What a year!

This year has been a rollercoaster of sorts, hasn’t it? Never would I have thought that it would have so much packed in one year.

A friend of mine wants a refund on this year πŸ˜€ I don’t blame him. It has not been smooth sailing.

We were supposed to travel to India in April which was put on hold for a month without having any clue as to whether we would even get a refund or a credit note for the flight tickets we had paid for six months ahead of our travel date. We got our credit note finally after 3 months of our travel date. Now we don’t know if we will be in a position to use it before the deadline which is next year May. One can only hope.

The decision to move our teaching online which threw a spanner in the works making us work 8 hours per day just creating the necessary materials and videos for our delivery. I almost lost my voice doing those and then delivering the lectures as usual over online platforms. It was a double whammy, but at least the students were happy and we did very well with our third semester where everything was completely online.

I have had the experience of Working From Home (WFH) during my days working as software engineer, so the switch was quite easy for me and I found myself being very productive too. We also delivered three weeks of summer school online which concluded recently and it was also a huge success. Never would I have thought that I will be teaching a 100+ kids on Zoom about the basics of wireless networks πŸ™‚

Mr M who has never worked from home absolutely loves it now. He would be a very happy person if he has to never set foot in his office again πŸ˜€ He loves his work, but he loves working from home more than working from office.

We did the whole bake during lockdown thing too, not as much as others seemed to do it. We couldn’t get enough flour to start with during the peak lockdown time. We also didn’t understand the whole toilet roll drama that happened. But at least we now know what people’s priorities are in case of any calamities or disasters.

We kept ourselves busy by going for regular walks around the block, trying my hand at Bingo for a Cancer charity (where I won a round too! yay!!!), have Zoom calls with friends, what not! We have managed to work well with each other in the same room without having the urge to kill each other πŸ˜‰ and keeping clear of each other during the Zoom sessions (we have witnessed enough Zoom video disasters).

After working non-stop (Mr M had his three month break where he was furloughed), I took a week off and we decided to go on a mini trip in and around Swansea. We decided to do the St Thomas Way tour/pilgrimage. It was a much needed break and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Things elsewhere has not been going good has it?, the wide spread of the virus in India where my parents, siblings, and friends are, the wide spread fires and riots close to where my friends are in the US, the politicisation of the epidemic, the stupidity of the people who party as if there is no tomorrow, the sheer lack of common sense… I should say we are lucky to be in good health doing what we like to do (touch wood) and may it continue. But it is also important to realise that we can never go back to what was “normal” for us all. A new “normal” is going to take time and it is OK to have a new normal. This is one of the changes that we didn’t want but cannot ignore. We might as well wisen up and learn to adapt. We have done so for so many ages, so why not now? It is going to be hard and there will be people who will take advantage of it, but those are the ones who have always put their own prosperity before the general goodness anyway. That has never changed. What we can do is take care of our own in our own small way and hope for the best.

Stay safe and Keep smiling πŸ™‚

A week later…

It’s been a week now since the lock-down was announced. We baked a ginger cake to commemorate this. I am used to working from home (wfh) and since Mr M has been working part time, he too has taken to wfh like fish to water. I will have to see what impact it has on him in another week.

With my work, we were able to replace an exam with a coursework and get the semester done, create some resources for school students for offline activities etc. Lots of work done in a week tbh. I am sure it is going to calm down a bit in another week. Keeping the children engaged and interested after a couple of weeks is going to be challenging. My second niece who is just 9 years old was horrified at the thought that she can do some learning at home. “We have got some respite from learning now, why would anyone want to learn when we can enjoy playing all day long?” she asked me. I am pretty sure, after a few more days of fighting with her sister, even their rivalry will become boring for her πŸ˜€ (fingers crossed). As for the elders, my mom is going crazy having to separate those two fighting all day long.

When this is all over, I am sure some of my colleagues who are experiencing remote working for the first time (since most of them finished studies very recently) would find it very boring to get up and get ready for work πŸ˜‰ Even more boring to face people in person and not via Zoom or Skype! My only fear is I might end up putting on some weight because after a while there is nothing more to do and while watching TV I love snacking. I am making a conscious effort to be very good and use my Wii for my exercises.

Hope everyone is staying safe and keeping their distances. The restrictions are going to be more severe, which is essential. Keep healthy and keep smiling. We can get through this only by holding on to hope and some common sense.

It's been a while

It has been a really long time since I had any time to sit and write a blog post. I have been posting on and off on Instagram and Twitter but sometimes there is so much to do and so much to read, I hardly find time to do anything else.

It has also been a while since I did this ‘working-from-home’ thingamajig. When I was working as a software engineer, that was my thing. I loved doing wfh. Cannot do much of it when you are teaching in a school. Now that we have to do the work from home due to the current covid 19 situation, I find that I am already comfortable doing it without having to worry about what will happen in a week’s time. My experience has taught me the trick of doing it and still maintaining sanity.

I know a couple of my colleagues and friends are already pulling their hair out, and it has been only a couple of days since we moved to working from home. My day one has been marked with me taking the day off which was booked well in advance. So took advantage of it and had a mega cleaning session and ensured that I had the setup ready to get on with my work from tomorrow. Also got my Wii setup for my regular workouts.

The situation otherwise is as we all know not so great. People are still being idiots, being ignorant, being selfish, which is expected, but there is also so much love and care going around which I think we should focus. I sincerely hope that those that don’t take this seriously yet come around soon and do what is necessary not just for themselves but for every one concerned.

I am glad that finally the focus is on the people who have always been the backbone of a well functioning society but have always been ignored; the public servants, the nhs staff, the teachers, the service officials, etc. I hope they stay safe and healthy for the sake of everyone else. Kudos to them all!!!

β€œHappiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – (Harry Potter) J.K. Rowling

Starting to Kick – Wk 3

It had been a very busy week work wise. Hence the delay in my updates. This week my swimming day wasn’t great. Had an hours sleep the previous night, woke up all tired and sleepy and had to be in a school hour and a half distance away, the weather was awful, you name it. In spite of all that I was determined to go ahead with my swimming lessons hoping that I wouldn’t drown myself because of the lack of sleep. I reached the pool only 10 mins before my lessons.

The previous week we had a discussion at work on the techniques to be used to float on the back easily and get back up without my arms flailing. I wanted to try that technique to see if I could get back from floating without holding the pool wall. I wasn’t very successful but after 5 times I got it right the last time. My instructor made me try the kick on the front and get me to move from A to B.

I was doing the kicking all wrong by using the whole leg instead of just the feet. After almost 10 times, I wasn’t able to do anything with my leg. I was exhausted. Combine that with the fatigue I was done for the day and it was only 15 mins into the lesson. I alternated my kicking lessons with my trials for the floating and was more determined to try harder until the end of the lesson.

The last 10 mins of the lesson (out of the 30 mins) was spent with me trying to float, kick, and watching the clock alternatively. Once it was over, I wasn’t be able to walk straight. Mr M came to my result, as usual. But I was able to successfully move at least 30 cm using my kicks and that is a great deal for me. I will take any small success I can get with respect to my swimming lessons.

First Live Football

Recently we were lucky to get some tickets for the football match between Swansea City and Nottingham Forest at the Liberty Stadium. Mr M watches a lot of sports on the tele. I always thought that football is slightly boring as you could watch the whole of 90 mins and there still wouldn’t be any goal. A whole match gone by without any team scoring a single goal. Very frustrating, I should say.

So, when we went to the stadium, after some tense moments regarding the tickets, we finally got in. Even though I have been to the Liberty stadium for a rugby match, the seating for the football was different. I found that the Nottingham Forest fans were seated together in a separate section. Slowly and steadily the pitch started to change. The Swans fans were seated close to those Nottingham Forest fans too. Odd that. You can imagine the drums starting to roll, the booing starting to gain momentum etc. It was becoming exciting, at least to me.

When you watch a football on the tele, you don’t realize how much is going on in the pitch. Every step counts. The reaction of the fans for every single movement in the game keeps you engrossed in the game. It is a totally different game altogether out there. I never realized that. I was getting distracted with all the fan exchanges that was going on. The more rowdier it got, the more fun it was to me πŸ˜€ No wonder people like to watch a match live.

When I thought that I would end up watching a game with 0-0 result, Notts finally scored towards the end and changed the game stats. All together I had lot of fun watching the match live.