Monday 28 December 2020

Wanderings Lately :: December 2020

How to top off the year that was 2020? Still plenty of time at home, leaving the house a minimal amount mostly for the supermarket and lots of Christmas prep.

Last minute changes to government restriction meant that my Christmas wasn't quite as planned, but thankfully we were still able to spend time with family. I experienced my first Polish Christmas (Wigilia), managed another successful Christmas pudding and cycled again to the centre of town to check out the lights. Things looked pretty different than they did in April.

Whilst things were different this December, this was more a continuation of the year we have had and are now fairly used to. It's frustrating how last minute the decision was from the government but we should really be used to these U-turns by now.

As 2020 comes to an end, we all look to 2021 with hope and expectation for a better year.

Christmas Prep

I missed Stir-up Sunday slightly as I was not able to find my pudding basin. In lieu of the proper equipment, I used two separate pyrex dishes. This ended up being fortuitous as I was able to deliver the smaller one to my mum and dad and keep the larger one for us. I persuaded Victor to watch Last Christmas, which was a weird film with the premise based on one line of a Wham song - tenuous.

We decorated near the beginning of December, and yet again a new look for our fireplace.

Light Fantastic Train

In between lockdown 2.0 and tier 2/3/4 we were able to keep our plans on the Light Fantastic train on the Epping Ongar Railway. It was good fun and the train was lovely and warm and comfortable. A nice festive way to kick off December,

More Days at Home

I managed to finish my Christmas bunting, which is decorating the kitchen. We managed a meal our at the local pub - although they didn't have mulled wine so I had to be content with mulled cider.

I cycled along the river once more, Craven cottage renovations coming along well. Bought these new sparkly, spotty tumblers which I absolutely love! We invested in a monopoly board, which I of course lost the first game of :-(

And finally I went into central London to see the lights, which were a bit lame on Oxford street but Bond street shops had made more effort. Also honourable mention to Fortnum and Mason for their advent calendar decorations.

It was all a lot busier than last lockdown, despite being in tier 4 and no shops open. The difference being, people there to see the lights, plus more businesses having now been able to adapt and offer take away. Last time I went to Covent Garden it was closed, and empty. This time, a few restaurants were open for take away drinks (and probably food).  Buck House also looked quietly majestic as I passed her on the way back home.


Photos in order:

1. Was stitched up by my brother and had to transport this 16kg on my bike from Dalston to Wandsworth.
2. Christmas Eve tipple of my favourite whisky drink.
3. Christmassy jumpers of Christmas Day
4. Barszcz
5. Zupa Grzybowa
6. Carp, Salmon, salad and potatoes
7. Christmas Day breakfast with homemade hollandaise

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Wanderings Lately :: November 2020

England went into a second lockdown in November, and after what happened in the first lockdown I managed to meet my mum, SIL, niece and nephew outside (socially distanced) just before lockdown. Unfortunately this was the same day a the mass exodus from London - as people escaped from the city to work from their homes in the countryside. This meant a 3 hour journey from Essex back to south London.

I've got very used to being at home, and not venturing too far from home since March. It's been a strange year, but there are some positives to pull out. Like discovering how close to Richmond Park and Kew Gardens are to where we live. I've learnt to sew more confidently. We got engaged. <3

Lockdown 2.0

Walk around Gruffalo trail in Essex.

V went for a haircut the day before lockdown, and the barbers is also a florist (?!) and they gave him these flowers as they were having to close the following day.

We went on a walk through Wimbledon common. It was raining but still a nice bit of nature and an escape from the city.

Rapunzel finally got a haircut. She's not grown back yet so I am hoping it's just because winter is a dormant period!

Ready for Christmas

I tried drying oranges, which initially seemed to have worked but later went mouldy...

A little treat (V wasn't happy I got this so early!)

But he was happy enough with these new mugs from Sainsbury's filled with hot chocolate

Thursday 5 November 2020

Wanderings Lately :: October 2020

We're now heading into another official lockdown, but having been working from home since March, I can't imagine quite how different this will be for us. We have ventured out a bit more recently - not least to view a couple of wedding venues and walk around the park with family we haven't seen this year. I did make a trip into the office this month, although only to collect some personal belongings and clear out my desk. 

We collected our new (to us) car this month, which is already making a difference for us. Whilst we won't be making unnecessary journeys during lockdown, of course, the last lockdown really highlighted how much we could benefit from being able the get out of London without having to take the tube.

Pottering about at home

First attempt at baked oats - nice but they really made a mess of this tin and could probably have done with less lemon.

Beautiful tree on one of my morning park walks

The deer at Richmond park have brought something extra to my bike rides around there on a Saturday morning. 

We bought this key holder in Kos, and as the sunrise got later, I caught this little pocket of light in our hallway one morning.


A moment in time, the week before our office went completely remote.

An incredibly manky banana left in my drawer since 16th March.

The office has been set up as 'covid safe', so there were a few changes when I went in. I also realised quite how many notebooks I have accumulated!

I put my summer clothes away this month and realised that so many of them still had marks on where they had been folded up before. I have spent so much time indoors that most of my work clothes have just sat in the wardrobe all summer.

and at the beginning of October, we had a small celebration at home for Victor's birthday. It was pouring with rain outside, and we had to cancel our plans to meet family since V's brother had suspected covid, but we made the best of it.

Monday 19 October 2020

Wanderings Lately :: September

I am surprised I have not heard from my mum this month, complaining about how late my September post is...

The first of September began as a fairly normal day on holiday. We spent the morning in Kos town, unfortunately failing to see the Agora ruins (the gates were locked), or the Castle (closed since an earthquake in 2017). Victor's mum and her partner arrived on the 1st so we spent the afternoon by the pool with them.

That evening we booked a taxi up to Zia, a small village in the mountains where the sunset is beautiful. Victor had booked for us to have a meal out, much to my surprise! After a quick walk around the few tourist shops, we headed to one of the tavernas overlooking the sea. Our meal was nice and the sunset was obviously the highlight... until...

After our meal, our taxi was going to take a while to come [or so Victor had told me] so we had another walk around the village. Victor suggested walking up some steep steps towards a signposted church to 'burn off our meal' which I vetoed - a shame as this could have been the site of the proposal. We walked towards a spot we'd seen earlier which overlooked Turkey. The view was stunning, so I thought I would take a photo. Unfortunately the real view was spectacularly superior to what was captured on camera. As I turned around to show Victor how dreadful the photo had turned out, he was on his knee proffering me a ring.

Well, shocked as I was, after a brief pause I realised that I needed to give an answer! Of course, I said yes! It was totally unexpected, but absolutely wonderful! After savouring the joy of being newly engaged, we headed back to the hotel to celebrate together and tell our families at home.

Disappointingly, after a night of celebrating, we managed to leave our camera unattended and when we went back to get it in the morning it was gone. So gone are our last photos as boyfriend and girlfriend, gone are the photos of the sunset, and gone is my dreadful photo of Turkey. I'm still very sad about the photos we have lost, but one day we will return to take replacement photos.

The rest of our holiday was fantastic, as we enjoyed day after day as a newly engaged couple and savoured the relaxing days sitting by the pool, soaking up the sunshine.

Back in London, we've started our wedding planning, as much as we can with a view to covid restrictions being lifted somewhat in the future.

For the rest of the month, I've tried to enjoy the last good days of summer. I'm still working from home, so aside from one visit to central London to meet friends, and a couple of visits to Essex, I've not left south west London. It's still a very strange time, but we make the best of it as much as we can.

Got caught in the rain on a run one afternoon.

Some bike rides I've taken recently - to Richmond Park and along the Thames. I haven't seen the river this high before and a little way along I couldn't pass along the embankment.

My flat is now full of pom-poms since I bought a device to make them in poundland!

My most recent sewing project was this Nina Lee Camden pinafore. It's a bit skewed at the back, and I have already had to do a little repair to the waistband after it went through the washing machine. But I love it so much!