Saturday 30 April 2022

Day 773

Day 773...

A sunny Saturday and a very laid back and quiet sort of day.

Once we were up and about there was a little DIY to attend to...well for Simon there was. We had two new wall lights to be fitted in our new study/craft room...aka Molly's old bedroom. Thankfully they were fitted in next to no time and with no real hiccups.

Inadvertently I ended up taking our vacuum cleaner apart to get it clean after Simon had noticed that the brushes were clogged. Fifteen minutes later and the vacuum was in pieces and filters being washed and cleaned. Not the most exciting of jobs but one that was very evidently needed.

This afternoon we made the most of the nice weather and took a walk over the countryside near us. We are very blessed to live next door to open countryside and plenty of walks. We did 3.4 miles in an hour and ten minutes. As we headed for home we came across a local artist who was painting in one of the fields, and so we stopped to have a chat. He'd created a beautiful scene of the field and a rather striking tree in front of him; turns out he was the chairperson of a local art club!

Back home and it was coffee in the sunshine before Simon set about a little digital art work and I completed a little more of my current jigsaw.

All in all a very quiet and relaxed day. See you tomorrow.

Friday 29 April 2022

Day 772

Day 772...

We have reached the end of the working week and we have an extended bank holiday weekend ahead of us.

The day was spent in work and consisted of more handing over of my job role. Next week I will be working from home to see whether the information that I have passed on over these past few weeks has been successful or not. I will be 'on call' should I be needed for anything or should anyone have any questions of me but otherwise we are working steadily towards my leaving date of 27th May.

Once home it was time to grab a coffee and sit outside in the sunshine to top up my vitamin D! After a grey and chilly week today turned into quite a good weather day and it was lovely to sit outside and enjoy it.

I had a little paperwork to complete relating to my dad's ashes. My brother is able to collect the ashes next week and we are then arranging for them to be scattered at the same crematorium, and in the same area, as my mum. But as with everything in life paperwork was needed!

I rounded out the day with a little jigsaw time before making keto pizza for dinner and then settling down to watch some rubbish on TV!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 28 April 2022

Day 771

Day 771...

Another post being written late in the day and another day without much to tell.

I was in work this morning with yet more transitioning of my job role over to others. The afternoon was spent at home with a short journey out to my local Lidl for some essential fresh supplies.

Back home and I found myself catching up with some work bits as well as sending a few emails in relation to my dad's estate. I then managed to find a short amount of time to move some jigsaw pieces around!

After Simon had finished for the day we headed down the gym, aka our garage, for a weights workout. I will admit to not really being in the mood but I got on and did my workout although it was the coldest I've been in a while; in fact the gloves were back out!

Short and sweet and I'll see you tomorrow.

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Day 770

Day 770...

The middle of the week and another full day in work and I think another relatively short blog post.

My day in work was spent, yet again, helping to transition my job role over to others. We were able to submit data, balance accounts and start to predict cash flows.

Once home it was chance to grab a coffee before jumping online with my podcast co-host, Michelle. We were able to record a couple of shows for our Disney Dream Girls podcast; one was our regular weekly show and the other was a special Patreon recording. We chatted about some news items along with a hotel review from Michelle's recent visit to Disneyland Paris where she was lucky enough to stay in Disney's Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel.

And that was pretty much it for the day and all that is left to do is to watch this weeks episode of Moon Knight...let's see if it's making any more sense!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Day 769

Day 769...

After the strangeness of the weekend we are back into the normality of the working week.

I think the build up to the farewell for my dad yesterday had perhaps affected us more than we had realised. The weekend had been focused around my dad, his house and then getting ready for yesterday. As we had opted for a direct cremation we did not have a formal service yesterday but simply had a gathering of friends and family to say goodbye. We do know that my dad has been cremated today and by the end of the week my brother will be able to collect his ashes. We will then have the final scattering to arrange so that he can be placed where mum was seven years ago.

So today was a standard sort of Tuesday. I was in work for the full day and spent the day assisting my deputy manager and others as they take on more and more of my role. We are working towards my last official working day being the 27th May with a view to keeping me on as consultant should they need me (they won't as they know what they are doing!) until the end of July.

On my way home from work I stopped by my dads house to check on post and make sure all was well...very aware that with the house being empty we need to keep an eye on it. Back home and I had a couple of work related tasks before Simon finished for the day and we headed down our gym!

Another day done and I will see you tomorrow.


Monday 25 April 2022

Day 768 - Saying Goodbye to Dad

Day 768...

So today we said goodbye to my dad.

We had decided against a formal funeral and instead opted for a gathering of friends and family in his favourite pub to bid him farewell. 

We had a couple of digital photo frames set up with photos of him, and my late mum, going back to the 1960's and it was lovely to share those memories.

We spent all afternoon and into the early evening in the pub. Everyone was so lovely and had nothing but good things to say about my dad. And it was great to talk and reminisce and reconnect with people that I'd not seen for a fair few years. It was also great to spend time with my brother and hopefully moving forward we will get to rekindle our relationship.

Till tomorrow.


Sunday 24 April 2022

Day 767

Day 767...

Another short post today I think as we have had a fairly quiet Sunday.

The usual start to the day with the collection of the weekly grocery shop from Asda. And while we were collecting our shopping Molls and Dan drove by to fill their car up with diesel and were happy to take advantage of the fact that fuel prices were around 8p cheaper per litre than at home on the south coast!

With the shopping all put away and a coffee poured Simon had the task of ensuring that all the photos of my dad that we'd collated yesterday were of the correct dimensions to display on a digital photo frame. We have a couple of frames that we'd like to use tomorrow to share his life with those that come to remember him.

Other techy jobs this morning saw me update some details on previously scanned in old photos of ours, going back to 1995! And then Simon had some music files to convert into mp3 format to then load onto my usb stick for the car. As a member of the White Lies fan club I'd just been given access to a special link of a concert recording from 2019 and it just so happened to be a concert that we had attended at Brixton Academy in December of that year.

Molls and Dan spent most of the afternoon at my dad's house as Molly wanted to go through and see if there were any bits and pieces that meant something to her that used to be belong to either my dad or my mum. After a bit of rummaging around she has come away with a few bits and bobs and uncovered lots of old photos, birthday cards, telegrams, airgrams and more! We have items going back to 1917 and 1918 as well as postcards and messages sent during the second world war - all absolutely fascinating stuff!

Simon and I took a walk out this afternoon and managed just a couple of miles but it was good to be out in the fresh air and blow away some cobwebs. It had felt a little peculiar today as we approach tomorrow and I have been very aware that emotions have been close to the surface.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 23 April 2022

Day 766

Day 766...

This will be a quick post as it is rather late in the day.

We had a quiet morning followed by an afternoon spent in Nottingham. We did a little shopping and stopped for a coffee.

Me and Molly had a successful trip around Primark coming away with tshirts, cushions, shoes, socks and a throw.

We stopped by my dads house for Molly to have s look around and see if there was anything that she would like to remember her grandad, and grandma, by. 

It was quite late by the time we got home and so it was takeaway kebabs for dinner!

And then this evening we have been scrolling through lots and lots of photos and video to find photos of my dad that we will be using for his celebration of life on Monday. Which has resulted in much laughter as we have watched home videos from about 2008 onwards!!

See you all tomorrow.


Friday 22 April 2022

Day 765

Day 765...

And we have reached Friday and the day started with an unplanned trip to Lidl. Slightly annoyingly as I'd only been there yesterday but was necessary as when I looked in the fridge this morning the ingredients that I thought I had it turned out I didn't - oops!

This did mean that I was also able to replenish my wine supply as well as make some choice purchases of items that I know I will need and have discovered are way cheaper than Asda. I have my Asda collection slot booked in for Sunday but the way things are going at the moment Lidl are getting more and more of my custom.

Next I had a couple of presents to wrap for Molly. As she will be 21 in a few weeks we decided to get her a couple of things that she has been after to help with her Shutter Studios business venture; a new colour printer and a Cricut. Thankfully I had just enough wrapping paper for them both as they were on the bulky side and successfully avoided having to use Christmas wrapping paper!

I had a quick clean and tidy around before dismantling all the cardboard boxes that we seemed to have accumulated over the last few days, just managing to squeeze them into our recycling rubbish. And as it was then lunchtime we headed out on a walk in the sunshine and the wind; we managed a hilly 2 miles in 41 minutes.

The afternoon saw me battle the joys of transferring pre-school's mobile phone over from one network to another that is significantly cheaper. But because I've done it on a Friday (no choice because it took three days for the new sim card to be delivered) the number likely won't be transferred over till Monday because it can only happen on 'working days'. You'd think an automated system would be able to work anytime?!!

I then managed a little jigsaw time before welcoming Molly and Dan home for the weekend. As we will be having the wake for my dad on Monday Molls has travelled home to  join us and she gets to christen the new sofa room that used to be her bedroom!

The day was rounded out with the making of keto pizza...hence the trip to Lidl this morninh when I realised I didn't have enough mozzarella cheese!

OK I think it is time to eat the above mentioned pizza, drink a little red wine and put my feet up! See you tomorrow.


Thursday 21 April 2022

Day 764

Day 764...

Today turned out to be quite productive even with an unexpected trip to Ikea.

First job of the day was to get the ironing pile out of the way which didn't take too long at all. Next it was a trip to Lidl to get re-stocked on some fresh items and take advantage of some of their weekly vouchers.

On the way home I stopped by my dad's house to make sure all was well and see whether there was any post, which there wasn't. I took the opportunity to bring home his digital photo frame which we are hoping to use on Monday as a way to remember him at the gathering we are having to celebrate his life. I had another look around hoping to find some missing pieces of jewellery but to no avail, although I did get distracted looking through a box of very old photos. There is some wonderful moments of history in those photos as they are of my grandparents when they were younger and I am thankful to my grandma for writing names and dates on them all.

Back home and with the shopping put away I decided to see if I could get the new TV set up. I'd just got it out the box when Simon joined me and between us we had it in place and logged into all our various streaming apps in a matter of minutes.

After lunch I decided to embark on making up the set of drawers that we'd bought yesterday from Ikea. I'd got all the various bolts and screws laid out and began taking the different pieces of wood out of the packaging, I got to the very last piece and discovered that one corner was severely damaged! 

Oops, damaged piece!

So there was only one thing for it and off to Ikea I went. Armed with the damaged piece and my receipt it was a relatively straight forward process to get the piece swapped over. Although it did mean that the staff had to open a new package and then try and figure out which panel needed replacing. As it was a side panel we couldn't figure out whether it was the right or left side so I was given both sides to take home and just told to take back the piece I don't need when I next visit Ikea!

By the time I got home I was in need of a coffee and thankfully Simon had put a pot on that was freshly brewed as I walked in the door. Refreshed with coffee I then started the building of the set of drawers that I'd started about an hour and a half earlier! But by the time Simon had finished work it was almost complete and Simon joined me as I was assembling the drawers and so between us we got the job done...

Completed drawers
And with that it was time for a quick gym workout before settling down for the evening.

See you all tomorrow.

Wednesday 20 April 2022

Day 763

Day 763...

Middle of the week and this will be a quick post I think!

Today has been spent at home and has comprised of a lot of online research and a lot of tidying and reorganising of cupboards.

We need a couple of chairs for our newly refurbished upstairs room and so I spent some time looking at different options. We would like an office type chair and a stool and we would like them to look at least similar in appearance. But I also don't want the chair to look too 'office like' and we also need to decide on a colour. White initially came to mind and all I could think of was stains and it looking grubby very quickly so then I started to look at greys and discovered just how varied the colour grey could be!

Taking a break from internet research I started on reorganising cupboards. We had a number of crafting supplies living in a cupboard in the dining area and these needed going through and moving up into our 'new room'. All supplies now have a new home and I have a fairly empty cupboard that I'm sure will get filled sooner or later.

As Simon finished for lunch we headed out for a lovely walk in the sunshine, managing 2.5 miles in 45 minutes.

The afternoon saw more sorting of cupboards as I went through a few drawers and cupboard spaces to see exactly what we had and whether we still needed it or not. Suffice to say there was a pile of stuff that went in the rubbish...not sure why I had kept numerous letter writing pads as all my communication is done electronically or typed as no-one needs to have to read my writing!

We had a few deliveries turn up today as well including the new TV for the upstairs room although we have yet to set it up as this evening we decided to take a trip to our local Ikea. We came away with a set of drawers, two drawer tidy trays, a pedal bin, a wok and a set of felt tip pens!

And that was Wednesday and now it's time to sit and watch this weeks episode of Moon Knight and see if we are as confused as we were watching last weeks show!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 19 April 2022

Day 762

Day 762...

Well today has been a day of various appointments.

It started out with my least favourite of the day...the dentist! I've never liked the dentist and despite numerous treatments over the years my love of going has wained even more.

So on arrival we are told we have to wear a mask...really?! When the majority of my time within the building will be spent with my mouth open! One positive to be taken from the pandemic is that all the forms that would have been completed in person on arrival are now sent via text and email a few days before to be completed online. They even have an electronic check-in to save speaking to a receptionist which would have been great if it had worked.

I had to have a couple of x-rays and while they showed up a couple of cavities I opted not to have any treatment as they have not been causing me any pain. Although I do think it odd when the dentist asks me what I want to do about them...isn't that their job to advise the patient?

I was hoping to get a clean and polish today as two years of not being able to have this done meant my teeth were in need. But apparently all I could have done was the scraping part and not the polishing part because of covid!!! Really? So I have been left with cleaner but rather rougher feeling teeth!

After a quick stop at home for a coffee I popped out to our local Lidl to stock up on a few fresh supplies and decaf coffee; the essentials.

After lunch I headed into Derby for the first of my two afternoon appointments, a quick beauty treatment. My next appointment meant jumping back in the car to head to the outskirts of Derby and to the Breast Unit at the main city hospital. I arrived in plenty of time and was thankful I'd had the foresight to bring some coffee with me as due to restrictions still being in place I wasn't allowed to enter until 5 minutes before my appointment time. 

Having being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in March of 2019 this marks my third annual mammogram appointment and was the first time back at the main breast unit since my operation. During the pandemic the mammograms had been completed at a smaller site away from the main hospital, but today I was back where it all began. I was in and out in next to no time and now have to wait for my results which will be with me in a couple of weeks! I have two more annual mammograms to go before I am classified as 'all clear' and then I'll revert to the standard screening of every three years.

Back home and the coffee was just brewing thanks to Simon. I spent a few minutes online catching up with the antics of my podcast co-host Michelle as she arrived in Disneyland Paris today and has been posting video online throughout the day.

I had a few minutes to start sorting jigsaw pieces before Simon and I headed down 'the gym' for our usual Tuesday night workout.

And I think that is Tuesday all done so I will see you tomorrow.

Monday 18 April 2022

Day 761

Day 761...

The last day of the Easter weekend today as we have had a bank holiday Monday, and it has been a very quiet and chilled out sort of day.

We had no plans for the day and so it was nice just to get up when we felt like it and take a very steady approach to the day.

One small job this morning was to take the wall clock that Molly and Ethan had bought me for Mother's Day and change its colour. It's a Mickey Mouse clock and the outside is shaped like Mickey ears but when we looked at it in daylight what we thought were black ears were actually a dark navy colour. But that wasn't a problem for Simon, a little sanding of the surface yesterday meant that they were ready for some new paint today and of course we just happen to have black spray paint to hand! A couple of coats later and they are looking fantastic. We are leaving them over night before applying a coat of matt varnish to them tomorrow.

Early afternoon we decided to make the most of the dry, and slightly warm, day to go out for a walk. We took one of our longer strolls managing just over 5 miles in a steady one hour and forty minutes.

Back home and we had a little online birthday shopping to complete as Molly will be turning 21 in a few weeks time and we wanted to make sure we could get what we wanted and get it on time. Simon then spent the remainder of the day completing his latest piece of digital art while I made a start on my next jigsaw.

All in all a very relaxed day to round out the extended weekend.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday 17 April 2022

Day 760

Day 760...

Easter Sunday...although in our family it should be simply called 'excuse for some chocolate day'!!

As I am such a softie I still get my 'kids' easter eggs despite one living away from home and the other being 24! Molls and Dan got their eggs last weekend but poor Ethan had to wait till today. On the plus side I won't be pinching any of Ethan's chocolate as the majority is his favourite white...way too sweet for me. I shall enjoy some 90% dark after I've finished writing this blog piece.

But after a very relaxed start to the day we headed off into Nottingham for Dr Sketchy's, our regular burlesque themed life drawing event. Organised by the delightful Scarlett Daggers the event runs once every few months and features a model and a performer. Today we were joined by pin-up model Nora Drenaline who gave us some fabulous poses and then we were entertained by the ever wonderful Anna Fur Laxis. The afternoon starts off with some quick one, two and five minute poses and then continues with some ten and fifteen minute ones. Mid-way we have a burlesque performance and I cannot recommend seeing Anna Fur Laxis enough she is an absolute delight as well as being cheeky and funny.

 And the afternoon is completed with even longer twenty minute are some of my efforts...please remember I am not an artist! I simply have a pencil, paper and an eraser (while sat next to Simon with his digital drawing tablet!);

And that's how we celebrate Easter Sunday...burlesque performers and life drawing in a pub in Nottingham on a lovely sunny day.
Today was a bit of a Disney, punk vibe!

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 16 April 2022

Day 759

Day 759..

A quick post today I think...

We were up relatively early as Simon and Ethan were booked in at the barbers for 8am!

But this did mean that we made the most of the day and most of the day was spent upstairs in our new arts/crafts room trying to work out where to store everything. 

While we had been building the units and worktop all of the 'stuff' that we had stored in the room had been squeezed into the small ensuite. By the end of the day everything had been taken out of the ensuite and had found a new place to live. We moved our printer from downstairs to upstairs and cleared out most of the cabinet where the printer lived and relocated its contents upstairs as well.

Along the way we found old sets of keys that we haven't used in years and had no idea what they belonged to. I also discovered that I own five pairs of sunglasses that were hidden away in a drawer! Suffice to say they have now been relocated to somewhere more obvious and will now be used...I hope!

We took a break from proceedings mid-afternoon and took the car out 'for a coffee'; as in we took advantage of the jet wash located adjacent to the Starbucks and then partook of a coffee! Back home we had a little venture out into the garden as despite having gravel as the majority of our garden the weeds had suddenly decided to appear. Out with the weedkiller!!

And that was our Saturday; a day of doing and making progress with our new room. We have also ordered some cable management baskets to attach to the underside of the worktops along with a new smart TV which will mean that by this time next week the room will be almost fully functional!

See you tomorrow.

Friday 15 April 2022

Day 758

Day 758...

It has been Good Friday today and in this house it has been DIY Friday.

First thing we had to pop out to collect this week's Asda grocery shopping but once we were home and the shopping put away we spent the rest of the day upstairs in Molly's old room as we continued with our efforts to re-vamp the room.

We had decided that as Molly had moved out to live with Dan that we would make best use of her old room. We still want to be able to use it as a guest room but we also wanted to create a space that Simon and I could use for whatever craft or art activities arose.

After much deliberating we have used Ikea kitchen cabinets and worktops to create an expansive work area while at the same time having enough space for a bed when needed. Over the last couple of weekends we'd been able to purchase and assemble the cabinets but today it was all about putting everything together.

The cabinets all needed the end panels fitting which we'd already cut to size so they just needed fixing into place. We then needed to get the worktop roughly into place and make sure that the join Simon had expertly cut fitted together which it did beautifully. Next the join was glued into place and then special fixing bolts that Simon had pre-drilled were slotted in to secure the two sections together.

With that all done we stood back to decide on the next thing to do and in doing so we realised that the rather large unit that we were creating would block a couple of power sockets that we would need to use. We knew we need a couple of extension leads and after a quick search online we jumped in the car and went to our local B&Q to pick up a couple of leads.

Back home and with extension leads in place it was now time to fix the worktop to the cabinets. This was a precision exercise to ensure each cabinet was lined up just right with the worktop. Once each cabinet was in place we could then secure it to the worktop with screws; although this did mean Simon battling with awkward spaces and multiple shelves which had to be removed so that he could reach where he needed. There was a little swearing, a lot of sweat, some contorting and even some giggles before everything was attached and secure. It was then time to move our new, and rather large and heavy, workspace into place before attaching the handles and voila it was done...

...and still enough room for a sofa bed for when we have guests stay over.

And before we knew it the day was done! Next it will be time to fill the cupboards and decide how we want to accessorise the room...I think there maybe a little Disney involved somewhere!!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 14 April 2022

Day 757

Day 757...

Another day that saw a good amount of 'stuff' get done!

First job of the day was to pop to the funeral home to collect the jewellery that my dad was wearing when he passed away. There were only a couple of pieces to collect which included my mum's wedding ring that he used to wear on a chain so I was very happy to get them back. Although there are a few pieces of jewellery that we haven't managed to find yet but that I know he used to wear and I also know would mean a lot to Molly if we could find them.

On the way home I stopped at our local Lidl to pick up a few essentials. Good job I did as I also have an Asda shop to collect tomorrow and yet again there are quite a few items that I cannot get but thankfully I had the sense to pick them up from Lidl instead.

Once home it was podcast recording time with my co-host Michelle. We recorded two shows; this coming Sunday's Disney Dream Girls and a special show just for our Patreon supporters. We talked about Disneyland Paris as Michelle is off over there next week, some news items, some Easter food treats and ticket prices and reservations.

I finished recording just as Simon was about to break for lunch and so we decided to pop out for a lunchtime walk completing 2.5 miles in 48 minutes. After a spot of lunch I then headed to my dad's house to see if I could find any jewellery pieces and check on the post. No jewellery found but I have had a look through some other bits and bobs as I try to get clear in my head those items that we may want to keep, those that can be sold and those that will be thrown away.

Back home once again and I had the pleasure of the ironing pile to attack...whoop! Actually it wasn't as bad as I thought it was and was dealt with relatively quickly. In fact I even found a spare few minutes to sit outside with a coffee and enjoy a spot of late afternoon sunshine. Although between the rather large bumble bee buzzing around and the wood pigeons that like to swoop on and off the fence next to where I was sat it wasn't the most relaxing of times!

The day was rounded out with a trip to our gym. But now I think I need to put my feet up and have a cuppa!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

Day 756

Day 756...

We have reached the middle of the week and it has been another full day.

My first task today was to begin to get together various bits of paperwork for our solicitor. Whilst I'd made a good start on sorting things out now we have a solicitor on board they are going to take over and get everything sorted for us.

I then headed out to the hairdressers as it was time for a refresh of my colour and cut. It was a couple of hours well spent as my hairdresser and I had a good old natter; the benefit of knowing Kim for a lot of years.

I was back home just after lunch and finished gathering together all the bits and pieces that I needed for the solicitor. I was then able to drive out and drop everything off with them so that hopefully things can get moving relatively swiftly.

And once back home again it was time to sort out the butchers order that had been delivered earlier today; 100 sausages, 5kg bacon, 4kg steak mince, 5kg chicken and some steaks! By the time that was all done it was time to sit down and enjoy a coffee before starting on the next thing.

We still have some of my dads paperwork to go through and so I took an hour or so to sort it into things that I think would be worth keeping and then stuff that can probably be thrown away. We have discovered some fascinating documents; old wills, birth certificates for my grandparents, marriage certificates, an old telegram sent during the second world war, a police warning notice issued to my dad for improper use of fog lights (?) and more. But we also have old bills and invoices for accounts long closed and no longer relevant and that hold no historical or sentimental value. I have at least been able to organise what we have and now me and my brother can go through it all together and decide what to keep and what not!

And with that all done it is time for this weeks Moon Knight episode, a cup of tea and some dark chocolate.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Day 755

Day 755...

I think this will be a relatively short post as although I have been busy today there isn't too much to tell.

The morning and early afternoon was spent in work with a couple of my colleagues as we went through some paperwork. Despite being on our Easter two week break we wanted to use the time to have a bit of a sort out. The last time we had been able to have an extensive sort through was two years ago when we had moved premises. Now with my leaving date fast approaching it was time to go through everything and with two fresh pairs of eyes decide what needed to be kept and what didn't.

By early afternoon I was back home and waiting for my brother as we had an appointment with a solicitor to go through my dad's estate. Although everything is quite straight forward we made the decision to let the solicitor take the lead and get everything completed for us. Neither of us have the time, nor the inclination, to do what is needed ourselves and are more than happy to let someone else get involved. At least this way we can, hopefully, ensure that everything gets handled correctly and promptly.

So after an hour chatting with the solicitor we think we know where we are going next. I have a few bits and pieces of paperwork to get together and drop by their offices but at least we have now started the process of winding up my dads estate. This will also give us the motivation to go through the contents of his house and figure out what we want to keep and what we don't!

We then spent another hour or so chatting over the whole process and reminiscing about years gone by. And before I knew it the evening had arrived and it was time for dinner (thank goodness for making double keto pizza yesterday!).

See you tomorrow.

Monday 11 April 2022

Day 754

Day 754...

After a lovely weekend away it was time to return home today.

But first we enjoyed breakfast in the hotel before stopping by to see Molly before we headed home. We took her out for 'coffee and cake' and then hit the road.

Unfortunately, we hit a little bit of traffic not long into the journey which set us back a little but we arrived at our first planned charging point and plugged in the car while we made use of the Starbucks on site. Just as we were about to head back to the car I checked the app on my phone and it said that the charge had been interrupted. We weren't too concerned as the app isn't the most accurate or reliable, but on reaching the car we could see that there had been no charge added to the car!! So we moved the car into a new spot and plugged in again...twenty minutes later and we were back on the road.

It was then a straight forward drive to our next charging station and this time we made absolutely sure the car was charging before we went in search of coffee. Another twenty minutes later and we had a car almost at full charge and ready for the last leg of our journey home.

Our approach to long car journeys has definitely changed and is now a much more relaxed affair. We now know that it will take some time and that we will need to be patient and accept that there maybe some waiting around. But also splitting a long journey into chunks makes the drive feel so much easier and way less stressful.

It was lovely to be back home and catch-up with Ethan and now it's time to catch up with this weeks RuPauls Drag Race and get ready for another busy day tomorrow.

See you then.

Sunday 10 April 2022

Day 753

Day 753...

Wow, what a fabulous day we have had today and I am absolutely knackered!

The day started nice and steady as we enjoyed the breakfast buffet at the hotel, so nice to not have to be cooking for a change. Next we headed out for a little mooch about Bournemouth which included the obligatory stop into Primark along with a coffee in our preferred cafe, Esquires.

We then drove over to Molls and Dans house to figure out what to do for the day. As it was a lovely bright and dry day we headed to Southbourne with the intention of going for a walk...and walk we did.

We headed along the sea-front towards Boscombe and then onto Bournemouth which meant we had walked four miles. In need of refreshment we found a Starbucks in order to recharge our batteries before embarking on the return journey. By late afternoon we had walked, in total, just over 8 miles to say my feet and legs were feeling a tad tired would be a bit of an understatement.

On the way back to Moll's and Dan's place we stopped by Dan's aunt and uncles house and met more of his family. We found his mum there as she was using the back garden to test putting up the new tent she had bought. A fabulous affair that was erected just using air pressure...a new discovery for me as I didn't know tents could be assembled that way.

After a quick stop by Moll's and Dan's place we all jumped in the car and headed back once more into Bournemouth for something to eat. And good old Five Guys delivered once more for a tasty low carb meal.

We spent a little time back with Molls and Dan before finally putting our sore and tired feet up at the hotel. And discovered that with all fresh air today I have actually caught the sun and have a slightly pink face!!

See you all tomorrow.


Saturday 9 April 2022

Day 752

Day 752...

Today was road trip day as we were off to see Molly and Dan for the weekend.

So we had a relatively early start...not mega early just a purposeful getting up, packed and out on the road. And we had the exciting adventure of electric car charging ahead of us!!

Our first stop proved to be a bit of a challenge. Despite multiple chargers being on site most were in use and the one that wasn't being used was not working! We went in search of coffee in the hope that by the time we got back to the car a free space would have appeared. Although I did have to contend with the age old problem of motorway services...the stupidly long queue for the ladies toilet!! Why does that happen?

While waiting for our coffee Simon popped back to the car to see whether we could plug in yet. I found him chatting to another electric car owner who it turned out lived just a couple of miles away from us! But unfortunately there was still no free spaces. We then had a little charging station etiquette to contend with. A space came free but we let our fellow driver take the spot as it had the correct charging cable for his car as we knew the spot next to us was almost at full charge.

The couple next to us disconnected their car and motioned to us that we could have their spot...or at least that's what we thought. So we waited and nothing, no movement, no attempt to move, nothing. Thankfully Simon was able to reposition our car such that the cable would stretch (just) to our car...phew! We now decided it was time for food while the car charged.

And our quest to find a good low carb option was made possible, surprisingly, by M&S food. Picking up small packs of cooked bacon, cocktail sausages, flavoured chicken and a couple of hard boiled eggs - win! With our keto picnic consumed we headed back to the car to find that the couple who had been parked next to us had only just moved. This meant they'd sat there with a fully charged car and not moved...meaning no one could use their space which appeared to be rather rude! Anyway with an almost full charge we were able to get back on the road.

Our next charging stop was a lot smoother; four free spots and a Starbucks! Boom! In twenty minutes we were back on the road and heading towards Bournemouth.

Once checked in at our hotel we met up with Molly and Dan in the town centre and headed to a greek restaurant; The Real Greek. Another chance to have a suitably low carb meal by picking all the most appropriate, and mainly meaty, dishes! 

Afterwards we took a stroll down towards the pier and had a short walk along the seafront. We then headed over to Molls and Dans house to spend the evening over there and some time catching up.

Time for bed now and I'll see you tomorrow.


Friday 8 April 2022

Day 751

Day 751...

The end of the working week has been reached and for me it was the last day of this school term and the start, at 3.30pm, of two weeks holiday.

But first to the day in work and it was, yet again, more transitioning of my job role. Another day of helping our new administration assistant get to grips with some specific tasks of my job relating to issuing invoices and updating banking. It was a busy day, but a day in which we got done all that we set out to do.

I arrived home to freshly brewed coffee and a quick catch-up with Simon before I set about a few tasks to round out the day.

First up it was podcast recording time. Michelle and I were joined by a good friend of the show, and the force behind 'Touring Plans', Len Testa. Touring Plans is a fabulous resource for all us Disney nerds and in fact anyone planning a visit to the the Disney parks, Universal parks or the Disney Cruise Line. And Len is such fun to chat with and so knowledgeable.

After that, and while Simon was completing his zone two training on the exercise bike, I set about getting some bits and bobs together ready for our road trip tomorrow. We are off down south to spend the weekend with Molly and Dan; it will be the first time seeing then since early February. In fact as I type this I am 'chatting' with Molls as to what the plans are for the weekend.

Because we will be away for the next few days I then wanted to get all the paperwork relating to my dad's estate up straight. We have a meeting with the solicitors next week and I won't have much time to get things ready so just wanted to be ahead of the game so that way I can have a few relaxed days without worrying about other things.

And that was Friday. Happy half term to all my fellow educators and time for red wine and feet up!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 7 April 2022

Day 750

Day 750...

Another Thursday and today was a full day in work for me.

The work day was another day of working through various parts of my job with my deputy who will be taking over from me at the end of May. I think we are starting to get to the point where I will be needed less and less as the confidence of my staff taking on new tasks begins to grow.

On my way home I had a quick trip to our local Lidl as it was that time of the week when I needed a few top-up items. And as we are away this weekend I needed to get some bits to keep Ethan fed and watered while we are away!!

I arrived home in a hail storm and decided to run for it and actually yelled out 'Ow' as I was hit by hail! Not fun! Thankfully the coffee was ready and waiting for me to warm me up...I wonder if the weather knows it is now April and we'd much prefer some warm sunny weather rather than wet, windy and rather chilly!

But with coffee in hand it was time to get on with things. I messaged the people I been able to contact about my dad's passing to let them know how we are going to celebrate his life in a couple of weeks time.  I was also able to compose something for Facebook to get the word out and hopefully reach as many people as possible that knew dad and may want to come along and pay their respects. I also did a little more research into how best to advise various companies that still need advising about my dads death. Getting a little more done each day.

The day was finished off with a quick workout down our 'gym'.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 6 April 2022

Day 749

Day 749...

We have reached the middle of the week and it has been another day of two halves.

My morning was spent in work and although my deputy was off work ill we still managed to get quite a bit of work done between us. The power of a Google drive and WhatsApp!!

This afternoon was spent back at home and it was pretty non-stop. I have a lot of companies to contact regarding my dad's passing and so this afternoon I picked a few to see how far I could get. I managed to contact four companies through a mixture of online chats and actual telephone calls and all seem to have gone relatively smoothly, although I was juggling multiple screens at one point! Still more to do but I'll aim to just get a few done each day I think.

I then had some laundry to get caught up on as we are away at the weekend and so wanted to make sure everything was up straight. Next it was time to bake; not something I do very often at all these days as being a low carb family cakes are a bit of a rarity. But as part of our fundraising week at pre-school we have decided to sell cakes and as stock was running low I got out the baking tins and made three dozen cakes all suitably Easter themed!

Just hope they taste okay!!

The afternoon has been a very multi-tasking few hours and I am now looking forward to a cup of tea, feet up and this weeks episode of Moon Knight!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 5 April 2022

Day 748

Day 748...

Well, today turned out to be a day of two halves. The plan had been to spend a full day in work but as we went through the days tasks we realised that I would be able to finish a little earlier.

The morning was spent with my deputy manager to catch up with all the happenings at pre-school and go over a few more in depth aspects of the managerial role. But we are beginning to get to the point where all those various aspects of my job are being transitioned across and the need for me is slowly becoming less and less.

Therefore just after lunch we decided that I'd done as much as I could for the day and was able to head home and leave my deputy to get on alone with the multiple tasks that she had to complete. We are at a point where it is better to leave my staff to get on with the jobs at hand and to then ascertain just where they need input, if any, from me going forward.

Back home and I discovered that Simon had used his lunchtime to swap over a door on one of our assembled cabinets in our new study room. Because we need to swap the room design over it meant that the corner cabinet needed to be reversed and Simon had been able to do it with ease.

With a freshly brewed coffee in hand I decided to tackle some paperwork of my own. I needed to use the governments 'Tell Us Once' service about my dad's passing as by doing this government departments like the passport office along with local government departments all get informed 'at once' rather than having to contact them all individually. It's a straight forward process and didn't take me too long at all.

I was then able to contact some of our relatives to let them know about our arrangements to celebrate dad's life at his 'local' pub in a couple of weeks time, along with a few of his old neighbours. I still have more to contact but that will be a job for tomorrow. I was also able to start to collate some of the paperwork that we will need when we go to see the solicitors next week along with starting to inform other third parties but there is still more to do.

Then the day was rounded out with a trip to our gym...I think we were both quite pleasantly surprised at how well we did as I think the last two days of building cabinets was starting to catch up with the both of us!

See you tomorrow.

Monday 4 April 2022

Day 747

Day 747...

Today has been a busy and productive Monday.

It started out with a phone call from our local register office who I'd left a message with on Friday afternoon. Very impressed that not only were they getting in touch on the next working day but it was actually before their official opening time of 9am! 

But they were lovely and were able to help me obtain a special reference number for my dads death that will enable me to register with the 'Tell Us Once' service. Because my dads death is under the coroner and is likely to go to an inquest we are unable to register his death in the normal way and instead have an 'interim death certificate', issued by the coroner. This meant trying to track down someone who was able to generate the correct reference number for us. We are now able to advise a number of government departments about my dad in just one go by using an online service.

Our next job of the day was to visit our funeral directors of choice to sort out the necessary arrangements. My brother and his wife were also there and we have decided that we will be having what is called a 'direct cremation'. This means that there will be no formal service and that simply my dad will be cremated and we will then collect the ashes and arrange for a scattering. Once we have dad's ashes we will then need to make arrangements for the ashes to be scattered within the same area that my mum's remains were laid at our local crematorium.

We then stopped by my dad's house to check for any mail as well as to carry out a little DIY. We had found that the door to the bathroom was not on its hinges so armed with screwdrivers and screws we took a few minutes to re-hang the door. 

Next we headed towards Derby in search of a home improvement store and on the way we had an Amazon return to drop off. At the said home improvement store Simon was able to pick up a new, extra fine saw ahead of the next stage of assembling our workspace in our new study/craft room (aka Molly's old bedroom!). And then it was time to stop for a coffee and a car wash; taking advantage of the jet wash next door to a Starbucks. 

While at Starbucks I received a text from a couple that my dad used to see at his pub of choice who were asking if they could attend his funeral. I explained that there would be no funeral as such but that we were hoping to arrange a get together at the aforementioned pub to celebrate my dads life and I would be in touch.

On the way home we stopped by my dad's favourite pub to see about making some arrangements. The landlady immediately knew who we were and expressed her condolences and was only too happy to be able to sort something out for us. We were also able to meet the couple dad had always spoke about as they were actually in the pub having a meal; perfect timing. It was lovely to chat with people who knew my dad and had memories to share with us. So on the 25th April we will all come together and be able to celebrate and remember my dad.

After a quick spot of late lunch Simon and I then started the next phase of assembling our craft space. We had end panels to cut to size, hence the new saw, along with tackling the two 2.4 metre lengths of worktop and figuring out how they would sit together. 

According to the instructions from Ikea the two worktops are designed to sit next to each other at a ninety degree angle. But Simon had already done a little online research into how to join the two pieces together which involved some clever cutting; as it was there was a little damage to one corner of one of the worktops which forced us to go with the fancy cutting option. We very diligently measured and remeasured and worked out how to cut 45 degree angles. Simon was able to make all the necessary cuts and the two worktops married up perfectly. He was then able to turn them over and make the necessary cuts to allow fixing bolts to be set in place; all very professional looking.

We then had the awkward job of getting both, very long and very heavy, worktops upstairs into our soon to be study/craft room. I was pleasantly surprised that I had the strength to help Simon move them and get them into place. We laid them in place and then realised that we had a slight problem! 

I think we had been so fixated on the damage to one of the corners of the worktops that we had inadvertently made the cuts to join the tops together opposite to what we'd intended. Initially we couldn't believe the error that we'd made and were resigned to 'make do' which would have meant cutting about sixty centimetres off the end of one of the worktops. Thankfully Simon had the common sense to realise that as the room is pretty much square and the layout we have planned involves an 'L-shaped' worktop we simply need to reverse our original plan and everything will still fit and we won't have to loose any of the worktop after all - phew!

And with that our day was done; a busy day with more achieved than I think either of us thought was going to be possible today.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday 3 April 2022

Day 746

Day 746...

We had the usual start to our Sunday with the collection of our grocery shopping; not very exciting but a necessity.

But the next task of the day was a little more exciting as I joined my podcasting co-host Michelle to record this weeks Disney Dream Girls as well as a show just for our Patreon supporters. With everything that has happened this week this was the first chance we'd been able to get together and had the head space to be able to chat all things Disney. Michelle then did an amazing job to go away and edit our audio so that it could be released later today as we always try and release a show each Sunday.

Whilst I recorded Simon made a few final adjustments to the art commission that he'd been working on yesterday. The piece is now complete and he is now waiting to hear from the commissioner to ensure that the art is everything that they wanted it to be. He does a brilliant job of working with his clients to ensure they get exactly what they want and will keep them updated throughout the creation process so that tweaks and amendments can be made if needed.

After a spot of lunch we decided to start the construction of the Ikea flat pack that we'd bought at the beginning of the week. We have bought a number of kitchen cabinets that will form the base of our workspace area and will store all of our crafting bits and pieces. We than have two wooden worktops that will form the desk area. Our task today was to see if we could get at least one of the cabinets built.

Well, by the end of the day we had all four cabinets built. We've substituted the usual plinths with small feet so that the cabinets are almost to the floor with just enough room to open the doors. We have attached all the doors and even worked out how to join two cabinets together by way of a corner unit to create an 'L' shape. We are very pleased with our afternoon efforts and hats off to Ikea for creating units that were super easy to assemble.

I think the next task of moving the two 2.4 metre lengths of very heavy wooden worktops into the upstairs room will be quite interesting!! And then Simon has the challenge of working out how to install them at a ninety degree angle to each other. There is going to be a lot of measuring, and measuring again, before any cutting takes place I think!

So we have had a productive day and I think it is now time to put our feet up.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 2 April 2022

Day 746

Day 746...

Well there isn't going to be much to report from today as it has been mainly taken up with one thing; paperwork.

After a steady start to the day Simon wanted to spend as much time as he could completing his latest art commission. So he set himself up with his digital art pad in front to the TV and by the end of the day was able to get it all finished off.

I decided that I would attack the mound of paperwork that I had brought home from my dad's house and try and figure out just what was relevant, what could be thrown away and anything that we may want to hold onto for sentimental reasons.

Going through it all has been a mixture of asking why on earth has something been kept, along with little finds that capture a moment in time. Suffice to say there has been an awful lot that has been thrown out...bills and statements from twenty years ago are of no use whatsoever!

But I am now making progress by collating all the needed and relevant stuff into one place in a much more organised fashion along with saving some random finds. I came across a couple of my dad's old school reports from the 1950's, blank wedding invitations from my wedding, a newspaper article about my dad retiring, some old one pound notes and more.

I am hoping that next week we will be able to make the arrangements for his funeral as well as figure out who needs notifying and the implications of that.

By the end of the day I had gone through everything and organised it all so it should be much easier to find whatever we may need going forward.

Time for a cuppa, see you tomorrow.

Friday 1 April 2022

Day 745

Day 745...

It's a little late in the day as I write this so this may be a quick post!

My day was spent in work and it was another day of taking my staff through various aspects of my job as I get ready to completely stand down from my role as manager. We are still on track for my last day at pre-school to be at the end of May and we are gradually making our way through all the different tasks that my job entails.

I arrived home to a freshly brewed pot of coffee thanks to Simon and a small pile of post which included some lovely flowers sent by Simon's boss (and good friend) and his wife. Although I did have to search for something suitable to put the flowers in as the only proper vase that I'd owned had been thrown out when we'd had a clear out a few months back. It's not very often I have flowers in the house as they will normally set Simon's hayfever off! But thankfully I found a suitably large glass that was a souvenir from a vacation many, many years ago but works wonderfully as a vase!

I attempted to phone the local register office to discuss how to get a reference number for my dad's death so that we can make use of a government service called 'Tell Us Once'. This is a great service as by simply registering online a number of various government departments are advised of a person's death in one go rather than each department having to be contacted separately. Because my dad's passing has been referred to the coroner we have been issued with an 'interim death certificate' as opposed to a full death certificate and therefore getting this reference number is a little different to 'normal'. But unfortunately I discovered that the register office only opens between 9am and 4pm as I was phoning at a few minutes after 4pm and couldn't get through! Finally I was able to leave my details and hope that someone will get back to me on Monday so we can start getting things sorted.

Then this evening we popped out for an hour or so to support my sister-in-law as she has expanded her business into more of an art venture and has a small exhibit happening within the complex where she has her studio. Her business, China Petals, makes mosaics from broken china and pieces of glass and she has now taken this skill into a more bespoke form making unique pieces of art.

And that was Friday and I am looking forward to the weekend and stopping for a few hours, see you tomorrow.