clairef

Wednesday 25 November day 21 lockdown #2 Sleep has been a little better, no insomnia for hours last couple of nights. I've done a little online Christmas shopping, some was delivered and some I picked up in HH M&S. Quite unlike me to be so organised. I don't really do much so its not that onerous We had a family zoom last night for mum's birthday. I organised it and whilst it was a bit chaotic and did get a little hijacked onto other stuff it was just nice to see everyone. I had started off just making it the 4 of us plus mum and dad, and dad emailed wanting to invite lots of others too – I did ring him to make sure mum was happy with that – he said she was – though I'm not 100% sure she knew. She told me before she's not bothered about surprises and likes to look forward to nice things – but he says she does like surprises. It was all Framptons on the invite list – but I brought in the Maguires.

I've finished my final library book – The Wine of Solitude – quite sad and melancholic, about Helene's unhappy childhood and adolescence. It was set partly during the 1st World War and Russian Revolution and there was a sentence which struck me – it was almost an observation by the author about our heroine Helene and her lover – 'When faced with a certain level of horror the human mind becomes saturated and reacts with indifference and egotism' (page 146).

I've been to work today. Not a bad list, but busy as usual. But nothing awful and no nasties. Just before I finished, Jaime asked me if I could work tomorrow and I declined – to which I get comments such as 'there is a pandemic' – but they were pulling my leg A couple more things organised – quote for replacement to fence as it collapsed in the wind a few weeks ago and its being sorted on Monday. Quote for removals – got someone coming next week to do the estimate. Tomorrow is survey day

Monday 23 November day 19 lockdown #2 Continuing with the alternating good and bad nights – last night was OK though morning came too quick and I didn't want to wake up for work. I don't mind being at work once I'm there – its the getting up and getting there which it urgggg My list was horrific today, and I wasn't the only one. Other people also said about their lists being bad. I got through it only by going like the clappers and 'being quick'. Driving all over the place – I did 27 miles today. One visit I left my face mask and gloves in the car and had to traipse back which was annoying, but I did get the blood despite the patient saying he was difficult to bleed. Later I saw another lady and she had no veins I could get anything out of – nothing palpable – so when you put the tounique on and tickle the veins, they should 'pop' out – at least a bit and that is the one to use. Then I arrived at a nursing home for an INR blood test to find the patient was covid +. She absolutely needed the blood test so no choice but to go in but I was fully covered. She thought I was 'staff' and wanted me to get her a clean glass for her water and find her nail scissors for her. They asked me to take off my contaminated PPE, but there was no bin and no new clean face mask so I had to yell out for someone to come and help me. Stupid stupid. Then to finish me off, I checked pressure areas for a 94 year old lady we give daily injection to – to find I couldn't see properly as she'd 'been incontinent' – I had to help her upstairs and help clean her up. I then found all sorts of unpleasant dirty underwear and other stuff – dumped it all by the washing machine and even cleaned up the worst of unmentionable stuff of the carpet with some wipes I had. I did however find her some nice clean spotty pyjamas from the airing cupboard which she was very happy with. I didn't check her bed – probably just as well as else I'd have been changing the sheets too! Got her back downstairs safely. I got most of my lunchbreak and only finished 10 minutes late. House update: My estate agent rang and said my buyers are having a homebuyers survey – surprise – and they're coming on Thursday. Not sure why this has come at this late stage – but hey – I'm hardly going to say no. Weirdly the same day as mine is being done in Teignmouth

Sunday 22 November day 18 lockdown #2 Another night last night of insomnia. Got up and made warm milk to see if that helped – sat in bed looking out over factory unit towards the town and could watch 3 lights from the cranes blinking away. I have done pretty much stuff all today. Some on line Christmas shopping, spent an hour in the garden and then took myself off for a wander – did quite a detour following my nose, keeping off main roads as much as possible and went across the park. There was a group of probably a dozen youngsters – early teens I guess – in the park. Not a good idea to say anything, hiding to nothing. I said hello to my neighbour but apart from that (and a phone call to dad) I didn't speak to anyone all day. I agreed to take part in the street Christmas Advent trail – a weak moment – I need to decorate the window or the outside in Christmasy stuff, say the front hedge, and was thinking about some crochet stuff like father christmas, penguins and baubles. But I need to summon enthusiasm for the project. And at the beginning of the year I gave away my rooted Christmas tree in its pot – now what to do for this year – I don't want to buy something, and was thinking about making something from stuff I had, and found a Christmas 'ladder' and was thinking about using stuff out of the garden to make it and I do have a conifer in the garden (or the back hedge) and could cut bits off to decorate it, not sure. Oh I had a letter the other day from the NHS with my smear test results, negative, so that's good. Work tomorrow

Saturday 21st November day 17 lockdown #2 I went to bed early last night and woke with a migraine in the night. I know I was tired, which is a trigger, but I'd gone to bed to catch up and then it came from no where. So I took my Rizatriptan and got my flannel and had some water and went back to sleep. I did feel better in the morning but then its kind of come and gone during the day since. Now its gone. I read my sister's blog about door knocking and chuckled. I have to knock on quite a few doors too – however I often knock and just walk in, calling out that its the nurse – not the burglar!. Either that or I'm using key safes and (sadly) I even remember key safe numbers and don't even have to look them up for our regulars. One time I knocked and then peered through a letter box, to get a shock of a naked man! He popped his dressing gown on before opening the door. And if people don't answer then its a case of peering through windows, going around the back to look for signs of life, hunting for well hidden key safe boxes, and sometimes even knocking up the neighbours

Friday November 20th day 16 lockdown #2 I had one of my dreadful nights sleep last night – just could not get off – awake for hours. I got up multiple times for a wee and then a drink, and then another wee. Of course eventually I went off and weirdly felt ok this morning, but wacked now (8.30pm) I haven't taken any more of the Nytol as they made me feel weird. Plumber came this morning and did the annual service boiler. I left him to it as I was due at work. Pretty straightforward day; didn't get some blood this morning, my lady had no palpable veins, but this afternoon I was successful with someone else – lovely big juicy vein which gave up its blood. I had to drop the afternoon sample off at the hospital A&E (the cut off for collection at the GP surgery is about 2pm) – as it was urgent. A&E was busy – some hand over was going on at the nurses station, and an ambulance turned up as I was leaving. A little weird walking back in there – I saw someone I recognised even, staff not patient. I was lucky as I managed to park in the tiny permitted bay outside of A&E and didn't have to leave the car on double yellows risking a ticket. I've watched the last episode of DNA – no spoilers – the ending wasn't nice and neat but then life isn't nice and neat. Brilliant Danish crime / drama / thriller. Email from solicitor earlier – I got all excited but it was only sending me a copy of the letter from Mrs Rice's solicitor saying she'd got an onward purchase and searches were being requested. So no new news. I've started a new book – not Wolf Hall – one of my library books – another by Irene Nemirovsky – The Wine of Solitude.

Thursday 19th November day 15 lockdown #2 At work today we were told the trust is introducing twice weekly PCR covid testing for patient facing staff. This is the testing where the result comes back in 30 minutes – like has been done in Liverpool with their mass testing. The idea is we do the test at home, before leaving for work, on a Monday and Thursday. A +ve result means we should get a proper covid swab test to confirm the result but isolate at home until this comes back. If neg, can go back to work. Its not being rolled out to bank staff (me) – there was no specific reason given – probably cost. It doesn't affect me personally, I've got nothing to lose or gain either way. For regular bank staff, seems bonkers from a logic point of view, as its about protecting patients. They (whoever they are) might change their minds. I've watched another 2 episodes of my current favourite Danish thriller DNA – still excellent, and only one episode left. That's my treat for tomorrow evening. I lead such an exciting life – I might buy a bottle of red on my way home as a secondary treat

Wednesday 18 November day 14 lockdown #2 2 weeks in – I woke up with a bit of a headache this morning but fortunately it cleared on its own. It was a sunny morning and I sat and read my book in bed for a while as the light was streaming into my bedroom. I've finished the book this afternoon – not sure it was particularly well written – it was by S J Watson who wrote 'Before I got to sleep' – another crime / thriller type book. I think the book was far longer than it could have been – totally padded out. It meandered about and because I'd put it down so many times I ended up not following it very well. I was thinking about having another go at reading Wolf Hall which I failed at reading a few years ago. Mum bought it for me and I read a few chapters and found it heavy going and gave up. Now this is supposed to be quality writing and I am sure it is – maybe I just need to give it another go. Or possibly just not beat myself up (!) over my failure with this book. I've watched 5 episodes of DNA on bbc i player (an extra one last night and 2 this evening) – now this is excellent and I'm on the edge of my seat.

Natalie and I went over to Burgess Hill today and it was my chance to hang out with her for a while. Then I wandered to Kathy's but by the time I got there it was raining – hard drizzly rain coming down at an angle, so no fun for going for a proper walk. We chatted in her porch for a few minutes and then just walked over to the town and around a few places to give us a chance to chat and catch up and I just came home; weather foul and stayed tucked up all afternoon and evening watching TV

17th November Tuesday – day 13 lockdown #2

Day with no work. I made soup from the left over lamb from last week – sort of minestrone – added some 'mixed beans' from the cupboard and whatever veg were in the fridge. It was cooked last Wednesday so a bit old, it smelled a little 'funny' but maybe just a boiled lamb smell – anyway it tasted OK and I haven't been ill. Signed and emailed back the paperwork for the survey and paid my £720 for it (ouch). Next lots of quotes is for removals. That's not going to be cheap either but the money is earmarked. Doing 3 days work this week – but that's only going to make a very small dent in all these bills. I wandered over to Burgess Hill this morning – bought 3 photo frames for the pics of Mat and Harshi. I've sent one to G&G and kept 2 for me. I think its actually rather romantic and sweet that they have coupley photos of themselves up in their flat. She wouldn't let me help with the clearing up the other day – she waved me away to sit back on the sofa, and when I complimented her on her sri lankan tunic, she told me her sister makes these clothes for her and showed me about 6/7 sets of tunics with trousers and scarves which match together and numerous saris. I finished off her left over curry this evening. Started watching a Danish crime thriller – called DNA – on BBC i player. Watched 2 episodes so far, really good and engaging and I have to pay attention because of the sub titles. Hopefully tomorrow will see my Natalie and have a walk with Kathy later. Back to work Thursday and Friday.

Monday 16th November day 12 lockdown #2 I'm fed up with lock down #2. I'm fed up with mishandling. Watching Channel 4 'lockdown chaos' – probably shouldn't. Serco got £410 million – there's a surprise hey. Fed up with stupid government Downing street briefings. Stupid traffic is still really busy. I spent most of the weekend sat in the house on my own, with crappy weather outside. At least today, the surveyors office phoned and the survey is booked for a couple of weeks time – 26th November. The searches won't be back until the 1st December so that at least will tie up neatly. I've told work I'm moving – I don't have to resign as such, but it's only polite to tell my clinical lead so she knows and doesn't find out through the grape vine. Plus I've asked her to be my reference for when I apply for a new job. Work was pretty doddly today. That almost never happens. Easy visits and not too many. I got away 20 minutes early, plus I had a lunch break.

Friday 13th November day 9 lockdown #2 Yesterday I woke up with a migraine – after Natalie had cooked me the wonderful dinner the night before. Rizatriptan again fortunately worked. But I just had a quiet day. I'd planned to see Ali for a walk outside but she wasn't feeling great so we've rescheduled for next week. Could not go to sleep again last night, awake at 1am – so tired this morning getting up for work. Always busy at work. I went into one of the care homes (a nice one) for 2 bloods and an INR – the last lady took some persuading to have the blood test, she agreed and I found a nice vein – got out the needle and she said – that's an enormous needle and she slapped my hand away. I haven't been slapped by a patient for ages – doesn't really happen often. It was only on my hand, but lack of cooperation and sharp needles don't go together so I packed up my stuff and moved on. I actually got a lunch break today and a little group of us were in the kitchen eating our lunch and having a natter, which was really nice. I've come home and my back is niggling me, general tiredness I think. House update: I've been told the ETA for my searches is 1 December. Chased the surveyors office – she said she will book in a date for me and send me the T&Cs to sign early next week. Not much more I can do. My hope is to exchange before Christmas and complete early in the New Year Just seen on the news the Mid Sussex covid infection rate is up again, to 125.5. My last patient was covid + and though I wore all my protective stuff, I might be the next victim. She was coughing all over me.