Tuesday 31 August 2021

Day 531

Day 531...

Today both Simon and Ethan were back at work, both working from home. Simon has worked from home for the past seven or so years so no change for him but Ethan was sent home to work in March 2020 and he is still at home.

To be fair the team Ethan works with has grown over the last 16 months or so and so part of the reason for still working at home is that their old office is no longer big enough! They are hoping to be in a new office space soon, although the original July/August date has now moved to 'more likely November'!

Molly is away this week at her fella's house which means she is three hours away on the south coast and is making the most of slightly better weather there and has been able to try a little canoeing as well as getting to go in the sea.

My day started with a visit to my local ASDA supermarket to meet their Community Champion, Jon, who had a trolley full of goodies for me to collect on behalf of pre-school. We will be taking part in a local carnival and needed supplies for our stall so Jon has very kindly provided us with juice cartons, sweets and tombola prizes.

Back home and it was time to figure out what to do today. So in between keeping the coffee machine going and loading the washing machine I had a chunk of filing to do which in turn led me to tidying and reorganising a cupboard. It resulted in having a good sort through including shredding a mountain of old paperwork that had built up without me really realising. But by time I'd finished everything was put away, and in a much better organised fashion.

Just before Simon broke for lunch I received a call from the garage where we bought our cars from wanting to know if we'd like to upgrade. Well...my answer was of course we would but as we no longer need both cars and ideally would like to downgrade to just one car that I didn't think they would be able to offer us a good enough, and cost effective, 'deal'. But they seem to think they can make us an offer we can't refuse...only time will tell!

At lunchtime we took a walk out in slightly damp weather managing 2.5 miles in 44 minutes; I think the pace was a bit quicker today probably due to the dampness! As we got closer to home it did start to rain a little more and we cursed not bringing our umbrellas with us but thankfully we didn't get too wet.

My afternoon was spent finishing my paperwork sort through. I then took photographs of our cars for the garage so they could give us a fair price (they had wanted me to drive over there but I really couldn't be bothered to spend the time when there is no guarantee that they could even offer us something affordable!) Next I did my neighbourly duty and moved all the bins for my neighbours after they had been emptied. And then I checked pre-school's email and ended up doing a few work tasks but I tried to keep it to a minimum. 

I then had some more of our old photographs to update, these are from our second visit to Orlando back in 1992. I'd scanned about 70 photos a few days ago that needed to be sorted on my laptop and then, for each photo, updating the information held for each with dates, times and places. And once again because I've kept old park maps and timetables, and along with a little googling, I've been able to get some pretty accurate information.

Our day was rounded out with a gym session and once more it was bodyweight exercises, battle ropes and some weights.

See you tomorrow.

Monday 30 August 2021

Day 530

Day 530...

Today has been a bank holiday Monday and that means that everyone in this house has had the day off work. For Simon and I that is no different to normal as we do not work Mondays anyway!

But as the rest of the house...well Ethan that is as Molly is away at her fella's house this week...had no work today we took the opportunity to have a well needed 'lie-in' and took our time getting up and about. So much so that breakfast was more like brunch!

We then approached the rest of the day in a very relaxed and laid back manner. We enjoyed a couple of coffees while we 'read the papers' or otherwise known as perusing social medias and the like on our phones before heading out for a walk around our local area.

Today has been a dry day but a grey day which actually was pretty good for talking a walk out. We managed a 3.6 mile circle in around an hour and 18 minutes. We stopped by our local alpaca farm and saw the new baby alpaca's along with three new goats. We chatted with a few other walkers and gave directions to the aforementioned alpacas. We stopped and watched the local farmer as he bailed the recently cut crops; such an effective, yet simple, piece of machinery that was quite mesmerising to watch.

Back home and the sun began to shine so we took the time to sit outside and enjoy the garden along with a couple of cups of coffee. I also decided to cut back a couple of plants that were starting to overgrow the pathway as I knew we had some space in our garden rubbish bin that is due for collection tomorrow.

As the weather temperature started to get a little chilly we headed inside and that's when I remembered I'd got a little online shopping to complete as not only had I seen something in a sale that I liked but I'd also got a code for a discount. Well, I bought a blouse, a skirt and a top and took advantage of each item being in the 'sale' and free delivery and an extra 20% discount - win! 

At that point I thought I'd better step away from the laptop and cook some dinner instead; keto chicken parmesan!

And now it's time to drink some wine, maybe some dark chocolate and relax for the evening.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday 29 August 2021

Day 529

Day 529...

And another Sunday has rolled around.

And as has become the norm our first job of the day was to collect our weekly grocery shop. We have moved our collection day to a Sunday as it makes us get up and about a little earlier than we would do so that we get to make the most of the day.

After the shopping was put away and a coffee had been drunk we headed out into the garden to tidy up our courtyard garden. We had debated laying some artificial grass in this garden as well as a section of our back garden but the cost was just way too much for us. So we have decided to take a more cost effective approach and simply tidy each area and make them as low maintenance as possible.

A few weeks back we had removed a number of large plants and conifer trees from our courtyard garden which had left some big holes and some exposed roots. So todays job was to level out the garden and simply get rid of those pesky roots...easier said than done! The roots were extremely well established and due to the nature of the ground had grown sideways rather than downwards and proved rather tricky to get out.

This meant about four hours work, a pick-axe and numerous coffees in order to get out as much as we could to leave us with a level(ish) garden. We also pulled out a couple of smaller plants that had seen better days as well as cleared out the open wall that goes around the garden and was filled with numerous rockery type plants that had all seen way better days. The garden now looks much neater and as level as I think we're ever going to get it.

We now need to lay some heavy duty weed membrane and order some gravel to lay over it to finish the area off. We then need to figure out how to add some colour and some plants that won't really need any looking after. Neither of us are gardeners, we'd just like a nice garden to sit out in and enjoy. One idea is to get some pots and garden ornaments to enhance the two spaces that we have, so this is going to be a work-in-progress.

And there was Sunday.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday 28 August 2021

Day 528

Day 528...

Well this Saturday has turned out to be very civilised and a little bit arty!

After a relaxed start to the day we were musing about what to do when Simon remembered about an art exhibition that we were both interested in and so that became our focus for the day.

We headed into Nottingham and headed over to the Surface Gallery which is a non-profit arts collective and their current exhibition is based on 'street art'. Not only was the gallery full of eclectic art based on the principles of street art but it also expanded into the alleyway behind the building with some awesome graffiti artwork.

 ...and the outdoor space...

Just astounding that something can be created on such a large 'canvas' with so much detail. We spent a little while chatting with the staff and discovered a little more about the collective, how they are run and what they are hoping to achieve now that they are able to get back to 'in-person' exhibits. We duly signed up to their mailing list keen to see what they will be doing in the future.

We then had a little poke around a couple of shops looking for some Disney finds but didn't come across anything that was my style which meant it was time for coffee. A couple of coffees later and having put the world to rights we headed home.

Back home and it was time to get some make-up on and decide what to wear ready for friends wedding reception this evening...so rather than sit here typing I better get going!

See you tomorrow.

Friday 27 August 2021

Day 527

Day 527...

Well we have a Friday and I'm rather late writing this one today! Not because it's been an overly busy day just because it's fell that way.

This morning was taken up with a few work emails that needed replies as well as some personal ones that needed sorting. I then updated all the photos that I'd scanned in and downloaded to my laptop yesterday with information relating to the date, time and whereabouts.

It is proving to be an interesting exercise finding the information for these photos, especially as at the moment I am going through our very first visit to Walt Disney World. I am now thanking my past self for saving all the park maps and guidebooks so that I can make sure I have the correct information relating to each photo...well as correct as I can make it.

When we were getting ready for our first visit to Walt Disney World I bought a book called 'Birnbaum's Walt Disney World' and found it to be a fascinating source of information and opened me up to the stories behind the parks and the attractions. It has now become a tradition that each year we visit we buy the latest 'Birnbaum'. So when cataloging all these photos I turned to my copies of 'Birnbaum's' and that's when I remembered that I no longer possessed the 1991 copy; I remember loaning it to someone but never getting it back. But the park maps, the subsequent year's edition and a little googling have proved to be extremely helpful when tracking down the exact details relating to the when and where the photos were taken. But because I was missing the 1991 copy I decided to see if I could find a copy online. My first instinct was to look at Ebay and whilst there were copies for sale they were all in the US and consequently the shipping was almost as much as the book itself! Most copies were being sold for between £15 and £25 (plus shipping) so I decided to do a 'google' and lo and behold I was able to track down a copy in the UK for just over £5 and free shipping!

We had our usual walk out at lunchtime, managing 2.4 miles in 46 minutes. And then my afternoon was taken up with a couple of work emails and more scanning of photographs. I have now scanned in all of our 1991 trip to Orlando and have started with our 1992 trip; I think I have scanned and edited around 150 (or more) photos today. Of those I still have about 90 that have been edited and uploaded but still need the data for each one inputting which I think will be a job for another day.

Later on this afternoon I got chance to chat with my very good friend, and podcast co-host, Michelle, who had just gotten off the Disney Magic cruise ship after a four night 'staycation'. It sounds like she has had a fabulous time and has enjoyed being able to get a little touch of the Disney magic into her life.

Molly's fella Dan arrived for the weekend earlier on today and they ventured into Nottingham for a look around. Molly came home with a Primark bag which can only mean one thing in this house...Disney! She also found a vintage store that was selling old Walt Disney World t-shirts...mmm...I might just have to pay Nottingham a visit!

The time seemed to fly this afternoon so quite late on I nipped out to a local supermarket to buy a few bits that we were running short on before getting home to cook dinner. Simon has been working late this evening as he wanted to get the piece of work he has been doing today all finished so I guess it's time to refresh my glass of red and call it a day!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 26 August 2021

Day 526

Day 526...

Today has been another quiet day and I don't know if I handle quiet days very well...I am so used to having things to do that to be faced with a day where I can do what I want is very strange and difficult for me to accept.

So this morning I decided to 'do my nails' which for me translates as a file and clear polish! I edited some of the photos that I had scanned yesterday before downloading them to my laptop; although I still have to go and add all the date and time information onto them. Then it was time to go to the hairdressers, and it was just a cut today. My hairdresser gets married in a week or so's time and is taking all of September off so I had booked in today for a cut to keep me going until the beginning of October when it will be ready for a bit of a colour refresh.

I arrived home right in the middle of Simon's lunch break so we headed straight back out the door to have a quick walk, managing 1.9 miles in just 35 minutes.

My afternoon saw me bake some keto sesame bread which I haven't done for a long while. I know for some people adopting a keto way of eating can be difficult as giving up bread can be a big deal. For me it has never really bothered me...occasionally the smell of toast can be tempting and I always used to enjoy a fruited loaf or teacake but since going keto I have always been disappointed when allowing myself a 'treat' of these types of bread so now I simply don't bother. But every now and then I will bake this sesame bread as it's a nice treat with some cream cheese or pate or simply just butter.

The rest of my afternoon was spent cleaning...see I told you I don't handle not having anything to do very well! So out came the hoover and the wipes and I got a couple of rooms done, in between a couple of coffee's to keep me going.

When Simon finished work for the day it was time to head down our gym and throw a few weights and ropes about for a short while. And after the gym workout I carried on hoovering...I know I'm mad!

Well I will sign off for tonight and see you tomorrow.

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Day 525

Day 525...

Well it has been another quiet day today, with not very much to report.

My morning was mainly taken up with ironing and sorting out laundry - whoop! Lunchtime rolled around and so Simon and I took our usual 2.4 miles walk out in a slightly slower than normal 49 minutes.

This afternoon Molly took over part of the kitchen as she carried on with the sanding part of her latest creations.

Some of Molly's work in progress!

I had a couple of work emails to respond to as well as couple of my own personal ones. I sat outside with a coffee reading through some work information to get it fresh in my mind for starting back at the end of next week.

And off and on throughout the day I have been scanning more photos...still working my way through our 1991 trip to Orlando and our first time visiting Walt Disney World. I have been very thankful that I kept park maps and time schedules as I have been able to give each photo details as to date taken, where and what was happening.

But before I knew it it was time to get Molly over to her kickboxing class, and as is the norm now, Molly drove us over there to get her daily driving practice in. And that is pretty much today's happenings...like I said really not very much to report at all.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Day 524

Day 524...

And we have a Tuesday and there's not going to be a lot to talk about today as it was another day attached to my laptop.

Having caught up on some pre-school work at the end of last week I was determined that today I would be able to finish off the few bits I'd got left so that I would have the remainder of my time off free of paperwork. And actually I have...lots of emails, lots of updating of records, a little banking and the writing of letters but I am pretty confident that I have managed to get it all done! No doubt I will still have emails to check and odd and sods to sort but all the major stuff is now done.

At lunchtime Simon and I took a walk out and despite the very grey skies it wasn't too bad out and we managed our usual 2.4 miles in 47 minutes. Mid-afternoon I got a phone call from the garage to say that my car was ready to collect following its service so we decided to nip out around 4pm to avoid the rush hour traffic.

Molly came with us to collect the car so that she could drive it home for us so that she got a little more practice under her belt. She had had a driving lesson with her instructor yesterday and so today was just chance to drive roads that she is likely to drive once her test is passed and to drive in busier, rush hour type traffic, which is not a bad thing to get used to.

Once home, and after a little more paperwork done, it was soon time to head down the gym and yet another session throwing the battle ropes around as well as a few weights!

And with that another day is done. See you tomorrow.

Monday 23 August 2021

Day 523

Day 523...

Monday once again and we were up and about relatively early as we had to drop Simon's car at the garage for it's annual service.

With that job done we headed home to figure out what the rest of the day had in store. Initially we thought about putting some items up for sale on Ebay but quickly realised it was more of a one person job and we really wanted to spend the day doing stuff together.

So our focus quickly turned into having a sort through a cupboard and some storage boxes instead. End result was a couple of bags of rubbish, two empty wicker storage baskets and a freshly reorganised cupboard. We then ventured outside to see if we could make use of the wicker baskets in the shed...which in turn got us talking about clearing the shed out...which then switched our focus to the garden! So the wicker baskets are now in the shed in case they can be used for something and Simon then demolished the two garden seats we had made a couple of years ago out of pallets as they were starting to collapse. Fast forward to one car full of wood and a trip to our local recycling centre!

After a spot of lunch Simon attacked the weeds in the garden with some weedkiller and Molly got the sander out to carry on with her latest creative endeavour. We then headed out in search of coffee and some quiet time while we waited for the garage to call to tell us to pick up Simon's car. So I spent some time writing and Simon spent his time drawing and two coffee's later it was time to collect the car.

Craftily we have my car also booked in for its service tomorrow at the same garage so as we collected Simon's car this afternoon we were able to leave mine in its place and will await the call to collect it sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Back home again and we had just enough time for a coffee before taking Molly over to her first kickboxing class of the week. While she did some fighting we fought our way around a surprisingly busy supermarket to pick up a handful of things. Although it was great to see the majority of shoppers were mask free and simply getting on with their lives as they would have done at any other time.

But there we have a Monday...now where's my glass of wine?!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday 22 August 2021

Day 522

Day 522...

We have reached yet another Sunday and yet another quiet day.

The day started with collecting the weekly grocery shop from our supermarket of choice and we timed it just right as the store colleague was in the process of putting it all in the lockers. We saved her a job and made our job of loading it into the car way much easier and quicker.

Back home and with the shopping all put away we were at a bit of a lose end and didn't really have anything planned for the day. We could have found 'jobs' to do around the house but neither of us were in the right frame of mind. So with the weather not looking too bad and in fact the sun was just starting to shine we headed off out to find somewhere for a walk.

We headed over to one of our favourite coffee shops knowing that there were places to walk nearby. Well the closer we got to our intended destination the sun disappeared, the clouds got grey and then it started to rain. But we carried on not knowing whether to call it off and head home but just as we parked up the rain stopped. So armed with umbrella's we decided to brave the British summer and set off on a walk. We followed a bridlepath until it kind of ran out but in the hour we were out not only had the rain stopped but the blue skies were returning and it actually got rather warm and I think we managed just over two miles.

We then headed home deciding to have coffee and a spot of lunch at home and were able to enjoy the sunshine sat at home for about ten minutes before the rain came!

The rest of the afternoon was spent with a mixture of paying a few bills (whoop!) and scanning in some more of our old photos. I am still plodding my way through August of 1991 when we had our first visit to Orlando and Walt Disney World.

Kennedy Space Centre

Helicopter ride over Orlando, flying over the Hard Rock Cafe

Trying to look cool at Pleasure Island outside Mannequins nightclub
And while I've been messing with photos Simon has been getting creative with his digital art and has even generated a private commission!

And that has been today!

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 21 August 2021

Day 521...Kestival 2021

Day 521...

And today we were off to a festival...a food festival...a keto food festival in fact, called Kestival 2021.

About two weeks ago one of the low carb doctors that I follow, Dr Jen Unwin, mentioned on her Instagram page that she would be speaking at an upcoming keto festival so with my curiosity spiked I followed the link. I then discovered Keto Fitness Club a UK based group devoted to promoting all things keto and fitness and who were hosting a festival near Northampton in August.

Intrigued I visited their website to find out more and booked a couple of tickets for Simon and I to attend during the day element of the festival. We thought at just £10 a ticket each, and knowing that Jen Unwin and her husband Dr David Unwin would be speaking, we'd give it a go. Having bought the tickets I then began a further look into this Keto Fitness Club and discovered a family that wanted to spread the word about the keto lifestyle and subsequently I now follow them on various social media platforms as well as discovering their extensive range of recipes online.

Ordinarily whenever I look up any keto or low carb recipes online I invariably get pointed to US sites with US ingredients and US measurements which is not only confusing but very frustrating. The only website that I have found that I go back to again and again, and in fact am now a member of, is Diet Doctor because not only is there a mountain of easy to understand information but all their recipes are in both US and metric measurements and with links to 'translate' ingredients that for some reason go by different names in the UK and US!.

But with Keto Fitness Club I have found somewhere that talks my language...literally! All the right names for things and all the measurements that I understand and all with handy hints as to which supermarkets or brands to go for that support a keto lifestyle the best. 

So just a 55 minute car journey away we found ourselves spending the day in a very large marquee (thanks to the great British weather being a tad on the wet side) chatting with like minded others, watching cookery presentations, perusing the stalls and eating some fabulous keto food. 

On arrival, just as we were checking-in, I looked over and saw Dr Jen Unwin who waved at me, smiled and asked how we were...the last (and only time) I have met Jen was two years ago at a festival she helped organise called Real Food Rocks...totally amazed that she remembered us. We later got to speak with her and her husband David, who also remembered us!!

We tried some cacao tea (iced) which was rather nice and refreshing; we had a little demo of some essential oils - peppermint and wild orange - which I can still smell on my hands!; we discovered a way of making keto crepes using bamboo flour and then there was food!

Me and iced cacao tea!
Included with the £10 ticket was a 'food token', not sure what to expect we ventured off to find what was on offer. Thinking we would have to choose one thing but no it was a buffet where we could try as much or as little as we wanted...

...we had burger, sausage, tandoori chicken, pulled pork, falafel, salad and coleslaw and it was all extremely yummy and of course all keto friendly. It was so great to be out and not have to worry about finding something on the menu that is anywhere close to being keto.

We then watched a great food presentation by a chef called 'The Spice Guy' who made three very simple and tasty dishes in about thirty minutes. Not only did he cook up some great food but he was funny and engaging to watch.

Later in the afternoon we found ourselves chatting with a young couple about all things keto and low carb and how best to manage that with a young family. We also were able to listen to both Jen and David Unwin speak and answer questions.

Dr David Unwin in full flow
We had a great day and didn't let the weather get in the way. We had a little break in the rain which meant we could sit outside to eat our lunch but the event was so well organised that the rain didn't stop them from doing everything they wanted; a great example of why having a 'rainy day plan' is essential.

We have had a lovely day, that felt more 'normal' than anything we have done for a long while. And are rounding it out with homemade keto pizza which seems to have become our Saturday night go-to meal!

See you all tomorrow.

Friday 20 August 2021

Day 520

Day 520...

Friday rolled around once more and it turned out to be a busy day.

I had an appointment in Derby this morning so I used the opportunity to give Molly a little more driving experience by getting her to drive us in and out of the city centre; and yet again she managed it all really well.

We took the opportunity of being in Derby to do a little shopping which included nipping into the Disney store. All UK Disney stores are either closed or in the process of closing and this store is due to close on Monday so it seemed only right that we had a look round. Sadly this store had not long relocated into the main shopping centre and although the shelves were low on stock it was still one of the most varied selection of offerings I'd seen in a Disney store for a while. I couldn't resist picking this pin up...

...it reminded me of a t-shirt I had bought on one of our first trips to Disneyland Paris many years ago that had the same three symbols, and that I wore to death! The sad thing is with all the UK stores closing, except London, this could very well be my last in-store Disney purchase ever!

Back home and it was time for a coffee and to settle down with the laptop to see just how much pre-school paperwork I could get completed by the end of the day. I had hopes that I could get everything done today so that the next couple of weeks could be pre-school free before we start back at the beginning of September. I did pretty well and although I have a few things left to do I am happy with what I achieved today and am confident that a few hours next week should see it all done.

We also had our front door completed today...finally! There had been some confusion over one of the panels and so we had been waiting for the correct panel to get fitted for a fair few weeks and had even waited in all last Friday for the job to get done but no-one had turned up. Thankfully someone did arrive today and not only did he fit the panel but he also sorted the teething problems that we'd been having with the french doors they'd installed. But all done now, all working great and looking good!

I also had a butchers delivery today and it was a rather large one; 5kg chicken, 5kg steak mince, 4.5kg bacon, 100 sausages, 10 burgers and some steaks. It must have taken about an hour to unpack it all, split it into meal sized portions and then put it all away in the freezer!

And there we have Friday, all done and a vodka and tonic is now in hand!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 19 August 2021

Day 519...Keyboard Day

Day 519...

Well today has turned out to be a day primarily stuck at the keyboard. I was determined to get all the remaining policies for pre-school updated and so once up and about it was just me and the laptop.

I had a break mid-morning as we had another company visit to quote us for some artificial grass. We have two areas that we would like laid with maintenance free artificial turf but it's turning out to not be as cheap as we were expecting. Although both companies that have quoted so far are quoting pretty similar prices so at least we know that we are being quoted fairly. But I think we may wait until next year as we have other more important projects around the house that we would like done first.

And then it was time for lunch and another walk out for Simon and I and today we were armed with umbrella's as the minute we stepped out the door it started to rain. Thankfully the rain stayed away until we were just a few minutes from home, after completing another 2.5 miles in 46 minutes.

And while my afternoon was spent attached to the laptop Molly was spending her time in the garage with resin and a sander. She is beginning to make some beautiful creations and really sussing out the approach she needs to take to get her ideas taking shape...and of course she has incorporated a little Disney in there too!

But by the end of the day I have managed to get all the new policies and procedures completed - woohoo! Although I still have a handful more that I need to go through; the ones I completed today were policies provided to us through our membership of the Early Years Alliance but we have a few more that we have created ourselves over the years. So I now need to go through these and make sure they are still relevant and that they reflect our current practice. I was also able to chat with a couple of new parents over email and confirm start dates for their little ones. In an ideal world I'd like to think that the few bits of admin that I need to get done before we return in September could be completed tomorrow but I think that may be wishful thinking!

And with that Simon finished work and we headed down our 'gym' for some weights and battle ropes workout! And all that we have left to do today is settle down to watch this weeks RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6....the game within a game...finally, we hope! (If you watch you will know what I am talking about!)

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Day 518...Mid-week boobs!

Day 518...

We have reached the middle of the week and today Molly and I had a mission this morning - it was bra check time!

Off we headed into Nottingham with Molly at the steering wheel and yet again, at only her second time driving into this relatively busy city, she did amazing. I'm not sure I would have been so confident to have done that at her age!

We headed over to our bra shop of choice; Bravissimo. We had tried last year to visit for a fitting but had been unable to get in and it has taken us a year to get back. Now, Bravissimo is targeted at us girls who are lucky enough to be blessed in the boob department. But I would advise any lady out there to go and get measured properly. I remember my first visit to Bravissimo at the advise of a friend, I went in as a 36C and came out as (I think) a 32E (or thereabouts). My bra size has changed again since then as in the intervening time I lost weight and so I am now the proud owner of a set of 28FF!!! Although, annoyingly, this means my choice can be somewhat limited. Most high street stores do not stock bras in a 28 fitting of any cup size, in fact a lot of your big named stores don't even stock size 30's!

Having gone through breast cancer a couple of years ago, for which I had a lumpectomy, I wanted to make sure that I was still wearing the correct size bra. As a result of the surgery my left boob is now smaller than my right and is actually more 'uplifted' than its partner! Good news is that my bra size is still correct which means that I can buy with confidence.

Molly was also overdue a size check and she was able to go down a chest size and up a cup size. She has over the last couple of years changed her shape, she has lost weight but more importantly her shape and size has changed. She has retained her muscle but has lost the excess fat and this change in bra size confirms that for her.

I would recommend all women to go and get their bra size checked as I think most would find that they are wearing the wrong size. I remember going from a 36C to a 32E and the feeling was amazing and at the same time very surprising! Get fitted ladies it will feel so much better.

Molly then drove us home and even parked the car in the garage which was a first for her!

The afternoon was started with a quick walk out as Simon broke for lunch, we managed 2.4 miles in about 46 minutes. After that I spent the remainder of the afternoon sat at the laptop going through the remainder of the new pre-school policies that I am having to update. I have 10 more to complete...nearly there!

And before I knew it it was time to cook dinner and stop for the day.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Day 517

Day 517...

Well after having a couple of weeks off work Simon was back to the grind today.

But working in education means that I am still officially on 'holiday'. This morning started with a couple of small jobs before I settled down to chat with my podcast buddy Michelle. We recorded an episode of our Disney Dream Girls podcast ready for this coming weekend as well as a bonus show for our Patreon supporters.

By the time we had finished Simon was almost at the end of his lunch break so we had a quick catch-up to see how our days were going. My afternoon was then spent doing some pre-school work...so much for being on 'holiday'! I'd been chatting yesterday with a new parent and so needed to get some information over to her today and I also wanted to get caught up on the banking and close the accounts for the academic year ending 31st July and get everything sorted for the new year ahead. I am still working my way through updating our policies and procedures in light of the new curriculum coming into effect in September and managed to get a few more completed today...but I've still got about 20 or so to work through!

And then it was time to go down the 'gym' for a bit of a workout. I'm hoping to try and bring in a few more weights to my workouts and am embracing the challenge of our new battle ropes!

But with dinner cooking and the wine poured I will sign off for tonight and see you tomorrow.

Monday 16 August 2021

Day 516...Monday...

Day 516...

The start of the working week for some but the last day of Simon's holiday for us.

First thing this morning we had a local landscape gardener pay us a visit to provide a quote for laying some artificial grass. We had their quote by early afternoon but have another couple of companies lined up to provide quotes before we decide whether it's something we want to do and whether the price is right!

We then headed off for a wander around Nottingham and explored a little more of the Arboretum. We'd only really discovered the Arboretum a couple of weeks ago and so decided to head back there today to walk around where we've not yet been. A coffee was then needed and we popped into a Starbucks...not our usual choice and although I have nothing against the coffee I don't think we will be frequenting this branch again. It was noisy, doors banging constantly, sticky tables, crumbs on the floor and it felt like we were sitting in the middle of a busy bus station rather than a calm cafe. Not really the experience I would have expected, nor wanted, and considering the number of staff working, there really was no excuse for the state of the place. Suffice to say we will avoid this particular store in the future and stick to our usual coffee stops.

Back home and we had an afternoon of Simon completing more digital art and me scanning yet more photos. I'm working my way through our holiday photos from Orlando in 1991 and as I came across some from the Magic Kingdom fireworks and Main Street Electrical Parade I wanted to check what time these would have occurred. I was going to google the question but then I had a thought and went on a search...

...and found these park guide maps and show times from 1991 which provided the answer I needed.

And I just love these photos...

...a rare photo of us both together on this holiday and I am guessing this was taken between the fireworks and then the parade...
...this photo has me with a rose...while waiting for the parade Simon bought me a 'light-up' rose. I still have this rose, and it still works, and is one of my most prized Disney souvenirs.

Our day was rounded out with Molly driving us over to her Monday night kickboxing class and sparring session.

And there we have a Monday, see you tomorrow.

Sunday 15 August 2021

Day 515

Day 515...

And we have a Sunday and a very quiet Sunday it turned out to be.

Our only real job of the day was to fetch our weekly grocery shop and once that was done and out the way we didn't really have any plans.

So we ventured out on a walk over the fields and managed 5.3 miles in around an hour and 47 minutes. The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing around the house. We sat outside and drank coffee, Simon did some more digital art and I scanned a few more photos.

I then hopped online to meet up with a few of our podcast quiz regulars but instead of our usual Sunday Disney quiz today we recorded an episode of our Disney Dream Girls podcast. It was great fun to chat with three other fellow Disney geeks as we covered everything from the upcoming Star Wars hotel to parades to Disney cruises and new dining experiences.

And that was a very quiet Sunday all done.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 14 August 2021

Day 514 - Steady Saturday

Day 514...

So another Saturday has rolled around and today has been a rather quiet one.

First job of the day was to get Molly to her Saturday morning guitar lesson and as is the norm she drove us there and back. Yet more driving practice for her and yet again her skills go from strength to strength.

We nipped for a coffee while she 'rocked out' and discovered that a Starbucks very close to where Molly's guitar school is had opened, so we thought we'd give it a try. On ordering I asked how long they'd been open to discover that today was their first day! The good thing is we will be able to walk here from Molly's guitar school in the future so this will prove to be very handy for us.

This afternoon has seen Simon create some more digital art. Molly has been busy with her various creations and spent an amount of time sanding and finishing off a few pieces; I think she is pretty close to working out what she wants to achieve and how.

Busy sanding away

Sneaky peek...
And I have been going through yet more photographs using the Photomyne app. I have managed to scan in a good proportion of 1991 and am now working through our first ever trip to Orlando in the same year. Although I have three albums of just Orlando to work my way through yet!!!

And with the afternoon gone it is time to make keto pizza and pour some wine.

See you tomorrow.

Friday 13 August 2021

Day 513 - Waiting and waiting...

Day 513...

Well today has been a day of waiting, and waiting, and consequently not as productive as it could have been.

We were up and about at our usual weekday sort of time as we were finally getting our new front door completed. The company who had done our new windows a few weeks back had been missing a panel for our front door and today was the day for it to be completed along with a couple of remedial tweaks.

Not knowing what time the fitters would arrive we set about the day and while I completed all the ironing and set another couple of laundry loads going Simon continued with his latest digital art piece. Neither of us wanted to commit to doing anything major until the fitters had been and their work was complete.

Lunchtime rolled around and we had a bite to eat, we caught up with Ethan and Molly ventured out into the garage to continue with her latest craft projects. And still no fitter. Simon continued with his art and I decided to revisit a project I'd started ages ago but hadn't got as far as I would have liked; the digitising of all our old photographs. So I picked up the album I'd last been working with and scanned in all of 1990!

I am using an app called Photomyne; this involves me taking a 'photo' of each photo which the app scans and adjusts the colour saturation. I can then edit each photo and even tweak the colour. Once scanned and tweaked a link to an album is emailed and from this I can download them to my laptop. Once on my laptop I can then edit the data for each photo with any dates, times and details relating to each one. This has involved a little detective work at times; for example this photo...

...the only information I had was written on the back which said 'Late August 1990, off to see Prince at Wembley'. So with a google search and a calendar from 1990 I discovered that Prince did play three nights at Wembley at the end of August on his 'Nude' tour. Remembering I have a picture frame filled with Prince concert ticket stubs I was able to date it exactly to Thursday 23rd August 1990!!

And while all of the above helped pass the time today by about 4pm we had not seen any fitters and so gave their office a call. However, they couldn't really tell me anything, other than apologise and assure me that someone would call with an update either tomorrow or at the latest Monday! Mmm...not a happy person...it has been a lovely day here today and we could have been out and about enjoying the sunshine rather than sat at home waiting...and waiting...and waiting!

I understand that things can go awry sometimes but when paying for a service to happen the least that could happen is a phone call to update and explain. Especially when the cost of this service is not cheap!!

At the end of the day we popped out to a local supermarket to pick up a few bits we were running low on and Ethan jumped in with us as he needed supplies for a party he was off to this evening. He even had his own personalised taxi service as Molly drove him there. And although it wasn't too far to go Molly was able to practice using a sat nav as that will be part of her practical test.

And there we have a Friday, and the only thing left to do is to sit down and watch the final episode in the first series of Star Wars The Bad Batch!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 12 August 2021

Day 512 - Driving & Art

Day 512...

Well after a pretty rubbish nights sleep for both of us we were a little slow to get moving this morning. But once up and about we grabbed Molly and headed into Nottingham.

We let Molly drive us in and were very impressed with her driving and confidence. Driving into the centre of Nottingham is not for the feint hearted there is lots of traffic, multiple sets of traffice lights and roundabouts to navigate and road systems that require you to be in the correct lane at the right time! But she handled it all very calmly and negotiated her first multi-level car park and got chance to practice her reversing into a parking bay skills. Very proud of how she is getting along.

By the time we arrived in the city it was lunchtime so we grabbed ourselves a 'Five Guys' burger; great thing about here is being able to order a bunless burger and choose your own toppings which means we can keep it all keto. And as the weather was kind to us we could enjoy the meal sat outside in the sunshine.

We then took Molly to the art gallery we had found yesterday and introduced her to the artist, Carole Ellis. We wanted Molly to see what another artist was creating, how they were presenting it and how much they were selling it for so that it might inspire her and help her find the direction she wants to take her own work. Whilst Molly ideally wants to work within photography she has decided to expand the design side of her business to give her more scope, especially while she waits to get her driving licence sorted and becomes fully mobile.

We then stopped for a coffee and a chat before having a quick look around some shops. Heading home we let Molly drive once more, again having to negotiate tricky traffic situations that I'm not too sure I'd have been happy to do when I was still learning. Although it is a little tricky to remember what that was like as it's about 33 years ago!!!

Once home it was time for more coffee and chill. Molly was in the garage for an hour or so working on her latest design creations; she is experimenting with different techniques and mediums to find the right combination that not only gives her the results that she wants but will be easy to recreate in order to produce the items she needs as well.

We rounded out the day with a trip to the 'gym' and I even had a go with our newly installed battle ropes and was quite pleased with what I managed, although I am prepared to be aching in places in the next 24 hours or so!

Right, where's my wine and chocolate? It's time for this weeks RuPauls' Drag Race!

See you tomorrow.