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.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Sunshine & Snow

Day 384...

Well it has been another day of mixed weather; from clear blue skies and sunshine to grey clouds and snow showers and back again and really rather chilly!

As Simon had an extra day's holiday following the long Easter weekend we had a steady start to the day and were in no rush to be up and about as we had no real plans. 

I needed to pop by pre-school today to do the very exciting job of bringing in our refuse bin after today's collection so we decided to combine that with our daily walk. Despite the gorgeous looking morning we wrapped up warm and set off for pre-school and I was so glad of my woolly hat and gloves because it was rather cold and the wind was quite icy feeling.

We walked 4.5 miles in an hour and 26 minutes; we took a slightly different return route cutting across the fields which are now bone dry after weeks of wet, squelchy mud. On arrival at pre-school we found our landlord was unexpectedly there giving the gate a coat of paint and he said he would make sure the bin was 'brought in' for us. So although we managed our daily walk it did feel a little lost of purpose when the one thing we had set out to do was already done for us! But at least we had a good walk and a different one to where we would normally have ventured.

After a spot of lunch Simon decided to spend his afternoon getting arty and for the first time in a long while got the actual, physical, paints out and knocked out a couple of paintings. An interesting exercise for him to compare this way of painting to his usual digital creations.

While Simon painted I jumped online with fellow Disney Dream Girl Michelle to do a little podcast recording. We managed a show for releasing this coming Sunday as well as one for our Patreon supporters.

The day was then rounded out with a trip to the 'gym' (aka our garage) for Simon and Molly and while they battled their way there through the snow...I am not kidding we had a few heavy snow showers, although they didn't amount to anything...I stayed in the warmth and did my usual body weight exercises. 

And there we have a Tuesday all done and dusted. A day when there has been more talk about vaccine passports or covid certificates and hopefully more resistance to them. Only time will tell and we can only hope that sense prevails and that we are in some way able to regain our freedoms and liberties.

Take care, see you tomorrow.

Monday, 5 April 2021

Sometimes it Snows in April

Day 383...

So to quote from one of my all time favourite Prince tracks 'Sometimes it Snows in April' is how the day started...all be it a few flurries that didn't last for very long. But the day was bright, sunny and noticeably much colder than the last few days.

First job of the day was to go and fetch the weekly grocery shop and then on the way home to drop off the groceries for my dad that we had added onto our order.

Whilst I put all the shopping away Simon had a phone call to return which now means that we have new flooring for our living room, Simon's office area and our bedroom on order.

We then ventured out into the sun and cold and boy was it chilly, especially as we turned towards home and found ourselves walking into the wind. We completed the same walk we had done on Saturday but this time in reverse, managing 3.9 miles in one hour and 16 minutes. We were very glad of, and in need of, a hot coffee by the time we got home.

After a spot of lunch Simon ventured into the garage to start the process of molding a Mandalorian helmet as he had received an order in the last few days and wanted to get the casting underway today. I decided to complete another round of the garden pulling up weeds which thankfully wasn't too onerous a job today just one I need to keep on top of.

We then had the excitement of our new steam mop being delivered which resulted in floors and the bathroom getting 'steamed' by Simon!

So late this afternoon we received the news that our government's 'roadmap out of lockdown' will proceed as planned seeing the next lot of restrictions lifted on Monday 12th April. This will mean that non-essential retail and personal services can re-open and pubs and restaurants can open for outdoor dining only. This is great news even if all the now usual 'covid secure' measures will still have to be in place; the wearing of masks, hand sanitising and keeping socially distant. Both Simon and I have hair appointments booked in, although I will still have to wait until mid-May for mine to come around.

And here in lies the dilema as we start to get our lives back; we are still going to have to live with some restrictions for some time to come. Will a trip to the shops be as fun if numbers in side shops are limited, if masks are needed everywhere you go and you can only grab that coffee and cake if there's somewhere to sit outside to eat them (and this obviously assumes that the British weather is going to be kind all the time!!).

We are now free to go on holiday in a self contained unit...with members of your own household. So, basically that's like being at home, like it has been for the past year but just re-located to somewhere else...mmm...perhaps going away with those we have not been able to escape from over the last 12 months is not what we are all really longing to do!!

And now we are being told we can all get tested twice a week for free and that we can get the tests sent to us in the post. So easy, so convenient...but why? If you have no symptoms why would you want, sorry need, to take a test? Surely the more tests that are carried out the more 'cases' will be found because all tests, no matter which sort, have a false positive rate. If millions of people suddenly start testing themselves twice a week the 'case' numbers will appear, but with no follow-up diagnostic analysis how do we know if these 'cases' are actual cases or simply a statistical anomaly.

And then don't get me started on 'vaccine passports' or what was it being referred to as today?...'Covid Certification'...why does this feel like the start of a slippery slope towards 'ID papers', towards big companies knowing more and more information about us and having more and more control over what we do, when, with whom and how. Last time I checked we lived in a democratic society where my private medical information was just that...private to me. Why should those who have not yet been vaccinated or choose not to be vaccinated suddenly find their lives impeded? Why are we being made to feel like we are at fault if we choose not to, or are unable to, take up the vaccine? 

We are dealing with a respiratory virus that has a death rate of well below 1% and that affects the very elderly and those with existing comorbidities in the overwhelming vast majority of cases. Yet the whole world is now petrified of getting something that most of us will be able to get over and may not even know we have had. The whole world is shaming any of us that dare stray from the scare mongering and fear narrative that we are being fed by the media each and every day. There are scientists out there trying to present an alternative view that are simply not being given any opportunity to do so. And the whole world seems ready to give up their lives as they once knew them, along with their freedoms, their liberties and just accept the one message being pumped into our homes every day.

Covid is real, it is out there and we need to accept that and learn to live with it but we can't let it rule our lives and stop us from doing the things that we love. I, for one, would like a holiday abroad, would like to see a band in concert, attend a burlesque evening and more importantly see my friends and give them a hug. Are we going to let one mind set stop us from living the only life we have? 

Open up the discussion, let's hear all view points and prove that this is not an opportunity for those with power and money and data to get even more control over us.

Take care.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Lazy Sunday

Day 382...

Happy Easter...or should that be Happy Chocolate Day?!

Another quiet Sunday spent pretty much as our Sundays are spent of late. A slow and steady morning with the obligatory handing out of chocolate eggs.

After breakfast I had the usual job of updating our weekly grocery shop online ready for collection tomorrow. While I was doing that Simon was finishing up the art commission he had started yesterday and with a happy client was able to complete it and send it over digitally today.

We then headed out into the sunshine to take a walk over the fields. It was rather blustery but otherwise it was a beautiful day to be out and about and to blow away the cobwebs. We made our way to our local alpacas where the farm now has a small van selling ice-creams and snacks as well as an old red telephone box that is kitted out with a drinks machine. So we helped ourselves to a couple of coffees and left our money in the 'honesty box' and carried on our walk completing 4 miles in an hour and a half...a much gentler paced walk than of late as we enjoyed the scenery and the weather.

Home again and it was time for another coffee sat in the sunshine as we contemplated what to do next. Simon had a couple of odd jobs to complete and then we had some measuring of doors to do. We are hoping to get a new front door but as our existing door is a non-standard size it is proving to be a little problematic but we have an idea that we have now sent off to the company who are trying to source one for us to see if we have a winning solution.

We also had a play around with a new approach to killing weeds...using a heat gun! Now we had seen some products online that 'burned' weeds away but wanted to see how effective they could really be so we tried using the heat gun that Simon uses when prop building to see if the principle worked. And lo and behold it worked, I think we maybe making an investment that will hopefully make weeding easier and gentler on my back!

The day was rounded out, as most Sunday's are, with our Disney Dream Girls Disney quiz. This week Kacy who set the questions had the fab idea of asking all of us who take part the same five questions, we submitted our answers and then today we had to match up the answer to the individual. We had a great time trying to figure out who had answered what!

Our Easter Sunday dinner was then homemade keto pizza - a family affair where everyone could help out and make their own pizza as they saw fit!

Take care.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Easter Saturday

Day 381...

Saturday has rolled around once again and it was another slow start to the day.

Once we were up and moving we popped on our walking shoes and headed off in search of our Saturday morning coffee. This week we had Molly and her fella accompany us and we decided to show them a slightly different route to normal. Armed with coffee and hot chocolates and a bag of cake we headed home completing 3.97 miles in one hour and fifteen minutes (thanks Strava!).

After a spot of lunch Simon and I decided to go and pay my dad a visit to see how he was doing. He is starting to get back on his feet but is just taking things rather steady at the moment. His car is still in the garage and it seems to be taking an inordinately long time to get repaired...not that he has anywhere he needs to go! We spent an hour or so with him and came away with a shopping list of things to get for him.

Back home Simon decided to make a start on an art commission piece while I took a more laid back approach to the rest of the afternoon and decided to enjoy a coffee and a book outside in the sunshine...catching up on Gary Taubes 'The Case for Keto' - a great read.

The day was rounded out with an Indian take-away meal from a local restaurant.

Take care.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Day 380 - Good Friday

Day 380...

And today is the start of the Easter weekend, it's Good Friday!

Well as there was no need to be up and about this morning we had a steady morning that saw a lazy breakfast followed by the setting up of the 'Crock-Pot' to cook a Beef Bourguigon for tonights dinner. This was at special request of Molly who has returned home this afternoon after three months away at her boyfriends during this current 'lockdown' malarkey.

The rest of the day has been very industrious; I have been out in the garden once again pulling up weeds, brushing up leaves and just generally having a tidy around. I decided to extend my weeding area to include that of one of my elderly neighbours gardens as we have some communal space that we all look after so I helped by ensuring her area was as weed free as possible.

Simon has spent all day outside with his R2D2 making it look more 'Star Wars' as it has been weathering day! Thankfully we had a lovely dry and sunny day, if a little chilly, but this meant Simon could take his droid outside and make all the mess he liked. It was a full days work to take his R2 from all clean and shiny to looking like he'd seen some action. He also had great fun showing off his build to our neighbours who have seen him creating parts over the last couple of years but hadn't, until now, seen the completed version.

Simon busy weathering R2

Looking more authentic

Hop over to Simon's art page on Facebook for video of the progress today.

Later this afternoon Molly arrived safely home and has been busy unpacking and putting all her 'stuff' back where it belongs. It is lovely to have her back home and glad to have a little normality restored to life!

And now we have beef bourguignon and keto garlic bread to eat before watching this weeks The Falcon and The Winter Soldier!

Take care.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Time for a Break

Day 379...

So today marked the last day of our Spring term at pre-school and for me it was just a half day.

The morning was a mix of the usual administration tasks and banking along with a little more fundraising money to count. It was then a case of getting together paperwork to bring home with me so that I can do a little work over the break. I will have the termly accounts to write up and balance as well as a few other bits and pieces to complete.

I nipped to a local supermarket on my way home and then it was time to stop and appreciate that my two week break from work had started...luckily I walked in to a fresh pot of coffee.

Simon had already started his long Easter weekend as his office is closed from today until Wednesday next week. He has spent the day 'tinkering' with his R2D2 build, fixing magnets into place and discovering small sections that needed painting! But hopefully he is now at a point where all there is left to do is the weathering!

My afternoon has seen me pottering around the house getting a few little chores completed as well as jumping online later this afternoon to finish a little pre-school work...but hopefully that is pre-school sorted for a few days now.

And that was my last day at work for a couple of weeks and the start of my 'holiday'. Although there is nothing much we can do or anywhere we can go at least for the next 10 days or so as we wait for the next date in our 'roadmap out of lockdown' to roll around, the 12th April. But on a positive note we have one more sleep until Molly is home - yay!

Take care, and see you tomorrow.