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.
xx

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!
xx

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 snowballs...well...at 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.
xx

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.
xx

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 this...an 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.
xx

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 hour...so 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.
xx

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 spiders...at 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.
xx


Friday, 20 November 2020

Yay Friday!

Day 237...

And we have reached Friday...ready for the weekend? A...shall we just carry on then as we have been doing.

My day was a full on work day; replying to emails, chatting with members of my management team and committee, organising our approach to our Christmas fundraising activities and ending with a good sort through and a bit of a clear-out.

We took a walk out at lunchtime, despite the rain, and managed our usual couple of miles although we did stick to the pavement rather than risk a squelchy walk over the fields.

Molly has been extremely organised and got all (or almost all) of her Christmas shopping completed which meant that the only other thing I seem to have done today is to answer the door to take in yet another delivery.

Although I will confess that in amongst all her boxes there was one for me...

New additions to be Christmas lights!
...well I can't resist having a few more lights up outside and to be fair as we won't be able to go anywhere this year I might as well make home look amazing. I have my eye on a tree that would go really well just outside my living room window...but can't decide whether to go for it or not!!

This did mean that I have now given in and my current music has changed to something more seasonal, with a big thanks to Molly who has a Christmas playlist on her Spotify account.
Simon treated himself to a trip to the gym tonight but I have to admit to having lost my gym 'mojo' at the moment. I really need to get back to it...just need to get motivated.

And there we have Friday and the end of a week. Just one more week completed in this strange world we find ourselves in.

Take care,
xx


Thursday, 19 November 2020

A Disney Box Day

Day 236...

Well today has been a very work focused day today as I really wanted to get on top of all my work so that heading into next week and December I would have a clear plan of what I need to do and when.

This is always a busy time of year as we move towards Christmas and this year is the same but different. We can't do our usual Christmas fundraising or concerts but we are coming up with other ways to make it special instead. We still need to do some fundraising so I have been gathering my thoughts together and set a few things in motion.

As our pre-school shares a building we need to sort a separate storage area and I nipped out quickly this morning to pay pre-school a visit and take some photos of where we need the storage unit to be located. We want to use a shipping container for our storage space but there are a number of different options we could choose plus we need to make sure where we want to site it is both safe, suitable and accessible. I am in the middle of a number of emails chatting with various companies to see what is...or is not...possible.

As a nice interruption to the day I received a delivery from the Disney Store...some more Christmas decorations! Well, it would have been rude not to when I had a 20% discount code plus I qualified for a free gift...

How could I resist getting this...especially when it was free!
And that was today...a productive day all round, work done, a few household chores done and we even managed our usual 40 minute walk out at lunchtime. Although I do need to get some new boots for walking over the fields as by the time I got home today both feet were rather chilly and just a little bit wet!

Until tomorrow, take care.
xx

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Lockdown Birthday

Day 235...

Well today we celebrate two birthdays; firstly that of Mickey Mouse and secondly and most importantly my dad.

But it was still a work day and this morning I set to sorting through my 'to do' list to catch up on a number of tasks for work. And my day revolved around those jobs dipping in and out at times to get other stuff done but my main focus was trying to get on top of 'work' stuff.

We took a walk out at lunchtime and headed out over the fields for a 40 minute walk in very blustery, but thankfully dry, conditions.

Before I re-started work this afternoon I decided to make a low carb, dark chocolate cake for my dad's birthday. This is a very dense chocolate cake made with 85% dark chocolate, butter, eggs and vanilla essence; very yummy and goes great with some cream and raspberries.

While I was baking I decided to video chat with Molly as we had been chatting all morning via text about possible changes and improvements to her Shutter Studios website. She was debating about whether to opt for a different website platform and weighing up the various options as ultimately she would like to be able to sell her products via her own website. Lots of things to consider and lots of differing costs options.

She also showed me some Christmas Cards that she has had printed and is thinking of putting onto her Etsy store; must admit I am thinking of ordering some myself from her because they are really very good.

The afternoon rolled along and I was pleased to get everything done today that I had wanted to get done; still more to do but happy that I had achieved what I'd set out to do.

It was then time to fetch my dad and bring him back to our house for dinner. My dad doesn't often venture our way and it was lovely to be able to persuade him to come visit for a couple of hours. We had a little video chat with Molly while dinner was cooking and then after we introduced my dad to the low carb chocolate cake which was pretty well received.

So a day of birthdays, cake and good company.

Take care out there.
xx

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Flu Jab Day

Day 234...

So another day at home, rather than in work because pre-school is closed until next week.

I took the time this morning to package up a few Ebay sales and you'll be pleased to know that my pile of items for sale is gradually getting smaller. My incentive is that I will need space in my hall in just over a weeks time as that is when my Christmas decorations will be going up and I will need the space currently being occupied!

The last weekend in November is always marked on the calendar as 'Christmas Decorations' weekend; historically we would use this weekend to put up the outdoor lights and then the following weekend would have been our indoor ones but last year we just tackled everything in one weekend and so we have a new way forward. Having three trees indoors and plenty of outdoor lights we really do need a full weekend to get everything just right.

The rest of the morning was spent catching up with pre-school admin work which was interrupted at lunchtime with a trip to the post office with the parcels I'd packaged up this morning.

Before I knew it it was time to nip to my doctors surgery to get my flu jab. A straight forward process and very well managed by the surgery; arriving just before my appointment I was back in my car five minutes later. So all sorted and just left with a slightly sore arm. Although I had to raise a smile when I was asked if I was allergic to egg (I was already aware that this could be an issue for anyone with an allergy) as I must eat at a minimum 2 eggs every day.

I decided to pop by my dad's on the way home to make sure he was doing okay and to invite him to our house for dinner tomorrow evening as it's his birthday. My dad lives on his own and is part of our 'bubble' thankfully.

Once home I was able to carry on with more pre-school administration work as I'd missed a few hours of work today so wanted to make up for them.

And that had been my day today. A fairly busy sort of day, one where I could just get things done and not dwell too much on what is going on in the world around us. The further we get into this 'situation', or whatever it is that we are calling it, the more disillusioned I find myself becoming with everything that is happening around us...but there is very little that I can do about any of it so I will carry on and do what I can and hope that those that know more can get it sorted one way or another.

Take care out there.
xx

Monday, 16 November 2020

Creative Monday

Day 233...

Well today got off to a bit of a wobble; we were supposed to be off out first thing to collect our weekly grocery shop but I'd not had my usual email and text so I decided to check my account.

Turned out that my booked slot was for between 4pm and 5pm and not 9am - 10am, even though I'd changed the slot yesterday and had an email confirming the change of time...we decided to stay home and wait till later to go fetch it.

So with the flow of the day changed Simon took some time this morning to get back to his R2D2 build. It's been a while since he's done some work on this because of completing his other droid project, art commissions and his normal day job simply getting in the way. So today it was sanding more parts ready for priming...apparently!

I on the other hand had the amazing job of ironing...whoop! Although while ironing I was also chatting with Molly via WhatsApp as she was busy uploading some new items to her Etsy store. She'd also sent me another papercraft character that she's created to print out to make sure it will work and can be sold as a downloadable item on her store.

I then managed to secure myself a flu jab after trying to get through to my doctors numerous times this morning, and amazingly I have an appointment for tomorrow afternoon. This will be my first visit to a doctors since COVID struck so that will be an interesting experience.

I was aware that the government are trying to get more people my age to get the flu jab this year but that they haven't targeted that age group yet and then I realised that I actually fall into the group of people that qualify because of a health condition that makes me more vulnerable. So this is the thing; I got diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2019, had a lumpectomy in April of 2019, radiotherapy in June of 2019 and am now one year into having yearly check-ups for 5 years. What I hadn't realised was that this puts me into the 'vulnerable' category.

I had a text a while back about getting a flu jab and had kind of forgotten about it but then I'd had a reminder a couple of weeks ago and had been ruminating on what to do. So today I decided to figure out why I was being offered it. You see, my cancer was relatively minor, it was caught early and yes I had treatment but I have a habit of dismissing it and so it's not till something like this happens that it causes me to take stock of the situation.

My left boob (or as we like to refer to it...the naughty one) isn't the same as it once was. Although I had a lumpectomy and the scar is under my boob there is a definite difference between the two now...at least for me! The boob feels different to how it used to, the scarring has improved and it doesn't feel as numb as it once used to, but I still get weird pains every now and then; nothing major just little spikes and soreness.

And then I find out that being diagnosed and having treatment is enough to put me in the vulnerable group for a flu jab because I may have a weakened immune system due to the treatment I underwent. That's something I don't ever remember being told when going through my treatment so it does make you stop and think. I think I have tried to brush aside what I went through last year, eager to get on with this year and make the most of life (not that that is really happening for obvious reasons!) and just chalk 2019 up to being a pretty weird year, for a lot of reasons and not just the cancer one. But perhaps I need to give it more credence than I have so far, perhaps I need to acknowledge the impact it had on me and will have on me for the next few years. It's easy to try and dismiss things but harder to embrace them, accept them and incorporate them into your life.

On a lighter note the afternoon was filled with collecting the shopping, putting up a couple of shelves and attempting the papercraft people Molly had created...which was fun?! Well, Molly has created some lovely little characters and they were quite fun to cut out and assemble. But while these are very cute they are also very fiddly and were definitely not a family friendly activity in this house this afternoon as all that could be heard was a string of profanities as the frustration got to us...but in the end look what we created!

These were fun to create, even if a little testing at times, but it was still a giggle!

Well until tomorrow, take care and stay safe.
xx

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Chilly Sunday

Day 232...

And we had another slow and steady start to the day.

Once up and fed the day started with the mundane tasks of completing my online grocery shop ready for collection tomorrow, a little online research for this afternoon's Disney quiz and updating the latest blog post for the Disney Dream Girls.

Simon was busy tidying around after yesterday's DIY efforts as well as jumping online to complete some art commission work.

Once our respective jobs were complete it was time to venture outside and go on a walk. Despite the rain first thing today it had turned sunny but windy and we thought we would make the most of it. So we set off and tried a different route for a change, and were really happy with the new change of scenery and it will definitely be a route we go back to. All in all we managed 5.5 miles in just over an hour and 40 minutes; it was a bit chilly at times and I am glad I had my Mickey hat on to keep my ears warm from the wind!

Armed with a coffee it was time to jump onto the Disney Store website to buy a few more bits and pieces that I'd been after that had come back into stock...and armed with a discount code I managed to secure free shipping and qualify for a free gift too!

It was then time for our usual Sunday afternoon Disney Dream Girls Disney quiz and this week we also recorded a segment for an upcoming show. We'd all been given the task of coming up with some foodie choices for a day in the Magic Kingdom; 2 snack options and 2 meal options. It was interesting to see the similarities in what was chosen while at the same time introducing people to options they'd not thought of, or tried, before.

And I'll think I'll end it there for today, take care and look after yourselves.
xx

Saturday, 14 November 2020

More DIY

Day 231...

Well we had the good intention of getting up bright and early and getting on with the day but it didn't quite happen.

So after a slow and steady start to the day we finally made the effort to get moving and set to with painting the bathroom...I say 'we' but I actually mean Simon.

Simon was already to get painting when he discovered that what he thought were full cans of paint in the garage were not quite as full as he needed them to be, so off he went in search of paint. 

So here we are in week two of lockdown two and Simon arrives at our local retail park to purchase the aforementioned paint. Apparently the car park was 70-80% full (so pretty much like a normal Saturday), he said the supermarket was 'heaving', there were queues of cars to both the MacDonald's drive thru' and the Costa drive thru' (Simon counted 33 cars queuing for Costa) and when he went to pay for the paint he joined a queue of 12. We have been in the same store when lockdown restrictions were eased and never had to queue with that many before.

Is this due to non-essential retail not being open that the public are simply getting their shopping fix elsewhere? Or does this just demonstrate that this lockdown is nothing like the first one and that people are pretty much getting on with whatever they can. It certainly appears to be different this time around and whether this is having any affect who only knows.

The afternoon was taken up with Simon painting the bathroom and I had embarked on a quick tidy up of the kitchen dining area...well you know how you start something and it turns out to be a much bigger job than you'd anticipated! Furniture was moved, things were re-organised, some things thrown away and everywhere thoroughly cleaned; the trick will be to keep it that way!

We rounded the day out with a well deserved Indian meal from a local restaurant, at least we can do a little bit to help the smaller, local businesses who are really feeling it at the moment.

Hope you're having a productive weekend, take care and stay safe.
xx

Friday, 13 November 2020

It was bound to happen...

Day 230...

Yay it's Friday...well that was the start to the day but it didn't take long for things to take a sideways turn.

Not long after arriving at pre-school we received a call to let us know that we had a positive case...and then the day got kind of busy!

So after contacting the relevant authorities we were basically told that anyone with close contact with the positive case would need to self-isolate for 14 days; the upshot of this meant we had to close pre-school.

We had parents waiting outside to drop their children off for the day and my deputy had the unenviable task of telling them we had to close while I remained on the phone with the powers that be to ascertain the why's and the wherefore's.

Once we had a handle on the situation everyone headed off home. Due to the fact that we are a small pre-school it does mean that a good proportion of our children and staff are now needing to self-isolate which means that we have no option but to close pre-school. We hope to be re-open in just over a weeks time.

It did mean that once I landed home I was straight on the laptop to fire off a load of emails to all our parents, the relevant authorities and anyone else I could think off. Just daft things like remembering to cancel our milk delivery!

As it was, Simon was off work today and when I got home he was busy doing some DIY in our bathroom; re-grouting tiles followed by a bit of plastering. By late lunchtime he had finished all that he could do which coincided with me having done everything I needed to do so a walk out was very much needed and deserved; just a short one today but lovely none the less.

The afternoon saw us take another batch of parcels to the post office; I think we must have had almost 20 to take today. Getting home it was time for a coffee, getting up to date on emails and re-listing some of my online sales. Simon was able to sand down the plastering he had done which means that we are all ready for a spot of painting tomorrow.

And that means that as it's Friday it must be time for a glass of wine and to sit and watch the 'Baby Yoda' show as we like to call it!

So with all the crazy going on please take care and look after yourselves.
xx

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Thursday...still busy!

Day 229...

Well, today has been another busy day.

Although not in work today I had an online meeting to attend mid-morning so before that started I quickly sorted out a couple more parcels ready for going to the post office later on.

Thankfully the meeting was fairly short although didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know! It was a meeting set up the council that looks after education in our area and was supposed to be going over the implications of the second lockdown that we are now over a week into!

Once that was over I had another parcel to wrap and get a postage figure for. This was some rather delicate china so I was being rather particular about how I was packing it to then get the correct price for posting in relation to the weight and insurance just in case anything gets damaged in transit. Once all sorted I was able to contact the person buying the china to arrange payment.

Lunchtime rolled around and Simon and I headed off to the post office armed with boxes upon boxes! I had at that point sold 23 jigsaws plus a few other pieces; there were a lot of boxes!

After lunch I did some work as we need to organise an outside storage unit for pre-school and it's a case of looking into what sort of unit would work best for us, where it's going to live and how to get it installed. We are looking into getting some sort of shipping container and it is a more complex task than you would first think.

Later on this afternoon I hooked up online with my good friend and fellow Disney Dream Girl, Michelle to record this weeks podcast. We had a lovely time chatting all things Disney as well as just being able to catch up with one another as we both seem to be having a rather busy week.

Simon has been busy with work this past week as well, so much so that he had to work over the weekend as well as Monday, his non-working day of the week. But this afternoon his whole team got told to take the rest of the day and tomorrow off in recognition of all the hard work put in in order to meet a deadline - how great is that?!

And by the time I had recorded the podcast my inbox had filled up with more Ebay sales so Simon and I then spent about an hour wrapping up another 12 jigsaws all paid for as well as the delicate box of china. So we will be paying our local post office another visit tomorrow!!

And that has been today - really don't feel like I've stopped all week this week so thank goodness it's Friday tomorrow.

Take care,
xx

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Whirlwind Wednesday

Day 228...

Well today has been another whirlwind of a day!

At work we had what we call here in the UK, an Inset Day, or otherwise known as a teacher training day. And today we, as a team, undertook some training, some first aid training.

As early years practitioners we must hold an accredited paediatric first aid qualification, which has to be renewed every 3 years. This normally involves a face-to-face course held over 2 days but due to COVID it had been split into two halves. The first was an online segment done at a time convenient to each person and then today we had the second half held via Zoom.

So our team were all in work together and I had the job of being tech support and setting up each of the laptops to join in via Zoom. It worked pretty well, we had one laptop lose it's audio ability and we suffered with a bit of feedback whenever we tried to communicate but otherwise we got through the day relatively okay.

We still have one part of the course yet to complete as we were missing one piece of important kit. As part of the course teaches us how and when to use CPR we all need to be able to demonstrate what we would do and that involves using a resuscitation doll. Unfortunately our dolls hadn't arrived so once they do we will all need to video each other giving CPR to the dolls to then send off and complete the course.

But today we had a few giggles putting each other into the recovery position, giving CPR to a cushion, using my plush Mickey Mouse as a substitute baby for CPR and choking purposes as well as putting a dressing on myself!

Once home I had a couple of letters to organise and then it was off to the post office to post them along with a few of my Ebay sales. I still have more to get to the post office but simply didn't have enough hands to manage them all by myself so I will hopefully get the rest taken tomorrow.

Home again it was time to catch-up on work emails, my own personal emails, a few more Ebay sales and helping Molly with some artwork she has produced and needed printing out (as she's not at home at the moment she doesn't have access to a printer so I have taken on the role of her PA!). Before I knew it, it was time to cook dinner and attempt to stop for the day!

We seem to be a very busy house this week! I suppose the good thing about that is it distracts from the whole lockdown thing happening. Although when I do stop and pause I am reminded that I have a friend who is self-isolating because of a positive case in her bubble at work, another friend unable to work because of looking after a child who is self-isolating because of a positive case in their school bubble, a friend who has a relative in hospital because they tested positive and so on. It can really feel never ending at times and I do wonder what the full and long term implications of all this will be.

Whatever you are up to please stay safe,
xx

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Busy Tuesday

Day 227...

Today has been a bit of a busy day!

In work today and had lots to do; we have a first aid course happening via Zoom tomorrow so this mornings task was to make sure all the devices we want to use could connect to our network and actually run Zoom. Thankfully everything worked fine...just need to hope my first aid knowledge works as well tomorrow.

A busy afternoon at work was followed by a busy evening at home. I got home to find a ton of Ebay sales had completed and been paid for. With thanks to Simon I now have a rather large pile of brown boxes to take to the post office tomorrow.

And that really has been about it today. We carry on as we have been doing and this second lockdown is having very little affect on us personally. We have been living a relatively quiet life since the first lockdown; limiting where we go and only doing what we need to do rather than what we would like to do. In conversations today I have remarked that the only things that seem to be affected by the second lockdown is the fun stuff; shopping, leisure, going to the hairdressers or getting a tattoo. So what are we hoping to achieve by all this? Or is this all an over reaction? Who knows...not me!

Take care out there.
xx

Monday, 9 November 2020

Manic Monday

Day 226...

Today's Monday was kind of in reverse to my normal Mondays, and by the time I get to write this the whole day feels kind of messy and I'm not really sure why?!

Ordinarily the first job of the day would be to head off to my supermarket of choice to collect the weekly grocery shop but due to a possibility of having to work today I had moved the collection slot till later this afternoon.

As it was I didn't need to work today after all but Simon in fact did. He has been working extra hours in order to get more work completed on their current game so that they can get it into a state ready to demonstrate it. 

I was left to pick up some jobs that needed doing around the house before setting to with another lot of Ebay sales. We have a number of board games that we no longer play so we have decided to sell them on. This did mean checking and counting all the contents to ensure all the correct pieces were in each game and I am pleased to say every game was complete!

Then it was a case of take photos, edit photos, upload them to my laptop and then start to get them listed online. By the end of the day I had got them all listed and at the same time had sold another three items!

Towards the later part of the afternoon I nipped over the road to the local farm to buy some eggs before then fetching the weekly grocery shop. 

So my day had been spent dipping in and out of things which has gotten things done but it just feels very messy. I even had a little pre-school work to do at one point.

We had some potentially positive news today around a vaccine, although it hasn't passed through the final stages yet, and it would appear that Mr Biden has already started putting his virus task force together. So perhaps things are starting to take a turn? Who knows? I know that the more I read, the more view points I get exposed to and the more questions I seem to have. Yet I fear that we will not know the answer to these questions for quite a while, but I look forward to the documentary in a year or so's time when we all sit around and watch with bated breath waiting to find out something close to the truth!

Stay safe out there,
xx

Sunday, 8 November 2020

A VR Sunday

Day 225...

Sunday...online shopping update day! Which took way longer than it should have done. Their system was being slow, it kept logging me out and then when I could get on it was showing items in duplicate or triplet. Then to add insult to injury it wouldn't let me 'check-out' - argh!

I then tried refreshing the page, logging out and back in again and ultimately a hard re-boot of my laptop but with no avail. As a final resort I decided to download their app onto my phone and see if that would make any difference. Thankfully once I logged onto the app I could see my 'shopping basket' had got all the items I'd added online and it allowed me to complete the 'check-out' process - phew!

My next job of the day was to renew both mine and Simon's passports online and I was expecting it to be a lengthy process but in actual fact it was a breeze. Nice and simple, straight forward questions to complete, photos uploaded successfully and all paid for in about a quarter of the time it took me to complete the grocery shop!

While I'd been messing about online Simon had been able to complete an art commission based around the Scott Pilgrim comics for someone in the US. The great thing is Simon can produce art digitally for anyone, anywhere. He provides the client with progress updates from the initial concept through to completion and then once everyone is happy the images are whooshed across the internet. The final result was really cool and I'm sure he will share across his social medias at the appropriate time.

As both my online work and Simon's all finished at the same time we decided another autumnal walk was in order. A much damper and mistier day today, although not too cold, but we enjoyed a 4 mile walk in about and hour and a quarter. 

Warmed with coffee I did a little online perusing at various Disney Christmas bits and pieces that I have spotted online...I now have quite a few tabs open...just got to decide what to go for and whether I really should or not! 

Simon then introduced me to VR via the Oculus Quest 2. I will admit to be being reluctant to try this as I don't see it as something that I am naturally drawn to. I can understand anyone who plays video games wanting to use this bit of tech to get another, more immersive, game play experience but for me...not so much. My extent of 'gaming' is playing daft little puzzle games on my phone for 15 or 20 minutes at a time.

So this afternoon I gave it a go...I tried, honest I did but I really struggled to adapt to it and to understand why I would want to use the system. It's not something I'm going to use when I have some free time...I rarely find the time to sit and watch TV never mind opt for playing a game...plus I know I would need help each time using it.

While I have no problem with any new tech, and applaud all those very clever people out there who can produce things like this that will have applications far beyond playing daft games, I struggle to see why I would want to use it. What would be the point? What benefit would it be to me? And because of that I will admit that I have already put barriers in the way of me using it in the future. I don't indulge in enough 'me time' as it is so why would I want to use this to fill that time?

I struggled a little with the interface as once I could see my 'VR hands' I wanted to use my hands as normal but instead had to remember the various holds and button presses but I couldn't quite match up the instinct with the actual actions needed. Ethan pointed out to me later that for anyone who is used to playing games with a controller it's a lot easier to marry the actions together and so I guess that's where I fell foul, which then meant I started to lose interest as I felt like I was failing at what everyone else has seemed to just do instinctively.

But I had a go. Simon was very keen to show me some VR video via YouTube as he had found some pieces of video showing various bits of Disney parks and attractions. So after working my way through the tutorial aspect of VR I stepped into a video from the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World of a castle stage show, I think called Royal Friendship Faire. The video was a 180 degree video and so the perspective was as if I was stood in front of the castle stage, watching the show and I could look left and right and see some of the audience either side of me as well as look up to the top of the castle. Well, I think it was standing in front of the castle that got me and I could feel the tears welling up. It has been so long since I have stood in front of that castle and this year was the first year in a long time that we were in a position to visit...but as we know the world we live in has put a stop to things like that. I had to stop watching it before I became a blubbering mess!

I am sure that I will delve back into the whole VR thing at some point, perhaps when I have more pockets of time. I think knowing that I can dip in and experience bits of Disney or video of locations across the world will be enough for me and I will leave the hardcore gaming aspect to the rest of the family.

The day was rounded out with our now regular Disney Dream Girls podcast Sunday Disney quiz, which this week saw some questions based around yesterday's movie of choice, Coco. I didn't do too bad on that section of the quiz but wasn't so great on the non-Coco questions! But the result doesn't matter as it is just great to log on, chat, have a giggle and have some fun. Research for next week is the movie The Emperor's New Groove which I love but have not seen for a fair few years, so I think I know what I'll be watching this week!

Take care out there.
xx

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Oh Happy Day

Day 224

Welcome to the weekend and a very slow start in our household today. With nothing to be up and out for we opted for a late start and a late breakfast.

But once moving we had a few jobs to get completed. First was to take some photos of Simon and me for our passports as they need renewing. This meant lots of attempts at getting the right type of photo; looking forward, no glasses, no expression, plain background and no shadows - easy right?! Thank goodness for Molly's photographic equipment as we were able to use her light boxes to get the best and cleanest lighting possible. I just hope when the applications get processed that they meet all the requirements!

We then had a couple of repair jobs to do; one radiator to bleed to see if we can get it to warm up (thankfully it worked) and then a few lightbulbs to replace in our outdoor garden lights which now the nights are getting darker earlier was very much needed.

Today has been a beautiful day, crisp with sunshine at times, a little mist lingering about but ideal for taking a walk out this afternoon. We were out for just over an hour and completed 3.6 miles, and saw lots, and lots, of people out walking...much more than we have seen of late. There were lots of cars parked close to where we live when normally we wouldn't see any, this is definitely the effect of the second lockdown as this is what happened back during the first one. At least everyone we encountered was in a good mood and happy to acknowledge each other while giving a respectful amount of distance.

Once home and fueled with coffee it was time to sit down and watch a Disney movie. Along with fellow Disney nerds Michelle and Tracey we attempted to have a 'group watch' but after a little faffing about we decided to adopt the old fashioned approach of setting up our movie of choice on Disney Plus and pressing play at the same time. Our movie of choice? Coco - such a beautiful film not only in meaning but visually as well. And yes I cried...what is it about Disney/Pixar movies that can bring you to tears?!

And then about half way through the movie we heard the news that Joe Biden had been declared as the president of the USA; thank goodness for that! It was so great dipping into social media (once I'd watched the movie) to see lots of very happy people! And although I suspect the next couple of months are going to be rather interesting the end result will see us, hopefully, return back to a more normal and reasoned world steered by people who actually know what they are doing.

Thought I would share this picture today as after posting it on the Disney Dream Girls Family Facebook page one of our American friends pointed out that it was rather appropriate considering todays events. 

Simon ten years ago started to draw a Mickey Mouse every day for a year; his 365 Mickey project, and this is the drawing that started it all. Sat at my mum's house one Sunday afternoon 10 years ago, listening to the sound of fireworks as people around us celebrated Bonfire Night from three days earlier, Simon took up his pens and decided to draw Mickey Mouse and so embarked a project that would last for 365 days. Each day Simon would draw a Mickey based on a suggestion from me or, as the year moved on, we would pick a theme; it turned out to be a fantastic achievement and provides us, to this day, with some lovely memories.

Well, we have a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge so I better stop writing and raise a glass to a new found sense of hope in the world.

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

Friday, 6 November 2020

Whirlwind of a Day

Day 233...

And what a busy day it has been today.

Work started with a mini staff meeting as we had a number of issues to chat through and once we all had reached a consensus it was then my job to action it.

We had lots of chat about planning for the coming few weeks as well as into next year. There were the usual emails to field and banking to complete but the day rolled around pretty quickly.

Once home I still had a few work bits and pieces to deal with, telephone conversations to have, messages to deal with and I think I managed to grab a couple of half cups of coffee along the way.

The jigsaws that I have listed for sale are doing pretty well and currently just over half will sell, which is pretty good going all ready. 

We are in day 2 of the second official lockdown but nothing much for me seems to have changed. I am still going to work as all education is staying open. Both Simon and Ethan continue to work from home so no change there then. Molly is with her boyfriend and carrying on with all her Shutter Studios projects; check out her website and social media to see what she's been up to. 

When we went into lockdown back in March it was very evident that the whole country had stopped. Where I live in the middle of the UK we have a major motorway intersecting through us and every day I go to work I have to travel over this motorway. Back in March this stretch of road was eerily quiet and when we ventured out to fetch groceries I would comment on how much actual road we could see as historically it has been a very busy, often jam packed, section of road. 

Since lockdown was eased, or lifted, or whatever you want to call it, the road has gotten busier over time and while perhaps not as busy as it once used to be it has become, once more, a busy stretch of road. When I drove over the road today I looked expecting to see a much quieter road but no, everything was moving in the same way as it has been doing for the past few months. So we have a second lockdown but has anything really changed? 

And while I write this nothing has changed with the US elections as we are still waiting for a winner to be declared and the last few states votes to be counted. And all despite one candidate having way more of the popular vote than the other!

Roll on 2021 and fingers crossed for some normality.

And with that I will collect my glass of wine and head in the direction of the television as tonight is 'Baby Yoda' time 😉

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

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Gunpowder, Treason & Plot

Day 232...

Here we are on Bonfire Night and we still have no definitive answer on the US elections and the UK has gone into Lockdown 2: Electric Boogaloo?? sorry I can't resist saying it every time it gets mentioned!

Today has been a non-work day for me and so my first job of the day was to do some research and prep ready for recording the Disney Dream Girls podcast later this evening. I had some villains to research as well as looking back 'on this day in Disney history'.

Once that was done I then had my main focus of the day...more jigsaws! Another 17 to clean up, photograph, edit and upload the photos and then create listings online for selling them. This did take me most of the day, it's surprising how long a process this is but at least all the jigsaws are now listed and are generating quite a bit of interest already.

I had some more of my Ebay sales collected early afternoon so I am gradually getting more space back in the house and less items that need to find a new home. My next lot to sell will be some board games that we no longer use...for some reason we have a number of different versions of monopoly...not sure why especially as I'm really not a fan of it!

Later this afternoon Michelle and I hooked up online and managed to get this Sunday's podcast recorded. It was great to have a quick chat and record together.

So the day ends with just as much uncertainty as the day started, no further forward with the US elections and plenty of whoosh's and bangs as fireworks fill the evening air and our government lead us into a month of lockdown that will leave us who knows where.

Take care wherever you may be, wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx 

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Back to Work

Day 231...

Today was my first day back in work after our school holiday last week.

It was a pretty standard sort of work day catching up on emails and banking as well as discussing the coming term and the impact of COVID on our usual Christmas fundraising and other activities.

No Christmas Fair this year and no Christmas concerts either, but we are still going to try and raise some much needed funds and we will be organising a Christmas party for our children.

Once home from work it was a case of carrying on with work; composing emails to parents, committee and staff as well as beginning to think about whether we can arrange a Christmas raffle and whether businesses will be prepared to donate this year.

So today we have had the second lockdown confirmed for England following a vote in our parliament; tomorrow we start four weeks of varying restrictions. But for me, and anyone else working in education, we simply carry on as we have been doing. Simon and Ethan will carry on working from home; for Simon this is no change to what he has been doing for the past 7 years or so and Ethan has been home since March with no obvious date for return to the office.

We also have the US election result weighing over us and as I type there is still some debate over which way it will fall. The polls yet again appear to have got the final result way wrong and we now have to wait for postal ballots to get counted before the winner can be announced, and all the while living with the knowledge that the incumbent is trying everything possible to discredit the result. At the end of the day people have voted, all their votes need to be counted and a result announced on all votes counted - simple!

Stay safe wherever you are, wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Day 230

Day 230... 

What has today been about? 

Well it's been kind of quiet, straight forward and a bit repetitive. Starting off with another Ebay sale to package up ready for taking to the post office later. I then made a start on sorting through all my jigsaws to decided which are going up for sale.

It looks like I will try and sell the vast majority of them and so I sorted out all the Christmas ones to start with...all 25 of them. And so began the repetition of clean the box, check the contents, photograph it and then edit the photos. Once I had done that for all 25 it was then placing them all online for sale which was another series of repetitive actions.

My day did get a few interruptions with a couple of deliveries and a quick trip to the post office to send my most recent sales on their way but that was about as exciting as it got!

And today we have the US election happening and we may, or may not, know the result sometime tomorrow. And over here we have lots of discussion surrounding the upcoming national lockdown, the impending vote in parliament tomorrow and whether or not the figures about cases and deaths are truly accurate or not. Only time will tell.

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

Monday, 2 November 2020

Day 229

Day 229...

It has been another blustery day today and a day of getting lots of little jobs done.

Once we had collected the weekly grocery shop this morning we braved the elements to do a little outside tidying up. Throwing away the pumpkin carvings before they turned to mush and trying to sweep up as many of the leaves as we could.

Simon has then spent the rest of the day working as even though today is ordinarily a non-work day there is a deadline looming on Wednesday and so the whole team has been working extra hours where they could over the weekend and today.

I had a couple more ebay sales to parcel up ready for shipping out tomorrow. I've also got a few items that are to be collected so I made sure that they were all ready to go; re-boxing some of them and adding some bubble wrap!

Simon made a trip into the loft for me (I really don't like the loft!!) and brought down as many of my jigsaws as he could find...37 jigsaws and 8 board games later, and that doesn't include the 8 jigsaws that were piled up in the living room, and Simon thinks there may be more hidden away in the loft. Think I may have a jigsaw problem - oops! But I've decided that as I very rarely go back and re-do them I am going to try and sell them, which will mean I can then buy myself new ones. I have kept two Disney Christmas themed ones because they are Disney and Christmas and that's a perfect combination, as well as a Christmas set of three as I haven't actually done any of the three. 

Simon has completed a small prop building job by lining the inside of a small ammo box that will be used as storage for items connected to the MSE droid he completed the other week. He also had a repair to make on an outdoor garden ornament that had got knocked over this morning and had broke into two pieces. Thankfully with Simon's prop making talents there is very little that he cannot fix!

And that has been today. Another day done and another day closer to our second 'lockdown'. Stay safe out there, wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a mask.
xx

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Start of November

Day 228...

The beginning of November and normally for those of us working in education at this time of year we are getting ready to return to school for what is always a busy term on the run-up to Christmas.

This term is usually full of fundraisers, Christmas parties, Christmas concerts (preceded by at least a couple of weeks of rehearsals), Christmas crafts and lots of over excited children.

But as we approach the start of the second lockdown for England it leaves us wondering just what the weeks preceding Christmas are actually going to look like.

We had already resigned ourselves to finding alternative ways of fundraising to our usual Christmas fair and chance for children to see Santa; to re-assessing the best way to hold a party to ensure no 'bubbles' were being compromised; to acknowledging there would be no concerts this year and now we have a lockdown to contend with. 

We have been told it will run from 5th November (the irony of it starting on Bonfire Night...gunpowder, treason and plot and all that) and will end on 2nd December...maybe...possibly...but it may need to go on longer!! Who knows? Argh!

Molly has decided to spend this next lockdown with her fella, a lot of miles away from home, and while I know she will be absolutely fine this will be the longest she has ever been away from home and for a mum, especially of a certain age, it has left me feeling overwhelmingly emotional this afternoon. They already have a long distance relationship and cope with that amazingly well seeing each other every few weeks. The first lockdown was a long haul and I really felt for them having to be apart for so long; in fact I felt for anyone in a relationship where they were not living together, it was a tough old time. Some would argue it was equally as tough for those living together as well! And yet here we find ourselves, yet again, heading into another lockdown.

I understand the reasoning behind the decision but do have to question why, if it's the right thing to do, has it taken them so long to come around to it. Advisory groups were telling the government back in late September to take a short lockdown but it has taken just over a month for them to implement it. And now rather than a lockdown being for a couple of weeks it will be at least four weeks, possibly longer and with Christmas looming everyone will be hoping that we can have some sort of normality for then. But to be honest the longer this goes on, and the more inept the handling of it, I can't see Christmas being anything like what we would normally expect.

And as this 'thing' drags on and more and more information starts to work its way through there is the nagging question of whether we are doing the right thing? Will a lockdown have any affect? Did the last lockdown have any actual affect? If the virus is seasonal did the lockdown occur at the time at which the virus would naturally wane as the weather warmed up? What about the usually flu figures,are they at the rate we would expect to see or is the new virus simply replacing the expected number of flu cases? Is the testing system working effectively? And don't lets get started about the tracking system that was supposed to be 'world beating' but is very evidently not!

But as a mere member of the public I don't have the answer to those questions, nor would I know where to go to get the answers let alone know who to trust to give me the right answers. I look forward to the documentary that will undoubtedly get made that will reveal what actually happened with SARS-Cov-2 and I just hope to goodness that what we have been put through these last 8 months will have been worth it, but I fear that the truth may well be a different story.

Let's finish this post with some normality. Despite Molly 'leaving home', today was a day of tidying around as the house had been decorated with various Halloween bit and pieces over the last week or so and it was now time to put everything away. I now have a few weeks to get ready for Christmas decorations!

We decided, despite the wind and the rain, to have a walk out mid-afternoon and managed a pretty decent 3.2 miles in exactly one hour. Once home it was time for coffee, chocolate and an attempt to watch as much as I could of Disney's Haunted Mansion movie. But why you may ask? Well part of this evening's Disney Dream Girls Sunday Disney Quiz was about said movie and while I have watched the movie before (I even own it on DVD) it was a lot of years ago and so my memory needing refreshing. It is not the best movie in the world and I managed to get about 50 minutes of it watched before the quiz started which, thankfully for me, was just enough. Michelle was setting the questions and she had watched the movie yesterday in order to come up with the questions but admitted to being so bored with it that she gave up about 50 minutes in!!

The quiz has become a little family of like minded Disney nerds that meet up in Zoom once a week to say hello, swap stories and share a little Disney. It has become a sense of normality in what can feel like a very strange world at times. I love my Disney family.

Let's take care out there, wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a mask and hope we get through it all safely.
xx