Saturday 27 May 2023

Let the half term holidays begin....

I'm now counting down the weeks until I finish work!! 
Worked Sunday and Monday, went in a spoke to my Manager on Tuesday, now she's back from her holiday. She was actually really lovely about it, completely understood. Didn't want to go into detail why but, what's done is done now.

The weather this week has been glorious, maybe that's a sign!!
I went over to Ham Wall on Wednesday morning for a couple of hours, sooooooo many dragonflies, literally 100's. I've never seen so many in one place. There was a barn owl, out hunting in the morning too, but sadly too far away to capture.

I love it there, so beautifully peaceful.

Thursday was, 'walk with Lynn day' and what a beautiful day to be out. 
Everywhere is looking so green

We walked nearly four miles and it was perfect walking weather.

The shade was most welcome.

On top of Walton Hill.

After our walk, I went to see my chiropractor, session number 12!
He's pleased with my progress, as am I and will now only have to see him fortnightly, unless things start going in the wrong direction.

Sam was supposed to be coming home after his exam on Thursday 
but he changed plans and is due back next weekend now. 

I must confess, I've done very little but enjoyed this glorious sunshine, relaxing out in the garden. I have to work all day tomorrow, my last Sainsbury's Sunday!! so made the most of it today.

Jeff broke up midday.
This picture sums up the end of term perfectly.
No white shirts for him next week.

I kept having a little visitor join me today, in random parts of the garden. 
Think it's a baby blackbird, whatever it was, it was very noisy!

I picked my first rhubarb of the year. 
Sophie and Sam bought me some rhubarb plants for Mother's Day one year, and finally, a good crop. It's taken a few years to really get established.

My view for most of the day!!

I LOVE this weather. 
I don't think you really realise how the weather can affect your mood until 
the weather changes and the sunshine comes out.

I've been making the most of my work discount whilst I still have it and bought 40+ geraniums, ready for Jeff to plant out next week. We have no major plans for half term, except a day trip to London. The rest of the week I've work, Jeff has a tiny bit of tutoring, we've both got hygienist appointments but we're mainly hoping to catch up on lots of garden jobs. It was too cold and wet previously to get out and really make a dent in it all, so that's the plan.

Saturday 20 May 2023

Blue skies and sunshine.....


This is what we've been waiting for and needed.

The perfect excuse to just sit and relax x

I've had a very quiet week. 
My walking friend was away, but I still managed to get out and enjoy the fresh air, 
even if it was just five minutes up the road!

What a view!
Sam and I would often walk here, he introduced me to it.
He's had his first exam this week. 
I'm proud of how he has turned things around this year.

I had my 11th Chiropractor appointment on Thursday. He thinks we're in a position now to move our appointments further apart, which is great news. The deep pain is still there but loads better than it was and he said my movement had improved. After my appointment, I met up with a good work friend for coffee..........3 hours later, we were still sat there!!!

Friday and the weather was changeable, so a day to get all the jobs done. And then in the afternoon, I went over to Wells, to the cinema to see The Book Club. It was worth it for the Italian scenery, but that's about it. Was a bit silly and predictable, although an easy watch on a wet afternoon but don't give up the sunshine to go and see it!!! I really want to see 'Are you there God, it's me Margaret?' Takes me back to my school days, passing around the Judy Blume book under our aprons in woodwork class!! Will have to squeeze it in, on a cloudy afternoon. 

Today, however, has been wall to wall blue skies and sunshine.
A Glorious Day x

Not gonna lie, have spent all day shuffling around my sun lounger, into the sunniest spots! I'm working tomorrow and it's going to be another beautiful day. Although not long now, just two Sunday's left to work, as I've holiday booked in for my last one! Will take it unpaid if I don't have enough holiday to take! The Store Manager has been away on holiday, returns on Monday. I'm dreading seeing her, she will be so disappointed and I'm guessing will try and persuade me to change my mind, if the two other managers I've spoken to, are anything to go by. I must stay strong. To be honest, I have made my decision and I know it's the right thing to do for many reasons, so I just need to remember why I have, and explain honestly what led me to this outcome.

The Alliums are a triumph! Jeff moved all the bulbs from the front last week and planted them in the lawn, in the hope they'll flower next year. He's planted out the first of the sunflowers from the porch and will put in some more seeds over the next couple of weeks, to hopefully stagger the growing season. We will plant a lot more Alliums next year, in clumps and pots, they're looking beautiful and as they always flower later, it's best to avoid the front planter.

I'm being really good on my healthy focus. I've been doing a low inflammation diet, to see if it can help improve my back and menopausal aches and pains. Even my knuckles were hurting and stiff. Since coming back from holiday a month ago, I have lost a stone and feel so much better for it. I have 5 weeks to go, until my 30 year University reunion. I want to look and feel great for that and then it'll be only 6 weeks until we go on our family holiday. Jeff and I have then booked a cheeky extra week away, as we found a cheap deal and I'm no longer compromised by the holiday allowance that I had at work.

My fig tree is looking fabulous, full of fruit. Not sure how I'll pick some this year, as it's the tallest it's ever been and most of the fruit is on the new growth. Think I'll loose a few to the neigbours, not that that's a problem. Will be my perfect excuse to go back into work and see my old colleagues, whilst delivering fresh figs. I'm the only one who eats them in our house, so used to take them into work on a regular basis, as they fruited around the same time, I had so many and I hate waste!!

The Hosta's are looking fabulous too.
Somehow we've kept the slugs and snails at bay!!
In fact the whole garden is looking lovely this year.

Maybe the colder, wetter Spring has delayed the lovely luminous green and everything has just been ready and waiting to blossom. Right I need to sort out a few things before I settle down on the sofa and relax before tomorrow beckons. Two more Sunday's and repeat. 
That should get me through tomorrow!!


Saturday 13 May 2023

Decision Time!!

A line of cheer!
The weather this week has not been good. It's chilly!! It's grey!! It's miserable!!
We desperately need some warm sunshine NOW!!! PLEASE X It is mid May!!!

I've made a HUGE decision this week!
I've resigned!!
In just four weeks time, I will be unemployed!

I have been feeling out of sorts for a few months now. When I started 5 plus years ago, it was a filler, something to tide me over whilst I thought about what to do after closing down my business. The hours fitted in around family life, school runs etc and I really enjoyed it. No stress, no responsibility, a regular wage, more or less set hours, overtime if I wanted it and I got to be around people again.
 As time went on, I was recognised as someone who could be up-skilled and with that of course came more responsibility, without any extra pay I might add!! I never wanted it, but when Covid happened, I had no choice but to step up and get on with it. And at that time, it felt like we would come out the other side, that we were all in it together and things would ease and get better. As time has gone on, there has been a huge shift in expectation, the number of staff to do what is expected and a higher level of stress. I'm someone who likes to be prepared, so I do look ahead at the schedules, I do try and plan my shift, I do worry about how I will fulfill everything and when you are paid no extra and don't feel appreciated for what you do, it niggles! I have become worried, moany, felt unsupported and for a 15hr, minimum wage job, it was wearing me down disproportionately. It doesn't help with my back either, my eyes water constantly, so when I came home, exhausted, in pain, teary, Jeff just said "stop!" "leave"!! I obviously would have liked something lined up to move on to and I have been looking but not seen anything suitable. We decided I should just finish, enjoy our summer together, update my CV and just see what comes along. So on Friday I went in, handed over my letter, cried!! apologised!! and have just four more weeks left at work!

In other news I went for my normal Thursday walk with my friend Lynn.

Boy, was it wet and muddy under foot.

But everywhere was so green.

The bluebells had gone over up in the woods but the verges were still full of colour.

Wednesday was the Race Across the World Final. 
I've enjoyed this series, would LOVE to do it!

Jeff and I are planning our own mini adventure next year, so I've been testing out rucksacks. I do still have my old rucksack from my inter-railing/student days but I'm going for comfort and really want a front opening rather than top loading one. Still have plenty of time to find the right one but it was good to start to test some out.

So a pretty big week!

Sometimes you just have to go with your gut feeling, don't you? and I do feel I have made the right decision. Only time will tell. If it wasn't for my fellow colleagues, who I feel I am letting down, I would have done it sooner. But you soldier on because you care about the people you work with and how your decision will impact them. The best thing to have come out of the past five years, are really good friendships and I will genuinely miss the people, even some customers!!

I am a believer in things happening for a reason. Something will pop up and all will be well. In the meantime, I soldier on for the next four weeks, then enjoy my time with Jeff over the summer.

Sunday 7 May 2023

Cardiff and the Coronation

Pinch and a punch.....

.......hello May!!

Last Sunday whilst I was at work, Jeff planted out this years first sunflower seeds.

I put up the bunting, my nod to the Coronation. 
As I now share my birthday with our King, I felt had to do something!!

The weather has not been great but I've tried to keep going out for my 'once around the block' walks after mealtimes.

First sunflower action!!

Wednesday was supposed to be a gloriously sunshiny day but.... there's always a but!! It was cold, there was a chilly, strong breeze, so I took myself over to Wells to the cinema to see 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry'. Glad I'd made the effort to see it, just a lovely film, sad but nice at the same time. I believe the book is a good read too. I won't say anymore, wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone.

I worked Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, cinema Wednesday and then walked with Lynn on Thursday. It seems ages since we walked. I've been away, she's been away, so it was lovely to walk and catch up.

We headed over to Wells, to the bluebell woods. Just caught them before going over.

Always a stunning sight, a carpet of blue as far as the eye can see.

Friday, I day tripped it to Cardiff.
I got the 376 bus to Bristol Temple Meads, then the train up to Cardiff.
Felt like a proper little adventure.

Posh loo doors at Bristol Temple Meads train station.

Sam met me off the train. I swapped over some bits I'd brought up from home and took him to Sainsbury's to do a top up shop, make the most of our increased discount.

He then went back and I had 3 hours to shop!! I like Cardiff for shopping. 
The weather was awful but I missed all the rain, as all the shops are under cover.

Sam then met me and we walked over to Cardiff bay....

....and met up with Sophie.

Treated them both to tea at HubBox.

Then Sam headed back, he was having a house party!! 
Whilst Sophie and I .....

...headed over to the Millenium Centre.....

.....for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Our 'Charlie' was in Les Mis when we saw it in Bristol. He actually sat right beside us in the restaurant, having his tea with his chaperone. We didn't realise at the time, the part he had in Les Mis but he was pretty much on stage the whole time in Charlie, fantastic talent. 

Sophie and I then drove back to Somerset. When we booked the tickets, way back in July last year, we had no idea that it was going to be the Coronation weekend, the Queen hadn't even died!! So rather than me stay up in Cardiff, as we originally intended, Sophie wanted to come home. We pretty much spent most of yesterday watching the Coronation.

Our King!

Today is Sunday and I have a rare Sunday off!! 
Booked originally for Cardiff, but it's quite nice just spending the day at home, with no particular plans. I'm desperately hoping the sun will break through and we can spend the afternoon out in the garden. Everything seems later this year. The alliums are finally about to flower.

The fig tree is full of promise!

And the sunflowers are off to a flying start in the porch.

Last night Sophie and I booked our accommodation for Amsterdam. Who knew Amsterdam was soooo expensive!! Was quite shocked!. When I search out accommodation, I limit my spend to max £120 a night and go down in price as I search. Normally that gives me 100's of options. I think last night, it gave me 3!! Everywhere was so expensive. We ended up booking directly through the hotel, saving us around 50 euros. I had no idea it would be so expensive. When Sam went recently, he stayed at a friends house, so negated this. Anyway it's now booked and with flights works out at £396.30 each for a 5 day trip, so still less that £100 a day ! Am now booking time off for this time next year, Lisbon and Porto hopefully. Always nice to have something to look forward to xx