Project 365 2021 Week 45-46 Day 310-323 A late birthday celebration, finally got to spend a weekend with my parents and we said our final goodbye to our BIL.
Sunday 7th November – Day 310
We spent the day on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway for their 40th Anniversary Gala event to celebrate the OH’s birthday. His sister joined us for the day and we were so lucky with the weather. It got chilly later in the day (windows open in carriages so coats required!) but it was the distraction we all needed.
Monday 8th November – Day 311
I’m so sick of companies since Covid hit last year. There are so many who seem to have lost even a glimmer of having any care for their customers. Our boiler hasn’t been serviced since June 2020, I can remember the day as the British Gas service engineer was the first person to enter our house since Christmas 2019 other than the three of us. The service was already late at that point, but totally understood then as we were in the midst of the crisis.
Roll on 12 months and no sign of our 2020 service, or any ability to be able to book one. We did receive a credit on our account for said lack of service, but I tweeted them in September and said honestly, we’d much prefer to just actually have the service we need. I thought we’d got somewhere when they messaged me and booked us in for 8-1pm today. So this morning I was up early, making the house kitten escape proof, clearing the boiler cupboard for easy access and just generally waiting for the call from the engineer to tell us he was on his way.
Just imagine how impressed (not) I was, then to open this post that was delivered at 11.20 am this morning. Not really what I call notice, not at all acceptable. I’d still have been pissed off if they’d texted/rung or even sent an email last week, but at least we’d have known ahead of time. But how can a company advertise a service that they cannot provide?
Tuesday 9th November – Day 312
Another day and another moan! I needed to call my GP surgery, tried eConsult first and that just told me to call them. It took 1 hour and 15 minutes to get through to a receptionist to then be put on the triage list. Pre-Covid we always had a triage system at our surgery but it never took this long to actually get through in the first place. But anyway, the GP then rang back 2.5 hours later, organised a prescription for what I needed and I finally remembered to go through my vitamin D blood results from the hospital with her. Supplements are working well and annual blood tests to review.
I had a little helper with my work this morning, who kindly walked all over the laptop keyboard before I could get to him. Good job he’s cute.
A day of waiting – a 45-minute queue to pick up my prescription this afternoon led to a bit of drama. My son didn’t take his phone to school and doesn’t have a house key yet. Thankfully friends and our neighbours found him and took him in until I got home.
We ended the day with a reply from British Gas, we’ve managed to get our appointment moved forward to January 2022 but it’s still ridiculous.
Wednesday 10th November – Day 313
I’m working today instead of Friday and what a dull, wet and dreary day it is.
After work, I thought I’d have a fairly straightforward afternoon. I’d already downloaded the app for the Spanish entry passenger locator form and been able to prefill most of my details. I just needed to go back in and complete the process within 48 hours of my arrival time in Spain. So getting this error message continually as I tried to complete the process didn’t bode well. After Googling it seemed that a lot of people have had a similar issue and it was recommended to complete the process via their website instead. All fairly straightforward until it wouldn’t accept the Covid Pass I downloaded from the NHS website. Cue a rather stressful time trying to figure out what was wrong. Finally managed to get it to accept a screenshot of my QR code on my NHS app instead – thank the lord. If I wasn’t on antibiotics I’d have had a very stiff drink!
Thursday 11th November – Day 314
I was starting work later today to cover a meeting later in the day, so I cracked on with my packing. I’m not known for travelling light but am only taking hand luggage on tomorrow’s trip and I struggle to put my cabin case in the overhead locker with my back, so I opted for one of my large Mia Tui bags that should fit under the seat and am travelling light. All packed and ready to go.
These two love watching the world go by from the kitchen windowsill, and this morning they watched my son go off to school.
Early to bed for me as I’ve got a mega early start in the morning.
Friday 12th November – Day 315
Dad’s 79th birthday and I got to deliver his birthday card in person. Getting on a plane, leaving the country, seeing my parents. I Have often felt that this day would never come again.
I was at Birmingham airport before Security had even opened and was the first person through to the Departure lounge. My Covid and Spanish passenger locator forms were checked at the boarding gate and the plane was pretty much full. Landing in Malaga and into the unknown of a Covid arrival but actually was far more to do with post-Brexit and the reality of queuing to get your passport stamped by immigration. Something else I thought was a good idea – you are now only allowed off the plane one row at a time. I’m not sure if this is just a Jet2 thing but seems like a great idea to me. Hope that stays. The queue was huge, can’t imagine what it’ll be like in the summer. Once through that, it was on to another checking area to scan my covid pass and locator form, as well as having my temperature taken and then the freedom to run through to the pretty empty arrival hall and finally hug my parents.
We all needed a coffee and a moment to just chill. I’d finally made it and Dad had driven the furthest he’d driven for well over two years too. We stopped at a favourite restaurant to break up the journey and then just enjoyed sitting in their garden in the sunshine. It was the first meal my parents have had ‘out’ since Mum’s birthday in March 2020. Our family friend had organised a surprise birthday cake for Dad and we had a Skype with my brother and SIL. Just a lovely day.
Saturday 13th November – Day 316
Nothing quite like waking up to blue skies and a warm November day. This trip wasn’t about sightseeing, it was just about spending quality time with Mum and Dad. Our family friend invited us out for a morning coffee and breakfast at a local bar that we’d not visited before. Iberican ham on toast with olive oil – delicious. Afterwards, we had a walk with the village, found a bench and just sat in the sunshine chatting. A tapas lunch was taken in another bar we’ve not visited before. Lush food, good company. Perfect.
I had to fill in my passenger locator form for my return flight on Monday which was a pretty quick process. Phew. But I couldn’t check-in via the Jet2 app, so had to do that on Dad’s laptop and print out my boarding pass. Not sure what would have happened if I didn’t have access to a printer.
I can’t leave the menfolk alone for a weekend without something happening. I received a text from my son, Mummy there’s a problem with Daddy’s car, we are stranded on the motorway sliproad and the police are coming. Not what you want to hear when you’re in a different country! Turns out the air suspension broke on the car, the tyre burst and the OH managed to get to the sliproad. The Traffic Police were called out by the AA, they were primetime on the warning gantry signs and it took 2.5 hours for the AA to rescue them. But they were lucky, a car can be fixed. Was all a bit stressful until I knew they were home and in the warm again.
Sunday 14th November – Day 317
Another lovely sunny day with blue skies. This is the view a few minutes walk from my parent’s house. I love it. We spotted lots of butterflies on our walk to the local mirador (viewing point). I could stand and look at this view for hours.
After lunch, I left Mum and Dad to chill out for a while and walked into the village with our family friend. The town hall had organised an event to promote local businesses with lots of market stalls. We sampled some local cheese which was delicious and sat in the sunshine having a drink and a cheeky tapas. I left her with a friend and walked back to Mum and Dad’s to spend the evening with them.
Monday 15th November – Day 318
Time to say goodbye and return to England and an early start as we weren’t sure what the queues through security would be like. It’s never easy to say goodbye, but this time it had just been such a relief to actually have seen my parents in the first place, that it made it a bit easier to have those final hugs and now I can countdown to next August believing that they might actually get to see their grandson again too.
Security was actually no worse to get through than normal, but the queue for passport control was massive, again, all thanks to those who voted us out of the EU. My UK passenger locator form was checked at the gate and then I was on my way home. Another full flight. On arrival at Birmingham airport I just had to scan my passport (never done that before as always been with my son) and then I was out. No covid pass check, no passenger locator check. I was home just over an hour after landing.
My son had gone to his best friend’s house after school and I was so pleased to see him again, especially after his weekend dramas. Less pleased to hear that he’d done no homework with his Dad!
Tuesday 16th November – Day 319
I was mightily relieved to get a message first thing telling me that my Day 2 LFT would arrive this morning, so I could get my test done ahead of tomorrow’s funeral. A really easy process and a negative result. Can thoroughly recommend Chronomics, good price and excellent service.
Back to the reality of washing, house cleaning and three lots of homework when my son got back from school, all of which needed to be handed in online as he’s not in school tomorrow.
Wednesday 17th November – Day 320
Our BIL’s funeral, at least the weather was kind to us and it went as well as these things ever do. He’d lived a long and full life but it’s still hard to think we won’t get to talk to him again. We did get to catch up with my OH’s cousin, who I haven’t seen since before his Dad died of Covid last year. It was good to finally be able to hug him and raise a glass to his Dad too.
Thursday 18th November – Day 321
My son’s back to school and I’m back to work. Feeling knackered so an early night tonight I think. The OH’s car has been fixed mechanically but not software-wise so it’s still not safe to drive out of town. It’s going to be another expensive saga.
After work, I walked to the chemist to pick up my monthly eyedrop prescription and it felt really autumnal.
After school homework to get done and get my son back into his routine properly.
Friday 19th November – Day 322
Once work was done I decided to treat myself to a few hours of me-time, just reading a book. I rarely read during the day, but I felt shattered after an eventful week, so made the most of a few quiet hours before my son got home from school.
Saturday 20th November – Day 323
Pippi and Fudge are six months old today. There’s never a dull moment with these two and it’s lovely to watch them flourish. The Vet is keen not to neuter Fudge for another month or so, so we are still keeping them both in. There is no chance of the Christmas Tree going up this year, Fudge has already proved himself to be a prolific climber of everything else in the house, except the curtains, which are his sister’s favourite activity. Brewster tolerates them and Fudge is still on a mission to make him be his best friend.