Sunday 31 July 2022

Week 30 - One Daily Positive and Project 365

Such a busy week involving a car, golf cart, plane, train and my 2 legs.

I was a tad emotional with neighbours coming to an end after 37 years, was pleased to see there was no stupid ending and they wrapped up all the characters and reasons for being back on Ramsey Street nicely.

We've finally agreed a date to complete on the flat sale. It's been ongoing since February 2022.

203 Saturday Awake around 7am, a call home and out for coffee. I spent the morning wandering around Southport, not pretty after the night before, last night I felt I was on the set of one of these reality cop shops having my dinner in Wetherspoon with fights going on outside. A good day at the golf, less rain. Back to the B&B by 9pm after stopping for something to eat.

204 Sunday After coffee I packed and checked out and the rest of the morning was spent on the Pier and wandering the beachfront, sea too far away for paddling and too cold anyway. Last day at the golf and drove straight to Liverpool airport to my hotel ready for an early flight.

205 Monday Up early and off to Belfast, collected from the airport then 1:1 Freddie time with mum and dad out. We went out in the afternoon and just spent the evening having baby cuddles.

206 Tuesday I didn't wake till 8am and after breakfast we went out for a drive and a long dog walk. Afternoon popped to the retail park and after tea just enjoyed more Freddie time and I cleaned the kitchen.

207 Wednesday A lazy morning and into town for coffee before my 4pm flight to Liverpool and long drive home.

208 Thursday A lie in and relaxed morning then off to Kidderminster eye hospital. I'm waiting for an appointment for a scan on my left eye and have a convergence issue with my right eye which can be improved with exercises, we did some shopping and stopped for coffee. Popped to neighbours to get my signature witnessed for the flat sale.

209 Friday Up at 5am and on the 5.45am train to Birmingham for Commonwealth Games. My accreditation wasn't ready, but no one was able to help me so a complete waste of my time and money. We popped into town to the bank to collect some paperwork then did some gardening. Friend round for chips and wine and watched the last ever episode of Neighbours with a few tears.

On the blog this week:

Working on the DP World Tour

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Friday 29 July 2022

Post Comment Love - 29th-31st July 2022

Welcome back to #PoCoLo with Stephanie from Lifeat139a and I. I'm volunteering at the Commonwealth Games in the Village today and next week also. I won't see any of the events, but I will get to meet and greet the athletes in the village.

I spent the weekend in Southport at the golf driving a camera crew around the course then flew to Belfast to visit our Grandson. it's been a very busy week.

Hope everyone is keeping well and busy.

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Thursday 28 July 2022

Working on the DP World Tour

I started volunteering with the DP World Tour in 2018 whilst living in Dubai and have had a variety of roles from marshalling to Anti Doping and spotting.  I've also been fortunate to have been paid for some of this work with the TV from sound recording, scoring and more recently driving the camera crew around, making sure they get dropped at the action on the course, then getting out the way of all the other cameras and photographers.

There are loads more opportunities for work, however, it is salary only, no travel or accommodation provided (apart from during covid when working in a bubble). It's also Thursday to Sunday and now I'm working in a school I'm not able to either do the whole weekend or I can't get back in time for work on the Monday morning.

I'm on he tour list for Dubai in November, so watch this space. I'd love to go back out for this event.

In the meantime here are the photo's from the Cazoo Classic this weekend in Southport.

Clothing from previous events, plus waterproofs.

Fairly easy to operate

Sheltering from the rain

Keeping out the way of the cameras

My view on most holes

Hiding the cart from the cameras, between green and next tee

Saturday 23 July 2022

Week 29 One Daily Positive and Project 365 Summer

We really enjoyed the hot weather at the start of the week, it was nice to have the doors and windows open, enjoy a cool breeze and benefit from the temperature difference in the shade and not be blasted with cold air from the air con.

Although temps did equal those in Dubai, the biggest difference was that ours were only for 2-3 days, not 2-3 months and the temperature in Dubai doesn't drop below 30c during the night. It's nice to experience though, but not to live in those temperatures full time, like we did.

196 Saturday Up early, dog walked and off to Bath for the day collecting MIL along the way. I was surprised at how quiet the M5/M4 junction was and Bath City Centre itself. Home around 5pm and evening spent watching the golf on TV.

197 Sunday We had a lie in till 8am which is good for us. I finished booking all our upcoming trips and sorting insurance out and did some general tidying up. We went out for coffee and a food shop. A friend came round in the afternoon/evening for a BBQ.

198 Monday A day of just pottering around and another BBQ for tea. I read a book and had a few cat naps. Took Bob down to the local stream in the evening.

199 Tuesday More pottering, packed for my trips away, started a new book, some blogging and was looking forward to the light rain in the early evening, but we only had 12 rain drops in an hour.

200 Wednesday Back to work via the swimming pool. It was enrichment day and I ended it doing some Bollywood dancing in the hall. Went to opticians for hospital referral for double and blurred vision. Evening spent round the neighbours folding their washing and popping balloons with the kids, then home to do the ironing and watch the tv.
My uniform for the Commonwealth Games arrived.

201 Thursday Last day of term and the whole school walked the Malvern Hills, I walked with a colleague, chatting to students along the way. We covered 20,000 steps and it took 4 hours. Home to collect bags and a 4 hour drive to Southport for the golf. I wandered down to the Pier and bumped into a guy from Dubai who works with the tour over there. he wasn't here for the golf but with his family on a day trip, small world. I ate fish and chips for tea and bought some fudge, was asleep by 10pm.

202 Friday  Woken at 4.30am by the seagulls, reminded me of living in South Africa with the Ha De Da dawn chorus. Back to sleep, then showered, out for a walk and coffee. I headed off to the golf early to collect my accreditation and sat and read my book until TV call time at 2pm. I finished at 8pm, soaked through and cold and had dinner at Wetherspoons, then back to the B&B showered and bed.

On the blog this week:
How much spare time I have and what I do in it.

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Friday 22 July 2022

Post Comment Love - 22-24th July 2022

Welcome back to #PoCoLo with Stephanie from Lifeat139a and I. This weekend I'm in Southport for the English Open Golf working with the TV Production Crew. It's a role I did in Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the previous few years and I've missed being involved. It's not the same just watching on TV at home. It doesn't pay as well as you'd think, but it does cover my fuel and hotel costs and a flight on Monday from Liverpool to Belfast to visit our Grandson. I'd love to do more but have had to turn other offers down due to working in a school and being limited with when I can have time off.

I really enjoyed the weather this week. School closed on Monday and Tuesday due to threat of life with the weather. Whilst I know it was too hot for some, we loved being able to just sit outside, have the windows open and enjoy a gentle breeze.

It made such a difference to living in Dubai where day temps all summer were in the 40s and the air con was on full time, with windows and doors shut, humidity that would leave your drenched, no drop in temps between direct sunlight and shade and we could still drive the car without the steering wheel and seat belt buckle burning us alive.

This photo was the highest we recorded the car temp in Dubai in June 2016. 

Our cold water tap ran at 30c during the night and up to 40c during the day.

We were still able to get cold water out the tap this week in the UK to drink and to have a cold shower in the evenings.

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Thursday 21 July 2022

How much spare time do you have?

I have 61 hours a week of unused spare time, to watch TV, garden or take part in a hobby. 

How do I know this?

It was enrichment week for the students in school. Trips were cancelled and school shut Monday and Tuesday due to the heat and I spent both days sitting in the paddling pool and reading a book.

Today the students took part in an activity about the cost of living and not just about housing, bills and foods, but also the cost of activities and the time they have in which to do them.

I ran some basic calculations based on what I do every day and here are the results:

This leaves me with 61 unaccounted hours each week. Free time, my time, to do in whatever I want to do. 

Now this weekend I'm up in Southport working on the golf for which I get paid, then I'm off to Northern Ireland to visit my grandson for two days before I start volunteering at the Commonwealth games, then we're off to Australia to visit our middle child, so over the next 5 weeks I won't have any spare time to twiddle my thumbs or do much else as I'll be busy.

The reality though is that I do have an awful lot of free time in which I actually do very little in. I can of course add in time spent food shopping (Peter usually does this) or coffees out in which I'm not really doing anything.

So what do I do with the rest of my time?

I read, sew, watch TV and waste hours on social media.

I've already factored in time to get to work for which I cycle or walk most days and my hobbies are swimming twice weekly, as well as dog walking, so I don't need to factor in any more time for exercise.

We spend time with family and friends, but that's not daily and is often a whole day or several days with family and a couple of hours each week with our neighbours and friends.

I could study but I've done that already. There are no kids at home to worry about so no extra time needed for keeping the house clean and tidy. Washing and ironing is around an hour a week and now Peter has retired he's taken over the cleaning as he has even more time to fill than I do.

We've got plenty of decorating and garden design/work coming up, but that'll be spread over months, not crammed into a short space of time.

Yes, we get a bit bored from time to time but nothing that requires major life changes and I do work 30 hours a week to keep me occupied and challenged.

What do you do with your spare time? Do you get much? 

Saturday 16 July 2022

Week 28 - One Daily Positive and Project 365.

It was 5 years on Monday since my father died. I think about him all the time and often quote him when things are happening in the world, such as Boris, the war, football, things the kids/grandkids do. I'm no longer sad, he would be 84 this year, I doubt he'd have still been with us, it was his time. I still struggle with the helplessness of that night, just watching him die when he collapsed. I hope to god I never have to go through anything like that again.

Onwards and upwards though. He'd love the fact we're going to Australia soon to see our middle child. He'd love the two great grandchildren he never got to meet and he'd be telling me what I was to do when I work at the English Open Golf in Southport next week, mansplaining my job to me, then watching it on the TV to try and get a glimpse of me. We used to face book mum from sporting events around the world (Dubai, South Africa, Hong Kong, Wembley) telling her where we were sitting at the rugby, cricket or football or which hole we were on so he could try and spot us. He often did and he'd press record to show us when we visited him next.

189 Saturday Off to Gloucester to spend the day with child 1, did some shopping, had coffee and cake out and home around 4pm. We had a BBQ in the evening and watched TV. 

My first attempt at quilting.

190 Sunday I went off to the shops early and bought a few gifts and some new bedding. Peter walked Bob up the Hills and went to the pub and I cleaned the house top to bottom. Late afternoon I went next door for their daughters 1st birthday for cake. Their son came round when parents were putting the bins out and let himself in and shut the door on them. He sat on the sofa to watch the TV, joined us for dinner, watered the plants then just said 'thank you, go home now' and I took him back. I sat in bed watching Ghostbusters and catching up with blog comments.

New bedding.

191 Monday Swimming before work, I left early with a migraine and home to get meds and sleep. I decided in the evening to pop to see a friend to take my mind off the anniversary.

Getting warmer and whilst car temps were 36c, it's nothing compared to Dubai where I'd previously registered 57c in my car.

192 Tuesday Cycled to work, bloody hot on the way home. Sorted out my accreditation for the golf and accepted a last offer as a volunteer in the Commonwealth Games Village.

193 Wednesday Lift to work and home, sorted out holiday insurance and looks like the flat sale will fall through unless I reduce the price by 5k, 6 months after accepting the original offer. If the buyer pulls out, my costs of 1k will be covered and I will remarked the flat at a higher price anyway. Watered the garden, blogged and did the ironing. I brought a cushion from school home to finish stuffing and sewing for a student who ran out of time to finish his project in and did some more work on the neighbours daughters quilt made from old baby clothes.

never too old for bubbles.

194 Thursday Lift to work and back via the Doctors for a blood test, out in the evening to the local youth club, then watched TV and did some more blogging and finally got the ironing done.

Quilt finished made with old baby grows from the 1 year old next door.

195 Friday Swimming before work and a lift home. Evening spent with friend, chips and wine. I had my 6 monthly check with the consultant who said whilst iron is dropping it's not enough for an infusion and will review again in 6 months.

I lovingly brought 2 'leaves' in damp tissue paper back from our balcony garden in Dubai. They survived 3 weeks in temporary accommodation and 11 days in hotel quarantine in the UK and are now sprouting babies in the bathroom in the UK.

On the blog this week:

Our English Garden in July 

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Friday 15 July 2022

Post Comment Love - 15th - 17th July 2022

Welcome back to #PoCoLo with Stephanie from Lifeat139a and I. Lovely to see you back and great to have any newbies join us. 

I've finally caught up with commenting and sharing the love. Don't forget to retweet us and leave a comment or two also.

It looks like the sale of the flat has fallen through, if it does, I'll be recovering costs. The buyer has changed their mind on the price they're prepared to pay after I accepted their offer back in February.

On a positive, I've been accepted as a volunteer at the Commonwealth games in the Athletes Village, training is booked and I'm looking forward to receiving my uniform.

I'm in Southport next weekend working at The English Open Golf as a TV assistant. I used to be involved in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with it and I'm sure this will be a very different experience on a links course, with the British weather and a whole new group of people to work with, but I will probably know a few camera operators and the Production Crew, will be interesting to see if any of the golfers and caddies remember me.

I've got a lot to pack in over the coming weeks with golf and the games, before we head off to Australia.

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Wednesday 13 July 2022

Our English Garden in July

Since planting a hedge row and doing some thinning out and weeding back in June, the garden hasn't had anything done to it other than daily watering, a new shed/summer house erected and plenty of BBQs and just sitting in it to enjoy in the evenings and on weekends.

The other 2 sheds won't come down now until September/October and then we'll start building the raised beds, vegetable patch and herb garden. We're still waiting for a quote on our planned extension, but that won't interfere with the garden plans as we're replacing the old conservatory.

There are plenty of herbs, tomatoes, radishes, peas and beans growing. The strawberries and raspberries were eaten by the dog.
The front garden is south facing so ideal for these plants.

Tomatoes, chard and strawberries.

Repurposed dust bins for growing chard, pumpkins and sunflowers.


The lawn is suffering with the sun, but the new shrubs are doing well.

Lots of pots of herbs dotted around the garden.

Loving the new summer house/shed.

Current storage of tools and bikes down the side of the house.

The conservatory will be replaced sometime with an extension, but for now, it's filled with bubbles and a reading nook.

How's your summer garden doing? Are you at the stage where you can just sit and relax in it, or os there always work to be done?

Monday 11 July 2022

Week 27. One Daily Positive and Project 365

I don't know where the time is going these days. It all seems to be merging at the moment.

We've booked our flights to Australia, going later than intended but the cost is astronomical. Everyone is blaming it on the school holidays. I went to Australia in July/August 2019, the flight cost me £750. The same journey in 2022 has cost me just under £3000. Worth every penny though as we get to see our middle child. Peter's flight was around £2200 as he's coming back the middle of September. I'm out there just under 3 weeks as I have to be back in work on the 5th September and I will need time to adjust to the time difference.

We've also discussed Christmas in South Africa, but that will mean inconveniencing our neighbours again with cat and dog sitting, so we'll have to think about that. Flights for both of us are around £1500 each which about £500 more than we've paid in the past for that time of the year.

I'm loving this heat wave, just to be able to sit outside or in the house without cold blasting from the air con like we had in Dubai. We do have several fans on the go though to make it a bit more comfortable.

182 Saturday got my hair cut then drove into Worcester to get a refund on a pair of shoes, had a coffee and home to do some gardening, we planted a hedge in the front garden. In Dubai Bougainvillea grew everywhere, adding a lovely splash of colour to the beige scenery.

183 Sunday Off early to Monmouth to check on the flat, met DIL and grandchild for a walk around the Castle and a coffee and called in briefly at the twins. home to spend the afternoon cooking and baking and popped round the neighbours. 50 shades of green.

184 Monday Swimming before work and home to sort some bills, paperwork, washing and cleaning upstairs. Video call with Grandson.

185 Tuesday Cycled to work, spent the day on the field for sports day, late afternoon spent gardening and evening spent in front of the TV. I also finished reading my book. Jane Eyre, I picked it up in school for the daily 15 minute 'Drop Everything And Read. Shed base ready and waiting.

186 Wednesday Cycled to work, borrowed the neighbours 2 year old to water the garden, we both got drenched. Evening spent booking our flights to Australia for August 6th. Pet sitters sorted, I have the BEST friends and neighbours. Washing and ironing done and put away. My little helper from next door.

187 Thursday Lift to work. Peter collected me and I dropped him and the dog off to walk home and I went into town and to meet a youth worker to sort out a holiday club for 3 of the students I support. Evening spent cleaning upstairs, sorting out birthday gifts for August while we're away. Grandson home from hospital. Local Youth Cafe.

188 Friday Swimming before work. An unexpected fire drill in school. New summerhouse delivered and erected. Evening spent in the garden, blogging, drinking wine and having a BBQ.

On the blog this week:

My job as a Teaching Assistant

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