Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Day 462

Day 462...

A full day in work today and we were still missing one member of staff due to illness, although thankfully they are on the mend and should be back tomorrow.

My working day started with a meeting via 'Teams' with a teacher for the deaf as we have a child attending with impaired hearing and who requires hearing aids. It was fascinating to chat with her for about an hour and learn how the impairment affects the child and more importantly what we can do as practitioners to help them.

Next I had some usual admin tasks to catch up on before spending the afternoon with my deputy manager. We had some information to go through following a course she had completed yesterday as well as reviewing the statutory guidance we follow ready for September when a few changes come into place.

Back at home and I took fifteen minutes to sit outside in the sunshine with a coffee before getting on with a few tasks. First job was to track down a couple of the plastic storage cupboards that we have had trouble sorting with Amazon and we decided to use another retailer where we could collect in person. But when ordering them online for pick-up I found I couldn't collect them until tomorrow but we had hoped to pick them up tonight as it was close to where Molly has her kickboxing class. Then I saw that I could actually have them delivered for a small charge tonight! And as I had some toys and play sand for pre-school to buy as well I decided to opt for the delivery option instead.

I then had a few work related bits and bobs I wanted to get done following on from the work myself and my deputy had done this afternoon. A case of tracking down some documents, finding some links, updating a policy and replying to a couple of emails. And then it was time to take Molly to her kickboxing class.

Not long after we returned home we had a text with a delivery time for our cupboards and other bits and about half an hour later the ordered arrived with perfect timing before we nipped back out to collect Molly.

So all in all another productive day.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Day 461...What a Faff on!

Day 461...

Well today turned out to be a frustrating day at times!

This morning I had a message from another member of staff to say they were unwell...suffice to say I think there must be 'something' going around. Don't panic it's completely non-covid in every way!

But it did mean we were a member of staff short plus I had my deputy manager completing the second half of an online course this morning. So it was all fun and games but we got through the morning unscathed and it just meant that rather than doing my usual work stuff I was actually working the floor and working directly with the children for a change.

As our afternoon session was a lot quieter than our morning I was still able to have my usual Tuesday afternoon off. After a spot of lunch it was time to take Molly out for some more driving experience. Now she is back home for a few weeks she has paid the necessary insurance to be able to drive my car and so between Simon and I we are trying to get her out and about as much as possible. And this week we are trying different routes to mix things up a little, and she continues to impress us both.

Back home and I had intended to get the ironing pile attacked but Simon reminded me that we needed to contact Amazon to see what we could do about the missing cupboard and the damaged cupboard. We had ordered three self assembly plastic cupboards for the garage; one had arrived and has been assembled, the second arrived but has major damage to the roof section making it unusable and the third has simply never arrived.

We had been given a cut-off date for delivery of yesterday so I contacted them to ask what happens next. So the non-delivered item was easy-peasy we get a refund - done. The damaged item however can only be refunded once it has been returned and here is where the fun and games started. Amazon very kindly sent me the return label...not paid postage, just the return label. I then had to sort out the necessary postage which Amazon said they would refund in due course...that's postage to Slovakia for a 16.5kg package. Well I managed to find a carrier that would deliver to Slovakia and was charging a reasonable amount but when inputting the details they wanted a contact name, email and phone number for where it was being delivered...which I didn't have. So once again I jumped online to 'chat' with Amazon. Let's just say trying to explain what the problem was and finding a resolution to said problem was rather challenging. In the end I was advised to return the damaged item to their returns centre in Scotland and because the delivery was within the UK I managed to find a carrier that didn't want all the information that had been requested for sending to Slovakia.

So we now have a package, with paid postage, waiting to be picked up tomorrow and sent to Scotland...we should then get refunded and our postage reimbursed...let's just watch this space and see what actually happens. The downside to all of this was that it took me most of the rest of the afternoon and I am still left with a pile of ironing!

And in amongst all that I find myself getting more and more frustrated with the lockdown that we still find ourselves in. And yes whilst we can do a lot of things there are still lots of restrictions in place that impact on how we do things and on businesses that are struggling. Yet all I seem to see and hear from around the world are countries that are lifting restrictions and getting back to normal and living their lives. Because I follow lots of different Disney social media I am very aware of what's happening in the US and am constantly hearing about more restrictions getting lifted, mask mandates going, social distancing disappearing, plexi-glass screens being removed, entertainment re-starting and more. And even in Europe we are hearing of countries lifting mask mandates and more, and yet here we are in the UK with most of the adult population having antibodies to covid through either past infection or vaccination, and still we cannot live our lives fully without restriction, without guidelines, without requirements...what is going on?

We should have had our freedoms restored by now and I worry that by delaying it we may never get them back.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Monday, 21 June 2021

Day 460

Day 460... 

And we have a Monday and rather than being at home as normal I found myself in work covering for a colleague who was off sick.

My morning was spent doing some admin tasks, a little banking, a few emails and a couple of phone calls. All pretty standard stuff and as things were all running pretty smoothly I was able to finish at lunchtime.

By the time I'd got home Simon had hoovered through the house, cleaned the bathroom, fetched the grocery shopping and split it between us, my dad and preschool, been to the post office, steam cleaned our tiled and wooden floors and taken Molly out for some driving experience! Wow, think I might have to work more Mondays (just kidding...maybe!).

Our afternoon together was then spent back in the garage trying to work out how to modify the new workbench that Simon had assembled yesterday with castors. After much thought and ingenuity on Simon's part we came up with a wooden frame to fit into the metal framework of the bench so that the castors could be mounted to the wood. Simon now has a fully functioning work bench that can move around the garage with ease.

While Simon worked getting that sorted I jumped online to record a Disney Dream Girls podcast episode for the coming weekend as well as a special bonus show for our Patreon supporters. It was lovely to chat with my very good friend Michelle to record the shows and we had a good giggle as always.

And while I recorded Simon took Molly to her kickboxing class and by the time he got home I'd finished recording. I could then help him finish up with the work bench and the tidy up after before we nipped back out to collect Molly.

And stop! Another day done.

Take care.
xx


 

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Day 459 - Father's Day

Day 459...

Sunday has rolled around and it was Father's Day and I had completely forgot...thank goodness the kids were on the ball.

To be fair I hadn't completely forgot as I had chatted with the kids about it and at pre-school we had been making Father's Day cards but having been so busy the last few days I'd forgotten that it was happening today!

I then got a message from one of my staff to let me know that they were poorly and wouldn't be able to come into work tomorrow. This means that I will have to work tomorrow when normally Monday is my day off; this in turn meant that the plans we had for today and into tomorrow needed to be re-jigged.

This meant the first job of the day was to take the car full of rubbish to our local recycling centre for the second day in a row. We saw the same guys working that we'd seen yesterday and today we had a chat about tattoos as one of them noticed my Disney sleeve. They were interested to know how long it had taken and I think were quite surprised when I told them how many hours it had taken. One of the guys had a small tattoo and he swore he was never going to have another as it had hurt so much. Turned out it was done by a cousin of a friend...mmm so not someone who knew what they were doing which was very evident by the state of the tattoo he showed me!

Once we had emptied the car we stopped by my dad's house on the way home to wish him a 'Happy Father's Day'. We spent a little time there, had a coffee, I helped make his bed and added a few bits to my weekly grocery shop for him. On an upbeat note he is hoping to get his repaired car back either this week or next and one evening this week he is going out for a meal with his gym buddies to celebrate one of them turning 80!

It was then back home and I had the ever so exciting job of updating my online grocery shop while Simon started building one of the cupboards we'd bought for the garage. Once my shopping was done I decided to clean the inside of the car that had been used to visit the local recycling centre the last few days as it was rather dusty and dirty and needed a good hoover out. I was then able to help Simon assemble the cupboard and a work bench he had ordered...well I say help but all I did was to make another coffee as Simon had managed to complete both all by himself.

We then set about building the second cupboard but as we unpacked all the pieces we found the section that made the top of the cupboard to have a massive crack and corner section all broken. So this now has to be returned or refunded which meant that we had to figure out how to re-pack all the bits we had already unpacked...it only took us about half an hour, and a fair bit of swearing, to figure it out!

And by then it was time to cook dinner and the day was done although it still feels like we have more to do but it will have to wait until another day.

Take care.
xx

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Day 458

Day 458...

Well this may have to be a short post today as it is rather late in the day and as I type I am just waiting for Molly and her fella to return with an Indian takeaway. It's been a busy day!

The day started off steady, we got up, we had breakfast with Mickey waffles, we drank coffee and then we got moving. Our first job was to visit our local recycling centre as we had yet another car full of rubbish to get rid of. And a big shout out to the guys who run the centre as they are so helpful and polite despite some of the public being rather rude as we saw today. 

But once we were back home it was time to change into our scruffy work clothes and armed with a coffee we set upon the garage. First we had to clear enough stuff out of the loft area so that Simon could get up there and paint the remaining section of wall. Then it was time to clear out all of the garage as we had a floor to lay and a draft excluder to fit to the garage door.

Garage almost cleared ready for floor

The floor was made up of recycled rubber tiles that simply slotted together like an oversized jigsaw, the only difference being we needed a mallet to get the pieces to join together. First we had to lay a couple of rows to centre them and then we could work out how to cut pieces to fit down each side. Once we had it all figured out it was relatively easy and quick to lay. I concentrated on laying the main section of the floor while Simon did all the cutting of pieces to go around the edges and fit around any awkward shapes.

Working hard!
By the end of the day we had a new floor laid in place that looks really smart and should hopefully mean we can keep the garage as clean and as dust free as possible. This will mean not only will Simon have a much cleaner and more organised space for his prop making but it will also make our home gym a much nicer place to be.
And done!
But by the time we had moved everything back into the garage it was rather late and hence the reason for an Indian takeaway. But still more work to do tomorrow as we have two cupboards to build and lots of organising to do!

We will be rounding the day off with feet up in front of the TV to watch the latest Disney Pixar movie Luca.

Take care.
xx

Friday, 18 June 2021

Haircut Friday

Day 457...

Well I'm a little late writing this today so I think it will be a quick post!

The day was spent in work and was mainly spent attached to the computer generating emails. I needed to formulate individual questionnaires for each of our families at pre-school and then email each family a link to their own questionnaire which they could then complete online.

I took a little break to catch up on some admin tasks as there was the usual banking to do as well as updates to our online learning journal system. There was also the weekly newsletter to generate, and schedule for distribution over the weekend, along with the corresponding posts on our website, social media and learning journal.

Then it was time to send out the next lot of emails; this time it was the next set of invoices for all our families. So it was a productive day, just one where I seemed glued to the laptop.

I had intended to stop by a local supermarket on the way home from work but as the weather had turned rather wet and quite chilly I decided to head straight home to warm up with a coffee. Once home and changed out of my work uniform I had a quick half hour to spare before I headed out the door again so I decided to do a quick bit of research on crowdfunding. We are hoping to organise something to raise some money for pre-school as due to the past 15 months of restrictions we have not been able to hold our usual fundraisers and are in need of raising some more pennies to keep us operating in the manner to which we prefer!

Then it was time to spend a couple of hours in the company of my lovely hairdresser, Kim. And once again she has done an amazing job, plus she is always a pleasure to spend time with and we enjoying putting the world to rights together!!

And with hair refreshed it was time to get home, see Molly and her fella as they had returned home after a week away, cook dinner and then settle down with a glass of red...and maybe some Star Wars TV by way of The Bad Batch (p.s. the jacket I'm wearing in the photo is an official Star Wars Kylo Ren jacket - I know I'm such a geek!).

Oh and I managed to get the little bit of supermarket shopping completed by sending Molly and her fella out this evening - win!

See you tomorrow, take care.
xx

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Day 456...off 'out, out'

Day 456...

Today was another day of two halves.

My morning was spent in work and my focus was getting some prep work done for the children who are leaving us in a few weeks time at the end of the academic year.

Due to the covid restrictions being extended we have made the decision not to hold a 'leavers celebration' but will instead have a fun final week with lots of games and treats. But we will still be giving out our traditional leavers gifts; each child will receive a book and a special scroll. The scroll has a poem which is personalised for each child with a photo of when they started and another of them now. My job this morning was to track down all the 'starting' photos and begin the creation of the individual scrolls. I was pleasantly surprised that this turned out to be a much easier job than I had been expecting.

I was also able to draft a questionnaire for all our parents, which is something we do about once a year as a way to ensure that we are doing everything to the best of our abilities as well as canvas for any suggestions. I just have to email these out now so that our parents can complete online and avoid the need for lots of photocopying!

The afternoon was then spent at home and my main job of the afternoon was to organise my butchers delivery that had turned up this morning; 5kg of chicken, 5kg steak mince, 10 burgers, 6 sirloin steaks, 4.5kg bacon and 100 sausages! Lots of splitting into meal sized portions and then putting away in the freezer, which always takes me longer than I think it should.

Despite the grey clouds it has still been a warm day today and I thought I would sit outside with a coffee for ten minutes and enjoy the outdoors, and the quiet and 'be at one with nature'. Okay I may be being a little facetious but no sooner than I had sat down the local pigeons decided to let me know I was invading their territory. I'm not sure if they were squabbling with each other, or getting a little frisky, but my 'quiet coffee' was far from quiet and at times I thought they were trying to dive-bomb me. Eventually they seemed to calm down and it was nice to sit and enjoy the calm of the air. It had that eerie feeling this afternoon, that sense of a storm brewing when everything is overtly still and the air just seems to hang in anticipation of something to come.

And then it was time for me to get ready to go out...out! The team from work were all going out for a meal at a local restaurant, for no special reason other than we could. It was nice to be out and enjoying the surroundings of somewhere different and enjoying some lovely food. I managed to stay as low carb as I could by having an asparagus starter with fried egg and hollandaise sauce followed by steak with peppercorn sauce. The main course did come with some 'rustic fries' so while I left the majority I did have a couple of them but to be honest the steak was so nice and filling the fries were really not needed.

And then it was home and time for a cup of tea. Take care.
xx

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Day 455...Wednesday once more

Day 455...

Well, we have reached another Wednesday and another full day in work for me.

My morning was split between working the floor and carrying on with my usual admin tasks. We had a member of staff working with a speech and language therapist over zoom this morning so I was needed on the floor working directly with the children which is not what I usually get to do.

The afternoon was spent with my deputy manager as we went over the long term plan for the next academic year as well as discussing what we have left to do this year (5 weeks left). We also chatted about our leavers celebration that we would normally hold and how this year it would be different. We are constrained not only by the small numbers of leavers but also by the recently announced extension to the current covid restrictions.

Once home it was time to have a coffee and take five minutes to myself before jumping online to record an episode of the Disney Dream Girls podcast that will be released this coming weekend.

And while I was recording Simon decided to write a letter to our local MP about the current situation here in the UK. The fact that the promised emergence from lockdown on the 21st June has now been taken away from us and extended until the 19th July. And depending on who you believe this may or may not happen and it may well be that plans are afoot to instigate further lockdowns in the Autumn and Winter of this year.

It is so infuriating at the moment. I have friends in the US where it would appear that most states are now fully re-open and are doing so at a relatively quick pace. I follow all the Disney news and parks are lifting mask mandates, removing social distancing markers, getting rid of plexi-glass screening and are now scheduling nightly fireworks for the first time in over 15 months. Even in France they have announced that the mask mandate will be removed as from tomorrow and their curfew will be lifted on Sunday, 10 days earlier than planned....and yet here in the UK...

As I've said before this virus is not going anywhere we need to learn to live with it and take sensible precautions that we as individuals assess we need to do. Let us make our own risk assessment and let us get on with our lives and life them to the fullest extent possible.

Take care, see you tomorrow.
xx

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Day 454

Day 454...

Well it was the first working day of the week for me and it was just half a day.

A morning spent in work catching up on some admin bits and pieces, some banking as well as prepping all the invoices for July ready for emailing out later in the week.

The afternoon was spent at home although I did dip into a work email that needed a reply and a form completing. I also had chance to re-visit my photo scanning project that I'd started a couple of weeks ago. I had some photos that had been scanned but I'd not yet had chance to update the data for each of them. So I found half an hour to rename them all with either the correct date or an estimate so that hopefully they will all run in order.

I had a late afternoon beauticians appointment but I was back home for when Simon finished work. As the 'gym' is out of action because of the garage re-organisation that is under way, we decided to go for a walk instead. It has been another beautiful day and we managed just under two miles in 40 minutes. Although we really enjoyed the walk there was a downside...it triggered Simon's hay fever and he spent the next hour with red eyes, itchy skin and a streaming nose. Thank goodness for the power of antihistamines!

Well, that's where I'm going to leave it tonight.

Take care.
xx

Monday, 14 June 2021

Busy Monday

Day 453...

So our first job of the day was to collect the weekly grocery shopping and then when we got it all home to sort it out between what was ours, what was my dad's and the bits I'd bought on behalf of pre-school.

While we had a quick coffee Simon did a little online research as we are thinking about laying a floor in the garage to keep it as dust free and as easy to keep clean as possible. This will help Simon with his prop making as well as making it a nicer place to be for our home gym.

But with that done we jumped in the car and had a quick stop by my dad's house to drop off his shopping and make sure that he was doing okay. Then we headed off to a local bathroom showroom to talk all things bathroom! 

We have a very dodgy shower that is constantly leaking and despite thinking we had found the problem, numerous times, it is still leaking and we also have a basin with a rather large crack that needs replacing. But having spoken to the company a week ago we have decided that replacing just those bits will cause just as much work as having the whole bathroom refitted. So after much deliberation we have decided to do just that! Today we were able to go over all the different fittings that we want and schedule an installation date of early September. And I have to say I am rather excited by it all and I think it will look very swish and modern when it is all done.

Back home and with a quick stop for lunch we headed out to the garage to carry on with painting our garage walls. We have made good progress and despite having to pop out for more paint we have almost finished; we just have a small section to finish off. The only disappointing thing has been that we were due a delivery of the storage cupboards we'd ordered but nothing has arrived. The delivery should have happened on Friday but didn't and got pushed to today but as I type nothing has arrived!

And then we rounded out the day with the confirmation that our lockdown will not now end on the 21st June but has been extended four weeks until the 19th July - WTF! Why? I really don't understand. We are in the warmer weather and it is known that it is a seasonal virus and will naturally not be as prevalent at the moment. We have daily deaths and hospitalisations as low as they are ever likely to be, the NHS is not overrun and we need to get our freedoms and lives back. There are other countries, and lots of states in the US, that are back to 'normal' and have seen no great effect on their numbers. Places like Sweden have never had the strict measures that we have had and have had no worse an outcome, in fact their economy has not suffered as much so you could argue they have done better. 

We now have small and medium sized businesses on the brink of collapse, waiting lists for operations at an all time high, missed or delayed diagnosis of horrible conditions, rising abuse figures, mental health problems on the increase and I could go on. We need to accept that this is another disease that we have to learn to live with, that we have to take care of ourselves, take sensible precautions (as we should anyway) and get our lives back, get our freedoms back and be able to live again.

Take care, see you tomorrow.
xx

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Day 452...Sunday

Day 452...

And we have a Sunday.

My first job, as usual, was to update my online grocery shop ready for collection tomorrow morning. It was then time to wave Molly and her fella on their way as they are spending this next week at his house which is about three hours away.

We then had the very glamorous job of taking the car full of rubbish from yesterday's garage clear out to our local recycling centre. And with the car emptied it was back home to start filling it up with more rubbish!

Our afternoon was spent mainly in the garage clearing out yet more stuff and moving things that hadn't been moved in years! We moved the freezer and binned the wood that it had been sitting on and replaced it with some newer pieces that would give a little more air flow around it. Once we'd moved the freezer and the remaining shelf unit we decided to repaint the garage walls. We had picked up some white paint on the way home and in a couple of hours have managed to paint the back wall and about a third of the side walls. Still some way to go but it is looking better already and hopefully when our new storage cupboards arrive we will have a much smarter, tidier and organised garage.

My Sunday was rounded out with our Disney Dream Girls Disney quiz via Zoom and as I set half of the questions this week (Marvel focused with help from Simon) it did mean that next week's questions will be set by someone else.

And that's where I'm going to leave it for today. Time for some drag race on the telly, feet up, wine and chocolate.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Sorting Out Saturday

Day 451...

And the weekend has arrived.

After breakfast Simon took Molly out for another drive to make the most of the insurance she had paid for as it ran out at lunchtime today. It was the first time Simon had taken her out in a few days and he really noticed how much she has come on and how confident and instinctive she is now driving.

Next on the agenda was to pay a visit to the house we rent out to fix the kitchen sink tap. We had replaced the washers a few weeks back but it still wasn't right so we had bought a new tap to replace. Unfortunately, the connections to the pipes were not the same so we couldn't do what we had thought would be an easy job. Instead we had to place a call with a plumber we know to come out and do the work for us.

On the way home we decided to stop by a local coffee shop for a couple of take-out coffees. This is the cafe that we would walk to most Saturdays prior to things opening back up and we wanted to stop by and say hello. Chatting to the owner they seem to be doing okay and are as busy as they can be with the current restrictions in place.

Back home we decided that this afternoons job was to tackle the garage. And by tackle the garage I mean have a good sort out and create some space ready for the new plastic storage cupboards that are due any day now. By the time we had finished early evening we had removed and demolished an old wardrobe that we had been using as storage as well as three quarters of a shelving unit. Suffice to say we now have the room for the new storage and a garage floor full of items that will need a new home once the storage arrives. A dusty and sweaty afternoon but one which was very productive.

And to finish the day I made low carb garlic bread and low carb naan bread to go with an Indian chicken stir-fry. Healthy options and very yummy...well there was none left so I presume it was liked by all!

Take care.
xx

Friday, 11 June 2021

Friday Fun!

Day 450...

And we have reached the end of the working week.

My day was spent in work all day. I had a fair bit of admin to catch up on as well as more prep work for another new starter who starts with us next week. So it was a pretty productive and straight forward sort of day.

Once home and with a coffee inside me it was time to take Molly out for another drive. We stuck to our standard route with a slight deviation to the latter part. We had to contend with 'tea-time' traffic, buses, parked cars, a van stopping to pick up diversion road signs and a paramedic vehicle with sirens going! But Molls did brilliantly and I can tell how much more instinctive her driving is becoming.

Home again and it was time for another coffee and a little time to stop, check my own emails (okay I checked work emails as well!) and then start cooking dinner.

Molly's fella has arrived this evening and they have lots of plans for the weekend before they go to his house for the coming week.

And then social media this evening is rife with the news that our coming out of lockdown on 21st June is looking extremely, highly unlikely and that the date could now be 19th July - what? We have hospitality and other small business all on the brink of collapse. Small and medium sized businesses are just about to start re-paying the loans that they were given to see them through lockdown...how can they do that if they cannot open fully? We have deaths with a positive covid test at less than 10 a day...do they know how many people die each day normally? Do they know that we have hundreds of deaths from cancer and heart conditions each and every day yet we don't stop living our lives because of that! 

We need to start living life as we have always done, we need to ditch the masks and the social distancing and get back to what we used to do...enjoying ourselves!!

Take care and see you tomorrow.
xx

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Day 449

Day 449...

Well I forgot to mention at the end of yesterday's post that we were getting ready to watch the latest Marvel series on Disney +; Loki. And I have to say it has started brilliantly, although I may be a bit biased as I think Tom Hiddleston is great!!

But back to today and this morning was spent in work and I felt like I managed to get a lot of things done. Along with the usual admin and banking update I also had some prep work to complete ahead of a new starter next week.

On my way home I popped by a local supermarket to pick up a few things we were short on. A local business has agreed to put up a banner advertising pre-school and I saw it for the first time today and I have to say it looked fabulous (helps when I have someone arty in the family to design this for me!!).

Once home and shopping packed away it was time to take Molly out for another drive and yet again she did really well, although it was slightly annoying having to sit at the railway crossing and wait for three trains to go through before we could be on our way.

Back home again and I took a few minutes to sit outside and enjoy a coffee before tackling the mundane task of the ironing. I also dipped into some work emails as I was chatting with a parent about a child needing a place with us and I like to respond to these emails as quickly as I can.

I then had some emails of mine own to go back and forth with as we are hoping to revamp our bathroom and sort out our never ending problematic shower. Thankfully I have found a local company who, so far, have responded promptly to all my questions, have visited us to assess and measure up and have provided quotes quickly and efficiently. So I have now booked in to go see their showroom next week so we can start the process of getting our bathroom sorted once and for all.

The day ended with a little home gym workout and while Simon and Molly lifted the heavy stuff I stuck to my usual bodyweight exercises and a few kettlebell ones too.

Take care and see you tomorrow.
xx

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Middle of the Week

Day 448...

Another day and a full day in work today.

My morning was spent catching up on some of my admin tasks that I wasn't able to get done yesterday along with updating the banking for the first time in a few days. This then led to issuing a few emails and collating data together as we start to look towards the new academic year starting in September.

The afternoon was chance for myself and my deputy to go over the data for September as we need to plan our sessions and look at the staffing required. We also have a parent questionnaire to issue, our usual termly newsletter to get out and plans for our 'leavers' to solidify.

Once home I carried on with a little more pre-school work as I'd had a few emails pop up in my inbox from parents looking for places at pre-school and I always like to respond as quickly as I can. And before I knew it the day was done and it was time to drive Molly to and from her kickboxing class.

Another day, another Wednesday.

Take care.
xx

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Day 447...Tuesday

Day 447...

Today I was back at work after a weeks holiday and my main job of the morning was that of technical support as one of my staff had some training to complete online,via 'Teams', for the first time.

I set everything up and powered on the laptop and all looked fine but when I tried to access my email or open up a web page the laptop did nothing, it just sat there...thinking about it. This was not what I wanted, or needed, and resulted in having to force it to shut down restart while grabbing an old, spare, laptop as back-up in case I couldn't get it working. Thankfully, after much grumbling from yours truly, I managed...somehow...to get it up and working and logged onto the course with plenty of time to spare - phew!

This has been one benefit from the past 15 months of lockdown is the transfer of in-person courses to courses delivered virtually. It means that the course can still be delivered; it can be delivered to more people than would normally attend an in-person event which means a wider audience can be reached at once; the attendee does not have to travel anywhere; the attendee can 'attend' the course in the comfort of their own surroundings and on this occasion have a decent cup of tea brought to them by my good self!

My morning was spent with my staff and the children outside in the sunshine while being on stand-by should any technical difficulties be encountered, which thankfully there weren't. 

My afternoon was then spent at home, and after a little pre-school work of checking emails and updating a couple of things, I was able to take Molly out for another drive. Her skills are definitely improving as she is reacting much more instinctively to the road around her and I am so proud of how she is getting on. Back home and it was time for coffee outside in the sunshine before a little prep work ahead of podcast recording later on.

It was lovely, as it always is, to jump online with my podcast co-host Michelle, to record a show for this coming weekend. We chatted some Disney history, we spoke about the new Avengers Campus at Disneyland and then we looked forward to the upcoming Disney + series 'Behind the Attraction' which looks fascinating and will hopefully appeal to my inner Disney geek.

And that rounded out this Tuesday, a pretty productive day all in all.

Take care, see you tomorrow.
xx

Monday, 7 June 2021

Day 446

Day 446...

Monday has rolled around again and while today is the start of the last term of the academic year it is still my non-working day of the week.

So the morning started with the usual grocery shop collection and once that had been put away I played taxi service for my dad. He had a follow-up appointment at the doctors and wanted to pop by the library afterwards. Two weeks ago at his first appointment he had been prescribed a ton of steroids to combat an extreme allergic reaction to, we think, his second covid vaccine. Thankfully, they have done the trick and the doctor was really pleased with the improvement and my dad said it is the best he has felt for months...makes me wonder whether he'd had a reaction to the first jab as well but just not as severe as to the second one...who knows?!

Although in these times where we are still being told to only visit your GP in person if absolutely necessary I do find it rather ironic that my dad had to wait over 45 minutes to be seen. He saw the GP arrive at the surgery five minutes after his appointment time and then had to wait for three other patients to be seen first, and that didn't include the mum and young child who left saying they couldn't wait any longer! So my dad had to spend 45 minutes in an overcrowded (by covid secure guidelines) waiting room because the GP wasn't even in the building for his first appointment...really?! 

After lunch we made a start on the mammoth task of tidying our garage. This space not only serves as somewhere to park the car but it is also Simon's workshop for prop building and a space for our home gym. It is long overdue a tidy and we only just scratched the surface today. In fact we spent a chunk of time measuring up the available space so that we can replace the open shelving with some enclosed cupboards. One of the side effects of Simon's prop building is that there is a lot of sanding involved which in turn means everything sitting on open shelves get's dusty and dirty very quickly. So with measurements taken we then jumped online and found the ideal solution; plastic garden storage cupboards which have now been ordered and should be with us in a couple of weeks.

We have also made some progress with our leaky shower problem in that we have had a bathroom fitter out today who has taken measurements and has gone away to come up with a solution for us.

Molly has had another 'proper' driving lesson today and has been learning how to parallel park and by all accounts we haven't taught her anything that we shouldn't have over the past week!

And that was Monday.

Take care.
xx

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Day 445

Day 445...

Well we started the day very slowly and were in no rush to be up and about. I think we were both catching up on previous lost nights sleep, although mine hadn't been great it was better than it had been of late.

First job of the day saw Simon package up a few prop pieces and calculate the relevant post and packaging costs. With payment received for one of the parcels we were able to drop it off at our local post office when we headed out for a few hours.

We had decided to drive into Nottingham for a little wander about, somewhere different to go for a walk and spend time together. We managed just over three miles and were able to enjoy a coffee as we walked and took in the city. It can be hard to remember that we are still in a 'lockdown' of sorts when wandering around and people appear to be going about as 'normal'. But then you spot the masks and the queues to get into shops; the need to wear a mask when going inside anywhere and then to be faced with having to 'check-in' if you choose to sit-in to eat or drink...assuming you can get in somewhere. On the surface the world looks fine it's only when you scratch that you see all the constraints.

Back home and Simon took Molly out for a drive while I stayed home and updated our online grocery order ready for collection tomorrow. I also made some more progress on cataloging the photos that I had managed to scan in over the last couple of days and once they were done I started on scanning the next lot which was the remainder of 1989!

The day was finished off with our Disney Dream Girls Disney quiz and this week the questions had been set by Deborah in Canada and were all on the brilliant TV series The Mandalorian...and I won! So I now have the job of setting questions for next weeks quiz.

And there we have the weekend done and my week off from work has come to an end.

Take care.
xx

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Day 444

Day 444...

Well, Saturday morning rolled around after a particularly bad nights sleep. I struggled to get to sleep because I couldn't get warm which I think was probably down to the second covid jab I had yesterday. And then to rub salt into the wound I started with hot sweats; which is pretty much the norm at the moment.

When morning came around I felt knackered and generally a bit 'off', and my back was playing me up as well! What a great start to the day! So first job of the morning was to take some paracetamol which seemed, eventually, to do the trick. I think my back was bothering me from standing in an awkward position over the last few days when I've been scanning in our old photos; I've managed to find the best lit position and figured out how to avoid reflections but I think in doing so I've held myself in one position which has resulted in a stiff and painful back today.

But we still had things to do today and first job was to take Molly to her guitar lesson which meant we were able to enjoy a coffee from the nearest drive thru'. We are avoiding, where we can, having to go into places that mean having to 'check-in'. Neither of us have, or want, the NHS track & trace app on our phones as we really don't want any of our personal data being compromised. Plus when I did install it last year I would get random notifications that when I went to check what they were they would disappear...so my faith in its effectiveness is not all that great.

After a spot of lunch we embarked on the big job of the day which was to re-fit three doors. Last week we had the finishing touches to our wooden floor with the fitting of door trims which meant that the doors needed trimming so that they would close over the door trim properly.

The first door was taken down, bottom trimmed and re-hung perfectly first time. The second door needed three attempts to get the right amount trimmed off before it too could be re-hung. The third door was a little more tricky as we knew the floor ran at a slight angle and the door would need to be cut to match the angle. But we were pleasantly surprised that by our second attempt the door was re-hung and fitted great, but the only problem was that as we closed it we found we couldn't re-open it. Simon had to take the handle, and all the mechanism, off to be able to re-open the door and discover that the mechanism inside had simply snapped into three pieces.

So it was off to a local DIY store to purchase the parts we needed, and as we'd not had chance to take Molly out for a drive today we asked her to take us there. This involved a new route, driving along a dual carriageway, traffic lights, roundabouts, awkward right turns and a car park!  But she did brilliantly and was even able to practice a little more reversing once we arrived home.

And with the right part installed we now have three newly fitted doors, that are all in working order and actually fit better than they did before; a good afternoons work!

In between all of that I have been able to update the information held for the photos that I have scanned in so far. We are going through them and making sure we have an approximate date for each of them and any other details we may have. Thankfully I was pretty good at writing on the back of photos often saying where they were taken, when and who was in them.

Simon has also finished off a few pieces for helmet orders that he has had in; just some simple molding and sanding of a few smaller parts.

Phew, must be time for a glass of wine and feet up.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Friday, 4 June 2021

Day 443...a Friday

Day 443...

Well it was another night of rubbish sleep and any attempt of a lie in this morning was ruined by a neighbour mowing their lawn, with a noisy petrol lawn mower, at 7.45am!! Why?!!

But the day after that has been a quiet and steady one. I nipped out mid-morning to my local supermarket to just pick up a handful of things we were running low on. Back home I caught up on a few work emails and a little work admin just to stay ahead of the game for when I'm back in work next week.

As lunchtime came around Simon and I headed out to get our second covid vaccine jabs. We're hoping that we don't suffer any side affects as there is so much out there about some pretty horrific issues that some people have suffered. After our first jab I had a sore arm for a couple of days but Simon was knocked off his feet for 24 hours. So far we both have sore arms but only time will tell.

Back at home and I started scanning some more of our old photographs I have now completed 1988 and later this afternoon started on 1989.

Mid-afternoon I took Molly out for another drive and again she is doing really well and I even had her doing some reversing when we got home!

The remainder of my afternoon was spent working my way through photos from 1989...this was the year we got married and it was interesting to see what we had been up to either side of our wedding.

And before I knew it that was Friday...time for a glass of something and to start the weekend.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Meet-Up & Shopping

Day 442...

So after another crappy nights sleep it was up early-ish to set off to meet my very good friend, and podcast co-host, Michelle for a day of shopping.

Michelle lives about 90 miles away from me and although we talk all the time we have not been able to see each other since August of last year. So with us both working in education, and both being on our respective 'half term' breaks, we grabbed the opportunity to meet up.

Halfway between us is the city of Sheffield and luckily for us they have a giant out-of-town shopping mall called Meadowhall. So me and Molly jumped in the car and headed north for some much needed retail therapy.

We had a lovely time just catching up while we shopped. We visited the Disney Store (of course!)...

...as well as few other favourites, and managed to come away with shorts, jeans, t-shirts, tops and shoes between the three of us. We stopped for a coffee, at Michelle's favourite coffee retailer, and simply enjoyed being out and about doing something close to normal.

Well, I say normal, but of course we had to wear masks, there was a one-way system around the mall and all the shops had 'red' or 'green' signals outside to indicate whether you could enter or not. Some shops and services even had queue areas into the walkway areas to ensure that there was no over crowding. 

So there we sat in the middle of one of the walkways at our coffee shop of choice, without masks while everyone around us wandered about with masks on - how ridiculous! As we walked around with our masks on we could smell the coffee, we could smell the cookies, we could smell the donuts and we could smell the perfume oozing out of Lush (a beauty product retailer) as normal...so if we could smell all of that through our masks...exactly what are the masks protecting us from? Aerosols are smaller than the smells we can detect so it's common sense that if we can smell something then the aerosols can get through as well...isn't it common sense?? 

Now some of the changes I do actually quite like. The one-way system around the mall definitely made walking around a lot easier and the 'social distancing' between tables at the coffee shop was greatly appreciated; I don't want to be sat overtly close to people I don't know at the best of times (covid or no covid) so having a bit of extra space was to my liking!

After a few hours of shopping it was time to head home so we said our goodbyes to Michelle and gave her a big hug with the promise to meet up sooner rather than later!

Once home it was time to have a coffee and chill for a few minutes before scanning more photographs from our past with the Photomyne app. I have now managed to work my way through our summer holidays of 1988!

Late afternoon I took Molly out for another drive and we did the same route we have done the past few days. I have to say she is doing really well and, as I said to her when we arrived home, today was probably the most comfortable that I have felt with her driving. Her skill set is really improving and I am so very proud of her.

While Molly and I went for a drive Simon headed down 'our gym' and we were then able to call an end to our day...a very productive day.

Here's to good friends, meet-ups, shopping and coffee - simply pleasures that mean so much.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Day 441

Day 441...

Well after another night of rubbish sleep - thanks menopause! - we were a little late getting moving this morning but once up and about it turned into a busy and productive day.

First job of the day was to take Molly out for another drive. As she has insurance paid for a couple of weeks we are aiming to get her out and about at least once a day. We have found a route of around 15 miles which provides her with lots of different circumstances; left turns, right turns, parked cars, traffic lights, roundabouts, a railway crossing, busy roads and quieter roads and we even had roadworks today.

Back home I decided to do a little pre-school work to get ahead of myself so that when I'm back in work next week I can hit the ground running, so to speak. So I managed to write two newsletters, schedule emails and social media posts as well as completing all the necessary administration for two children who will be starting with us next week.

After a spot of lunch it was time to get the mountain of ironing sorted; I had hoped to get it done earlier in the day while it was a bit cooler but as it was it wasn't too bad and it is always a lovely feeling to see an empty basket. Not that it will stay empty for long!

Molly has spent a good part of her day taking photographs of some of her latest artwork that will be for sale on her Etsy store. She has created some lino prints and having printed them earlier in the week she was now photographing them ready for listing them. This did mean the dining table turned into a photography studio for a few hours but it did mean that I could borrow her light boxes later on for my own photography project!

The majority of my afternoon and early evening was spent using an app called Photomyne to scan our old photos and create a digital version of them. Simon had used the app last year to scan in around 3000 photos from his parents so we have decided to do the same with ours to cut down on the amount of storage space that photo albums take up. So I started at a random point and have managed to scan in around 60 photos from 1988! Once they'd been scanned it was a case of uploading them and then editing each photo with as much information as I could. Thankfully I used to write on the back of the photos any pertinent information; dates, places and even names of people...I just hope that continues as I wade through all the photos we have. I have from 1985 up to around the early 2000's I would think...wish me luck as I think this may take some time!

Take care and see you tomorrow.
xx

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Check-Up Tuesday

Day 440...

Well first thing this morning I was up and out as I had an appointment for my eye test...it was actually due late last year but with everything cracking off I'd just not gotten around to booking one in.

As it was everything checked out great. I was told I have great 20:20 vision, my eyes are healthy and my prescription for reading has hardly changed and my distance vision has even improved a little. So with a clean bill of health I decided to keep to the glasses I have now and headed home.

I then ended up trying to research some local bathroom fitters as we have a leaky shower that we are desperate to get put right, or replaced. A couple of enquiries that I'd made over the weekend had proved unsuccessful with one company saying they would only handle a complete bathroom re-fit and so declined our business...whatever!

Around lunchtime I took Molly out for another drive and again she is doing really well. It is so hard to remember what is was like to learn to drive and I now have a new found respect for driving instructors and I will attempt to be a little more patient with learner drivers in the future. As I said to Molly later there is a fine line between me 'telling her what to do' and 'telling her how to do something'.

My afternoon was then spent catching-up with the pre-school accounts for the last half term. Thankfully the accounts balanced straight away but when I came to input everything into my spreadsheet it just wouldn't agree...so frustrating!

But I had to stop halfway through as we, as a family, had a dentist appointment for our usual check-up. We should have had this check-up last August but as the country was just starting to re-open we were asked if we could delay it by six months which we did. Six months later and our appointment was moved by the dentist due to 'unforeseen circumstances' but the date which they had given us didn't work for all of us so it had been moved until today. But we all checked out okay, although it was interesting to note that while normally we would have been offered the option to have our teeth cleaned this did not happen today, which I can only presume is because of the current covid secure requirements!

Back home again and it was back at the accounts which thankfully I was able to reconcile with just a little investigation which means the biggest chunk of my pre-school work for this week has been completed - whoop!

It was then time to head down the 'gym' to finish our day and while Simon and Molly lifted the heavy weights I kept to my body-weight exercises and a few kettle bell ones.

Take care out there.
xx