A bit of excitement recently involved the sourcing of a new ironing board cover! Due to only essential shops being open and this clearly being an essential item, they have been somewhat conspicuous by their absence. The sizing often poses a problem as ironing boards these days seem to be much bigger – but not necessarily better – but if you own one dating back many years, as in my case, then the covers can be difficult to find. I do wish that measurements of the said covers were in inches! I dislike metric and still haven’t quite adapted. Whether the elasticated version or the basic tie-style, I have learnt not to be so choosy – “any Port in a storm” and all that. In the past I’ve converted a basic cover by threading the hem with tubular elastic and a safety pin – tailor made and an excellent fit. Finding narrow elastic at all over the last year has been difficult though, due to supplies have been snapped up for mask making.
The very word ‘elastic’ reminds me of a story my Mum told me about her first job in 1930. A drapery establishment on North Lane, Headingley where a very snooty Lady requested a yard of elastic, only to return the next day, extremely annoyed at the short piece in the paper bag. Yes, Mum had stretched the elastic to the required length which had then shrunk back – not fit for purpose! I eventually found the answer to my dreams, a new cover, on those magical middle aisles of Aldi and as I unwrapped and fitted it, to my delight – rather like Cinderella’s glass slipper – it fit! It now awaits my next ironing session. The anticipation is intense….!
Have you ever made a purchase which you wish you’d taken the plunge with much earlier? Well I have, with a new washing up bowl! My previous one was purchased at Aldi (yes I am a regular) and this item being from their Chapel Allerton store, I felt assured it would be a cut above. However when the novelty wore off, I began to curse its existence with some regularity. Too heavy, why did it need a deep rim to it and worst of all – dinner plates would not lie flat. I’ve considered whether this was the way the process of washing up was heading, probably to entice one into buying a dishwasher. When it all came to a head, in seeking its replacement I was unprepared for a shortage! Did they appear on Christmas ‘wish lists’? Or are they stuck in Containers at Dover or Felixstowe Docks? Home Bargains saved the day with only two left, including a grey one to match my kitchen. It has no deep rim, making it easier to reach over to retrieve an errant spoon. The overall factor is that dinner plates now lie flat! I’ve now been examining the “seen better days” bread bin which has a couple of dents in it and as I don’t wish to visit a Panel Beater for repair, my searching may start all over again……
Tens of thousands of people in Leeds have been shielding during the pandemic, so it’s really important that health and care services know how to support them.
If you are one of them Healthwatch in Leeds are asking you to share your experience with them – let them know how it is going for you, and your hopes and worries for the future.
They would like to hear from you whether you have been shielding all the way through or have just started, and also both from those who have received a letter telling them to shield and those who have not received a letter but have decided to shield anyway.
Pancake Day is also called Shrove Tuesday, but what does ‘shrove’ mean?
The correct answer is Absolution of sins
‘Shrove’ is the past form of the verb ‘shrive’ which means receiving absolution for one’s sins after confession and penance
Absolution of sins
Why were pancakes traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday?
To use up eggs and fat before Lent begins
Long ago, Christians fasted for 40 days during Lent. Valuable foods like fat and eggs were eaten before then to stop them from being wasted
Pancake Day is known as Mardi Gras in French. What does Mardi Gras translate into English as?
Mardi Gras is traditionally marked by carnivals and parades
The largest pancake ever made had a diameter of how many metres?
It was created in Rochdale in 1994, and had the following dimensions: diameter 15.01 m, thickness 2.5 cm, and weight 3 tonnes! I don’t know if they managed to flip it!
Which day follows Pancake Day?
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. It gets its name from the practice of putting the ashes of palm leaves on the forehead as a form of repentance
The record for the most pancake tosses in one minute is held by Australian Brad Jolly. How many pancake tosses did he manage in 60 seconds.
The celebrity chef achieved this remarkable feat in Sydney in 2012
In Ashbourne, Derbyshire, which sport is traditionally played on Pancake Day?
The game has few rules and hundreds of players. It may seem like chaos to onlookers, but mob football is the origin of many sports, including football and rugby
A ‘pancake landing’ is something you want to avoid, but what exactly is it?
When an aeroplane lands without its wheels
Pancake landings usually only happen from very low altitudes when an aeroplane stalls. Not too dangerous, but still best avoided!
The very first pancake race (when runners must toss pancakes as they race) took place in the village of Olney, Buckinghamshire, in which year?
Tradition has it that a housewife forgot the time because she was busy making pancakes. When she heard the church bells chime, she ran out of her house, still carrying her pan and pancake, in her rush to make it to mass
As well as a pancake race, the seaside town of Scarborough celebrates Shrove Tuesday with which activity?
I’m not sure about all that jumping after eating a plateful of pancakes!
The Government has announced detailed plans for the unlocking of England amid the coronavirus vaccination programme. Here is the proposed timetable, in four stages, and other initiatives announced by Downing Street.
After the first step each following step could be subject to delay as they will continually review the data and the scientific advice
All the changes will be England-wide with no return to regional tiers. The only exception could be localised efforts if a new variant of the virus is detected, for example additional testing.
Step 1, part 1 – on 8 March
All pupils and college students return fully, with before- and after-school clubs opened. For a period, secondary school pupils and older will wear masks in classes.
People can meet one other person outside for, say, a coffee or picnic, not just for exercise. Children will still count towards this.
Care home residents can receive one regular, named visitor.
The “stay at home” order will otherwise stay in place.
Step 1, part 2 – on 29 March
Outdoor gatherings allowed of up to six people, or two households if this is larger, not just in parks but also gardens.
Outdoor sport for children and adults will be allowed including outdoor swimming pools.
The official stay at home order will end, but people will be encouraged to stay local – the definition of local will largely be left to people’s discretion.
People will still be asked to work from home where possible, with no overseas travel allowed beyond the current small number of exceptions.
Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April
Reopening of non-essential retail, hair and nail salons, and public buildings such as libraries and museums.
Most outdoor venues open, including pubs and restaurants but only for outdoor tables and beer gardens. Customers will have to be seated but there will be no need to have a meal with alcohol.
Also reopening will be settings such as zoos and theme parks. However, social contact rules will apply here, so no indoor mixing between households and limits on outdoor mixing.
Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and pools also open but again people can only go alone or with their own household.
Reopening of holiday lets with no shared facilities, but only for one household.
Funerals can have up to 30 attendees, while weddings, receptions and wakes can have 15.
Step 3 – no earlier than 17 May
Most mixing rules lifted outdoors, with a limit of 30 people meeting in parks or gardens.
Indoor mixing will be allowed, up to six people or, if it is more people, two households.
Indoor venues such as the inside of pubs and restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, play centres, cinemas and group exercise classes will reopen. The new indoor and outdoor mixing limits will remain for pubs and other hospitality venues.
This will be the earliest date at which international holidays could resume, subject to a review
For sport, indoor venues can have up to 1,000 spectators or half capacity, whichever is lower; outdoors the limit will be 4,000 people or half capacity, whichever is lower. Very large outdoor seated venues, such as big football stadiums, where crowds can be spread out, will have a limit of 10,000 people, or a quarter full, whichever is fewer.
Weddings will be allowed a limit of 30 people, with other events such as christenings and barmitzvahs also permitted.
Step 4 – no earlier than 21 June
All legal limits removed on mixing will be removed and the last sectors to remain closed, such as nightclubs, will reopen. Large events can take place.
There are likely to be changes to wider social distancing measures but this will be decided in a separate review
The below dedication is from PCSO Sam in memory of her grandfather.
“Can I share my story behind the song, We’ll Meet Again by Dame Vera Lynn.
My grandfather was away in the Navy during the second world war. He was engaged to be married to my grandmother and they would write to each other regularly. His letters were checked before they were posted to ensure that nothing they’d written could be used by the enemy. They weren’t to include any details of shore leave or home leave in case their post was intercepted. My grandfather got around this by adding, “We’ll meet again” to his letters when he would be coming home.
Both of my grandparents passed away over 20 years ago, but I still can’t hear that song without remembering them both and how their love blossomed even though they were apart.
“We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when” seems so apt at this time.
Take great care of each other.
Oh Sam this is beautiful, thank you for sharing this special story with us, keep safe and hopefully we can all meet again soon.
Click on the link below
ps. If it asks you to sign into Youtube, just click on ‘no thanks’ and then click on ‘I agree’, you may also have to watch the start of an advert first, you can skip ad once it shows bottom right – enjoy!
I started the lockdown by reading The Mirror and the Light, the last book in Hilary Mantel’s trilogy telling the story of Thomas Cromwell, the self-made 16th century political fixer who, after overseeing Henry VIII’s marital affairs (always problematical) and the dissolution of the monasteries (seismic), gets decapitated.
Since I have known this, in outline, since schooldays, it should have been hard to maintain my interest over the 875 pages of Mantel’s final Cromwell novel, which I thought, early last year, might see me through to the end of the pandemic (pause for bitter ironic laughter).
But Mantel stays close to her protagonist, almost breathing along with him and immersed in his every thought, so when he walks to the scaffold the writer and her readers have to follow him right to the gory end. It’s an experience.
I can also recommend the best-selling Richard Osman detection novel The Thursday Murder Club. This contains a few deaths and some serious reflections on ageing but remains entirely enjoyable, which, these days, is as good as it gets.