Sunday, 29 March 2020

Surviving self isolation at Hambleden ...

It's a weird and scary time for all of us, but we all have to 'get on with it' as best we can.  
I've interspersed a few nice (imo) in an attempt to keep my ramblings light!
 The sunset photo's were taken on Thursday (26th) and the Pied Wagtail pictures the following day.
 Self isolating is easy when you're a boater ... just stay in!

What we have found difficult is obtaining slots for supermarket deliveries and not knowing which essentials will be missing/unavailable/limited when the actual delivery arrives.
I'd arranged a Tesco order (before the virus turned into an pandemic) for delivery on the Tuesday we had the new batteries fitted.  
Living on a boat and continuously cruising we (that is us) need to stock up on items that will 'keep' a long time, like part-bake bread and UHT milk as we often moor out in the sticks where shops are not readily available.  On that delivery my order for those two items was severely reduced and the eggs I'd ordered weren't available.  
That evening I scoured the internet for further delivery slots, none from Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose ... but I did manage to grab one for Asda on 1st April and another on the 8th, also Asda, and ordered a couple of items on each to secure the slots.
There was still the couple of items I needed and a couple that are only available from Waitrose (my favourite tea and yogurt and by this time we'd run out of bread) which, from here, meant a bus ride into Henley which I did, reluctantly and anxiously, early the following morning.  I managed to get everything I wanted ... except the eggs ... which I forgot!
I have to admit I'm in a bit of a panic ... 
George and I are what's called the 'vulnerable group' with regard to Covid-19 because we're in our 70's.  Sainsburys were planning to provide more online deliveries to this group so I looked on line and provided necessary details ... name, address, date of birth etc., then a list of conditions came up on screen to tick which, if any, were relevant to us ... none ... thank goodness ... after which a curt  message is displayed ... we did not meet their particular criteria  of 'vulnerable' ... fair enough ... we have our health.  
So, what to do?  We're still supposed to self-isolate, don't have our own transport, not supposed to use public transport, don't have family and friends around us to help ... so?
During the winter Chris from the fuel boat Merchant delivers coal to us by road and George would ask the other moorers here if they needed any and would order accordingly.  This year there's a young lady on the other side of the mill stream who has been having coal and George would carry it to her boat for her, so I wondered if she would be willing to help.  George and I are quite independent of others and usually sort things our ourselves but as this was not possible I walked round to her boat last Sunday to ask if, when she's out and about to and from work she would mind calling into a shop to get us a few items.  'Yes, of course' she said and I asked for bread and eggs when she could manage it.  A couple of hours later there was a knock on the boat and there was Anna with a carrier bag!  I thanked her profusely as I looked inside for the receipt but she said she'd thrown it away and insisted that she didn't want to be paid.  I thanked her again and took the bag inside ... on unpacking we found ... bread, eggs, Cadburys chocolate fingers, grapes, yogurt and a bunch of daffodils ... how lovely and kind was that!
So now there was 10 days until I could get further supplies via my first Asda order ... but in the meantime we're going to run out of fresh food ... fruit, veg and bread.  I'd been discussing the difficulties with our daughter and she mentioned local community groups and local corner shops.  Before I could investigate further she sent me a link ... to Hambleden Village Store, where the website informed that volunteers would deliver any purchases locally ... (thank you Sharon).  Ok.  Email sent explaining our predicament and a confirmation reply arrived quickly ... I should email my shopping list, they would check their stock, let me know the cost, take the payment and then deliver.  It didn't quite go as smoothly as that but yesterday a lady brought my box of goodies ... brilliant!  Unfortunately, they didn't have any fresh fruit, so I must think of an alternative in case I have problems on my Asda order.
Every day I'm checking my first Asda order as items are removed because they're out of stock and the following day trying to replace them with an alternative ... not always possible ... we shall just have to wait and see what arrives.  Thank goodness for the village shop.

Like everyone else we know, we are so grateful and thankful for the frontline workers, especially the NHS but also including shop staff and volunteers trying desperately to help others.

Stay indoors and safe ... please!


Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Scary times, aren't they, Carol? It is unsettling feeling so vulnerable, I am findng. We went out for a walk (staying local) yesterday afternoon, and I made a point of saying hello to people even as we all kept our distance - it feels important to stay connected in this time.
Have you substituted canned fruit for fresh? And can you buy potting mix and cut and come again lettuces and pots of herbs for a rooftop garden? Our friends Mick and Julia (nb Unknown No 3) call it my allotment...

Big virtual hugs, Marilyn
Stay safe, stay well!

Carol said...

Thanks for your suggestions Marilyn, I'll give them a try. stay safe. x

Pip and Mick said...

Hi Carol
Starnge times indeed. I do feel for the Thames dwellers who have just seen off the months and months of red boards (more or less since I saw you at Goring) only to be further grounded by the virus.
I read the Guardian letters page on Saturday
where people are having the same problems as you with declaring themselves as vunerable. We've not managed to book a delivery at all with any of them. We braved Nantwich on Saturday with quite a lot of sucess, no rice though!

Keep safe

Mick and Pip

Carol said...

Thanks for your comments Mick, it is all so frustrating! I'm sure it will all work out one way or another. I'm enjoying your blogs, keep it up and as we say now, stay safe. x

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Carol,
Thank you for keeping us in the loop with regard to you, George, and life aboard at Hambledon Marina. You are both quite resourceful as well as generally independent, and very good neighbors too so it was lovely to read how young Anna reciprocated, bless her.

I felt as I read your post, that I was there beside you. Please keep posting so we can stay connected. Stay safe, stay well. My love and Biggs big hugs you both.
Jaq xxx

Carol said...

Thanks Jaq xxx