Sunday, 14 August 2022

Day 878

Day 878...

Today has been all about droids!

We took a drive over to Harper Adams University in Shropshire where the Droid Builders UK were holding a weekend of droid building fun. When we arrived we realised that we had been to this university once before when we cosplayed as our Mandalorians at a small comic con aimed at families with children with special educational needs. But today the focus was on droids, and as it was rather warm again today cosplaying in Mandalorian armour would not have been very pleasant.

Now Simon has built a full size R2D2 which lives in our living room, his head spins around, he lights up and makes all the appropriate beeps and boops but he does not move around by remote control. He is also rather large and will not fit in our car so he had to stay at home but we were able to take Simon's MSE (mouse) droid with us instead.

When we arrived and got checked in we were given special event lanyards and welcomed into the fold. Everyone was so lovely and welcoming and happy to chat all things droids.
For Simon he was actually able to meet people in person who up to this point he had only ever spoken with over forums. It was a great atmosphere of sharing stories, tips, build journeys and asking questions...oh and of course there were droids!

After a lovely few hours it was time to head home. This was the first time in a while that we'd attempted a longer car journey and weren't sure whether we would need to re-charge on the way home. But thankfully, and probably due to the warm weather and using 'eco' mode, we managed both journeys and still had 55 miles left in the 'tank'! We are still getting used to the electric car and these longer journeys but this does bode well for when I get tattooed next month as I will need to travel a similar sort of distance!

And I think that is where I will leave it for today, see you tomorrow.

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Day 877

Day 877...

This morning we were up at our normal time as we had promised to play taxi service for Ethan. He had a day out planned with his work at a local paintball centre and he needed to be in Nottingham for 8.45am as they had arranged transport to get everyone to and from the centre.

Once we'd dropped Ethan off we decided that this mornings 'early morning walk' would be an urban one as we set off around Nottingham city centre. We quickly completed 2.4 miles in 43 minutes and ended up at our favourite Caffe Nero for a coffee.

Before we headed for home we had a quick stop by Primark because it would have been rude not to. And whilst there were a couple of Disney items that I was drawn to I decided not to bother as I wasn't 100% sold on them. We also nipped into Holland & Barret, the health food shop, as we wanted to pick up some Konjac noodles; these are low carb noodles, in fact they have zero carbs in them. We'd tried them last week and were pleasantly surprised by them and decided to get a few packets in. It's not something that I would tend to go for but I know that Ethan misses not having noodles or rice when I make a stir-fry so these are a good alternative for us.

Back home and Simon spent a few hours on and off throughout the day getting on with some work. This is not something that he would ordinarily do at a weekend but as they have a deadline fast approaching ahead of  'Gamescom' in Germany towards the end of the month he wanted to put in a few extra hours today. He'd expected his other team mates to also be online but no-one else appeared to be, but as we have a day out planned for tomorrow Simon wanted to get his extra hours done today.

I managed to complete my latest jigsaw and would you believe it I was a piece missing; that is two jigsaws that I have completed one after the other with missing pieces - how weird? 

Missing piece??
Now whether those pieces are hiding somewhere in the living room having got disturbed by having windows open and draughts coming through I don't know - only time will tell I suppose.

I have also been doing a little online searching for a hotel near Molly so that we can visit in a few weeks time. We have a hotel that we have used the last few times and I was hoping to find somewhere different but after searching I was back to our 'usual'. Not only was the cost either comparable or cheaper than others I looked at but it also has free electric vehicle charging points which obviously are a must for us.

It was then time to go and collect a very red, sweaty and knackered Ethan from Nottingham following his day paintballing. Now Ethan is not the most active of people and I think he will be feeling todays efforts for the next few days to come!

Simon has also been working on his next 3D print that will actually be something that we can both appreciate and will be something that we will display in our new study/craft room...I will reveal more as things progress. Suffice to say it's a decent size and at the moment is predicted to take over three and a half days and one kilo of filament!

And with that I think I will stop for the day as I am very hot and sweaty and need to cool down, have some food and watch some RuPauls Drag Race.

See you all tomorrow.

Friday, 12 August 2022

Day 876

Day 876...

We have had yet another glorious day with clear blue skies, sunshine and high temperatures. Whilst we started our day with a walk it was a little different to normal. We set off later than normal as about half way round Simon and I parted ways...Simon headed off home while I continued on. My destination was a local cafe called 'The Cowshed' so that I could meet up with a friend for coffee.

The walk over was 2.6 miles which I completed in 49 minutes, while the walk back was a little shorter at 2.3 miles in 42 minutes. It was lovely to catch-up over coffee and lovely to be blessed with such a beautiful day although by the time I got home just before lunch I was rather sweaty to say the least!!

A few photos from my walk this morning...

And of course had to get one of the Alpacas....

I arrived home to a couple of parcels...

Not only had the Funko Stitch arrived so that I now have a complete set of the Funko PeopleMover figures...

...but we also received our new Kindle Paperwhite along with a wireless charging dock and case. Consequently this afternoon I took a little time to set everything up which was super easy as I just had to login to the Kindle app on my phone and hey presto everything synced up and it was ready to use.

Mid-afternoon my very good friend, and podcast co-host, Michelle stopped by for a cuppa on her journey down South. She was making her way to her hotel for the evening before she embarks on her journey tomorrow to Orlando, Florida. Yep Michelle is going to Walt Disney World and she also has a Disney cruise booked to round out her vacation. Although things are proving a little stressful as the airline has decided to move her and her friends seats around so they are no longer sitting together despite having paid extra to reserve their seats. Plus she also had to upload proof of her vaccination to the Disney Cruise Line as they will only allow fully vaccinated guests to board providing they have also tested negative 48 hours prior to boarding. This is another level of stress for Michelle as she has to figure out how to get tested and get the test uploaded prior to her cruise while being in a foreign country who follow different rules and protocols to us in the UK.

I really do think it is time that we drop all these silly rules that are still in place for a virus that is now no worse than the flu and is endemic within society. We need to get some common sense and go back to how things were before and adopt a sensible approach...if you are ill stay home - simples! This is how it should have always been and for the majority of people it was. There is no point making yourself do something or go somewhere when you are feeling rough...take the time off, rest and you will be back on your feet ten times quicker than if you soldier on as you will then find yourself in a worse state.

What we need to be doing is educating people about looking after themselves, getting them to be as healthy as they can possibly be so that if a cold or a flu does come along they are in their best shape to deal with it. Unfortunately the cynic in me says that is not a profitable approach. If people eat well and exercise well then how will big food make their profits and if people are fit and healthy then how do big pharma get rich? So in turn why should those of us that do the best we can with our diet and fitness be penalised because the majority choose not to?

And in my attempt to look after myself we finished the day with a gym workout and although it was still very hot there was actually quite a nice breeze and so most of my workout was done outside. Tonight I was concentrating on arms and shoulders.

See you all tomorrow.

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Day 875

Day 875...

Thursday started as our mornings do with an early morning walk, we had 1.9 miles completed in just over 35 minutes and were back home before 8.45am. It was yet another beautiful start to the day and the sun was already feeling pretty hot.

But before the day reached its hottest temperatures I had a couple of jobs that I wanted to get done. First it was down to Lidl for a few bits and pieces; I was very excited to see a range of Japanese influenced products in the freezer section and just had to pick up some lemon & ginger ice-cream. Ethan is a big fan of Japanese foods so I can see me making a special trip down to try a few things.

Back home and it was laundry and ironing time before things got too warm. Whilst it is great to take advantage of the lovely weather for drying the laundry ironing is not so much fun! But it didn't take me long and so I was able to sit outside, in the shade, with a coffee and my Low Carb, High Fat Food Revolution book that I am re-reading at the moment.

Just before lunch I had a delivery...I thought I would treat myself to a few Funko Pop Vinyl figures because they were on offer and just way too adorable not to.

These have been released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World and involve one of my most favourite rides; the PeopleMover or to give it it's full (current) title, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. There is a fourth in the set with Stitch in a carriage and this has proven a little harder to come by, especially at a reasonable price. But at lunchtime Simon decided to order one for me from Amazon even though it was a tad more expensive than it should really have been. Posting about the set on the Disney Dream Girls Family page on Facebook one of our members explained that the Stitch version had been exclusive to the Funko store and that was probably why it had been tricky to track down.

After lunch I had an online doctors appointment. This was a follow-up to see if there was anything that could be done to help with some of my menopause symptoms. Unfortunately because I've had breast cancer I'm unable to take the standard HRT drugs but we had tried another type that is actually for blood pressure but has been shown to help some women...but not me.

About ten days ago after suffering from some side effects associated with the medication I decided to stop taking them and over the course of the last few days things seem to be a bit better. Now since my last check-in with the doc I have started having cold showers (now at 3 minutes at least once a day), I've increased my twice (sometimes three) workouts a week up to five and I have stopped drinking red wine (which has been the hardest thing and I only used to have a small glass each evening!). Simon and I are also getting out most days for a minimum of a two mile walk and are using that time to chat and connect should we feel the need to. It is also now two and a half months since I retired and I think that is having a more profound effect on me than I perhaps always credit. I think not having the stresses of work and all the noise that goes along with it has given me the space, mentally, to be better able to cope with things. Which in turn means that the menopause symptoms that I have been experiencing have been easier to cope with, and haven't felt as all consuming as they have in the past.

One thing the doc did recommend was to check my calcium intake level as one of the problems for women having gone through the menopause is the risk of Osteoporosis. I am hoping that my low carb way of eating along with getting plenty of exercise with a focus on weight training will all go towards healthy muscles to help protect my bones and my balance. But taking a supplement to boost those levels is not something that I mind doing so I did manage to find some online and get them ordered.

A little later than normal Simon and I decided to get our fourth workout of the week done. Simon was on the exercise bike while I was focused on body weight exercises and those targeting my abs.

Simon then played taxi service for Ethan as he'd been to the pub after work and the first bus back's route finished in the town next to where we are, so a couple of miles away. So we said we would pick him up rather than waiting for the later bus that would bring him all the way home.

And that was Thursday, see you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Day 874

Day 874...

We have had another rather warm and toasty day again today but we still managed our now regular early morning walk of 1.9 miles in 36 minutes. Absolutely loving this way to start the day even if there are a couple of nasty hills that I really wish weren't there!

And with a mad rush of blood to the head I decided to do some gardening, anyone who knows me will know that this is not my thing. I know next to almost nothing about gardening except trying to keep what we have relatively tidy. So before the day got too hot I spent some time cutting back a couple of bushes and trees that were starting to get a little wild. I discovered why I don't do gardening...look at my arm...

I thought I'd best take things a little easier and stop for a while with a coffee in the be fair although my arm flared up it wasn't sore or itchy and within an hour it had vanished. But I did take a coffee break and used it as an excuse for a little more reading...I'd forgotten what an easy and interesting read this book is...

Anyone interested in being healthy and getting rid of any excess pounds should give this book a read. 

I then stopped by my dads house to check on any mail and make sure everything there was okay. There were two pieces of mail both from organisations that I had contacted back in March when Dad had passed away asking for information about the occupancy at the they not check their records?

Just before lunch I took a little time to get a bit more of my jigsaw done, taking advantage of the room where it lives being in shade and relatively cool compared to else where.

My afternoon has then been an afternoon of being sat at the laptop. I had the letters from my Dads to respond to which didn't take too long but then I needed to chat with Amazon! We wanted to buy a new Kindle and were taking advantage of their trade-in deal; £15 gift card plus 20% off a new device. But we had to return the old Kindle first before we could buy the new one which we had dutifully done over a week ago. We could see from the online tracking that the old device had been delivered to Amazon but they had done nothing with it for a week.

So it was time to figure out what was happening. I finally found the online chat option and managed to 'chat' with an actual person. I was told that they were experiencing some delays due to the knock-on effect of their recent Amazon Prime Day but that if we hadn't heard from them by the 17th to get in touch again and they would process it manually. Not sure why they couldn't process it manually today but at least I'd got an answer.

About half an hour later we received an email from Amazon to say that they'd accepted the old Kindle, applied the gift card to the account and that the discount would be applied automatically on check-out. Call me cynical but how coincidental was that email?! Anyway I went to order my new Kindle but when I got to the check-out there was no discount...then ensued a very frustrated me trying to figure out how to get the discount applied. Eventually I discovered that the discount only applied to a Kindle on its own and not when buying a bundle with a case and a charging dock which is what I was trying to do. It was so annoying that despite going back over their email and following various different links and being told that discounts were applied to 'qualifying' products I could find no information about what that actually meant. Argh! But in the end I managed to order the Kindle, the case and the charging dock and get the 20% discount and use the £15 gift card...phew!

At the end of the day, and despite the heat, Simon and I headed down our gym. I was trying a few more new exercises that today targeted arms and shoulders. I'm really starting to develop a new set of exercises and am liking this new approach to my workouts.

With that I will see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Day 873

Day 873...

And with Simon back at work today we had our usual 1.9 mile early morning walk in just 36 minutes and it was another glorious start to the day.

My day has been relatively quiet and has been a simple sort of day. I had a quick Lidl shop to do as we needed fresh salad and a few other bits. It is so handy having a Lidl just a few minutes car drive away and I am finding that without being at work it is much easier to change the way I shop. I am no longer tied to a weekly shop where I try to get everything at once from one place but can now shop when needed and when I feel in the mood to! 

I made a point of sitting outside with my coffee to soak up some sunshine before it got too hot and I have started to re-read one of my low carb books. It's called 'Low Carb, High Fat Food Revolution' and it's an easy and informative read to understand how we got to where we are today and what we can all do to make ourselves healthier and slimmer too.

And while the day was a little cooler, and the sun had not yet reached the window where my jigsaw resides in front of, I decided to take a few minutes before lunch to get some pieces into place. 

Our lunch was a little later today as Simon is very busy with work. They have a deadline looming and so it's a case of everyone working as many hours as they can over the next few weeks. This does mean that our plans for this coming weekend may not happen and at the most optimistic are 'on hold'.

Over the course of the afternoon I was able to get a little cleaning done, a few more jigsaw pieces moved around and some online searching for canisters for storing our tea & coffee. An easy task you would think but who knew it could be so boring and that there would be so little choice! I had to walk away as my eyes were beginning to cross and so instead I headed down the gym!

My workout tonight was focused on mainly abs with a few squats thrown in, but it was a rather sweaty session and a shower was very much needed at the end of it. Although I am quite pleased to report that I had my second three minute cold shower of the day!

And with that I shall see you tomorrow.

Monday, 8 August 2022

Day 872

Day 872...

Monday has rolled around and it was a beautiful morning with clear blue skies and warm sunshine as we set off on our early morning walk armed with a Tupperware tub! Yep you read that correctly as today we were on a mission to pick some blackberries. We took a steady one hour and seven minutes to complete 3.4 miles and by the end we had a tub full with berries.

While I got myself ready for going out Simon was able to apply some varnish to the 3D printed pieces that he'd airbrushed yesterday. He's also done a little more work on a model that he's currently building as well.

We then jumped in the car and headed just a few miles up the motorway to the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet mall. It had been a while since we'd last visited here and we just thought it would be somewhere different to have a look around with no specific reason for going.

Because we have now adopted an intermittent fasting approach to our meals we no longer eat first thing in a morning instead we have our first meal of the day around a traditional lunch time of the day. So as that time of day approached we decided to 'break our fast' with burgers! One benefit of eating low carb/keto for these past 8 years is that we have moved away from the traditional breakfast type foods and therefore making our first meal of the day burgers is perfect for us and Five Guys is great for anyone who eats like we do. We were able to order bacon cheeseburgers with whatever toppings we wanted (I go simple with mushrooms, green peppers and mayo) but without the bun. You can opt to have your burger in a lettuce 'bun' or, like us, simply in a tray. Great way to break our fast and this was followed by a 200 Degrees coffee, which is always a great cup of coffee.

On our wander around we decided to pick up a pair of Converse Hi-tops for Ethan as he'd mentioned getting a pair and these were too good a price to pass up. We also came away with some bargains from Superdry as not only were all their prices discounted to 'outlet' prices but they had another 20% off on top. This meant we came away with three t-shirts for Ethan and a pair of short denim dungarees for me all for under £50! 

Back home and we decided to make the most of the remainder of the afternoon by 'going down our gym' and throwing some weights around. Simon is making great progress at getting back to where he was before he broke his wrist and was able to lift some heavier weights again today. He even had me proper bench pressing at one point and I was quite pleased that after a first set of just the bar I was able to add 5kg to it and complete a full set of 10 with relative ease. I might need to keep at this one and see just what I can manage, I might surprise myself!

And then to finish out the day I managed my first three minute cold shower!!

See you all tomorrow.