Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Not just out, but out out!

How is the new normal working out for you?

Are you out of lockdown yet where you are? We lucky people in England are now allow out to shop for non-essential items, enjoy close personal services such as haircuts and manicures, and even have a drink in a pub beer garden.


As you know, I was somewhat reluctant to be with other people, having spent the whole year viewing everyone outside of the Dean household as walking COVID-dispersal agents of doom! But I realise that’s an unsustainable view, especially if I want to kick-start living life again. If you’ve just had some of your restrictions lifted, what was the first thing you did or visited?

We let the early birds head to the local pub on the Monday. It was certainly one of the busiest Mondays they’ve ever had, judging by the noise of chattering neighbours wafting towards our house. We waited till Tuesday! As soon as work finished, we wrapped up warmly (this is England after all) and headed off to the beer garden. I take my hat off to the owner. She used lockdown wisely, creating one of the loveliest beer gardens in the area. It has a country cottage feel, with planters full of flowers, water features giving a gentle babbling brook sound (mind you, it does make you need to visit the loo!) and fire pits to heat the patrons.

How to keep warm in an English Spring

Shockingly, even though we live close to the pub, we weren’t the first to arrive. Neighbours beat us to it (looks too desperate to me!). I have to say, beer tastes so different when hand pulled and delivered to your table compared to opening a tin or bottle. What made it even more special was being able to have a chat with people we’ve not seen for months… all of this on a school night too! In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we booked an outdoor table for a meal later in the week… I came prepared with a woollen picnic blanket to keep me toastie warm. I was the envy of the others who weren’t fortunate enough to be seated near one of the fire pits! You can always spot a former Girl Guide – being prepared is second nature to us.

Yippee! I filled my shopping bag!

The second new thing I did was to shop for non-essential items, a bottle of perfume and some sports socks. Mine wore out doing all that indoor cycling. Not only did I buy the pretty bottle with coupons (who doesn’t love a ‘freebie’), I also bought some impulse items while waiting in the queue, just because I could. The stores had used lockdown time to change the layout of their shop floors to create as much space around their stock and to place numerous hand sanitizer stations all round… no excuse for not having clean hands.

Bye bye split ends!

And the final new thing I did was have a haircut. I walked in, armed with a huge Pinterest board of ideas for medium to long hair, with messy fringes and plenty of layers. My layers had long since grown out, which meant that my hair formed a perfect triangle when freshly washed and dried. Time for that look to go. Following a discussion with my hairdresser, I was sent to the sinks to have my hair washed. Those things are like instruments of torture, but this time I relaxed so much I had to be gently nudged into consciousness again to walk back to the cutting station.

An hour later, and a huge pile of clippings on the floor (enough to stuff a small cushion), I emerged from the salon with my hair transformed into flowing layered curls and a wispy choppy fringe. I felt like a new woman! Even Mr D, who is not known for paying the slightest attention to my haircuts, noticed the difference when I returned home. Well done hairdresser.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for mid-May and further easing of restrictions. Mr D and I have taken a risk and booked a mini-break in the Yorkshire Dales for just after leisure stays in hotels should be allowed. I’ll be able to show off my new hairstyle… I only hope that I can still fit into my holiday clothes!

Wishing you all health and happiness.

Cath xx

Blog Posts, Prompts

#JusJoJan 4th – far too handy for one’s own good

That’s my opinion of iPads and some epic Christmas present purchasing fails by Mr D.

Armed with an iPad and a seemingly endless supply of beers, Mr D had the whole world of shopping right there, at his fingertips. Slight issue though – the connection twixt brain and fingers often went awry. The best example the Dean household has, is an absolutely massive Toblerone bar, the weight of a hefty newborn baby, bought for Cost Centre 2 (aka my dear son), who’s never once mentioned a liking for said bar.

Mr D only noticed his error when the delivery notice arrived in his in-box. Not only did he not remember ordering it, he was certain it should only weigh a few hundred grams, not several kilos! He thought it might be an outer of chocolate, and that once opened, the box would reveal several smaller bars. But no. Mr D had, in fact, ordered a single bar!!

Fortunately Cost Centre 2 has a sweet tooth, and likes it. Just as well. He’s going to be be nibbling at it all year!!

Today’s prompt was part of Linda G Hill’s JusJoJan challenge. Click here for the gen on how to take part.