Friday 31 July 2020

Post Comment Love - 31st July - 2nd August 2020

At the end of the first week of Peter's visit and I'm pleased to say we're half way through our 2 week isolation and still happily married.

When I left Dubai on March 24th I posted this picture online.

A colleague of my husbands asked why we were smiling when we were going to be apart for an indefinite period of time. We both said it's because we didn't have to quarantine together.

Usually when we visit the UK I come for a month or two and Peter joins me for a week or two. He hits the ground running as we try to pack in as many visits with family and friends. He always wants to get jobs done in the flat we own, but this time we're back in our former family house and whilst I've done as much of the painting, cleaning and minor repairs, it's been great to have the time to just chill out, not charge around and for Peter to get the jobs done around the house.

We had to fill in forms online for permission to return to Dubai as residents before booking our flights. Peter returns on the 14th of August, I'm due to join him on the 18th for 3 weeks. New rules mean we now have to be tested before we can board the plane, rather than on arrival in Dubai. It's been a complicated and expensive process to find a lab that the UAE recognise and will provide a certificate for travel, costing £120 each. Still got 2 weeks to go, so who knows what else we'll be required to do before we can get home.

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

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Wednesday 29 July 2020

Day Out With My Dog - Eastnor Castle

These days I don't go anywhere unless I can take my dog with me.
I'm please to say I'm finding the UK much more friendly towards dogs the Dubai is and also the weather here in the UK makes it possible to take Bob out for a walk everyday, even in the rain. In Dubai between May and October, the temps reach the high 40's and the dog can't be outside for more than a few minutes at a time.

Eastnor Castle near Ledbury, Herefordshire is dog friendly (on lead) and there are plenty of paths to follow for long or shorter walks, open fields and woodland areas.

Bob really enjoys water, I've invested in a longer lead for him so he can explore further but he has such bad recall, it could be hours before he comes back.

Despite the Covid restrictions, there was still plenty to do, not only for the dog, but for humans old and young. My mum was able to walk the paths as were the twins (pushing the buggy was hard in places)

Plenty of rest stops

Loads of open space to safely play and explore. Sadly dogs must remain on leads.

Booking in advance during Covid needed, entry £5 for adults and £3 for children. Dogs were free of charge.

The picnic site was well laid out, good service with the tea room and ice cream vendors and toilets lovely and clean.

I'm only a few miles down the road, but Eastnor isn't a place I'll be revisiting just with my dog. I don't need to pay £5 just to walk him. I will go there again though for a day out with picnic and friends.

Sunday 26 July 2020

One Daily Positive - Week 30 Meeting up with Peter

My whole life is all or nothing. After being apart from Peter since March 24th, we both got permission to travel in and out of Dubai, so I quickly arranged house/pet sitters to fly out to Dubai on August 18th for 3 weeks as I need to renew my visa, but first Peter arrived at Heathrow on Thursday and flies back on the 14th.

Peter and I will be isolating for 2 weeks. I will however still be walking the dog, but close to home. We've been social distancing on walks with Bob since we got him. As Peter hasn't been in the UK since February, we've decided to have social distanced garden visits with family and friends if they are comfortable with visiting us.

To do list:
Sort paperwork
Write up address book
Wash dog
Clean the windows, every one is covered in cat snot

201 Sunday Early start to the retail park to stock up on mums toiletries for the next 2-3 months ahead of her going home next week. I had a mini meltdown with lack of social distancing, regrouped in a coffee shop as it was empty then headed back out to the shops. Even popped into Next to pick up a few basic items, most of my clothes I brought with me are either threadbare or covered in paint and garden stains now. Dropped some flowers with a friend who has a family funeral tomorrow. I mowed the lawns, cleaned half the windows and cooked a roast and did a load of washing also, Bob had a walk, wasn't happy that it was only 20 mins instead of half the day.

202 Monday Spent the day in Monmouth looking after the twins and creating a mud kitchen, gardening and making space for their mum and dad to relax in. Both parents are working full time from home, with 3 year old twins, it's not easy. Peter finally got permission to return to Dubai after his flight to the UK.

203 Tuesday Dr's at 9.20am for blood tests. When I moved the furniture from the flat to the house, I had the double bed assembled in the guest room, thinking our bed would arrive in May, seeing as it's likely to be May 2021 now before it arrives, I spent the afternoon dismantling the double and the single and swopping room so I can have the 'big bed' to sleep in. Due to Peter's unexpected visit, mum and I have had to rethink her visit. She was due to go home next Tuesday, but wanted to see Peter and then isolate for 9 days at home, but we decided she should go home tomorrow and at least she'll be able to go out for walks. I assembled a wooden swing in the garden ready for our grandchild's visit on the weekend.

204 Took mum home via a visit to the bank. I then did a 2 week food shop for her, before the online shopping resumes. Home late, brought the washing in, walked Bob and to bed. This is the 2nd Covid test I've been sent for research purposes.

205 Thursday Got the car cleaned, collected the Tesco order, washed and put everything away. walked Bob, cleaned the house and then drove to Heathrow for 7pm to collect Peter who is here for the next 3 weeks. I drove the long route up the M5, M42, M40, M25 and M4 to Heathrow, parked at T3, which was closed and paid £4.50 to get back out, the trip took me 2 hours. Drove back the 'quick' route. Speed restrictions on the M4, the A419 through Swindon was closed, the entry lane to the M5 was shut at Gloucester and the M50 was closed also, the trip home took 4 hours.

206 Friday A lazy start to the day, full English breakfast, watched TV and just pottered around. Debbie joined us in the evening for chips and wine in the garden. Phone consultation with GP, he wants me to start a course of iron tablets despite me telling him I have an absorption problem and they haven't worked in the past, neither did iron infusions, he's referring my bone marrow biopsy results to a haematologist.
I now have a fully working kitchen tap and a sink that drains properly.

207 Saturday My Covid test came back negative. We made a list of the jobs needing doing around the house and order the tools and items needed to get them done. Child 2, 2a and 2b came round for the afternoon/evening. We adhered to social distancing outside apart from 30 mins in the dining room to eat with the outside door open.

On the blog this week:
My Sunday Photo - Why is this George V post box painted green?

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Heathrow Airport July 2020 - My Sunday Photo

I collected my husband from Heathrow Airport on July 23rd. We haven't seen each other since March 24th.

I arrived at Terminal 3, parked up and made my way towards Arrivals.

It was closed. Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport was closed. I thought it looked a bit emptier than I'd expected, but closed?
Emirates always fly in and out of T3, Hubbies flight ticket said T3, my ticket for August 18th says T3, my car parking is booked with T3. A quick google revealed I needed to be at T2. I had to pay £4.50 to get out the car park, then pay another £4.50 to go in and out of T2 car park.

I had a mini melt down getting out the lift as people just filed in and not holding back, I yelled at them to social distance. There's a clear one way system set up for the building and masks have to be worn from the car park onwards. Both these rules were broken by a few, but no one challenged them.

I did wonder if Peter would be able to recognise me whilst wearing a mask.

When I got in the car I had to remind him he could take his mask off, he's so used to wearing one all the time in Dubai when driving with someone else in the car.

We're now isolating together for 2 weeks, then a week of travelling around to see the family (social distanced) then I'm out to Dubai for 3 weeks to renew my visa, sell my car and close my bank accounts.

Friday 24 July 2020

Post Comment Love - 24th -26th July 2020

I left Dubai on March 24th not knowing when I'd be returning or seeing my husband next. I obtained permission last week to fly into Dubai from Heathrow and after organising pet sitters, I arranged to fly home on August 18th.

Peter managed to get permission also so booked his flight and arrived in the UK yesterday. He's here till August 14th.

Dubai isn't on the none quarantine list, so he'll be staying home for 2 weeks. We've arranged a few family and close friend garden visits, which will all be socially distanced, then 3 week we'll be out and about walking Bob up the hills and visiting child 1 and child 5.

I've also got a long list of DIY jobs that I've been unable to do during lockdown, such as planing doors with the new carpets, putting up curtain rails and moving heavy garden pots.

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

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Sunday 19 July 2020

Why is this post box in Malvern painted green? - My Sunday Photo

This post box catches my attention when I walk into town. It's out of service and it's painted green, although you can see flecks of red paint underneath.

Green was adopted as the standard colour for the early Victorian post boxes.

However GR is for the Reign of George V 1910-1936.

Basically I can't answer this question and I've googled extensively. 

The only possibility is that green boxes, usually without a slot are used for the local postman to store letters in on his round to save carrying them all together.

All I know for sure is that this post box isn't used anymore.

Saturday 18 July 2020

One Daily Positive - Week 29

Last week I noticed my iron levels have dropped. I can walk miles with Bob, do normal things around the house, hang out washing, hoovering etc and I've even mowed the lawns and done quite a bit of gardening, but when I climb the stairs, I have to have a lie down. I get dizzy, struggle to breathe and feel really tired. Phone consultation with the Doctor on Tuesday and blood tests next week.

Had a few moments at the start of the week that life was being very unfair to me. Apparently all I had to do was just ask and several friends/family members came to my rescue with pet and house sitting end of August for 3 weeks so I can travel to Dubai to see Peter. It's much easier now you don't have to apply for permission to leave there, just to return. Peter is looking into flights for the first week in August and will be required to self isolate in the UK for 2 weeks on arrival, he'll then stay for one further week to social distance visit the family. On arrival back in Dubai he will have to have a Covid test and isolate for 48 hours until the results come back. I will have to do the same when I get to Dubai and will have to isolate on my return to the UK.

Fingers crossed with Peter at home for 2 weeks, all the final DIY jobs I've been unable to do will be completed, such as putting up curtain poles, adjusting the doors after new carpets, changing electrical sockets, repairing the shed etc. Oh and it will be great to see him again after so long apart. I've got my approval through to return to Dubai, however I'll have to reapply as it's only valid for 21 days. Peter's is more complicated, to get back into Dubai he needs a letter from HR to state he has a job/home to go back to.

To do list:
Postcards of Kindness
Sort paperwork
Write up address book
Wash dog bedding
Wash dog
Clean the windows, every one is covered in cat snot

194 Sunday Washing on the line and a 6 mile dog walk around Malvern, a stop at the coffee shop and the afternoon spent writing #postcardsofkindness, cooking a roast and finishing off my jigsaw puzzle.

195 Monday House Woken early be a neighbour who forgot to put their wheelie bin out. Spent the day having a tidy round and a clean. Walked Bob and had an Estate Agent round in the afternoon for a valuation.

196 Tuesday Off early to Monmouth to collect Mum's prescription, dropped toilet roll tubes off with the Things, a jigsaw puzzle with a friend for her parents who are shielding, spent an hour in the garden with our grandchild and called in at a friends garden on the way home. All social distanced visits and all outdoors other than the chemist.

197 Wednesday Took Bob out for an early walk, decided to stop for a coffee at an independent coffee chain. I won't be going back there for many reason, mainly social distancing and them not being interested in storing customer information in case of an outbreak. I met a woman on out walking, we chatted and she invited me round anytime for a coffee. She wasn't in today, but her husband told me she hoped I would pop in, so I'll try again tomorrow afternoon. The rest of the day nothing happened, some blogging, tv, garden watered, bath and bed at 8pm.
I went for a walk without Bob, he wasn't happy.

198 Thursday Mum did her own shopping today in Waitrose, I shopped for the rest of the stuff needed. I'm planning and cooking all meals, mum just needs to let me know each week what she wants for breakfast, lunch, snacks and quantities. Spent the rest of the day doing nothing. The woman popped round here to say she was out this afternoon, but didn't want me to think I was being ignored so we've arranged coffee Saturday morning.

199 Friday I joined the National Trust this week and visited Croome with Bob. In the afternoon I baked cakes and dog biscuits. Wine and chips in the garden with Debbie in the evening. Washed all the dog bedding.

200 Saturday Early start with Bob into town and the post office, met up with the woman I met earlier this week for tea in the garden, had a lovely couple of hours. Came home and spent the afternoon in bed watching TV, reading and blogging. My chronic pain has flared up again this week and I'm struggling with my breathing, blood tests next week will let me know what's going on.

On the blog this week:

My Sunday Photo - Malvern Abbey and Charles Darwin's Daughter, Annie.
My Garden in June
Why I'm choosing to go back into isolation

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Friday 17 July 2020

Post Comment Love 17th -19th July 2020

Fingers crossed I'll know by the start of next week if my husband can come over to the UK for a visit. he has to get permission to return to Dubai at the end of his visit here, which is proving tricky at the moment as he needs a letter from the owner of the company in the UAE.

I'm still on track to return to Dubai the end of August for 3 weeks, having (hopefully) secured pet sitters. My visa will expire if I don't return soon and I really need to see my dentist for maintenance on my dental implants. My permission to return to Dubai has been granted, however I will need to reapply as I applied too early and it's only valid for 21 days.

Both Peter and I will follow the rules for quarantine. Peter will spend 2 weeks in isolation in the UK after I collect him from Heathrow. My only time outside the house will be spent walking the dog and I'll happily have social distanced visits in our garden. On his return to Dubai there is screening, followed by a Covid test and isolation for 48 hours until the results come back. If all clear Peter can then carry on his normal day to life. These measures will also apply to me in reverse.

I've felt a bit in limbo this week due to all the variables and relying on others to confirm things etc. It's out of my control. Also to ensure I can go back to Dubai, I will be going back into isolation in 2 weeks, when my mother goes home, I'm also missing the quieter and simpler life I had when no one is making any demands on my time.

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

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Wednesday 15 July 2020

Why I'm choosing to go back into isolation

Since mum arrived a few weeks ago, I've been going out more, her shopping needs differ greatly to mine and going out once a fortnight to food shop is now weekly. I don't like it, I don't feel comfortable and my anxiety levels are increasing again. But I'm doing it, I'd just rather not.

This week I went to the chemist to collect her prescription, she'd been asking for me to pick up some cakes next time I shopped and requested new cotton hankies. The pharmacy counter is by the door in Superdrug, so I only need to go just inside. I could look through the window at Greggs and see they were out of fresh cream cakes and when I got to Peacocks, I did my own risk assessment, staff were masked, store was well laid out and there were no customers inside. I walked as far as the till and the assistant fetched the hankies. I wore a mask from entering the chemist until I finished in the final store.

There was no queue to Home Bargains so I decided to go in there and pick up the other bits and pieces I needed that I would normally get from Wilko when I did my next food shop in Waitrose on a Thursday. I entered the store, picked up one or two things from memory as I'd forgotten my list and left without half the stuff I needed, so I'll still have to go to Wilko on Thursday or leave it another week.

At the beginning of lockdown, I didn't have a car and couldn't get online food delivery for myself. Thankfully I managed to get regular slots for mum. So I'd go out with my trolley and try to shop for 7-10 days with some careful meal planning, once I got a car it was to the shop once a fortnight and a top up of milk the alternate week in the corner store. I carefully selected the 2 stores I shopped in, the social distancing was and is still being observed in there and I added Wilko to my list of places I was happy to visit.

I've made a couple of trips to poundland and poundstretcher on my weekly trip out, but used the supermarket nearby and I wasn't happy with the social distancing. I've been to B&M in Worcester when I've driven for a click and collect, justifying that I'm still actually only physically going into one shop that week.

I've been buying a take out coffee from an independent shop happily enough, but went to one of the chains and I felt uncomfortable. I'm slowly making a list of the places I won't be going back into even after this is all over.

Today I sat inside a different independent coffee shop. I wasn't asked for my details, staff didn't distance from one another and they were quite scathing about what they could and couldn't do. I drank my coffee, had my say about them. not asking for my details and I just won't return there.

It's become too easy to just do a bit more each time I go out. I don't like it, I don't want or need to do it, so after my mum returns to her own home in 2 weeks time. I'm going back into isolation and will only shop again once a fortnight, I will continue to take the dog for daily walks and am more than happy to continue my friday night wine dates with my friend, visit my grandchild and other son who live nearby and meet up with others within a 1 hour drive in open space only.

It's the only way I can guarantee I can remain Covid free, as to a lot of people because the shops are open, life is back to normal, just a little bit inconvenienced and the virus appears to have just gone away.

My aim is to keep well enough to travel to Dubai to see my husband in August and I'll have to isolate for 2 weeks when I get back anyway and I won't be able to walk the dog then. So I just need to stay away from too many other people and avoid indoor spaces till then.

Monday 13 July 2020

My garden in June

I'm still getting used to there being no tree in the front garden. it looks very bare, but the grass is growing back now.

My strawberries failed to produce more than 4 fruits and the dog ate them.

I've managed one portion of home grown peas.

The cucumber is growing well as is the pumpkin.

I've prepared space outside for them.

I've only had 3 bean plants survive and I had an obelisk for my birthday I've yet to assemble. I made mini greenhouses to protect them from the wind and the slugs. I had a green house for my birthday I'll be assembling soon.

My wild flower seeds I sprinkled were not evenly distributed and contain mostly poppies.

 We used to have trellis round the bin store, but sadly tenants neglected it. I put in a pole to attach a frame for some climbers to grow up, but my DIY skills are lacking and we're on a tilt.

I had a slight accident with the lawn mower after failing to rake up all the stones out the lawn and had a very sore and swollen arm for a few days.

I've done so much work to get the garden back to basic, but I'm bored of it now and it looks boring. But I'm not spending anymore money on it until we decide if we're moving or staying put.

I have my little quiet corner where I can sit in both the dry and wet weather. I just move the chair back into the shed if it rains.

 I bought a little Bumble Bee Gnome and some bright yellow slip ons for gardening in.

Things I need to sort out.
The neighbour dug a boundary, it's our responsibility this side. I removed the crap she put in as it was rotten, dug a new and straight trench and used treated wood to form a new boundary. I've had someone quote to continue with the fencing to the end, but it's a want, not a need. In the meantime I've told the neighbour unless she keeps her plants on her side, I will be hacking them level as it's preventing my new grass seed from growing.

The neighbour the other side, needs to sort their fence out, they're aware Bob can get into their garden, the wind keeps breaking their repairs.

And relax.......nope never seem to be able to, there's always something that needs doing every week.