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Lockdown leisure time

          Be careful what you wish for… For years I’ve been wishing I had more time to myself, to just sit around and do nothing …

          It seems that time to myself to do nothing is not at all what I need. I need people, coffee, cakes, visitors, visiting… I need for those moments to myself to be rare to make them enjoyable, it seems I don’t enjoy my own company anywhere near as much as I thought I would. Poor Hubby, he has to put up with just my company more often than I do.

          My concentration and my mojo have left me… Any get-up-and-go that I had has got up and gone without me. I have a house full of “U. F. O. ‘s” (unfinished objects) to keep me occupied but no enthusiasm to do any of them. I spent the first lockdown eating and sleeping, but as “stay at home” time happened again, both me and my hips decided that wasn’t a good idea to eat my way through lockdown this time and so I’ve been shedding a few pounds instead (made easier admittedly by the lack of cake eating opportunities). I’ve used some of the time to do a few jigsaws instead of sleeping, most I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, the “Pollyanna puzzle” was a huge challenge but I did it, and although it was frustrating at times, it was very satisfying to finish it.

          I went dredging online to find a new puzzle. I was looking for pictures of places I recognised so that the memories of the place enhanced the enjoyment of the puzzle, and I quite by accident I found this picture, taken from half way up the “199 Steps” in Whitby, on the way up to the Abbey. There seems to be a new craze for wooden jigsaws, I’ve been avoiding wooden puzzles, not too sure about a new twist on an old favourite, but the picture on this one was perfect so I sent for it to give the wood puzzling a go… I think I can quite positively say I won’t be doing this particular puzzle again, or buying another wooden one for my collection. In case you haven’t guessed, I didn’t enjoy it. There are just two basic shapes, my eyes aren’t the best of my five senses, but even with perfect vision it would be impossible to tell some of the pieces apart. There is a grid of letters printed on the back to help you by sorting the pieces into sections and I actually got more enjoyment out of putting the letters together than the picture in some places.

          I persevered, as is my way, and arrived at a finished puzzle as my reward, but now I’ll take it apart. Put it back in the box and pass it onto the next person to do it… And will never buy a wooden puzzle again.

          I’ve procrastinated as long as I can over painting the top half of “The Passage“, and since Ive just had a week off from work (supposedly to visit my Girls and Grandson) I’ve run out of excuses to put it off for any longer. It took a while, and of course I decided it needed two coats to improve the finish, but the white painting on the top half of the walls and the ceilings is finally finished. I’m glad its done now because I’ve been itching to play with the rest of the passage, I have to lift the carpet, both in the hallway and on the landing, to investigate underneath. The floorboards bounce in places, and the central heating pipes click against the joists as they expand with heat. I’ve bought some heatproof felt to pack between the pipes and the wood so there will no more clicking from that direction. As for the floorboards… I’ll have to be careful where I step because I wouldn’t be surprised if, once the carpet is lifted, stepping on one end of a floorboard will bring the other end up in my face.

          So my jigsaw is finished, my painting is finished … I’m sooo tempted to just lift the carpet upstairs to see what I’ll be playing with next, but I’m back to work this week so I’ll leave the floor in one piece until I’m off again. … maybe I’ll dig out another jigsaw this evening. In the meantime, I’ll just make myself another coffee to drink on my own … with no cake … and peer ouf of the kitchen window to see if there is any sign of spring.

Abbey gallery

         York has its Minster, Chester has its Cathedral… But for me, Whitby’s Abbey blew them both out of the water.

          More from before: Wanderings in “Whitby” in September 2020. 

Abbey approach

         We followed the directions on the coffee shop board at the top of the “199 Steps“… (back along the road past Whitby Brewery). I’m sure if we had been staying in Whitby for longer than just two nights we would have paid the Brewery a visit too, but on this visit we kept going to the “Abbey headland carpark” and were admitted through the South entrance with our “Pre-booked tickets”

         The road we had followed to find the entrance had taken us in a semicircular direction next to a tall (ish) wall. Hubby had been able to catch a glimpse of the Abbey as we had walked, but with my height rather lack of it I had to stand close to the wall and hold my phone above head height to see what was on the other side … Up Periscope …

         I’m short. And the older I get, the shorter I get. Am I allowed to say short now ? The politically correct description to use would, I believe, be ” vertically challenged” … But no, I’m just short. Short isn’t a bad thing, I don’t bang my head as often as a tall person would ( or at least, as often as a tall person with a similar lack of spacial awareness would). I don’t have to beware of low flying objects, unless they’re very low flying of course. I’m not afraid of heights, I’m naturally nosey, and independent, so have spent my whole life climbing to see what naturally tall people can just glance at. And one quite pleasing side effect of being short is the condition of my upper stomach muscles. I, by no stretch of the imagination carry a “six-pack”, but they are quite toned for someone carrying as much other “relaxed muscle” as I do, as I seem to be permanently using a stretching motion to reach something within “normal reach”.

         As the mind wanders, so did we. After being unable to glance at the Abbey as we’d walked around from the other side, my first view on exiting the English Heritage gateway was awesome. I take my hat off to whoever chose that spot for the carpark and entrance. The combination of the high surrounding wall and the exiting of the enclosed building at such a spot was quite breathtaking.

         As tempting as it was to just walk towards the Abbey through the long grass we wandered along the path which seemed to hug the inside of the tall wall, and as with my theory of checking out the view presented by a bench, the approach via the path presented ample opportunity to admire the view.

         Hubby was incredibly patient, especially since he’d already put up with my camera antics on the 199 steps. He wandered off infront to admire theview from a distance while I ignored a sign warning of “deep water” to get as close as I could to the pond to get a reflection shot…

         Its just as well the weather was good for an October day… there were still plenty of photos to follow.

          More from before: Wanderings in “Whitby” in September 2020.