Since it’s almost a year since the last one I don’t want to bombard you with all the things I’ve been loving during that time as we may be here for a while. So I’ll try and keep it short (ish) and sweet, like me (haha). Like most people, especially shielders, we have been spending most, if not all our time at home since March. The COVID 19 pandemic has been a really difficult time for everyone and only now are we seeing restrictions easing. I tried to find things that I enjoyed or helped maintain some normalcy in my life, no matter how simple. These are some of the things I’ve been lovely lately whilst shielding.
Expanding our family
If you follow me on social media then you will have met the new additions to our family. For almost two months now our adorable kittens have filled our home with lots of fun, mischief and love. They are black and white tuxedo kittens and they’re sisters. They absolutely love each other to bits. Initially, we were told they were brothers, so for weeks, we called them boys. Then we took them for their first vaccinations at the vet and after a quick examination, the vet informed us they were actually girls. We only changed one of their names, so now they are Arlo and Willow. They are the best little kittens. We adore them!
We love a good binge-worthy TV show and thankfully there has been quite a few over the past few months that we’ve loved. Having something good to watch at night definitely helped during our time shielding.
Our favourites were:
- Little Fires Everywhere 10/10
- Killing Eve 9.5/10
- Defending Jacob 8/10
- Ozark 9/10
- Normal People 8/10 (check out my post about the Normal People Soundtrack)
- Last Chance U 8/10
Now shielding has paused we’ve been able to enjoy some time out if we want. Personally, we haven’t been in a rush to get out and about like we used to do. I’ve actually attended more hospital appointments than anything else. But we took our first proper drive in the car a few weekends ago when we visited Carron Valley Reservoir. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and we really wanted to go to a quiet spot near the water. Carron Valley was the perfect place. We parked up at the side of the road and enjoyed the view. It was peaceful and tranquil, just the way we like it.
We’ve also gone a stroll around Linlithgow Loch. It’s been a family favourite since I was a child so it brings back a lot of memories. This time we walked around the entire loch and I was happy with how accessible it was for me. Its a really lovely walk with some of the prettiest views across the loch to the Palace. I highly recommend you check it out but make sure you get chips from the Golden Chip. You can thank me later.
Despite watching so many movies over the past six months, only a few have really stuck in our minds as being worth watching. They are ‘7500’ and ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’. 7500 is about a co-pilot whose life is turned upside down when terrorists hijack the plane. It is on Prime, but be warned, it’s gripping to watch. I rate it 7.5/10.
The second movie that we loved was The Peanut Butter Falcon. Now, this was a movie that we had known about for ages but never got round to watching. Well, better late than never because it was a brilliant movie. We both thoroughly enjoyed it and had big smiles at the end of it. It’s about a man who has Down syndrome who runs away from a nursing home to fulfil his dream of becoming a wrestler. Along the way, he meets and becomes friends with a man who is also on the run after committing a crime. They develop an amazing friendship that will make you laugh and cry. I honestly loved everything about this movie and rate it a solid 9/10. It’s on Netflix and I can’t recommend it enough.
July was a fun month as I got to collaborate with my good friend and fellow Scottish disabled blogger, Joe a.k.a Dystrophy Dad. We created a film festival blog series called ‘MD at the Movies’. Each Friday we would review a movie featuring a character with Muscular Dystrophy. My favourite was ‘Inside I’m Dancing’. I honestly had a great time working with Joe on this and I’m grateful that I’ve made a great friend in him as a result. Joe is a fantastic guy and an incredible writer and poet. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you check out his blog. He also had a brilliant response to an ableist online troll that we encountered, which you can read HERE.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, I wrote a blog post about the simple things helping me stay positive during isolation. In that post, I listed the eleven things I was doing to keep my spirits up and one of them was spending time in my garden and bird watching. Yes, I’m that person who loves wildlife and I feel very grateful to have a garden, especially during shielding, as it brought me a lot of enjoyment to just watch the different types of birds that visit our garden. Some of my favourites are blue titS and goldfinches. I was also that person who kept sharing updates and photos on Instagram of my little bird friends, so much so that my friend Ross sent me a surprise gift which was a teacup bird feeder. It looks amazing on one of our trees in the back garden.
I was also sent sustainable bird feed from a new company called A little bird company. They sell high-quality seasonal bird food in eco-friendly (compostable) packaging. It’s created to encourage and support the birds in your garden. You can even have the bird food sent as a monthly subscription so you’re always giving them what’s in season and you never run out. I’m looking forward to seeing new birds visit soon.
As you probably know, I’m a big music fan. I love discovering new music and love going to gigs/festivals. We had so many gigs booked for this summer, including The 1975, Kings of Leon and Dermot Kennedy, but they are now all rearranged for next year (thanks coronavirus). I did enjoy my first virtual gig last month when Dermot Kennedy performed live at the Natural History Museum. I bought my ticket online and was sent a link to watch the live streaming. I’ve also watched lots of bands and artists perform free live performances on Facebook and Instagram.
At the beginning of lockdown I also wrote a blog post sharing the ways I’m staying fit and healthy during lockdown. I mentioned how I usually try and eat healthy, nutritious meals and my love of meal prepping for the week. Well, I’m happy to have maintained it during the past six months. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my occasional Papa John’s takeaway. The vegan pizzas are amazing. I’m even excited to make more meals from my new cookbook, The Green Roasting Tin, which I’ve recently bought. It’s got lots of great recipes and everything cooks in the one tin. Less mess and dishes to clean for Allan. Oh and we also had a lot of fun attempting to make vegan banana bread. If you haven’t watched our baking fail yet, then you can watch it HERE. I hope it makes you laugh.
There have been a few new music discoveries over the past six months. I’m sometimes guilty of obsessing and listening to them over and over and over again. Social Animals are one that is on repeat a lot. They are an American alternative indie/rock band and every one of their songs is a hit in my opinion. My stand out favourites are Get Over It, Something To Keep Me Awake and Best Years.
I’ve also been loving Holly Humberstone, particularly her live version of Overkill and Taylor Swift’s new album Folklore. Yes, I’m not ashamed to say I’m a Taylor Swift fan. Have you heard her song ‘Exile’ with Bon Iver? Another one is Sam Fender’s ‘Hypersonic Missiles’.
What has been some of your favourite moments over the past few months?