LOCKDOWN IS EXPENSIVE!

I can’t stop spending!!

Thankfully, we cleared most of our finances at the start of the lockdown so it hasn’t been too much of a struggle.

We’ve been doing jobs that have needed doing for a long time like decorating the bathroom that required all new curtains, mats, towels and a floor to ceiling rack in the shower and a new clothes basket. I even re-potted the pot bound cactus!
The kitchen has seen a new microwave and kettle.

I treated myself to all new underwear.
I haven’t done this since Italy 3 years ago! It was all looking a bit tired and grey and wires were beginning to poke through.
While doing that I couldn’t resist some new linen trousers and tops for the summer!!

When I was on Twitter the other night, one of my favourite photographers was advertising a 20% discount on all books from his website.
I took a look and discovered that one of the books I bought at Xmas has now more than quadrupled in price!! I always new these books were a good investment.
So I have now added to my collection by another two! They will be arriving shortly.

We finally gave the garage a good sort out so that Murron has the den of her dreams. To be fair, she’s been living out there since the weather got better and today, an old college tutor offered her a sofa bed that virtually matches the two seater sofa she already has. They dropped it on the driveway this morning and Murron is now pottering around and organising the garage.
Now she wants my 32 inch TV that I use as a computer monitor and after what Marjorie has just done, she may get her wish.

Marjorie treated herself to a new 32 inch curved monitor.
This is an actual monitor and the resolution is much better for use with a computer. The monitor and picture is absolutely stunning!!
So today, I have decided to treat myself to one to replace my TV screen.
I’ve been saving onto a mad money card, so I can do it without impacting our normal budget.

Our normal budget is ridiculous at the moment too!!
I am down to once a week shops so I go a little overboard on stocking up to make sure everyone has something for the week, however, with 4 people in the house who can drink, coupled with the good weather and nothing else to do, our alcohol consumption has gone through the roof, along with our budget.

Thankfully, I think I am a place where I am now happy.
I have comfy clothes.
I will have a beautiful new monitor, not that I need any more of an excuse to sit at my computer.
The house is looking tidy and sorted.
Even the back garden is nice to sit in at the moment.

The only downside to all this is the rather large pile of rubbish that needs to go to the tip when it re-opens. Thankfully, this pile is stashed quite nicely at the bottom of the garden and is not too distracting when sat in the garden soaking up the sun.

Now I just need to STOP spending!!

LONG, HARD, LOOK

Life is a bit of a shitstorm at the moment, with the Coronavirus in full swing, lockdowns in place, and morons like Donald F###ing Trump threatening word war three at every turn.

I mean, in the last 24 hours, and on top of all the other bollocks he’s been tweeting, Trump actually tweeted “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea”.

Do gunboats actually fly now?……

That’s really helpful. Thanks Don!!

Anyway, life itself is slapping me in the face at the moment.
Nature is cruel.
I say nature, because there is no God.
If there was a God, there would be no war and suffering and there wouldn’t be any viruses threatening humanity.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand people have their own beliefs, and if those beliefs bring them comfort and a way of dealing with their lives, then who am I to argue. I’m just saying, that personally, I thinks it’s all bollocks and we are on our own.

Women in particular should be sticking their two fingers up at any notion of God. What have they ever done for us?
At puberty we are given our monthly cycle. Something which is uncomfortable and embarassing at best, and excruciatingly painful at worst, and something to ‘endure’ every month of our fertile lives.
To procreate, we are expected to give birth to something the size of a melon, through a hole the size of an apple, and that’s AFTER morning sickness and cravings and weight gain during the pregnancy in the first place.

Then, after we have endured all that, we have menopause.
Now here is where this post becomes relevant.

Over the last year I have been noticing slight symptoms of menopause.
Nothing much. Hot flushes and irregular cycles. I could live with that.
However, things have ramped up a bit.

I have been saying for months that I need to loose weight and get a bit fitter.
Well, time is now most definitely NOT on my side.
It would appear that I am going through ‘the change’.
For the last year that has meant irregular cycles and hot flushes. Things I could deal with.
But my body has decided… NOPE!!
With everything else that is going on at the moment, I’m going to make you feel like SHIT!!
I’m going to give you night sweats and difficulty sleeping, I’m going to give you palpitations, headaches, stiff joints and low mood.

Thank you nature for picking the most inopportune moment to throw this at me.

I have found over the last month, during this lockdown period, I am not getting my usual exercise. My sleep pattern is atrocious and I am constantly feeling tired and rubbish.
I have good day and bad days.
The day before yesterday I was feeling crap!
Yesterday was actually a pretty good day.
Today I just feel…Meh!

Over the last month, during this lockdown, my weight has spiralled out of control.
I’m not getting my usual exercise.
On my days off I am stuffing my face with crap and booze.

I need to set a date to get back on track.
I think I also need to go and talk to my GP when they open their doors again.

Right!
Monday 27th April.
That’s my date.
It gives me a few days to get things out of my system and then I have to think about the next year.
I need to concentrate on my diet and exercise.
If I don’t lose this weight now, I never will.

How’s your lockdown going?

CATCH UP

So how is everyone doing during this unprecedented period in history.
How is your lockdown going?

Personally, my lockdown is going OK.
As a Paediatric Nurse, I still go to work, however, there have been BIG changes to the ‘norm’.
The feeling on a day to day basis is ‘ominous’ rather than scary and I really feel for my colleagues who work on the adult side.

My family have ‘so far’ been relatively unaffected.
My parents live just around the corner and apart from dropping something on their doorstep and then stepping to the end of the garden for a quick chat with Mum at the door, I haven’t had any contact with them for over three weeks now.

The extended family appear OK, I keep up with what’s happening over Facebook and Whatsapp.

I had a brilliant evening on Sunday as me and two of my girls joined my Brother, his wife and their kids, my Dad, and few of my Brother’s friends, for an online pub quiz via Zoom that my Brother had arranged.
It turned out to be a good laugh and we won! which was a bonus.

I have been doing a weekly, rather than every other day, shop at the local superstore and we are lucky enough to have a mini market and butcher right over the road, so basics like milk, bread and eggs are readily available when we run out, unfortunately they are also licensed and the household alcohol consumption has gone through the roof!!

The kids continue with their evening walks for exercise and I really need to think about ramping up my own exercise as I am not up to my usual level of mobility. Sitting at home on days off, drinking and snacking, has seen my weight creeping up rather quickly and Ian has literally spent three weeks locked in our bedroom and only comes down for food.

Anyway, we haven’t got away from the Coronavirus completely unscathed.
There have been several losses from the local music community, one of which hit home pretty hard as my daughter lost one of her band mates last week. He was a much loved and highly respected member of the local music community and is going to leave a very large hole in the music scene when it gets back together after the lockdown.

One good thing on my days off, is that I now have the perfect excuse to binge my movies!!
I have been keeping a record of what I watch for a few years, particularly cinema trips, so that we make the most of our Cineworld cards, but last year got completely forgotten about as I came to the end of my University course and getting registered and starting my new job as a Nurse Associate. There just wasn’t time to think about films.

So in January, I decided to start fresh. I did not consider the lockdown that was to come, and although going to the cinema is only a dream at the moment, it has meant that I get to binge to my hearts content at home.
I’ve just done a bit of a tally and, considering we are only 106 days into the year, I have watched 131 movies!!

With the world shut down at the moment, and all movie filming and releases put on hold, I am getting no news or updates about any projects I’m interested in or indeed my favourite actors.

One actor in particular has done exactly what I expected him to do.
Adam Driver, is a fiercely private man at the best of times. Let’s face it, keeping the fact that you became a Daddy secret for two whole years is pretty good going!
After filming for ‘The Last Duel’ was put on Hiatus because of the Coronavirus, there has been no news about Adam. Nothing. Not even a notification to say he’d even made it home safely.
Anyway, I have no doubt he has locked himself away with his wife and son and their dog, Moose, and is enjoying his family before everything goes back to normal.

Until last night, things had been pretty dull when it came to anything to do with future movie releases and then BAM! we get a whole slew of new images from the new production of ‘Dune’, due for release in December.

Now Timothee Chalamet is playing Paul Atreides.
Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know that I have a soft spot for this young man and the first look at him as Paul is very promising.

BUT…..

The picture of Oscar Isaac who plays Paul’s father, Duke Leto, is something else!! Oh Daddy!

Now they’ve dangled these images at us, I hope they will be followed up by a first look trailer.
Then we only have to hope that this whole shit storm is over, and life is going back to normal by December so that it actually gets it’s release date on the 18th December.

Think I have just found a new countdown to add to my blog page.

Right, Keep that social distancing going. Stay safe. XX

UNBELIEVABLE

I don’t know why I do it to myself!!!
It started as a laugh.
I followed Donald Trump on Twitter quite a while ago.
The drivel that spouts out of that orange Twat’s mouth is, during normal times, absolutely hysterical, however, we are not in normal times and his drivel and self superiority are becoming increasing dangerous.

He currently tweets on a daily basis….

“White House news conference today at 5:00 P.M. Eastern. Thank you!”

Like he thinks people are going to forget!!

He tweets like a petulant 6 year old.
He attacks anyone who disagrees with him in any way, shape or form.
He boasts about things he’s done and drivels on about ‘his’ popularity and ratings. Most of which is absolute BULLSHIT!

His daily Coronavirus news conferences have started to show his true colours.
He attacks any reporter who dares to ask a question he doesn’t like and regularly uses terms like ‘lamestream’ or ‘fake news’.
So much for ‘freedom of speech’

It is quite clear that this man is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.
Considering the current death toll in the US, particularly New York who are having to dig mass graves, he is seriously thinking about lifting lockdown precautions because apparently, they’ve got Coronavirus on the the run.

Can you believe he is actually thinking of sending all the Kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school kids back to school on 11th May!
He won’t be sending college students back until Sept though.
No, because college students can look after themselves at home and he needs the parents of all the other kids to go back to work for the economy!!

Sending all those kids back into a melting pot of the virus to take it all back home to those same parents and carers and then the virus will explode again and be even more devastating the second time around.

Watching him drivel on at these daily news conferences is painful!
He hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about. He has all his experts around him but rarely gives them chance to speak. They are even seen to be wincing at statements he makes.

Yesterday he stooped to a new low and actually showed a ‘sizzle’ reel of what he says he’s done and achieved since Coronavirus reared it’s ugly head in China. It was designed to do nothing but boost his ego and one reporter in particular noted that it completely skipped over anything that was done during February and she absolutely roasted him.

The fact is that during February, he did nothing but play golf, hold rallies and Tweet drivel has not gone unnoticed and hopefully, Americans who voted him into office are finally seeing the error they have made. I just hope that thousands of Americans don’t end up losing their lives because of idiotic decisions made by this total imbecile.

BOREDOM

So, after being sent home from work on Saturday, I’ve been resting,…. kinda.
I spent Saturday and Sunday watching movies. I won’t deny that I was tempted into the garden a little bit on Sunday and tidied up the Budlea and Dharma helped me cut the grass.

Today, my swollen eye is not swollen, although the right side of my face still feels quite heavy. My earache is just that, a mild ache. It’s never got any worse than that. I haven’t felt unwell and I haven’t had a single temperature. So, unless things change, it’s back to work on Wednesday.

The boredom actually kicked in today.
I made a rainbow!!

I’ve also done washing, made dinner and I even helped Murron make a chocolate cheesecake!

The house has been organised and happy!
There’s something to be said for this lockdown. Never thought I’d see my kids cooperating and having fun together like this.
Murron and Marjorie are currently chopping firewood for the firepit tonight. Dharma is just keeping herself to herself and face timing friends.

The only issue in the house now is Ian.
He’s been fighting a tooth infection and was on antibiotics as we went into lockdown. It now looks like the infection is back with a vengeance.
He called the dentist today to try and get an emergency appointment but there’s one small problem…..

The dentist doesn’t have any PPE!!
So he currently can’t do anything except put Ian back onto antibiotics.
Just need to hope that Ian doesn’t actually get unwell now and need to go to the hospital.

And how had your day been?

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.