Travelling, but is staying at home*

*Well apart from our permitted hour of outdoor exercise*.*

So with plenty of time on my hands I’ve been looking back at some photos from our trip to Europe in the Autumn.     I last posted in November. Back then my main worry was the effect Brexit would have on future trips.  And I was sad that it might not be easy to travel around Europe in the same way again…..

France.   And DogStarke

How things change.  At the beginning of March I spent a couple of days in Edinburgh.  MrS was busy with som e research at the Archives. I had fun, meeting a couple of friends for lunch, spending time  with Master S.,  and treating myself to a new phone.

Then the world began to shrink.

Mid March I had a hair appointment, we were being discouraged from too much contact and large gatherings had been banned so  I rang ahead to check my stylist was still happy to see me.  As I sat in foils under the heater my phone beeped with notifications.  Business after business announcing their closure, pubs,  restaurants, small shops.  The cinema had closed the day before. By the end of that week we had Covid locally and pretty much went into lockdown,  lots of my friends went into shielding isolation. Lockdown became official policy the following week.

Spain and DogS again

Our days changed.  Normally I walk to our local shop while  MrS takes DogS for  her walk.  But I’ve cut those trips down to once a week and  instead we go out for our hour of exercise together. We have a route that avoids livestock*** (completely) and people (mostly) and gives DogS a chance to walk off lead.  After that we’re home where MrS has been working in the garden, aided or otherwise by DogS. I’ve been catching up on reading, trying to write, and failing in my attempts to draw trees****  We do a weekly trip to town***** to go to the supermarket  or Food Hub.

Portugal, an apposite caricature we saw there, and you know who.

It’s hard not to see friends, difficult not to go out on a sunny evening and scary to hear the news each night.   But I’m lucky, I have a house,  garden and live in a beautiful part of the world.   Tonight there was some good news, a relaxation of restrictions in Austria, a slowing of the pandemic in Spain, and a downward trend in Italy;  but still too much grim news.

views from our walks*****,* my attempts with pencils, and DogS

 

What will life be like after?  Different,  probably for quite a while.  Relaxation of restrictions will be gradual and perhaps not the same everywhere.  Many businesses won’t have survived to reopen. There will be hardship and recession.

And too many people missing their family and friends.

 

 

Here’s hoping that even though things change, so the good things stay the same.

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And looking forward to being with friends again.

 

Marina x

 

 

 

**permitted at time of writing,  and hoping it continues.

***although we are rural we can’t walk in the fields as it’s lambing/calving season

**** you might imagine I’ve never seen an actual tree

***** it’s about 12 miles to our nearest town

****** we’ve been doing much the same circular walk most days, but in different directions.

(still) being European

Don’t misunderstand, I’ve nothing against the other continents, I’m just delighted that we’ve got a little reprieve and still belong to the EU and all the benefits that brings. We’re just back from a three week trip through France, Northern Spain and Portugal, taking advantage of DogStarke’s pet passport for what may be its last outing.

DogStarke on tour

(and a couple of friends she made along the way)

 

We all did lots of walking, and MrS and I did lots* of eating and drinking.

 

Discovered that we’d planned much of our journey along the ancient pilgrim routes

And visited lots of Cathedrals…..

 

I’d intended to blog as we travelled but we all know what happens to good intentions on holiday.

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Now I’m trying to get back into blog mode.

So this is just a taster,

Until next time.

 

 

                    Marina x

 

 

*too much in my case.

Catching Up

Yikes! It’s been two months since I posted here, and that was a repost of a blog I follow. It’s not that I haven’t been doing anything,  I’ve had a couple of trips to Edinburgh, one to Glasgow, an overnight stay Clydeside and a visit to friends in Angus.

st cyrus

St Cyrus beach

 

I’ve  had brunches and lunches*,  and supper at MasterStarke’s.

Cat sat and dog walked.

 

Slept in hotel beds and on couches.

bramble at the novotel

DogStarke, hotel inspector**

Enjoyed sun, snow and the bits in between.

 

Read two and two thirds of the Neapolitan Novels, one Anne Enright and an Inspector Montalbano. Watched back to back Gilmore Girls.

Chose Trainspotting2, enjoyed  a musical, directed a play.

Packed boxes, unpacked boxes. Packed them back up again. Picked bathroom fittings.

Put daffs in a vase, looked up through the blossom.

 

Spent evenings surfing not  blogging. Spent tonight blogging not working.

Well, you’ve got to start somewhere.

Marina x

 

 

* Brunch at Montpelier’s, Edinburgh, lunch The Honours, Edinburgh

** DogStarke inspecting duties at Novotel, Edinburgh Centre

 

 

 

 

 

Completing the circle

I did it.

31 days.

31 posts.

Down through the alphabet and then some.

Some I was pleased with, some not so much. Sometimes there was no inspiration.

But I got here.

calendar

Today is Hallowe’en, All Hallows Eve. A day signifying different things around the world.

Perhaps it’s dressing up and partying, children visiting neighbours to “Trick or Treat?”, in Scotland it’s called “Guising”.

It might mean church and prayer, visiting graves, remembering the dead.

It may be just another day.

Here in Scotland the trees still have their beautiful Autumn colours but soon they’ll be falling and we’ll slip into Winter.

 

The days are already shortening, we put our clocks back at the weekend.

There’s been a birth, a wedding and too many deaths.

The cycle continues the year goes around

 

I’ll be back next month.

Just not every day

Marina x

sunset-from-boat

 

#Blogtober31

 

Zebra crossings

You know, the non automated crossings, heralded by Belisha beacons (as seen above but with a usually less watery setting). Often staffed by cheery men and women in Hi-Vis raincoats. Perhaps you don’t have them where you live?  I like them because they give back power to the pedestrian. If someone is waiting, the car is obliged to stop.

But…. This should have been a travel post. About Zambia, or Zanzibar, or maybe Zaragoza. The only problem is, I’ve not been there. I don’t even know very much about them. Perhaps they should be on my “wish” NOT “bucket” list (I absolutely hate that term).

And there’s another problem, where to next? The alphabet has 26 letters and this is the last but #Blogtober has another 6 days to run.

I had hoped that I could use the extra letters from the Welsh alphabet. And then I checked. There are eight of them: Ch, Dd, Ff, Ll, Ng, Ph, Rh and Th. And not being a Welsh speaker I was struggling to find things I liked*. It was all a bit too contrived.

I’m still working on it. There will be a post tomorrow. Perhaps not a theme though.

And I’ve just remembered a Z  place I’ve visited and liked.

Zurich.

Only problem is, my trip wasn’t even this century. I did find some photos though, old style non digital ones in albums, so I’ve taken photos of them.

And like so many of my photos, there is cake.**

 

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

Marina x

 

*Lyfrau – books

**and a very young MasterS.

 

#Blogtober26

 

X

Well, I have to admit it,  X has me beaten. I did have the idea of using “Xenophilia” as the  title of this post, thinking of it only as a positive thing. The opposite of xenophobia.

Then I did a little research….

While xenophobia is a wholly negative thing, its opposite can have pejorative connotations too. It can be liking the different just for difference sake, rather than the openness to new people and  things that  I’d imagined.

Rather more disturbingly, prefix it with a couple of more XXs and it becomes a porn site. Now I’m all for new things and connecting via this blog, but some things are a step too far. And while I love seeing likes and follows I was worried that xenophile might be misconstrued and I’d be hit with hate mail.

I don’t particularly like xylophones and didn’t want to be Xcited, or talk about Xcellence; I’m not  a fan of the X-Factor or X-Files, didn’t want  blog about Xmas.

Maybe I should have stuck with my first thought, Xylem.

Xylem and phloem, the vascular system of plants, their arteries and veins if you like. Phloem conducts nutrients, and xylem takes water from the roots to the tips of the shoots. It’s way keeps a tree both rooted and growing. No xylem, no trees.

And we all need trees.

 

So a good thing to like.

#Blogtober24   Xylem

Marina x*

*of course X = kisses too.