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Tuesday 1 September 2020

Goodbye to Lockdown - In London At Least

For the last few months I've been describing Lockdown Life in England as part of my normal Sentence a Day.  Now, in August 2020, we are largely out of lockdown, although regional flare-ups mean parts of the north had measures reimposed. We still have some restrictions in place around how many people are supposed to meet in gardens and houses; we wear face coverings in shops and on public transport, and most theatres are still dark. Holidays abroad are difficult because we have to quarantine on return from most countries for 14 days. This week children finally return to school. 
Sat Aug 1
Went to the garden centre to see if they had the rose Gabriel Oak which I am after. They didn't, it's too late in the season for container roses. Bought 2 monardas (bee balm), a large perennial lobelia and a salvia Pink Lips.  Started moving plants around.
Sun Aug 2
Rachel and Sean came for lunch, the first time since before lockdown.  Roast chicken. Finished watching Call My Agent. Gutted to get to the end, although a new season is coming.  It was definitely one of my favourites this year.

Mon Aug 3
Nice day.  My Power Plate gym reopened - yay! It's been redecorated. Everyone was so excited to be back. Good measures in place for sanitizing and social distancing. Started The Fall series 1 (better late than never!).

Tues Aug 4
Mini garden makeover. Had a gardener round to remove a poorly performing cherry tree  (to accommodate Gabriel Oak) and prune the hawthorn and "beast," the clematis Montana, although very gingerly with the latter because it's the wrong time for pruning. Amazing how much more light there is now. The garden "after" is the shot at the top of the page.  The "before" is below - you can't see the garage.
Weds Aug 5
Power Plate, early class. Put on a VR headset to access keynotes for the big virtual event we've been working on for several months. This is the future of events.
Thurs Aug 6
Bit stiff. Did the shopping. Cloudy. J is getting ready for his trip to Lake, two weeks but coming back at the weekends. Started French drama The Last Wave.

Fri Aug 7
Took car for service. J showed me the park running track where he runs every Tuesday. We went into London by train for the first time since lockdown. Had cocktails and then dinner at the Gilbert Scott.  Lovely experience and brand new train for our return journey capped it off. Read more here. Very hot today, got to 33 degrees (the mid 90s) Hard to sleep.
Sat Aug 8
Did a forest walk with J, 4 miles. Another hot day but at least it cooled down slightly at night. New Nike Be True trainers came.
Sun Aug 9
Walked to Power Plate, a 4.2 mile round trip. Like old times. Hot again.  Spoke to mum.

Mon Aug 10
Aching after gym session. Hot. J off to Lakes tomorrow for a few days. I'll be working.

Tues Aug 11
Hot again. Early Power Plate class. Waved J off at 9.50.  It's at least a 5 hour drive to the Lake District. Stifling heat in bed.

Weds Aug 12
UK officially in recession, first time since 2008. Very hot. J struggled on his walk.

Thursday Aug 13
Finally cooler weather. Up at 5.30. Did long walk 5.3 miles including the steep Yates Meadow.  Nature showing lots of signs of the new season - acorns, berries in hedges, trees changing colour. Watched film The Lighthouse. See my review here.
Friday Aug 14
Went to PP tough class. Torrential rain . Did the shopping.  Had to finalise and present Q3 media plan. Watched film The Assistant (6 out of 10).  J did Great Gable and Glaramara + 2 others.

Sat Aug 15
Molly gave me cuddles at 5 30. She hasn't done this for a while, stays out in summer. Did some shopping in Epping.  J got home at 3.

Sun Aug 16
Cloudy again with showers.  Walked to PP. J has new iPad and attempted 3 times to get old one to back up. On the plus side, we now have a free trial of Apple TV.

Mon Aug 17
Cool, cloudy. J off to Lakes again, back Fri. Rained a few times. Fell down Google Earth rabbit hole looking at all the places where I have lived.

Tues Aug 18
Power Plate.  Changing food habits so bought salad veg for lunch and put cheese in freezer. J had terrible day out hiking, visibility very poor, fell over, ripped deluge trousers.

Weds Aug 19
Short walk. J coming home today (earlier than planned).  Weather terrible in Lakes. Cheese came out of freezer.

Thurs Aug 20
Sunny, 25. Walk 3.3 miles. Yates Meadow being mown. Awful day workwise.
Fri Aug 21
Quiet day. Did food shopping.  rounded off with film Ride Like a Girl (7 out of 10, sentimental family film) and shop bought fish n chips for J, quiche and salad for me.  Finished The Fall.

Sat Aug 22
Still v windy. Did shopping. Blog shoot indoors. Called BT to organize for an engineer to visit my mum - her phone line quality is atrocious. She tried to ring them (on said line) but they couldn't hear her. Watched film Greyhound, Tom, Hanks.

Sun Aug 23
Sunny start, wind has dropped. Walked to Power Plate. Changed beds, wrote blog post. Roast chicken.  Granddaughter Rosie supposed to be coming for lunch but they have to socially isolate after a holiday in France.

Mon Aug 24
New phone arrived, Samsung S20.  So easy to set it up! Couldn't believe it.

Tues Aug 25
Storm Francis. Strong wind and rain. Did 3.5 miles in rainwear.

Weds Aug 26
Good day. BT engineer sorted out Mum's phone.  PP. Watched last episode of The Morning Show - was very good.

Thurs Aug 27
New Mous case arrived for my phone, very strong, will keep it safe.

Fri Aug 28
Mixed weather. Went to Power Plate, did the shopping, "Fresh N Up Friday."  Fish and chips for John, my turn to collect them. Got new passport photos taken. Photo booths have got very hi-tech! Can now send the code of the image in the online renewal application.

Sat Aug 29
Temperatures have plummeted.  Went for an urban walk, new route, 4.7 miles. Needed my sweatshirt and a jacket.

Sun Aug 30
Blue sky but very cold  (well, 13 degrees which seems cold!). Went to Power Plate and then Epping to pick up a few luxuries at M&S. Had roast lamb.  Rachel and Sean came for lunch.

Monday Aug 31 - bank holiday 
Style Not Age Challenge post published - see it here. John and I did a 6 mile Epping Forest walk full of interest. We saw one of the deer tunnels under the M25 (below) and a strange obelisk in the middle of nowhere dedicated to Boudicca  (who died in AD 60). She reportedly had strong links to Epping.
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