Sunday, 31 October 2021

Weekly Blog - W/E 30th October

The week didn't get off to a great start after a bad day at work on Saturday. As a consequence, I decided to go into work on Sunday afternoon, to finish resolving the issues caused by the till not working properly. I soon regretted it when I got to the bus stop and realised I didn't have my Oyster card with me, so I had to buy another one and top it up to travel. 

I also realised I'd forgotten my house keys too, although this wasn't a big problem.  When the bus came it was very full, which wasn't great and I straight away wished I'd taken my bike, but cycling two days in a row was just too tiring.

When I finally got to work, I think I got everything as resolved as I possibly could in the circumstances. The till was back working, so the day went pretty smoothly. The shop seemed quite quiet on Sunday, compared to weekdays, so I did some different stockroom tasks for a change, as I was only there for a few hours.

I bought a few bits that I'd put aside when I left today, including some new boots for everyday wear for work, a nightdress (new), a plant pot and a book for OH for Xmas. 

When I left work, I headed for the underground to go and meet up with LB and OH at a cinema near Canary Wharf, as we were going to go and watch the new James Bond film. The film was enjoyable, but long. I won't give any spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen it yet. It was nice to go out and do something we hadn't done in over 18 months, but I was equally glad to eventually get home and get to bed after a long day.

On Monday, it was good to have a day off. I didn't manage to get booked into my usual Zumba class, as it was full and I'd left it too late. Instead, I walked the dog and then headed off to do the weekly shop at Lidl. The few things I couldn't get there, I got from a nearby Sainsbury's this week.

When I got home, I spent a couple of hours catching up with the ironing. I didn't manage to do it all, but focused mainly on clothes that I needed for work, so that I at least have a choice of outfits once again.

In the evening, I had a shower in readiness for returning to work the next day and then OH and I watched some TV for an hour or two.

Tuesday, I was back at work at 10am instead of my usual 12 noon, to cover the Manager's absence. There were still unresolved problems with the till, but it was working for the most part. I managed to get everything that I needed to do done, despite spending a fair amount of time when I got there, just tidying up the stockroom before starting work. 

I can't stand to work in a mess, it stops me concentrating on what I have to do, as I constantly get distracted and veer off to sort out something that catches my eye. If I get everything tidy before I begin, I can just focus and get my work done, whilst maintaining the tidiness as I go along. I'm quite a stickler for a tidy stockroom, mostly for Health and Safety reasons, but also because that's just how I like to roll.

At the end of the day, I made a couple of stupid errors that I couldn't rectify, but never mind. Sometimes I'm just rushing too much and don't pay enough attention to what I'm doing. I'm human after all.

Wednesday was another day off. I was feeling quite tired, so after walking the dog, I did a bit of laundry and caught up on a few YouTube videos whilst having some lunch. I ended up having a nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon. It felt very indulgent, but was necessary. I think the extra hours I'd worked and all the stress at work had taken their toll on me.

In the evening, we watched a couple of episodes of University Challenge together as a family, which is always fun.

On Thursday, I wasn't due into work until 2pm, so I took my time getting showered and ready in the morning and then took the dog out without having to rush as much as usual. In the end, I set off early though and got there for about 1ish. Today was bitty. The donation cages were virtually empty, so I was able to do I  a bit of this and a bit of that all afternoon. I don't mind this so much, as I get to do things that I don't always have the time for, which makes my work more varied and enjoyable.

It was a busy day in the shop, which was good.  Central London seems to be bustling at the moment, even busier than before the first Lockdown. There are people everywhere, the pavements are full of people going about their business. It's nice to see, but also a bit overwhelming if I'm honest, after the post-Lockdown quiet streets.

When I got home later, I decided to open a bottle of wine and have a glass or two. Just one more day to work this week and it's my Sunday/Monday weekend. I'm definitely looking forward to it this week.

Friday was payday, so I spent some of the morning doing some financial calculations and reconciliations. In the afternoon, I felt like getting out of the house, so I paid a visit to our local Poundland. I'd not been for a few weeks. I bought another pair of black leggings, some food and a couple of other bits and pieces, including some Xmas gifts (chocolate).

I then headed across the way to our local TK Maxx. Despite having ordered some things online last week, I fancied a wander around the shop. I ended up buying two new mugs for me for my morning cup of tea, some Xmas gifts for OH (coffee and coffee beans) and the dog (treats).

Finally, I dropped into ASDA for a few bits of food top up shopping. I also needed some gin, so bought as big a bottle as I could of the basic Asda gin, to last me as long as possible. I also bought a couple of bottles of other spirits for OH and LB as Christmas gifts. So I made a start to the Christmas shopping at least.

When I got home, I bought another gift for OH on eBay. His main gift is going to be some new cycling shoes, which will be very expensive, but it will be a combined Birthday/Xmas gift, as I didn't get him much for his birthday this year. He needs to go to the cycle shop and try them on though and choose a pair, so I'm reliant on him to do that. I probably won't buy him much more now, than the bits I've already bought.

LB is a whole other subject. I think she'll probably want money more than anything this year. We've reduced the number of people we're buying for this year, so I don't have as much Xmas shopping to do, which is good.

Saturday, I was back at work again. I got there at 9.20am, so that I had time to vacuum the shop and stockroom before we open at 10am. I probably won't get another chance to do this until after Xmas now, as I don't start early enough to do it when there's no customers in the shop. I may try to do it once a week after the shop closes, as those dust bunnies grow so quickly.

Anyway, the day was steady. Not as busy as I would like, but pretty uneventful and I managed to get a lot of work done. I went in on the bus today, as it was raining when I set off.  The journey in wasn't so bad, as the bus wasn't that busy, but coming home I had to let 3 or 4 buses go past before one came that had any empty seats. I still really don't like being crammed on public transport when there's so much Covid still around.

Saturday night I just crashed on the sofa.  OH and I watched the last couple of episodes of a documentary series about New Labour, which we've been enjoying.  I've got two days off from tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it, it's been a tough week workwise.

I hope you've had a good week.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Weekly Blog - W/E 23rd October 2021

Back in London after our holiday in Whitby, it was back to normal for me this week. The week started with OH calling to say he'd crashed his bike on his Sunday ride. He was okay, but had to make his way back home on the train, as there was a mechanical problem with his bike. 

I went out on a dog walk, only to find there had been a violent attack on someone 200 metres from our house. Police had cordoned off the road and a forensic tent was set up. I heard later that it hadn't been fatal, which is good, but not a nice thing for the victim nor to come back to after being on holiday.

Anyway, the rest of Sunday was uneventful thank goodness. I spent most of the day catching up on financial stuff after our holiday, reconciling receipts, writing a grocery shopping list, etc. Other than that, it was a pretty chilled day. I ordered a few bits on eBay, that I'd put off ordering, as I didn't want them to arrive whilst we were away. I also placed a Cherryz and a TK Maxx order of a few things mostly for the house.

Monday, was a bit busier. I was due at the gym at 10am for my Zumba class. My teacher's father had just died, which was very sad. She's had a lot of difficulties in the last couple of years and this just added to them. However, she soldiered on and took the class inspite of this, which was good as always.

After leaving the gym, I headed off to do the weekly grocery shop. We needed a lot this week, as we'd used everything up when we went away, or took what was left with us, so the fridge was virtually empty.  In addition, the toaster had given up the ghost the day before we went on holiday. It started fusing all the electrics in the house, so I needed to buy another one.

I started off at Home Bargains as I needed a few toiletries that I knew I could get from there. I bought mostly food, but a few other things got thrown in, as they always do when shopping there. When I came away, the traffic was terrible and I couldn't get to Lidl to do my grocery shop, so I had to stop off at a very large Tesco store and do it there, in the hope that the traffic would have eased by the time it was done.

I managed to find a toaster in there that I liked. When looking online, I hadn't found any I liked. They all seem to be over designed these days with all sorts of knobs, retro styling and decorative touches that aren't to my taste. The one I eventually bought was very simple, both in looks and workings, which suited me just fine. I did have to opt for the 4 slice though, as they didn't have the 2 slice in stock, so it takes up a bit more room on the kitchen counter.

By the time I got home from doing the shopping, it was past 3pm. I caught up on a bit of YouTube watching and then headed out to walk the dog. In the evening, after supper, I had a shower and participated in some self-care (eyebrows!) in readiness for returning to work the next day.

On Tuesday I had to go back to work. It felt strange getting back on my bike after a week of not riding it. When I got to work, I found out that our Manager was going on leave at the end of the week, which I wasn't expecting. I got stuck in and by the end of the day, I felt like I'd not really had a holiday at all, which is usual for me on returning to work.

On Wednesday, I was quite tired after cycling to work the previous day, so I didn't really do much for most of the day. I had to go up to the optician's to pick up my new glasses as they were ready, but afterwards I just chilled at home, sorted a bit of laundry, did a bit of washing up and binged on Netflix in the afternoon.

On Thursday, I was feeling a bit more rested and headed back to work. It was a strange day with a lot of distractions. I just about managed to get most of the things done that I needed to, but it wasn't easy to do so. I borrowed OH's Garmin today and used it to track my ride to work for the first time ever. It was 10.25 km or 6.2 miles each way, which was about what I thought, but it was interesting to measure it and see the speed I was riding at. It kept me amused on the ride either way in any case.

In the evening, OH and I started watching a new series on Catchup called Paris Police 1900. It's a historical police drama, set in Paris at the turn of the 20th Century. It's a bit gruesome, but it was very watchable. 

On Friday, I read in bed for a while and then got up and took the dog for a walk. When I got back my TK Maxx order had arrived. I'd ordered a couple of candles for the autumn/winter season, a small rug for the living room, a new sheet for our bed, some pillowcases, a new salad spinner and oven dish, a gift for OH for Xmas and a Hylauronic Acid serum for me. I'd made sure to spend enough to qualify for free postage, but everything I bought was needed, either to replace something worn out or because we'd run out of it.

My Cherryz order had also arrived the day before, but I'd been too tired to open it when I got in from work, so I opened that too and put everything away.

In the afternoon, I decided to retire to my sewing room and try to make a new apron for work. The ones I made during lockdown are getting a bit scruffy and are not a particularly flattering fit either. I'd bought a pattern probably six months ago, to make a 1940's style apron that is quite fitted, but hadn't touched it since, so I proceeded to cut out the pattern pieces and find a few fabrics from which to make it. 

I hadn't done any sewing for a while, so it was quite exciting to get stuck into a new project from scratch. I love the feeling of using up fabrics from my stash, as I still have so much fabric to find a use for.

Anyway, the pattern used way too much fabric, with a wrap around skirt at the back, which I just didn't need and straps over the shoulders that attached to the back skirt. In the end, I amended the pieces I'd cut out to make it halter necked, with a tie back. This used about a meter of fabric which was better.

It took five hours to finish, as there were no written instructions on piecing the garment together and it took a lot of time to work out the best way to adjust it and then sew it all together.  I did baste some bits before machine sewing them to make sure it would work, but the finished item was okay and a bit more flattering.  I might need to do a few more minor adjustments when I make the next one, but I think it will be quicker, as I will have more idea of what I'm doing. I made a little drawstring bag to carry it in too, as always, so it was ready to go. I took it to work on Saturday to give it a trial run. It held up okay.

Talking of Saturday, I had to be in earlier to cover the shop from 10am in the Manager's absence. Luckily, OH does a double dog walk on Saturdays, which made it easier. When I got to work, I ran the vacuum cleaner around the shop and captured all the dust bunnies. I can only do this if I get there before the customers start coming in.

Unfortunately, the day got off to a terrible start, as when we opened the till wasn't working and we had to figure out ways to keep taking payments without it. We muddled through and eventually, later in the day, it did work okay again, but it made it very difficult to reconcile the figures at the end of the day and I had to stay quite late to do what I could in this regard. Not a good end to the week and typically it happened as soon as the Shop Manager went on leave. I feel like recently there's a bit of a jinx in this regard.

Hoping for a better week next week.

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Weekly Blog - W/E 16th October 2021 - Part Two

The second half of our week away in Whitby began on Wednesday.  After spending the first two days exploring the town, we decided to go a little further afield and visit Staithes and Runswick Bay, which had been recommended to us.

We started off in Staithes where you need to park at the top of the village and walk down a steep hill to the harbour. It is a pretty little fishing village with lovely little cottages and cobbled streets. No cars (save for those of residents and workmen, etc.) are allowed down in the village.

We had lunch at a pub and sat outside with a great view of the harbour. Afterwards, we went onto the beach with the dog to play and I built a few sandcastles for her to destroy. Then we walked back up the hill and back to the car.

Next, we needed to get some petrol, so we drove on a little to the nearest petrol station.  I bought a few food items we needed, then we drove through part of the North Yorkshire Moors to Runswick Bay. This bay is a real gem. A volunteer in a charity shop had recommended we visit and it really was worth it. A beautiful beach sheltered within a bay, with the village nestled into the cliffs. We enjoyed a walk along the lovely sandy beach and back and then headed back to Whitby.

By the time we got back it was gone 5pm, so we ate in and stayed home for the rest of the evening, watching a few episodes of University Challenge on catchup, which is a family tradition that we all enjoy. LB and OH also watched Squid Game on Netflix, but it wasn't really my thing.

On Thursday morning, OH headed out for a cycle ride, so I needed to get up to walk the dog, but not before spending half an hour or so in bed with my latest book. It is called 'I'll Drink to That' and is the story of Betty Halbreich, who ran the personal shopping service at Bergdorf Goodman in New York for forty years. It's a really interesting read about her life, loves, work and fashion from the 1940's to the present day.

Once up and ready, I headed out with the dog. We walked down to the beach and the West Cliff Pier which we walked along until it got way too windy for my liking, so we headed back to the harbour. On the way back, we saw what I was later informed was a guillimot bird stranded on the beach, unable to fly. It was being attacked by a couple of crows, so we headed back down to the beach to scare them off. Poor little thing. 

A couple who were on the beach, told me that a lot of birds seemed to be dying off locally, but no-one had figured out why or what was causing it.  Anyway, they told me about the Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary, so I googled and rang them and they arranged for a lovely lady volunteer to come out and pick up the bird to see what they could do to help it.

I then headed home happy in the knowledge that I'd done what I could and waited for OH to return before we headed out to lunch.

After lunch at a local cafe, OH and I left the dog at the house and headed over to the Captain Cook Museum. The museum was very interesting and was housed in a house where Cook had lived. It belonged to the man who owned the first ship that Cook sailed on and under whom he served his seafaring apprenticeship. There were interesting to East London, where Cook lived when in England, once he had married. It was definitely worth a visit.

On leaving the museum, we met up with LB, did a little bit of shopping and then headed to an Irish pub for a drink on the way home.

Friday was our last day in Whitby and we still had a few things left that we wanted to do. OH and I headed out in the morning to buy a print he'd seen earlier in the week in a local gallery. It will be perfect for our hallway. We also popped to a local butcher to get a few things for his mum and I did my usual visit to Boyes, which I do whenever I'm in Yorkshire.

After our final lunch back at the house, LB came out with us in the afternoon and we headed back down to the harbour where she and OH amused themselves in the local amusement arcades, whilst I took the dog for a last walk on the beach.

Later, we bought take out fish and chips that we ate at the house before heading out in the evening to join the local Ghost Walk. This was a lot of fun and took us to a few parts of Whitby that we hadn't yet explored. They'll have to wait for our next visit. The guide was funny and the stories interesting and we just enjoyed the experience. It was a great end to our week.

We were thoroughly charmed by this small Yorkshire fishing/seaside town. It had something for everyone, was not too commercial and was a thoroughly enjoyable place to stay, I'd recommend it to anyone. I'm just sad that we couldn't stay on to see next week's Goth Weekend, which occurs twice each year, when Goths from all over the country and probably the world descend on the town to celebrate it's infamous connection to Bram Stoker and the Dracula story. 

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Weekly Blog - W/E 16th October 2021 - Part One

This week was a very different one. Mainly because we went on holiday for a week to Whitby in Yorkshire. We'd booked a cottage a few weeks ago, to have a family holiday this time, with LB joining us. We thought about going abroad, but didn't have anyone to look after the dog and didn't fancy dealing with the red tape and paperwork around Covid, so we decided on another UK holiday. 

We chose Whitby, as we wanted to visit family on the way up and back down, but didn't want to stay anywhere we knew too well and although we've visited Whitby on daytrips a few times, we'd never stayed there or really explored what it had to offer. 

We set off on Sunday after a few hours rushing around trying to pack and leave the house in a reasonable state. I hate coming back to a mess, so I always try to leave it tidy.

The journey was good, as we were travelling on Sunday morning/afternoon, so not much traffic. We stopped off at OH's parents on our way up, for a visit and refreshments. It was nice to see them and see that his dad is doing okay. He looked a lot better than our last visit in July at least. We stayed a couple of hours and then completed the last leg of our journey up to Whitby.

The cottage/house was beautiful and very big, sleeping 8 people. It was also very close to the town centre and the beach which was perfect. The owner had left us some Ginger biscuits, a Brack cake and some Yorkshire tea from the local Deli, which was very kind. We settled ourselves in, had a bit of supper, (I'd brought a few bits with us) and then chilled for the first evening of our holiday, after our long journey. 

I didn't sleep well the first night, I never really do when I go away. I think my mind races to offload all the stresses of the previous weeks and I can never quite settle, so the next morning I was pretty tired when I got up.

It was also my birthday, so we got off to a leisurely start. I opened my cards and presents and then started my jigsaw over breakfast. Then we walked to the local shops and bought a few provisions for the week. We didn't get much, just some salad, ham, fruits and bread/milk, etc.  As we were so centrally located within the town, we intended to eat out at least once on most days and then have a simple salad/sandwich for the other meal. 

LB and I did a bit of thrift shopping in a couple of charity shops. I found myself a pair of virtually new walking boots for £5.50, as I'd forgotten to bring mine. I also bought a brand new grey cable knit cardigan for the winter months for £5, (the tag said £40), so that was a bargain. When we'd got everything we needed, we the headed back to the house for lunch. 

After lunch, we all walked down to the beach and had a stroll along the sand, breathing in the lovely sea air. The dog was loving it. We then walked back up the cliff and treated ourselves to hot chocolate at the top, before heading home again. 

In the evening, we headed out for supper to a restaurant on the riverside. It was a seafood restaurant, but I don't really eat fish, so chose something else from the menu. It was a nice evening, and great to be able to walk everywhere.  I slept like a log that evening and woke up feeling totally refreshed and ready to start our holiday proper.

Day Two of our holiday also got off to a slow start. I did a bit of my jigsaw before having a shower and getting ready, whilst OH did a training session on his Zwift set up. Once we were all up and ready, we headed into town for lunch and to walk the dog. The weather today had started off raining, and the dog hadn't wanted to go for much of a walk, but by the time we headed out it had stopped and was turning into a nice day. LB decided not to come with us today and stayed home to chill instead.

We stopped off at a lovely cafe around the corner for lunch and then headed into the town by a different way.  En route, I noticed some small succulent plants in one of the Charity shops and stopped off to buy a couple at £1.20 each. We walked along the main high street of shops this time and I popped into a couple more charity shops.

We stopped to watch a couple crabbing near the harbour. They had caught a huge crab, bigger than I'd ever seen anyone catch whilst crabbing. They said they were going to put it back in the water though.

We made our way to the Captain Cook Museum, but as we weren't able to take the dog in, we decided we would visit another day to take a look around.  We did go into Whitby Jet Museum though.  This was a very small museum with free entry and was very interesting, as it told about the history of Whitby jet and how it was created over millions of years from fallen trees (similar the the Monkey Puzzle tree) which hardened over time. It was fascinating. There were also lots of exhibits of things made from Whitby jet, which was also interesting and a huge piece, purported to be the biggest piece of Whitby jet in the world. I loved it, well worth the visit. There are many jewellers in Whitby selling pieces of jewellery made from Whitby Jet and I kept an eye out for some earrings, but they were pretty expensive so I didn't buy any.

From there, we wandered down the cobbled streets, past the 199 steps to the Abbey, to another beach beneath the cliff where the Abbey stands. Here I looked out for jet after reading how to in the Museum. Unfortunately, however, all I found were pieces of sea smoothed coal.

We continued right to the end of one of the harbour walls and beyond the light house along wooden boardwalks which was lovely.  Looking back toward the shore, you could see the Abbey and the whole town spread out before you. We came back into town across another small beach and by this time it was 5pm, so we headed home, the dog was tired and we had spent the whole afternoon wandering the town.

Later in the evening, we headed out to a nearby pub for their Bingo Night. We didn't win anything, although almost everyone in our half of the pub did, the girl on the table next to us won the final jackpot of over £350. Lucky thing. It was fun though.

Whitby is such an interesting little town with lovely cobbled streets, alleyways, great shops, cafes, galleries, museums, etc. Such a great place to explore. A bit difficult if you have difficulty with steep hills and steps, but otherwise a fabulous place to visit. Staying there was such a different experience to being a daytripper.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Weekly Blog - W/E 9th October 2021

This week started in a slightly more productive mode. After walking the dog on Sunday morning, I came home, had some lunch and then decided to do a bit of re-potting of some of my houseplants, into the plant pots that I'd bought at work yesterday.

I then decided to finish of changing over my wardrobe for the Autumn/Winter. I'd started this job the day before, but needed to get my winter clothes out from their storage place, which I did today. Some of them didn't make the cut and went straight to the donated bag, but most went into the wardrobe. 

I've changed the way I organise my wardrobe this year, by putting all of the clothes that I regularly wear for work at one side, so that they are easy to pick an outfit from. Cycling to work limits what I can wear, so I tend to go for loose dresses that don't ride up, worn with leggings or tights (and cycling shorts) underneath or alternatively trousers and tops. I'm hoping this will make life a little simpler each morning before work.

Talking of clothes, I have earmarked a new winter coat at work. It's very expensive at £80 (originally over £400), but it is made from Goretex which is fully waterproof. It is full length, padded, washable, has a hood, and fits well, so should be perfect for dog walking and keeping warm in the colder months. I've persuaded OH to buy it for my birthday this month, as there isn't really anything else I want or need at the moment. It's a few years since I've bought a new winter coat, so it's quite exciting.

On Sunday afternoon, I sat and watched Strictly on catch up. I'm not following it closely, but I do like to watch everyone's journey through the show and see their progress.

Monday was a very quiet day, I went to my Zumba class as usual, and thoroughly enjoyed it, followed by the weekly shop on the way home.  After lunch, I did a few hours of ironing to get to the bottom of the basket. I watched a new limited series on Netflix as I did it, called Maid, about the struggles of a young mum leaving an abusive relationship. It was really good.

Tuesday, I was back at work. It was a fairly productive day, but spoiled by the antics of one particular customer that I won't go into detail about here, but stealing from a Charity shop is never a good vibe.

On Tuesday night, I was home alone for a while when I got in, as OH was out at the velodrome and LB had gone out to meet some friends. I helped myself to a quick supper and then watched a few more episodes of Maid on Netflix. It's quite hard to watch, because as soon as the main character gets a break and starts to pull herself out of her difficulties, those around her manage to drag her down again, but it is nevertheless a really good watch.

On Wednesday, the morning was taken up with the usual dog walk, followed by lunch. I had arranged to meet some friends again at our favourite Persian restaurant at 5pm for an early supper. We're making it a monthly occurrence rather than the previous 3-6 monthly meet up. Not sure how long this arrangement will last. Before leaving, I did a few jobs i.e. a bit of bill paying and financial stuff, I did the washing up, put away some laundry and then got myself ready. I left quite early as I had to catch a bus there and I also wanted to do a few errands on my way. 

Our meal was very nice and we had a good chat and catch up. I suspect we'll meet once more before Xmas, which is fine by me as it is getting busier in the shop in the lead up to Christmas.

On Thursday, I was working, not such a productive day as I was chatting a lot to some young volunteers we had working with us and was not quite as focussed as I usually am. It didn't feel like I got as much done as I normally do. 

Friday, I stayed home save for walking the dog, very boring day. Later I made Tapas for supper as it had been a Spanish week at Lidl and they had lots of great tapas foods. I even got us some chocolate filled churros for dessert which were very nice indeed. I finished watching Maid this evening, it did have a positive ending. Not sure if there'll be another series, but I've enjoyed this one.

OH went out to the pub for a couple of hours tonight for a cycling friend's birthday, I stayed home with LB as I needed her to cut my hair, which she did. It was long overdue.

Saturday, I was back at work as usual. A fairly productive day but a very good one for sales and a very good week too, which was a positive end to the week.



Saturday, 2 October 2021

Weekly Blog - W/E 2nd October 2021

Sunday morning was a little different this week, as OH was heading out to run the Hackney Half Marathon. He's been training for a few weeks and had run the 5K event a couple of years ago. It's a big event locally. His start time was 9.30am and I had agreed to walk the dog to meet him at the finish line around a couple of hours later. It's only a 20 minute walk from where we live.

LB had stayed out at her friends overnight, which was a pity, as she would probably have liked to be there too. I met OH after he came in, he'd run faster than he'd anticipated. We hung out around the event area talking to an ex-colleague of OH and watched other runners come in on the big screen. There were exercise classes going on by the main stage and cool downs for the runners, plus lots of food and beer stalls. 

It was the first time I'd actually hung around afterwards and it was a really nice atmosphere. We stayed a couple of hours and then came home. Next year, I'd like to go earlier and maybe join in some of the exercise classes which are all free.

On Monday, I only managed a quick walk around the block with the dog as it was quite rainy, before heading off in the car to the gym. I decided not to go as far afield as I normally go to do the grocery shopping, in an attempt to save what petrol we have left in the car. The class was good, I really enjoyed it and then I did the grocery shopping at a nearby Lidl. There wasn't a toilet roll in the store. People are obviously stocking up on those again too.

After lunch, I spent a couple of hours working my way through the overflowing ironing basket whilst binge watching a new to me series on Netflix called Clique. Later in the evening OH and I watched the first series of Manhunt on ITV Hub, which also seems to be very well made.

Tuesday, I was back at work. I spent the morning pricing clothing, as a volunteer was working their way through the Gift Aid donations. When I'd priced everything I could, I got the chance to do a job I haven't done for a couple of months, which involved sorting through some of the donated designer clothing in readiness for them to be listed for sale online. I quite enjoyed doing this for a change, as I haven't had a chance to do tasks like this for a good 6-8 weeks.

On the way home it was quite dark, so I wore my new fully reflective cycling jacket. It's hard to tell when you're wearing it whether it shows up well, but then I found myself following another cyclist wearing one and my bike lights lit it up really well, which means it would show up even brighter under car head lights. This reassured me of it's efficacy. I'm yet to test out it's waterproof qualities, but I'm sure I'll get the chance before long. 

The roads did seem a lot quieter coming home. It would be great if it was like that all the time, with people only using cars when absolutely necessary. This whole debacle over fuel shortages just makes us more determined to get an electric car next time around (and possibly a small generator in case of a power cut!!!).

Anyway, in other news, LB seems to have come down with tonsilitis at the moment. I think she's a bit run down. The doctor is supposed to be prescribing her some antibiotics, but they hadn't materialised by the time I got home.

On Wednesday, I started the day by doing my monthly financial round up. I was happy because my finances were on an upward trajectory once again, after the ups and downs of the Pandemic. I decided to set up a standing order to save more money into Premium bonds each month. I figure my regular monthly savings may as well be used to give me the chance to win larger sums, rather than the pittance of interest I get in the bank.

I had an appointment for an eye test at 12 noon. One more thing ticked off my to do list. My eyesight was virtually unchanged, but I decided to buy some new glasses. I picked a cheaper frame this time, but the lenses (varifocals) were very expensive. I am definitely going to get a copy of my prescription when I collect them and look online to see if they would be cheaper.

On the way home, I picked up LB's prescription and managed to find some toilet rolls in a local shop.  No shortage there.

After lunch, there were a lot of small jobs that I needed to do i.e. washing up, laundry, a couple of bits of sewing, etc. In the end, the couple of small sewing jobs turned into an afternoon working on altering a quilt that I started a few weeks ago. 

I ended up stitching the new backing to the quilt using my machine and then quilting it to the original quilt. I made a few puckers here and there and re-stitched the worst examples, but the small ones will just have to add character to the finished quilt. I also pinned on the new binding and started stitching it into place, until I had to break off to go and walk the dog. I'll get back to it another day.

It felt very satisfying to spend a few hours at the sewing machine, as it's something I haven't done in months and it's inspired me to do some more when I next have some spare time.

When I got back from walking the dog, I made OH and I a vegetable stew with dumplings for supper. We needed to use up some of the vegetables from the fridge and this is always a good way. Besides, it's very tasty too.

Thursday I was back to work. On the way I pass our local petrol station and noticed that for the first time in 4 days they had petrol. I'm afraid I made a call to OH so he could come and get some, as we need to be able to get to our holiday cottage in Whitby next weekend, and we didn't have enough for the journey. I then carried on to work and called him when I got there.

OH said that by the time he got there it was chaos, with police overseeing everything and cars blocking roads, etc. He did get filled up though, which was a relief. To be honest, if we weren't going on holiday, we just wouldn't bother to use the car at all, but in the circumstances, it wasn't an option. Anyway, we're all set now so we can stop worrying about it.

Work was good. Time just goes by so quickly and before I know it, it's time to go home. I guess that's a good thing, better than clock watching. We're getting short of volunteers lately though, which isn't so good. I'm just hoping we can get through to Christmas without too many problems.

When I got home, a recent Cherry's order had arrived. I'm starting to stock up on a few things for Christmas now i.e. advent calenders, chocolate, fizzy drinks, edible gifts, etc. It spreads the cost and reassures when there are shortages forecast.

On Friday, I took the dog on a long walk without any time restraints which was nice. When I got back I caught up on watching a few YouTubers I follow and then after lunch, I decided to finish altering the quilt that I had been working on earlier in week. It took about 3 hours or so to hand stitch the new binding on, but I was very happy with the finished result. Once I've cleaned the living room, which is long overdue, I'll put it back on the sofa and take a photo to show you how it turned out. I got a Lockdown deja vu feeling whilst doing it, mainly due to the amount of hand quilting I did during the various lockdowns last and this year.

On Saturday morning, before heading into work, I decided to start my Autumn/Winter wardrobe changeover. I took out all of the summer clothes and put them aside ready to bag up, once I've got my winter clothes out of the vacubags. I didn't get chance to proceed to that on this occasion, but will hopefully do it over the weekend. I created a pile of things I'm happy to let go of. There may be more once I get my winter clothes out.

Work was okay. I bought quite a few things that I'd put aside over the last month or so. Mostly very small things that I need for small jobs at home. I bought some new ceramic plant pots, as many of my plants are outgrowing their current containers. Plant's seem to me to be a little like children in that they need to be given room to grow. Their care is becoming quite time consuming the more plants I own. I do enjoy tending them, potting them on and finding the perfect spot in the house for them.

I also bought some new crockery for the kitchen - some lovely Denby plates and a couple of bowls.  They were half price and too good an offer to miss. We've never had Denby before in our house, and I just felt like treating us to some good quality tableware, as the price was so reasonable and the items are in immaculate 'as new' condition. I had to leave the plates at work, as they were too heavy to carry home in my pannier bag. Everything else came home with me though.

I had a very wet ride home tonight, so I was very glad to eventually get home and just relax at the end of my working week. OH had made a vegetarian shepherd's pie, which was nice. Later, I watched a bit of Strictly before getting an early night as I was really tired.