Chai And A Chat #124 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 48

And just like that, February ends. We’ve been back at school a week, and have another remote learning week to go, before the kids are actually back in school buildings…!

Right, so, first week back. You got your drink? Let’s chat!

  • If we were having chai I’d have to start with that thing that is always on my mind, and that is school. The announcement was made on Monday, by the government, that all schools would be starting back on Monday 8th March, giving us two weeks to get ourselves ready for having all children back in, learning traditionally, while still providing the remote learning needed over those same two weeks. Plans are going to be different, as we need to make sure these children are settled, and happy to be back, before we embark upon the inevitable assessments, to see how they have been doing academically. But first, it is all about the social side. Those children have been out of the school routines since the middle of December. Sure, they have been learning at home, but the majority of them haven’t met any of their friends for all that time. New routines, new staff, too, as well as new expectations. So we have been drawing up plans, and working out everything that needs doing before they come back to school. I was also in and out of management meetings, as well as having a catch up with one of our school improvement advisors, who I am under, as part of my continuous professional development. A long, but productive two hours!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that I have been pretty good with my healthy eating. I have managed to stick to my calorie allowance each day, and factor in a treat for myself, each day, too. The three litres of water or tea that I am drinking, however, means that my bladder is still making me run to the loo far more than usual! I even experinemted with making low fat banana bread, on Sunday, while Lil Princess was baking her own vanilla sponge!
  • If we were having chai I’d be feeling very proud of myself as I mention that I have managed to exercise every day, and go for a long walk! Either Lil Man or Lil Princess have been coming with me and we have been walking anything between two and three miles each day. I am feeling good for it, and even lost 3lbs! We’ve walked long blocks, around the area we live, in, walked to my in-laws house to just stand in the drive and say hi, and through the fort gardens that are not far from our house, where I took the shot below!
  • If we were having chai I’d let you know that though it wasn’t in the thousands, I managed to write a few more words for Book two, despite my MacBook deciding that was the same moment it wanted to update! My only regret is that I really wanted to send out a newsletter in February, but it didn’t happen… *slaps own wrist.
  • If we were having chai I’d leave you with a picture of Sonu Singh, snuggled up with me, as he likes to, when I sit and read. Who needs a hot water bottle when you have a warm kitty?
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This week, it is preparing the classrooms and everything around school, to get ready for next Monday. I have to take both my secondary aged kids into their school, at different times, to get their first LFD Covid tests done, too. We have another viewing for our house, as well. Other than that, nothing major of note, but who knows what a new week will bring!

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Chai And A Chat #123 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 47

And I can finally confirm that the birthday part of the month is finally over! And my week off… Back to work today, but first, let’s chat abot the last week.

Have you grabbed your beverage of choice?

  • If we were having chai I’d say that this week off was so needed, and I didn’t even know how much so, until I finally began to unwind. The last 6 months have been even more hectic for me, than usual. Despite the country going into lockdown, twice, I haven’t had the chance to be at home, being in school pretty much the whole time, mind constantly whirring about school related stuff, even in the Christmas holidays. Then, we have the house stuff. It started with the renovations and redecorations, and now we are in the midst of the whole house on the market stuff, and what with viewings happening, I have become a master at the quick ‘tidy and hide’ required to make your lived in home to look almost picture perfect! On top of thet, coping with the kids and theor home schooling, and worrying about family in general. I really honestly can say that I haven’t switched off, at all. So, the first couple of days, I made sure I did. Total switch off on that weekend, reading solidly, and barely moving from the sofa. Monday I was awake early, as I usually am, but I made sure I had a lie in, before getting on with the day. My highlight of the day was a FaceTime with the wonderful Lucy Mitchell. I love Lucy, honestly. She has been an inspiration to me, the last few years, pretty much since we started blogging, actually. We talked all things writing, books, worries, joys, and it was just so wonderful to chat to someone likeminded. We have met a couple of times, at the Blogger’s Bash, and Lucy was also one of the first ever people to read Marriage Unarranged, in it’s first draft glory. Peeps, you can partially thank Lucy for that book finally coming to fruition!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that the kids made the most of the week off, too, and being the ages they are, they were in bed until gone midday, pretty much every day! I did try and rouse them eaerlier, to little success, however. Aside from reading, I was determined to do some writing, or at least prepare my mind for some new words. So I did get my desk ready, and I began the reread of my 56k so far manuscript for book two. (Yes, those of you who are waiting, it is getting there!)
  • If we were having chai I’d mention that it was Shrove Tuesday, too, and I am rather partial to a pancake, or three, so I had to indulge, just a little…
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that Thursday was a huge day for me. I woke up feeling rather awful. Not ill, but just really down, and that is not like me at all. I had, after many months, stepped on the scales and I was horrified. Seriously, HORRIFIED. I hadn’t weighed that much since I was pregnant. And knowing that pre pandemic, I had been so proud to havae lost an errant half a stone, to see that I had put it back on and then some, I was distraught. Even my leggings were beginning to complain, and you know how forgiving leggings are, usually. Then there was the feeling of failure, as I hadn’t been able to get into the writing zone all this time, coupled with not being able to see my family for so long. I was done in. But then you have to embrace life’s challenges, don’t you? So, I decided, that morning, that I needed to do something about it. It wasn’t going to happen itself. I logged back into Noom, to start with, and stated my intentions to lose weight and generally create a better lifestyle for myself, heaalth wise. I also had to contend with fact that I would be losing more pounds that day, too, but £s, not lbs. My car needed its service and MOT. I took the bull by the horns. Dropped my car off, and went for a walk, the long way round, to get some steps in, stopping at the local green grocers, to get some fresh fruit and veg, and made my way home. and that has been the focus of my week. A healthier me, means my mind is more focussed. I have been going for a walk every evening, too, with Lil Man, and done a short exercise class, via YouTube each morning. Logging my food, and all the water I drink, too. This aalso transferred to my writing. I know, realistically, that when I get back into school I won’t be able to write daily, but I have to do something, so you’re looking at someone who broke the writers block barrier and added another 2.3k to her WIP! Go, me!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you my final big event of the week. It was Lil Princess’s thirteenth birthday! Now, I had the joy of celebration, the disbelief of time passing so fast, and the quandry of how to stay healthy while having cake around me, as well as possible takeaway, too! She had a fabulous day, and we did our cake cutting via the video call that has become a norm, now, especially as it was my father-in-law’s birthday on the same day. Then the dinner arrived – Chinese. Yes, I ate it all. I ate, maybe, a little more than I wanted to, but I enjoyed it. Because I know that is not the norm. I’ll be back to the good eating the next day. (I lied – had cake for breakfast the next morning!) Still, I’m determined, and now I have a teenage daughter to keep me on track, too!
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This week, as I mentioned earlier, we’re back to school. Well, I am, physically, anyway, on Monday. The kids start their virtual learning on Wednesday. But the biggest thing will be waiting for the announcement from BoJo, later today, letting the country know the government’s roadmap for getting the country back out of lockdown, hopefully, for the last time. I’m fully expecting to hear that schools, primary, at least, will be starting back on March 8th, and, maybe some of the exam year groups in Secondary schools, but aside from vaccinations going ahead, and most members of staff taking bi-weekly Covid tests, nothing has changed, so it just remains to be seen, as to whether schools are a vector for transmission, and numbers fluctuating. There has been no difference to our guidance, for safe schooling, no new ventilation systems in place, or the idea that maybe class sizes should be smaller to help with distancing. A blended approach with part in school and part home learning. Nope, Nothing like that has happened. I just pray that any decisions made are made with the right guidance. (Though, with their track record, I’m not too sure…)

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Chai And A Chat #122 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 46

Okaay, now this just getting to be a bit mad. We are already in the middle of February!?

Are you comfy, with your drink?

  • If we were having chai I’d start with m y school update. So, that wish of mine, to get snow? Well, we woke on Monday morning to a blanket of snow and very cold temperatures. I have been wishing for the white stuff, for so long, so I wasn’t going to complain! The only problem is, some of our staff life in places where the snow had come down even heavier than here, so I drove in very carefully, and we started the process of working out if we would have enough staff to look after the children. Nope. Even the head teacher was stuck. Monday morning was phone calls and rearraanging things. Then I had to get back home, ASAP, but carefully, as I was driving, to take part in a video call with the CEO of the Academy we are a paart of! What fun. The rest of the week followed in a similar vein. Tuesday was no new snow, but sheets of ice on the road, and if you read my Wednesday post, you’ll know that as I walked into school, I managed to slip, as I walked in. We were going to be closed, but due to GDPR, there are some contacts we don’t keep at home, so a couple of us who live within walking distance, came in to phone or email some of the parents to let them know school was closed. It thawed a bit by Wednesday, so we were open. After debating whether to waalk or drive, I chose the car, as one of our lovely neighbours had gritted our road! Bless youm Lee! I popped in, in the morning, as I wasn’t on duty with the children, did my planning and had a video meeting with my team, before, heading home to work from there, hot water bottle on lap. It was still very cold! Then, on Thursday, we woke, after one of the coldest nights, here, to more snow! The thawed snow from the previous days had become ice, and the new snow made it all look so pretty, but way too lethal! School closed, again. I walked, very carefully, with no slips to report, and we did the relevant calls, before heading home, to work in the warmth of our houses! I will openly admit to being in my bed, laptop on lap, as I worked, because it was freezing! As the day passed, the sun came out and melted the majority of the snow. And Friday is my usual work from home day. But I still went in, because it was the last day. And I forgot stuff I would need, during my week off!
  • If we were having chai I’d have to mention how wonderful it was to get the videos on our learning platform for the children to watch. The feedback was so fantastic. Kids were so happy to be able to see their teachers, and the comments they left, warmed our hearts. On top of that, I received a couple of messages from some of my team, that literaally made me cry. I dreaded the thought of being a ‘Phase Leader’, and managing people in a professional context, but, maybe, I’m not that bad at it!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that Hubby Dearest, and Mum-in-law also celebrated their birthdays, and we had another video cake cutting session. And for the first time, Lil Princess baked a cake for her daddy, which was so precious. 💜
  • If we were having chai I’d say that we still haven’t had an offer on the house, but another viewing was on Wednesday… keep your fingers crossed for us!
  • If we were having chai I would be bubbling with excitement to tell you there was another birthday. My book, Marriage Unarranged turned one, on Tuesday, too! I can’t believe how fast it has gone, to be honest!
  • If we were having chai I couldn’t forget to mention Valentines Day, could I? I woke up and no one else was up, so after reading, with a cuppa for a while, I made myself a self love filled breakfast! Once the rest woke, I was spoiled with chocolates and roses, but we kept it quiet, because, well, there’s nothing else to do!
  • If we were having chai I’d leave you with a shot of our cosy Sonu Singh. He’s loving the fleecy throws I recently bought!
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This week, it’s half term break. We have been instructed to not think about work, and have aa well-deserved rest. So that’s the plan! I’ve got a fun FaceTime and Chai catch up planned with my dear friend Lucy Mitchell, a little later, today, as well as my car going for its service and MOT, (because the birthdays in my family this month are just not expensive enough…) And we end the week with Lil Princess turning into a TEEN! Eeeeks! This time next week, I’ll be a mother to two teenagers, God help me!

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Chai And A Chat #121 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 45

Well, lookie here, it’s Loveuary! February, the month of love has started, and we’ve enjoyed the first week. How was yours?

Now, grab your drink, I definitley need a hot one, as it is freezing, here!

  • If we were having chai I’d start, as always, with school. It was my week away from the kids last week, but that doesn’t mean I got to sit at home, in luxury. As the Phase Leader, for the EYFS, I have to be in more than the others, to make sure everything in my department is running smoothly. I aim to be at home, working, on a Friday, but the rest of the time I am in. This week, however, I was also at home on the Tuesday, as I needed to add taking Lil Princess for her HPV vaccination, to my list of things to do, and I also had a long two hour + Google meeeting with an advisor who is giving me and a couple of my colleagues some support with leadership skills. But that means Monday, Wednesday and Thursday were pretty full on! We have had such a headache, trying to offer video provision to our remote learning, and I think, after what feels like weeks of testing, research and failing, we got there! So, we’ve been recording video introductions of our week, and getting stories read, and recorded, too. I hope the children enjoy and appreciate them! I had wonderful phonecalls with many of the parents, too, and even though we don’t know the definite end to all this, the majority of them have been amazing, and really appreciative of whatever we are trying to do for the children, and them. It’s times like this that I remember why I do the job, I do!
  • If we were having chai I’d remind those of you that have been with me for the last few years, that February is not only the month of romance, but in my in laws family it is full on birthday month! We celebrate my brother-in-law, then Hubby Dearest and my mother-in-law, followed by my father-in-law and Lil Princess. Last week was the turn of my Bro-in-law. It’s a strange time to be celebrating birthdays, during a lockdown, especially when we are used to being all together. We couldn’t even go out shopping for him, instead, relying on good old online for gifts. I delivered the bag, then got home to find that we had a delivery of our own. His wife, my sister-in-law, had arranged for a cake to be delivered to us, so we could do a video call cake cutting, and have some to eat, even though we were away from each other. How lovely of her! It was strange, but lovely, to be able to see them, and have a catch up, and the cake was yummy!
  • If we were having chai I’d update you on the house front. So, things are still, tentatively, going well. We had three viewings on the weekend, and there was promise from them all. Here’s hoping an offer materialises! It’s only once that happens, that we can take the next step, with our forever home, you see. We are trying hard not to dream too hard, until things happen, the way we want them to, but fingers crossed!
  • If we were having chai I’d have to tell you of my huge disappointment, yesterday. We had been told that there would, finally be snow. Lots of snow. The Beast from the Baltic was due to vistit the South East, bringing with it, around 20 cm of snow. I woke early, but purposely didn’t open the curtains, because all I wanted to do, was fling open my drapes and view the glorious blanket of white. Finally at 8.30am, I could wait no longer, and, looking out, I could see the swirling flakes of snow, but, on the ground, nothing. The snow continued to fall all morning. ALL MORNING! Yet still, nothing. We had two viewings of our house, at lunchtime, and, as we sat in my car, the flakes got bigger. Was this going to be it? No. It carried on, falling relentlessly, yet every flake melted, as soon as it hit the ground. It was only at around 4pm that we got this… I’m told, by the weather people, that tomorrow morning, I will definitely wake to proper snow. I’m not holding out any hope!
20cm… pah!
  • If we were having chai I’d end with letting you check out my new Kindle holder… 🙂
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This week, I’ll be busy with Hubby Dearest’s Birthday (today), and mother-in-law’s birthday (also, today) followed by craziness at work, with parents coming in to pick up resources, weather-pending, and another Google Meet with the CEO of our academy, so I can demonstrate the home learning we have to offer our pupils, alongside two of my colleagues. I’m also on duty, this week, so, again, weather-pending, will be with the Key Worker and Vulnerable kids this week. Fingers crossed for some good news from the viewings, and it will also be Valentines Day on Sunday. Oh, I do hope for that snow!!!

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Chai And A Chat #120 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 44

Another week goes by in a blur… and that’s the first month of 2021, GONE!

Anyway, let’s get to it. Where’s your drink?

  • If we were having chai I’d start with a quick school update. So I was on in-school with KW Children duty this week, and the week went pleasantly enough. We were given our LFD test packs this week, so we now have to test twice a week, to locate any possible asymptomatic cases within staff. I did my first one on Saturday. I was so nervous, to be honest. Obviously, I don’t want to be positive. For everyone’s sake, and for more selfish reasons. We had a few things happening this weekend, as well as several appointments over the week which I really can’t afford to miss or reschedule… the pack honestly looks like a pregnancy test, except you don’t pee on a stick, you still do the throat and nose swabs, before putting your sample on the test. It was Negative, thank goodness!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that I was very happy to hear that my parents got their first vaccinations on Saturday. One step closer to being able to be together, I guess! And my in-laws got their letter through to book an appointment for theirs, too. Mum in law wanted an asymptomtaic test first though, to ensure they were both fine, so I booked those in for them, and they also came back negative. So at least our parents will be vaccinated with the first shots. Thank goodness.
  • If we were having chai I’d update you on house stuff. So, we decided to get new photos done of the house, by someone more professional than the estate agent who did the original ones. I teel you whata, going professional is tiring! I spent Saturday doing a huge disappearing act, taking clothing off our clothes rails, losing unnecessaray furniture, stripping the kitchen bathroom and living room, buying throws and cushions to look a little more fancy, and dismantling Hubby Dearest’s office on our dining table, so the room could look more like a dining room for the pics. I exhausted myself on Saturday, then before the photographer arrived on, at 11 am, I was shifting furniture, and doing a last minute clean. The photos took 2 hours, with a bout of me running up and down stairs moving things. She was a great photographer, too. Then, when she left, it was mission get back to normality, again. I didn’t even eat, all day, until 5.30pm! And I think my Fitbit told me that before, I sat down, I did 20.5K steps! But, at least the photos are done, and hopefully, they will help get some more viewings in… then we are another step closer to our dream home.
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that I received my January treat to myself. It’s a Covid mug! Can you read it without singing?
  • If we were having chai I’d finish by telling you that I completed my January journaling challenge! 31 days of prompts, and creativity in my journal. It has made me think about how I can use the skill regularly, now, too!
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This week, I’ll be hoping for news on the house situation, taking Lil Princess for her HPV Vaccine, doing all the usual school stuff, as well as a few online trainings, and a Zoom meeting…

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

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