Dodging the bullet

Seems I’m the last man standing. I thought about using an image of a row of toppling Dominoes but settled on the image of a soldier – because the last 10 days has been a battle of sorts and I have watched most of my friends and their children go down with Covid one by one, day after day. It’s actually been quite distressing to observe as well as dealing with my own family being unwell. I’m the only one at home who has managed to ‘dodge the bullet’ and I’m not in the clear yet.

It’s been such a shock, particularly after we’ve all spent so long protecting ourselves, to suddenly find this nasty virus spreading freely through the community. Reading the news there seems to be a misconception that it’s just school children getting it. From what I can see this is not the case and it’s clear many double vaccinated adults are now getting it from their kids and still becoming ill. In my opinion it’s crazy that school children weren’t vaccinated before going back to school in September.

I’m just hoping that everyone gets through, keeps well and that the situation doesn’t escalate. It’s an unfortunate reminder of the reasons I made Privvi and perhaps an incentive to continue to forge ahead with it.

Small feet?

No, I don’t have really small feet – they are actually a size 8. Sometimes I look at them and think they’re a really long way away. My feet ARE actually further away than most peoples’ and I forget how tall I am sometimes.

While out with newspaper colleagues in Prague we met a lady who wasn’t very tall and had one foot size 5 and one a size 9. She actually put her feet up on a table to show everyone. Every time she bought shoes she had to buy two pairs and use one of each for each foot.

I’m having a strange week as both my children have Covid. I’m hoping they’re through the worst but it’s been surprisingly stressful. It’s a case of maintaining focus, monitoring and trying to stay calm. I think it’s why I noticed my feet – I’ve been stuck at home and needed the distraction.

Our ‘new normal’

I had an idea for a social media post for Privvi which I’ve photographed and designed. Simple but titled our ‘new normal’.

I think we’d hoped that Covid was beginning to subside but then the kids went back to school, unvaccinated and with no masks or any precautions in place. From my perspective it appears to be turning into a minefield and a waiting game. We’re certainly more dependant on LFTs, than ever. I’m not sure they even existed until last year but I imagine they’re here forever now – if not for Covid, for other illness.

I wonder if life ever return to ‘normal’ again and be Covid-free and what might ‘new normal’ look like? I guess we’ll find out but I’m hoping this isn’t it. I think we’ve a tough winter ahead so we’ll just crack on.

Hand gel obsession

London again by train today – this time for my hip as it’s still bothering me a lot.  

I got messaged by the NHS test and trace yesterday (notification that I may have been in contact with someone with Covid). I suspect it came from the airport and I had to get a PCR test done (I’m double-vaccinated). I’m fine – as I suspected because I’m extremely careful, perhaps to a fault as I’m a little OCD about hygiene when I’m out and about. It’s not surprising then that I’ve a thing about using toilets!

This brings me to the subject of hand gel (I really love this stuff!) I’ve made clip-on Privvi hand gels which I must add to my online store. I’m so obsessed with it that I even catch myself using it at home sometimes. I made my own during lockdown using hypoallergenic ultrasound gel mixed with 70% proof alcohol. It actually worked really well and smelt quite nice (that’s important)..

Robinson Crusoe

I got back to the UK last night and to rain today. Really appreciated the trip but I’ve a lot to get on with after the break so it’s straight back to work.

I took a few shots for some Privvi promotions while I was away. I really like this one taken at the beach in Playa De San Juan – near to where I stayed. It reminds me of a desert island and made me think – what would I take with me if I was stranded? There wouldn’t be a toilet and nobody would be there, so not Privvi.

If I was thinking sensibly I’d take a penknife, matches, string, a sheet of tarpaulin and some iodine. Thinking about what I’d actually want to have with me: my phone, a charger, a years supply of white wine, pants and some shampoo. Don’t think I’d survive long with the latter!.

The volcano

I felt a bit little Gerald Durrell today but I’m on the wrong island.

Today I swam in a natural sea water pool, found a tortoise and fed it a grape then went to the beach and made friends with a French couple. It was a great day. Now I’m sitting on my terrace looking at the view, writing and listening to the yoga session going on nearby.

I go home tomorrow but I know I’ll be back – this island it never fails to revitalise me. It’s such a wild and beautiful place and (as you may know) it’s actually a giant volcano that gradually erupted out of the sea. It has two separate microclimates so the north side of the island is similar to the northern hemisphere and the south island is similar to the the southern. It’s a small island so you can be in cloudy, chilly weather then drive over the hills in between and find yourself surrounded by cacti, rocks and dry heat.

I’ve had some weird, wonderful and tragic experiences here. Here are some:
1. I was given a full plastic carrier bag of live, wriggling sardines by a friendly and enthusiastic fisherman at the village port.
2. I saw a large, captured octopus climb out of the top (about 1.5 inches wide) of a 5 litre plastic water bottle. It was like watching a contortionist.
3. When it rained really hard one day the streets were littered with large, dead, orange cockroaches that had drowned in the gutters (quite gross).
4. Sadly I saw a fisherman die from drowning. It was a very poignant reminder of how wild and dangerous the sea and the rocks are here. Apparently he had been fishing here for years but was caught out and washed away by a freak wave.

I had to take a PCR test this morning in preparation for my flight. I’ve been really careful so hopefully it will be OK. If not I’ll have to stay and that wouldn’t actually be that terrible.

‘But’ in a pram

Pero means ‘but’ in Spanish and perro means ‘dog’. I used to find it very confusing when I heard Spanish people talking as I couldn’t work out why they said dog so much of the time. I’m told they are pronounced quite differently but I still wouldn’t be able to tell if I’m honest. I’ve been coming to Tenerife for years and although I can speak a little Spanish it’s still very basic. I’d like to learn properly at some point.

I was looking for a dog to photograph today and luckily found this rather cute little fella sitting in a pram outside a shop. I’m not sure why he was in there and didn’t want to ask as he was wheeled off afterwards. His French owner seemed very happy for me to take this snap (and rather proud of his little furry friend).


I arrived in Tenerife late last night and was deposited by a busy taxi driver on a dirt track in the middle of a banana plantation outside the locked gates of my accommodation. It was pitch black so my phone torch came in very handy and once the gates opened and after a short walk, I found myself in a little oasis. It did feel like a mini-adventure.

This is the view I woke up to from my terrace this morning and the view again this evening. The photos really don’t do this justice – in the background is the island of La Gomera, the sea and an expanse of bananas directly in front. I walked through the field of bananas today – they’re quite strange fruits – hanging in huge bunches with a strange red ‘plume’ at the base (I’d never known was there).

I’m feeling very in need of a time out but so very fortunate to be able to have it in such a lovely place (plus the broadband is excellent so I can work when I need to). I came back from the beach today to find a baby gecko in my apartment. I’m actually quite fond of these creatures but didn’t relish the thought of it scurrying around my room tonight. Managed to get it back out of the patio door without too much hassle.

London Harley Street

London Harley Street today for a scan of my cyst. Weird to see this little black abyss in the middle of my insides. Such a strange entity just loitering there but thankfully not doing a lot (for now). The verdict is that it’s nothing sinister but it may have to be evicted if it gets a lot bigger. At 3.7cm it’s surprisingly sizeable.

I’m flying to Tenerife tomorrow after abandoning Barcelona (it was raining there for most of the week). I’ve booked a yoga retreat in the middle of a banana plantation. It’s an area I’ve visited before and my little ‘finca’ has high-speed wi-fi and I’m taking my laptop to work. I can’t wait for this mini-adventure and some sunshine.

Although I’m really looking forward to getting away I’m not particularly looking forward to the flight. There’s a lot more to think about in terms of travel documents and practicalities but hopefully it won’t be too stressful.

Captain Woodgett of the Cutty Sark

I’ve been meaning to visit his grave for years and finally went this week. It wasn’t easy to find – hidden away in a tiny countryside church at the top of a hill just outside Burnham Norton in Norfolk. It took a few minutes looking between the gravestones but there it was – unmistakably, with an anchor to decorate it.

Richard Woodgett was my great, great uncle and my grandma’s uncle via her mother. He used to take her sailing when she was a girl at Burnham Overy Staithe in Norfolk.

Richard was a farmer’s son who learned to sail at an early age taking the Cutty Sark on its’ fastest journeys, making it famous.

Apparently he used to cycle around the deck and wear a Tam O’Shanter. He kept Collies on board, acted as the ship’s doctor and loved taking photographs. I would very much like to have met him as he sounded quite a character.