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Project Slippers Volume 3.0 Part E – Week 21 - 25

I’m starting to get worried that I’m going to run out of letters in the alphabet, as we are at Part E already!

There used to be a saying that went, “time flies when you’re having fun!”, but now it seems it should be altered to “time flies in lockdown during a Global pandemic….”. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it does it!

This instalment involves ongoing desires to escape abroad, some much needed sunshine, a big double whammy moment and some football.

What else do we need in life?

Well, some freedom from this lockdown wouldn’t go amiss!!

 

Volume 3, Week 21 - Week Ending 28/05/2021 - "Go Go Go! (But, Don’t!)"

This week, Spain have announced they are now open to visitors from the UK. Regular readers of this blog, will know, that's particularly exciting news for me as I have an apartment in Spain that I am desperate to be reunited with (that, and the sunshine of course!)

But….

(There's always a 'but' isn’t there!)

It's not that easy…

The UK have still designated Spain as an 'amber' country, which means home-based quarantine when returning. It also requires a COVID test within 72 hours of the flight, plus a pre-purchased Government approved test on day 2 and day 8, plus the option of an additional test on day 5, which, if negative, allows you to cut the quarantine short.

Phew!

I'd need another holiday after arranging all of that!

And of course, one solution would be to go and just not come back for a while! (I like that option!). However, thanks to Brexit, Brits can only stay in the Schengen Zone for 90 days in every 180 day rolling period….

"If it ain't one thing it's t'uther!" as my Nanna used to say!

The talk of Spain (and other countries) starting to open up for British tourists has sparked a (sometimes) heated debate about summer plans.

  • Should people be banned from going abroad?
  • Should people have a 'staycation' and support British businesses?
  • Should people have a holiday at all? We are in the middle of a global pandemic, after all!

And so, the request of this week's blog is quite simple:

Please don’t judge!

Everyone is managing this pandemic very differently. There is no right way!

This week, I have been able to see some clients in person for the first time, and it was wonderful! We socially distanced, and we even took a home test before we met, so we were as careful as could be. Whereas, some people are still fearful of even travelling to the supermarket, and that is understandable.

We all need the space and freedom to head towards our version of normal, in whatever time it takes us (within the parameters of the law and the guidance of course!)

So, will I be venturing abroad when we're allowed?

YEP!

Will it be a 'normal' holiday?

Most certainly not. It's not even really a holiday, just a different 'home' to work from for a while (one where the weekend weather is more guaranteed to be sunny!)

But for now, it's a Bank Holiday in the UK this weekend, and we may even get a little sunshine, so for me, it'll be a mini staycation…

Have a good one!

 

 

 

Volume 3, Week 22 - Week Ending 04/06/2021 - "The Sun Has Got His Hat On"

"The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray…..

…the sun has got his hat on and he's coming out to play!"

(I hope you sang that out loud to yourself?!)

This week has been a real turnaround when it comes to the weather (hence the children's song lyrics above!)

I've said it so many times over the life of Project Slippers, but the weather really does make a big difference, especially when you're in the middle of a global pandemic and it's difficult to travel abroad!

It was a bank holiday last weekend, and in the UK, we were bathed in sunshine, which was lovely!

However, we all know what a bank holiday means….a 4-day working week, or rather, 5 days' worth of work squeezed into 4 days!

This week may have been busy, but it's also been a good one!

I started the week with a visit to another client site. Although I've worked with the client before, I haven't met the team I'm currently working with, except for on-screen during our Teams calls. This week, I was finally able to meet some of them, which was lovely. The office was eerily quiet, and it was certainly easier than ever to find a parking space, so it was far from "normal", but it was great nonetheless.

I was also able to meet a friend for a walk this week and another friend for a meal, so it's been a week of human contact (all with social distancing in place of course!)

And just like that, the week is almost over, and dare I say it, the sun is due to stay for the weekend (albeit with a promise of "the odd shower", but hey, it wouldn't be a British summertime without an "odd shower" or "a bit of drizzle", or even "a downpour"…)

Which raises an important question….

I wonder how many words there are in the English language to describe "rain"….

 

Volume 3, Week 23 - Week Ending 11/04/2021 - "Double Whammy!"

This week, I received my second vaccination, so I am now, what people are terming, “double jabbed”. I feel very fortunate to be in a position to be “double jabbed” so quickly, especially when initial estimates suggested I wouldn’t be fully vaccinated until Christmas 2021 (as I spoke about in a previous blog).

However, despite a world-leading vaccination programme, the UK are still experiencing a surge in cases due to new variants, albeit with fewer deaths than previous surges (thankfully). It means the promised release of all lockdown measures on 21st June is at risk.

So, in the meantime, as I’ve talked about before, it’s a case of enjoying what we CAN do, rather than focusing on what we CAN’T do.

And this week (or rather last weekend), that meant a trip to the seaside!

My husband and I packed an overnight bag, jumped in the car and headed to the coast. We booked a hotel en route and ended up in Southend-On-Sea. Although it was lovely to see people enjoying the fairground, browsing the shops and eating in the restaurants, it was disappointing to observe the lack of masks and social distancing. It’s no wonder cases are surging again!

However, rather than focus on these negatives, we stayed away from the crowds and enjoyed the sunshine, including the British staple of fish and chips on the seafront! Yummy!

And here’s the evidence of what a lovely time we had…

(Sorry, there are no pictures of the fish and chips. Anyone who’s been to a British seaside knows you have to eat them quickly before the seagulls get them!)

Volume 3, Week 24 - Week Ending 18/06/2021 - "Missing The Target”

This week was meant to mark the end of Covid, or rather, the end of the restrictions in England, that we've all been living with, in various remits, since March 2020.

But, it's not the end….

The deadline has been extended for another 4 weeks due to a rise in cases, so Project Slippers continues for a while longer….

However, one target that wasn't missed this week, was the Croatia goal, thanks to Raheem Sterling from the England team!

Yes, that's right, football's coming home (or some games are, anyway!)

Euro 2020 has kicked off a year late (another Covid casualty), and the home nations have all played this week.

Wales drew 1-1 with Switzerland on Saturday, followed by England who won 1-0 over Croatia on Sunday, before Scotland sadly lost 2-0 to Czech Republic on Monday.

Love it or hate it, sports like football do unite a nation. It unites those that "can't stand footie", and of course, it unites those that love nothing more than watching game after game during tournaments like this.

As a football fan (Arsenal - don't judge!), I enjoy tournaments like the Euros, and have fond memories as a child, of following tournaments like Italia '90 (the World Cup where Paul-Gazza-Gascoigne famously cried!) and Euro '96.

Talking of which, Euro '96 was the year that Gareth Southgate's penalty was saved, knocking England out of the tournament.

That moment could've caused Gareth Southgate's entire career to crumble. It was literally failure in front of the entire world.

But his career didn’t crumble, and he now proudly (and very capably), leads the England team as Manager.

What a turnaround!

And so, the moral of this week's instalment is to never let anything make you crumble.

Not failure.

Not disappointment.

Not even missing a penalty!

You've got this!

PS. “It's coming home, it’s coming home, football's coming home! Come on England!”

Volume 3, Week 25 - Week Ending 25/06/2021 - "And Then There Were Two”

The group stage of Euros 2020/2021 are complete, and the UK home nations have two teams left standing.

 

England managed to finish top of their group, and Wales finished second, whilst our Scottish cousins sadly finished bottom, so were eliminated.

 

This week’s blog isn’t a brag about England’s success though, and it’s certainly not a dig at Scotland. On the contrary, Scotland played very well, especially in their game against England, and should be commended for even making it to the tournament (their first since the 1998 World Cup in France).

The point of this week’s blog is perception. Scotland went into the game with England last weekend as the underdogs, but they didn’t let it stop them. They were determined, they worked hard, and they managed to keep England to a 0-0 draw.

After the game, England fans were commiserating like they’d lost the game, whereas Scotland fans were celebrating as if it was a win.

It was all about perception.

Perception is really important in business and at work too, especially in these strange times. I encourage you to tune into clients and colleagues, and be aware of how they might be perceiving a situation. For example, you may be excited about going back into an office environment, whereas they may be nervous. Perhaps they’re struggling with being separated from family members, and your sharp request might touch an already sensitive nerve.

So, although “be kind” is always sound advice, it really is even more important right now, especially when we might be perceiving situations differently.

And talking about perception, take a look at these pictures….

In this one, Mr Akeno (also known as my husband!), looks very very small….

And in this one, he looks oversized!

Isn't it amazing how two pictures give a very different view of a person’s size!

It's all about perception!