Welcome to the first This and That Thursday of 2021.
I will be honest as we are back in Lockdown yet again I am doing the same old things but I have had some highlights.
Before Lockdown I popped over to see my cousin and dropped off his Christmas presents. I obviously did not go in but thankfully the two dogs came out of the house to see me and I had lots of fuss off Daphne the Shar Pei and Daisy the Westie.
The Christmas decorations were all taken down this week as well which I never enjoy. I always leave it for as long as possible before I take the decorations down as I always find it so depressing and the house always looks so bare once they are down.
This week has involved lots of nice walks and I have been getting back into my exercise by doing lots of cycling on the exercise bike and strength workouts. It has been nice to get back into fitness but I must admit I am finding it harder to get back into the healthy eating after Christmas and New Year.
Today I have spent nearly all day researching and writing an assignment. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to find a reference that you know exists but you can’t find it! An hour later I found the reference and managed to write a bit more of the essay.
For Christmas my husband got me the game 51 Worldwide Games. This has been great because it has meant we have lots of games we can play together. I must admit I am a little bit obsessed with the fishing game and the darts. My old headmaster would be proud of my new found darts skills as during a school summer fair he tried to teach me how to play darts but I made more holes in the school gym wall than the darts board.
Piano and Ukulele
I have just started looking at the new Grade 6 piano syllabus and have chosen some pieces to learn and I must admit so far I am really enjoying the new challenge. I’ve been practicing the ukulele again and I am determined that 2021 will include some ukulele exams.
So there is my week so far. I hope everyone is having a good week so far.
This week has been a great week. I’ve had another student return and start online lessons and all my students have been working hard learning new pieces and preparing for exams. I am also loving my blog and reading everyone else’s blog and making new friends.
So here is what I have been up to this week…
The exercise is still going strong, I have been using the app FitOn for some new workouts and I gave Zumba a go! I love dance workouts but I must admit Zumba is scarily fast. Also as I was attempting to dance and waving my arms around and trying not to fall over our neighbour walked past the window to post the village newsletter and saw me. I dread to think what she thought about me.
I’ve done my second Belly Dancing session and thankfully I wasn’t the only one in the class today. I learnt some new moves and another little routine and didn’t fall over! Always a plus sign. Eeyore is loving the Belly Dancing hip scarf.
This week I have managed to take my dog Coco for two walks. On Sunday I spent the morning with my mom watching our church service online and then I took Coco for a walk and today I also took her for a walk and had lots of cuddles. Coco is technically my dog but when I moved in with my husband Coco had to stay with my parents because my husband has cats. Also there is no way my dad would have let me take her. This means I have been missing Coco like mad during lockdown as I usually get to see her three times a week so it has been so nice to spend some time with her.
We are still going for our daily walks and this week we drove to a new location for a walk and got horribly lost but it was still a lot of fun.
Finding new exciting ways to eat courgettes!
My dad always grows a lot of veg but this year he seems to have really gone overboard on the courgette front. So I have been researching recipes to use it in. I’ve done courgette chocolate brownies before and using it instead of spaghetti so wanted something different. This has lead to me discovering my new favourite courgette dish ‘Creamy courgette and bacon pasta’ it was amazing! I added sweetcorn because I add sweetcorn to all my food. Here is the recipe on BBC Goodfood
So there is my week. I hope everyone has also had a good week so far.
I know for most people this isn’t a normal Easter because we can’t visit family etc. My husband and myself had an hour’s video chat with all of his family. I hope to have a video chat with my parents later, but it can’t be for too long as it upsets my dog as she can hear me but can’t see and runs around my parents house trying to find me. I miss my Coco dog so much at the moment. I hope everyone can catch up with family over the holiday whilst adhering to social distancing.
The main thing this Easter that I miss is Church and playing the organ for two Easter services. It seems so strange to not have done an Easter service this morning.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a good Easter today which includes some yummy chocolate and maybe a glass of something nice. My sister-in-law sent us an Easter book mark that I have nabbed for my current read.
A P. G. Wodehouse Pick-Me-Up! Goodbye to All Cats by P. G. Wodehouse
About the author
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse wrote more than ninety novels and some three hundred short stories over 73 years. He is widely recognised as the greatest 20th- century writer of humour in the English Language. In 1936 he awarded the Mark Twain Prize for ‘having made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the happiness of the world’. He was made a Doctor of Letters by Oxford University in 1939 and in 1975, aged 93, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He died shortly afterwards, on St Valentine’s Day.
A Wodehouse pick-me-up that’ll lift your spirits, whatever your mood.
I picked up this book when I was last in Bath. I picked it up at the counter. I must admit a lot of bookshops tend to sell me an extra book at the counter.
This is a very quick read but a very fun read that contains three short stories.
Goodbye to All Cats
This story is the first in the book and I must admit my favourite and made me laugh out loud a lot! This story is all about Freddie’s experience with cats that made him dislike all cats in general for the foreseeable future.
The story is hilarious but at the same time I did feel sorry for Freddie who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Ukridge’s Dog College
I was surprised by this story as I had just presumed all the stories would be cat related. I was so pleased to see this assumption was wrong because I love dog stories. This story focuses on the eccentric Ukridge, who will do anything to make a quick fortune that doesn’t involve hard work. A fantastic little read for dog lovers.
Ukridge’s Accident Syndicate
This is an interesting story but for me lacked the humour of the other two stories. I just found the story dragged a little. The basic concept is a group of friends who pool all their money to buy insurance for their friend and wait for the friend to have an accident. Oh and it does involve a dog, which is always good.
All in all I loved the book and think I will purchase the other three books in the series as they are quick fun reads that you can read in one sitting or one story a day. I highly recommend the book especially for animal lovers and anybody who just wants to read a light hearted fun book. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons! Pan loves the book as well.
After an amazing dog walk yesterday, I decided to choose a poem with a dog theme. Coco went on her biggest walk since her operation yesterday and managed to get to the top of Kinver Edge. She also dragged my husband and myself at top speed around the route that should of taken 45mins and we did it in 30mins. Not bad for a woof woof with three legs!
The chosen poem is by Ogden Nash. Frederic Ogden Nash (1902-1971) was an American poet known for his unconventional rhyming schemes. He wrote over 500 pieces in his lifetime.
It’s half term so I decided to go a bit further out for the next Waterstones visit and Worcester was the one we chose. We turned it into a National Trust visit as well and visited Elgar’s Birthplace.
The visit to Elgar’s Birthplace was really good and quite different since the National Trust has taken over. I went a few years ago and it was quite a different layout, my husband has never been though and really enjoyed it, apart from basically all the signs using it’s instead of its, that drove him insane.
After our visit, we went into Worcester and found the Waterstones, it is quite small but really well laid out, I loved the top floor it was so spacious and welcoming and it also has an escalator which I thought was excellent for easy access. The book I went in for was The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon but it was not there and after my husband looked it up it was because I had got the release dates wrong and the book is not out until the 26th February 2019. I’ve never been good with numbers, let alone dates. It was not a wasted journey though, because I managed to buy three books. I will be honest, I went to the till with just two books but then the third just jumped into my hand and I ended up buying it as well.
The three books I got are:-
The Crossing Places: A Dr Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths
I have just recently discovered Elly Griffiths’ Dr Ruth Galloway and I just can not put the books down so I was happy to find one that I have not read.
Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
I wanted to read another Rosamunde Pilcher book after falling in love with Coming Home so it looks like this will be next on my list.
The Story of Brexit: A Ladybird Book
This was the book that jumped into my hand at the till, I do find the Ladybird books rather funny and good to read with a mug of tea.
We celebrated the latest Waterstones visit by going to Pizza Express for a treat and then we went to my parents’ house and had Coco cuddles. Coco is my dog who has always been one of my reading buddies. Sadly when I moved out she stayed with my parents so I go over as often as I can for cuddles. Coco loves using piles of books as a pillow.
This week on the 7th February I visited my fourth Waterstones off the list, Merry Hill. It has been a while since I have visited the Waterstones at Merry Hill and I had forgotten how small the store is. Small in a good way, as sometimes I get overwhelmed by massive bookstores and just do not know where to look.
It was a really nice atmosphere in the store and quiet, which I love because you do not have to rush or fight through people to have a good browse. As usual the books were laid out perfectly and so I managed to find some good books to buy.
Here are the books I bought and I used my special book buying bag that I got for Chistmas off my sister-in-law.
The books I bought are as follows:-
The Man with No Face by Peter May
This edition I got is actually signed by the author and as he is a favourite of mine I just could not resist buying it. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it anyway.
The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
Have been waiting for this to come out for a while now, I was very excited to buy it.
Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott
This is actually my husband’s choice and I bought it for him but would also like to read it when he has finished it. It looks very intriguing and different to what I usually read.
Dog Stories Everyman’s Pocket Classics
I love the Everyman books, I just think they look so pretty. We have the cat version of this book and I thought it was high time we had the dog one.
Anyway this was my book haul, I think it is a good haul and can not wait to start reading them.