Friday, 27 November 2020

Back Together

Day 244...

Well today has been another busy day and the day in which Molly returned home after the longest she has ever been away from home.

The work day revolved around catching up with my deputy manager, paying wages, ordering storage container units, catching up on banking and liaising with parents over various matters.

This time of year is usually very busy at pre-school with fundraising, Christmas activities, Christmas concerts and parties but this year we are having to take a different approach to all of these. We have scaled back our fundraising so it is much more low key but will still hopefully raise a few pennies for us. We have the next few weeks planned out with various Christmas themed activities, crafts and even some baking. And then we have our Christmas concert which this year will be all virtual; a series of short videos that we will be able to share with our parents. Which leaves us, the staff, with still plenty to do!

Once home and fueled with coffee I had a few more work emails to deal with while at the same time completing a little more online Christmas shopping (taking advantage of a few Black Friday deals). 

Just prior to Molly arriving home I moved all the boxes of Christmas decorations out of her bedroom and downstairs into the hall...I figured that she might want to sleep in her bed tonight and as the boxes were all on her bed I'd better move them. This does mean that we are all set up and ready for our Christmas decorating weekend - whoop!

And this evening Molly arrived home. It is lovely to have her back after what has been the longest time she has been away and more importantly it means we can now decorate the house ready for Christmas. It is on the calendar that this weekend is Christmas decoration weekend and I know that had I have attempted to decorate on my own Molly would not have been happy. One of those traditions that has evolved over the years is that me and Molly take charge and while we are happy to have help they are under our direction!!

Best stop writing and relax ready for a busy weekend ahead.

Take care out there.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Christmas Shopping Started

Day 243...

So today was my second non-work day of the week and it has been both busy and as a result productive.

I started this morning by having a quick look online at a few ideas for some Christmas present ideas but decided that this could wait until later this afternoon as I had some jobs to get done first.

So the day consisted of ironing, laundry, hoovering and tidying around interspersed with receiving my butchers and dairy deliveries, as well as a couple of Amazon ones too. I popped out to the post office with a couple of Ebay sales while also chatting with someone who hasn't received a parcel; unfortunately we are at the mercy of the Royal Mail at the moment which seems to be working better in some areas than others.

Simon and I managed to take a walk out at lunchtime; it was a beautiful, if a little chilly, day. We managed our usual couple of miles in around 40 minutes. 

Me in Tier 3 country!
We found out just before we stepped out the door that the area which we live in is going to be in Tier 3 restrictions next week when this current lockdown comes to an end. This is the highest restriction that will be in place although shops will be open and more importantly so will hairdressers! I'm still not sure that I understand the governments approach with all of this but all we can do is carry on as best we can.

Late afternoon I jumped online to join my fellow Disney Dream Girl, Michelle, to record this weeks episode of our podcast. We chatted some Disney history, looked at a few changes that are happening at Walt Disney World and of course we couldn't help but have a chat about some dining options.

The majority of my afternoon and evening though have been taken up with online Christmas shopping and although I am no where near getting everything sorted it does feel better to have at least made a start!

So take care out there, whatever 'tier' you may be in!

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Snowball Fights but no Snow!

Day 242...

Well I was going to wait until December to change my little image at the top of each post but seeing as Christmas has well and truly landed at pre-school I thought I'd start now!

So the day started by collecting one of my colleagues and a Christmas tree that she was donating to pre-school and therein started the theme for the day.

Once at pre-school the tree was assembled and then throughout the morning it was decorated by our children under the watchful eye of the staff. We also collated together all the items that we have collected for our Christmas Hamper ready for raffling off, staff finished making the 'reindeer food' and started the prep work for selling 'reindeer bells'.

My work saw me emailing parents to remind them off all the various things that are happening over the next few weeks along with issuing funding forms, text reminders, chasing up quotes for storage containers, banking and then don't get me started on messing about with our phone which decided to no longer connect to the mobile network. It took me all day to finally get the phone updated and working properly again...very annoying, very time consuming and very inconvenient!

This afternoon we discovered more decorations and Christmassy themed things including some fake this point I'm not sure who had the most fun playing snowball fights; the children or the staff. But by the end of the afternoon we had a lot of red, sweaty, but very smiley faces.

Once home I decided to carry on with a little more pre-school work as there is lots happening at the moment and I had 'Letters from Santa' to organise as well as order our new storage container! I am also chatting online with our local supermarket community champion who has a trolley full of stuff to donate to us that will help with our Christmas fundraising efforts.

And the Christmas theme to the day didn't stop there as most of the rest of the afternoon into evening has been spent doing some Christmas shopping, online of course. And while I still have more to do it was nice to make a start and feel like a little progress is being made.

Another very busy day so it's time for wine and feet up I think!

Take care.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Back to Work

Day 241...

Back to work today, as pre-school could finally re-open after our period of closure following a positive case. Thankfully we had just the one case and no more.

So we hit the ground running this morning...well okay more of a steady jog! But it was nice to be back in the building and chatting with the team. We have lots to do over the next week or so with our initial focus being our Christmas fundraising efforts; we have a hamper to raffle, numerous bits and pieces to sell and a crafty competition for the children to partake in.

We also have the ongoing project of getting a storage unit sorted and this morning I was able to chat with our landscaper friend who is going to help us get the site ready. I then had the job of trying to figure out which company to use for the said storage unit and determine how quickly all of this can happen. Suffice to say after a busy morning I was sent home to carry on my work in a little more peace and quiet.

We were unsure what Christmas at pre-school was going to look like this year but by early morning it was decided that the low key approach was boring and we wanted 'everything up'...operation Christmas is now in full affect. One of our old colleagues has been very kindly storing all our Christmas resources at their house but within a few hours of contacting them they had brought everything to us. We have a Christmas tree arriving tomorrow so I think I know what we will be doing tomorrow.

In between lots of pre-school work I managed to help a next door neighbour with a delivery and just give her 10 minutes of my time to chat. Her husband has dementia and is now in hospital, it's all very sad and having been through it all with Simon's dad a few years ago it is heartbreaking for her.

In my attempts to support small independent businesses I took delivery of my Shutter Studios Christmas cards today...have to give them a mention as it's Molly's little business...but they are pretty fabulous!

And we end the day with the announcement that up to three households can meet over a five day period at Christmas...but that's an exclusive three households...but you can still meet people outside of these three if it's outside...and we can travel anywhere...and go to church...

So apparently, despite how bad we keep getting told the situation is, we can relax the rules for five days and everything will be alright. Even the tone in which it has been announced feels very much like we're being told 'well you can meet up but still be careful and think carefully about what you're doing' which translates as 'if we have a problem after Christmas then it's the publics fault for not being careful enough'.

I will carry on as I have been doing, risk assess what I am doing and whether I consider it to be safe, and mix only with those that are close to me. We are lucky in that we don't have big family gatherings at Christmas any more so it doesn't affect us too much. It will be a shame not to see friends and go out for a few drinks and maybe a meal but there will be other times and other years to make up for this one. As long as I can stay warm inside, have some yummy food, an odd glass of wine, some festive movies and music and some chilled out, relaxing days I will be fine.

Take care out there.

Monday, 23 November 2020

35 Years Ago

Day 240...

...and 35 years ago I met a certain someone in a local nightclub on a random night out. I had no intention of going out that night and certainly not with, how shall we put acquaintance...who called me up out of the blue. 

My dad persuaded me to go out that night and across a dark dancefloor I was introduced to Simon...just so happened he knew the person I was with and they hadn't seen each other in a while. So rather than leave with whom I arrived I left with Simon instead.

Two years later we got engaged and then married 18 months later. 35 years since we met, two grown-kids, numerous amazing Disney holidays, cosplay adventures and prop making later here we are still growing stronger together.

Simon drew this ten years ago as part of his 365 Mickey's project so it seems apt to share it today.

But as it was Monday and our day off it started like any other Monday with a trip to collect our weekly grocery shop but in a change to our usual routine we came home via another supermarket to do a little bit of Christmas themed shopping. I wanted to pick up some bits and pieces for us for over the festive period but I was also shopping on behalf of pre-school. We are putting together a hamper that we are going to raffle off over the next couple of weeks; fizz, pudding, cake, mince pies and other goodies.

This marked the first time venturing into an actual supermarket in what felt like forever...having stuck to ordering all my shopping online and collecting once a week I haven't really needed to go into a shop. We have been in and out of other places but this was the first time back in a familiar shop and it was just nice to be doing something that felt like normal.

Once home and shopping put away I then had a parcel for the US to pack and sort out the postage, which seems to have gone up an awful lot compared to the last time we shipped anything stateside! It was then off to the post office to send the parcel on its way along with another couple.

This afternoon saw us take a walk out in the sunshine; just a short one today of a couple of miles in about 40 minutes. Then fueled with a coffee I set about getting the rest of the cleaning and a little re-organising completed ready for the upcoming weekend and our Christmas decorations.

I do love all my Disney bits and pieces but it does make cleaning round a lengthy job but now it is all done it looks lovely I just need all the dust to keep away. Although at the weekend I will need to move it all again to lay some snow blanket so that everywhere looks suitably festive.
Just a little bit of my collection...
And even my 'Dickens Village' collection by Department 56 has strong Disney connections as I fell in love with it after seeing a large display in a shop (it may have been the 'World of Disney' or whatever the equivalent was back in 1991) in what was then known as the Disney Village Marketplace at Walt Disney World. 

In fact I think I bought a couple of pieces to bring back home and of course since then Department 56 have produced a Disney Village series as well. It's probably a good job that it's tricky to get hold of in the UK as I don't know where I'd put anymore!

And we end the day with announcements from our government that the current 'lockdown 2' will end on the 2nd December but then we will be back into the three tier system which is going to be a bit tougher, but we won't know which areas of the country are in which tiers until later in the week. I do find myself losing the will to take as much interest in this as I perhaps should. I think I will wait until the tier for our area has been announced and then worry about what I can or can't do with whom and where!

Wherever you are, take care.

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Busy Sunday

Day 239...

Well it's been another busy day today.

This morning saw Simon and I divide and conquer. I battled with the online grocery shopping (seriously the website was doing my head in) and Simon set to painting the en-suite bathroom to Molly's room.

I then jumped online to record a special Disney Dream Girls podcast for our Patreon supporters while Simon gathered together the next set of R2D2 parts for sanding. He was also taking apart some old electronic devices to re-utilise parts as what is termed 'greeblies'; these are interesting bits and pieces that can then be re-used when making props to give them a more authentic feel. Star Wars is known for lots of it's props being re-purposed household objects or parts of familiar objects. When Simon fabricated our various Star Wars cosplay outfits he used everything from bits of piping to the inside of soap dispensers to tops off ketchup bottles! Nothing git thrown away for months without Simon first assessing whether it could be utilised elsewhere.

We had a short coffee break followed by a little sanding by Simon and a little cleaning around by me before we made the most of a chilly, but sunny, afternoon and took a 5.6 mile walk in just under one hour and 45 minutes. It was a beautiful afternoon and we saw a glorious sunset as we made our way home.

Once home I continued with the clean and tidy through that I started earlier; my aim is to get everywhere clean and tidy ready for the coming weekend so that we can crack on and get all our Christmas decorations up without having to worry about cleaning around first.

Then it was time for our weekly Disney Dream Girls Sunday evening Disney quiz! It was the usual gang and it was lovely to see everyone, have a giggle, have a chat and try and test our Disney knowledge.

And that was Sunday. We have reports starting to emerge about what will happen after the 2nd December when this current lockdown ends and it would appear that we simply go back into a tier system similar to what we had before; but that maybe stricter than before; but one in which the pubs can stay open for an extra some of us could still be in a lockdown situation depending on where we live? Possibly...maybe? Which doesn't seem to make any sense whatsoever. And then we get a news report that the government are looking into  a system whereby we get 'papers' to prove we have had a negative test and then we would be 'allowed' to move around freely as normal...'papers'? Really? Is that what it's coming to that we have to have permission to go about our lives, that we will be controlled by government, that our civil liberties will be compromised? This all sounds very weird, very 'big brother' and a little bit like persecution.

We are entering strange times I fear, but all we can do is watch and wait and see what happens.

Take care out there.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Saturday Sort Out

Day 238...

Well we weren't really sure what we were going to be doing today - funny we had no plans...can't think why?!

The only thing I really wanted to do was to get the Christmas decorations down out of the loft and put away the Halloween ones that were still sitting on Molly's bed. Brief explanation...access to the loft is via Molly's bedroom but as she is away at her boyfriends at the moment her room has become a bit of a storage stop-gap!

But in order to make way for Christmas decorating next weekend we also needed to make room in our hall as this will be where one of our three trees will be going. So our first job was to throw out some of the items that I'd tried selling via Ebay but had not had any interest whatsoever, along with all the cardboard boxes that I'd been stockpiling for said Ebay sales!

We then ventured upstairs to the loft and what was going to be a case of get one lot of items out the loft and replace with another turned into 'let's get this loft tidied'. Well when I say 'we' what I actually mean is that Simon goes up in the loft and I remain at the bottom of the ladder and pass things back and forth. I don't really do ladders and I definitely don't do lofts...cold and full of least that's what I think!

So we started by emptying out about half of the loft space so that Simon could then take the vacuum cleaner up there and give everywhere a clean! Now this may sound a bit strange but having had a wasps nest somewhere in the roof over Summer we had a floor full of dead wasps. After much moving of things around and cleaning as he went the aforementioned wasps nest was discovered, nestling in the rafters!

How amazing does this look?!
At least we now know where the wasps nest is and have been able to clear away all the dead wasps. My next job will be to get in touch with our 'pest control' guy and see what we need to do next, if anything!

By the end of the afternoon we had re-organised our loft, moved Halloween decorations back into the loft, moved the Christmas ones out of the loft and streamlined some of what we were storing up there...just random stuff that we could no longer remember why we were holding onto it!

My job for tomorrow is to continue with a general tidy around and clean through so that next weekend, when Molly is home, we can have a full-on Christmas decorating weekend. With outdoor lights to both the front and back of the house and three Christmas trees (four if you count a small one in Molly's room) we need a full weekend to get it all sorted. Oh and I've still not decided whether to order another set of outdoor lights...

So what sounded like a quick job this morning took us way longer than we expected but by the end of the day we had a great sense of accomplishment at getting a job done, and done well. Glasses of red wine tonight were well earned.

Take care out there.