We survived Autumn term and a second lockdown!

I know this is my first blog in quite a while (4 months to be precise! eek) but a lot has been happening and I have other things on my mind! SO much has happened in the last 4 months – the return to school and worries about whether they have to close due to covid, two children’s birthdays, a second lockdown, 12 weeks of intensive revision, one exam by zoom, exam results, tiers and no last minute xmas changes!

Where to start? School – we were keeping our fingers crossed last week that we got to the end of term without any covid “incidents”. I am so happy and proud of my son’s school, to say that all but one case in year 5 (my son is in year 1) the school has stayed covid free and fully open just hoping that success continues into 2021. Even better, my daughters preschool has had no cases and remained fully open, largely as an outdoor nursery. Both education settings even managed to perform a nativity play even if it was rather different – no parents but videos shared with parents.

Birthdays – my daughters 4th birthday thankfully went ahead without incident being in September, we even managed a lovely day out at Chessington World of Adventure.

Sadly, my son’s 6th birthday plans had to be delayed after the second lockdown was announced just two days before his birthday and our planned first ever visit to Legoland😢 …. so his birthday celebrations continued 4 weeks later the first weekend after lockdown ended. It was a very cold day but really nice and quiet at Legoland and a brilliant day was had. His actual birthday was enjoyed building his amazing working Lego train set so he ended up having two amazing days.😁

Thankfully, school autumn half term happened just before the second lockdown and we managed to get away to the Isle of Wight for a lovely although rather wet and windy🤣 week. A week of Forts, castles, zoos, trains and beaches. This gave me a much needed break from my intensive revision plan.

After completing the IHGS Higher Certificate correspondence course in March and expecting to take the exam in June the plans were ruined by covid 😢 as have so many plans for so many people. The exam was rearranged for November and fingers, toes and everything else was crossed that it would still go ahead. So as soon as the schools returned in September, my intensive 12 week revision plan began, including further revision workshops by zoom and even some in person. The weeks were passing the revision was going well, a much need break for the school autumn half term was a welcome break and allowed me to assess how much a could remember at the end of a week off revision – I was happy.

We were all a bit on edge about whether the exam would still go ahead with covid cases rising, the new tier system in place, and talk about another lockdown, we were all reassured that the exam would go ahead in one form or another plans were in place for invigilating the exam by zoom…from the comfort of our own homes! 🤣 but we were all still keeping everything crossed for “normal” exam conditions….then cam the announcement – a second national lockdown starting 5 November – REMEMBER REMEMBER THE 5TH OF NOVEMBER – GUY FAWKES AND NOW LOCKDOWN #2 😢 at least the schools were staying open 😌

To be honest for us life carried on much as normal. Hubby working from home, kids at school/preschool and my revision continued, just our son’s birthday was affected. So on we roll…..exam arrangements in place by zoom….the nerves mount as 21 November approached, arrangements made for hubby and kids to go out for the three hours of my exam (I was just praying it was going to be dry!). Then the day arrived, gosh I don’t ever remember feeling as nervous for an exam before – not even my law finals!

I must say the exam was harder than expected although looking back, the preparation I had done did stand me in good stead. In some of my answers I definitely had verbal diarrhoea 🤣 the comforting thing was speaking afterwards to others who sat it at the same time we all felt the same and we all had doubts whether we had done enough to pass. The usual post exam dissection took place in my head trying to work out whether I had done enough to pass (I didn’t care what my mark was after all this time of waiting to sit the exam I just wanted to do enough to pass!) and noting what information I knew I had missed 😬

Three to four weeks of waiting….I tried to put it out of my head and get on with a research project I had taken on….and then I had a week of my daughter being at home with a nasty cold bug – yes it was a cold bug not covid – that certainly took my mind of the exam 🤣

With my exam and lockdown #2 completed time to concentrate on Christmas preparations. Our Christmas tree and decorations went up the last weekend of November – at least a week earlier than normal but we figured we all need cheering up! Online Xmas shopping done – I hate going to the shops at the best of times so Amazon is my favourite website 🤣 and once we had the Christmas “guidelines” arrangements were made for a 5 day trip to Yorkshire to spend Xmas with my parents. It would be just the six of us in our Christmas bubble possibly with a trip for the fours of us to meet my brother and his family outside for a couple of hours on one of the days. So Christmas was planned….or so we thought!

Tuesday 15 December ….. exam results by email day ….. 9.55 am my nerves and anxiety are growing… just after 10am the email is in and I burst into tears at the headline …. tears of relief and joy I PASSED 🎉🥂🍾 What a great end to 2020!

That is until Saturday 19 December 4pm and I can’t say I’m surprised but gutted 😭 (I literally broke down in tears!) that the last minutes announcement and shortening of the Christmas “guidelines” means our Christmas plans are, as are so many, thrown into the air. Thank goodness I’d booked a Sainsburys Christmas delivery slot for Christmas week just in case! 🤣 To be honest every since the rates started rising again we have continued debating with my mum and dad what to do but the decision was made and settled on that we would go up. We were due to be tested the just before hand under the ONS survey we have been taking part in which would give us some reassurance assuming the test was negative! But the decision has been taken out of our hands now, and whilst living in Waverley we are in tier 2 (whilst the rest of Surrey is in tier 4) we are technically able to travel to mum and dad’s the “guidelines” of Christmas day only mean it is just not feasible. Who wants to make a 200 mile round trip for one day? It’s just not worth it!

So its Christmas at home just the four of us and the kids seem fine with it. James (6 yr old son) did say “its sad” but I think he understands and they will still have all their present and we will make the day a special family day. Skype/zoom will be well used …. lets hope the internet and the various companies can cope with what will no doubt be a huge demand!😜

Yes Christmas will be different this year, but it is not cancelled. There will of course be people who go ahead with their plans regardless, everyone has their own opinion. We all need to think about the possible consequences of our actions, make their our own decisions and live with them.

SAFE AND HAPPY CHRISTMAS

AND

HAPPIER AND HOPEFULLY HEALTHIER 2021

🎅🍾🥂

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