Friday 31 December 2021

Day 654 - New Years Eve 2021

Day 654...

And we have reached the last day of 2021, another year that will be remembered for all the things we couldn't do rather than what we did manage to do. Another year dominated by the 'pandemic' and its restrictions.

But for today we had a steady start to the day with breakfast at our hotel before taking a walk out to explore Bournemouth. As this was Ethan's first visit we wanted to show him around a little and headed to the sea front. We took a windy and grey walk along the beach towards Sandbanks for about a mile or so before heading back towards the town centre by way of the West Cliff zig zag path. The path took us from beach level to the top of the overlooking cliffs.

With a good walk completed we headed to our favourite coffee shop for some refreshment before taking Ethan to a small anime and manga shop that we had discovered on our previous trips. 

Next we drove over to Molly and Dans place as Ethan had not yet seen where Molly is now living. Molly and Dan were able to give Ethan the grand tour before we headed back to the hotel.

This afternoon we took another walk into the town centre as Ethan had decided that he wanted to buy a few bits he'd seen earlier. We also decided to grab a late lunch at a Greek restaurant as although we have plans for this evening we didn't know what time we would be eating!

With our appetites filled we headed back to the hotel once more for a little chill out time before heading out for the evening. Time for me to apply some make-up and write this blog.

We are heading out to spend New Years Eve with Molly and Dan at Dan's mum's house. We will be ordering a take-away and I have some sparkly wine to take with us to help see in the new year.

I hope that everyone has a safe and fun new year's eve however you choose to spend it and let's hope that the coming year is a better and brighter one. One in which we can put all of this covid nonsense behind us and get back to living life as we once did; free to do what we want, when we want, with whom we want and with no restrictions or draconian measures forced upon us.

I started writing this diary when the 'pandemic' began and I faced my first day at home on March 19th 2020 little could I have imagined I would still be writing this now! It would be lovely to think that in 2022 I could continue to write this just because I wanted to rather than out of a desire to mark this strange world we find ourselves living in. 

We have had moments this year when things started to feel more normal and it would have been easy to forget that there were still restrictions in place. The constant reporting of cases, the shadow of being identified as a close contact, masks and then no masks and then back to masks, vaccinations and now boosters, travel restrictions and expensive tests to get in and out of the country the list goes on. So while we may have been lulled into a sense of almost normality at some points this year we never got our true normality back. We have continued to live with the cloud of coronavirus and all the fear and doom mongering enjoyed by our press and government. What felt like conspiracy theories in the beginning now feel like reality; ever changing messages and rules that only seem to benefit those in power, the extremely wealthy and big pharma while the rest of us cling onto whatever, and whoever, we can to simply keep ourselves sane.

See you all in 2022!


Thursday 30 December 2021

Day 653 - Road Trip

Day 653...

Today was our first time using our new electric car for a long journey as we headed south to see Molly and Dan in Bournemouth.

This meant a relatively early start to the day as we got ourselves organised and the car packed. We had made sure that the car had a full charge and we had already set a route using the Zap Map app with a few different options for recharging. In theory the full charge should be sufficient to make the journey in one go but we had already noticed that the number of miles available dropped much quicker compared to the number of miles actually travelled. We also knew from watching some YouTube videos that most cars fall significantly short of the predicted miles.

With that in mind we set off just before 11am for what would be a 3 hour 15 minute non-stop journey. Let's just say our journey took a tad longer than that!

Our first stop was about 80 miles into the journey and when we arrived at the services all the charging points were taken! Thankfully a spot opened up quite quickly but then we discovered that one of the units would only let one car charge at a time rather than the two that it was designed for. But there was a small charger available which we could use as we had our own charging cable with us (the main charging stations had their own cables as these were fast/rapid chargers). But this smaller charger meant a much, much slower charging rate but we figured anything was better than nothing.

Ethan and I went in search of coffee and by the time we got back to the car one of the fast chargers had become free and so we could swap over. This meant that what we had hoped would be a 30 minute stop turned into about an hour!

Back on the road and we started to think about whether we would need another stop for charging and where would be best to stop. We had in mind a services that was around 60 miles from our destination. But when we arrived we were confronted with just two charging stations that were both occupied and had two cars waiting...mmm...we had a quick look on Zap Map and found another option just a few miles down the road.

This turned out to be a great choice; smaller services so not as busy; four units set to the side of a petrol station forecourt; two out of the four units were available; much faster chargers and once connected we could leave the car for a toilet break and to grab a coffee. About 30 minutes later and we were at 90% charge and had more than enough capacity to get us to our destination.

The overall journey took us 5 and a half hours!! A lot longer than it would have took us ordinarily; in our petrol car days we would have had one stop for a coffee so I think this journey took about an hour and a half longer! But what we recognised was that the urgency of a normal journey wasn't there, the whole journey felt much calmer and we had set off with the mind set that this would be a different way of travelling. 

The ease and quiet of the car, coupled with being very conscious of the effect of how we drove affected the charge available,  meant a completely different approach to driving. We knew it was going to take some time so we didn't rush and consequently the whole drive felt much more relaxed and much less stressful.

This is a very different way to drive and I think will take some getting used to and travelling long distances will take planning especially if a journey is time critical. But for us long journey's are not the norm and going forward we will have to accept that more planning will be needed. We have even said that on occasion it may be more beneficial to hire a petrol car, but for now planning will be key.

Although, we have been pleasantly surprised at how easy charging on the go has been. And we have also had some great conversations with other electric car owners, all of whom seemed to be rather new to electric cars and were happy to share their experiences!

Anyway back to the point of today, getting to Bournemouth to see Molly and Dan. Luckily the hotel we have chosen has electric car charging units; they are slow charges but are free! So we parked up and plugged in and left the car to charge away!

Once checked into the hotel it was time to recharge phones before taking the 10 minute walk into the town centre in search of food. Our choice today was Five Guys, a great fast food option for those of us on low carb diet as burgers can be ordered with your own choice of toppings and without the bun!

We then met Molly and Dan at the outdoor ice skate rink that has been set up for the festive season. I am not a skater and was quite happy to watch everyone else on the ice. Dan is a very accomplished skater and Molly is now very skilled and they both make it look so easy. Simon has always loved skating but after taking me many years ago when we first started dating he realised very quickly that me and skating just did not go together! He has therefore not skated as much as he would have liked but he has never lost the skill and looks very much at home on the ice. Ethan was happy to have a go but as it was about 10 years since he last ventured onto the ice he needed a good amount of help! But all credit to him he persevered and was getting better the more circuits he did. The ice was very wet tonight as the weather has been unseasonably warm so I think everyone came away with wet feet but thankfully no-one fell over...there were plenty others who did and who came away very wet!

We then had a wander through Bournemouth's Christmas Tree Wonderland; some lovely lights in a gorgeous setting. It was then time to grab a hot drink before heading back to the hotel.

Phew and that was our day, see you tomorrow for more shenanigans!

Wednesday 29 December 2021

Day 652

Day 652...

One more of those days between Christmas and New Year when you keep having to ask what day is it? Well as far as I have been able to make out today was Wednesday!

One side effect of this time of year is my inability to get out of bed on a morning! I've never been a 'morning' person but now add in disturbed nights sleep due to night sweats and mornings become even more of a struggle!

But my late morning I was able to hook up online with my Disney Dream Girls podcast co-host Michelle to record a couple of shows. One was our main show which will probably get released over the coming weekend and the other was a special show for our Patreon supporters.

By the time we'd finished recording it was early afternoon and I made myself busy by getting up to date with the laundry and getting ready for our few nights away tomorrow. We then decided to take an hour out to watch the first episode of the new Star Wars series 'The Book of Boba Fett'. We were already starting to see comments appearing on social media and so decided to watch the show to avoid any potential spoilers. This is a weekly show and so it's going to be a challenge each week to stay away from any spoilers until we can get it watched. All I will say is that the first episode did not disappoint and we are now eager to see more.

Tomorrow we are driving down to Bournemouth to spend a few days there to catch up with Molly, Dan and his family. Molly has been living down with Dan since the beginning of November but this is the first time we will have visited since taking delivery of our new electric car! We have about 190 miles to travel and whilst in theory our car should manage around that on one charge we know from a little research that we will need to re-charge en-route.

So this afternoon we loaded up 'Zap-Map' and planned our route. This allows us to not only get the directions needed to get there (which we know anyway) but to plan where to stop for re-charging. We have found about four places along the route that would be sensible places to stop; all motorway services with fast-charging units and options for food and coffee. The plan is to stop at at least one of these stops or maybe two depending on how we feel and how the car is performing. We haven't yet completed a long distance drive so this will be new territory for us and so it will be interesting to see how the car actually performs...while at the same time being a little scary!!

As we would normally stop for a coffee at least once on a long car journey we are hoping that stopping to recharge shouldn't be an issue. Most fast chargers are designed to charge a car to an 80% charge in about 30 minutes so fingers crossed it shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience. We shall find out tomorrow!

And then finally late afternoon I was able to put the last few pieces in my current jigsaw...

...this took longer than I had thought it would as it was deceptively tricky! Lots of red and green that were hard to distinguish whereabouts they should live! I have two more jigsaws in the same artistic style that came with this one (one box with three jigsaws) so I think I will try one of those next to see if I can eventually complete all three. Then once all three are done I can 'recycle' them and find someone else who will enjoy them.

I have also been 'chatting' with Molly to plan the next couple of days and for tomorrow she has booked Simon and Ethan tickets for ice-skating. I shall be watching from the sidelines as no-one needs to see me attempt to skate...I am not a skater and have no desire to be one! Molly on the other hand is getting rather good at it all. Simon has always been a good skater and unfortunately for him it is my lack of skill that has over the years put paid to his skating time, but thankfully it is a skill that he has retained and I know he will enjoy himself immensely tomorrow. Ethan is willing to have a go and all kudos to him as he is way braver than me! I will report back tomorrow as to how the skating unfolds!

And while Simon grabbed a little 'gym' time this evening I prepped tonights dinner - keto chicken parmesan! Yum!

See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday 28 December 2021

Day 651

Day 651...

We are now in that strange few days between Christmas and New Year when we seem to lose track of dates and I think today was Tuesday!

It was another day spent at home but today we got to spend it with my very good friend, and podcast co-host, Michelle. It has been a few months since we last saw each other in person, although we do message each other all the time, and of course, we chat at least once a week while podcast recording.

But today Michelle made the eighty mile journey south to visit us in person and we had a lovely day simply chatting, drinking coffee, more chatting, a little lunch and more coffee!

I was very blessed to receive some amazing Christmas presents from Michelle as well...Disney themed of course...

Snazzy backpack

Department 56 collectible - just gorgeous

Who doesn't love a pair of Mickey earrings?!
We rounded out the day with Simon jumping on the exercise bike while I was a little more chilled and attacked the jigsaw again!

And so we have another day done and I will see you tomorrow.

Monday 27 December 2021

Day 650

Day 650...

Today has been another quiet day, a bank holiday here in the UK, as the Monday after a Christmas weekend rolls around.

As we had nothing planned for today it was a very slow and steady start. And after a few days of 'celebrating' it was a chance this morning to catch up on some mundane tasks; laundry and cleaning around.

Over the course of the day we have been catching up with some of our home movie video capture from a while ago. Simon has been taking all of our old home video footage and converting it into digital form so that we have a permanent copy; a copy that will not degrade and is easier to access.

Each time Simon captures the footage we have to watch it back to ensure that the capture has worked correctly and that there are no issues with the sound or playback. Today we have been watching footage from 1997, the year of my first pregnancy!!

While the video played I have been able to get a little more jigsaw completed - it's slow going but it's beginning to take shape now. Simon took time out to have a gym workout session; he is much more motivated than I am! I'm finding myself in a bit of a low ebb at the moment and the desire to do 'anything' is pretty much non-existent.

I've also been doing a little research into electric car charging points as we have a couple of lengthy car journeys coming up and we will need to re-charge the car en-route. There are multiple charging companies out there with chargers of different capacities and they all seem to have different mechanisms of paying. Some need an app while others are just card's all a little confusing and I think may take a bit more investigating to get my head around all the different options. Thankfully we will be travelling on main motorways so finding a charging point shouldn't (in theory) be a problem. 

And there we have today, a very quite day.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday 26 December 2021

Day 649 - Boxing Day 2021

Day 649...

The day after Christmas and as it is known here in the UK, Boxing Day. A day to either catch-up with those you missed yesterday or as was the case here to chill out and pretty much do nothing.

We had a lovely day yesterday that was spent with Molly and Dan home for a few days and my dad joined us for some of the festivities.

After the traditional Christmas Day breakfast of Mickey waffles (well the 'kids' indulged) it was a civilised approach to opening presents which we spread throughout the day. This gave us all chance to enjoy the exchange whilst also allowing me time to cook the dinner.

In the lull between present opening and eating Molly and Dan were able to load their car up with the remainder of Molly's stuff that they hadn't yet been able to get down to Dan's house. This involved loading the car with a kick bag, a mountain bike, resin craft making supplies while at the same time making sure there was room for their overnight bags and Christmas presents and goodies.

Simon fetched my dad just in time for Christmas Day dinner; a traditional affair with turkey, pork, veggies, pigs in blankets, stuffing and even mashed potatoes! The only time that I ever make mashed potatoes, and again this is for the benefit of the 'kids' (and my dad)!! Pudding was a choice of traditional Christmas pudding or chocolate sponge pudding and custard!

The remainder of the afternoon saw more present exchanging, grazing on food and after Simon had take my dad home we opened up the board games. Ethan had bought Molly a Disney themed drawing game for Christmas so we gave that a go which led into us playing the classic Pictionary! Much laughter was had by all.

Christmas Day 2021
Today we got up steadily but with purpose as Molly and Dan were heading back down south and wanted to leave in good time to be able to spend the remainder of the day with Dan's family.

This left the remainder of the day very quiet. I was able to sort through my Christmas presents and just as I was going through them Simon disappeared only to reappear with two more presents for me! He'd suddenly realised that there were a couple of items missing and so had dashed off to retrieve them from their hiding place! 

Suffice to say Disney featured pretty heavily in my haul!
Nightmare Before Christmas poncho

Mickey hoodie

Frozen earrings

Apron - Disney style

More earrings...because a girl can never have enough!

Cute Mickey sweater vest (or as I would call it a 'tank top')

Disney Villains Bag
I have been a very lucky lady as Simon went out of his way to get me this gorgeous, limited edition, Loungefly bag... this very stylish and amazing leather jacket...

Then it was time to sit in front of the TV, complete some more of my latest jigsaw, drink coffee (with an odd splash of Kahlua!) and simply doing nothing.

A time to stop and recharge ones batteries so to speak. A time of year when there is really nothing to do, or nothing that can't wait until the new year. It is strange not to have Molly here and I miss her so much. I think it is times like this that we have the space to consciously appreciate those around us and miss those who live far away or who are no longer with us. I miss my mum even more at this time of year as she would always embrace Christmas with such vigour and she is one reason why I love this time of year so much. So I will continue to love all things Christmas and keep her with me and keep traditions going while creating our own new ones.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 25 December 2021

Day 648 - Christmas Day 2021

Day 648...

Just a very quick post to say Merry Christmas to one an all.

I hope that everyone has been able to enjoy the day with those they hold dear and that Santa was kind.

We have had a day filled with family, food, presents and silly board games.

See you all tomorrow.



Friday 24 December 2021

Day 647 - Christmas Eve 2021

Day 647...

Not only have we reached Christmas Eve but it is also Ethan's birthday!

Our day started rather early as Simon had an appointment at the barbers at 8.00am! 

But after he'd arrived home we had our traditional birthday breakfast of Mickey waffles - sausage, bacon, waffles, ice-cream and maple syrup! Although it was mainly the 'kids' of the family that indulged!

Molly's plate!!

We had a little Christmas miracle happen this morning as yesterday I'd received an email and a text to say that a parcel we were due to receive by today at the latest was delayed and wouldn't be with us till the 29th! This was rather annoying as the parcel contained Christmas presents! But this morning I had a text to day that the parcel would be delivered today...and by mid-morning it had arrived - phew!

Next on the agenda was a trip into Nottingham which has also become a custom on Ethan's birthday; a chance to have a wander around their Christmas market. Molly and Dan also wanted to head over to the ice stadium to get their ice skates sharpened. We all jumped in the car which was the first chance we'd had to show off the new electric car to the kids, and we think all were suitably impressed.

We walked over to the ice stadium only to discover that there was no-one working who could sharpen the skates for Molly and Dan. It was slightly annoying as there was nothing on their website to indicate that the service wasn't available. But we were still able to have a wander and a stop for coffee and cake!

Walking through the Christmas market

Indulging in coffee and food!
Once we were back home I decided to get the small pile of ironing out of the way before Simon and I spent a few minutes wrapping the presents that had arrived this morning.

I was also able to get some photos of a 'present' that had arrived for me yesterday. Last weekend I had been perusing the offerings on the Shop Disney website and had shown Simon a jacket that I really liked. Simon then insisted that I bought it...

...a varsity jacket that has been released to mark the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World in Florida, and more specifically the Magic Kingdom park as that was the only park open on 1st October 1971, and I love it!

As we get into the last few hours of today my thoughts begin to turn towards the big event tomorrow...and the cooking! I don't mind cooking but for some reason cooking a full roast meal for Christmas Day always feels quite daunting. I think it's probably due to wanting to make it just right; we are bombarded with images of the perfect Christmas Day celebrations and food is always such a central part of that and therefore for those of us tasked with the cooking we can feel the pressure.

I have to write out exactly what I'm cooking and work out all the timings; once I've done that I feel more confident that all will work out alright. In years gone by I have slaved over prepping vegetables, making stuffing, ensuring all the necessary sides and sauces are complete and had always made from scratch our Christmas pudding and cake. 

But nowadays, and because our diet has changed, I try to take a more laid back approach and recognise that there will be food on the table and that what will be, will be. I now buy our Christmas pudding for those that want to indulge and don't bother with a traditional Christmas cake although I do enjoy a little piece of Stollen as a treat.

And as a treat for the 'kids' this is the only time of the year that I buy potatoes so that they can have mashed potatoes!

But now I need to think about food for this evening and need to stop writing this and get cooking so that we can settle down in a little while to watch a suitably Christmassy movie.

See you all tomorrow.

Thursday 23 December 2021

Day 646...Christmas Eve Eve

Day 646...

We have a Thursday and we have Christmas Eve Eve!

After a lovely evening out yesterday it was a steady start to the day, in fact it was the first day in a while that we didn't need to be anywhere or doing anything.

But last night was a mixture of cocktails (not for me as I find them too sugary!), wine, great food (lots of which were on sticks!) and good company. It was nice to be out with the girls from work and to be able to not be in 'work mode'! It was also great to be 'out, out' and getting a little glammed up and doing something that felt almost like the staff wearing masks!!!

All glammed up!

Fancy cocktails

Meat on a stick!
But back to today and the main task of the day was to get all the Christmas present wrapping completed. So we settled down with coffee, paper, cellotape, scissors and a suitably Christmas themed movie (Elf) and embarked on getting everything wrapped. By the end of the movie everything had been done and all that remained was for me to have half an hour on my own to wrap the few bits and bobs that I have gotten for Simon. 

Over the course of the day I have been getting on top of jobs around the house so that over the next few days I don't have to worry about the mundane stuff. I also ventured outdoors to replace all the batteries in my battery operated Christmas lights so that they are all nice and bright for the big day!

And by the middle of the afternoon Molly and Dan arrived home for the holidays!! Yay!!

The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up with Molly and Dan and planning what we will be doing tomorrow as it is Ethan's birthday! And as I type Simon is mixing up a batch of waffle mix as it is a tradition that for the kids birthdays, and for Christmas, we have Mickey waffles for breakfast!

So I will see you tomorrow.

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Day 645

Day 645...

Wednesday and the first day of my seasonal break from pre-school, but there was no chance of a lie in today as we had the big Christmas grocery shop to collect first thing.

So off to Asda we headed to collect the said shopping although their new system of 'click and collect' is leaving something to be desired. The previous system was quick; arrive at the locker, input your order number and get your shopping. Now the shopping is brought out to you from the back of the store and by using their app the shopping should be there waiting for you. But unfortunately the app isn't working properly (and hasn't for weeks), the link in the email confirmation doesn't work and the staff on duty don't really seem that organised! But I suppose it still beats having to go in store and get all the shopping myself!

Although I had forgotten to order a couple of bits so on the way home we stopped by Lidl and came away with more than we went in for! Back home and it was time to unpack the shopping and to discover I was missing two items, one substitute that really wasn't suitable and peppers that were not in a great condition! But I still have a fridge that is bursting at the edges as is the tradition at Christmas!

After a spot of lunch I remembered that I had some updating of learning journal entries for pre-school which took me longer than I really wanted or thought it would.

And while it was still daylight I decided to get my make-up done for going out with my work team later on this evening. Although the overcast and grey day didn't give me as much natural light as I would have liked.

Before getting my glad rags on Simon and I sat down for an hour to watch the final episode of Hawkeye, and we loved it. We have both really enjoyed this series and probably like this the best out of all the Marvel series that have been released this year. I'm hoping that when I get home later this evening our favourite Screen Crush with Ryan Arey on You Tube will have posted his easter eggs and references video for us to watch, as this has become a tradition for us.

Well, I am all dressed up, make-up applied, hair coiffed, handbag organised and shoes (well Dr Martens!) about to go on ready for our works Christmas meal out. Should be a lovely evening in a pub that I haven't been to before, but one that everyone raves about, with a great bunch of girls. I shall report back tomorrow and let you know how it all went.

See you then.

Tuesday 21 December 2021

Day 643

Day 643...

This will be a very quick post today as it is now very late in the day!

But today has been my last day in work before Christmas and I can now say that school is out for the holidays.

We had a very relaxed day at work ending with a Christmas party for the children. I wasn't able to stay for the party as it clashed with my longstanding hair appointment!

But I had a productive day in work getting all that I needed to get done completed before we finished for the term. 

After a quick stop at home I headed back out the door for a couple of hours of chill out time as I had my hair refreshed; keeping it blonde and extra short (which may be advantageous if lockdowns are looming again!).

And that was today and tomorrow will be the first day of my holidays and will start the mad rush towards Christmas!

See you tomorrow.

Monday 20 December 2021

Day 642

Day 642...

Well, we have a Monday and the penultimate day at work for this year...although ordinarily I don't work Mondays! But today I was only in for a couple of hours to help out another colleague.

But it did mean that I could get ahead of some last minute admin bits and bobs, including the very important task of setting up the payment of wages!

By around 11.15am I was home and it was time to figure out the rest of our day. Both Simon and Ethan have already finished work for the holidays and Simon had spent a couple of hours this morning working on his personal website. But we had other ideas for this afternoon...

Onto the internet I jumped and I was able to secure two tickets to go see Spiderman No Way Home at a local cinema at 12.25pm! The cinema on a weekday and at a lunchtime, something that only ever seems to happen around Christmas. We grabbed a coffee and a quick bite to eat before heading off to a great little cinema on the outskirts of Nottingham. The Savoy has been in place since 1935 and is in fact the only surviving pre-Second World War cinema in Nottingham!

So how was the movie I hear you ask? Absolutely fantastic; I laughed, I held my breath, I cried and then I cried at least twice more. It was what a superhero movie should be all about, a chance to switch off your brain and marvel (see what I did there?!) at the action taking place in front of you. It was filled with story and characters and emotion as well as all the special effects and action shots. And all the cast were brilliant and I have a new appreciation for Tom Holland...all I will say is there is a topless scene...and then I had to remind myself I am old enough to be his mum!!! But seriously go and see it, support your local cinema, and lose yourself in another world - something I think we all need a little of at the moment.

On the way home we stopped off at a local supermarket to pick up a few bits and pieces ahead of a bigger shop later in the week as we get ready for Christmas and indulge in the tradition of buying way more than we actually need!

Back at home and we decided to grab a coffee and sit and watch a few You Tube pieces all about the Spiderman movie. We have a little habit of watching a channel called Screen Crush with Ryan Arey who does some amazing dives into all the easter eggs and references for a lot of the movies and TV shows that we watch. It's always great fun to see if we have spotted anywhere near the amount that he can find.

And that was Monday, I think I may have a little time to put a few jigsaw pieces in place and then it will be time to chill, drink some wine and have a little extra dark chocolate ahead of my last day in work for the year tomorrow.

See you all then.

Sunday 19 December 2021

Day 641

Day 641...

Well after a rubbish nights sleep (thanks night sweats!) it was a slow start to this Sunday morning.

Late morning we took one of our elderly neighbours out for a coffee. She has been very intrigued with the prospect of us having an electric car and so we had promised to take her out for a drive and a coffee once we had it.

I think she was suitably impressed and after we had enjoyed a coffee and cake we headed back home. We invited her in for more coffee and chat and to show off our Christmas decorations. 

Our neighbour very sadly lost her husband to dementia last Christmas and as her children all live abroad she has had to cope with it all on her own. She was hoping that one of her sons and his family would be spending Christmas here with her this year but the current 'pandemic' situation has put paid to that. This is the unseen, and not talked about enough, side of the restrictions that are being forced upon us; an elderly lady cannot see her family at Christmas, never mind the first anniversary of the death of her husband who she had been with since the age of 16 (she is now 84). The heartlessness that is going on is beyond belief.

But back to my day...and a very quiet rest of the day split between jigsaw time and a few mundane jobs.

Nothing much more to say for today. Time to cook dinner and then stop and disconnect for a few hours; today feels like one of those days that as rumours abound with what will be happening, and when, I need to step away from social medias and shut the world out...if for just a little while.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 18 December 2021

Day 640

Day 640...

And we have arrived at the weekend...the weekend before Christmas!

My day started with a little podcast recording for this week's episode of the Disney Dream Girls. It's been a couple of weeks since Michelle and I have been able to record due to 'life' getting in the way so it was lovely to have a chat about all things Disney.

While I recorded Simon was able to nip out to the post office as we had a parcel and some Christmas cards that needed posting. We then had a few jobs around the house to get done; there were multiple loads of laundry to sort, paperwork to file and Molly's phone contract to update.

We then needed to assess the current Christmas present situation and decide whether what we had already bought was sufficient. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised at what we had, although we did jump online and bought a few more bits this afternoon but I'm pretty happy that we have everyone covered.

Although, I've not really had chance to assess what I have bought for Simon so far, but I think I've done pretty well, but we will see!

I then did a little more online shopping but this time of the grocery variety; I have a collection booked for Wednesday but wanted to update it all today so that on Tuesday I won't have to worry too much about it...hopefully! I am busy co-ordinating what's happening this coming week to make sure we have everything we need for Christmas next weekend.

And by late afternoon it was time to stop and indulge in a little jigsaw time. My current jigsaw is proving to be a little tricky and is taking a bit longer than I would like but at least it gives me something to distract myself from all that's happening in the big bad world.

It is easy to become depressed and lose faith in the world at the moment; rumours of more lockdowns that could be happening, hearing of hospitality businesses that are beset with cancellations, a general feeling of malaise over the current restrictions and the worry that the majority will just simply 'go along' with whatever is asked of them whether it makes any sense or not is all a bit too much some days. But we carry on and try to make the best of what we have because what else can we do?

See you on the morrow.

Friday 17 December 2021

Day 639

Day 639...

We have reached the end of the working week for me and it was my usual full day in work for a Friday.

I had lots of work to be done as we near the end of this term; invoices to create and then email out, registers to bind, funding details to confirm, funding codes to check and new starter packs to start along with the usual banking and emails!

Back home and with a much needed coffee to warm me up my next job was to sort out the butchers delivery that had arrived. A couple of joints of meat for over the Christmas break along with our usual sausage, bacon, chicken and mince.

While I was sorting all that out Simon headed down the gym. He'd finished work earlier than normal, and as his team had reached their goal they have now finished until the new year. Ethan has also finished today until the new year but I still have a couple of days to work next week.

I managed to get an update on my dad's car situation and it's looking highly unlikely that the problem will be resolved before Christmas, so my dad is going to be without transport for at least a couple of weeks.

And I think that is pretty much it for today...see you tomorrow.

Thursday 16 December 2021

Day 638

Day 638...

A Thursday once more and as I have worked a few extra hours already this week I was able to take the morning off work in lieu of those hours, which gave me a full day at home.

With a relaxed start to the day I started to potter about the house determined to get a few bits and pieces done. I'd got laundry that needed doing and so over the course of the morning I managed to get three loads completed. I then wanted to write a few Christmas cards and sort a parcel for posting and this is where things didn't go quite to plan...

I fetched the address book out of a cupboard ready for card writing and found an old notebook that I'd never used and so decided to throw it out...I then looked in the cupboard a little further and noticed a few other bits and bobs. This then resulted in that cupboard getting a good clearout, and clean, which had a knock on effect onto three other cupboards!

By the end of the morning I'd cleaned and re-organised four kitchen cupboards and had at least two black bin bags full of rubbish! Oops!

As lunchtime rolled around Simon and I decided to go out for one of our lunchtime walks; the first time since late November that we'd been home together on a weekday and the weather was suitable for walking out.

But when we were about three quarters of the way through our walk Simon's phone rang and it was my dad; his car had broken down and he needed our help! Once back home I left Simon at home and jumped in my car to see what I could do to help my dad.

Thankfully he had broken down just a few hundred yards from his house. His car had simply lost all power and the onboard systems were saying that the car had a 'low battery'. Now his car is a very snazzy, high end model and is only just over a year old so there is no way that the battery should be failing. I got on the phone to the recovery company and thankfully they were able to get to us in under an hour.

It turned out that my dad had had a similar problem yesterday while at home and he had phoned the same recovery company who had told him that his cover didn't cover any problems at home. But today when I spoke with the same company they told me that was wrong and that he actually does have the correct level of cover for issues happening at home!!

It transpired that there is a potential problem with the fuel sensor which is causing his car to shut down which meant that it needed transporting to the garage for repair. This in turn meant waiting for the tow truck to arrive. Thankfully, the recovery company really looked after us and recognising that my dad lived just a few doors away arranged for the tow truck to call at my dad's house to collect the car keys before towing the car which saved me and my dad from sitting waiting in a cold car.

This then meant I spent the rest of the afternoon at my dad's house waiting for the tow truck company to arrive.We had been told they would be with us by 4.50pm, and then we had a phone call to say it would be by 5.30pm! 

I took the time at my dad's to have a look through some of his Christmas decorations; in previous years he had always decorated the house but the last few years he hadn't bothered. It was always my mum, when she was alive, that was the driving force behind Christmas and she had always decorated the house extensively and it was a rare year when she didn't buy new decorations. It is through my mum that I have a love for all things Christmas and it is this time of year that I feel her presence and miss her a little more.

I managed to find a few boxes and discovered some of her Disney decorations which I have now brought home to add to my own collection;

Wind chime Mickey

There is a missing figure, which we think is probably a Mickey!

I already have these as both mum and I bought them at the same time on a trip to Disneyland Paris

Love that this has the price tag still on...$12!! Wow!
Dad has a number of bigger boxes up in a loft room that I haven't been able to go through yet...I'm not very good with ladders and I was only able to get about half way up to have a look. I'll have a look another day when I have Simon with me!!

We then had a phone call from the tow truck company to let us know that there was no way they would be able to collect my dad's car today and get it to the garage before the garage closed for the day. So instead they are going to collect the car tomorrow morning and take it straight to the garage then.

This all meant that my afternoon just disappeared and I wasn't able to get all the things done today that I wanted to get done. Simon has also had a busy day as he is busy working with his team to get to a point where they can stop for their Christmas break in the next day or so.

So while Simon worked a little later than normal I was able to jump online and sort all the postage for the parcel I need to post, along with the Christmas cards that I had written earlier in the day. 

And that was Thursday! See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Day 637

Day 637...

Middle of the week was upon us once again and for me it was another full day in work which ended with our Christmas concert.

The work day was filled with the usual admin bits and bobs and I am busy wrapping up the end of this term and getting ready for the new term after Christmas. There are invoices to produce and email, registers to organise, print and bind and new starters to organise. 

And then after the end of our usual pre-school day we hosted our Christmas concert for the first time in two years. A very simple affair with the children dressed in suitably festive costumes and singing a few Christmassy tunes. Much fun was had by all and it was lovely to have everyone together to celebrate the season.

Although a lot of schools have decided against holding Christmas activities in person the current guidance still said that we could go ahead and we decided to stick with our decision. We followed the recommendations and it was lovely to do something that felt more like 'normal'!

Back home and I used the time to get a couple of emails sent before getting dinner ready.

And that was pretty much this Wednesday and all that is left is to settle down in front of the TV to watch this week's episode of Hawkeye!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 14 December 2021

Day 636

Day 636...

And we have a Tuesday and we have had a full day in work for me as I was covering another member of staff this afternoon.

It was a pretty standard sort of day at work, lots of admin, banking and meetings but I managed to achieve quite a lot so was happy with the day. We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow at work as we have our Christmas concert!!

Once home I had a few parcels to sort through that had arrived today which were all Christmas presents and then I needed to go through some of my emails and get on top of a couple of outstanding ones.

At the end of the working day it was time to head down our gym for a weights workout.

And that was pretty much my day...have I mentioned we got our new car yesterday? I've been able to drive it a bit more today...well just to and from work...but so far I'm loving it!

How sexy does this look?!

I'm still getting used to all the gadgets and settings but have managed to take advantage of being able to pre-set the climate control so that when I got into the car this morning it was lovely and warm!

See you on the morrow.