Sunday 31 October 2021

Day 592 - End of British Summertime

Day 592...

So we awoke this morning to have gained an extra hour in bed as the clocks in the UK have turned back an hour to signify the end of British summertime and by the heavy rain we had for most of the morning the weather seemed to agree. It was dark, grey, windy and wet - whoop!

Our first job of the day was to collect our weekly grocery shop and today we were able to try a new system where we can let the store know we are on our way so that our shopping could be ready and waiting. Well we arrived and there was one another car waiting; the app showed that the store knew we were on our way and by clicking the help button I could tell them we had arrived and what the colour of our car was. A short while later a very wet and bedraggled store colleague arrived with the first cars order and then asked for our name so that she could fetch our I have no idea whether the app system actually worked or not!

Back home and we quickly got everything from the car into the house trying not to get too wet. But fifteen minutes later with all the shopping packed away I looked up to see sunshine and clear blue skies, the complete opposite of what the morning had been up to that point.

It was then time to head over to a local Halfords to see if we could get Molly's car stereo updated. We drove over in two cars so that in the event we had some time to kill and the weather turned on us we would at least be able to either shelter in a car or drive for a coffee. The staff were super helpful and quickly told us that they should be able to fit the new stereo (unlike the staff on Friday!) which involved Molly moving her car into a tricky parking spot which she handled amazingly. So while the stereo was being fitted we jumped in the car and headed out for a coffee to pass the time. About half an hour later we were back to pick up Molly's car with a new and functioning car stereo!

Back home and Simon spent sometime in the garage on his latest project; today he was replacing all the screws in the joints he'd assembled yesterday with wooden dowels as he wants the finished product to have a smooth and seamless finish. While Simon did that I had a couple of work emails to process as well as a little accounting as part of my shopping today also included items for pre-school. I then did a little online research for some new guttering for our house as ours seems to fail every time we have more than a shower of rain along with looking for a new outside light for our front door.

We then took a little time out for a coffee and a bit of TV watching before realising that I needed to sort through my Halloween decorations to take into pre-school for the week ahead as we are having a spooky themed week with a little fundraising thrown in too. In years gone by we have hosted numerous Halloween parties and so we have a number of boxes full of decorations, although we haven't really used them at home for a few years now...maybe next year!

And because I know we have a busy week ahead, and as we had a bonus hour today, I took advantage and got caught up with the ironing...not very exciting but I need to be organised this coming week. I am in work more than usual this week and we are building up to Molly's big move to Dan's at the end of the week.

Oh and I am also getting a tad excited as it is now 5 sleeps until we see my favourite band, White Lies! They are playing a stripped back concert in Bournemouth on Friday and as this is close to where Dan lives we are now pretty familiar with the area so it was a no brainer when the gig was it 'coincides' with Molly's move down...or is that Molly's move coincides with our concert?!!!

And with that I will see you all tomorrow.

Saturday 30 October 2021

Day 591

Day 591...

A Saturday once again and there was a change to the usual proceedings. Today Molly was able to drive herself to her guitar lesson...her last guitar lesson before she moves down to Dans!

And while Molly headed towards Derby for her lesson Simon and I headed towards Nottingham for a little DIY shopping. Simon has another little project on the go making a retro game controller for one of his friends and having sorted the electronics he is now busy building the box for the electrics to sit in. So we were out buying wood, getting it cut to size and picking up some new drill bits. And I couldn't resist a look around the Christmas decorations and came away with some scented sticks to hang off our Christmas tree that are cinnamon scented.

We then decided to pop into Nottingham city centre as I wanted to nip to Primark to see if they had the coat I'd tried on the other day but not bought...when I should have bought it!! But alas they did not, although we did get chance to look at a few more Disney Christmas pieces but I decided against them as the quality wasn't all that great. We then took the time to stop for a coffee and a chat before heading home.

On the way back we stopped by a local company that specialises in outdoor buildings as we may be looking to have one at some point next year and wanted to see up close what they looked like. They are really nice but not cheap so we will have to have a think about what we need and whether we can afford it. We also found a little shop that sold all sorts of stuff; a proper menagerie of things including vinyl records so we enquired whether they would be interested in buying our vinyl collection. Basically they will have a look at what we have and give us a price and then we can decided to take their offer or keep the vinyl. I think we now have a project for the new year to go through what we have, keep those that are special to us and sell the rest.

Once home it was time for me to complete my online grocery shopping while Simon and Molly set about sorting a couple of issues with her car. First job was easy as we had bought some clips to attach the rear parcel shelf into place but the second job was a little more tricky as it involved getting into the rear lighting unit in order to change a bulb. We think that the car may have had a bump on the rear corner that had caused some of the fittings to be a little bent so there was an amount of drilling out that Simon had to do but after a short while, and a little ingenuity, he was able to get into the unit. He and Molly then went in search of a replacement bulb.

Unfortunately the replacement bulb didn't resolve the problem; thankfully it is only the reversing light which while not ideal is not a requirement to have. Our best guess is that either there is some damage in the wiring or the housing unit for that bulb...if we can't sort it ourselves it will need to go to a garage so we are just trying to do all that we can to avoid paying out stupid costs.

With all the car stuff done Simon set about assembling the box unit for the retro game controller he is making; he wanted to get the shell glued into place today so that it can be left for 24 hours before completing the next stage tomorrow. While he did that I nipped out to our local Lidl as I had a few bits that I needed that I either hadn't been able to get on my grocery shop to collect tomorrow or were simply much cheaper at Lidl, plus I'd got vouchers that needed to be used!

Another busy day rounded out with the making of keto pizza, red wine, chocolate and some TV time.

See you tomorrow.

Friday 29 October 2021

Day 590

Day 590...

Well, we have had a Friday and I don't think I've stopped all day...until writing this at the very least.

Once up and about I headed off to the jewellers to collect my repaired rings and they both look wonderful and now fit my finger so much better than before. The half eternity ring was the one that needed the most repair work doing as I'd managed to lose a diamond out of it and when the ring was reshaped a good bunch of the remaining stones fell out and needed re-setting. But the results are great and I'm just happy to be wearing both rings again as it has felt very strange not wearing them these past few weeks.

Rings as good as new
The rest of my morning was very exciting...she types with heavy I had Simon's tax return to complete. I'd been putting it off for months but had promised myself that I would get around to it sometime this week and today was the first day where I found myself with the time to do it. It was straight forward enough to complete as I had all the necessary figures to hand it's just a laborious process to go through each page of the return, read each page, ensure I understand exactly which boxes to complete and with what figures. And because I wanted to get it all completed and completed correctly there were a lot of explanations to read and links to explore but by the time Simon finished for lunch I'd gotten all the data input.

We braved the windy weather and headed out on a slightly shorter than normal walk completing 1.9 miles in 34 minutes. I needed to be back home in time to head out with Molly as we had an appointment with a garage to see about getting her car stereo updated.

We arrived at the garage and were told that they needed to assess the car to ensure that they had all the correct fixings but that if they did they would then install the new stereo. So while we left them to it me and Molly took a walk over to a local McDonalds to grab a coffee (me) and a milkshake (Molly) and in doing so we discovered parts of the town we didn't know existed. About 30 minutes later we got a call from the garage to say that they had hit a problem and couldn't install the stereo. We walked back over and having spoke to one of the colleagues at the garage it would appear that there may be an issue with some of the connections but we're not 100% we have booked to go back again on Sunday when another member of staff with more experience (and we hope expertise) can have a look and see what can or cannot be done.

Back home and I had a few things I wanted to get on top of...I had Simon's tax return to submit which I managed to do and then I had a couple of bills to pay and some other stuff but then I opened up pre-school's email. I had actually kept on top of the email account this past week but knew that there was a couple that I had to deal with...well four hours later not only had I responded to those couple but I'd created a few of my own along with updating the accounts, issuing text reminders, composing seven different emails and scheduling when to send them, writing two different newsletters and uploading them to the various different platforms that we use and updating our learning journal system that I'd forgotten to do this time last week - oops! And my bills still haven't been paid!

Molly has been busy sorting through all her stuff as she prepares to move down to Dan's this time next week. We have piles of stuff that either needs throwing away, has the potential to be sold on Ebay or is ready and waiting to go with her next week. It is a very exciting, if slightly overwhelming, time for us all. But the bonus of helping move Molly down south next week is that Simon and I get a weekend away coupled with a night out to see my favourite band, White Lies - eek!

And there we have a Friday...I'd hoped to get a little time just for me as I seem to have done a lot of running around this week but alas it was not to be.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 28 October 2021

Day 589

Day 589...

Today has been a Thursday and it has been yet another busy day.

Me and Molly headed off to our local Ikea first thing this morning with a shopping list in hand. Molly knew exactly what she wanted and having checked stock levels online yesterday she even knew the whereabouts in the store to get all that she needed.

On arriving we were about to walk straight in but we were greeted with an automated message advising us to wait until the light turned green. I hadn't even seen the red/green light system and had actually forgotten that some stores had adopted this system when social distancing was a big thing. But we dutifully waited all of a minute before we were 'allowed' to enter the store, and once inside it seemed to have been a pointless exercise!

Going around the store it was lovely to see that the majority of shoppers had opted to go without a face mask although it still baffles me when I see a couple with one half wearing a mask and the other not?! We had a lovely wander around the store and even managed a little look at all their Christmas bits and bobs.

It was an extremely successful trip as we came away with all that Molly had wanted plus a few bits that I had wanted to pick up and we  also came away with the obligatory packs of meatballs and bags of mini cinnamon rolls...including the special Christmas gingerbread edition.

On the way home we stopped by Dunelm as Molly wanted a shoe rack from there and I had my eye on a new black and sparkly laundry basket. We came away with both plus some stocking filler type Christmas first official Christmas presents bought for this year!

After a spot of lunch me and Molly jumped online to get her car booked in for an upgrade to the stereo system. As her car is a few years old the existing stereo is just a radio with CD player without any USB or AUX points so she wanted to get it upgraded. And as luck would have it we found somewhere that not only had the stereo in stock but can fit it for us tomorrow afternoon.

Then I nipped out to the post office as we had a sale of one of Simon's posters to send out and while I did that Molly was able to attach a new sun-visor to her car as it had been missing one. Simon managed to find one online and it had arrived this's a slightly different shade of grey compared to the other visor but it fits and will do the intended job.

In between all of that I'd had numerous phone calls concerning my rings that I'd dropped at the jewellers to be repaired the other day. The upshot of which is that I will be able to pick them up tomorrow but there is a little confusion about the finish on one of the rings...I thought it was a gold ring but the jeweller informs me it is actually white gold and has repaired it as such, so apparently it now has a different finish to what it had...?? Really not sure what is happening as jewellery is not my forte, so I will pop along tomorrow and see for myself; to be honest as long as the ring is intact and fits then I will be happy.

I'd also had my new boots arrive today...a new pair of Dr Martens that were in the sale and were just too good an opportunity to pass up... the pattern gives me Spaceship Earth vibes (for those of you who don't know what I'm referencing this is an attraction at Epcot at Walt Disney World).

The remainder of the afternoon was spent helping Molly. She wanted to make sure that the storage system she had bought from Ikea would house all the items she wanted. As the system is made up of a series of ready made drawers she was able to test out whether everything would fit in the drawers and part of this was for me to show her the Marie Kondo way of folding clothes. When we'd had our new wardrobes fitted last year we'd discovered the ways of Marie Kondo, the tidying guru, and her preferred way of folding clothes. And her way really does mean that you are able to get more items stored effectively and stored in such a way that you can actually see what you have. The good thing was that everything that Molly has will fit into the drawers that she has bought - phew!

And with that done I had just enough time to grab a coffee before heading down the gym for a little light weight work-out. And with the gym session completed I had a new meal to cook for dinner; a recipe I'd found a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to try called 'Gumbalaya' a mix of Gumbo and Jambalaya that is keto friendly and turned out to be very yummy!

And with all that done it must be time for RuPauls Drag Race UK...see you tomorrow.


Wednesday 27 October 2021

Day 588

Day 588...

The middle of the week and after a slowish start to the day I soon sprang into action when I got the call from my podcast co-host, Michelle, to organise a recording session.

So armed with some Disney history facts and along with some news items Michelle and I set to recording a show ready for release this coming Sunday. We also managed to record a special show just for some of our Patreon supporters.

Recording took a little longer than planned so our lunchtime walk had to be postponed till this evening. 

After a quick bite to eat I sat down with Molly to help her with some planning for her upcoming move to Dan's. She needs to find some storage solutions for all her stuff! Thankfully there is a built in wardrobe that Molly can take over but she needs to configure the storage inside, which means Ikea to the rescue. She had found some solutions and just wanted me to help cast an eye over it all to make sure she was making the best choices. Now that she knows exactly what she wants we will have a trip to our local store tomorrow to purchase all the bits (fingers crossed) and there will, of course, be the obligatory buying of meatballs and cinnamon rolls because it's the law!

Molly then headed out a bit earlier than normal to her second kickboxing class of the week as she'd offered her help with teaching the children's classes before her class as they were short on instructors today. I then had our butcher's delivery arrive...

...about an hour (maybe more) later I had it all packaged up into meal sized portions; well there was 5kg of chicken, 24 burgers, 6 steaks, 5.5kg of steak mince, 4.5 kg bacon and about 45 sausages! Should keep us going for a few weeks! So thankful to have found Rendalls butchers online during the first lockdown last year when everywhere was going crazy with supplies. The quality and value has been outstanding and so I have continued to use them and just love the fact that I can stock up and not have to worry about buying meat each week.

Once all the meat was put away in the freezer Simon and I headed out for our postponed lunchtime walk. Because the nights are now drawing in we just kept to the main road through our village but still managed just over 2 miles in 41 minutes and although a little blustery it was dry and not too cold for a late October evening.

And that was today, see you tomorrow.

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Day 587

Day 587...

So Tuesday turned out to be a busy old day.

Simon was back at work today but I had the whole day ahead of me. The good thing is that as Simon works from home it does mean when I'm on holiday we can actually start our day a little later as there is no one to 'get out the house to work'.

Once up and about me and Molly jumped in her car and headed out to run a few errands. A few weeks ago a slight mishap at work resulted in my engagement and half eternity rings getting stuck on my finger and pushed out of shape. I'd managed to get them off my finger but both rings were left in a sorry state and in need of repair.

I'd had to wait a little while for the bruising of my finger to subside before I could think about getting them repaired plus I also wanted to get them re-sized. Having lost weight some seven years ago, and more importantly having kept the weight off, my rings had become slightly too big and I had on a couple of occasions managed to lose my engagement ring (thankfully I always managed to find it!). Today was the first chance I'd had to pop by a local jewellers to see what they could do.

Well my engagement ring should be a pretty straight forward job to put right but my eternity ring may be a little more tricky. When the rings became stuck on my finger I'd been able to remove the engagement ring through putting my hand in cold water and using some washing up liquid but the eternity ring just wouldn't budge so I'd had to use a pair of pliers to squeeze it into a shape that I could then pull off my finger. The tricky part of repairing it will be keeping the diamonds in place and it looks like I may have lost one of the diamonds as well. So it's not going to be a cheap repair job but these are important rings and so need is very weird not wearing them everyday at the moment! But it's going to be a few weeks before I get them back as the jewellers are really busy with repairs.

While we were at the jewellers I also had some old pieces of jewellery that I wanted to get rid of. Most of the items had been inherited from Simon's mum but none were items that I would wear and it seemed daft to have them hiding away in a drawer. And while the jewellers could only give me scrap value for them they turned out to be worth more than I was anticipating which was a nice surprise and will off set the cost of my ring repairs.

Next we had to make a stop at the bank as I had some coin to pay in on behalf of pre-school; there was a bit of a queue so it took us longer than we would have liked and so we headed home straight after. 

At lunchtime Simon and I took a walk out and covered 2.4 miles in 44 minutes. After a quick bite to eat me and Molly headed out once more and it was now my turn to drive. We headed to a local supermarket to pick a few things up plus Molly wanted to pick up some items as thank you gifts. With her moving down South in about eleven days time she will have to give up a few things that have been part of her life for probably the last ten years or more and so she wants to mark the occasion with the people that have helped her along the way.

We also made sure whilst we were out and about to stop by my bank as I now had a cheque from the jewellers that needed paying in! Back home again and I walked in to a freshly brewed coffee thanks to Simon followed by the smell of lemongrass as our new essential oil diffuser had arrived and was making the house smelly lovely. Although we do need to figure out how to work it properly as all the instructions are in German!!

Our day was rounded out with a trip to the gym and it's so nice now that the nights are drawing in not to have to drive out in the dark and the cold and instead just pop out to the garage.

Well with a glass of red wine calling I will sign off for the day.

See you tomorrow.

Monday 25 October 2021

Day 586

Day 586...

We are now well into the half term break although neither Simon or I usually work a Monday anyways. But we were up and about relatively early as we had plans for the plans!

To be fair the shopping was a bonus side effect of the real aim of today which was to meet up with my podcast co-host Michelle. As she lives about 90 miles away we can't meet up as often as we would like but every now and then we find somewhere that's not to far for either of us to get to and more often than not that happens to be Meadowhall shopping centre at Sheffield.

And another side effect of today was that Molly was able to drive us there and back in her new car which meant that she got to experience motorway driving for the first time. As Molly will be moving in with Dan in a few weeks it will mean she will need to get used to motorway and long distance driving as to visit us will mean about a 190 mile journey! But she did amazing and took it all in her stride, we were both super impressed and proud of her. It also gave her chance to have a good drive out in the car and it seemed to drive really well and did everything that was asked of it.

Me and Molly, let the shopping commence!
So we met up with Michelle and first order of the day was to find a Starbucks and grab a coffee and a sit down and simply have chance to catch up. Second job of the day was to head off to Primark because as every Disney fan knows if you want a little bit of Disney retail therapy then Primark is the place to go...especially now that the UK Disney stores are no more.
Me and the lovely Michelle, living our best Disney lives!
And Primark did not disappoint especially as they were able to combine not only my love of Disney but my love of Christmas.
Simple Christmas themed t-shirt
Then we spotted this hoodie...I was in two minds about it but the ears and bow on the hood along with Simon's insistence meant it came home with me.
And these were just too cute (and inexpensive) not to buy...
I did try on a lovely soft and furry coat (non-Disney!) but I put it back...I may regret doing that...oh well I will just have to go shopping again and see if I can find it in another store.

On the way home we got Molly to stop by a local petrol station so we could fill up her tank for her (well she was playing taxi for us so it seemed the fair thing to do!) plus this meant she got to fill the car up with Simon on hand in case she needed any help...which she didn't. Simon was then able to show her how to check the tyre pressure and top them up with air which is one of those useful things to know about and better she do it with someone there to help her for the first time. I on the other hand wouldn't have a clue but as I said to Simon later, that's why I keep him around!!!

Back home and it was time for a coffee before Molly headed back out the door to drive herself, on her own, to her kickboxing class - eek! Our 'little girl' is all grown up which is both exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time. So no more in and out the house playing taxi for her instead we now have time on our hands which I think may take a little getting used to. 

Molly then had the return journey to master, in the dark and with twisty country lanes but she did it and she made it home so that meant a much needed glass of wine for me!! She is taking it all in her stride and just getting on with it all which means we are super proud of her but it won't ever stop us worrying about her.

Right so with Molly home it was time to cook dinner (keto chicken garam masala) before stopping for the evening with the aforementioned glass of wine and a little TV time.

See you all tomorrow.

Sunday 24 October 2021

Day 585

Day 585...

One more Sunday has rolled around and it was the usual start to a Sunday with a trip out to collect our weekly grocery shop. But excitement was afoot as they had changed how and where we collected our shopping! Please note this is written with heavy sarcasm.

We arrived home to find Molly and Dan carrying on with the cleaning of their cars that they had started yesterday. Molly has been able to remove an unsightly sticker from the rear window of her car and attach a Monsters inc themed sticker, bought for her by Simon, to the outside of her car. She's also been able to get rid of some white marks on the black fascia inside the car so it's all beginning to look a lot smarter.

Simon was hoping to be able to remove the casing around her reversing light so that he would be able to get to the bulb in order to replace it but after lots of attempts it came down to not being able to remove one set of screws because we didn't have the correct size driver. Simon has now ordered the correct sized driver and will see as and when that arrives if he can sort the light rather than having to pay a garage to do it for us!

And while it was all car focused outside I managed to place a butchers order online for delivery later this week. But with all our jobs out the way we were a little lost as to what to do for the remainder of the day. The weather was grey and slightly damp so we weren't in the mood to head out for a walk so in the end I decided to scan in some more of our old photos as I haven't done any for a fair few weeks. 

It's a bit of a long process; scan the photos, edit the photos, upload them to the laptop and then sort them into order and update the details for each individual photo. But I did manage to get the remainder of our 1993 trip to Walt Disney World all catalogued. I still have a lot of albums to work through but it will have to be a case of just doing small batches as and when I have the spare time.

But before I knew it the evening was upon us and it was time for dinner, a glass of red wine and then some time in front of the telly.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 23 October 2021

Day 584

Day 584...

It was an early start for a Saturday as Simon had a haircut booked for 8.30am!

But this did mean that once Simon was back home we had the whole day ahead of us. First job was to get out and sweep up the leaves that seemed to have appeared over the last few days, so armed with brush, snow shovel (ideal for scooping up large amounts of leaves) and a leaf blower we set to. It didn't take us too long and we also managed to spray some weedkiller over the moss that has also appeared in our block paving.

Back inside the warmth and Simon had a little electronics project he wanted to have a go at. One of his friends loves retro video games and had asked Simon whether he could make a custom game controller. Simon being up for the challenge had asked his friend to send him the internal parts and he would then have a go at sorting the electronics as well as build the box to house them. And with a little tinkering and a little internet help he was able to get all the wiring in place and working.

This afternoon we jumped in Molly's car with her and Dan and headed in search of a few bits for her new car; she wanted some car mats and some other bits as well as looking to see whether she could update the car stereo. As the car is around 10 years old the existing stereo won't support any USB or AUX devices so we wanted to get her upgraded so she can have her music of choice with her wherever she goes. There are a couple of options out there and we got a little excited when we were told her car had the space for a touch screen version but unfortunately it didn't have an inbuilt AUX facility and so we are left with a little more research to do online.

Molly also needed to get the reversing light bulb replaced so while her and Dan waited to get that sorted Simon and I walked over to the local Starbucks; one mile and 19 minutes later we were enjoying a coffee. Molly and Dan came over to join us but told us that they had been unable to update the light bulb as they couldn't remove the casing around the light fitting and recommended finding a local garage who could sort it. Having looked at the fitting when we got home Simon is going to have a try tomorrow to see if he has any appropriate tools that will do the job!

Molly and Dan then set about cleaning their respective cars although the afternoon light soon cut short  their efforts and although the outsides have been done the insides will need to wait till daylight tomorrow.

So while they worked hard cleaning cars Simon and I worked hard making keto pizza! Oh and I may have ordered myself a new pair of Dr Martens boots...well they were in the sale so it would have been rude not to! This will be my third pair of DM's; such good quality and so comfy!

Well we have keto pizza almost ready to eat so I best sign off for the day.

See you tomorrow.

Friday 22 October 2021

Day 583

Day 583...

And we have reached Friday and today is the first day of my half term break from pre-school.

I had the day off in lieu of covering for one of my staff who will be on holiday when we return to pre-school but there was still the chance that I could have been called in should someone have been off ill. But thankfully that didn't happen so I could start my half term break a day early.

But first job this morning was actually work related! I decided to complete the accounts for the academic year so far; a task that had to be done at some point over the next week and I figured I'd try and get it out the way today. And although the accounts didn't balance first time it didn't take me too long to figure out what I'd done wrong and by lunchtime all the accounts were up to date, spreadsheets created and the cash tin balanced. And at the same time I'd been able to put another couple of loads of laundry on and keep the boys in the house refreshed with coffee.

So as Simon broke for lunch we headed out for a brisk lunchtime walk; a little windy and a bit damp as we approached home but we managed 2.4 miles in 44 minutes - not too shabby!

Then the afternoon was mainly spent doing household chores; first there was the ironing and then I decided to tackle our shoe storage! It has been a while since I'd sorted through the shoes so there was a lot of moving, sorting, cleaning and re-organising to do and it seemed to take longer than I'd thought it would but it was a worthwhile exercise.

Simon played taxi for Ethan as he had a meal out with his work team and Molly and Dan arrived home. Then we could reveal Simon's special project that he'd spent the early part of the week doing as it was a special gift for Molly. For a while she had wanted something to display all her kickboxing belts and having looked online she couldn't find anything larger enough for all of her belts and so she'd asked Simon if he could make something for her. So in secret Simon had gotten all the materials together, including buying a new chop saw (just a good excuse I think!) and had used this week while Molly was away to make her, her very own, custom, belt display!

New chop saw!
Materials cut and ready for assembly
In progress, even filling over the screws!
Finished belt display...fancy!
All that was left was for Molly to iron all her belts into the correct shape and attach them to the boards...
Complete with belts

See you all tomorrow.

Thursday 21 October 2021

Day 582

Day 582...

Well, all being well, today was my last day in work for just over a week...I hope I haven't jinxed it by typing that as technically should someone be off ill tomorrow I could get called in to cover!

But the morning was busy with lots to go over before we all break for the half term holiday next week. I had emails to compose and schedule, registers to print and bind, stuff to print and photocopy plus all the usual bits and pieces. I also had to remember to bring things home with me as I will have odds and sods to complete next week, the most important of which will be completing the accounts for the academic year so far.

The afternoon was spent, as usual for a Thursday, at home. I had some laundry to sort as well as a bit of tidying around which involved getting the hoover out. The only problem to that was that the hoover needed emptying which should have been easy enough to do but for some reason the release on the bin would not work. A little bit of brute force and I managed to get it open only to discover that everywhere inside was all gunked up. Unfortunately the last time it had been used was after Simon had done some plastering and suffice to say whatever had been hoovered up was still damp and had basically stuck itself to the inside of the collection bin. So before I could start hoovering I had to clean the hoover! But it is now all fixed and Molly's room is much cleaner than it was before as I wanted to take advantage of Molly not being at home this week to clean around her room.

And then with a fresh coffee in hand I decided to stop and take a little time out in front of the TV; not something I often do during the day but I had a program I wanted to watch and thought why not?! The program in question was 'Who Do You Think You Are? where celebrities research their family trees and I find it all very fascinating. Today's show was the actress Dame Judi Dench who is just delightful and adorable and the story she unraveled could not have been more perfect for her...definitely worth a watch.

With a few more jobs done, more coffee drunk, emails checked and responded to it was time to head down the 'gym' and throw a few weights about!!

Then this evening we have the very hard job of watching RuPauls Drag Race UK and one of our other favourite shows I better stop typing and cook the dinner so we can enjoy the evening.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Day 581

Day 581...

And we have the middle of the week and I decided to have a day working from home.

I had lots of admin tasks that needed completing before the end of the week and I knew I would be able to get through them quicker sat at home. But my first job of the day was to speak with my contact at my local council to discuss the needs of a child and the best way to support them. We were able to chat over a video call which made things so much easier to explain and chat over.

An hour later it was back to the admin tasks; invoices issued, wage slips generated and payment scheduled, emails sent, banking updated and text messages scheduled. It was a very productive morning!

I then popped out to the post office as Molly had made a sale on her Etsy store and as she is not at home this week the responsibility of packing and posting has fell to me. When I got home Simon and I headed straight back out to take advantage of a dry spell of weather and have one of our lunchtime walks that we haven't done for what seems like forever. We managed 2.45 miles in 47 minutes and we arrived home just in time for my online 'leaders and managers' meeting.

I then had an hour and a half meeting to find out what's happening in 'early years' at the moment; most of which I already knew and so by the end of it I was very much in need of a coffee!

The day was then rounded out with a little Disney Dream Girls podcast recording.

See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Day 580

Day 580...

And we have a Tuesday.

And it was a pretty standard sort of Tuesday. My morning was spent in work and was a mix of the usual admin, chats with my team and a visit from our local Asda community champion, Jon. This was his first proper visit since restrictions have been lifted and it was great to have him back at pre-school and we had a great activity introducing the children to some different foods with unusual tastes and textures.

I then headed home for the afternoon, with a quick stop by the local supermarket to pick up a few items and even picked up some things to go in the freezer ready for Christmas!

And although today was an afternoon that I don't ordinarily work I did actually spend most of the afternoon doing work! It is the last week of this term and I want to make sure I am up to date with everything so that I can enjoy my week off next week. Although I was also chief post officer for Shutter Studios as Molly had had a sale on her Etsy store and as she is away this week it was up to me to complete the packing and posting!

We rounded out the day with a trip down 'our gym' before cooking dinner and it will then be an evening of chilling in front of the TV.

See you tomorrow.

Monday 18 October 2021

Day 579

Day 579...

Monday has rolled around once more and with a slight change to normal I found myself in work but only for a short amount of time. I was in covering my deputy manager who needed a little time off first thing, which wasn't a problem.

By 10am I was back home and the majority of the day was spent at home. Simon has been continuing with his latest art commission as well as some work in the garage. I was able to help a little by making coffee, occasionally holding things and then helping tidy up after! 

I inadvertently did a little pre-school work as I'd had a couple of messages pop up in messenger; it was easier to deal with them there and then rather than wait until I was next at work. I also managed a few household chores and made a start on dusting some of my Disney ornaments which I have been putting off doing for way longer than I should. Late afternoon I nipped out for a beauty appointment and then found myself with time on my hands as with Molly being at her fella's place this week we have no taxi service to provide to get her to and from her kickboxing lesson. Although this will become the new norm as in the future Molly will be able to drive herself there and back!!

And there we have Monday...just a short post today but I will be back tomorrow.

Sunday 17 October 2021

Day 578

Day 578...

After a busy week Sunday has rolled around and it has been a lot calmer than the last few days. We still had our weekly grocery shopping to collect as usual but with that done we had the day ahead of us.

Simon has an art commission that he is working on and is hoping to get completed sooner rather than later so he took some time out to put in a little more work. I decided to get on top of the laundry and managed to get up to date with the ironing.

Molly and Dan headed off down south around lunchtime; Molly will spend the next week at Dan's before returning home for a couple of weeks before she makes the big move down there at the beginning of November.

And with Molly and Dan on their way and Ethan on his way home from his friends wedding we suddenly realised that for the first time in almost twenty months we had the house to ourselves for a couple of hours - weird!

Mid-afternoon we took a trip into Nottingham and grabbed a coffee while we waited for Ethan's train to arrive. He'd had a good night away although I think he was glad to be home as I think the three trains and a bus to get home had wiped him out.

And for the first time in a fair few weeks I hooked up online with my fellow Disney nerds as we had our Disney Dream Girls Disney quiz meet-up! As lives are getting back to 'normal' we have found that getting us all to be free at the same time is getting trickier...never mind the time difference between here in the UK, Germany, California and Canada! And so today it was more of a chance to catch-up rather than partake in a quiz.

And I think that's where I'll leave it for today. See you tomorrow.

Saturday 16 October 2021

Day 577

Day 577...

Another busy day and another Saturday.

This morning our job was to get Ethan into Nottingham as he was meeting a couple of friends and catching the train to head up north for a friends wedding. He has a night away on his own for the first time and will be returning at some point tomorrow.

We had a errand to run on the way home that will become apparent very soon!! But arriving home we bumped into a couple of our elderly neighbours and spent a few minutes catching up with them and letting them know about Molly's new car as we have a shared garage and parking space.

Just as we arrived home so did Dan as he'd taken Molly over to her kickboxing school as today was the first part of the black belt seminar that they hold each year for those about to take their black belt grading. As Molly is already a black belt she attends the seminar to help those who are about to grade, and it is part of the responsibility that comes with being a black belt. The seminar lasted for three hours this afternoon and in a few weeks time the grading will take place which lasts for five hours, and although Molly won't be grading she will be attending to assist.

While Molly got all sweaty I toiled over the laptop keyboard as I had my online grocery shopping to update, a newsletter to write for pre-school, an email to compose and updates to pre-school's online learning journal to complete. And with that all done it was time to head out to go and pick Molly up from kickboxing.

So me, Simon and Dan jumped in the car, collected Molly and then headed over to the car dealer where we had been yesterday to collect her very first car! Molly was then able to drive herself and Dan back home while we followed behind. We stopped by my dad's on the way home so Molly could show off her car!

How snazzy is that for a first car?!

And all that was left to do today was to make keto pizza and settle down for an evening in front of the TV.

See you tomorrow.

Friday 15 October 2021

Day 576

Day 576...

And we have reached the end of the working week for me and it was a Friday. And a Friday with a full day in work.

So as all my Fridays in work are I have a day split between a morning 'working the floor' which means having direct interactions with the children which most of my working week does not usually have. I then had an hour or so to catch up on any admin bits that I could. We have an old mobile phone that I was attempting to upgrade to a sightly less old phone and as always with technology things take longer than you expect them to. I managed to get the new 'old phone' working but then discovered that all the contacts were not saved to the SIM card but to the phone memory which means that I am probably going to have to manually input them all...whoop! Although I have had another couple of ideas which might get us round the issue but that will now be a job for later next week.

I have a busy few days coming up at work as we enter the last week before our mid-term break. Lots of registers to sort, invoices to issue, wages to pay, contracts to amend, funding data to input and accounts to produce as well as a lot of other bits and pieces. It's going to be a busy last week at work.

Getting home I had just enough time to change out of my work clothes, down a few mouthfuls of coffee and scoff one of Molly's snickerdoodle cookies that she'd made yesterday before heading out the door. Me, Molly and her fella, Dan, headed over to a local second hand car dealer to look at a car that we'd found online.

As Molly had passed her test on Monday and has plans to move in with her fella she now needs a car to get all her plans into place. The car we had found was at the top end of her budget but the insurance was one of the lower quotes she had been able to get. It is a fun little car; bright colour, retractable roof, snazzy seats and more. And although we weren't able to get the price down any further we are pretty pleased with the deal we have got as there has been work done to the car recently that should keep it going for a while yet. So with a deposit left this evening we just have the insurance to sort before collecting it tomorrow afternoon! All very exciting!

When I finally arrived home for a second time today it was straight onto the laptop to chat with my fellow podcast co-host, Michelle, to record this weeks Disney Dream Girls show. We had missed a week last week because we both lead such busy lives so it was nice to chat and reconnect over some Disney chatter.

And while I chatted Molly did some prep work for dinner so that as soon as I finished recording I could start cooking...and while the keto moussaka is cooking in the oven I have used the time to write this that is multi-tasking!

See you all tomorrow.

Thursday 14 October 2021

Day 575

Day 575...

And we have another Thursday and another day of two halves and another busy day.

My morning was spent in work and was spent with my deputy manager going over all things managerial! We had a couple of risk assessments to go through along with plans going forward for staffing, the curriculum and Christmas!!

The afternoon was spent at home and was my chance to catch up on a load of stuff that I felt I was behind on this week. I have a load of tasks that I need to get done before the end of next week as it's our last week of term and as my time this week seems to have disappeared I wanted to get on top of things. Just a chance to re-organise, write emails, newsletters and more. I was also able to get a few loads of laundry done as well as a pile of ironing. So all in all a productive day.

Molly's boyfriend has arrived today for the weekend a little earlier than planned which meant a little belated birthday celebration for him. Molly had baked a cake and some cookies and we had the customary giving of gifts.

And now it's time to enjoy a slice of the aforementioned cake with a cup of tea and this weeks RuPauls Drag Race UK.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Day 574

Day 574...

Well it has been a Wednesday and I am writing this quite late in the day so I think this will be a quick post!

Today at pre-school we have had what is called an 'Inset Day' this is a day that we take as educators to either complete training or,as was the case today, have chance as a whole team to come together and plan.

The main focus of the day was to ensure that the team had chance to collate all the information relating to their ongoing teaching and plan ahead for the next few weeks. My curriculum manager was also able to plan ahead for the remainder of the academic year so that we know what topics and areas of the curriculum we will be covering and when. We also had chance as a team to chat about upcoming events like our Halloween Fun week, our Christmas fundraiser, Christmas concert and our children's Christmas party!

I was able to resolve a couple of technical issues, get up straight on some of my admin tasks as well as create a list of more stuff to do. We also took the time to look at the way we assess the children via our online learning journal system and decide on the best way to utilise it moving forward so that we have access to better data to enable more accurate forward planning.

The difference for me today was that normally I only work the morning but today was a full day which meant when I arrived home I had just enough time to grab a coffee before heading out the door again to take Molly to a mid-week guitar lesson. Because Molly is taking part in a black belt workshop on Saturday at her kickboxing academy she won't be able to make her usual guitar lesson so instead she had been able to organise a substitute lesson for this afternoon. So while she strummed away I took advantage of the nearby Starbucks and enjoyed a quiet half hour with a coffee and a bit of chocolate!

We returned home and then, in what felt like a matter of minutes, we were out the door again taking Molly to and from her second kickboxing class of the week. 

I think it might be time to stop now!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Day 573

Day 573...

Today was another Tuesday and another day with the morning spent in work and the afternoon at home.

The morning was all pretty standard sort of stuff with the usual admin bits and bobs and then it was home to grab a bite to eat before more car research for Molly.

Between Molly and I we had found a couple of cars that were within Molly's budget and so Molly had messaged the dealers yesterday to see if the cars were still available and whether we could pop over to see them. Well one dealer started off all positive but then went very quiet. The other dealer didn't respond initially but seemed to wake-up mid-morning and was happy for us to go and visit...the only problem was we couldn't figure out where they were located as we had two different post codes and then we found some reviews. The reviews were not good and as they were a thirty minute drive away we decided not to pursue them any further!

So it was back to the laptop to see what else we could find. We found a couple of cars at a dealers that were in the right price bracket, the insurance was doable and the write-ups on the cars sounded very appealing. Realising the dealer was only 8 miles away we decided to take a chance and we jumped in my car and headed over there. We found the dealer really easily, in fact they were exactly where I thought they would be...the only problem was that the dealership had closed, the car lot was empty and there was a 'To Rent' sign!

It didn't seem that we were having much luck so it was back home for a coffee and yet more laptop time. Well, we have found a couple of cars, and both are close to where we are. One car won't be available until the end of the week but the other car, after making contact with the dealer, is still available. Molly messaged the dealer and asked if we could possibly see the car today...but then everything went quiet! But about an hour later Molly's phone rang and it was the dealer wanting to chat about when she could go and see the car!. He was very chatty and told Molly a little more about the car and we have now said we will visit on Friday afternoon to see if it's the car for her.

It's all very exciting and now Molly just needs to make sure she can get the insurance sorted at a good price and then just maybe she may have a car to call her own!

We had a quick 'gym' workout this evening before Molly jumped online with her girlfriends. One positive that has been taken forward out of lockdown is the use of Zoom...this means that Molly and her 'squad' can all get together despite the fact that they all now live in different parts of the country because of work and study.

See you tomorrow.

Monday 11 October 2021

Day 572 - Success

Day 572...

Today was the day...the day of Molly taking her driving test!

It was an early start as her test was scheduled for 8.57am and she had a lesson beforehand starting around 8am. I'm not sure who was more nervous and anxious me, Simon or Molly?!

As she left the house at 8am she seemed very calm and composed. Being the organised person that she is she had sorted everything that she needed with her the night before and even had a thank you card and present ready for her driving instructor in case all went well.

I on the other hand had had a disturbed nights sleep, my stomach was doing butterflies and I was trying not to look at the clock and find things to keep myself occupied. Then at 9.38am WhatsApp pinged and we got the message we'd been hoping for -  'Passed! On way home'. Yay! We were so relieved and so happy for her as not only did she deserve to pass for all the hours of driving she has done but simply because she is a good driver!

But the biggest thing is that this now means her life can start to move forward as she wants it to. After starting to learn to drive in February of 2020 she then had to cope with the uncertainty that the pandemic brought. After lessons were re-started she really didn't know if she felt physically safe and comfortable starting them again and then when she felt she was ready we were hit with further and longer lockdowns. We were able to start getting her out and about around April/May time and after she passed her theory test in May the earliest date for her practical test was today.

So today has been a long while coming and at the back of all of our minds was the horrible question of what happens if Molly doesn't pass today? The waiting time to get a test date at the moment is horrendous and her driving instructor confirmed that had she not have passed the next date would have been around April 2022! But we don't have to worry about that as she has passed!!!

The great thing is she can now start doing all the things that she wants to do and that being able to drive gives her the freedom to do. She will be able to get out and about under her own steam to take photographs when and wherever she likes, as I know this is something that she has missed being able to do. It also means that she can now move in with her boyfriend and start their life together; we have big changes ahead!

But with the relief of passing we headed out for a celebratory 'coffee and cake' and from there we went in search of a car dealership where Molly had spotted a car for sale that was within her budget. It's a tricky business buying a car when you're Molly's age as not only does she have to consider the cost of the car but also the cost of the insurance which is more often than not more than the cost of the car itself!

We found the dealership but unfortunately the car Molly had seen on their website had been sold and although they had another car of a similar age and price it didn't tick all the boxes for Molly. This meant the rest of our afternoon was spent online searching for suitable cars. Between me and Molly we have found a couple of cars local to us and have made contact with the dealers to see if we can arrange to go view them tomorrow. Molly needs to get a car sorted sooner rather than later so she can keep up her driving and get herself sorted for the next big step in her life.

The day was rounded out with Molly's first kickboxing class of the week for which we had to provide the transport as she is not insured to drive our car at the moment as she is saving her pennies to put towards her own car!

See you all tomorrow.

Sunday 10 October 2021

Day 571

Day 571...

And we have a Sunday and a relatively quiet Sunday.

It started with our usual trip to collect our weekly grocery shop which took us a little longer than normal due to a triathlon taking place around the town where we fetch our shopping from! 

Back home and shopping put away we headed back out the house so that Molly could get some more driving practice completed. She has her test first thing tomorrow morning and so we have everything crossed that she passes; she so deserves to pass as her driving is great and she has put in so many hours practicing her driving. She has driven around areas that I know when I was a learner driver I would have never contemplated. Just last night she drove Ethan into Nottingham, a very busy city, while following Sat Nav directions, she drove around areas of the city that even now I would actively avoid driving through!

On our way back home we stopped by my dads to make sure he was okay and to pick up a parcel that we had had delivered there. He's doing really well; after struggling with his skin following his second vaccine he has finally reached a point where his skin is back to how it should's only taken almost five months and two lots of intensive steroids. I asked if he'd been approached to have his vaccine booster which I thought at age 77 (almost 78) that he would have been but he hasn't and he was adamant that he won't be accepting it should it be offered because of all the problems he has experienced so far. But he has had notification that he's eligible for his flu shot but as he hasn't bothered with that for the last 17 years he won't be bothering this year either!

Home once more and we decided to head out for a walk over the fields next to where we live and in an hour and 19 minutes we completed 3.8 miles. It is very noticeable that our walks are no longer as busy with other walkers as they were this time last year or even six months ago, but at least everyone we did see was happy and polite enough to say 'hello'!

We then enjoyed a coffee sat outside in the garden as the day has been dry and sunny and relatively warm for the time of year. We chatted about the possibility of replacing our garden shed with more of a 'garden room' so that we can get 'out' in the garden all year round. It would also mean Simon could sit 'outside' and draw with his digital tablet without having to cope with the glare of the sun on the screen.

The day was rounded out with a new meal for dinner as I made a keto chicken garam masala which was very tasty and will now be added to my repertoire of keto and low carb meals. 

And that is it for today so I will see you tomorrow.

Saturday 9 October 2021

Day 570

Day 570...

Saturday was upon us once more and after a pretty rubbish nights sleep I dragged myself out of bed to get on with the day at hand.

Our first job was to stop by pre-school so that Simon could take a look at the gate to the property as we wanted to extend it to make it more secure. Luckily we had a large piece of plywood already but we needed to figure out a way to attach it securely.

With that done it was time for Molly to drive us over to her guitar lesson, another chance for her to get some driving practice as the big day of her test looms closer. While Molly strummed away we headed over to a DIY store to pick up the necessary bits of hardware for the modifications to pre-school's gate, before grabbing a much needed Starbucks.

Molly drove us home and then we grabbed all the tools that we thought we might need and headed straight back out to pre-school to sort the gate out. We wanted to attach an extra strip of wood to the bottom of the gate but as the ground slopes we needed the extra piece to be either removable or flippable so that the gate could still open fully.

Thanks to Simon's know-how and a little ingenuity plus the ability of me to hold things, pass things, apply a plaster when needed and make coffee we achieved what we set out to do. The extra piece has been attached with hinges so that the piece can be flipped up or down depending on the circumstances. We also attached some hooks to keep the piece in place when in either the up or down position.


I think we were both quite pleased, and a little surprised, that in just over a couple of hours the work was done and looking pretty smart if we do say so. Thankfully everything went smoothly except for applying the hinges on the wrong side of the wood but that was easily rectified and all that needs doing now is a coat of blackboard paint so that it fits in with the rest of the gate.

Then Molly had another chance to get a little driving practice in as Ethan needed a lift into Nottingham to join up with some work friends to help celebrate a stag night; we await either a call to have a lift home or to be woken when he stumbles in later! Although I think it will probably be the former; Ethan is a quiet sole and so a 'night out on the town' is probably not really his 'thing' but we will see.

So while Ethan is living it large on a night out in the city we will be making, and enjoying, some keto pizza before we have a night in front of the TV.

See you all tomorrow.

Friday 8 October 2021

Day 569

Day 569...

And we have a Friday.

And a full day in work for me. This is the day of the week where my day in work is split between a morning working with the children and an afternoon catching up on some management admin.

I arrived home to a freshly brewed pot of coffee and settled down to get some more pre-school work completed. I needed to write our weekly newsletter that gets sent to parents over the weekend as well as review and update observations to our online learning journal and by early evening I'd achieved all that I wanted to.

In between all of that I also found an hour to take Molly out for another drive; we only have a few days to go before the big day of her test so we are trying to get her out and about as much as possible. She is also now looking for a car for herself and has at least one lined up that she's interested in should she pass her test.

And that was today, another short post as the day just disappeared...roll on the weekend.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 7 October 2021

Day 568

Day 568...

Well it has been another day of two halves. 

The morning was spent in work and was chance for myself and my deputy manager to touch base and re-group as we are now about two thirds of the way through our first half term of pre-school. We spent the whole morning looking at what needs doing, how we are going to do it and then forward planning up to Christmas and beyond!

The afternoon was spent at home and once I'd had a quick bite to eat for lunch it was time to take Molly out for a drive. We took a route around some of the area that her test is likely to be and then made sure we stopped by a supermarket on the way home to pick up a few essentials we were running short on. Yet again Molly did brilliantly and we have everything crossed for her when she takes her test next week!

Back home and with the shopping unpacked and a coffee made I spent the remainder of the afternoon and into early evening going over some of the work generated from this morning's catch-up with my deputy. And while Simon and Molly headed down 'the gym' I carried on with the work I was doing as I wanted to try and get ahead of myself as I know tomorrow at work I won't have the time to do what I need to do!

And that means that today's post is rather a short one. See you tomorrow.