Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A Lovely Day in March

We had a really lovely Saturday together a couple of weeks ago so I thought I'd write a blog post about it. Lee works full time all week and spends a lot of time on video calls, so I can't be in the living room most of the time. I end up sitting in the attic room by myself, and it's fine, I'll get through it. I know that brighter times will come because they have to - Covid can't keep on taking us all from our lives. I just can't really believe we're a year into this, can you? 

Because of me being alone most of the week, we've been trying to make Saturday a bit of a special day. We've been doing jobs and stuff, and we've usually been out to a shop. Then in the evening we've made a special meal and watched something on the TV. It's simple but it's been really nice. 

So in the middle of March, we got up and went to the post office first of all, and then to the Range, which we've found is the cheapest place to buy cat litter. With two kittens and two litter trays we go through a lot of it! Lee also needed a new paint pad as we've been redecorating the stairs and landing. I also got to choose some Easter eggs which was good. Last year I didn't get to! 

Lee popped into Morrison's while I read my book in the car, and then when we got home we had lunch. Then we tidied up outside in the back a bit. It's a shared yard and a lot of rubbish seems to end up in our bit as there's a fence that acts as a wind trap. We got rid of rubbish and old leaves, and we sprayed weedkiller on the weeds. We put some washing outside on the line, which is always lovely. It wasn't particularly warm and it was very cloudy, but it stayed dry.

We came back in and made some Easter nests with cornflakes and chocolate and mini eggs. Not complicated but they're always delicious and fun. After that we both had a nap - I'm not sure why we were so tired but we fell asleep on the couch. 

It's funny because we still shut the kittens in the attic room at night. I think if they were allowed to roam the whole house they would get into too much mischief, and although they would sleep for some of the night, they would also bother us and try to wake us up. I know I'm right because every time I nap, Jasmine pokes my face to try to wake me up. I thought she wanted to come under the covers (I always have a duvet on the sofa cos I'm always cold and Lee's always warm) but no, she was poking my face. And this is why she's not allowed in my bedroom at night!

When we woke up it was time to video chat with my family which we've not done in a few weeks. That was nice. Then we made bread! We had planned to make garlic dough balls, but the dough was too sticky, so we just baked it as a bread and cut it into pieces. Lee made the garlic butter for it, and then he made tagliatelle alfredo. It was really nice, but not very saucy - I'm not sure why! The bread was nice and the garlic butter was amazing! But I do want to make actual dough balls soon!

I was wearing this Joe Browns dress that I got a few months ago. It's red and navy blue, and has buttons running down the length of it. It's really nice to wear and will be especially lovely in the summer. Over the top I put this Joe Browns jumper on, which I've had for years and periodically forget about, but I've been wearing it quite a lot this past winter. It's nice, not too thick, and I love the raspberry colour. I was also wearing these new Converse trainers. Instagram had been advertising them to me and I gave in. They're slip ons - there's elastic under the tongue and the laces are fakes. Now I love my Converse and a couple of other pairs of trainers I've got that are similar, but doing up the laces is such a faff and also something I find difficult with my chronic paid. So slip ons are ideal! They're really lovely and comfy, I can't wait to wear them allll summer!

It was a very busy but very lovely day!

Joe Browns dress and jumper

Slip on Converse

Me sitting down outside the back door while Lee was busy sweeping

Easter nests

Cheers! I haven't drunk loads in the pandemic, as I've been by myself so much. Lee doesn't drink at all. I'm looking forward to sharing a bottle with someone again hopefully soon!

Tagliatelle alfredo

Garlic bread

And the very delicious garlic butter!

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Films of the Month - February

I only watched five films in February, which is a shockingly low amount! I have no good excuses for it, either! I guess there was just TV still to watch. Here's what I did see:

I watched The Dig on Netflix, which is about the discovery of all the Anglo-Saxon treasures at Sutton Hoo. I liked it! Ralph Fiennes was good

Lee and I are making our way through an 80s film list, I probably said that last month. One of them was Big, which I have seen before. It's okay. I'm not much of a Tom Hanks fan to be honest, but this is okay

I watched To All the Boys Always and Forever with a few pals. I liked it, but not as much as the first two in the franchise. Lana Condor is amazing though, I love her

Again with the 80s film list. We watched Back to the Future which is one of my favourite films ever!

Lastly we watched National Lampoon's Vacation which was on the 80s list too. It's okay, but I preferred the Christmas one I think

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Afternoon Out at Castle Hill

Lee and I drove to Huddersfield one Sunday in early March to drop off a Body Shop order with a friend of mine. It was the day after my Covid jab and although my arm was sore, I otherwise felt okay. We spoke to my friend for a bit - she on her garden wall and us in the car - and then drove to Castle Hill. We went via Dixons ice cream to buy ice creams, and then drove up Lockwood Scar which is an extremely vertical hill. There were quite a few people up Castle Hill but the car park wasn't busy which was good. 

We sat on a bench to eat our lunch and our ice cream, and watched a man do some kitesurfing which did look like fun but also looked like a lot of work. We didn't walk around much but it was nice to be out in the fresh air, and Dixon's is always worth getting. It's milk ice so really sweet and cold, and delicious!

I've been trying to get us out of the house every weekend even though it's cold, let's see what I have in store for next weekend!


Yummy ice cream with raspberry sauce and wafers!

Friday, March 19, 2021

My First Covid Vaccine Jab


I thought I would just do a quick blog about my first vaccine injection which I've had today, 6th March 2021. If you haven't had yours yet maybe this will help you. I encourage everyone who can to get their jabs as soon as they're invited, if they are able! Vaccines are safe, and protect all of us, including those who can't get vaccines because they're immunocompromised or something like that. This one hasn't been on the market very long, that's true, but that's partly because the makers haven't had to wait for funding to come through - they've had money thrown at them by governments and so on, and apparently waiting for funding is what usually takes forever in science like this!

Recently, the NHS started doing vaccines on everyone up to Group 6. This included anyone whose BMI is over 40. A lot of people didn't know this, but I saw fat friends of mine post about it in various places. They were saying you could book a vaccine online, but that if you couldn't, you might need to speak to your GP surgery and make sure they knew you have a high BMI. I left it for a few days. I would be in Group 6 because of my chronic illnesses anyway, so I thought for sure my surgery would be in touch soon.

However, a week or more went by and I was getting a bit anxious, so eventually I went on the NHS website and put my details in. I didn't know my NHS number but I could put my date of birth in instead. It is obvious that if it lets you book an appointment, then you are in one of the risk groups and that's fine. I was offered a choice of venues, none of which were less than ten miles away from my house. The date was also 2.5 weeks away, but that was okay. I was lucky because I knew Lee would drive me to the appointment (and I could drive myself, I just would prefer not to) but if you couldn't get there easily that would be a problem. I knew they had been doing vaccines at my GP surgery but that didn't pop up as a choice. So I booked somewhere in Wakefield and booked the 2nd appointment at the same time, and as far as I was concerned, that was that.

However! Two days later I got a text from my GP surgery inviting me to a clinic at my surgery between 2pm and 3pm on Saturday the 6th. This was closer both in time and geographically so I cancelled my other appointments and went along to the doctor's at 2pm. There were a few people queueing in front of me - maybe 15. We had to queue out of the surgery and into the courtyard they have. I can't queue very well because it hurts me so much, but the line was moving quite quickly so I didn't worry too much. It was cold though! But before long I was in the surgery, with only 3 people ahead of me. 

I had to give my name to a lady on the front desk. She gave me a medical record print out for me, which included my current medication and my known allergies, which includes penicillin. Apparently I had an averse reaction to penicillin in 1991, which is way later in my life than I thought. I'm often told that babies grown out of a penicillin allergy, but I was seven so much older than that! I never let a doctor or dentist prescribe it to me. 

There were some questions to make sure you hadn't had another vaccination and to make sure you didn't currently have Covid, and then I queued a tiny bit longer before I went into a room. I asked to have the jab in my right arm, my non-dominant arm, cos I've heard that everyone's arm hurts after. I sat down and pulled my sleeve up. One nurse on my left was writing down the details on the card, and telling me that my appointment would come through for the second jab in a few weeks, and in the time it took her to do that, the other nurse had jabbed my arm and that was it. I was done! It barely hurt at all. Queueing had taken the most time!

Currently, my right arm hurts - but it had been hurting anyway (I think I've got some RSI in it...) and it's honestly not much more than that. I'll see how I feel tomorrow!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Afternoon Out in Rivelin Park

At the end of February Lee and I went to Rivelin Park for a walk and a sit in the sunshine. We went there last summer so we knew it was nice and accessible for me. The last Sunday in February was really bright with sunshine so we decided to go. We picked up some lunch on the way there, and then sat in the sunshine eating that. There were people about but it wasn't stupidly busy, so it felt fine. The fresh air and sunshine felt so nice!

After lunch we walked past the fishing lake and along the river to the cafe. It was a lot busier round there, but we got an ice cream and sat right by the river to eat it. I was wearing my wrap and was warm enough, but Lee was bare armed in his t-shirt and said he was fine.

We didn't stay much longer after that as Lee had to get back to do some work, but we had walked enough of a way for me, and I felt pleasantly tired! I really hope we can go back in the summer and paddle again!

Me and Lee just after we'd finished lunch

The weir about halfway up our walk

The fishing lake

I just liked how old this bridge was

And I loved this bridge

Eating a Magnum! It was a vegan one! I've not had one before. It wasn't too different from a regular one, the ice cream was somehow colder and the chocolate was nice and crumbly

Where we sat to eat ice creams

Thursday, March 11, 2021

What I Wore February 13th

Lee and I had some errands to run on the 13th of February so I got properly dressed for the first time in forever and put this new dress on. My friend Lucinda bought me it for my birthday. It has PANGOLINS on it! Who doesn't love a pangolin?????? I'm sorry you can't see the pattern too clearly in the photo, but believe me - they're pangolins.

When I opened the dress I was like oooh, pangolins, but also wasn't sure if the dress would fit me. The material isn't overly stretchy and I just wasn't sure. I tried it on soon after my birthday and was pleasantly surprised. It is long enough and it does fit around my hips/stomach. It has lovely deep pockets which is unusual but obviously great. I do feel like it shows off my stomach more than I would like it to, but I decided two things. Firstly: it's probably only me that can tell/that sees what I see/that thinks it looks a bit weird. Secondly: I've decided to just say fuck it and wear it anyway. Fake it till you make it! Plus, I think the material might stretch a little as it is worn and washed.

I love the blueish colour of the dress and the grey colour of the pangolins. I like the brownish bit around the waist which I think suits me. Lucinda was happy to find a clothing brand that was so size inclusive. I need to find the name of it to link to!

Edit: It's Svaha Clothing! 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

What's Making Me Happy Right Now


(Jasmine is on the left and Poppy on the right)

I stole this idea from a few places on the internet. I'm sure, like me, you've found this lockdown hard, and maybe even hardest of the three. I think that's due to the darkness and coldness of winter. By the time Lee has finished work, it's already dark, meaning we've struggled to get out and do anything. We've had a lot of snow here, the worst we've had in years, which has actually made me glad that I haven't had to try to struggle to drive anywhere. It's also just such a grind - we've been here before, we've done this, I've stuck to the rules and for what? For cases and deaths to be worse than ever. I'm not blaming this on people, by the way - I'm blaming it very squarely on the government, who I believe have made wrong decisions at all turns. They have locked down too late each time, they've ignored scientific advice, they've opened up too early... But I'm not going to dwell on that. 

Instead, I'm going to talk about things which have made me happy recently. Before Christmas and in early January I was quite depressed and very bored. I struggled to sleep and in the mornings I really struggled to get up. As things have got lighter in the evenings, I have been getting slightly better. The vaccines seem to be getting done (yay, NHS!) and I am hopeful for things getting better soon. I am looking forward to seeing friends and family at SOME point this year. I'm hoping to go away on holiday with Lee and maybe with Sam and Jac. Spring is coming! Covid will go away to a degree that we can do some normal things! I hope!

So, my happy things:

1) The kittens. Oh gosh, they are absolutely gorgeous. Every day I think how lucky it was that I saw them on the RSPCA website that day last July, how lucky it was that our application was accepted, and how lucky we are that they settled in so well to our house. They have such different personalities from each other and from Ivy. Jasmine is very inquisitive and affectionate. She carries toys around in her mouth and often sleeps on my head or near me. Poppy is a little bit more reticent - but when she is affectionate I feel so precious because it's so hard won! She likes to lie on me in bed in the mornings. She's also very into the phone - if she can hear my mum on the other end she comes across to see where the person is! I'm looking forward to when people can come visit them again as they're so desperate for friends! They both like people food a lot. They love little pieces of rubbish to chase around. They often take things out of the bin. They're ludicrous and I love them.

2) Writing. I signed up for Get Yours Words Out for what must be the fifth or sixth year in a row. Last year I managed 300,000 words, so I signed up for the same this year. It is a lot of words, so I'm really proud of myself for completing it. I've been working on something new, which is set in Hebden Bridge and is a romance with a band involved. I've been using Scrivener for the first time and I really like it because I've been writing this book in a non linear fashion, which Scrivener is really useful for. 

3) Crafting. I try to craft for a little bit every day because it really helps my mind and my spirit. I'm working on a big cross stitch called Hello Deer, although I've been crocheting on and off too. I have so many cross stitches that I need to get framed when that is something I can do when lockdown is lifted. Then hopefully I can put them up on the wall. We redecorated our attic room last year - I'll try to remember to take photos although it's still a work in progress - and so far there's the cat activity centre and a dartboard on one wall and nothing on the others. Oh, no, I lie, there's two pictures of Ivy, bless her. 

4) The Body Shop. I am enjoying being a consultant. I'm not in it for big bucks but I like my commission, and I've liked helping people choose products, and when I've dropped off some orders I've been able to see my friends for a few minutes on their doorstep. That's been lovely! 

5) Video chats. We've been pretty consistent in chatting with my family and Lee's family over the past ten months, and I've video chatted with friends on and off too. For my birthday I had tons of people on a video chat which was LOVELY. I've also been to a virtual book club a few times! It's been good

6) Food. We've been trying really hard to make new recipes. I'm vegetarian and Lee eats veggie with me most of the time, although he doesn't like some of the meat replacements I do, or some of the things like chickpeas, so sometimes he eats meat and I eat vegetarian. But I'm proud of us and the stuff we've tried! 

7) Reading. I know a lot of people have struggled to read over the past year, which is absolutely valid of course. It's stressful living in a pandemic. I have read less because I used to read at lunchtime but now Lee is still working in the living room so I don't get the chance to sit and read the same. But I have read some excellent books recently and I do read before bed every night, which is something I cherish.

I'm going to leave it at lucky number 7, it's getting late!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

RIP Kelly

I don't know if any of you reading here knew Kelly, aka Katyacoldheart. She died on the 4th of February, of Covid. She will be missed by many of us in the plus size blogging community. 

I met Kelly nearly five years ago when I went to Manchester to go shopping with her and Steph. Here's my blog post about it, although sadly I didn't get any photos of us all. The new Beth Ditto collection was in Selfridges so we looked at that and tried bits on. We had a brilliant lunch and some cocktails and I went home having made a new friend. I saw her at another event either later in 2016 or early in 2017, I think. 

But she was always around online. Kelly was often on Twitter and Instagram with likes and replies to tweets. She was a very kind person, and had a wicked sense of humour and was very dry. She did really amazing black work cross stitch. She collected those York ghosts and little house figures. She loved Halloween. She was a genuinely lovely person and loved her little dog Arlo a lot.

She had an autoimmune disease which affected her lungs, and for at least the last year she had been on oxygen at home, and had had to give up work. This means that it isn't surprising that Covid affected her so badly and that she couldn't survive it. However, that didn't at all mean she deserved to die, or that her life was any less precious. She could have easily lived a lot longer with her autoimmune disease, and she should have. She should have survived Covid. The government has so much blood on its hands, and unfortunately Kelly will be just another statistic to them. 

Steph and I have decided that when it's safe, we will get together and have a few cocktails in honour of Kelly. A few others in the community have said they'd like to join us. I have met so many people through plus size blogging. I haven't met all of them in person but through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, they have turned into friends. Online friendships are very real, and I have already felt Kelly's absence just while she was in hospital. It's February 5th as I write this and I'm really sad. I have lost a genuine friend, and I have a feeling she will leave a big gap.

This photo is Steph, Kelly, Leah, and Anne-Lise at an event in 2017. Don't they all look so beautiful? I'm proud to call all these gorgeous women my friends, and I hope that Kelly lives on in us.