Our ninety-fourth week at home, 03/01/22 – 09/01/22 – COVID-19

Week 94 for us. Back to work to some degree, as this week marks the end of the old library management system at work and the start of the new one.

Monday 03/01/2022

I wake up, and check Teams to see if there are any good morning messages from my colleagues.

There are none, so Neighbour was right, today is a Bank Holiday for us as well, because New Years Day fell on a weekend day!
I then realize this means we have not had a milk delivery today. We don’t have very much milk left at all, and as the next delivery won’t be until Wednesday, Husband and I decide to walk to the Co-Op down the street late that night to buy some. Silver is not a fun person to be around if she can’t have a cup of tea><

As the weather is good, we go for a circuit of the park. Work will be *really* full on from tomorrow, so I need to take the chances when I can to enjoy the few nice days we have.

Once I am back, I have emails going back and forth with a media agency, who want to use my Instagram pictures in a story they are writing on money saving and buying food from the reduced section. With some final questions and pictures being sent over, the story will be published tomorrow. Husband is very excited for me, and wants to share it with everyone.

While at the Co-Op, I find some milk reduced, hurrah, and also some other food. Some will be eaten in the next day or so, while some will be frozen for future use. As the milk is reduced, I buy two to freeze in case we have no delivery again.

Tuesday 04/01/2022

Tuesday, and the first day back at work since the 17th of December.

Two of my colleagues are on annual leave today, leaving myself and our team leader. I login and can see we have more than 120 new requests that have been submitted since the office closed for Christmas.
Aside from resurfacing for lunch, and running a few reports, I do requests for the entire day. The majority of them are straightforward, but a few are quite convoluted, and another few don’t have the information within we need to do a search with.

As one of my colleagues will be on leave all week, I volunteer to go to our tiny office this week. I go take one of the lateral flow tests required. It is thankfully negative, and I report my negative result to the NHS.

The media agency contacts me, and sends me a link to show the story has been published in a big national paper here in the UK. I go to the story to read through it, it all looks good.

Until I get to the comments.

Good God, what have I done?

I know that the internet can be a cruel place. All the same.
While there are positive comments, there are also comments about Husband, my teeth, my body, my hairline (of all things). One commenter assumes I follow the supermarket staff around, like a vulture….

I resist the urge to reply to the comments to debunk a few things by closing the window, and send the link to Husband, but say to be wary of the comment section. He can tell I am feeling very unsettled about it, and holds me tight, saying he is proud of me.

I decide to pretend the article doesn’t exist, and that this has never happened.

Wednesday 05/01/2022

Another very busy day at work, though thankfully one of my colleagues are back. I carry on doing the new requests, and do the reports required for work, and then check for chapters that need to be scanned in for reading lists. It is very uncertain what we can and cannot do in the system from tomorrow, so I work hard to supply or at least send off as many requests as possible, so we have none waiting while we are offline. I manage to do this just as we are about to ‘leave’ for the day.

Because we are unsure about what we can do in the old and new system from tomorrow, the decision is made that I work from home tomorrow. No point in going in, if any book that arrives can’t be added as arrived and issued to the patron.

I have some things to send in the mail, so I go and do this on my lunch hour. I also scan in a document for Neighbour, that they need to start their new job. While reading my emails I receive one from our local bus company, letting us know they will use the Saturday timetable from the 10th of January, because of the combination of a driver shortage and staff having to self isolate.

After feeling under the weather for a few days, it is confirmed one of my nieces back home has tested positive for COVID-19. It seems inevitable that her siblings and her parents will get it now.

Husband makes dinner, after which I do the dishes and clean the bathroom, and put a load of towels and whites on.

Later that evening, Husband goes down to make me a cup of tea, and then calls up to me from the bottom of the stairs, saying we have a problem.

It seems we have no water in the tap! I leap out of my chair in the office, realizing the washing machine is still on an economy cycle. It is washing now, but what will happen once it tries to rinse, but there is no water to draw for that? I dash downstairs and turn it off. It will have to finish tomorrow or whenever the water comes on again. I also switch off the heating, as it can’t be good for the boiler to try and run with no water.

My next door neighbour texts us to say they have no water either. It turns out there is a leak in the next street over and so water has been switched off while they do the work.

It is ironic, you never feel as thirsty as when you either can’t have a drink or there is no water in the tap….Thankfully, after I did the Pound Shop Challenge, it made me realize we should be more prepared for an emergency. One of the things I did afterwards was to buy some bottled water to store, just in case.

This definitely pays off now, thank goodness I had the foresight to buy and store them! I text our neighbour and ask if they want a bottle to tide them over. They thank us, but decline.
Having that water means we can give the Cat a fresh drink, I can have a cup of tea, and we can use some of it sparingly to brush our teeth.

Thursday 06/01/2022

I wake up a bit earlier, to check if the water is back, thankfully it is. It means I can have a shower before work, and I can turn the heating back on again. We decide to use up the bottled water for our teas and so forth today, and I will then buy new bottles with a longer date on them to store for future use.

Thankfully the water is back on, because it is very cold today, so cold it starts to snow.

Husband’s mother texts me, and praises the article and my frugal ways, and not to let the comments get to me.

Our library management system is offline today. I spend the day finally reading all the emails that arrived during my absence, and doing more of the online training available for the new system.

While I have a quiet moment, I do some life admin tasks I have put off. I confirm with the decorator they are still ok to come in February and let them know what colours we have chosen for the different rooms in the house. I send a message to the studio about the bag repair, but they have to self isolate as they have tested positive for COVID-19. No worries, I can go back with the bag at a later date.
I ask our next door neighbour if they have heard from their roofer. They then get a quote from them based on pictures they have taken in the past (!), so we decide to go with the roofing firm I found, to start the work in the beginning of February. Another expense, but such is the life of owning your own home….

My brother and his younger daughter have now also tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully my brother has had two vaccine doses. It seems inevitable that the whole house will catch it now, as they have three very active children who now have to stay indoors.

In the afternoon, I am in meetings and taking calls from customers contacting the library, when the dog kept across the fence from us starts barking. It is constant, and so loud that the callers and my colleagues comment on it. It does not feel very professional at all.

It is still going at 5.40, three hours later, so I decide to go and ask them if they are intending to let the dog in anytime soon. It’s causing a nuisance and it is far too cold for the dog to be outside for hours at a time, with no means to seek shelter (we can see into their back yard, it is completely bare).

I go to the house, press the doorbell and step back. A small boy comes to the window next to the door to see who it is, so I wave at him. The door is opened by a lady with one child on the arm and the other child attached to her leg.
I apologize for the disturbance and confirm that this is where the dog lives. She says yes, and I ask if they are planning to bring him indoors soon.
She then proceeds to say that the reason why he is out there, is because they have a visitor, and the dog bites visitors.

I am unsure how to respond to this, but just let her know it should come in soon, as it is causing a nuisance now with the barking, plus it is far too cold for the dog to be outside without any shelter. She scoffs and closes the door. So that’s the end of the conversation.

Now, I understand that it can’t be easy juggling everything. And they have to do what they feel is best, I guess.
If what the lady says is true, they have at least two very young children in the house, and a dog that can’t be trusted around visitors. If he dog cannot be trusted around visitors, how can it be trusted around two small children, or, well, anyone?
To me, it seems like a disaster just waiting to happen.

In the evening, I go spend some time with Neighbour, watching some television. We decide to meet on Sunday so all three of us can watch a movie at our house.

Friday 07/01/2022

It’s Friday. Thankfully, it has been a short week.

Preliminary testing shows the team can send and receive items that are electronic in the old library management system still. I start on the new requests we have received yesterday and today, completing the ones we can send ebooks and PDFs to, or direct them to online versions. Archive.org in particular is a treasure trove of books, both very old items, and books that have been digitised or made open access.
I then respond to the emails we can respond to at this stage, and carry on with the training that is available.

I give downstairs a good vacuum and tidy up – I cannot abide having an untidy/cluttered/dusty workspace.

While it is still cold today, it is a brighter day than yesterday. I decide Husband and I need to get outside for a bit. I make us a toastie each, a hot drink each and pack some fruit and pain au chocolat Neighbour gave us, and we sit on a bench in the park having our lunch.

Husband is feeling pensive. He is unsure why, but has been thinking about his past jobs, and how none of them worked out for him, and none were places he felt like he was welcome (for the most part). I try to encourage him and reassure him that the right job for him *is* out there – he just has to find it. And now with an Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis, there will be more support available for him, whatever he wants to do, if it’s volunteering, being employed, starting a side business, or returning to education.

I am hoping once this is all over or when things calm down, that there will be support available to help people find and stay in work.

After we have had dinner, we write a list of things we need from the grocery store, and I walk down to the Co-Op and Lidl (there are two Co-Ops on my route to Lidl, and no chance of bargains must be allowed to slip through the net).
To my dismay, Lidl is completely out of pasta and toilet roll, and is out of their own brand bottled water. Feeling a bit resentful, I buy two branded bottles of still water. Nevermind. At least the date is good on them, they’re dated until December 2023.

I also find several bargains in the reduced section at the Co-Op, as well as some heavily discounted wrapping paper and Christmas cards. I stash these away for next year.

Saturday 08/01/2022

Husband’s parents come by today. We spend some time in our sitting room, drinking hot drinks and catching up. It’s great weather for it, as it rains hard the entire day.

They have been given a glut of blueberries and raspberries, which they kindly share with us. It is a real treat for us; I normally do not buy berries as they are (in my view) quite expensive for what you get, when you can get your five a day with vegetables or other fruit which is much cheaper, such as apples, clementines or bananas.

I login and check one of the panels I am part of, to see that they have processed my voucher request! It is promptly added to my Christmas/Birthday Fund, and it’s a great booster to it after it was so depleted by Christmas. I know it is only January but I will start saving for Christmas now….

There are also several invites to attend in person product testing at a panel nearby, but because of the high number of cases, I don’t feel I can justify travelling and being near others to do these now. If there any at-home tests available, I will sign up to those if I receive them.

Sunday 09/01/2021

It’s a quiet Sunday. Husband and I spend a while in bed just snuggling, it is far too cozy to get up. The Cat seems to think the same, and joins us for a while.

As the weather is better today, I persuade Husband to come out to the park with me for a circuit of it. Afterwards he has a rest while I watch two episodes of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix, while I write six draft listings for eBay.

In the evening, Neighbour comes by to watch The Last Duel with us on Disney+, we have a takeaway as a treat. I enjoy the film, but at the same time, as we comment, the conviction rates for rape even for today are very low, how on earth would you get someone convicted for it in the 1300s?

When a woman was considered property which could be married off for convenience, and for strategic purposes? Neighbour and I agree not much has changed, and that many people need to have an attitude adjustment.

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 weeks here:

Week 90
Week 91
Week 92
Week 93

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Cynni Pixy says:

    Sounds like you had another good week! Although it must have been a scare to be out of water all of a sudden! What if your heating or washing machine had broken down due to no water coming through?! Ow my… Thankfully Husband noticed it and you acted quickly!
    We also have bins with reduced products but they’re never that cheap as I see in your pictures. Meat will still be at least €2 and veggies will be at least €1. There’s very little that gets to €0,50 and that’s the lowest I’ve seen them. I think if products are even cheaper usually, they bin them here 😔 as the work costs more than the savings they make from it. Very weird… I always check the reductions but I’m a very picky eater so often can’t use anything 😔. It’s so sad people chose to attack you and your looks for being economical and using the reduced price section as you do! I think it’s great as all you buy and use won’t be binned in the end. Everything that gets binned has been not used to its potential which is a big waste! So good on you! And don’t mind the haters.
    About feeling useless without a job, I totally get Husband. I’m on the spectrum too and I know the struggle of trying to keep a job. I struggled so much that even a small job, specially made for me, worn me out in just over an hour! Being on the spectrum can be very challenging and energy draining and I’m sorry Husband is struggling with this as well. Sending him big hugs and I hope he won’t feel too bad, as he is obviously doing his best and that’s all very good so he should be proud of not giving up 🤗.
    Wishing you a good new week! 🤗

    1. Silver says:

      Thank you for your kind comment! I know the right job for Husband is out there somewhere, we just have to find it. Many people are all about the salary but what is needed above all is somewhere he feels accepted and like he belongs. None of his previous workplaces were like that.

      1. Cynni Pixy says:

        You’re very welcome 🤗
        And you’re so right! Although it can be nice to have a bit of salary for your work as it can count along with feeling appreciated, that you get something extra in return besides feeling accepted.
        It’s very hard these days to find a job like that. I tried when I lost the ability to work at my old place. The pressure was so high, that my failing body just could not cope 😔. I have looked into easier jobs, but I’d only be able to try part time and that won’t make me able to pay the bills. There’s an allowance added when you have low income here but when your income gets lower than what you have while working hard for it 🤔… It’s weird here….
        So I really hope your hubby will find something that suits him. I have tried volunteering and one job was rather ok but I just couldn’t handle it. I think with the pandemic, most volunteer jobs have been put on hold. But maybe that’s something he can look into? As the pressure may be different and it may help him discover new things?
        I really wish he’ll find a good place so that he can feel wanted, appreciated and included! It’s such an important part of feeling good about yourself.
        Big hugs your way! 🤗 🤗 🤗

  2. I am also proud of you for getting your pictures and message out there. Way to go Silver! And yes, people can be cruel but that is their problem. I can’t imagine living a life where you think it is appropriate to comment on things that just don’t matter so you can make someone else feel as miserable as you. Karma will eventually find them.

    I’m glad you got some benefit from the the pound shop challenge.

    Keep up the good work!

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