Lockdown List


I’ve been seeing a lot of lists lately about museums and galleries you can visit virtually from your couch if you’re in lockdown during the current COVID-19 crisis

Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time at home recovering from joint replacement surgeries or dealing with arthritis flare-ups so I’ve needed a lot of distractions to cope during these times

Like many others with chronic conditions often stuck at home, these distractions are important to have on hand in order to cope with boredom and even help with pain management

I thought I’d compile my own list of museums, libraries, podcasts and virtual tours focussing on art, history, photography and virtual tours of famous landmarks I’d love to visit

I hope you find these suggestions useful and if you have any of your own suggestions please leave a comment below


The Google Arts and Culture App is a great place to start exploring

Here you’ll find a tonne information about art and culture including virtual museum tours, history of art movements, historic events, historical figures and so much more

Frida Kahlo’s House – I can’t wait to have a good look at this page

Paris is one of my favourite cities although I haven’t been there for many years

I’ve included a couple of links to places I find interesting and as you can see below I have a bit of a Marie Antoinette obsession


Versailles – Click here for a virtual tours (saves the walk on all those cobblestones with sore feet and knees – an everlasting memory)

Still on the topic of  Versailles,  I love Lauren’s site Marie Antoinette’s gossip guide to the 18th century

It’s a well researched and fascinating website on all things Marie Antoinette and the age of Louis XVI.  – fashion, music, scandals and much more

Musee D’orsay – a virtual tour in a gallery with a collection of art from Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet and Gauguin and many more

Louvre – need I say more?

If you’re a Beyonce fan you can follow the trail of all the artworks that appear in JAY-Z and Beyonce’s APES**T video


The British library is one of my all time favourite sites

Here you can browse exquisite handpainted books, illuminated texts and maps on their British Library Treasures page

ethiopic-bible-or_481_f111v      regia Carmina-regia-royal_ms_6_e_ix_f022r      DukesPlanNewYork

The treasures above are from an Ethiopic Bible, Carmina Regia illuminated text and a 1664 map of New York



Photo / @inglewoodpalms

If you like contemporary photography these sites should interest you

Lens Culture – a site devoted to discovering contemporary photograhy talent

Burn Magazine – a photo journal curated by Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey



I listen to a lot of podcasts on varied subjects however I can’t resist a good history podcast especially on the subject of Tudor history

Check out some of the following on your favourite podcast app or online

HistoryExtra – the podcast of BBC History Magazine (British and world History)

Queens of England Podcast – James Boulton’s comprehensive podcast about early modern and medieval Queens of England

Have a look at my blog post Podcast Passion for more podcasts I listen to


KANOPY– How fantastic are libraries?

Kanopy is a streaming service you can access with your library card to watch a brilliant selection of movies, documentaries and much more

Click here to see if your public library offers Kanopy


Angkor Wat

Machu Picchu


Bored Panda – famous museums offering virtual tours

Hello Magazine – virtual tours museums, galleries, zoos

Euronews– virtual museums and music streams – culture for coronavirus confinement



If the above sites aren’t enough to distract you from thinking about the coronavirus and all you want is information about COVID-19 you may find the following podcasts useful

CORONACAST – a podcast from the Australian Broadcasting Commision (ABC) that answers question about coronavirus

Live Yes! with arthritis – a podcast from the Arthritis Foundation – Coronavirus and Arthritis


Wow, I think that’s quite a list already and I haven’t even covered music or science

I hope you Stay safe and look after yourselves during this time and happy reading and exploring


photos unless stated otherwise via Pixabay and The British Library – public domain



Playlist – painsomnia


The first playlist for 2020 is actually one I listened to a lot during 2019

As mentioned in my last blog post, 2019 wasn’t the best year for me as I had a major flare-up of arthritis

This was my go to playlist when I couldn’t sleep at night due to pain or anytime I wanted to wind down and relax

It’s full of my favourite gentle songs that settle me down and cheer me up

Do you have any favourite songs that you listen to when you have painsomnia or want to wind down?

I’d love to hear what they are in the comments


Playlist – the many moods of mary


A new playlist for you of the music I’ve been listening to over the past few months (spring and summer down under)

It starts off with the melancholy tones of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ and ends in a similar vein with the beautiful ‘Your Sweet Love’  by Lee Hazlewood

In between you’ll get a very mixed bag of music ranging from pop, electronic, art rock, dance and vintage eurodisco





Distractions – Botanical Beauty

There’s one more month of Spring to go in the southern hemisphere so I thought before it’s over I’d treat you to some beautiful botanical images from OEuvres complètes de Jean Jacques Rousseau

The muted pastel tones of the images are gorgeous and the best part is you’re not going to get hay fever by looking at them

Many of the illustrations are signed J Aubry sculp and were done in the years between 1788 – 1793

I love the pastel blue colour in the first illustration and the graphic style of the green flower in the third illustration (I think it looks like a cross between Art Nouveau and Art Deco)

Let me know which one is your favourite


Image taken from page 116 of 'Œuvres complètes de Jean Jacques Rousseau. Nouvelle édition, classée par ordre de matières, etc. (Voyage à Ermenonville par feu M. Le Tourneur, pour servir de préface.) [Edited by L. S. Mercier, G. Brizard, and F. H. S.

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lemony energy bites


If you follow my Instagram stories you would have noticed that I have a bit of a sweet tooth

I’m always posting stories about the delicious cakes and treats I’ve tried

I try to limit my cake eating to the weekend however I love a sweetish treat with my afternoon coffee

I’m forever on the lookout for an easy sweet treat to make that has some nutritional value and that is easy to prepare with sore hands and wrists Continue reading

Distractions – vintage fashion

I came across some stunning fashion photography recently when I was looking for some vintage images of off the shoulder dresses for a blog post about shoulder surgery

A lot of time was spent going of in tangents looking at pictures not related to off shoulder dresses

I kept finding one great image after another – some quirky, some beautiful and many featuring the striking model Dovima

Below is a small selection of some of the vintage fashion images I came across

There are plenty more fashion images over on my Pinterest page if you like that kinda thing


August 1958 Continue reading