Five

20th – 26th April

Week Six

27th April – 3rd May

Week Seven

4th – 10th May

Week Eight

11th - 17th May

Week Nine

18th - 24th May

Week Ten

25th - 31st May

Week Eleven

1st - 7th June

Week Twelve

8th - 14th June

Week Thirteen

15th - 21st June

Week Fourteen

22nd - 28th June

Week Fifteen

29th June - 5th July


Week Sixteen

6th - 12th July

Week Seventeen

13th - 19th July

Week Eighteen

20th - 26th July

Week Nineteen

27th - 31st July