Thursday, 4 June 2020

Day 78

Day 78...

Well the day started with no hot water and a broken boiler! Thankfully a quick text to our plumber and a chap was on his way and problem sorted by lunchtime.

I then actually went into work! I spent just over 4 hours in work with my deputy manager so that we could sound out some ideas and forge a plan for the way forward working towards our intended opening day in just over a weeks time.

It was really nice to see her and to catch up as well as get some work completed. We had hoped to be sat outside in the sunshine but the British weather has gone from amazingly hot two days ago to grey, wet and cold and so we had to move indoors but with all doors open and sat at opposing ends of a table as we adhered to social distancing the best we could.

We now have a plan in place so once home I was able to spend the rest of the afternoon emailing around the rest of the staff to fill them in a little more about what will be happening and when. I am now set up for tomorrow and another day of emailing as I contact parents and confirm what will be happening when their children return. The pre-school will not be like it was before; we will have less children attending; less staff working; routines will change; more hand washing; more repeated cleaning; less activities laid out as well as some activities simply no longer allowed. We will be pre-school but it won't be the same pre-school that we were. It will take a little getting used to for both staff and children but hopefully we can all adjust to this new normal.

The benefit of being 'at work' has meant that I really haven't seen or heard as much news as I would normally and that is quite strange; part of me feels like I must be missing something while part of me feels calm and has space to think about something other than covid. But it sounds like the use of masks is now being introduced specifically for public transport which I think is a good thing. Yesterday was really the first time I had had to wear a face mask and although there was no direct instruction that I had to wear one I felt that it was the right thing to do. I was visiting a hospital where staff are now having to wear masks and visors all day long, every day and the very least I could do was to wear mine for 20 minutes and show them some respect. And this is what this is about, it's about us all just doing whatever we can, in whatever way that maybe to help towards controlling this horrid virus.

Stay safe out there,

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Day 77

Day 77...

Today Simon and I celebrate 31 years of marriage; not that we can do much to celebrate! Instead we have spent the day in our respective work modes which for me mainly involved responding to emails and collating some paperwork together ready for a meeting I have scheduled for tomorrow with my deputy manager.

Just after lunchtime we headed out and drove the furthest we have been in the past 10 weeks as I had an appointment at hospital. This time last year I was just starting my radiotherapy treatment after having had a lumpectomy for breast cancer and now I was back to have my first mammogram following the end of my treatment. See this post about my journey last year.

I should have had this mammogram back in early April but it understandably got postponed and then just last week I received my letter with my appointment date of today. I have to admit that although I knew exactly what was going to happen today, and the actual act of having a mammogram doesn't bother me at all, I was filled with anxiety. I think all the memories and feelings from last year resurfaced and I fear that having to wait for 2 weeks for the results is not going to be easy.

I will admit to also being a little apprehensive about attending a hospital during the current circumstances so I went with mask on and hand sanitiser in my bag. The appointment was actually at one of the main hospital satellite centres which was very quiet. I was told to only arrive within 5 minutes of my appointment time so when I got to the right department there were no other patients in sight so no sooner than I had checked in with reception I was being taken through for my mammogram. All the administration staff I saw were either wearing masks or were behind screens and the medical staff all wore masks and visors.

The nurse that carried out my mammogram actually remembered me from last year as she recognised  all my Disney tattoos (and clothes) and commented that she was one of the nurses that carried out my biopsy...she remembered that even my shoes were Disney! We had a lovely chat and spoke about the effect of COVID-19 on her job and how she had been deployed to different departments within radiology as the hospital stopped more routine work and concentrated its resources for treating COVID patients. 

Interestingly in response to my general chat about how I knew lots of people who had suffered with bad coughs and colds prior to Christmas and that 'makes you wonder' she responded by commenting that there was a thinking that something had been going around since who knows?!

After a lot of my previous treatments we had indulged in a coffee and cake on the way home but today it was straight home to a home-made coffee instead...and back to some more work! A few more emails, some more printing out and chatting with the landlord of the building that we use for our pre-school while Molly had another karate class via Zoom!

And that was today!

Take care,

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Day 76

Day 76...

So back to work today and another day of more emails, more documents to send out to staff and updates to government documents to read.

I'm also trying to figure out how many children we can allow to return safely and how we can, or cannot, group them. The guidelines for early years basically state that we should stick to small groups of children that ideally are no more than 8 but if that doesn't work for our set-up then we can have 16 in a group! Not much difference there then!

As a small, charity run, pre-school we have a lot to consider for when we re-open; we don't have our own dedicated premises and simply rent the building we use during the day and we only have access to one large room and a small outdoor space so fitting the right number of children in the allocated space safely is definitely going to be a challenge.

We took a lovely walk out at lunchtime and my left ankle only twinged once as we completed a 1.8 mile walk in 40 minutes. This afternoon was a mixture of more work, time relaxing outside, soaking up some vitamin D while I did a little reading, and then me and Molly popped over to the farm opposite us to buy some eggs.

Then this evening we had some time down 'the gym' which involved Molly trying to teach me how to punch! She had a free standing punch bag delivered yesterday which she is loving; being a black belt in kickboxing she has really missed these past few weeks not being able to kick and punch something.

I have tried holding pads for her but she is so strong there was just no way that I could hold them and endure the speed and ferocity of her power. Now she has her very own punch bag and she is in her element and I think had great pleasure in seeing how uncoordinated I am!

And that was my day today, the news would appear to be as bleak as ever and I fear that we are getting too accustomed to it. We are still recording deaths in the hundreds and so I am still somewhat confused as to why we are easing a lockdown when we have death rates comparable to when we went into the lockdown. And when you hear reports that the government will be stopping their weekend updates because the 'viewing figures are low'...what?!! This is not some sort of popularity contest! This is about keeping in touch with the public and sharing honest and important updates!! I give up!

Oh well onto tomorrow we go.

Take care,

Monday, 1 June 2020

Day 75

Day 75...

Well today has been another relatively quiet day at home...obviously!

The morning was spent catching up with some house chores and then helping Molly do some research for her business venture, Shutter Studios. She is hoping to get some of her designs created as prints along with a few other ideas.

Simon has spent most of the day sanding as he had a stack of 3D printed parts for the R2D2 and mouse droid he is currently building to work through.

We did manage a walk out early afternoon and managed just under 3 miles in about an hour. I had hoped to do one of our longer walks today but unfortunately I have managed to hurt my left ankle. Yesterday on our walk I climbed over a stile and as I stepped down with my left foot first I either came down a little heavy or landed on some uneven ground and although it hurt when I did it I was able to still walk okay but by yesterday evening it was feeling sore. So as it was still a little sore this morning I decided to use a support bandage and to keep to a shorted walk and one where we had less uneven ground to walk over.

While Simon carried on with more sanding this afternoon I took some time to get a little more reading done and made some more progress through Ted Naiman's The P:E Diet while sat outside soaking up some more vitamin D.

So all in all a very chilled out day before we go 'back to work' tomorrow. I have been watching the news and keeping up with all the talk about more children going back to school and how this lockdown is gradually easing and I have to admit I am still at a loss as to why any of that is happening. We still have thousands of new cases per day and hundreds of deaths so why should we now all go to our local outdoor market, or queue for miles to get into an Ikea, or meet up with friends who we have to stay 2 metres apart from? I just don't get it!

We have seen the photos of packed beaches, heard the reports of groups of people gathering who very evidently are not from the same household and are all sat too close together along with stories of full car parks at beauty spots being left with trash everywhere and I just don't understand the mentality. The virus is still here, we have no real treatment and we have no vaccine but all of a sudden we just go to the beach?!! Well I am staying put, I will do my bit and just hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I fear we are in a rather long and dark tunnel.

Take care,

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Day 74

Day 74...

Well after days of battling the new style blogger I have managed to start today's blog with out any problems - get me!

Another very relaxed and slow start to the day was followed by me and Molly heading off to our supermarket of choice to collect our grocery order. Yet again we arrived and saw the same store colleague we see each week and before we had even got out of the car Marky Mark had brought our shopping to us. Quick load up of the car and then home to do the standard unpack, wipe down, wash veggies and fruit and get rid of as much packaging as we possibly could.

Simon's hayfever was playing up quite a lot today so we took a short time out to stay inside in the cool to let his sneezing settle down and watch the last episode of Star Wars:The Clone Wars which was amazing. This has been such a fabulous series and these last few episodes have been fantastic to watch and have linked in with the live action movies so well, filling in some missing gaps along the way. For an animated series it has captured the essence of Star Wars completely and had us both on the edge of our seats and it even brought a tear to my eyes! The creative power of Dave Filoni is astounding, he has so much respect for, and knowledge of, the Star Wars franchise and has done a great job in creating something that feels so right and sits so perfectly within the story line. He should be given the creative reins of this franchise because everything he has created so far has been brilliant...Oh and I've met him and he was a thoroughly nice chap who took the time to chat with a crazy lady who had mouse ears on her Mandalorian cosplay. (I may have mentioned this once or twice before, check out Wow What a Weekend and My Disney Sleeve)

We then took a walk out over the fields walking just over 3 miles in a little over an hour. Another beautiful day and we encountered very few people, and everyone we did kept to the appropriate social distance and was polite and friendly.

Once we were back home we enjoyed a coffee (with Kahlua) sat on the patio before I joined my fellow Disney Dream Girl, Michelle and some of our listeners for a Disney quiz via Zoom. I had the pleasure of setting some of the questions and I think I may have made them a little hard...never realised choosing questions for a quiz could be so tricky! Although me and Molly had great fun setting them and then later tonight we carried on playing our own 'guess the song from the lyrics' game with me as quiz master trying to pick the most obscure songs going!

It has been lovely today to have things to do that have distracted from the news. To see photos of hundreds of people gathering on beaches and at parks and beauty spots is, to me, quite horrifying. There appears to be little regard for social distancing and goodness knows what the impact of that may be in a couple of weeks time. Our country is supposed to be easing things as from tomorrow but from the photos it would appear that it's already started! But when we have scientists struggling to agree on the best strategy and a lot arguing for a much slower and gradual approach we can only wait and see and hope that we somehow avoid a second spike...but I'm not convinced.

Enjoy the sunshine but take care, stay safe.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Day 73

Day 73...

Well yet again I battled with blogger for about 5 minutes trying to get my little cartoon image to appear on the page where I wanted it. Think I may have figured it out though as when adding the picture it seems to add a hyperlink at the same time...removed the hyperlink and all seems fine...get me with figuring out this technology thing!

I must give a shout out to Simon for designing all the graphics that I use on this site, from the header to various icon images that have been designed to tie into whatever the theme of the post.

After a slow start to the day we kind of pottered about the house. Simon had more work to do on his droid projects and a massive 24 hour 3D print just finished this morning. I was sorting out some paperwork that had arrived yesterday and then updating my grocery shop for collection tomorrow.

It was one of Molly's best friends birthdays today so we popped out to drop off presents and a card; we spent a little while chatting out on the street while maintaining social distancing at all times. And while it was lovely to chat with people we haven't seen in ages we all expressed our concern at the way the UK is handling this pandemic and we were all convinced that lockdown seems to be easing rather quick and there is going to be a 'second wave'.

It all feels very doom and gloom at the moment. The government announcement today was all about getting professional sports up and running again but behind closed doors. Now I am not a big sports fan so this meant nothing to me but as Molly quite rightly pointed out they are happy to let players, managers and support staff all mingle in close proximity to each other but us, the general public, can only meet up to 6 other people...outside...keeping 2 metres apart...not sharing any utensils and if you have to use someone else's bathroom facilities then you literally 'enter at your own risk'.

I have a daughter who has not seen her boyfriend in about 12 weeks now, and I know she is not alone, so announcing footballers can see and touch each other really is a kick in the teeth. Her fella's phone has started playing up today and I can see how stressed she is because that's their only mode of communicating, they 'text' all the time and 'face time' every day. He lives 200 miles away so they can't even meet up to be distanced from each other - this sucks big time.

It has been another glorious day today and that will have encouraged people to go off to the parks and the beaches and social distancing will not have been obeyed and where will that leave us all? Do we end up with a second wave hitting us in a couple of weeks and be forced back into lock down? Will people follow a second lockdown if that does happen? Would it still not be better to knuckle down now, keep the lockdown going for a little while longer to get topside of this thing? Give chance for the R rate to drop lower before we start opening up again?

Maybe my brain is too simplistic - stick it out a little longer, get the R rate lower and then ease out of it. Perhaps I am not aware of some vital piece of information that makes coming out of lockdown okay. Maybe the government need to be open and honest and transparent about what is happening and perhaps admit that one of their own messed up big time, that he should be fired and then we can all focus on what's important...saving lives...rather than trying to distract everyone from a story they want to go away and won't. We have as many people dying today as when we went into lockdown on 23rd March - so what's changed? What is different now that says a lockdown is not needed as much?

I maybe being a little flippant with all of this but the messages coming out of the government are not clear and concise they are a bit grey and woolly and widely open to interpretation and abuse. Fingers crossed I am wrong in all of this but I fear I am not.

Please take care, stay safe

Friday, 29 May 2020

Day 72

Day 72...

Well would you believe it yesterday I started the day battling with blogger to get my little icon image where I wanted it on the page and couldn't do what I wanted. So this morning I decided placing my image to the left would be the new look but no blogger wouldn't let me do that...but it would let me place the image to the right where I wanted it yesterday - ARGH!!

Today has been yet another heavy work day; I have refined our new 'epidemic and pandemic' policy; I have cross referenced the policy and risk assessment to make sure I've not missed anything; I have wrote a 'parental agreement' as well as an addendum to staffs contracts as well as dealing with emails and ordering some more essential supplies for when we do re-open.

We took our usual walk out at lunchtime and enjoyed yet another lovely warm and sunny day. Then later on this afternoon I spent an hour or so chatting and recording with my lovely friend and fellow Disney Dream Girl, Michelle. We spoke about the cancelling of various Disney trips that Michelle has had to very sadly make as well as the proposed opening of Walt Disney World and asking when we thought we would be likely to return. I had hoped to be there sometime this year but this will not now be happening, I can't see us returning until the world is back to something like the old normal. There are lots of restrictions being put in place at the minute, experiences being cancelled, systems being changed and lots more and I'm just not convinced that it will be the same sort of experience. Especially not for us Brits who have an awful long way to travel that can be rather expensive!

I must admit to feeling quite despondent today and a little overwhelmed. I feel like I am in a no win situation with work as whether or not I personally think we should be opening I still have to make a decision that will affect my staff and the families that we support. The message from the government is schools should be reopening so parents will be expecting us to do just that, but what if it's not the right time? What if by opening we have an outbreak? Do I want to risk my staff, and their families, getting ill? Do I want to risk the children and the families that come to our pre-school getting ill? Do I want to bring the virus home and infect my family? Obviously the answer is no but we have a government saying 'hey let's get everywhere open' while the scientists are quietly saying 'well...err...maybe not...we might be causing more problems...there might be another spike' - so with all that I am left to make a decision that could affect 10's if not 100's of people. I don't get paid a vast amount of money, our pre-school is  a small charity organisation and so it feels really unfair the amount of pressure we are getting put under and I hate that feeling.

We had just started to get our lives back this year after years of scrapping by, years of looking after sick and elderly relatives, experiencing the death of parents and then having gone through breast cancer last year this was supposed to be the year we got to do the things we'd been putting off. I'm not feeling sorry for myself, and I know other people have had to cancel weddings and parties and more, it's just so annoying that we have all been stopped in our tracks. And more annoying that our government seems to be making such a hash of things when other countries have seemingly got things sorted. The little faith I had in the powers that be is feeling severely stretched at the moment and I don't really trust them to do anything that is in the interests of the population. And if that's the case I am really struggling to see how and when we are going to come out of all this and that is really not a pleasant thought.

Take care out there,