Wednesday 30 September 2020

Work and Fundraising

Day 196...

Another work day today, ordinarily I wouldn't work a Wednesday but I was covering for another member of staff and so I will be off tomorrow instead.

A pretty standard sort of day, numerous bits of admin, emails, banking and getting a few things in order for our first fundraiser of this academic year which will be a Halloween Fun Week in a few weeks time.

I then had a quick turnaround as it was home to get changed and then back out the door to go to my local ASDA to collect a special trolley of goodies for my pre-school. We have a brilliant relationship with Jon their Community Champion and pre-covid Jon would visit the pre-school and run special activities with the children. We have had food tastings, seed planting, recycling games and much more and the children absolutely loved his visits. Jon would also help out with our fundraisers by supplying prizes or anything else we might need.

But with the onset of covid all this came to an end; we couldn't hold our usual fundraisers and Jon has not been allowed to visit good causes out in the community. But he has still been able to continue his community work and has been able to help out lots of local community groups throughout the pandemic with organising donations of food and other staple supplies. 

So as we are now back and open as normal as we can be our thoughts turned to our much needed fundraising and what we could do in the face of all the current restrictions. We have decided to hold a Halloween Fun Week and we will be asking parents to make donations and in return we are having games, face painting, foodie treats, spooky crafts and everyone is invited to come to pre-school in fancy dress. We are selling special 'treat bags' and we needed the 'treats' to go in the bags and we are also having a creative competition and needed prizes so Jon has stepped in and supplied us with a bumper loads of goodies!

Trolley full of goodies for pre-school
This trolley turned out to be the gift that kept on giving as underneath what can be seen in the photo was so much more. I was absolutely blown away by the generosity we as a pre-school have been shown by Jon and ASDA and cannot thank them enough for their continued support.

Once home I had some of my own online shopping to do as I have a small order to collect tomorrow morning and had a few final bits to add to it. Now this order is all to do with the fact that this weekend is Molly's boyfriends birthday weekend and we are hoping to have a special meal with him. 

Yesterday after his car had failed its MOT (big time) it was looking like they would not be able to see each other as planned but today things are looking a little more hopeful as he may be able to sort a replacement car in the next day or so. So we are all keeping our fingers crossed that that is the case and we can go ahead with our 'celebrations' as planned.

The rest of the evening has been spent answering a few emails, dealing with some Ebay questions and playing taxi for Molly to and from her karate lesson. Now it's blog writing time and a glass of wine!

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

Tuesday 29 September 2020

Plans get Scuppered

Day 195...

A day in work today and a fairly standard sort of work day for me; admin bits to sort, banking to update and some online ordering to be done.

Once home I walked in to find a freshly brewed pot of coffee waiting for me and then promptly set about uploading more bits and pieces onto Ebay. I will get through this pile of stuff that I have way or another!

Molly has had a rough day today as her plans for the weekend and next week have all just been thrown up in the air. Her boyfriends car failed its MOT today (for any non-UK readers, this is a road safety inspection that cars over 3 years old have to have each year and without a valid certificate you are not allowed to drive it). Normally if a car fails its MOT then there maybe some minor repairs needed to get it roadworthy and safe but not in this case. It was an older car anyway but the suspension at the rear has failed completely and the garage would not even let the car be driven away. So with no car and him living 170 miles away all plans are now on hold. It's such bad timing as it is his birthday weekend and they had made plans for the weekend and next week and had even booked activities to do...suffice to say Molly is one sad lady this evening. They had to miss Molly's birthday back in May because of lockdown and they were both so looking forward to being able to spend this one together.

There have been slight glimmers of hope as the day drawed on, as he has now been offered a loan of a car; so there may still be chance that he can make it this weekend and they get the chance to spend some time together but we will just have to wait and see. So not fair!!

My inbox has been pinging all evening with offers for a few of the pieces I had listed on Ebay this afternoon so I think the next few days are going to be interesting to watch and see what happens.

And that's where we leave today...I have everything crossed that Molly and her fella can get something sorted out...2020 has not been a good year...can we not just switch it off and on again to see if we get a better result?

Take care whatever you may be doing, keep your distance and wear a mask.

Monday 28 September 2020

Coffee in the Sun

Day 194...

Another non-working Monday today and our usual grocery click and collect pick-up. Following the new guidelines brought in last week the store colleague operating the lockers (or as we call him...Marky Mark!) was wearing a mask today for the first time which was good to see.

We seemed to get home and get everything packed away in record time today and then we jumped back in the car and headed off to our local Ikea. Molly is re-organising all her Shutter Studios stock and supplies and wanted some new desk storage boxes and filing system and had found online exactly what she needed.

Visiting Ikea was great, everyone was wearing masks and was keeping their distance as best we all could. Molly found exactly what she was after and we picked up some more storage boxes for us as well and despite the queue for the checkout being rather long it moved very quickly and was very well organised.

We then decided to stop off for a coffee and something to eat on the way home. We visited a local cafe that we had tried a couple of weeks ago; we were able to sit outside in the sunshine and maintain social distancing. All the staff wore masks, they had the new QR code to scan and as always the service and food was lovely.

After we got home it was time for another coffee, sat outside again, with both Simon and I reading our respective books; I'm making good progress through Dr Aseem Malhotra's 21 Day Immunity Plan and Simon completed in one sitting a graphic novel by tidying guru Marie Kondo called 'The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up'.

The rest of the afternoon saw Simon working on his mouse droid project. He has 3D printed rubber tyres for the wheels and is now modifying the chassis so that the wheels will sit within it properly and not only work but look the part as well. There has been lots of filling, resin applying and then sanding going on.

Molly has been getting all her new storage organised which in turn led to an overhaul of some of her bedroom; sorting through, cleaning, hoovering and throwing things out - I think we've all been bitten by the art of Mari Kondo! I even sorted a couple of my handbags out as well!

My afternoon was taken up with grabbing more photos of things for selling on Ebay which also involved some online research before I could actually start posting them online. Molly had her usual Monday evening karate lesson which meant taxi service from mum and dad in between more mouse droid sanding and online ebay posting!

So yet again another very productive Monday, it feels like it has been a very purposeful day and a day where it actually felt like we were almost doing 'normal' stuff...long may that continue.

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

Sunday 27 September 2020

Disney Quiz Sunday

Day 193...

First job of the day, after a very lazy start, was to complete my online grocery shopping ready for pick-up tomorrow. 

Having fallen foul of a lack of available delivery or collection slots during the early part of lockdown I now make sure that I have at least two collections booked in. This week I have been able to add on a smaller shop for later in the week to pick up some extra pieces as at the weekend Molly has her boyfriend visiting and it will be his birthday so we are going to throw him a special birthday meal.

This will of course involve making a cake which is quite a rare occasion in this house as it doesn't really fit in with our low carb/keto way of eating. But we do make exceptions for special reasons and Molly does enjoy baking and is very good at it...I think we may be in for a chocolate treat of some description.

Simon had some EVA foam left over so decided to line a couple of drawers in our new bedroom furniture and has ordered some more to line a few more; it works really well as it's very easy to cut to size and will help keep drawers neat and tidy and can be washed if needed.

Both Molly and Simon then decided to come up with some questions for our regular Sunday afternoon Disney quiz hosted by the Disney Dream Girls podcast I co-host. As it turned out we were only able to use Molly's questions this week but that does mean that we already have questions set for next week now!

I updated the blog for the Dream Girls as our latest show went live today. I also have a few more items to add to my Ebay listings and so spent some time this afternoon taking photos and making sure I've got all the relevant information about each piece.

The quiz was, as it is always, a much needed piece of light relief and lovely to see some now very familiar faces. This week we were joined by some fellow Disney podcasters from Australia who had stayed awake till 1am to join us. So this week we had people from England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany and the US! That's not bad going for a couple of 'gals from England' who like to chat about Disney.

And we have another Sunday may not be filled with much excitement but at least we are all safe and well.

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

Saturday 26 September 2020

Podcast & Shoes

Day 192...

We have reached the weekend and last night the cold that I've been holding at bay decided to kick in big time...don't panic I don't have any covid symptoms it is just a snotty cold. After all we have to remember that other illnesses are still in existence although I could still do without it.

After breakfast I jumped online to hook up with fellow Disney Dream Girl Michelle to record this weeks podcast show. We chatted about whether we would visit the parks at the moment as well as help a listener with ideas for proposing at Disneyland.

Then we managed to sell a couple more pieces of furniture before heading out to take Molly to her guitar lesson. And while she strummed away we grabbed a drive thru' coffee and listened to a podcast all about Sweden's reaction to Coronavirus; interesting stuff and while their approach has been similar in some things they never went into a full lockdown like us and their death rate is actually very similar to ours. 

I think, as I have said before, that only time will tell with how well this virus has been handled here, and around the world; whose approach was the best and whether different countries and societies need different approaches. Is there a one-size fits all approach or do we have to accommodate each country and their social norms and needs differently.

I think it is also highlighting where systems are not working as well as they could even if we previously thought those systems were the 'best'. Simple things like ensuring people get paid if they can't work because of either illness or from having to self isolate. Knowing you would still get your normal pay could make a big difference to those told to self isolate; the thought of no money, or a significantly lower amount, coming in for 14 days, could affect someone's decision to do the right thing or perhaps not.

It is obviously a very nasty virus for some people and there is concern about the long term effects for some as well but we still won't know the full affect of what we are going through for a fair while yet. I guess we are going to have to learn to live with it and hope those in power have a handle on what they are doing...and I think there in lies part of the problem. The messaging is ever changing and this therefore becomes more difficult for people to follow or understand. Differing opinions cause confusion so that the average person doesn't know which way to turn; do you follow the advice you like the most or do you follow the cautious path...everyone will have a different take on this and that divergence of opinion will not help with a unified approach. And if the scientific community can't agree what hope do the rest of us have?

A big chunk of my afternoon was taken up with sorting the shoe storage situation. After last weekend's success at storing most of mine and Simon's footwear in our new bedroom storage system there was still everyone else's shoes to sort plus a few of ours that simply wouldn't fit. So it was a case of clear everything out, have a good clean around and then re-organise what was left along with throwing out a few more pairs that had seen way better days. Result is a much neater and better organised set of shoe shelves. Really enjoying the whole process of picking an area and going through and sorting for the better...Marie Kondo has a lot to answer for!

So that was my Saturday...slightly full of snot, a little Disney chat and sorting shoes! Simon on the other hand has decided to line some of our Sheesham wood boxes and a larger trunk. We have acquired numerous pieces over the years but had always commented that using them for storage meant risking scratching or catching things on wood that was not always the smoothest so armed with some EVA foam and some fake leather Simon has created linings for all our various size boxes so that we can now use them confident that the contents will be protected. This is another example of the skills Simon has acquired making props coming into very good use for more practical things!

Stay safe out there...keep your distance, wash your hands, wear a mask and look after yourselves.

Friday 25 September 2020

More Selling

 Day 191...

Another full day at work today and an important one as it was pay day!

Lots of admin and banking today; wages to sort, bills to pay, emails to send and respond to and uniform sales to process.

And while I was at work Simon was home working and dealing with sales of furniture as the items I'd posted online yesterday had already sold.

Back home after work and it was time to deal with more queries relating to other bits of furniture online which ultimately resulted in more sales! There was also a bit more packing of Ebay sales to be done, followed by a trip to the post office.

Today feels like a bit of a blur with no time to really stop, just pinging from one thing to another. Even when we got home from the post office I had received another message from someone about one of the cupboards we are selling and by 8.30pm it had been sold and collected!

And all the news is yet again focusing on the covid numbers and how people are not doing what they are supposed to be doing, how the numbers are going up once again and it feels like we are heading back to square one. Does anyone actually have any idea about this virus? Does anyone actually know what we are supposed to be doing? Because it just feels like one almighty mess again at the moment.

But like I keep saying all we can do is look after ourselves, take the necessary precautions and hope we get through it all. There are times when it all feels just too much and all I want is to be back to normal doing all the things we would normally do without having to think twice and weigh up the situation and decide whether something is worth the risk or not. But I guess that is a way off right now and all we can do is to follow the rules as best we can and carry on.

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

Thursday 24 September 2020

Work and Selling

Day 190...

So today was a full day in work with nothing overtly remarkable to report, just the usual admin type stuff. Almost all of our new children have started with us now and so we are getting to grips with the dynamics that inevitably appear at this time of year.

Once home, and changed, I settled myself into podcast recording mode. Normally I record the podcast from my bedroom as it is the quietest place in the house and produces the best audio but I used to have to sit on the floor with my laptop perched on a bedside cabinet. But now I have the space on my dressing table to be able to set-up my laptop properly and sit on a proper chair...such luxury!

I was already to go when I got a message from my partner in crime, Michelle, to say that she was currently in the middle of a thunder storm with horrendous hail and her power kept going off; non of which was very conducive to recording a podcast. We have therefore deferred our recording session to Saturday morning instead.

But as I was all set up and quite cosy in my new recording position I decided to stay where I was and start my next batch of online sales. This time I am trying to sell some of our old bedroom furniture which although shows signs of use is all in pretty solid condition and I am sure that someone, somewhere could make very good use of them. Within minutes of listing them via Facebook I was getting pinged with messages!

Next job after that was to get on with packaging up some more Ebay sales, so while Simon and Molly went 'down the gym' I got the parcel tape out. A quick break for a dinner of steak and burgers and then more packaging and more pinging of Facebook messages! It's hard work this selling stuff malarkey.

Right best get back to my roll of parcel tape - just take care out there, stay safe, keep your distance and wear a mask.

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Laundry and Hair

Day 189...

Today was a non-work day and the first job of the day was to get on top of the mountain of ironing that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere! And just for good measure I put on multiple loads of washing because I obviously want more ironing in the future!

Next job was to package up some more Ebay sales. I'd got a couple of awkward shapes and had to 'make' my own boxes...thankfully due to some recent deliveries we had plenty of strong cardboard and lots of bubble wrap. Once packaged it was a quick trip out to the post office and sods law by the time I got back home some more sales had been processed and now need posting!

Once home I set the coffee brewing while I measured up all the furniture that once lived in our bedroom but now presides in our garage and needs to find a new home; my intention is to try and sell it all online, fingers crossed.

With coffee in hand my next task was to assemble my new nail varnish storage system that arrived today. Lots of tiny screws, washers and bolts...all very fiddly but I only lost one washer under the cupboard - oops! Good job they sent one extra of everything.

Then it was off to the hairdressers for some 'me time'. Time to get a colour refresh and sharpen up my cut. A big thanks to Kim at Shine Hair & Beauty for looking after me so well as always.

New colour and extra short
By the time I got home it was get the dinner cooking and check my Ebay account as a couple more sales had come through! Think tomorrow it will be more packing and posting!

Now it is time to stop for the day with a glass of red and a little TV time (last episode of The Umbrella Academy to watch).

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

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Work and New Restrictions

Day 188...

So today was my first working day of the week and it was a pretty standard sort of work day. Plenty of admin, banking and emails to contend with.

I have managed to secure the staff at pre-school with a first aid course, which as childcare workers has to be a paediatric first aid course that we must take every three years. The course is a 12 hour course and usually involves 2 days in a conference room somewhere practicing bandages on each other and using resuscitation equipment. As you can imagine the thought of sitting in a room of strangers for 12 hours was not what any of us wanted to do, never mind the sharing of resuscitation equipment. But we have found a company where we can work through 6 hours of the course online at our own pace followed by a 6 hour Zoom workshop with the training company sending out the resuscitation equipment to us beforehand. So not only will we be training with just ourselves but we will be able to ensure everything we need to touch has been well and truly sanitised!

I think this just goes to show that despite the current situation companies can adapt their traditional way of doing things and come up with new and innovative approaches, and perhaps new ways of doing things that may stay with us long after this pandemic is controlled. It is much nicer that our team can undertake the training all at once, together and with no need to travel anywhere and all the complexities that that can bring. Maybe we have a new way forward emerging from all of this?

Once I was home, and changed, I decided to enjoy a coffee outside in the sunshine while the weather is still nice and almost summer like as the forecast for the rest of the week is for temperatures to drop to more autumnal levels!

Some of my new storage systems had arrived today so I have been able to re-organise one of my food cupboards so that all my spices and herbs are much neater and much more easy to find. I was also able to re-organise my make-up as well and I think I am probably due a bit of a clear-out as I am sure most of my eye-shadow palettes are probably a lot older than I think. Maybe it's time to throw a few out and invest in some new ones!!!

Because we received parcels today that did mean that one job this evening was to sort through all the packaging and salvage what I could so that I can now start my next round of Ebay sales safe in the knowledge that I can send them out securely. 

And I suppose the news of today is the new restrictions that the UK government is bringing in from later this week to help control the Coronavirus and hopefully get the infection rate back under control. For us, personally, it doesn't make a lot of difference; both Simon and Ethan are still working from home and there is no indication that is going to change anytime soon, Molly has her Shutter Studios venture up and running from home and I will still be going to work as education and childcare is remaining open.

Pubs will now be shutting at 10pm and must operate as table service only (I thought they were doing this anyway) and shop workers and taxi drivers must now wear masks, all along with tougher fines being introduced. 

Well, I will carry on as I have been doing; think carefully about where I want to go, only go out if I have to, keep my distance as much as I can, wash my hands and of course wear a mask. Let's hope everyone else can do the same.

Take care out there,

Monday 21 September 2020

More Organising

Day 187...

So here we are at the beginning of a week where who knows where we will be tomorrow or by the end of the week... is another lockdown looming or a mini lockdown or whatever it may be?

But my week started as normal with collecting my weekly grocery shop. On the way home I had to fill up with petrol and although we have filled the car up a few times during lockdown this was the first time I had done it since the beginning of March. I will admit to looking at the petrol pump and thinking 'what do I do' quickly followed by 'what's my PIN'; thankfully my brain kicked in and I could remember both!

Once home, and after all the shopping had been put away, our focus turned towards the furniture that we had taken out of our bedroom and put into the garage. We took photos of them all so that we can attempt to sell them and then rearranged the garage so that we can still get in and use the garage while we store the furniture.

While today was a non-work day for me I actually had some work to do this afternoon as I had a virtual 'Leaders & Managers Meeting' to attend. This is an event run by my local council's early years department to bring all us pre-school and nursery managers up to speed on what's happening within the field of early years. I actually prefer the meeting this way as I can sit in the comfort of my own home, not have to travel and hope I can get a car parking space plus I've got way better coffee!

The meeting was only an hour and a half and then the rest of the afternoon was spent working out some more storage solutions for our new wardrobes. This resulted in ordering some clear acrylic storage caddies for my make-up and nail varnishes...and when I found them online I also found a similar item for storing spices which also got ordered!

We were also looking for some dividers or boxes to go within drawers to better organise smaller items and initially we thought we had found some online but then we remembered good old Ikea. A quick look online and we found we could get the same type of boxes at a fraction of the price.

Luckily for us we have an Ikea very close by so after dropping Molly off at her karate lesson we headed over there to see what we could get. This was the first time out having an almost proper shopping experience since 'lockdown' as we have avoided doing anything we really haven't needed to do. But we had a lovely experience; there was no queue to get in, almost everyone was wearing masks (staff included), everyone did their best to keep to social distancing and we came away with what we wanted and a bit more. Well, you can never go to Ikea and just come away with what you went for...yes we got the storage but we also picked up a couple of mugs, some chocolate, four bags of cinnamon rolls and two bags of meatballs! And all done in perfect time to pick Molly back up from her karate lesson.

Back home it was a case of making a quick dinner so that we can spend a little time figuring out our new storage!

Take care out there...who knows what tomorrow may bring. Keep your distance, wash your hands and wear a mask...simples!

Sunday 20 September 2020

Organising and Disney

Day 186...

A slow start to this Sunday morning and first job of the day was to complete my online grocery shop order ready for picking up tomorrow.

Molly has got the tidying bug and decided to sort through her clothes yesterday afternoon which resulted in a rather large pile of clothes that were no longer needed or wanted. This morning Simon and I helped her bag everything up which resulted in Simon taking 7 bags of clothes to our local hospice clothes bank.

And then the rest of the day was taken up with organising the rest of our 'new bedroom'. We had numerous bits and pieces that now needed to find new homes. Deciding where my make-up and jewellery could now live and having so much more space means no more squishing into corners but finding a home for everything. I even have proper shoe storage now which means that our current 'system' for storing all of our shoes will now get an overhaul and should take up way less space!

Simon has been able to tidy some of the cabling for the lights on our wardrobes which will mean dusting will be a lot easier. He was also able to fill in a few very small gaps as some of the tops of our wardrobes had to be cut to fit around the beams in our ceiling, so Simon was able to use some wood cut-offs to fill them.

As part of getting our new bedroom sorted we had to move some furniture from our hallway out of the way so that we could get things in and out of our bedroom easier and now having lived with a less cluttered hallway for over a week we have decided to remove these pieces permanently. The knock-on effect of this meant relocating some decorative 'tiki' pieces and I had the idea that these could live outside but I wasn't sure if they would survive outdoors. We looked underneath them and found labels that told us they were 'weatherproof', then I remembered that when I bought them they were garden ornaments that I decided I would use after about 4 years of living indoors they will now get used as they were intended.

The afternoon was rounded out with our usual Disney quiz hosted by the podcast I help to co-host, the Disney Dream Girls. It was lovely to see and chat with our little group of Disney nerds from around the world, find out what everyone had been up to as well as have a bit of a giggle...because getting correct answers definitely wasn't the order of the day!

So as we end one week we can only wonder and speculate what the week ahead will bring. We have possible mini-lockdowns hanging over us here in the UK and politics in the US could be heading for some turbulent times following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday. 2020 sure is turning into being one hell of a year!

Whatever your week may bring please take care, follow the rules, keep your distance and wear a mask.

Saturday 19 September 2020

Guitar, Hair & Folding

Day 185...

Well the day started off with a little more cleaning around our 'new bedroom', which translates as Simon reaching all the places up high that I couldn't get to yesterday.

Then we took Molly to her Saturday morning guitar lesson and while she strummed away we had a quick walk around a DIY store looking at storage boxes as we think we may need some to go inside drawers or on shelves. The fallout of having watched Marie Kondo and reading her book is we have a complete new way of looking at storage! We then treated ourselves to a drive thru' coffee and panettone.

Once home Simon had a little work to do on his R2D2 and mouse droid builds. He is currently 3D printing some rubber tyres for the mouse droid using flexible filament and so he needs to make sure that the hubs the tyres go onto are all prepped. This meant painting everything with epoxy resin to ensure a smooth finish on all the 3D parts.

While Simon was doing that I dropped Molly off at the hairdressers; her first time since lockdown and actually her first time since October/November of last year! She has very long hair and doesn't tend to go to the hairdressers that often, she was about to book herself an appointment when lockdown began and so it has been a bit longer between appointments than normal!

Before and after!!
In between taking and then fetching Molly from the hairdressers we had to sort out all the rubbish leftover from the wardrobe build. This did mean that we were able to 'rescue' some decent pieces of wood and a few electrical bits that will definitely come in useful either as spares or for Simon's prop building! Although it also means that another trip to our local recycling centre is on the cards.

But then it was onto the fun stuff of getting our bedroom back to 'normal' and figuring out where all our clothes and stuff will now live. We have more hanging space than before, along with special storage for shoes and lots of shelves and drawers and all in wardrobes with their own lighting; it's all very grown-up!!

So our afternoon was spent folding everything the Marie Kondo way into small rectangles and researching various storage options for inserts into drawers and boxes to live on shelves and much more. We would also like to get a piece of bespoke furniture to provide a little more storage that reflects some of other furniture throughout the house; more of a decorative piece. We also need to get some new curtains and also decide on some new flooring as we would like to replace the carpet with a wood floor.

So all in all a very productive Saturday.

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

Friday 18 September 2020

New Bedroom!

Day 184...

Last day of the working week for me, and a day in work as well.

Work was pretty much standard stuff; sorting emails, filing, prepping for new starters and a little bit of banking. In fact nothing very much to report.

On getting home I could hear our bedroom fitter busy vacuuming away which meant that the work was almost complete. I'd not long grabbed a coffee when I got the nod that everything was complete.

We now have three lovely new fitted wardrobes and a free standing dressing table. Although the fitter had done a fab job of cleaning everywhere it still needed another wipe down, which actually took me way longer than I thought it would. And as Simon was working late this evening we have decided that we will put everything back in the bedroom tomorrow when we have more time and can take the time to put all our stuff away in an organised manner.

The talk of today is whether or not we are entering a second peak of Coronavirus, and debate as to whether the country is about to go into some sort of mini, two week, lockdown...but whatever happens it sounds like schools will remain open and people will still be able to go to work. I suppose yet again we will have to wait and see what this government decide to do, and from when, and then see if that makes any difference or not. It can really feel like we are just flapping about without any real sense of a plan of any kind!

All we can do is try and do our bit and stay as safe as we can; so keep your distance and wear a mask.
Take care out there.

Thursday 17 September 2020

Work & Wardrobes

Day 183...

Back to actual work today amid more news of another pupil at the local senior school testing positive for coronavirus causing the closure of their sixth form unit.

My day was fairly standard with sorting emails and banking and getting all the prep work done for a new starter next week.

The day at work finished off with our first parent committee meeting of the new school year. As a registered charity pre-school we follow a constitution that requires us to be managed by a committee that is made up of primarily parents. The committee is there to keep the pre-school in check, to make sure we are following all the correct rules and regulations as well as helping us to raise lots of money. Although we receive government funding and some of our parents pay fees it is not enough to keep us going and so each year we raise as much money as we can so that we can carry on at the highest of standards and provide great care and education to all the children that attend.

So this afternoon we got together to elect the committee for this year and plan our way forward with fundraising activities. We are very aware that some of our usual fundraising won't be able to take place this year as they involve lots of people coming together in a confined space! But we have ideas for celebrating Halloween by having a week devoted to all things Halloween; with fancy dress, games, treats and a creative competition. I have a contact at our local ASDA store called Jon, who is lovely and always does his best to help and support us, so I have reached out to him to see if he can provide some prizes and maybe even visit to do some socially distanced judging!

This did mean I was later home than usual and by the time I got in our bedroom fitter had left for the day but we now have all 3 wardrobes up and some of the fittings in place. Fingers crossed one more day tomorrow and we should have our new bedroom.

I jumped on the laptop once I had a coffee and typed up the minutes from our committee meeting and emailed that out to all who attended. I also sent Jon at ASDA an email to see if they can help in our endeavours to raise a few pennies. This did mean that it was just Simon and Molly who went 'down the gym' tonight as I was still typing away.

Today's little bonus was a free tub of ice-cream from the dairy that deliver my milk and eggs. During the early part of lockdown when getting eggs from my supermarket of choice was tricky to say the least I started using a local dairy that would deliver fresh milk and eggs to my door...they also happen to do some amazing ice-cream as well. So during lockdown we treated ourselves occasionally to some ice-cream but have continued to have milk and eggs delivered weekly. I am proud and happy that I can continue to support a small local business that chose to diversify during lockdown to keep their business going. As a reward this week they sent out free tubs of ice-cream to customer's spending a certain amount and I was lucky enough to be one of those customers!

Think I might stop typing now and have some of that ice-cream...just to make sure it's okay of course!

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

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Wardrobes & Ebay

Day 182...

Today was day 1 of our new wardrobes being fitted so we were all up and ready for the day.

The fitter arrived just before 9am and got straight on with the job at hand and by the end of the day he had the framework for 2 of the three wardrobes up and some of the fittings in place for one of them. He reckons he will need two more days to get the job completed.

We had another butchers delivery just before 10.30am which saw me and Molly splitting 100 sausages and 4.5kg of smoked back bacon into smaller parcels. As a treat I'd ordered some of their black pudding as well as some wild boar sausage!

The rest of my day has been mainly taken up with listing more items for sale on Ebay. I had about 9 or so items all ready to be listed and then after finding some more boxes I was able to get another 8 listed this afternoon. Just a long process of photographing everything, working out the postage and figuring out what details to list. This is where the beauty of the internet comes in as I discovered a piece of pottery that I thought was relatively contemporary actually dates back to the mid 1950's!

I had a little work to deal with as well, nothing major just a few queries and a few tweaks to sort. And Molly had her usual karate this evening.

So it's been a busy and productive day but at the same time relatively quiet.

Take care out there.

Tuesday 15 September 2020

Day 181

Day 181...

Today has been a work day, and although the weather has been lovely I spent most of my day inside.

Lots of catching up on emails, organising our annual pre-school photo morning for next month (fingers crossed) and getting prepped for our AGM & Committee meeting on Thursday.

We had much discussion over our staff uniform today as we are all a little concerned about keeping warm this winter. Our building is not the warmest and having to keep doors and windows open to ensure good ventilation will not help. So we need to think about layering up and buying new bits of uniform if needed.

Once home and changed I decided to make the most of today's sunshine and top up my vitamin D while enjoying a coffee outside and catching up with my own social media and emails. It was then out to the post office to send the last of the current batch of Ebay sales on their I just need to find the time to get some more items listed.

We have had all the component parts for our new wardrobes delivered today and so our bedroom is currently full of boxes ready for installation tomorrow. We have an early 8am start tomorrow and not sure just yet how many days the installation will take but all being well by the end of the week we should have our 'new bedroom'.

Our new bedroom in boxes!!
We enjoyed a short trip to the 'gym' tonight...although our gym has become a little more compact as the space has now been invaded by our old wardrobes! But we still managed to get done what we wanted.

So we are struggling to get tests now...yet we are all supposed to be out in the community going to work and going to school but should we have symptoms we can't find out if we have 'it' but just have to lock ourselves away for 14 days...just in case! Would it not have been a good idea to get a testing system working that could cope with the inevitably surge in testing once everyone did what the government told them to do and went back to work, the pub and school?! Or is that just too obvious?

Along with the new guidelines of 'no more than 6' that came in yesterday, but was preceded over the weekend with photos and video of people hosting parties or going out in large groups as 'one last blowout' before the new rules come into force. Do people not get it? Do they not think that in a couple of weeks time they could be suffering from the consequences of that 'one last blow out'? I really am quite disheartened by it all at the moment as there really feels like there is no end in sight and that the powers that be don't really seem to have much control over any of it, let alone any idea of how to deal with it!

I will carry on doing all that I can to follow the rules and reduce my risk and just hope that everyone else does the same! Stay safe out there, keep your distance and wear a mask.

Monday 14 September 2020

A Busy Monday

 Day 180...

Well as is usual for a Monday the first job of the day was to collect our grocery shopping, get it home, unpack it, wipe it down, wash the fruit and veggies, throw away any packaging and pack it all away!

Fueled by a coffee we then embarked on the main task for the day which was to clear our bedroom of all furniture. We moved two drawer units into the living room along with the mattress from our bed (guess where we're sleeping the next few nights!) and two wardrobes were moved into the garage.

We had to move our sofa to make room for everything in the living room which was no straight forward job as our sofa has storage under the seats and the only way we could physically move it was to empty all the storage first! We discovered a number of board games, the majority of which were variations of Monopoly, and all of which belonged to Ethan. Suffice to say they are now in Ethan's room!

Once the furniture had been cleared out and the room was empty we had to remove some of the carpet. As we have not got our new flooring sorted just yet we are keeping the carpet for the short term but have removed it from the areas where our new built-in wardrobes will be going. Having removed some of the carpet we then had a trip out to our local recycling centre to get rid of said bits of carpet!

Next job of the day was to make a start on sorting out the Ebay sales that had happened yesterday and first thing this morning so it was out with the parcel and 'fragile' tape to start packaging. I think I managed about 8 or 9 before it was time to take Molly to her karate lesson.

After dropping Molly off at karate we came home via the Post Office to drop off the took longer than we would have liked as the woman in the queue before us didn't seem to know what she was doing! We then got home for Simon to quickly go up a ladder and touch up some decorating from the other week before dashing out the door again to go fetch Molly.

It was then home to cook dinner, keto chicken parmesan with fried green beans, followed by writing this blog, chatting with friends via WhatsApp and wrapping six more parcels ready for sending out tomorrow.

We have heard today that the local senior school, the one both Molly and Ethan attended, has a reported case of Coronavirus in a what happens now? Now it is so close to home it will be interesting to see the knock-on effect and how this will affect us all going forward. But like everything with this virus only time will tell and all we can do in the meantime is take as much care as we possibly can.

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

Sunday 13 September 2020

Sleepy Sunday

Day 179...

Today has been a pretty ordinary and quiet sort of Sunday.

The day started with my usual online grocery shop, updating it ready for collection tomorrow. Along with an online butchers order that will come later this week.

I have been watching some of my Ebay listings as a fair few finished over the course of the day which now means I have more items to package up and take to the post office.

We had a little catch-up with Molly sat outside enjoying the sunshine with a coffee. Her boyfriend has gone back home today so we were filling each other in on what we had all been up to the last couple of weeks while she had been away.

There were a couple more bags of unwanted clothes and shoes to drop off at our local hospice clothes bank as well as a courtesy stop by our other house to make sure all is well and pick up any relevant post, which there wasn't.

Another coffee outside in the sunshine to soak up some more vitamin D while I carried on reading some more of Dr Aseem Malhotra's 21 Day Immunity Plan explaining why sugar and carbohydrates are so bad for our health and how reducing or eliminating them can have profound affects to our metabolic health.

The afternoon...early evening...was rounded out with our usual Sunday Disney quiz hosted by the podcast I co-host (Disney Dream Girls). It was, as it always is, great fun and simply a pleasure to chat with like-minded individuals from around the world. Paul did an amazing job with his questions and although me and Molly only got 5 points we learnt loads of interesting Disney facts!

A quiet day before a very busy week ahead!

Stay safe out there, whatever you are up to. Keep you distance, wear a mask and take acre.

Saturday 12 September 2020

Good Friends and A Spot of Tidying

Day 178 

It has been a lovely day today, the weather was great and most importantly we got to meet up in person with my very good friend and fellow podcaster Michelle.

We were meeting Michelle at a local cafe and this was a great excuse to get a little dressed up and put on proper make-up for a change, something that has taken a bit of a back seat over these last few months. The good thing was we were able to grab a table outside in the sunshine, have a few coffees and a good old catch-up. And although Michelle and I talk every week either when we record our podcast or when we have our weekly Sunday evening Disney quiz via Zoom it was so good to actually see each other in person, and it felt like it was only yesterday that we had seen each other.

Michelle was on her way to get some more ink added to her Tangled tattoo and so we took advantage of her being close to where we live to meet up...and of course we both had Disney themed face masks!

Once home we had another coffee, sat outside in the sunshine, while we planned our attack for the afternoon. We have just started watching Marie Kondo on Netflix and today her book 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up' arrived and we are really loving the approach to 'tidying', decluttering and reorganising. This afternoon's task was to 'tidy' our clothes as part of our new bedroom happening this week and this involved getting out ALL our clothes and making one big pile before going through every item to decide whether or not it should stay or go.
Just a few items to go through!!
By the time we had gone through everything we had 11 bin bags to go to our local hospice clothes bank. The idea is to handle each item and decide whether or not that item brings you joy and although I don't think I really did that it certainly gave me the freedom to let go of things that I would have otherwise have kept on the premise that 'it may be useful' or 'it's too good to throw away'. 

We are also adopting the Marie Kondo way of folding your clothes so that everything is folded into a small parcel which means that everything you own can be seen when opening a drawer rather than being squished at the bottom of a pile. I must admit I was very skeptical about what Marie Kondo was advocating and thought it may have been a bit too 'woo' and was aimed at simply throwing everything away and going very minimalist but I have been very pleasantly surprised and am now very keen to watch the remaining episodes and read the book in full.

Well I best stop writing this blog post as I still have all my newly folded clothes to put away!

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

Friday 11 September 2020

Last Day of the Working Week

Day 177...

And the end of my working week. And a steady day at work to round out the week.

Most of my focus today was doing all the prep work for three new starters that we have over the coming weeks that are additional to those already booked in to start.  

Once home it was get changed, grab a coffee and take a seat outside and enjoy a little sunshine that was late arriving today. I have started reading Dr Aseem Malhotra's book 'The 21 Day Immunity Plan' and so far it not only confirms what I have learned over the last few years but does so in a very simple and easy to understand manner. To read about his own mother's failing health and her untimely death only made me connect even more as my own mum was, in my opinion, taken too early and better advise and knowledge may have given her a better chance at living longer.

Too much sugar, too many carbohydrates, too many highly, ultra processed foods are all doing horrible damage to our health. If we want to be the best that we can be and be in the best possible health to fight off whatever infections or virus's may come our way then we need to take a good long look at how we look after our bodies. What we put into them and how we treat ourselves.

We need to put the right fuel inside; proteins and fats and forget the sugars and carbs. We need to appreciate the unnecessary stresses that we put ourselves through and recognise that taking the time to stop and evaluate can be so therapeutic. We need to put ourselves first, make sure that we are looking after ourselves as only then can we begin to look after others.

Then this evening saw the return of Molly from her time away at her the house has suddenly got busy again after two weeks of relative quiet. And we now have a busy weekend ahead of us as we try to get the house ready for the installation of our new bedroom next week.

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

Thursday 10 September 2020

Work & Podcast

Day 176...

And today was a full day in actual work and this will be quite a short and sweet blog post!

A fairly standard sort of work day, we had a couple of new starters today but otherwise everything was as you would expect it. My day was spent dealing with emails, sorting out a uniform order, catching up with my deputy manager and beginning to organise the paperwork for three additional new starters at the end of the month.

Once home it was back out the door to take some more parcels to the post office to then get back home again and straight into recording a podcast episode with my fellow Disney Dream Girl Michelle. We chatted with a fellow podcaster who has been able to visit Walt Disney World over the past few months since they re-opened. It was interesting to hear what it's now like with lower crowds and new regulations and how quickly that is becoming the new normal.

After recording we then had another parcel to get to the post office as Simon had received payment for a helmet he had made over the weekend for someone in Germany.

And then it was home to cook dinner, a glass of red wine and stop for the day!

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

Wednesday 9 September 2020

No Work & A Field of Cows

Day 175...

So this is my first full week back at work in this new school year and the first week working my new hours which means that I don't work Mondays and Wednesdays anymore...and this was my first Wednesday 'off'.

So what was the first thing I did this morning? inputting for the funding claim for pre-school - doh! To be fair we have a deadline of tomorrow for inputting this data and we haven't been given that long to get it all input so I wanted to make sure it was all done ahead of time so that I wasn't rushing tomorrow. So a short amount of time this morning will save me stress tomorrow.

It was then onto the mundane tasks of life; ironing - whoop! Not my favourite job but better that I get it done and out the way today rather than having to do it at the weekend when Simon and I could be busy doing other stuff! Okay so at the moment 'doing other stuff' isn't really a big deal because life seems to have taken a bit of a knock with all this Coronavirus malarkey. I think we are just resigned to getting jobs around the house completed and perhaps an odd coffee out from the local drive thru'!

As lunchtime came around it was lovely to be able to get out for a walk with Simon as our usual lunchtime walks seem to have taken a back seat of late; wet weather, being back at work, sorting out our 'other house' and getting our own house ready for our new bedroom have all encroached into our 'walking time'. But today was beautiful so it was a pleasure to go out walking, even if we did have to contend with cows in one of the fields that we regularly walk through, that doesn't normally have cows in and I'm not the biggest fan of them when there's nothing between me and them!

They moved towards us when we walked past...why?!!!

Blessed to have stunning views so close to home
This afternoon I decided to have a look at a few more bits that could be placed on Ebay for sale and after taking photographs I decided to find out some more information about them. One is an oil painting on canvas that is signed so I thought I would use the old 'google' machine to try and find out who the artist was...only problem being I can't read the signature! I tried all sorts of searches and although I found another picture very similar in style (I'm no artist but it sure looked like the same artist) it had no information about the artist.
This is what I'm trying to decipher!
After almost an hour of looking online I gave up and decided that coffee, chocolate and sunshine were needed. So I took half an hour in the sunshine and chatted with Molly via WhatsApp while I soaked up some sunshine.
Topping up my vitamin D
Blue skies and sunshine
But I decided I really ought to be doing something so I headed inside for yet more excitement...hoovering! Before ending the day with a little home workout down 'our gym'.

So today we have new restrictions all set out ready to come into effect from Monday...I think these new restrictions are supposed to be simpler and will be enforceable by law but every time I read something about them the press seem to want to quote what it is now and what it is changing to which I think just makes it all the more confusing. Don't tell us what it has been just tell us what to do and when!

Whether this will make any difference goodness knows, everyone is by this point so confused as to what we should be doing and with whom and where and when. Some reports compare the figures we are seeing now back to March and April when we weren't testing and comment that back then the true figure of positive cases was probably much, much higher than we ever knew and therefore comparing now to then is like comparing apples and oranges. Some reports point to Sweden and their approach which is now yielding very low numbers of cases to the point where they are saying it is controlled.

And in all of this regular folk like you and me are left asking who is right? Are we taking the right approach? Should we be doing more? Should we be doing less? What should we be doing and who should we be trusting to do the right thing for us? It can be all very overwhelming and at times very disheartening.

So I guess all we can do is take care, stay safe, keep your distance and wear a mask.

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Work and More Packages

Day 174...

Today was a work day that started out at home. I was due a phone consultation with the breast unit at my local hospital as part of my ongoing care following breast cancer last year. My call was due at 9.15am...but by 11.15am I had heard nothing so decided to go into work.

I had managed to get some admin work done while at home but could only do so much as the paperwork I needed was at pre-school. But once at work I caught up with my deputy manager and then got on top of what I needed to get done.

Once home this afternoon I was in need of a coffee and some sunshine and I really didn't have the motivation to do anything much. But once I stopped and relaxed I then realised the list of things I should be doing.

I got myself moving and packaged up a couple of Ebay sales that had been paid for overnight as well as taking photos of the next lot of items that I am going to try and sell. Simon then had a helmet that needed packaging and a price calculating for posting to Germany; the only problem being that the Royal Mail online postage service seemed to have a bit of a glitch and wouldn't recognise what we wanted to post. Suffice to say a complaint has been logged to see if the issue can be resolved, as it was obvious that their site wasn't working as it should.

We then had another item to package up, a print that had belonged to Simon's family that was signed by the artist, Nigel Hallard. It was a print of a painting of a gentleman called William Giles and was set in Mousehole, a small fishing village in Cornwall. Simon and his family had spent many a summer holiday visiting Cornwall and this print had been brought home sometime in the 1970's. Simon had remembered seeing on Facebook a page called 'Mousehole Archive' so he contacted them to see if the print meant anything to them and whether they would like it for their collection. Lo and behold we were met with a very enthusiastic response and so today we were able to pack it up and send it on its way back to where it had been bought in the first place.

And although we have been sending lots of packages I actually received two of my own today. One was a present for Simon as a treat and then the other was all for me...a Disney treat...or three!

And today we hear that the number of cases are on the rise again, we have a school local to us already closed but very little idea of what it all means and where we go from here. All we can do is carry on as best we can, take the best precautions that we can, wash our hands, keep our distance and wear a mask.

Take care out there.

Monday 7 September 2020

Jigsaw Complete!

Day 173...

So my Monday started kind of early as at 12.50am I finished my current jigsaw project. A 2000 piece Disney jigsaw that I think I started back in June or July. I've not really had much time to devote to it but two things had compelled me to get back on it. First Simon had found me a magnifying ring light so I was now able to carry on into the evening once the natural daylight had gone. But secondly the jigsaw was taking up a fair amount of space and in just over a weeks time we will need as much free space as we can find while our new bedroom wardrobes get fitted and we have to find somewhere else to sleep for a few nights.
Completed 2000 piece jigsaw
As is usual for our Monday mornings it was off out to fetch our 'click and collect' grocery order. Followed by the inevitable unpack, wipe everything down, wash the fruit and veggies, throw away the packaging and then put it all away.

In our attempt to create space we have earmarked items for putting on Ebay as well as a large pile of things to go to our local recycling centre and so next job today was the very glamorous 'tip run'. But it has freed up quite a bit of space in my hall.

Once back home Simon spent a couple of hours casting some prop parts for a couple of orders he had received over the weekend as well as making a bit more progress on the parts for his R2D2 build. While he did that I sorted through all the successful Ebay sales from yesterday and got them packaged up and ready to go to the post office.
Parcels ready for posting
The only slight problem was that when we arrived at the post office it was just getting ready to close as the postman was due to collect the days mail and so they would be out of action for about 15 minutes or more. So we decided rather than hang about we we would go home, have a coffee and try again later...which we did and this time we managed to get all our parcels off on their way, it's a good job our post office is only a few minutes drive away!

So we started back at pre-school last week and most of the schools around us either did the same or have started back today and already we have heard of a local school having to close because a member of staff has tested positive for Coronavirus. I would think that as schools have only just re-opened their doors that this positive case cannot be attributed to the school re-opening but is more likely a knock-on effect of somebody somewhere not following the guidelines as well as they should. I think we all know people who love to share on social media what they are getting up to and who are quite blatantly not following the guidance and I guess this is going to be the consequence of those actions. The sad thing being that because this is someone connected with a school it now means that the whole school, staff and pupils, are all having to self isolate for 14 days.

But I guess we are going to have to accept that this could be the way forward from now, and hope that as cases will inevitably rise that the number affected badly and requiring hospital treatment does not. But I guess only time will tell.

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

Sunday 6 September 2020

Ebay & Disney Quiz

Day 172...

So last night turned into a bit of a marathon session on my jigsaw, hadn't intended to but the 'I'll just put a few pieces in' turned into 'quite a lot of pieces' and although not yet done I have made a fair bit of progress but it was rather a late night!

Which meant it was a slow start to the morning with the first job being to update my grocery shop online ready for collection tomorrow. And with that out the way I had the task of setting up more items for sale via Ebay, another 13 items. Plus as the day moved on I started to see sales coming through for the items I had put online last week!

Simon has made contact with a couple of relatives who we can now send a stack of family photographs to. But the lovely thing has been making a re-connection with family members who, for one reason and another, we have not been in touch with for quite awhile. They have expressed their gratitude at being thought of and are looking forward to being able to add to their own families memories. As a result we now have excuses to go visit different parts of the country.

Mid-afternoon I took a coffee outside to soak up some sunshine and prepare for this evening's Disney Dream Girls quiz as I needed to come up with some questions. So as it was Pluto's 90th birthday I decided to produce some Pluto based questions along with a couple about the iconic attraction, as well as one of my favourites, at Walt Disney World; the Carousel of Progress.

Simon has been busy casting parts for a helmet order that he received this weekend as well as a bit more work on the 3D parts he has printed for his R2D2 build. Although at one point he did have to rebuild part of the 3D printer as a print he set off this morning decided to not print as it should, but a quick replacement of a part and we are now back up and running.

Amongst the items that we have inherited from Simon's mums house we found an old audio tape that was made when some of Simon's relatives were living in Australia which we have tracked down, by way of his Dad's diary, to 1974!. We think the tape, once it had been recorded on one side was sent out to Australia and was then returned with their recording on the other side. Thankfully we had a tape machine that Simon could hook up to his laptop to then transfer the audio. The amazing thing is that Simon has been able to 'clean up' the audio track and cannot only hear his own voice as a child (which sounds remarkably like our own son did at the same age) but he can also listen to his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and his grandparents; it's all been quite emotional at times. But thank goodness for modern technology that we have been able to preserve this and, like the photos, make a digital copy that we will now be able to listen to whenever we like as well as share with other relatives so that they can hear themselves and others who are no longer with us.

The afternoon was rounded out with the now usual Sunday Dream Girls Disney quiz which was, as always, lovely to chat to people from around the world, share what we have been up to, our plans for the coming week as well as attempt to answer a few Disney questions. I think my score this week was just 4 points, but it really isn't about the points but the connections and the giggles.

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

Saturday 5 September 2020

Ebay and more Ebay...

Day 171...

So here we are at the weekend and after a very slow start to the day, and having sorted some boring household chores, my mind turned to what to do today. My eyes then fell on the rather large pile of 'stuff' that I have decided to 'Ebay'.

So back to Ebay it was for me today. I picked out the next lot of items, photographed them, researched them and logged them all so that tomorrow I can put them all online and see what happens.

We have a variety of items to 'dispose' of and part of the decision making process involves a fair bit of 'googling' to see if what we have is of any significance and whether it's worth our while putting it online. At the moment I've been working my way through some of the smaller pieces but I am now getting to the point where we have lots of old glassware and dinner sets to get rid of and I am debating the best way to deal with them all. It seems such a shame to just throw them out when I am sure someone out there could make very good use of them, but that will have to be a challenge for another day.

Simon has been as equally busy again today with finally getting to the end of all the family photos that we had inherited. It did involve yet more detective work though as we had to go through our own albums to compare and marry up dates. Thankfully we had logged all our photos in order, with dates and descriptions written on the back of each one, which meant we had a definitive record of when things occurred to match all the photos together.

By late afternoon Simon had processed all of the photos - all 3156 of them. He had tracked a relative down via Facebook and is now able to send him some of the physical photos that involve his side of the family. We have piles of photos that will now get distributed to cousins and aunts as well as a box that we will keep out of the way in the loft. We have said that when we get the chance we would now like to do the same with all our photographs so that we can have them stored digitally and be able to look at them quickly and easily without having to wade through album after album.

By the end of the afternoon I was all 'ebayed' out and decided to switch my focus to my latest jigsaw, which is taking me forever to complete because I just haven't had the time to devote to hour and a half later and a little more progress has been made.

And that was our day...doesn't feel like I've done much but I know that I really have. Whatever you are up to please stay safe, keep your distance and wear a mask.

Friday 4 September 2020

Week One is Done

Day 170...

Well, we've made it to the end of week one back at pre-school...well I say week it was actually only three days...and we only had children back in for two of those, but still week one is done - woohoo!

My day was taken up with more paperwork for our new starters, emailing out invoices to our parents, sorting out paperwork for claiming our government funding, a bit of banking and the usual emails.

It was one of my teams birthdays today and so we had, as is tradition, all clubbed together to buy her a present and she had brought in treats; a homemade raspberry cheesecake...which was lovely! I don't normally eat sweet desserts but this was what Simon and I will refer to as 'rare and appropriate' and as it was homemade it wasn't as overtly sweet as shop bought versions and I really enjoyed my little treat (thanks Sylv!).

One of our favourite books to read to the children is called 'Argh Spider', it is a lovely book with some beautifully illustrations. The last picture in the book shows a room FULL of spiders and this afternoon we discovered that pre-school was looking very similar to that last page, so much so we had to get the hoover out! Not really sure where they all came from I think it's 'just that time of year' but it did remind me of a picture Simon drew a few years ago.

This was part of Simon's 365 Mickey project which ran through 2011...I shared this picture on the Disney Dream Girls podcast family Facebook page just the other day and so I shared it again today with the girls at work as it seemed to represent very well what we were up against!

This was drawn to represent what we walked into on our return home after two weeks away!
Once home I was greeted by Simon and a coffee and the news that we have a date for our new wardrobes to be hopefully this time two weeks from now we should have a brand new bedroom (minus the flooring which we still have to sort).Just got to figure out where to put everything while the wardrobes are fitted in a house that is full of 'stuff' from our other house! Argh!!

Then I decided to get a little more admin work for pre-school completed as I still had a few invoices to send out and a few emails to write and deal with but once that was done I took an hour out to move some pieces on my jigsaw. I was only going to spend 20 minutes on it and the next thing I knew an hour had gone by - oops!

Right I have a glass of red wine with my name on it so take care out there, keep your distance and wear a mask.

Thursday 3 September 2020

The Kids are Back

Day 169...

So my second day back at pre-school and today was the first day we were open to the children. We only had a very small number attend today as our new starters are phased in over the next couple of weeks which does mean we get to ease our way back into things.

All the children did amazingly well as for all but one of them this was their first time back at pre-school since we closed back in March. Our routines are different to when they were last with us because of COVID but they all just accepted the changes without any issue (and the parents did really well too!). 

My day was focused on sorting paperwork and bits for the new starters that will be joining us over the next couple of weeks, writing a newsletter, reviewing our plans with my deputy manager and sorting the uniform order that had came yesterday.

By the end of the day I had managed to complete most of what I wanted and was able to head home in the sunshine, as opposed to the rain of this morning, and enjoy a coffee on the patio soaking up some vitamin D.

Next job though was to sort out the butchers delivery that we received today; needed to unpack it all and then split it into manageable sized portions before putting it all into the freezer. Then I did a little more pre-school admin work by posting online our latest newsletter as well as emailing it out before heading 'down the gym' with Simon.

And that was today and back to work again tomorrow.

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

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Back to School

Day 168...

And it was back to school...well

So up and out the door quite early so I could be at work for an 8.30am delivery of some uniform arrived at about 8.55am!!

First job of the day when I arrived was to fight my way through cobwebs, there were so many spiders everywhere! It was then down to business with a team meeting sat outside enjoying the sunshine to chat about the new school year starting, how things are going to work and the children that we have registered with us.

Next the team set to cleaning the room and getting all of our equipment set out ready for opening tomorrow to the children. We are what is often referred to as a 'pack away pre-school'; this basically means that as a charity we don't own our own premises we simply rent space and have to fit in with any other organisations that use the building which means that at the end of our day we have to pack ALL of our equipment away so that whoever uses the building after us has the space they need. At the moment we share the building with our local scout group and they have not yet re-opened which is a little bonus for us as that means we can set-up and leave everything out overnight ready for tomorrow.

We finished a little earlier than expected so it was home to grab a coffee with Simon sat outside before he carried on with his afternoon at work. I then had a little pre-school admin work with just a few emails to deal with and registers to print and bind.

And then it was time to jump online with my fellow Disney Dream Girl Michelle as we recorded our podcast ready for release this weekend as well as a special edition for our Patreon supporters.

Final job for the day was to jump in the car and take another couple of parcels to the post office. The weather had been lovely this morning but now it was cold and rainy so much so that I had to put the heater on in the car. Let's hope this isn't the end of the Summer, I like the warmth and the sunshine!

So day one done and now ready to open up for children tomorrow!

To all in education take care, stay safe and wash your hands!!