Showing posts from April, 2020
Hello, I thought GG members needing prescriptions, but not wanting to queue up at the pharmacy, might be interested to know about Abimeds - a community medicines delivery service   or see their Facebook page .  It uses the local cycling club to make the deliveries in and around Abingdon. Boots and Jhoots are using the service and I think Lloyd’s will do soon as well. The photo was taken one morning a few days ago when we (ie myself and husband Andy) got up very early to go for a walk to listen to the dawn chorus.  From Peachcroft, we went through Abbey Fishponds, onto the Sustrans track and then strolled around the lakes at Radley.  The birdsong was wonderful – definitely worth getting out of bed for! Hope everyone is well, Barbara

Healthy Abingdon Children's Art Competition

We have been informed that the Healthy Abingdon group are running an art competition for children (closing date Friday 8 May). It might be an extra thing for some of the younger relatives of our members to do at what is a difficult time. The link with further information is here:

More pond life

Hi to all! Here are some more pics of the tadpoles. It seems to be a good year for the pond which is swarming with them. We haven't named them all yet, that depends how long the lock-down continues! We also have a couple of pigeons nesting in our fir tree. We've been watching them carrying up hefty branches to build their new des res and it seems like it's a big project, the female obviously won't move in until it has an en-suite! Meanwhile the hedgehogs are still frequenting the patio at night for their free meal ticket. There were still three of them at the last count. -Kevin

Further lockdown tales from James...

Housework Part 4 They say that in order for a craftsman to produce work of the highest quality he must have the right tools. This, I find, is as true of housework as it is of any other of any other activity. I have been doing quite a lot of hoovering, or to be more accurate, dysoning of late and have   had many a near mishap as the cable manages always to get entangled with my ankles, particularly when I am dysoning the stairs. So dangerous do I find this that I have taken to securing myself to the bannister rail with a length of rope and a carabiner. Furthermore, some nooks are difficult to reach because the cable does not stretch far enough and I have to unhook the carabiner, unplug the Dyson from the socket, find another one nearer to the nook and reattach myself to the carabiner. All of this is most unsatisfactory and inhibits me from carrying out the task to the standard I have set for myself. Last week I decided that it was necessary for me to acquire a new set of tools,

News from Rosie

Hello Everyone I hope all is well with you and that you are enjoying this sunshine. A couple of pictures for you, the first is a lovely rainbow made of painted stones which has been left at the end of the road where I work. A really sweet touch is that you can take along a sharpie and write your own thank you message to all key workers on one of the stones. Certainly my work mates & myself are very encouraged by lovely things like this. We have also been spoilt with several cake deliveries from a local bakery! Postcards of Kindness and other letters for our 'family' whilst they are unable to see their own relatives. I have been spending my evenings knitting, photo is of some little hearts which were requested by Swindon Hospital, they are being given out in pairs, one to the Covid patient and  one to their family at home, I hope they will bring a little comfort when people cannot visit their loved one in hospital. I have also made 30 hats for children in Mongoli

Updates from Joanna and Victor

Updates today from Joanna and Victor: I cycled out to Cothill today. The fen itself is looking great - nicely waterlogged which goes to show how all our soggy hard work has been paying off - and the woodland beyond was carpeted with bluebells. Catching them in their prime was my main reason for going and I was rewarded with stunning scenes. There was not a soul to be seen, just a multitude of birds singing and a woodpecker pecking. Glorious. -Joanna This week I want to share with you something I found: One of the things I did during my stay in Abingdon that I loved was the reading club from the library and although maybe you are not allowed to go there nowadays. I have discovered a web page that is a social network of people that likes to read. Hopefully you'll find it interesting: -Victor

More from James...

Housework Part 3 This new passion of mine continues to be absorbing. Hoovering for example seems to flout the laws of physics. One hoovers a carpet one day and empties the cylinder holding the dust, then hoovers the same carpet again a week later only to find that a similar amount of dust has accumulated. The carpet does not appear to be any thinner but, judging by the amount of dust, it must be losing fibres by the truckload every time. A physical impossibility, Or is it? Perhaps dust is nothing to do with carpet fibres but something else entirely. What could it be? It must be something that falls, like winter snow, down from above. When it snows you can see the snowflakes falling but I have never seen a fall of dust so I suspect that it must be something that gets deposited at night when we are all abed. Who or what is doing this? One of these days I will set my alarm for 3.00 am, get up,  pick up a torch and investigate. I will report in due course. I don’t know about you bu

More tales from Kevin's pond

Hi, once again I have donned my snorkel, mask and flippers to explore the vast underwater wilderness, or maybe just put my waterproof camera into our pond to see what I could find. Well, the tadpoles have now left the hatchery and are spreading across the pond. As you can see the juveniles are hanging around in the sun (as youths do) on a lily pad. Also have seen a couple of newts, one of which posed long enough for me to take it's picture, I don't which kind he is, more than likely a common one or maybe not, perhaps someone could enlighten us? Could do with some more rain water for the pond is starting to dry out, as well as Jim drinking it! The water butts are empty and I don't like to use tap water because (a) its a waste of good clean Thames water (not directly from the Thames or is it?) and (b) I have it on good authority from Rob Dayala that the chemicals added for treatment causes algae to cloud the water.  -Kevin

News from Joanna and Lesley

Today we are blessed with updates from Joanna and Lesley: With Andrew away on his ship, I find myself leading a much more unstructured life. Andrew is the cook of the household and when working from home my day was punctuated by regular mealtimes, favourite TV programmes we like to watch together and reasonable bedtimes. With Andrew away all that goes to pot! So last night I dug out my camera and found myself googling the best manual settings to photograph the moon at about one o’clock on the morning. We’ve had a magnificent pink moon supermoon over the past couple of nights. And here’s the result! -Joanna Best wishes to Andrew as he rejoins Ocean Reliance.   I'm enjoying reading all the blogs and having a laugh too. Yesterday I went for a bike ride by the Marina and the backroads of Southern Town Park. I checked out the Flower Garden. I then met Barbara coming in the opposite direction.  We stopped and had a nice 'distance chat'.

Housework part 2 and the latest joke from James!

A pair of posts today from James: Housework Part 2 I wrote earlier about my newfound fascination with housework, and I am now able to confirm that my enthusiasm is undiminished, indeed it has redoubled. The work itself is absorbing but in addition to the feelings of rapturous joy at seeing spotless kitchen surfaces and carpets devoid of any biscuit crumbs, I am learning so much. For example I can now change the filters on a vacuum cleaner and I know which squeezy bottle to use for cleaning bathroom mirrors without leaving unsightly smears. My mother would be proud – and no doubt rather surprised. Like most vacuum cleaners ours has a variety of different heads which can be fitted onto the end of the hose. Before the lockdown unlocked my domestic fervour I had no idea what all these different heads were for. For all I knew they might have been parts of a Kenwood Chef which somehow had got into the wrong box. Not only do I now know what they do  but I am becoming quite skille

A culinary update from Eleanor

Eleanor has provided a couple of photos for us, showcasing a recent culinary triumph - her legendary meringues (or what is left of them!), and in the interests of balance, a less successful dessert - what she describes as her bunny rabbit (road kill) jelly. Here we go... The meringues. ...and the jelly!!

Andrew's return to sea!

Amidst the current chaos and the ongoing lockdown, I have been summoned back to work and will be re-joining my ship tomorrow. While most of my trips away are relatively short i.e. a month or so, this one could be a little longer. I have been advised pack for a lengthy duration, and once I walk up the gangway, I'm unlikely to be permitted back onto land until our work is complete or the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Therefore I have to be sure while packing that I haven't forgotten anything vital! See below for a picture of the survey ship that I'll be joining - this is the vessel that I have sailed on most frequently over the past few years and has become my second home! If anyone is interested, you can click  HERE  for a link to a page to learn more! Anyway, I will continue to update the blog as contributions come in from our members, but service may be a little slower than usual. Stay safe! -Andrew Ocean Reliance

An update from Rosie and another joke from James!

Today we hear the latest from Rosie and James provides us with another mirthful moment! Kevin - great hedgehog pictures, thank you ... any news on the frogspawn? Yesterday I was able to have a nice cuppa with my sister, without breaking any isolation rules. She lives in the same road as me, and her house faces onto a big green. So I thought how lovely it would be if we met outside her house, each bringing our own cup of tea from home, Elisabeth sat on her doorstep and I sat about 4 meters away on the green and we enjoyed a good old catch up after not seeing each other for a month or more. That may become a Saturday habit whilst the lockdown lasts. Careless photography means that you can't properly see the wellies on my carefully selected mug! Managed to get a picture of the beautiful peacock butterfly that has been sunning itself in my garden the last couple of days. I had to lie on my belly and commando crawl to get near it, bit messy as I'd just mowed the grass

Hedgehog update and more from the Spanish lockdown!

Today's updates come from Kevin and Victor: We now have 3 Hedgehogs visiting, not sure if it is a family, if they are not,then they aren't social distancing. Good to see the small one has survived the winter. Maybe the mild wet January/February was in their favour, but we didn't see them around during that period though. Jim the dog is not interested in them. I think it may have been when he pick one up for the first time and realised it wasn't a good idea! -Kevin We have also heard from Victor again, who is still in lockdown in Madrid until at least the 26th April, but thankfully safe. He has been enjoying James' jokes and the other recent posts on here and has supplied a photo showing the latest art from his kids!

Today's posts from James and Lesley

Today we have another joke from James and some words supplied by Lesley: In a Monastery Garden A man who had been an active member of his local Green Gym wanted, for some reason,  to become a monk and decided to join a monastery where he thought his experience would be valuable in looking after the gardens there. The man went to talk to the head monk. The head monk said “You are welcome to join us and to join the garden maintenance group but to be a monk you must take a vow of silence and you are only allowed to say two words every three years”. The man agreed and after the first three years the head monk came to him and said “What are your two words?” “Loppers blunt” said the man. Three more years went by and the head monk came to him again and said “What are your two words?” “Bowsaw rusty” the man exclaimed. Three more years went by and the head monk came to him again and said “What are your two words?” “I resign” said the man. “Well” the head monk r

A musical interlude from Joanna and Andrew (and Joanna's daughter, Gertie!)

Joanna and her daughter Gertie have started up the Lockdown Folk Club! For all the stir crazy amongst you, here's Gertie singing the first verse of Crazy Man Michael, accompanied by Joanna on the guitar. The song was written by Richard Thompson, the tune by Dave Swarbrick, and it was sung by Sandy Denny on the 1969 album Liege and Lief by Fairport Convention. While much of album comprised traditional folk songs, this was an original composition and the final song on an album which, in 2002, was voted by Radio 2 listeners as the 'most important folk album of all time'. It's a classic!  Meanwhile, Andrew and Joanna have  another musical project of their very own - Vanishing Faces. It's an unusual mix of folk and electronic music that has kept them busy for the past few months. Their first 5 track EP is now up on the Bandcamp website, where it can be previewed and either bought as a download or a limited edition CD. You can find it here -  https://vanishingfac

Updates from James and Rosie

Today's blog entries are from James and Rosie: Journey of Discovery Being in self isolation is indeed a strange experience but I am finding that it does have some unexpected and surprising benefits. It is proving to be an opportunity to learn about subjects that, in my case certainly, have not been ones that have attracted my interest before. One of these subjects is housework. Yes, housework! Don’t fall off your chair when I say that. It’s true. For some time past we have had one of those cleaning companies come to our house once a week with an army of four or five young ladies who hoover, dust, polish and scrub every surface in every room. They get through this in about one hour, which amazes me. However, in the present circumstances we have regrettably had to bring this to and end and resign ourselves to doing all the housework ourselves. Being an enlightened modern man (no sniggering please!) I have never been reluctant to do my bit which hitherto has been more of a