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12 hours ago, Alis girls said:

Great to hear from you Andyroo, are you still in Bristol.? My son is now back in London got degree a d left your lovely city. 

Will have a look at your blog. 

Sorry to hear about Amsterdam.  Went there last year. Wonderful

 

I also suffer depression and have been up and down. Spending more time in garden , my plants have germinated in this heat. Isolating with YS and OH and I am blessed in having someone  to hug when feeling low. My son has anxiety and is on furlough so we rattle round house. I get out 3 days a week to work in GP surgery as a nurse. I find the volunteering I do rewarding , befriending 3 old ladies and shopping for one. Shes 96 really deaf so we shout at each other from 2m. Lol. I have asthma so decided going to work in hospital wouldn't be a good thing plus I think putting me near a ventilator with all the technology would cause meltdown. I feel I am doing my bit. Also weekly get a list of 8 or so elderly to ring see if they need help. 

It's a tough time I feel for those alone or with mental health problems.  

I told my cousin who is also on furlough to look at volunteering as she was struggling with time on her hands and OH at work on long hours she did and it helped her. It's not for everyone but can help and you feel useful.

Stay safe all apologies for ramble . ALI XX

Hello,

Yes, we're still in Bristol, I can't see us moving any time soon. We're still looking into the possibility of moving to France or Germany in a few years - which could be the next time we can all safely travel again anyhow! lol Who knows if that will happen or not at this point.

I'm still doing my degree - although it's a really difficult subject to study via distance learning.

I've been having a few ups and downs with my mental health in general since Decemeber. I can't remember if I've ever mentioned it on here or not, but I am diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder, Complex PTSD, and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (perfect hat-trick given they all play off each other!). I had to stop taking my meds for a while last year because they were starting to mess up my cholesterol levels and my LFTs. Unfortunately just before my birthday (December) I became really, really unwell with flu - proper flu, not man-flu; none of us are quite sure what happened, but it's like it just 'unlocked' something in my head and I sank into a very rapid depression with some mild psychotic symptoms and so went back on the meds. I feel better now, but I use the gym a lot to help with my mental health and not having that to go to - and not being able to go on long walks etc. has not helped.

I had a brief panic last week that I might be coming down with COVID-19 myself. I very rapidly developed a bad, dry cough, and I had to start using my inhaler (which unless I'm unwell, I basically never have to use). I went out to the garden to get some fresh air, and after 30 minutes or so, my mild asthma attack started to pass, but I was still coughing. Rich had been ready to call an ambulance, but I'd told him not to... anyway, as I was sat outside, Rich came out coughing and spluttering and my heart sank because I thought "Oh, bleeping hell! We're both going to have to quarantine and get checked out," because I'm 'high risk' due to asthma, when he said "The new washing powder is really dusty! It really gets into your lungs!" which was when I had the epiphany that I'd been doing laundry all day using this new powder!! I went back in and opened the container and immediately felt my lungs burning, so closed it up and binned it! I think my eyes rolled epically in different directions! lol Still, could have been worse...

I'm actually about to volunteer on a helpline set up by Age UK for older people experiencing extreme anxiety over COVID-19, so that'll be rewarding. At least I can put my counselling skills to come kind of good use while all this madness is going on!!

Cheers,

Andy

 

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Blimey Andy sounds like you’ve been through the wringer a bit over the past year. At least you don’t seem to have THE virus though - I think most of us are a bit hyper-vigilant now aren’t we and every time we start coughing we think ‘is this it?!’. OH and I both have hay fever and keep having to remind ourselves that it IS hay fever even though the symptoms are nothing like covid-19.

I’m sorry that you’re missing your gym sessions - I appreciate that you won’t have all the kit but have you found any stuff you can do from home? I’ve found my live streamed yoga classes on Zoom have been brilliant, not just for the yoga but to keep in touch with that little community - there’s always a little chat before the class when everyone has their camera’s and microphones on so we can all chat and wave from our little squares to everyone else’s. Hopefully you’re somewhere where you can get out and see some green for your daily exercise outside too. My OH suffers mildly from depression (nothing like what you have to cope with) which he usually keeps at bay by fishing which is currently banned. I’ve struggled but have managed to get him out walking with me most evenings which I think helps him.

Glad you’re going to be working for Age-UK - I hope you enjoy it and do find it rewarding. And I hope your girls are doing their bit too. Lots of love 😘

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Thanks MH. It's been an 'interesting' few months, that's for sure!

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Yes I know every cough or snuffle sends us running for cover. Receptionist at work with smokers cough moved to back office as she alarmed patients.  I was alarmed myself I can tell you. 

Rang  one of my old ladies today shes very lonely. Had 20 minute chat re all things cat , she told me proudly about her lad and I gushed happily about my 2. Shes due a hip replacement at some point. Hope then might persuade her to go to lunch clubs. 

Your skills will be useful Andy , it's also useful being able to emphasise with people esp if your life isn't always perfect. Sometimes all they want is a general chin wag about nothing and got her talking about her childhood. She looked after elderly mum and marriage seemed to pass her by. You realise how lucky we modern "girls" are being able to have a life of our own.

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4 hours ago, Alis girls said:

Yes I know every cough or snuffle sends us running for cover. Receptionist at work with smokers cough moved to back office as she alarmed patients.  I was alarmed myself I can tell you. 

Rang  one of my old ladies today shes very lonely. Had 20 minute chat re all things cat , she told me proudly about her lad and I gushed happily about my 2. Shes due a hip replacement at some point. Hope then might persuade her to go to lunch clubs. 

Your skills will be useful Andy , it's also useful being able to emphasise with people esp if your life isn't always perfect. Sometimes all they want is a general chin wag about nothing and got her talking about her childhood. She looked after elderly mum and marriage seemed to pass her by. You realise how lucky we modern "girls" are being able to have a life of our own.

Well, it's an utterly repugnant thought to have, and a terrible thing to be happening, but 'we' (counsellors) are expecting to see a huge increase in cases like domestic (or sexual) abuse cases. And a lot of people are experiencing an increase in anxiety. I think it's driving even well functioning people to distraction. It's very sad; I'm sure charity counselling agencies are going to be overwhelmed when this ends.

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Mental health seems to be one of the main driving forces behind schools getting back to normal asap. I feel so lucky living in the countryside and being able to totter out into open fields within 5 mins of home. I just cannot imagine what it must be like cooped up in a flat, esp with children.

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So France remains locked down until 11th May, after which time they will consider progressively opening schools etc. Borders are closed to non-EU Countries indefinitely, which has no effect on us because going to the UK is not a permitted reason to leave the house unless going to care for a relative, at which point you couldn't come back. We know of two forced separations with one in France and the other stuck in England, so there must be hundreds more. Mass gatherings will certainly not be allowed until after mid-July, so some big events have today been cancelled.

Information on masks was, to say the least, vague. There aren't enough by a long way and it seems the only way forward is to increase production here. Apparently there will be a 5-fold increase within 3 weeks which takes production from 6 million per week to 30 million. So any claims you hear telling you that the UK is short because the EU has them all are completely false (or infox as we call it).

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1 hour ago, Beantree said:

So France remains locked down until 11th May, after which time they will consider progressively opening schools etc. Borders are closed to non-EU Countries indefinitely, which has no effect on us because going to the UK is not a permitted reason to leave the house unless going to care for a relative, at which point you couldn't come back. We know of two forced separations with one in France and the other stuck in England, so there must be hundreds more. Mass gatherings will certainly not be allowed until after mid-July, so some big events have today been cancelled.

Information on masks was, to say the least, vague. There aren't enough by a long way and it seems the only way forward is to increase production here. Apparently there will be a 5-fold increase within 3 weeks which takes production from 6 million per week to 30 million. So any claims you hear telling you that the UK is short because the EU has them all are completely false (or infox as we call it).

Truth be told, I'm not expecting anything to really go back to 'normal' until at least July/August.

A company Rich deals with very kindly sent us 200 surgical face masks, but as we weren't leaving the house because of quarantine, we donated them to frontline staff at the local hospital. I got them impression quite a few people were donating various bits of equipment to them. I know this is a completely unprecedented event, but it's a shame that the NHS has been so neglected for the last decade - they may have been in a far better position to begin with. But, c'est la vie, we can't predict the future, so all anyone can do now is make sure it remains in the best possible position going forward. 

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I think one positive impact of this situation is that the NHS will be much more centre stage.  And command much more respect.  Stay safe, Andy Roo.  We’ll get through this together 

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1 hour ago, Patricia W said:

I think one positive impact of this situation is that the NHS will be much more centre stage.  And command much more respect.  Stay safe, Andy Roo.  We’ll get through this together 

Well, yes. Hopefully there'll be a huge re-assessment of many things. It was amazing to see how quickly 'low-skilled, non-essential workers' became 'key workers' to help keep us functioning.

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I totally agree with that AndyRoo. One of my sons is a trucker for a supermarket and I think he's really appreciated being thanked by people for keeping working and also that companies are supplying goodie bags for drivers to keep the cabs clean and hygienic. He likes being in an essential job. There are a lot of people in our society who are overlooked but vital. I've built up a number of people who I would allow to be in my team should there ever be an actual real pandemic. One of them is a fridge maintenance man I know who can make anything you want from anything you have. He's brilliant but undervalued and underpaid and he has agreed to joining me when the real apocalypse happens. 

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OH is in transports of delight! Totally over the moon and beyond ecstatic! He's even been heard up in the study whistling! Isn't it amazing what the aquisition of a 16k bag of bread flour can do for someone!? No more stressing about sourdough........we should just about have enough to see us out of lockdown now!

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2 hours ago, patsylabrador said:

I totally agree with that AndyRoo. One of my sons is a trucker for a supermarket and I think he's really appreciated being thanked by people for keeping working and also that companies are supplying goodie bags for drivers to keep the cabs clean and hygienic. He likes being in an essential job. There are a lot of people in our society who are overlooked but vital. I've built up a number of people who I would allow to be in my team should there ever be an actual real pandemic. One of them is a fridge maintenance man I know who can make anything you want from anything you have. He's brilliant but undervalued and underpaid and he has agreed to joining me when the real apocalypse happens. 

Glad it's not just me who does that Jude - I do often wonder what some of these snowflakes would be any good at 'come Armageddon'. I know someone just like your fridge fangler.

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Oh my goodness Andy Roo - no more powder - go for liquid!  I hated using powder because of the dust!

I understand from a doc that GPs are working in hospitals now.  Once the Nightingale hospitals are set up then those who had the virus will be staffing those places and normal hospitals will resume as normal.  All Covid victims will go to the specialist Nightingales. He also said that they had plenty of equipment - so we just don't know if there is scaremongering going on in the press - any nurses here beg to differ?  I'm sure there are! 

I'm so glad I renewed my asthma inhalers before lockdown started!   I also feel very privileged and lucky that I live in a remote area now.  Goodness knows how I'd handle lockdown in the old house.    Scary times and I can foresee depression kicking up everywhere - I get days where I long for time elsewhere - or the freedom to go elsewhere if I choose to go.  But being forced inside makes me appreciate what I have more - and then still wish for an escape!  I keep telling myself not much longer, not much longer.  As I said before I worry about my family but less about me.  Thank goodness for the chickens and ducks that I can focus on.  Plus the quilt which is slow progress now the weather is better - I'm out planting and sowing most days.  It does disguise the angst.  

Then his lordship now has his birthday present of every single Clint Eastwood film, including the ones he directed.  Joy!  Well, Dirty Harry and Where Eagles Dare pricked my ears up!  Ooh Kelly's Heroes, that's OK.  Pity he hasn't got Rawhide.  I've only plotted OH's demise a few times - but all's well.  LOL!  And sorry for rambling - t'is rum o'clock!

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11 minutes ago, Valkyrie said:

Oh my goodness Andy Roo - no more powder - go for liquid!  I hated using powder because of the dust!

Oh, believe me - that got remedied the following day. It was one of these 'oxygen' powders to get a stain out. Admittedly it did, but I'd have happily paid £20 in the end to buy a replacement t-shirt! 🤣

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Oh dear me!  Yes, done that too - Vanished my green t-shirt which has turned blue - in places.  Just as well it's a cruddy chicken garden muck out t-shirt!  Unfortunately I forget I'm wearing decent stuff and most are consigned to the cruddy chicken garden muck out t-shirt pile!  :lol:

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1 hour ago, Valkyrie said:

Then his lordship now has his birthday present of every single Clint Eastwood film, including the ones he directed. 

Blimey I thought!! Valkyrie’s OH is a film director!!! But I’ve read that wrong haven’t I?!

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Clint Eastwood director!  LOL!  Yup, OH not in that bracket!  :lol:  Dang hob nobbing with the celebs.  But all I get is a biscuit HobNob - if I'm lucky!

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I was trying to find sourdough thread - sorry to ask but mine is on day 4 and not much activity - my recipe saids "should look fairly active" well it aint doing press ups!!!! Also I think i got the water and milk amounts wrong way round. Something else to be stressed about. All because I cant get yeast

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56 minutes ago, Alis girls said:

I was trying to find sourdough thread - sorry to ask but mine is on day 4 and not much activity - my recipe saids "should look fairly active" well it aint doing press ups!!!! Also I think i got the water and milk amounts wrong way round. Something else to be stressed about. All because I cant get yeast

The starter recipe I used was this and it worked brilliantly for me. I keep it in the fridge now and bring it out the morning of the day I want to bake.

Day 1: Add 50g flour + 50ml water

Day 2: Add 50g flour + 50ml water

Day 3: Add 50g flour + 50ml water

Day 4: Add 50g flour + 50ml water

Day 5: Discard 200g of starter and feed with 150g flour + 150ml water

Day 6: Discard 250g of starter and feed with 200g flour + 200ml water

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Yeast is now in very short supply so OH is glad of his starter. Andyroo, have you looked at Bake with Jack? He does lots on sourdough and is OH's baking God!

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Try asking your smaller corner shop if they can order it in - the garage near us has a Mace shop, which gets most of its stock from the Co-op suppliers (it is in Co-op packaging). They had to try a coupe of times, but got me 2 boxes of sachet yeast.

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No have asked around and heard various rumours about so and so has yeast. I have now got bread flour - hurrah - sour dough looks a bit more active - thanks Andy I will try your recipe next time. Tomorow is D day and will see how it comes out!!

 

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