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Grateful for a Good Week

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  Altogether it's been a good week. Transformative even, one might say. Not only did I finish painting a cupboard outside the bathroom, amongst other places, but we also made it to IKEA for the storage boxes I wanted to go into it. Best of all, I managed to construct them without any assistance from Mister E. Creativity comes in many forms, be it screwing together pieces of wood or arranging the finished product on shelves. Brutal simplicity is the best description for the effect achieved, I think, and I confess I still can't pass that particular cupboard without a little peek inside to marvel at the conversion. Also, I got the result of the antigen test I'd submitted for research purposes into Covid-19. "Antibodies clearly detectable," it says. I guess I'd have been seriously perturbed if it had revealed anything else, but it's still good to know that the vaccine has done the trick, for the moment anyway. With a second dose since, I am reassured as to

At Your Own Pace

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    Well it took me so long to get started on this decorating lark, you might think I'd be attacking it as I would the 100 metre dash. You are possibly correct in that respect, except these days my sprint would be more akin to walking pace and that's the speed the painting is going too.  I'm intermingling it with tasks in the garden, as well as taking to heart that the key to a good result is preparation, preparation and yet more preparation. The great thing about retirement, of course, is that you have as much time as you want to throw at these assignments. You are not being paid, so pick the hours to suit and spend as many as you want on the job in hand. Freed from the workplace mantra that time is money, you can be as much of a perfectionist as you choose. Love it or loathe it. If the former why not indulge yourself with a few extra hours of enjoyment? If the latter, why bother at all? Obviously my intention is to maintain the impulse to move things along. I'm aware,

They Still Have the Power

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  Even in retirement and depite reaching that third age or whatever, you can't deny the power adult kiddies still have in provoking excitement and anxiety in equal measure, deep within. So it is that today I have a big beam on my face, or at least I have since 15.40, when the eldest touched down at Heathrow. Before that I was gripping my nerves tightly, anxiously following his 28 hour journey on a flight tracker. More than 4 years ago now, we waved him off as he flew out to New Zealand to begin a new chapter in his life. Today he began to write another when he returned with his long-term girlfriend who is also now his fiancĂ©e to take up new positions in London. They are obliged to quarantine for 10 days in self contained accommodation, so it will still be a while before we actually see them, but just to know they are back on home soil is more than sufficient for a permanent grin and lightness of heart.    

Onwards and Upwards

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  (Image by David Reed from Pixabay) It might be all those Scandi-noir series we watched last year or, now I've matured a little, an aversion to the millennial green gracing our walls but, entrenched in decorating and decluttering, I'm aiming for a minimalist feel. So much so, that today we decided on a trip to IKEA for some wooden storage boxes to complete the look of the upstairs area that I'm very gradually painting at the moment. An incentive to finish what I've started if you like and believe me, with the contents of one large cupboard strewn all over the landing, I do need to get on. Trouble is we only got half way there when the tyre pressure warning light popped up on the dashboard. I slowly drove off the motorway to the nearest garage which, as we'd hoped, had an air supply. A visual inspection failed to reveal an obvious puncture, so Mister E sprang into action, checking the pressure for each of the tyres and then inflating the culprit. Of course that the

Old Fogeys up t'Dale

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  Mister E and I had our second vaccine inoculations yesterday. It was quite a carnival atmosphere in the sunshine with everyone in sunglasses, some in shorts, many stopping to soak up the sun on the benches by the pond whilst others had reserved seats at the terrace cafe. All it needed was an ice cream seller and the quintessential summer's day vibe would have been complete. Not that Mister E and I would have partaken, as we had travelled equipped with our own provisions, determined to make the most of the warm spring day with a picnic. Leaving the vaccination centre at Leyburn behind, we drove up the dale onto the top of Grinton Moor, stopping at an isolated spot at the edge of the road. The view was stunning but with a bitter north wind blowing across the hills, we had to add another two layers over our T-shirts.  This was no ordinary picnic either, as Mister E magicked folding chairs from the boot of the car, along with plates, cutlery and a culinary feast from out of a large c

The Sequel

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  Following all those packages I referred to in my last blog post, this arrived today: Biological Substance Category B.  I've been invited to participate in a study to assess the level of immunity to COVID-19 within the population. Why not, I thought. After all, as well as contributing to the research, it might be interesting to learn just how protected I am at the moment, coming up for my second dose of  the vaccine. I might also gain some insight as to the general situation from the summary of the study outcome that will be forwarded to participants, Of course it could end up being a blow to my confidence as we begin to merge again with the outside world but at least I should have a slightly better idea of the risk level. Meanwhile, if anyone can explain why, just when restrictions are being relaxed, I have finally opened those cans of paint that I bought 13 months ago for decorating during lockdown, I'd be most grateful. Is it really a sub-conscious excuse to  stay at home,

A Presumption of Innocence

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  Every now and again a Gangster Granny makes front page headlines when she's caught dealing in drugs. HM Prison Holloway isn't where I want to spend my retirement but obviously there is a small minority that thinks differently.  During lockdown we have been surrounded by neighbours with not only courier deliveries but also collections. Laughingly Mister E and I have come to the rather comic conclusion that it must be opiates. Were you to meet these upstanding members of our community, you would understand how ridiculous the notion is. Sadly, however, if they could see the contents of the parcels I have handled of late, they might be forgiven for assuming my own guilt.  A few days ago I despatched a DNA test. Tracking down my ancestors has reached the stage where the need to mix spittle and stabilising fluid has overridden the long and desperate wait for the reopening of the County Records office. Honestly it felt truly odd posting a phial containing that blend off to a laborat