Saturday, 13 February 2021


 An easterly wind blew like a train across this corner of Devon over the last few days. Leaves and small branches sailed high in the air around the lawn, and empty pots which I’d forgotten to put away rolled like uncontrolled wheels into far flowerbeds. It brought with it a bitterly cold blast, the kind which chills every forgotten corner and exposed finger.

In a bizarre echo of the weather, my first Covid-19 vaccination knocked me for six too. If you don’t want to hear what happened, stop reading now and look only at the pictures. Because it’s been a rocky forty-eight hours… The inoculation itself was easy, even though I don’t enjoy any kind of ‘jab’ and always turn away from the endless film shots on TV news of people being vaccinated. Mine went smoothly and I arrived home feeling fine. My other half received his two days earlier and whilst he had some side-effects they were quite mild, so I thought I’d got away with it. The ‘flu-like symptoms’ hit me after about six hours, when I turned very cold and went to bed. Despite hot water bottles and blankets over the duvet, I shivered violently for half an hour before falling into what felt like a drugged sleep. I woke a few times from the most vivid of dreams, heart pounding, only to lapse back into more of the same. Yesterday I endured the same drugged feeling and a bad headache, unable even to turn on the computer, or read. Only today has the real ‘me’ resurfaced, thankful to have returned from my zombie state to the land of the living. Oh, and this morning my arm aches, but it’s nothing compared to the rest!

What have I learned from this? I will tell my brother, and the other members of my family who may be similarly affected, (and you) to prepare as though for a short bout of flu. Get in all the food you need, because you won’t want to go out or even to receive deliveries. Make sure you have plenty of hot drinks, and paracetamol at the ready. And remember, it only lasts a couple of days or so.

I can’t tell you whether or not to be vaccinated – that decision is for you alone. What I can say is that I chose it, and if whatever has been injected into me is an experiment, well - life is pretty much an experiment too, isn’t it?


My February photos are not current, because I haven’t felt in a mood for photography – and I’ve been too busy writing my third book, whose ideas kept me going when I was feeling so bad. All of them, though, were taken in February.

The ‘windy’ photo was taken in February 2017 passing Dartmoor. The snow was 2015 in our garden. The drifts of snowdrops were photographed when we lived in Mid-Devon, in 2014. The little Wren was snapped by my son, but the Robin is mine, and I hope they will bring you a little joy in this most difficult of times.

Next time I write, there will be cherry blossom…


Blow, blow, thou winter wind,

Thou art not so unkind

As man’s ingratitude;

Thy tooth is not so keen,

Because thou art not seen,

Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:

Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:

Then, heigh-ho, the holly!

This life is most jolly.

-        William Shakespeare


  1. Dear Prue, that's a worry that you had such a reaction.hoping you are the mend by the time you read this. We have yet to have it roll out here in Oz.
    Love the images and the quote by William ;-) Keep smiling.

    1. Thank you so much, Julianne. I felt a little fragile yesterday, but today I seem to be bouncing back. I hope you will soon be rolling it out over there. I'm so glad you enjoyed the images and the quote :)

  2. I'm so sorry to hear of your reaction to the flu shot, Prue. I'm glad that you're feeling better now and hope that you don't have a similar reaction to your second dose. It sounds as if that will be a long way off, so giving you plenty of time to build your resources. And thank you for the warning. I think we are quite a way off getting our first, but in a province where really nobody has affected, and we keep ourselves to ourselves I am not too worried. The photographs are lovely. Is the first one the one you describe as the windy one? It is a beautiful scene.

    1. Thank you so much Ellie - and as you say, 10 - 12 weeks before the second shot, so time to build up a bit of strength first. I'm more or less back to normal today.
      I'm so glad you like the photos, and yes, the first is the windy one. The moon was an absolute bonus and the reason I took the photo!

  3. So sorry to hear of your reaction to the the Covid-19 vaccine - such a shame.
    Love your blog photos, especially the wren. Take care, all good wishes.

    1. Thank you so much, Mike. I didn't expect it, so it was a bit of a shock!
      I'm glad you like the photos, and I'll tell my son you like the wren - it's my favourite too! All the best to you and yours.