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Carry on Coronavirus

Carry on Coronavirus

I don’t like the month of January; I never have done. I like it even less this year as Facebook reminded me that last January we took a sneaky break to Gran Canaria followed by skiing with our friends. We don’t travel in the season so the winter months are our opportunity to take a break.

Whilst Barry and I have spent some time this month watching all the Carry On films we recorded over Christmas (they showed nearly every film from the first one in 1958 to the last one in 1992 – a total of 31). The Carry On series contains the largest number of any British series and I don’t mind admitting to a love of the Carry On films! Barry is just humouring me of course.

Given that I don’t like January, this morning I’ve spent some time making my list of the little joys of lockdown –

1. Practising yoga every morning with Karen Bennett who teaches from Greece – the joys of Zoom.
2. Staying in my yoga clothes all day when I’m not running and wearing my fluffy slippers.
3. My first sip of morning coffee – my favourite one is now Breakfast Brunch by Cafe Pod (recyclable pods).
4. Can’t put down books – from our book club Secret Santa I received the new Strike book in the series by Robert Galbraith.
5. Friday night takeaway pizza evening from Le Pisani in Seaton, followed by their yummy ice cream (if you’re local check out the coconut flavour).
6. A long hot bath, reading in the bath and a cup of tea in the bath.
7. Completing the jigsaw puzzle which has been on the go since Christmas.
8. Inventive games nights on Zoom with friends – managing to play Trivial Pursuits.
9. Local walks discovering roads and paths that I didn’t know were there.
10. Enjoying the cold sunny days where the sea is still a beautiful blue and I can dream of being open again for our guests to enjoy it.

Do you have any little joys of lockdown?

Here we go again……

Brooks running shoes

Since Saturday I’ve been wondering what to put on my lockdown to do list this time. The last time I had 20 things to do, including renewing my passport (I got a new shiny dark blue one thanks to Brexit!). Getting our tax return done in record time was high on the list as was spring cleaning all the cottages. The one thing I didn’t get done was sorting out my desk but I was waiting for a rainy day and we didn’t get many of those.

As it turns out my list this time is very short. Obviously the desk is still there, but it has been joined by sorting out the garage and creating a list of winter maintenance in the cottages. So my list totals four as this morning it was my run day and I downloaded a new app – 5k to 10k. Regular readers of my blog will remember my Couch to 5k journey which resulted in me doing some park runs before they were shut down. I’ve been regularly running and whilst I can’t claim to love it, afterwards I feel great.

To help motivate me I had a quick trip to Honiton yesterday to #shoplocal and purchase some shiny new running shoes and a lightweight waterproof jacket as treadmill running in the gym is banned. Run Venture is a great new shop that’s only been open for 9 weeks. It’s run by James who is very knowledgeable about all the types of running shoes. Within half an hour I walked away with these Brooks beauties in a rather fabulous colourway.

So this morning Barry joined me in Run 1 of Week 1, the first of 27 runs that will get me from 5k to 10k. If the weather stays as beautiful as it’s been today this is going to be a great challenge.

Do you have a lockdown list and if so what’s on it?

ps. I forgot, there’s 5 things – The Crown on Netflix is launching on the 15th November – #binge watching

Yogi Beer is here

Yogi Beer logo

I qualified as a Yoga teacher in January 2020 having trained with Dan Peppiatt of Yoga Like Water My converted studio at Garlands was literally finished just as lockdown happened. I was just about to hit the button to tell a few people about my classes when I was shut down before I’d even opened!

Not to worry as the studio saw a lot of action as I practised there myself and joined zoom classes with the wonderful Louise who runs Jala Flow in Sidmouth. Her classes are excellent, she is an amazing teacher and I highly recommend her online classes – Jala Flow.  I also did some very good sessions with Tina Jeffery on a Saturday morning, as the business was closed and I wasn’t doing changeover. Tina also teaches aerial yoga, which if you haven’t tried, I’d definitely give it a go when the Topsham studio re-opens – Tina Jeffery Yoga.

I teach beginners and intermediate students on a one to one basis or for two people. With the holiday cottages I can also provide relaxing, self-catering mid week or weekend yoga breaks from November to March. My teaching qualification is recognised by the Independent Yoga Network and I’m fully insured to hold space for your private practise. Having recently completed Couch to 5K we can also start this whilst you’re staying with me. The flat Seaton Esplanade is a great spot for running with a sea view.

Beginners Yoga – if you’ve never done yoga before this is a general introduction to the practise. You may be a complete beginner or want to build up your confidence before joining a larger, regular yoga class at a gym or studio. Private classes or up to two people.

Breathe and Flow – a slow flow class which focuses on stretching poses moving with the breath. After the flow section of the class the focus moves to yin poses which are held for longer, followed by relaxation at the end. Private classes or up to two people.

Breathe and Release – a yin class where some poses are held for two minutes or longer to focus on releasing tension from your body to enable relaxation. The class ends with meditation to allow feelings of well-being. Private classes or up to two people.

Breathe and Relax – yoga nidra is practised lying down with little movement. It is said to be the ultimate relaxation, bringing balance and health back to the body, mind and emotions. Best practised in the evenings I can do a private class or have up to three people.

With gyms opening up today, post the lockdown, my space is safe and clean with enhanced cleaning protocols being followed (just like we’re doing with the cottages).

So if you’ve never tried yoga and want to see what it’s all about give me a call – 07817 934903.

STOP PRESS – you can even combine yoga with a staycation – The Beach House one bed cottage has availability for a week from Saturday 22nd August……

It’s Devon Day!

Devon therapy

How appropriate that on Devon Day our copy of Devon Life magazine drops through the letterbox! And on page 61 a great article on how Beer has reacted during lockdown supporting the local community, the NHS and giving care home residents a lift.

We’re on day ‘whatever’ of lockdown and whilst some restrictions have been lifted the village is pretty much the same. The beach was busier during half term with local families and visitors however overall we’ve continued to be impressed with how local people are behaving – none of the terrible scenes like Durdle Door here thank goodness.

There are still no overnight stays allowed so whilst we’re hoping to be welcoming guests a month from today, we wait to see how the infection rate reduces. Meanwhile we’ve been trying to get Covid19 ready for our visitors. So far we’ve pre-ordered hand sanitisers for a mini welcome pack plus a larger one for use near our key safes, and masks and disposable gloves for our extended cleaning regime between guest stays. We’ve also managed to order some heavy duty surface spray that kills 99.9999999999% of germs in order to keep ourselves and guests as safe as possible.

So we’re playing a waiting game like many others. Some of the cafes on the beach are open for takeaway, IKEA in Exeter opened (to massive queues around the car park!) and some of our shops will open from the 15th. I love a message I saw this week about shops starting to re-open –

“Businesses are now starting to open in the first phase as per the governments plan. If you go into a commercial premises and see some mistakes, don’t start recording or taking photos to upload onto social media. Please speak to the owner. We have to help each other. This is new for everyone and business owners will be trying their best to make it safe and get their businesses running again. Let’s help each other through the transition”.

Well said.


Virtual Reality……..


We’re on day whatever of lockdown – I don’t know the day or the date but it doesn’t matter. What I do know is that my iPad told me that my screen time has increased significantly week on week of lockdown. I’ve pondered this and refuse to worry about it. This is why my screen time has gone up –

  1. As I said last month we’ve been doing virtual quizzes with the help of the Houseparty app. Houseparty allows you to speak to your friends virtually – a great way to keep in touch. If anyone wants the 7 round quiz let me know as I’m happy to share it with you and you can host a quiz with your friends and family.
  2. I’ve continued to play Words with Friends. This is like online Scrabble with benefits of buttons that allow you to swap tiles and even a button that shows you where you can go. I have to admit though it allows you to play around with your words so sometimes you make a word that you didn’t even know existed! If you like Scrabble give this app a go or play the online Scrabble version. Again it’s a lovely way to stay connected with family and friends and I often have more than 5 games on the go. Brain games really help us to stay sharp says Dr Anne Corbett, a senior lecturer in dementia research at Exeter University.
  3. I’ve been doing yoga in my new studio and playing some wonderful music through the Spotify app. We’ve upgraded to Premium which means that 5 family members can all use our account and have access to literally thousands of songs, albums and artists.
  4. Continuing the yoga theme I’ve been streaming yoga videos from Movement for Modern Life; an online yoga platform which has some amazing teachers for beginners to advanced students. Perfect for keeping my mental health in check during these stressful times.
  5. I’ve been posting to the Beer Parish Council and Beer Regatta Facebook sites the newlsetters for the Beer Action Group who are doing amazing things to support the village during Covid-19.

All this has added up to more screen time however with the help of technology and Wi-Fi my isolation has been made easier. Having said that I’m really looking forward to easing off the virtual activities just as soon as I can. One of my friends posted a question a while back – what’s the first thing you’re going to do post Covid-19? My answer was giving my Mum a hug – the best things in life are free. What’s the first thing you’ll do……………?

Lockdown in Beer

Beer beach

Day 9 of lockdown in Beer and due to the coronavirus our business is closed for the first time ever. Of course many people’s lives have changed dramatically but cancelled bookings and applying for a government small business grant were things I never envisaged. Despite that there have been a lot of positives over the last week or so.

We’ve vowed to do more to support our fellow local businesses so here’s what we’ve managed so far –

Andy at Steamers Restaurant is making takeaway bread and yesterday we had the most delicious fish pie and greens for lunch that he cooked for the villagers.

Woozies unfortunately had to close however we visited on her last day and bought milk, cheese and other items that would have gone off and been wasted.

Our roast dinner on Sunday came from products all purchased at Colyford Butchers and Stores and Beer Village Stores.

Friday night was taken care of with a takeaway pizza from The Smugglers Kitchen thanks to Rob.

Due to the lovely weather I’ve continued running and now I can’t drive to Seaton Esplanade I’ve run up and down the hills from Garlands to the Axmouth Yacht Club and back without stopping. Barry has been running very slowly with me to motivate me to get up the hills. To be fair he can fast walk as I run but my Fitbit told me I was at 100% peak today so my heart is working hard. Running and doing yoga in my new studio has been a way to keep my mind healthy, so important in times like these.

We’ve kept in touch with our family and friends with Facetime and Houseparty and even did a virtual quiz on Monday which was great fun despite not being altogether. Thank goodness for WiFi – these times have really shown that this is a utility and not a luxury. Speaking of luxury, a bonus of some of the product shortages was that Barry came home yesterday with a proper bar of Imperial Leather soap. This was a luxury item in our family when I was growing up and the smell transported me back to different times and memories.

I’ll admit to have gone a bit rogue – I’m spending most of the day in my gym kit, I haven’t worn make up, I’ve watched the sheep alot in the fields opposite and the whole of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers on the iPlayer in two days. However on the plus side I’ve washed every bit of bedding I can find and the house is the cleanest its ever been since we moved in – I even got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor.

The Beer community has rallied and we have a Beer Action Group (BAG) which is made up of lots of volunteers who are all supporting whoever and whatever needs doing to help people get through these times. The world is certainly a different place and will never quite be the same afterwards.

Beer and our cottages will be waiting for you to visit when the coast is clear. I saw a Facebook post this morning that summed it up nicely – there will be a lot of businesses who will need to get back on their feet afterwards – let’s spend our holidays in England, eat in local restaurants, buy British products, buy local meats and veggies and support local businesses.

Stay safe everyone!