Hello 2022

Its been a very long time since I posted on here, in fact it’s actually been well over a year since my last post! Time to put that right and start blogging again on a regular basis.

Since that last post not very much has happened really other than us navigating our way through this seemingly never ending pandemic. I was furloughed again at the beginning of 2021, once again it wasn’t what I wanted but I understand why it happened. I went back to work around the beginning of May and since then my working week has been a mix of in the office and at home. I’m really enjoying this and it’s great that my employers are being so flexible in allowing it. Thankfully as restrictions were lifted last year we were able to get out more and spend time with out family and friends which was wonderful and certainly lifted our spirits. Unfortunately our trip to Florida never happened, the borders didn’t open until after our departure date but we had actually called time on the trip way before that as we just didn’t feel safe travelling all that way. We are now rebooked for October/November this year, we are in a different villa as the one we had reserved wasn’t available for the dates we wanted (that’s now been moved to June 2023) and we are so looking forward to it, we can’t wait to get back to the magic! Anyway I’ll share more about this years trip in a separate post once there is a bit more to tell you.

Instead of Florida we had a UK mini break, we took ourselves off to Oxford for a few days which was so good. We visited Blenheim Palace, Oxford, Bicester Village and a little wildlife park called Crocodiles of the World. We had a wonderful time and mentally it actually did us good to get away, relax and ‘be normal’ for then first time in a very long while. Below are a few of the photos I took.

Thankfully the Omicron Covid wave didn’t cause us too many issues although it did mean my work party was cancelled and I ended up working from home full time for the majority of December which wasn’t too much of a bad thing. In fact we stayed home as much as we possibly could so we could keep ourselves as safe as possible as we were desperate to be able to spend Christmas with our families. We did Lateral Flow Tests on a regular basis which were all negative and finally meant that we could have a normal and very happy Christmas unlike last year. That was the best present ever!!

So here we are, it’s now 2022 and so far this year I have mostly worked from home. There has been an announcement today that the current restrictions are coming to an end which means I’ll soon be back in the office. I really don’t mind this as I do enjoy the routine and social interaction. I really do hope that this is the year when we will see the back of Covid (as much as we ever will) and that life will get back to ‘normal’. 

If your someone that’s been here before, or if your a new reader and you’ve made it to the end of this post then thank you! Please leave me a comment to let me know you’ve popped by and if you have your own blog then leave me a link so I can visit yours.

I will be back very soon with another post!

Jane xx

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August 2020 - An Update

 Well its now been a full six months since my last post, a post that was full of hope that the worst couple of months of 2020 were over and that the good times were yet to come, wasn't I the optimistic one! Fast forward to now and those six months feel like a blur, so much has happened that I am not really sure where to begin talking about it all. Who knew back then that the world as we know it would change so drastically due to COVID-19/Corona virus. I remember seeing stuff on the news about it and talking to my colleagues at work but I don't think anyone expected what followed to actually happen. I honestly never expected to see a day when every Disney theme park in the world was closed down, when major cities around the world would be like ghost towns and when we were only allowed out of our homes for an hour a day, also lets not forget the great panic buying of loo roll, hand soap and pasta! For the first time in my lifetime (or that I remember) travels bans were in place, flights were cancelled and the skies were almost clear of planes. When Lockdown first happened I still naively thought that it would be over in a few weeks, I certainly didn't expect that all this time on we would still be dealing with it and that so many people would have lost their lives, jobs, businesses etc to a virus. Sometimes it still doesn't feel real and I think its just been a bad dream that I am going to wake up from but in reality I know that's not going to happen.

When Boris Johnson put the UK into Lockdown I was furloughed by my company, when I first got that notification I was actually petrified as I had never in my life heard of it before nor did I have a clue what it meant. Thankfully I soon realized it was the governments way of helping my employer save my job and I relaxed a bit, although as much as I enjoyed being at home I would have much rather been living life normally by being at work. Tom continued to work his regular shift pattern throughout the whole time though, his role was classed as essential and thankfully as a night worker and someone who drives to work he was pretty much safe and was able to keep socially distanced from others. For me lockdown and furlough had its good and bad points, for a while I enjoyed being at home and I used the time to do some long overdue jobs along with lots of housework & sorting out. My new weekly routine involved menu planning and ticking things off my things to do list, I also found a new fascination in watching the buses pass our flat and counting the number of people on them!! However as the weeks turned into months I had moments of dread and despair, when would this end and will we ever return to what we know as normal? On the whole those moments were short lived and infrequent but my mental health definitely took a bit of a battering.

Lockdown gave us a whole new normal, we were told to wash our hands for 20 seconds at a time and to use hand sanitizer wherever possible as well. Going to the supermarket became a one person per household job and we had to queue to get in and then keep 2 meters apart from others as much as possible. We were allowed out of our homes for an hour a day to exercise and get some fresh air, public transport was off limits (some tube stations were even closed) and was meant for essential and key workers only. On a daily basis we watched the government updates on TV, watching and listening in horror at the sheer numbers of people who were contracting the virus and dying of it and at 8pm on a Thursday we all stood on our doorsteps and clapped for the NHS.

For the first few months every day/week merged into one as we stayed at home watching a lot of YouTube and Netflix, binging on shows like Line of Duty, Tiger King and Stranger Things. Like everyone else lots of our plans for 2020 were curtailed, we celebrated Toms birthday at home just the two of us (basically due to it being very early lockdown days we couldn't do anything else). Easter and the May Bank holidays came and went and it was at these times that we realized just how much we missed seeing our families. We had been keeping in contact with them via regular phone and video calls but it wasn't the same as being able to go and see them whenever we wanted. When restrictions started to lift we were absolutely delighted that we could finally go and see my parents and Toms sister even though it still meant keeping a distance and sitting in the garden. Our holiday to Spain was cancelled and is now on hold until its safe for us to go there again although who knows when that will be - we are certainly in no rush to be heading abroad right now, if at all this year. We had plans to go to Florida in May 2021 but we decided that was just a little bit too soon so we opted instead for Nov 21 and have now put a reservation down on a villa. At this point we are holding out a lot of hope that by then the world will be a much healthier and more normal place however we are under no illusions that this may not be the case and if things need to be cancelled or put back again then they will be.

I am finally back at work and in my office so to a certain extent reality has returned although life is still far from what we used to consider normal. Social distancing is still a thing as are face masks when in shops and on public transport. To be honest we are still pretty much staying at home and other then work, the supermarket and seeing our immediate family we don't go anywhere. We are just not yet ready to go to a pub, out for a meal or to hit the shopping malls. It was my birthday a few weeks back and we celebrated that with a day at the seaside on our own and although we enjoyed it we were a little uncomfortable and didn't feel relaxed due to the amount of people and lack of social distancing. In fact we actually changed our plans to eat out and instead we came home early with a take away.

2020 held so much promise and no-one could have ever imagined how it would turn out, its truly been the stuff of a Hollywood film. Covid is still here and hasn't gone away although the numbers of daily deaths in the UK an around the world have decreased there are still many new cases being reported. Hopefully the much debated second wave/spike wont happen but if it does then we will just have to do what is needed to stay safe. As it is lockdown restrictions have been re-applied to certain areas where numbers have spiked and quarantine restrictions have been put into place for people travelling abroad. We are hoping and praying that some kind of vaccine is found soon so that the world can begin to heal and recover and we can begin to rebuild our lives, communities and economies. 

This blog post along with my scrapbook and journals will serve as a reminder in years to come of just how fragile life can be and of how we all once took so very much for granted.

Thanks for reading.

Jane


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Feb 2020 - A Update

Hello again and welcome back to my blog, I hope that you are all well and that so far 2020 has been good to you.

So, we are now almost at the end February and the worst months of the year are nearly behind us. For us January wasn't too terrible this year, I was a little poorly for some of it but it was nothing that some self care and antibiotics couldn't cure. Otherwise we had just had a lot of quiet and chilled out time at home. Tom has started back on the overtime again which has meant days at home alone for me but I have been putting these to good use by having a good clear out and tidy up of the flat. We now have a few bags and boxes of stuff that are no longer of any use to us, usually we would do a charity shop run with it but we are actually considering doing a boot sale this time to see if we can raise a little cash to put towards our next trip fund. Now we haven't done a boot sale for many, many years so we will need to do our research if we do decide to do one. If you have any top tips for doing boot sales please leave me a message in the comments below, are there are must do's or don'ts??

So far this year I have been making good use of my planner by writing lists each week of things that I want to do and ticking them off as I go along. So far so good - I am on top of the housework and chores etc which is always a good thing. I have also been weekly menu planning for us and so far we have pretty much managed to stick to it. I don't know about you but I definitely find that it makes life less stressful if I know what I am cooking each night rather than getting home from work and having to rummage around the cupboards and fridge/freezer for ingredients to make dinner. In the coming weeks

Another thing I have been spending some time on is my craft room. I am going through all my stuff with a fine tooth comb and getting rid of anything that I no longer use or need. Some has gone straight in the bin as its utter rubbish that wont ever get used but some things are being put to one side to try and sell. I have also rearranged my room a little and have moved the desk. I need to give it some time to see how it works for me but I really like it this way as it gives me more room to work plus by having the desk this way the lighting is much better. All I need to do now is convince Tom to decorate the room for me (and yes that is something I have been saying for a very long time!). Last weekend I attended my first crop in ages and finally managed to complete a few more layouts for the Florida 2018 album, its almost done now which I am really pleased about as that means I can now start to think about the 2019 one! Below are pictures of a couple of layouts I completed, they are quite simple but that's my style and I really like how they have turned out. For the Purple Wall page I used my Cricut to cut the brickwall background and then I used some water colour pens and colour sprays to create the splatters.
The inspiration for the layout below came from my friend Jules who I was at the crop with. I used papers from the Cocoa Vanilla studio Midnight collection which are just beautiful. This page was the perfect way to use up all those odd bits of paper left over from other pages.
That's about all for now, I will be back with another post very soon.

Love and hugs,

Jane
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