Sunday, 5 December 2021

Day 627

Day 627...

Today was a pretty standard and quiet Sunday.

We started off with a trip to collect our weekly grocery shop which meant a moan from me as we had one unavailable item, and seven substitutes.  But when we got home they'd actually substituted the item that was unavailable and messed up with the substitutions!!! Argh! But not to worry as we can survive with what we have been given and refunds have been sent for those items they messed up on.

We then popped out to go visit my dad as we've not seen him for a couple of weeks. He's doing okay but is struggling with his mobility and his ability to withstand doing anything for a length of time. He was referred to cardiology in September last year and still has not heard anything, I fear he is going to a be a statistic of the effects of multiple lockdowns and restrictions. But as a bonus we got to see my brother as he also popped by to see my dad; we've not seen my brother in a fair few months although we do keep in touch.

Back home and while I tackled the ironing Simon was updating his various social media accounts with his latest art piece. 

I then packed away the jigsaw that I'd completed last night...

...I then contacted one of my work colleagues to see if her mum would like the jigsaw as I know she is another jigsaw fan. I thought I would rather pass it on to someone else to get joy from it rather than it taking up space in my loft for goodness knows how many years.

It was then time to break out my next jigsaw and this time I had a box of three to choose from...

One box that opens up to...

...reveal three jigsaws inside.
This is the one I've opted for first...
...I think I may have attempted this one before but I can't remember finishing it. The only problem I have discovered is that it is in portrait format which means it won't fit on my puzzle board width ways. This just means I won't be able to sit on the comfy sofa to complete it, unless I attempt to do it sideways!

Although I have managed to complete the outside already.
The jigsaws are proving to be a nice distraction from the world at large and for a short time I can lose myself and forget the horrors that are going on around us all.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Day 626

Day 626...

And we are at the weekend.

Our Saturday morning had an early start as the men of the house had a trip to the barbers. There were a few odd jobs around the house that needed doing, but nothing major before I tackled the main task of the day Christmas shopping.

At least it was all done from the warmth and comfort of the house but trying to figure out what to get for everyone gets harder each year. The trouble is we all have everything that we need and so we seem to end up buying just for the sake of buying! But by late afternoon I'd managed to get a good amount done although I think there will still be more to sort but I need some inspiration to hit for that!

The saga with our new electric car continues and as of today we are scheduled to give up our current cars on Monday and have a courtesy car from the garage until we can get the charging point sorted. The ground works should have happened last weekend but the snow put paid to that so we are now waiting for decent weather and the company scheduled to do the work being able to fit us in. It's a complete nightmare but at least we can go down to one car, stop paying for them and concentrate on getting the new one as soon as possible. So today we took ten minutes to go through both cars and remove all our bits and pieces so that on Monday we are all ready to hand them over.

The remainder of the day was spent with Simon working on his latest digital art piece and me working on my jigsaw. We put 'Christmas with the Kranks' on the TV (such a brilliant film) and lost ourselves in the film and our respective tasks. It was nice to be able to switch off and escape from all the madness going on around us at the moment.

I would like to have a rant about the current circumstances; about the restrictions and mandates being imposed around the world but to be honest I don't think I have the energy or the inclination at the moment. I am just sick of the whole thing and fed up of it taking up our lives. I want the normal of 2019 back again, I want our freedoms restored, I want to be able to see who I want, where I want and when I want without papers or injections or masks being needed. We need to accept this thing is here to stay and treat it like we do the flu. But I appreciate that for some people that is heresy to say that, but then again perhaps that's because I look further than the end of my nose and am prepared to take in all opinions not just the ones being forced upon us. Oops looks like I had a little rant after all!

Well I need to switch off for the evening, red wine and chocolate it is. See you tomorrow.

Friday, 3 December 2021

Day 625

Day 625...

The last day of my working week and we have a Friday, and another full day in work for me. That's four full days this week!!

But in work it was a pretty standard Friday; a morning where I work the floor, working directly with the children and then an afternoon of admin, emails and more admin.

Arriving at home I found a parcel waiting for me, a parcel all the way from Gettysburg in the US. Through the Disney Dream Girls podcast family page on Facebook we'd organised a Christmas gift exchange and today my gift had arrived.

Oh....what's inside?

Card with a very cute Santa Grogu sticker!

A candle scented to evoke memories of a Walt Disney World dark ride - Pirates of the Caribbean 

Ah....Disney find these in the resort hotels.

Very cute pin - Stitch collides with Star Wars

Selection of chocolates and treats.
Knowing my love of dark chocolate I was blessed to find some classic dark Lindt chocolate along with some US goodies from Ashers Chocolate Co and Bauers Candies. The 'Modjeska' was a unique discovery...a marshmallow covered in soft caramel...
Wow, very yummy!
With the fun of opening parcels out the way my next job was to figure out Molly's phone contract. She'd had a text today letting her know that the contract is just about up and that she needs to decide on what to do next. Her contract is still in my name as it was taken out a couple of years ago so I jumped online to see if I could figure out what best to do as she doesn't need, or wants, to upgrade her phone. This does mean going forward that whatever she decides to do will be considerably cheaper than at the moment.

I then had some online shopping to do as I'd had a couple of ideas for Christmas gifts, along with updates for my weekly grocery shop.

And there was Friday, the weekend is in front of us so I will see you tomorrow.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Day 624

Day 624...

And day number three of being in work all day...covering for staff absence rather than having my usual Thursday of morning in work and afternoon at home.

And tomorrow will be another full day in work as that is my usual full day...I did joke with my team that I might be next to useless tomorrow as I'll be knackered from all the extra hours!! Just kidding, I have a great team with whom it is a pleasure to work, but I have missed those few hours at home to catch up with jobs around the house. I'd hoped to start a little online Christmas shopping this week but alas that will have to be a job for the weekend...although I have no idea what I'm getting everyone!

But my work day was a day mixed with admin, banking, emails, writing 'Letters from Santa' (another one of our little Christmas fundraisers), issuing concert tickets and raffle numbers and more!

Arriving home I was met with a van parked on our small lane which was blocking me from getting to our house. Thankfully the driver was just getting out of the van and quickly jumped back in and moved a little further up the lane giving me enough room to get past. Turned out to be good timing as the 'man in the van' was here to collect a couple of bikes that we no longer need. A local chap who takes in unwanted bikes, repairs them and sells them on with all proceeds going to our local hospice, much better than us taking them to the local recycling centre to be trashed.

Once inside and with a coffee poured I did actually manage a little online shopping. I updated my grocery shop ready for collecting this weekend as well as adding a few items to my 'subscribe and save' order at Hotel Chocolat. I have their high cocoa curated selection sent to me every three months so I had taken advantage of the free delivery that comes with the order and added on a few items that will be serve as some stocking filler gifts.

We ended the day with a weights workout down our gym and whilst in the garage I did a quick inventory of our freezer as I want to schedule in a butchers order and wanted to work out when best to have it delivered. I want to be able to get an order submitted so that I don't miss out on a delivery date before Christmas, but I needed to work out how long what we have already will last us!

Today was also my last delivery from a local dairy, Bluebells. During the first lockdown I'd found that they were doing deliveries and so had made use of them for ordering eggs and milk and occasionally some of their yummy ice-cream. During that first lockdown items like eggs had been limited by the supermarkets so it was great to find somewhere local that would deliver whilst at the same time I could support them during a difficult time. Bluebells not only make amazing ice-cream but they operate a small farm holding that opens to the public with play areas for children, a cafe and much more. So when their operations were stopped they diversified into deliveries. However as things have returned to 'normal' the demand for deliveries has dwindled and so they have decided to stop the service; such a shame although completely understandable.

Right off to complete a little more jigsaw so I will see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Day 623

Day 623...

Ah the beginning of December and the countdown to Christmas, so that can only mean one thing...Hotel Chocolat Advent calendar time. That time of year when it becomes acceptable to have chocolate at breakfast...dark chocolate in my case of course!

We have the middle of the working week and yet again I have been in work for a full day rather than my usual half a day. With a member of staff off sick I was needed to work the afternoon shift as cover.

It was a pretty standard day at work for me; lots of admin to catch up with, lots of banking, lots of emails and then the organising of all our Christmas activities.

Last night Simon had very kindly transferred our Christmas concert music, that Molly had put together for us, from my laptop onto one of the pre-school i-pads. Today we were able to test it all out and thankfully it all worked perfectly. I was also able to update pre-school's Spotify account with my Christmas playlist called Xmas-a-go-go...a mix of classic Christmas songs with some pop, some Disney and some RuPaul...suffice to say an eclectic mix.

This afternoon I decided to update our safeguarding policy as we had been issued with a newer version. Our policy is around 50+ pages and so I started out comparing the existing policy to the newer version, flipping between two tabs on the laptop...not the easiest or quickest but thankfully all the changes were in red. Initially I was able to update it all rather quickly but the further I got into the document the more red appeared; it was no longer a simple amend and move on, it was now entering re-write territory! But time was not on my side and so I quickly made a note of how far I'd gotten before packing everything away and heading home.

It was on the drive home that I hatched a plan as to how I could create the policy document I needed that would be a lot easier and hopefully less time consuming. So with a fresh pot of coffee brewed I set about my new plan and in about two hours I had re-wrote the whole document and had actually split it into two distinct, and easier to read, documents. And while that hadn't been my intention I knew that sitting at home in the quiet and being undisturbed meant it had gotten done a lot quicker than had I attempted it at work.

But this did mean that my day was now done and so with that I will say see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Day 622

Day 622...

So we have a Tuesday and another Tuesday where I worked a full day rather than my usual half a day and a day when, yet again, restrictions are being reinstated!

Well work was pretty standard. There was lots of admin and banking for me to catch up on as there is a lot happening at the moment. We are approaching the beginning of  the month when pre-school fees are due. We have a Christmas party at the end of term but parents need to help towards the cost and payments are due by Friday. We also have a Christmas concert in a couple of weeks and have just started issuing tickets, for which we also charge a small fee. And then we have the Christmas Raffle which is drawn in just over a weeks time so I am busy not only coordinating the sale of tickets (all done virtually) but also promoting it on social media and via newsletter to parents.

Once home my attention turned to my new Christmas lights that I'd bought yesterday. As the snow had cleared overnight I could now get them all set up in my courtyard garden. We have a low wall that surrounds our garden space and these lights sit beautifully in the walls and are, I feel, a rather classy affair.

They are battery operated and have an in built timer so once switched on they will stay on for 6 hours and then switch off for 18 hours and so on; perfect!

At the end of the day Simon and I headed down our gym for a weights workout and today I remembered to wear some gloves! As the weights are metal they are extremely cold to the touch and I was finding that as my hands got colder it was triggering 'Raynaud syndrome' in my finger ends. So I dug out my gloves from when I used to go running (well more a bouncy walk than running) and they worked brilliantly.

Back inside and as I was cooking dinner I remembered to power up Spotify to find the latest track to be released by White Lies - I Don't Want to go to Mars. Suffice to say it has been on repeat since it's launch at 7pm...a fantastic track and one that we were lucky enough to hear live a few weeks back when we saw them at Bournemouth.

And that is where I will end it for today...I feel the need for a rant about the current 'restrictions' but as it is late I am going to leave it for when I have more time as now my priority is to stop, chill, perhaps a little jigsaw time, a cuppa and some very dark chocolate.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, 29 November 2021

Day 621

Day 621...

And we have a Monday and as usual it was a non-work day for Simon and I. Ethan was back at work after a week off, although as he is still working from home it made little difference.

The day started off very relaxed and that set the tone for pretty much the rest of the day. We sat with a coffee or two and enjoyed watching a You Tube presentation all about the 'fast pass' system employed over the years at Walt Disney World and other Disney parks. Absolutely fascinating and very enlightening on how these systems are developed and implemented; totally appealed to the geek in me.

We also had a phone call from our 'ground-works' crew apologising about not being able to get to us yesterday! Obviously the change in weather had impacted what they were able to do and we appreciated that circumstances were out of their control. But they have said they will get to us this week as soon as the weather allows! Fingers crossed we can get everything sorted this week so that maybe, perhaps, with fingers and toes crossed we can finally take delivery of our new electric car next week!

We then took a short drive out through our, still snowy, village to our local Lidl...

...where we picked up a few bits and bobs along with some more Christmas decorations! Well, they were just too good a deal to pass up; some outdoor, battery operated snowflake shaped stake lights. So I bought three sets to go in our courtyard garden. And bonus when I got home and went to test them I found that they came supplied with batteries!! I've not been able to put them out today as the snow has lingered about for most of the day but with milder weather for overnight forecast I should be able to get them in place tomorrow afternoon.
New lights!!!
After a spot of lunch I decided to have a quick tidy around our 'cupboard under the stairs'. We have a large cupboard space in the kitchen that is great for housing cleaning stuff and more but always seems to be overcrowded and awkward to get to things. A few weeks ago I'd bought some new storage boxes from Ikea specifically for re-organsing this cupboard but hadn't had the time. Well in about half an hour this afternoon I'd cleared out what we no longer needed, swapped over storage boxes and created extra space; so much so that I can now walk into this cupboard which I could never do before. Mission accomplished.

Th rest of the day was spent in a very chilled and relaxed manner; Simon was happily creating more digital art and I was happy to potter with my Christmas jigsaw.

Back to work tomorrow!