I'm back. Not sure if this will just be a one off for now or if I will keep it up regularly. I can't believe I got logged into Blogger so easily after not being here for nearly 10.years. I expected to have username and password issues.
Another year over and this one was very different! The world as we knew it was changed and we all had to adapt accordingly. Here goes....
The year started much the same as any recent previous, with a New Year day walk with our geocaching friends at Badlesmere and a visit to the Red Lion pub. Four more walks were enjoyed this month at Camer Country Park, Ivychurch, where one of the doggies knocked me down into deep mud and Treacle found a turnip to bring home instead of a stick, a muddy wander near Goudhurst and another walk in Badlesmere. We also had a wander around Rye.
We had been playing Munzee for a while but I was asked if we would be interested in joining a "clan". With monthly personal and group challenges, this added a new dimension to the game and has made it more enjoyable. There is much more to this hobby than we realised.
New words were becoming more talked about, even more than Brexit... Covid-19 and coronavirus ....the invisible enemy that was soon to change our lives, apparently hitting the UK by the end of the month, as checked on Wikipedia. Although some friends have said that they had the worst flu like symptoms ever in the months before. Maybe it was creeping in before it got international fame!
The start of the month we got out for a meal with Dan and Cheryl at the Pheasant. Geocache walks for me this month were in High Halden and Harston, a geo meet back at Badlesmere and we enjoyed a short break away in Molesworth. The pub where we were staying had a game that we were introduced to, Northamptonshire Table Skittles. They even had a league there that we watched for a while.
We also enjoyed an evening at the Riverside Inn for Dave and Matt's birthday. We were now all carrying hand sanitizer, something that Matt has been doing for years anyway. The conversation often returned to Corona and how it was affecting us but we didn't foresee what was to follow in March.
I managed to get to see the Moon exhibition at Rochester Castle. It is a touring artwork by UK artist, Luke Jerram. I had hoped to take Jake there but he decided he didn't want to go so I went on my own after work just before it moved on. It was amazing. Glad I didn't miss it.
It was also my little brother's 50th birthday in January and my nephew's 21st in March, so a joint birthday party was held in Hastings. Fiona made a lovely cake with a cup of tea on top and a mouse. Apparently, Mike always has a cuppa and his nickname from school is "mouse".
Walks in search of Geocaches were in Norton, Stuppington/Chartham and Barham. After this walk there were no more for a while as "lockdown" was announced. It was almost unreal, like being in a film, with the Prime Minister addressing the nation about the seriousness of the current situation and how we were to "stay at home" as much as possible. Schools and non-essential shops were to close, along with pubs, etc and no bowling!! After 20+ years of bowling at least once a week, this came as a big change for me personally. Most people "don't like Mondays" but for me the start of the week was league night. I hope that when we can get back to bowling, everyone will want to come back. A week before lockdown was official, I began working from home as I had a slight sore throat on the Monday. A laptop had been prepared for me in advance. It took some adjusting to the new environment, setting up on the dining table with my work office in a couple of boxes. It was great not having the rush, and to be at home with the hounds.
March also saw the final breakdown of my silver Megane. It was taken to D&D Autos where it stayed for weeks as they had reduced staff and while we argued with the Warranty insurance company who wouldn't take action unless I could produce paperwork that proves that I had the cambelt changed at the correct time. I found every invoice except this one.
In the end, I made the decision that, in the worst case scenario, the car was going to cost more to fix than it was worth. There were also a few other things not working that helped make that decision. So the car hunt began with Car Gurus. With working from home and not being able to go anywhere, there was no rush to find a new car so I took my time until I found the right one. I did consider buying something other than a Megane but after a lot of consideration, I found one in Sittingbourne with low mileage and Sat Nav. For the test drive, we were given the keys and could just drive around where we wanted on our own. We bought it the same day.
We had some great weather in April and lots of time was spent in our garden enjoying the sun with unusual lagers from the local shop and big bags of crisps to share. I managed to finish the Lee Evans book that I had started a long long time ago.
I decided to set up an Easter tree as we were home more and it was something cheery. It was a pink one that I had for a long time bought in a post Christmas sale, decorated with hanging eggs, some paper butterflies that I made and a Pocket Dragon at the top, A Point of Light.
Zoom meetings became more and more popular. We had weekly meets with our geocaching friends, quiz nights with lots of friends and our Partylite training meetings were also now on Zoom. Without being able to have Partylite parties, my business was now all online. It is possible to do parties on Zoom, Facebook Lives or other but I haven't got to this yet.
We also said a sad farewell to our geocaching friend, Richard. Unfortunately, it was not possible to attend the funeral, only the very closest friends and family could go and they were distanced too. We could watch the funeral online and were given a link and password to log on. It was a lovely service, with some lovely words from friends that were there.
Shops saw shortages, I think this was due to manufacturing issues with social distancing, and delivery problems. Also, our crops are usually harvested with the help of foreign visitors. There was bulk buying mainly of toilet tissues, flour, etc and pasta. I went to Tesco one evening and had to choose things that I wouldn't normally buy and the dog food shelves were empty. I managed to get their food in Pets at Home but there was also limited choice there.
Farewell to 2020 ...to be continued