Small is the new big

Welcome to the 6th blog in The Olivia Rose Diaries on April 23rd 2020

First of all, a big thank you to all of you who have bought my book and been so supportive and encouraging. If writing a book is a joy, then publishing it is truly a terror. I know I shall have to develop a thick skin as the audience gets wider and not everybody likes it as much as you have, but your kind words now will make me strong and I shall remember them when somebody decides my book is pants and wants to tell the world exactly why in excruciating detail! Many of you who have bought the paperback version have sent me wonderful pictures of yourselves with the book, on a boat, in the garden or the kitchen. I am going to make a collage of these later in the year when I do a photo album. Consider yourselves immortalised!

I have four small bits of good news this week. Before Coronavirus these snippets would not have merited a mention, being the sort of thing we used to take for granted, but now it is the little things that matter more and more. Small is the new big.

Top of the list is that the notices informing us that the footpath was closed along the river have been removed! The world is our oyster once more, admittedly a small oyster as we are still limited to a distance of one kilometre from home. We celebrated this gleefully with a bottle of bubbly, only to find the next morning that there were a new set of notices, three pages of them, stating that access was granted for weekdays only and not at the weekend. Still, something is better than nothing.

The second bit of news is that my geraniums from last year, which have sat in their pots on board over the winter and looked very dead, have begun to sprout, as you can see from the picture. This may seem to be very small news indeed but our life isn’t as exciting as it used to be and you can only work with what you’ve got! And we all need flowers.

Thirdly, Michael’s pencil set arrived through the post so there will be no holding him now. Normally his drawings take him an hour or so in one session, but this one took three sessions and you can see why. Stunning.

And lastly, the warm weather has allowed me to start doing my yoga and pilates practice outside. I plonk my mat right at the end of the pontoon (sorry Jan – in your absence I’ve stolen your space!) and I think you’ll agree that the location is better than any village hall!

It’s not easy to concentrate on stretching out those hamstrings as there is a lot going on in our bird world at the moment. The herons are pairing off and getting territorial, so George 1 is regularly chasing George 2 off his patch, often flying right over my head as I am lying there, a prime target for bird poop on the wing. There are four Egyptian geese, two pairs, and I would have thought there was plenty of room for all of them but they feel otherwise. It quickly develops into outright war if they end up on the same bit of water, rearing up with chests puffed out, wings flapping and beaks pecking and making such a racket that I challenge anyone not to give up on the exercise and sit down to watch. Who needs Game of Thrones for a bit of mayhem and madness?

Out in the wider world it appears that not everybody is suffering financially from the impact of the lock-down. No matter how bad life gets there are always winners as well as losers. Amazon have seen the value of their shares surge to reach a record high this week, with the company earning $11,000 a second, and Bezoz worth a net $138 billion dollars. With a global workforce of around a million people they are taking on thousands of extra staff to cope with demand as it seems we are relying heavily on Amazon to help us fill our time. Things aren’t quite so rosy in France after a court ruling closed down all six French Amazon distribution centres for a week to deep-clean them, stating that the company was not doing enough to protect its workers.

It’s hard to believe that we are nearly halfway through the month of extra lock-down. Whilst Macron will be slowly re-opening the country on May 11th, we have had notification that the canals and rivers in this region will remain closed to pleasure boaters such as ourselves until May 29th 2020. It wouldn’t surprise us if that date was extended. We spend many evenings discussing what we will do when the waterways eventually open and we know that other boating friends are having the same conversations. We both agree that we won’t be rushing back out on to the water. This isn’t because we don’t want to, but more because of the uncertainty of what might happen. We are currently in a safe and secure mooring with electricity and access to water. We have already experienced how incredibly quickly a country can close down and boats are not the best mode of transport for getting anywhere quickly. If we were to leave and then a few weeks down the line the numbers of infections started going up again, as is widely expected, we could find ourselves under a new lock-down in somewhere we’d rather not be, and with no hope of getting out. So we will wait a little longer. Be patient for a little longer.

There is a new theme for the quiz this week, a musical one.

1. How many number one singles did Abba have in the UK and which was the most successful?

2.In what year did Simon and Garfunkel get to number one in the UK with Bridge over Troubled Water?

3.In 2016 who sold more cd’s – Beyoncé, Adele or Mozart?

4. How many individual pieces of wood in a violin?

5. Lady GaGa has recently played the lead female role in the film A Star is Born. How many previous film versions have there been and can you name any of the female leads?

Good luck – answers next week.

Take care of yourselves.


5 thoughts on “Small is the new big

  1. MJ

    Thanks for the update and so pleased you are all well and the book is going great.

    We are just enjoying coffee looking over our terrace to the Pacific Ocean. Tiny tiny holiday house. No cupboards. I too have a small garden to give us fresh herbs. I call it petal. Parsley going well but chillis not so much.

    Take care

    Sent from my iPhone. Apologies for brevity and finger stabbing problems and spell check errors.

    Warm regards Lloyd Davies +61 412 256 199

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Your blog is becoming compulsory reading and very much looked forward to in this locked down house. Thank you for taking the time and trouble of keeping it up.


  3. Hi both for another week. Wow, Michael’s drawings are definitely coming along, and really good to hear he has new pencils … I think you have the right idea of staying put under these circumstances – better the devil you know?? I think it is going to be a very worrying time for everyone for a long time to come until they at least find a vaccine. It is still very scary times. Thankfully being isolated here on the Farm, we are very lucky, also getting our Tesco delivery slots as and when we need them. Goodness knows how long it will be before we even want to venture out.

    Anyway, keep up the blog Mary-Jane. Look forward to reading them, albeit a little later this week as we have been so busy here.

    I have answered the quiz questions below.

    Stay safe and well both. Love xx

    No. 1 – This is only a guess so I think maybe 10 or 11 number one’s with Mamma Mia being the top one?
    No. 2 – Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water was in 1970 but not sure of the month. I know it because it is the year we got married!
    No. 3 – Definitely Mozart ….
    No. 4 – This is just a guess, 60?
    No. 5 – Definitely Judy Garland but not sure of any more. Don’t know how many versions either…..


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