Hi everyone

Got my vaccination done last Wednesday and, my word, the whole roll-out of vaccines in the UK is an incredibly efficient operation, and that, of course, is because it was not outsourced to an expensive private sector contractor but organised by our wonderful NHS. And what’s more they were so nice when you got there and no queues either. Very well done to everyone concerned. Btw, please don’t think I’m being triumphalist about the UK rollout – on the contrary I think bigging up the numbers and vaccine nationalism is dangerous and I just hope that nations share these vaccines as the pandemic won’t be over until we are all vaccinated.

I am so thankful for the scientists who have developed vaccines over the last two centuries. However, I think the speed of the Covid vaccine from development to roll-out, in under a year, is frankly astounding but also a little disturbing to some. But there is really no need to worry as the scientists were the first to realise the danger of this coronavirus and just got going and then, instead of years of fighting for grants to start the development, money was found quickly. It’s also important to realise that the critically important testing of the vaccine (the Phase 1-3 trials) was run concurrently. Plus there are now over 12 million older people here in the UK who have had their vaccine and no awful incidents have been recorded. If you want any more information of the positive but scientific kind I recommend a podcast available (I think world-wide) on BBC Sounds – How to Vaccinate the World.  It’s very easy to listen to and and I’ve learnt a lot about vaccination from it. There have been 13 episodes so far, with scientists and other experts talking about various aspects of the Covid vaccination, they’ve even had Bill Gates on! Another future broadcast will include Dr Faucci.

There’s also Trisha Cusden’s blog, which tells of her joy in having the vaccine and then goes into the history of vaccination in depth. Or instead why not watch a really charming YouTube video of the Marsh family extolling the virtue of getting a vaccine through a cover version of Hallelujah. This video is great and what a family! They’ve recorded many cover versions throughout our lockdowns and every member of the family sings so well.

You can still get the blasted virus so as well as our behaviour not changing much for 3 weeks, to allow it to kick in, we will continue to be quite cautious. But really, this is a good news story and I’m feeling so much more cheerful and positive after being vaccinated.

We continue our walks.

That was Friday and the sun was quite warm at 10C (50F). I sat on a bench just drinking in that sun. However, there is a dramatic change in the weather (for the UK) as temperatures for the next few days at their highest will be at 1C (33F) during the day and sometimes even lower, which is extreme for us in the south of England! There’s even been some snow in Brighton. Nothing settled on Sunday (but there is a light sprinkling today) so we went out for a walk as per usual. Here I am still being ultra cautious wrapped in my faux fur and standing by a house lived in by the music hall star Max Miller.

It was cold but not unduly so.

I love it when the sea and the sky are the same colour grey! The sun was just beginning to appear.

I haven’t bought anything online (yet) so one warm day last week I found another yellow top to wear.

Memo to self, I am going to stop buying those mom jeans as although they’re comfortable to wear I really do prefer the tighter skinnier jeans – they look better and are warmer too.

I wonder how you’re all sleeping these days?  Apparently there’s a real burnout feel with this second wave and many people much younger than me are having difficulty in sleeping. My sleep wobbles from getting a really good night’s sleep to waking up 3 or 4 times a night but managing to get back to sleep, waking at 4.0am and not getting back to sleep, and then there are nights where I don’t sleep at all. Triggers can be anything, usually those middle-of-the-night worries but a trigger can also come from my wonky digestion, the last time I cooked cauliflower cheese (which was delicious btw) there were consequences (is that too much information?!) and I hardly slept.

Here’s a selfie taken in rather poor light. I’ve invested in a halo light for my desk and will be experimenting to see if it improves my looks when doing a Zoom call – thinking about that interview to come!  The thing is these bad nights have had huge impact on my poor old face, plus I keep getting blepharitis (it’s a winter thing for me) which is treated by a hot mask over the eyes and vigorous massaging of the eyelids so the skin around my eyes is quite crepey now and the lines under my eyes very noticeable. As a consequence I don’t think I’ll ever go back to contacts as the glasses hide a lot.

But I am taking the advice that every sage and influencer gives – to be kind – so I’m being kind to myself and I am accepting. This is how it is. I am 74 (75 in June) lines are to be expected. This is ageing. Own it!  And I do! As you know I’ve always said, face the facts when it comes to ageing, be real and be aware, don’t kid yourself. Mind you, I will indulge in some facials as soon as I can.

Overall, there is so much to look forward to and I shall be like a rocket once I get going. There’s visits to London and holidays but the best things will be cuddles with the kids, hugging friends and seeing Oscar my grandson more often. Eventually we shall baby-sit and take him out on his own – three cheers to that.

That’s all for now, but can I say, I very much appreciate all the comments I get from you, but I also appreciate every single one of you that comes to this blog and reads to the end – thank you!

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper


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41 thoughts on “Here’s to better things to come!

  • 8th February 2021 at 9:35 am

    Love your blog, Penny – keep it rolling! I had my jab on Friday early evening – in our local practice which saved me having to go into Brighton, or even Storrington where Leo went.
    Have gone back to knitting rather than dressmaking over Christmas and January. So many unfinished knitting projects s I am enjoying getting them done and tidying up at the same time. I’ve got more courageous in inventing things like a couple of jerkin/jackets knitted with enormous needles in thick chenille-type yarn. Basically a square for the back and two oblongs for the fronts. Need jerkins in this weather even in the house. Now to finish off a Kaffe Fassett persian poppy waistcoat in hot oranges and burnt reds. Will definitely post on B when done. It’s going to shout enthusiasm in every stitch!
    Leo looked in his diary yesterday while we were zooming with Charlotte – about 10 days less than a whole year since we have seen her and Ian! But as we said, we have had a good couple of hours’ chat every Sunday with her which amounts to more weeklycontact time and everyday sort of chat than we used to get even when we did go up to see them! grateful for quite a big mercy there!
    Lots of love to you and Bill – look forward to seeing you as and when. Meanwhile as C says, the best thing we can all do for the nation is to Stay Home, which I know you are doing too apart from careful walks. xxxxx W

    • 9th February 2021 at 8:49 am

      Hi Wendy and thanks so much for your kind words and interesting remarks re: knitting. I’ve just restarted knitting after a 15yr gap and I’d like some help with a kit I bought for another little baby recently born to our extended family. To recover from the unpicking of Oscar’s cardi I’m knitting myself a scarf – it’s really relaxing and I’m loving the fact there will be no sewing up. Anyway, this pattern said it was ‘easy’ but it’s knitted all together as in you start with the sleeves and increase for the back and just carry on knitting – the instructions appear to me quite complex but this time I won’t send it back as I’d really like to get out of my comfort zone and learn new skills. So hope we can get together at some point for some knitting!!!

      Yes, I agree, stay safe and careful xxx

  • 8th February 2021 at 10:09 am

    Glad you’ve had the jab Penny, we had ours last Thursday and like you we were very impressed with the smooth organisation. Very cold today and more to come apparently so not going out today, had a nice walk in the sunshine on Saturday but I can’t wait to have the second jab and at least a bit more freedom.
    I love your ‘fur’ coat Penny but as I am only 5′ it would not do me any favours!

    • 9th February 2021 at 8:54 am

      Hi Christine, so glad you got your jab last week, and isn’t it just such a relief, not that we are out of the woods yet. But yes, how extraordinarily efficient it all was – it’s excellent work on the part of the NHS.

      Oh I get what you’re saying about the fur coat!!! Take care 🙂

  • 8th February 2021 at 11:42 am

    Hi Penny,
    I too have a mixture of disturbed nights. If I’m mulling over something, that wakes me at around 2.30am. However I can have a good night for which I am so thankful.
    I now don’t eat anything after 5-6 pm until my breakfast at around 7.15.
    I have to be very aware of what I’m eating nowadays and have started taking cider apple vinegar, which seems so far to be helpful.
    My bletheritis has been very troublesome but at this point in time is ok thankfully. Certainly a windy walk triggers it for me, but I can’t stop my daily walk it’s a life saver!!!!
    Thank you Penny your blog is helpful and informative

    • 9th February 2021 at 8:59 am

      Hi Vivien, yes, we seem to have similar patterns as I always get a good night’s sleep after a bad night. And food can be a trigger so like you I have to be careful and I agree I don’t like eating after 6.0pm now, apart that is from the occasional milk and biscuit shortly before I go to bed.

      Blepharitis is such a bore isn’t it, and I am so vigilant when it comes to cleaning the eyelids – something we just have to put up with, I guess. Did you have the explanation from the optician that goes, ‘well, it’s like this, when you get older…….’ Grrrrr!

      And thank you for reading the blog – take care xx

  • 8th February 2021 at 12:49 pm

    I have found that the smallest dose of melatonin (3mg) before bed has helped tremendously with my ability to sleep through the night, just a thought…

    • 9th February 2021 at 9:01 am

      Thanks Arlene – I’ll give this some thought and look into melatonin. Would be lovely not to have to wake up so many times during the night!

  • 8th February 2021 at 1:51 pm

    Gosh Penny, I so envy you getting your vaccine. Our government here in Canada are so behind. I don’t imagine us getting vaccinated before the summer. We are still in lockdown, I am just going out food shopping once every three weeks, and make sure that when I go to the supermarket, I go early in the Senior’s slot. I do find that Covid fatigue has set in, I am having trouble concentrating and find I can’t seem to get past page 3 of a book.
    It is bitterly cold here, -17 with the wind chill, so not conducive to walking outside. I have dug out my water colour paints and am painting again, and am loving my adult colouring books, which are very therapeutic.
    My 100 year old mother, has recovered from Covid, and her hip surgery in the middle of her isolation.
    She has just gone into rehab after a month on a Covid ward. So thankful for the NHS and all they do. I think they all should be rewarded somehow when this is all over. They really are heroes.
    Stay safe and warm.

    • 9th February 2021 at 9:11 am

      The rollout-out of the vaccine here has been extraordinarily efficient but there are caveats and it’s not as perfect as it sounds. I’ll be posting on My Other Blog shortly about this as a total reliance on vaccinations which is what the UK government is obviously doing, won’t work, but I’ll go into more detail elsewhere.

      Yes, the last month was absolutely the worst month and despite having loads of things to do and never really being bored we are like the entire population fed up to the teeth with the whole pandemic. And I’m actually finding it quite difficult doing the more serious writing, which I used to find relatively easy, and yes, it’s a concentration thing.

      Oh my word how wonderful and uplifting it is to hear that your mother at that great age has recovered. Well done her and well done the NHS, oh how wonderful that institution is.

      And -17 phew! We don’t know the meaning of ‘cold’ here, although I do think the dampness of it gets into the bones. But still we’ve got this for a week, which is unusual, but not that long, thank goodness!

      You stay safe too Geri 🙂

    • 9th February 2021 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Geri, another disgruntled Canadian here, wish we would be given the truth for a change. in the same newscast I listed while told “govt is still on track …..” next item: govt going to ask Biden in US if they will share some vaccine??? whats going on? Israel set a great precedent, now the UK is doing so well too! afn, cranky canadian ann

  • 8th February 2021 at 2:07 pm

    I’m so pleased that you’ve had your vaccination, Penny – such a relief! Mr FF had his done last Saturday but I’m in a different ‘tier’ so no date for me – yet. I love those Brighton photos and can’t wait to come down with Zeph. Brighton and London are high on my travel list for when we have more freedom. It used to be India but my priorities have changed since the pandemic. Take care.

    • 9th February 2021 at 9:17 am

      Oh how I agree about priorities, I shall be so happy if we can go on our booked holiday in Suffolk in June. When I booked it I was sure we’d all be out of lockdown, but with the very slow decline occurring after several weeks of lockdown I’m now just a little bit uncertain – fingers crossed!

      And fingers crossed your date comes up soon – they give very little notice. You take care too 🙂

  • 8th February 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Hello from Ventura, California, Penny. I, too, have some sleep issues as you can tell from the odd hours that I am leaving comments here. Opening my iPad in the wee hours has become a bad habit. But here I am…delighted to see you! Yes, I have already bought two online items for myself during the new year sales. A new cardigan sweater and a skin care oil, Divine Elixir from Skinn.com. I am delighted with these purchases. I am also enjoying Netflix “Anne with an e” series starring Amybeth McNulty. She is amazing!
    Husband and I are still waiting for our vaccinations. Our county lags behind Los Angeles county in inoculating the essential workers and those above 75 years of age. We are in the next level and watch the daily updates to keep on top of things.
    We are, of course, still watching the political situation here. We are thankful for the new administration and the return to “some” calm. President Biden is the man FOR this hour with his decades of experience, his decency, and character. I follow a wonderful blogger/commentator, Heather Cox Richardson, professor of history at Boston University, who has quite the following. Her Letters from an American is an incredible daily update with reason, calm, and historical perspective. She recently commented on how President Biden wisely keeps out of the impeachment fray and is razor-focused on moving the country forward through the pandemic and into healthier economic conditions, not to mention our status on the world stage. Whew!
    Thank you for this space to think and concretely express my pandemic-life. I have much to be thankful for!!

    • 9th February 2021 at 10:28 am

      Hi Charlene, I always picture you as residing in a sunny California – hopefully it’s not as cold as some parts of the US! Yes, our vaccination programme is motoring on. It is the one thing our government has got right, however I won’t go into any more detail as I shall be writing more about this on My Other Blog shortly.

      I am very impressed with your President Biden and it must be such a relief to have such a decent, reliable and statesmanlike person as your President. Astonishing though how many Republicans are still in thrall to the orange man! And I shall look for that blog – thanks. Sounds interesting and I would like to be better informed on American politics and culture.

      You take care and stay safe 🙂

  • 8th February 2021 at 2:32 pm

    You look very cozy dressed for your walk despite the cold Penny! We had our second round of significant snow yesterday. I decided to go for a walk just as it was coming down. It was actually quite lovely. I wanted to get out earlier before it piled up and the sidewalks were covered. Today no snow but very cold, and I fear that my car might have too much snow plowed in back of it for me to get out. I really need to invest in a shovel.
    As to the vaccination situation. I think that it is shameful as to how the process is being rolled out. actually I think this bothers me more than the fact that I simply cannot get one and there is no list for me to sign on to. At age 79 I easily am a priority but that seems to make no difference. fortunately, at this point I am in what I consider in good health but even if that were not true I am not sure it would matter. Yesterday people had to line up in the cold and snow for hours for their appointment at the only site in the area. the few pharmacies that had vaccines no longer are providing them. And this is in what is considered a fairly affluent suburb outside of New York City. I realize I sound like a chronic complainer and I said all this in my last reply but nothing has changed.
    I was able to stop by at my son’s home to see my granddaughter before she returns to college in upstate New York. Also to see her new, to her, automobile. another highlight of this too brief and mostly masked visit was to taste the bread my 16 year old grandson had baked. He produced a very creditable loaf pf challah , who knew!
    And here is my way of trying to quiet my mind when I have trouble sleeping. I have studied Yoga over the years. when I cannot sleep I start of construct a yoga class in my mind, I start with simple warmups, imagine myself going through the motions. Sometimes I progress to the standing poses, but often by then I am asleep. One could probably substitute other orderly sequences. anyway, this helps me. I also have awful dry eye in the Winter especially. I have been putting off surgery for my cateracts as well but I think it is getting worse and I may have to bite the bullet soon . I was hoping that covid would be under control before I do the operation but I will probably have to go ahead in spite of it. So that is about it from Port Chester NY. Take care Penny.

    • 9th February 2021 at 10:41 am

      No I don’t think you’re a chronic complainer – just an interested and astute commentator of what you see and hear around you. I read a very good article in Vanity Fair as to why the US rollout is the way it is – apparently it is all down to a clash between a military rollout (getting it to States) and a public health rollout (getting it into people’s arms). Unfortunately the military seemed to have won the argument. Ours has been a public health rollout and that’s why it’s been successful – more about this in My Other Blog at some point. Like a lot of the population my concentration has diminished through this pandemic and I’m writing that post very very slowly!!!! Fingers crossed for you getting the jab – it will happen.

      Yes, cataracts and dry eye are there too – yikes the things as we age…..! I shall go to the optician soon and as he’s one of those properly qualified ones as opposed to those who just want to sell you glasses and stuff, he’s the one who will refer me for a cataract op as I’m cooking one in my right eye. When I have an op is another matter as the entire NHS is dealing with Covid and there are huge waiting lists now. However, I’m in no rush and fine but I have friends waiting for hip operations which is awful for them.

      It’s a grey day with the sun struggling to get out and at -1C that’s cold for the UK as of course we have a damp cold and there’s a wind chill factor bringing the temp down even further. Here in Brighton there’s just a sprinkling of snow on rooftops but elsewhere throughout most of the UK there’s quite a lot of snow. We shall go for a walk today – must get that fresh air!

      You take care too, Darby 🙂

  • 8th February 2021 at 3:20 pm

    What a great post! We are still waiting patiently for our Covid vaccine in WA state, our particular area has been rather short changed but we are not willing or indeed able to travel far to get one.
    I have a suggestion to help your blepharitis. I also suffer from that. Every morning when I shower , I massage a little dandruff shampoo into the eyelids and rinse it off thoroughly. I read about doing that a few years ago and it does seem to help. Something which can’t hurt anyway! I am all for simple solutions. I still do the hot compresses and use drops for dry eye daily.

    • 9th February 2021 at 11:45 am

      Hi Jan and hello to you in WA, fingers crossed you get your jab soon.

      And yes, I’ve heard of that tip before. What I do is remove all eye makeup (not wearing any at the moment) with a gentle eye makeup remover, then I wash my face with special attention to the eyelids with Simple Soap, which is unscented and very pure. Then it is rinsed off, then I put on my hot mask, and after that I get a cotton bud and massage and clean the eyelid with Blephasol solution. I do that every night, and of course the mask is used more often when something flares up. Drops in at the end of that routine! What a palaver! So as you can see I am scrupulous in the cleaning of the eyelids and still….. But as I said, I get it far more often during the winter.

      Thanks again for the tip – much appreciated x

  • 8th February 2021 at 3:57 pm

    I have it with salted chips. If I eat that, I can’t sleep. Well, I don’t eat that anyway anymore. The vaccination route here is not that good as yours. I was going to get it in Februari, but now in April. Hang in there Penny, better times are on our way!

    • 9th February 2021 at 11:46 am

      Oh no, Nancy, you should be a priority!!! But I have read about the shortages – fingers crossed you get it sooner.

      Better times are indeed coming along soon – take care xxx

  • 8th February 2021 at 4:38 pm

    Keeping on writing! So glad to read about your vaccinations Penny. Mr T and I will be having ours tomorrow afternoon. Our area is now doing the 65+. We didn’t realise they’ve done the over 70s here already until our phone call offering us Tuesday. What a relief, as I have several underlying conditions, including heart, though all well managed at present so not considered serious enough to shield, though I’ve been extremely careful this last year anyway. It’s bitterly cold here in Wiltshire but, other than the occasional flurry, the snow has so far held off. I’ve been wearing many layers for my walks though, only recognisable because of my magenta coat (formerly belonged to my mother until her death) and my diminutive height! How I love your faux fur, it would totally swamp me, trip me up and trail behind. Coat buying can be difficult when you’re only 5ft!

    • 9th February 2021 at 11:51 am

      So pleased you’re getting your jabs now – three cheers especially as you have some underlying conditions. And same here, my heart condition is not considered serious but even so it made me behave in an ultra careful way – I mean it’s a rational thing to do.

      I’ll be going out today and wrapping up with many layers and that coat! Not much snow here either. Your magenta coat sounds amazing.

      Take care and stay warm and well 🙂

  • 8th February 2021 at 4:43 pm

    I like, even prefer, your mom jeans Penny. You are tall and slim and can carry the style well. I think skinnies are a bit passé now tbh (even though M and S are still stocking them.) I just bought some of their new season camouflaged cargo pants and love them, maybe you should check them out as they’d suit you too. I’m 66 and still waiting patiently for ‘ the Jab’ . I look fwd to your blogs each week, you’re an inspiration!
    Thanks and keep well.

    • 9th February 2021 at 11:56 am

      I know skinny jeans are meant to be so over these days, and yet, and yet. Do you watch Call My Agent? Camille Cottin’s legs go on for ever. Same in Spiral. They all wear skinny jeans – I’m a bit influenced by this 🙂

      Fingers crossed you get the jab soon – you won’t get much notice so it could be soon.

      And you keep safe and well too 🙂

  • 8th February 2021 at 5:38 pm

    Very good news that you got your jab, Penny, here the over 76’s will get theirs next, which means hubby, and then it should be my turn. I’m curious about how this virus will behave , will it be like the Spanish flu and leave us soon, not to return for a century or so, or will it become a regular visitor like seasonal flu, so we’ll need a yearly vaccination. Who knows ? Whatever the outcome, as you say, the scientists have done an amazing job in creating these new vaccines in such a short time, we must be thankful for that.
    On the subject of sleep, it’s always a mystery to me why some nights I sleep like a baby, and others not a hope. One thing I can never do is not eat near bedtime even though I know that’s what we’re told is bad, I’m much more likely to be kept awake by hunger pangs !

    • 9th February 2021 at 12:01 pm

      I think we might have to have an annual booster jab. It’s a tricky one this virus as its whole purpose is to reproduce and continue to do so and that’s where the variants are coming from. The scientists though are doing an amazing job and I’ve heard that even after having the regulation 2 jabs we will all need one in the Autumn to deal with the variants.

      Yes, never go to bed hungry – a glass of milk and a plain biscuit/cookie often works very well 🙂

  • 8th February 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Our big lockdown last year in New Zealand – the thing that was emphasised was “be kind” – and it worked. I too love it when the sea meets the sky with the same colours, whether it be a beautiful sky blue, or shades of greay – so mystical.

    • 9th February 2021 at 12:03 pm

      Ah, New Zealand a shining light and an example to us all.

      Yes, the sea changes colour every single day – so uplifting to see 🙂

  • 9th February 2021 at 1:33 pm

    As Max would say “It’s all clever stuff, no rubbish!”

    Max was my favourite comedian and I do love the suits!

  • 9th February 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Hello again Penny. Much to our surprise we are getting our jabs tomorrow and still hoping to cruise to Iceland in July, if they’ll allow us off the ship! Despite the vaccine success, remembering all the 2nd doses that have to be given yet, the Govt is still performing at the it’s usual low level. Quarantine at last for visitors?? To little too late of course. Millions have come here from all over the world with no checks at all at our airports, even from SA. Apparently we can’t close our borders because it would affect freight. Might that mean Peruvian asparagus & other such essentiasl would not be available – who knows!
    Bright, sunny and cold here ; we took the car out to top up the battery (first time this year)so it was a change but I want to get out and do something really.
    Strange seeing the Max Wall blue plaque. It made me think of my maternal grandmother who used to go to have a box at the musical halls in London with her friends. She was born in 1893 and was a real Edwardian lady with her hats held on with hatpins and her lacy summer gloves. I only wish I’d taken more interest in her stories but now I’m going to write about her before those stories end with me. Just finding it a bit difficult to get down to it at present…..
    The ageing thing gets to me too. You think it’s incremental but perhaps there are more rapid declines. Can feeling old because you have to stay at home make you look older too, I wonder? When I can I’ will go to a beautician – which I’ve never done before – to see if there is anything that can be done without surgery; definitely not going there! I’m also going to try some Prai skincare which seems to have a lot of very positive reviews. Have you been listening to ‘Mary Portas on Style’ on R4? Interesting discussions and she’s given up on her signature red bob. Don’t agree that no make up at home makes you feel free . It just makes me feel despairing!

    • 10th February 2021 at 9:22 am

      I shall watch with interest how the cruises are done this year. I really, really want to dress up again, and I know I could do it now, but it’s not the same and I know you understand how a cruise encourages those of us who like to do this. Fingers crossed they can go ahead and be safe.

      Honestly if this government tries to grab the praise that should rightly go to the NHS for this roll-out I shall l be so cross. And yet they are still in the lead in the polls – I truly don’t understand it when everything else they’ve done has been so catastrophically wrong.

      I think the past year has wreaked havoc in so many ways: people have suffered and died, lost their jobs, not gone to school, had their uni experience ruined, not been able to sleep, and been frightened and anxious, and while we all protect ourselves as much as we can, this has had its impact. I’ve definitely aged and you can see it on my face. However, I think we will all appreciate every single thing that we can get back to doing and that will bring joy and happiness and this will be reflected on our faces – so some of this ageing is temporary. But no makeup? Oh no, makeup definitely helps the mood and how you look – slap it on I say!!!

  • 9th February 2021 at 7:19 pm

    I’m so pleased you got your vaccine, Penny! OH was invited yesterday by our doctor’s practice to book an appointment for his jab (he’s 65) so I’m hoping my invite comes soon…if not I’ll be ringing the practice!

    I was musing on my wrinkles on my latest post but as you say it’s ageing. I wonder if the stresses of the lockdown and the whole pandemic have contributed to us having more or have speeded the process up?

    I’ve been enjoying ‘Vaccinating the World’. It’s the same presenter as ‘More or Less’ which is a programme I really enjoy; strange as I don’t like maths and numbers generally.

    Like you I can’t wait to see the people I haven’t been able to and give them a hug; my brothers, my cousins; my friends.

    It won’t be long now!

    • 10th February 2021 at 9:29 am

      So glad to hear your OH is having his jab. We had a text as did many others in this block of flats, and then there was a letter from the government 5 days after our vaccine, I’ve heard of others who had letters. Others got a phone call. It’ll happen soon I’m sure.

      Vaccinating the World is brilliant and so informative and I agree the presenter is so engaging and yes, I too often listen to More or Less which is great as well.

      Ah to hug people, and also to not verge away from people you don’t know when they approach on the street – a little normality would be great. It will happen, but I think we’ll be having annual booster shots for the duration. But the scientists are onto this already – three cheers to that!

      Take care xxx

  • 11th February 2021 at 7:26 am

    Great to hear you have had your jab. My husband (65 ) had his last week so I’m expecting my summons fairly soon. The halo light is casting a flattering spotlight over your hair and a softer glow on your face. Yellow is definitely your colour!

    I’ve not been sleeping very well the last couple of weeks. With me it’s work related. Things I used to take in my stride can worry me now and my mind goes round and round. Plus not been doing so much walking in the last 2 weeks because of icy pavements x

    • 13th February 2021 at 9:08 am

      Hi Gail and great to hear your other half has had his jab – it won’t be long for you I’m sure. It is so well organised.

      Ah yes, the sleep thing. I expect you know that in the evening you need to distract yourself and immerse yourself in other things. But everyone is different – hope it resolves soon.

      Like you I haven’t walked as much and I really don’t like that. Roll on the better weather that’s coming tomorrow x

  • 12th February 2021 at 5:05 pm

    So I thought you were about 10 years younger than you are! I hope to age as gracefully as you! I am glad you are still enjoy your walks (I love that picture of you all bundled up) and I have found in the past 10 days that I have slept much better since I have run 2 miles or walked briskly 3 everyday but one. I need to keep it up!

    • 13th February 2021 at 9:12 am

      Generally I’d say everyone in the UK has not walked as much over this last week as it’s been very frosty and cold throughout the whole country leaving us with slippery pavements – to be avoided at all costs!

      And thank you for those kind words about maybe – oh my word, though, this year has had an impact. Roll on the better weather and the vaccine programme – there’s a lot to look forward to.

      Thanks Mireille 🙂

  • 12th February 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Re sleeping , or not . My Hubbie has a little tot of malt whisky each night & it sends him off nicely – he’s not a serious drinker ! My gran swore by brandy but I don’t like the taste of spirits . I don’t sleep quite as well these days but I’m ok . My in laws loved Max Miller & named Hubbie Max as a tribute ( he does have better dress sense though ). I agree about the sterling NHS work in this vaccine roll out & the government does seem to have put in vaccine orders efficiently but otherwise I can’t comment – too many swear words !

    • 13th February 2021 at 9:37 am

      Hi Wendy – it’s good to meet you! And yes, Max Miller was a really big star of the music hall. I was wondering if I’d seen him on the television as we got one in 1953, but looking at Max’s photo I realise I was thinking of Tommy Trinder!

      The NHS has beyond wonderful in this roll-out which shows you that if you left things to the professionals they gt things done. I’m on the same wavelength as you re: the comments I could make!

  • 16th February 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks Penny for your cheery and educational piece. I really look forward to them. My jab is booked for this Thursday( I am 68!) and when the letter inviting me came I was thrilled. I have done a lovely Online Gardening Course run by Charles Dowding of ‘No Dig ‘ fame and have windowsills full of varaious seedlinds- sweetpea ( now in the greenhouse) onions, spinach and others.i’m looking forward to really getting my raised beds productive and found that my concentration has actually imprived in lockdown. He has lots of easy to follow youtube videos free and they appeal to a simple soul like me. When he says you bung a sedling in a hole I know he is speaking my language!


    I am trying to see one thing through rather than endless multi- tasking! Like you starting to feel positive despite the rain.

    Spring is round the corner. Seeds are like little bundles of energy just waiting for water and heat to burst into action…. that’s how I feel when lockdown ends!

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