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! 



Thursday, 10 September 2020

Wanderings Lately :: August 2020

August was incredibly busy at work, a lot of our focus for the past months was working towards a big event (online) which finally came to fruition mid-late August. This was quite stressful, and at times overwhelming. I was so glad at this stage that Victor had organised our week away at the end of August (and first week of September). I was in dire need of a break.

This month I also tried to do a bit with my weekends, just to break up the monotony of working from home.

A walk through the fields




Just before our holiday we went over to stay at my parents' (thanks for the early morning airport lift mum!)

It was cloudy and grey but we still went out for a walk to High Ongar, past my old primary school with a stop at a small cafe that is now there in the place of the sweet shop where I used to buy penny sweets after school.


Went on the tube for the first time since 14th March, thankfully not very busy and everyone I saw was wearing a mask. The overground train was a different story though; much busier and a significant amount of people 'wearing' masks (chin straps, earrings, nose out)


Victor's first foray into Scottish cooking; Tarragon Chicken. It took longer than the recipe said and might need a bit of tweaking but not bad for a first try!

Kew Gardens





Mum and I met at Kew Gardens for a lovely walk around and picnic. Thanks for driving all the way Mum, bit of a scary journey but you did it! 💪

Escape to Pompey




In an attempt the escape the city, we took the train from Clapham Junction to Portsmouth (when we were still avoiding the tube). It was so lovely to just wander around somewhere different, enjoy the sea air and a nice bite to eat. Nothing too adventurous but much needed change of scenery for the day!

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Wanderings Lately :: June & July

Here you go mum!

June and July flew past, all mostly spent inside our flat and the furthest I've been is Wandsworth Common (excluding one surprise trip to Essex).

Sewing



My sewing machine arrived at the beginning of June, which was exciting and transformed lockdown time!




First sewing project was a curtain for our bathroom. One of the windows isn't frosted and I've had a towel hanging from the tension rod for the first year of living her. So first thing to sew was the curtain from seahorse fabric. Quite basic but I am still quite chuffed with this one!


First clothes item was this 'vivien' dress. It turned out ok, and I am pleased with the zip insertion but I actually don't really love wearing it and the fabric is quite stiff so it's not particularly comfortable. I made quite a few mistakes with this too, but it's all part of the process and the only way to improve so chalking that down to experience.



These last two months I have also developed a bit of an obsession with buying fabric online. I have now restricted myself to not buying any new fabric until I have used some in the cupboard!


With left over fabric I made a few reusable kitchen towels. The poundshop towel hasn't washed very well, so I am now reassessing how to re-hem to stop it disintergrating in the washing machine.



Most pleased with these shorts. They are definitely not perfect, and close up I can see bits where the sewing isn't great or seams are likely to come apart a bit, BUT they fit well and from a distance they look ok. So that's a big win. They were definitely not a suitable project for a beginner sewist!

Food




Made some bread, made some cake!



Brunch at our local cafe. They have closed the road to pedestrianise it, which is nice generally because there's less traffic but this is also so that restaurants can put more seating outside. So this was a nice sunny brunch in the middle of the road!


Got dressed up for our first evening meal out for 5 months!



Friday night fish and chips!

Exercise




When you leave the house for a run and then see this sky at the end of the road...


Wet, wet, wet.

And finally



This pigeon likes to wash in the puddles on the top of the house next door to us. For obvious reasons he's not been there recently, but there was slightly more rain in June/July and he became my unofficial colleague.



Sunday, 31 May 2020

Wanderings Lately :: April & May 2020

Life in lockdown. April and May two months in lockdown. I've never spent so much time at home, not seeing friends or exercising. What a strange time this is. I'm fully working from home, which I am very luck to be able to do. I'm also extremely glad we decided to go for a flat with a spare room which has become my office and means I can leave work in there and not have it permeate into our kitchen or living room. Although we did so at the expense of any outside space so we've had to use other opportunities to go to the local park for a walk, or wander across the road to the churchyard. I've also started running again, and have tried to keep up a few bike rides here and there.

We've barely left Wandsworth, venturing only to Putney for a long walk or slightly further afield on bike rides. Just as we were beginning to take bike rides together Victor's bike got stolen so that was a bit of a downer. Hopefully we will be replacing it soon and then be able to cycle out together again.

This period of life is full of much uncertainty, the unknown of when we will be able to return to work again, when we will be able to visit friends and family again and when things are eased, which businesses will have survived?

As we go into June, some of the rules are being relaxed. For the first time in two months I have made plans. On Tuesday I have organised to meet my friend in a local park to sit two meters apart and chat in person. It's only something small, but at least it's something!

Here are some photos from our lockdown life.





Puzzles; I started doing puzzles again before the lockdown but since we got shut inside I have definitely completed more than I would have otherwise. Currently more than half way through the Tube map one.


I finished a 30 day yoga course online between March and April. I haven't managed to keep it up, but I am pleased I completed the first 30 days. Since then I have started couch to 5k once more and have been getting out some mornings to enjoy some exercise in the fresh, cool morning air.






Cooking over the Easter weekend - Victor made Beetroot Soup and when we finally got a new oven (our other one caught fire!) we had roast lamb.






A very quiet Covent Garden and Oxford Street on a bike ride in early April.



Still baking, although less than before because there is no one to eat the things I make!


A very empty Tower of London on a recent bike ride to town.


My window boxes have started to bloom, and again, due to my lack of other plans I have been able to dedicate more time to tending to them so I'm pleased to say they are still doing well!



The story of no flour in the supermarket! Although other items are now pretty much back to normal in the supermarket, flour has remained in scare supply. So when I went in and there was bread flour I bought a packet. 


And swiftly made some Chelsea buns. I remember learning how to make these at school. One of the things we made in H.E. that was actually interesting and nice to eat. I enjoyed making them so much that I made a second, third and probably fourth batch by myself at home. Since other things we made at school were the likes of coleslaw and sandwiches the day we learnt Chelsea buns was a particular highlight!


Been such a lack of other plans that I was able to finish Tomb Raider, which Victor bought me to play at the beginning of lockdown in March. Time well spent?


On our semi-regular walk to Putney, we decided to stop at a local small business that re-opened in May to help support a local business and also experience another small step to normality.



Early on, when we had just moved into our flat, I took a photo of Victor which is still one of my favourites. I've been attempting to recreate it with our new look furniture now that we're nearly a year in. I haven't got there quite yet but this was a recent attempt.



We don't have a garden but have wandered over to the churchyard across the road some evenings to sit in the sun and enjoy some time outside.


Another lockdown purchase was a sewing machine. It hasn't arrived yet - due to be dispatched in June but the sewing kit arrived quickly and I've now also received my first fabric orders. Soon to have all the gear, and still no idea.


This was Boris' infamous announcement - 'go out, don't go out, go to work, work from home, don't travel on public transport, travel to work.' Clear as mud.



Before the bike theft we had gone to Battersea Park with a flask of coffee to enjoy some time outside. Hopefully we'll be back on two wheels again soon.