Blogtober 2021 : Day 24

I’ve had a bit of a lazy day today after all of yesterday’s exertions.  I have my Fitbit step counter set at 9,000 steps as I know that I can usually do that in a day but some days I might not hit 10,000 and I prefer to celebrate 9,000 steps than feel bad about not reaching 10,000 – I reached 9,000 steps whilst out on the bike ride (steps on a bike?  I know, it puzzled me too!) and then another 9,000 steps whilst jumping around at the concert so I decided that I had earned a day of not doing very much.

Having said that, I’ve still done laundry, cleaning, cooking, pet-feeding, calendar-updating, blog-writing, kindling-chopping and this evening I will be sitting and knitting so it’s not like I’ve been sitting around doing nothing at all for the whole day.  It’s surprising how much we do even on “not doing anything” days, isn’t it?

I don’t usually take photos at concerts and if I’m honest, I do get a bit cross when I can’t see anything except people’s hands and phones in the air, but I snapped these quickly so that I could remember going to this one with the girls – big daughter has been to plenty of venues like this at university and not so small daughter has been to concerts before, but nothing quite like this where we were so close to a band that we have only seen from a distance at an arena.

A man is standing on a stage backlit with blue lights and playing a guitar. In the foreground are lots of heads of the crowd.

The same man is playing a keyboard, backlit by red lights.

The man is standing with arms spread wide, backlit by gold lights.

I love that I get to go out and do things like with this with my girls.  We’ve all got different musical tastes but there is some crossover from time to time and we all love The Script.  We had a wonderful time singing along and, it turns out, ramping up the steps on the Fitbit!

Yes, you will be quite right if you think there was no social distancing going on here and I will admit that there were moments when I looked around and thought that maybe this wasn’t a very safe situation to be in, but the venue had requested that everyone have proof of negative flow tests or vaccination so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the germ level was low!

I’ve still got my Horrible Cough although it’s better than it was and guess what, there was no coughing at all whilst I was singing!   This has been hanging around for weeks now, my husband is making “you need to speak to a doctor” noises and he’s probably right although I’m still pretty sure that it’s nothing to be worried about and it will go away eventually.  I’ve been inhaling Olbas oil steam, bent over a bowl with a tea towel over my head, in the hope that the fumes will encourage the cough to leave.  I can remember having to do this as a child (I used to get bronchitis every Winter without fail) although it was Friar’s Balsam rather than Olbas oil that was used then; both have a very distinctive smell and now that I come to think about, that smell reminds me of being looked after when I was unwell.  Now that we’re adults, we tend to soldier on, don’t we?

It’s still not that cold here but we’ve been lighting our fire at night.  It’s cosy and for me, it adds to that “looked after” feeling.  I love to hear the crackle of the flames and see them lighting up the shadows on the walls.  Our fires (we’re spoilt in our house, we have two) are built into the wall and the ash boxes sit beneath in a hole which is great in one way in that you don’t have to clean out the fire every time you use it, but when the box gets full, there isn’t much air flow and the fire becomes difficult to light.  When that happens, you do have to empty the ash out which involves taking the grate out and pulling out this box full of ash which invariably goes everywhere.  Yes, I do know that emptying it more regularly would solve that problem, but the fire actually burns better when the box isn’t empty for some reason, and I’ve always got better things to be doing in the day than emptying out the ash!  Today, on a day when I wasn’t really doing anything (🤣 ), it had got to the point where the boxes needed emptying so I thought I would show you what it looks like.  I’d never seen a fireplace like this before we moved into this house and we had to replace one of the boxes – my Dad tracked one down in the end and although you can still get them, a quick internet search showed me that there aren’t that many places that will still make them so I hope these don’t wear out!

A chrome fireplace built into a brick wall.  In front of the fireplace is a tall metal ash bucket to the left, a black metal ash shovel, two pieces of the grate on top of each other and a black coal bucket containing smokeless coal bricks.

That’s the ash bucket on the left; it’s not looking particularly fancy these days and the rim has rusted off but it is still in one piece where it matters to hold the ash!

I’m off to light the fire and settle down with my knitting now, but before I go, I want to show you a photo I took the other evening.  I looked out of the window and everything was tinged with a pink hue.  I assume it was the sunset as it’s happened before but I can’t see the sun setting from this side of the house.  Instead, I can see the plants bathed in pink and for a few moments, it’s the loveliest thing.

A garden border where everything is tinged with pink as the sun sets.

Enjoy your Sunday, I’ll be back tomorrow for the last week of Blogtober! xx


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10 Responses

  1. Chris Murray says:

    Your garden photo is stunning

  2. Charlotte says:

    Lovely garden picture. Enjoy doing things with the girls while they still want to go with you.

  3. Margaret L. says:

    Your garden photo took my breath away – how amazing to capture this so well!

  4. Julie A says:

    We rented an old farmhouse for many years and it had a similar fire (baxi – I think), which was probably very state of the art when it was installed. It had an air intake which ran from the outside wall and across the width of the room (underneath the floor boards); it was the easiest fire to light which I have ever come across. Love the garden light – the low sun can produce magical effects this time of the year.

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, that’s how our fire works although I think ours is a Firex – no doubt there were several on the market at one time. There’s a flap that I can open and close to regulate the air and it really is very handy not having to empty the ash bucket every time we use the fire! xx

  5. Janet Senior says:

    The mention of friars balsom transported me back to my childhood in the 1960’s. I loved the smell but no one I mention it to knows what I’m talking about.

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