Monday, 31 August 2020

And here we go again...

Day 166...

So here in the UK today is what we call a 'bank holiday' a national day 'off'...well sort of as shops and other places are actually open. But as Simon and I don't work Monday's we had kind of forgot and carried on as any normal Monday by fetching our weekly grocery shopping first thing.

A quick turnaround though as we simply collected from the lockers and store colleague Marky Mark was there to assist with a smile as always. Back home for the usual unpack, wipe everything down, wash the veggies and fruit and get rid of as much packaging as possible before putting everything away.

And then it was time to focus back on the eBay pile and photograph albums! The good thing was that a number of our items had sold and had been paid for so my day was taken with packaging, weighing, sorting postage and then taking all the parcels to the post office...twice! I think we had 18 parcels in total weighing everything from less than 100g all the way up to 2kgs!

Simon has been challenged yet again with the sorting of the photographs. Half way through a 2002/2003 album he found dates on the back of the photographs that said 1997!! He then realised that the camera must have had a new battery installed and the date had defaulted to it's original starting date and had never been updated - doh!

By the end of the day he had worked his way up to 2006 and reckons he has now processed about 2500 photos! He has become quite the detective though working out times of year, counting candles on birthday cakes, the clothes being worn, how green the trees are as well as tracing the history of my various haircuts and colours!!

Hopefully we are making headway with our respective projects but I think we still have quite a few more days of work ahead of us!

Take care out there, stay safe and wear a mask.
xx

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Shopping, More Ebay, More Photos & Disney

Day 165...

So today has mainly been spent attached to my laptop. First job was to update our online grocery shopping order ready for collection tomorrow before pressing on with more items for online sale.

Simon rescued a couple of TV's from our other house as we can make use of one of them here, although I think the smaller one will probably find its way to our local recycling centre.

Molly was able to deliver some more cards that she had had produced of some of her sunset and beach photographs. This was another request that she had received from a friend so she has now ordered a selection of cards to see if she can sell some more via her Etsy store.

I had not long started posting items for sale when the Ebay site decided that it would throw a wobbly at me...repeatedly! So I decided it was time for a coffee, sat outside and away from the laptop in the hope that things would be working better after a short break.

Well only after switching the laptop off and on again did I seem to make any headway and managed to work methodically through all the items that I'd photographed yesterday and then later this afternoon I took more photos and was able to get another half a dozen items listed later this evening.

Simon has spent most of his day working his way through the family photo albums we have inherited and is now up to about the year 2002. Although there has been a lot of mumbling and swearing from his end of the room as the order in which the photos have been put into the albums has not been chronological at all! But as I type he has now managed to scan in and organise into date order 2254 photos!!

I took part in the now regular Disney Dream Girls Sunday evening Disney quiz and was quiz master for one of the rounds using questions set by Molly as she wasn't able to take part tonight as she was travelling down to her boyfriends house to spend the next couple of weeks there. The quiz was a great escape for an hour and was as lovely as always to see familiar faces and have a bit of a giggle.

So although my day has been mainly spent hunched over the laptop I have managed to sell a few items so it hasn't been a pointless exercise!

Right I am in need of red wine and dark chocolate...so take care out there, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx 

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Ebay & Photos

Day 164...

Well today has literally been taken up for the majority of the day with me getting more items ready for selling and Simon scanning in more photos.

But first thing this morning to hear the sad news that actor Chadwick Boseman, of Black Panther fame, had died was awful. To pass away at just 43 from cancer is horrid but to then realise that he had not made it public and had carried on making amazing films while being so ill just stops you in your tracks. And shows once again that you should never judge anyone by the outward presentation because you will never know what they are actually going through or dealing with.

The day started out with just getting on top of a few jobs; a pile of ironing to tackle, a couple of bills to pay online, the paperwork to sort out for renting our other house and placing an order with our online butchers of choice.

And then it was head down with the 'Ebay' pile; this meant figuring out which bits and pieces I wanted to get selling next, doing a little bit of research, taking photographs and finding boxes that they will fit in ready for posting if successful. I've got about 10 'lots' to put up tomorrow ready for sale whilst also waiting to see if the items I put online this time last week have been sold or not.

Simon has been ploughing his way through more family photographs and has now made his way through to the year 2000! He reckons he has processed around 1600 in total and cannot wait to get to the end of it all!

And that has been our day, nothing very exciting, simply a day of getting jobs done that need to be done.

Take care out there, stay safe, keep your distance and wear a mask
xx

Friday, 28 August 2020

Coffee, Podcast & Work

Today is day 163...

It was lovely this morning to meet up with some of my team to have a coffee and a non-work chat at a local cafe and great to see the cafe operating well and following the current guidelines.

Once home Simon was just on his lunch break so we decided to take a walk...in the rain! It wasn't raining that much when we set off but by the time we got back I did feel rather damp and cold, but a coffee soon warmed me up.

It was then time to jump online with my fellow Disney Dream Girl Michelle to record our weekly podcast. We chatted about Donald Duck, Halloween fun at Disneyland Paris and Halloween foodie treats at Walt Disney World.

And then it was head down to get completely on top of all my pre-school work so that I can take the next four days off before we start back properly for the new school year. Pretty pleased with my efforts as in about 4 hours I managed to email all parents with a new parental agreement, all staff with a staff agreement, update staff's contracts, update their working hours, update holiday pay, update time sheets, update the diary and produce registers. I am now happy that everything is as done as it can be so I can relax a bit before we hit the ground running next week.

So in amongst all the day to day stuff I still find myself asking whether we know what the rules are anymore for this Coronavirus situation? And whether anyone is actually following them or is it just me?

I don't know about anyone else out there but when I see social media posts or hear stories of friends meeting up I kind of feel cheated. Life has been put on hold for all of us and that sucks...big time...but I thought we were all in it together and following the rules so that we could all stay healthy. But I look around and it appears that there's an awful lot of 'bending' the rules going on, all happening while I do as I've been told (to the best of my abilities and understanding).

Plus I really don't get some of these rules...I can only meet with another household in my own house but I can sit indoors in a pub or restaurant with my own family or perhaps another household but at the same time as being in a room full of strangers...all breathing the same air. 

We have mixed opinions coming out from scientists some advocating the very strict lockdown that we had back in March/April time, others saying it's okay to be relaxing the rules a little but when schools go back perhaps we should think about closing pubs and then there are those that say we got it all wrong and it's an over reaction that is playing to our human fears and will only benefit big pharma when they come along with a miracle vaccine, except it won't be that miraculous as we will need to have it each year just like the current flu jabs. The cynic inside of me says someone somewhere is benefiting from all of this financially and probably politically....COVID is going to be a really good excuse when Brexit fails or the US elections go pear shaped!

But where does this leave us all, all of us who want to do our bit and are trying to follow the rules but to be frank are either struggling or are struggling to understand the mentality behind them. I think it, rightly or wrongly, comes down to us all trying to take the most sensible approach and 'risk assessing' what we want to do and how best to do it or at least find a way that we feel comfortable with.

But this does mean that for some it is a green light to just forget everything and carry on as if nothing has happened and that's the frustrating element in all of this...as it is with most things in life the actions of a minority will more than likely spoil it for the majority.

I, like everyone else, want to be back to normal...or whatever normal is going to be...to be able to do what I want, when I want and go where I want without having to consider the whys and the wherefores but at the moment it can feel never ending and very out of reach. We can only hope that progress is being made and that we are getting closer to finding a way out of this. 

So whatever you may be up to, take care, stay safe, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx




Thursday, 27 August 2020

Work, work and a little more work!

Day 162 or as I like to call it a 'work' day!

So considering I am technically on 'holiday' I have been rather busy today with pre-school work!

But the day started out by playing delivery driver for Molly. She had an order to be dispatched locally so I had said I would drive her to where it needed to go. Molly has a company called Shutter Studios and had received a request to have some of her photographs reproduced as cards. They turned out really well so Molly is going to order some more and add them to her Etsy store.

Beach scene cards by Shutter Studios
Once back home it was head down and get on with pre-school work. I drafted a new 'welcome to pre-school' email for all our new starters that I could then send out personalised to each individual. I had cash flow forecasts to recalculate, invoices to re-work, uniform orders to update, emails to respond to, policies to amend and update, website to update, new parental agreements to draft, a newsletter to expand and learning journals to set up...by 7pm I was done! And I still have more to finish off tomorrow - argh!

I had a small break mid-afternoon as I had to meet our estate agent down at our other house to get some photographs taken so that we can get the house on the market to rent and by this evening it had gone live online...fingers crossed we can get some tenants in pretty quickly.

And while Simon and Molly headed out in the rain to the 'gym' I carried on with my admin work so that I could get to a point where I was happy to stop and perhaps get some time this evening to chill out!

Whatever you maybe up to take care, stay safe and wear a mask!
xx

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Shopping & Coffee

Today is day 161...

This morning me and Molly had decided to take a trip into Nottingham to do a little shopping...well specifically we wanted to go to one particular shop.

I decided to dress up a little and use this as an excuse to deviate from my usual jeans/shorts and t-shirt that seems to have been my 'uniform' for the past few months. I also decided to do my make-up...now most days I have applied what I would call 'day make-up'; mascara, blusher and lipstick but thought I would push the boat out today and put on some eye make-up.

Now I always like to have some colour in my eye make-up, I'm never one for 'natural' tones, and always like to tie the colour into my outfit of choice. So today I knew I wanted to go for a green and purple combo but I looked at my various eye-shadow palettes and felt completely lost! It has been so long since I've applied eye-shadow that it felt like starting from scratch. I'd completely forgot which shades I normally use and even applying them felt weird...but at the same time it was also nice to be bothered to 'dress up' a little.

Nottingham is only about 8 miles from where we live and normally it can take anything up to 40 minutes to get there but today it was a breeze. We parked up and decided that rather than take our masks on and off we would where them from leaving the car until we got back.

Walking through the city centre there were plenty of people about but nothing like as busy as I would have expected. There were markings on the pavements to indicate which side of the walk ways pedestrians should walk although they weren't as obvious as they could have been and it was a little while before me and Molly actually noticed them. 

Of those walking about there were a mixture of people wearing masks and those with masks hanging off ears, or under chins. There was a queue to get into one of our favourite shops which we counted at about 8 or 10 groups waiting but we carried on in order to get where we wanted to go.

Our mission was to visit a shop called Bravissimo; a bra shop that is great for us girls that are 'blessed' up top and that have a fantastic fitting service. The only problem was that they don't offer a 'booking' service so when we arrived at around 11.30am and asked if we could get measured we were told the earliest we could be seen was 4pm! Now even in normal times I think we would have struggled to fill four and a half hours with shopping and coffee but under current circumstances I really didn't fancy 'hanging about' for that long! We were told if we came back tomorrow we might be able to get in to see someone but there were already people booked in for 10.20am but we couldn't book in...okay I'll admit to being confused. So we can't book an appointment but tomorrow we might struggle to be seen because there are bookings...??!! Argh!

We left...and didn't really know what to do next. Neither of us fancied standing in queues to get in to shops that we only wanted to have a look in...we didn't need anything specific we would just be browsing. And I think this is where the problem is for me when it comes to shopping, the social aspect of having a wander about, browsing, window shopping and stopping for coffees has been scuppered by having to queue and plan.

So we went back to the car and decided to stop off at a coffee shop on the way home. We put on our masks and had to queue outside the shop, there was hand sanitiser on entry to the shop, a QR code to scan if you were 'staying in' to eat/drink and markings on the floor for where to stand. It was a straight forward experience and we ordered drinks to go but it did seem to take longer than normal...although I'm not sure why?!

As we drove out of the retail park we noticed the queue for a fast food restaurant that must have been 15 groups/families long...I really don't think I could be bothered to wait that long and this is when I'm really glad that fast, highly processed food, is not my thing!

Once home, and armed with coffee, I spent 15 minutes sat outside in the sunshine with Simon catching up on our mornings before spending the rest of the afternoon catching up on pre-school work. Lots of invoices, updating contact information and writing of newsletters.

And before I knew it it was time to play taxi service for Molly to get her to and from her karate class. So shopping, coffee, work and my day was done...all topped off with a glass, or two, of red wine!

Stay safe out there, keep your distance and wear a mask
xx

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Day 160

Day 160...

And the number keeps getting bigger...I know technically we are still in some sort of 'lockdown' as not everything is back to normal but I think I may start giving these blog pieces different titles. I still want to track the days, and it has been a good way to get me to write each day which I am enjoying doing and want to continue to do. So I think going forward, while still keeping a tally of days, I might come up with something more inspiring as a title!

Well I had a rubbish nights sleep, hot sweats kept me awake for almost 2 hours, my brain wouldn't switch off when I did wake up and then cramp in both calves at the same time was not the most pleasant. And then to wake up to a very grey, and very wet day...where is our Summer?!!

Today was a pre-school work day; myself and my deputy manager met up to talk through recent staff changes, new starters in September, our approach to running our sessions, layout of pre-school and much more.

This has meant new costings are needed, lots of new and amended paperwork, amendments to contracts and a list of jobs that can now be completed. I need to update parental agreements, staff agreements, risk assessments (yes we still have to take account of COVID), produce invoices, registers, newsletters and more. So while some of these have been addressed today I will have plenty to keep me going over the next few days when I get the chance.

I have been in contact with our estate agent of choice and will be meeting them again in a couple of days time to get photographs taken with an aim to getting our 'other house' listed for rent as soon as we can!

The sale items on Ebay are ticking over nicely with a number having bids and offers already but we still have a few days to go yet so I am quite happy for the auction to run it's course at the moment. I have also done a little research into auction houses who may be able to help with clearing out furniture should we need to in the coming weeks.

Simon and Molly braved Storm Frances this evening to go to the gym...this is when you appreciate the gym being only a few steps away in the garage! I carried on with the pre-school work I was doing as I was 'in the flow' and wanted to get as much done as possible.

And that was today...wet, windy and grey but things got done! Take care, stay safe, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx

Monday, 24 August 2020

Day 159

Day 159...

First job today was to take Simon's car over to the garage for it's annual service, and as we found ourselves a little ahead of schedule we popped into a local DIY store to pick up some weedkiller followed by picking up a coffee from the 'drive thru' next door.

Next it was off to collect our weekly grocery shopping which was timed just about right as our shopping was just being put into the lockers so the store colleague was able to fetch it all for us and bring it straight to the car.

Once home it was the usual routine of bringing inside all the shopping, wiping everything down, washing fruit and veggies and throwing away as much packaging as possible.

While we were doing that I had a phone call from another pre-school wanting some information about our old building. Last November we were told my our landlords (St John Ambulance) that they were selling our building and we basically had about a month to 'get out' despite our lease stating a six month notice requirement. As it was we were able to negotiate about three months which gave us the time to find and relocate to where we are now. The pre-school that phoned (although not local to me) are in exactly the same position we were in and were wanting to find out a little more about what we had been through which I was only too happy to share and hopefully be able to pass on information that they can put to good use.

The biggest part of the day was spent adding more items onto my selling page; I now have 29 items listed and bids on 10 of them so fingers crossed over the next few days we get some interest generated. I am hoping to get started on the next lot of 'things' by taking photographs and cataloging them so I can add them in mass later on.

Simon has been making his way through yet more photos and is currently documenting the 1980's! He is now getting to the point in time when we met and therefore the photographs are easier to split into those that have a memory or meaning and those that don't...hopefully this means that it will get easier and quicker to get through them all from now on.

Molly was back at karate this evening and in between playing taxi service for her I made a keto chicken curry pie as well as make a decision about which letting agent to use for our other house. I have now sent an email to hopefully get that up and running as soon as we physically can!!

So that was my day, stay safe out there, keep your distance and wear a mask!
xx

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Day 158

Day 158...

So today has been taken up with more photographs and online selling.

First job for me though was to update our grocery shopping order as it's collection day tomorrow. Then I went through all the items that I had photographed yesterday and created a spreadsheet. I then worked out what packaging I had and weighed and measured everything ready for working out the postage.

I was then able to start posting the items online for sale (good old Ebay!) with all the relevant information. This did involve a little googling as I went along just to make sure I'd got the right details so I could give an accurate description of each item and then work out the correct postage. I have about 16 items posted for sale so far, 7 have had bids already and I have way more to list!!

Simon has plodded on with capturing old photographs digitally and has worked his way through the late 1960's and is now into the late 1970's and has captured just over 1000 photos! And yet again today as he has worked his way through the albums he has had to using his detective skills as a lot of the photographs have been placed in the albums in no particular order and the dates are all mixed up. So not only is Simon capturing all of them digitally he is also having to sort them all into order as he goes...there has been lots of mumbling and swearing from his end of the room!

Me and Molly took the time this evening to join in with this weeks Disney Dream Girls Disney quiz and Molly had set some of the questions today, which I think went down fairly well and were varied enough for everyone to be able to have a go. It was, as always, just nice to jump online for a bit of a chat and a giggle.

So that's my day...take care out there, stay safe, keep you distance and wear a mask.
xx

 

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Day 157

Day 157...

So we took it steady first thing as we had nothing to be up and out for as Molly's usual Saturday guitar lesson was cancelled as her teacher was on holiday.

So fueled with coffee we both set about our tasks involving photographs. Mine was to start taking photographs of all the items that we want to place online to sell and Simon's was to scan old photographs so that we can retain them digitally rather than storing physical photograph albums.

Well over the course of the day I managed to take 196 photos of about 30 items ranging a glass paperweight in the shape of an apple to a canteen of cutlery. Each item had a handful of photos taken from different angles, then edited and then uploaded to my laptop and now they are ready for posting online for sale.

Simon has been working his way through family photograph albums from the 1960's through to the very early 1970's. The app he has on his phone is great at scanning them in and creating a legible digital version that we can retain but then Simon is adding details to all the digital copies and sorting into appropriate online albums. He is also saving some of the physical photographs that he will ultimately send to various family members who we hope will appreciate photographs of their loved ones that they may never have seen before. 

Although Simon has been faced with the task of trying to figure out when the photos were actually taken as although an album has approximate dates written at the front it would appear that the photos inside were not necessarily placed in any order. There has been an awful lot of detective work on Simon's part to match up events, style of photos and even outfits! He must have got through about 200 photographs today, making about 560 so far!!

So although we haven't been anywhere today and have spent most of the day attached to our phones and laptops we have actually achieved quite a lot. Ready for a chilled out evening with a glass of red wine, some chocolate and to catch-up with RuPauls Drag Race Canada!

Take care, look after yourselves, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx

Friday, 21 August 2020

Day 156

Day 156...

Well I had very good intentions today of focusing all my attention on the pile of 'stuff' that I had organised yesterday and posting the first few pieces online for sale but that didn't quite work out as I planned!

First on the agenda this morning was an unexpected work related call which as you would expect had a few knock-on effects on my plans first thing. After I logged onto my work email I then found more work to complete and before I knew it it was time for me to down tools and set off to our 'other house' to meet another estate agent.

Another lovely person and offering almost identical service to the agent I saw yesterday so my intention was to spend the afternoon looking over paperwork to weigh up the pros and cons of each before making a decision, but that was not to be.

Once home I found some physical mail had arrived and in one envelope I had three registration forms for new starters at pre-school. This then meant an afternoon of emails back and forth with the new parents, updating all the various spreadsheets I use, updating various services that we use with their information, working out start dates, initial update dates, revised staffing and producing all our relevant documentation and before I knew it the afternoon had just disappeared and I felt physically drained.

And while I have no real issue completing work for pre-school but when it takes up almost a full day when I am technically on 'holiday' it can be a smidge irritating!

So at about 6pm I stopped and indulged in moving some pieces about my jigsaw and spent way longer on it than I had intended but I guess I probably needed the distraction.

And there is my day done and dusted...hopefully tomorrow I can actually make some progress on the pile of 'stuff ' to sell as well as make a decision about the letting of our 'other house'!

Take care out there, whatever you may be doing...keep your distance, wash your hands and wear a mask.
xx

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Day 155

Day 155..

Okay so what has today been like?

Well the majority of the day has been taken up with sorting through all the 'stuff' we have acquired from our 'other house' that is too good to simply throw away and needs to find new homes. I have unpacked the majority of it to see exactly what we have and made an inventory of it all. I have then done a little 'googling' as I've gone along to see if what we have is anything of any note...most of it is quite generic but will still be worth something to someone.

When Simon broke for lunch we took another walk out through our village just managing another mile and a half and at least today it was warm and sunny.

After lunch I went down to our 'other house' to meet with an estate agent to start the process of potentially letting the property and what that all entails. I have another agent to meet tomorrow and so we shall see what they both say and then make a decision going forward. But it seems the sensible thing to do as it will generate us a small income which will be a darn site more than the interest we would get if we were to sell the property!

Back home and I carried on with more sorting of 'stuff' before taking a short break to 'go down the gym' for the first time in a couple of weeks. After the gym I finished sorting everything so that tomorrow I can begin the process of putting the first few pieces for sale online.

So although it doesn't feel like I've done much today I know that I actually have and that it puts us in a good position to getting all the 'stuff' sold and the house out on the market to rent.

Stay safe out there, take care, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Day 154

Day 154...

Well today has been a fairly straight forward and mundane kind of day...matched by the weather which has been grey and wet all day.

This morning we had another butchers delivery arrive which needed to be split into 'portions' for putting in the freezer. And although not as big an order as our previous ones it still took me and Molly about an hour to get it all sorted.

My next task was to tackle the ironing pile...okay mountain! Having been so busy the last couple of weeks, plus the very warm weather not making it conducive to iron, I had let the pile get bigger and bigger so today was the day to get it cleared. And I did and it only took me a couple of hours!

Lunchtime saw Simon and I brave the rain to take a walk out and did a quick 1.5 miles in 30 minutes and although quite wet by the time we got home it wasn't cold and it was nice to be out in the fresh air.

The rest of the afternoon was spent finishing the ironing, fielding a few pre-school emails and then doing some research into letting property. I have contacted a few agents and tomorrow I will start the process of deciding which agent to use and getting my head around all the 'must do's' so that we can let out our 'other house'.

At the end of the afternoon I took a little time out to put a few more pieces together of my jigsaw before taking Molly to her karate lesson...but unfortunately Molly was feeling wiped out and decided against going tonight. That did mean I had a little more time to put a few more pieces together before cooking dinner.

And that was my day...nothing remarkable...just a fairly standard sort of day.

Take care out there, be safe, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Day 153

Day 153..

Well it was back to work day today for Simon so I decided to spend this morning catching up with a little pre-school admin. Thankfully there wasn't too much to do just a few emails to respond to, ensuring the accounts for the last school year were all printed and correct, starting the accounts for this year with a little banking and then dealing with a phone call.

Simon took an early lunch break while waiting for updates on his PC to complete so we were able to get back to having our lunch time walks. But almost the moment we stepped out the door the rain started but not to be deterred we decided to plod on. As we headed out in it started to come down quite heavy and so we quickly changed our route to one less exposed, but within five minutes the rain had stopped and the sun came out. We managed just 1.8 miles in about 35 minutes and while we have been really busy and active these last few weeks it was really nice to get outside for a walk today.

Once home I found the dining table had been taken over by Molly who was taking some promotional photographs for her Shutter Studios Etsy store so as I couldn't get to my laptop I took half an hour to enjoy a coffee and complete some more of my jigsaw.

Then it was taxi time as Molly had a guitar lesson this afternoon; not her usual day or time but as her teacher is on holiday on Saturday he had moved the lesson to today. So armed with coffee, chocolate and my phone I chilled out in the car while she rocked out...unfortunately there is not enough time to go home and back to pick her up so it's easier to sit and wait.

Back home and Molly carried on with her photographing and I was just about to rescue my laptop when our new vacuum cleaner arrived so I had the exciting job of assembling it and making sure it worked.

The afternoon just seemed to disappear and before I knew it Simon had finished work for the day and our next job was to play taxi service once again for Molly as she was visiting a few of her friends, all socially distancing of course. We then had the exciting job of spending some vouchers at a local supermarket as they were due to expire tomorrow; we decided that rather than do a 'normal' shop as that would take up a good chunk of time we instead used the vouchers to re-stock our alcohol supply! Oh and buy a couple of frying pans! 

And now we are waiting for the call/text to go fetch Molly from her little get together later this evening.

Stay safe out there, keep your distance, wash your hands and wear a mask.
xx

Monday, 17 August 2020

Day 152

Day 152...

Today was a day of getting odd jobs done.

First thing we had to take one of our cars to the garage for a 'recall'...slightly annoyed as this should have been completed when the car had its service two weeks ago. It wasn't until the garage phoned me a few days after the service that I found out that despite having my car all day they hadn't had the time to do the recall...mmm...

It was then over to our supermarket of choice to collect the weekly grocery shop and then once home I cracked on with the unpacking, wiping down, washing fruit and veggies, throwing away packaging and putting it all away while Simon and Molly headed out on a mission.

When we had visited a certain DIY store last week we had seen some garden furniture that we liked the look of but as we had three of us in the car at the time and a load of other stuff we needed to get we couldn't fit the furniture in the car as well. So today Simon and Molly went back over to said DIY store to pick up the furniture; they were hoping to pick up some other bits as well but unfortunately they were out of stock of what they needed which turned out to be a good thing as they only just got the furniture in the back of the car!!

Once they were home Molly set to putting the furniture together; two chairs, a sofa and a table and apart from me occasionally holding something she did it all herself...there was a little swearing at times but the end result was worth it.
About half way through assembly

Molly working hard



All done!
Before we headed back over to the garage to collect the car we dropped by my dads as he had called me earlier asking for 'a favour' but wanted to talk to me about it in person rather than over the phone. Turns out after a recent visit to the doctors they have discovered he has an irregular heartbeat that they want to get checked out, so the 'favour' was asking if we would play taxi service for him as and when his hospital appointment comes through. This is the first time since my mum died 5 years ago that there has been anything major happen and I can't begin to imagine what it must feel like facing something like this alone without his best friend by his side.

Once home I took half an hour to get a little more completed on my current jigsaw which is the first time I've touched it in at least two weeks...the box of pieces had been left in front of the window and the sun damage to the underside of the pieces was surprisingly strong!

Simon has spent the latter part of the afternoon cataloging the old photographs that we have inherited from his mum using an app called Photomyne. The app is great for scanning in the photos and ensuring that a great digital copy is made but we have hit problems when trying to record information about each photo as well as when we attempt to share or upload them. But Simon has now got a system going and by finding some free software online is now able to upload each album he creates and save all the relevant information to each photo. We are going to share the physical photos with family members where we can and then we can reduce the amount of physical storage by converting it all to digital.

So yet again another busy and productive day before Simon 'goes back to work' tomorrow and I take on the task of 'online selling'!

Take care, keep your distance,wash your hands and wear a mask.
xx

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Day 151

Day 151...

So we decided that today we would try and make this the final decorating day for our bedroom.

So straight after breakfast we set on clearing the room, laying dust sheets and getting on with sanding and painting. Simon has made a fabulous job of filling in all the holes and these needed one final sand over before they could be painted. Molly and I tackled the once 'purple' wall to give that one last coat of paint and you would never know that it was once so dark!

Simon then tackled our very high ceiling by way of ladder, sitting on top of wardrobes and a telescopic paint brush...and making sure he worked his way carefully around the beams as well!!

Molly gave the radiator a coat of paint while I jumped online to order ourselves a new vacuum cleaner (as ours had died on us yesterday) as well as update our online grocery shop ready for collection tomorrow.

By about 5.30pm we had completed all the decorating, moved everything back into the bedroom and cleaned around. We have decided to use the installation of our new wardrobes in September as a catalyst for having a sort through and getting rid of all the clothes, shoes etc that we haven't worn in ages so that will be happening over the next few weeks...this does mean that I will have room for lots of lovely new things!!!

I also have a hall full of items that need selling online and I will be using the proceeds to go towards a revamp of how I store all my Disney memorabilia. So rather than it being scattered all over the place we are going to buy some new units so that it can all be displayed properly as it rightly deserves to be.

At 6pm me and Molly jumped online to join in with the weekly Disney Dream Girls Disney Quiz via Zoom. It was great fun as always, although we never seem to do amazingly well...I think we managed just 11 points this week.

We have had much discussion this evening about the current 'rules' regarding coronavirus and the apparent lack of regard for them by what can sometimes appear like the majority of people. We have commented about social media posts of groups of friends going out and about, sitting in crowded bars and pubs where it is very obvious that the group sat at a table are from more than two households. But just what are the rules at the moment? Does anyone really know? Does anyone really care? Or is it just us?

It is really hard when you think you are doing your bit by following the rules yet it feels like everyone else couldn't care less and is just out there putting themselves and therefore anyone they come into contact with at risk. But we can only get through this if everyone does their bit and follows the rules as closely as they can, at least I know that I am doing my bit and that is all I can really do.

Take care whatever you are doing and try to keep to the rules; wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx

Saturday, 15 August 2020

Day 150

Day 150...

Well we have had another busy day although after a very late night yesterday we did start the day off at a relaxed pace.

This morning we took Molly to her guitar lesson and whilst she was strumming away we decided to brave the drive thru' at the local coffee shop and treat ourselves...although as we both now drink black coffee it's not that much of a treat. But we had enough points on their reward scheme to get free coffees so that was a bonus plus it was nice to chat to the staff on duty as this is our regular Saturday morning haunt and we haven't been there since March, and as regulars most of the core staff know us pretty well!

Once home it was on with the bedroom decorating. First Simon needed to sand back the filling that he had completed yesterday so while he generated lots (and I mean lots!) of dust I decided to do some baking. I made keto golden sesame bread and then with help from Molly we made a low carb chocolate, coffee and walnut cake that is sandwiched together with fresh cream.

Once the sanding had been done we had to clean around before we could start painting. Unfortunately half way through cleaning our vacuum cleaner died on us, it has been a bit dodgy the last few times we have used it so we have conceded that it no longer wants to work for us. Thankfully we could nip down to our 'other house' and make use of the cleaner there...which actually worked way better than ours!!

Once we were dust free we could start painting the walls again. Between me and Molly we gave the original 'purple' wall another coat of 'Timeless' paint although having looked at it later this evening it will need another coat tomorrow just to finish it off. Simon was able to apply a little more filler where needed and do a little more light sanding before we agreed that we could do no more today and that we will have to wait until tomorrow to let everything dry and then finish off where needed.

So that was pretty much our 150th day since lockdown began and while lockdown has been eased quite significantly we are still treading carefully in case those case numbers start creeping up again. Over the last few days we have seen our numbers increase and we have had quarantines imposed for those returning from an ever growing list of countries so who knows where we will be again in a week or mores time. I have two weeks left of my Summer break before we re-open pre-school and I think we may have some interesting times ahead!

Take care out there, stay as safe as you can; wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a mask...please!
xx

Friday, 14 August 2020

Day 149

Day 149..

And another very busy day...in fact so busy that this will be a quick post as I type at 11.04pm!!

Once we were up and about our first job of the day was to head over to our local DIY store to stock up on the necessary supplies so that we could crack on with decorating our bedroom.

We needed plasterboard, paint and filler and while there we also picked up some wood so that we can make some fence repairs. We spotted some garden furniture that we liked the look of so we may be making a return journey in a couple of days time to pick that up!

We had a little treat when leaving the store as there was an ice-cream van parked up so we indulged in a '99 cone with Mr Whippy ice-cream...very nostalgic. It was shared with Molly although a couple of bites were more than enough for me!

Once home, and with a coffee inside us, we set to on filling in the holes left by yesterday's electric installation and then re-painting all the walls. We had one feature wall of a lovely dark purple but because our new wardrobes will obscure most of that wall we have decided to make that wall match the rest of the room with a neutral colour called 'Timeless'. We managed a couple of coats over the purple but I think it will need a couple more over the next few days!

Simon managed to fill in all the holes and we will now need to sand these back tomorrow ready for a little more filler before we can paint over them. So hopefully by the end of the weekend the bedroom will be all sorted and ready for when the wardrobes get installed in September. We just need to sort some new flooring out as we want to replace the carpet with a wooden floor but this will be a job once we have all the decorating completed.

We have then put the bedroom kind of back to normal...well we have just returned enough furniture so that it can function as a bedroom as we are really in need of getting to bed as we are knackered!

Going to be another busy day tomorrow as well I think!

Take care out there, stay safe, keep your distance, wash your hands and wear a mask!
xx

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Day 148

Day 148...

Well today has been another busy and productive day and although warm it was thankfully not as hot as the last few days.

After a rubbish nights sleep...a combination of a warm night and then as a woman of a certain age add in night sweats and the result was a very fragmented nights sleep.

But we were up early as we had our electrician booked in for today and we needed to remove as much as we could from our bedroom so that he could get in there and move sockets. We needed 3 new sockets that will be for the lighting in our new wardrobes, there were 3 double sockets that all needed moving so that they would be accessible once the wardrobes are installed, our main bedroom light switch had to be moved and some fancy cabling installed for our TV and internet connection - phew!

Once the electricians had arrived and started working we decided to carry on with the fence painting that we had begun yesterday. By the time we had finished late this afternoon we had painted 20 panels, on both sides, plus about 25 metres of slated fencing. We had a few spots of rain at one point that we thought was going to stop us but by the time we had put lids on the paint it had stopped.

We also cut back some more overgrown plants which meant we could reach all of the fencing that needed painting and Simon also installed a new garden light to replace one that had been damaged and no longer worked.

All the electrics were completed by the afternoon and our next job will be to fill the holes and then redecorate the room ready for the wardrobes to be installed in a few weeks time. We have a long list of supplies that we need and our first job tomorrow will be off to the local DIY store to get all the necessary bits and pieces. We currently have a dark purple wall and that needs painting back to a much lighter, creamy colour so think that may take quite a few coats of paint!

And that was our day...another non-stop day but a day that felt like a 'normal' day where Coronavirus hasn't been at the front of our thoughts.

Whatever you do, please take care, stay safe, wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a mask!
xx

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Day 147

Day 147...

So we had no real plan set for today as we were supposed to be having some electric work completed which is now happening tomorrow instead, but as it was yet another very warm (okay extremely hot) day we decided to make the most of it.

First job was to have another trip to our local recycling centre as we had a car full of rubbish as a result of tidying our garage last night.

Once home we decided to give our garden fences a much needed coat of paint. We have quite a lot of fence around our garden but between me, Simon & Molly and fueled by coffee breaks we managed to paint 12 panels (both sides) and a gate...we have a further 16 to paint tomorrow along with a stretch of fence which must be about 8 metres long!! Fingers crossed that the weather is good again tomorrow so that we can get it all completed. Although I wouldn't mind if it was a few degrees cooler as it was very hot and very sweaty work today!

Simon has been getting to grips with an app called Photomyne and has managed to get one album of very old photos (talking early 1900's) scanned, processed and saved. Our aim is to work through all the albums we have inherited (around 30) and once complete we can share amongst the family and only save those physical photos that are important to us.

While Simon took Molly to her kickboxing class I jumped online with my good friend Michelle to record this weeks episode of our Disney Dream Girls podcast. We chatted to a couple, Daniel & Jaime, who are regular visitors to Disneyland Paris and have visited twice since their re-opening in July. It was really interesting to hear about their experience and how much they had enjoyed being back in the 'magic'.

To give Disneyland Paris credit it does sound like they have reopened with sensible plans in place; restrictions on numbers in the parks, social distancing markings, perspex screens, hand sanitising before entering the parks, shops, restaurants and attractions, masks are mandatory everywhere and if visitors are found without them they could run the risk of being evicted from the parks. And despite these measures Daniel & Jaime have enjoyed their time back in the parks and said it still felt like Disney. There are more character 'meet and greets', although socially distanced, and more rare characters are making appearances. There are mini parades happening and cast members are joining in with greeting guests more than they ever did before. It looks like a few more 'shows' will be up and running shortly with controlled numbers of visitors able to 'book' to go see them. All in all it really did sound like Disneyland Paris are handling the re-opening as safely as they possibly can.

So if we all want to be back doing the things we love and going the places we want then we all need to follow the rules - wash/sanitise your hands, keep your distance and wear a mask. If we all do this then we can all get back to something closer to 'normal' quicker!
xx

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Day 146

Day 146...

Well today has been another busy day on another very hot day!

We have spent most of the day down at our 'other house' clearing out the last few bits. First we concentrated on the garden shed and although it didn't look like there was much in there by the time we had finished we had a car full of all sorts to be taken to our local recycling centre.

After the car was emptied we headed home for a coffee and a quick bite to eat before heading back down to the 'other house' and this time we tackled the garage. Oh my! So many random pieces of wood that had to be chopped down before we could load it into the car. There were also so many old tools and other random bits and pieces and before we knew it the car was full again and it was off to the recycling centre for a second time!

We then headed back to the 'other house' to load the car up once again but this time with things that we needed to bring home. We must have inherited about 30 photo albums and now need to decide what on earth we are going to do with them all. Simon has found a very handy app that will scan in photos and process them to ensure a faithful digital copy so we are going to take advantage of a free trial to see if it'll be a better solution than storing all of them physically because we simply do not have the space for them.

Once home we recharged our batteries with a coffee before tackling our own garage to have a bit of a sort through and load the car up once again ready for another trip to the local recycling centre tomorrow!

And that's where I'm going to end today - hot, sweaty, dusty and knackered! I need a shower, food and another glass of red wine!!

Take care out there, stay safe, wash your hands, keep you distance and wear a mask - simples!
xx

Monday, 10 August 2020

Day 145

Day 145...

So first job of the day, as is our usual routine for a Monday, was off to our local supermarket of choice to collect our weekly grocery shop. As we were a bit later than normal today we actually had to use their locker system which I think is probably the first time in about four months.

A bonus of being a bit later than normal was that we bumped into one of the store colleagues, Jon, who is their 'community champion' and is a regular visitor to pre-school and has supported us on numerous occasions. So it was lovely to have a chat and catch-up and great to hear how he and his partner are coping with the present situation.

On the way home we popped by my dads as we had some vouchers to drop off for him as I am his technical support!

After lunch we decided to head back down to our 'other house' and box up all that we want to sell on and bring it back to our house. Suffice to say I now have a hallway full, and I mean full, of stuff that will need sorting through and putting online for sale. Most of it I'm fairly confident that it will have some value but we have an awful lot of glassware that just isn't our thing and have no idea what it is and whether it is sellable or not!

That took most of our afternoon and once home we had time for a coffee before taking Molly to her kickboxing lesson; her first time working out inside since the easing of lockdown, although there was no physical contact between students.

We have had a bit of fun tonight going old skool and listening to some '80's classics...namely Tears for Fears and that then led to a conversation about holding '80's & Halloween parties that always seem to involve very merry friends belting out the karaoke - some great memories and I can only hope that we can attempt to recreate these at some point in the future.

Whatever you are doing, stay safe, keep your distance and wear a mask...please!
xx

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Day 144

Day 144...

First job of the day was to update my online grocery shop ahead of pick-up day tomorrow.

While I was doing that Simon was making some tweaks to his R2D2 after fitting some magnetic catches last night. We took a coffee break out on the decking enjoying the bench that I had repainted last weekend before deciding what job was next.

We then had the exciting job of defrosting one of our freezers - whoop! We had a slight mishap last week when the door had been left ever so slightly open...not enough to defrost the food but enough to cause the build up of ice to melt a little. So today it was get everything out and defrost it properly which only took us about 45 minutes.

Another coffee break was followed by a walk over the fields for the first time in about a week; we just did a couple of miles in about 40 minutes to make sure we were back home in time ready for our weekly Disney quiz hosted by the podcast I co-host, the Disney Dream Girls.

We had a good giggle attempting the quiz and managed a whole 11 points and think we may have come in last place!! But to use a cliche it really isn't about the winning but about the taking part, the chatting with people from around the world and having a bit of a laugh.

The conversation has, as it does quite often, turned to Coronavirus again...what are we supposed to be doing? What are we allowed to do? How come we can go to a pub or restaurant but we aren't supposed to be hanging out with friends? If we do meet up with people where can it be...how many of us and how close can we get? Everything feels so confusing and so open to interpretation and when you either see images of crowded beaches and pubs or you know of people who would appear to be breaking the rules it can all feel quite helpless.

I suppose it would be easy to just do whatever we want and go wherever we want with no regard for the rules and justify it by saying 'well that's what everyone else is doing'. But could we then live with ourselves if that action resulted in someone falling ill...someone we care about...someone who may be vulnerable.

We all have to take some responsibility if we want to get through all this and be able to get to a point where life gets back to something like what it used to be. So some sacrifice now should mean that we can get to that point quicker and safely...simple measures like keeping your distance, washing your hands and wearing a mask. Surely not too much to ask if we can all get back to something like normal?

I am sure there will be a documentary all about this in a year or two's time and the truth will come out. Did we go into lockdown too late? Could we have adopted a more relaxed lockdown? Did we re-open too much too quickly? What will be the long term impact on our mental health, our economy and our education systems? Could the powers that be have been better prepared? Could they have prevented all this? Was it over exaggerated or underplayed? Who knows? All we do know is at this point in time it is wrecking havoc with our lives and stopping us from doing all the things that we want and going to all the places we would like.

But all we can do...for now...is take care, stay safe, wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a mask - please.
xx

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Day 143

Day 143...

Another beautiful and warm day again today.

This time last year we were in a very warm and very busy Disneyland Paris...I suspect that while the weather may be the same the crowds will definitely not!

A very busy entrance to Disneyland Paris, 8th August 2019
But starting the day with lovely sunny and warm weather got us reminiscing about our last trip to Walt Disney World back in 2013 when we were lucky enough to be staying at the Wilderness Lodge Resort as a result of a free upgrade from the Coronado Resort.

We loved being able to grab a breakfast from Roaring Forks and eat it outside soaking up the sunshine and the atmosphere. Nothing better than eating Mickey waffles off paper plates, with plastic cutlery, enjoying the crispy bacon and fruit compote with plenty of syrup...so not the food we eat nowadays but we would love to be able to eat breakfast there right now! Been too long since we were able to get to Walt Disney World and I fear it will be a while yet before we are able to get there again :(

Breakfast outside, waffles, bacon, syrup and more!
Enjoying pancakes with fruit and maple syrup!!
And talk of Disney food meant we couldn't mention breakfast without mentioning Tonga Toast from over at the Polynesian Resort - sourdough bread, bananas and cinnamon...mmmm....
Tonga Toast
Still I really enjoyed my breakfast this morning, my usual of sausage, bacon (with a little brie) and two poached eggs.

But once we got ourselves moving today we had some paperwork to sort for our other house which meant messing about online and a couple of phone calls. I had laundry to sort thanks to Molls return home last night and Simon had the new box/cover construction to lightly sand in a few places followed by another coat of varnish.

We had another visit to our 'other house' this afternoon to paint over a few holes in walls that had been filled where we had taken down some pictures and things. We also boxed up some of the items that we have decided to sell and brought them home so that we can start getting that process underway.

Once back home and fueled by coffee we had a new plant to put in the garden along with the removal of a couple of very old plants that had seen better days. I also decided to cut back a few off our larger plants to give them a bit more room to grow. While I was doing that Simon had some work to complete on his R2D2 build; a little sanding and then primer painting.

We had a treat tonight and had our first take-out meal since lockdown began from our local kebab shop; this is great for us and our low carb way of life as we eat just the meat (chicken and steak - yummy) and salad but discard the pitta bread.

We have been chatting today about the impact of Coronavirus and what we should or should not be doing. How it affects us on a day to day basis and what to do with the information that we are receiving from governments and scientific bodies - it is all very confusing, open to interpretation and all we can try and do is what we think is the right thing to do.

We have tried to do as much as we can to limit our risk and therefore we hope the risk to others. We will continue to 'risk assess' anything that we want or need to do and only move forward when we are happy to do so. To have a take-out meal tonight was lovely and was a treat as it would have been prior to lockdown. We have not been out to a restaurant for a meal yet but we didn't eat out that much before the lockdown...I am sure we will have a meal out at some point but we are in no rush to do so. We have shopped online as much as possible but have ventured out when we have needed to but taken all the precautions that we can; face masks, distancing and hand sanitiser!

We are taking things slow and steady and will do our part, as much as we can, to help keep this virus under control but it can be very frustrating when seeing reports that imply there are those who appear to not be taking as much care and consideration as us.

So whatever you are up to please take care, keep your distance, wash your hands and wear a mask.
xx

Friday, 7 August 2020

Day 142

Day 142...

So the gravel saga continued today...

As we had been told to ring the company in question after 10am we had a more relaxed start to the day than of late. Not long after 10am Simon picked up the phone and found himself on hold.

While Simon was on hold I did a few household chores but after about 20 minutes and still being on hold I decided to write the company an email to express our unhappiness with the situation and to see whether that would garner any response. I also tweeted them as well...suffice to say neither the email or tweet generated any response whatsoever.

After 50 minutes on hold Simon finally got to speak to an actual person who said that the delivery was due to be with us between 1pm and 5pm. So before heading down to wait yet again we decided to get some jobs done. I had a few bills to pay and my car insurance to renew and Simon wanted to varnish our now completed box/cover construction.

After lunch we headed down to the 'other house' expecting to be hanging about waiting for the gravel to arrive but lo and behold it was sat on the drive waiting for us - hallelujah!

We then had the job of moving it from the front of the house to the back garden; this was a case of Simon filling buckets and carrying them into the back garden for me to then rake into place...oh did I mention it was one of the hottest days of the year today!! I think it was 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit for my American friends).

But once we had all the gravel moved we realised we needed some more. So we jumped in the car and tried a local garden centre...no red gravel but we did get a good deal on some fence paint that we need for our garden!

Back in the car and off to a well known DIY store (after checking online if they had what we wanted). We picked up 8 bags of gravel, a plant for my garden, a set of screwdrivers and a new cordless drill. Simon's drill was starting to play up over the last couple of days and yesterday it tripped the electrics in the house, which wasn't good as Ethan was busy working...online...oops! So we decided to take advantage of being in a DIY store and picked a new one up and anyway Simon has been after a cordless one for ages.

The great thing was that at both the garden centre and the DIY store the vast majority of customers and some of the staff were wearing masks. From Monday it becomes mandatory in shops and other indoor places.

Back to our other house to lay the rest of the gravel and it does look rather smart and hopefully will be easy to look after.
We finally got back home about 6.30pm and Simon gave the new box/storage construction another coat of varnish, this time on the inside and it is now all completed. While Simon was busy I jumped in the shower as I was rather dusty and sweaty!! And then sorted a couple of online admin bits that I hadn't been able to do earlier today.

And at just about 8.30pm Molly arrived home after her week away at her fella's place.

Red wine? Don't mind if I do...another busy day of what has been a very busy and productive week.

Take care out there, keep your distance and wear a mask!
xx

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Day 141

Day 141...

Another early start and the big question of the day was will the gravel finally get delivered?!!

And the simple answer is no!

So with no further updates from the gravel company we arrived at the house for about 8.30am and got on with a few smaller jobs. Filling in a few holes, dismantling photos from frames and photographing some of the items that we want to sell on.

We emailed the company first thing and received a 'holding' email saying that a customer service advisor would be in touch - no one got in touch.

The only communication we had received was an email yesterday at around 11.20am to advise that the order was about to be shipped to a local 'hub' and from there would be sent to us within the next 24 hours. So we decided to give them until 11.20am today (i.e. 24 hours later) before chasing them any further.

Simon phoned twice; first time was a recorded message telling us to email but the second time he was able to get through to customer services and be put on hold. While Simon was doing this I decided to tweet the company - which 9 hours later has not been responded to.

After 18 minutes Simon eventually spoke to someone who apologised and explained there was a 48 hour delay...how can there be a 48 hour delay when we picked the day of delivery when we ordered last week? Why hadn't the company contacted us to tell us if they knew that was the case? If the company can't honour the days booked then they shouldn't be offering customers the option to pick their day. It was a good job that we hadn't paid extra for a morning or afternoon delivery!!

We have now been told to ring them again tomorrow at 10am when they should have an update for us...watch this space!

As there was nothing more we could do we decided to head home but the 'hanging about' for 3 hours waiting for a delivery that was never going to turn up had left us both feeling deflated and lacking any enthusiasm for anything. But with a coffee inside us we decided to make the best of the rest of the day by finishing our little project of making a box/cover for our cosplay kit box.

As we had made the side panels the other day we had to assemble the front and top of the box/cover as well as cut the overhanging slats to size, add some support in the corners and through the middle and fit some castors. 
Cutting the slats to size
Fitting castors
Completed box/cover & cosplay kit box...now you see it...
...and now you don't!
All that's left to do now is to stain and varnish it. This now means that our cosplay kit box is hidden out of sight and looks much more in keeping with the rest of our house.

I then jumped online to record this weeks episode of the Disney Dream Girls podcast with my co-host Michelle where we chatted Mary Poppins, some Disney news and then a little feature on unusual happenings in the parks.

By the time I'd finished recording Simon had been able to tidy everything away and have a little sort out in the garage as well as give the decking a second coat of stain.

So despite a slow start with a lot of hanging about for no reason we still managed to achieve a fair bit. Fingers crossed we find out what's happening with our gravel tomorrow!

Stay safe out there, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Day 140

Day 140...

Well it was an early start today to get up and out the house and down to our 'other house' to await the delivery of a skip and a tonne of gravel.

We started by systematically going through each room of the house deciding what we wanted to keep, what could be sold and what needed to go in the skip.

At about 1pm the skip turned up so we could start filling it...and fill it we did!
Looking very glam filling the skip!
By the end of the day we had cleared the house, made a really good start on clearing the garage and had filled the skip...
Full!!!
We are hoping that the remaining bits and bobs from the garage and the shed we will be able to take to our local recycling centre ourselves.

We have lots of china, glassware and ornaments that, although not worth a lot, are too good to simply throw away so I will have the task of selling them either online or to local second-hand or vintage shops.

It was at times quite emotional as we discovered diaries written by Simon's dad, drawings his dad had done as a teenager, letters between Simon's parents when they were first dating, war medals belonging to Simon's grandad, newspaper clippings, retro game magazines from when Simon had his first game published and lots more. We now have the job of deciding the best way to catalogue all of these and record them for posterity.

We also moved around furniture (as we are hoping to rent the house out as part-furnished) and Simon had the job of removing a Disney sticker from his old bedroom door...this Pluto had been there since the early 1970's!!
Pluto is no more!!!
And all throughout the day we kept waiting for our delivery of gravel...we waited and waited. By late afternoon we were both really hungry so Simon nipped home to fetch some food and coffee to keep us going. We waited some more but by 8pm tonight (having been there since 8.30am this morning) no gravel had arrived. We had had an email mid morning to say the gravel was on its way to our 'local hub' and that was it. But as delivery could be up till 7pm we had no choice but to wait...fingers crossed it will be with us tomorrow, which will mean another early start for us! Although there will be an unhappy email winging its way to the gravel supplier!

And now we are putting our feet up with a glass of well deserved red wine.

Take care out there, stay safe, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Day 139

Day 139...

The plan this morning was to get outside and stain our decking as Simon had managed to get it all jet washed yesterday but the weather had other ideas. And while it rained only very lightly we decided to divert our efforts elsewhere.

So we spent the majority of the morning starting to assemble the wooden box/cover that Simon is making for our cosplay kit box to live in. We had to trim the planks to size before we could plan out how to attach the planks to the framework that we had made yesterday. Simon managed to make a template so that he could drill holes for the screws in each plank so that the screws are all spaced evenly.

It was then time for me to jump in the shower and get changed as I had a very important appointment to attend...the hairdressers! So last time I had my hair cut and coloured was way back on the 6th March when I decided to try and get back to blonde!
6th March 2020 - going blonde
So it was great to get back today and I decided that I needed to get my short hair back and maybe try a different colour...
Before photo - photo doesn't really show just how long it had gotten!

After photo - a two tone affair, and nice to get my extra short hair back
So from blonde to black with a flash of pink! A lovely couple of hours to brighten me up and in a very safe environment. Masks worn by all, limited numbers of people in the salon (in fact just me and my hairdresser), hand sanitiser, cleaning down between clients, disposable aprons/gowns, no magazines and no drinks - all very safe.

As I got home Simon had just left to go in search of more decking stain as while I was being pampered he had managed to fix his 3D printer and then decided to paint the decking but had run out of stain. So my first, and very important, job was to put a pot of coffee on ready for when he got home.

We were then able to get the rest of the deck stained in super quick time followed by a little more assembly work on our storage box project.

Another very full day and tomorrow is going to be another busy day as we are having a skip delivered to our 'other house' as well as just under a tonne of gravel!

Take care out there, stay safe, wash your hands and wear a mask.
xx

Monday, 3 August 2020

Day 138

Day 138...

Today has been a busy day!

First job of the day was to take my car over to the garage for a service. Once we'd dropped it off we headed over to our local supermarket of choice (okay it's Asda!) to collect our weekly grocery shop. And yet again Marky Mark was there to greet us!

Back home it was unpack the shopping, wipe it all down, wash the fruit and veggies, throw away as much packaging as possible before putting it all away...and then coffee.

My next job was to finish off painting the remaining pieces of the bench I've been working on these last few days. But first I was able to help one of my older neighbours by taking in her shopping. She is currently waiting on a hip operation but is still able to get out the house, drive and complete a grocery shop...I have tried to convince her to try home delivery or at least a collect service but she is clinging on to being independent. She has only recently started living on her own as her husband is now living in a care home as a result of dementia, which is very sad but having lived through a parent suffering with dementia and the amount of strain that can put on their other half is completely the right thing to do. I have stressed to my neighbour that she must ask for help as we are only too happy to help where we can.

Well the bench is now finished...I finished off the metal work, touched up some of the wooden slats and when I turned it back the right way round I was able to touch up a couple of spots that had been scratched. I just need for it to dry out completely and then it can find a new place to live in my garden.

While I was finishing the bench Simon was busy planning the framework needed for his project to make a wooden surround that will hide our cosplay 'kit box'. He calculated the amount of wood needed, double checked it with me before we headed off to a DIY store to buy said wood plus varnish, screws, wood filler and some decking stain.

Once home it was time for coffee and cutting wood ready to make the frame that the wooden slats that Simon has cleaned up over the last few weeks will be attached to. 
Cleaned up slats all ready to go
We took a short break to go and fetch my car from the garage before we (well...Simon!) completed the job of assembling the wooden pieces.
Caution - Man at work!!
Frame end pieces made!!
The end frame pieces are now made so tomorrow the slats can be attached to make the complete frame.

The day was then rounded out with Simon jet washing the decking in the garden so that tomorrow we can stain it...so like I said it has been a busy old day.

It was great to see that when we were out at our local DIY store that everyone was wearing face masks (although not all staff were but those that were around the store helping customers, stocking shelves etc did seem to be). At the garage, although the staff were not wearing masks, there was lots of signage asking customers to wear them and a supply of disposable ones for customers to use and all the customers I saw were wearing them. Maybe the message is starting to get through? If we want to be able to do 'normal' things again, and do them safely, then we all need to wear a mask - simples.

So whatever you are doing take care, stay safe, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx