Family, diary, obsessions and ranting. There could be language and sometimes 'sexual' references. You have been warned.
Mum of three.
X graphic designer turned mum. When the need to go back out to work arrived, I became a Clinical Support Worker completely by accident. I was a support worker for 9 years and was actually awarded Clinical Support Worker of the Year 2011 at my trust.
I have just completed a 2 year University course as a Trainee Nursing Associate and now I am one of the countries first registered Nurse Associates. I am also a Paediatric based Nurse Associate which makes me quite rare. I have been married for 25 years.
Ok, so it’s day three of the new year. Thankfully Ian’s Covid test was negative, however, that still doesn’t mean he’s out of the woods. He’s actually quite poorly. He still has a good but productive cough and he is quite breathless when trying to move around. His O2 levels are good though so I’m not overly worried. Because of the medications he’s on, he’s supposed to see a doctor after a couple of days of being unwell. Not the easiest of thing to do in the current circumstances and also over a weekend!! So, he’s hanging on until tomorrow.
As a frontline worker, I have just been offered a vaccination!! I now have both appointments booked with the first being on the 9th of this month. At least a little more protection in the house for Ian and one step closer to the country/world getting back to some normality!!
Right, today I plan to do a bit of a shop. First one since the beginning of Xmas. Time to get back to some ‘normal’ eating and drinking. There’s still a few Xmas and New Year goodies kicking around, but for the most part, we’re done. That means the dreaded diet will have to start soon, but this time I have two targets. Two weddings in the next couple of years, so I don’t want to leave things to the last minute. I’m going to get cracking now.
The rest of my day will consist of movies and a puzzle. Not a lot else to do really.
Finally! A new year and let’s hope this one is a little kinder to us than the last one.
It hasn’t been the greatest of starts for us however. My husband, Ian, is a shielder. The medications for his Psoriatic arthritis makes him immunocompromised which makes him more vulnerable to infections at the best of times. On Weds he started to feel unwell and this was accompanied by a cough. He managed to get a Covid swab at 10am on Thurs and we are now waiting for the result. This means that I can’t go to work until we get that result and I should have started a long day shift just over an hour ago!
I wasn’t too worried yesterday. Ian tends to get chest infections at this time of year anyway and he also doesn’t leave the house unless it is to drop one of the girls at work, so he doesn’t even get out of the car. I was expecting the result to come back negative. However, he can barely move this morning and spent the night coughing up a lung. He’s had his flu jab for the year but his symptoms are all flu symptoms so I’m getting a little worried that his result might be telling us something else.
The worrying thing is, if his result is positive, it means that either myself or one of the girls have brought it into the house. Anyway, no point panicking until we get that result. It could be a long day!
Ian didn’t even see the new year in last night as he fell asleep, so I saw the new year in with Marjorie and Dharma.
At about 11pm, I realised that I was 3 movies away from managing 1 movie for every day of the year, so I cheated a little and watched some Pixar shorts which brought my total to 366 movies for the year. The sad thing is, only 7 of them were actually seen in the cinema with 6 of them all before March.
I have REALLY missed my movies this past year. Having said that, the drought has made me go back through my old movies and watch some that I haven’t watched for years, so I haven’t exactly missed out.
I have missed seeing any new work from Adam Driver though. There was nothing from him at all last year and he spent the majority of last year in isolation with his family. As a fiercely private man , he did what he does best and simply dropped off the map for a while. He disappeared in March when filming for ‘The Last Duel’ with Matt Damon was halted due to the pandemic and he finally made an appearance again in October to wrap up filming. ‘The Last Duel’ is now set for an October 2021 release. He also has a film called ‘Annette’ that ‘should’ have premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May last year. It is hoped that it will now be release at Cannes this year. He is currently filming for ’65’ which is a sci-fi thriller. There is no release date for this one, but being sci-fi, I suspect there may be quite a lot of post production and we may not see it until 2022. After he finishes filming ’65’ he starts work on ‘Gucci’ with Lady Gaga and this one is slated for a November 2021 release. He has also just signed up to do another ‘Noah Baumbach’ Netflix movie. Noah was the director responsible for ‘Marriage Story’ which got Adam an Oscar nomination. It was also an amazing film so I’m hoping whatever this next one is will be just as good.
So, the next year could actually be quite top heavy on the Adam movies!! How I will get to see any of these movies is now the big question. With most of the country now in tier 4, cinemas in the UK have shut their doors. Our local cinema closed it’s doors a couple of months ago and being one of the older cinemas in the chain, I am not very hopeful that it will ever open it’s doors again.
I REALLY missed seeing movies on the big screen last year. As much as I love curling up on the sofa to watch a good film, you really can’t beat seeing a movie, at least once, on the big screen, where it was meant to be!
Anyway, I’m just going to pootle around for the day and get some housework done while I wait for Ian’s result.
I hope you all have a better year than the last one!!
It’s that time of year again. Writing anything for my blog has slowed down to virtually nothing. Not that there’s really been anything to blog about this year as we haven’t really been able to do much due to coronavirus restrictions
Until now that is. We may have had a pretty mundane year but it is certainly ending on a good note. So here’s a roundup.
As if you didn’t need reminding…..
The year started off just like any other but there were rumblings in the news about a new and virulent strain of flu with the potential to create a pandemic. Sure enough, things escalated. The world started to shut down and by the end of March we were in our first full lockdown which required businesses that were not essential to close. These regulations also included significant restrictions on freedom of movement: “no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse”.
The country came to a stop and people started panic buying. Supermarkets did everything they could to try and stop this and protect their vulnerable customers.
The country clapped for the NHS.
Families and friends gathered together over Zoom.
By the end of May, things slowly started to open up again. People were becoming accustomed to wearing masks everywhere they went. Social distancing was the name of the game. Handwashing and sanitising and staying 2 metres apart was drummed into us.
Then there were fears of a second wave and we started living in tiers. The higher the tier, the more restrictions were in place for that area. It was all confusing and it didn’t work.
From Nov 5th the country went into a 2nd lockdown that lasted 4 weeks. When we came out of the lockdown we were again placed into strict tiers. Our area came out of lockdown into tier 2 which means households are not allowed to mix indoors apart from in support bubbles, while a maximum of six people can meet outdoors from any household. Pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants, meaning they must serve substantial meals and may only serve alcohol with such a meal. If you go out for a meal you can only do so with up to 6 people from the same family/support bubble. So unless we want to freeze our nuts off eating outside, we still can’t see friends.
These tiers are due to be reviewed on the 16th Dec and we are hoping we will go back to tier 1 which will allow us to see friends again to a maximum of 6 indoors and outdoors and pubs not serving food will be able to open up again.
There is to be a relaxing of rules for 5 days over Xmas between 23rd and 27th December, meaning 3 households can mix, although it must stay as the same 3 households. We can’t pick and choose each day. The pessimist in me is thinking that half the country will flout the rules completely over Xmas and we will have another peak in mid January!
Anyway, what did this all mean for us as a family.
As a family, this had a big impact on the way we did things. My Mum and Dad who live just around the corner were now considered a high risk and needed to isolate themselves as much as possible. So visiting them was now out of the question. The kids kept an eye on them and visited them during their once a day exercise routine and they would stand at the end of the garden for a chat.
Mum could no longer come around to our house. Before the lockdown, she would be around pretty much every day. She would keep on top of our washing and ironing and have a little tidy up for me which was great while I was out at work. We had to change the way we ran the house. Within a couple of months, we had fallen into new routines….. but we were coping!
I continued to work. As a nurse working on a children’s ward, I was faced with new rules and ways of working which would change with each announcement from the Government. It’s been a particularly tough time but not as tough as the adult wards in the hospital. No hairdressers, meant my usual 4 – 5 weekly trim didn’t get done for 4 months!! I looked haggard and tired.
My husband, Ian, is lucky enough to be able to work from home and this is something that has worked out really well for him and looks set to become a permanent thing! He suffers from Psoriatic Arthritis and takes a lot of medications, one of which places him in the high risk category of people in the country who have to isolate where possible. Since working from home, he has seen an improvement in his health and so has his company. They are actually getting more work out of him and talks are ongoing to keep him working from home as much as possible when ‘normality’ returns.
Marjorie and Dharma both work for McDonalds, so they were furloughed during the first lockdown and University and college work was done from home. During the second lockdown, they are both still working but under strict new rules and social distancing requirements. Dharma went from college to Uni and Marji returned to Uni for her final year but they have both chosen to do it remotely at home to help protect their Dad who is high risk.
Murron has had the biggest change of all of us. Before the lockdown she was just picking up part time hours in a pub and getting the occasional singing gig. Of course, this dried up completely when the first lockdown hit. She was bringing in the bare minimum from furlough. She spent her life in her garage den, facetiming friends and really wasn’t in the best of places mentally. Then when things opened up again, she was able to see friends and she started picking up some bar work again. During this time she met the man of her dreams and when it became clear that the country may be heading into another lockdown period, they both made the decision to move in together. Murron has finally got her shit together. As she no longer lives at home she has been able to sort out benefits. She is getting help with getting out to work. She has knocked her partners house into shape and she has become a second Mum to his two small kids who he shares custody with. She has taken to this task like a duck to water!! She was completely moved out by the end of September and she has been happier than I have seen her in a long time. It would seem that her partner is also happy as he proposed to her last week!
Since March, the house has seen some major changes. We’ve got into a new routine with the washing and ironing. I don’t even need an ironing basket anymore because we are THAT on top of it all!! The house has seen some major clearouts. During the first lockdown we ordered a huge skip and took the chance to have a good clear out both inside and out. Rooms were worked on one by one. Cupboards were cleared out. Wardrobes were re-organised. Anything that was being hoarded was given away, recycled or binned. With Murron now gone and Ian set to be working from home permanently, the decision was made to make Murron’s old bedroom into an office, which meant that I got my bedroom back again. The garage has also been gutted. I seriously don’t think there is anything else I can now re-organise or de-clutter! Oh yes, we FINALLY got our new sofa suite. We ordered it after the first lockdown but delivery got caught up in the second wave of lockdowns in various areas of the UK.
I’m currently on my annual 2 weeks off to prepare for Xmas, although I had most of it done before I even got to annual leave, so I’m just enjoying relaxing and doing whatever I want. I watch as many movies as I want, I play on the computer as much as I want and I’m drinking way too much! The only thing I couldn’t do this year was decorate my Mum’s and my Aunty Karen’s Xmas trees. It’s become a bit of a tradition that they both fight to be the first to book me every year. They still managed though, and their trees look just as good! My Xmas decs went up before the end of November. I just thought, sod it!! It’s been such a naff year, why not?
I haven’t been able to get the big tree up in the hallway for a few years because we had a large wardrobe and chest of drawers in there as overflow for Murron. Now that she has moved out and I have my hallway back, I decided to treat myself and got a few new pieces to add to the tree. Last year I got a Baymax ornament and Marjorie bought a Stitch ornament that I fell in love with, so I bought myself a Stitch one this year.
My friend Debbie got me an amazing Millennium Falcon for my birthday.
Then I just couldn’t resist getting a few more. I added The house and balloons from Up, Baby Yoda and Buzz Lightyear (who also talks!)
I also have some family pictures on one of the trees and decided to update Murron’s picture to include Jordan, her Fiance.
That’s it really. Our family as a whole have been pretty lucky. My cousin and his girlfriend got confirmed coronavirus a couple of months ago and had to be extremely careful as they live with my uncle who has COPD. Other than that, our family has remained pretty safe. Our music community of friends has not fared so well. A few losses have hit them and Murron hard.
One thing that I have REALLY missed this year is my movies. I have Seen a total of 7 movies in the cinema this year and 6 of them were before the end of February. Number 7 was Tenet, the ONLY big movie to see a release in cinemas this year. With film companies pushing back their new movies into next year, cinemas were hard hit to get any customers through their doors and then Cineworld decided to close their doors for the forseable future. It remains to be seen if we will ever see those doors open again. So, I have been making do with anything I can on streaming services or DVD/Bluray, but it’s not the same as seeing a film on the BIG screen and I seriously miss it.
So! The plan for the rest of the year.
Getting my hair cut tomorrow!! It’s not suffered as much this time around although I do have to take the hairdryer to it in the mornings. That’s when you know it’s gone too far. Normally I just wash and go because it’s so short.
I’m out for dinner this Thursday evening.
I don’t officially go back to work until the 16th although I am doing a Bank shift on the 11th. So lots more rest and relaxation to do which I am going to need because I’m going back to a horrific set of shifts which mean I will be working 70 hours in 7 days. Hey ho!
I’m actually working Xmas day and unusually, I’m working a long day. This means that I will start at 07:30 and finish as 20:00. So no Xmas day for me. Marji, Dharma and Ian are just going to chill for the day and make themselves some party foods.
We have decided to have our Xmas on Boxing Day. Murron and Jordan are coming over with his two little boys in the morning so we can open presents together and Mum and Dad are coming over for dinner in the afternoon.
I’m not working New Year’s Eve but I am working New Year’s Day. So I will see the New Year in and then go right to bed.
That’s it. Nothing exciting. We may have had the year from hell globally, but as a family, things have gone pretty well. I certainly wouldn’t have said that Murron would be engaged by the end of it.
Things are beginning to happen. Odds and ends that have been lingering are suddenly getting done.
The two new books I ordered earlier this year as an early birthday present from Michael Stokes’ latest kickstarter, arrived safe and sound this morning.
That brings me to 8 of his coffee table books and 4 of them have my name in!!
My Naked Soldier is a wonderful piece of work. These are not actually Michael Stokes photos but are in fact a collection of photos that Michael has collected over the years that depict soldiers of WWI and WWII in various states of undress and getting up to all kinds of fun and letting off steam.
Sinner or Saint is definitely Michael’s own work and he has outdone himself with some truly amazing and very naughty photos.
We had a phone call early this morning to tell us that our new sofa suite has finally arrived and that they had a delivery slot available tomorrow morning and do we want it?
ERM….. YES PLEASE!!
Unfortunately I’m at work tomorrow, so I will have to wait until I get home to see it and dress it how I want it, but thankfully I won’t be around for the upheaval of getting the old suite out and the new one in!!
This is a HUGE relief. We had been getting worried we would never see it and the thought of the company we had brought it from might go bust during the pandemic was beginning to worm it’s way into our heads. Thankfully, that is now one less thing to worry about.
Thursday and Friday are garage clearout days. Everything out on Thursday with a dump run of general rubbish at the end of the day and a bulk collection from the driveway on Friday. The only thing left to do in the house now is have a good clear out and organise the kitchen. I can’t remember the last time we were this organised.
Most of my Xmas shopping is done. I have just a couple of presents I want to get but I need to be able to actually go into a shop for a couple of them so it will have to wait until after the current lockdown.
The Xmas decs are starting to go up. I have a tree in my living room. Just a tree, no decs yet!! That will all change at the end of the week when I have managed to get the decs out of the garage. It’s very early this year but who cares!! It’s been a shit year and if we can cheer ourselves up by having Xmas cheer for a few weeks longer than normal then I think we owe it to ourselves to do it!!
I haven’t felt like blogging much lately. Life in general at the moment has kind of just stagnated. Unable to mingle and see people the way we want is not possible and going to the cinema has now completely stopped. We’ve only seen one film at the cinema since the first lockdown in March. No new movies in the cinema also means no new Bluray releases, so we now rely on what Virgin, Prime, Netflix and Disney have to offer, and although there have been a couple of movies released to streaming, it’s just not the same as going to see a blockbuster on the big screen.
At the beginning of the last lockdown, and to give me something else to think about, I started to attempt to grow some avocado seeds. I had one that flourished and a couple of weeks ago I potted it up. I think it likes it’s new home because is doing really well.
Back in September I blogged about a cactus I was trying to save. I had to take drastic action and chop off the roots and then leave it until the end calloused over which I thought would take a few months. It actually calloused over a lot quicker than expected and I recently took the next step to try and get it to root again.
It’s now being propped up in it’s new pot by a 2 litre coke bottle. It’s been there for a few weeks now and today I will give it it’s first small watering. I expect it to stay like this for at least a year to give it chance to develop some good firm roots. It’s all a waiting game but the cactus itself is still looking really healthy.
In the meantime, I got some new cacti. I have a tendency to kill leafy flowery plants and I do better with cacti and I really like them so I couldn’t resist these when I saw them a few weeks ago. I’ve given them all new matching pots and dressed them with gravel and they look really effective on my window sill.
I also thought I’d have a crack at some lemon seeds and it would appear that I’m on a roll!! They have all sprouted!
With the second lockdown now fully in swing, we won’t be seeing Murron again until December. She now lives half an hour away and she’s classed as a different household and is in a different bubble because of her partners need to share care of his kids with his ex. It’s a little strange not having her around. I can’t deny that some of the tension in the house has disappeared and the house is definitely a lot tidier but I do actually miss her.
My house has had a move around and a good tidy. Murron’s old room is now Ian’s office and man cave. He continues to work from home and this now looks set to become a permanent thing. I have my bedroom back!!! I’ve gutted and re-organised the wardrobes and moved the furniture around. I can actually breath again and I’m not faced with all of Ian’s computer screens, desk, chair and gaming rubbish.
We have slowly made our way around the whole house and had a good clear out of accumulated rubbish. It’s astounding what can get thrown to the back of a cupboard and forgotten about. The only thing left to do inside the house now is get our new sofas. We bought them at the end of July and with Covid restrictions in the area in South Wales where it is being made and then here in England, the 8-10 week original delivery time is now indefinite. It’s now becoming a bit of a worry. With the amount of businesses collapsing during this pandemic, we stand to lose a lot of money if this company folds. I try not to think about it but it’s not easy.
The only thing left to sort out now is the garage. Murron left behind her old den sofas and there’s a few old electricals like washing machine and tumble drier that have got to be cleared out. It is currently rammed full of rubbish. We’ve organised a bulk waste collection for the big items a little later this month. The rest is all being bagged up and we will have to make an appointment to get it to the local dump. Once it’s all gone, we can organise the space a bit more. Ian plans to use it as a gaming space when the weather is better. I just want to organise it so I can get to things like tools and Xmas decs.
So, as you can see, nothing really exciting is happening. We are all plodding along and carrying on as best we can. Xmas is just around the corner and I’ve even just about got all that sorted already. Life is just a little monotonous at the moment, but when you step out of the house at 7 in the morning to go to work and see this, life is actually not too bad!
Oh Yeah! How could I forget. Probably the best thing to happen this year.
GOODBYE DONALD TRUMP!!!
Of course, he’s not going without a fight and my year would be made complete by seeing him being dragged out of the Whitehouse by force!
Yesterday was a lovely day but didn’t end quite as planned.
Ian dropped Dharma at work and she was on a 09:30 to 19:00 shift. I spent the morning doing some cleaning and the we dropped Marjorie at work for a 14:00 to 23:00 shift before heading over to Murron’s place for dinner.
I never thought I’d be saying that. Murron’s place. The change in her over the last few months has been astonishing. She has slipped into her new life like a perfectly fitting glove. She has even taken on a parenting role as Jordan, her partner, has two small boys of 2 and 4 year that he shares responsibility for with his ex.
Seeing her with these kids was another level of unexpected. She’s so good with them! They even listen to her when she disciplines them which is something I could NEVER get Murron to do in 23 years!!
She cooked us a lovely roast dinner which was cooked to perfection and I even asked her how she did her roast potatoes because they were heaven!
Anyway, we left Murron’s at around 19:00 because I needed to get home because I was ‘supposed’ to be working today.
Yep, there’s that word. Supposed. Before you think it, I didn’t come down with food poisoning after Murron’s dinner!
When we got home, Dharma informed us that she had been brewing a bit of a sore throat and a niggly tickly cough all day. She had done a symptom checker and it informed her that she, and anyone she lives with, should self isolate and she should get a COVID test.
Great. She booked a drive through test for this morning, which I will be taking her to in about half an hour. We then made a phone call to Marjorie at work and got her sent home. I made a phone call to work to inform them of the situation which means I won’t be back until Dharma’s test result is back. Hopefully is won’t take long. It won’t affect Ian as he works from home now anyway.
The worrying thing for us now is the fact that Dharma has had close contact with Nan and Grandad over the last 48 hours and Grandad even picked her up from work yesterday. So we’ve told them to stay at home until Dharma’s results are back. Hopefully it will come back negative and she is simply brewing a bit of a cold.
We all know that 2020 has been an absolute shit show of a year.
With all that’s happened, I actually consider my circumstances to be pretty good. As a nurse I have seen, first hand, the effect this pandemic has had but thankfully, I am a Paediatric nurse, and apart from being seasonally busy and having to make some changes to work practice, Paediatrics has not really been effected and I have managed to keep my sanity and my job over the last few months.
My husband has settled into working from home and it has actually benefitted him health wise. With the lack of travelling making his days a lot less strenuous, he is not taking as much medication as he was prior to the pandemic and he is actually producing more work. His company have seen the benefits and working from home may become a permanent thing.
My two youngest kids have got through furlough with their jobs still in tact and have both just started back at University.
My eldest has actually made a life changing move. She managed to find the love of her life during lockdown and has now moved out. I’ve never seen her so happy!
So why the blog?
Anyone who knows me, knows I love my movies. They are my way of relaxing and getting my head out of the real world for a while. So, as you can imaging, the last 6 months have been tough with the lack of new movies making it to the big screen.
There were plans for a few big movies before Xmas but after the new James Bond Movie got put back for a second time earlier this week, Cineworld announced a temporary closure of all it’s branches for the forseable future. They simply cannot afford to run them when furlough ends and there are no new movies pulling in the customers.
OK, I can live with a temporary closure, however, I doubt they will reopen every single outlet. This would be the time that they weed out the older screens requiring upgrades and refurbs and unfortunately I think my local Cineworld falls into that category.
Only time will tell on that one.
Jamed Bond was one big movie that we were looking forward to before Xmas but there was another movie that I was looking forward to more. Dune!!
It looks like Dune may have had its release date pushed back from Dec 18th this year to October 1st next year!! I could cry, I really could! The only new film I’ve seen in the cinema since March is Tenet.
IT’S NOT ENOUGH!!!
I was really looking forward to this film and I’ve already waited long enough for it. The thought of waiting a whole year is devastating.
I’ve just checked the IMDB site and it is now confirmed. I’ve just re-set the milestone clock to the left of my blog and it has gone from a 74 day count down back to a 12 month wait!!
Today I performed lifesaving surgery on a cactus!! (Hopefully)
Many moons ago, when my girls were just little, we bought a cute little potted cactus.
It flourished, and grew….
The little picture gives you an idea of it’s original size and as you can see, he’s done really well.
Unfortunately, I’m not an expert in cactus care and it looks like I made one of the number one mistakes when I recently re-potted into the pot you can see in this picture.
After a few weeks of being in it’s new home, I discovered it like this.
I thought it was just trying to re-adjust and persevered by propping it up straight which in hindsight was probably the biggest mistake I made.
It turns out, the pot was WAY too big and it was also being watered too regularly. This has caused root rot, even though the plant itself looks lovely and healthy!!
Today, I watched a few Youtube videos on saving a cactus with root rot and they all said the same thing. Cut it away and start again.
So, I got my sharpest knife, cut away the roots and the rotted areas and now my cactus looks like this.
You can see how long I waited to do this, because the tip of the cactus has started to bend up towards the sun!
Anyway, I am to put this on a warm sunny window and leave it until the end has calloused over, which could take a few months! It needs to be turned occasionally to keep it nice and straight, so I may be able to fix the bend while I wait for this to happen.
Only time will tell now. It will hopefully be ready for potting in the spring. So, I’ve either finished it off completely today, or I’ve given it a new lease of life.
Before I do anything else today, I had to write a quick blog about the news I have woken up to.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a US Supreme Court Judge died peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by her family, after another battle with cancer.
The world has lost an incredible woman. She fought tirelessly for the rights of women and ultimately for all people. She never gave up!
If you want to watch a good film today and find out how this incredible woman started her amazing career, then watch ‘On the Basis of Sex’
It’s a sad day for equality laws. Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the President. The worry now is that Trump will replace Ruth with a Conservative-leaning Justice which will cement the Court’s tilt to the right!! This could have a disastrous effect on equality laws for years to come! Some laws could even be back tracked.
As if America didn’t have enough to worry about right now!!