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Yelly Writes

Vaccine Day post-mortem

I got my first jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca on Monday.

It involved a trip into the Colchester suburbs and finding the vaccination centre was the most challenging part. It was fairly efficient as they did have their list of people who’d signed up for vaccines to check against. They do say not to arrive too early because the vaccination centre I went to was a pharmacy with basically, a consulting room, that they turned into an inoculation room. There were appropriate social distancing measures and a lot of reminders. Of course, not everyone read or followed the suggestions to social distance and that is another post all together!

Calvary Road Pharmacy, Colchester

Today is Day 2 post the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab and I can definitively agree with Her Majesty that the jab (itself) “didn’t hurt at all!” But the list of side effects after the jab that on the Gov.UK website is spot on. There are also leaflets on the Gov.UK website for the specific vaccines. I’ve added the links to the Gov.UK web pages below.

You need to make sure you bring or have the following to hand:

According to the Gov.UK website:

  • Your NHS number
  • A face mask/covering

I had with me (because I worry, over prepare and over pack, most times)

  • My mobile that had a copy of my booking confirmation number and confirmation texts
  • Hygiene kit which included: disposable face masks, hand wipes. and hand sanitiser.
  • My passport, in case I need to show ID.

I felt really unwell about 12 hours after the jab, headachy, muscle aches, joint aches (I was feeling every single second of my 44 years let me tell you!) feverish, chills and brain fog/confusion. But yesterday was a better day and whilst I’m still waking up later than usual and waking up to a fuzzy head, I’m feeling a lot better than yesterday. A top tip that I learned from others, if you can, take paracetamol, just before your jab so that the paracetamol is in your system already when the jab comes in and will help with the symptoms as soon as they start hitting. Of course, if you can’t take paracetamol before, take it as soon as possible, after the jab. Expect symptoms as soon as 30 minutes after the jab. A few of my friends in the NHS have even said they got symptoms sooner.

Apparently, you get a card that says you’ve received the 2 vaccinations. I’m not quite sure whether this is given at the first jab and the centre I went to just didn’t have them.

Just sharing and I hope this helps!

I’ve posted long and rambling video updates on my IGTV, if you’re interested in looking and listening to me ramble about my vaccination experience!

Yelly Writes

1 down, 11 to go!

January has always, in the past, been a very busy month for me.

I worked for a chartered accountants’ firm for nearly 7 years and since 2013, January was a running-around-like-a-headless-chicken period because we had personal tax clients who needed help filing their tax returns in time for the 31 January deadline. I hope you’ve managed to file your tax returns online yesterday! If you need a recommendation, send me a message and I’ll let you have their contact details!

I thought moving to Drinkaware was going to be a little less harried. To be fair, I think it would’ve been less harried because most of the leg work would’ve been finished towards the end of December. Of course, December 2019 was the first time the world started hearing about the virus that we now know as Covid-19 and it was the holiday period before this novel virus became a pandemic.

I don’t think I would’ve written 2020 off as a non-starter. True, it was a year when I yelled, “Stop the world! I want to get off!” and, quite literally, life as we all know it, paused! The words “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind. However, it was a year of firsts and a year where we were all forced to learn about ourselves and learn about our personal limits. And as I always say, when there is learning, it’s an environment that I thrive in!

Enter 2021. We’re all still in the midst of a global pandemic (isn’t that the right way to phrase it, surely a pandemic is already global?) and it looks like we haven’t come out the other side yet! We’re still social distancing and it seems like we’re not learning the lessons that we should’ve learned after 2020 (or at least, a small percentage of the population seem to have completely ignored the infection control lessons – I’m ignoring that particular soapbox for now!). The light of the end of this dark tunnel is that we now have effective vaccines in circulation. There is hope. There is definitely something to look forward to.

It’s the First of February! I’m relieved to have survived January 2021. It feels like it’s been a year…or maybe it was just me!

Here’s to all of us who have come out of January still smiling! Yay us!

Yelly Writes

Please…

I’m sitting at my work (from home) desk bawling my eyes out.

I was watching the news and a woman who hadn’t had the chance to hug her father, who was in a care home, was finally able to after months of waiting. This was all thanks to rapid testing now made available to care homes so that relatives can visit their elderly loved ones. I’m so glad that people are able to visit their parents now. I’m so envious that they’re all now able to hug their parents. I so miss my mum and my dad. But I can’t go home to pay them a visit yet. Not whilst cases are still high in the UK. Not while there is a risk that I might bring the virus home.

My parents (and aunties) are older and obviously very vulnerable and at risk, especially my dad, who has survived multiple strokes. As much as missing them is a physical ache, I am aware of the risks that visiting them presents.

Everyone, please. Please could you think of those of us who cannot go home because we run the risk of spreading infection? Please could you think of those of us who cannot hug our parents? Please could you think of those of us who cannot care for our parents physically, even though we are desperate to, because we cannot travel home. Please think of us. Please put yourselves in our places. it’s not only the daily freedoms that we miss. We miss our families too.

I’m making sure I do my part so that I don’t contribute to the possible infection transfer so that the restrictions come down. I hope others do their part so that we all are allowed to enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted, so that we are able to be with the ones we love, our families and our friends.

No man is an island.

Never has this been more true and more evident. We’re all in one massive pond. Whatever makes a ripple in the water that surrounds me, will make ripples in the water that surrounds you.

Yelly Writes

Start of the week

Well, that’s half the working day gone!

I’m trying to figure out when I should go and get stuff but I’m thinking it should be soon. It doesn’t look too lovely outside with the rain threatening to come down. I need to go to the supermarket to buy stuff, I think!

One thing that’s been a constant these days is my daily to-do list. I know! There are so many articles saying to-do lists are the death of productivity. I disagree. If I don’t have a list, it kind of feels like I’m not working towards a purpose.

A few months back, Sara Tasker had Nir Eyal on her podcast (it’s Episode 82 and they’ve got a follow-up episode as well!) and I learned something nifty from Nir Eyal that has revolutionise my time control. He said that people should schedule their time in time blocks and to allow yourself time for yourself (I’m paraphrasing very liberally here!). I find that allowing myself time to faff is time well spent. That way, when I do get distracted and go off-piste then I don’t beat myself up with a stick that usually grows exponentially because my conscience will always go heavy on the emotional self-flagellation.

Excuse the chicken scrawl but I did want to share a picture of what I meant (if you want to see what my day looks like, let me know! Haha!). My next target is to learn to properly time block…to actually set time deadlines. It actually scares me because I’m worried that if I add another element to my workday scheduling, the restrictions will trap me into immobility. BUT baby steps. I need to actually grow into this habit. It is my goal to consciously be kind to myself.

What do you do so that you keep on track of things? Please share them with me in the comments!

Yelly Writes

Insta-validation

Sometimes I wonder if anyone is listening…if anyone actually reads my posts or if they’re just looking at the pictures. I’d like to think I have interesting things to say. But sometimes when people don’t write comments or react to your posts, it’s hard to gauge whether the content you put out is relevant.

I like writing as much as the next blogger and I like to think that they way I express my opinions can be entertaining. But when you are met with radio silence, visions of tumbleweeds rolling in the dust fill my mind. I’m constantly asking myself if I’m actually reaching someone.

One voice in my head says, “Yeah well, you don’t blog often enough for people to pay attention!” This is true. Everyone says that for your content to have traction, in this oversaturated social media environment, you have to post not just meaningful content, but you have to post regularly. Even though I know this, a small part of me thinks that somehow I’m reaching someone.

And then days like Saturday happen:

@yellywelly on Instagram

Thank you so much! You made my day! You know who you are.

I know that my chilli belly pork recipe is, by far and away, the most active of all my posts but I rarely hear from people who actually try the recipe. To be thanked for sharing a recipe that I actually tested several times before I posted it on my blog means the world. It’s actually galvanised me into action. It is the elixir vitae to my inertia! I am hoping this sustains my writing drive. I’m glad to know that my virtual “Yooohooo! Anyone out there?” was heard and someone, sight unseen, has replied “Yep! I hear you!”.

Please leave your comments! My “I’d love to hear from you!” pronouncements are genuine. I really would like to hear from the people who read my blog. Besides, if you’re someone I’d rather not hear from, you’d know it!

Yelly Writes

Are you winning 2020?

I know times are difficult but it helps to try to look at the bright side of life. If you’re down in the depths of despair, there’s nowhere else to go but up.

I saw this post on LinkedIn today and I wondered what Boris and his cohorts would say…

https://twitter.com/LewisHowes

My responses to these are:

  1. Never really possible so yes;
  2. Our lives are constantly in flux these days, with all our foundations constantly shifting, so yes;
  3. I have accepted that we won’t ever go back to normal, so definitely;
  4. I’m a worrier so that’s going to be a tough ask, but every day is a new day;
  5. See Number 4!

What would Boris et al might say:

  1. Yer, but nah, but yer, but nah, but maybe!
  2. You must all change the way you live (but we won’t, we’re the privileged few!)
  3. I’m channeling Winston Churchill (and failing miserably)
  4. “This app will be a world beating corona virus app!” (the app doesn’t know the Isle of Wight is actually an island!)
  5. What? Were we supposed to be properly thinking?

Yelly Writes

Being back

My work-life balance has been atrocious since I’ve started working again.

Since being brought back from furlough, it’s been hard to draw lines between what is my workspace and what is my at-home space. I think it’s a dilemma that everyone living in a shoebox-sized flat has battled with.

I miss the office noises. I remember finding office noise apps and sites that just played ambient office-related white noise. It was okay to hear but annoying as I guess my brain knew it was mechanically manufactured.

It was also very odd because I was an office manager without an office to manage!

When lockdown finally eased, there was the occasional opportunity to travel to the office. I could meet with suppliers and service providers, do a bit of post scanning (this was part of my day to day when I worked for an accounting firm, so to not do it regularly was very odd), prepare the office for the eventual return to office-working. Of course, between Boris Johnson saying, “Work in the office if you can” and his declaration (because there was a spike in coronavirus cases) to “Work from home if you can”, our office spent a considerable amount getting the office up to social distancing guidelines scratch. Of course, management did not require us to work from the office. We were allowed to choose the work situation that worked best for each of us, individually. The office was there “as a resource”.

I’m finding working from home very intense. I think it’s because you’re more focused on each task and sometimes it’s hard to stop when you’re on a roll. I’m also finding that because I’m working from home, I tend to start when I wake up (which is early…about 5am most days) and finish when it’s time for supper (usually when the BBC evening news starts, so about 6pm). If you consider that time frame and factor in any breaks I take, that’s at least a solid 10 hours of working.

I enjoy travelling into work because it provides variety and gives me something else to do. However, in these trying times where there is a deadly virus about, and no vaccine is available, it’s hard not to be obsessed with infection control. Because let’s face it, not everyone thinks about germ transmission. People here have to be reminded to sneeze into tissues, for goodness’ sake! My rants about people and infection control can be a whole other blog entry! London is also not quite the same right now. It’s very quiet and the buzz and hum of the city seem to have disappeared. And even though stricter lockdowns haven’t been put into place, everything is eerily quiet and empty.

How have you been?

Yelly Writes

No more hand sitting

So the secret’s out and I don’t have to hide it from my colleagues.

I was told that I was coming back from furlough but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone else. But I got a call today and they’re making the announcement so I don’t have to keep schtumm anymore! Yay!

I’m really happy about being recalled back to work. Being on furlough is great because I’ve had the chance to catch up on sleep, on reading, and do absolutely nothing on days when I just can’t be bothered. But I love my job.

It has been a few years, but I think I have found a really great job for a company that makes a difference…at least I think so, anyway. The team is great and everyone is just driven to make a difference. You can see it in people’s dedication to their jobs.

I’m really glad I’ve been called back from furlough. It means I can start contributing to my team again.

Yelly Writes

Victory!

“The world must know what happened, and never forget.” » General Eisenhower

Thinking of all the individuals who served in the Allied Forces to push back the Nazi Germany and their cohort, of all the people who the Nazis thought were disposable, those that survived the concentration camps, those that served in the auxiliary services that kept the nation running, those people who fought against those wanting to obliterate our intrinsic rights to practice our freedoms.

Also thinking about my grandfather who served in the Philippine Army, to fight the Japanese in the Philippines. He served with distinction, walked and survived the Bataan Death March, continued to serve his country as the first chairman of the National Science Development Board (which was a precursor to the modern day Department of Science and Technology) and worked to raise the profile of science and technology and how this can help the Philippine nation move forward and develop. I think of all the selfless individuals in the Philippines who fought the Japanese covertly or overtly, the men and women who laid their lives to protect the larger population from Japanese oppression and I marvel at their bravery. I am not sure that I can be that brave or selfless.

We must never forgot what these people went through, what horrors happened. We must never allow this kind of hatred, bigotry and oppression to be experienced by anyone, regardless of the colour of their skin, race, creed, religious beliefs and political views.

I

Thinking of all the individuals who served in the Allied Forces to push back the Nazi Germany onslaught, of all the people who the Nazis thought were disposable, those that survived the concentration camps,those that served in the auxiliary services that kept the nation running.

We must never forgot what these people went through, what horrors happened. We must never allow this kind of hatred, bigotry and oppression to be experienced by anyone, regardless of the colour of their skin, race, creed, religious beliefs and political views.

I would like to think that we are more evolved now as an international population.

We must be honest about what happened in the past. We must be brutal in the discussion of the series of events. We accept that there was and will always be blame to assign in times of strife and war. War happens when someone wants to subjugate another, overpower them, obliterate their culture and mores; when someone believes they are better than others.

Thinking of all the individuals who served in the Allied Forces to push back the Nazi Germany onslaught, of all the people who the Nazis thought were disposable, those that survived the concentration camps,those that served in the auxiliary services that kept the nation running.

We must never forgot what these people went through, what horrors happened. We must never allow this kind of hatred, bigotry and oppression to be experienced by anyone, regardless of the colour of their skin, race, creed, religious beliefs and political views.

I would like to think that we are more evolved now as an international population. We must be vigilant about this. We must fight to maintain our rights, as international citizens, to be who we want to be, to believe what we want to believe and to express our thoughts and opinions. Yes, there should always be rules, because without them, our society would not have order. We must remember that these rules protect these rights that we enjoy and more often than not, take for granted.

But above all, we must remember that we must be guided by love and kindness. If we are guided by love and kindness, everything else follows.