This was week 62 at home for us, and Husband’s second birthday in lockdown.
It’s a grey Monday, alternating with moments of brilliant sunshine and almost horizontal rain.
Thankfully work is quite quiet for us, even as we clear away the requests and queries received over the weekend.
After work and dinner, the weather has let up enough for me to walk to the Co-Op and Lidl. Good to clear my head and good for my health. I duly bring my letter with me, so I can be reimbursed after I was overcharged.
I also stop by the Co-Op, and get some bargains from the reduced section. It all helps, and allows us to live well for very little money.
It’s a very windy and grey day today.
My mood is not helped by that there are emails shuttling back and forth regarding the sale of Mom’s house.
I know it was inevitable and would happen eventually, but I still feel very very sad on my sister’s behalf.
Husband is supportive by bringing me breakfast and a cup of tea in bed.
To cheer myself up, and also because it’s nice and sunny, I persuade Husband to come for a walk with me once I finish work. It does us both good.
When I check my emails later in the evening, I can see that I’ve been paid for both my eBay sales, score! I shall combine a visit to the post office with dropping in to the charity shop I was unable to visit on Saturday.
After dinner, I do some stuff round the house. I do the dishes, hang a load of washing up, hoover, dust and tidy the front room/office, hoover the sitting room, and wash and put clean litter in the Cat’s litter tray.
The weather is still cold and grey. The Cat and I spend some time resting in bed, before I persuade myself to get up.
Mom’s house is up on the property website and for sale today.
It feels weird, sad and a bit intrusive to see all these pictures of the inside of the house, just out there. And it’s strange, how people are so positive about it.
I’m not sure what to say, so I just send my sister a virtual hug to let her know I’m thinking about her.
Husband and I go to do some errands during my lunch hour, which proves quite stressful.
The charity shop we want to visit has a restriction on the door, saying two customers can be in the shop at a time. Husband and I duly wait outside in the rain until one customer leaves, then I step inside to take a look, and Husband will join me when the other person leaves.
However, then another person joins the queue, and the shop assistant goes to the door encouraging the guy to come in, saying three is allowed.
He sails straight past, leaving Husband looking quite confused.
I pay for my purchase (a dress from the £1 rail) and leave.
We walk up to the Post Office, with Husband saying he feels frustrated.
It says on the door that the limit is two people. Not only did the lady in the shop let a third person in, but the person in line behind him went in first – surely the rules would mean that a. people would have to wait until someone left to stay at limit and b. that Husband would be let in first, as he was first in line?
Situations where there are rules, which then don’t apply, bewilder Husband and make him feel like he doesn’t understand, or that there’s yet another set of unwritten rules he isn’t privy to.
It makes him feel like an outsider, like there’s something that everyone else is getting, but him.
Once we are back, we quickly make some lunch that I have Al Desco, while Husband tries to find something to do that will let him decompress for a bit.
Our order from Approved Food arrives, as well as a dress I have bought from eBay. I leave it in the front room.
In the afternoon, I unpack the items we bought on Saturday that are now out of their quarantine.
I was especially pleased with my book – the charity shop did a Buy 1 Get 1 Free on all their books and DVDs, so when Husband chose the BFG, I chose Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.
We’re having our dinner when Neighbour texts me, letting me know that they’ve left us a treat on our windowsill.
We’re having our smart meter installed today. As the engineer is coming between 8 and 9am and will have to cut the power, I have to ensure we’ve both showered, dressed and had our breakfast before they arrive.
As the weather is also going to be warmer and more dry than it has been for over a week, I hang out two loads of washing I’ve done overnight. I also soak, wash and boil our reusable masks, and they go out on the line as well.
The engineer arrives and starts the work. It takes them a lot longer than they foresaw, due to things not connecting or registering right. I read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine from cover to cover (what an amazing book) while I wait.
Eventually it’s all done, both the gas and electric meters are replaced with smart meters, we get a display for upstairs, and the engineer leaves. No more going into the basement of blergh to do the meter readings, score!
A little while later, there is a knock on the door- it’s an engineer next door has called. Apparently they can smell gas in the house next door and are quite concerned.
I feel so foolish – the engineer had not mentioned this could happen, and it had not occurred to me this could be an issue with him working down there!
I find a disposable mask for the engineer to wear, and show him where the work has been done. He uses his little device to investigate, but thankfully can’t find any faults. He wonders if this has happened because the engineer would have had to flush the pipes out, before removing the gas meter.
How embarrassing. I apologize profusely to next door and, as an afterthought, pop a note through their letterbox with my number on, should they need it in future.
After we’ve had dinner in the evening, I have another first – it’s the first time I have set foot in Neighbour’s house in over a year.
I take some of the snacks from the Approved Food order with me, and Neighbour and I spend the evening together, albeit at a distance, eating snacks and watching TV.
It’s Friday. We are all tidying up loose ends for next week, as Monday and Tuesday next week are closure days at the university.
I look forward to the time off. What I am not looking forward to is being very busy next week, as two of my colleagues have booked annual leave for the whole week, one colleague is recovering following an operation and manager is still supporting his very poorly wife.
In between working, I manage to get some stuff done around the house. I fold all the laundry from yesterday, hoover up all the dirt dragged through the house by the engineers yesterday, do the dishes, clean the windows I can reach and wipe down our front door (cannot abide a dirty front door!), photograph some things to sell on eBay and do the dishes.
Husband makes dinner today, so I finish up upstairs, ready for the weekend. I hoover and dust our office, hallway and bedroom, and put a wash of rags and towels on a hot wash on, ready for tomorrow.
It’s Saturday. I hang the washing out, and then go to open the eBay parcel, as it’s now out of quarantine.
It’s a dress I bought second-hand from a seller there, that I’ve bought in the event we do go to my nephew’s wedding in September.
As soon as I put it on, Husband and I both agree that even if we do not manage to go, it was still a worthwhile purchase. It’s long, slinky, stretchy, modest and looks just right. I could wear this to almost any sort of event.
As I am doing stuff round the house, I keep going back to check our smart meter. I wonder how much we’ve used now? How about now? What happens when I put the toaster/microwave/kettle on?
We still need some things for tomorrow’s meal with Husband’s family, so after some dinner I walk down to the Tesco Express.
I also, naturally come away with some reduced to clear food.
Happy birthday, Husband!
I get up quietly, and go down to make a special breakfast of fried eggs, small pancakes and mushrooms for Husband and a cup of tea for him. I set this out on a tray for him with the birthday cards that have been arriving, and go wake him up.
We have breakfast in bed together, before we get ready and set off for Husband’s parents. After the traumatising experience travelling on public transport he experienced last time, we’ve decided to travel there on public transport, and then return home in a taxi.
Thankfully, neither of the two buses are not too crowded.
We have a lovely time visiting Husband’s parents. His sister, her husband and their two children are also there, and we all sit outside and have dinner and then dessert together. The weather is sunny and warm which suits us fine, and they’ve put up a parasol, so Husband can sit comfortably in the shade.
I can tell as we are returning home that he is content, and it makes me so happy.
I’m so glad he’s had a good birthday, despite the situation we are still in.
I now have a Facebook page for the blog, which you can find here, where I post on the regular. I also post over on Instagram at @Realmofsilver.
You can read about our previous week here: