Monthly Review: February

Highlights

  • Started the month with a Skype call with a new client. That was exciting. Another meeting with a client/friend, just needing some help finding her way around WordPress so it was just a couple of quick questions but it was good to have a little catch up too. And then another couple of meetings around current work and new work. Just hope this continues.
  • The Mummies from school went out for dinner. It was a lovely little gathering. It was great to get to know a few of the mums a bit better than just the small talk we do around the school gates.
  • Jaxon’s school had a special little party to celebrate Chinese New Year as they’d been learning about it. We had some food and they sang a song (unfortunately I missed that bit as I was running behind)
  • We had snow forecasted then the following week it was like 16/17C and we could go out without our coats – crazy times!
  • Jaxon had a Parents Consultation which was good to hear what he’s been doing at school. It was good to chat to his teacher and clarify some bits around the work Jaxon is set home with each week.
  • We had a week off from school as it was half term. Chris was able to take Tuesday off work and have Jaxon while I was in Birmingham (Part One is here, Part Two is still coming!). Our Sidekick was really good too and was able to babysit Jaxon while Chris came to the station to get me.
  • Also did practical things like changing broadband provider and finally got the energy supplier changed. I had an eye test too. The lady was super helpful. I didn’t need new glasses but my prescription has changed fractionally so she wanted me to keep an eye (haha!) on it and if my sight changes at all to go back even if my test isn’t due.

Top Posts Viewed in February

Goals Set for February – and the Progress

  • Continue with walking 1000 miles challenge. So February’s target was 76.9 miles. With Chris working from home at the moment, I’ve had the car more which is great but does mean I haven’t been walking as many miles a usual. According to Fitbit, I completed 89.14 miles – this would be total rather than just going out for specific walks. I’ve slacked off a bit this month but hopefully, I can get that back in March.
  • Clear more WIPs from the knitting/crochet pile. I got up to the lace section on the Northern Lights Shawl and it just wasn’t working. Somewhere along a repeat I got it wrong so I tried un-doing it to start that bit again but it really wasn’t agreeing with me so I ended up frogging the whole thing and trying a different pattern instead. It’s a shame given how many hours of knitting had already gone into it but the new project knitted up quicker so I’m getting there on those two. I didn’t do much work on the Stormy Skies Jumper but hopefully I can come back to that in March if there’s time.

Goals for March

  • Continue with walking 1000 miles challenge. Try to get over 100 miles in the month again.
  • Give blood
  • Work on #40Acts for Lent.
  • Clear more WIPS from the knitting/crochet pile.
  • Find patterns that can be used as stashbusters.

A Sort of Random Act of Kindness

About 10 days ago now, I parked the car at our usual place and walked up to the school for Celebration Monday. We had a lovely time in the school library and I asked Jaxon about going our local council ran library – after all I think the last time I took him, he was definitely still in his buggy!

When Jaxon and I got back to the car, I’d strapped him in and went around to get into the driver’s seat. As I got in, something in the road caught my eye, so I got back out again. Even if it was just a bit that had fallen off a car, it was big for a car part and could damage someone else’s car if it was left there.

It was a small handbag (not much bigger than a clutch bag sort of thing). I opened it to see if there was an ID or something like that, there was a phone and a variety of cards. At this point I rang Chris. Our local police have changed what they will take as lost property so I wasn’t really sure what to do. Chris looked it up on the internet and there’s a national website you can report lost property to. Given the style and what was in it, I wasn’t really sure that it belonged to a “younger” person. Chris suggested ringing the mobile network – maybe they could identify the person. It was only then as I went back to the phone for a closer look did I see that there was a debit card in the front pocket of the phone case.

Having got home, I rang the mobile phone network first – they suggested taking it to the store who might be able to assist. Jaxon and I jumped back in the car and headed to the shop. The guy who I spoke to said that without the phone number or the IMEI number they wouldn’t be able to narrow it down. I said about there being a bank card in there, to which he suggested taking it to the bank – which was my next stop anyway.

Jaxon and I got back in the car and headed to the nearest branch of the bank who issued the card. We got to the bank and the guy there said of course they could contact the owner of the bank card and they could hold onto the whole handbag until the owner could collect it. Also would I like to leave my details with them, I said yes please – I’d like to know that it got home to the rightful owner okay. (Knowing how flappy I can get when I lose my bank card or my phone, I wanted to make sure it made it home).

Yesterday evening, I had a phone call on my mobile and it was a mobile number but I didn’t recognise it. The lady on the other end of the call said “Is that Hannah? Hello I’m Mrs P. You found my purse!” (or words to that affect!) She was so very pleased that it had been found. When retracing her steps she thinks it must have slid off her shoulder when she took her coat off or slid off her coat when she put it on the back seat of the car. Either way, she was very grateful that I’d found it and handed it in. We had a little chat about how it ended up at the bank and how she dislikes contactless bank cards.

After the slightly crazy evening Chris and I had yesterday, we were grateful that at least one plan had come together with no issues!

Thank You Card

Following our chat yesterday, there was a knock at the door today. Mrs P and her friend had popped around with this card and a little present to say thank you for being a lovely person and handing her handbag in. That was so super lovely of her and I’m very grateful – although she didn’t need to do that, returning her handbag was the right thing to do. In the event, I couldn’t get it to her in person, getting it to the bank to look after it was the responsibile thing to do.

#40Acts – Day Three: Period Poverty

Image from the #40Acts daily prompt email
  • Green Option: Spend some time looking into local groups that give free sanitary care to schools.
  • Yellow Option: Go Shopping. And drop off a package in a donation box in your local area.
  • Red Option: Do your bit to educate. Get the word out on social media – even though it’s awkward.

For this one, I took to social media. I regularly donate a packet or two of sanitary pads to the Red Box Project collection box at Rogan’s Books. It was the facts that worry me and make me cross. According to Plan International, 1 in 10 girls can’t afford sanitary products and over 137,700 children have missed school because of period poverty; 40% have used toilet roll as a substitute. On average it costs £13 a month and some households have to weigh it up against heating or food. How in this day and age is period poverty a thing here in the UK?

The Red Box Project are doing a great job about getting sanitary products into schools that girls in need can be given. It’s not just pads or tampons but it’s underwear so that they have spares to change into if needed. (Another thing we probably take for granted and don’t think of)

If you’re in Bedford and you’d like to donate to the project, there is a collection box in Rogan’s Books in Bedford. Sealed in boxes tampons, pads and clean, new underwear are all gratefully received. The Red Box Project aim to reach 10 to 18-year-olds to give you a guide of what’s needed.

A number of people commented on my Facebook post. A male friend commented: “Most guys don’t like to talk about this issue but soon would if their bodies partially fell apart every month. I think the real issue is why a device that consists of only a few simple and cheaply sourced components, which are mechanically assembled, costs people £13 a month when the production would be cheaper than 1.3p/unit. What did poor girls do 100 years ago?” He’s certainly doing his part though, he manages a conference/events location and in the ladies loo there, there is a basket of complimentary sanity products just in case there’s an urgent need – great idea! (There’s a similar idea at our church which is great!)

Another friend commented about promoting reusable products too. I can see where she’s coming from but I think this goes back to that money sum again. If the parents/guardians can’t afford the £13 for the products, do they have to then weigh up food/heating against washing powders etc for products like reusable pads – also is there the education around using the products?

Red Box Project Bedford

#40Acts – Day Two: People Watch

Image from the #40Acts daily prompt email
  • Green Option: Watch for needs. Get rid of usual distractions – the paper, or your phone – for the length of your commute, or for a long stretch of time when you’ll be around others.
  • Yellow Option: At midday and 3pm (or two other times if these don’t work), spend five minutes actively looking for an opportunity to be generous. 
  • Red Option: Put your phone on airplane mode for 1–2 hours (or as long as is practical). When you go to reach for your phone, let that moment be a prompt to think up a generous act for someone.

After House Group, Chris came home with a plan. As a group, we were going to bless one of our house group families. They’ve been having a rough time of it recently and just as they seem to get over one issue, another appears causing them to be back at Square One again. So this almost became our act for today (alhtough technically part one is taking part tomorrow!)

#40Acts – Day One: Pledge

Day One: Pledge

#40Acts - Day One: Pledge
Image from the #40Acts daily prompt email
  • Green Option: Set a reminder for each of the next 40 days to prompt you into that day’s act.
  • Yellow Option: Get an accountability partner who’ll keep you to your word (and your acts).
  • Red Option: Write a post on social media for each day’s act. Alternatively, start a daily diary or blog. Invite others to join in.

I’ve ended up blogging about what I’m up to. I’m going to try and stay on track but I’m not sure I will always have the opportunity to complete the acts. As I work from home, ones that need to do things for my colleagues or something like that might be a challenge. Maybe need to come up with a plan to do those on Knitting Group days or something like that.