Chai And A Chat #111 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 35

I’ve come to this Monday with a renewed sense of faith. Things are rubbish out there, but we will get through. A little hope, a little positivity, always helps.

Right, now, where’s that drink?

  • If we were having chai I’d get right into the rigmarole that is self-isolating children! So, you know that Lil Princess was put on 14 day quariantine, because a member of her class ‘bubble’ had tested positive, right? Well, Lil Man and I set off for school on Monday. As of this week, I was bringing him in with me because I didn’t want to risk this virus hitting anyone in my in-laws home, since they are all either Clinically Vulnerable, or clinically Extremely Vulnerable. He sat in my classroom, mask on until 8.20am, then headed off to his school, before the children began to come into our room. At the end of the day, he walked back to me, and sat in my room, mask on, again, after the kids had left, and we left early, too. As we drove home, he mentioned a message about school closing. I stopped the car, and looked at my email, and sure enough, more classes in their secondary school had shut. Not all for self-isolation, though, but because, due to certain bubbles having to close, lack of staff in the school building to teach, so off the majority went, to distance learn for the rest of the two weeks. All good, until I received a phone call, (same lady as the day before) telling me that Lil Man also needed to self-isolate, as he’d been exposed to a new positive case. Great. Thankfully, it’s been a week, so far, and no symptoms showing for either of them, yet. They’ve been on their computers every day, taking part in their online learning, while. Hubby Dearest has been working downstairs.
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you though, there was a little downside. The house is finally on the market, and we’ve had a few interested parties, who want to view the property, but due to the kids being in isolation, we have to hold off for a few more days, before we can arrange the viewings. Patience, Ritu! And we have a couple more houses we want to do a drive by on, as well, before requesting viewings. We’ll get there…
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that on Wednesday, Hubby Dearest and I celebratd, quietly, our 19th wedding anniversary. I’d been working, he;d been working, neither of us were in the mood to celebrate, per se, but I was given a beautiful figurine, chocolates, and flowers, along with a little music box!
  • If we were having chai, you’d be aware, from our previous chais, that I have been in a real writing slump. The exhaustion of the last few months means that there is just no room for creativity. But this week, something began to change. I had a real burst of energy, and I wrote my first flash fiction piece in around six months. I even opened up one of my projects on Sunday. I think the words will flow soon!
  • If we were having chai I’d be a little excited as I share that I have been invited as a guest author to a special book giveaway event on a huge Facebook group that I am a member of, My Book Tribe. They are holding a Bookapalooza event on the 6th of December and there are many authors, the 12 founding ones, and around 32 invited ones, (me included!) who will be posting a little about our work, and hosting giveaways, too! If you are an avid reader, this is a fantastic group to be a part of, so come, check it out!

This week, I hope will include words, and a relatively peaceful time. I’ll still be on the lookout for any symptoms in my two, and be being wary of myself as we carry on the week, at school. We are hoping to have the viewings on the weekend, and I have also been invited to a special Zoom chat, by Amanda Prowse, where several of us are going to be reading from our work, and chatting about our books! Exciting!

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 #110 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 34

It feels like Monday comes round way too fast, because there are far too many things happening around me right now. Are you ready with your drink?

  • If we were having chai I’d start with different things, for a change. so, I had my appointment at the hospital, on Thursday. ultrasounds on my elbows, to see if there was any inflamation which could account for some of the pains. I got there in plently of time, though part way through the journey, I realised that my car waas running on fumes! After hurridly finding a petrol station, I refuelled and headed to the hospital, Kindle in hand, prepared for a waait, because that’s what happens in hospitals… except it didn’t. I was seen straight away and the staff were lovely, all covered from head to toe in PPE, and the end result was we can’t see any inflammation, so back to the drawing board… is it some form of arthritis? I don’t know. Waiting time, again, for the consultant to get back to me with results of the MRI, and other bloods that I had done… another waiting game…
  • If we were having chai I’d mention that I received a lovely surprise in th mail, this week, from one of my favourite authors, Amanda Prowse, as a thank you for all the support for her most recent book release, The Boy Between. I was so touched!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that it was Diwali on Saturday, but a very muted one, where we couldn’t be with other family, as households can’t mix, right now, due to Lockdown v2.0. We still did a drive by and saw the in laws via the car, then ate lots of yummy food, and lit plenty of candles and divas around the house to celebrate the festival of lights.
  • If we were having chai I’d get baack to what I usually start with, and that is school. Oh, what a crazy week it’s been, and if the weekend has been any indication, it won’t get any easier, any time soon! I had to send home a total of four children home last week, due to symptoms, from both my class and the other Reception class. One of the children in my class is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, so she is now sheilding for the rest of the four week lockdown, meaning I need to ensure she has her distance learning catered for. One member of staff had her last day on Thursday, which means that until her rplaacement can start, we are short by one body, which is a lot in the Early Years. Thankfully, I have a team of staff, both full time, and part time, who are total angels, and one of them stepped up, offering to do full time for a couple of weeks, to help out, which was a relief… but then, Saturday morning, one of my teacher colleagues messaged me that her other half was unwell and he needed a test done… meaning, we wanted her to stay home, incase it was positive… So rush around to get another part time member of the staff to see if she could cover… it was all set, thank goodness – remember, I said my team are just stars. But the messages didn’t stop, with other members of staff within school either having to isolate, or waiting test results, we are in for a busy, busy, hectic, busy, and totally unknown week. But aa good thing, my team member, who was waiting for her partner’s result? It came back negative, so she will be in as usual, tomorrow. Phew!
  • If we were having chai I’d take a deep breathe and say “That’s not all. As I was talking to said member of staff, my phone rang from an unknown number and usually I don’t answer, but this time I did. And boy, was I glad. It was my own children’s school, to inform me that someone in Lil Princess’s class had tested positive, so she wasa going to have to self isolate for two weeks, and utilise the online learning platform. The biggest disappointment for her was that she was meant to be going to have her teeth taken out tomorrow, to get ready for her braces, and now we have to cancel the appointment! And the one for the orthodontist, the following week. But, luckily, she is pretty good at staying in her room, so self isolation should be a doddle for her! (Just pray that she doesn’t develop any symptoms, please, all!)
  • If we were having chai I’d have to tell you that I may not be able to call Lil Man, Lil Man any more. He is now officially taller than me! But I think he will always be Lil Man for me!
  • If we were having chai I’d mention that we should have a porperty on the market live as of today, fingers crossed. And we went to have a drive by, looking at some of the ones we are interested in buying. Obviously, we can’t go in, but we wanted to look at locations and just get a feel for some of the areas. There are some interesting prospects, put it that way.
  • If we were having chai I’d end by sharing a photo of my beautiful, lazy kitty, who has, after five years, decided he likes his kitty bed!

This week will be an interesting one. Who knows what it holds? I am scared to even think of the future, right now, so the hope is that we all stay healthy, and no one begins to show any symptoms. I hope the house stuff continues in a positive light, and that school isn’t as mad as I fear it is going to be… wish me luck, Peeps. I am really going to need it, I think!

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 #109 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 33

Monday is back, and with it, we are at the beginning of Lockdown v2… How are you faring? Grab your drink and let’s have a catch up.

  • If we were having chai I’d start with school (as always!) If you remember, I mentioned that I would be a staff member short this week, as one of my ladies was having a hospital procedure, which required her to self isolate for 14 day beforehand, so one of my other part time team members stepped up, and added a couple of days to her week, with us, which really helped. We have one team member leaving this week, so there have been interviews for her position, three, this week, as well as a position for 1 to 1 support for a special needs child. So the interviews all happened, then on Thursday, another of my team feell ill. She was sent home, and though we didn’t think it was Covid-19 related, she got herself a test done. Her health comes first, so I had no qualms about sending her home, but it meant I was juggling my class alone for a while, then an interviewee was bing observed, so even though I was watching her, I got an extra set of hands! Friday was much the same, with one of my other ladies who doesn’t work Friday, volunteering to come in extra, to help cover the staff shortage. Angel! This proved that we could all juggle… teaching, management tasks, observations and interviews, as well as staffing issues sorted! Caan I also share a picture by one of my colleagues, who made a portrait of me, as Ritu Poppins!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that the kids have been great at school. Parents are coming at drop off and pick up, wearing masks, and conscious of standing apart from others, which is good to see. Only one parent has been worried about the lockdown as her child was sheilding last time, and we don’t know if it is the same this time, they haven’t had a letter confirming if she is CV (Clinically Vulnerable) or CEV (Clinically Extremely Vulnerable) yet. The latter means that she has to stay at home. But her mum really wants her at school, because she loves being there. It’s tough making these choices, though, as a parent…
  • If we were having chai I’d excitedly tell you that we chose our estate agent, so the ball is definitely rolling with the house sale. The photographer came yesterday to take photos to go on the website, and he also took what are called Map-o-plan images, which are like how Google Earth works, so an interested buyer can move around 3D images of the house, too see what it all looks like, before deciding if they definitely want a proper viewing. Need to sort a solicitor out, next! I think we might even have our mortgage Agreement in Principle, too, so that means we have a budget to work with. I’m feeling rather grown up, now!
  • If we were having chai I’d mention that I was dreading the grocery shop this weekend. What with lockdown, there is, again, a whole load of people bulk buying and a chance that supermarkets will have to do the limited shoppers in store thing. It wasn’t a problem last time, as the weather was warm, but I don’t fancy standing in a slow moving queue for any length of time, right now! I went on Saturday late afternoon, after the photos, and there was no queue, thank goodness. I was also able to get all I needed, but there were a good few shelves that were nearly gone, or empty. Seriously, Peeps, toilet roll is still being stockpiled… why?! But on the flip side, one of the big supermarkets, Morrisons, is giving all school staff 10% off all shopping (apart from spirits) until January, so that is a little boost!
  • If we were having chai I’d have to admit that by Sunday, and this seems to be every Sunday, recently, I was shattered. I spent pretty much all of it either sitting on the sofa, or on my bed, reading or snoozing. My body is telling me it needs rest, so I am making sure I listen. I’m also aching, from moving bits of furniture around, before the photos were taken in the house, and I have a cold which wants to come out, but seems shy. I get dribs and drabs of sneezes, and blocked noses, then it disappears, only to come back a day or two later. Seriously, cold, either come out, or do one!
  • If we were having chai I’d end by sharing something new with you. A few weeks back, I won a competition to have my brand logo designed, professionally. I’ve done my own with Looka, before, but this was a chance for someone who knows what they are doing, to look at me, and my author image, take my preferences, and create something for me. What do you think? Personally, I’m loving it!

This week, aside from just getting through the week, I have my ultrasound appointment for my elbow joints. It has been over a year since investigations started about my tiredness, and joint pains, so I really hope I hear from them soon, and get some answers. Other than that, there is nothing different planned for the week. I just hope it’s a smooth one!

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!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps!

Chai And A Chat #108 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 32

And here was me, thinking I may just be able to wrap up the #CoronaDiaries hashtag, when BoZo BoJo and his gang decide to announce Lockdown #2! A lockdown with differences…

  • If we were having chai I’d start with school. Oh, no, I don’t have to, because we were on half term, weren’t we? So no thinking about school, or work, planning, staffing. In your dreams, Ritu! But more about that later!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that we didn’t end up getting the skip, even though it was on the list of things to do. I think we have all been a bit deflated of energy, and the will to do anything was just gone, so I moved bits about in the garden, but the stuff that needs to go, is still there!
  • If we were having chai I’d say that we did get our valuations done, and out of three, we found who I hope will be our dream agent, with a great valuation of our property, and a very reasonable fee… however… more on that, too…
  • If we were having chai I’d mention that Sonu Singh had his stint at the vets, for his scale and polish, and the removal of one broken tooth. Poor thing was still high on his painkillers, when he came back, and once he remembered food, it was like he had the munchies, darting from bowl to bowl, licking anything he thought would have food in, and even dipped half his head into his water bowl, unaware that he was soaking wet on one side, as he tried to snuffle for more food! My boy is fine now, though, thank goodness!
  • If we were having chai I’d have to let you know that we are on a mission to get Lil Man in the kitchen! My brother had a chat with him, one day, and told him, that it was really important for him to learn how to cook. Obviously, I have been trying to instil this in him, and Lil Princess, but coming from his on so cool uncle, he took heed. The challenge was on, for him to learn how to make eggs, at least two ways, and the boy done good! We started with omelette, me making one first, and him copying and following my lead. Apparently it didn’t taste good “because someone else hadn’t made it for me!” But it was good. Then day two was scrambled eggs, which he did really well with. I went shopping on the Saturday and came back to a sink filled with dishes, but there was still a proud mum moment, as he had made himself scrambled eggs, with no supervision! (Now to get cool uncle to challenge him to tidy up after himself!)
  • If we were having chai I’d get back to that news I keep hinting at… the announcement of a second lockdown. Yup. It was that news we were all expecting, yet hoping not to have to endure. That news that we dreaded, but knew was inevitable. England is officially in it’s second national lockdown from Thursday. But it’s a lockdown with a difference. All non essential businesses have to stop, including bars/restaurants, retail shops, gyms, hair salons and beauty bars. If you can work from home, you have to. Unless you are in the construction industry, or in manufacturing of essential goods, Emergency services, and health care, and education. Yup, so we at school are still same as before, soldiering on, with our children coming in, so the kids have the least amount of disruption. There is plenty to worry about, but we just have to keep going. We are a staff member down this week, due to a necessary medical procedure, and her needing to quarantine before it, I have 4 prospective members of staff to meet and observe, my classroom needs to be totally reset, as it was left in a tip on the Friday before breaking up due to the flooring being done, and I have a new boy starting tomorrow, too! So all these things meant there was a certain amount of school encroaching upon my week… And now, I worry about whether we can still go ahead with the house sale, etc… if we are in lockdown? Oh, well. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?

This week, it’ll all be about school, preparations for the next four weeks, drawing up virtual learning plans, just in case, and interviews. Oh, and juggling staff where we have a shortage… And thinking about my own two, and possible childcare, as I don’t want to drop them to my in-laws, as they are classed as vulnerable, unless absolutely necessary. I guess we’ll just wait and see. I mean, we haven’t been given the official guidance, yet, and that might add a whole heap of extra touble on our plates!

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!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps!

Chai And A Chat #107 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 31

Honestly, the way I am feeling, I’m not sure I have the energy for a drink, let alone a chat, today, but I will stop, and sit down for a short one with you, because it has been another crazy week, and thankfully, today is the first day of half term… and, boy, do I need the break!

  • If we were having chai I’d take a huge sip, before starting up with school.Week eight of the term that feels like it’s been going on forever, in a surreal parallel universe… Well, the Pumpkin Soup learning went down well, and then we got the beginning of a Chicken Pox run in my class… then, as we crawled towards the end of the week, the inevitable happened… and we ended up with three bubbles closing within school as we had four cases of Covid-19 positive results. A nightmare to end a term that has been hacking away at all of us. Thankfully, it wasn’t our bubble, but still, that’s a lot of potential people it could affect… I’m glad we’re all home for a week, now, to have that total break.
  • If we were having chai I’d remind you that in the summer, my classroom floor was meant to have been sanded and polished, but due to the guy being quarantined, it got postponed. Well, as we are off this week, it was booked in, so Friday evening saw me humping furniture off the flooring, onto the carpeted area, again, and though the floor will be lovely, shiny and new, it also means that I have to be in on the Monday, brighter and earlier than usual, to get everything put back into place! I need something to cheer me up, so here is a little gallery of prints (swipe on the Instagram post to see the different ones) of portraits done by my students over the last few years!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that though nothing major happened with the house, it has been great to have no one around, tinkering with things! And I did manage to contact some estate agents, who will be coming round this week to give us valuations. It’s really happening, y’all!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that I was pretty excited to have finally hit the 2k follower mark on Instagram, too, last week! Its gone up and down, since that post, but still… 2k!!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that we managed a brisk faamily walk to the local prom on Sunday afternoon, after an extremely lazy day, since the clocks went back, allowing for a lie in! I needed that blast of cool, refreshing air.
View this post on Instagram

Gorgeous, brisk walk on the Prom tonight. #familytime

A post shared by Ritu B (@ritubhathalwrites) on

This week, it’s my brother’s birthday so I’ll be celebrating from afar, seeing as he is in Finland, and, even though we are on half term, there are countless things to do, including getting another skip to do more clearing out, taking Sonu Singh to the cat dentist as he has bad teeth (and it’s so expensive!), and ferrying Lil Man to get measured for his new cricket bat, as well as getting valuations done on the house. But, my top priority will be rest.

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!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps!

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