FELLED BY AN EARACHE!

Today did not go as expected.
I nipped off to work at 7am and was home again by 7:40am.

I didn’t sleep particularly well and by the time my alarm went off I had quite a good little earache on the go. Nothing major, no temperature, nothing to stop me going to work.
So I carried on with my morning. Milky coffee and a trawl through the news before heading out at 7am.

BUT……

By the time I got to work, my right eyelid had started to swell and droop and my right cheek felt heavy.
I got sent home.

Great, I’ve just checked online and, because of the current Coronavirus situation, the walk in centres are all closed.
I’m not calling 111 for an earache!!

Anyway, online advice has all said that minor earaches can often self resolve within 3 days.
I’m not at work tomorrow, so, fingers crossed, this will clear up on it’s own.
I’m not feeling unwell, my earache is not even bad enough to warrant painkillers, but I take them for my knees anyway. I certainly don’t have a temperature and there is no redness around my eye.
So! A couple of days of rest, not that I can do much else at the moment, should hopefully do the trick.
I think I will avoid the painkillers today, just to see if I am actually getting temperatures without realising it.

And how has your day started?

ANXIETY

It’s been a surreal week.
First week in lock down for the family and, so far they’ve done pretty well.
There have a been a couple of occasions with frayed tempers but otherwise, things have been OK.
We’ve minimised our trips to the shop and the girls have let off a little steam by going for walks.

I was at work Monday and Tuesday, and on both occasions I had to fight down a minor panic attack on my way in each morning.
I haven’t had a panic attack in over 20 years!!
Thankfully, once I got stuck into each shift, the panic attacks were forgotten about.

The rest of the week I’ve had off.
Originally it was a way to use up the last of my annual leave before it’s refreshed in April. It was supposed to be a way to chill and recharge my batteries, but it has turned into something else due to the Corona Virus pandemic and lockdown.

I’ve used the last 4 days to get the house and garden into some sort of order, so that everyone has their own space and their own jobs to do.
With Ian on Furlough, Murron out of work and Marjorie and Dharma on furlough and college/Uni closed down, I have four adults in the house who need something to do.

As I am still working, and doing a job that is already stressing me out and likely to get worse in the coming weeks, it is only fair that they take on the running of the house. My aim over the last 5 days was to get it to a point where they can just keep on top of it all and help to keep me de-stressed.

So, with the amazing weather over the last few days, the first thing was to tidy the patio up so we all have somewhere to sit when the weather REALLY warms up. We spent two days jet washing and de-weeding the patio and jet washed all the window sills and windows before buffing them up to a sparkle. The grass still needs cutting and the borders need digging over and de-weeding, but that can wait.

We’re on top of the washing, I just need to finish a little ironing today.
Friday and Saturday were spent decorating the bathroom.
It was in desperate need of an overhaul.
We’ve got all new towels, curtains and mats etc on order. They should have arrived on Friday but the delivery service was paused for a few days while they decided how to tackle deliveries in the current lock down situation, but the bathroom is ready for when it all turns up and we will then have a room that we can actually relax in.

Today I’m going to have a tidy up. Do some hoovering and dusting and finish the ironing.

The family have been told to pick out two lock down outfits.
They are to be items that can all go into a dark wash.
They will all then alternate their outfits on a daily basis.
Dharma is then going to be responsible for collecting the dirty outfits each day and throwing them into the wash and getting them dry ready for the following day.
Hopefully, if this goes to plan, it will seriously reduce the need for any ironing. It will literally just be my uniforms and clothes that need the occasional iron.

Tomorrow I’m back at work. Mon, Weds, Thurs, Sat.
I wish I could say I was looking forward to it, but right now, that would be a lie. In ordinary circumstances I love my job. Working with the kids and their families and hopefully making their stay on the ward a little easier is actually very rewarding, but right now, with all that’s predicted to happen over the next few weeks, it’s actually very scary and my anxiety is through the roof. I can already feel it in my chest. I know I won’t be sleeping tonight and I predict a panic attack on my way into work.

So, if I come home to a shit hole each evening, I am seriously going to lose my rag with the family and I will make their lives a living misery.
They have been warned.

BITING MY TONGUE

I had to take Dharma to a fracture clinic appointment today.
It was all very efficient with the Coronavirus two meter rule being observed as much as possible throughout.
She injured her wrist two weeks ago and they suspected a scaphoid fracture which is difficult to spot on an x-ray. She was splinted and brought in for a check x-ray today to see if there had been any development of the possible fracture.
After a repeat x-ray, there was still no obvious fracture, but because she still had a considerable amount of pain, she had two choices.
1 – Have an MRI/CT scan to confirm, but that appointment might take a few weeks to come through and she would need to come back to the hospital.
2 – As she is not working or going to college for the forseable future, She has her wrist in a cast for 6 weeks and then returns for a checkup.

With the current situation, it made sense to go for the cast.

Anyway, before coming straight home, and to avoid Ian having to leave the house, we needed to pop into the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for him.
I was pleased to see the setup at the pharmacy.
There were markings every two meters down the aisle up to the till and lots of notices on the windows asking customers to respect the two meter rule and limiting numbers to 5 in the shop at any one time.
I stood in the queue outside and everyone was accommodating the two metre rule. I told Dharma I would go in alone when it was my turn.

However……

The woman in the queue in front of me was not a happy bunny.
All she wanted was some gloves as Aldi were apparently not taking cash if you weren’t wearing gloves. She was annoyed about the amount of time she was standing in the queue when she didn’t even know if they would have any gloves when she got into the store.

What happened next was astonishingly stupid and selfish and this is where I had to bite my tongue.

A community nurse came down from one of the flats above the pharmacy and was getting into her car that was parked beside our queue and the woman in front of me ACTUALLY TRIED TO WALK UP TO THE NURSE!!
The nurse, quite rightly, put her hand up and asked the woman to keep her distance.
The woman then asked….. ready for this…….

‘Have you got any spare gloves?!!’

The nurse obviously rolled her eyes a little and said no.
The woman was not happy and basically made a remark about the absurdity of it all and how laughable it all was and the nurse said, ‘you won’t be laughing when you’re on a respirator!’ as she got into her car and shut the door.

The woman in front of me stood with her mouth open and then said, for the world to hear, well she’s got a bit of a gob on her hasn’t she?!’

At which point Dharma just about had to restrain me from mouthing off at her.

It astounds me that some people STILL DON’T GET IT!!

This is SERIOUS. It’s a KILLER.

Please don’t go outside unless you absolutely have to.
If you do go out, please RESPECT the two meter rule.

Don’t be an ARSEHOLE!!

LOCKDOWN PREP

So the country is in lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The husband is now working from home.
Dharma and Marjorie have had college and university closed and Monday saw their workplace, McDonalds, also close.
Murron’s work doing gigs and bar work stopped after last orders last Friday evening.
As a keyworker, I am now the only one in the household physically going out to work.

It has taken a few days, but I think it is finally sinking in with the kids, the severity of the current situation and they are pulling together to help out a little more. I think it’s more for their sanity than anything else!!

I am currently on the first day of five days off.
It was originally a way to use up some of the last of my annual leave before it refreshes at the beginning of April.
However….
It has now turned into a bit of a project to get things in order so that we can tolerate this lockdown.

The first thing is the garden.
I have spent the morning clearing the patio area and trimming back a hedge and now my girls are jet washing it so that we can get the furniture out and at least have somewhere nice to sit in the fresh air.

Tomorrow, I actually have to have a trip back to the hospital to take Dharma to a fracture clinic appointment. The rest of the day will be spent digging over the flower beds and cutting the grass.
I’m not doing any planting this year, I just want a weed free garden that I don’t have to worry about.

I’m expecting a delivery from Dunelm on Friday. IF it shows up in the current situation, I will be tidying and re-decorating the bathroom.

The garage needs a good sort out so that Murron has a get away space and as I don’t have support from my Mum at the moment, the rest of my time will be spent washing and ironing.

As no-one is going out anywhere, I’ve told the family to pick two outfits that can be washed AND tumble dried. There will be a daily wash and tumble dry as they alternate their outfits. This should seriously cut down on the washing and ironing and make life a lot simpler.

Scary times.
It’s all feeling a bit surreal at the moment.
Not looking forward to going back to work on Monday.
Five days seems to be a lifetime with this virus, anything could happen between now and then.

Stay safe XX

MENTAL

As an NHS worker, I took the opportunity today, to take Tesco up on their offer of opening up an hour before the tills open for NHS staff.

It was an experience!!

We parked the car at 9am and had to grab a trolley and go to the back of a queue that was already snaking around the car park.
With all due respect to Tesco, they had staff walking the queue stating that if we didn’t have our ID, we wouldn’t be getting in, and they were enforcing it on the door.

15 minutes later, we finally got through the door.
Because the tills weren’t open, we couldn’t get a scanner, so we just started to mooch around.
I spent last night going through cupboards and making a list of cleaning items and necessities, and I organised the list so that I could just start at one end of the shop and finish at the other to minimise going back and forth.

Tesco were announcing over the intercom that we could now only purchase a maximum of 3 of any item in store. This is good. When people realise this, the panic buying may ease off and the shelves will be able to recover.

We had finished our shopping by around 09.50, but by this time, everyone else were also finishing and the queues at the tills were growing. By the time we joined a queue, it was all the way to the back of the store! I’ve never even seen queues like that at Xmas! We were going to be stood there for hours.

This is when Marjorie had a brainstorm as she realised that now the tills were open, we could get a scanner!!
So I grabbed a scanner, found a quiet corner and scanned and packed all my shopping before taking it straight through the tills.
We were in the car by 10:15, job done.

There were still no toilet rolls or pasta and rice, or eggs, but stock is coming back. Now that the purchase limit is 3 per item, the shelves will hopefully start to look a bit healthier in a few more days.

All I can say is that there must be an awful lot of people with perishables that they are never going to be able to use before they go off.
I can see an awful lot of wasted food on the horizon.

Right, time for a cuppa before I tackle some ironing.

KEEP CALM.
BE SENSIBLE AND ONLY BUY WHAT YOU NEED.
STAY SAFE.

SURREAL

It’s been a strange week so far.
With the current panic over the Coronavirus outbreak, life has been decidedly strange and is getting a little worrying.

It was an odd experience to say the least at work on Monday and Tuesday.
For context, I work on the children’s ward at our local hospital.
Both days felt very eerie, almost like a calm before the storm, as people obviously heeded guidelines and stayed away from the hospital if they could. I am now taking each day as it comes because it is going to change on a daily basis. All we can do is tackle it head on as it happens.

I’m working a long week this week doing 75 hours between last Friday and this Friday. Today is a day off between 4 x 12.5 hour shifts.
I needed to go and do some shopping for necessities but wasn’t quite prepared for how bad things had become.

It was like a war zone!!

The shelves at Tesco were bare.
Not just toilet paper and painkillers, but EVERY isle I walked down was bare or virtually bare.

I had to be a little creative with a few items, get items I wouldn’t normally buy because that’s all that was left.
There was no sliced bread. I brought two freshly baked loaves and thankfully we have a bakers right over the road from where we live.
There were no painkillers.
No soap.
I walked down the baby isle and there were no nappies, wipes or formula.
The only tinned veg left were Marrowfat Peas.
The soups were on the verge of running out.
The freezer with Potato and veg products like chips and roasts were empty…. except, I might add for the McCain skin on fries that we buy. Literally the only chips left, so I was happy about that.
No bags of frozen chicken.
No toilet paper.
No wash powders. I literally had to buy the last two packs of wash tablets from a brand I don’t normally use because that’s all that was left.
Fresh veg was running low on everything but there was not a single potato left.
The fresh meat section was completely bare.
There were no jars of pasta sauce but there was no pasta to put it on either.
I was literally forced to buy stuff and branded items I don’t ordinarily buy and quite literally doubled my shopping bill.

On the way home I took a chance and stopped off at Iceland.
This turned out to be a good move because I managed to get some packs of mince meat (the last 3), some frozen bags of chicken (the last 2) and we caught a guy trying to stock a shelf with some large bags of pasta!! Poor guy didn’t know what hit him after a couple of other shoppers and myself cleared him out before he’d even got it on the shelf!!

The world has gone crazy.
The selfish hoarders have now created panic buyers who are grabbing what they can because it’s all that’s left. The thought of a little old lady or gent, managing to get themselves to Tesco to be confronted by what I saw today is absolutely heartbreaking!

Anyway, in a way, we are very lucky. We literally live right over the road from a mini market, butchers and bakers. We will be able to get ‘something’ if we’re desperate, but for now, there’s enough to keep us going for a week or two.

And now, I’m going to put my feet up and try to put the idea of going to work tomorrow out of my head for a few hours.

Stay safe XX

IMAGINE THAT!!

Driving home from work last night, I decided to blindly choose an old play list on Spotify to play on the way home.
My usual ‘go to’ playlist is my Hozier playlist as he is so chilling and soothing to listen to that it really helps me to relax, particularly if it has been a particularly busy day, on my feet for 12 and half hours.

Anyway, the playlist I landed on was my ‘Movie Music’ playlist.
I think I have mentioned in the past that I’m not opposed to a little classical music occasionally, and movie soundtracks are what I consider to be ‘modern’ classical music.

The last 5 years have seen me falling into the abyss known as ‘Star Wars’ fandom. I have been a fan my entire life, but with the resurgence of interest with the final Skywalker trilogy, I dived right in!

Of course, it just so happens that the greatest modern composer of our times, John Williams, composed the iconic music for all 9 films in the Skywalker saga. I have written about him and his incredible body of work before, and that can be read HERE.

So, getting back to my drive home last night, I randomly selected the playlist and then just hit shuffle play and this is what graced my ears.

Ah yes!! James Horner, another incredible modern composer and responsible for the stunning music in Star Trek the Wrath of Khan.

Yes, I am also a Trekker! Imagine that!
In fact, without Star Trek, I would never have met my husband, would never have had all the fun of the old fan run conventions and would probably not have my kids. It’s just taken a bit of a back seat in the last 5 years.

As I sit here writing this, I am also watching ‘The Wrath of Khan’.
From a Trekkers point of view, I think this film has to be a fan favourite and the music has a lot to do with it’s popularity.
The battle in the Mutara Nebula is just incredible.

So, now that all the Star Wars hype from the last 5 years has died down a little, there is now a little more balance between my interests.
I am still mega hyped to get the Rise of Skywalker on Bluray next month but… we are now back to TV shows and re-watching movies.

Both Star Wars and Star Trek have new TV shows with ‘Picard’ and ‘The Mandalorian’ and I have to say that , so far, both of these shows have been amazing!!

However, I am REALLY going to miss the build up to any new Skywalker movie every two years.
I am eager to see what their next trilogy will be about, but, without the Skywalkers, I don’t think it will ever be the same……. that said… if we see more Imperial action and uniforms and Star Destroyers, I may quickly change my mind!