Sunday 31 July 2022

Day 863 & 864 - Another Weekend

Day 863...

Simon was up and out early this morning for a 7.30am barbers appointment! After he arrived home we had a coffee before popping on our walking shoes and venturing out for a longer walk than normal. As it had been a bit wet overnight we kept to the pavements and headed in the direction of a local garden centre that has a lovely cafe called Piptree Cafe.

It was a 2.2 mile walk which we managed in 40 minutes and then we had the same journey home again. The day was rather grey and looked like it could rain at any minute so we went out armed with an umbrella and rain coats and needed none of them! Typical!

After a bit of brunch we had a decidedly lazy afternoon. It was raining off and on and Simon had his latest piece of digital art that he was desperate to get completed. I had a few online bits to do but then spent the remainder of my time just chilling and watching some TV and some YouTube.

After a very lovely keto dinner of black pepper chicken stir fry we settled down for the evening to watch a couple of Drag Race shows. We had the final of All Stars Season 7 which has been phenomenal to watch and in our opinion the right queen won. And then we started watching the second series of Drag Race Down Under.

Day 864...

The day started a little later than usual and after a coffee we decided that a walk was very much needed. Not sure what was up with me this morning (and the majority of the weekend if I'm honest) but I was struggling to feel motivated and actually felt quite grumpy. I'd hoped that getting out for a walk might have lifted my mood but I'm not sure it made any significant difference. 

It was another grey day following rain over night and again looked like it could rain at any moment, although it was surprisingly warm. We kept to a flatter route and tried to avoid too many wet fields but we still clocked up 3.5 miles in 1 hour and 6 minutes.

While I had the exciting task of updating our online grocery shopping ahead of collection tomorrow Simon was focused on cleaning up his recent set of 3D prints. This involves sanding the pieces to remove any lumps and bumps that shouldn't be there along with smoothing out the lines that appear with a 3D print, followed by the application of a resin filler to fill in the gaps and help create a smoother surface.

I made a start on my newest jigsaw which by the power of Amazon was ordered yesterday and had arrived by late morning. I have still not found the missing piece of my last jigsaw so have packed it away in the hope that it may show up at some point in the future. But today I was able to get the edge completed of my new Winnie the Pooh themed one...

Simon has been able to hook up a special camera to his 3D printer which means that he will be able to keep an eye on the printer from wherever he may be, which as the printer is at the opposite end of the house to where Simon normally works is going to be pretty useful. He can even control the printer from the app that runs along with the camera! It's a nice safety feature to have in case a print gets too hot (although it should shut down automatically) or if it starts to misprint. This way Simon will be able to avoid unnecessary errors and the waste of printer filament.

And then for the first time in like forever we had our Disney Dream Girls Sunday meet-up/quiz. We started doing a weekly quiz on a Sunday sometime in 2020 when the world was going mad and we'd been pretty good at making it a regular weekly occurrence but as life became more 'normal' and our lives resumed it had become harder to find time when everyone was free to 'meet up'. Since out last meet-up it would appear Zoom have reduced the amount of free time you have to chat and so our little chit chat was cut short and we didn't even get around to having the quiz element! But we have put next Sunday in our diaries and so hopefully then we will be able to chat and quiz!

OK, I think I will sign off and see you all tomorrow.

Friday 29 July 2022

Day 862

Day 862...

We were back to a slightly grey start to the day again today but we headed out and completed our usual 1.9 miles in 38 minutes. We did have a little stop part way around as we bumped into one of the 'mum's from school' from when Molly attended primary school many years ago and she wanted to know how Molly was doing?!!

The rest of my day was pretty quiet but at the same time relatively productive. I managed to get caught up on a couple of small jobs as well as the joy of the ironing pile. I also ventured into the garden shed to sort boxes...yes you read that correct...boxes! As we know we're going to have a fair amount of 'stuff' from my dads house to store here with us, and we know that some of that 'stuff' will eventually be sold on, we have been saving any box and packaging that could be useful. But as a result everything had been thrown into the shed and so it all needed sorting so that we have more room for storing more boxes!  I even battled with a very scary looking spider that was a little too active for my liking. In fact as soon as I saw it move inside a box the box quickly found its way outside the shed and strewn on the path. But I was brave and poked at the box and only picked it up again after I spotted the spider crawl out and hide itself between the paving slabs!!

After lunch I decided to make the most of the dry weather and got the weedkiller out! We had a few very nasty, spikey looking weeds that needed dealing with and so I mixed up some weedkiller and got spraying. A very satisfying job and I now look forward to seeing all the weeds shrivel up and die over the next few days!

I then carried on with what has turned into my kitchen cupboard cleaning project. I had a few cupboards that just needed a general clean and one cupboard that I decided was in need of a clear out. There were a number of serving bowls and dishes that haven't been used in ages and don't actually fit in with our other crockery and so I decided it was time to let them go. Some in fact were items that we bought way back in 1988 before we got married and probably before we'd even bought our first house, and we were buying things ready to 'set up home'! Fair to say that I think we've had our monies worth!

I then took a little time out to watch one of my favourite TV programs. I don't have that many shows that only I like to watch but I have always been fascinated with family trees and have always watched 'Who Do You Think You Are'. Realising that a few new epsiodes had recently been released I'm catching up with them when I get a spare few minutes. I'd love to see some of the American versions but tracking them down here in the UK is a little bit of a challenge!

It was then time to head down our gym for a weights workout. Simon is making great strides with his routine and although he may not be lifting the weight he was a few weeks back he's now able to carry out all the different movements. It's just a matter of time before he'll be back to where he was. I've been looking up lots of different exercises online in an effort to try new things, have new routines and just mix things up a bit. This is proving a great way to re-invigorate my interest in exercise and I am really enjoying finding new ways of moving weights and my body.

And that was Friday, I will see you tomorrow.

Thursday 28 July 2022

Day 861

Day 861...

We were back to a bit of a grey and overcast start to the day so we ventured out with an umbrella under our arm just in case. As it was we completed our 1.9 mile walk in 37 minutes and stayed dry the whole way round. We did comment that we are back to typical British Summer weather after the searing heat of last week!

My morning saw a few general jobs around the house get done, a trip to Lidl and a little preparation ahead of podcast recording this afternoon. As Michelle is now on her summer break (the plus side of working in education) it does mean that we can record at any point in the day rather than having to find the time at the end of a working day.

So just after lunch Michelle and I got together online to record a show for release this coming weekend as well as a show for our Patreon supporters. An hour and a half later and both shows were done; we spoke about some Disney history, looked forward to Michelle's upcoming trip to Walt Disney World as well as look at some items in the Disney news.

I then decided to have another re-organise of my kitchen. I have a lovely red Kitchen Aid mixer that sits on the counter top but very rarely gets used...baking cakes is a rarity in this house...and so I decided it needed a new place to live. I'd found space in one of the cupboards which had the knock-on effect of finding new homes for the existing inhabitants of the aforementioned cupboard. Well suffice to say two and a half hours later I had cleaned inside and out five kitchen cupboards and re-organised where all the contents lived in a vague hope that everything is in a much better and logical place!

At the end of the day I headed down our gym to complete some body weight exercises along with some light weights as well. Today I found a routine targeting the triceps and so I thought I'd give it a go...we shall see how I feel this time tomorrow! After my workout I needed a shower and so thought I would have my second cold shower of the day and my first two minute one! And it wasn't that bad!!

And that is it for this Thursday, I shall see you tomorrow.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Day 860

Day 860...

A much brighter start to the day today and we seemed to storm our way around our 1.9 mile walk in just 36 minutes.

It was another relatively quiet day with Simon at work while I pottered around the house. There were a few cleaning jobs that I wanted to get done this morning one of which involved trying to get the hoover to work correctly. For some reason the brushes aren't spinning and no amount of me poking and prodding could get them to work!

After lunch I headed to my dads house as I needed to disconnect the router and send it back to the provider, Sky. According to the text messages I'd received there should have been some packaging waiting for me in which to return the aforementioned router but there was not. So I bundled it up and brought it home with me to try and figure out what to do with it.

After searching around Sky's website I finally found the information I needed and was able to simply package up the router and then arrange for it to be collected from my address tomorrow morning. I haven't even had to print a label as apparently the Royal Mail will do that for me. Fingers crossed it all works out as promised!

And the end of the day saw Simon and I down our gym for a weights workout. Simon is doing really well following his broken wrist and is now able to do pull-ups and move some heavier weights which this time last week he would have struggled with. Just goes to prove the best medicine is to get moving, listen to your body and do as much as you feel you can while being careful not to push too far.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Day 859

Day 859...

It was a rather grey, and much cooler than of late, start to the day but that didn't stop us getting out for our regular early morning walk. I'm quite impressed with myself that I am able to step out in shorts and t-shirt when I know previously I would have been wrapped in jeans and a hoodie. Just goes to show how being exposed to different weather conditions on a regular basis can cause your body, and mental capacity, to adapt. I even find myself craving the fresh air and being outside which is completely opposite to how I have been in the past...I think (and hope) this new lifestyle is working well for me. But anyway out we went and it was just a quick walk of 1.9 miles in 37 minutes as today was a working day for Simon and we needed to be home in time for his work day to start.

My morning was relatively slow and quiet. I had a few rounds of laundry to catch-up with and a much needed trip to Lidl to stock up on fresh foods. As our diet is predominately low carb/keto our meals consist mainly of a protein source plus green veggies or salad and so regular shopping trips are needed to keep us stocked up on those fresh items. One bonus of no longer working means that fitting in a quick shop is so much easier as I can shop at a time that suits me, on a day that suits and I can fit in smaller shops more often to ensure foods don't spoil. Plus with prices on the rise as they are I am finding that I am favouring the likes of Lidl much more than I ever have before because their prices can be significantly cheaper for some items than the bigger supermarkets.

After lunch I finally gave in and did a task that I'd been putting off...Simon's tax return! Not the most exciting of jobs but obviously one that had to be done. Here in the UK tax returns are only completed if you are requested to do so by the tax office or you have self employed earnings. Because Simon has a small income that's generated through his art commissions each year it means that we now have to complete a 'self assessment tax return' each year. Plus once you're in the system it means that there is no escaping completing it whether you have any self employed earnings or not.

While it's great that it can be done online it can be a bit of a long process as it involves collating figures and making sure that all the right questions are answered and the right numbers are put into the right boxes. And like anything that involves an official form there is that element of double checking everything so that you can, hopefully, avoid any errors. The tax year ended in April and the tax office do have a lengthy window of time for returns to be completed, with the first deadline being the end of December and a final deadline of the end of January. So I've managed to get it all completed in plenty of time and now it's a case of figuring out when they need paying and how much. I'm hoping that any tax owed can be paid through our normal tax code system rather than having to make a one-off payment, but we will need to wait a few days for their final workings to come through.

And the end of my day was rounded out with a workout. While Simon jumped on the exercise bike I headed down 'our gym' to complete a few body weight exercises; push-ups, tricep push ups, mountain climbers, hip thrusters, squats, sumo squats and lunges. I also then did a few goblet squats and then targeted my upper arms and shoulders with a few dumbbell exercises. 

When I first went low carb back in 2014 I would complete a set of body weight exercises twice a day; a mix of planks, lunges, squats and push-ups. I managed to keep it up for probably a couple of years, if not longer, but as time went by it dropped to once a day and then we rediscovered going to a local gym and so my workouts were kept to when we went to the gym. No excuses but the routine simply slipped and changed, but now I want to get back into doing a little more than I have been. I am enjoying the morning walks and feel that they are both good for my body physically but also mentally as they give chance for Simon and I to connect on a daily basis and there is just something about being in the fresh air that can lift your spirits. On a normal week we will probably go down 'the gym' twice and then Simon will jump on the exercise bike perhaps three times. I want to make sure that on those days when Simon is on the exercise bike that I make the effort to do something myself whether that be body weight movements or more point moaning about the shape (or lack thereof) of parts of my body if I'm not doing anything about it! 

So new things going forward - more exercise and cold showers (I'm now up to 1 minute and 30 seconds!).

See you tomorrow.

Monday 25 July 2022

Day 858

Day 858...

The beginning of the week and it was back to work for Ethan today. We headed out on our walk just after 8.15am and took a slightly longer route tallying up 2.9 miles in 54 minutes, and for some reason today it felt hard going. Although according to the stats on my activity tracker everything was pretty much as normal.

We'd not been back home long when Simon received a message from work. Now Mondays are ordinarily a non-work day for Simon but because they have a deadline approaching he was contacted to see if he could do some work today. Some much needed fixes to the software had been put in over the weekend which meant the work Simon hadn't been able to complete on Friday could now be done. It also meant that the only way the fixes could be tested was for Simon to logon and see whether or not he could now complete his outstanding tasks.

We weren't sure how much work Simon would be required to do and so as a result the remainder of the day was rather quiet as we didn't really know how it was going to pan out. As it was Simon ended up working for pretty much the rest of the day and didn't finish until about 5pm. It did mean that my day was kind of held in limbo as I didn't want to start anything in case Simon came free and we could do something together. 

I did manage to sort through my jewellery as I had a couple of pieces of my mum's that I'd found when clearing my dads house that needed a new home. I also had a few old pieces of cheap stuff that I no longer wear and so they were thrown out. I also discovered an old Disney bracelet that was broken; it was made up of Mickey head shaped pieces and the string had simply deteriorated leaving just a pile of Mickey heads - oops!

When Simon did get away from work we were both feeling pretty low and rather lack-lustre so we decided we needed to do something to get us going again; so we headed down our gym. Simon was able to do so much more today than he has the last couple of times and his wrist is obviously getting stronger. He still has a little swelling and hasn't quite got a full range of movement but he is getting there. And after a decent workout we were both feeling a little more awake and purposeful.

But I shall leave it there and see you all tomorrow.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Day 856 & Day 857 - The Weekend

Day 856...Saturday

With Molly and Dan visiting for the weekend I have deliberately left writing my blog until they had returned home as I wanted to be able to spend as much time with them as possible.

So our Saturday morning started with a walk, but today we were accompanied by Molly and Dan and also Ethan. It was a proper family outing as we walked the 2.4 miles over the fields to a local cafe called The Cowshed. It took us just 45 minutes to get over there and we had the pleasure of meeting horses, alpacas and very friendly dogs along the way.

But we had good reason for making the walk as we took advantage of a very yummy cooked breakfast in a lovely setting. Although the day had started a little grey the sun decided to make an appearance and it was great to be sat outside enjoying the weather, the food and the great company.

We took a little longer walk back clocking up 3.2 miles in 59 minutes. It was great to be able to have 'the kids' with us and introduce them to the places that we walk and have talked about to them, and whilst Molly had been on some of these walks before Ethan had not. 

The remainder of the day was spent at home chatting and catching up with each other, drinking coffee, eating food and just generally having a very relaxed and chilled time.

Day 857...Sunday

In a change to our normal routine we decided to have breakfast before we did anything else. Simon and I were up and about a little later than normal and enjoying a coffee before we decided what the order of the day should be. Once Molly and Dan appeared we decided to get breakfast under way while they nipped out to get some petrol in their car ready for the journey home later today. With petrol costing so much at the moment and them living 3 hours away we have helped them out by paying for a tank of fuel for them...we simply couldn't expect them to visit when the cost is so high at the moment, without helping out a little.

We did still manage our morning walk but it was after breakfast and we were accompanied by Molly and Dan. We did one of our standard walks of 2.3 miles in 47 minutes, it was a little grey out and a tad windy but still really quite warm.

By early afternoon Molly and Dan were on their way home; it is always lovely to have them visit but always makes me realise just how much I miss Molly. She would normally be my partner in crime; helping me out with odd jobs, someone to chat with when the boys start getting all techy and nerdy and good company for whenever shopping was involved! But as much as I miss her I know that she is happy living with Dan by the seaside and all I ever want for her, and for Ethan, is for them to be happy and content and living their lives the way they want being the best possible version of themselves.

This afternoon Simon did a little tinkering around with the 3D printer as he wanted to re-design and re-print a couple of pieces for additions to his R2D2. With the printer set off printing we popped out to our favourite Starbucks for a coffee and for the car to visit the adjacent jet wash! It was the first time Simon has been able to drive the car since breaking his wrist and as a result the first time the car has been washed since then too!

Back home and it was more 3D printing for Simon along with a little video capture. We have re-discovered our digital video camera and having charged it up Simon decided to take it out with us yesterday and do a little filming as a test. So this afternoon he has been busy taking the video and editing it and so while I type the video is 'rendering out' and we will find out whether or not the camera will be worth using going forward. Whilst mobile phones are great for capturing photos and video the available memory can soon fill up and so having this compact camera might be the way forward, especially for when we are off doing new things and visiting places.

And with that I shall see you tomorrow.

Friday 22 July 2022

Day 855

Day 855...

The day started, like yesterday; rather grey although not quite as wet but it was still raining as we headed out for our early morning walk. Another 1.9 miles completed in 37 minutes.

My first job was to nip out to Lidl to get some fresh bits and pieces. And within ten minutes of me arriving home my butchers order arrived; 100 sausages, some pork steaks and 7kg of bacon! This meant that the majority of my morning was spent splitting it all into meal size portions and finding space in the freezer. And to round the morning out I got up straight with the ironing.

After lunch I had a few cleaning jobs to sort, some tidying away to do and a keto bread to make. By mid-afternoon the sun had decided to make an appearance so I took advantage and spent a little time getting my vitamin D intake for the day while enjoying a coffee.

Around 4pm we got the message from Molly that her and Dan were on their way to see us for the weekend. Molly's car had also been to the garage this morning for its annual MOT and thankfully it passed without issue. 

Today also marked day three of cold showers for me! Simon has been doing these for a while now and although I'd attempted them a month or so ago I hadn't really stuck at it, but I've decided to give them another go. Simon now manages four minutes each day but I'm starting off with just one minute and so far so good! There are supposed to be lots of health benefits to cold therapy including reduced inflammation, better immune response and the activation of brown fat (which helps get rid of the bad fat...fingers crossed). So I'm giving it a try to see whether it makes any noticeable effect, although it will take a few weeks, and ultimately longer showers, to create any difference - who knows?!

Molly and Dan arrived by early evening and it is lovely to have them here for a couple of days to catch-up.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 21 July 2022

Day 854

Day 854...

Well after the glorious weather that we've been experiencing these past few days today was grey and first thing it was a tad wet. But it didn't stop us getting out for our early morning walk of 1.9 miles, which was done in 36 minutes.

The rain was that very fine rain, that often gets referred to as wet rain because you end up being way wetter than you think you should be. But I still went out in my shorts and after the initial feeling of very damp legs I quickly got over it and didn't really notice it for the majority of the walk.

Over the last few days our view when we get to the highest point has looked like this...

...but today it looked like this...

Last night after writing my blog I was determined to get the remaining few pieces of my jigsaw completed, which I did...kind of...

...a lovely Dumbo inspired jigsaw but can you spot why it's not complete?

Yep, we have a missing piece! Now this jigsaw was bought brand new and arrived in cellophane so there should be no reason for a missing piece and in fact I think it may have something to do with the wind! I had the jigsaw set up in our living room in front of some french doors that we had open because of the high temperatures. On Tuesday it had also been quite windy and when I returned home from volunteering at pre-school I noticed that some of the pieces that I'd sorted were strewn across the living room floor...the wind had been up to tricks. As I sorted them back to where they should be I remarked, rather flippantly, to Simon that 'if I end up missing pieces they'll be under the sofa'! Now I did actually find one piece under the sofa but this piece has eluded me and despite searching today I have still not found it!!

But back to today and this morning, without planning to, I found myself cleaning the oven. Not very exciting but one of those jobs that was a little overdue so having the time I decided it was due a thorough clean. Although I may have been a little over zealous in my efforts as I have inadvertently wiped away the decals that indicate what each knob does! Whoops! I obviously don't know my own strength!

The remainder of the day was spent catching up on some more laptop focused jobs. I had a couple of payments to make, a little pre-school committee work to do and then a little online shopping. Online shopping that turned into much more shopping than I'd anticipated. Not only did I purchase some clothing items that I needed but also some towels, a couple of kitchen storage tubs, a new chopping board, a vanity mirror and some new wall lights for our bedroom!!

Oh and I also managed to get Simon and I booked in for our next tattoos, although we will have to wait until early September.

And then as is the norm for a Thursday night it was time to head down our gym for a weights workout. Simon was able to push himself a little further tonight managing a slightly heavier weight and even a few sets of pull-ups.

And that was Thursday...I will see you tomorrow.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Day 851, Day 852 & Day 853

After an unusually hot few days I am back at my laptop and ready to bring you up to date.

Yes, it has been hot but a little common sense goes a long way to making life comfortable. The problem here in the UK is that we don't get these really high temperatures that often and as a result we are poorly equipped to cope with them. Homes do not have air-con as in other parts of the world and so we have no real means of escaping the heat, plus we tend to have a very dry and oppressive heat with very little air flow that can be quite stifling. And then factor in our 'British' fascination with the weather and you have the perfect 'storm' for a little drama!

But it did mean that as my laptop is situated in one of the hottest rooms in our house I decided that blogging could wait for a day or so.

Day 851...Monday

We were still up and about early Monday morning to take a steady 1.9 miles in 37 minutes; it was absolutely gorgeous to be out in the warmth and we were glad we got out when it wasn't at the peak temperature for the day. 

We did have one job to do and that was to fetch the grocery shopping from Asda and we were thankful that the car had air conditioning.

After that we stayed home and tried to keep as cool as we could. Simon spent the remainder of the day drawing and 3D printing various bits and pieces while I started a jigsaw. And because we did little else I made a good amount of progress in just one day...

Day 852...Tuesday

And despite today being even hotter than yesterday we still went out for our early morning walk and still managed 1.9 miles but in a slightly slower 39 minutes. And unusually we saw no-one else while we were out!

My day then consisted of very little which basically translated as making great progress with my jigsaw! By the middle of the day progress was looking good...

Simon was back at work and in his small 'office' area was recording temperatures of 34.5C!!

But early afternoon I had to venture out of the house as I'd agreed to volunteer at pre-school to help out with their 'end of year party'. Thankfully I keep my car in the garage so it was lovely and cool to get in and the air conditioning kept it cool while driving. Arriving at pre-school I was able to find a parking spot in the shade which meant that getting back into the car an hour and a half later wasn't as bad as what I was anticipating it to be. But the temperature on my car did say 41C!!!

And despite the heat Simon and I managed a weights workout down our gym; now our gym is the garage so it was cooler in there than the house. Simon was desperate to get back to his weight workouts following the removal of his cast for his broken wrist last week and so wasn't going to let a bit of heat stop him. I was pleasantly surprised by what I managed to get done and Simon behaved himself and stuck to the very lowest of weights but still managed a decent all round workout.

Oh and I did manage to get a little more jigsaw completed...

Day 853...Wednesday

Wow, last night was another hot night and although the temperature this morning was significantly lower than the last couple of days it still meant that the night had been rather hot and sticky. But with the temperature around 20C we got out and managed our 1.9 miles in a pretty quick 36 minutes.

And while Simon got on with work I grabbed Ethan for a trip to Lidl. Now Ethan is on holiday all this week (boy did he pick a good week to be off!) so I could make good use of him to lend me a hand plus as he is now getting into the habit of taking a packed lunch to work I wanted him to pick a few things out so that I know what to buy for him in the future.

The rest of my day has been a 'lap-top catch-up' kind of day. All the things that I wanted to do over the last few days that I'd put off because it'd been to warm to sit at my laptop but now needed to be done. Some boring stuff like sorting out house insurance and placing a butchers order but also cool things like ordering tickets to go see one of our favourite bands 'She Wants Revenge' when they play Birmingham in September. We last saw them in 2019 in London and were convinced that we wouldn't get chance to see them again as they are a band that go through periods of not performing or recording so when I saw on Instagram that they'd added some UK dates after playing in the US over the summer it was a no brainer to get tickets booked, and booked they are.

And my day was rounded out with a little podcast recording with my good friend, and co-host, Michelle. We recorded a Disney Dream Girls show for release this Sunday as well as a special bonus show for our Patreon supporters.

A much cooler evening is now upon us, with even a chance of rain...let's see what tomorrow shall bring!

Sunday 17 July 2022

Day 850

Day 850...

A relaxed start to the day was followed by a rather sweaty 3.8 mile walk in 1 hour 16 minutes. A little slower than our normal pace but I think that may have been down to the cozy temperatures we are experiencing at the moment.

Although going by the reaction on main stream media you would think the apocalypse was happening. Yes it is rather warmer than what you would expect here in the UK, and yes we're really not set up for it as we don't have air conditioning like other countries do but the temperatures we are having are not completely unusual. We have had hot spells before, those of us of a certain age remember the summer of 1976 when we had weeks of hot weather with water shortages galore but we survived, and we will survive this blip. If we were on holiday in a foreign country we would be moaning if we didn't get these temperatures but with the scare mongering media as it is at the moment you would think we were heading into the pits of hell!!

Anyway...on with my day. After getting home rather sweaty we took a few minutes to cool down before making our first meal of the day, our brunch if you will.

We then decided to stay home for the rest of the day and keep as cool as we could. This involved several hours sat down with the telly...but for a very specific reason. Simon has been going through all our old home movies and converting them to a digital format that we can access easily. Once he has them edited and in the correct format it is then my job to watch them all to make sure there's no errors or glitches.

Well we haven't had chance to watch anything back for quite a while so this afternoon seemed like an ideal opportunity. I hadn't realised just how much we had to watch, there must have been close to three hours worth! We have vowed going forward to find the time to watch back once the video has been converted rather than let it all build up like today. The footage we were watching today was from 1999 and a big chunk of it was from our first visit to Disneyland Paris when Ethan was only 18 months old.

Having all this video footage is great as it reminds you of things that happened and experiences we have had as well as helping to keep the memories alive of people who are no longer with us. And watching the video today also highlighted just how much Ethan loved to ride It's A Small World back then, although I'm sure his opinion of it now may have changed somewhat! It will, however, always be one of my all time favourites as it encompasses so well what Walt Disney was all about; entertainment for the whole family to enjoy together, great innovation, storytelling and perhaps even a little education along the way.

With that I will see you tomorrow.



Saturday 16 July 2022

Day 849

Day 849...

Our Saturday started with a walk over the fields of 2.4 miles in 47 minutes; it started off refreshingly cool but by time we arrived home the temperature had already warmed up significantly.

Before it got too warm we headed down to Lidl to buy some salad and bits that we'd run out of. And once back home we were home for the rest of the day.

And the main focus of our day was building and setting up Simon's new 3D printer. We started with a big brown box and an empty space where the old printer had lived...

The printer was beautifully packaged and came in essentially three main parts and a set of tools for assembly...

It was then time to get out the instructions and get assembling.

The printer bed

Printer head and support beams in place

Glass print plate in place, along with touch pad controls
Next we took a break for lunch, we needed refuelling as the next job was getting all the wiring connected and threaded in the right places.

With everything connected we then had to ensure that the filament extruded correctly and that the bed was was then time to do a test print.

Start of the print

In progress...can you tell what it is yet?
And then we have the finished result...
The printer is much quieter than Simon's previous printer and a darn sight quicker. And as I type Simon has just started a print of a small addition for his R2D2!

And while the new printer was busy printing Simon was dismantling the old one and scavenging it for spare parts, useful nuts and bolts and probably some greeblies along the way (the odds and sods that get added to Star Wars props...if you know, you know!).

By the end of the evening the printer was working hard at its second R2D2 part and was performing pretty good. The old printer, being a basic early entry into the world of 3D printing, had worked well for us but had not always been the most reliable being prone to various issues so hopefully this model will prove to be a tad more reliable.

And with that I will see you all tomorrow.

Friday 15 July 2022

Day 847 & Day 848

Day 847...Thursday

And once more we were up and about heading off over the fields for our early morning walk of 1.9 miles in 38 minutes. Tuesday to Friday we tend to stick to a shorter walk so that we are home in time for Simon to start work.

My first task of the day was to head down to Lidl and re-stock on a few fresh items. Once I was home and everything put away I decided to have a weights workout.

Ordinarily our workouts tend to fall at the end of the day but with Simon still unable to use the weights I decided to try my workout earlier in the day. I was interested to see how I found it as we are now intermittent fasting and not having our first meal of the day until lunchtime. I'd tried a few weeks back to have a small session after our morning walk but I didn't feel great doing it and ended up cutting it short. But today the workout fell around 11am and actually worked pretty well. I was really pleased with how I felt and was able to get all the sets in that I would have normally done at the end of the day. And because our gym is in the garage, and because we haven't been using it as often as we would do normally, I also had to contend with a fair few spiders and so ended up hoovering in between sets!!

After lunch I had some paperwork to file, some emails to respond to and postage to buy. While clearing out my dads house I'd come across a souvenir brochure to mark the opening of the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum at Stewart Park in Middlesbrough. The brochure was stamped 1978 and I think must have belonged to my grandma. My family originates from Middlesbrough and I spent lots of my childhood visiting the area and have memories of visiting Stewart Park and a vague memory of visiting the museum (although I suspect as a child I was probably not very interested in a museum about an explorer!). Anyway I had emailed the museum to see whether or not it was something they would like for their records. It turned out that they did not have a copy of the brochure and would be very grateful if I would like to donate it, which I have dutifully done. It was a lovely keepsake that would have meant a lot to my grandma but now needs to be somewhere where it will be appreciated.

Then in a moment of madness I decided to do a little gardening...I know what was I thinking?! Although to be fair my idea of gardening was to wash down the garden furniture as it was looking a tad dirty and then to chop back a bit more of the pineapple broom plant that each year seems to takeover one corner of our garden. It is a lovely plant but needs to be kept under control!

At the end of the day we had a local electrician visit to give us a quote for a few jobs that we need doing. I'd been holding out for a friend's partner to visit but he was proving to be rather elusive to track down and so on our morning walks we'd seen a company hard at work at one of our neighbours property. I liked the fact that they were working at 8am, looked smart and had vans well equipped with all the necessary electrical I dropped them an email. They responded that day and were able to pop out this evening to have a look and see whether they could help us out. We now await their quote.

Day 848...Friday

It was a little cooler this morning which was rather pleasant and we got another 1.9 miles in 38 minutes done before 8.45am.

I had no real plans for the day and so wasn't sure what was in store for me. I had a couple of household tasks that I wanted to get done and those seemed to lead into the format of the day.

I hoovered through, I dusted, I put on three lots of laundry, I stopped for coffee (obviously), I made lists of things I need to sort and look-up and then I decided to write a shopping list which had a bigger effect than I'd intended.

Upon looking in cupboards to see what needed to be added to the list I inadvertently had a bit of a clear out. I decided that the first cupboard I opened needed sorting, so I pulled everything out which meant that the cupboard now needed cleaning. I then decided to put everything back differently and move things around...the knock-on effect of this was that the majority of my day was then spent emptying, cleaning and re-organising cupboards...five of them to be exact! It wasn't what I'd intended to do today but I felt very accomplished by the end of it all.

And I think this is what I am discovering now that I am no longer working. I'm not having to fit jobs in around my working hours when I didn't have the energy or the desire to do them, now I can simply do things as and when I feel like it and because I'm in the mood to do them. I can split my day into chunks of time so that I get to do a mix of things or not...I can do what I want, when I want and how I want and it is so refreshing and freeing. 

And in that vain I spent the end of my day in the garden, with a coffee, soaking up the sunshine that had been a little elusive until later this afternoon.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Day 846

Day 846...

Wednesday started with our usual early morning walk of 1.9 miles in 37 minutes. The weather was bright and clear and a lovely cool temperature compared to the last few days.

This meant that my morning was spent catching up on a few tasks around the house that would be more bearable in the slightly cooler morning temperature. So lots of cleaning around, laundry and ironing all mastered.

I then had some online bits and bobs to complete which were interrupted by lunch. As I knew we were podcast recording later I took the time to have a look for some Disney headlines and latest happenings.

It was then time to head out to pre-school and as I left the house I came across a water engineer who was looking for our house as he wanted to update our water meter. Turns out that we should have had a letter advising us of the change but I think the confusion on my face confirmed that we had not had any such letter. Anyways it was a quick job and only resulted in the water being turned off for a few minutes which was not an issue for me as I was on my way out!

I stopped by my local pharmacy on my way to collect a prescription and for once I walked into an empty shop, I was served straight away with no fuss and best of all the staff were not wearing face masks! I know that shouldn't be a big deal but I am fed up of seeing people wearing masks when there is no need, when there is no science to back up the supposed 'need' and when for the vast, vast majority of people that are unlucky enough to get covid it really isn't a big deal. If people took the time to make themselves as healthy as they possibly could then getting what is by now another variation of a cold would not be such an 'issue'! I am fed up of people testing themselves and posting all over social media that they have covid...we never did it before when we had a sniffle, or the flu, or a tummy bug so why are we doing it now? It is beyond me and I am so over all of the fuss and the drama!

Anyway, back to my afternoon and it was onto pre-school to be a guest at this years Leavers Concert. Everyone did so well and it was lovely to see the children who I've known over the last couple of years being so confident and performing so well. It was also lovely to be able to enjoy the concert without having the stress of rehearsals and staging and performing it!

Back home and with a coffee brewed it was time to hook up online with my podcast co-host Michelle, as we recorded another Disney Dream Girls episode ready for this coming weekend. 

And while Simon got some exercise in by way of the static bike I took the time to write this blog post and then prep for dinner...meatballs I think, so I better stop typing and make those balls!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Day 844 & Day 845

Day 844...Monday

It was another gorgeous morning and as it was Simon's non-working day of the week we took a slightly longer early morning walk of 3.6 miles in 1 hour and 13 minutes. It was surprisingly hot for an 8am walk!

And because it was still relatively cool compared to the forecasted high for the day we popped out to Lidl to pick up some fresh bits and pieces. We also got to meet our neighbours new Labrador puppy although it was from a distance as he hasn't had all his injections yet. He will eventually become a guide dog for the blind as our neighbours are part of a programme that trains the dogs ready for their prospective owners. But whilst they are puppies and are too young to be trained they still need to be looked after and that's where our neighbours step into the picture. They will have him for about a year before he leaves for his guide dog training, although I'm not sure I could do it as I would worry he'd be too cute to give up!

After lunch and in the need for an activity that would involve somewhere cool we decided to head off to the cinema. So into Derby we went to one of our favourite smaller cinemas, The Quad, to watch Thor Love and Thunder.  We had the cinema to ourselves, it was lovely and cool and we enjoyed a couple of hours of Marvel movie madness!

Day 845...Tuesday

Although it was still pretty warm first thing this morning it was rather cloudy which meant it was cooler than, and a nice relief from, the heat of yesterday.

We still started the day with an early morning walk but it was a much shorter and quicker 1.9 miles in 37 minutes and we were back home for 8.35am. This gave me just enough time to grab a few slurps of coffee and a change of shoes before I headed out the door.

I needed to be at my dads for 9am as I had an auctioneer visiting to advise about clearing the house and whether any of the items we have are worth putting to auction. I was there for 8.55am and realised I'd left my phone at home - doh! Thankfully it's less than a mile between home and my dads so I was able to dash home, get my phone and be back at my dads for 9.03am!!

It looks like all the contents of my dads house will be left for me to either sell on or dispose of myself. While there maybe some value to some of the items that we have, the auctioneer was very honest and advised against using their services as it really would not be worth our while by the time we've paid their costs and commission. So it looks like I will be getting familiar with Ebay and Facebook Marketplace once more! 

Whilst I was at my dads the estate agent stopped by to collect a set of keys so that he can start showing the house, in fact we have two viewings already booked in for tomorrow evening!

Mid-morning and I was back home and armed with a coffee it was time for some more internet research as I begin to prepare myself for selling stuff online. I also have a couple of places in mind for where I might be able to sell on some of the larger items and collections.

After lunch it was time to take Simon back to Derby hospital to see if the cast on his arm was ready to come off. Suffice to say we have two functioning arms once more, although he still needs to take it steady while his left arm heals - so no lifting heavy weights for a few weeks yet. He should hopefully hear from a physio so that he can make a quick and speedy recovery. 

The remainder of the afternoon was spent catching up on a few little tasks while I drank coffee outside; taking advantage of a lovely warm afternoon but with no real sunshine as it was still relatively cloudy...we even had a few spots of rain at times. One of my jobs was to get in touch with my tattooist, Saint Heywood, with the ideas that I have for my next lot of ink and send him over some reference material. Fingers crossed he can fit me in soon as it's almost a year since my last tattoo!

As Simon worked a little later than normal, to make up for the time spent out at the hospital this afternoon, and the weather was rather oppressively warm we opted to forgo our Tuesday workout. Simon needs to still be careful with his wrist and isn't allowed to be lifting heavy things for the next few weeks so we are still going to have to find alternatives to our usual workout sessions. But not to worry we will still be able to get out for our early morning walks and at least the weather should be a little cooler then as the forecast for the next few days is looking rather hot!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday 10 July 2022

Day 843

Day 843...

Well this will be a short post today because we haven't really done an awful lot.

Our morning was focused on attending a table top sale being run by the pre-school I used to manage. So this meant there was no morning walk as we decided to have some breakfast to set us up for the day. Ordinarily our first meal of the day would be around lunchtime but we knew that we would not be home by then so didn't want to risk feeling hungry later on.

We had had the sense to load the car up last night after we had picked up Ethan from the BBQ he'd been attending so we could get straight out this morning. We arrived at pre-school around 9.15am and by 9.30am we were all set up and ready for the doors to open at 10am. However, the doors opened and over the course of the next couple of hours only a handful of people showed up. No-one bought anything from our table and in fact I gave away a few bits and pieces. So by about 12.30pm we started packing away even though the event was on until 2pm.

We dropped all the unsold stuff back off at my dads and will now have to decide what best to do with it all. Then we nipped back home to collect a roll of artificial grass that we have had living in our shed for at least two and a half years and that a friend had said she would take off our hands. I saw the same friend at the table top sale and offered to drop it round today for her as she'd simply forgot all about collecting it; as we were already moving stuff from one place to another it was no real effort to get the roll to her as well.

By the time we got home it was very warm...ok it was hot...and sunny and so we decided that the best option was to stay inside where it was a little cooler and try and chill out. We had come across a news story yesterday about the latest Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney + and how a fan had edited all six episodes together to create a single movie of about two hours long. Having found this 'new movie' online we decided to give it a watch and we were not disappointed. The fan edit was much better paced, it made the story more coherent and highlighted the acting skills of all involved. It was really enjoyable and a definite recommendation for any Star Wars fan.

We had hoped to go out for a walk this evening as the weather cooled down but as it was still 28 degrees we decided against it...back on it early tomorrow morning!

See you all later.

Saturday 9 July 2022

Day 842

Day 842...

It was a pretty early start to our Saturday as Simon had a 7am appointment at the barbers, with me as taxi service!

Once we got back home we put on our walking shoes and headed out over the fields for our early morning walk, completing 2.5 miles in 45 minutes and we were still back home before 9am. Without really stopping we headed straight back out the door to go to my dads house so that we could load the car with items that I am going to try and sell tomorrow at a table top sale. We were limited by the amount of space in the car and so couldn't take everything I would have liked but we will see whether or not we can get anything sold and passed onto new homes.

The remainder of the morning was spent with me finding yet more paperwork to shred as well as a few bits to file away. I also discovered that I have more Disney theme park memorabilia than I realised and I am going to need to figure out a way to store it all effectively as I know I won't be able to part with it. I have stacks of park maps, hotel details, park tickets, room keys, pins, coasters, note paper...the list goes on! 

While I did that Simon made a start on getting his 3D printer up and running again and after initially making some good progress he hit a snag with the 'hot end' which means that he needs a good amount of time to try and re-configure it. He has also started looking at different printers as this one is over 5 years old and was bought as a 'test to see if it was any use'; suffice to say it has been well used and a newer, improved version is probably overdue.

After our lunch/brunch it was time to play taxi service for Ethan as he was off to a friends for a BBQ, which also involved a stop by Lidl so that he could pick up some suitable supplies.

With Ethan dropped off we headed off to a local Next store to pick-up my online order that I'd placed a couple of days ago; some new shorts. And because we were out we took advantage of the air conditioning at the nearby Starbucks and enjoyed a coffee and a cool down. It has been another lovely, hot and sunny day again today.

It has been interesting watching the mileage range on our electric vehicle today as in warmer weather the battery is supposed to perform better but we could see the miles disappearing disproportionately to the miles we knew we'd actually travelled. Then we realised with it being so warm the air conditioning was working at full blast and as a result was eating up our battery charge. We do have an 'eco' mode that we can put the car in which would scale back the heating or air conditioning in order to give a greater range but as we were only staying local it wasn't something we needed to use today but we need to keep it in mind for if and when we are travelling longer distances on hot days!

Back home again and it was time to try on the shorts I'd picked up as well as the gym shorts that had arrived earlier this morning. Thankfully they all fit beautifully. I'm always reassured when buying new clothes that my size (that I'm always critical of) hasn't actually changed, even though I may think it has. I bought UK size 8 shorts for the first time 7 years ago, the summer after I lost around two stone in weight, and today I am still buying size 8 shorts as well as size small gym I must be doing something right.

Well that's about it for today...we still have Ethan to play taxi service for...maybe...just waiting to hear whether he needs us or not, but otherwise I will see you tomorrow.

Friday 8 July 2022

Day 841

Day 841...

Friday and the weekend have arrived but the day started with a little disappointing news. Molly and Dan were due to come home for the weekend but we woke to a message from Molly saying that Dan was not well. Stomach pains and a disturbed nights best it's just a stomach bug and nothing worse.

Molls and Dan wanted to see how he felt later on and then travel up to us but I put my 'mum' hat on and told them 'no!'. They have a three hour car journey to get here and it was going to be a hot day so not ideal for being stuck in a car for three hours. Plus there would be nothing worse than if Dan became ill while travelling, or either of them were ill while here, or they could pass it on to us or if it turned out to be something worse then they would be stuck here. So no, sensible head on, and the decision was made to postpone until a couple of weeks time and let Dan get better.

But that didn't stop us having our early morning walk and we took our usual route of 1.9 miles in 37 minutes. It was a beautiful, clear, bright and sunny morning and was just an idyllic start to the day.

Having ventured into our garden yesterday and discovered a few plants that were getting a little overgrown I made the decision to get out and do some gardening. Despite having completed three days gardening at my dads last week I have still not fell in love with gardening, but it needed to be done. So a few bushes got chopped back where needed and some weeds removed and everywhere now looks a little tidier.

After lunch I continued with the outdoor theme as I decided to wash all the windows...thankfully our house is all on one level so it was a relatively straight forward job. It was then time for a much needed coffee in the sunshine before jumping online to record this weeks episode of the Disney Dream Girls podcast.

And at the end of the day while Simon jumped on the exercise bike I took a glass of red wine out into the garden and sat and did a little research for my next Disney themed tattoo. I need to get some ideas together so that I can get a date booked in with my tattooist of choice (Saint Heywood at Acadia Tattoo) plus I was also waiting for my brother to stop by.

The selling details for my dads house have been approved today and so it will be on the market in the next day or so. Very strange to think that the house that I grew up in and have known for almost all my life will be passing onto new owners...the end of an era.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 7 July 2022

Day 839 & Day 840

Day 839...Wednesday

The day started with our usual early morning walk and another 1.9 miles in 38 minutes.

My morning was then taken up with a visit to the hairdressers. It was time for a change so out with my blonde and in with a lovely dark purple.

I was home just in time for lunch. We have been making lunch our first meal of the day for a few weeks now and seem to have adapted to it really easily. We start the day with a coffee before we have our walk and then lunch has become our breakfast. It is so much nicer eating our first meal of the day at lunchtime as it is no longer something that is rushed to facilitate getting out of the door at a certain time but can be enjoyed and savoured.

The afternoon saw yet more cleaning and tidying around. Having sorted the vast majority of paperwork over the last few days I just had a few bits left lying around that needed new homes before I could start cleaning. And as Molly and Dan will be using the room as their bedroom when they visit at the weekend it needed to be done before then.

The day was then finished with a workout and while Simon stuck to the exercise bike because of his broken wrist I headed out to our gym and moved a few weights around.

Day 840...Thursday

And yet again we started the day with another 1.9 mile walk in 39 minutes. It is so great to be out and about in the fresh air so early in the morning and really starts the day off with great positivity. We are blessed to live so close to open countryside and to be able to experience it on a daily basis.

Next up for me was a trip to Lidl, I needed to re-stock on some fresh bits and pieces as well as make sure I'd got some extras in for the we have visitors!

Back home and armed with coffee I braced myself for the task of cancelling my dads Sky (broadband) account! After my dad had died the broadband account was in credit and so we had left the service running but transferred it into my name. This meant that whenever my brother or I were at my dads house we could access the internet should we need to. This turned out to be the right thing to do as my brother was able to work from there a few times while we waited on things to happen. But now that the house is about to go up for sale, and the credit has run out, we needed to get the account cancelled.

Well suffice to say it wasn't as easy as it could have been. The online account hadn't been set up correctly but once I'd sorted that myself I was able to pay an outstanding small balance but it still wouldn't let me cancel. The online chat option wouldn't let me cancel as it couldn't identify me! I then found an email address and started to compose an email to them and all the while trying to call them. I was cut off at least three times, had weird voice prompts that made no sense and scolded me for not answering questions that hadn't been asked. But finally I found a different number to try and after about 20 minutes I spoke to the lovely Stuart who had been in a similar situation to me when his dad had died a couple of years ago and we were able to get the account cancelled...sort of. Basically it takes them two weeks to cancel it all and then there maybe a small amount to pay but I won't know that until it happens which means me having to remember to check the online account on a semi-regular basis! Argh!

With perfect timing I put the phone down and deleted the email I'd been writing just as Simon broke for lunch.

Over the course of the afternoon I enjoyed a coffee outside in the sunshine, did all the ironing, cleaned the bathroom, caught up with the laundry and did a little online retail therapy. I've ordered some new shorts that I should be able to collect tomorrow along with some gym gear and protein bars which should arrive in the next few days.

I then had a lovely phone call from my good friend, and podcast co-host, Michelle. We have agreed to hook up tomorrow to record a show and so the remainder of the afternoon was spent doing a little research in preparation. I did sit outside in the sunshine for a short time while I used my phone for some online research, but it didn't last long as the sun was too hot and too bright for my poor phone!

And as Simon finished work for the day we opted for another walk, this time of 2.8 miles in 56 minutes. Because we tend to walk very similar routes each day we have noticed that some of the walkways at crucial points, like crossing over stiles, have become a tad overgrown with nasty nettles, brambles and thistles. So Simon now carries with him a small pair of pocket secateurs so that he can clear the way of any nasty bits to make our life, and hopefully that of other walkers, a little more pleasant!

And with that I will see you all tomorrow.

Tuesday 5 July 2022

Day 837 & Day 838

Day 837...Monday

The day started with our usual early morning walk and today it was one of our slightly longer routes at 2.4 miles in 46 minutes. It was overcast and a little chillier than it looked but we braved it in t-shirts and shorts!

I had an online doctors appointment mid-morning as I try to look at ways to improve my menopause symptoms. It's a tricky one as the obvious answer is to increase my estrogen levels but with my history of breast cancer it's not a good option for me. We are trying one lot of medication and are going to give them a little longer to see whether they can help at all.

We then had an early lunch/late breakfast before setting about a few jobs. We had to stop by my dads house to bring the bins out ready for collection and then I needed to pay a cheque in at my bank. I have to use the ATM and unfortunately the one I chose was 'out of service' so that will have to be a job for another day. As we were out and about we decided to grab a Starbucks before heading home for an afternoon of 'sorting'.

Simon has now managed to update his laptop and install it next to his 3D printer as he would like to start printing again soon and has a couple of Star Wars themed builds in mind. I was able to complete the ongoing relocating of paperwork and the mountain of shredding. As it was our recycling bin collection this week I wanted to take full advantage and get rid of all the unneeded paper I'd discovered.

My day was rounded out with a little social media interaction as I set up some tweets on behalf of the Disney Dream Girls podcast.

Day 838...Tuesday

And another morning and another walk of 1.9 miles in 37 minutes. Slightly shorter walk today to ensure that Simon was back home in time for starting work.

My first job of the day was a shopping trip to Lidl - whoop! Followed by yet more sorting and tidying; having moved things from one room to another I am now in the process of making sure everything is in the right places. This inevitably meant that I found more stuff to sort, move and re-organise but as Molly and Dan will be home this coming weekend and will be using our new study/craft room as our guest bedroom I really needed to get on top of things.

After lunch I was at my dads house once more as the estate agents were visiting to take photos and video of the house. They even took video for Tik Tok as well as their YouTube channel! A bit different to when I last sold a house...which to be fair was over 20 years ago!

I then made use of a very pleasant and sunny afternoon by soaking up some vitamin D while I had a coffee and summoned up the energy to get on with yet more tidying! But by the end of the afternoon everything was looking a lot better, although everywhere now needs a good clean!!

We then decided that the evening was too nice to miss and we headed out for our second walk of the day, taking 53 minutes to complete 2.8 miles.

And with that it's time to watch the last couple of episodes of The Umbrella Academy...see you tomorrow.