Monday, 31 August 2015

Beatles v Elvis

All day long on Radio 2 there has been a count down of the top 50 selling singles of each artist - it has made interesting listening!

Firstly Dad - he continues to make good progress and enjoyed mum's homemade tea that she took in yesterday.  Today he has to undergo the Day 4 tests which will determine whether he comes home tomorrow or not.  Anticipating his arrival home tomorrow I have been out to Dunelm and bought a large piece of foam to raise the sofa height so that he can get up and down more easily, and a v pillow to help him sit upright.  We have no idea whether he will need either but at least they are there if need be.  The foam idea was a result of a phone call that I made from the car - oh how how I like pressing a button on the steering wheel and making a phone call - simple pleasures!

Sewing wise the 12 days of christmas bunting is now complete - I will post a picture on facebook      (don't know why I didn't think of that before!). There is still a lot of hand sewing to do for several projects - oh how I hate French knots - and that's holding me up but I am persevering.  I needed the 12 days complete for a craft course that the church wants me to run in a couple of weeks - I have to show them the finished article!

Diet wise it's all good - I had a coffee out (flat white) but resisted the cakes .  Last night's incredibly fattening pork was very nice but it would be a crime to throw the other half away!  So I guess that's tea sorted!

Finally may I apologise - apparently yesterday's blog was full of spelling mistakes.  Oops!  Sorry x

Sunday, 30 August 2015

A stitch in time .......

Firstly Dad news - everything seems to be progressing well although he doesn't like the good ( there's a M & s simply food on site and a restaurant on his floor - Mum will see him right!) He is able to sit in a chair but is being told off girl crossing his legs and raising his arms - not such a good patient now he's getting better!

Today has been an at home day - apart from popping out for a paper and walking the dogs.  Sewing wise I have completed the basic christmas bunting for Mum but want to add some decorative features.  I am also still hand sewing the binding on the 12 days of christmas - it takes longer than you think but it should be completed by tonight.  The actual bunting may rake longer yo complete - I need more bias binding - oh dear - I need to visit a fabric shop :(.    Now - if Dad is still in hospital on Tuesday then I could pop into Tavistock again on my way to visit him ..........

Mum and Dad have freesat and I am proud to say that I managed to find the Create and Craft channel this morning to watch the 8 am sewing channel as usual.  Whilst there was nothing on that grabbed me, the company "the owl and the sewing cat" do run a 6 month surprise project club.  Ie every month for 6 months a surprise kit comes through the door for you to complete.  Mmmm - sounds interesting and past projects look good.  I might need to investigate further!

Finally ( aren't you glad!) the diet is going well.  For those of you who do not know much about Slimming World I am allowed 15 "syns" per day for extras / treats etc.  On Friday Mum suggested that I defrost an M & S bistro meal for lunch today- Pork with apple sauce and crackling crumb.  Furthermore she said that it would be a large portion but too small for two people.  Today I looked up the syn value - a whopping 60 syns for the whole pack!!!  Too bad that I didn't check that out before defrosting it!  I guess that it will do two meals and I will have to cut back on the syns for the rest of the week!!

The title of this blog relates to a birthday present from Happymum that I found today - a lovely sewing mug with the familiar motto -a stitch intime saves nine.  Thanks Happymum - it's lovely!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

What a difference a day makes .........

Firstly - no update on Dad - the ward he's on has later visiting hours so I am waiting for mum's update.  She may have sent texts out but my mobile doesn't have a signal here!

So - my day.  I am in the middle of Devon - near to Great Torrington.  Every other year they build a fantastic "bonfire" - this year it's the village of Trumpton, other times it has been a full size model of the Victory or Pudding Lane in London.  You can walk around it, marvelling at how detailed it is and events are planned around it ( they've even had a brass band on the Trumpton band stand) and then they burn it down! All of that effort!  For charity of course but ......  So first thing I googled when the bonfire is this year with a view to visiting Trumpton before it's a pile of Ashes.  Erm - the website had a countdown timer which was saying 10 hours left!  Cue a quick visit!

I also ( ahem) paid a visit to Slimming World!  Several wise ladies have questioned the diet efforts lately  and, truthfully, they have been rather derailed so I thought that it's time to get back on that horse! For a class that started at 9am on a Saturday morning it was heaving with people!

So - after my weigh in ( what a shame - I can't update the timer until I get home - it's all water retention anyway lol) - and a quick visit to sainsburys followed by Trumpton - it was time for today's serious sewathon.  First up was cutting out more christmas bunting and sewing it - ready for turning through and pressing.  Then it was onto the 12 days of christmas - a Redwork project where all 12 pieces of bunting have to be edged - the sewing machine sews the front and tonight's tv project is to slip stitch the back of each.  It's very frustrating not to be able to show you pictures - I have tried emailing them to mums laptop but it would need me to log out of her google account and I daren't - she's not good on passwords bless!  I will investigate adding my account to hers tomorrow!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Minor miracles

Today has been really a day of two halves.  This morning I woke up early, had breakfast and started sewing.  Last night I completed my first piece - a Redwork centre for next month's block at my patchwork class.  The block reminds me of a camera's shutter so I have created a focal point of a Redwork sewing machine to celebrate my swing retreat and a workshop that I am going to in mid September.  I also found time to apply for some "Strictly "tickets to watch the recording.  I doubt that I will be successful but, as they say, you have to be in it to win it!

Then I set off to travel over the bleak but beautiful Dartmoor to meet Mum in Tavistock - the birthplace of Sir Francis Drake and a beautiful pannier market town with a lovely sewing shop.  Needless to say the shop now has less stock than when we entered but I was restrained - honest!

The second half was when we then travelled on to Derriford Hospital to have lunch ( very nice Roast Pork carvery) and then to see Dad.  Imagine our surprise when, only 24 hours after his op, we find him being moved back to the normal ward.  He looked a good colour and, apart from some tubes coming out of him, looked absolutely normal.  He was even being cheeky and cracking a few jokes - although he was clearly tired.  They say that this could be the honeymoon period in terms of pain etc but it was lovely to see him in such good health.

Coming home was uneventful- apart from the sat nav taking me down a dubious Devon lane which has resulted in a VERY dirt car - until I walked into the house.  I won't give details but let's say that Maisie must have had an upset stomach - grrrrrr

Sewing wise - as I said one piece down and a second should be finished tonight.  Looking good!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

All is good with my world

Last night, as you might recall, Wendy and I went to see Othello.  I had been privileged to see this play once before with Rory Kinnear and Adrian Lester playing the two central roles of Iago and Othello.  In my humble opinion last nights performance could not hold a candle to the Kinnear / Lester version.  However what we found most interesting was the discussion on the way home where we addressed costumes, directions, scenery etc - it almost sounded as if we knew what we were doing!

So - onto today. Today Dad was scheduled to have his heart surgery and I am pleased to report that it went ahead and he came through it - being described as stable.  As expected he will spend tonight in Intensive care but it's a huge relief all round.  Meanwhile I have come down to my parents house to look after their dog Maisie.   She is a border collie / springer cross and the only dog which can completely and absolutely dominate Millie.  The next few days are going to be fun!  They tend to bomb around the lounge causing chaos whilst Katie just hides by my feet!

As to the sewing - well it's all unpacked and, once I have taken my suitcase up to the bedroom I will make a start - discipline Lynda, discipline!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

David Tennant changed my life

I could bore you with details of large ironing piles, packing and cleaning - but that hardly makes scintillating reading!  Instead I thought that I would discuss tonight's activity - Othello.

Several years ago Wendy and I went to our local cinema to watch David Tennant in a live streaming of RSC's Richard 11.  I am a big fan of these screenings - I accept that its better to go to a theatre and watch it live - we are doing that with Midsummer Night's Dream next year - but when such a visit is not possible then this is a very good second.  For just £12 I get to watch quality, live performances, sleep in my own bed, and watch short information films about the play and its background.  I first became a fan when watching a National Theatre production of Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch but Richard 11 opened a whole new world.  Unbeknown to us the play was the first in a six year commitment to stream all of Shakespeare's first folio - there's over 30 of them according to the internet!  Cue our challenge - could we watch all of them?  Tonight's Othello (starring Hugh Quarshie from Holby City) is number 8 and Henry V in October will be 9 - we are nearly in double digits!

But Shakespeare is boring I hear you cry - well I agree that it can be difficult to get into the language but I generally find that after ten minutes or so I am okay.  As for boring - well I did doze through the first half of one play whilst "Much ado about nothing" had me crying with laughter.  I just believe that, after we have watched each play, our lives have been enriched just a little bit more than before and I cannot understand why more people do not take advantage of these live streams and enjoy the quality of the acting.  Today's news, for example, touched on Benedict Cumberbatch's performance in Hamlet last night - a production which now holds the world record for ticket sales - the whole run selling out in just minutes - we have our tickets for the live stream in October!

On a different note - 144 6" x 5" calico pieces cut out and 60 pieces of wadding the same size - I am getting there!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Girl Power

Well the sewing supplies have all been cut to size and bagged up - project by project.  I've even made myself a list of projects to complete - in order of priority - so that I can keep track of how things are going and not forget that I've taken something down.  If you ignore Mum's request for Christmas bunting (how could I?) then there's 13 projects to do in 13 days - reasonable?  Some will take half an hour - some will need several days - some are hand sewing in front of the tv and some need the machine.  Whilst I was sorting out the supplies I decided to lay out all of these blocks a month that I do on a Saturday.  When we started this project some people decided to use a colour scheme but I didn't.  I wanted each block to transport me back to the month we did it in - for something so random they're not looking too bad!

Image result for spyToday being Tuesday I went to the senior screen.  Jean couldn't go so I went alone - it was my last chance to see a film that I had wanted to see when it first came out.  "Spy" is a spoof James Bond movie which pitches an ordinary secretary into the world of espionage and sees how she copes.  Since the secretary was overweight and middle aged I suspect that the laughter in the cinema was as much to do with the empathy from the audience as to the script writing.  It was good fun and it never hurts to watch Jude Law / Jason Statham!

Then it was off to Tesco to get some last minute supplies for my journey down to the "sewing retreat" - including filling up the car with diesel - the tank is on the opposite side of the car to every other car I have ever had - this will be fun!  I also picked up a couple of magazines - one of the weekly challenges (yes I know - I haven't forgotten them but am playing catch up at the moment!) was to enter as many competitions as I could.  These two magazines might offer suspect stories but also provide nearly 30 competitions between them - and ones that I can actually do!

Home, and after a nap (I had a bad nights sleep), its rather chilly here so I suspect that I will be hibernating a little.  The plan is to pack up the craft suitcase and start to think about the washing and ironing of clothes needed before packing my own suitcase tomorrow.  I am also running a craft course which has its first meeting a couple of days after I get back and so need to get ready for it.  I don't know yet whether people are bringing their own supplies or need to buy a pack from me - nor do I know numbers.  However I want to make up 12 packs -  that means 144 5" x 6" of calico, 144 pieces of wadding the same size and 144 ironed on transfers - wish me luck!!

Monday, 24 August 2015

It pays to tidy up - in so many ways!

As many of you will know I normally exist in an orderly (sometimes I must confess disorderly) chaos but, every now and then, I feel the need for a tidy up.  Yesterday was one of those days when I started to address the mountain of bags and boxes in my bedroom that had come from the kitchen / hall cupboard or lounge.  Nothing special in that you might say - until you realise that I came across a number of receipts for places like Tesco / B & Q etc.  Clearly I had emptied my purse before going on holiday but didn't want to just throw them away and the fireplace wasn't in place

 to burn them.  Again - hardly newsworthy - until , that is, you remember my problem getting brilliant white satinwood paint.  Whilst thinking that I had to settle for "Jasmine white" I bought three tins from B & Q at £14.87 each, didn't use them and have no use for them - but without the receipt that was £45 down the drain.  With the receipts - see where this heading?

So today I quickly hovered around (including the hall and then went over it with a floor wipe - see how much gunk was still down there!) before going out with Jean to enrol on our Creative Textiles course.  Whilst we were out I took the paint back and (sorry Happymum - it just wasn't happening) the car ramp.  That means that with the purchase of a kitchen blind and some fabric I was still in the surplus zone - go me!  I only popped into L & C for some threads and felt - but they had these adorable fabrics just in - they had only just opened the packet!!  Well - I couldn't just walk away now could I?
oops - "Australian photography!"

Once home, and a late lunch of a low fat sausage sandwich (see - I am trying!), it was time for some more tidying up in the bedroom. There's only one basket, one box and a bag to go.  Some would say that I ought to keep going until I finish but sometimes I keep something - and then change my mind the next day (that's my excuse anyway and I'm sticking to it! whilst I was tidying up a memory popped into my mind.  How did your parents get you to tidy your bedroom.  Mine used to tell us that the Queen might be popping in and we needed to be ready.  I can't remember my verbal reply but, once I figured out that she wouldn't bother coming to us every week, I seem to recall thinking - "so what!"  Mind you if you had seen my mother in full on mode ..............

I am hoping that tonight sees the last of the cutting up of supplies and that my sewing retreat case can be packed - one more job ticked off.  (This job would have been finished last night had I not lost the pattern - I have found it now but another reason for a good tidy up!)  However I thought that we all needed a giggle and came across this today x

Sunday, 23 August 2015

A senior moment?

Let me take you back to yesterday.  After my disaster with a coke can I settled down to enjoy Jean's chilli. I am visiting family later this week and am planning a sewing retreat (well - technically Dad is having his rearranged surgery so I am going down to visit / help out / look after the dog - but what's a girl to do in-between?) so intended to spend some time last night cutting out fabric and gathering supplies for the Christmas projects that I would take with me.  Cue the phone:-

"Hi Lynda, Its Chris here - should you be somewhere?"

"Err - no - why?"

"Its 6:55pm and you are on hospitality duty - you should have been here at 6:45pm"

Image result for louth playgoersOops - once a month I volunteer to sell ice-creams and sweets at the local theatre and clearly last night I should have been there - it was on my phone but I had completely forgotten about it!  Suffice it to say that I had to quickly get ready and go out.  In itself that would not have been too bad but they have a "uniform" for their volunteers and want a particular colour scheme - suffice to say my top was in the washing - the washing had finished but it was still wet!! Cue the iron to try and dry it off!  It can only happen to me.

Image result for grimoldby churchThis morning I fared much better.  After cutting out some of the supplies whilst watching my 8am sewing programme, I headed off to church - not my church but one which was having a confirmation service for the area.  Whilst several of my congregation were being confirmed I had also been invited to go by the gardeners wife - Janet.  Janet didn't tell him that I was invited and when he saw me he came over , gave me a hug and told me that he was so touched I was there that he had tears in his eyes. Ian is not your usual C of E member and he suffers from anxieties in a crowd - he clearly did not look comfortable in the long service but I was moved that support from others meant so much to him.  Unbeknown to him nearly half of his usual congregation turned out for him - but they came in near to the start of the service so he would not have seen them until the end.

This afternoon it was more mundane activities - such as mowing the lawn before the rain comes as forecast, tidying some more of the bedroom and putting kitchen items back in place - before settling down and sorting out some more sewing supplies.  I always find that I take down too much to do but I would really kick myself if I finished everything and was twiddling my thumbs.  My aim is to make and complete presents for 5 people (plus a couple of spare projects just in case) - wish me luck!  Whilst I was moving things back into the kitchen I cleaned up my favourite clock, put a new battery in and hang it up - nothing - nada - so I tried a second battery - nothing again!  When I get back I will try to see if I can take it apart and put a new movement in - how hard can that be?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

When is a disaster just a little inconvieniance?

Today was my monthly sewing class.  Truthfully its a huge giggle with a group of like minded women who also happen to enjoy sewing.  As I have said before we are sewing a block a month and I am choosing fabric to represent each month  - goodness knows what the finished article will look like!  For August I have chosen fabric to represent my travels - Chic Italian ladies and chocolates / macaroons from Bruges - this quilt is turning into some form of memory journal!

Terry has always been a rebel and decided long ago that these blocks were not for her - and so brought along a bag to sew today.  Its her version of the bag that I made at a workshop last month and, between us plus a lot of seam ripping!, the bag has turned out well.

When I arrived home - and after being given a portion of chilli for my tea from Jean - thanks for that (saves on the cooking!) - I emptied the car.  For the first time since I have lived in the house (24 years ) I dropped a can of diet coke which literally exploded everywhere showering the hall walls, floor and stairs with coke.  Yep - the same hall that was decorated a week ago and has a new floor which is 4 days old!  The air, I must confess, was blue!  As I was frantically, but carefully, wiping up my phone leapt into action with a BBC news bulletin - telling me about the horrific air accident in Sussex where some of my family live - and then of course it hit me.  This is just diet coke - no more no less - it can be cleaned up and, if necessary, walls can be repainted and new flooring laid.  Lives can not be replaced.  It sure helps to put some perspective on the situation!

Maybe this says it better than I can:-

'When it rains look for rainbows, when its dark look for stars.' Keep holding on, look for the positives in life even when its raining inside your mind ♡ inspiring quotes just for you

Friday, 21 August 2015

Success comes in babysteps

Firstly back to last night.  Four members of the WI turned up and three sent their apologies so a group size of 8 is not bad.  We looked at red work and started a communal 12 days of Christmas banner with those present committing to sewing two - I will need to get volunteers for the remaining 2!

So - onto today.  It was D day for the dogs in the boot - I decided to take them up to the beach so that Katie could see what the point was.  Miracle of miracles she jumped straight in - as did Millie - wowee.  So I took a photo for the blog - at which point Katie jumped out and ran away again.  You can see her preparing to jump in this picture!

After fetching her back I lifted her into the boot and we drove to the beach.  We didn't walk too far - I didn't want to tire her so that she couldn't jump - opened the boot and in she got first time.  I didn't push it and shut the door straight away (Millie was already in - I didn't leave her behind) and Katie jumped out okay when we got home.  Wonder if I can take the ramp back?

Today is planned to be a restful day so the next job was to sort out some fabric and pattern pieces for tomorrow - our monthly patchwork workshop at West Ashby.  Every month we get given the pattern for the following month and I swear that I will sort it straight away - but don't!!  It took a quick phone call to Jean before I even remembered which pattern we were using!

So that's about the extent of my day - apart from some English Paper piecing that was started in Verona and will, eventually, be the runner on the hall cupboard.  Hardly my most industrious day but after the past week or so I needed to just step off the gas for a while.  Even my quick afternoon nap lasted over an hour!  It felt really nice just to sew and enjoy the new lounge with the new curtains gently floating in the breeze and the dogs asleep at my feet - sometimes you just have to be!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Back to school

Today is GCSE Results day - a day when all over the country nervous teenagers are waking up and anxious to find out their results.  In my little corner of the country I am proud to say that nearly half of the students achieved the benchmark 5 A* - C (including Eng and Maths) - an increase on last year's results -  with 60% achieving grades A* - C in Catering and 100% A* - C in Hospitality (all grade B's) - this is one proud mama!  Since these are the last official "Birkbeck" results before it becomes an academy its nice to go out with a bang.  Forgive me if I copy a quote from our head girl that she posted on Facebook  "Birkbeck has given me the opportunity to achieve and for that I am so thankful. I would never have gotten the results I have if it wasn't for the amazing teachers at Birkbeck x"  I will leave the matter there!

So - onto today and it was time to complete a few jobs that had been lurking in the shadows.  First up was the telephone wire in the hall.  It lay beneath the carpet but was left across the new floor - so I sat for a while and tacked it to the skirting board to neaten things up.

Next up was the bathroom.  Don't get me wrong everything is clean and hygienic but it did need a little tidying up.  It will possibly be the next room to be decorated but that's not going to happen in the next month or so.  Instead a mop, a tidy, some clean towels and a quick swipe just refreshes the room.

Then it was time for that phone call.  One of the things that many people have urged me to do in retirement is to stimulate your mind and use your time wisely - creating a routine.  So I have decided to do a "Creative Textiles" course in Cleethorpes.  Its only a ten week course in the autumn term but it will give me a sense of where I am creatively and see what the college has to offer.  In terms of a routine that will mean that I have commitments on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday - ahem - when did I find time to work?

After lunch it was time to start thinking about tonight's visitors - the WI.  We are starting a "Crafty Fingers" group up - meeting every other month.  I have no idea how many people are coming but I am beginning to panic!  So to calm my nerves I made some cherry and almond cakes, tidied the conservatory, put some signs up in the kitchen  and cleaned some garden chairs for extra seating.  Fingers crossed it goes well - we are trying out some red work.  I will report back tomorrow.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Mother knows best (well sometimes - we wouldn't want it going to her head now would we!!)

So - after stating yesterday to my brother that I did have a routine and usually woke up by 7:30 - it was a shocking 8:15 when my eyes opened this morning.  See - I told you that I was tired at the moment!  Since today sees the visit of the stitching group the aim must be to start the great tidy up.  After all there's no point walking through a lovely hall and kitchen to a messy conservatory now is there - one with paint pots etc all over.  So - how did I start the big clear up?  Well I went shopping!  I could try to convince you that the trip was a necessary evil but, truthfully, I just wanted to drive the car a bit more and get used to it.  I had also forgotten to take the spare key for my old car and promised to take it in so that was as good a reason as any other.  Did I tell you that they gave me a lovely bunch of flowers yesterday?  They certainly brighten up the kitchen.

Whilst I was out I popped into Dunelm (do I have shares?  I ought to at the moment)  The rug in the lounge is lovely but it does move around a lot and mum had recommended this non slip mat to place underneath it.  Having laid it I can report that she was right (I can hear her saying "of course" even as I write this!!)

When I got home and unpacked the shopping I decided to introduce Katie to the new car.  Being 14 years old I am worried that the boot is higher than before and don't want her to hurt herself jumping in so I bought her a ramp.  She refused.  I tried dog treats.  She refused.  I put the lead onto her and forced her to walk up it and gave her a treat.  She ate the treat, jumped out of the car and ran away!  This quiet placid dog was having none of it!  This is going to be a long road!

By now I really couldn't put the tidying off any further - it was lovely to see the conservatory emerge and I even swept some garden refuse up from the front that had fallen out when I was loading the car over the weekend.  I also cleaned the fire surround which had become tarnished with some barkeepers friend.



The rooms aren't finished and the sewing room / bedroom / bathroom need some sorting out but the house is finally becoming one to be proud of and not fear the unexpected visitor.  In fact, and at the risk of becoming a bit mushy, I was thinking today as I drove into Grimsby about how much richer and fuller my life is now I've retired.  New friends have come into my life and I have had more time for old friends.  I pray that this feeling continues.

Welcome back

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

C-day (No 2)

So - why two C-days you ask?  Well today is not only the day scheduled for the hall floor but also to pick up my new car- more of that later.

The floor fitter told me that he had a hospital appointment first thing so would be here by 10:30 at the earliest.  That meant that I could have a lie in - at the moment I am falling asleep as soon as my head touches the pillow - which is most unusual for me!  What I didn't bargain for was the terrible weather today - Millie has managed to leave her pawprints on the work!!

Whilst the floor was being laid I was banished to the conservatory which has become a dumping ground for most things that were in the lounge / hall, so it was good to spend some time sorting the room out and giving it a clean - who would have thought there could be so much dust after such a short time - and the flies! A conservatory is a veritable fly cemetery - they seem to fly in, get trapped flying against the roof to get out and then die!  Time for my hand held dyson me thinks!

Then it was time to give the old car a once over - again the handheld Hoover came in useful with all that debris from the garden refuse runs.  The car isn't perfect - they will give it a good clean anyway - but at least it's respectable.  Talking about the refuse runs - how lucky was I that it was good weather over the weekend - it's pouring with rain here now and not forecast to stop all day!

So - by mid afternoon it was off to Hyundai to collect the car - why cant everything be in the same place so that you can easily switch between models?  That being so I am pleased that this model has automatic lights so I don't need to worry about finding them in the dark although I will need to check for full beam.  It also has Bluetooth and I am proud to report that I managed to make and receive a phone call whilst on the move - all legal and safe of course via voice activation.  At the moment its at the "strange stage" - even the petrol is on the opposite side to the previous car - this is all going to take time to get used to!

My brother and sister in law had suggested that we meet up for a coffee and catch up so Janet and I decided that a fabric shop would be best!  After that it was home to play house and start to dress the hallway.  I am not sure about the carpet runner yet but it will protect the floor and hopefully uncurl just a little.  As you can see the hall unit has been painted and this glass dish is murano glass from Venice - with murano glass sweets - all genuine I should point out!  I particularly like the dog biscuit jar - dreadfully twee!  The light, on the other hand seems to need a strange light fitting which I will investigate with B & Q.  By the way I do have the clips to sort the telephone wire - panic not!  The plan is also to paint the stairs - not sure that the pine goes with the oak.

 Finally I thought that you might like to see the curtains closed in the lounge - mmmm

Monday, 17 August 2015

C-Day (No 1)

So - the day has finally arrived.  The lounge has it's new carpet and there is a screed laid waiting for the laminate floor tomorrow.  This means that I can now move back into the lounge and stop camping out in the conservatory. Just one issue with the carpet - Millie likes to rub and roll all over it - something to do with the scent I guess.

Whilst the men were here I loaded the car with more refuse.  Katie and Millie seem to have taken their guard dog duties rather too seriously!   The plan was to leave when they did so that the floor had a chance to dry and at least I could be ready.  I also put my wall art up in the kitchen.  Readers of this blog should need no explanation as to why I chose this particular transfer!

I also took the opportunity of popping into Dunelm whilst I was out to buy a rug and some curtains.  Some might say that a cream carpet with dogs is just plain foolish - the rug will therefore give some protection and can be changed a lot easier and cheaper than a whole carpet.  For the curtains I went for a Duck Egg Blue chenille - they hang really nicely.

I have, however, come to the conclusion that I will not be able to finish the hall lounge and kitchen within a few days so will enjoy taking my time "dressing" the rooms - that's the fun bit anyway.

I also bought myself a little treat - a handheld dyson.  I love my upright dyson but sometimes you just want something small to hoover up that little bit of dog hair etc.  Dad always says that you need the right tools for a job - so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!  I have to say that, having gone for the pet version, I am amazed at how quickly it clears the sofa of Millie's hair!

The blog title - clearly C stands for carpet but why number 1?  Lets find out tomorrow!!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

A fluttering encounter

Today's title would have been "Groundhog Day" had it not been for a couple of incidences.


There have been three trips to the tip and the mound of refuse is going down - honest! If you compare these two photos the mound was to the height of the fence and came to the ftont of the summerhouse.  I can definitely see progress!   I have to say that, had it not been for the fantastic help I received every visit, then there would be as may visits . As I arrive and start to unload my bags / piles of rubbish are taken off me to put in the container.  They even took the underlay from the lounge from me - whilst others struggled to load the containers.  I was so impressed that I bought them some nice biscuits to have with their brew - they looked genuinely surprised and pleased.

In-between trips two and three were the incidences I alluded to.  Firstly I was visited by my very own Red Riding Hood - complete with picnic basket. My dear and kind friend, Wendy, had thought that, with all the work going on, things may be a little chaotic and had bought me 4 handmade scones - complete with jam and cream - how lovely!  I am looking forward to having them as a treat tonight and tomorrow.

After we had talked for a while and Wendy had left I started to gather together the refuse and load the car.  In-between sorting the loads a fly must have flown into my ear.  All I could hear was the incessant buzzing of the fluttering wings.  Fearing a trip to the A & E would be in order, I looked it up on the internet and it seemed to suggest that washing my ear out with water might help the situation - it certainly did!

So - apart from an early morning sewing programme, a nap and painting the second coat of the tv cabinet - that is my day. Hardly exciting but it's work that needs to be done and I am shattered!  However this time tomorrow the lounge carpet will be fitted so there is a light at the end of this tunnel - albeit just a small pin prick of one!

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Self imposed deadlines are a nightmare!

So - before I talk about today and the changes that I alluded to yesterday - I thought that I ought to share some of the holiday photos with you.  Truthfully I did not take many - having been before - so Trisha has been emailing some through for your delectation.  They are at the end of this blog.

So - onto today - was it a calm relaxing day basking in the afterglow of a relaxing holiday - err - no!  As you will see from these before and after photos the garden dose look fantastic - but the mound of compost is huge.  I have been backwards and forwards to the tip all day (3 times - each time a round trip of 35 miles) and am trying to fool myself that I am making a dint in the pile.

As you may recall I have a lounge carpet being fitted on Monday and a hall floor laid on Tuesday.  Before then I need to paint the tv cabinet two coats so that I can ask the nice fitters to carry it back in for me.  I also want to paint the stairs before the hall floor goes down and had set aside this weekend to do that.  It is tempting not to move any more compost but I have two groups of friends  coming round on Wednesday and Thursday so it would be nice to let them see the cleaned up version of the garden - plus the tip is only open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday - its all stress!!

Then of course I pick up the new car on Tuesday so have to empty this one out - don't want to be taking garden rubbish to the tip now do I?  Here are some before and after pictures. Hopefully you can tell the difference!!



Holiday photographs!

Hotel reception area
Lavender shop at Lake Garda
Patchworking in the hotel
A hazy Lake Garda - heat haze
An aerial view of Verona

Lunch in Verona - overlooking the arena