Pull up a Pew!

Please, help yourself to a slice of cake! Would you like milk in your coffee? Sit down and I’ll let you into a secret.

Being barely permitted beyond one’s home does not need to result in ennui … many emotions have featured in our household these last months but boredom has not been one of them!

Rather the days have been packed with various activities, as a family or solo. From intense Scrabble tournaments (I’m still on a winning streak) to walks galore. More on these and our garden in the next post. From language studies to piano recitals (not by me). From ‘The Artist’s Way’ to photo filing! Outdoor projects delayed for years have been completed, indoor decorating starts this month!

Below are just a few images giving a hint of our new lives.

Jigsaws have not been on my radar for many years, yet with long evenings indoors looming we invested in a few new ones – surely 1000 pieces wouldn’t prove to be too much of a challenge!?

We loved the quiet companionship of rejoining the tiny pieces, deciphering the colours and hints of images, creating a wondrous whole. In the silence a new united resilience developed within us. Our son would pop in now and then, praising our efforts, or a quick nod if we had not had much luck. Of course, he’d reach out, pick up a piece or two, slotting them neatly into place!

The first jigsaw was a nostalgic scene from the picturesque North Yorkshire coastal town of Filey; a place I visited often as young. Unfortunately one piece went missing during construction – can you spot the gap?

Being keen, although more dabblers than professional gardeners, we couldn’t resist the flowers in the jigsaw below and thought we might learn something along the way. We did, mainly don’t get a 1000 piece jigsaw with many similar hues including purples, reds and blues! We are pleased however with the final completed ‘Gardener’s Palette’ taking in cottage garden herbs, vegetables and flowers in all their various hues and shades … and might even add a couple to our own haven!

Mother’s Day was bittersweet; a beautiful morning shared with my son, adoring the wonderful and thoughtful 3-D card, spending a couple of hours discussing life and music! Yet I was not able to visit my own mother in person, but fully aware I was only one from so many around the world missing hugs with their loved ones.

Creativity has flourished and I think more than ever we appreciate the simple art of making … something … anything!

My son and I have bonded ever closer over cakes, scones, buns; the Victoria Sponge of the first image was inspired by Charley and her recipe at Books and Bakes. Thank you so much!

The amount of butter and sugar is quite horrifying and in the end we forewent the buttercream; the cake still tasted sublime! Recipe books have been brought out of hibernation and we’ve experimented with new dishes, revisited old favourite ones forgotten along the way of busyness!

A busyness that seemed so-all-important, so-all-consuming, suddenly showing its true colours … there is nothing more important than family and friends. Here lies the richness of life.

A friend, working from home and no longer spending hours commuting, took that time to enjoy her knitting, sending us some of her creations! I love flamingos and these here are treasured by me!

Faced with the cessation of garden rubbish collection, my husband extracted unused wood from the garage to make this cute compost heap! It’s snuggly tucked in between a coupe of bushes.

The Eurovision Song Contest has been traditionally celebrated as a family all my life! First thoughts were that nothing would be shown in its place, instead the most amazing and heartwarming evening of the year (so far) lit up our hearts!

Determined to make it a party, even if only the three of us, I spent a morning making flags of the 41 participating countries. Many will be aware of the number of non-European countries allowed to compete … let’s not go there!

The specially organised show in the Netherlands entitled ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light’ was inspired by the song ‘Love Shine a Light’ by Katrina and the Waves which won in 1997 for the UK. During the evening there were special features by old winners and a montage of 2020 performers who did not have a chance to compete.

The pièce de résistance was the incredible finale, singing alone at home, the performers as a whole sung ‘Shine a Light’. There was not a dry eye in the house as the full impact of the one joining forces to create a unity shone out across Europe!

Finally, amongst the frivolity of home life, the seriousness of life beyond is never far away. My only excursions for weeks were the forays to the pharmacy for medications for the family. These trips saw my skills at remarkable adeptness and speed develop, my evasion of others reach another level.

Touched by my worries, amused by my description of the dash through the shop, my husband penned the ‘article’ below. The most precious of gifts are not those of the highest monetary value, rather caring, thoughtful and loving actions and deeds! This made me laugh out loud and I recall it every time I visit Boots (name of the pharmacy).

“ANNIKA (THE SQUIRREL) PERRY
IMPRESSIONIST
(Well of a squirrel anyway)
Star of stage, screen and local Boots

Annika is an up and coming impressionist, currently appearing monthly at her local Boots, amazing customers and staff alike as she weaves her way along the isles avoiding contact with any unwary member of the public. In doing so she is amazingly lifelike as a squirrel jumping from side to side, speeding up and slowing down as the situation demands.

Her pièce de résistance is her amazing stopping, turning and reversing speed, enhanced by her clenched little fists held under her chin, if anyone gets too close. People cannot believe her performance, and neither could the staff, who have called the police on a number of occasions. (The police later described her performance as unbelievable.)

Annika is now looking to increase and amaze her audience and is available for children’s parties, local fetes and beer festivals. Cash payment (in a brown envelope) is preferred but hazelnuts will be considered as an available option where appropriate.

Annika can be contacted at Squirrel Nutkins Residence, Hole in The Old Oak Tree, Next to the big pond, The Nature Reserve!”

To finish the post, I would like to shared the 2015 winning song ‘Heroes’ by the gentle-hearted and humble Swedish singer Måns Zelmerlöw which he sung from the garden of his home in London and was featured on the Eurovision Song Contest show this year.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anaïs Nin

95 thoughts on “Pull up a Pew!

  1. The jigsaw puzzles look so fun. I didn’t realise a piece was missing until I read your words, and then found the missing piece. Hours and hours of fun there. When I was younger I was into puzzles and they took me a week or two to finish. That was a very nice description written by your husband. He is so thoughtful. Here in where I am in Australia we are in lockdown and staying in. So it means more indoor activities – and I’ve been cleaning and organising which I haven’t done in a while.

    1. Mabel, it’s a delight to read your lovely comment! 😀 Jigsaw puzzles can be addictive and how great that you enjoyed them when younger. Have are you tempted to pick them up during the latest lockdown? I feel for you all … but somehow it almost feels safer that way. With a much more open England I am now ever more cautious and wary of heading out much. Just waiting to see what happens. Cleaning and organising sounds good diversion in these times – after the latest decorating we are set to tackle the loft next. Rather daunting prospect as my life in boxes up there to sort out! Wishing you all the best, my thoughts are with you. xx

      1. I haven’t actually thought much about doing jigsaw puzzles this lockdown. But I do have a bunch of board games that I have looked at every now and then. So who knows, since we’re all staying indoors for a while I might be playing games soon 😀 Tackling the loft sounds exciting. I hope you have fun sorting through those boxes and maybe you will find some gems 😀

    1. Jo, it has felt strange to actually have had fun in the midst of all this, almost feel guilty for it but must admit there is a rollercoaster set of emotions every day… it was fun to share the amusing parts! My husband’s writing captured my feelings exactly that first morning out … and for some reason everytime we go out for walks now we spot lots of squirrels!😀

  2. As the world was forced away from us like a telescope in reverse, we found ourselves hearing the small voices, seeing the tiny creatures, feeling the delicate touches, tasting the little bits. It’s gotten quiet in a strange way. The school across the street from where we live is closed and may remain closed for the next year as well. The children don’t walk by noisily, (I miss their laughter) the parents don’t clog our street at drop off and pick up times; soccer and baseball are not played on the fields. Birds coo and chortle in the trees and bats whistle at night. Coyotes, (yes, we have them living in this suburban neighborhood) are courageous in the absence of cars and people, and terrify us with their early morning howling and fights. But we walk around our streets, saying hello to the other walkers. It’s quiet but for the news, on so many hours of the day, about the soaring numbers of Covid 19, about the soaring rage of our Black brothers and sisters, about the soaring corruption of our politicians. I long to return to normal so we can see our younger son and his family, nearly 500 miles away and too dangerously far for us to drive or fly for a visit. I weep for those grieving for their loved ones who have died their lonely last hours. I long for decent health care for everyone, for a vaccine to protect us, for justice for those hit hardest by the economics of this crisis. But I don’t long to return to being callous and short tempered, to counting happiness by new purchases, to turning away from strangers. I like the quiet that’s made me tune in with more compassion. You’ve opened my heart and my voice, Annilka. Thank you.

    1. Wow! Thank you so much for your wonderful poetic comment that cuts to the core of our current world. The quiet during out lockdown was haunting and in many ways eerie and as you say, I too missed the sounds of children’s voices heading off to school in the morning. The lack of traffic was peaceful though. The stillness and time to stop were healing in some strange way yet, it is devasting what is happening around the globe and I’m following the news in America with deep sadness. I feel for you unable to visit your son and family so far away – it is unbearable that there is no end in sight. As the UK opens up again we are lying low, very cautious and not heading out much yet … very much a wait and see approach. Shari, warmest thanks for your heartfelt words which have touched me deeply. Take care, my friend! ❤️

    1. Thank you, Barbara … it’s been surprisingly fun to try out new activities! 😀😀 The flags are saved for next year – when hopefully there will be the normal contest.

  3. So lovely to catch up with you, Annika, and hear how you’ve been spending your time. Creative and industrious! It’s a great time to catch up on projects and connect with family. And thank you for the music. Some of the isolation-collaborations are sooo beautiful. Keep up the positive spirit, my friend. ❤ ❤

    1. Diana, thank you so much for your bright and positive comment! In these strange times, it’s been a blessing to find some good and the creative projects have been fun and different from the usual. I think everyone has found it takes that little extra thought and energy to make something a bit special. You’re right about the artistic-collaborations being very special indeed – as soon as I saw these on the Eurovision I just knew I had to feature them on my blog. More than ever people are coming together, whilst apart and this is a touching dichotomy of current life.

      Wishing you a most creative and peaceful time as possible. hugs xx❤️

    1. Betsy, thank you so much! 😀 It’s not always been easy to find the hope and light during the past months but surprisingly how often we did, learning much about ourselves and each other along the way!

      We really got dug into the garden puzzle and were determined it wouldn’t beat us! 😀 Reckon we’re getting into the knack of it all! Hope you and your family are well and as happy as can be. Xx

      1. We had a 1,000 piece puzzle that was mostly a forest of pine trees. We considered framing it when we were done. We didn’t end up doing that, but instead vowed never to do that one again! It nearly broke us! 🙂

  4. I thought I had left a reply here when I clicked “like” yesterday. But I don’t see my comment, so let me say (again… because in my mind I already told you… do you ever do that?) how much I enjoyed this blog, your family creativity, and the wonderful song you added. I copied it to my blog and added a link to yours yesterday. Everyone should read this! It’s delightful and inspiring. Thank you, Annika. Have a great Tuesday!I send my love your way ❤

    1. Jan, how strange! I double-checked spam and there wasn’t a message from you there either … I wonder where it went?! I really appreciate you coming back to leave a comment again! 😀

      Wow! Thank you so much for sharing my post on your blog, that is wonderful and I appreciate that so much. ‘Love Shine a Light’ video is incredible and captures the essence of our separation and yet togetherness… an uplifting and emotional video.

      I’m glad you enjoyed seeing just a hint of our creativity during these months.

      Wishing you a special rest of the week! Keep well and safe! Much love, xx ❤️

  5. Annika, you are excelling with this uplifting and joyful post. Diving straight
    into our hearts with a feast of activities and sharing.
    I love the festive flags and applaud you for taking the time to make them. So
    thoughtful and happy.
    Now, you have offered this yummie looking cake around so I hope there is a piece
    left. Thanks…..mmm..delicious. Was that strawberries in the middle?

    Now, those puzzles remind me about childhood when we got one together every
    year and shared – just like you – what fun and excitement. I laugh at your son easily
    picking up a couple of pieces….just like that. By the way, I do love his mother’s day
    card. So happy and loving.
    Your husband’s story has me laughing, I can see you dodging “people without distance”
    and like your payment for the performance. Maybe he should open a blog too.

    As to European song contest I am a fan too. This feast of music and performances. You have chosen so beautiful ones.
    Måns Zelmerlöw with Heroes is simply wonderful and the guy has the most touching performance.

    Sorry about this long essay, I got carried away. 💕.

    Miriam

    1. Miriam, warmest thanks for your wonderful ‘essay’ comment – I love it!! 😀❤️ The flags were a lot of fun to make and the effect was so much better than I hoped. We had them up for quite a long time afterwards as we enjoyed the festive spirit! As for the cake, it is indeed strawberry jam and a special one I brought online from a Swedish food shop in London. We were missing our Easter treats and I ended up buying goodies in May for us all!

      It was funny when my son would just pop in and find a piece just like that … I didn’t know whether to applaud or groan that I’d missed it so many times! Very funny. The card is amazing and on permanent display in my study – maybe one day I’ll see a hummingbird for real!😀

      I did mention to my husband about starting a blog and he laughed, shaking his head – not for him, I think but it was fun to share this writing here. Every time I go out I find myself going into squirrel mode!

      Oh, this version of ‘Heroes’ is astonishing! One I thoroughly enjoyed before but his performance here is incredible, packed with emotion – I’m so glad you enjoyed it too – as you say, he gave the most touching performance.

      Wishing you a lovely rest of the week, keep creative yourself and I always look forward to your poetic posts! hugs xx ❤️🌺

  6. Hi Annika, It is interesting how our days are packed despite the limitations placed on us. I love your phrase “a new united resilience developed within us.” Not an easy gap to spot. I only spent a minute looking for it, and then left. Some dark areas in the puzzle, so it could be anywhere. 😀 A beautiful Mother’s Day card. They do mean a great deal to us. The flamingos made me smile. I am not familiar with Eurovision except, coincidentally my husband and I watched “Eurovision. The Story of Fire Saga” last night. A silly Will Ferrell comedy.

    I loved your husband’s clever story. You don’t work for peanuts. You work for hazelnuts.😀

    Goosebumps and tears brimming with ‘Heroes.’ The song and the video footage. Thank you for making my night beautiful, Annika. In many ways.❤️

    1. Erica, bless you for your wonderful comment and I’m touched how you took in all the many and various aspects of the post – that means a lot to me and thank you! ❤️

      Every day we would be/are surprised how quickly they fly by … and when creatively and enriching that is great!

      The missing piece is at the end of the row of beach houses and I must admit, I kept not seeing the gap for ages … I think our minds like to fill in the empty spaces!😀

      I’ve wondered whether to watch the Will Ferrell film, I’m tempted now you mention it and yes, his films are mostly silly but sometimes just what is needed.

      Haha! 😀 Love your comment about not working for peanuts but for hazelnuts!! Good one!😀

      Here’s to many more beautiful nights, there is such an amazing creative pieces of art produced at the moment, in so many fields, individually to complete a whole. Stunning and emotional!

      Take care, my dear friend and hope you and your wonderful family are all bearing up. hugs xx ❤️

      1. “Eurovision” movie was definitely lighthearted and silly. Yet, we enjoyed it. 🙂 It had actual footage filmed in Husavik, Iceland. We were there three years ago and it is a beautiful, interesting area. You and your family take care, Annika. ❤️

        1. Erica, how wonderful that you’ve been to Husavik! We’ve just seen the film and the Norwegian locations are stunning and I recognised a lot from Edinburgh. Oh, the film was brilliant – I laughed so much and it captures the madcap expliots of Eurovision perfectly. Many of the sets copying actual ones, lots of cameos from past winners and Graham Norton, the UK presenter, was his usual sardonic self! Many thanks for the recommendation and a fun evening of music and laughter at the Perry household. Much love xx

  7. So fun to pull up a “pew” and visit for a while. What? Would I like a slice of cake? Oh my, yes please. Yummmm, this is absolutely delicious! And over here, the puzzle you’re working on. No worries, I won’t even try to fill in a missing piece. I don’t have the patience for jigsaws and yet so many of my friends, like you, have made gorgeous ones, taking hours to find just a corner or – hooray! – a middle. I’ve heard that now you can send a favorite photo to a special jigsaw place, and they’ll make a 500 or 1,000 piece puzzle out of it. I think that should be in your near future.
    But perhaps, first, you should continue your acting job as a squirrel. You are such a cute one! 🙂

    1. Pam, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the cake and the pew is my old wooden bench, situated on the patio to capture the afternoon sunshine, enclosed by two rose bushes! 😀

      I’m known for my lack of patience so returning to jigsaws after many years break was a risk! Would I give up at the first hurdle! Luckily, I’m also preserving and I was surprised how addictive puzzling became to us both. Late at night we’d be heading upstairs to bed and just pop in for a moment … half an hour later we were still there! 😀I love making the frame of the puzzle, when I finally get round to placing middle pieces I cheer loudly! Wow! I love the idea of having one’s own picture turned into a jigsaw and I definitely want to do that! Now, which photo of the 20,000 or so!

      Hehe … a cute squirrel, eh?! 😀 I can live with that and fear it’s a pose I will be adopting quite a while longer.

      So wonderful to have a ‘chat’, my dear friend! Take care, love & hugs ❤️🌺🤗

      1. Great chat, as always. And as always, I learn something each time we sit on your pew and chat. Like, why not try a jigsaw puzzle, and enjoy the wonder of patience and partnership while doing so? There is so little on TV these days; my guy and I give up and read instead. But popping over to the on-going jigsaw puzzle in between chapters sounds like a mighty good idea. xo

  8. The cake was delicious, Annika. I usually don’t eat the whole slice. When I go partying that has all kind of dessert, I would sample all of them with a stamp size of each. So I would take a half slice. I like cream with my coffee.

    We just started our first 1000 pierce jigsaw puzzle four days ago. I took photos of our progress every day. The scene has large area of sky that we haven’t tackled yet, It also has a couple areas of dark green trees. We were just guessing until the pieces fit!!

    What a nice article your husband did on Annika the squirrel. I love it.

    I’ve done a few projects during this time of distancing. No, I haven’t felt bored yet. Thank you for your lovely post.

    1. Miriam, I’ll just dash indoors for the cream! 😀 Here is half a slice of cake! 🍰 I love your approach to trying lots of small desserts in bite sizes … ideal! Last year a local pub did something similar where six small pieces of desserts were served in a wooden platter! Divine!

      Good luck with your 1000 piece jigsaw and what a clever idea to take photos of your progress! I might do that next time. Oh no, not Sky?! 😀😀 I’ve found the hit and miss trying with different pieces worked best … and how satisfying to get even just one or two down!! Enjoy completing the puzzle and I would love to see a photo if possible.

      Haha!! 😀 I fear I will forever be Annika the Squirrel! It was such a sweet surprise and gave me a real boost during my frightened moments!

      Good luck with your own creative endeavours … with creativity in our souls I think boredom will never have a chance!

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! Hugs xx ❤️

      1. The last dessert party was Christmas. I’m ready for the next dessert party, Annika. I’m sensitive to processed sugar, so dessert keeps me awake, but I don’t mind being awake all night once in a while to trade for fun, friendship and laughter. 🙂 🙂

        Our 1000 piece puzzle is 3/4 done. We only work on it an hour each night for fun.

        The illustration of my children’s story is underway. The artist has 12 jobs in queue. I hope nothing will go wrong. David is retired so I’ll look for someone to format my book. Thank you for communicating with him on my behalf. ❤ ❤

        1. Congratulations on your children’s story being illustrated and how exciting for you! Blimey, that is a lot of jobs for the artist … I feel for her and all her stress! Good luck with finding someone to format the book and I’m happy for David and his retirement! Only too glad to try and help!

          Have a lovely weekend, Miriam! xx

    1. It was amazing and resonates with most of us, I imagine. I kept thinking of all the work for the video alone, no matter the show … all in less than two months! Inspiring and heartwarming!

    1. 😀😀 Jennifer, so happy you’ve had a chance to enjoy jigsaw puzzles as well. Wonder about your pictures? So glad you enjoyed the post and wishing you a lovely start to the week. 😀

  9. What a lovely uplifting post. I so agree with you that nothing is more important than family and friends. Lock down has brought so many people closer together. I also love all your creative ventures, especially that Victoria sponge. One of my favourites.

    1. Brigid, thank you so much! 😀 The warmth and kindness of family and friends has been my rock these months … and you’re right how it brings people closer together. I’ve never talked to so many new folk whilst out on walks, sharing meaningful conversation and news. A wonder! 😀

  10. It’s typical that the year I am back in Europe and ready for Eurovision it isn’t on. I played some Pollaponk to keep my spirits up though. I always liked that Icelandic song from a few years back.

    1. Ste, Pollyaponk is a perfect example of the best of Eurovision!😀😀 I rememeber this entry well and it’s jollied me along no end listening to it again! I hope you get to see the contest next year!

  11. Glad you’ve been keeping yourself beautifully busy Annika. Thanks for the cake and uplifting post and loved the Eurovision upliftingmusic too. ❤

    1. Debby, thank you and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and music! It was a wonderful and emotional evening. I seem to be running out of cake slices, so willl just a make new one! 😀

  12. This was a thoroughly delightful post: warm, uplifting, and beautifully written. (And there was cake!) Thank you for sharing the “Love Shine a Light” video. We sure could use a little of that light here in the US. Or should I say, a lot of that light. On another note, I’d be happy to ship you a whole crate of jigsaw puzzles. We have too many of the darned things.

    1. Liz, thank you so much for your lovely comment! 😀 Don’t tempt me or I might take you up on your offer!😀 We recently cleared out a whole load of jigsaws as I never foresaw a time I would be making them again – that’s always the way!

      I feel so for you all in America, the virus news is horrendous and the figures dreadful. Although for now things are a bit better in the UK, we are all aware it is on a knife-edge and we for one are being very cautious. Home-cooked meals and home-baked cakes for us, the lovely ‘pub’ of our garden!

      In these times I wanted to help spread some of the light of life, that was portrayed so beautifully in the non-contest contest show.

      Take care and my thoughts are with you all over the pond. ❤️

    1. Jan, I know, who knew a compost bin could be cute and pretty! 😀 After the lovely comments last week noting my absence here on WP I thought to post a little about our activities/adventures! It gave me a boost too to look back at what we’ve achieved over the time! Keep safe and well … hugs xx

  13. I love hearing about your “adventures in solitude” for indeed it has been a remarkable time in our history. This is a journey that we are all taking together, which is of great comfort, for we can share thoughts and ideas, live boldly and create wonderful possibilities as a global community. I have been reading Marcus Aurelius: “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love …” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. I am also reading “A Gentleman in Moscow” if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.” Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow. It has been a remarkable time of creativity for us all. Hugs coming your way.

    1. Rebecca, thank you so much for your interesting comments and wonderful quotes. I love the one by Marcus Aurelius – it is an incredible privilege to wake each morning, to be alive and each morning when I wake strong and well, I feel blessed. It is easy to be overwhelmed by events and I think okay to roll with those emotions a short while before following the words of your other quote and learn to ‘master’ current circumstances as best as possible. That is what millions are doing with their own creative endeavours and the energy and fortitude of these are wonderful and uplifting. Love & hugs, xx ❤️

  14. I am listening to your music selections now, Annika, and enjoying them very much. Many clouds have a silver lining, and it is good to see the slow down bringing out the creativity everywhere.

    1. Lavinia, at first it almost felt wrong to find some blessings in all of this, but over time I’m starting to enjoy the small positives along the way, there is so much dark out there we need something to negate it a bit. I’m glad you enjoy the two music pieces from the Eurovision evening – they both touched me deeply. Wishing you well and many creative moments during this difficult time. xx

  15. There’s a lot of good to be had with this horrid virus. It hearkens back to America’s early days in the West when families lived by themselves, few around them. I love how you and your family came together. The income is a bit of a sticky wicket, though. One friend who is a coach at a gym moved his coaching online, through Zoom, and was surprised how many clients followed–stayed even after the gym opened. We are a creative species.

    1. Jacqui, it is a wonder to see all the creativity around us these past few months, some celebrated online and now famous, most at home and enjoyed by a few – all making a huge difference in our lives. It was amazing the weeks where nearly all the traffic stopped, the village definitely felt as if it had reverted to olden days, we could wander down the main street safely with just the odd passing car. The silence was incredible, eerie. I’m glad all worked out for your friend with his own online gym – this is definitely the time for rethinking work opportunities, for being inventive and open to all possibilites.

  16. What a lovely post, Annika. I will forever more visualise you as a squirrel, doing you stopping, turning and reversing – with your little hands under your chin.

    1. 😂😂 Mary, I fear I will forever be Annika ‘The Squirrel’ here on WP from now on! When some people walk past totally oblivious to social distancing I must say I’m tempted to lift my hands under my chin and pretend to jab out!

      So glad you enjoyed the post and hope you’re having a sunny Sunday! Here it’s bright but windy, the poor poppy petals struggling to stay on! xx

      1. It is astonishing how many people are oblivious to social distancing. I’m afraid our few moments of sunshine are interspersed by great cloudbursts of rain and the wind is picking up again. Hope your poppy petals survive.

  17. Oh, you too are a big fan of EuroVision! So lovely is the array of flags you put together in celebration of this year’s special event. It’s also good to hear how you and your family have adjusted and embraced this lockdown. And I second this, “there is nothing more important than family and friends. Here lies the richness of life.”

    LOL! Your hubby’s article…now an image of you scurrying around like a squirrel will forever be imprinted on my mind. 😀 ❤

    1. Yeah! Another Eurovision fan … I realised as I wrote this that many here would not have a clue what the fuss is all about! It was fun to make the flags and surprise my son and husband with them – we left them up quite a while to give the house a festive lift!

      I hope your family in South Africa are keeping safe and well, Khaya … following the news around the world is a nightmare, one which from which we all hope to wake up.

      Haha… So, Annika ‘The Squirrel’ Perry it is from now on!! 😀 I find myself adopting the pose whenever I’m out … many must wonder at my strange antics!

      Keep well and safe, my friend and wishing you a relaxing and rejuvenating summer. hugs xx ❤️

  18. This is a lovely post, Annika. I did spot the missing piece in your puzzle but it took me awhile. You and your family have been very productive and staying safe during this pandemic. 🙂 Family and friends truly are the richness of life. I loved your husband’s text on describing you as a squirrel. This label might stick! ❤

    1. 😀😀Carol, I fear you’re right … the label is already here to stay and I now find myself adopting an even more squirrelish posture in shops! Not only have we loved keeping in contact with friends from before but we’ve made many new friends from afar during the daily walks. Nineteen years in the village and now we’ve talked to more people than ever before, learnt about their lives and vice versa. It’s a bit extreme it takes something like this to bring people together!

      Yeah! Well done on seeing the gap, not easy. I bet the day we come to move the piece will miraculously appear again! Wishing you a lovely Sunday and week ahead! ❤️

  19. Hi. You and your family are more than making the best of the situation. Excellent! By the way, five minutes before I read your essay I looked out the sliding glass door that leads to our deck. A squirrel was on the deck. See ya.

    Neil

    1. Neil, if the squirrel was looking particularly stressed, that would have been me! 😀 We have very much managed to keep busy and surprisingly enjoyed our activities, yet the pandemic is never far from our minds or emotions. Take care!

  20. Annika, I love reading your updates. Glad you and your family are well. Good job on the jigsaw puzzles, baking and other creative pursuits. Your husband’s article made me laugh. Your trip to Boots sounds like my trip to the grocery stores. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Natalie, I’m not surprised you recognised yourself in my husband’s piece about me … I see many squirrelling around the aisles! It helps to find some humour during the stress of shopping – oh, how we took it all for granted! It’s been fun to find new creative outlets and for my son especially to feel he’s using his time productively. Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment!😀 Wishing you a lovely and safe week too! xx

  21. How wonderful that you made the most of the lockdown. Bravo on the jigsaw puzzles! The Måns Zelmerlöw song is perfect. I have done a lot of baking too and trying new recipes for dinner. We haven´t eaten so well! I love your mother´s day card! Wonderful to see that you and your family are safe and well. May it stay so. xo

    1. Darlene, the jigsaws have been surprisingly a lot of fun; and a lot more relaxing than Scrabble! We are a competitive lot! Many have obviously recently taken up jigsaws as at first, we could barely find any … it’s always hard to break them up into tiny parts again! I’m so glad you enjoyed “Heroes” and this version here is incredible. How wonderful that you have also found yourself exploring new dishes; it’s a great incentive when one can’t go out to restaurants! I reckon many are a lot healthier as a result of good food and all the daily exercise!

      Wishing you and your family all well too, hope it isn’t too long before you can see your mother in person. xx

      1. Thanks. Yes, we’ve been eating healthy, although perhaps too much baking. We have gained a few pounds! Oh well. Thanks for your kind comment on my post. xo

  22. Annika I so enjoyed reading this post. Due to some difficult circumstances I am so behind on reading but hope to catch up soon. I loved your husbands addition to your post and it really conjoured up a picture that made me laugh. I love the quote you used about courage, its one I often think of and courage definitely comes and goes. Lovely post.

    1. Alison, I’m so sorry you are going through a difficult time and hope things become easier for you soon. With all this going on I haven’t been much on WP but am slowly returning a bit.

      I do feel like a squirrel every time I go out now … recently able to go for walks with my mother she saw me in action at every path junction we encounter, scanning back and forth, darting across. I haven’t quite got my fists bunched under my chin – yet!😀

      How lovely that you knew this quote already; a new one to me! Courage is organic, I agree, comes and goes in waves … and when it’s with me I grab it and try to hold for dear life!

      Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing Sunday! Take care. xx🌻

  23. Sorry! As you know with my wrist issues, I’m dictating and obviously I don’t do it well on WordPress reader. But I’m happy you discovered the joy of puzzling. It’s such a pleasurable way to enjoy time together. I loved your husband’s article! He’s quite creative. Thank you for this lovely post. Enjoy your Sunday!❤️❤️

    1. Jill, first of all, I am impressed by how you manage to dictate comments on WP and really hope your tendonitis is soon much better. I’d forgotten how addictive jigsaw puzzles become and it got to the stage where we promised ourselves only five more minutes and we’d still be there an hour later! 😀 The next one is my special choice – Fantasy Bookshop! Looks glorious, a bibliophiles dream! My husband will be very chuffed with your comment; when he’s inspired to write he really does so rather well – and for one birthday presented me with a folder of his poems!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and hope you have a special Sunday! hugs ❤️🦋

    1. Radhika, it’s been a very interesting time and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the creative pursuits … always with an unsettling sense in the background of the reason for this extra time at home. I’m looking forward to visiting Portugal at some stage to try out my new language skills! 😀 As for the cake, I’m very generous with my slices … I’m sure you’d enjoy it! 🍰

    1. Thank you so much, Jaye … it’s amazed me how creative people have become during this time, us included. At the start, I thought there were two ways to take the experience. To learn and develop within ourselves or go slightly stir crazy! Oh, I will not be sorry at all when it’s over … even with the easing here in the UK we are being very cautious but it is lovely to go for walks beyond the village! Hope you’re all well and safe! xx

  24. It is seen that they found the perfect fun to have the best time at home with the family. The gap in the puzzle is at the end of the row of houses at the top. Colossal to assemble the 1000 pieces. Good for you family. A good Sunday.
    Manuel

    1. Well spotted, Manuel! 😀 It was so frustrating to lose the one piece but then we just laughed about it! Oh, I’m so glad we didn’t buy the 5000 piece jigsaw – this one was big enough and just fitted on our table!

      Wishing you a lovely Sunday, Manuel! 😀

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