Saturday, 8 May 2021

Soggy Saturday

Day 416...

Well today has been rather busy and rather wet!

We started the day with rebuilding our bed...we had assembled it last night but had realised that one side was lower than the other. Well, it was good enough to sleep on last night but it did mean that this morning we had to take it all apart again and re-assemble it!

It was then a wet car drive to take Molly to her Saturday morning guitar lesson. While she strummed out we hit the coffee drive thru', the very slow coffee drive thru' must have taken half an hour just to get a couple of coffees. Although to be fair we had nowhere else to go and it wasn't like we could have sat inside the coffee shop as we are still not allowed to 'dine' inside!!

And then the rest of the day has been taken up with trying to get our living room and Simon's work space back to normal, and as I type we still have work to do. The biggest challenge was getting Simon's work desk back into his work space which is actually on a mezzanine type floor with a very narrow staircase. The desk was a self-assembly piece of furniture that was assembled in place many years ago. We had managed to get it down in one piece by lowering it down but we were not sure that we would be able to manage the same in reverse. But with the combined strength of me, Simon and Molly and a little ingenuity from Simon we managed what I had thought was a lost cause. I'd even suggested to Simon earlier in the week that we might have to buy a new self-assembly desk because I thought there was no way we would manage to get it back into the space. But I am so glad I was proven wrong.

Once Simon's desk was were it was needed we then focused on getting everything else back into the house from the garage where it had been stored these last few days and then deciding whether we actually wanted them back in the living room and if so where. We have also had the job of placing soft pads under all the furniture so that it doesn't mark the new wood flooring.

We are taking the opportunity of having an empty room to refill it with a fresh pair of eyes. When we revamped our bedroom last year we took the chance to 'Kondo' the room and our clothes and so we are taking the same approach with our living room; do we need it? Do we still like it? Is it serving a purpose? It is quite fulfilling to re-examine what you have always had and make those decisions that perhaps ordinarily you would not make or would put off making.

So it is almost nine o'clock on a Saturday night as I write this and Simon is busy sorting the speakers for the audio system so I better go and help!

Take care out there, see you tomorrow.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Day 415...Finally Friday

Day 415...

So we have a Friday and day three of our floor installation.

My day was spent at work while I left Simon home to supervise the floor fitters. 

Work was another standard sort of day. We started the day be going through the activities planned for the coming week which meant that I could set up email, social media, website and learning journal posts for all our parents. It was then a day of emails, filing and banking and a little indoor football with the children at the end of the day!

On my way home I stopped by one of my best friends to wish her a happy birthday for yesterday. I'd not been able to see her yesterday for various reasons so made a point of stopping by today to drop off a present and card. The great thing was that I timed it just right to see two of my other close friends who were also dropping off was the first time that we had all been together in over sixteen months! We have now put a date in our diaries for a girls night out when the pubs should be open indoors...assuming our government sticks to its plan to let indoor dining happen from 17th May!

I arrived home to a very busy house; lots of sawing and banging noises from two very busy fitters. They worked so hard and by early evening the work was completed. We now have three rooms all fitted out with lovely wood flooring. And although we will have a lot of work to do this weekend to get the living room and Simon's work space operational again we have managed to get our bedroom back to how it should be. So tonight we get to sleep in our bed, rather than just the mattress on the floor!

Well, talking of bed that's where I'm heading, see you tomorrow.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Day 414...Thursday...

Day 414...

Another day with the morning in work and the afternoon at home, as well as day two of our new flooring being fitted.

So it was up early to be all sorted before our fitter arrived. Just as I was leaving for work I received a text to say that my butchers order had been we had not had a knock at the door but I know the last couple of times the delivery company have just left the order on the doorstep and then send through a photo to say it's delivered. I opened the door expecting to see a very big box and there was nothing! Simon and I investigated and found two boxes that had been left by the gates to where we where near our front door. I appreciate that the boxes were on the heavy side, and there was a little bit of a walk from the van to our door but isn't it a delivery company's job to 'deliver' to the door?!

Simon, thankfully, was able to carry the boxes into the house while I dashed off to work. The morning was the usual mix of banking, admin, emails and chatting with staff about the remainder of the academic year. We have leavers celebrations to plan as well as a Summer fundraiser. Ordinarily we would hold a Summer Fair but with some restrictions still being in place and having to wait for the next steps in the 'roadmap' to actually happen it doesn't give us much time to organise anything. So we have decided to opt for another 'virtual' raffle and a special fun week for the children with lots of games and special treats.

I came home via a local supermarket; I went in for about five items and must have come out with about fifteen. One of the benefits of lockdown had been relying on just one grocery shop per week but I have slipped back into the habit of just 'popping' in to my local when really we could have survived till the next shop. Oh well, best get back into my new habits rather than pick-up the old ones that caused me to spend more money than I should!

Once home the floor fitting was in full swing and although we have a couple of issues it is going remarkably well. Simon's work area is a little awkward and has lots of nooks and crannies to work around so that has taken a little more time than anticipated but now we are onto the two main rooms so things should be a lot easier. Although there was a moment when we suddenly remembered about laying the wire for our speaker system under the floor...thankfully we remembered just in time!

My main job this afternoon was to sort the butchers order out into meal sized portions. We had delivered; 5kg chicken, 6kg steak mince, 20 burgers, 100 sausages, 4.5 kg bacon and 4 packs of steak. It must have took me well over an hour to bag it all up, sort out the freezer and get rid of all the packaging, but we are now good to go for the next few weeks. Adopting a keto/low carb, almost carnivore, lifestyle means that all our meals are focused on protein and fat. Cooked breakfast every morning with lunch and dinner being focused around a meat based protein, lots of black coffee, small glass of red wine and some lovely extra dark chocolate to enjoy. No bland carbs, no beige fillers just great tasty, and filling, food. It will be seven years in a few weeks time that I adopted a low carb lifestyle; I lost the weight, dropped the dress sizes and most importantly have maintained those losses. See my page 'Eating Well, Staying Healthy' to find out more about the changes I made.

And talking of good food dinner was a late one tonight as our floor fitter worked as late as he possibly could; bless him he has worked so hard and although we have a couple of issues that need sorting he is on the case. So we are having a quick dinner this evening of steak, burger and bacon with maybe a few fried veggies on the side and cheese on top!

Take care out there.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Working Wednesday

Day 413...

First day at work this week, and it was a full day.

But this morning started off bright and early, to not only get out for work at the right time, but to also get ready for the wood floors getting fitted today. I needed to ensure that we had everything we would need for the next couple of days out of our bedroom just in case the floor needed screed to be applied as this would mean we could not use the room for around 24 hours.

My day at work was a mix of the usual admin and banking tasks and fielding emails. I have a new system to get my head around called 'virtual school' ahead of a meeting in just over a week and so I was back and forth on emails and phone calls to sort it all out. This afternoon me and my deputy got together to work out our plan for the remainder of the academic year which involves staff appraisals, leavers celebrations, fundraising and reviewing Ofsted requirements. Suffice to say whilst we were very busy we still have a big chunk of work to get through.

Throughout the day I was getting updates from Simon on the progress of our new flooring. Our fitter had a job to finish off first thing and got to us around lunchtime. Thankfully we only needed screed to be laid on a couple of smallish areas which means that we can still access both our bedroom and living room. Simon's office area has been boarded out and metal edging strips laid ready for the actual wood floor going down tomorrow. We now have lots of boxes of flooring and rolls of underlay all ready for an early 8am start tomorrow!

The day was rounded out with the usual Wednesday taxi service to get Molly back and forth from her kickboxing class and that was our day.

Take care, wherever you are.


Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Happy Star Wars Day!

Day 412...

And it was another day off from work for me today. We had a scheduled Inset Day at pre-school, which ordinarily means the staff would be in work training or catching up with various tasks, but because we have already worked the hours it meant a day at home.

We did allow ourselves a slow getting up this morning as we had been so busy the last few days but we still had a pretty productive day. Molly had a driving lesson this morning and Simon and I took a short walk out while it was still dry. We only walked 1.6 miles in 32 minutes but we achieved the objective of getting some items in the post and then battled our way against the wind home again.

Then it was time to move the last remaining pieces of furniture out of the living room and into our garage for the next few days. This meant moving some rather heavy pieces so we were very grateful for Molly's help. But it also meant disconnecting all the TV and audio kit and the mass of wires that go with it all as well as dismantling our sofa to get that moved out the way as well. Thankfully our sofa was a 'build it yourself' type so taking it apart was pretty straight forward and it is now in about nine pieces! Although we did take plenty if photos as we went along to aid with the reassembling in a few days time! 

Once the room was clear of furniture we had yet more carpet to roll up and put in the back of the car. We then moved onto clearing our bedroom. We were able to disassemble our bed, while leaving us the mattress to sleep on for the next few nights. We then had to empty the drawers of the dressing table so that we could move that out of the is a very heavy piece of furniture so we made sure we had the shortest distance possible to move it! We then removed the underlay from the remaining carpet so that all we are left with in the bedroom is our mattress and some carpet! I think we will be 'camping out' for the next few nights. If the floors need to have screed applied before we can lay the new wood floor we will have two rooms out of action for possibly 24 hours so we will need to make sure that we have everything we need for the next few days out of each room, otherwise we'll be in a pickle!

So with more underlay in the car we took our third trip to the local recycling centre. It was unusual to be out and about driving around in the middle of a work day and it was kind of reassuring to see how busy the roads were. Although it was also sad to see pubs that had been open in the last week or so now shut because of the typically temperamental British weather; to be only allowed to open outdoors at the moment is ridiculous. Pubs cannot survive on outdoors only dining when the weather is so unpredictable, after all who wants to sit out in the wind and the rain to 'enjoy' a glass of wine! And just today the government very quietly released a paper by SAGE (their scientific advisory group) that basically said there was no detrimental affect of opening up indoors hospitality yet all these businesses have got to wait until the 17th May...unbelievable.

Arriving home we refuelled with a coffee before getting the hoover out and cleaning around the best we could ahead of tomorrow. There is going to be more dust, and more cleaning, over the next few days but figured I'd try and keep on top of it as best I could.

So as today is 'Star Wars Day' (May the 4th be with you!) Simon treated himself to a new VR game called Star Wars; Tales from Galaxy's Edge. Galaxy's Edge is the new area in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World that takes you to the planet of Batuu and this game is centered around that planet. In the theme parks the area includes various shops, restaurants and rides including Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run. 

Now I am not a big fan of VR, kinda makes me feel a little seasick and disorientated, but Simon was insistent that I gave it a try this afternoon as I would be able to experience Batuu from a position that I would be unable to do so in actual reality. So I popped on the goggles and found myself in Sleesak's Bar with a window in front of me which looked out over the Millenium Falcon...

Inside Sleesak's Bar
...Wow! Everything looked so good and I really could imagine myself being in the actual Galaxy's Edge, somewhere which we have yet to visit. I said to Simon that if the real life version is as good as the VR then I am going to struggle to get Simon away from it all the next time we get to visit in person!

And there we have another Tuesday. Back to work for me tomorrow and the start of our new flooring being installed!

Take care.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Wet Bank Holiday Monday

Day 411...

So today turned out to be your stereotypical bank holiday Monday - wet!

But that didn't stop us at all and we had another very productive day. Once we had collected the weekly grocery shop we decided to take up a little more carpet...we are basically left with a square of carpet in each room that will be having new flooring this week, just enough for us to live with for the next couple of days. It did mean another trip to our local recycling centre to get rid of another car full of carpet!

Then after lunch we decided to give the living room a little touch up of paint. When we realised that the paint we had was the right colour but a different finish we decided that rather than just 'touch up' we would re-do the whole room. Now it's a pretty decent size room so it took us all afternoon but we were really pleased to get it all done and give the room a whole refresh ahead of the new wood floor being laid.

And that was really it for today - grocery shop, carpet, recycling centre and painting - while outside it decided to rain pretty much all of the day. Fair to say I think we made the best of the day!

Take care.


Sunday, 2 May 2021

Sunday Drama

Day 410...

Well I am writing this quite late again today as we have had another busy.

After a steady start to the day we set about moving a couple of pieces of furniture out of the living room. One was a six shelf bookcase...full of we had to empty it, then move it and then restack the shelves. We had to then do the same with a large cupboard that was full of DVD's. But both pieces are now in their temporary home and a little more space has been created.

We then had a trip to our local recycling centre to dispose of all the carpet that we had took up yesterday. We now have an empty car to fill with yet more carpet!

After a spot of late lunch we watched a brilliant video by Dr John Lee talking all about the pandemic, our reaction to it and explaining in plain english the errors that have been made and what should have happened. I urge you to seek out this short film and give it a watch.

We then took a walk out over the fields to get a breath of fresh air and have a break from furniture moving. We took a slightly different route to normal and managed 2.74 miles in 55 minutes.

But once back home we set to taking up more carpet in our bedroom and the living room. We have gone around the edge of the rooms to get rid of carpet, underlay and the horrid carpet grippers while leaving some carpet for us to live with over the next couple of days before the new wood floor goes down.

Before we knew it it was almost 8pm and we were covered in dust. So we decided take out was in order and we sent Molls and her fella off to pick up some kebabs while Simon and I got changed out of our dusty clothes!

And then the drama ensued...while eating my chicken and steak kebab I took my first bite and found myself choking! With a combination of me making myself cough and Simon giving me a good slap on the back as well as trying the heimlich manoeuvre I was able to get rid of the blockage. It's the first time I can remember choking like that and it was a scary experience. I didn't eat much after that and now have quite a raw throat that has left me with a gravelly voice!

So the rest of my evening will be spent with a vodka and tonic, dark chocolate and watching RuPauls Drag Race Down Under!

Take care.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Saturday Shuffle

Day 409...

So having reached the weekend we find ourselves with plenty to do ahead of happenings next week!

But first we had a trip to the post office as Simon had sold another Shadowman poster via his website. Then we popped over to a local window company to chat with one of their sales guys about our new windows and more importantly our new front door. We have a non-standard size door that had been proving a little tricky to sort a replacement for but having visited the showroom we now have a solution and can move ahead with getting the windows and door sorted.

Then this afternoon we started to clear three of our rooms ahead of new wood flooring going down next week. We needed to make the rooms as accessible as possible and move as much furniture out of the rooms as we could.

One of the rooms was particularly challenging as it is a mezzanine floor, that we call the gallery, which is where Simon works. All the furniture was built in situ so removing it meant lowering them over  a balustrade to the room below! Thank goodness we had Molly and her fella on hand to help us! How we get it back up is a question for a week's time...eek!!

But it was an afternoon well spent with the gallery area being completely cleared including the carpet and a good amount of items getting moved out of the living room. We still have more furniture to move and the carpet to clear from the living room as well as our bedroom so it's a good job it's a long weekend!

Well a productive day was rounded out with the making of keto pizza, a few nibbles, strawberries, chocolate and wine.

Take care.


Friday, 30 April 2021

It's the Weekend!

Day 408...

And we have reached the last day of the working week and for me it was a full day in work...I know...shocker!

The day started with a little drama as one of our staff had had their car broken into overnight. Thankfully there was no damage and apart from the inconvenience of a few phone calls and being late into work there was no real upset.

My work day was another pretty standard day of admin, emails and banking. As it's the end of the week we always look forward to what we have planned for the upcoming week so that we can make sure we have the right equipment and resources for whatever activities we have planned. My job is then to compose an email to parents to let them know what we will be doing for the week, I then use this information to create posts on our Facebook page, our website and the online learning journals for all our children. 

And with thanks to the husband of one of my staff we managed to get fixed a piece of our furniture that had been broken a couple of days earlier. All our furniture has to be on wheels as we need to move it in and out of our building each day into an outdoor storage container and a couple of days ago one set of wheels had broken away. Thankfully a few drill holes later and some new screws and all was fixed and working again.

On my way home I decided to nip into a local supermarket to pick up a few bits and pieces for the weekend...and I remembered why I normally avoid a Friday afternoon! Not only was the store busier than I would prefer...I like to be in and out...but there was also more traffic than normal. Oh well I will remember to avoid a late Friday afternoon in future.

With shopping unpacked and a coffee poured I jumped online to do a little more birthday shopping as well as a little card shopping, and then Simon finished worked and made me our now traditional Friday night Martini...or I should say Vodkatini as it was tonight. The last few Fridays we have enjoyed a little tipple while watching The Falcon & The Winter Soldier but as last week was the last episode we had nothing to watch so it was enjoyed as an aperitif  as I prepped dinner and Simon did a little more digital artwork.

And there we have a Friday and we are ready for the weekend...and it is an extra long weekend as not only do we have a bank holiday on Monday but I also have an inset day at pre-school on Tuesday and as we have already worked the hours it will be a day off in lieu.

Take care out there.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Day 407

Day 407...

Another day of two halves with the morning spent in work and the afternoon at home.

My morning was, once again, pretty standard stuff with emails, admin and banking to contend with. On my way home at lunchtime I stopped by my hairdresser to get a 'patch test'...something that all hairdressers seem to be doing following this last lockdown. I have had my hair coloured and bleached for about 25 years but it is now industry standard for clients to have skin tests to ensure there is no allergic reaction after not being able to have had our hair coloured for at least five months! I cannot wait for two weeks time so that I can go back to my usual super short crop as well as getting my blonde back.

Once home, and after a spot of lunch, I spent most of the afternoon trying to get on top of my online birthday shopping. I have made good progress and have placed a few different orders. Not only do I have Simon and Molly to think about but I also have a few friends with birthdays in May; it is a very busy birthday month! 

I have also placed a butchers order for delivery next week and managed to move our upcoming dentist appointment as it was now clashing with our new flooring being installed. So although I haven't physically moved much this afternoon I have managed to get quite a lot of things done...thank goodness for the power of the internet!

And some good news today...I got the results back from my mammogram that I had a couple of weeks ago and everything is 'normal' - phew!

Take care out there.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Day 406

Day 406...

Well I suppose I'd better write a blog post...been one of those days when time seems to have just disappeared.

My morning was spent in work with the usual bits and bobs of admin and banking. When I arrived home at lunchtime Simon and I took a walk out, battling the wind, and managed 1.8 miles in 36 minutes. 

The afternoon was then split between getting caught up with the ironing, which didn't take me too long, and then some online retail shopping. I have a number of birthdays coming up in May...most notably Simon and Molly...and I thought I really ought to do some shopping!

Well suffice to say, fueled by at least two coffees, the time flew by and I'm not really sure whether it was productive or not! I am probably too indecisive and had way too many tabs open while trying to figure out what I wanted to buy. I did in the end get a few things bought and hopefully have a better idea of what else I'd like to buy, so at least I've made a start!

So before I knew it the afternoon was over and Simon had finished work. Although before we could stop for the day we had a few sales from Simon's website to organise. Just recently Simon had created some artwork for a game called Shadowman, that he had worked on back in the 1990's, and had some prints produced that he now has for sale via his website. On checking his email earlier today he'd discovered that three posters had been sold and so we needed to organise getting them posted, all off to the US.

But once that was done that was our day...I just need to refresh my glass of wine and find some chocolate!

Take care out there.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Day 405...Tuesday

Day 405...

And we have another Tuesday and another day of two halves.

My morning was spent in work and was the usual mix of admin, emails and banking along with some prep work for a new starter in a couple of weeks time. A pretty standard, but productive, morning.

Once home it was straight back out the door to go on a walk with Simon as he had not long started his lunch break; we did our usual 1.89 miles in about 38 minutes.

After reheating some leftover keto pizza for my lunch I decided to check my emails which meant I had the necessary details to be able to process the wages for pre-school before I headed out the door once more. 

I then picked my dad up to take him to the barbers as his car is still out of action. Although I've now realised that Simon had his hair cut last week, my dad this week, Ethan is next week but I've got to wait until the week after...that doesn't seem right!! While my dad had his hair cut I did a little grocery shopping for him and filled my car with petrol and timed it perfectly to pick up my dad with his refreshed hair!

Back home I did a little pre-school work to organise a few folders ready for processing tomorrow. I also had a couple of emails back from two different window companies and am now trying to figure out what each of them are offering and which is the best option for us. I have one more company coming out to give us a quote next week and hopefully we might get to have a look around a showroom at the weekend to give us a better idea of what we can do.

As I was sat at my laptop I could hear my neighbour outside and she was sounding rather jolly... I looked outside and she waved madly at me with a glass of champagne in her hand...her daughter had given birth to a little girl this afternoon and so she was, quite rightly, celebrating! She was so happy and it was lovely to spend a few minutes with her letting her share her news. 

At the end of the working day it was time for a little home workout before settling down for some Netflix and chill!!

Take care.


Monday, 26 April 2021

Day 404

Day 404...

Another Monday where I have been in work for part of the day because we still have a member of staff who has had to self isolate due to a household member testing positive. Thankfully they only have one more day to go before they get their freedom back!

My morning in work was pretty standard stuff; updating some documents, replying to emails, a little banking and a review of our Covid risk assessment. On the way home I nipped into a local supermarket to pick up a few bits that I hadn't been able to get on my shopping yesterday. I also stopped by our local parish council office to drop off some posters for pre-school that can be displayed locally.

By the time I got home Simon had had a busy morning sorting his 'work space' area ahead of new flooring going down next week. He had an awful lot of stuff stored that needed moving and placing in the loft just for the time being. As his work space is on a mezzanine style floor there is not an awful lot of space and what space there is is rather awkward as it follows the shape of the roof! But he achieved what his objective had been ready for next weekend, when we will need to disassemble furniture and move it out into the garage for a few days to give the fitters enough room to work.

Then we had a window company stop by to measure up for replacing our windows and front door. We thought we had found a company to complete the work a few weeks ago but after a slight problem with the door we were waiting for a call back...and we are still waiting! So now, fed up of waiting, we are looking at other companies to see what they can offer us instead.

Simon and I then took a late afternoon walk out over the fields into the next village managing a steady 3.34 miles in one hour and four minutes. We have walked 65 miles so far in April over 21 days...that's not too shabby!

The walk was followed by a coffee outside in the sunshine while we caught up with social media and the news before heading inside for the more mundane household tasks! Simon was able to get a little more digital drawing completed before we set about the task of making another keto pizza. We had left over pizza from yesterday to use up but there was not quite enough for all of us so we set about making another and for the first time used tuna and anchovies for the topping. It worked really well and reminded us of our trips to Pizza Hut back in the late 1980's when Simon and I were dating and we would always order their seafood pizza! 

Take care.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Sunny Sunday

Day 403...

We had another lovely sunny day, maybe not quiet as warm as yesterday with a bit of a chilly wind...but still sunny.

First job of the day was to head out and collect the weekly grocery shop and put petrol in the car. With the shopping all put away we took the time to enjoy a coffee sat outside in the sunshine while figuring out what to do with the rest of the day.

We decided that we would take a walk but instead of going over the fields we jumped in the car and headed to Nottingham. We had a walk around the city centre simply taking in the surroundings at a gentle pace but we still managed to walk 3 miles. We grabbed a coffee and sat in the main square in the sunshine watching the world go by.

The city was busy and it was great to see so many people out and about. There were lots of places that had taken over stretches of the street with new outdoor seating as hospitality is only allowed to serve outside at the moment. And when we sat in the Old Market Square area it was busy with people stopping to sit and enjoy a drink, food or just stop for a few minutes.

There were still queues to get into some of the bigger named shops and whilst I would have loved to have had a look around some of them I really couldn't be bothered to queue to 'just have a look'. So while we find some of the restrictions of the past four months are being lifted we are still having to live our lives by rules and regulations.

Most people out and about were mask-free but there were those who felt the need to wear one while walking around outside which I just can't understand. I even saw families where all but one were mask-free, or couples where one person was wearing a mask and the other wasn't...really can't get my head around that. There was a point along our walk where in order to walk through an enclosed walkway from one outdoor place to another outdoor place we had to wear a mask...suffice to say we took the long way round to avoid such a 'faff-on'.

We arrived home late afternoon and helped Ethan with a little tidy around of his room before settling down for a coffee and a peruse of social media followed by a little digital drawing for Simon. All that remains now is to pour the red wine and make keto pizza!

Take care, whatever you are doing.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Day 402

Day 402...

And we have arrived at the weekend!

It was a steady start to the day with breakfast being followed by a walk out for coffee...and a cheeky scone. We walked 4.1 miles in 1 hour and 17 minutes and the coffee for the walk home was very much appreciated.

Once home we had a little lunch and I jumped online and completed my online grocery shop while Simon jumped online and ordered a pick axe!

While Simon nipped out to pick up the pick axe he'd ordered I decided to get the ironing sorted. Once Simon was home and the ironing done we headed out into the garden to use the aforementioned pick axe on dismantling a fence, removing the fence posts and the met posts that the fence posts sit in!

Four hours later we had everything but one of the met posts removed...that final met post just didn't want to move! Oh and I say 'we' when what I actually mean is Simon, while I just stood and offered advice!!

To round out the day we treated ourselves to take out from our local kebab shop. But to keep as low carb as we could we simply ate the meat (chicken & steak) with the salad but left the pitta bread.

Now it is time for another glass of red wine and to sit and watch the finale of RuPauls Drag Race.

Take care.


Friday, 23 April 2021

Day 401 - A Friday

Day 401...

Well today was my first and only full day in work this week!!

And the day was pretty standard with the usual admin to do, banking to update and invoices to issue. It was a lovely sunny day and we were able to spend the majority of the day outside...well I say 'we'...what I actually mean is the children! It was also the first time for me having to pack everything away at the end of the day and I have to say my team are fantastic; everyone just cracks on and does whatever is needed to get the job done.

By the time I arrived home I was in need of a coffee and a little sit down time in the sunshine to unwind from the day. When Simon finished work for the day we decided to dive straight in to the last episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and wow what an episode...absolutely brilliant. Great story, fantastic action pieces and enough emotion to make me well-up a few times. We, of course, enjoyed the last episode with a little 'Marveltini' our new drink of choice for watching anything Marvel related. (It's a martini that we've just renamed!).

And that was pretty much today, it was Friday and the start of the weekend although I'm not really sure what the weekend will bring just yet.

See you tomorrow, take care.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Day 400

Day 400...

Wow, another milestone reached...400 days of writing my lockdown diary.

I wanted to record what happened during the initial lockdown as it was something we had never experienced before nor had I ever expected to experience such a thing while living in a Western Democratic society. But here we are 400 days later and we are still living under restrictions.

So much for the original three weeks to protect the NHS, and all the other reasons that have followed since. I can't even begin to recall what 'reasons' we have been given over the last 400 days because there have been so many.

The advice has changed, the rules have changed, the requirements forced upon us have changed so it is no wonder that the vast majority of people have no real idea of what is happening and simply do as they are told if it means they can do anything vaguely 'normal'. 

We were told masks were unnecessary that they did nothing to protect us...until last Summer that was. When the rate of infections was flat, because it's a seasonal virus that does not do well in the warmer months, cases and deaths were low and suddenly masks did work and we all needed to wear them. So what is they work or don't they? According to various studies they don't and may cause more harm than good when worn for long periods and used incorrectly. I am getting rather fed up of seeing people outside with no-one else around them and wearing a mask, or people alone in their cars wearing a mask...who do they think they are protecting and from what?

And don't get me started on testing! Let's test all the asymptomatic people 'just in case'...where do I start? If you're asymptomatic you probably haven't got it, if you're genuinely asymptomatic you will not be shedding the virus (because you're not coughing etc) and so will not be infecting anyone. All tests operate with a false positive rate so even if we assumed a really tiny false positive rate of 0.1% and we test one million people we will find 1000 false positive cases so we will never get to a point of cases below a thousand or no cases whatsoever. Argh! I'm not a scientist but I can read and don't just take what the main stream media present to me as the whole truth. Yes I maybe sceptical, but that means I question and seek out answers. Covid exists but is it really worth 400 days of 'restrictions'?

Okay so that's todays rant out of the way although I could go on but perhaps I'll leave that for another day.

So my actual day has been another day of two halves. The morning was spent in work with the usual bits of paperwork, banking and organising to do. I arrived home at lunchtime, walked in the door, quickly got changed and walked back out again. Simon and I had a brisk lunchtime walk of 1.85 miles in 34 minutes.

After a bite to eat I headed out to a local supermarket to pick up a few bits and pieces that we were running short on while Molly headed out for a meet up with her besties. They had booked an outside table at a bar in Nottingham and were getting there by tram. Most places seem to be offering a 'book a table' service and allocate your group around two hours. Some places are doing 'walk-ins' but this could mean a longish wait to get 'in' to the outside area! 

The remainder of my afternoon was spent drinking coffee in the sunshine, doing a few emails, checking social media and just generally having some down time. When Simon finished work for the day we both headed off to complete our respective workouts...visit 101 for Simon to our 'gym'. And then we got the call from Molly that she was heading home and could we play taxi service and pick her and a friend up from the tram stop. Sounds like the girls had had a lovely time, drinking cocktails in the sunshine followed by the obligatory McDonalds to go!

And that was day 400...restrictions still in place...let's hope we can get out of this sooner rather than later?!!

Take care.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Day 399

Day 399...

And we have a Wednesday and another day split between work and home.

Work started with me picking up a colleague and two boxes of phonic resources on the way to work. As storage space is limited at pre-school we have had to store those items that are not used too frequently at staff members homes. 

As we are approaching the end of the academic year we are busy getting our eldest children ready for the transition into primary school and we use this time to introduce them to phonics. Whilst phonic work is not strictly part of the curriculum for our age group we can recognise when children are ready to start learning and hope that by introducing them to phonics now it will help them when they start at their new schools in a few months time.

We take great pride in getting the children that come through our pre-school ready for moving onto 'big' school and making sure that they are ahead of the curve. We always aim to give our children the confidence and independence to give them the best possible start to their formal education; with children often leaving us ahead of the expected developmental norms.

But my morning in pre-school was a mix of the usual admin tasks with a little banking, emails, filing and data input so that we can access the correct funding from our local county council. Not very exciting but very essential.

When I arrived home Simon was out at the barbers...we won't mention the fact that he has had his hair cut before me...three weeks before I can get mine cut!! He does look much smarter and no longer needs to wear a baseball cap to hide the long locks...but still, I need mine doing!!!!

I then made the mistake of checking pre-school's email, which meant I had some more work to do - doh! But I did manage a little chill out time with a coffee before getting ready to head out for a beauty clinic appointment. And while I was getting beautified Simon took Molly to her kickboxing class and also posted out a helmet sale that had come through today.

And there we have another's wine glass is empty and it's time for keto pancakes...because that's how we roll on a Wednesday evening!

Take care.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Day 398...a Tuesday!

Day 398...

Today was another day split between work and non-work!

The morning was spent in work with lots of little jobs to catch-up with; emails to organise, banking to update, displays to create and print. Thankfully a couple of weeks ago I created a number of emails to be sent out at set times which has meant a big chunk of my work has been done and it is now a matter of collating the replies.

As we start our Summer term we need to liaise with local schools about those children leaving us and starting with them. We also have to start our planning for may sound a way off yet, but we need to determine how many children we will have registered with us and how many sessions they will be attending so that we can look at the impact on staffing and resources and start to plan accordingly. Plus there is the usual invoices to issue, newsletter to email, new children starting with us and a sponsored bounce event to organise. Never a dull moment.

So after a productive morning I arrived home just as Simon started his lunch break which meant after a quick change of shoes we could have our usual lunchtime walk; another 1.89 miles in 39 minutes.

My afternoon did involve a little pre-school work, even though I hadn't intended it to. I had a couple of emails arrive in my inbox that involved following a few links with a few articles to read and bookmark for future reference. I also needed to re-work some of our wages for this month as one of my staff is having to self-isolate and so needs to be able to claim our Statutory Sick Pay which we as employer then need to be able to claim it back off the government. But my first job was to work out how much we need to pay them and then pass the information over to my wages clerk for them to process.

It was then time for a coffee sat outside; it has been another lovely day although the sun wasn't out as much as I would have liked. But I could still sit outside, enjoy the quiet and the coffee.

The day was rounded out with a little home gym workout. Simon has been keeping a tally of gym sessions completed since we went into lockdown in March of last year and today marked session 100!

Take care.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Back to Work Monday

Day 397...

So after a couple of weeks off it was time to go back to work today. Ordinarily I don't work Mondays but as this was the first day of a new term I'd decided I would pop in if only for an hour or so.

But as we now have a member of staff self isolating due to a family member testing positive for covid I now had to go in to ensure that we had sufficient staff to meet the required ratio of adults to children.

It was also the first day that we were having to set the playroom from scratch. As we share a building with our local scouts and guides we have to make sure that we pack all our equipment away at the end of each day. But due to covid the scouts and guides have not been allowed to meet for the past year which has meant that we have had the building to ourselves and been able to leave all our equipment in situ. As restrictions are now beginning to ease and scouts and guides are allowed to meet we now have to pack everything away at the end of our school day and then reset everything the following day. It's a lot of work and something we need to get used to!!

So work this morning consisted of me and my deputy re-organising some of our storage area; moving outdoor storage cupboards, finding new places to store items and sending some items home with staff to store offsite as they are only needed once a year! We also had a catch up over some admin bits and then I had stuff to print, file and banking to catch-up with. But after a busy morning I was able to take the afternoon off and was home just after lunch.

Simon and I decided to make the most of a warm and sunny afternoon and took a walk out which ended up being 5.25 miles in an hour and 42 minutes. It was a longer walk than we had anticipated and we were both in need of a coffee by the time we got home! But the lovely weather did mean we could enjoy our coffee sat outside; we definitely got our dose of vitamin D today.

And before we knew it, it was time to play taxi service for Molly as she had her kickboxing lesson this evening. And that was Monday all done.

Take care.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Busy Sunday

Day 396...

So today was Sunday and it turned out to be quite a busy day...which means this will probably be a short post as it's now getting late on in the day.

But we were up and about relatively early for a Sunday as we had our weekly grocery shop to collect, a day earlier than normal as I am in work tomorrow. We had some shopping to drop off at my dad's on the way home and then it was a case of get everything packed away before we headed out the door again.

Just as we were about to leave I got a message from one of my staff to say that a member of her household had just tested positive for covid with a lateral flow test and they were getting a PCR test as confirmation. This means that my member of staff has to now isolate for 10 days, despite having no symptoms herself, and that in turn means that I will now need to work a full five day week rather than my usual two full days and two half days!

We headed off into Derby around lunchtime and had a walk around the city, grabbed a coffee and then I popped into a local beauty salon for an appointment, but we were still back home for around 2.30pm and decided to make the most of the remainder of the day.

This meant getting on our scruffy work clothes and dismantling some trellis fencing which involved removing two fence panels, three fence posts and the met posts which held the fence posts in the ground. Now whilst I would like to take some credit for the hard work that was carried out this afternoon I really can't as it all came down to the strength and tenacity of Simon. The met posts were well and truly lodged into the ground and it took an enormous amount of strength, ingenuity and lateral thinking for Simon to eventually get them out. I on the other hand, held stuff and made coffee!

We then loaded one of the cars up with items to go to our local recycling centre, which Simon will be able to take tomorrow. I then had just enough time to jump in the shower and get cleaned up ready for our usual Sunday Disney Dream Girls Disney quiz. It was lovely to see everyone, as it always is, and I didn't do too badly...I didn't win nor did I loose!!

And to finish the day we made keto pizza for dinner, drank some red wine and finally put our feet up in front of the TV!

Take care out there.

Saturday, 17 April 2021

How many miles?

Day 395...

So this Saturday was one of the most 'normal' we have had in a while.

Molly was back at her guitar lessons in person for the first time since before Christmas which in turn meant that we were back at our old spot for coffee. We opted for the drive thru' option as although we could have sat outside it would have been next to a road and a car park and despite the sunshine it was still a tad chilly. But we did get to see one of the regular store colleagues and so it was nice to catch-up with him as well.

After a spot of lunch we decided to head out for one of our walks over the fields. We decided to complete the walk in reverse for a change and notched up 3.56 miles in one hour and 11 minutes; making an April total so far of 46 miles, 198 miles for 2021 and 508 miles since we recorded our first lockdown walk on 23rd March last year - wow!

And while out for our walk we bumped into one of the family's that attend my pre-school, although I think the little girl wasn't quite sure who I was out of my usual pre-school uniform!

The rest of the afternoon was spent drinking coffee outside, chilling, a little book reading (Dr Jen Unwin's Fork in the Road) and Simon doing some more digital drawing. And in among all that I have done a little internet searching for window companies and beauty clinics and have sent off a few enquiry forms as well as messaging a tattooist about my next bit of Disney ink!

Time for some red wine, chocolate and RuPauls Drag Race.

See you tomorrow, take care.

Friday, 16 April 2021

Day 394

Day 394...

Well, we have another quiet Friday. Nothing much to do at all.

There were a couple of jobs to be done around the house and a little online research needed. As we are now in a new  tax year I have the ever so exciting job of completing Simon's tax return and needed to check a few things out before I started. I have plenty of time to submit the return but it's always good to be able to get it done and dusted, but I just need a few more bits of information before I can start. 

Lunchtime saw our usual walk over the fields and it was back on with the coats today as the weather really hasn't warmed up any. But it was another 1.8 miles in 37 minutes and a chance for Simon and I to have a little time together, chat and vent against the world.

My afternoon has been another lazy afternoon in front of the TV! I have managed to finish the Disney + series 'On Pointe' all about the School of American Ballet. It was really quite sad watching the last couple of episodes and listening to the students talk about Spring performances and starting apprenticeships in June while knowing that Covid would hit and scupper all their plans. The penultimate episode saw the performance of The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Centre and just knowing that this tradition was not possible in 2020 and knowing that these students hold this show in such high regard was heartbreaking to watch.

The day was rounded out with watching episode five of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, another Disney + show. We decided to start the weekend off with a cheeky martini while we watched the show; we then nicknamed the drink Marveltini...because we were watching a Marvel show...we thought it was funny anyway!

So now we are ready for the weekend, and whatever that will bring our way.

Take care out there.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

A Quiet Thursday

Day 393...

And we move onto a Thursday...just a few more days of my break from pre-school left before returning to work next week.

But it has been a quiet day today as I have not really had too much to do. I've done a few household chores; some ironing, dusting and laundry but nothing overtly taxing or exciting.

Molly was able to take a driving lesson this morning; her first in well over a year. She had just gotten started with learning to drive at the beginning of last year and was really taking to it when the first lockdown got in the way. When we opened up last Summer she decided to wait a while before resuming her lessons, just cautiously waiting to see how things 'pandemic' wise developed. As it was because of more lockdowns and tier systems she was never able to resume her lessons last year and has had to wait until this week to start over. She has her theory test booked for the end of May so fingers crossed she can get mobile before any more 'restrictions' come our way. I think she had a good lesson today and was pleasantly surprised that she could remember what to do!

At lunchtime Simon and I took our usual 1.9 miles, in 37 minutes, circular walk and found it was a little chillier out than we were expecting. The sunshine fooled us into thinking it was 'jumper' weather; thankfully a good walking pace warmed us up. 

I have taken a little more time for me today and have managed three more episodes of the Disney + series 'On Pointe'. Despite having next to no knowledge about ballet, and having no real interest in seeing a ballet, I am really enjoying this series. Fascinating to understand how the School of American Ballet works, how they have a style of ballet that they follow (didn't know there were styles of ballet!), the work ethic that the students have and from a very young age; very inspiring.

As Simon finished work for the day we headed down our respective 'gyms' and today marked Simon's 99th gym session at home since the first lockdown this time last year. We are lucky that we have enough space in our garage to make our own 'gym' although it has involved some strategic storage so that we can still park our car in there as well!

And that was more day done.

Take care.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Mammogram Wednesday

Day 392...

And we have reached the middle of another week. I am still on my break from preschool but Simon is back working.

My day started with a couple of small jobs; loading the washing machine, updating the banking for preschool and booking in a collection slot for my grocery shopping.

Late morning saw me head off to my local hospital for my second annual mammogram. It is now two years since I underwent a lumpectomy, followed by radiotherapy, for breast cancer and part of my ongoing care is to have annual mammograms for 5 years.

I was due to have my first mammogram April 2020 but because of the pandemic it was cancelled and eventually rescheduled for June 2020. I had presumed that this year, and subsequent years, that my appointment would now all happen in June so I was pleasantly surprised to receive my appointment in April which means I am on track with where I would have been ordinarily.

Driving to my appointment was a little strange as I realised it was the furthest I'd driven on my own (and it was only 8 miles!) in such a long time.  I drove a route that I know really well through places that I have visited almost weekly for years and years and yet everywhere felt familiar but also strangely different. It's moments like this when the unseen effects of lockdown can suddenly strike you.

But the great thing was that I arrived in plenty of time. I waited until almost my appointment time (as instructed in my letter) and then ventured into the hospital. After checking in at reception I sat down in the waiting area, which was empty, another patient then arrived just after me and almost immediately I was called through. Ten minutes after my allotted appointment time I was back in the car. I can't fault the NHS at Derby Breast Unit everyone has been so lovely, so caring and have always put me at ease every time I have visited. I am so thankful for all that they have done for me over the last couple of years.

As I arrived home Simon was just breaking for lunch so with a change of shoes we set off on our lunchtime walk over the fields - another 1.85 miles in 37 minutes. We were also able to help a family who had wandered up the bridlepath near us in search of Alpacas...we are fortunate to have some Alpacas on a farm close by to us but this family were a little off course but a few directions later and we had them heading in the right direction.

My afternoon turned out to be a very relaxed and, for me, quite indulgent afternoon. I finished watching the last episode of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel which was fabulous, just as all three seasons so far have been; a highly recommended must watch from me. Plus I just love all the glamour of the era (late 1950's into early 1960's); all the dresses and the hats and the jewellery! 

I then started to watch a docu-series on Disney + called 'On Pointe' all about the School of American Ballet in New York. Now I am not a ballet fan, but this series was recommended by a fellow Disney geek so I though I would give it a try. And one episode in and I am hooked!

I then decided to spend a little time outside with a coffee or two and the sunshine. I was able to read a little more of Gary Taubes' 'The Case for Keto' as well as start a new book by Dr Jen Unwin called 'Fork in the Road' all about our food, and specifically sugar, addiction and how we can get past it. I just love learning more about how we are supposed to eat and understanding more about how we can high-jack our best intentions and what to do about getting back on track. Having eaten low carb/keto for almost seven years now I know how well this way of eating suits me and am fascinated with the science behind it and the history of how we found ourselves eating completely the wrong way.

Take care out there.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

A Quiet Tuesday

Day 391...

And today was Tuesday and it was a quiet day today.

Once up and about I grabbed Molly to be my 'muscle' as I needed to pay some cash into the bank for preschool. As it was 80% coin it was rather heavy and whilst I could lift the bag...just...I needed someone to carry it from the car park to the bank!

Once we were back home I had a few household chores to do...the very exciting laundry and cleaning of the bathroom - whoop! Thankfully I was interrupted by Simon's lunch hour so we took a walk over the fields managing our usual 1.8 miles in about 36 minutes. So far in April we have managed a walk for 11 days in succession making a total of 37 miles in 12 hours.

The afternoon saw me complete a little Disney research as well as find some time to watch the last episode of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. Although I only got half way through before I jumped online with my podcast co-host Michelle to record another episode of our Disney Dream Girls podcast.

And by the time I'd finished recording it was time to 'go down the gym'. Simon and Molly make use of our garage with a bench, pull-up bar and weights while I stick to the comfort of a yoga mat and my bodyweight exercises.

So although gyms reopened yesterday we have decided to stick to using what we have at home. Back in the Summer last year when the gyms were able to open for a few months we had decided to cancel our membership, save some money and carry on using our home set-up. It means that we can easily 'work-out' whenever we like, we can get there very quickly and not have to worry about finding a car parking space and even when the weather is bad we can still 'get to the gym'. It has worked so well for us that we are going to stick with this approach for the foreseeable future. But it is great to know that for those who enjoy what a gym can offer they are now able to get back to doing what they love.

Take care, wherever you may be.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Day 390 - Lockdown Easing - Stage Two

Day 390...

Today saw the start of 'stage two' of our governments 'roadmap out of lockdown' which means that personal services can resume, non-essential shops can open and hospitality can operate outside only. Although social distancing, masks and track & trace all still yes we can do more but we effectively still have 'one hand tied behind our backs' so to speak.

But as it was Monday we still had the usual morning job of collecting our weekly grocery shop which also involved dropping a few bits and pieces off at my dads as he is still without a car.

We then had the helmet that Simon had made last week to post off before we made our way into one of our closest cities, Nottingham. We decided that we would venture into the city and just see what the day brought, with no expectations other than to have a walk and perhaps grab a coffee.

We were curious to see just how far we would walk on a trip to an urban area and whilst it was a more relaxed and gentler paced walk than our usual countryside walks we still managed 4.12 miles. Thankfully we had a dry and sunny day, if a little chilly at times, and were able to meander around the city and take in the sights and sounds that we have not been able to do in such a long time.

Nottingham City Centre
Enjoying a coffee on a walkabout
The city was quite busy and it was lovely to be back out amongst people and to soak up the atmosphere that a city has to offer. We have loved walking over the fields on our doorstep but it was so good to be back in a city and just wander.

As we had expected there were some shops that had ridiculously long lines and although I would have loved to have popped in and seen what was on offer (especially Disney stuff) we really weren't that desperate! So we walked and picked up a coffee and were pleasantly surprised to see the amount of work being carried out on new buildings and remarked on the changes since we had last visited. 

I remember Molly and I visiting the city last August but it will be over a year since Simon and I have visited together and it was just lovely to be back and doing something a little closer to normal and to simply soak up the surroundings. It was sad to see a large number of shop fronts all boarded up and empty and it will be interesting to see going forward which venues survive and whether these unused shops will ever get filled again.

But we did manage to get a little shopping done...well it would have been rude not to have taken advantage of a special offer at Hotel Chocolat...
And then when we discovered we could walk straight into the Disney Store we just had to have a look around and although there wasn't really anything that took my fancy we couldn't not pick up a Star Wars figure for Simon...
The Mandalorian, already set-up on Simon's work desk.
Although I did get to choose the shopping bag!

Something suitably girly...princesses!
As we came home we stopped by an out of town 'DIY' store to look at some fencing as we need to replace some trellis panels; although we went in with one idea and think we may have left with something different...still in research phase though.

Once home we had a coffee and just spent some time chilling in the back garden as the sun was shining and it was actually quite pleasant. Simon has been doing some more digital drawing and just tonight was lamenting missing our regular life drawing class, Dr Sketchy's, and how we are so looking forward to hanging out with people we haven't seen for way too long now, and giving them a big hug when we do. While Simon got arty I managed a little more reading of my Gary Taubes book 'The Case for Keto'.

And then another almost normal event today was taking Molly to her kickboxing class...the first time since before Christmas! And although they are not allowed any contact at least they can now train in a proper gym kitted out for their sport.

The day was rounded out by making martini's...I had read up that vodka and gin martini's were both good low carb alcoholic drink options and had decided to give them a go! Actually both worked really well and then Simon discovered a Smokey Martini made with gin and whiskey!

Best stop typing now!!

Take care - cheers!

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Another Cold Sunday

Day 389...

So here we are at another Sunday and rather an uneventful one...although no suprise there!.

With nothing particular to do today we decided on a walk out this morning to avoid the rain showers forecast for this afternoon. We walked 5.3 miles in an hour and 42 minutes; it was sunny at times, it was cold and we got caught in a couple of hail showers - just what it should be like in April!! I am really in need of some warmer weather now, if only to make me feel brighter in myself.

We are in this weird limbo land at the moment. Tomorrow we see non-essential retail, hairdressers and outdoor dining open up but all will have with them some form of restrictions. There will be limited capacity in shops, masks will still be needed to go in anywhere and sitting outdoors to have a drink and a bite to eat will require 'checking-in' to 'track & trace'. It all feels just too much. We have had a year of not being able to do anything or go anywhere and with fear messaging pumped at us all the time and now we are just supposed to carry on...but with restrictions.

This is not the freedom that I signed up for. We have 'cases' and deaths as low as they are ever likely to be and yet we are still not able to get back to our normal lives and I fear that those in power like the control they have over us and don't want to give that up any time soon...if ever!

We have record numbers of deaths from cancer at the moment because of undiagnosed conditions and missed or delayed treatment yet we are not hearing the 'news' report that. One cancer charity has said that the amount of money they have lost due to the reduction in charitable giving over the last year is the equivalent of delaying their research and development by 18 months. Something is not right somewhere? The world feels a very strange place to be at the moment, and this does not feel like the democracy we have been led to believe we live in.

So my day has been rather 'down' today, when asked by a friend how I was I responded with 'meh' and that pretty much sums it all up at the moment. I am in a slump, like I know lots of us are, and I am struggling to summon the energy to see the way out of say my get up and go has got up and left would be an understatement.

So with nothing much to do and the weather being rather temperamental I settled down in front of the TV and fuelled with coffee I watched another couple of episodes of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel (just one more to go now) and painted my nails in an attempt to brighten me up. It's the first time I've 'done' my nails in I can't remember how long! And while I got all girly Simon started the marathon watching of the 'Snyder' cut of Justice League...four hours was just too much for me to endure!

And then Sunday was rounded out with our usual Disney Dream Girls Disney quiz and although I didn't win it was a bit of light relief for a Sunday that felt rather 'down'.

Take care, whatever you may be doing.


Saturday, 10 April 2021

A Slow Saturday

Day 388...

Suprisingly for a Saturday we were up and moving about relatively early this morning and we started the day with our usual walk into the next village in search of coffee.

Part of our walk takes us past a small football pitch that is used by youth teams and it was lovely to see them all back in action. Although I would guess those who live close by have not missed the tons of cars parked everywhere!

But we managed 3.58 miles in an hour and 10 minutes and enjoyed a good coffee on our walk back, and we brought home cake for the kids and a little indulgence by way of a date scone for me.

The afternoon has seen Simon demold the helmet that he had made at the beginning of the week as well as finish staining a small storage box that we had bought that wasn't quite as dark a wood as we would have liked. I managed to update my grocery order and order a few other bits online. I also managed to get our printer working again...well I say's now printing better than it did before but it's still not as good as I would like it to be, but it will suffice for now. I even had a few minutes outside pulling up yet more weeds, although it was too chilly to be out for long.

Simon had a little work he wanted to get done and so I took a little time to catch up on some TV watching; The Marvellous Mrs Maisel...just working my way through season three.

It's been a bit of a strange weekend. Yesterday it was announced that the Queens husband, Prince Philip, had died at the age of 99. Wow, what an achievement to reach that age, and while it is a sad occasion it would appear that all other news has stopped. Thankfully we don't watch an awful lot of standard, main stream media, but by all accounts all programs just stopped and the airwaves were filled with news item after news item after remembrance documentaries.

Now I am not a fan, so to speak, of the Royal family, they are something that exists in this country and are kind of 'just part' of Britain. I don't follow what they get up to, I'm not particularly interested in celebrating any occasions or milestones (unless it means a day off work!) and as they have no real power or decision making ability I struggle to see the point of them. Yes I appreciate that they attract tourism to the country and are quite revered by countries who do not have a monarchy but they are an institution funded by us the taxpayer and whom live in a manner far better off than those funding it!

However, it is very sad that an old gentleman, who had a very good life living in luxury, has died.  But in a year when lots of people have lost their lives, for lots of different reasons, and a year in which we have all had our lives curtailed forgive me if I see the reaction in the media to be a tad disproportionate!

By all means recognise his life, show him respect but let's not make such a fuss over it. Other lives that have been lost this year have not been celebrated, have not had loved ones with them when they passed and certainly haven't had the 'send off' they perhaps would have wanted or deserved. Surely there is a dignified response possible that doesn't belittle all other lives lost.

Moving onto cheerier news it is only a couple of sleeps until we see some more of our freedoms restored. From Monday shops will be opening, hairdressers and personal services too and outdoor dining (fingers crossed the British weather is kind!) will be allowed. But all of course with masks and 'track and trace' the question is will these activities be fun or will they feel too much of an effort? We will see...I've still got to wait till May to get my hair cut!!

Right it's Saturday night so it's time to make keto pizza, grab a glass of red wine and settle down to watch RuPauls Drag Race!

Take care, see you tomorrow.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Yay it's Friday

Day 387...

The end of the working week...well for Simon and Ethan anyway!

So my day turned out to be quite busy. First job of the day was to complete an online return for pre-school. As a registered charity we have to submit an annual return to the Charity Commission which involves submitting our accounts, an annual report and proof that our accounts have been independently examined. Having been able to convert all the relevant documents to 'pdfs' yesterday I was ready to submit the return today...another job crossed off my list.

Mid- morning I went to pick up my dad and take him for his second covid vaccination. And well done to our local health centre for making it a smooth and painless process; in and out in under ten minutes. I spent a little time with him once I'd got him home to make sure he had everything he needed.

Back home and it was time for a lunchtime walk with Simon. We kept to the roads today but still managed another 1.8 mile walk in 34 minutes; we have now done seven consecutive walks in April and managed 22 miles in 7 hours!

The first part of the afternoon was spent doing a little more pre-school work; time sheets to submit, newsletters to write, sponsor forms to sort ready for our next fundraising event next term and a little accounts update...but hopefully that's pre-school work all done for the remainder of my break.

Next job was to tackle the mountain of ironing that had somehow appeared! But once done it was time to sit, chill and enjoy a coffee for at least 10 minutes! Before I knew it we had reached the end of the working day and it was time for the gym. While Simon went down 'our gym' (aka the garage) I stayed in the warmth of the house and did my usual body-weight exercises with a few kettle bell ones thrown in for good measure.

Molly has been able to escape the house this afternoon and been able to meet up with some of her friends...just five of them...all socially distanced and outside! Bless them as it hasn't been the warmest of April days and we did have rain at one point! The lengths we have to go to to simply see our friends, especially when they are all young and healthy!!

Anyway, take care whatever you are doing.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Chilly Thursday

Day 386...

Last night I looked back through a few of my blog posts from this time last year and found that the skies were blue, the sun was out and I was wearing shorts! This year yes the skies maybe blue and the sun peeps out every now and then but it's jeans, jumper and woolly hat weather!

My first job this morning was to source some photos for the Disney Dream Girls blog. On the show we recorded Tuesday ready for release on Sunday we talked about some of our favourite parts of Disneyland Paris and so we needed photos to go with our show notes over on our blog. It took me quite a while to go through all our photos from our last visit in 2019 to get the right ones to fit in with our show, but it did bring back some lovely memories.

While I was doing that I was also chatting with an old friend whose grandaughter will be attending my pre-school in a few weeks time - that's just crazy! But it did mean that we have vowed to hook up sometime soon for a coffee now that we are 'allowed' to meet up...all be it outside!

Then I had my butchers delivery arrive which meant sorting all the sausages and bacon into smaller size portions and then finding space for them in the freezer!

I was then able to start on the remaining pre-school work that I was hoping to get finished today. The morning was focused on updating some documents and getting them ready for submission to the Charities Commission as part of our required 'Annual Return'. I was quite pleased with myself as I was able to figure out how to convert a 'jpeg' document into a 'pdf' without having to ask for help from the tech-savvy people in the house!

We took a very blustery walk out at lunchtime, wrapped up to keep out the wind and the cold, and completed 1.87 miles in 36 minutes.

The afternoon was then spent at the laptop with my aim being to get all the outstanding pre-school work completed and although I managed to get a good amount done I still have a couple of things outstanding. But I did update staff contracts, staff hours, time sheets, set up invoices for next month as well as set emails ready to dispatch when we return to pre-school. Hopefully my future self will be very appreciative of the work I've done today!

This does mean a little more work to do tomorrow but I'm hoping that it should get done quite quickly and then that will be it and I can enjoy the coming week without any work stuff to do.

And there was Thursday, a productive day but now time to grab the chocolate, a glass of wine and chill.

Take care.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Wednesday Working

Day 385...

As Simon was back at work today I decided that today would be my day to catch up on all things pre-school.

And that was pretty much my day! The morning was spent updating the accounts, balancing them to both the bank account and the cash tin and then updating all my relevant spreadsheets showing the breakdown of where all the money comes in and goes out. And for the first time in a long while everything balanced first time! I was rather pleased with myself!

When lunchtime rolled around Simon and I took a walk out into the bright, sunny and very cold outside! We managed 1.85 miles in 37 minutes which means that we have an unbroken streak of walking for 5 days in a row making a total of 18 miles in 6 hours!

The afternoon's work was centered around sending numerous emails, sorting out all the necessary bits and pieces for a new starter and prepping emails to go out later next week. I still have a few bits that I need to do and so will carry on tomorrow in the hope that I can get it all sorted and put to rest so that I can enjoy the rest of my break.

In the middle of all that I helped Molly book her theory driving test as she now has a driving lesson booked for next week. She had only just started her lessons over a year ago when lockdowns got in the way and put a stop to it all. Fingers crossed she can pick it all up where she left off and get herself on the road relatively quickly.

I've been chatting with my good friend, and podcast co-host, Michelle and we are going to try and arrange a meet-up over this weekend now that we are allowed! It has been nine months since we last saw each other which is just ridiculous. I am also starting to think about my next tattoo as it was around this time last year that I should have been getting inked so I think it only right that I get an appointment sorted...I've gone too long without a little ink being added to my skin!

And that was another Wednesday.

Take care out there and see you tomorrow.