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Just a Gift

It is always nice to get a gift. In the current climate, a gift is particularly welcome. The “Just a Card” campaign sometimes uses the slogan “Just a Gift” and seeing that slogan this morning prompted me to write this.

With social distancing and shielding, getting gifts delivered is, for most people, the only practical solution. Obviously we need to think about delivery drivers and posties, but it seems to me the delivery companies have thought about this. Many are using contactless pick up and deliveries.

The Post Office has introduced procedures to protect their staff and the public. I was pleased to hear the local posties have got hand sanitisers, although their managers had to make a local plea for small bottles so the posties can easily carry it. Did you know you can get postage paid labels for things that fit in a post box? Going to the post office is more tricky, and the one in a local newsagent was a bit too cramped for my liking. The dedicated Post Office in the local supermarket looks more organised with a proper queue with 2 metre markings. However the wait looks quite lengthy (mind you it usually is in normal times).

What sort of gifts can we send:

  • Food gifts are particularly welcome to those in isolation. More and more butchers, farm shops and greengrocers are entering this market, having lost their regular customers, such as restaurants. My friend’s son sent her a vegetable box, with the biggest peppers she had ever seen.
  • I posted some socks I knitted to my daughter using a prepaid label. I also left some bits on Gemma’s doorstep as part of my daily walk. As a reminder to myself, that walk to their house is much better if you are allowed to have a break and a cup of coffee or a full meal when you get there. I hope those days return before long.
  • Last week Gemma and I did a virtual shopping trip. With a shared screen we chose yarn for her to make a rug for the baby’s room. The supplier warns there may be a delay in it arriving but it is something to look forward to. I snuck in a couple of balls of yarn for myself – so I may have to do the long walk to pick it up. I hoping to repeat the virtual shopping trip with my daughter who has a birthday later this month.
  • Buying gifts from online shops like Gemma’s is a way in which you can support small makers such as her. My son can pop small gifts in the post box. And Gemma is using a door to door delivery service to ship larger parcels. Have look at her online shop to see if there is a gift you would like sending to someone who needs cheering up. Or maybe buy something for yourself.

Take care of yourselves, and where possible stay at home.

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Grandma at a Distance

It is tricky keeping up the usual Grandma routine with social distancing. So I thought I would write about some of the things we are doing to keep in touch with the family and friends.

The family WhatsApp group is busier than ever, mostly with pictures of home schooling projects.

On Wednesday my granddaughter turned 4. I was glad I had the forethought to take her present over a few weeks ago. We had a family Zoom, her cousins sang Happy Birthday to her (and then Happy Anniversary to Grandad and me – 42 years!). There was lots of chatter about what the grandchildren were doing, and the grown ups got an occasional word in. When it finished I felt almost as exhausted as when they are all visiting us!

Grandad has started doing a story reading session with Mr 5 and Mr 6. He is reading Roald Dahl’s “George’s Marvellous Medicine”. Yesterday when the chapter was short, both boys asked for the next one.

Grandma at a distance

I did story writing with Mr 5 and later with Mr 6. I kept it simple and together we composed a story, much as we would have done face to face. Except this time we shared my screen using Zoom and they dictated what should happen. Mr 5 wrote a short story about “Grandpa at the Seaside”. Later he added a picture which his parents sent back to me. Mr 6 started an epic called “The Adventures of Stingray”. He told me this was going to be a book without pictures: picking up one of his parents’ books to show me the concept! We will see if he wants to continue the concept another day.

Keep fit has changed considerably. I am grateful that we are allowed out to exercise, and I am able to get somewhere close to my usual step count. My Pilates class have sent videos – I haven’t looked at them yet – but it is on the list. My Friday sport group are setting up a mail group. I did a virtual Knit and Natter with a lady I usually play badminton with, she is planning on extending that group, so it may not give the exercise but will give the socialising.

Usually, my Crochet group meets alternate Mondays but we are hoping to do meet ups online every week. Our lunch club meets monthly and we are planning to move to online weekly. I just need to work out if those not joining us, would like to and if they need telephone support to get the tech set up.

We have set up a WhatsApp for our small close. So far we haven’t had an emergency requests, but it is nice to know we can watch out for each others and help when needed.

I’ve sent a parcel to my daughter with some socks I finished and the children’s Easter books. She was pleased to get it. If you know someone who needs cheering up, Gemma can mail out things from her online shop, with the caveat that her family stays well and my son is able to get to the Post Office.

Hope you are all keeping safe – look after yourself and each other.