Everyday life Life

February 2021

After all the goodies we’ve enjoyed last month, as Veganuary meant all supermarkets competed with each other to bring the yummiest vegan offering, we were happy to see that it continued into February! Valentine’s Day had lots of vegan options and, in fact, we had 2 special meals, one the day before, as we were so keen to try more. I started buying chocolate for Easter and, again, there are lots and lots of new options. I’m so happy about it. Also, if you haven’t tried M&S’ salted no-beef pretzel, do so. It’s not easy to find, as they sell out fast! It happened at least 3 times if not 4 to go to the shop to get it and find out they have none left, we bought other stuff, so it was not an unnecessary trip.

Now, let’s talk COVID. We are in group 11, which is great, as I imagined that we are going to be in the last one (12). I assume we are going to have our vaccine in June or July and that’s much sooner than I was expecting, so I’m delighted and I can’t wait to receive the invitation for it. I hope for an Oxford vaccine, but that’s hardly a surprise.

I am disappointed with the rollout in EU though, where my extended family lives. The EU commission made blunder after blunder. I read a long and interesting article about UK vs EU when it comes to Oxford AZ contracting and not only that, the whole approach. I think, in this case, the fact that UK was not in EU was much better, as the government could move fast and invest in vaccines (don’t take this as a political statement, it’s not, it’s just an observation on what happened). Last year I imagined that the EU will have the same approach, investing in, at least, EU based companies, but they didn’t. Amazingly, if the Valneva (French) vaccine is approved, the first doses will be delivered to UK, as someone from them (can’t remember the person, sorry) declared in an interview I saw on France24, as UK invested in the vaccine so it has priority. WOW! On top of that, Serbia, a small European country not in EU, managed to vaccinate 20% of its population, which is almost 3 times more than Germany. I just wish they can sort themselves out, because the situation is dire, and, their attempt of “solidarity” proved abysmal… Hungary ordered vaccines from Russia, Germany placed a bilateral order with Pfizer.


I read on a few blogs about walks in the cemetery and I thought I should give it a try. It was amazing, much better than going to the local park, where is so crowded. There are lovely flowers and it’s so quiet. I enjoyed it.

This weekend we’ve started updating the garden. The raised bed got a lick of decking stain to freshen up. We finally took the decision to level the lawn. The first garden tasks were made exactly when we bought the house and we did not have time and money to do complicated things, as we were in a hurry to move in and there were things we had to do indoors too. So, we removed the concrete slabs, put a bit of soil, sprinkled grass seeds and waited for the result. It was ok, but, in time, the lawn was more and more uneven and the soil was not great either. Yesterday we levelled the lawn and added a mix of top soil and compost, today it’s grass sowing day. I will share more in 2-3 days, when I will talk about the garden. Last month it was pointless to have a garden update when nothing happened anyway.

Sam Bird

Sam Bird won the 2nd race of the Formula E season, after being taken out from the first race when he was passing another car (he was hit into the wall). I was so happy to see him on the podium. He is the only driver to have won a race in every single Formula E championship (this is the 7th one) and I so wish he will be able to win a championship too, he is a very good racer, fast, brave, and a really lovely guy in the interviews.


1. Homemade vegan fish and chips. 2. Captain Tom died with COVID, a very sad day. 3. My salad is growing, in a pot on the windowsill. 4. Chocolate cake, vegan. 5. EggPlant. 6. Table tennis. 7. Festus picking up his daily veggie treat. 8. Sharing my thoughts on a cookbook I like, BOSH!. 9. I tried Barista milk and it is great in coffee, well worth the extra £s. 10. A print screen from my seminar. 11. A celebration with vegan sushi and Prosecco. 12. Thinking of a book I read, for an essay. 13. Pre-Valentine’s Day meal. 14. Valentine’s Day picture. Only me and Festus, but my husband was distracting the dog, so it was very much an all-hands-on-deck situation. 15. Flowers from my husband, for Valentine’s Day. 16. Festus enjoying his new bed, sort of. 17. Picking up books from the library. 18. I found a new word for the Wondrous Words series. 19. Festus, sleeping. 20. New vegan cakes from Sainsbury’s. 21. Festus, in the garden. 22. I made cheese aubergines, this is an old picture though. 23. Crocus on a walk. 24. We tried M&S Vine leaves stuffed with rice. 25. Festus, last time he plays in the garden for a month or so. 26. Reading a new book, which is very interesting too. 27. Flower from the garden. 28. Books finished this month, 9 in total.


This month I finished 9 books. As you can see, I am studying the WWI. I have a couple more books to read on the subject and after that I will take a short break to read something else. I loved all the books from WWI and all of them are so very different. The history ones are informative and deal with other topics, so it was not boring at all to read them one after the other. I would highly recommend all of them. The one that is different is Vera Brittain’s book, as it is a literary masterpiece, so moving and wonderful.

When it comes to fiction, I read 2 books from Mary’s Survivors’ Club series and enjoyed both. I am looking forward to read the next in the series, most likely next month.

Books finished in February:
Posters of the Great War by Frederick Hadley, Martin Pegler – 5 stars
Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain – 5 stars
The Escape by Mary Balogh – 5 stars
First World War Trials and Executions by Simon Webb – 5 stars
The Little Book of LYKKE by Meik Wiking – 4 stars
German Prisoners of the Great War by Anne Buckley – 5 stars
Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh – 4 stars
Britain and World War One by Alan Simmonds – 5 stars
Menus, Munitions and Keeping the Peace by Avalon Weston – 5 stars

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26 Comment

  1. It’s great to hear that more shops are thinking about their Vegan options. I noticed that M&S had some choices added into their Mother’s day meal deal too. It is weird to watch how the EU is doing with its vaccine rollout. It was sad to watch it getting heated, surely we should all be working together for the great good. It looks like you had a good month and you got the time to read some great books too #365

  2. I think you had a wonderful February — lots of good books, good food and good walks. I enjoy walking in cemeteries, too, especially old ones. The WWI books look really interesting.

    But the best news is that you have been moved up a category in the vaccine queue. Good news indeed! The rollout on vaccines has been pretty awful in a lot of places. It was here until Biden came in. They were left with no plan and now things are going very well. I hope it moves even more quickly than anticipated but even at the schedule you said, much improved!

  3. An amazing line up of books.. i haven’t read this theme or looked into it..the flowers look amazing and you are kinda right.. the cemetery would be far quieter than the parks though we wouldn’t be allowed to do that here…

  4. I love M&S food, its a shame ours is so far away. You have done well getting through so many books this month. I have started trying to read more, my mum loaned me a stack of books so I think I better start getting through them. I would agree with you about the vaccine it does seem the UK is being much more proactive about things.
    Missing Sleep recently posted…Week 9 of 2020: Trying To Stay PositiveMy Profile

  5. Busy February! What did you use for the vegan fish? (I have tried it with tofu and jackfruit) I think the flowers near us are delayed after the week of snow but there are flashes of colour appearing now. #project365

    1. I used tofu and it worked beautifully. I shared the recipe on my food blog – CookStyle (cookstyle.co.uk), it was after a recipe from BOSH.

  6. What a shame that the vaccine rollout in the EU isn’t going so well and how frustrating it must be with the blunders over distribution. Lovely to get outside and update the garden. Those books look interesting. Testament of Youth is on my list of books to read at some point. #project365

  7. Those books look interesting…might have to give some of them a go.

    Hadn’t thought of going for a walk in a cemetery but I can imagine it would be peaceful!

    It was the perfect week to get started on the garden.

  8. Don’t get me started on the EU vaccine rollout. My parents are in their late 70’s and live in rural Spain. They vaccinated the over 80s in early February and were meant to be calling them back 3 weeks later – no vaccine available. My parents ‘might’ get their jabs in April – I’m not hopeful.
    We love Formula One here, need to watch a Formula E race, agree about Sam Bird though #365

    1. I hope your parents will get their vaccine faster. I know it’s worrying.
      Formula E is more exciting than Formula One, I’m a big F1 fan too, as the cars are slower and there are lots of overpasses. Bird passed two cars multiple times before winning, so it was very exciting. On top of that, the races are 45 minutes + 1 lap, so much shorter than F1.

    1. UK got right more than the vaccination. What it’s not explained in newspapers and TV shows, maybe because people would be less willing to buy/watch them is that the situation overall was not great. anywhere, which is to be expected in a pandemic. But, UK did not have to accept donations from China, did not export covid patients, and people were not treated in their cars like in other European countries.

  9. My dad was talking to me about how the UK government were really on the ball with the vaccine roll out even if there have been dire errors elsewhere which is positive- I’m glad we have something to say they’ve done well at. I didn’t know what it was like in other European countries so I thanks for sharing that info. My friend said Canada was quite behind too.
    I like the look of the books you read- I really like reading books about WW1- I have read quite a lot of historical crime set in that era which I’ve enjoyed.

    1. Canada is behind too, just about 5% of the population. The rollout is only a part, vaccine production and ordering was, in this case, more important, and this is where EU messed up.

      The WWI books were so interesting, do pick one or two if you fancy them, I think you might enjoy them.

  10. This vegan range is driving me mad, it’s pushed my gluten free range into smaller sections. The local churchyard I walk through most days has all the graves of the babies/children aligning the path, it’s so sad to see their little stones.
    I’ve heard a lot about the UK vaccination roll out, so much better and advanced than The EU have been.

  11. Your book selection looks fascinating! I will check out your review for Menus and Munitions. Testament of youth is on my TBR list, hope to read it one day.
    I keep an eye on M&S vegan frozen dessert which I missed buying at Christmas, it was the French brand Picard. Hope they will bring it back for Easter, it looked so good. I haven’t tried the pretzel, but will keep an eye on it.
    Glad that you’re finding walks in the local cemetery peaceful. Definitely no crowds.

    1. I think you might enjoy Testament of Youth, it’s such a wonderfully sad story. After the war is a bit less interesting, but I loved the book overall.
      I love the vegan range from M&S. Before veganuary I didn’t buy from them, but I saw on social media different things… I tried them and now I buy 2-3 times a month from them, or even more, as the shop we go to is not very busy in the evenings (just before closing time).

  12. 9 books is great. So lovely to know you enjoyed them all. A great reading month. I like to rear about WW1 and WW2, so I’ll make a mental note of these. I think that in general I read more about WW2, so your list is just perfect as I can pick up something about WW1. I listened to a lot of audiobooks this month because I’ve doing a lot of painting. It is nice when I can combine reading with making art. Lovely to read about your gardening activities. I plan to do some gardening tomorrow. I bought some small flowers and I got rid of my dry leaves and floral decorations…time to let the spring come in my home.

    1. It’s nice you can listen to audiobooks when painting. I found that my mind drifts when I tried to listen to audiobooks.
      Have a lovely month xx

      1. Sometimes that can happen to me too. It depends what kind of book it is and what author. It is easier when I listen to several books by the same author in the row because with the same style of writing, it is easier to follow and my mind is less likely to drift.
        Ivana Split recently posted…30+ WAYS TO STYLE A MAGENTA COATMy Profile

  13. Whenever we’ve planted grass, we’ve put out sod (which comes in squares approximately 18″ to a side) and it’s always worked well for us. I think the only areas we did from seed were pasture.

    It’s been interesting here in the US seeing how the individual states have handled the vaccination process. It’s certainly worked better in some than others.

    You had a busy, productive month!
    Kelly recently posted…Cafe On The WaterMy Profile

    1. I hope I will not have to buy sod in a couple of months. :))

      In UK the rollout of the vaccine was quite similar, as the central government placed the orders and the four nations got the vaccines delivered according to their population. Scotland was a few days behind England, but nothing too significant. Mind you, the SNP in Scotland wanted UK to order with the EU… which was bonkers considering that UK was leaving the EU anyway.
      I am also surprised by the situation in EU, where Romania and Poland vaccinated more people than Germany and France, but no-one got over 10%, which is incredible, considering that the vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic.
      I don’t know a lot about the situation in US, I imagine is patchy as each state has a different approach, which, again, seems bonkers to me. I think the situation will improve rapidly with the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine. With only one dose it’s just fantastic.

  14. It’s interesting to see the plans you have for the garden – we are actually thinking about getting rid of all our grass and reverting to a dry gravel garden and some flower beds because the grass is SUCH a pain to maintain! I’ll look forward to your next garden update then 🙂

    1. I love having grass in the garden, especially with the little one (our dog), so if this will not work… we might buy grass rolls and put them over the old lawn. I am looking forward to writing that post. 🙂

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