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#JusJoJan 14th – every cloud has a silver lining

There’s no doubt about it. Life has changed drastically in the past 10 months or so. Never before have we been so confined to home and hearth. It’s tempting to focus on all the things we’ve lost out on. But there is a bright side to lockdowns.

Our once a day ventures outside for exercise and dog walking have introduced us to so many neighbours we rarely get to see in normal circumstances. Lunchtime seems to be the most popular time to take an outdoor break. We have pavement rush hours!

Tools and materials have been exchanged to help with home DIY projects. Safe chats had over fences and hedges make for longer walkies but keep you connected with others. Up-cycling of each other’s junk has become quite a passion. Old tractor tyres, packaging, pallets and left over building materials have magically found new homes and purposes

Our nearest neighbours have turned grubby old farmyard pallets into an outdoor kitchen, a bar (handy now that the pubs are closed), a darts alley and kitchen herb planters.

Further round the corner from us, tractor tyres are now garden planters, seats and a low table.

Good neighbours keep each other going in the darkest of times and are more than willing to party hard once we’re safe to do so.

Thanks to Linda G Hill for hosting this annual January writing challenge. Click here to pay her a visit, read the instructions and join in the fun.

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… and relax!

We are done! Finished! The first big DIY project of 2020 is done. There’s something really special about looking at a project planner with all the boxes ticked. For a list-maker like me, the sense of satisfaction in seeing a completed to-do list has me doing a little victory dance while I survey our handiwork.

It has come at a price, and I don’t mean moneywise (with me in charge of the budget we didn’t stint!), I mean physically. The final push involved both of us wielding hammers to persuade certain parts of the built-in storage units back into place. To help me inject energy into each hit, I repeated an affirmation – ‘I deserve my promotion! I will get it!). Mr D was surprised at the power behind each blow. Fortunately I didn’t hit my thumb but I do have a sore elbow! The repeated bashing has resulted in bursitis! So no leaning my elbows on the table for a while.

Not my actual elbow but a good representation of how my poor elbow feels!

I hope Mr D has no smart ideas about starting anything else for at least a month. I will need time to recover. In the meantime, I will be upstairs lying on my new chaise longue admiring the finished job and dreaming up ideas for the next project. The first question is whether to start something inside or in the garden. Given Storm Chiara has just blasted through the UK, my vote is for something inside.