Sunday, 7 August 2022

Day 869, 870 & 871

Day 869...Friday

This morning started with an increase to my cold shower so I am now at two minutes and forty five seconds! Still got a little way to go to match Simon's four minutes but not doing too bad.

My phone weather app was telling me there was a 74% chance of rain but the skies were blue so we went out on our early morning walk armed with the umbrella just in case...did we need it? Nope!Anyways we did our usual 1.9 miles in another quick 36 minutes and stayed dry all the way round.

My morning was spent catching up on a few odd jobs and having a bit of a clean through before stopping to have a little jigsaw time. Ordinarily I would leave my jigsaw until the afternoon but as it sits in front of some french doors and is in direct sunlight during the mid to late afternoon it can get a tad hot. So today I thought I'd take advantage of the shade and get a few pieces moved around before lunch.

I tried numerous times throughout the day to sit outside and soak up some vitamin D but failed as it decided to rain each time I poked my head out the door, despite my wonderful weather app telling me there was zero percent chance of rain! Mmm something tells me I ought not to pay much attention to this app!

One of the tasks that I have set myself is to go through all the bits and pieces at my mum and dads house and figure out what to do with it all. Myself and my brother have gone through everything and taken anything that meant something to us or could be useful and our kids have done the same. But now we are left with a lot of items that are simply too good to throw away and need to go where they will be appreciated. So this afternoon I made a start...a little start! To be honest I've been putting it off because it feels like such a monumental task and I haven't had the willpower to simply just start but I need to man up and get on with it.

So this afternoon I started with something small; some jewellery. I wanted to go through all the bits that we have and figure out what we actually have and what to do with it. I've decided to keep my mum's engagement and eternity rings although I'm not sure if I'll ever wear them. The engagement ring is quite thin and has some stones missing so would need some restoration work doing to it before it could be worn but I have always loved this ring and am just happy to be able to have it. The other pieces that we have could possibly have belonged to my grandparents as I don't remember seeing them at all but I simply don't know. I think I will be taking them to a local jeweller to get them appraised and see where we go from there.

One item that I'd brought home from my dads house was a christening gown that appeared to be in too good a condition to have been mine but as my brother was christened in hospital not long after he'd been born (he was in an incubator for a few weeks and things were a bit touch and go!) it made sense that it would be mine. So I did a little investigation by looking through some old photo albums, and sure enough found photographs of my christening in early 1968! And I am pretty sure that yes the christening gown we have found is mine! It has a label that is definitely from that time but it's condition is amazing, in fact it looks like new.

The day was rounded out with our third weights workout of the week and today I was focused on arms and shoulders. Really happy with how my workouts are going at the moment as having found some new moves online it seems to have reinvigorated my attitude towards exercise. 

Day 870...Saturday

This morning was a change to our routine as after we'd had a coffee we headed into Derby. It was really nice to actually dress a bit smarter for a change (tend to be a shorts and t-shirt kind of girl) and I was more than a little happy that the denim dress I chose to wear felt like it fitted me much better than it did this time last year so I must be doing something right.

Once in Derby I wanted to pop into Next to see if they had some shorts I've been after; I bought a pair online a few weeks back and decided that a second pair was needed. However they are no longer in stock online and when we visited Nottingham on Monday their store didn't have any and today Derby was no better! Wish I'd ordered a second pair straight away now!

We then went in search of coffee before heading off for a wander around the city centre. It is so sad to see so many shops empty but thankfully the one shop we did want to pop into was still open; Warhammer! Purely for Simon as he needed some model paints for finishing off a couple of prop making endeavours he has on the go at the moment. On our way back to the car we had the obligatory stop by Primark but unfortunately there was nothing that caught my eye.

On the way home we stopped by a DIY store to purchase a piece of furniture panel that we could make into shelves for the cupboards we have built upstairs in our new study/craft room. We had taken measurements before we had left home this morning so knew that the piece of panel whilst big enough to make the shelves that we needed would be too big to fit in the car. So we had come armed with a tape measure, a couple of saws and our calculations of where we needed to cut it! So using a couple of large trolleys as a bench we were able to take a 2.39 metre piece and cut it in half so that it fit perfectly in the car and knowing that each half would make two shelves of differing sizes!

After a spot of lunch we then spent the afternoon spent cutting the wood panel to the correct size for the four shelves that we needed. Although the units we'd bought were Ikea they didn't sell extra shelves hence why we were having to make our own. When we'd looked at the panel online we knew that it wouldn't be quite as deep as the shelves we already had but it was the best sizing that we'd been able to find. But when Simon started to measure up we found out that the piece we'd picked up was actually deeper than the one we'd seen online and in fact deeper than the existing shelves! So although this did involve extra cutting for Simon it did mean that by the time we'd finished we had four new shelves that matched perfectly to the existing ones - win!

The last job was to iron on the white trim to cover up the bare wood edges and while the edges were 'setting' we nipped out to Lidl for some salad stuff. Back home and all the edges were set and just needed a quick tidy up by Simon. 

The one thing we hadn't picked up when we bought the wood panel were shelf pegs but that was probably a good thing because when we went to order some online we realised that the holes we have were slightly smaller than the standard. But by the power of Amazon we were able to order enough pegs to be delivered tomorrow.

Day 871...Sunday

Today we had a gentle start to the day and with a coffee inside us we headed out for a not quite so early morning walk. We had a lovely 3.5 mile walk in gorgeous weather in one hour and 7 minutes, although this did involve some blackberry picking along the way! 

Our first job of the day was to swap over some light fittings. We had a couple of wall lights that we had bought when we moved into our first house and that had come with us when we moved here a lot of years ago. Suffice to say these lights were showing their age by rocking an eighties vibe pretty well! After taking them down Simon need to fill a few holes before we could put up the new fixtures, so while the filler harden we had some lunch. It was then a simple job of putting up the new brackets and installing the new much simpler sconces.

By mid-afternoon the shelf pegs had arrived so we were able to see if all our hard work from yesterday paid off and thankfully we were able to install all four shelves with relative ease. We now have three cupboards with extra shelf space which is great as Simon is now able to store all his art materials in a much better way to keep all the paper and card flat and clean.

Simon has also been able to spend a little time cleaning up some model parts as well as airbrushing his latest R2D2 3D printed pieces. He was even able to get a little more paint applied to the interior of R2's doors as he puts those final finishing touches in place.

I've been able to catch up with writing this blog and then at 6pm I was able to hook up via Zoom for one of our  Disney Dream Girls Sunday Disney Quizzes! And I think I won which means that I'm going to have to write the next set of questions although our next quiz won't now be until the end of September!

And with that I think I will stop typing and see you all tomorrow.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Day 867 & Day 868

Day 867...Wednesday

And the day started with another two minute and thirty second cold shower followed by our early morning walk of 1.9 miles in 36 minutes. The clouds were rather grey but there was a hint that the sun was trying to get out and my weather app told me that there was only a 13% chance of rain...suffice to say we experienced the 13%. Just as we stepped out the door it began to rain so I quickly grabbed my lightweight rain coat and Simon grabbed the umbrella. Thankfully within about ten minutes the rain had stopped and although it was a little cooler than yesterday it was actually lovely and refreshing.

First job of the day was to head out to Lidl for a little catch-up shop, all those fresh things to keep us going over the next few days.

Once back home I had a relatively quiet day. I had a few odd jobs around the house to do, a little laptop work and a little internet distraction! I have been eyeing up some Funko Pop Vinyl figures that I had seen in Forbidden Planet in Nottingham and thought I would look online to compare prices. Now I'm not normally a Funko collector, we have a few odd ones that have been received as gifts but this particular set had caught my eye. It's a set to mark the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World and involves one of my all time favourite attractions; the People Mover. There are four in the set and they feature Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Stitch each sat in their own People Mover carriage. Although it looks like the Stitch one maybe a little hard to find at a reasonable price but I think the other three should be quite reasonable. I am still in two minds but they would go rather lovely in our new study/craft room!

Mid-afternoon I hooked up with my good friend, and podcast co-host, Michelle to record an episode of the Disney Dream Girls podcast. We chatted about the new Magic Band + that has just been released in Walt Disney World as well as looking at the Halloween foodie offerings. Would you believe that Halloween starts mid-August in Walt Disney World and as Michelle will be visiting in a few days time she has booked an evening at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! While it's great that more people can get to experience Halloween Disney style I still think August is just a tad early!

I was able to make a little more progress on my latest jigsaw before we headed down our gym. This was our second weights workout of the week and it was another warm and muggy evening that just seemed to sap the strength out of you. In fact I did most of my exercises outside of the garage in attempt to feel a little cooler although it didn't give me any extra energy!

Although my second cold shower of two minutes and thirty seconds was actually quite pleasant!

Day 868...Thursday

It was a lovely morning with blue skies and clear views for miles around as we completed our usual walk of 1.9 miles in a sprightly 36 minutes, our pace has definitely improved over the last few walks.

I wasn't really sure what I had planned today but knew that I had a couple of boring online jobs so got them out of the way first thing. It was then onto the ever so exciting (sarcasm here!) ironing before I decided to defrost the freezer! I know I am just living the dream! 

Although defrosting the freezer would have been easier if I'd actually switched it off. To be fair I thought I had as we have a plug that is clearly marked 'Fridge' (it's a combined fridge and freezer) and I dutifully switched it off. What I didn't do was actually check to see if it had actually switched off, it was only part way through defrosting that I heard a noise from the fridge, opened the door and saw that the light came on. I then looked at the oven which is plugged into the same socket as the fridge and lo and behold that was off! So somehow or other we have managed to label up the wrong plug. I did start to make a little more progress with it switched off and Simon lent me his heat gun to help speed things up! But as it had been quite some time since it was last defrosted I didn't manage to get it as fully defrosted as I would have liked but as it had taken up most of the morning I decided to call it a day and attempt the remainder another day.

After a spot of lunch it was time to catch up on a few more jobs. All not very exciting just those need to get done things. I spent a few minutes chatting with one of my elderly neighbours who is a 'tour de force'. She is in her very late eighties and lives alone having been widowed 28 years ago but she is active and gets herself out and about in her car and shows no sign of letting up. She is a gleaming example of how to embrace life and carry on whatever is thrown your way.

I did manage a little more jigsaw today and was able to grab a little time outside in the sunshine with a coffee before rounding the day out with another session down our gym. Tonight it was body weight exercises with a focus on legs and tummy!

Well, I best sign off and see you all tomorrow.

p.s. I even managed to get those Funko figures ordered...well all but the Stitch one so I now have a mission to track one down.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Day 865 & Day 866

Day 865...Monday

Our day started off as normal with our early morning walk and because neither of us are working on a Monday we took a slightly longer 2.4 miles in 46 minutes. It was a lovely start to the day and along our way we even managed to stop and pick some blackberries, as the fields where we walk seem inundated with bushes.

After our walk we were straight back out the door to go and collect the grocery shop. I am trying to keep this bigger shop to once every two weeks or more and use it to stock up on the bulkier items so that in between I can take advantage of my local Lidl for better prices and better quality fresh food.

With all the shopping organised and put away we opted for an early lunch/late breakfast before heading off into Nottingham for the afternoon. This past weekend had not been one of my better ones; my mood was off and I just generally didn't know what to do with myself and so we decided that today we needed to get out of the house for a few hours.

And it was the best thing that we could have done as not only did we get to have a lovely walk in the sunshine around Nottingham but we also got time to spend together. We stopped for coffee at our usual branch of Caffe Nero and the barista there always remembers us and always takes the time to chat which is lovely and as a bonus he always gives us extra 'stamps' on our loyalty app!

I think that the adjustment for me to being 'retired' is probably having a bigger effect on me than I perhaps envisioned...maybe bigger is not the right word, perhaps it should be different. Tuesday to Friday while Simon is working I find that I am occupied predominantly with jobs around the house along with some bigger tasks relating to sorting my dads house and going through both our photos and my dads to get them digitised. I also have the time to do tasks that previously would have had to have been done on an evening or at a weekend. So when we reach our three day weekend I can find myself in a bit of a quandary as to what to do with the time. I'm very aware that the weekend is 'down time' for Simon and that he has things that he wants to do because he doesn't have the time during the remainder of the week so we kind of reach an impasse. 

I want to give Simon the time to do what he wants to do but at the same time I'm unsure as to what I can be doing as I've now done all the 'stuff' during the week and for some reason even though I could carry on with certain tasks I've convinced myself those are 'week day tasks' and not for the weekend! Argh! I've been so used to the make-up of a week being split between work and down time and those lines are now blurred and getting used to that is, it would appear, having a greater impact on me than I sometimes realise.

And then throw into the mix that I am terrible at doing anything 'just for me' and always want to make sure everyone else is doing what they want that I end up either not doing anything or feeling resentful that others have things to do and I don't. Which I know is my own doing and so we go round and round in circles. So not only do I have to realise that doing things for me and me alone is perfectly okay but that everyone else will be perfectly fine!

So as you can probably gather Simon and I had some big conversations this afternoon in an effort to get me out of my own head and recognising that I can do what I want, when I want and how I want and that I am not answerable to anyone for that but me. I think there is also a pressure I perceive that everyone on hearing that I am retired expects me to have 'a plan', that I am off doing something amazing or that I must be wanting a new job or new direction. When actually at the moment all I want is to be home, spend time with Simon and enjoy not having the pressures of work...and yet I somehow feel guilty for wanting those things!

Anyway after a few hours drinking coffee and poking around shops, with nothing bought,we headed home. 

Today I finally received a letter from the solicitors advising that probate has been granted following my dads death and that we can start to move forward on settling the estate. We still have the house to sell but there are other items that can now be distributed. Although it does make me laugh that the solicitors still insist on using typed letters and the postal system when surely email would speed up the whole process. I make a point of always responding to a letter by email! And don't get me started on their apparent reluctance to use bank transfers as a means of moving money around as they prefer to use cheques!! Really?!!

And although it was a little late in the day we decided to have a gym session...we said we would just have a short thirty minutes or hour later we were done! While Simon took the opportunity of being in the garage to take his most recent 3D prints and fill where needed (stinky process involving car body filler!) I grabbed a shower and managed my second two minute cold shower of the day. I then re-set my timer so that tomorrow I'll be on two minutes and thirty seconds.

Day 866

Well the morning was grey but warm and we headed out for our early morning walk of 1.9 miles in 37 minutes, although we did get a little wet about half way round. Despite the weather app on my phone saying there was only a 12% chance of rain we got rained on, and at one point it started to come down quite heavy but we had no umbrella with us and no rain coats. Thankfully it only lasted a few minutes before it eased and stopped completely and by the time we got home our clothes were dry.

My day today has been one of getting a few jobs done around the house; laundry, cleaning, emails etc. We are trading in our old Kindle for a newer version and have taken advantage of Amazon's trade in offerings and so today I was able to package up the old one and drop it off at a UPS collection point. Not only will we get a little cash for the old one but we will also get 20% off a new one - win, win! 

I've also done a little internet surfing ahead of podcast recording tomorrow as I think Michelle and I will be looking forward to some Halloween themed foodie treats coming to Walt Disney World. And as they start their Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties in mid-August those items will be available rather soon and if you ask me a little too early for celebrating Halloween!

Towards the end of the afternoon I found a little time to make a start on sorting pieces for my latest jigsaw before I headed down the gym for another workout. A gentler workout this evening with the focus on body weight exercises and as it was quite a warm and muggy evening it was about all I could manage. It did mean that a shower was necessary once I'd finished and this did mean my second cold shower of the day and my second two minutes and thirty seconds!

And with that I will see you all tomorrow.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Day 863 & 864 - Another Weekend

Day 863...

Simon was up and out early this morning for a 7.30am barbers appointment! After he arrived home we had a coffee before popping on our walking shoes and venturing out for a longer walk than normal. As it had been a bit wet overnight we kept to the pavements and headed in the direction of a local garden centre that has a lovely cafe called Piptree Cafe.

It was a 2.2 mile walk which we managed in 40 minutes and then we had the same journey home again. The day was rather grey and looked like it could rain at any minute so we went out armed with an umbrella and rain coats and needed none of them! Typical!

After a bit of brunch we had a decidedly lazy afternoon. It was raining off and on and Simon had his latest piece of digital art that he was desperate to get completed. I had a few online bits to do but then spent the remainder of my time just chilling and watching some TV and some YouTube.

After a very lovely keto dinner of black pepper chicken stir fry we settled down for the evening to watch a couple of Drag Race shows. We had the final of All Stars Season 7 which has been phenomenal to watch and in our opinion the right queen won. And then we started watching the second series of Drag Race Down Under.

Day 864...

The day started a little later than usual and after a coffee we decided that a walk was very much needed. Not sure what was up with me this morning (and the majority of the weekend if I'm honest) but I was struggling to feel motivated and actually felt quite grumpy. I'd hoped that getting out for a walk might have lifted my mood but I'm not sure it made any significant difference. 

It was another grey day following rain over night and again looked like it could rain at any moment, although it was surprisingly warm. We kept to a flatter route and tried to avoid too many wet fields but we still clocked up 3.5 miles in 1 hour and 6 minutes.

While I had the exciting task of updating our online grocery shopping ahead of collection tomorrow Simon was focused on cleaning up his recent set of 3D prints. This involves sanding the pieces to remove any lumps and bumps that shouldn't be there along with smoothing out the lines that appear with a 3D print, followed by the application of a resin filler to fill in the gaps and help create a smoother surface.

I made a start on my newest jigsaw which by the power of Amazon was ordered yesterday and had arrived by late morning. I have still not found the missing piece of my last jigsaw so have packed it away in the hope that it may show up at some point in the future. But today I was able to get the edge completed of my new Winnie the Pooh themed one...

Simon has been able to hook up a special camera to his 3D printer which means that he will be able to keep an eye on the printer from wherever he may be, which as the printer is at the opposite end of the house to where Simon normally works is going to be pretty useful. He can even control the printer from the app that runs along with the camera! It's a nice safety feature to have in case a print gets too hot (although it should shut down automatically) or if it starts to misprint. This way Simon will be able to avoid unnecessary errors and the waste of printer filament.

And then for the first time in like forever we had our Disney Dream Girls Sunday meet-up/quiz. We started doing a weekly quiz on a Sunday sometime in 2020 when the world was going mad and we'd been pretty good at making it a regular weekly occurrence but as life became more 'normal' and our lives resumed it had become harder to find time when everyone was free to 'meet up'. Since out last meet-up it would appear Zoom have reduced the amount of free time you have to chat and so our little chit chat was cut short and we didn't even get around to having the quiz element! But we have put next Sunday in our diaries and so hopefully then we will be able to chat and quiz!

OK, I think I will sign off and see you all tomorrow.

Friday, 29 July 2022

Day 862

Day 862...

We were back to a slightly grey start to the day again today but we headed out and completed our usual 1.9 miles in 38 minutes. We did have a little stop part way around as we bumped into one of the 'mum's from school' from when Molly attended primary school many years ago and she wanted to know how Molly was doing?!!

The rest of my day was pretty quiet but at the same time relatively productive. I managed to get caught up on a couple of small jobs as well as the joy of the ironing pile. I also ventured into the garden shed to sort boxes...yes you read that correct...boxes! As we know we're going to have a fair amount of 'stuff' from my dads house to store here with us, and we know that some of that 'stuff' will eventually be sold on, we have been saving any box and packaging that could be useful. But as a result everything had been thrown into the shed and so it all needed sorting so that we have more room for storing more boxes!  I even battled with a very scary looking spider that was a little too active for my liking. In fact as soon as I saw it move inside a box the box quickly found its way outside the shed and strewn on the path. But I was brave and poked at the box and only picked it up again after I spotted the spider crawl out and hide itself between the paving slabs!!

After lunch I decided to make the most of the dry weather and got the weedkiller out! We had a few very nasty, spikey looking weeds that needed dealing with and so I mixed up some weedkiller and got spraying. A very satisfying job and I now look forward to seeing all the weeds shrivel up and die over the next few days!

I then carried on with what has turned into my kitchen cupboard cleaning project. I had a few cupboards that just needed a general clean and one cupboard that I decided was in need of a clear out. There were a number of serving bowls and dishes that haven't been used in ages and don't actually fit in with our other crockery and so I decided it was time to let them go. Some in fact were items that we bought way back in 1988 before we got married and probably before we'd even bought our first house, and we were buying things ready to 'set up home'! Fair to say that I think we've had our monies worth!

I then took a little time out to watch one of my favourite TV programs. I don't have that many shows that only I like to watch but I have always been fascinated with family trees and have always watched 'Who Do You Think You Are'. Realising that a few new epsiodes had recently been released I'm catching up with them when I get a spare few minutes. I'd love to see some of the American versions but tracking them down here in the UK is a little bit of a challenge!

It was then time to head down our gym for a weights workout. Simon is making great strides with his routine and although he may not be lifting the weight he was a few weeks back he's now able to carry out all the different movements. It's just a matter of time before he'll be back to where he was. I've been looking up lots of different exercises online in an effort to try new things, have new routines and just mix things up a bit. This is proving a great way to re-invigorate my interest in exercise and I am really enjoying finding new ways of moving weights and my body.

And that was Friday, I will see you tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Day 861

Day 861...

We were back to a bit of a grey and overcast start to the day so we ventured out with an umbrella under our arm just in case. As it was we completed our 1.9 mile walk in 37 minutes and stayed dry the whole way round. We did comment that we are back to typical British Summer weather after the searing heat of last week!

My morning saw a few general jobs around the house get done, a trip to Lidl and a little preparation ahead of podcast recording this afternoon. As Michelle is now on her summer break (the plus side of working in education) it does mean that we can record at any point in the day rather than having to find the time at the end of a working day.

So just after lunch Michelle and I got together online to record a show for release this coming weekend as well as a show for our Patreon supporters. An hour and a half later and both shows were done; we spoke about some Disney history, looked forward to Michelle's upcoming trip to Walt Disney World as well as look at some items in the Disney news.

I then decided to have another re-organise of my kitchen. I have a lovely red Kitchen Aid mixer that sits on the counter top but very rarely gets used...baking cakes is a rarity in this house...and so I decided it needed a new place to live. I'd found space in one of the cupboards which had the knock-on effect of finding new homes for the existing inhabitants of the aforementioned cupboard. Well suffice to say two and a half hours later I had cleaned inside and out five kitchen cupboards and re-organised where all the contents lived in a vague hope that everything is in a much better and logical place!

At the end of the day I headed down our gym to complete some body weight exercises along with some light weights as well. Today I found a routine targeting the triceps and so I thought I'd give it a go...we shall see how I feel this time tomorrow! After my workout I needed a shower and so thought I would have my second cold shower of the day and my first two minute one! And it wasn't that bad!!

And that is it for this Thursday, I shall see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Day 860

Day 860...

A much brighter start to the day today and we seemed to storm our way around our 1.9 mile walk in just 36 minutes.

It was another relatively quiet day with Simon at work while I pottered around the house. There were a few cleaning jobs that I wanted to get done this morning one of which involved trying to get the hoover to work correctly. For some reason the brushes aren't spinning and no amount of me poking and prodding could get them to work!

After lunch I headed to my dads house as I needed to disconnect the router and send it back to the provider, Sky. According to the text messages I'd received there should have been some packaging waiting for me in which to return the aforementioned router but there was not. So I bundled it up and brought it home with me to try and figure out what to do with it.

After searching around Sky's website I finally found the information I needed and was able to simply package up the router and then arrange for it to be collected from my address tomorrow morning. I haven't even had to print a label as apparently the Royal Mail will do that for me. Fingers crossed it all works out as promised!

And the end of the day saw Simon and I down our gym for a weights workout. Simon is doing really well following his broken wrist and is now able to do pull-ups and move some heavier weights which this time last week he would have struggled with. Just goes to prove the best medicine is to get moving, listen to your body and do as much as you feel you can while being careful not to push too far.

See you tomorrow.