penguin swimming image showing above and below water

Project 52 2020 week 31 – swimming penguins

Back to better weather and my first week off for the summer holidays. We should have been camping but decided not to go for various reasons. Hopefully we’ll make it to that campsite next year as we’ve got a credit for our payment. Social distancing is still in place, but most things have been easing – shops, gyms, cinemas etc. Although it has meant cases have been rising, so local lockdowns have been happening – my best friend’s in Manchester so she’ll now be locked down again (although bizarrely everyone can still go to the pub. A bit of a half hearted lockdown!).

Here’s our week 31 for Project 52.

Sunday was a good day. N had his first club tennis session for juniors. On Sundays they do a free for all (with limited numbers) with club members. As there was a mix of ages on N’s court – from age 8 to 12, they just played with a normal yellow ball (usually 11 years+ when you’re playing mini tennis). He enjoyed it and the club rep helping their group was very complimentary about N’s tennis.

I spend much of the rest of the day getting out my mum’s old sewing machine and learning how to use it, so I could make some face masks and reusable make up remove pads. N wanted to have a go, and made a few of the pads himself. I was impressed how he got on with it, although he did call the pedal the accelerator! I think he reckons it’s like driving a car.

Monday was my first day off work. We didn’t have any plans but the OH was moaning about all the junk in the house, so N and I blitzed the downstairs. The living room, kitchen and backroom have all the stuff tidied, recycled, burnt or thrown out, and the place was properly cleaned. I hate cleaning, but a big blitz is satisfying. It never lasts long though. Now I need to sell my done jigsaws, so I can clear everything upstairs too. I found out N likes dusting though, and it seems when his aunt is doing cleaning over at the farm, he goes and helps her by doing the dusting!

I made some mask pouches, and a mask for my brother as he’s been using disposable ones. And some more reusable pads. I also tried making a beeswax wrap. I’ve had the beeswax beads for ages to make them, but didn’t have any material. It worked quite well although I think I use too much wax.

On Tuesday, N and I went to the park in town. He didn’t want to go further afield, but the park was just what we needed. We both took our scooters (I don’t have room in the boot for his bike with all the junk in the boot) and it was great fun. It was N’s first time off the farm other than to help work or for tennis, since March.

We also had the ENT virtual consultation for N’s tonsilitis. The consultant said that currently the risk vs the benefits is probably a little close due to Covid, but we’ll review in 6 months and see how N’s gone. Basically it’ll come down to how much he misses of school. And hopefully by the time they’re back, other germs will circulate and help fight off the tonsillitis so it’ll be milder like it usually is. It’s only got worse since lockdown, so fingers crossed. I’m hoping the alternative antibiotics he had last week, will kill it off for a bit longer this time.

He also had club tennis in the afternoon. Tuesdays are only for junior members, and they have a coach for half the group while the other go with one of the coaching assistants. N loves it because it’s his usual coaching team involved so they know him really well. They’re quite young, so N looks up to them, and he can see himself doing coaching like them when he’s a teenager.

Wednesday was our first proper day out. I’d booked tickets to West Midlands Safari Park. There were lots of roadworks no the approach so we were 20 minutes later arriving than I’d planned and the queues to get in were insane. It concerned me how many given they are meant to have reduced numbers. I think it was just that everyone turned up first thing. I really think they should block slots, but it’s just ‘buy a day ticket’. The safari was queues all the way round and took 2 hours to go round. I think they should have stopped selling feed because it just meant everything clogged up while people blocked the road to feed the animals.

Thankfully once we got on foot, it wasn’t as busy. We used the portaloos and they were immaculate. Most people were good at social distancing (apart from the couple we followed who twice decided to stop and stand in the middle of the one way path!) We were still able to spend some good time at the penguins and meerkats. We didn’t do any rides, but they were very limited on numbers going on them. It was lovely to be out with some normality, although not great that it was in one of the areas that has quite high cases of Covid at the moment.

Thursday was mostly a day at home. N had his private coaching session first thing. It was with a new coach. He’s a really good coach new to teaching them – he was brought in to work at the school N usually trains at but is covering the summer private lessons. He decided N should just play with normal balls (usually he plays orange ball, but still has to work through green ball before getting o formally play yellow ball when he’s 11). He changed N’s grip to western to help as he’s obviously short at his age, changed his footwork for groundstrokes, and advised he move up a racket size. N thought the coach was brilliant. It’s just a shame I can’t get N to those courts when I’m working, so he’ll only get 3 sessions in.

The rest of the day was a bit of sewing, board game play, reading and jigsaw puzzling.

Friday was boiling hot. My car said it was 34C by the late afternoon when we went to tennis. I booked my car in for service as it’s got an engine service light come on and is due one (and MOT) in September. Their backlog is such that I can’t book it in til early September. At least they can come and collect it. I wasn’t impressed when (after a phone call), my confirmation email was addressed to Mr.

N had his group tennis training. It was with one of the junior coaches his week, but he’s good with the boys, and they did a lot of needed serving practice as it was too hot to be running around loads.

On Saturday we were meant to be going to Whipsnade Zoo. I’d booked it at the start of the week, but after Friday’s government announcement of further local ‘lockdowns’, rising cases, and potentially shutting some opened sectors to ensure schools can still open in September, the OH got stroppy. He didn’t want us going and potentially bringing Covid back (Whipsnade is right near Luton, one of the increasing cases areas). Being farmers, if they have to self isolate the farm is a bit screwed. The garage had told me I shouldn’t be driving the car long distances (he didn’t sound impressed when I asked how far is long, and that we were due to travel around 60 miles each way at the weekend). So we decided not to go – I’ve contacted them to see if I can postpone our visit, but I expect I’ll lose that money. Grrr.

Instead N went and helped with sheep dipping. I got out the sewing machine again, made chocolate brownies for pudding and read a lot.

This week’s photo was taken at West Midlands Safari Park of swimming penguins taken both above and below water..

penguin swimming image showing above and below water

Posts this week:

  1. Learning to sew and face mask making
  2. Wasgij Paying the Price solution
  3. 13 ways to use sugar free syrups
  4. Microwave peanut butter fudge

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  1. Hope his tonsillitis stays away and is helped by the other germs when they go back to school, and that the antibiotics work better. Sorry to hear about the cancelled zoo trip – hope you managed to get your money back? Although the safari park sounds fun? I would love to make some beeswax wraps. Maybe I should try it while in isolation for the next two weeks.

  2. Lots of tennis, N is doing awesome. I hope he is feeling ok at the moment, having to wait another 6 months isn’t ideal. Glad to hear you have got out the sewing machine to make masks. It is fun. Hope you are having a lovely week x

  3. It’s great that you have been making your own reusable masks. I have to use disposables at work even tho I do not have clinical contact. I did ask if I could wear my reusable, thinking about the environment but unfortunately not. But I guess it will keep me at work if a track and trace occurs! I fancied making beeswax wraps but haven’t found suitable time to do so!

    We have missed going to Zoo’s its sounds quite manic on arrival but glad to hear you found time to go round properly! I have found there are a growing number of people ignoring the social distancing rules!

  4. Lots of tennis, N certainly has more energy than me at the moment! I do love tennis though, it would be nice to go and grab a game at some point, just need to find someone to drag with me.
    Hope N is feeling ok at the moment, having to wait another 6 months just to wait and see is a bit of an ache, but I get the wait. Things are still crazy at the moment… the partial lockdown is utter nonsense! People are still going about their business like normal!
    Glad to hear you have cracked out the sewing machine to make masks! Hope you are having a lovely week! Sim x

    1. More than me too. Way too hot. I’ve not played tennis since I’ve joined the club. Need some fun play with friends rather than going and embarrassing myself at the club. just playing with N means it’s a bit wild. With 4 people on court it’s much better.

  5. I love having big blitz’s sometimes. It makes it easier to clean when there is lots less to work around. Your day out at West Midlands Safari Park sounded good once you had done the safari, two hours is long time to be in the car if its hot. We had our first proper day out this week and given restricted numbers I thought it was busier than I expected it would be.

    1. Sounds like everywhere is busier than expected, maybe because places have some bits shut so people are all in closer proximity, plus of course we’re all used to not seeing people, so being out and about will seem extreme even with reduced numbers

  6. Both places we have visited this week have said that they are limiting numbers but it really did not feel like that at all. Sorry that you haven’t got anywhere with the consultant for N, he has really been through it. Tennis sounds fun, I used to play as a child

    1. Frustrating isn’t it. Some have done it really well, others it doesn’t look like much has changed other than arrows/markings and antibac around the place

  7. OoOo camping. It will be a strange series of lockdowns now. Knowing how to make masks must come in handy. I’m glad the management takes measures to ensure social distancing. The trip to the safari sounds nice. The coach seems experienced. OoOOOoOOoo chocolate brownies

    1. Everyone here says the government haven’t been clear with the guidance. It is, but you have to work it out, but a lot of people are either ignoring it or haven’t checked on the updates. I think since the government stopped the daily tv brieflings it’s like people think it doesn’t matter.

  8. Sounds like a nightmare getting into the zoo. We went Whipsnade this week…booked the 10am to 2pm slot to get in…didn’t arrive until 12 and drove straight in. We missed out on seeing the penguins though as there was a queue to see them so left it.

    Glad N is getting in a bit of tennis. The coach sounds great.

    1. Whipsnade was where we were meant to be and there for the morning slot too. Shame we didn’t get there – haven’t heard back from them either which is a bit frustrating

  9. Ahh it’s so hard to know what to do about going out, isn’t it? We went to Belgium for ten days, travelling round by train and it all seemed perfect – everyone wearing masks, distancing, plenty of space between people in restaurants, booking timed slots for visits … Then we got back and they went back into rising cases and lockdown. Things change so quickly. Lovely to hear that tennis is back up and running. Fingers crossed for the tonsillitis ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes, everything is so fast moving. They thought Oxford would be next into the top 10 rising cases area, but a week later it’s back down below average. I think they just need to talk louder about local rises to get people warned to stop being stupid where there’s a danger. The hard thing is so many people travel for work, so it’s always going to move around so much too.

  10. never thought you could see penguins at a safari park, always thought was jungle type animals.
    What a shame you missed out on the zoo but can understand why.
    Love to read how well he is doing at his tennis.

  11. Glad that N enjoyed his first club tennis session. Well done to N on getting to grips with the sewing machine. I quite like that he called the pedal the accelerator. Fingers crossed the latest antibiotics help keep the tonsillitis at bay for a bit longer โ€“ it must be frustrating to have to wait another six months for another review. Getting in the West Midlands Safari Park sounded very frustrating โ€“ I would have thought timed tickets would have been a better idea too. Glad it got better once you were on foot. Sorry to hear you had to cancel your trip to Whipsnade Zoo. #project366

    1. Yes, little frustrating. He did have a throat niggle at the weekend which would have been 3 weeks again but hopefully that’s all it was. I’m a bit worried about school and how much he might potentially lose out on (mind you, an operation would mean nearly a month of school as they say 2 weeks at home before op, and then 2 weeks recovery. I guess they’d have to send work home for him.

  12. That’s a shame about Whipsnade, was thinking about you Sat and the cooler weather. I think we’ll give Safari Parks a miss if everyone turns up at the same time – sounds like Cotswold Wildlife Park has horrendous queues in the mornings too. Glad N is getting back to tennis. Such a strange year #366

    1. They really need to do slots, then everyone comes in at different times. It would be interesting to see what % they’re letting in.

  13. Wow, N had so much tennis this week! How lovely that he would like to be a coach when he is a teenager. It must have been nice to get out and about a bit, even if the safari park was really busy. The ENT appointment sounds pretty reassuring. Fingers crossed N doesn’t get ill so often going into the autumn.

    1. It’s good to have the coaching as back up. They tend to have assistant coaches age 14+ and they can take coaching exams when they’re 16 I think, so it’s handy when they’re a student to help with camps as a holiday job.

  14. I love penguins. Itโ€™s so hard trying to work out what to do or not do, theyโ€™ve classed camping as low risk here, so I did go with my little one again but only because the camp site only has two sites! Cases are increasing again here too, itโ€™s been interesting seeing how the two countries do things differently with the increasing cases again! Making face masks sounds really nice, at least you can make them to fit.

    1. I think if we usually went camping alone I’d have still gone, but as it was a group trip, I didn’t see much point. I’m too much of a rule follower to have relaxed and just acted like normal

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