Living frugally? Sir David and I recommend giving it a try

Frugal has surely to be an unusual favourite word, especially for someone  who struggles to correctly pronounce the letter r. With its rather Dickensian hints of struggle, dearth and hunger, frugality is perhaps not the most popular of life goals. It does however have its own rewards, and not just financial ones. Sir David Attenborough would agree with me on this point. Continue reading “Living frugally? Sir David and I recommend giving it a try”

Gardening and freelance writing… a match made in heaven?

I’ve always been an eager gardener but I know I’m not the only one who’s found renewed interest in all things horticultural since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. My particular gardening focus has been growing my own food (I do sometimes share the bounty with the family). This includes vegetables, fruit and some rather unusual edible flowers.

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Working from home. Is our new normal good for us?

I’ve been working from home as a freelance copywriter for five years now. I’m a big fan of the home office (and indeed the camper van office) but was fascinated to see how the rest of the world would take to it when the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown hit us back in March. RBS has recently told 50,000 employees to stick with home working until 2021. It seems likely that many big employers will take the same approach.

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Fiona’s Corona Diaries (27th April)

With the current changes in employment arrangements, I am considering rewriting my copywriting bio. The outdoor writer part of it will go something like this:

“Fi is an outdoor writer based in Devon and specialising in the streets of Torquay. Her particular areas of interest include the greenhouse, circuitous routes to the beach and vegetable box number four. Fi loves showering in her waterproofs, watching TV from her bivvy bag and playing the piano wearing a rucksack. She has absolutely no idea how to pitch a very large tent in a very small garden.”

Corona diary updates

  • Mr Darby and YouTube have been fixing our downstairs toilet
  • Apparently there is a website called ‘fix the bog’
  • It isn’t this one (that’s a different kind of bog)
  • I would really like to see a field
  • An actual farmer’s field
  • But then the farmer would probably really like to see the sea
  • I need to go and buy some more compost
  • I realised this while I scraped compost out of my nails back into the bag
  • Shopping at the moment feels a bit like a lottery
  • Last week we walked to the shops and came back with a cauliflower, some baking parchment and some Simple soap
  • We accidentally walked past an open ice-cream kiosk
  • I had an enormous cornet
  • So did Mr Darby

Conversation of the day

Upon entering Mr Darby’s home office (previously known as the spare room)

Me: What were you doing just then it sounded like fun

Mr D: I was having a Zoom meeting

Me: I haven’t Zoomed yet

Word of the day – daggy

Whether you are antipodean or not, daggy is not a good thing to be. If you are a sheep you will have lumps of poo hanging from your backside. If you are a person, you will be wearing unattractive clothing, allowing your hair to do what it wants to and cutting right back on the showering.

I have to confess to a recent touch of daggism (I blame the lack of Zooming). I have made amends today and even smell nice.

Mr D. noticed.

Which was nice.

Fiona’s Corona Diaries (24th April)

Yesterday I felt as flat as an apple cake

Not a term I would use often but as my apple cake had just turned out like a nutmeg flavoured custard frittata, it seemed apt. I am not very good with recipes, either for baking or for life. If there were instructions for life somewhere, I must have lost them along the way. This isn’t really a problem because any set of instructions that included something as bizarre as coronavirus lockdown would take up far too much room in a cupboard (we didn’t have databases when I was born).

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Fiona’s Corona Diaries (22nd April)

On the topic of lockdown health

A recent survey by the Institute of Employment Studies suggested that during the initial fortnight of lockdown a third of people in the UK were eating more and exercising less than they usually do. This does not appear to have been the case in our house. Despite regular biscuit bakes and outdoor sausage sizzles, we have been suffering from mysterious (but welcome) weight loss.

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Fiona’s Corona Diaries (20th April)

The thief of days

Benjamin Franklin once said that time was money. He was so wrong…

Has anyone else just lost ten whole days?

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Working at home… does anyone actually know what a VPN is?

As the UK coronavirus lockdown continues, many of us are settling into our new working from home routines. Whether that means setting up a home office for the first time or learning how to share working space with family members, we are all on our way up the rather steep Covid-19 learning curve. Hopefully your remote working technology is now set up and functioning well but if it isn’t, or if you would like to understand it all a bit better, we answer a few technological working from home questions below.

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Fiona’s Corona Diaries (10th April)

Is it still okay to laugh?

Is anyone else slipping between hysterical laughter and deep concern with as much disconcerting ease as I am? Never before have I experienced such a wide variety of emotions, and so often in one day. Yesterday was a key example. I had an enormous amount of fun promoting and joining in with the GetOutside Inside Step Up Challenge, recording videos and getting soaked with a hosepipe by my son. But I also had some worrying news about a loved one.

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Fiona’s Corona Diaries (8th April)

A dog called Covid?

I wonder how long it is going to be before someone calls their dog Covid. Or even their baby. Perhaps not quite yet but I would lay money on it happening.

I wandered lonely as a cloud today. So did everybody else if my local walk was anything to go by. I chose a different route (past the host of now-less-than-golden daffodils) and a different beach. It was all even more spread out than my usual perambulation. I saw a cormorant. They are such excellent divers; a little bottom lift and down they go. Mind you I suppose that is their day job.

My stroll took me along a wooded path with divergences. I found myself reciting a few favourite poems. Then I started giving them a new Covid style twist…

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