Spring, sprung, Easter (13.21)

It’s been a good news week this week – I had a follow up blood test after the gloomy results from December and my results came back much improved – all my hard work with healthy eating has paid off – sugar level and cholesterol are both down just from increasing my fruit and vegetable intake.

Some more good news was this being a four working days week due to the Easter holidays. What’s not to like about a four day weekend?

And even better, as people can now meet up – up to six people from two different households can get together face to face in private gardens or open spaces. We took advantage of the new rules and have had a very social Easter weekend catching up with people and sitting together, even if the spring weather wasn’t entirely was warm as we would have liked for sitting outside.

Unhappily all this socialising has been bad for me because everyone we’ve visited has been bringing out their chips and biscuits and chocolate and snacks and I have eaten a lot of unhealthy food this weekend and – wow – my stomach doesn’t like it!

One thing I’ve learned from my healthy eating resolution this year is that once my body got used to having a ready supply of good food, when I start feeding it crap my body gets really angry with me. And lying in bed trying to sleep while your stomach rages over digesting too many crisps and chocolate is not a happy thing to suffer through.

However I’m prepared to suffer it because it has been good to sit with people and chat face-to-face, no screens!

Following on from some of these conversations we’ve had over the past few days, Husband I are even looking ahead to the point in June where we can think about booking a holiday somewhere in the UK. Probably the Peak District again – lots of hiking, lots of fresh air – but it feels good to have some possibility or hope again that things might just about look normal by then.

Not that normal will be exactly normal like The Before. But it will be more like The Before than any point of the past 12 months has been.

This year the spring has been colder than last year. I’ve been tracking activity in my garden against Facebook memories from last year when I was posting plant pictures every day to avoid the panicked Covid-related posts I was seeing on my feed at that time. The tulips are slower out of the gates than last year, and the pear trees are not in full flower – only one is out in blossom so far. (Here’s a useless fact for you – pear blossom smells like fish oil, while apple blossom smells pleasant and floral and – unsurprisingly – a little bit like apples).

One thing about spring that is causing me despair is the onset of blossoms has triggered my hayfever. I have itchy eyes that I try not to scratch at but I can’t help it; and I have a constantly runny nose that has been rubbed raw with tissues. It’s not a very attractive time of the year for me. And the nasal spray I am using is not helping me at all. I just have to keep suffering and hope this will be over soon.

While walking to visit friends at their house yesterday, we passed a huge queue down our high street. We thought it was for the shop on the corner (usually very popular and with a queue) but no, that shop was closed. Then we thought maybe it was for the vaccine centre around the corner (our borough made the news this week when a call went out on social media that there were extra vaccines and anyone could show up in hope of getting their jab), but no. Then we thought maybe it was a queue for Lidl supermarket, because they sometimes have a queue, but no. Maybe someone is giving away free coffee or chocolate for Easter? No, not that either. We found the head of the queue was at the nail bar halfway down the high street. Free manicures? No. A small sign in the window said “Bulgarian polling station.” We had no idea there were so many Bulgarians in Walthamstow – there must have been up to 200 people in the queue when we passed in by in the afternoon, and in the evening when we headed home there were still about 50 people gathered by the door waiting to vote. It seems an odd venue to choose but I guess (a) it’s a Bulgarian-run business and (b) in a part of Walthamstow with lots of other Bulgarian run businesses, indicating a strong Bulgarian community and (c) nail bars can’t re-open until April 12th so why not use the nail bar as a venue?

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