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Friday, 30 July 2021

Friday Favourites, July: Books, Podcasts


Image by Bernd Everding from Pixabay

Greetings all and welcome to the July edition of book, TV and podcast reviews. Hardly any TV again, but not for want of trying. There's just nothing new that's floating my particular boat. But I know most of you like the book reviews best, so let's launch into them.


Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Hill Walking in a Heatwave - and Link Up

 Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon describes a Lake District holiday in the north of England: hill walking in hot temperatures, gourmet cuisine and a capsule evening wardrobe trial

It was blazingly hot last week in the UK - and there was Mr Mutton and me, hill climbing in the Lake District, in the north of England. 

On the first day we foolishly tackled a very strenuous route with a lot of ascent, and boy was it tough. Even Mr Mutton, who is as fit as a flea, had aching muscles the next day.  After that, we chose routes that were more gentle. One of the best ones started in the Whinlatter Forest, where the trees gave us some cool shade. I loved the different shades of heather. 


Monday, 26 July 2021

Jackets for July: Style Not Age Challenge


Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in Bright Violet Rachel jacket from Kettlewell for the latest Style Not Age Challenge, Jackets for July. Worn with a lime green tee and white ankle skimmer trousers

Welcome to the latest Style Not Age Challenge, set this month by Jacqui of Mummabstylish. Jacqui chose "Jackets for July." After the recent heatwave you may be wondering if jackets are needed in July, but temperatures are often low in the early morning and fall in the evening, so you often do need a light jacket or cardigan.


Wednesday, 14 July 2021

What I've Been Wearing - and Link-Up

Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in the garden wearing white trousers, Kettlewell Mole short tie wrap and top in Sangria with fuchsia sandals

We were on the crest of a wave. England had got through to the final of a major soccer tournament for the first time in 55 years.  And we were looking forward to "Freedom Day" - July 19 - when most of the remaining Covid restrictions are lifted.

But doom and gloom descended after the nail biting final at Wembley turned into a loss for England. There were scuffles and fights, with families fleeing to safety, and an  outpouring of racist bile online. 

On the Covid front, the scientists are increasingly worried about the possibility of up to 200 deaths a day once people stop wearing masks and social distancing.  

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

A Rainbow of Colourful Summer Shoes - and Link-Up

Sandals in different colours owned by blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton

I only got the idea for this post yesterday. Most weeks I know exactly what I'm going to cover and take  pics over the weekend. This week I was dithering. I have a new pair of trousers/pants (bright pink) but I wasn't inspired.  I was also thinking about writing about lockdown benefits, or England's chances, but  vetoed those because they're of little interest to countries outside England (football) and overdone (lockdown).  So shoes it is!

Friday, 2 July 2021

Friday Favourites, June: Podcasts, TV, Books

 Listening to a podcast, Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon in the monthly round-up of programs to watch and books to read.

Greetings all. Here I am with my round-up of last month's entertainment.  I read quite a few books, probably because TV was a bit dire and there are no podcasts really commanding my attention at the moment.  As always, love to see your recommendations for what I missed, in the comments. 


The Golden Rule, Amanda Craig

My expectations weren't too high when I read the story outline.  HOWEVER.  The book is very powerful in terms of the anger it expresses:  anger at the rich poor divide in the UK;  anger at Brexit;  anger on behalf of "Generation Rent" who can't buy houses, and most of all, anger on behalf of women who get sucked into useless marriages and then cast aside, having to fight their ex's for money to survive. 

Hannah's career starts off promisingly - she's at an ad agency, and married to old-money mummy's boy Jake, whom she met at university. They have a daughter. But we learn she was sexually harassed by senior males at work. When her marriage to Jake ends, she finds it hard to make ends meet and works as a cleaner so she can support their daughter, with Jake often forgetting to pay for the rent. 

On a train to Penzance, to visit her mother who is dying, she is enticed into a First Class carriage where she talks to glamorous stranger Jinni.  They hatch a plot to kill each other's husbands. This sounded a bit ludicrous, and even more so when Hannah went straightaway to the house where Jinni's husband is supposed to be living.  

It felt a bit like a book in two halves which could have been written by two different people.  A lot of anger in the first half, where Hannah's situation appeared utterly hopeless. And then in the second half,  things pick up for Hannah in unexpected ways.  There's a slight reversal in the viewpoint that all men are bad, as we learn that some women marry for reasons not always connected to love  (surprise surprise), and can be equally as bad when marriages end. I'm not sure it paints the picture of the resilience of women, as the blurb claims, because Hannah's good fortune seems to stem from gifts rather than her own endeavours.  An intriguing and engrossing read.

The Other Black Girl, Zakiya Dalila Harris 

When you're the only black girl in the office, and routinely exposed to micro aggressions and micro inequities, seeing another black girl recruited can only be a good thing, surely?  Not necessarily in this best seller, which is part office satire, part thriller. Its pace was a bit slow because it wasn't always apparent that new girl Hazel's game was to constantly undermine Nella. Other characters were introduced early on and given their own sub plot, and it wasn't clear until near the end what their relevance was.  But it kept me turning the pages even if I did feel a little short changed at the ending.

Lives Like Mine, Eva Verde

Set in London, we meet a dual-heritage mother who's struggling with her racist in-laws and not getting any support from her husband. Monica is estranged from her parents and her children have never met their grandparents, despite them living not too far away. She starts an affair with Joe and through their relationship starts to tackle parts of her life which trouble her. Her husband's family are truly horrendous and their encounters with Monica are toe curling. I was screaming inwardly for Dan to stand up for his wife for once. A promising debut from Eva Verde.

Available, Laura Friedman-Williams

This is the true and unfiltered - definitely unfiltered  - account of a woman's adventures in online dating after her husband of 27 years dumped her.  After the initial shock, she starts trying dating apps and picking men up in bars.  She and her ex-husband undergo some counselling but it doesn't go anywhere because Friedman Williams is furious with him and blames him totally for going off with another woman. I did wonder if she would ever consider her own role in the marriage and ask herself if she had somehow contributed to the state of affairs? Her pursuit of men seems all-consuming. Maybe I'm being a Puritan but it seemed to be at the expense of her children.  It's an eye opener.

Both of You, Adele Parks

A new novel from Adele Parks is always an exciting event for me - I have been reading her books since she started, and they always offer an intriguing plot and thought-provoking dilemmas.  In Both of You, a woman goes missing. She sets off for work but never turns up.  Her husband and family are distraught.  Meanwhile, wealthy businessman Daan Janssen is also distraught that his wife Kai has disappeared into thin air.  As always, lots of twists and turns, and I galloped through it in breathless pursuit of the end.

Podcast Picks 

There are a few new releases but they're not floating my boat I'm afraid. Let's start with one of those because it's had a lot of hype:  

Edith! (QCode)

Edith! is a drama starring Rosamund Pike in the "true-ish" story of America's secret First Female President.  After President Woodrow Wilson suffered a massive stroke, Edith Wilson did the unthinkable: she told no one, and for almost a year, acted as an unelected President.  It sounds like a gripping plot but a podcast either wins or loses you in the first few minutes, and I'm afraid this one lost me.

Jude the Obscure (BBC Sounds)

Much more enjoyable is the drama Jude the Obscure (BBC Sounds), one of my favourite novels, dramatized in three parts. I remember reading this novel, the last written by Thomas Hardy, many years ago and gasping at the horror and tragedy of what unfolded. 

Jude Fawley dreams of becoming an educated man, a scholar, and going to the famous city of Christminster (Oxford) to follow in the footsteps of his teacher Mr Phillotson. He marries publican's daughter Arabella which is a disaster.  Later he falls in love with his cousin Sue, who is briefly married to Phillotson.

Hardy was way ahead of his time as he ponders the nature of marriage, particularly for women.  He has Jude and Sue living together as man and wife without being married, very scandalous in the time of writing in 1896.  A fantastic adaptation.

British Scandal (Wondery) 

The subjects of the first two series's of this true life documentary series didn't interest me, the Litvinenko poisoning and The Sexed Up Dossier, about a controversy centred on the Iraq war. 

However, I'm finding the third series about The Murdoch Phone Hacking so entertaining that I may revisit the earlier programs. It's about the scandal of how British tabloid newspapers began tapping the phones of celebrities, the royal family, and even the phone of a schoolgirl who was murdered. The resulting furore led to the closure of one of Britain's top selling papers, The News of the World.

TV Picks

I only have one recommendation this month.  The Euro football championships were consuming a lot of our viewing hours but there was also a paucity of anything new and decent to watch.  We tried a good few programs including Sweet Tooth (Netflix), Trying (Apple TV), Home Before Dark (Apple TV)  and Ragnorok (Netflix) and others, but didn't get very far with them. 

Staying with the footballing frenzy we watched a film about football, The Bromley Boys. It was a pleasant watch about 70's non-league football, but not remarkable. I then had an urge to watch 2009's The Damned United (BBC iPlayer), about the greatest manager England never had, Brian Clough.  In a class of its own, as was Clough.  Lots of stars in it including Jim Broadbent, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, a young Stephen Graham as Billy Bremner, and a very young Martin Compston (Line of Duty) as Derby player John O'Hare. 

Clarkson's Farm (Prime)

Clarkson's Farm - the hit series of June 2021 for Is This Mutton blog

This was the big hit of June for me, and a total surprise at that. I've always disliked Clarkson and his  misogynist petrol head persona.  But this series is laugh out loud funny. 

The premise of the series is that Clarkson, who has a vast farm in the Cotswolds, has to start farming himself when the tenant farmers move on. He buys the flashiest and biggest tractor possible, a Lamborghini, and has to be shown how to use it by a woman in the first of several put-downs. 

He is constantly the butt of jokes in the village and among the team of people helping him. Young  Kaleb, who's never been further than Banbury, has become an instant TV star.  I challenge anyone not to laugh their heads off at episode two, where Clarkson buys 72 "sheeps" including a couple of rams. 

Initially he uses a barking drone instead of a sheep dog, to save money, but the sheep aren't fooled for long.  Then they start to make bids for freedom.  They're so out of control he has to hire a shepherd (another woman), and is then chastised by one of his experts for making a huge loss on his sheep farming enterprise. 

Clarkson is made to look a prize buffoon but he comes out of it OK. It was very educational too - I learnt so much about some of the principles of farming, and the challenges posed by the weather and other hazards. Highly recommended.

That's it for June, do share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.

Sharing this post with #TheWeekendLinkUp at Claire Justine#LinkupOnTheEdge  at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings,  Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, Rena at Fine Whatever 

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Keep at Your Target Weight Forever - and Link-Up


Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton with some of her healthy eating and diet books

Today I'm talking about keeping weight off once we've lost it. Weight loss is, I think you'll agree, sometimes the easiest part of it.  We're usually fired up and have a particular diet plan and regime, and, if things go well, we lose the weight.  I've done it many times.  But it's keeping the weight off that's tough, because if you're not careful, it comes creeping back.


Monday, 28 June 2021

What to Wear For a Picnic: Style Not Age Challenge


Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in casual attire for a picnic:  Bowie t-shirt, striped paperbag trousers, gunmetal wedges and Gucci sunglasses
It was my turn this month to choose the challenge for the fearless five of the Style Not Age Challenge. I chose "picnic attire," or "how to dress for a picnic." 

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Family Time in Devon - and Link-Up


Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon in navy and white polka dot jumpsuit and bright pink accessories

I'm back after a week off.  My holiday started with a trip to London to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. We went to one of our favourite places, Dinner by Heston. This restaurant, which is in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Knightsbridge, doesn't offer the Heston Blumenthal "tasting menu" but instead a selection of classic British dishes which have been revived by Heston. Some of the more adventurous dishes were missing from the menu, which was a bit more streamlined.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Summer Beauty Bonanza and Link-Up

 Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon is overjoyed at sharing her five times emptied beauty products

First a big thanks for the outpouring of support and shared experiences after my post on The Loneliness Epidemic last week.  It was so lovely to read all your comments both on the blog and sent to my email address.


Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Loneliness, Finding My Best Blues, Link-Up

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton the over 50s style blog in Blue Jewel jacket and sangria t-shirt from Kettlewell Colours

It was a long weekend, with both a bank holiday and a day off on Friday, thanks to my company awarding us a day of care.  It was even sunny. But I'm dreading being asked if I had a nice time, and what I did.  The truth is, if it wasn't for my online life, I feel like a ghost drifting through life. 

Monday, 31 May 2021

Style Not Age Challenge: Inspired By the Sky and Sea

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in denim button through midi skirt and light green top

It's the last Monday of the month and time for the Style Not Age Challenge, featuring five of us from the UK and Ireland. 

This time it was Hilda's turn to choose the theme and she chose "Inspired by the Sky and Sea." It's a great idea but I found it surprisingly tough. I have very little in blue, nothing blue and patterned, and the greens I have are mostly solid and bright.  

Originally I thought of a precious Zara top which I haven't worn for years because the fine chiffon is starting to tear in places.  It was a lovely pale turquoise floral print. I went looking for it, but then remembered I had thrown it out not too long ago. What a pity.

A gold sequin beach bag and Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon is ready to go to the beach

So I came up with this alternative, prepared for a trip to the beach with my new gold sequin beach bag and wearing a denim skirt (blue), wedges (emerald) and top in iced aqua (green).

Laughing shot of Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in denin midi skirt and light green top with emerald wedges

The emerald wedges were bought on the island of Ischia, near Italy, many years ago. I can't remember what I bought them to go with, but it was clearly essential as I do remember scouring the shops!  The sunglasses and denim skirt are also new, and come under my category "summer essentials."  I recently had my eyes tested and the sunglasses are prescription, which I always think is the height of luxury. The denim skirt is by Levi's. The gold sequinned beach bag is from Moda in Pelle.

Let's see how what my blogging friends have come up with. Emma from Stylesplash has made another of her astonishing vintage finds from eBay. The pattern of the dress reminds her of light shimmering on the water, which is why she chose it for this theme. She has added new cloud earrings from Xander Kostroma and a cute bird print bag bought in Abu Dhabi a few years ago.

Hilda from Over the Hilda, whose challenge it is, is wearing a Zara purchase a few years ago, but seldom worn. She took her inspiration from the blue seas and skies. The orange and yellow flowers perhaps represent the sun!

Jacqui from Mummabstylish is wearing a stretchy pale blue embossed skirt, layers of pale blue cami tee, and a new Zara blouse that reminds her of clouds, topped off with a demin shirt as a jacket. 

Anna from Anna's Island Style  is lucky to live by the sea so it's her natural backdrop. She's wearing jeans that reflect the sea coloura of the Isles of Scilly, and a pale blue and white shirt  by KEW 159, a pre-loved piece is to reflect the sky. The belt is from Benetton and shoes from Primark, sunglasses by Quay Australia.

I hope we inspired you with our inspiration from the sky and sea. There are more pictures on each of the blogs featured.  Join me for a fashion post on Wednesday and the #WowOnWednesday link-up.

Sharing this post with:  Beauty by Miss L, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  #Iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb, Lizzie in Lace Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaire,Rena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette #TheWednesdayLinkUp at Claire Justine

Friday, 28 May 2021

Friday Favourites: TV, Books, Podcasts - May Edition 2021

 Selection of the TV shows, books and podcasts reviewed by UK blog Is This Mutton in May 2021 including Shtisel, Motherland, Starstruck, Stowaway, Jackie Weaver Ha the Authority and My Phantoms

Welcome to the May round-up of this month's favourite podcasts, TV and books. It's a bumper edition because with Mr Mutton off on his two week bike ride, I have had full control over the remote control.  


Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Bright Pink and Khaki - Plus Link-Up

 Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in khaki cargo trousers and bright pink blouse and sandals

I can't tell you how long I've been looking for a pair of khaki cargo pants.  Khaki is such a great neutral and it goes wonderfully well with bright colors like red, pink and orange. 


Sunday, 23 May 2021

Casual Chic: Blazer, Jeans and White Blouse

 Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon in casual chic outfit of oversized lilac blazer, shaping jeans and white broderie blouse with trainers
Greetings all. The weather has been atrocious for the last fortnight, so when it started off sunny today I had to grab a few pictures. 


Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Meet My Pink Thug - And Link-Up

Taking a stroll past her clematis montana in full bloom:  Gail Hanlon from over-50s style blog Is This Mutton

Some good news for the island this week  (my name for the UK). We're now allowed to mix indoors, six people from two households. And eat indoors in restaurants and pubs! Also on the list: cinemas and theatres are reopening  (socially distanced seating) and gym classes can resume.  We can also go on holiday to countries on the green list. In reality, this is Portugal.  Although the list includes places like Australia, they have not opened their borders.

So some good news in terms of getting back to some sort of normality, although it's all slightly clouded by the Indian variant of Covid 19 and the havoc it may yet cause. The government didn't restrict flights from India until April 23, purely because Johnson was going there for trade talks  (flights to Bangladesh and Pakistan had been suspended on June 9).  

Our next round of freedoms, to be announced in June, may yet be curtailed because the boffins are concerned that numbers will start to rise again.

An all white outfit with green bow top and mules for over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon as she poses in the garden next to a pink clematis montana

I may be experiencing some of these new freedoms myself today (Weds).  I have the day off.  Mr Mutton is off on his bike holiday, cycling a thousand miles from Land's End to John O'Groats.  It's been a fraught few weeks for him. Was the holiday going ahead? Would GWR be running any trains? (The service was more or less suspended for a week because of cracks that were discovered in carriages). 

But now he's ready to go, Covid tested, sleeker of frame, having lost 8 kilos (16 pounds) and weighed down with new cycling apparel and gadgets.  

He will be going by train to Land's End so I'm going with him to Paddington station to help if necessary. The carriage for bikes, and the carriage where he's sitting, are at opposite ends of the train so if the train is late, or on time, there's barely any time to accomplish both.

Last time I did this was at Euston. I had to push his bike along the length of a very long train, with interested mamils (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) casting their eyes over his fancy wheels and thinking I was lucky to own a bike like that, even if it did look a bit big for me.

Gail Hanlon from over-50s blog Is This Mutton in white boucle jacket, white A line skirt and lime green mules and blouse

Once I have waved the train off, the rest of the day is mine.  Some of the museums are reopening for the first time in months on this very day, as are some of the cinemas.  I'm quite tempted to see Nomadland, although it isn't showing in the Leicester Square cinemas. Or I could go into a clothes shop for the first time since before Christmas, even if it's just to indulge in the atmosphere of somewhere like Selfridge's. A nice little lunch, indoors, is also a possibility.

Meanwhile there's talk of a team lunch next week, which will involve going back into the office for the first time since February last year.  At the moment you can book using an app if you want to work in the building, but there are only a limited number of places. I was quite keen, but some of my colleagues, being in their 20s and 30s, were less so because they haven't yet been vaccinated.

Today's Photos

The clematis was looking so wonderful I had to take some photos. There are three clematis montana along the fence, two pink and one white;  it actually looks best from the lane, outside the garden, because I often chop too much off during the summer when really it should only be pruned immediately after flowering. I'm going to try to resist the temptation. The smell is wonderful, a bit like marzipan. 

They're often described as thugs because they're so rampant, but I love how they have hidden the fence, and how they help to enclose the garden and make it seem more complete. 

I shopped my wardrobe: everything is old. The skirt is regularly stocked in M&S each summer and I have it in 3 colours. 

I was thinking of doing a post where I talk about how I created the garden, with before and after pics. Would that be of interest?  Let me know in the comments. Also - what are the first things you plan to do following the relaxation of rules?  (Or what did you do, in countries where the rules are already relaxed). 

Sharing this post with: Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  #Iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb, Lizzie in Lace Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaire, Beauty by Miss L, Rena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, where readers can find new blogs to read, and bloggers can find new readers. Last week we had a bumper number of entries which I was thrilled about. 

Readers' Favourites - Most Clicked

Laurie from Vanity and Me with her post "HM spring summer linen neutral style." showcasing the elegant, luxurious style that Laurie is renowned for.

Cheryl, from Cheryl Shops, with What to Wear in May - a colourful skirt, a denim jacket and a cute bag. Love.

Is This Mutton Favourite

I was thrilled to see Canadian blogger Sheila from Ephemera joining the link-up for the first time. Sheila's post:  Mom-Day and Jab-Day Greens, and a Fascinator Flashback. Sheila puts together beautifully colourful outfits and has the most amazing shoe collection.  A lot of her finds are thrifted.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Stop Editing Older Women - and Link-Up

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton discusses discrimination against older women
I was shocked this week by the front cover of a magazine I've read for many years, Woman and Home. TV presenter Lorraine Kelly was unrecognisable, such was the degree of retouching and smoothing. Lorraine is a positive role model for older women, so it was particularly galling to see her face and neck completely bare of  the light wrinkles you'd expect in any 61 year old woman.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Find Your Perfect Yellow - and Link-Up

 Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in acid yellow and black polka dot trousers and shoes

Of all the colours, yellow is the most divisive.  Many women say they love it - and it's hard to resist with its gorgeousness freshness and vivacity - but it doesn't suit them.

I've news for you: there's a shade of yellow for nearly all of us, with the exception of those who have summer colouring. 

Monday, 3 May 2021

April 2021: Sentence a Day: Bluebells, Vaccination 2, Family Reunions

 Bluebells in Larkswood East London, April 2021

Covid-19 Update:  In the month of April the lockdown in England was relaxed slightly in that we can now dine outside at pubs and restaurants; team sports have resumed and non-essential shops and hairdresser/beauty salons reopened. We can meet with 6 people (two households) outside in a park or garden. But we can't mix indoors with other households, eat indoors at a restaurant or pub, go to the gym on go abroad on holiday. 

Thurs April 1

Fairly bright. Day off. Had eyes tested and chose a pair of glasses and prescription sunglasses. Did some weeding. I get a lot of square stalked willow herb in the back garden, which grows tall with pale pink flowers. We watched Made in Italy, a film with Liam Neeson. Terrible. 

Friday April 2

Good Friday.  Cloudy and cold. Did reluctant walk 4.8 miles. J did long bike ride. After lunch planted everything I bought in the garden centre a few days ago.  Sun came out briefly.

Sat April 3

Cold, cloudy. Walked to Waitrose, came back with a chicken on my back.  My long awaited delivery from Canada came: Anna Wintour necklaces.  I treated myself to these with my mum's very generous birthday money gift when I was 60. 

Sun April 4

Quiet day. Wrote blog post. Changed beds. Roast chicken.  

Mon April 5 - Easter Monday

Weather not as bad as forecast.  Did the mud walk. Now it's been dry for weeks there was no mud. 5.2 miles. As we're now able to meet family outdoors, we went for tea in R's garden,  then had hot cross buns in Christopher's garden. It was a few days after the birthday of a special child, whose face I have concealed. Wasn't too bad being outside as the sun was out and I was wearing a lot of clothes! 

Tues April 6

Sunny but v cold. Started work early. Busy and exasperating day. Started The Investigation, Danish crime series about a murder on a mini submarine. 

Weds April 7

Horribly busy working on annual plans. Did quick walk, King's Head circular. 

Thurs April

Trail walk in forest 4.2 miles. Cold. Busy day but finished by 5.30. 

Fri April 9

Prince Philip died. Did a workout.  Work was fairly quiet. John laid a trail of sawdust over my route "the mud walk" for an Orion race tomorrow. 

Sat April 10

Papers full of Prince Philip.  Radio 2 changed their schedule.  Did walk, 3.9 miles. J did photography at Orions Mercury race.  Watched last episode The Investigation.  Very good series.

Sun April 11

Blue sky quite cold. Mud Walk 5.5 miles. Roast beef. The mud walk starts with a lovely view of the reservoirs and City of London, behind this tree.

Mon April 12

Quiet day. Started early to write Wednesday's blog post. 

Tues April 13

Walk 3.9 miles including Connaught Water.

Weds April 14

Did Yates meadow mud walk. Sunny but cold. Didn't sleep well. Troubled by work things. Brain just wouldn't abandon it

Thur April 15

Didn't have time to do a walk as had a meeting at 9.30. Busy day but fairly productive. 

Fri April 16

Urban walk today Tesco. Second vaccination booked for Friday next week and J had his today.

Sat April 17

Sunny, cold. Did long walk with J nearly 7 miles. Fairlies Park including deer tunnel, obelisk and temple (below).  Watched Prince Philip's funeral.  In the evening saw Promising Young Woman - 7 out of 10. 

Temple in Fairlies Park, East London

Sun April 18

Didn't go for a walk. Did some housework and gardening.  Roast chicken.  Even without the walk did  just under 10k steps, which shows how much you can move at home if you're busy! 

Mon April 19

Day off. Sunny and actually warm. Went to Jodie's to have hair done, a drive of 35 miles on the M25. It was a lovely day.Made chilli for dinner.

Back view of post-lockdown hair cut and colour

Tues April 20

Have a 3 day internal conf starting at 8.30 (three hours a day)  so did my walk later.  Difficult to get motivated today.

Weds April 21

No walk, clouded over and got cold by late morning. Good day. Some white gold stud earrings delivered.  Now that my ears are visible I need more earrings. Only small ones suit me. 

Thursday April 22

Finally warmer with blue skies.  Small cattle back in the forest. Long horns, very gentle creatures. Did trails walk 4.9 miles. Quiche and salad. 

Friday April 23

Sunny blue skies.  Did Yates Meadow, hilly, twice.  Had 2nd vaccination, this time at Walthamstow library.  Jab happened bang on time. Very thankful. 

Covid-19 vaccination centre at Walthamstow Library, April 2021

Sat April 24

Sunny still cold. No side effects from vaccination. Walked to Tesco, got too much and was loaded down by a heavy rucksack on way back. Did blog shoot at 4pm when sun had gone in a bit. 

Sun April 25

Sunny, chilly. Sorted out last 2 bags winter clothes.  Spurs in final of Caraboa Cup.Lost 2 nil unfortunately  Roast chicken. Did a workout and more blog photography.

Mon April 26

Found out that another of the weeds which drives me mad in the back garden is ground elder. Difficult to remove as it grows from rhizomes and if you leave a fragment behind, it starts the growth cycle off again.  Did a trails walk 4.2 miles. Sun came out later but still v cold.

Tues April 27

Sunny and warmer. Did a workout and went to the post office before starting work. Productive day.  Started Mare of East Town - see what I thought in Friday Favourites

Weds April 28

Sunny start, not so cold. Trails walk 4 miles. Fair has arrived. Remember how exciting this was when I was a teenager in Plymouth.  Clouded over and actually rained !! Briefly. Quiet day.

Thursday April 29

Urban walk to Tesco and back. Saw a glimpse of bluebells in Larkswood so walked back that way (top picture and below).  We finished Expanse and John chose to re-watch Game of Thrones again (for about the fifth or sixth time!). 

Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon with backdrop of bluebells

Friday April 30

Long weekend ahead, Monday Bank holiday.  Quiet day, did some cleaning. Longish walk 5 miles including Yates. Fish and chips, 1st time from takeaway shop for ages. This is the garden today.  Tulips (Dynasty) are out, as is scabious and a few dianthus. Daffodils have largely ended. 

An April garden in East London April 2021 following a mostly dry but unseasonally cold month

Sharing this post with  #LinkupOnTheEdge  at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings,  Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, Not Dressed as Lamb,  Rena at Fine Whatever

How was your April?  Link up your post if you have one, or let me know in the comments.  

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