VSC at Home

Throughout Lockdown a lot of our members have been busy re-creating some of our recipes, trying new exercise routines and learning new skills. We'd love to hear what you've been up to over the past two months and we'd like to share them on this page on the website.

Please share your new skills, VSC recipes (you can find recipe cards here to re-create VSC dishes at home) and anything new you have learnt during lockdown. Please send a picture and a short description to marketing@vsc.co.uk

VSC at Home

Peter Hughes VSC Scones

Member Peter Hughes made the VSC scones at home for VE Day.

Patricia Creighton

Member Patricia Creighton lives in France and sent this picture for VE Day, she said "We live in a small village in France and were delighted when our Mayor agreed to allow the wreath laying to take place, albeit with no Ancient Combatants or spectators".

Harriet Grant

Member Harriet Grant has been sharpening her cooking skills and said "I subscribed to a cookery school channel on You Tube and learnt how to make a raised pie.  Not as difficult as I thought it might be!"

Valerie Blows

"My lockdown at home in Guernsey has been a very positive time for me (my father always managed to turn the most ghastly situation into a positive experience bless him and I do believe I have inherited this ability from him).

I have always found gardening to be very therapeutic.  No matter how sad, frustrated or worried we sometimes are in our lives and of course now, especially with this situation in which we all find ourselves. Lockdown has allowed me to spend precious moments in my garden, in fact my garden has never looked so good!  The added bonus being that I  now have time to sit in in the garden with a mug of coffee and admire all my hard work!   It never ceases to amaze me that with a little tender loving care, how nature does what it does.

I haven't taken up any new hobbies but have revisited old ones, for example, botanical watercolour painting, reading, music and of course phoning friends instead of texting!!

Turning to some good news here in Guernsey, we have an absolutely brilliant team guiding us through this difficult time :- Gavin St Pier (Chief Minister), Nicola Brink (Director of Public Health) & Heidi Soulsby (Health & Social Care President).  It is thanks to these dedicated people and their wonderful respective teams that:-   There have been no new confirmed cases of COVID 19 within the Bailiwick of Guernsey for 37 days!"*

*Numbers as of 8th June 2020. 

Margaret Barnsdall-Stone

"I thought you may be interested in what I have been doing during lockdown.

Being a volunteer coordinator with the Royal Voluntary Service I have been in contact with friends and members some who are on their own, to have a chat.

My crafting skills have come in useful making face masks and cards for people to use, as some do not have computers and still like to keep in touch by sending a hand written card or letter.

Also I joined “Gareth Malones Home Chorus”, which I look forward to take part in each day, below is a picture of me singing “We’ll meet again “ during the VE Day celebrations, unfortunately not as good as wonderful Vera Lynn!"

Hilary Howe

I still live in the Wiltshire village where I grew up and my favourite place as a child was the little valley on the edge of the village which a stream ran through.

Sadly, over the years, to the distress of villagers, this valley became overgrown and neglected. Eventually, a small group, including me, decided to act and with advice from the local wildlife trust we set about making it into a space for wildlife and people.

That was in 2006 and today it is managed by an energetic group of volunteers. We have successfully sought funding for various projects. We have planted hedges and learned how to lay them. We have acquired a small flock of rare breed sheep and planted fruit trees. Today the valley is once again, the village's favourite destination for families to walk.

In normal times we have regular volunteer days when we all get together to tackle any tasks that need doing. We provide tea, coffee and homemade cakes and it is quite a social event. When the Lockdown hit us we initially couldn't see how to proceed and cancelled all our pre-arranged get togethers. However, after a while we realised there are ways to still get things done. We have taken turns to work on our own for short periods away from the footpaths the public uses. Denied the freedom to travel and pursue other interests, we have between us managed to get quite a bit done.

What has been particularly gratifying though is we have realised that, with the travel restrictions of the lockdown, people from the nearby town have been finding their way to us via the Sustrans trail which passes close by. They have expressed surprise and delight to find such a treasure on their doorstep. Hopefully we have made some people's lockdown experience a little more bearable.

John Dietmann (Former Staff Sergeant - US Army)

On this 245th birthday of the US Army I'll share a bit of my activities. Attached is a photo of me on VE Day. I placed some flowers on the war memorial in St John's churchyard Stanmore to remember 4 of my first cousins who served in that war. One did come home. He was shot down over Germany in 1944.

The red and white armband is to commemorate the Polish Home Army AK which rose up in Warsaw against the Nazi occupation in June 1944. 

Etienne Ryckmans - From Cooma, New South Wales, Australia 

Etienne served with the Australian Army (in two Corps, Infantry and Military Police) in the late 80’s. After discharge he moved to London and worked with the Royal British Legion and Corps of Commissionaires. Following this in the 90’s Etienne went on and spent two years in Former Yugoslavia with UNPROFOR and one of the host Battalion he was with was BRITBAT in Gorni Vakuf as part of OP Grapple and then in 2000 returned home to Australia.

So what’s been happening down under Etienne reports; well as we start our winter, your summer, recently members of my RSL (Returned Services League which is a support organisation for men and women who have served or are serving in the Defence Force) in Cooma a country town in the south of New South Wales, Australia (located 114 kilometres south of the national capital, Canberra, gateway to the Snowy Mountains) had their first branch meeting as a group since COVID 19 restrictions have been lifted to stage 2 in Australia.

Our local Ex Services club was unable to accommodate members this month, so one of our sub branch members kindly shared his home as the conveying place for our general meeting to ensure the sub branch structure and governance was maintained during these unprecedented times.

In April our nation stops to pause for a minutes silence to remember Anzac Day this is one of the most solemn days on Australia's calendar, as you do with VE Day. In our town in line with the rest of the country it’s tradition to attend a dawn services or march. Due to coronavirus restrictions, Australia's Anzac Day services were called off this year. Australians were encouraged to safely commemorate a different kind of dawn service this Anzac Day by standing on their driveways at 6 am to remember all those who have served and sacrificed.

Etienne remarks that most of our members have been staying safe at home, doing cleaning and renovations as Australia copped a double whammy this year as after the bushfires came COVID 19. Other members have pitched in by doing some volunteer work whether it be hospital visits, area beautification at historical military sights of significance and reaching out to other members learning how to use new channels through social media platforms. Etienne who works as a Public Servant for the government has this year like many others been seconded to various Social Services departments to assist with the processing of the millions of claims for payments for those who found themselves unemployed in Australia.

In the last few years after discovering the VSC Etienne and his wife Darrelle started returning to London as a loyal VSC member to enjoy the fruits of his labour and spend their Xmas vacations at the VSC, ‘It was the best find ever, the staff are sensational’. We are both hoping that international flight restrictions will be lifted so that we can return to enjoy a nice glass of Victory gin for Xmas 2020!

Paul Nelson

Paul who lives in Australia has been busy creating 'lockdown beer bread' from this recipe - http://chelseawinter.co.nz/lockdown-loaf-beer-bread/

This is how it turned out:

Kim Bayley

Hello – We are Kim and Chris Sands and we’d like to show you a few things we’ve been doing to help us get through this lock down. Read more here. 


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