Monday, 24 January 2022

Day 678

Day 678...

We had a change in proceedings for a Monday as I was needed in work this morning as cover for another member of staff; ordinarily Monday is my non-contracted day.

The morning in work was pretty standard and I had the chance to get caught up with some banking and admin as well as some updating to our learning journal system. As lunchtime rolled around I headed home to spend the remainder of the day with Simon.

Simon was busy updating some of his digital art files as well as capturing more of our home video...I think we are up to mid-1999 now. This will now all need watching back to make sure it's all been captured without any glitches and then Simon can move onto the next tape.

We then decided to take a drive out for a coffee, a change of scenery and a catch-up.

Back home and Simon set about some more video capture while I moved a few more jigsaw pieces around. The day was finished off with Simon jumping on the exercise bike while I finished off some work I'd started this morning. 

A short, Monday post! See you tomorrow.
xx

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Day 677

 Day 677...

A quiet Sunday to round out a quiet weekend.

The day started with the usual collection of our weekly grocery shopping, which was rather uneventful for a change. With the shopping all put away it was time to figure out how the rest of the day was going to unfurl.

We had no plans, and we had no jobs that had to be done, so we decided to simply get outside and enjoy the fresh air. We headed to Elvaston Castle, our closest country park, for a brisk walk. We completed two miles in 39 minutes and then decided it was time for coffee.

We headed to our closest Starbucks. We were chatting about the need for the car to be washed and had resigned ourselves to making that the first job when we got home. But as we were leaving we noticed that the garage across the way had jet-washers; £2 and 5 minutes later and our car was sparkly clean once again. Win!

Back home and Simon spent a further ten minutes giving the car a wipe around the door sills and he even hoovered it as well! Now, Simon is not a car fan and admitted that he has never really been bothered before about keeping any of our previous cars especially clean and tidy. But he is really enjoying this new car, he loves driving it and wants to keep it looking good! Well, who am I to stop him?!

With the afternoon drawing in it was time for more jigsaw for me before the light faded and some digital art time for Simon.

A quiet Sunday in January. January is such a strange month, the anti-climax following the hustle and bustle of December, the festivities of Christmas and then New Year so it always ends up feeling a bit 'flat'. Then add in cold weather and dark nights and it feels like a recipe for a bit of a non-event. I think we need to get a few things put in the diary to look forward to, especially as England sees the majority of its restrictions lifted towards the end of the coming week which means life can start to feel more 'normal' again. I checked back on my blog posts from this time last year (not long after we'd gone into another lockdown) to see what we had been up to and we had snow! In fact we had so much snow that we had to close pre-school for two days...no chance of that happening this year as though it's been chilly there is no sign of any snow.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Day 676

Day 676...

Today has been a very quiet and steady Saturday which started with a much needed lie-in and a lazy start to the day.

We spent the day at home and used some of the time to start planning how we want our new study/craft room (aka Molly's old bedroom) to look. So armed with a tape measure and the Ikea website we set about figuring what we need in the room.

We think we have a plan for how we are going to approach it by sticking to simple, white and practical furniture. We need a good amount of storage and it was a case of measuring up what we have at the moment and figuring out what cabinets would be the best solution for us. Once we have the storage sorted we will then move onto buying a new sofa bed and at that point we will begin to think about the theming/colour scheme for the room. Although I'm guessing that there will be a smattering of Disney in there somewhere!

We had a phone call from the company we are using to update the flooring with a quote for the room and as a result we have now placed an order with them. It's going to be a few weeks before the flooring is in stock and then we will need to arrange for the fitting to take place.

Simon has spent some more time going through our home video to 'capture' it and I've spent some time moving jigsaw pieces around. And that has been our day; very quiet but nice to have nothing specific to be dashing about for.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Friday, 21 January 2022

Day 675

Day 675...

Well today didn't turn out quite as expected.

I was supposed to be having a days holiday in lieu of time I'd worked extra before Christmas covering for a work colleague. Normally when I have a day off I will still be up early to check my phone just in case something has happened and I'm needed in work. But today I didn't do that for the first time in like forever.

I'd just got out the shower and Simon said 'I'm sure I can hear your phone ringing'...now that's never a good sign; a ringing phone before 8am. And sure enough on looking at my phone I'd got one missed call and a couple of WhatsApp messages.

To cut a long story short one of my team had tested positive for 'you know what' and therefore I was needed in work. The member of staff who tested positive is absolutely fine and only has a runny nose. I got myself sorted and arrived in work about 30 minutes late but before we opened the doors to the children.

Once all the children had arrived we looked at the number of staff to children and I was able to head home around 10.30am. I managed to get a couple of small admin jobs completed so my short amount of time in work was put to good use.

Once home I actually did a little more work as I now needed to amend our time sheets to allow for staff being off for the next few days, for staff working extra to cover and then to calculate sick pay. The annoying thing was that our government website which provides information for employers in relation to staff being off ill with covid was quoting sick pay rates for the last tax year rather than the year we are in now. Thanks to a Google search I was able to find the correct ratesm and while the difference was only penniesm it really wasn't good enough that a government run website is quoting out of date figures!

Simon and I managed a brisk walk out at lunchtime with 2.4 miles in 43 minutes being completed.

 After a spot of lunch Simon was back to work and I had the afternoon to myself. I got caught up on a few household tasks and then spent some time with my latest jigsaw.

And while Simon jumped on the exercise bike this evening for his 45 minute, zone two, workout I set about making tonights dinner; low carb moussaka.

Yummy, just what was needed on a cold winters evening!

See you tomorrow.
xx

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Day 674

Day 674...

Thursday once more and another day of a mix of work and home.

Work was focused around myself and my deputy getting our heads together to catch up on the meeting I attended yesterday as well as looking forward to an inset day next week.

At home this afternoon I will confess to a little more pre-school work as I wanted to get all the invoices that I'd created yesterday emailed out. I'd also got a couple of spreadsheets that I wanted to update along with an email to respond to. I have the day off tomorrow and so wanted to make sure I was on top of everything.

Because we are updating the flooring in Molly's old room we had someone out today to measure up the space and to give us a quote. We are having the same wood floor as we have in the rest of the house and this will be the catalyst for us to move forward with the room and turn it into a study/craft room.

I was then able to spend a few minutes moving pieces around on my jigsaw; I'd hoped the natural light would help me along but all it did was highlight a couple of errors from last night! 

When Simon finished work we headed out in the cold to the 'gym'. I must admit nipping out to our gym in the garage is so much more preferable to jumping in the car, driving to the gym, struggling to find a car parking space, walking in the cold to get to the gym from the car park and then having to wait for the right equipment to become free. So we did our weights workout and I tried a couple of new exercises under Simon's guidance. I'm quite pleased with my efforts at the moment as I'm now able to use my heaviest weights for more sets than I have done previously.

Right time to cook some steak for dinner and I'll see you tomorrow.
xx

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Day 673

Day 673...

Middle of the week and although it was my usual Wednesday with a morning of work and an afternoon off I was actually working from home today.

I had an online meeting to attend and so it was easier to do that from home where it's quieter and has fewer distractions. Either side of the meeting I was able to get on top of lots of admin bits and pieces.

By the end of the morning I'd spent an hour and a half in a meeting and made appropriate notes and saved some useful links; I'd created invoices for next months pre-school fees; I'd updated some spreadsheets, I'd completed data input as requested by our county council and I'd kept on top of emails. So all in all a pretty productive morning.

I'd also been chatting with Molly online, arranging a date for coffee with an old friend and connecting via Instagram with a fitness and healthy eating advocate!

Then because I was at home for the day we decided to make the most of the dry and bright, but chilly, day and take a walk out at lunchtime. Our first lunchtime walk in a while and we managed 2.45 miles in 45 minutes.

My next job was to collect my dad to take him to the garage so that he could pick up his car. He'd had problems with his car before Christmas which had resulted in the fuel pump being replaced and the car being returned to him just after New Year. He'd had the car back only a couple of days before it started to play up again. So after being in the garage for another ten days he was finally able to get it home today. Apparently the problem this time was the starter motor. Now this is a Jaguar garage and the customer experience inside the showroom was lovely, very personal and attentive; just a shame that the car hasn't performed as well as the showroom!

Back home and I grabbed a coffee before taking the time to jump on the exercise bike. Both Simon and I are trying to get on the bike in between gym workouts and at the moment Simon is doing way better at that than me! But I was back on today and did 45 minutes of zone two training. 

With that out the way it was time for more coffee and some jigsaw chill out time while Simon took his turn on the bike.

The great news today is that England will be rolling back all it's current covid restrictions to plan A, whatever that is? But it means that masks will no longer be required and they are scraping the vaccine passport system from next week (why not now I don't know?), but thankfully they are removing the need for children to wear mask in schools as from tomorrow. So we have a glimmer of good news...please let this be a glimmer of getting back to something like the normal that we used to know.

And that is my post for today, all that is left to do is to watch the latest episode of The Book of Boba Fett. See you tomorrow.
xx

 

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Day 672

Day 672...

A Tuesday once more and a pretty uneventful day, so I think this will be a short post today.

The morning was spent in work and was split between catching up with my deputy manager and the usual admin stuff; spreadsheets, emails and banking.

I arrived home to catch up with Simon's day so far as he was on his lunch break and then I had the afternoon to myself. It was the first time in a long while that I didn't have anything specific to do and I was at a bit of a loss.

But rallying around I decided to get on top of the laundry and ironing; exciting I know right?! But as I'd had a phone call from my dad asking me to take him to the garage to collect his car tomorrow I thought I'd best get that out the way today. 

I'd then got a little task of setting up some tweets for the Disney Dream Girls podcast that I co-host. Each week we set up a number of tweets to promote the show to try to increase our number of listeners. I use 'tweetdeck' so that I can write and schedule all the tweets for a number of days, and because we have listeners here in the UK and over in the US I have to make sure that I hit all the right time zones!

The jigsaw then beckoned so with a fresh coffee in hand I spent a little time sorting through pieces and actually managed to get a couple of smaller sections completed, much to my surprise.

We then finished off the day with a chilly weights workout in our 'gym'. I'm trying to get about a 30 minute workout in a couple of times a week and then supplementing that with a couple of days on the exercise bike. Although I am struggling to fit in the bike at the moment!

And with that I will sign off and see you all tomorrow.
xx

Monday, 17 January 2022

Day 671

Day 671...

And another work-free Monday for Simon and I.

We enjoyed a relaxed start to the day but while perusing social medias over a coffee I saw the sad news that my first 'supervisor' from my banking days (37 years ago) had died suddenly. She was only a few years older than me...so sad.

But then we had a couple of jobs this morning to get done. First was to chase my dad's prescription and see whether we were able to collect his medications today. I phoned through to the pharmacy and at first they couldn't find my dad's name on their system, never mind whether the prescription was ready or not. After explaining that the prescription had been taken to the surgery Monday last week and that the surgery had sent it to the pharmacy on Thursday they were eventually able to tell me that yes they had everything and it would be ready in half an hour. So my question is...had I not have phoned when would they have had it ready? Although having to wait a week is still not good enough.

We then did a little Lidl shop for those items that I refuse to pay Asda prices for! I don't mind an odd penny here or there but when the price difference can be as much as 40 pence I draw the line! Once home and with the small amount of shopping put away we had a little outdoor job to do. We moved some of our garden lights from one side of our fence facing onto our patio to the other side; this will hopefully throw a little more light onto the path that leads to our front door and that involves a number of steps which in the dark can be quite tricky to navigate. Hoping we may have resolved the problem.

Our afternoon was very relaxed as Simon wanted to make a little more headway on his latest piece of digital artwork. He is really enjoying working digitally at the moment and is building up quite a portfolio of pieces. I on the other hand just sorted through pieces, pieces of my latest jigsaw that is!! We also managed to watch some more of the home video that Simon had captured over the weekend. Once Simon has made a digital copy we then watch it back to ensure that everything has 'copied' over correctly and that the quality is as good as we can get for late 1990's home video! Today we were watching summer of 1998!

Later on we popped into Derby as I had a beauty appointment and it would have been rude not to have stopped for a coffee as well. The grey day had turned into a cold but rather bright afternoon so much so that the sun was rather annoying! And then driving home we had the most spectacular moon set in a perfectly clear sky. I really must get my phone out more and capture those moments.

With keto chicken fajita casserole cooking it's time to sign off for tonight, so I'll see you tomorrow.
xx

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Day 670

Day 670...

Sunday once more and we started with the usual collection of our grocery shop, which since the debacle of a few weeks ago has been plain sailing. I'd got some bits and pieces for my dad as his car is still out of action so we dropped those at his house on the way home.

Back home and with everything packed away we had for the most part a very lazy and quiet Sunday. There were a few household chores to complete but after that we had the day to do whatever we wanted. My aim was to see if I could complete my current jigsaw in daylight; I'd not got much left to do and wanted to get it done and out the way. Well, at long last, it's done!

Now this is the second jigsaw from a set of three, so you can guess that the next one I'm going to start is number three...another Christmas scene with a lot of reds and oranges!! In fact by the end of the afternoon this one was packed away and the outer edge of the next one was complete...well all bar one piece which I'm sure I will come across as I begin to complete it.

Simon has spent his day 'capturing' more of our old home video from 1998 as well as making progress with his latest piece of digital art. 

Mid-afternoon I jumped online with my good friend and podcast co-host, Michelle, to record a couple of episodes for our Disney Dream Girls podcast. Our first episode was for our Patreon subscribers and we chatted about Epcot's Festival of the Arts which started on Friday. We then had a guest join us for our second episode. Our guest was a good friend who has been a regular member of our Sunday Disney quizzes and who was lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World just before Christmas. 

And that was my Sunday, see you tomorrow.
xx

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Day 669

Day 669...

Another cold and foggy start to the day and an early start for a weekend as Simon had a barbers appointment at 8.30am. But this did mean we had the whole day ahead of us.

I'd realised late last night that I'd lost one of my rings, a thumb ring that Simon had bought me years and years ago. I always used to wear it on my right hand but after a spot of home decorating a couple of years ago my knuckle had swelled and ever since it was uncomfortable to wear my ring so I had swapped to wearing it on my left hand. I went to take the ring off last night and it wasn't there...I'd not noticed at any point during the day it was missing! I know that when I get cold it has slipped off before but I'd always been aware of it happening. Having no idea when it went missing I resigned myself to having lost it for good.

But this morning I thought I'd have a quick look in some obvious places; my handbag - nope, work bag - nope, bag of paperwork I'd brought home - nope, shopping bag I'd used yesterday - nope, pockets of my work coat - nope, checked my gloves - nope and then I checked the left pocket of my work fleece and hey presto my ring!! It's not an expensive ring, it's just a simple silver ring that has a dent in it but I've worn it for so long it was going to be weird not to have it but thankfully that's not now going to be the case.

This morning we decided to drive out to a flooring store in Nottingham to see about getting some new flooring sorted for Molly's old bedroom and what will become our new study/craft room. We knew which flooring we wanted (the same that we had laid last year in other parts of the house) but hadn't been able to find it on the store's website. Well, within fifteen minutes not only had the store confirmed that the same flooring is still stocked but we had arranged for the room to be measured later this week. It may be a while before the floor can be laid but we are in no hurry, it was just nice to get things moving along.

We then popped into Nottingham city centre for a coffee and to try the new Broadmarsh car park. Now, Broadmarsh car park and shopping centre has been a part of Nottingham for as long as I can remember but over the last few years there has been a lot of regeneration taking place and this led to the shopping centre closing and the old car park being demolished. Unfortunately the company in charge of the renovation went bust and now everything has been left to the city council to sort and as a result progress has been slow. But the new car park has now opened and is great although having changed all the roads leading to and from it now means it is more awkward to get in and out of. So while it was great to give it a try today, and will be handy for certain events that we go to around that specific area of the city, I don't think we will be using it that often. Although it does have electric car charging points!!

Finding a local coffee shop we took some time to chat and have a couple of coffees. We are both approaching that point in our lives where we are re-evaluating our goals and planning for a future that enables us to do more of what we want, when we want to do it. I have been following the opening of the Festival of the Arts at Epcot in Walt Disney World and it's events like this that I would love to experience, but at the moment due to our work lives we can't. So it's great to think that these type of things are slowly becoming more within our grasp.

And while in the coffee shop we did shake our heads at the number of people wearing masks to enter the shop, order their coffee, then sit down and remove the aforementioned mask while they chatted and drank their coffee. So, and I know I've said this before, this virus thing is it only a problem when ordering coffee but when you sit down to drink it the virus can't 'get you'? There was a family of three; a mum and two daughters, one of them late teens the other probably around 10 or 11. The youngest spent her time in the shop with her mask on (the others were not wearing theirs) and I watched her move it up and down to drink and eat. Is this what we've done to the youngest in our society? 

If you want to wear a mask then fine do it, but don't contradict yourself, show some common sense. And if you are really that frightened of an airborne virus then why are you out and about? At least we are consistent with our decision to not wear masks.

The rest of the day spent at home was a quiet affair with a little more added onto my grocery shop for collection tomorrow, some laundry sorted and a little more time spent on my jigsaw. And with wine in hand it's now time to spend an evening in with the TV.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Friday, 14 January 2022

Day 668 - Foggy Friday

Day 668...

Well as the title to this post says today was definitely 'Foggy Friday', it started off foggy and frosty and stayed foggy all day. It did mean that I had to figure out the fog lights on the new car for the first time!

Today was a full day in work and after most of my mornings this week had been taken up with very specific and lengthy tasks today was catch-up day. And with the exception of one piece of paperwork I was able to get everything done that I needed to get done; banking, emails, data input, newsletters, uniform orders, spreadsheets updated and forms filled.

My dad phoned me this morning to let me know that he'd spoken to his doctors about his prescription. So I'd taken it in to the surgery on Monday morning and had been told by the receptionist that it would be 'sorted now'. I'd then rung the pharmacy on Wednesday to check if it was ready for collection and was told they knew nothing about it. Dad spoke to the surgery today and was told that it was 'sent down to the pharmacy yesterday (Thursday)'. So when they said they were sorting it now they actually meant 'it'll take us about 72 hours to get a doctor to sign it off'. Now I have to wait for the pharmacy to actually dispense it...I'm not holding my breath! Something is seriously wrong with our health system if a repeat prescription for an elderly patient, on blood thinners, is taking over a week to sort.

I arrived home to a freshly poured mug of coffee and a quick catch-up with Simon. After dealing with a few of my own emails and a quick work related email it was time for a fresh pot of coffee and some jigsaw time.

And then while Simon did a 45 minute workout on the exercise bike I poured a glass of red wine and carried on with my jigsaw!

With dinner out the way I think it will be time to chill in front of the TV; we started watching the series Dopesick last night which so far is very good so I think we will be binge watching a few more episodes!

See you tomorrow.
xx

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Day 667

Day 667...

Today was another day split between work this morning and being at home this afternoon.

Although my first job of the day was to unplug my electric car. Since getting the car I've left all the technical stuff to Simon and so plugging it in last night and unplugging it this morning was a first for me...and it was super easy, barely an inconvenience (I just had to use that phrase, anyone who watches Ryan George on You Tube will understand!!)

My work morning was pretty standard although a large chunk of it was taken up with a meeting with my deputy manager. We tend to use a Thursday morning as our official chance to catch-up with all things managerial.

At home this afternoon and I timed it right to be able to spend some time with Simon as he was on his lunch break. I then made some keto bread; we had some pate in the fridge that needed using up so it was a good excuse to rustle up a quick loaf. Bread made with eggs, cream cheese, ground almonds and oil and very yummy.

I then had a few emails and some of my own banking to sort, along with getting on top of the laundry. Not very exciting but just things that needed to get done. I then managed to find a little time, while daylight was on my side, to get a bit more of my jigsaw completed.

Simon and I then headed down the 'gym' for a weights workout session before chilling out for the evening in front of the TV.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Day 666!!!

Day 666...

...that's a rather ominous number to have reached!

I started writing this diary way, way back on Thursday 19th March 2020, the world was going crazy, we were gripped in a blind panic and I think most of us were scared and unnerved by everything unravelling around us.

Thursday 19th March 2020 was day 1 of my lockdown. We had taken the decision to close pre-school the day before because we couldn't wait any longer for the government to make its mind up; we had worried parents, we had parents keeping their children home and my team of staff were stressed and anxious. Enough was enough and we closed. 

And then if to justify our decision it was announced that schools would close after the weekend and the whole country would be in lockdown for 'three weeks to flatten the curve'. As this was a completely unique experience I thought I would write a diary to catalogue what we did, how it affected us, how we coped (or not!) and to see how long it would last for. Never did I think I would still be writing this on day 666!

There have been times over those 666 days that restrictions have lifted but at no point over those 666 days did we ever get back to complete normal and I'm not sure as I write this that we ever will get back to the old normal. Listening to a podcast the other day and the doctor of psychology that was being interviewed actually said that the new normal would be different and that it had to be because the old normal wasn't working. 

I think we have to take things from the past 666 days and recognise some of the changes and realise that yes things maybe different when we get out of all this but perhaps some things will have benefits. Chatting with a work colleague today and we both agreed that a little social distancing in some circumstances can be very welcome! I have never enjoyed those queues where the person behind you thinks that by standing as close to you as possible means the queue will move quicker...personal space is there to be enjoyed and to be invited into in the correct circumstances.

Perhaps going forward people will be more courteous and friendly to each other and appreciate the time that we have together. Perhaps we will take more care over ourselves and when we don't feel great we stop, take time off work to get well rather than soldiering on and spreading our germs. Who knows, only time will tell but that time still feels a long way off just yet.

Back on 19th March 2020 my opinion of what we were facing was completely different to my opinions now. I have over the past 666 days listened, read and questioned the information I have been presented with. I have taken the time to expand my knowledge by searching out information away from the main stream media. I have taken the time to try and understand what is going on and what is best for me and mine. I can accept that back in March 2020 with all the scary stories coming out of China and northern Italy we were frightened and had no idea what we were up against. But I can also accept that by way of having an open mind things can change, after all that is what science is about; investigating and accepting that as theories are tested data may change and new ideas have to be formed.

I seem to remember prior to 666 days ago our government were pursuing a 'herd immunity' approach and that masks did not work but by the time I started my 'lockdown diary' we were in lockdown (obviously) and by the summer of 2020 masks were 'a thing'. And back then I was happy to comply and 'do my bit' but now I have more information and my opinion has changed because I have chosen to search out new and different sources of information, along with a good dollop of common sense!

After all it would appear that the virus only affects you if ordering a coffee but not if you're sat down in the same coffee shop, or when entering a restaurant but not when sat at your table...maybe it's a height thing?!! Or, following a conversation today, it's only a problem at certain times of the day...apparently a friend went to a bar, table was booked for 9.05pm and they were asked for a vaccine pass which they were not aware of, they then get told 'it's only needed after 9pm' - face palm!!!

Here we are at day 666 and we have revelations that our government in May 2020 were having 'bring your own booze' parties when the rest of us could only meet one person outdoors providing we kept socially distant. When I would walk to my dad's house to talk to him through the living room window. When people were kept apart from dying relatives or couldn't attend funerals. Shambles is the only word I can think of at the moment. 

Simon looked back at my blog posts from May 2020 and read out what we were doing; sunny and warm and making the most of the weather with coffee in the garden and walks around the countryside on our doorstep. Simon was working from home (which he did anyway - 8 years and counting), Ethan was working from home and I was busy completing risk assessments ready for when pre-school was allowed to re-open. We were fortunate. We have a nice house, with a garden, next door to open spaces to 'exercise' but a lot did not have that. A lot were cooped up indoors, with young children and no respite and all while those telling 'us' what to do were doing the exact opposite.

And what of today? Well it was a pretty standard sort of day. A morning in work and an afternoon at home. 

On the way home I was going to pop into our local pharmacist to collect my dad's prescription but thankfully I had the foresight to give them a call first. And guess what? The prescription is not ready and in fact they're not even aware of it, so despite the GP receptionist telling me on Monday it was getting authorised there and then nothing has happened! 

Back home and I was able to catch-up with Simon as he was still on his 'lunch break'. We then had an Amazon delivery which was a new i-pad for pre-school so I set about getting it all set-up ready for use tomorrow. Unfortunately i-tunes would only let me proceed with a code that was delivered to 'one of my registered devices' which were all at pre-school and not with me - doh!

As I could do no more with that I decided to jump on the exercise bike and complete my first 45 minute 'zone 2' workout. I've managed 30 minutes before but wanted to increase the duration. With the physical exercise out the way it was time for some mental exercise; jigsaw time!

An while I typed this blog and set about cooking dinner Simon jumped on the bike and did his 45 minute workout.

Now it's time for red wine, dark chocolate and episode three of 'The Book of Boba Fett'.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Day 665

Day 665...

And it was back to work Tuesday for both me and Simon. My second day back in work physically and Simon's first day back after the Christmas break.

Tuesdays are just a morning in work for me and it was chance for myself and my deputy manager to touch base and catch-up. We had dates to organise for the calendar, cash flow projections to debate over and lots more; suffice to say it took us the whole morning just to get caught up. Before I left I was able to get a couple of emails sent and some additions to our first newsletter of the new year.

Back home and I joined Simon for the last half of his lunch break. My afternoon was then a mix of sorting some personal emails out, a little online shopping on behalf of pre-school, issuing a newsletter for pre-school and then spending some time on my jigsaw. I was actually able to move the jigsaw in front of a window today (the said window had been blocked for all of December by the Christmas tree!) and was able to see everything so much better!!

The day was finished with a weights workout in our gym before settling down for the evening. Keto chicken fajita casserole for dinner followed by TV, red wine and very dark chocolate.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Monday, 10 January 2022

Day 664

Day 664...

A non-working Monday, as is the norm for Simon and I, and Simon's last day of his Christmas break before returning to work tomorrow.

It was lovely to have a relaxed start to the day, although I always make sure to check my phone early on in case I'm needed in work for any reason. But there was no message so slow and steady won the race this morning.

Our first job of the day was to drop a prescription in at our doctors surgery for my dad. The last few times I'd been able to drop it in with the pharmacist rather than the doctors reception but today I was informed they were no longer doing that service and I had to pop into the surgery...'if they'd let me in'. I asked when I would be able to pick up the medications and was told 'oh at least a week' - I must have looked puzzled because this was followed up with 'we have to wait for the doctors to be in'. So not only are we back to covid-crazy entry routines but prescriptions are taking at least a week because the doctors aren't in the surgery often enough?

Sure enough the surgery was no longer operating with an open door and a just walk in and talk to someone on reception system. Instead they have locked the main door and are operating through a side door (up steps...so how is that disabled/old people friendly?) to which you can only gain access by someone opening the door from the inside. So when a patient arrives they ring the doorbell, receptionist has to leave whatever they are doing to open the door. Patient is then told to temperature check and anti-bac hands. Receptionist returns to their desk until she gets disturbed by the next ring of the doorbell. Let's think about this...a doctors receptionist job can be a bit trying at the best of times but now factor in having to get up every few minutes to answer the door while still trying to do paperwork and answer the phone, and we have one irritated receptionist and equally irritated patients at the poor service.

Thankfully I was able to hand the receptionist the prescription at the door (and so avoid the palava of masks!) and confirm the length of time it would take to get the medications. When I said the pharmacist had told me 'at least a week' she looked confused and simply said 'what? no that isn't right'. I told her that my dad was running low on one of his medications and asked if could she tell me when best to collect them. She very kindly went back inside to check and reappeared to say that the doctor was signing it off there and then and it should be a couple of days. So we will see!!

We then headed into Nottingham for a bit of a wander, a change of scenery and of course a coffee. It was simply nice to be out and about and be somewhere different. I'm not feeling myself at the moment and will admit to the whole masks, tests, isolate, cases etc etc etc beginning to get me down way more than it has before now. I am just very tired of it all and am struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel and instead see time slipping away. And then throw in menopause hormones, night sweats and sleepless nights and it's all proving to be a great combination!!

Back home and it was more time to chill and to try and disengage for a while by way of using my current jigsaw as distraction. And while I did get a fair few pieces in I still have some way to go to get this one completed. But it works well as a distraction as I find it easy to lose myself in the task at hand.

And with Monday done I will see you tomorrow.
xx

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Day 663

Day 663...

Sunday once more and it was a quiet day which started with the weekly collection of our grocery shop and after the appalling service last week things were significantly better.

After we'd put all the shopping away we debated what to do with the day and we decided to pop out to a local country park for a bit of a walk. So with the wellies in the car we headed out to Elvaston Castle.

It was surprisingly busy and very muddy so we were very thankful we'd taken the wellies with us. We had a wander around the grounds and in just over an hour we'd walked 3 miles. It is a lovely place to wander around and I think the clear and dry day had given a lot of other people the same idea.

As the onsite cafe and shop were rather busy with long lines we decided to drive home via a local Starbucks for a coffee. Back home I had the exciting job of the ironing to contend with, which thankfully didn't take too long.

We then spent a couple of hours with me moving jigsaw pieces around while Simon watched a film that I wasn't particularly interested in.  And that was our Sunday.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Saturday, 8 January 2022

Day 662

Day 662...

It has been a relatively quiet Saturday today, one that started off very slow after another disturbed nights sleep. Which meant that it was almost midday before we set about doing anything.

Simon has taken our home movies shot using video-8 format and converted them to digital files. Once the video has been captured and edited we have been then watching them back to make sure that we have is of a good and watchable quality. 

Simon had some captured video from July 1998 that he needed my help with, trying to figure out where the original video had taken place. We knew it was from a holiday down to Cornwall so I managed to find the photos from the same holiday hoping that I'd written on the back of the photos when and where they'd been taken so that we could then match them to the video. But unfortunately my past self wasn't much help as all the backs of the photos were blank!

But between us, and with our knowledge and memories of Cornwall, we were able to figure out where all the video had been shot. Although we did have to look for clues in some of the video and then coupled with a little 'google' we were able to pin all the locations down.

As this was the last section of video that Simon had captured we then had to find the remaining home movies. During the summer we'd moved a lot of things around when we had the new flooring laid in the living room and thankfully we remembered that we'd put all the video in the loft space in our garage. So today we brought them all back into the house to organise ready for the next round of video capture.

I reckon we have at least 30 tapes to capture, which at a minimum of an hour a tape is a lot of video! Plus we have about a dozen VHS tapes that have home movies on them but we are not sure whether these are copies of existing video-8 tapes or the only copy of some of the home movies. So once we have captured all the video-8 tapes we will then need to go through the VHS tapes to check and make sure we haven't missed anything. We also found another couple of photo albums to add to our collection that I am working my way through to scan and save!

The day had started off very grey and quite wet but by early afternoon it had cleared up and for a short while the sun tried to make an appearance so we decided to make the most of the break in the weather and pop out for a walk. We took a walk through the village and managed just over 2 miles in 43 minutes.

We got home just in time to brew a pot of coffee before I jumped online with my good friend, and podcast co-host, Michelle to record an episode of our Disney Dream Girls podcast. Today we recorded with Seth Kubersky, the author of 'The Unofficial Guides' series which covers Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and more. Seth is great fun to chat with and has an extensive knowledge of the parks.

I then managed to grab a little time to put some jigsaw pieces into place and I actually managed to get quite a few pieces in! Then it was time to make keto pizza before stopping for the day. We have the final epsiode of RuPaul's Canada's Drag Race to watch so I best pour the wine and grab some chocolate.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Friday, 7 January 2022

Day 661

Day 661...

We have reached the end of the working week...well I've now worked one and a half days, Ethan has managed three days and Simon will start back next week!

But today my work day was actually spent in work and was pretty productive. I had stuff to print and file, spreadsheets to update and re-organise, emails to respond to and create, new starter information to collate and prep, signs to create, print and laminate, newsletters to start and schedule and banking to do. So, yeah, a pretty productive day.

On the way home I stopped by my dad's as he'd asked me to pick up a prescription to drop by our local pharmacy as his car is once again not working. His car had stopped working just before Christmas and the garage had been able to repair it and get it back to him just a few days ago. Initially it seemed to work fine but it didn't last long and yesterday it had 'died' again. He has someone coming out to look at it tomorrow in the hope that they can get it to the garage as there is no way that it is safe enough for him to be driving it. Such a shame as it's a lovely car (Jaguar!) and this isn't what you'd expect from such a high quality brand.

Finally home and it started to snow! But it didn't last long and instead just left a covering of slush! But I had other things to occupy myself with as we'd had a butchers delivery today and I needed to split the order into meal size portions; just sausage, bacon, steak, beef mince and elk burgers!

It was then that I nearly did myself a mischief! Heading out to the freezer in our garage I walked up a few steps and onto some paving slabs and could feel myself almost fall over! The combination of the material of the paving slabs and the frozen slush/snow was not a good mix, in fact walking on the slabs was almost impossible. Thankfully the other surfaces between the house and the garage were slip free!

And that was Friday and now it's time to start the weekend...I think we maybe having a binge watch of RuPaul's Canada Drag Race!

See you tomorrow.
xx

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Day 660 - Back to Work

Day 660...

Thursday and my first day back to work since before Christmas, and it was an easy return to work as it was only a half day and I got to work from home.

My focus today was to complete the pre-school accounts for the last term, update all the banking, respond to emails and to create a cash flow forecast for the next few months.

The benefit of working from home is that I am able to work uninterrupted and in a much quieter environment. And by about 1pm I had achieved all that I'd set out to do. I then spoke with my deputy manager to get caught up on how the day was going as I won't see her when I'm in tomorrow, and then I could stop for the rest of the day.

Simon and I had hoped to go out for a walk but by the time I'd finished all my pre-school work the cold and frosty morning had turned into a rather damp and grey afternoon so we decided not to bother. While I'd been working this morning Simon had cleaned around the house and so this afternoon we could both just chill for a little while. Simon had his digital art and I had my jigsaw.

By the end of the day it was time to brave the cold outside and head out to the gym for a weights workout; the second of this week. I now need to figure out how to find the time to jump on the exercise bike at other points in the week...or rather not talk myself out of jumping on the exercise bike!!

See you tomorrow.
xx

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Day 659 - Last Day of Holidays

Day 659...

We have a Wednesday and my last day off before returning to work tomorrow. Simon had been due to start work yesterday which had been delayed due to our power outage but on checking his emails late on yesterday discovered that his team were down a couple for various reasons and so everyone had agreed to delay their return until Tuesday next week.

This meant a much more relaxed start to the day and once we had breakfast out the way we decided to indulge in this weeks 'Book of Boba Fett' episode. Another great episode as far as we were concerned and we are really enjoying the start to this series.

Next we popped out to our local Lidl to pick up a few bits and pieces plus I had a voucher for £20 that needed using (a promo from sorting my car insurance out the other week!). 

It was then time for the main task of the day - taking down all our outdoor Christmas decorations. This meant the removal of 3 lots of snowflake stake lights, 2 small trees, 1 set of Christmas tree shaped stake lights, one garland, one Mickey wreath, baubles from the trees, tinsel from my tiki statue, two lots of string lights, one snowman, one penguin and one Santa!! We also had the three indoor trees, one small indoor tree and three indoor garlands to pack away as well!

We moved a few things around in the shed and got out all the various storage boxes ready for packing away. First off we packed all the indoor decorations away as they were all disassembled and just needed putting in the correct storage boxes. Next we packed away my new Mickey wreath, two small trees and garland and the three sets of snowflake stake lights; these were all straight forward as they were all battery operated.

Next we tackled all of the 'plugged-in' lights. The blow moulds were easy to unplug and pack away along with the Christmas tree stake lights...

My view last night...

...and my view this afternoon!!
But then it was time for the string lights. I decided that if I could make sure they would stay on a static light effect that I wanted to keep them out and re-arrange them. A little playing around and we found that both sets would stay on static in between powering on and off. Next I wanted to take both sets down, untangle them and then re-position them. I decided that lights in the garden look so pretty and that 'flashing' lights mean Christmas while 'static' ones are simply pretty for anytime of the year.

We have been able to take one set the whole length of the garden and thanks to Simon we were able to fix them to the fences by way of a few screws. Now I can have lights in my garden all year round.



Glad to be back inside from the cold it was time for coffee and jigsaw and while I pushed pieces around the puzzle board Simon pushed pedals around on the exercise bike!

Well that was today and tomorrow I will be back at work, although it will be just a half day and a day working from home as I have the fun of the termly accounts to complete!!

Right I best refill that glass of wine and settle down for the last couple of episodes of the latest season of Queer Eye (and try not to cry!).

See you tomorrow.
xx

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Day 658 - No Power!

Day 658...

Well, today was supposed to have been back to work for Simon and Ethan but that didn't quite happen. 

We were up and making breakfast and I'd just filled the kettle with some water, and as I placed it down and flicked the switch we lost power. Not to worry we thought it was probably just the kettle tripping out the electrics but nothing had tripped. Then we realised the whole house was without power rather than just the sockets in the kitchen. Ah, we had a problem.

Simon jumped on the phone to Western Power to report the fault. However because we had to call using a mobile phone we had a slight issue as the mobile phone signal here is pretty bad. Sure enough half way through the phone call and we lost the signal. We had thankfully done as the operator had requested but that had made no difference. By this time I'd noticed lights on in our neighbours houses and so we started to think that maybe the fault was with our house only.

It was then my turn to jump on the phone, but this time I used Ethan's phone as he is on a different network and had a slightly better signal. I phoned the electrical company we had recently used for our electric car charging point to see if they could help. And while I did that Simon had to drive further into our village in order to get a mobile phone signal so that he could text his boss and let them know that he wouldn't be 'logging on' first thing! 

Thankfully about an hour later our electrician had arrived and promptly told us that there were a 'ton of Western Power vans' at the bottom of our lane...mmm so maybe this wasn't just our house. Anyway, he doubled checked our supply and confirmed that the problem lay with the power company and not us - phew! Just then our power came back on...only to go straight back off again! And at that point all my neighbours appeared from their houses to say that their power was now out!

So Simon and Ethan were unable to work. Thankfully, we have a gas hob so I was still able to cook breakfast and then boil water to make cups of coffee throughout the day. We decided that the only thing we really could do was to start taking down the Christmas decorations. I have a number of larger decorative pieces that I have displayed and so I gathered them all together first and got them packed away in their specific boxes. We could then start on each individual tree...there were three of them to pack away and I am quite particular about how all the tree decorations are packed and stored!

Around 11am we had a phone call from the power company to let us know that they were still trying to locate the problem and that they suspected the issue was somewhere underground, but that they were hoping to get power restored by 6.30pm! Ah...a new plan for the day was needed. We did a little more 'undecorating' and then headed out for a spot of light lunch at a local Starbucks as we knew we would be able to recharge our phones there and get a decent coffee.

We arrived back home hopeful that the power might be back on but as we turned the corner we could see all the power company vans lining the main road and men in hi-viz jackets walking about. Oh well back to more 'undecorating'! Although we did make sure to dig out the box of candles just in case;our house is relatively dark and we knew as the afternoon went on we would need the light however minimal that the candles could provide.

And then the power came back on...and two minutes later it went off again! But by around 3.30pm it came on and stayed on (well it's still on as I type this!) although I think we all thought it could go off again at anytime. This meant that we could get all the decorations taken down, boxed up and moved into the loft until next year. I still have the trees to pack away as although they are all dismantled I need to get their storage boxes out of our garden shed and it was too dark and cold to be messing about outdoors, so that will be a job for tomorrow. 

A little more drama (well inconvenience) to add to the day was that our refuse bins did not get collected as they should. Guessing staff shortages due to you know what, but I have raised it with the council so we will see what happens.

To round out the day Simon and I headed down our 'gym' for a weights workout; my first time in at least two weeks...perhaps even longer! But it was worth it and I really need to get myself refocused as far as workouts go.

With the power still on I think it's time to watch some more Queer Eye - just loving this new season!

See you tomorrow.
xx

Monday, 3 January 2022

Day 657

Day 657...

Today marks the end of our Christmas break...sort of. Both Simon and Ethan are back to work tomorrow while I still have a couple of days to go, so there is that feeling of day-to-day life returning.

Molly messaged me this morning with a photo to show that they had taken down their Christmas decorations today. Because I will be at home the next couple of days while the men of the house are working I've decided that I will start to take ours down then. I have three trees, multiple ornaments and outdoor lights to sort so I will approach them all in a steady fashion. I love all my Christmas decorations and always hate taking them down as everywhere feels so empty...Simon on the other hand tolerates the clutter that Christmas brings and always looks forward to 'getting the house back'!

We had a very slow start to the day, so much so that breakfast was more like brunch! Early afternoon we headed out for a coffee; a chance to just have a little time for Simon and I and chance for Simon to drive the car. He is loving it, in fact I've never known him enjoy a car so much before!

We arrived home just at the right moment as we had an Amazon delivery arrive and the lady delivering was looking rather confused and was struggling to find our house and that of a neighbour and so we were able to come to her rescue just at the right moment. Our delivery now means that we have a set of dip bars to add to our gym. Simon had tried the set that Dan has and was surprised at how neatly they stored away and had quickly found a pair online. Once inside the house the bars were assembled and of course had to be tried out. I can't see me using them but never, say never!

This afternoon Simon jumped on the exercise back for a 45 minute workout and while he 'cycled' I moved some jigsaw pieces around. As you can tell my idea of exercise and Simon's are quite different, but I think once I am back into our normal routine I really need to get focused with using the bike and alternating that with gym sessions.

And that kind of rounded out our day, very chilled and laid back and no doubt will see a few more episodes of Queer Eye and Canada's Drag Race watched this evening with the obligatory glass of red to hand and some dark chocolate.

See you tomorrow.
xx

Sunday, 2 January 2022

Day 656

Day 656...

Today was more of a routine kind of day after the hustle and bustle of the festive period.

We started the day with the collection of our weekly grocery shop - yipee! A sign that life is returning back to it's usual routine. Although the service was that bad today that I decided to provide some feedback to the store. I couldn't find anything online that would allow me to feedback to the store direct nor could I find any other means of contacting the supermarket so I resorted to twitter. I always think it's a sad state of affairs when the only means of communicating is by taking to social media. But by mid-afternoon I'd had a response and have now been able to 'direct message' them with some more information...let's see what happens next?!

With the shopping packed away and a late breakfast/early lunch eaten (hence the need to get my grocery shop today!) we decided to head out for a walk. We've missed getting out and about for our walks but as today was another mild day for the time of year, and dry, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. We managed 3.4 miles in an hour and four minutes.

This afternoon I was tasked with looking over Simon's website that he's recently updated; I had a read through of it all to make sure everything read correctly and there were no errors. After that we took a little time out and while Simon drew and I sorted some jigsaw pieces we watched the Disney Christmas Day Parade which was filmed at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

And then it was time to jump online with some of my Disney family for our Disney Dream Girls podcast family Sunday afternoon quiz! Our Sunday quiz started during the first lockdown and had become a regular Sunday occurrence, but as our lives have started to look a little more normal it has been difficult to get us all free at the same time. But today four of us were able to hook up online, have a chat and answer some questions. I actually won although that does mean that I now have the task of setting the questions for the next quiz!

I have an evening planned of 'not very much' that will most likely involve red wine and probably the latest series of Queer Eye!

See you tomorrow.
xx

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Day 655 - New Years Day 2022

Day 655...

Welcome to the New Year, and welcome to 2022...I wonder what this year will bring us and whether we will be in a better place this time next year? And whether we will have anything like our previous 'normal' lives...I sure hope we do!

But today started with another hotel breakfast to set us up for the journey home. Once checked out we headed over to Molly and Dans for a coffee and a little catch-up.

We left their house around 11.30 am arriving home at 4.10pm, so a total of 4 hours and 40 minutes. The great thing about the hotel that we'd chosen to stay at was not only did they have charging points (this will now be a prerequisite of any future hotel stays!) but that the charging points were free! The charging points were of the lowest charging rate available and so the time taken to charge the car was lengthy but as we plugged it in each time we parked up we ensured that we started today with the maximum charge possible.

We had decided to make our first charging stop at one of the services that we'd used on the trip down because they were super fast chargers, easy to use and there were four available. When we arrived all four were being used but we decided to wait and see if a slot became available. We could see from the screens on the units that a couple of the cars were almost fully charged and sure enough a few minutes later a space became available. So we plugged in and walked over to Starbucks for a coffee. We enjoyed our coffee and by the time we headed back to the car we had about a 90% charge which was brilliant.

We then set off with our next charging location in mind. Simon has been watching how the charge works, how quickly the cars 'estimated mileage' drops and with a little research has now got a pretty good idea of how far we can get between charges. 

Our second stop and our second coffee saw the car get up to around an 85% charge which was more than enough to make the last leg of the journey home. We made much better time on the return journey because we weren't having to wait around too long for charging units to be available unlike on our journey down.

As this journey was around 190 miles we would have stopped once for a toilet break/coffee stop in our previous, petrol, car so the difference is now we have to have two stops instead of one. The whole driving experience is much calmer and feels less rushed and taking that little bit longer really did not bother us at all. We have said that now we have a better idea of what a long journey entails we will know to plan ahead and expect to take longer.

Interestingly we have chatted to a number of electric car drivers over the last two journeys and everyone has been happy to share their moans and groans and their successes. One driver today confirmed what we had already suspected that the colder the weather the worse the performance and consequently the warmer it is the more miles that can be done! Perhaps we will became fair weather drivers from now on!!

Arriving home it was time to unpack and put things away and for some reason I became rather emotional. I always seem to struggle emotionally at this time of year as we move from the hustle and bustle and joy of Christmas into the lull of the start of a new year. It always feels rather melancholic for me as my thoughts turn to packing away decorations and returning to the humdrum of everyday life. But I think arriving home today caught me unawares as my thoughts turned to Molly and her not being at home anymore. I am so happy that she has found Dan and is making a life for herself but I do miss her so much. She is my partner in crime and I miss having her around. I know this will pass because I am used to her living away from home for periods of time but for the moment it has hit me a little more than I'd expected.

Saturday is done, so I will see you all tomorrow.
xx