Fashion and fun for the over-50s.

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Friday, 27 May 2022

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Summer Bottoms

 And #WowOnWednesday

Is This Mutton the blog for stylish and sassy over-50s on how to choose the right basics to make your summer dressing a breeze

I bet that got your attention. The bottoms I'm referring to are skirts, shorts and cropped trousers that will make or break summer for us.

Most years, I have a few old items, some of which I was never very keen on because of the fit, or the material, and I grudgingly make do. This year I had a whole new approach.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

I can Take the Despair - it's the Hope I Can't Stand

 And #WowOnWednesday Link-Up

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton on a long running restructuring saga at work

Dear friends.  The title of today's post is a memorable quote from a very funny film, Clockwise starring John Cleese.

It's the reason my post is late.  Yesterday I didn't get round to writing the post I had been planning.  I had been expecting that my application for voluntary redundancy would be accepted. I'd been optimistic that the exciting plans I've been making for retirement would start falling into place.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Style Chat and #WoW

 Showing the difference that a bright lipstick and accessories can make, Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton

Dear friends. I've been taking part in a challenge where you show a basic outfit and then add accessories.  It shows what a huge difference a few choice pieces can make, in either giving your outfit a bit more style, or taking something from day to night time.

Friday, 6 May 2022

April in Review: A Trip to Devon, A New Baby and More

 All the fun of the fair for London blogger Is This Mutton in April

Fri 1 April

Day off. Had hair done. Watched first episode Slow Horses (read my review)

Sat 2 April

Walk, 6 miles. Forgot to wear Fitbit. V cold. Went to a party for granddaughter Rosie's third birthday party, held in a coffee bar.  Three little friends from nursery came. Watched 1st episode Hacks.

A birthday party for three year olds, a social event this April for London blogger Is This Mutton

 Sun Apr 3

Cold, sunny intervals.  Did a photoshoot of 4 outfits based on a red cardigan.  Roast lamb for lunch. 

Mon April 4

Dreary and cold. J dropped one of his bikes off in Chelmsford for repairs. He cleaned my car. I got petrol and  a few groceries. J will be fending for himself (and Molly) for a few days, while I go down to Devon to see my Mum.

Tues April 6

Did early walk. Overcast. Attended a severance session  (we are in the 45 day consultation period at work; everyone in marketing is at risk of redundancy).  Left home at 11.30 to go to Plymouth.  Got there 4.30pm. Took a Simnel cake from Fortnum & Mason and we had a slice - delicious.

Weds April 7

Raining, windy. Went to one of our favourite places, Buckfast Abbey, for lunch. Had a yummy pasty from Crunch of Devon  (I consider myself a bit of a pasty conoisseur). We always light a candle for my brother. 

Back in London,  EV charger was being installed in the porch. The car was ordered last August but there is still no delivery date. 

Thurs April 8 

Did walk and saw Michael's grave. He was a baby who died in 1944. Flowers are still placed there. Also saw ribbons for Ukraine wrapped around a road sign. 

Took Mum to Otter garden centre.  I bought a heuchera and tiarella plus nerine bulbs. She bought a couple of roses and dianthus. We had a real laugh at one of her Malapropisms - "It's all water off a duck's bridge."

Fri April 9 

Raining am. Took mum for 4th jab after I booked it with a local pharmacy.  Originally, she was offered locations which were drop-in only, and difficult to get to without a car.  

While she was being jabbed I rummaged in two charity shops and got a green top originally from Banana Republic.  Then we went into town. Had lunch M&S, avocado on sourdough.  Got some earrings.  Started to pour with rain as we walked to bus stop. When we got back, I spent some time scanning some old photos.

Sat April 10th

Sunny start for my journey home.  Left 9.50, home 3.50. J was picking up another of his bikes. Couple of deliveries waiting, handbag and vitamins. Clematis Montana Rubens (x3) in bud and will soon burst into flower. Spurs on so watched The Split on tablet. 

Sun April 11

Lovely day, warm and sunny. Did walk, saw longhorns on Plains.  Did shopping at Tesco and M&S. Grand Prix was 6am, Lewis 4th. Roast beef.

Mon April 12

Did a workout.  Back to work  (from home). Lovely day, bit windy,  washing dried fast outside.  Was planning to go to Cambridge tomorrow as our account director from the ad agency in New York was going to be in, but she has Covid and and there's another petrol shortage

Tues April 12 

Walk, no cows. They move around so often I don't see them for days. Warm enough to take jacket off. Bumped into J who was running.  Quite busy work-wise. Had forgotten to take pics or write a blog post for tomorrow.  Managed to whip one up using prompt 10 on the 10th. Started The Gloaming.

Weds April 13

Planned workout but had meeting on which redundancy pool I'm in. Then got caught up in work.

Thurs April 14

Beautiful day. Walk, Yates, saw cows.  Google tells me my blog's "unparsable data issues" are resolved.  Phew. Meeting with finance advisor. 

Good Friday April 15

Day off for Good Friday. Beautiful day. Walked to Body Balance.  Haven't done it for a month,  legs aching afterwards! Did some gardening. 

Saturday April 16

Cloudy then sun came out. Bagged up more winter clothes to go in the attic.  Scheduled tweets. Went to garden centre and got a lupin, phlox, scabious and two dianthus. Then planted everything. Watched film Dune. 5 out of 10.

Easter Sunday April 17

Walk, Connaught Water.  Saw cows, still sitting down. Watched Easter service on TV. Had an Easter egg hunt for Rosie in the garden, then we all went to the Larkshall for lunch. Had roast chicken, huge.  Stayed sunny. 

Easter Monday April 18

Walk, Yates, horse n pony. Weather still quite good. Spent long time weeding rose bed. Watered roses. They will be late this year because I should have pruned them sooner  (did it in Feb). 

Tuesday April 19 

Didn't go into office.  Sold a couple of Kettlewell tops on the FB site.

Weds April 20 

Had a marketing All Hands for the latest on the redundancy situation. No clarity yet on who's going. 

Thurs April 21 

Yoga, not my usual 8.15am class. Tried a later  class, teacher was on holiday so was usual teacher, which was nice. 

Fri April 22 

Aching from yoga. Busy at work sorting out a new messaging look and feel for the big event I campaign manage, Embedded World.  Took some pics of clematis in full bloom.

Sat April 23 

Forced myself to walk, didn't really fancy it. Funfair has arrived (top pic).  Remember how excited I used to get when I was 15. Rejoined Ancestry (14 day trial again) and uploaded old pics from Mum's. Nice to put faces against her grandparents and an uncle. 

Sun April 24

Sunny intervals,  breezy. Took tripod to Larkswood to take pics of bluebells. Roast beef. Got a few containers ready for summer bedding

Mon April 25 

Did a stretch class at the gym. Bit shocked to realise that although my weight has stayed the same, waist measurement is back to what it was pre boot camp in Nov. Need to earn my carbs!!

Tues April 26 

Busy day - had to prepare a slide deck for a senior exec at short notice. Also had 4 hour planning session which used to be a couple of days in a nice location before Covid (Paris, Miami). Did walk pm. The forest seems totally different at a later time - the lighting and atmosphere.

Weds April 27 

New garden post live on blog.  J's daughter R went in labour overnight. Baby Olive born. R had tough time, kept in hospital overnight. No visitors allowed.  

Thurs April 28

Fairly busy today. Those in the pool I'm in for demand gen jobs  (11 people) had a meeting to ask questions which was a bit strange, and muted. Not many questions. Fox has dug up new clematis.  Lovely pics baby. R in hospital until tomorrow. 

Fri April 29

Cloudy, cold. R out of hospital.  J looked after Olive to allow R & S to have short nap. Here's the proud Granddad.

A new baby in the family!

Sat April 30

Likely to be the only sunny day this bank holiday, so got up early, did a 4 mile walk and then went to  Epping & garden centre. Got lots bedding plus 4 auriculas (for first time), and 2 dianthus. Didn't plant any: got distracted dealing with what looks like ears of corn in the flower beds, and weeding the drive. 

Sharing this post with:#SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random MusingsRena at Fine WhateverTalent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Link Up Pot Pourri and Traffic Jam Weekend at My Bijou Life


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Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Bluebells, Bouquets and Brickbats - and #WoW

 Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in Larks Wood, Chingford, a natural bluebell wood

The annual photos in a bluebell wood have become a Mutton tradition, but this year the wood has changed. 

Normally we take photos in a "secret" bluebell wood in Epping Forest. But I discovered last year, on one of my urban walks, that there is a tiny bluebell wood just off a main road on the way to Tesco.  And it's much quieter than the other wood, which is not a very well kept secret. 

Is This Mutton's annual bluebell wood fashion shoot. Gail Hanlon in Electric Blue jacket and paisley scarf from Kettlewell Colours

I took the pictures in Larks Wood with a tripod, and hardly anyone passed by.  The wood is a fragment left from when it was much bigger, years ago, but was then built on to provide an outdoor swimming pool, which Mr Mutton remembers using as a teen. 

The planting is different in this wood and it has more light, so the bluebells are taller.  They are still English bluebells and not their bigger Spanish cousins which have self seeded all over the gardens of the UK. 

To see my record of bluebell woods over the years, check out the hairstyles here

Outfit details for the bluebell wood:  Rachel jacket and belt in Electric Blue, V neck top in Powder Blue and paisley scarf, all from Kettlewell. Jeans from M&S  (nothing was gifted). 

Bouquets for April: A Bra and Some Beef 

Today I'm starting what will hopefully be a new monthly post:  Bouquets and Brickbats.  Bouquets are good things, brickbats are things  I'm not happy about.

My first bouquet is the John Lewis & Partners Anyday Anya bra.  I don't know about you, but I've often looked longingly at bralettes and thought they weren't for me, sadly. Or anyone with an ageing bust. But when I read reviews of the Anya, I saw that older women were indeed buying it and raving about it. 

It's not much of a looker but it's seam free, with no wiring or metal.  You pull it over your head. It's wonderfully soft and comfortable, and the shape it gives is fine  (there are removable pads).  The 36DDs are perfectly stable, no jiggling around.

Excuse the photo being out of focus! My camera has gone missing so this was a quick snap with the phone.

I now have the Anya in 3 colours (including a very pretty pink). At £18, it's a lot cheaper than some of the bras I used to buy. If you go over to JLP to take a look, you may see my review. I haven't used an affiliate link, just a link to the item. I haven't been asked to promote the item, I'm doing it off my own bat.

Another bouquet to Marks and Spencer for delivering the fool proof roast dinner. We have a roast dinner nearly every Sunday, and when it's lamb or beef it can be a hit and miss as to whether or not it's tough, even if you buy decent cuts. Mr Mutton then complains about a jaw work out. 

With the M&S Slow Cooked British Beef (and the Slow Cooked Tender Roast Lamb Shoulder), the meat has already been cooked, presumably sous vide, and all you have to do is heat it for 45 minutes.  Both varieties come with a delicious gravy. I know that Waitrose and Sainsbury's also have slow cooked ranges. It's a bit pricey, but well worth it for a delicious tender roast. M&S do others in the range, plus gluten free variants. 

Brickbats: Will Elton Ever Go Ahead? 

Back in 2019 I booked to see Elton John in November 2020, which at the time was more than a year away.  We all know what happened in 2020, and the event then got moved to November 2021.  I had booked to see him in Liverpool so we could make a weekend out of it, and I left it quite late to buy train tickets and book hotel rooms because with Covid you never knew what the lockdown situation would be.

Just a few days after I'd booked the tickets,  Elton announced he wouldn't be able to perform because of hip surgery.  Aaargh.  I was able to cancel the hotel, but not the train tickets  (which were, groan, first class)- I had left it so late there were no suitable second class options),  or the trip to Tate Liverpool, as these were non-refundable.

Anyway, I checked Ticketmaster last week, and was shocked to see the event has now moved to April 2023. And they won't give me my money back, even though I originally signed up for November.  We are likely to be doing the Coast to Coast walk in April.  

They do say we can sell the tickets, using their site, but you run the risk of only selling one, or both at a much lower price.  Back in 2019, pre-Covid, we didn't think about adding cancellation insurance or other extras.  Big lesson learned. 

(If anyone is interested, let me know!).

Two Final Thoughts

20% off at Youth and Earth! 

A few weeks ago I wrote about the energy and cell enhancing qualities of NMN, a NAD+ booster.  At the time I was gifted with a sample of NMN sublingual powder by Youth and Earth, an exciting company whose mission is to help us to maintain and sustain the fit and active lifestyle we want.  I've now bought my own supply, this time in tablet form  (plus their gluthione), and they are kindly offering you a 20% discount.  Simply use the code ISTHISMUTTON when you check out. 

Those Email Popups....

You may have noticed a popup asking you to register for emails to be alerted about a new post.  I hope you don't find this too irritating.  I was asked a few times if I could provide an email subscription.  You'll receive an email every time there's a new post on Is This Mutton. 

Have you visited a bluebell wood this year? Or are they not found in your neck of the woods?  Do let me know in the comments. 

Sharing this post with: On Mondays We Link Up at Glass of Glam, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashTFF at Doused in Pink, Lizzie in Lace, Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireRena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  Weekday Wear Link-Up at Away from the Blue Sunday Showcase with Chez Mireille and Elegance and Mommyhood  (first Sunday of the month), Stylish Monday (first Monday of the month) with Ask Suzanne Bell, Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Link Up Pot Pourri and Traffic Jam Weekend at My Bijou Life

Now it's time for the #WowOnWednesday link-up. Bloggers/Instagrammers can find new readers, plus readers can find new blogs to read. I promote my favorite five posts on Facebook and Twitter every week, and feature the most clicked posts in Instagram Stories. 

Last Week's Favourites - Most Clicked

Suzy from The Grey Haired Brunette, with her honest review of Noracora dresses. Here she is in one of the two she liked. 

Fashionable Florals by Deb at Deb's World. Deb is an Australian blogger whose posts about life, fitness, books, family and cooking are always worth a read.  She has written for her a rare post about fashion. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, 29 April 2022

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Fashion and Gardening, Mutton Style - plus Link-Up

 Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon beside her vigorous Clematis Montana Rubens Superba

Dear friends. Today I'm trying to achieve the impossible by combining fashion with gardening. Regular readers will know that most of my fashion posts are photographed in my garden. And I promised you a while ago that I would tell the story of how we created the garden. 


Monday, 25 April 2022

This Old Thing? - Style Not Age Challenge

 Gail Hanlon with two old things: paste jewellery that belonged to her grandmother, and

Dear friends. It's my turn with this month's Style Not Age Challenge, and I chose "This old Thing" as the theme. How many times have we said that to a loved one, when asked about something new we're wearing?


Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Styling a Teddy Blake Bag

 Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon with a Teddy Blake Kim Croco bag in green

Dear friends. You may have seen a few of my blogger friends with Teddy Blake handbags. I was thrilled when the New York brand offered me the chance to choose a bag and style it for you.

The great thing about these bags is the way they cut out the middleman.


Wednesday, 13 April 2022

All About Diamonds


All about diamonds: Is This Mutton answers questions in the 10 on the 10th diamond edition and shows her own diamond rings plus her favorite song about diamonds and memories of the Diamond Jubilee

Dear friends. So this is my 10 on the 10th post, except that it's the 13th. 

It was yesterday afternoon when I realized something was missing. A post for today! I had no content or photos ready, which I put down to my holiday last week, and then having a lot of chores to do when I returned at the weekend. 

But then I remembered 10 on the 10th, which I was keen to do because of the diamonds theme. So here I am burning the midnight oil and making sure you have a post to link up with.

Thanks Leslie and Marsha for the easy format of this 10 on the 10th, the Diamond edition! I wrote a series of posts about all the birthstones so I'm looking forward to answering the questions. Let's go.

Diamonds are April’s birthstone. What is your birthstone?  What do you like or dislike about it?

I was born in November and my birthstone is the topaz. Now most of you will think of topaz as pale blue, but the blue stone is really rare, so many are irradiated to create the color artificially (read more in my post about topaz). 

The color I associate with the topaz is a beautiful orange, and this stone is known as Imperial Topaz. The reason it fell out of favor is that deposits are mostly depleted. But you can occasionally find vintage pieces.  I love the rarity of this stone. When I was 12, I was given an Imperial topaz pendant but sadly it got lost over the years. Here's an example of an Imperial topaz. 

Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance found on Earth.  What is something hard you’ve dealt with in the past year or so?

It's something I'm dealing with right now, and it's the possibility of redundancy. Everyone in marketing, over 100 people, at my company has been placed "at risk". We won't known who's actually leaving until mid May.  The uncertainty, and the high number of people affected (30%), is causing a lot of anguish. I am somewhat sanguine: I've had a good long career and have worked since I was 18. Maybe now is the time for me to stop working. 

Marilyn Monroe is synonymous with the saying "Diamonds are a girl's best friend."  Do you have a favorite Marilyn Monroe saying, movie, or picture?  Please do tell!

I absolutely love Some Like It Hot. It's one of my favorite films. My mum and my brother Andrew also loved it, and we have seen it so many times we can recite some of the lines. 

I love her quote (not from the film)  "A smile is the best makeup a girl could wear."

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was in 2012.  What were you doing in 2012 and would actually confess to?

2012 was a memorable year in many ways.  London hosted the Olympics, and what a magnificent occasion that was. The hubster and I went to the opening ceremony of the Paralympics, and it was the most moving and enchanting event. The warmth and joy in the stadium was contagious. The hubster was a volunteer for the Olympics and had fun giving directions to tourists. Below: a few memories of the Olympics.

Montage showing highlights of Is This Mutton's trip to the 2012 London Olympics during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year

Name a song with diamond in the title and then tell us why you picked that one.

I'm going with Diamonds by the Boxer Rebellion. I love this song. It's got wonderful lyrics and is a bittersweet account of someone feeling he doesn't match up. "I'm no good with diamonds. When I'm too close to start to fade". Here's a video of them performing the song. The Boxer Rebellion is a London-based internationally known indie band. 

Would you splurge on a large diamond, a grand experience, or a new car?  Why?

Much as I would love a diamond, my hands are not my best feature so I wouldn't splurge on a large diamond. I'd probably buy a car instead. The hubster and I will soon be sharing a car: it's the first time I won't have had my own car since I started driving. 

Do you have a sentimental diamond gift or bequest?  What makes it sentimental to you?

My mum gave me her two diamond rings: she wanted to see me wearing them, and she can't wear them now because of arthritis in her hands.   One is a solitaire, the other has three diamonds (below)

Why do you think diamonds have become such a desired gemstone?  Do you like diamonds?

They're special because they are so hard, unlike many of the other gem stones. And popular because they come in several colors, although the default is usually the clear diamond, which goes with everything. I always wanted a big diamond cluster ring when I was young, but it wasn't to be. However - you can get very good imitation diamonds, and I have a few rings, below, which people often think are real! 

Selection of faux diamond rings

I also have a diamond eternity ring. 

Are you a traditionalist when it comes to diamonds, or do you like the colored stones?  Why?

I prefer colored stones. My engagement ring is a sapphire. My real favourite is a large square cut emerald. I love the really vivid green. These don't come cheap in the color and size that I lust after, which is the reason I don't have one!

Find my post about the history of diamonds

I hope you enjoyed this unusual post about diamonds and I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Do you have any diamonds? 

Sharing this post with: On Mondays We Link Up at Glass of Glam, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashTFF at Doused in Pink, Lizzie in Lace, Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireRena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  Weekday Wear Link-Up at Away from the Blue Sunday Showcase with Chez Mireille and Elegance and Mommyhood  (first Sunday of the month), Stylish Monday (first Monday of the month) with Ask Suzanne Bell, Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Link Up Pot Pourri and Traffic Jam Weekend at My Bijou Life

Now it's time for the #WowOnWednesday link-up. Bloggers/Instagrammers can find new readers, plus readers can find new blogs to read. I promote my favorite five posts on Facebook and Twitter every week, and feature the most clicked posts in Instagram Stories. 

Last Week's Fashion Favorite (Most Clicked)

This Instagram post from Mary of the Pouting Pensioner was the runaway winner.  Just goes to show that providing links for IG is a good way to grow your views!

Favorite Non-Fashion Post

Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper gave us an update about her recent move to a a new town, Lewes. 

Is This Mutton Favorite

My jaw dropped open when I read this account from Amber, Hungry Mountaineer, about her visit to Desert Hot Springs in California. She was warned it was quite windy, but not hurricane strength! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Red Cardigan 4 Ways

 Styling a red cardigan 4 ways:  Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in white jeans, red and white striped tee and red espadrilles

Dear friends. After all the Covid shenanigans last week, I'm now fully restored to good health and as you read this I will be with my mother in Plymouth for our long awaited get together.

Today I'm creating four different outfits based on one cardigan.  It's got very cold again here in the UK after a few days of "Fool's Spring," so a cardigan is a must-have.


Monday, 4 April 2022

March Favourites: Books, TV, Podcasts

 Woman reading a book with backdrop of the sea. Image from Pexels.

Dear friends. Welcome to March Favourites, my reviews of books, TV and podcasts. Lots to discuss so let's dive in. 

Friday, 1 April 2022

March in Review


March was eagerly anticipated - there were some fun things planned: the Van Gogh exhibition, baby shower, trip to Devon to see Mum....but then Covid struck, affecting me personally; and the threat of redundancy looms large......

Tues March 1

Happy to see March! Had a "helpful" email from Google about how I need to sort out "unparsable structured data issues." Yes, right. Raining. New Kettlewell range online. Ordered a few bits.

Weds March 2

Bit out of sorts,  sore throat. Had a meeting at 9 30 which meant I couldn't go for a walk. Intended to go to the gym later but somehow it didn't happen. Grrr.

Thursday March 3 

Tired and emotional. It's the Ukranian situation and learning that the upcoming IPO means a restructuring at work. Around 30% in marketing will be made redundant.  Did a walk. Donated to Ukraine with work matching. Day ended with us learning our boss has gone. Stunned.

Friday March 4 

Cold. Did Body Balance. First Kettlewell delivery of new season, electric blue moto jacket and acid yellow wrapover top. Anna was doing a #styleitforukraine post so I took a quick picture for IG. Had the 2nd developers' workshop this afternoon. 

Sat Mar 5

So cold and grey I didn't fancy going out. Did housework. Spent afternoon reading.

Sun Mar 6

Sun out at last. Forest walk. Run Nation 10k happening. Roast beef. Wrote 3 blog posts. Daffodils are blooming in the front garden. I've added many different types over the years and enjoy seeing the sequence unfold. 

Mon March 6

Sun came out but v cold. Did walk, 4.4. Yet another delivery of white jeans to try on.

Tues March 7

Sunny, cold. Nice drive to office.  Did a bespoke Getty shoot from 10 to 3pm.

Weds March 8

Did  urban walk, Tesco 1 way. Was tempted to go to office again as there was a reception for former CEO, but no one else in team was going in.

Thur March 9

Bit down today, cancelled yoga thinking I would do a walk or workout,  but no motivation. I would kill Putin with my bare hands.

Fri Mar 10

Quiet day. Set off for gym to do Body Balance but had forgotten lock for locker, so couldn't do it. Quiz at the Orion Harriers in the evening. Ate so much rubbish! 

Sat Mar 11

Eating so many crisps, mini eggs and other rubbish had repercussions: 3 pounds on.  Did long walk. Sunny intervals.  Went in town (London), tried on 3 pairs white jeans, no good. First time I've tried clothes on in a store for a very long time.  

Sun March 12

Lost 2 of the 3 errant pounds thanks to 9.5 miles walked yesterday. Cloudy. Lunch in a Turkish restaurant for Rachel's Baby Shower.  Below: my virgin mohitjo

Mon March 13 

Email about the redundancy process. A long drawn out affair in the UK. We don't know yet who's on the list. Walk, very spring-like. J went to Cheltenham Races for 2 days.  Watched film The Lost Daughter. 3 more pairs of white jeans delivered. Still no good. 

Tues March 14 

Drove to work in Cambridge. Sunny and warm. First email came, which indicates I'm affected in some way. Org change yes, redundancy, still don't know.  Did a walk at lunchtime with a colleague. 

Weds March 15 

Rain turned torrential.  Nazanin Zagary Ratcliffe freed from Iran, where she has been falsely imprisoned since 2016.  Was checking her status all day. Couldn't stop crying when I saw her plane had actually taken off.  J back from Cheltenham.

Thurs March 16

Sunny! Windows, wheelie bins and car covered in red dust from the "Sahara rain."  Unfortunate seeing as the windows were cleaned on Monday. Meeting describing the redundancy process. Did yoga. 

Friday March 17

Spring-like although chilly. Walked to Body Balance.  New routine and quite hard! Every man for himself. Bought fish n chips, first time for ages.

Sat March 18 

Sunny, breezy. Did a walk but aching quite a bit. 1 pair straight white jeans came from M&S and these are good but maybe in a different size. More pairs on way. Salmon. Watched DTS  (Drive to Survive). 

Sun March 19 

Spring equinox.  Wind has dropped.  J tested positive.  A gift from Cheltenham.  We were supposed to be going to the Van Gogh exhibition at the Courtauld followed by lunch on Wednesday, and then I was going to Mum's on Thurs for a few days.  I tested negative. 1st Grand Prix of the season.  Not great for Lewis. 

Mon March 20

Mum overdid it in her garden and in a lot of pain. Did walk, sunny, saw cows. They're very placid and don't mind you getting close. The "cow bells" are their GPS devices. If they stray beyond their confines, they get a mild electric shock.  This is to avoid them crossing the busy main road. They've learnt how close they can get, and then back off. 

Tues March 21 

I'm still negative but feeling like I am coming down with Covid. Reluctantly told my mum it was best if I didn't come down. She agreed. Cancelled my leave. Sunny. Was busy work-wise so didn't get to go out.

Weds March 22

Bit rough.  Coughing.  Sunny. Did walk but cut it short, not much energy.  J still positive. Garden looking good. Forsythia is out, as are hyacinths and daffodils. Took photos of where there are gaps in borders, for when I plant the bulbs later in the year. 

Thurs March 23 

Finally tested positive.  Have avoided Covid for 2 years. Have to change hair appointment. Didn't get promotion, which I'd been pushing hard for. Very disappointed.  Did an hour in garden.

Fri March 24 

Sunny. Day off.  Did Iris Apfel shoot indoors.  Did walk in afternoon in forest, which is so big I posed no threat to anyone. There's a new bench in the forest, dedicated to Polly Corrigan PhD, 1974 to 2019. Saw the cows. 

Sat March 25

Sunny. Not much energy. Stayed in all day. Watched film Black Crab (Swedish). 6 out of 10. 

Sun March 26 

Cloudy all morning. Did short walk with J. Roast chicken.  Grand Prix, Lewis was right at the back. 

Mon March 27

Cold, cloudy. Did work out. Feeling a lot better.  Faint 2nd line in Covid test.  Everyone in marketing had an "at risk of redundancy" meeting in small groups.  No further forward. Marks start of 45 day consultation period. Should know more by next Monday.

Tues March 28

Was going for walk but overcome by tiredness.  Had a bath. Lay on bed reading with Molly. Finished A Terrible Kindness and started Girl A. Finally threw out my old walking boots. They've done good service. Started series 2 of Traces. 

Weds March 30

Cold grey start. Decided not to go for walk. Approached by a handbag co and invited to choose a bag. Get in!  Lots to choose from. Quite busy today. 

Thurs March 31 

Cloudy and cold start. Did short walk in forest. Feeling better, although a bit congested as if I have a cold. J went to see Rosie to give her her birthday presents - she's 3 today.  She was thrilled with the ice cream shop we gave her. We're going to her party on Saturday.

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