Monday 28 February 2022

Day 713

Day 713...

The start of the working week and after a week off 'ill' and a week off for our half term break I found myself in work on a Monday which is actually my non-working day of the week!

We have a member of staff off ill so I was needed to provide cover for them. As it was myself and my deputy were able to spend the morning together to start the process of handing over my duties.

Our plan is that the sooner we can transfer my duties over to my deputy and other team members the sooner I can step away. So we have started the process of my deputy shadowing me to discover what it is I actually do each day and how that can be transferred over to her and the team. The plan for the remainder of the academic year is for me to be able to step away from pre-school but to remain in kind of a 'consultant' role so that I can support my deputy and the team from a distance. I will be their training wheels as they learn to ride the managers bike!!

I was home for early afternoon and after a bite of lunch with Simon we headed into Derby to have a little look around some shops, grab a coffee and I had a beauty appointment to get to.  Back home we had another coffee before Simon jumped onto the exercise bike for his 45 minutes of zone two training. I on the other hand moved some jigsaw pieces around!

Right, that was Monday and I will see you tomorrow.

Sunday 27 February 2022

Day 712

Day 712...

It has been a very quiet Sunday; a very bright, sunny, blue skied and chilly day.

Our morning started off with collecting our grocery shopping and after months of the store of our choice (Asda!) having a badly working app...okay an app that didn't work at it worked perfectly for the first time!!

With the shopping out the way we decided to make the most of the beautiful day and head out for a walk over the fields where we live. It was the first time in a long while that we had taken a route over the fields and we had the good sense to wear our wellies. We managed 4 miles in an hour and twenty minutes and I could tell it had been a while since taking this route as the hills were a little more of a test than they used to be. 

This time last year when we were in lockdown we were out walking each weekend and although we have been out and about when we can it is noticeable that we are not walking as much as we had been. I do miss our walks and I think we will make a conscious effort to get out more, when the weather allows.

The remainder of the day has been spent at home; Simon has been updating some details on his personal website and starting his next piece of digital art and I've caught up on a few household chores and packed one jigsaw away and started the next one.

In a change of plans I will be working tomorrow as one of our team is off ill, but all being well it will be just for the morning. And because a newsletter to all our parents has been issued today I can now reveal that I will be stepping away from pre-school and by the end of the academic year in July I will be retiring! So my focus over the next few weeks and months is to hand over the mantle of manager to my deputy and team so that we can have a seamless transition.

This evening we will be trying to watch RuPauls Drag Race as last night we could not find a stream of this weeks show...although we did find a show called Finding Magic Mike which was really interesting viewing!! 

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 26 February 2022

Day 711

Day 711...

So last night we had the pleasure of experiencing La Deda Cabaret in Derby. A burlesque and cabaret show produced by the delightful Scarlett Daggers and compered by the hilarious Stage Door Journey

We have been going to these events for a number of years now and can't recommend them highly enough. They have an array of talented artists from burlesque performers to singers to mime to knife throwing and more. We have seen so many varied acts over the years and consequently no two shows are ever the same.

Last night we had two of my favourite acts. Kiki Lovechild who is a mime and manages to incorporate humour with heartfelt meaning along with Velma Von Bon Bon who serves up a mix of burlesque, comedy and acrobatics. Both of these never fail to disappoint.

So this morning we had a steady start to the day as we really did not have much to do. We had hoped to meet up with Michelle for a coffee before she headed home but due to a build up of traffic she decided to head home earlier than planned. But it had been lovely to see her yesterday evening.

We popped out to grab a coffee and a car wash. We have discovered that one of our favourite coffee shops has a jet car wash located next door so we make a point of when the car needs a clean we need a coffee!

Before we knew it the day had rolled along and while Simon jumped on the exercise bike I took a much more relaxed approach by completing my jigsaw. Although I am one piece this jigsaw was passed onto me I don't know whether it was always missing a piece or whether I have lost it somewhere!

We will be rounding out today with keto pizza and hopefully the latest episode of RuPauls Drag Race.

See you tomorrow.

Friday 25 February 2022

Day 710

Day 710...

The end of the week and the start of the weekend.

Today was a mixture of getting jobs done and a little me time. I had a few household chores to do, the laundry to sort and a couple of emails that I needed to respond to.

I then had a little pre-school work to complete. As a registered charity we have to submit an annual return to the Charities Commission which involves producing accounts which have to be independently reviewed, writing an annual report and then making sure that all of our trustee information is up to date and correct. 

From previous years I knew that the documents that I needed to submit had to be in PDF format. This meant figuring out how to convert a Google document, a Google sheets workbook and a JPEG picture into a PDF file. And I was quite pleased with myself that with a little online research I was able to get them all converted over with relative ease. With them all converted and saved out I could then complete the annual return online; another job done and out the way.

We had a butchers delivery arrive this morning which meant splitting everything out into meal size portions. Thankfully this order wasn't as big as some of my previous and only involved splitting 5kg of steak mince, 2kg of bacon, some burgers and some sausages.

And then at the end of the morning I even managed to squeeze in a little time to paint my nails which is the first time I have done that in I can't remember when. But as we are off out this evening I thought I would use that as a good excuse to pop a little colour on.

This afternoon has been a much more relaxed affair. I spent some time with my jigsaw, I sorted more laundry, responded to a few more emails (both mine and work), watched some YouTube of the new Star Wars hotel over at Walt Disney World and took advantage of the natural daylight to get my make-up done ready for this evening.

So it is now time to get my glad rags on as we are off into Derby to see La DeDa Cabaret; an evening of burlesque and cabaret and chance to hook up with my good friend Michelle. These are always such a fun night so I will report back tomorrow!

See you then.

Thursday 24 February 2022

Day 709

Day 709...

Today marks the beginning of the end of restrictions in England and a chance that things may begin to look more normal again. But at the same time we have reports of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine...we seem to be going from one round of fear to another and I really don't like the way the world is turning at the moment.

But it was still Thursday and there were still things to be done.

Back in 2019 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy to remove the 'bad stuff'. Following a successful surgery I am now about half way through five years of annual mammograms to make sure all is well. My next mammogram should be sometime in April as that is the anniversary of my surgery but a couple of days ago I'd received a letter inviting me to book an appointment as part of the breast screening program here in the UK.

I dutifully made the phone call today to book myself in, but when I explained that I had been diagnosed in 2019 I was told to ignore the letter and wait for my annual check. I wasn't sure whether the letter would apply to me or not but wanted to make sure. Just seems a bit of a waste of time and effort to issue an existing cancer patient with a letter that does not apply to them. In times when we are being told about the financial pressures placed on our NHS you would think that efficient systems would be one way to ensure that costs were held in check by only contacting those that actually needed to be contacted.

Around midday I headed out to meet the girls from work in the hail and rain and snow! The weather was a very mixed bag today, there was sunshine and blue skies, gusty winds, hail, rain and snow; not pleasant at all!

We met up at a local cafe for afternoon tea. Now as I follow a low carb/keto way of eating an afternoon tea is not something that appeals to me anymore and one that I know my body wouldn't handle very well. I will admit that the food that the rest of my team had looked lovely and was beautifully presented and everyone seemed to enjoy it all. I did decide to allow myself a treat and had a very nice cream tea...although I had coffee and not tea!!! And I didn't really touch the jam!

After a lovely couple of hours chatting and catching up I came home via my local Lidl as it was that time of the week when I needed to pick up a few odds and sods. And with prices seemingly all over the place at the moment I am finding that I am choosing what I buy from where much more carefully. I also stopped by a friend of pre-school's who had very kindly offered to donate some supplies to help with our topic over the next few weeks.

I arrived home to a freshly brewed pot of coffee and took advantage of the remaining daylight to make a little more progress with my current Disney jigsaw. And as Simon finished work for the day it was time for our gym workout. Simon even had me doing some bench presses...I managed 10kg and a set of 10 reps with Simon spotting for me which I didn't think was too shabby for a first attempt!

Thursday is done, roll on tomorrow.

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Day 708

Day 708...

We have reached the middle of the week and Simon was back to work today and Ethan had to catch the bus for the first time in a couple of years to get himself into work.

My main task of the day was to complete the pre-school accounts for the last term and I can happily say that everything balanced first time - whoop!!

Mid morning I took a break and hooked up with my good friend and podcast co-host, Michelle, to record an episode of our Disney Dream Girls podcast to be released this coming weekend. We chatted some news, some history and looked forward to Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival which starts next week.

The rest of the day involved catching up on a few household chores, finishing off the pre-school accounts and making some more progress on my latest jigsaw. 

And that was my Wednesday! See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Day 707

Day 707...

As this week is my half term break from pre-school Simon had decided to book today off so that we had an extra long weekend together.

And because we are the cool parents (little in joke as one of Molly's friends has always referred to us as the cool parents!) we offered to take Ethan into work this morning so that he wasn't having to bother with catching the bus.

This meant that we were in Nottingham city centre just before 9am so it would have been rude to not have a wander around the shops with the obligatory stop for coffee along the way.

I wanted to buy some tights; I know not the most exciting thing to be buying but a necessity. We are going out on Friday night and I need some 'nude' coloured tights as my legs are too pale to go without plus it's still too cold! I was shocked to discover that buying 'nude' coloured tights could be so hard. Most shops didn't seem to stock any at all, or if they did the choice was limited to the shades available and in one shop there were only extra large sizes! Thankfully I did find some but it felt like a lot of effort for something that I will wear so infrequently.

Simon on the other hand came away with a new pair of shoes. He's been after a new pair of 'smart' shoes for ages and with us going out on Friday night he just happened to mention that he ought to look for a new pair of shoes to go with his suit. And as luck would have it the shop we were in at the time had a couple of pairs that he liked the look of; fifteen minutes later and we came away with a new pair.

We spent the afternoon at home and took some time for me to make a little more progress with my latest jigsaw and Simon did some more digital drawing. We then headed down the gym a little earlier than we would do normally for a Tuesday weights workout. I even tried some different moves making use of our new resistance bands set-up!

Well I think it's time to stop, put our feet up in front of the TV and watch this weeks RuPauls Drag Race UK versus the World!

See you tomorrow.

Monday 21 February 2022

Day 706

Day 706...

Well, after almost two years working from home due to the global pandemic Ethan got to return to the office today!

To be fair the last few months working from home were due more to his company relocating offices than the pandemic. Two years ago they were a relatively small team who'd been working together for about seven months but over the course of the various lockdowns their team had increased in size and was now too large to return to their original office. 

This then meant several months finding a new location and turning the space into the offices they needed. So not only did Ethan start back working in the office but in a brand new location, although thankfully in the same city!

It was an earlier start than of late for Ethan, although luckily his company had arranged for a car to collect him and his work equipment at 8am so no bus for him to catch this morning. Although the car didn't arrive until about 8.30am and Simon and I were beginning to think we would be driving him and his equipment into work at one point!

This has meant that we have had the house to ourselves for the first time in I can't begin to remember. Our day started with the very exciting collection of our grocery shop in the howling wind and rain - whoop! 

We then decided that staying home for the day was the best course of action as not only could we get caught up on a few jobs around the house it was preferable to braving the elements. We did muse about going for a walk at one point but as the wind was still blowing a gale we decided not to bother.

Today has been a very relaxed, chilled and steady day; some jobs, some digital art for Simon, new jigsaw started for me, some TV time and plenty of coffee.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday 20 February 2022

Day 705

Day 705...

Another wet, windy and grey day but that did not stop us getting out of the house.

We had another event to attend today and this time it involved our 'pencils' as it was time for the first Dr Sketchy's Nottingham of the year.

We enjoyed an afternoon of life drawing with a little burlesque thrown in for good measure. And while Simon used his digital drawing tablet I stuck with the more traditional paper, pencil and eraser!

The afternoon started with model Pixie Trix, posing for a number of short poses; 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes and a 10 minute pose to get us all warmed up!

Next we were entertained by the glorious Mysti Vine with a burlesque routine before she gave us a 15 minute pose. 

Mysti Vine
After a short break we had two twenty minute poses to finish out the afternoon. 
Pixie Trix

Mysti Vine
We then had a very wet and squally drive home as we seemed to being battered by yet another storm, the third to hit the UK in about as many days!

So I think it's time to curl up in front of the TV with red wine and chocolate and ignore the wind howling around.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 19 February 2022

Day 704

Day 704...

Well we have reached the weekend and the start of my half term break and the day that I got out of covid jail. Two negative tests and I'm out! Phew!

And I can only thank my lucky stars that the powers that be deemed it so as I had great plans for today and plans that could now be fulfilled. My favourite band White Lies were playing a small gig in Nottingham as part of their album launch and we had tickets.

The gig was slightly unusual in that it was happening at lunchtime so it was on with the glad rags and off we set for Nottingham. And the day started off great with the delivery of their new album; I'd hoped to get it yesterday as that was release day but none the less it arrived today...and with a signed card as well.

Thankfully it was only a short walk from the car park to Rough Trade record store as the weather was rather unpleasant; wet, cold and windy.

Well the boys did us proud once more, just a short gig of about 8 tracks, including 2 from the new album, to an audience of around 150. They were, as always, brilliant. They are such a great band live and did some fabulous striped back renditions of some of their classic tracks.

The bonus with this gig was that the cost of the ticket included a CD of the album; this now means we have three copies of the new album. Plus there was chance to meet the band (second time for us) and get the album signed. Suffice to say one happy lady today!

Me and Harry!!!!!

We then had a treat of a coffee and cake before heading home to make keto pizza for dinner.

It has been a lovely day and great to be doing something normal once more. Roll on more normality and making plans.

See you tomorrow.

Friday 18 February 2022

Day 703

Day 703...

A very windy, stormy Friday has been upon us today.

One bonus to being stuck at home is that I haven't had to venture out in the horrible weather. Although I think we have been rather lucky as being in the middle of the country we have escaped some of the worst of Storm Eunice.

So another day sat at my laptop getting lots more admin completed. This week has given me chance to get a couple of non-urgent jobs completed because I've had a bit more time on my hands although this did involve fighting with my printer at numerous points. What's that saying about how great technology is until it stops working!!!

At lunchtime Simon and I did venture out into the garden as the felt on our garden shed had started to lift and as the morning had worn on it was getting progressively worse. So armed with a hammer and some nails and with me holding the ladder Simon managed to get it all tacked down. 

Mid-afternoon I nipped outside once more as one of my team was stopping by the house to drop off some work for me. It was very blustery, a little bit damp and rather chilly and so I was glad I was only outside for a few minutes. This does now mean that I can actually complete the half term accounts at some point over the coming week.

And while the wind howled around the house I used the surprisingly sunny at times daylight to complete my latest jigsaw...

...depiction of the London Underground map! It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be and I actually really enjoyed the methodical approach that I took with it.

Well Friday is done and now it's time to say hello to the weekend and a week off from work!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 17 February 2022

Day 702

Day 702...

Another day of not very much!

A Thursday at home and the vast majority of the day was spent working. Being at home is giving me time to go through lots of admin related tasks, tidy up folders (both the physical kind and the tech kind) as well as keep in touch with my deputy in work.

As this is the penultimate work day before we break for a week there have been quite a few end of term tasks to complete and the most important of which was to sort out the wages for the team!

I had a break mid-afternoon to make some more progress on my jigsaw and I am just left with all white pieces to fit! My good friend Michelle gave me a call on her way home from work to see how I was and more importantly make plans for next week. We will be seeing other at the end of the week as we have tickets for an evening of burlesque and cabaret; the first time we will have been able to do this together in over two years!

We rounded out the day with a visit to the gym; Simon is making good use of our new resistance bands set-up and I'm pretty pleased with my use of heavier weights over more sets.

And there we have Thursday, so I will see you tomorrow.

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Day 701

Day 701...

And another day at home and another quiet day for obvious reasons.

My day was filled with work as the joy of technology means that I am still able to complete most of my administration tasks. By keeping in touch with my deputy we could confer and plan and by the end of the day I was pretty pleased with the progress made through my 'to do' list.

Once again I have probably completed more work than I would have done on a standard Wednesday in work but that is fine as it has kept me focused. My only 'illness' symptoms has been a runny nose but as a side effect of that I have been suffering with sinus pain which is something I often seem to get with a cold. Luckily I had some sinus relief medication in the house so dutifully took some this morning hoping it would make a difference which it didn't. When I looked at the packet later on I realised thatvthe 'sinus' medication was no different ingredient wise to the 'cold & flu' medication that I also fact the only difference was the name of the medication - what a swizz!

A little bright spot in the day was when my Hotel Chocolat delivery arrived. I had been a member of their Chocolate Tasting Club for a lot of years but when that scheme came to an end I swapped over to their 'high cocoa curated collection' and every couple of months or so I get a parcel. The collection contains a mix of different items with the common factor being that they all have a high cocoa content. Now for me personally I prefer my chocolate around the 90% cocoa mark but anything over 70% is what I would consider to be 'high cocoa'. 

I was therefore a tad disappointed today when I found two items in the box to be, what I considered, below par. The first was a small selector box of 'supermilk' chocolates...err supermilk? I don't think so! Turns out these are 65% cocoa. Then there was a bigger box of 'Unbelievably Vegan' chocolates...okay so where do I start with this one. Firstly it's great that they can make vegan friendly chocolates but I am not vegan and surely I should have the choice as to whether I want a product that has been made in a non-standard way? Secondly to make them vegan they use a nutmilk; I don't like diary alternatives and I don't like the chemical processes that are needed to produce them. And thirdly the cocoa content is only 45%!! How on earth is that high cocoa?

Suffice to say an email was issued expressing my displeasure and to their credit I received a reply pretty quickly along with a £5 gift card as compensation for my disappointment...mmm...well as the two products that I'm not happy with have a value of about £19 it doesn't seem very proportionate!

I did try one of the 65% chocolates with a coffee this afternoon and while it wasn't bad it also wasn't anything amazing either!

See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Day 700

Day 700...

Well we have had a Tuesday and a Tuesday at home as I can not go anywhere for the next few days at the very least.

The isolation rules for me at the moment are that I am allowed out of covid jail once I have two negative tests from day 5 onwards, or reach day 10, whichever happens first. All crossed that I test negative sooner rather than later!!

But it hasn't stopped me today as I have been able to work from home. I had lots of plans for work this week that relied on me being in actual work but those plans will now have to wait until another week. So I have managed to produce and issue this months invoices, arrange training courses, update the broadband contract, deal with emails, liaise with my deputy in work and added things to my to do list as quickly as I crossed things off! In fact I probably did more work than I would have done on a normal Tuesday!

Later this afternoon while there was still some daylight I made a bit more progress on my latest jigsaw which is recreation of the London Underground map. So lots of lines of different colours which I thought were going to be tricky but have actually gone together quite well. Although I am now left with lots of white and pale grey pieces with bits of small typeface on them that I think could prove interesting!

Once Simon had finished work for the day we headed down 'our gym'; the benefit of the gym being our garage means that covid jail isn't going to stop me from working out. I was really pleased with my efforts tonight as I was able to use my heaviest weight for more sets than I've previously managed and I completed some kettle bell exercises that I haven't bothered with for a while just to mix things up. Simon was also able to put the new resistance bands and fixing points through their paces with great success.

So as far as covid goes for me it's a bit of a cold...a runny nose and the most annoying thing is that it's affecting my sinus (which is always the case when I get a cold!). And if it was any other time it wouldn't be enough of a cold to keep me home, or keep me off work. But because this cold has a name I am now prisoner to a set of rules that we have never introduced before for any other cold or flu virus, never mind something that has a lower death rate than seasonal flu!

See you all tomorrow.

Monday 14 February 2022

Day 699

Day 699...

Happy Valentines Day!

I thought I'd start this post off on a positive being positive seems to be the order of the day! Yep, you guessed it I've tested positive for the 'you-know-what'...whoop!

How do I feel? Well to be honest I feel feels like I have a mild cold at best. A slightly runny nose and I sound all 'bunged up' although I don't feel like I am. I think with Simon feeling the way he had over the weekend it was the sensible thing to double check and hey presto here we are.

But onwards and upwards and let's hope I can be all negative by the end of the week so that I can enjoy our half term break properly next week.

So these next few days are going to continue to be rather quiet, although I will be able to get some work stuff done remotely. But we made the most of today by getting a couple of DIY jobs done around the house. First we had some LED lights to put up in our bedroom to give some softer lighting for when we don't need all the lights on but still want to see! Next we had some fixing points to install in the garage; these are to hook resistance bands onto during our gym sessions to further extend our range of exercises.

But the remainder of the day was taken up with jigsaw for me, digital art for Simon and plenty of TV time.

Oh and how cool is this t-shirt that Simon got me for Valentines?

Gotta love some retro Prince!
I love our choice of cards for each other...
...sums us up...Star Wars and keto!!!

OK, well Monday is done so I will see you all tomorrow.

Sunday 13 February 2022

Day 698

Day 698...

And we have had another very quiet day. A day that has turned out to be much quieter than it should have.

Our plans for today were to have had an evening away in a hotel as a way to celebrate Valentines Day tomorrow. We have never really made a big deal out of Valentines as a rule but Simon thought he would plan something different. It was only going to be a local hotel but was still the chance for a romantic night away, a posh meal and indulge in some spa treatments.

Well things didn't get off to a great start as when Simon tried to book some spa treatments for me as a surprise he was met with a hotel who didn't want to answer the phone. After days of trying to get through he was then told that they weren't taking spa bookings at the moment.

Then he received an email advising to make a reservation time for the restaurant and to contact the hotel if spa treatments were required. So again he tried to make contact but this time by email...only to have the email 'bounce'!

He then contacted the booking agency to see if he could make any headway and thankfully they responded and were able to book the meal for us. They also advised that unfortunately the spa was fully booked...the spa that wasn't taking bookings? He thanked them for making the meal reservation and expressed his displeasure at the unavailability of spa treatments and the service that he'd received up to that point. Then out of the blue he receives a phone call from the hotel saying that some spa appointment times had become available but for first thing in the morning...when we couldn't check in till mid-afternoon! So we declined.

Fast forward to today and unfortunately Simon's head cold was no better. It seems to be affecting his inner ear and his balance. Any chance of a romantic evening away was looking rather doubtful so we decided to cancel. Thankfully we will be able to reschedule so all is not lost. We will make a point of booking when the weather is better (been a horrible grey, wet and windy day today) and when they will have spa treatments available.

So we have spent the day inside in the warmth and the dry, watching movies and putting jigsaw pieces together; simple pleasures.

Let's hope we can make the most of tomorrow.

Saturday 12 February 2022

Day 697

Day 697...

Well this is going to be a very short blog post today as we have had an unusually quiet Saturday.

Simon has a bit of a head cold and so decided to take the day easy and catch-up on a couple of movies that he's been wanting to watch for a while.

I on the other hand decided to carry on with the job I'd started yesterday of re-organising the folders on my laptop. So much stuff that you hold on to that has lost its relevance years ago! Note to self have a spring clean of my files much more often than I have done historically!

I did get my completed jigsaw cleared away and unpacked the next jigsaw ready to start but got no further than that!

It was the usual Saturday night keto pizza for dinner; a quick and easy way to make your own pizza and with a base made of simply eggs and cheese is perfect for those of us following a keto/low carb way of eating.

Let's see whether Sunday will be any busier! See you tomorrow.

Friday 11 February 2022

Day 696

Day 696...

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

It was a busy work day made up of the standard mix of admin, emails and banking. But I was able to get caught up on pretty much everything that I wanted to.

Back home it was time for a coffee and a chat with Simon as we filled each other in on how our days had gone so far. I then jumped onto my laptop as I had a work related email that I needed to send. I then spent the remainder of the afternoon going through a few policies and updating them where needed, followed by a little more re-organising of documents and folders. I hadn't intended on doing more work but as I found myself in the flow I thought I would just carry on and get done what I could.

So by the time Simon finished work for the day I was still amending policies - whoops! Simon then had a little more digital art time while I finished what I was doing before setting about making dinner - keto chicken fajita casserole...yum!

And that was Friday...roll on the weekend.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 10 February 2022

Day 695

Day 695...

A back to normal Thursday for me which was a morning in work and an afternoon at home.

The morning was a chance for myself and my deputy to go over some plans for pre-school and how we see the coming months panning out. Lots to think about, and plan for, and so we had a very productive three hours.

I came home via Lidl as I needed to pick up just a few bits and pieces. Although half way around I felt something sticky on my left hand, assuming I'd picked something up that was leaking I looked down and was a tad surprised to see that my finger was bleeding! Not quite sure what happened, so I can only presume I caught myself on some packaging. It did mean completing the rest of my shop with a tissue wrapped around the end of my finger and then trying to not get blood all over the car on the way home!

I was only at home for a short time before I was back out the door as I was meeting all the girls from work for a meal out at a local pub. Well, it was 'buy one get one free' burger Thursday so it would have been rude not to. After a lovely couple of hours eating and chatting it was back home for an evening in front of the TV.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Day 694

Day 694...

Today was an unexpected Wednesday at home.

As Simon was working we were up and about at our usual time and I was on standby to go off in search of some rugs for pre-school. One of the team had seen a post on Facebook where a local group had a supply of children's rugs they were giving away for free that would be great for pre-school. As it turned out my services were not needed as my team member had contacted the group direct and they were happy to put a couple of rugs to one side for us for her to pick up at the end of the day.

I then had some online research to do. First it was time to look up some Disney related facts ahead of a podcast recording session later on in the afternoon. We were talking about some Disney history as well as looking forward to the upcoming Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot. I'm sure this festival gets longer every year as this year it starts at the beginning of March and goes all the way until early July!

I also wanted to look at electric charging point locations. We have the route to see Molly and Dan in Bournemouth all sorted now but I am wanting to book my next tattoo session and my tattoist of choice is about 50 miles away. Now in theory a round trip should be perfectly doable but knowing where charging stations are located would give me peace of mind. But when using Zap Map to look up the route it would appear that whilst there are loads close to home that's not the case for the town I need to get to! There are a few charging points but they are located within work places or car dealerships and therefore only for the use of their workforce and customers. There are a few locations 'en route' which would have to be our back-up locations. I'm hoping that as the weather warms up we see an improvement in the battery life as that would then be in our favour!

Next job of the morning was to get the ironing all sorted; not a very exciting job but one that needed doing. Knowing that Simon would be breaking for lunch around 12.30pm I grabbed thirty minutes to make a bit more jigsaw progress before we put our boots on for a lunchtime walk. We had a slightly longer route than normal as I needed to drop something into a post box which meant we walled 2.9 miles in 54 minutes.

This afternoon I decided that a walk at lunchtime wasn't enough exercise for the day and jumped on the exercise bike for 45 minutes of zone two training while I watched a couple more episodes of The World According to Jeff Goldblum.

Armed with a coffee I grabbed the last bit of decent daylight and completed my jigsaw!

The question is now which one to do next...I have three to choose from.

Then it was time to record a couple of Disney Dream Girls podcast episodes with my good friend Michelle. We managed a show for this coming Sunday as well as another twenty minutes for our Patreon supporters. And while I chatted Simon managed his forty five minutes on the exercise bike...we should sleep well tonight!

Well with dinner out the way there is only one thing left for today...the final episode of The Book of Boba Fett! Fingers crossed it matches the quality of the last couple of episodes.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 8 February 2022

Day 693

Day 693...

It was a slight deviation from the normal today and instead of a day split between work and home I did a full day in work. On the plus side I now get time off tomorrow to make up for the extra hours worked today.

My work day was productive though; we had a new starter this morning which meant paperwork for me, then there was banking and cash flow forecasts to be done.

Once home I had some admin of my own to do including a little re-organising of folders on my laptop - whoop!

Before I knew it Simon had finished work for the day and it was time to head down the gym for a weights workout. Pretty pleased with what I'm doing at the moment but looking forward to warmer evenings so that I will feel inclined to push myself a little further and expand my workout. Simon has bought some more resistance bands to extend our workout routine which will mean installing some fixing points to the walls, which I think will be a job for the weekend. 

And with the day drawing to an end the only thing left to do is watch episode two of RuPaul's Drag Race UK verses the Rest of the World!

See you tomorrow.

Monday 7 February 2022

Day 692

Day 692...

In a change for a Monday we started the day with collecting our weekly grocery shop. And while it was lovely to see a familiar face with the store colleague on duty we still had issues. The app doesn't work, the email link doesn't work and when I phoned through to the number displayed at the collection point that didn't work either! But we got our shopping and it was still preferable to walking around the store to do the shopping in person.

With the shopping home and put away we then headed out once more and this time we headed to our local Ikea. And unusually for a trip to Ikea we came away empty handed but with ideas for the refurbishment of Molly's old bedroom. We had looked up a few bits of furniture online and wanted to see them up close to figure out whether they were what we wanted or not. We have the new flooring going down in a few weeks time and once that's in place we can start getting new furniture. Then we will be able to move our storage around which will ultimately lead to a better way of displaying some of my Disney memorabilia.

The afternoon saw us nip out once more, this time into Derby as I had an appointment. We also found time for Simon to add some more to his latest piece of digital art, I made some pretty decent progress with my jigsaw and later on Simon managed 45 minutes of zone two training on the exercise bike.

Monday done, see you tomorrow.

Sunday 6 February 2022

Day 691

Day 691...

A quiet Sunday that started nice and slow.

It was a fairly uneventful sort of day; an odd job or two around the house, Molly and Dan headed off home just after lunch and Simon and I headed out for a coffee. 

Back home and Simon wanted to spend some time making progress of his latest piece of digital art and while he did that I moved some jigsaw pieces around.

And that was our Sunday. 

And today marked seven years since we lost my mum.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 5 February 2022

Day 690

Day 690...

An early start to a Saturday morning as both Simon and Ethan were booked in at the barbers for 8am!

This meant a late-ish breakfast once they'd returned before we got ourselves ready to head out. As Molly and Dan were home for the weekend they wanted to pay a visit to the ice rink in Nottingham to get their skates sharpened. Apparently the skate shop within the ice stadium is really good at sharpening skates as they'd tried another location closer to home but the result had not been good!

The last time they'd been home we'd paid a visit to the ice stadium only to find that there was no one working who could sharpen their skates. Thankfully today that was not the case and they were able to leave with freshly sharpened blades.

We spent some time in Nottingham with the obligatory visit to Primark although I left empty handed as the Disney offerings were not that great. But we did manage to meet up with Dan's sister who was also visiting Nottingham this weekend to see her boyfriend who happens to be a student at Nottingham Trent University. So we found a coffee shop, drank a few coffees and sheltered from the wind and the rain.

It was then take-out for an early dinner before an evening in front of the telly.

See you tomorrow.

Friday 4 February 2022

Day 689

Day 689...

A Friday and a Friday at home for me! 

And it was a quiet day but productive all the same. There were a few household chores that I managed to get on top of this morning. Plus we'd had a butchers delivery so I had 5kg of chicken, 4.5kg of steak mince, burgers, 100 sausages, steaks and 4kg of bacon to split into meal size portions and then find space in the freezer!

As Simon broke for lunch we took a walk out and had a rather chilly and windy 2.5 miles in 46 minutes.

This afternoon, after a little jigsaw time, I decided to replace some of our outdoor lights. We had some pathway lights in the shape of mini Christmas trees a few Christmas's ago and they had stayed out ever since and have worked really well as a means to light the path to our house. But over the years they had become very faded and one of the trees was starting to flicker so I'd ordered a replacement set (that was cheaper than the original set!) and today I had the time to replace them. The old set is now in the bin and we have a set of trees that are actually green in colour!

And then to round out the day we had Molly and Dan arrive for the weekend!!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 3 February 2022

Day 688

Day 688...

And for the third day this week I had a normal day, split between work and home.

The morning in work was pretty standard with phone calls, emails, banking and forward planning with my deputy manager.

I made a quick stop at my local Lidl on the way home and for the first time ever I actually won a prize via the scratch card on their app. Although the prize is 50% off something I wouldn't ever not really a win then!

I had a couple of hours at home before heading out the door to pay a visit to the hairdressers. Time for a colour refresh and a much needed cut!

And that was Thursday, short and sweet! See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 2 February 2022

Day 687

Day 687...

Middle of the working week and another day that went as it should with a morning in work and an afternoon at home.

My work morning was taken up with a parent meeting, some admin, emails, course research and some forward planning with my deputy. A packed and productive morning.

At home, and after I'd caught up with Simon, I decided to strike while the iron was hot (so to speak) and jump on the exercise bike. I recognise that this is not my favourite thing in the world and that I need to grab the chance to get on it rather than finding other things to do!

So I made a conscious choice to change out of my work clothes straight into my workout gear so that I had no excuses. I switched on the TV and found some episodes of 'The World According to Jeff Goldblum' on Disney + to watch while I cycled. Forty five minutes and two episodes later my zone two training was complete. I still don't like it as I get a bit bored, but I've done it and that's what's important.

With a freshly brewed coffee I spent a little time with my latest jigsaw and actually made pretty good progress...

As the light failed I turned my attention to a little pre-school work as I am currently working on a cash flow forecast and wanted to make a little headway with it. I still have more work to do but am happy with what I managed to get done.

And with that it was time for dinner before an evening of watching 'The Book of Boba Fett'...fingers crossed it's as good as last weeks!!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 1 February 2022

Day 686

Day 686...

Back to my normal routine and a Tuesday split between work and home.

The morning in work saw me catch up with the usual admin and banking bits and pieces as well as make a start on a newsletter. We were joined by Jon, who is the local Asda community champion, to help us make some 'winter wonderland ice-cream sundaes'! Jon is a great friend of pre-school and will visit us on a regular basis and organise all sorts of activities with the children. Suffice to say ice-cream, marshmallows, squirty cream and white chocolate went down rather well with the children!

I arrived home in time so spend the last half of Simon's lunch break with him, which meant we got chance to update each other on how our days were going. It sounds like Ethan will soon be returning to work in the office! He has been working from home since March 2020 and through a combination of the pandemic 'work at home' orders and his company needing to find new office space (their team has grown over the last two years and so they need more space!) he has spent two years with his bedroom doubling as his work space. And while it's very convenient to fall out of bed and straight into work it really is about time he had some semblance of normality return.

For those of us of a certain age we have had our time out in the big wide world working, meeting new people, going new places, work events, social events, lunchtime meetings in the pub and the rest but for this current generation so many have missed out on these 'life events'. University life has not been what university life should have been, social times have not existed and even the boring and mundane have been missed for a whole cohort of young adults and they are never going to get that time back and that is such a shame (and that's putting it lightly!).

But talking of the mundane my afternoon at home consisted of sorting laundry and getting the ironing up to date - whoop! But I was also able to keep Simon and Ethan fueled with coffee as well as make a start on my latest jigsaw. Although I think I may have made a strategic error when I decided to sort out all the pieces that contained parts of 'Stitch' - it's a Lilo & Stitch puzzle - and there are rather a lot of 'Stitch's'....

Latest puzzle...
...out sorted 'Stitch' pieces...

...but some progress has been made!
I think all I've managed to do is make piles of pieces that will need sorting through again! Oh well it'll keep me quiet!

We ended the day with a quick workout in our 'gym', throwing around a few weights...carefully of course.

Right time to log off and I'll see you tomorrow.