Thursday 31 March 2022

Life is ordinary, but that's OK.

I guess life is often mundane, that's just life isn't it?

At the moment I don't feel like I do anything other than go to work, watch TV, eat and sleep. But that's ok also.

We go out on weekends, but not far, mainly to visit family or do a bit of shopping. 

I'm enjoying our ability and location for spending more time with family and friends, being based in the UK now means that on weekends we can just get in the car to visit or they can pop over here, compared to only being able to see them a few times a year and even when I did move back to the UK 2 years ago last week, it was the start of covid and 18 months of lockdowns.

Since we both came back full time in June our visits though haven't been as frequent as we would have liked, due to covid, either one friend or family member having covid or more recently the two of us. I guess this will be the pattern from now on.

We've made the trip to Northern Ireland several times and have had the occasional hotel stay, but it's been a long time since we've travelled anywhere and it's starting to feel a bit strange to not be hoping on an aeroplane. I can only travel now during school holidays with my job and we are planning a trip to Australia in July and August to visit child 3. It will have been 3 years since I last saw him, 5 years for Peter, that's just too long. 

Our Grandson is visiting in April for a few days and then we're planning to visit Yorkshire for a week with the dog over Easter.

There is lots to look forward to as well as lots of work around the house and garden to be done that we'll both be doing a lot of and I'll be out working in the garden in the evenings after work to get the weeding done and planting out. There will be walks up the hills and visits to National Trust sites. We're planning a trip within the UK over Easter.

Staying in one place was a dream of mine for the last 11 years, having a base where everything is, to explore from and come back to, a place where we knew we weren't going to have to move from, unless we chose is a luxury. It's providing stability, it's not boring, it's just everyday and ordinary and it's a new chapter in our lives that we're slowly getting used to.

Sunday 27 March 2022

Week 12 One Daily Positive and Project 365

Back to work this week as LFT's negative, still not feeling 100% but only been in the job 2 weeks and less than 3 weeks till half term and as it's only 30 hours a week and I don't have anything to do when I get home it's easy to get some rest in.

Received an email to say I haven't been successful with my application as a volunteer at the Commonwealth Games this summer. I was also unsuccessful with two ballots to purchase tickets for events. 

We discovered another leak, we identified it easily and thankfully got it fixed. It was the bath waste pipe.

I really enjoying the sunny days and lighter evenings, lifts the mood and I love being outdoors. 

78 Saturday Felt so much better this morning, LFT was negative so it'll be back to work for me on Monday. I was supposed to be going out for a meal with staff from the school, but I cancelled in the week, still don't actually feel 100% right. Day spent in my craft room, taking things slowly and I walked the dog in the afternoon to post some letters I'd been writing last week.

I packed some craft items and sweets to send to the Things who are poorly with covid.

79 Sunday I did a load of washing and hung it out then walked then drove into town for a walk with Bob and had a take out coffee on route. Baked some scones, ginger biscuits and a date and walnut cake. We had a roast dinner in the afternoon and I did the ironing, watched TV and blogged. Still not feeling 100%

80 Monday Back to work. Peter has been unwell the past few days, so I took the car, dropped off care packages at the post office for the Things and the Twins and posted child 3's 30th birthday card to Australia. His birthday isn't until May but it can take a while. Evening spent in front of the TV.

These two take it in turns to demand food every evening.

81 Tuesday A lovely sunny day. Not as many people off work as I would have thought, a good day and home via town to buy ribbon and I made the bunting for the neighbours shop and dropped it round in the evening.

82 Wednesday On my feet all day at work, sat outside in the late afternoon, had a bath and an early night.

83 Thursday No coat or socks today, starting to feel more positive now the sun is shining. Late afternoon spent in the garden and evening spent blogging and watching TV.

84 Friday Out the door on the bell at 3pm, home to relax in the garden and chill out in front of the TV.

Everything is growing well in the garden.

On the blog this week:

Things to consider when designing a kitchen

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Friday 25 March 2022

Post Comment Love 25th - 27th March 2022. Happy Mother's Day

Welcome back to #pocolo with Stephanie from Lifeat139a and I. It's lovely to have you back and to see new people joining in.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who identifies as a Mum, I'm a mum of 3, but a mum to 5 and a Granny of 2. I've been used to having Mother's Day in May in South Africa and Dubai.

We/re both fully recovered from covid now. It wasn't nice, we've still got snotty noses, but have tested negative now. I did have a blip back at work when I thought that the only thing I'd done differently over the past two years was start work, but with so many of our friends and family having it at the same time (people we'd not been in contact with for at least a month, I've realised it's more to do with other people not wearing masks (mask mandate dropped the same time I started work)

Hopefully we'll be spending more time outdoors now the weather here is improving. I've actually gone bare footed for the first time in ages (no socks)

We're off to visit our daughter in her care home on Sunday then off to see MIL, SIL, niece and great nephew for his 1st birthday on Sunday, so a nice family day out to look forward to.

Do you have plans for this weekend? Do you 'do' Mother's Day? Now or in May?

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Things to consider when designing a kitchen.

I had two design ideas I wanted to incorporate into the kitchen and they were floor to ceiling units and no handles, to reduce the amount of cleaning and for maximum storage.

Good lighting was also essential.

Did you know washing machine doors are only available hinged on the left, opening on the right?

Had I realised this, I may have swopped the machine with the dishwasher to give me more room to load and unload, we're waiting for the integrated door to be fixed, it will open to the right to allow the machine door to open fully.

We opted to have drawers underneath the hob. The common issue here is the weight you can put in the drawers, which means our cast iron pans are in a different place.

I wish we'd opted for 3 drawers rather than 2, it is slightly annoying having to open the main drawer, then the cutlery one.

Did you also know that double cupboards will open in the middle hinged on the left and on the right, but if you have two single cupboards on the wall, then the doors will both open on the same side?

Double cupboard.

Both door open to the right, however if the door opened to the left on the larger cupboard it would hit the overhead extractor.

Originally these cupboard opened like this, we had the doors changed so they opened as if it was a double cupboard, like the one under the sink.

Finally the last thing, the colour and the finish. The blue in the photo is the protective cover. I'd decided against a block colour for fear of it dating, similar to the avocado bath suite of the 80's. However, I feel by opting for the grey, we've picked the colour associated with covid of 2021/22.

I also opted for the matt finish as I felt the shiny surfaces in the showroom showed up too many finger prints and looked streaky in certain lights. however the matt finish does the same and I'm not sure it's an issue that can be addressed anyway. 

These aren't complaints, they're things that can be worked around or I'd do differently next time, but I'm hoping this kitchen will be in place for a long time to come.


Saturday 19 March 2022

Week 11 One Daily Positive and Project 365 - Covid

I was interviewed by the Daily Mail a few weeks ago, sponsored by the UK Government about why I'm continuing to wear a mask. You can read it here. On Sunday after 2 weeks working in a school I contracted Covid and tested positive on Sunday. I'm so upset, after taking so much care over the past two years. I truly believe I was put at risk because mask wearing is no longer compulsory. I've been wearing my mask in school 24/7, but have removed it for break times and working with students who have hearing difficulties. I'm seriously considering not going back in.

Peter has been staying out my way, but he's probably got covid also, he has a mild occasional cough and a watery eye. He's walking the dog (mask wearing) and we've done an online food shop for the week, to minimise contact with others.

71 Saturday I always get a good sleep with a migraine, waking around 7am then back to sleep from 9am till midday. Meds working and I was given a 4-6 hour window pain free. I sowed some seeds, did some washing and popped to a friends to help her with some paperwork. Neighbour took the dog out in the afternoon to the park and I baked Brownies which I popped round in the evening.

72 Sunday Woke up early with a sore throat and a runny nose, migraine still hanging around. Peter off to play golf for the day and at mid morning I felt so poorly I took an LFT which tested positive. Had a bath, set myself up in the spare room, sanitised the whole house and by early evening I'd developed a hacking cough and my chest felt like someone was sitting on it. Asleep by midnight, lying on my tummy. Registered for a PCR, anti body tests and clinical trials.

73 Monday Woke at 7am, feeling rough. Around 11am I moved from bed mode to day mode. Washed, made bed, drew curtains. Watched TV all day, slept and ate. Time dragged then it raced by, felt better as the day went on, but getting more breathless. 

74 Tuesday Intended to pay some online bills and tidy the gardening seed/plans box, got as far as getting it out, but nothing done. Managed to write a letter and sort some birthday cards/gifts. Most of the day spent sleeping, watching TV and I did manage a bath before bed.

75 Wednesday Woke a couple of times in the night with a stiff neck from lying on my front to help with the breathing, up fully at 9am, back to bed by 10.30 after getting out of breath from eating and talking. Day spent in bed, it does help getting dressed and out of bed. Food shop arrived at 8pm and then off to bed.

I expected to see orange skies.

76 Thursday Woke in incredible pain across my back, in my chest and my hips, had a long soak in the bath then back to bed. I managed to cook dinner and some soup, but straight back to bed, wiped out. In the afternoon I dialled 111 following the NHS advise because I wasn't getting any relief from the chest pain and discomfort. they ended up sending an ambulance out to check me over and told me it's just something I have to go through and keep drinking water, take paracetamol and sit/sleep propped up.

77 Friday Still in a lot of pain but so much better in my head, nose and throat. I managed to do some washing, cleaning, ironing and cooked a meal, but did absolutely nothing else in-between.

Added some treats to the online food shop. love these, but the chocolate egg tasted very bland, compared to the cups with the peanut butter in.

On the blog this week:

Preparing the garden for spring

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Friday 18 March 2022

Post Comment Love 18th - 21st March

Welcome back to #PoCoLo with Stephanie from Lifeat139a and I. 

Sadly I've been ill all week with covid. So bloody annoyed about catching it. Did so much to keep myself safe for the past 2 years with travelling between the UK and Dubai and being able to visit and support child 1 in an adult care home and to be able to visit our other children and grandchildren. We've spent a fortune on PCR testing and hotel quarantining as well as isolating before and after every trip and getting vaccinated back in Dubai in January 2021 with sinopharm, followed up with a full pfizer course a year later.

During the two years I've also had surgery, regular iron infusions and dental work. We've stayed in hotels, attended weddings, helped out friends when they've been unwell or had family emergencies. Yet two weeks after the government declared it no longer mandatory to wear masks, the whole of England seemed to ditch any notion that covid exists any more, hardly anyone wears their masks and facebook is full of groups photos of people hugging. It puts me on edge, wearing my mask is as common place to me as is brushing my teeth and wearing knickers. 

I was interviewed for a national newspaper, sponsored by the UK Government, a few weeks back, about the importance of continuing to wear masks. It also happened to be the same week I started work in a school. It was inevitable I contracted covid. I am seriously considering continuing my employment in a school. I don't need this level of stress and illness again. My family and my health are my priorities.

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Tuesday 15 March 2022

Preparing the garden for spring

Last weekend I rewrapped the Bay Tree, rebuilt the green house, tided up the shed and planted more seeds.

I wasn't going to grow anything this year as we're having an extension built and a new shed/workshop so the back garden isn't really going to be useable for anything, but that doesn't stop me growing tomatoes and potatoes and herbs in pots at the front of the house which is in direct sunlight when the sun shines all year round.

I'm reusing these old dustbins from the days before whellie bins. Will buy soil conditioner/compost from the local tip to fill them up with.

The shed has been tidied but it will be moved so we can get the scaffolding in place for the roof and gutter repairs. I'll be able to access the front of the house through here.

The lawn needs mowing and edging.

The pots need moving to the front of the house, will wait till the shed is moved to save on distance carried.

I'm loving the look of the front garden, there's been nothing done to it over the winter, looking forward to planting out the hollyhocks I've been over wintering from seed in the conservatory and creating more of a cottage garden look at the front. Eventually we'll have a wall built along the front and the garden levelled,  but need to wait till all the building work is finished. 

We've also got Open Reach and Cadent (gas) threatening to dig up our garden to lay new cables/pipes.

I fancy a blossom tree and a magnolia to replace the large tree we had to cut down last year.

There's a lot of weeding that needs to be done and I fancy a little table and chair out the front so I can enjoy the sun in the front in the evenings. I'm not worried about people walking past.

But for now, all I can do is sit here and enjoy the sun and plan my next steps.

Monday 14 March 2022

Week 10 One Daily Positive and Project 365

Every day is a work day now. I'm enjoying it, but I'm sooo tired, I'll adjust for sure. We've got a good routine going, Peter drops me off in the mornings and I walk the 2 miles home with Peter bringing Bob out to meet me half way.

Went back to see a male GP to get my blood results, no folate and my ferritin levels have dropped again, so off again on another round of 'lets see if we can find the cause of this' starting with looking for another internal bleed. NO, it's not from heavy periods, I had them stopped over a year ago as recommended in Dubai to rule that out. I'm also not anaemic due to Haemoglobin levels, they're normal, always have been. it's my stores of iron that are depleted and although I'm not coeliac, I have been on a gluten free diet for the past 2 years.

64 Saturday Day spent rearranging the garden and tidying the shed, popped out to Waitrose to do some shopping and had a coffee. Bob went out with the neighbours in the afternoon for a walk and lunch in the park.

65 Sunday Off to visit grandchild via a stop at the flat to check on the damp, we took Bob with us, enjoyed a walk despite the cold, dropped some garden furniture with mum and home to cook dinner (me) and to watch the football in the pub (Peter).

66 Monday In the afternoon/evening I started on my easter Sewing projects and made a new dogs bed for Bob for the kitchen.

67 Tuesday Starting to plan the garden planting for this year as we'll be redesigning the back garden over the summer months. Evening spent in front of the TV.

68 Wednesday I baked some cakes for the school bake sale on Friday and we watched Free Guy on Disney, been looking forward to it and it didn't disappoint.

69 Thursday I took the car to work as I had the Doctors in the afternoon, got my nails done, iced my cakes and blogged. Did a LFT just not feeling right, it was negative.

70 Friday Developed a migraine during the day, had to get Peter to collect me half way home, was so out of breath. Friend came round for chips in the evening. I was in bed at 9pm, absolutely exhausted.

On the blog this week:

The Winter Garden

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Friday 11 March 2022

Post Comment Love 11th -13th March 2022

Welcome back to #PoCoLo with Stephanie from Lifeat139a and I. Lovely to read such a variety of blog posts each week. Don't forget once you've linked up to leave a comment on the hosts post and one other. You could also add the hashtag #PoCoLo to a tweet and maybe share our linky with your other friends for them to join in.

Apparently I have to go to work every day Monday to Friday from now on. I do however get school holidays off. I'm really enjoy being back in the work place after being away for so long. It's the end of week 2 and I'm exhausted, I guess I'll adapt soon enough.

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Tuesday 8 March 2022

The winter garden.

Nothing happened over winter. I was away in Northern Ireland for most of November and high winds took the green house down. Plastic pots and trays were rounded up and everything else was just left to one side or chucked in the shed.

With signs of Spring in the air and bulbs popping through the grounds, it made me get out and sort things out. 

The plants in the cold frame have done well, as has the herb garden. Both spend half the day in direct sunlight when it shines.

It's also time to check inside the boots that have sat outside all winter.

How's your winter gardening gone? Have you be able to start getting it ready for spring?

Sunday 6 March 2022

Week 9 One Daily Positive and Project 365

Last week I went to the GP for medication for my migraines as my ferritin levels were dropping, she said it's the menopause and I'm in denial. After I left she messaged me to say she'd read my notes and I was to arrange a blood test. She called messaged Monday to say Ferritin levels have dropped and to re issue my prescription, which is what I went in for in the first place.

I started my new job as a Learning Support Assistant in a Secondary School. I think I've identified my tribe in the staff room already. It's a really calm and relaxed environment.

I'm out of sync with my photos. managed to work it all out in the end (ish)

57 Saturday Off to Gloucester to visit Child 1 for the day. We had lunch out, home to watch the rugby. Fajitas for tea and the evening spent watching the TV. Neighbour tested positive for covid, I did an LFT it was negative, will do one again Sunday and Monday.

58 Sunday Walked the dog and cooked a Sunday roast. Afternoon spent cleaning upstairs ready for guests on Tuesday and got ready for starting my new job in the morning. Peter made a start with the window blinds.

I really need to get this shed sorted, just 2 days of dry weather should do it.

59 Monday Peter took me to work for 8.30am. Apparently I have to go in every day. I walked home just under 3 miles and plan to do this daily. Peter met me half way with the dog. Window blinds finished and I helped with fixing the new pelmet. 

St David's and Pancake Day and Spring has sprung.

60 Tuesday Off to work, walked home. Friends arrived visiting from their home in Germany. They were the some of the first people we met in South Africa 11 years ago. We went out to the pub for dinner.

Getting myself into a routine for work.

61 Wednesday While I was in work, Peter took our guests into Worcester and on to Stratford for the day. We spent the evening at home, drinking wine and catching up. 

The new day/night blinds and pelmet Peter made.

62 Thursday Off to work. Our visitors left mid morning, nice walk home, Peter came to meet me half way with the dog. I got to use the new washing machine, 3 loads of bedding and towels and there is 3 loads of clothes to go through over the weekend.

63 Friday Work again. Apparently I have to do this everyday. I've completed all the online training as well as observing and helping out in classrooms. I need to up my science and history knowledge if I'm to keep up with year 7.

A quiet night in to end the week.

On the blog this week:

Why it's important not to dismiss it as the menopause/peri menopause when a 50 year old women stands in front of you.

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