Friday, 10 July 2020

Post Comment Love - 10-12th July 2020

I'm loving this wet weather.

Less people out which means I'm much happier when I'm out and about.

I've been walking everyday between 2-10 miles with my dog Bob, up the Malvern Hills, through the woods and around the town.

We bought our family home in Malvern in 2002, but have only recently returned after 9 years abroad. When we lived here, we had 5 children at home and were both working full time. My husband worked away a lot and I really didn't have the time with all the kids activities to be exploring the town as much as I have been recently.

I've also been going further a field to visit new places. Outdoors only. I have no desire to go shopping other than for food and essentials.

Our youngest son lives over in the Cotswolds and we've formed a bubble, so I go out early to explore before he gets home from work. I'm only visiting places where I can take Bob with me also and if I can grab a take out coffee all the better and anywhere with toilets is a bonus. I take a chair, book and a picnic with me, regardless of the weather

Last week I visited the Lavender Fields in Broadway and this week to a farm park in Witney, where there are also some fantastic walks through fields and by a lake. Sometimes I go on my own with Bob, other times friends will join me for either the walk, the picnic, a coffee or both, all socially distanced.

Stephanie and I would love to know what you've been up to this week.

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Sunday, 5 July 2020

A visit to the Lavender fields - My Sunday Photo

I took a trip to the Lavender Fields in the Cotswolds this week.

It cost £4 entry, there were toilets and take away food and drinks available and they're open until July 16th. There's no booking required and dogs are welcomed.

Benches have been set apart to allow people to picnic to comply with social distancing measures. I took Bob's long leash as everyone dashed back to their cars due to the rain.

I was wearing a waterproof coat, trousers and wellington boots.

I was still soaked to the skin, but we had a fab time visiting.

One daily Positive - Week 27

Reply from Social Services, basically saying nothing. Although it's been agreed all medical appointments will take place in daughters care home from now it doesn't resolve the issues of lack of communication. SS agreed that the home should've involved us in the risk assessment for the other resident going out with her father during lockdown and they don't feel an advocate is necessary as we get things sorted anyway (after the event) Daughters care plan had been completed and SS hadn't deemed it necessary to send us a copy, but if we gave them our address they'd pop one in the post. FFS, not contacting us, involving us in decision making etc is what leads us into this mess every bloody 2 years.

I've not done much the last 2 weeks since mum moved in with me, my routine has gone to pot with meal times, sleeping, exercise and eating. My mum is with me to have some outdoor space, a bit of company, meals cooked for and a change of scenery, I don't need to entertain her or be around every minute of the day. So I've started writing lists again of things to do again and planning my week rather than letting it happen. Crochet is still on the list.

180 Sunday Changed and washed the bedding, mowed the lawn and tidied away, cooked a roast dinner and started the process of typing up 1000's of kids name on a website for the Christmas Gift giving in South Africa. Caught up with blog posts/comments, prepared the information I need for my DBS check and paid some bills. Took Bob for a long walk in the afternoon/early evening. Had my weekly GIN video call with a friend.
Home grown peas

181 Monday Registered with the local GP, sorted more paperwork. I had a call with a woman who found me online about moving to Dubai later this year, I'll be putting together a check list of things we talked about, that I'll write up into a blog post also. Bob was really stressed on his walk this evening, I think it was weather related.
The one that's in always wants to be out and the one that is out always wants to be in.

182 Tuesday Been feeling a bit under the weather with head and body aches but realised this is due to being out of my routine with my eating, sleeping and exercise since my mum moved in with me. So I took myself and Bob out the house for the morning walking around the town and the base of the hills. The afternoon and evening was spent paying bills, online food shop, uploading name lists and completing a DBS check to work as a volunteer for the local council. I finally took everything that's been sitting on the stairs to the top floor up and put it all away.
A birthday gift canvas from my niece of the The Things

183 Wednesday Off to Cirencester to visit child 5 at last. Stopped off at the Lavender fields, a slight detour, but well worth it, we got absolutely drenched. Took Bob with me as usual, if I'm not welcome with my dog, then I just go somewhere else. Created a bubble at last with child 5, took him to KFC drive through for his belated 21st birthday meal, cleaned his flat while he walked Bob and took his washing home to return next week.
Unless it's a wedding, we're still not allowed to post photos of child 5 online, he does allow me to take ONE photo he is in for the album.

184 Thursday Food shop day. Posted parcels to The Things, Child 4 and a friend, finally took the old bath panel to the tip, called in at B&M to fulfil my mums shopping list then a click and collect from Sainsbury's. Washed and put away the fridge and freezer stuff, lay down for an hour before doing the rest, cooked dinner, walked Bob and loaded more names on the data base.

185 Friday I started preparing the next lot of birthday and care parcels together. I also altered one curtain by adding curtain header in an attempt to block out the light completely in my bedroom. It was a fail, although the curtain is thicker, it still lets in too much light. Debbie came round with chips and I supplied the wine.

186 Saturday Morning spent loading name lists, then long term friends of mine and Peter's popped round to join me and Bob for a walk, up the hills and around the outskirts of town. We then sat in the garden for a drink and natter. I served dinner from the slow cooker and spent the evening lying down and blogging.
Peter and I have both known Simon longer than we've known each other.

On the blog this week:

What's annoying me this week?
My Sunday Photo - Frog Invasion

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Friday, 3 July 2020

Post Comment Love - 3rd-5th July

Welcome back to #PoCoLo with Stephanie and I. 

It's been 101 days since I last saw my husband. This is probably the longest we've been apart in 20 years since we've been together. It'll be at least September before one of us ventures on a plane. I've got no one to look after the cat and dog and we're both concerned we could get stranded in the opposite country from where we need to be, me for the pets, him for work.

I'm getting really irritated with people needing to book holidays, I know it'll be someone else's fault that the hotel isn't perfect, if they get ill, travel gets suspended and they have to isolate on their return, it's just not going to happen is it?

I see people visiting the beaches, going into town and further afield to shop for something to do. I know people visiting their families without creating a bubble, travelling quite some distance to hug and carry on as normal throughout the lockdown as if the rules and the virus are nothing to do with them, but then if we all do it, hey ho...back to square one. 

Although I visit other areas to see family and friends, it's all outdoors, I take my own chair, food and drink and if I use a toilet (which I've done twice) I wear gloves and wipe everything down before and afterwards. I don't visit the shops there, I don't go to tourist attractions, just open spaces. If things look too busy I just move on.

On the whole though things are OK, it could be worse and I'm grateful for my health and in many ways am enjoying the slow speed of life. How are you coping? Are you being sensible about the lifting of restrictions or have you had enough?

Stephanie and I would love to know what you've been up to this week.
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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

What's annoying me this week

Let's start with a positive first. I've been ok during lockdown, yes I've had my moments where the day has been too long and I've been lonely, in the first few weeks when the most I could do was have a brief chat with my friend on the doorstep who kindly dropped off dog food and another who gave me a table and chairs for outdoors. But in general life has been much better for me in the UK than it would've been in Dubai. I obviously miss Peter, but with the curfews, needing permission to leave the house and the oppressive summer sun and lack of voice over internet calls, lockdown would've been much tougher for me. I've been able to social distance visit family and have friends round to sit in the garden, had the freedom to use the phone and video calls with family and friends around the world. Birthdays have been unique and special. I've completely redecorated the house and gutted the garden creating a lovely clean space both inside and out to enjoy. I also fully appreciate that I am in a privileged position without having to worry about finances, health and home educating.

They annoy me all the time, I often tweet individuals with what I think about their news coverage. I often get replies or a call out on the TV, the 2 who wind me up the most are Piers Morgan and Kay Burley, I just can't turn the TV off quick enough. What's with the media labelling this weekend 'Super Saturday' and using stock images of people partying and NOT social distancing. What's happened to the Government adverts? They're still needed, a lot of people seem to think that the media are running and controlling this virus and if they say we can celebrate, then we can.

Social Services.
We've been battling with our daughters care home and social services for years, as we're not in the country it's as if we don't count. We find things out from concerned staff, such as issues with the other resident going out throughout lockdown with her father. Apparently a risk assessment was carried out. I put in a phone call to Public Health who reported all guidelines are being followed and Social Services basically said 'yeah they should've involved you in the process' and the care home, said 'If you want to see your daughter you can' However for 12 weeks all they sent me were letters to say 'stay away' Social Services also 'forgot' to send us a copy of her care plan, despite them confirming 'yes we have your contact details'.

I'm also annoyed by some family, friends and neighbours who have pretty much carried on as normal, looking after the grandkids, having their adult children round for Sunday lunch every week, popping out daily to the shops for something to do and who know mine and Peter's situation, that we've been 3000 miles apart for over 3 months and we won't be flying until this virus is under control. I can return to Dubai but may not be able to get back and Peter can come here but with the virus on the rise again, he could get stranded here. He needs to be in Dubai for work, I need to be in the UK for the house and the cat and dog.

Shoddy workmanship is also irritating me. The guttering is still leaking, the tiles in the shower room don't match, we have odd coloured sink, bath, panels and loo in the bathroom. The kettle doesn't fit under the tap and the cold water is pathetically slow in the kitchen. I've spent all of lockdown redecorating and tidying the garden. I was more than happy with the work after seeing how the professionals left it, but now it needs something adding to it, it's all white, it's boring and the garden lacks some bling.

I'm missing my personal belongings. I've the contents of a 1 bed flat in a 6 bed house. I've the contents of two suitcases, 1 summer, 1 winter, it's wear, wash, dry and repeat. I'm down to only 4 pairs of socks and the pant situation is dire. I don't want to buy new because a) I have more than enough stuff in Dubai and b) the virus hasn't gone away and there's no need to be wandering around the shops. Our container should've been shipped in May, Peter should've moved to an apartment also. I should be spending my time sorting through our stuff, finding it a home, making a home.

I don't like lockdown being eased. Well actually, lockdown needs to be eased, people need to get back to work and the economy needs to grow. I just don't like the way a lot of people are going about it. You don't need a holiday, or to drive 50+ miles to the beach or wander round the shops for something to do.

As the restrictions on us are lifted, my anxiety is creeping back in. While we were in lockdown, I only had me to worry about, of course I was concerned about my family with work and everyone in front line and key worker jobs and I did my upmost best to protect them, but I had no external pressures on me. I have no plans to visit the beaches, drive more than an hour outside my area, I'm back to using click and collect for the food shops as there is no social distancing going on inside a lot of supermarkets. I'm not far off actually calling people out on social media for saying one thing, whilst I know they're doing another and most of all I'm sick to death of hearing 'It's for my mental health' in relation to going to bars, restaurants, having hair cuts and booking holidays' Mental Health is a serious matter and there is a huge difference between that and just being a bit down and unhappy because you can't do what you want to do and take for granted.