Blog Posts, Prompts

#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.

Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

A voyage of discovery during two lockdowns

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on

Many of us have discovered hidden talents this year while we’ve been grounded for our own safety. I’ve seen neighbours take up cycling or running. My social media timelines are full of images of breads, cakes and artwork never attempted before. If anything positive comes out of this, its all these new skills.

In the Dean household we’ve learned to cut and colour hair. Mr D hasn’t been back to the barber since he found out I’m reasonably ok with a pair of proper scissors and a number 2 guard on a hair trimmer! The first cut took me over an hour, but now I have it down to 30 minutes. I find it quite therapeutic too, apart from the cut hair getting up my nose!

I finished a dry riverbed planted flower bed this summer, playing around with solar-powered lights that look like rockery cobbles in the light of day. Watching the plants grow and flower, while chilling out on the sun deck, made lockdown 1.0 more pleasant than it might have been in an inner city. It certainly made me thankful for living in a rural location. The added benefit is our COVID infection rate was lower than the surrounding cities. I say ‘was’ as we’re in lockdown 2.0 and the infection rates are high everywhere. At least keeping good distance from others is much easier when you have so much empty space around.

Tapping into intuition

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I enrolled in an on-line course on tarot reading. I successfully completed the two courses during late Spring – early Summer. All I had left to do was complete a big old document for my final submission. As Mum’s health failed, I parked everything up to concentrate on daily video conferencing with her. However, I told you last week that I plucked up the courage to complete my submission and send it in. The receipt email let me know it had made its way to the examiners and to wait until the end of November for results.

Well it turns out I didn’t have as long to wait. The results are in…. and I’m now fully certified. Mind you. Mr D thinks I’m certifiable enough without a piece of paper to prove it! Cheeky boy! He shouldn’t cast aspersions like that as he’s due a haircut! My scissors might slip while I’d doing his fringe. Anyway, I digress. I have been awarded the right to use this image in connection with future readings.

Yay! Go me!

For my next lockdown project, I’m learning how to write a business plan! My idea is to have a little sideline in reading tarot online – no worrying about face masks or symptomless carriers when you do online readings. If it works, then I’ll have something fun to do when I decide to retire in the next 2-3 years.

Hoping this finds you safe and well.

Cath xx