Week 12: No more 5.30am get ups, bike talk and the anniversary walk

Hello, yes I’m still here. Hubby and I should have flown to the Amalfi coast on Saturday 13th June for our walking holiday. Oh well,that’s another week ticked off in sunny Bedford. Not sure what was happening with the stars last week but the spirit of “dippyness” had entered our house. You’ll understand later. The week was again filled with walks, a bike ride, a little bit of cooking, some baking, selling face masks and some social distanced gatherings. No chance of having my own support bubble as the hubby is still here ! I think that’s a positive; I think he’s my support.

There are days when I over commit (those that know me will be rolling their eyes, I can see you) and Tuesday seemed to become that day. It starts with the feeling I now have the whole day ahead and no meetings or schedules; what can go wrong. So I start off with 6am yoga. I do my Mrs Mop routine. Can someone please tell me how a house that has only two adults manages to get so dirty! Mystery of domesticity. And why is the shoe cupboard in chaos now, who did that ? I cleaned it in week 1 or 2. Back to the day, I then went for a long walk, more chat than walk. One can’t walk in Bedford now without bumping into (not literally as we’re all still doing the 2m shuffle). This add extra minutes to your planned day but it’s a good thing. Then I race back home as had agreed to go for a bike ride at 1.30pm.


It was one the longest ride my friend Susan and I had done, 24km, possibly a little more. My bike had started to make a funny noise a couple of days earlier and it seemed harder to pedal but I just put it down to me being tired and my yoga thighs and quads. We decided to come back via roads that included a couple of hills . It seemed like a good idea. We both needed more time on the roads. Those lorry and van drivers race by intentionally just to give cyclists a little scare …Anyway I spent most of the journey saying , “you go ahead , you’re much fitter than me, I’m tired.” We manage to get back in one piece , the second hill did defeat us though. Roll on 24 hours and hubby just does a quick check on the bike. He asks if I have been riding the bike in this condition. Bloody stupid question, he knows I’ve been out. He tells me that there is something wrong with the gears which effectively meant that I had been riding with some brakes on. So much for Susan being fitter and my tired thighs. Don’t say anything at all !! Yes I’ve already been told, “know your bike”. On a positive note my trendy new padded shorts are pretty awesome, it feels like I’m wearing a nappy and it looks like I’m wearing a nappy too. The bike went into bike hospital on Friday to make it better. The hubby had to come with me. Because you know that I couldn’t deal with it !! Another one banked for future disagreements.

Damn that hill

So let me introduce you to the world of bike talk. Basically take a word , affix some letters and digits to it, pretend you’re on a space mission you’re nearly there. Hubby was suitably embarrassed by me and accused me of behaving as if I was in a clothes shop when we went to drop it into Flame Rouge, trendy name don’t you think?

The amazing Flame Rouge

It was as if he was talking a foreign language. I felt like an out of place uncool kid. As we walk out he says you need to up your bike speak. So over the following day or so I’ve been pulling together a few;

⁃ Do you strava ?

⁃ Do you go padded or au natural ?

⁃ Do you stop for tea and cake when you go out?

⁃ What do you think of hybrid tyres?

⁃ Do you go out when it’s raining?

⁃ How many gears have you got?

I’ll keep exploring my new inner cyclist.There has been tentative talk of a second bike, again that may be me just getting ahead of myself. I really do like the idea of an EBike. I just need to conquer my fear of busy roads , high speed and a sore bottom. But they really do look supersmart. I also need to add that to the list of wants #firstworldgreed.

Onto Wednesday, the day after the mammoth bike ride (remember it’s relative) I moved from bed to sofa to kitchen without having brushed my teeth. You’ve all done it ! I can’t really remember much more of that day.

Thursday June 11th, the great day arrived . Our 9th wedding anniversary. At our age these single digit anniversary dates are also important. The year known for gifts of pottery. Our annual trip to Brighton was obviously impossible. I didn’t want to be on the BBC news.So we scratched our heads and decided to go to a place called Grafham Water for a walk. When I say a walk, you might think a romantic walk. Not this one. Walking boots, layers (don’t forget your layers), waterproofs, no shades (schoolgirl error) and we were prepared. But in the end the sun came out , the cafe was open and more importantly so were the toilets! We broke for our anniversary lunch on a bench. Sandwiches and tea from the cafe accompanied by some crisps. Followed by some of my home made banana bread. We watched some birds, fishermen and other folks enjoying the great outdoors.I was jolly and sprightly and I promise the whining and whinging only started around 12km. Hubby reminded me it was around the same place last time we walked. Well at least I’m consistent. The whole walk was just over 15km and I can’t think of a better way to spend the day. Well actually if I tried hard I possibly could; a spa day , a day in Brighton, Delhi, Rome, you get the drift.


Back home the garden is doing me proud. So lush and green. We are starting to reap the rewards. We’ve had lots of lettuce, some spinach, coriander, a handful of strawberries and two spring onions.

My lone okra plant doesn’t seem to be enjoying its time in the garden, I wonder if hubby had fed it something! Have cleared half the cauliflowers, now we know why they bolted (pm me if you would really like to know). Will be planting my beetroot seedlings there shortly and perhaps the carrots if they are ok.

The runner beans and the courgettes are flourishing and I’ve just added some sugar snaps to replace the spinach.

I’ve even erected little teepee for them. And onto the show offs in the garden, they are all going well. We have the pinks/purples and whites clambering for attention .

Pinks and whites
Greens and yellows

On the other side it’s a more sedate greens and yellows. All colours are welcome in my garden. I did scare the hubby again by saying wouldn’t it be great if we had a greenhouse. I really should give you an idea of how small our garden is; it’s a garden or greenhouse scenario. It really would save a lot of money. Perhaps I can get one of those plastic pretend ones, you know the ones that look like a wardrobe and if the wind picks up so do they. What I’ve learnt about gardening is that one gets anxious, excited, disappointed, wowed and overly involved but it’s buffered by lots of joy. A little like a child.

We have come to the conclusion that since the student left us we have become lazy on the food front but our shopping bill is considerably lower. Although I cleaned the fridge and the contents are rather excessive for two.

Need to get cooking

I actually haven’t said we are missing her! One day, infact it was on the overcommitted day I decided to make a quick pilau.

Note to self for the nth time, be careful when you start using a new batch of chillies. So instead of having pilau with a bit of yoghurt it became yoghurt with a bit of pilau. Having said that hubby loved it.


We had a incident of too many bananas due to miscommunication and there was nothing else to do but make some Mary Berry Banana Bread. It just so happened that this was on the same day as I made rhubarb crumble (Greg Wallace’s recipe). I have never cooked rhubarb before, another bucket list item don. Taste feedback, it was bloody delicious with custard.

Rhubarb crumble and banana bread

Home grown spinach and coriander allowed me to make some pakoras and chutney and I felt pretty smug.

Pakoras and chutney
The prep mess

I continue to cook okra and spinach & paneer. It makes me happy.

Spinach and paneer another way and okra

We are also eating the home grown lettuce and we added the two spring onions to our salad. Let’s just say that Sainsbury’s has nothing to fear from us lockdown gardeners.

The student calls when she has time or wants something . So I get a call from the student. She starts by asking for some Indian recipes . She’s going to be cooking for some friends. Then she drops in, “don’t suppose you can post if mum, just joking, it won’t be as good as yours.” And I leave you with the gem from the student this week

⁃ Could I post some Bala samosas????. They do have shops and restaurants in Nottingham I say.

The final outcome was that her dishes turned out great and she sent me the photo to prove it.

Student’s offering

Are you ready for the list of things that we have been involved in this last week. Much of it is related to me, so I may need to get my brain working a little harder going forward. I can’t speak for the hubby !!

⁃ one set of car keys lost (accidentally slipped into an open bag)

⁃ hubby lost his watch (found within the motorbike cover!! I lost 20 minutes of my life for this)

⁃ I turned up a day early for a birthday celebrations (at least it wasn’t a day late!)

⁃ After chasing a number of people to pay our mango man, turns out it was actually yours truly who hadn’t paid.

Perhaps I need to get my list making back to full force.

The 12 week Yoga programme has finished. No more 5.30am get ups four times a week. But damn that body clock, I’m getting up then anyway. What to do ? I am more flexible, stronger and actually calmer (more eye rolling). Will be repeating it but 6am has now been replaced by 7am. I still have some purpose. I am strong .. what’s your affirmation in these tricky times.

As I leave you remember to shop shop shop to get our economy back into shape.



NB: Papa’s tip of the week was how to get mint chutney right. Don’t use lemons. Thanks papa!

NNB: At a recent gathering someone said, “my BA Gold card, won’t be gold anymore.” #firstworldproblems

NNNB: What do you call a group of furloughed people …. I’ll let you know when I’ve worked out something 🤷🏽‍♀️.

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