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The Lockdown Gang - still chatting ?

(1001 Posts)
Doodle Wed 02-Feb-22 10:23:05

Can’t believe we’re starting another thread.
Although many of us have been chatting since the start of lockdown, we’ve been lucky to welcome others who have joined in more recently.
Anyone who wants to pop in for a chat is welcome.

Doodle Sat 05-Feb-22 20:37:07

Mamissimo sorry you’re not feeling too good. Hope it passes soon. At least you have had your 4th jab. Good news.
Hope your DD is fully recovered from Covid soon.
A whole day to yourself….well I think a lovely lunch, a box of chocs and a box set on TV would do for me. I’ll even send Jeeves round to wait on you. ?

Well it’s confirmed. I’m as daft as a brush ( no offence to brushes intended) . Having completed my batch cooking of chicken dishes yesterday I was left with 6 meals to put in the freezer. My freezer isn’t very big and I didn’t have enough containers to put each meal in so I thought I would be really clever and use plastic food bags. Perfect. Popped them in the freezer last night and all was well……….till today.
Went into the freezer to get out some veg and had to move the big plastic tray I’d put the bags of chicken in to hold them upright while they froze. Well they did freeze ……very tightly to each other and the plastic tray they were sitting in. Short of defrosting them all at the same time I was panicking as to what I could do. I ran a big bowl of hot water and dunked the tray in it for a while. Fortunately with a lot of effort I managed to pull the chicken out of the tray and separate the bags, what a relief.
You have never seen such strange frozen shapes as my chicken meals but at least they are apart now. I won’t be doing that again.

BoadiceaJones Sat 05-Feb-22 21:08:09

A restless, sweaty, sticky, mosquito-ridden night, despite fans, doors wide open, single-sheet covering. It's not going to be an energetic day, that's for sure. I'm reclining in my chair, coffee beside me, Dottie giving me "The Look" of reproach for making it so hot for a very fluffy little girl.

We've decided that we're completely hors de combat, by choice, not compulsion, for the next 2 weeks...on the 14th, MrJ has the surgery that's been put off twice during the pandemic, and has now become urgent. He's feeling miserable after burning himself with hot oil while cooking anyway. My friend who was pinged as being in a location of interest, has had to isolate, and subsequently developed a sniffle and throat, wants to come to lunch...all very awkward, as she hasn't had a test. Easiest thing is just to pull up the drawbridge and keep away from the world until after Monday next. So, no painting class, French group, shopping…just the optometrist, library briefly for books for the invalid, and home. It will be a huge relief to get this surgery done, at last…another weight off my mind. Having plenty of fruit and veg, and of course, eggs, from our garden/chookies makes life a lot less complicated. So after MrJ’s surgery, the next hurdle is DS2’s crucial corneal transplant on 21st. He’s having it in Auckland, but of course, no visitors in hospital, so I can’t go down to see him. ☹

DS2 sent a photo of his DD2 in her school uniform, first day of high school. DD1 is in year 11!! How did that happen?? They are both taller than me, and I was always the tallest in my class. But their Dad is 6’4, so I guess it’s not surprising. So happy they’re both doing Japanese – they have ambitions of going on the school trip at some stage. But DS1 lived in Japan for 3 years, is totally fluent, and played/plays the giant Japanese Taiko drums, and I used to teach Japanese for many years, so it’s been around them all their lives, I guess.

Grammaretto - I don’t know how you’re keeping sane with all the hurdles you’ve been having to jump. I do so hope that a miracle will happen, and it will all be finished, and absolutely gorgeous. Everything crossed that your DS can make it over very soon. Just keep that thought going about coming over as soon as it’s feasible. I’m so pleased that you had some nice (very well-deserved) things happen for you, and that your yoga teacher is so considerate.

Doodle - I’m in awe of your energy, with all that you are achieving – no wonder you’re worn out. A therapeutic brandy (purely medicinal, you understand) is essential. The slow-cooked chicken dinners are such a good idea, but yes, cleaning the slow cooker is a mission, isn’t it! You’re right about the tiles – sometimes, you just walk in, and there’s The One. No question. Even better if it’s on special offer, end of line, and they have exactly the quantity you need!

Muse Wonderful photos! And yes, you simply have to come and visit us Down Under. Don’t be put off by the stories of mosquitoes – this is not really the norm. I hope you got MrM’s comments about visiting down in writing, all duly signed!

I’m so hoping that Kaimoana can make it up here for a visit, and a bit of a history Tiki tour. Today is Waitangi Day, the 162nd anniversary of the signing of the Treaty between the Crown and the Maori chiefs. An extremely important day, and one that should be always remembered and honoured. Not always the case, sadly. But close to our hearts, literally and figuratively, as Waitangi, where the Treaty was signed, is just down the road, and many of my cousins are Nga Puhi, from the local tangatawhenua.

Right, back to family history stuff, since it’s too hot and sticky for the garden.
Keep safe, everyone. x

Kaimoana Sat 05-Feb-22 21:10:07

I think we could market a game called Guess What Happens to the Gangstars Next?
Players would have a list of 'Disasters' :

1.Roof leaks
2.Stove breaks down
3.Deeds to house are lost
4.Frozen Chicked forms a brick
5.New house build is delayed
6.Gets Covid
7.H.Beagle eats the lunch (not hers)
8.Is forced to go on cruise (it'll be allright Jan, grit your teeth and think of England) wink
9.Mashes thumb in lock gate on canal
10.Plumber turns up in the middle of the night, assembles kitchen in living room as owner sleeps.
11.Patchwork is found to be upside down
12. Vintage car breaks down
(Please add your own disaster)

Players would throw dice and according to the number get Disaster averted or Wait a turn - or weeks earning points as they go.

My son used to devise excellent board games when he was a teenager and but he's too busy with Gubbins right now.

Oh, there's a bonus 'disaster':

Baby won't sleep for 18 months, parents too exhausted to think, eat, shave or work.'

Amazon, here we come! grin

Jan16 Sat 05-Feb-22 21:44:14

Gosh you Lobstars wear me out just reading about what you’ve been doing! I must be the laziest Lobstars ever! My day has consisted of going down to the river with Mr J and a flask of coffee! Sat in the car watching a very high tide getting blown out to sea. Not a boat in sight! Came home for sandwich lunch then off I went with a friends for a glass of wine and gossip leaving Mr J doing his interminable jigsaw! Cooked a dinner - not much cooking involved! - loaded the dishwasher and an evening in front of very boring TV!
Sorry to hear Mammissimo feeling poorly. Hope you soon feel better. Must ask my eldest if she has heard about her 4th jab as she is vulnerable.
BoudiceaJones Don’t envy your hot and sticky nights. Don’t get many of those in Norfolk!
Doodle you did make me giggle with your freezer problems!
Well 2 weeks today we will be on the high seas - please not too high! - to hopefully warmer climes! Suitcases are out but that’s as far as I’ve got. Poor Theo cat has to go into the Cattery for 15 nights. Bless. Sending 2 photos the lady at the cattery sent when he was there a few weeks back

Grammaretto Sat 05-Feb-22 23:15:59

Theo is a handsome beast! He looks perfectly happy at the cattery and would no doubt be much happier there than with you on the High Seas!
Your day sounds very nice and not at all lazy. Jan

Mamissimo I hope you are somewhat recovered from the booster now.

BJ very wise to keep a low profile while you wait for the surgery. I don't know how you can function in that heat at all.

Doodle what a pest about the freezing fiasco.
I defrosted something labelled soup which turned out to be stewed rhubarb! Another time I had family unexpectedly to lunch but all I could find to feed them on was all my individually frozen meals. I didn't really mind.

I have been lazy today too. I was on cafe duty at the open house. It was OK but I hate having to wear a facemask all the time.

You always make me laugh Kaimoana
I love your idea for the game grin
Gubbins certainly makes her presence felt.
Did I tell you about the wonderful letters I am reading between the people who once lived in this house?
Well I got to a part where the baby is hungry and mum isn't getting enough sleep so they get an ass and feed the babe on asses' milk through the night. presumably a servant does the night feed He thrives but doesn't like it. The mother gets some sleep.

No more progress with the house today. Perhaps tomorrow.
Goodnight Gang.

Mamissimo Sun 06-Feb-22 09:55:56

Good morning ?

Yesterday I did some heavy duty sleeping followed by a night of more sleeping and today .......I'm fixed! DD2 is not having a good time with covid. That poor girl deserves some good luck for a change. She had to have new NHS hearing aids last week and to get full benefit had to buy a new phone and smart watch as the features only fully work with Apple.

Having been off food yesterday my plan for the week is off tonight will have to be stir fry if the bean sprouts are to be good.....then the chops on Monday before they go out of date.....looks like I'll get to the roast on Tuesday...but the dessert to with the roast will have to go with the stir fry.....Retirement is when provisioning takes over your life!

A tip for freezing stuff in bags.....we put the empty bag inside a Tupperware or takeaway box, then fill it and freeze. Next day we take the bags out of the boxes and have easily stackable food bricks. actually it was Mr M who came up with this natty solution

I think Kaimoana has identified The Game of Life ?

Doodle Sun 06-Feb-22 20:02:54

Boadicea I would be useless in your climate. I wilt completely with the slightest amount of heat. Don’t know how you cope. Sorry about MrB burning himself. Hot oil can cause a nasty burn as it sticks to the skin. Hope he’s ok and hope all goes well for his op on the 14th. I think you’re wise to avoid all contact and keep safe for the op date.
My DGD is very interested in things Japanese too. During lockdown she was trying to learn some Japanese and also sign language.
Goodness, teaching Japanese must be difficult. I wouldn’t have thought it was an easy language to learn.
We will be having a therapeutic brandy (purely for medicinal purposes) tonight to celebrate DGDs birthday.
Lovely to see them today and share in the birthday cake,
Keep cool and carry on I think should be your motto ?
Kaimoana your post made me laugh. How do you come up with these things? What a memory for a start.
I think it would be a wonderful game.
Jan I bet you needed that coffee if it was as cold with you as it is here.
Time to get thinking about that packing. I think Theo looks as though he will be well cared for while you are away. Including having his ears scratched. Nice the lady who looks after him sends you photos. He’s a lovely looking cat.
Grammaretto hope your turn of duty at the open house went without incident. I would find it hard wearing a mask all the time too.
Those letters are fascinating stuff. Fancy getting an ass in to feed the baby. Do you think they kept it in the garden?
Hope things come together in the house this week and some progress is made.
Mamissimo good news. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Amazing what effect a good sleep has.
Sorry to hear your DD is not much better. Hope she sees improvement soon. I hope the benefit of the new hearing aids makes the expense of the phone and watch worthwhile.
Yes that would have been a much better idea for my chicken than what I did. My frozen offering wouldn’t be any good for bricklaying but may be the right shape for dry stone walling ?

BoadiceaJones Sun 06-Feb-22 20:42:47

Good morning, friends

It's so humid again today - everything is damp and sticky. The tomatoes have blight. The lawn is now a jungle, and every time I go out there, I expect to meet Dr Livingstone. You're right, Doodle, this part of Northland weather is not fun - but we'll be back to hot and dry in no time at all. MrJ's burn is looking less angry today, thank goodness. I'm so pleased you had a medicinal elixir - can make everything seem less miserable, sometimes. Your freezing problems are something that I've managed to do too! You handled that very well!

Jan - if we lived closer, I'd love to have Theo to stay. He looks a perfect gentleman, and very much at home in his hotel, with staff to pander to his every need. I hope the packing goes well, and that the anticipation of the cruise is building pleasantly.

Mamissimo, your poor DD - what a lot of burdens to bear just now. And hard on Mama also - regardless of age, they remain our kids, don't they.

Grammaretto - I hope all is well with you. Loved the idea of soup turning out to be rhubarb! Any more from your DS about his visit? Your letters are a real historical gem. I've always wondered why asses' milk was the choice for babies, rather than cows'. Perhaps they are less prone to infectious diseases?

Doodle - The very first thing I used to do with a new Japanese class, once they were in the room, was to close the door, after checking outside, with a flourish, then look behind the curtains, and in the cupboards. The class, meanwhile was sitting there, totally bemused, but they knew that MrsJ had the reputation for being a bit the wall... Then I'd lower my voice to a whisper, finger on lips, and say "This doesn't go beyond these four walls, and you have to swear that this will be our secret, just for us....OK, here's the secret...Japanese is incredibly easy. Really, really easy to learn. Don't tell anyone, as everyone thinks it's REALLY difficult, and will be so impressed when they hear you chattering away, and reading the script like a native." I then proceeded to show them how they can learn 5 tenses in 10 seconds. I had them time me as I wrote them on the board. It normally takes years to learn 5 French tenses, as you know. So in 10 seconds, they could say "I go, I am going, I will go, I went, I was going". Easy peasy.
Then we proceed to the phonetic hiragana script. I give them the sheet, explain the code (so easy) then write a word in phonetic script on the board - usually "tsunami", "origami", "karaoke", "Toyota" etc. They can quickly decode it from the sheet, and hey presto! They can read Japanese! All in less than 15 minutes! They used to leave the room buzzing with excitement and a sense of achievement. That's what I so loved/love about teaching.

Grammaretto Sun 06-Feb-22 22:51:39

Oh Boadicea I love your Japanese teaching. Is it truly easy?
I remember being at the station in central Tokyo and was totally bewildered by the signs in Chinese script. Couldn't find a tourist kiosk fast enough to help us buy our tickets.

No progress with anything this weekend. I even missed my Edinburgh DS's visit. I had gone for a walk thinking he wasn't coming and then I get a text saying he was here! He didn't wait he said it was freezing. It was pelting hailstones but I am disappointed. He called on his grandma instead. Never mind he has asked me to lunch next Sunday.

I am finding such comfort in the past and the letters. I was wondering if they brought an ass into the garden. Did I tell you I went to look at her grave in the churchyard and there's the memorial with her and the 3 DC who predeceased her. Her husband isn't buried there. He remarried after she died and fathered another 10 children.

I am so glad your DGD's birthday was so nice Doodle
Good to hear the restorative sleep has healed you Mamissimo but sorry that your DD is still suffering.

I accidentally bid for a warm garment on eBay in the wrong size. Luckily someone outbid me. phew!
Bedtime for me. Thanks for the hot choccie Jeeves.

Kaimoana Mon 07-Feb-22 01:11:01

Sometimes a good, long sleep is all it takes, glad it worked for you Mamissimo. I do hope your DD has better fortune soon. Good she has a no-nonsense Mum in her corner if anyone tries to short-change her on her rights. Year of the Tiger - Beware!

Glad MrBJ is a little better too - I keep honey in my kitchen as I regularly burn myself -no blister or pain once honey works its magic.

Karen and I went to a shop called Reduced to Clear today.
They have wonderful bargain of things near their 'sell by' date.
Neither of us had our glasses but her vision is better than mine so she was reading things in the freezer and said, 'I wouldn't buy this one, it's a pack of cat rings.'
Me: Cat food?
K: No, just cat rings.
I knew a shop wouldn't sell processed cat, so I look very closely.
The ice on the packet had covered the 'e' so it actually read 'Catering Pack'.

We laughed so heartily I'm sure the staff were on the point of sending for men in white coats.
It didn't help that it's also the shop we stole from last week! grin

BoadiceaJones Mon 07-Feb-22 01:30:33

I hope this will know I'm an utter idiot with IT

BoadiceaJones Mon 07-Feb-22 01:33:19

It worked! It worked! The wistful nurse is my Granny at the Exeter No 2 Hospital. Our Hospital ABC is the book - a real little gem, with portraits of many of the staff there in 1915.

muse Mon 07-Feb-22 01:38:38

Restless night so I catch up with the Lobstars ?news. I’m reading in reverse. I’ve just laughed out so loudly at the cat rings Kaimoana , I’ve woken MrMuse up. Had to read it to him.
I’ll read more in the morning. Must try and get some sleep ?

BoadiceaJones Mon 07-Feb-22 01:44:50

Oooh Kaimoana! I didn't see your post before posting mine-focusing so hard on trying not to be an incompetent.
You two! Really! You are a right double act. Cat rings! I love it...would have been very tempted to buy it just to see what a cat ring looked like, though of course, the disappointment would have been profound.

NfkDumpling Mon 07-Feb-22 09:24:53

I just love that picture Boadicea, things haven't changed so very much! And Kaimoana's cat rings. I never used to read labels on any foodstuffs but as I've developed a garlic intolerance we've become avid label readers - except pet food. A magnifying glass is often essential.
I shall now take a keener interest . Garlic seems to be a compulsory part of all things savory. It's amazing the random ingredients which are in jars. I'm now wondering if it's in cat and dog food. Or what else is in there. Perhaps cat rings.

BoadiceaJones Mon 07-Feb-22 18:07:56

Well, that worked ok, so I'm trying another. This is the Whangaroa harbour from our front verandah.

muse Mon 07-Feb-22 18:51:16

Envy from me BoadiceaJones. I'd spend all day on that verandah.

I currently have a 40' container to look at when I sit on the verandah of our home 'to be' here in Cornwall. MrMuse says there will be a lake where the container is??.

Doodle Mon 07-Feb-22 19:06:39

Baodicea I’m not sure I could cope with hot dry weather either. I think my body is happy with English weather ….except when it raining…..or cold…..or snowy.?
Good to hear MrB’s burn is improving. So painful.
I think you would be an amazing teacher to have. I bet your students loved being in your class. Always something different.
What a lovely drawing of the poor nurse and the elegant lady. Your Granny looks as though she’s a hard worker.
Grammaretto oh what a shame you missed your DS. At least you have lunch next Sunday to look forward to.
How old was the mother in your letters when she died? So sad she lost all those children.
Kaimoana oh thank you for the wonderful laughter you bring to this thread. Cat rings indeed ?. I was wondering why cats would need frozen ornamentation.
I better start baking that cake with a file in it…….it’s only a matter of time before it’s needed.
Muse hope you managed to catch up with some sleep.
DH was up a lot last night. His restlessness was quite bad.
I think he was hoping GP might increase the dose of his meds but instead she has asked him to stop taking one and replace it with another. He is not overly optimistic it will help but will give it a try.
Nfk I have trouble reading things now. I used to bae able to read the smallest print but sadly no more. Yes I often rely on a magnifying glass too.
Being intolerant of garlic must be quite difficult. It’s not an obvious component of dishes but seems to be included in all sorts of things as garlic powder.
I agree, it’s bizarre the amount of strange ingredients in things.
Even the simplest looking dish has a list of ingredients a mile long. Hope you are keeping well.
Baodicea what a wonderful view you have, I’m surprised you get anything done. I think I would sit there and look at that view all day long.

Doodle Mon 07-Feb-22 19:08:09

Muse does MrMuse mean that when the container is emptied he will fill it with water? You could use it as a swimming pool ?

BoadiceaJones Mon 07-Feb-22 19:09:35

Ah, but Muse, that container is a promise of good things to come. How exciting to have all that ahead of you, the thought of something you have worked so hard on together coming to fruition. Love the idea of a lake. Planning a new house, getting it just how you want is so special. Instead of having to take on other people's ideas of room placement/colours/styles/flooring, and either live with them, or take a deep breath and shake the piggybank hard to pay to have it all fixed.
Nfk I should explain that the picture is from a book published in Exeter to raise funds for the hospital during WWI. With the huge influx of wounded men from all over Europe and the Med, it, and most other hospitals had to be staffed by Red Cross VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurses. Granny, shown in the picture, was one of them. She met her future husband there - and ANZAC severely wounded at Gallipoli, he had been sent to England, travelling on the deck of the hospital ship, so serious was his condition. She was his nurse, and he said that she undoubtedly saved his life. Very romantic. A long story I shall save for another time.

Kaimoana Mon 07-Feb-22 20:38:08

What a fund of historical stories you have BJ I am always fascinated. smile

muse as I understand it the veranda view is from BJ's old home, where tenants now live. Her outlook these days, is a beautiful garden, from which she allows me to benefit

I believe garlic is used extensively in animal feed as it's a preservative.

BJ as you speak French, I expect you laughed at that wink

I had my own mis-seen freezer pack long ago in UK.
There used to be a Bird's Eye dish called Gravy and Beef.

Unfortunately, the fancy writing made it look, at first glance, like "Gravyard Beef" and just a wee bit too macabre.

I actually wrote to Bird's Eye and although they never replied, I noticed they quickly changed the design so each word was on a separate line grin
I often wonder if sales went up thereafter.

BoadiceaJones Mon 07-Feb-22 20:42:29

AND, Kaimoana - did you know that the Romans kept their feet warm on the march (those sandals were pretty leaky) by putting garlic between their toes? The Ancient Brits would have smelled them coming a mile off!

BoadiceaJones Mon 07-Feb-22 20:44:00

I did, of course, mean Roman legionaries.

Grammaretto Mon 07-Feb-22 22:16:14

How would garlic have kept their feet warm?

I took DMiL to see the Tapestry today and she gave us all a history lesson, including the guide.
She knew all about Malachi Malagrowther and the Scottish banknotes. She asked why her hero Thomas Carlyle is not represented and she spotted the work of her cousin in one of the many panels.
She noted that the Romans never went as far as Ireland or the Isle of Man for that matter.

I found I needed reading specs when I was trying to read the fish food packet for some fish in a tank I was feeding. I couldn't, so overfed the fish. Then I wondered why telephone directories had such tiny writing. Someone suggested I should have an eye test.
The lady whose letters I am reading was 48 when she died. She had 11 DC in 19 years. she didn't have preservatifs! Most grew to adulthood. One became an MP and one of her DDs married an engineer and went to live in Japan

No kitchen progress but I have invited a volunteer to stay and help me with heavy work in preparation for my moving back into my part of the house.

Boadicea your histories are brilliant and you have kept so much. I must have another go at looking for the deeds.

Bedtime again. No more chocolate. I will have rooibos instead thanks Jeeves.

BoadiceaJones Mon 07-Feb-22 23:17:43

Sorry Kaimoana, garlic is not the most effective préservatif in any Mediterranean populace smile, having long been regarded as an aphrodisiac. Apparently allicin stimulates bloodflow, warming the parts to which it is applied...namely toes, of course. Your wisdom may well correct my misapprehension, though.
Grammaretto - thank you filling gaps in my sadly neglected education..I'd never heard of Mr. Malagrowther, and instantly googled him. How interesting! However, I have heard of Thomas Carlyle, being a distant relative...the name is a family name, the family originating in Ecclefechan (don't you love that name?), Annan and Torthorwald. My FIL used to tell of a legendary lady of negotiable affections, well past her prime, who used to tout for trade on the bridge - she was known to all as "Ecclefechan Mary"- the original Ecclefechan Tart, perhaps?

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