Sunday 31 January 2021

Squelchy Sunday

Day 319...

Today has been one of those days severely lacking in motivation for me. Simon always seems to have little projects on the go and has things to do whereas I seem to struggle.

We took a walk out this morning and decided to brave the fields. We headed off down what we refer to as 'The Brook' and initially the ground underfoot wasn't too bad; yes it was wet and a bit muddy in places and there was still some ice laying around in puddles but otherwise it was okay. 

We did one of our circular routes and it was the last field on the way home where things began to get a tad squelchy! In fact there was no evidence of what was once the footpath, it was just a sea of mud and a channel of water had formed down one side of where the path should have been. We met a dog walker at the top of the path and noticed he was wearing white trainers...we had the good grace to tell him not to bother! Thankfully we have an outdoor tap so when we got home we could clean our boots off before heading indoors.

One thing I did notice today was the amount of cars parked along the main road through our village...we only have the one road going through our village! I counted 38 cars parked along a half mile stretch of road, in 'normal' times you might see half a dozen or so at its busiest. I don't have a problem with people wanting to get out and about and if they want to visit our village and walk in the countryside around where we are then that's fine. But if we are being told to stay local...I just wonder how many are 'local'...and whether if we drove somewhere to go for a walk we would be allowed to or not?

It was a quiet afternoon at home with a little online grocery shopping, prepping some questions for the Disney quiz later in the day, catching up with the ironing and helping Ethan a little with cleaning his room. Simon has been out in the garage molding a Mandalorian helmet as he has just had a new order come through and then he has been working on his latest art commission for a retro gaming magazine.

The now usual Disney quiz (hosted by the Disney Dream Girls podcast I help co-host) happened this evening and was a much needed distraction. I will admit to not really feeling in the mood for it today but after a few minutes it was lovely to chat, giggle and answer a few questions. Next week we will have questions on the film Moana which means I have something to watch this week...although I could do with Molly being at home as she knows this film way better than I do!

And with a glass of red wine in my hand that is where I will end todays post.

Take care out there.

Saturday 30 January 2021

Slow Saturday

Day 318...

Here we are at the weekend once more, another weekend with nothing to do and no where to go.

We decided to take a walk out late morning and walked into the next village. We stopped by a small cafe; a restaurant that is now doing take-away coffee and cakes, to pick up a coffee to accompany us on our walk back home. This is now turning into the highlight of our weekend.

Chatting to the cafe owners they are managing to stay afloat and are extremely grateful for all the support from those who live local. But even they have had a brush with the police...apparently there had been a complaint about the queue of people waiting to be served. So just to give you an idea, the area from which they serve coffee and cake is only big enough for one or two adults at best. So it is a case of one person goes in at a time and anyone else has to wait outside on the pavement. But apparently the complaint was that people were not staying far enough apart...really?! So the owners had the police pay them a visit asking them to control their customers. Well first they would have no idea from inside their cafe how many people were waiting never mind how far apart they were. Upshot is that they have had to place notices outside to remind people to keep apart...this feels so petty as I'm pretty sure most people have been doing their level best to queue responsibly!! 

So we managed a walk of just over 3 and a half miles and it was rather chilly and windy and I was glad to get back home and into the warmth and another coffee!

The afternoon was a mix of online grocery shopping, placing an online butchers order and completing my latest jigsaw...that had one piece missing! Simon has been working on an art commission while attempting to 3D print the last component for his R2D2 build. The printer is proving to be a bit temperamental at the moment so fingers crossed it's now working to get this last print completed. Although I do think he is probably due a new printer as this one was bought for the lowest cost possible, was one that he had to assemble himself and he then had to print extra parts for. It was bought as a test to see whether or not it would prove this was now a fair few years ago I think we can confidently say it's been useful!!

And I am ending the day making keto meat pie...I know it's so 'rock 'n' roll' but I guess this is how life is now...rinse and repeat...same day after same day.

Take care out there.

Friday 29 January 2021

Finally Friday

Day 317...

Thank goodness it's Friday!

It has been a strange old week what with two snow days for pre-school at the beginning of the week and then having to work yesterday when I don't ordinarily so getting to today I had to double check what day it actually was!

Thankfully I was up and about at my usual time and in to work as normal. A pretty standard sort of day; emails, banking, admin and the same.

Once home and with a coffee in hand I did a couple of more work emails before taking an hour to make a little more progress on my jigsaw.

When Simon finished work we decided to watch this week's episode of WandaVision on Disney +; this started off as a bit of a slow burn with not very much being given away but I am very pleased to report that episode four out today certainly makes watching the previous episodes worthwhile and is beginning to answer a lot of the questions that the initial episodes left us with.

And there we have Friday...just like any other Friday at the moment. It really is hard not being able to see an end to what we are going through and not having the confidence that those with the power seem to know what they are doing. Will this become the new normal that every time we have a new disease, or every time the flu season looks to be tougher than normal, that we will be expected to endure more lockdowns.

Will lockdowns and masks become just a thing we do? But why? Plenty of evidence and papers out there that counter the current mantra and anyone with an inquisitive mind surely has to question the one sided narrative that we are being fed. There are always two sides to any argument, and probably more besides, so surely it is common sense to presume that as we have moved through this past year we need to ask questions. We need to have other opinions be heard. We need to educate ourselves and determine whether we are being told everything or just what governments want us to be told. As we learn more about this virus and we have more data to examine we must surely learn, adapt and move forward even if that means admitting mistakes and changing our approach.

Well whatever is happening wherever you may be, just take care.

Thursday 28 January 2021

Thursday in Work

Day 316...

Normally Thursday is my second non-working day of the week but this morning I received a message from my deputy manager to say she wasn't well enough to come into work. That meant a quick change of clothes and a wizz around to get out the house and into work on time...especially important as I have the keys!

But I made it with time to spare and had a pretty standard day in work. There was the usual emails to catch up with, a little banking and more importantly the wages to sort!

I arrived home this afternoon just in time to take delivery of my weekly order from a local dairy as well as an Amazon package and I walked in to be greeted by a fresh pot of coffee! It was then a quick change and time to get organised to hook up online with my podcast co-host Michelle as we had an episode to record.

I spent a lovely hour or so chatting with Michelle; we put the world to rights and then recorded an episode for the Disney Dream Girls which will be released this Sunday.

We rounded out the day with a little home workout; Simon down the 'gym', aka our garage, and me in the living room with an exercise mat, a few light weights and music playing.

Another day done, another day trying to avoid the media and the depression...just keep on keeping on!

Take care out there.

Wednesday 27 January 2021

Back to Work

Day 315...

So today was my first day in work this week. The warmer temperature and rain overnight had resulted in the majority of the snow disappearing and we were back to normal. 

So I spent the morning in work and it was a chance to catch up with my deputy manager and team to plan the remainder of the week having missed two days. Then it was the usual bits of admin before making a start on the review of all our policies and procedures!!

I had the afternoon off and after nipping to a local supermarket on the way home I arrived to find Simon using his lunch hour to cast some helmet parts. He's had a few requests of late for either helmets or parts of helmets and so was making best use of his time.

My afternoon then consisted of a little home admin, some coffee and some jigsaw time. 

And that has been my day. I am trying to avoid too much news at the moment as it is simply too depressing. I need to be able to see a way out of this current lockdown but our government seem completely inept at coming up with a way to make that happen. It appears that they are revelling in the fact that we are in such a sorry state rather than coming up with a clear and decisive way forward. So for now I will limit my exposure to help keep my sanity.

Take care out there.

Tuesday 26 January 2021

Snow...Ice Day

Day 314...

Well the first job of the day was to decide whether to re-open pre-school after our 'snow day' yesterday. 

It's always difficult to assess what is best to do especially as where I live is away from main roads. So myself and my deputy exchanged a few messages in order to weigh up the situation.

Although we have had no more snowfall since Sunday evening everywhere was still thick with snow and now it was very icy. We decided that the footpaths were too treacherous to be out and about and a lot of the roads had still not cleared so we made the decision to remain shut for today.

I was still able to get on with most of my work at home. There were some emails to respond to, a little banking to update, some online learning journal entries to add and then my main job of the day was to continue updating our safeguarding policy. We had a new policy given to us by our local safeguarding board so I have had to use that as the basis for our own version. A 56 page policy...badly presented...into a 44 page document that is now much easier to read and modified to reflect our pre-school.

I ended up finishing my work about an hour later than I had intended but still had a little daylight left to spend some time on my latest jigsaw, although it was just sorting pieces today.

We had a little home workout this evening; Simon doing the heavy lifting down the 'gym' aka our garage and I stayed in the warmth inside and kept to my bodyweight exercises.

And that has been today.

Take care out there.

Monday 25 January 2021

Snow Day Monday!

Day 313...

And we had our first 'Snow Day' of this academic year! Although I technically don't work Mondays I did have to make the call as to whether we should open or not and then let all our parents know what was happening.

But our first task of the day was to collect the grocery the snow. Thankfully we only have to travel about 3 miles to the store but none of the roads to get there appeared to have been either cleared or treated in anyway so it was a very steady journey there and back.

Making our way steadily to the store!
But it did look very pretty...
Once we were safely home and the shopping took into the house we set to clearing some of the paths around where we live. We have a couple of elderly neighbours so along with another of our neighbours we made sure there was a clear path for them to use.

After we had unpacked and put away all the shopping we decided to take a walk out across the fields where we live. We are extremely fortunate to live right next to farmland and have numerous footpaths and bridleways to walk, which have been a lifeline during these past 303 days!.

We managed a couple of miles which took us just under an hour which is slightly longer than it would have taken normally due to walking through snow and across uneven ground...and stopping to take photos of course!

We even came across a family of snowmen!
After a spot of lunch Simon re-organised all of his various tools and supplies that he had accumulated while completing the elecronics for his R2D2 build. He then left R2 plugged in to see how well it worked and suffice to say he was very pleased with the results. Head over to his Simon Phipps Art Facebook page to see a video of R2 in working order. He is now left with just the legs to finish off and attach.

I made a start on my next jigsaw which is another Disney and Christmas combination and I have managed to complete the outer edge...I think this will be the third time I have done this particular jigsaw!

And there we have 'Snow Day' let's just hope that it's not too icy tomorrow!

Take care out there.

Sunday 24 January 2021

Snowy Sunday

Day 312...

So this morning we weren't quite up and about as early as yesterday but still a little earlier than previous weekends.

We decided to venture out for a walk before we settled down to do anything else so we put on our wellies and wrapped up warm as it was very frosty and cold this morning.

As we started off we noticed a few tiny specks of snow in the wind and about a mile or so into the walk it started to snow; nothing major but it was definitely snowing if on;y lightly. By about half way through the walk the snow had begun to get a little heavier and by the time we were homeward bound it was coming down at a pretty decent rate and was settling quite nicely.

We managed a 5.6 mile walk in an hour and 45 minutes and when we arrived home we had a few millimeters of snow...

Photo taken about 10 minutes after we arrived home
...and about 40 minutes later it was looking like this...
...and an hour later we had about five and a half inches worth...
Decided to measure the snow, ruler was placed on top of a wall in my patio
...but look how pretty it was when the lights came on.

I did spend a lot of the afternoon video chatting with Molly and showing her all the snow that we have at home. She is at her boyfriends house about 3 hours away and they had the complete opposite weather; sunshine and blue skies! Molly loves the snow so it was an opportunity to make her a little jealous!

I apologise for the snow spam but we don't get it very often here in the UK and when we do we all kind of get a bit obsessed by it all. If we're lucky it might hang around for a day or maybe even two but then it will be gone almost as quickly as it arrived.

While Molly and I chatted Simon managed to complete all the electronics for his R2D2 build; he had some adjustments to make with the programming to control the timings and activity level of R2D2 when he comes to life and everything is now working as he had hoped it would.

The afternoon was rounded out with the now usual Sunday Disney quiz hosted by the podcast I co-host, the Disney Dream Girls...and this week I won! This does mean, however, that the job of setting questions for next weeks quiz has fallen to me.

So wherever you are and whatever the weather is doing, take care.

Saturday 23 January 2021

Day 311...A Saturday...

Day 311...

Saturday has rolled around again and as to be expected it has been another quiet day.

We did make more of an effort to be up and about at a half decent time this morning and once breakfast was out the way we put on our wellies and headed out for a walk.

It was a very chilly morning and we had a fair few snow flurries while we were out walking. We headed in the direction of the next village and my brother's house. It was his wife's birthday today so we decided to stop by with a card and pressie and say 'hello'.

We enjoyed a suitably distanced chat on the doorstep putting the world to rights before heading back home via one of the local cafe's to pick up a coffee to sustain us on our walk home. It almost felt like we were doing something akin to 'normal'!

The afternoon was spent with Simon working on a logo design that he has been commissioned to do from one of his clients in the US and I decided to make the most of the daylight and get my latest jigsaw completed...

...Disney and Christmas what's not to like about that. I do love doing these bright and cheerful Disney ones and being able to find matching pieces so easily because I know the characters so well. I have another Christmas and Disney jigsaw that I might just start next!

Before I knew it the light had faded and the evening was upon us. Another uneventful day in the midst of all this crazy. 

Take care out there.

Friday 22 January 2021

Day 310

Day 310...

Today was a normal Friday and a day spent in work. Another productive day as it was time to issues invoices, catch up on banking, update our online learning journal system and prepping a mini newsletter to go out at the beginning of next week to let our parents know what we will be up to at pre-school.

Once home it was time to chill with a coffee and my jigsaw, and I am making pretty quick progress. I only stopped because the light was fading and I needed another coffee!

Well the figures for the UK today show that the 'R' value is below 1 - yippee! But that the new variant might be more fatal...the new variant that has been around since September but only announced to the public in mid December and is only in England and Northern Ireland...I don't want to sound skeptical but really?!

The longer this goes on the more I don't trust a word being spoken by any of those that get up in front of the cameras to spout the latest facts and figures; it all feels so fear driven. The reporting seems to focus on the doom and gloom and I feel completely trodden down by it all now.

The way out of this feels as far away as it ever has and makes me question what has it all been for. How will this affect us all moving forward? Are we going to end up in a never ending cycle of lockdown every winter? Is this now the answer to all the health problems? Why have the government not invested in the NHS as they should have been doing not only the last few months in readiness for the winter resurgence but also the past 10 plus years?!

The whole situation is, to be frank, depressing. 300 plus days of writing about my life and this pandemic and we are no further on.

Take care out there.

Thursday 21 January 2021

Thursday at Home

Day 309...

So Thursday's are my other non-work day of the week and it has been relatively quiet - no surprise there then.

The morning started with a very early delivery from the online butchers I use. So after we'd had breakfast and were moving about my first job was to unpack and sort the order ready for freezing. Unfortunately I was missing part of my order...some sirloin steaks and instead I had received a rump roast joint. I emailed them to let them know and within a couple of hours they had replied, apologised and are sending the missing steaks out today and they will be with me tomorrow. Fantastic response!

A big chunk of my day has been spent doing more of my current jigsaw; I'd sorted a lot of pieces out yesterday which meant over the course of the day I have been able to fill in quite a lot of space. Lunchtime came around and saw us take a blustery walk out through the village, just a half hour walk today.

Later this afternoon I hooked up online with my Disney Dream Girls podcast co-host Michelle, to record a show ready for releasing this weekend. We had a lovely guest to chat with, an author by the name of Jim Korkis who writes all about Disney. He has an amazing portfolio of published books covering everything from Walt's life to the movies to the theme parks and even the Disney Cruise Line. His passion and knowledge of all things Disney is astounding and it was a joy to chat with him and to simply sit back and listen to him speak.

At the end of the day we decided we were in need of a little gym workout so Simon departed to the garage while I preferred the comfort of the living room and my new exercise mat!

And there we have the day, a day when our government have announced that the chance of coming out of lockdown before Spring is not looking likely - what?! Really?! I appreciate that the death rate is bad at the moment but the actual number of cases is coming what is going to be the definitive reason for being able to come out of lockdown? Do they even know?

The WHO have changed their criteria only yesterday for defining a positive test by recognising that tests need to be performed at the correct levels (or number of cycles) in order to reduce the error rate (i.e. false positives) and should ideally have a clinical diagnosis. So it will be interesting to see if our government recognise and follow this recommendation. 

There is so much information out there and I will admit that I am now looking beyond our main stream media for what is happening. The main TV channels in the UK seem to only want to scare us and don't seem to be questioning anything that we are getting told . Where have the investigative journalists gone? But then again when there is an Ofcom mandate in place to only publish the government message we don't stand a chance.

Take care, wherever you are.

Wednesday 20 January 2021

Middle of the Week

Day 308...

This morning was spent in work getting on top of some policy amendments along with a few emails that needed sending out to all and sundry. It was a productive morning before I headed home for an afternoon off.

Once home, and after a spot of lunch, I will confess to completing a little more work...a census to complete that was only available to complete online today and needed to be done by tomorrow. Tomorrow is my second non-working day of the week so thought I might as well get this short task completed and out the way.

Then my afternoon was spent chatting with a few friends via WhatsApp, sorting jigsaw pieces and listening to the inauguration of Joe Biden. Simon had the inauguration on live stream while he worked and it was uplifting to listen to the whole proceeding; there were some wonderful words spoken and Lady Gaga singing the national anthem was amazing, and she looked fabulous too. It does feel like the dawn of a new era and a return to some sort of semblance of normality as far as American politics goes, and hopefully there will be a knock-on effect around the world too.

We have watched an awful lot of American media over these last four years. I remember waking up to hear that Trump had won the election back in 2016 and truly not believing it was real and couldn't fathom how anyone could have possibly voted for him. We have then kept track of everything that his presidency brought and were left flabbergasted and frustrated most of the time. And while Biden may not be the most progressive politician out there he has the gravitas of someone who knows what a politician should do, and how to do it, and he has assembled a diverse set of officials around him. Let's now get back to grown-up politics and sort out the mess that the world currently finds itself in.

Whatever you are doing, wherever you maybe, take care.

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Working Tuesday

Day 307...

The first working day of my week today.

And an actual day in work as well. A chance for a catch-up between myself and my deputy manager followed by the usual responding to emails, some banking and then updating some policies and starting to write a newsletter.

Once home there wasn't much else to do except have a coffee and have a little 'me time' by starting on my next jigsaw. As I had sorted all the straight edges yesterday I had just enough time before the natural daylight vanished to complete the outside edge. 

Simon has been making some more tweeks to his R2D2 build as last night he was able to 3D print a part to hold the power supply inside the dome. This evening it was time to attach the new part and ensure that the dome would still rotate which it did successfully. Now my help was needed to ensure that the position of the 'radar eye' was correct; a case of comparing reference photos to Simon's model and trying to get the best match possible!

Plenty of reference materials!
The part in question that needs attaching to the front of the dome
So with the positioning sorted we needed to mark it out with some masking tape before Simon could glue it to the dome...and fingers crossed it holds!

Well I think that's today done, time to sit back and chill with some TV I think.

Take care out there.

Monday 18 January 2021

And it's Monday

Day 306...

Another Monday has rolled around and started with the usual grocery shopping collection from our local supermarket of choice.

Once everything had been put away we decided to take a walk out a bit earlier than normal and managed another 4.25 miles in just under an hour and twenty minutes.

The afternoon saw me get a few household chores completed while Simon disappeared into the garage to cast a few helmet parts as he'd had an order come in.

Really seem to be struggling at the moment. And I know we are all in the same boat but for some reason I'm beginning to feel the strain of it all. Even though we are doing our best to keep active and get out for walks and find things to do the 'no end in sight' is now quite draining, and I wonder how long we, as a society, can keep this going. I can't even contemplate beginning to plan for anything as I have no faith that whatever is planned will ever come to fruition. 

Disneyland Paris has now announced that it will no longer be re-opening in February as planned but is now looking at the 2nd April as a possible date. I know from social media that people had made bookings for late February and March and they will now have to go through the hassle of moving their dates or getting refunds...and probably not for the first time in these past 10 months or so.

So as Simon had been in the garage for an hour or so this afternoon with the heater on, he decided to take advantage of the slightly warm space and use the garage for it's other purpose...the gym! I on the other hand decided to start on my next jigsaw and as predicted it's a Disney one with a Christmas theme!

I have managed to get all the straight edge pieces sorted out but that's as far as I've got least it will give me something to do!

Take care out there.

Sunday 17 January 2021

Sunday, Sunday

Day 305...

And we have Sunday and as seems to be the theme to this weekend it was another very slow and steady start to the day.

I had the usual job of updating my online grocery order ready for collecting tomorrow. Simon has continued with the electronic components of his R2D2 build on and off throughout the day; he is figuring out where to install all the necessary switches and cables for the lights and sounds inside the dome in a way that will still enable the dome to move.

I decided to have a bit of a re-sort of my wardrobe. Having had new wardrobes back in September and having lived with them for a few months I decided that I needed to move things around. So it was a case of emptying sections of cupboards and drawers and then deciding the best places for them to go back.

Mid-afternoon we took a walk out and decided to go visit my dad. He only lives a mile away so it was a quick walk there and back but we had to dodge around all the other walkers; and yet again we've never seen so many people out and about, but as I've said before - what else can people do at the moment?

Once home I finished re-organising my wardrobe before settling down for an hour or so of our regular Disney quiz hosted by the Disney Dream Girls podcast I co-host. It was good fun as always to check-in with our regular group and attempt to answer some questions; didn't do too badly this week as I think I came second!

Another day, another Sunday done. Take care out there.

Saturday 16 January 2021

Yay it's the Weekend!!

Day 304...

And we have reached the weekend...again!

Now normally January can be a bit of a rough month, the downer after the festive period, the month when the excesses of Christmas are being felt and often results in a lack of money to spend and therefore a lack of things to do. And guess what January is turning into another month of same old, same old and it's all getting to be a bit tedious and boring.

So no alarm set this morning meant a very slow start to the day with my motivation feeling severely depleted, and having no idea what to do today.

After finally moving and getting a couple of odd jobs done around the house we headed out for a walk. We managed just over 4 miles in just over an hour. We bumped into a neighbour of my dads, and someone I had grown up with, and it was nice to stop and have a chat for a few minutes or so. Once again we noticed how busy it was out and about walking...but then again what else can people do?

Simon has been tinkering around with his R2D2 build off and on all day; he has been spending time getting all the electronic components working and is now figuring out how to install all the necessary switches and cables into the dome part of the build.

And there we are another Saturday almost done. Just time to eat the keto bread I've just made, make something for dinner and settle down to watch this weeks episode of RuPaul's Drag Race.

See y'all tomorrow. Take care.

Friday 15 January 2021

Meeting Online

Day 303...

Last day of the working week today and another day split into two halves.

This morning was another working from home morning with a mixture of emails, continuing with updating our safeguarding policy and attending an online 'leaders and managers' meeting.

I must admit I am liking having these sort of meetings online. I don't have to drive anywhere; there's no worry about getting parked or having to pay for parking; I have access to decent coffee; no sitting in a draughty room waiting for everyone to arrive; no sitting through the usual 'housekeeping' duties for the venue; no having to make small talk with people I don't know and am not likely to see again for at least three months...if ever; no having to do random tasks. Plus I can continue working up until the minute the meeting starts; I can carry on working through any boring bits!; any relevant documents and links can be shared and accessed instantly rather than relying on my scrappy notes and so all in all a much better use of my time and I would guess the person delivering the meetings time as well.

For the afternoon I actually went into work for only the second time this week. An afternoon of more emails, admin and banking; all pretty straight forward.

Once home I had a few more work things to catch up on; a butchers order to place online and a new exercise mat to order.

And that was today!

Take care out there.

Thursday 14 January 2021

Slightly Snowy Thursday

Day 302...

Well I think this is going to be a short post today as I really haven't done very much.

This was my other non-working day of the week (I only do a three day week) and surprisingly I had nothing planned (note the heavy sarcasm intended here!).

The morning was spent catching up on some of my personal admin and some household chores and by late morning the rain had turned to snow and by lunchtime it was starting to settle. As Simon broke for lunch we decided against our usual walk because of the weather; just too wet, cold and very slushy underfoot.

The snow continued until early afternoon but never really amounted to much. When I jumped online with my friend and podcast co-host, Michelle, I discovered that where she lives they had proper snow, so much so that the school where she works had called a 'snow day'.

So we had a little catch-up before we recorded this weeks Disney Dream Girls show. We chatted with friend of the show Seth Kubersky who writes for 'The Official Guides' series of books and is able to get to the Florida parks a couple of times a week. It was lovely to chat with him and find out what it's like to visit Walt Disney World and Universal Studios at the moment.

After recording I grabbed the last of the daylight and finally managed to finish my latest jigsaw...

...I think I may need to find another one to do...only ones I have though are Christmas themed ones...Oh well, never mind, they will have to do!

The day was finished off with a little trip to the 'gym'...well, for Simon anyway. While I just stuck to some light weights and my bodyweight exercises; second time this week so getting back into the swing of it slowly!

Another day done, stay safe out there.

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Work Day Wednesday

Day 301...

Well today was another day split in two; but both halves were spent working.

This morning was spent at home working; I had some cashflow projections to complete as well as making a start on re-writing our safeguarding policy. Thankfully we have a model policy to work from and then adapt...unfortunately it's 56 pages long!

Then this afternoon was spent actually in work for the first time this week. An afternoon of catching up, ordering some supplies, updating accounts and de-cobwebbing the room. We have a rather high ceiling and having been reminded by my deputy I took my extending duster in with me to try and get as many cobwebs down as possible - oh the glamorous side of childcare.

Once home I made an attempt at completing some more of my current jigsaw and although I did get a few pieces into place the combination of a very grey day and lots of dark pieces meant all I could really do was sort a few more pieces and hope that I have better light tomorrow.

And I think that's where I will leave it for today as there really isn't anything else to report. Another routine day, doing the same old, same old and I don't think that's going to be changing any time soon!

Take care out there.

Tuesday 12 January 2021

A Day of Two Halves

Day 300...

So this morning was spent working from home. Due to the reduced number of children attending pre-school at the moment and having got this afternoon booked off it seemed sensible to take the option to work from home which meant a few hours spent on emails, banking and admin tasks.

At lunchtime we went out on one of our walks, completing a couple of miles in just under an hour. As we set off we came across an elderly couple sat on the bench in front of where we live. They were sat enjoying the sunshine with a flask of coffee and something to eat and as we passed by and said 'Hello' the lady responded with a quirky comment along the lines of 'oops shouldn't be sat having a drink!!'.

This was of course in reference to the numerous stories over the last couple of days about members of the public being fined for sitting on benches and being accused of 'having a picnic' for daring to walk with a coffee in hand. We simply responded with a chuckle and told them to enjoy themselves and the sunshine, and remarked how ridiculous it all was at the moment.

We then headed into the next village and were very aware of the number of people walking about, especially the number of them that had a coffee and then as we glanced into the local park how almost every bench had people sat on them. I think this is the British way of saying 'screw you'; you're not stopping us from enjoying the outside with a coffee especially as we are not doing anything to hurt anyone. It did make me smile!

After we got home and armed with a coffee I decided to see how much more of my current jigsaw I could get completed. Unfortunately the light was not on my side and as I was completing the night sky element of the picture I had to stop when the light began to fade; the pieces were too dark and too similar to each other to continue...perhaps tomorrow it may get completed.

I decided to get my self back on track with my exercises this evening as I'd become very lax since well before Christmas. Simon headed down the 'gym' while I stuck to a few light weights and mainly bodyweight exercises. I didn't do a lot but it was a start and that's the important thing...getting started.

Take care out their and enjoy your coffee wherever you like!!

Monday 11 January 2021

Hello Monday!

Day 299...

So another week and another Monday.

My usual non-working day of the week and it started as most Monday's do with a trip to collect my online grocery shop.

Simon has been busy making Mandalorian helmets over the weekend and we had one to drop off local and three others to send out by post. So it was a case of packing up, weighing and working out postage costs. We have definitely seen an increase in prices especially when sending overseas and we had two to price up for sending to the US.

Once we had those sorted and all the shopping put away we decided to go out for a walk and although chilly and a little rain at times it didn't stop us completing 4.2 miles in one hour and seventeen minutes. Not only did the walk 'blow away the cobwebs' it also gave us chance to chat and put the world to rights, because what else are we going to do?!

The afternoon was spent working on my jigsaw...and I am pretty please with the amount I've been able to complete in just a couple of hours!

And there we have another Monday, a quiet day again because we simply cannot do anything or go anywhere. There are reports of people sitting on benches being fined, of having a coffee while out for a walk being deemed to be a picnic and therefore not allowed and of others being fined for being out twice in one day...I am at a loss for what our supposedly civilised society is turning into. 

Stay safe out there.

Sunday 10 January 2021

Another day and it's Day 298

Day 298...

Wow, day 298...who would have thought way back in March last year that I would still be writing these daily posts.

The idea was to write a post a day as a way to capture what was happening during the 'pandemic' that was gripping the world and throwing us all into a state of fear and confusion.

Today has been a tough day for me, not sure why. Perhaps I'm just mentally tired and worn down with all that is happening. Molly is spending this lockdown with her fella and so will be away from home for who knows how long and I think that has hit me a bit today. I don't have any problem with Molly being away from home, with her staying with fella (he is so lovely and they obviously adore each other) and all I want is for her to be happy, but I do miss my partner in crime and as a hormonally challenged woman I find myself rather emotional.

We are all having to deal with yet another lockdown but I will admit to feeling rather tired of it all now. I am a very pragmatic sort of person, I will deal with whatever comes my way and try not to worry about things I have no control over but this is all starting to feel like too much. I have tried to keep away from social media and news today as I know I am feeling rather fragile and just need to avoid anything that is going to make me more frustrated, angry, disappointed and feeling powerless.

So the day has been a quiet one. The usual online grocery shop was completed. Simon has been making helmets (I currently have four sitting in my kitchen!), making some adjustments to his 3D printer and assembling some more R2D2 parts. I have also made some progress on my latest jigsaw.

And the day was finished off with our usual Disney Dream Girls Disney Quiz via Zoom. I had the task of setting some questions on the live action version of Mulan. Simon and I had watched the movie earlier in the week and had really quite enjoyed it and I had planned to re-watch it again to note down some questions. As it was we decided to play a game of Villainous last night and so while we played Simon put the movie on the TV with the sound off and subtitles on and was able to come up with the questions for me! We had a lovely hour chatting Disney and more; a nice and much needed distraction.

Take care of yourselves,

Saturday 9 January 2021

Another Weekend

Day 297...

So we have another weekend roll on by, another weekend with no where to go and nothing much to do...back on the rinse and repeat rollercoaster of life.

Inevitably this led to a rather slow and steady start to the day, with no real impetus for us to get up and moving. Molly is back to having her guitar lessons via Zoom, as are her karate classes, so life continues inside the four walls of our house and by staying 'local'.

Simon has been tinkering on and off throughout the day with his R2D2 build, getting more of the smaller parts into place. He's also completed some minor repairs to his 3D printer. When he bought the printer he went for a cheaper model as he didn't want to spend a lot of money and then find he didn't use it. He had to assemble the printer himself and even had to 3D print parts for it and it has lasted him really well, it's been used extensively for the past few years and along the way he has become rather handy at keeping it working.

Mid-afternoon we took a walk out over the fields in the sunshine...the rather chilly sunshine and the very muddy and squelchy fields; thank goodness for our wellies!

We did notice quite a lot of people out walking today and I must admit the devil inside of me wanted to ask everyone if they were staying 'local'! And on our walk back we bumped into my brother...well I say 'bumped into' he was actually driving home and just happened to spot us and so stopped for a quick chat. Scarily this was the first time I've seen my brother in I can't remember when and he only lives a couple of miles away - how ridiculous and awful is that and all because of the current situation.

So whatever you may be doing, wherever you are, stay safe.

Friday 8 January 2021

Staying Local

Day 296...

So here we are at the last day of my working week and it was another cold day with a light dusting of snow. The weather app on my phone had said snow was forecast for most of the night so I was hoping for a snow day but it was not to be.

Work was fairly steady with the usual bits of admin and we still have lower numbers of children attending than what we were expecting, which is a direct result of the lockdown and parents not knowing what to do for the best. There is lots of concern within the early years sector as to why we have been told to stay open while schools have closed along with long term financial implications and whether we will get the funding from government that we so deserve.

As we find ourselves a few days into 'lockdown 3' the talk turned to where we can go outdoors to exercise. I am very fortunate that I live in a small village and have numerous footpaths to roam literally on my doorstep. But we have noticed a significant increase in the number of cars parked in the village; people travelling to us and then setting off on walks.

But today we heard of a local country park that has been turning people away because they are not considered to be 'local'. Now this park is only a few miles away from me and I have always considered it to be 'local' to me but apparently because I don't live in the same borough council I can't visit it anymore. Reports are that police were in attendance and were turning people away and issuing fines where they saw fit. This is such a shame; there have even been reports of people who live within walking distance, but live in a different council area, being turned away and told they are not allowed to visit. It would appear that there is no legal definition of what 'local' means and this would seem to be causing confusion and irritation. 

And this is not the only country park, there have been others reported across the region where I live. These country parks are often expansive and are the ideal place to get out, have a change of scenery, get some exercise but at the same time maintain all social distancing. This draconian approach feels very wrong and quite oppressive. I am sure that the police have much better things to be doing with their time and resources other than guarding the entrance to these parks.

It does make you wonder where all of this is going and whether our civil liberties will be completely restored after all of this. We seem to be doing so badly with this virus compared to other countries and we keep having lockdown after lockdown imposed but nothing seems to have an affect on those all important figures that are reported to us each day. So what is it that we are doing wrong? And whenever it is questioned we (the public) get told to do more or that we're not doing enough and all the while businesses suffer and our freedoms crumble. I am sure there are people out there that are not abiding by the 'recommendations' but I think the vast majority of us are, or at least are trying our best to do as we are being told yet all the time it feels like we are being 'told off' for not getting it right, that we are the scapegoat, or the excuse, for things not getting better.

It is a depressing circle of events that seems to be spiraling downwards with no end in sight.

Take care.

Thursday 7 January 2021

Frosty & Cold

Day 295...

Today was my only non-work day of the week for this week and I was very glad to be staying indoors in the warmth as it was rather cold and frosty today.

Although I did nip outside to take a few photos because everywhere looked so pretty. But I don't think we got out of minus temperature figures today.

My morning was taken up with a few odd jobs; ironing, updating some information online, dusting and a little prep work ahead of podcast recording this afternoon.

Simon and I decided to take a walk out across the fields at lunchtime managing a very chilly couple of miles in about 40 minutes. It was cold, very frosty and quite foggy.
Usual beautiful view was completely 'fogged out' today
Chilly sheep, at least they have lovely warm coats!!
After thawing out and armed with a hot coffee I jumped online with my podcast co-host Michelle to record a couple of Disney Dream Girls shows; one for our Patreon supporters and the other our regular show which will be out on Sunday.

I then I decided to enjoy another coffee and to start on a new jigsaw; it was a Christmas present and is suitably Christmas themed. I've managed to get the outside completed with just one piece missing so it's time to start sorting and hope I find it. At least I'm going to have the time to do it over the next few weeks! If it's anything like lockdown one I may get quite a few jigsaws completed!

Take care out there.