Every Drop of Juice

This post is for everyone who feels stressed at the moment. Whether you are feeling unwell, have someone you care for in hospital that you can’t visit. Or if you are working in one of the vital areas of healthcare or food supply, or maybe you are just trying to cope at home, doing the right thing and wondering when things will improve.

Keeping positive and looking for things to raise the spirits, these are all things I’ve been focusing on. This post includes just a few of the things I’ve been doing, to add to all the many others I have been reading about and on which I have come to depend to help me to squeeze every drop of juice out of life, whilst we’re all living life in day sized compartments and bite sized portions.

Welcome to my world, please step inside….

A wonderful person in our village came up with the idea of an online magazine, the idea is that as many people as possible contribute something and the categories are very loose but all uplifting. Each week it’s published on the village website and we’ve had two of them now.

My contribution to this week’s was to share three of my Desert Island Discs, ‘What would be your desert island discs?’ has been a favourite game in this house for as long as I can remember, books, music and luxury items all changing over time!

The three I’ve included below are all chosen to reflect the times in which we find ourselves. I’d love to hear some of your choices , please share!

  • It’s my Friday evening get ready for the weekend and chill song. If you were in this house at supper time on Friday, glass of red wine in hand, there’s a very good chance you would hear The Drifters singing ‘up on the roof’, and if you happened to be walking past you just might hear us joining in.

If you’re ready for a party, listen here:

  • If I’m stuck on my desert island, and to be honest, I feel a bit like I’m practising for that scenario at the moment; I would need a bit of jazz to keep me company. Django Reinhardt with his exuberant Gypsy Jazz sounds suffered terrible burns resulting in the amputation the third and fourth fingers of his left hand, yet despite this he taught himself to play the guitar again. His Belgian Romany roots are ever present in his music. If I was sitting looking out to sea in the evening and perhaps feeling a bit lonely, his music would cheer me up no end.

For feeling positive if you are alone:

‘Minor swing’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcE1avXFJb4

  • Finally, no trip to my desert island would be complete without a Cure song. Just a couple of years ago we were in Hyde park with thousands of others at one of their concerts. I first went to see them in my twenties and have always loved them.

The only difficulty here is which song to choose?

I’m going to settle for ‘jumping someone else’s train’, it has such energy and it reminds me of when I was young!

For the energy:

Listening to music and singing and dancing around are all vital mood boosters for us. I’ve been teaching myself how to do the Running Man…check out Hadaway ‘what is love’ if you want to see how it should be done..

Other than listening to music, the other essential for us is eating. Meal times have taken on more importance as ‘special events’ during days spent in the house, and we have become quite adept at coming up with new recipes and ideas.

I’m relieved to see that buying food has become a bit less fraught, the panic buying of loo rolls and other essentials has meant that for those like us, determined not to make it worse by buying more than we need, there have been quite a few things that we haven’t been able to get hold of.

The solution? Foraged nettle soup. The hour a day in which we are allowed out for exercise is the perfect time to pick a few nettles and they are so good for you. This soup was made with nettles and potatoes; garlic, cayenne and black pepper were used as flavourings.

We’ve been making our own sauerkraut too, it’s so easy to do. Just chop a cabbage, white or red, we’ve tried both. Squeeze it in a big bowl with about an ounce of salt. Then put it in a big jar with a leaf on top and weight it down. After about a week it can be put into jars and refrigerated.

It tastes amazing and is so cheap. The book we use for various recipes is shown in the photos below and I recommend it highly.

The garden has seen more of me than it usually has by this time of year. The grass is cut, trees and bushes pruned and I’ve made a start on the weeding. I love the way a friendly robin always joins me during my weeding sessions in the hope of finding a tasty grub or two after I’ve vacated the area. This one spent all day with me and even posed for a photo.

The other things occupying my time have been reading, always, and crafts, my jewellery making as ever but also crochet. I’ve never made a flower before so I decided to up-cycle a plain waistcoat.

I also finished the edges with crochet to give it more substance. If you don’t know how and fancy learning how to a crochet a flower, it’s really quite simple and this video is the one I used to learn how to do it.

Reading the ways in which others are coping at the moment is helping me to maintain my sanity. It’s also great to get lots of new ideas to try.

I’ll leave you with a photo of me about to go out for my walk, it was chilly but bracing, the highlight of my day!

Sending best wishes to every one out there, stay safe.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ann says:

    The less I have to deal with the world outside Dove Cottage’s confines, the better I am at keeping things positive. Now that I’m only working 2 days a week, I seem to feel a lot calmer. Almost a week since my last wobble! I’ve got plans to tackle house and garden and I’ve been reading more than ever. Blogging and reading people blogs on how they’re dealing with the situation has been a life saver. Love the cheeky robin and your crocheted flower waistcoat. And thank you for the Cure earworm. That song really takes me back. Not sure what to choose as my desert island discs, but I’d definitely need more than 3! There would be jazz, though. I’m loving that you’ve included my fellow countryman Django Reinhardt. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The reason I wrote was because reading blogs has been such a positive thing for me to do and I decided it cant be all take! So thank you for your blog.
      I love Django and the Cure had to be there, I could have chosen the whole eight but it still wouldn’t have been enough for me and a bit much for you to read!
      Have a good weekend, hopefully with some sun and take care. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Vix says:

    Hello, Sally! I’ve been thinking of you and hoping that your Mum is doing well.
    What a lovely, optimistic post. I loved the village on-line magazine idea and your song choices were excellent – especially The Cure.
    We’re all going to have gardens worthy of Chelsea this year, aren’t we? I love how our pair of robins follow me around the garden so brazenly. You’ve captured your little friend beautifully!
    That waistcoat is gorgeous and thanks for the link to the tutorial, I shall definitely bookmark that, I have some rainbow wool that would lend itself beautifully.
    The nettle soup looks delicious as does the sauerkraut
    Lovely photo of you in your walking gear – stay safe, stay positive and keep posting! Blogging really helps me stay motivated. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Philip laughs at me in that old green coat but it’s the only thing that keeps me warm when I’m walking in the wind, so I don’t care!
      It’s difficult with mum so far away and not being able to visit her in hospital but I’m ringing every day so that’s something.
      Our gardens should be great, yours better than mine with all your produce but it’s just so good to be able to get outside. These are strange times. I was outside yelling for the NHS again last night and heard lots of pans and spoons, made me think of you 🙂 xxx


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