Wednesday 29 April 2020

Country in the time of corona

Mr FF loves country music.  I like some of it, John Denver, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers I can tolerate.  I do love Glen Campbell and I've just finished reading Johnny Cash's autobiography, I'm not averse to the genre but honestly some of the stuff he listens to is bonkers.   
I tell him country songs are all the same, wailing that the truck won't start, the cotton crop has failed and the hogs have all died, you get the drift.  Just the thing to cheer you up during a pandemic.
The other day he was listening to someone singing 'Mothers don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys', the various verses elaborated why this would be a mistake.  Didn't mention that they would end up singing stupid songs while wearing a stetson and fancy boots though.
You're the reason our kids are ugly, that truly is a song, google it, no don't bother.
I am of the opinion that we need to be uplifted by music during lock down, not dragged down to the pits, but good old country boy FF is having none of that.  We listen to country at breakfast and during dinner until I crack and turn it off.  I hope you are locked down to a few better tunes than me and no I don't want one of these thank you very much.

Saturday 25 April 2020

Something for the weekend, a laugh

I may have mentioned that Mr FF bought himself a pair of hair clippers, I told him I would not cut his hair which he keeps very short all over.  It started a while back with a summer cut in Italy, it suits him and he has maintained the style.  Of course it soon gets out of hand and with lock down he was having to plaster down his now too long hair with water.
So he got the clippers,  a nice set with different cutters, a comb, scissors, even a little plastic cape as you might expect in the hairdressers.  He cut his hair but he was rather timid and it wasn't a big improvement.  He watched a few online videos and decided to have another go.  This time the result was much better, to the untrained eye at least and he took quite a lot off.  He asked me to trim round the back with the special shaver attachment, he said he just needed the bits he couldn't see tidied up.  Actually it wasn't as difficult as I expected, although the shaver was a bit vicious and I had to keep straightening the edge when it took too much.  Then suddenly, and I have no idea why, the bloomin think took a great chunk out at the back of his head.  

Yes I did laugh, no there is no disguising it and it hasn't grown out a week later.  Just as well we are on lock down.
Because the gap is at the back and he cannot see it, Mr FF isn't that cross and has admitted that he did something similar himself but not quite so bad over one ear.

With that and my eyebrow tint faux pas I cannot see me opening a beauty saloon when these services return.  Speaking of which I see that in countries where lock down is lessening for such essentials as hairdressers and spas, even tattoo parlours are opening up again.  The latter would certainly be a dangerous thing to add to my not very capable repertoire.  

Monday 20 April 2020

Never mind what it says on the tin

What a surprise.  Now we are being told that use by and best before dates on consumables are not strict, that most foods can be eaten well beyond the suggested expiry.  Some of us already knew that, I think I've said before that if I have something in the cupboard that goes beyond its shelf life, I simply scratch off that information so I don't have to worry.  I am currently enjoying on my morning toast peanut butter from a jar I found in the back of the cupboard, it should have been used 2 years ago.  I've been eating it for over a week, I am fine.  I actually prefer yoghurt when its beyond it's date and Mr FF is more than partial to cheese that could walk out of the fridge.
Here's another example of duff info.  I decided at the weekend to tint my eyebrows, I always do this in Italy as there is no other option and despite the instructions saying remove the dye after 10 minutes, I usually leave it on for 15.  Sometimes my brows have been a bit itchy for a while afterwards but its always given a better result.
Sunday morning before breakfast I had a steam and Mr FF decided to follow me in so I thought I had the required 15 minutes to tint my brows.  He only managed 10 minutes at 110 degrees, wimp, so we started breakfast.  Then we read the papers and chatted, I washed up and tidied the already very tidy penthouse.  It was only when I sat down in front of the dark reflective screen of the computer that I saw my brows.  This was 2 hours after I had applied the dye.  I rushed off to the bathroom and quickly wiped my brows, wondering if they might come off on the cloth.  The result is very dark but no worse than when I have them done at the saloon and nothing like the huge fake micro bladed brows that some people favour.     I slapped on some aloe vera just in case but there has been no problem at all, they aren't even itchy and I am extremely pleased with the result. 
Of course I'm not recommending you try this at home, or start eating out of date products but it just goes to show, they tell us anything.  

Tuesday 14 April 2020

A different Easter

Right on time my second amaryllis opened for Easter,  it is so beautiful and full of blooms.
Another Easter treat arrived at the penthouse too
Mr FF found these two little characters, a yellow chick and a bunny with a white bobtail,  in our letter box.  Each contains a small chocolate egg which Mr FF was keen to eat until I explained they wouldn't work without them.  I know they are from Margaret who lives on the first floor, 84 years young and an avid charity knitter.  I sent her an Easter thank you card and was so touched by her kindness.
It hasn't been the Easter we wanted, no church services, no egg rolling, but its one we won't forget.  Keep on keeping safe.

Friday 10 April 2020

Reasons to be cheerful

Amaryllis, I cannot resist them though these last few years I have not grown them so much.  However I couldn't resist buying a couple when after Christmas they were 75% off at our local supermarket and I soon had them started.  The red one is in a special vase and growing only with water, the other which will be  cream touched with pink is in compost.   This one is brightening the kitchen.

The second is in the lounge and waiting to burst into flower.

Between them they may see me through lock down and certainly make me happy over Easter.
As if that's not enough on Wednesday we had a letter from our grand nieces, Amelia and Esme.  Drawings, a letter, a card, they have been busy and we were so pleased to hear from them.  I have put the rainbow in our office window facing into the atrium so that everyone in the building can see it.  Its probably against the rules but I don't care, who is going to come in and take it down.
I am coping fine with the lock down and not looking forward to the return of cars and planes and noise and pollution.  
I hope you are finding joy in little things, keep on keeping safe and well, happy Easter. 

Tuesday 7 April 2020


Not another hat Mr FF was heard to cry when I finished the third one.  For some reason I can hardly settle into knitting and what I do is not so enjoyable.  I knitted this child's jumper in Rowan Denim a while back and I couldn't bring myself to stitch it together, I sat looking at it feeling guilty for days before it was finished.   There is really no pattern, I found a shape I liked on line and made it up as I went along.   
I've been rooting in the stash and using up all those bargain buys that I knew would be great for something or other and it transpires to be mostly hats, I've made another since I took the photo.  I think subconsciously I am keeping my sock yarn, and I have a decent amount, in case the lock down becomes really bad.   
Mr FF has selected the hat at the front for himself, it looks small but is very stretchy, the others can go into store because of course there is no where else for them to go.  There is no where for the books I have read to go, no where for any decluttering to go.  
At my weekly supermarket shop I noticed that people have obviously been tidying and taken an awful lot to the car park recycling bins for clothes shoes etc.  The bins must be full so rather than be taken home again bags were piled up beside the bins.  Do people expect their stuff to sit there for months or do they imagine someone will come along and sort their unwanted items.  A horrible case of not in my back yard and ignore the consequences,  this virus situation brings out the best in so many, sadly not everyone.  
We are doing fine, enjoying sitting out on the balcony, getting exercise most days and once a week combining that with a shop.  We ask no more.  

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Yorkshire where every things done proper*

I looked out of the window this morning to see these two having a proper social distanced chat, it made me smile.  I was careful not to let them see me taking the snap in case they thought I was going to report them for being out.

* I can make no claims for this slogan, it is used in some brilliant tv adverts for Yorkshire Tea featuring Yorkshire stars.  Do have a search on youtube, use the heading, and enjoy.  My favourite is the Kaiser Chiefs,  Michael Parkinson and Sean Bean are also wonderful.  Feeling proud and smiley.