And then it was July

I am so behind on my Goodreads challenge for this year… 6 books to read and I’ve only read 1 😦 I’m still constantly feeling overwhelmed and had the weekend off work which was definitely much needed. Working in retail during all this really does take its toll. We have officially passed day 100 of lockdown, though things are starting to open and ease up, we haven’t felt very comfortable in going out.

I wear my homemade masks every week for work and shopping. At work I slot in a disposable mask just as an extra layer – I really need to look into getting some non-woven fabric instead so that I can wash and reuse. I took Dylan out to get some sweets last week to the local newsagents as well, which was massive for us and he did the best he could – but once out of the shop he had to take his mask straight off so I had to do my best to carry it home looped over 1 finger. He’s finding it hard, but we did manage to get out for a socially distanced walk with his friend M to go see the horses in a nearby field. I know he really needed that.

Our holiday at the end of July has been cancelled and he has been so upset about it as it’s his favourite place to go, only we couldn’t see Rory the Tiger, or go swimming in the pool, or eat in the restaurant, or do anything else – including his ultimate favourite thing of visiting the arcade… We could literally just sit in the caravan or visit the beach with literally everybody else, with just a 20% discount… so it was a big no from us! All the images we have been seeing with how others are acting have just put us right off and it’s a lot of money just to sit in the caravan for the week.

Saturday 4th of July was dubbed “Super Saturday” when lots of stuff reopened such as pubs and restaurants. We did not leave the house. There are far too many people out there who just don’t care and are putting others at risk. It’s just so upsetting. I am going to attempt to take Dylan out to Hobbycraft as he needs some more picture beads as he has been loving making Mario characters to be ironed and kept from the beads but we are low on black and white beads. I know he will enjoy getting to go out, especially in the car. I honestly can’t remember the last time he got to go out in the car! I have seen on their website how they are dealing with queues and people going into store and I feel like they have it under control with social distancing (just like in our store at work) so I feel a little comfortable going to see how it goes. Just having that info on the site made all the difference to me actually deciding to go with monkey 🙂

School work is very much difficult to get him to do hence why as he has only been doing a little each day, he will be continuing through the summer holidays just doing a little. We do really hope that the week we were due to go on our holiday we can do some activities as a family but we need to play it by ear and see how things go. But top of the list of things to do it a picnic up the local hill 🙂

You can also see Dylan lost his first tooth as well and was super excited by a visit from the tooth fairy! We have had a socially distanced visit from his teacher and the SEN lady from the school (they stood at our gate to talk to us) to see how he is doing. It’s a bit sad that he has pretty much missed out on Year 1 at school. We also had info from the school about his teacher for Year 2 and when he saw the list of teachers and teaching assistants he told me he didn’t care who his teacher was as long as he had a specific TA (she has been in the other class all year in year 1) but myself and Gareth knew who we hoped his teacher would be as the one teacher was in our sports day group for Dylan’s year in Reception… and that’s his teacher… in addition to the TA Dylan wanted, so relief all round, and as they usually swap classes around each year after seeing how the children are during the school year as they did after reception class, this year they are keeping classes as they are due to all the disruption this year, so we are also relieved that though there is going to be a massive change with a new teacher, TAs and new room… the people in it plus the one TA will be familiar to him.

Day…. Uhh… lost count

I have fallen out with my sewing machine. Last night I had it apart trying to get it sorted and gave in at 11pm (which is waaaaay past my bedtime) and then spent hours from after Dylan woke me up at 6.30 still trying to fix it. I went through all the trouble shooting and finally it started working… but the tension was all wrong. I tried everything I could but I couldn’t get it fixed. I managed to finish the project I was working on at the time (I figured bad sewing was better than no sewing) and I boxed the sewing machine up and shoved it back where it was stored.

However, this week I have managed to make a face mask for each family member – it was hubby’s that broke my machine. It was really as a “just in case” as many other countries are following a rule of having a face covering when going out and as yet we have not had one but there are rumours in the news that it could be announced. I grabbed an old bed sheet that I stashed with my sewing supplies and cut out my own and Dylan’s masks and made them. For hubby’s I had a navy fat quarter laying around which has also been sun damaged – it’s been laying around for quite some time! While far from perfect, I’m pleased with how it turned out and find it a lot more comfortable than a “proper” mask I had been given to use which just didn’t fit right at all. It was my nan (a seamstress) who on our weekly chat mentioned a pattern for a face mask prompting me to get online and find something for her that I could print off and post in her letterbox… As much as I wanted to ask her to make some for us, I thought I would just give it a go myself. And while I can no longer make more than the ones we already have, I can get them in the laundry and into the tumble drier pretty quickly.

It such a crazy time right now, I sometimes sit and try and process just what the heck is going on. Just sometimes I have a wave come over me about it all. I’ve not been having the best week neither (my sewing machine no longer sewing correctly is just a small portion of my bad week – and it’s only Wednesday). Schoolwork is still a struggle. Just going to pee in peace is no small feat. Luckily we have “Wellness Wednesday” and the last 2 weeks I have jumped on a video chat. Dylan got to catch up with his friend on video chat as well today and it was nice to say hello to her mum and have a quick chat. I know I should get in touch with my Florida friends as it would be cool for Dylan to chat to one of my friend’s daughters. Dylan also has a class video chat too tomorrow which I know he is looking forward to as he hasn’t “seen” any of his school friends since the school closures in March.

I will be sure to do another check in soon, but for now, I need sleep!

Day 30 of lockdown

We have slightly slipped into some sort of routine, though this week is “back to (home)school” after 2 weeks of Easter holidays, so I knew it was going to be a bit difficult to ease back into it. BBC have been doing “Bitesize Daily” and the first 2 days wasn’t too bad but today in addition to the technical difficulties that it didn’t go up until a bit later, it just wasn’t happening. It wasn’t that he didn’t do anything because he did and that’s something at least. I think the only reason bitesize held his attention yesterday was because there was a gross yeti who ate yellow snow that made Dylan absolutely howl with laughter and request “the yeti part” over multiple times. Yesterday morning I even managed to turn his mario gameplay into school work and submit it to his teacher… He was playing Mario Maker 2 – so building and debugging by checking his level to make sure it is playable and as we use class dojo via the school, he managed to get dojo points for doing it!

He has managed to persuade me to play some Mario 3D world and we have done a bunch of levels that we struggled with (there was one level I refused to do because it was too hard and I didn’t think I would ever be able to do it…. I completed it with all 3 stars, the level stamp AND gold flag! GO ME! Not gonna lie, it did take a while LOL!)

Mondays I spend the morning (after having a short cuddle with monkey) tidying up the kitchen and starting the new week’s chores, and we do some school work. Tuesdays are super busy as I head out to Tesco around 10am and don’t get back until about 11.30, During this time Dylan has all the tablet time as he needs to sit in the spare room with daddy who is working in there. This is the day home school doesn’t start until around 2pm as we have lunch and then I have to get bins, food waste and recycling sorted ready for whatever is being collected that week (recycling and food waste every week, bins every other week). I also do my best to video chat with my nan this day.

Wednesday is general chores in between other things. We do some school work. Evenings I watch Goldbergs (8pm, though tonight I am catching up on the computer while I can as I can just get on E4 and watch all the shows I like) Schooled is 8.30 and then when I’m sleeping and I don’t get to watch it while it’s on is Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist at 10pm but I watch that on catch up when I can – I try on Thursday. Thursdays again, try some school work but by this part of the week, it’s waning. Fridays we try our best lol. On the weekends I am working the early shifts and I catch up on any chores I need to do and just try chill if we can.

My flare got worse and the hospital never responded, so I spoke with the doctors on Monday and they took extensive notes and decided considering the situation they would prescribe it to me but I would need to speak with the hospital who actually did actually call me back after that call when I updated them. I was in so much pain on Sunday, I’m wondering how I managed to get through my shift at work. Monday was another bad day (hence the call) and I’m hoping next week the meds will kick in and it’ll be so much better (it has eased a bit already thankfully!)

And saved for last, the best news! I have managed to claim my .co.uk domain back! Long story short, they reset all open tickets, I opened a new one asked them to change my WHOIS info they said no (they actually responded!) so I took full advantage to ask them to transfer my domain and now I’m free from them! The domain currently points here to my blog.

A new normal

If anyone has been following me on instagram (check me out btw) then you will already know some updates of late. Dylan’s school closed at the end of the school day on 19th March as his school already had an inset day planned on the Friday. Many children didn’t go on Thursday but Dylan went as it allowed him a bit of closure and to bring some of his things home as we have no idea when (or if) he will be going back to school for year one.

I cleared the dining room table of all the random stuff that often got left on it and it became his learning area – complete with a Pokemon poster courtesy of Twinkl and calendar posters that I’m sure I’ve seen before in Dylan’s classroom that I also laminated. That shirt on his table was his “uniform” that he designed for his first project. That Friday where the teachers were in for inset day, they had set up all resources for the kids and we are on the class dojo platform so it’s nice to have that connection to school and his teacher still.

Gareth is working from home and has been since just before Dylan finished school. It can prove challenging trying to keep Dylan’s volume down, we were just super grateful last week the sun was shining (though cold at times!) and we spent a lot of time outside in our back garden – today not so much as it rained.

Work has seen some big changes too. From operating as normal, to putting down tape to keep customers back, having to physically put things in front of the counter to stop some of them still leaning over, to closing our shop front and having barrier tape outside and running click and collect only with a pasting table at our store door for people to able to collect their items once we have stepped back. It has been interesting for sure.

Today has seen minimal school work completed, but it’s OK. We will get back on to things a bit better tomorrow – mummy certainly needs to have a quiet bath and I am hoping to carve out a bit of time each day to sit and read my own books. I failed my Goodreads reading challenge last year and I want to make it this year (I don’t count Dylan’s books lol otherwise I would pass with flying colours!) It is also super important to set some time aside for some gratitude and meditation to keep things in perspective as well as I try and juggle everything. I have had to call the IBD team at hospital and leave a message – considering all that’s going on they are swamped with calls and so it takes around 3 days for it to be returned which is understandable, but I have had to request some more medication as my doctor will not allow me to get a repeat prescription and I started flaring a few days ago.

Domain host issues

I am so grateful that I decided to back up my blog the other week! I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve had web host issues in the past and now my whole site is down and not just the one, but my blog and main site. I have set up redirects so my domain points to my Google Site (I have been slowly getting the page up together so it’s pretty much done) and my blog URL points to here. I’m starting to think I’m over web hosting anyway, there are free offerings that suit me just fine for how often I actually blog plus my main site points to my social media anyway and Google Sites is perfect for that.

I am going to transfer my domains away from where they are now and have the 2 in different places. I’ve been doing the research for a long time, I guess now it’s time to do something about it.

Little Romeo

Life wise, it has been a year since I last blogged! A whole year has passed since I met Hanson on the String Theory tour… time really does fly by! Monkey is growing by the day, last Friday we were at the school disco, I was helping to run the shop/bar and Dylan often came over to see how I was, and grabbed one of the fake roses to give to me, in his mouth and I just had to snap a picture. I had to leave my post at the bar on a couple of occasions when Dylan was going up to the speakers and putting his ear up next to it to get him away from it >.< It’s an ongoing process, and I will certainly do a post another day about some of his Sensory “Quirks” (note to self: add it to my Trello!)

We had a meeting at the school yesterday to discuss his needs. It’s a bit emotional to hear that while he excels in his speech/reading etc he struggles with his fine motor skills (another reason he hates writing) and he struggles with social situations and his attention span. He has a lot of one on one time with teaching assistants when time allows but he may need additional support. So we are working with the school so that home life is consistent as well. I was so proud of him when he wrote in my birthday card and will treasure that writing ❤

Project wise, I’ve been streaming once a week to Twitch and Mixer trying to get used to doing it regularly and once I’ve got the hang of it and I’m comfortable talking to myself to begin with, I will spread the word and let people know when I go live and look at doing it on my YouTube channel as well… I have some YouTube video ideas but it’s getting over my “it’s not good enough” issues and just get it out there 😉

Stepping out of my comfort zone

Back when Hanson announced their String Theory tour, I knew I really wanted to attend. The thought of them performing with a live symphony orchestra was just an amazing opportunity and I just couldn’t miss out on it. Hubby told me to go ahead and buy my ticket as we would sort the rest out later. Originally my hubby would be coming with me, though not to the concert, and we would stay overnight in a hotel, asking his mum to have Dylan for us. The back up plan was if she couldn’t have him, hubby would stay home, the back up plan to that was get my dad to have Dylan as he should be finished work in time for school pick up and have him until hubs had got home from work and I would need to leave the concert early to catch the train home so I could do the school run in the morning.


As time went on we had arranged for my Mother In Law to have Dylan, however closer to the time, my husband simply could not get the time off work. I was torn between staying overnight or going home, plus I had never travelled on my own before. This was going to be a pretty big deal for me.

My Hanson fan friend Maiyu and myself decided to put in for a Meet and Greet with the band, figuring it was worth a shot so we requested one back in the September, I think it was and thought nothing of it after that. On the Monday I had checked my e-mails as it was a week that day but had received nothing and I just thought to myself that it was absolutely fine. Tuesday however, hubs had asked me to e-mail something over to him. I logged into my Yahoo account and there jumped out “HANSON.net Meet & Greet winner”. I couldn’t believe my eyes, nor my absolute luck! I had gone to bed at gone 9pm and the e-mail had come in at 9.21. I was so glad I hadn’t checked my e-mails before I had gone to bed, I’d never have slept otherwise! This concert was going to be the best birthday present ever!

I had booked the Sunday off work so I could do last-minute preparations, and my MIL arrived to help out. Monday 11th Feb (2 days after my 36th birthday), I took my son to school who really didn’t want to go because he knew mummy was spending the night away from home, and I headed home to try and have a rest and get the last of my things up together.

I think I over packed.

I was so nervous! MIL dropped me off at the station and I double checked with a person on the platform that I was getting on the right train even though I had downloaded the Trainline app to make extra EXTRA sure. I sat opposite a lady, sharing a table. I tried to get my article done for the magazine done on the train but for some reason my keyboard wouldn’t sync to my tablet so I decided to forget it and just watched out the window. Luckily the lady I was sat with was getting off at the same station as I was so she let me know when to start gathering my things together ready to get off.

The station was so big. I had a little panic when I arrived there as there were so many platforms and I wondered if I was going to make it home the next day! But I stepped outside, dropped hubby a text and saw the Bullring opposite and had an hour until I could check in to my hotel. I started walking around and looking at shops, and I got the hotel up on Google Maps and just started walking in that direction popping into shops to have a look (I did make one purchase – a “Little Baby Bot” bath bomb from Lush for Dylan as a treat) and I was super excited to go into a Muji shop. Next thing I knew, I was looking at Symphony Hall and my hotel was a mere 6 minute walk away. I had been videoing along the way as well, planning on making a vlog type video to remember the day.

I arrived to the hotel early, but one of the ladies on the Whatsapp Chat that we started for other Meet & Greet winners had managed to get into hers early so I thought I would give a go. It was a bit strange turning up to the hotel and there were just kiosks to check in lol.

My Hotel Room

I had a mix of emotions, I was excited to be seeing Hanson and sad to have left hubby and Dylan behind. I headed out to Sainsburys across the road to grab something for breakfast the next day (I wasn’t spending £5.25 on the hotel’s small breakfast) and as I had to be at the venue to meet up with the M&G ladies by 5pm so I grabbed a meal deal for my tea- I hadn’t really had a proper lunch, and at this point my stomach was doing flips.

Dylan was home from school and hubby had finished work so I did a video chat with my little monkey who after being upset that morning that I was leaving, was watching telly and couldn’t give two hoots that mummy was calling. I had a regular call with hubs, and then I had to hurry up and start getting ready – my wish for a nap was clearly not happening!

Once at the venue, I started saying hello to the ladies I had been chatting to on Whatsapp for the last week and we began picking up our VIP passes. At this point, I was surprisingly calm. The nerves had vanished and I was having a great time.

The guy who was handing out the passes was hilarious and kept us all entertained and we all chatted for a while. The ladies in our M&G were all so great! The merch kiosk started setting up when we were there and I grabbed a t-shirt and a pin for my collection. I adore this pin! I have worn it to work and have popped it on my hoodie a LOT.

We had to wait a lot, it was about 6.15 when we headed off towards the side room that we were meeting the band in, and as I was in group A we went in first, it was gone 6.30 I believe. I was the last in the group to go into the room and put my bag down and go say hi. The rest is mostly a blur LOL. I remember I shook their hands, Isaac signed my book first so he asked my name and I spelled it for him, I then went to Zac for his autograph, and then Taylor who could just about squeeze it in LOL. I was then stood listening to a conversation with Zac and Lizzie and Sarah. I hardly said anything to be honest. Looking back there are a couple of things I wish I could have said:
– Talk with Zac about when Dylan was born because his son Abe was born days after him.
– Talk with Zac about the switch. Because he loves it and I think it’s awesome too.
– Mentioned to Isaac about the time I bumped into him back in 2011 when he was on his way back from the pub.
– Said how I got to see them in 2010 on my honeymoon when they played Eat To The Beat, and left my husband in the UK pavilion with a cider in each hand so I could see them.

Taylor then mentioned that we had to take our picture and I felt his hand on my shoulder to get in for the shot for a brief moment. Looking at the picture I kind of look a bit odd standing on my own out the front while everyone else is in a line LOL, but I was pretty unaware what was happening behind me. I was sure my picture was going to be a bit funny anyway as I could feel my cheek full on twitching so I was dreading seeing it but it wasn’t that bad after all lol.

In the end, we were told our time was up, and I was on auto pilot thinking that there were others who still had to have their turn and I just turned and headed straight for my bag, but I did say to the guys that we were having an absolute blast outside the room as we were all leaving.

I stood in the entrance afterwards and caught up with a bunch of my Hanson friends, including Maiyu. It was great to meet some old friends, some friends who I hadn’t met before but I had known via the fanclub/street team and some new friends too. They called that doors were open to take their seats but no one rushed to go, most people stayed in the bar area (I had taken a bottle of water with me and a small pocket squash) and slowly went and took their seat. There was one lady who I heard had taken her seat already so I went in, but she was on a balcony but we did wave hello.

The show itself was an amazing experience. I was relieved it wasn’t a standing show so it wasn’t as crazy to queue and was so laid back. Everyone was just sat and listened to the music – it wasn’t like any other show I had been to, it was great. As the orchestra started playing the opening to Reaching For The Sky, I got emotional. I was so glad I went and got to experience it. As the show went on, some fans would shout out to the band that they love them between the songs, towards the end everyone was clapping along then got up to dance, before during the last couple of songs a bunch of people went up towards the stage to dance. I, however, stayed at my seat and watched everyone debating on whether to stay where I was or go and join some of the others and get up closer for some better photos than my phone could manage.

After the show, I called hubby who insisted I get an Uber or taxi but the area outside the venue was pedestrianised and just after that where the road actually was, it was closed due to roadworks. I had to walk halfway to the hotel to have got a taxi… and quite frankly there were a lot of other fans around anyway so I was fine. I was so tired that I walked right past the gates where fans had started gathering to wait for the band, while still talking to hubs who insisted he stayed on the phone until I got to my room then.

I got dressed for bed and jumped straight in, saying goodnight to hubs. I awoke at 2am (habit from being woken in the night) but I woke up properly at 7.30 and started watching some telly, opting for a quiet and calm morning with no rush to get anywhere, minus the fact I had to be home in time for parents evening appointment. But the adrenaline had worn off, and the anxiety of getting home had kicked in.

I had been debating about going to the free museum but instead opted to head straight to the station. I had Dylan’s present so I didn’t really need to go and nose through the shops, and I checked the train times and there was one at 10.30 but I would be better off getting an Uber for that, so that’s what I did 🙂

I followed the signs for the platform shown on the app and felt pretty confident, especially when a few other people came on to the platform and asked another person if it was the right train and it was. I sat and ate another one of the blueberry muffins I had bought for breakfast on the train. It was a bit difficult carrying the 4 pack of those as well as my bags, so I knew I definitely over packed but for my first trip I just wanted to be prepared, but I will know for another time. And there will definitely be another time ^_^ The whole experience has made me more confident to do something like that again for sure. Everyone I met was so nice and friendly – even outside of the Hanson Fan community. People on the train etc were so nice and made me feel calm and safe the whole time. The Uber driver was so pleased to hear that I had such a great experience too.

[My video vlog to come soon]

Day In The Life

I had some issues with my web host and I backed up a lot of my sites, just in case. Some of them I have put up at Google Sites, one of them being my “Photolog” that has my Daily Grinds/Day In The Life posts. I participated in Ali Edward’s one yesterday (though didn’t follow the same guidelines as hers but rather stuck to my regular type) If you want to check it out go here: https://sites.google.com/view/mmmbisto-photolog/27112018

Flickr also have updated their service which means I have backed up my entire photo library from there and have put it into Google Photos, I had already started using it and was backing up a lot of my photos and videos there, so I ended up getting a push to back everything else up from Flickr there too. It does mean that I now have some broken photos here at my blog as there seems to be no easy way of deleting albums including the pictures and some have been deleted by mistake while I started trying to get my 8,000+ photos down to below their 1,000 photo limit. I will get around to sorting something out at some point.

I have excitedly almost finished my December Daily 2017, and I have set up on my Google Drive for potentially doing one this year – I’m still debating it, but I think as long as I collect stories like I did last year an album will come together nice and easy. We shall see 🙂 But maybe I could get a YouTube video made on my set up!

First Day of School

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It has been a long wait, but this monkey finally had his first day of school on Tuesday, but this week has seriously done me in! He has been in for just 2 and a half hours in the morning so I have been feeling that as soon as I dropped him off, I was getting home, frantically doing chores and racing back down to go and pick him back up. Next week will be a little easier as he will be staying for lunch and then coming home, and by the end of the month, he should be going full time. He wouldn’t stand still one little bit for me to take a picture and then refused any more. It’ll be the perfect photo to sum up life at the moment though!

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I’m also probably going to get a reputation as the “quirky” mum – or “weird mum” or be known as “scooter mum”, but really couldn’t care less.  This awesome thing has made the school run oh-so-much better for me. Dylan gets on it, and as it is surprisingly downhill (slightly, but enough lol) to the school so I only need to do a little scooting, and as Dylan has been walking down there and running around in the playground and then going into the classroom to play and then having to walk all the back he has been exhausted (I didn’t take the scooter the first day), so I have been pushing him back while he stands on it. Scooting back after drop off has also been giving me a flipping good workout!

I wish I could say all this has made Dylan sleep better at night. Nope, he’s pretty much the same as before minus a couple of really bad nights where school the next day has been playing on his mind so those nights were worse. So many people have said that once he starts school his sleep will be better and there’s still a little time before he’s full time so I’m still keeping my fingers crossed but I’m not holding out much hope!

My Graduate

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My baby graduated Preschool yesterday, and it was so emotional. He is VERY ready for school now, but I’m not sure if I’M ready for him to be ready. Life is just whizzing by so fast.

I took the obligatory final day of playgroup picture as well 🙂 This will go nicely for a comparison between his very first day of playgroup in January 207 plus his first day of preschool in September 2017.

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I look forward to getting some scrapbook pages done. It just seems I’m constantly busy and never get the time, but I will be sure to set some aside to do some memory keeping. Dylan still is not sleeping well at night and lately is forcing himself to stay awake until up to 10pm at night – and still wakes in the night. This makes for one exhausted mama. So many people have mentioned that once he starts school it will wear him out, so I am certainly hoping! Hopefully here’s to blogging more than once every 4 months as well LOL.

The Beast from the East.

Luckily for us, the “Pest from the West” which hit afterwards didn’t affect us, but we certainly had fun and games during what the media called “The Beast from the East”. On the 1st March we started having the snow which most other places had already been hit with, and the snow was very fine (not at all the type of snow that we usually get!) and with the wind, a lot of the snow was creating snow banks. Gareth (hubby) was sent home from work as he has a long commute and he worked from home for 2 days. My place of work had such low temperatures in addition to no heating that the store closed for days. I was due in at 7am on the Saturday and was on standby to wait for news if we were going to open or not – but we ended up opening on the Sunday and wore multiple layers and gloves etc to keep warm with quite a few heaters that were hired to keep us warm. Dylan’s playgroup closed at lunchtime the Thursday that the snow hit due to heating issues as well. He had an absolute blast playing in both our garden and my parent’s garden 🙂

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Luckily Gareth got home when he did, as when the snow really got going, his car was well and truly not going anywhere!

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Even my parents had to dig their way out of the door.

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Luckily by Saturday evening the snow had already melted quite a bit which was a relief for me getting to work on Sunday 🙂