52 Orbits

Today, I have managed to make it around the Sun 52 times, but we’ve celebrated already. We went out on Sunday for a socially distanced all you can eat breakfast, followed by two hours of mask compliant bowling. And it’s all in the same location.

The breakfast is something we have done before. You book a table tor two hours (other options are probably available), and while there you can help yourself to as much food as you want. Except, because of the Coronavirus, you can’t help yourself anymore — you have to wait by the counter until the rather harassed looking waiter can come and put some food on your plate.

We were still allowed to help ourselves to coffee, however. I drank a lot of coffee.

The food is great, though, and they have adjusted to the Covid requirements well. Once our trips for more food became a bit more spread, things worked remarkably smoothly. So we ate and, once we were too stuffed to move, we went downstairs for the bowling.

It was 2002, I think, when I last went bowling and I was pretty rubbish then as well. But the twins have expressed an interest a couple of times which is why we decided to go on Sunday. And they did really well — in fact everyone did well, except me.

This is why the scoreboard is obscured in the photo at the top of this post 😉

All in all, it was a fun, and surprisingly cheap, way to spend most of Sunday. We will certainly be doing this again — especially as winter draws in and outdoor activities become less feasible.

That said, the next trip probably won’t be anytime soon given that more Covid restrictions are going into effect today.

Hello Monday

After a wet and windy weekend, it’s Monday. To tell the truth, Sunday wasn’t too bad but we stayed in anyway. I think it was justified, though, given how much of a rush Saturday was.

Macsen had another karate tournament, two hours away, so he and his mum were out of the house for most of the day. This left me to get the twins to their morning karate practice, fed, and delivered to their youth club for the afternoon. They were a bit when by the time they were home, although not as wet as I’d feared.

With Coronavirus restrictions still in place, audiences at the karate tournament were very restricted so the club had helpfully set up a YouTube live stream so that parents could watch from home. It worked really well.

I saw all four of Macsen’s fights (two wins, two losses — although one of those was very nearly a win) and was suitably impressed. He came fourth in the end, but it was close4 and he could easily have come third.

And here’s a sunrise to start the week.

How was your weekend?

Rotterdam (Or Anywhere)

Back in the summer of 2016 we went back to the UK to visit my parents in Wales. What was unusual was that we wanted to fit a wedding in the Midlands into the itinerary. Our solution was to sail overnight from Zeebrugge to Hull instead of taking the usual, and much quicker, Dover to Calais route.

The crossing went really well and the boys, especially the twins, were not only thrilled at being able to sleep on a boat, but also managed to sleep almost as soundly as I do. So much so that they still talk about it to this day, and we keep saying that we will do the North Sea crossing again just as soon as we can fit it around everything else.

Brexit and Covid-19, however, have conspired to put something of a fly in the ointment, however, leading P&O Ferries to announce it will end its crossing between Zeebrugge and Hull in April.

All is not lost, though:

The company’s more popular Rotterdam-Hull route, however, will continue.

So, since I usually post a song on Sundays, here’s The Beautiful South

Sunrise

I told you I’d be around for a sunrise.

That moment, early in the morning, when the fog lifts and the sun starts to rise can be truly spectacular.

It’s peaceful, too. No-one is daft enough to be outside at this time in the morning apart from me and a few dog walkers.

Autumn Clouds

I meant to post this last week, but things kept getting away from me. Better late than never, I suppose.

It’s autumn and I was very impressed when I stepped outside on Monday morning to find that the weather had immediately turned both foggy and cold. It also created something of a dilemma for me because, while it’s cold when I step outside, I’m reasonably warm once I’ve been walking for an hour.

So do I wear a coat, knowing I will be far too warm by the time I get home or shiver a bit when I set out in nothing more than a sweater. Both choices are less than optimal — I expect I shall just have to wait until it’s a bit colder and I no longer have to worry about trivia such as this.

Still, the morning walk remains refreshing and, as the days get shorter, I realise that it won’t be long before I will be both able to see the sunrise and able to appreciate it (as long as I don’t have to start commuting again next month).

I’m looking forward to this.

Optimism

While out walking this morning, I almost walked into a spider’s web which had been spun across the footpath. The spider responsible was dangling from a tree and, while I have to respect her optimism, I’m not entirely convinced that she could have managed a human sized meal.

On the subject of not being entirely convinced, Waarnemingen tells me that this is almost certainly an Araneus diadematus, also known as a European garden spider. I don’t know a lot but I do know that this species normally has cross-shaped markings across it’s back — and this is something I couldn’t see while waving my camera around in the middle of a field.

So if anyone out there is better able to identify this, or knows anything that I don’t (which is most people), please do leave a comment.

I can see again!

One positive note from not working on Fridays is that I now have time to do some of the things that I really should have done long ago. Like getting my eyes tested.

My shortsightedness doesn’t change much but the last time I saw the inside of an optician was about eight years ago. And that one wasn’t very good and closed down shortly afterwards.

So, whileI have been meaning to get my eyes checked for a while, it hasn’t been a priority and finding an optician that is open when I am able to visit has proved something of a challenge. This has solved itself with my being at home on Fridays and, with various promotions available in August I not only had my eyes tested but also ordered three pairs for the price of one and a half (roughly).

Today I picked up the glasses and… I can see again!

I have finally had to accept that I am now old enough to need varifocal lenses and, while I am still getting used to them, I’m surprised at just how much clearer everything has suddenly become.

Hopefully, though, this will mean I spend less time with glasses off and hunched over a laptop.

Fruit-tastic!

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned, but we planted a pear tree several years ago. It looks like we are finally going to see a decent harvest this year.

We also have an apple tree, which has produced so many apples this year that the poor thing is struggling to stand up. The tree has been braced and the apples have already been harvested — they weren’t quite ripe but they were good for cooking.

I like pie.