Wednesday, 30 August 2017

De-cluttering

Is this taking de-cluttering too far?
Everything is a bit 'chicken and egg'. The plasterer needs to see the wall behind the tiles to give us a quote for skimming the ceiling and making good the walls... so the tiles are coming off today.

The cupboards are empty on this side of the kitchen and the dining room looks like a bomb/ kitchenware shop has landed.

The electrician has to work in three stages, deaden all electrics, then stage one fix and then completion. Plus of course the fitter has to 'fit' in as well...

I'm escaping to my Happy Room, which we plan not to touch, wonder if I could stay here until it is all completed.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Packing up the Kitchen

Yesterday we signed on the dotted line for our new kitchen. I am so relieved we have finally decided on who to buy from and what units, appliances to buy. Now the fun starts. The current kitchen is 32 years old so it is exciting to get a fresh start.

This morning I made a start and emptied three cupboards, all things I will not need until I have anew kitchen, plus a large bag to go to the charity shop.

Can someone tell me why I have so many pages cut from magazines with recipes on them? They have now all gone to the recycling bin. I have enough cookery books not to need scraps of paper from long long ago.
The big sort out and this is just one small wall cupboard!

The first of twelve cupboards I have to empty

#2 cupboard empty except for the grill I need to use while I have no kitchen.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Raspberries

Raspberry bushes must have missed us while we were away the branches are bending down under the weight of fruit.
Two tubs for the freezer and one tub made into jellies.
I love raspberries in sugar free jelly, hardly a calorie and so delicious.

Llandudno

Daish holiday company had a special offer for five days at their Somerset Hotel in Llandudno with bed, breakfast and evening meal. Too good to miss the chance of someone else cooking our meals [ I still have no cooker] and enjoying some sea air.
The Somerset Hotel 

Turn around and this is the view
The Great Orme headland is a massive chunk of limestone rising 207m/679ft straight out of the sea.
Little wonder that its name, given by the Vikings, means ‘sea monster’.
Paying a toll of £3 we drive to the top and the views are spectacular including one hill side covered in messages made from stones.

A trip to the Great Orme

'Fun' graffiti

The view to Anglesey
Another day out was a trip to the National Trust property Bodnant, where we enjoyed walking around the gardens, Can anyone tell me the name of the tall purple flower?
Thank you to the friends that told me it is a Verbena.


The house is still lived in and owned by Michael McLaren,
while the gardens were donated to the National Trust in 1949

Such a beautiful pool called "the bath"
We completed our visit with hot chocolate and cake and a visit to the on site shops where I bought a skirt and two tops, while CJ bought two shirts. A grand day out.


Waterfall seen on the drive back to the hotel

Conway Castle, save a walk here for another trip as it is vast.

An evening stroll along the promenade, just love this poppy in a bed of red flowers to commemorate the different wars.


A Mad Hatter sculpture opposite the hotel

Selfie fun

Goodbye to the hotel, room 401

Emmaus and Carlton Park

While the girls were still with us a trip to Emmaus Charity shop with a car boot full of recycle goods was a good start to the day. However how come so much "stuff" going out of the house does not seem to make any difference to the space in the house? The girls love going here and having a look to see if there are any bargains they want. Only Eleanor was lucky and found three books for £1.50.

From here a must is the nearby Carlton Park where Chris and the girls had fun on the keep fit equipment, while I took photos and had an ice cream.

Eleanor showing how to use this piece of equipment
 
All three keeping fit!


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Summer school holidays with the girls

Oh dear... friends are emailing me to see what has happened to my blog, it has been so long since I wrote anything!  So here is a bit of a catch up...

Abigail was off with a friend to France so we were lucky enough to have Eleanor for three days on her own. There were lots of game playing and a day visit to Wimpole National Trust property.
Eleanor making herself at home!

The Wimpole Estate has a working farm and  Grandad and Eleanor enjoyed all the animals,
finding a pig called Diana !! and a calf called Ellie!

Practicing milking!


I am still recovering from my fall so borrowed a MPV to be mobile on this vast estate as
 I knew I could not walk very far. It was great fun once I got the hang of it!


The Parterre was beautifully kept

The Parterre

Eleanor enjoyed the Adventure Playground

 For some reason there do not seem to be many photos of this trip.. I think we were having too much fun. The walled garden and cafe were also places we visited, and it was a "Grand Day Out" [ as Wallace and Gromit would say]


 When Abigail was back from her holiday they both came to stay for three days. Again lots of game days plus our annual trip to Woburn Safari Park.

Eleanor and I made this sequence board [by cutting up a pack of cards and researching on Pinterest for the rules] while she was here alone and it has provided lots of fun playing in teams.

Everyday a tub of raspberries has been picked for them to take home
It has been an exceptionally large crop this year.
Thanks go to my sister for the plants a few years ago.

Woburn Safari Park is always the treat of the summer. When the girls were small to enable them to see the animals better we put two cushions on the front seat and they both sat on them just while moving at 3 or 4 mph through the park... now they are almost 10 and 14 years old they still insist on squashing themselves onto the front seat!
We have never seen so many bears together, what a wonderful sight, looked like two Mums with their young.

Daddy bear was huge!

Not much action in the lions enclosure, think they had just had breakfast and were lazing under the tree.

Lots of giraffes and young, we counted 15 or 16.

Monkeys playing on the cars



The girls were excited when about 4 or 5 climbed onto my car

This one was picking leaves of the car
Lots of them had young.

Another MUST do is the bird house, we like to go as early as possible,
because the birds are more ready to drink from the tiny cups of liquid.


Having done this many times they vie to see who can get the most birds to drink and land on them


Think Abigail won this with at least five birds on her at the same time

Eleanor won the most "different" birds on her!
It was been a wonderful time having the girls stay over the summer holidays, but now its time for a 5 day break to Llandudno to recover!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Kitchen Saga Day 35

35 days ago I ordered a new free standing cooker with induction hob, a cooker was delivered the next day, and I had purchased new saucepans, frying pans etc. and was keen to use it, only to find the guy had delivered a ceramic hob cooker not induction!!  No problem he would get it exchanged.

31 days later fed up with waiting I asked for my money back and he was full of apologies, came and took the machine away and refunded me my money plus £25 to buy us a meal out.

What have I been doing for the past month you may ask?
George Foreman grill, Crockpot, Combi Microwave and Steamer have all been put to good use, but I lacked a hot plate. Yesterday I managed to solve that problem with a single free standing induction hob for £29 from Ebay... I love it, plus it will come in really handy when I do get fixed up with a hob and oven if I need an extra hot plate.
The hole where a cooker should be!
New saucepans waiting patiently for a hob !
Steamer and Crockpot near at hand.

At last I have an induction hob, OK it's only a little single one, but I love it, so fast to heat up.

George is hiding in the cupboard waiting for the next steak!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Thread painting Day

Four of us decided to have a get together, with three of us having a go at thread painting.
I had been on a course to learn the technique many many years ago, so we followed the instruction I had been given, while I tried to remember enough to show Penny and Christine what I had learnt.
Pauline was busy working on a pretty blue Christmas quilt.
So much "stuff" on the tables, there was no room for the sewing machines we needed after the painting was completed.
In case you were wondering we were not having a beauty session the hairdriers were for drying the paint!
It was a great fun day with hopefully some learning along the way. All three of us wanted to try our hand at improving our techniques.

This is my sample that we were working towards

I had completed the painting previously and worked on the machining.
Love the odd poppy here and there.

As the saying goes "Practice makes perfect" 

Samples worked on the course I took at Missenden XXX years ago.

The LDS Pageant and Blackpool

Friday we set off to meet friends Audrey and Colin at the Cherry Tree near Manchester en route to our hotel in Blackpool. The traffic was light and we arrived early so were forced to visit a lovely wool and fabric shop ten minutes away from the resturant.
Sneaking in a quick visit to the Black Sheep Shop.
Opps, there was so much chatting and eating going on I completely forgot to take a photo of our friends.

Across the road and tram line from our Shearings Hotel to the sea.
It was certainly bracing in the wind but the sun was hot.
We enjoyed a number of walks along the coast.
The reason for our trip to Blackpool was to attend the Latter Day Saints Pageant taking place at Preston Temple. Were we in for a treat. Before the show there were demonstrations of quilting, tatting, wood turning, games, dancing, music etc etc.. everyone taking part was dressed in wonderful costumes, even the little children.
A few of the demonstrations taking place before the Pageant started.
When I asked if I could take her photo this quilter quickly removed her glasses as they were not of the period!
However she said she could not quilt without them.

Another quilter working on a very old Singer sewing machine and by hand
Costume dancers were asking those watching to take part in tradition dances of the 1830's
Mother and daughter working at the loom
As the time for the pageant arrived we all made our way down to the temporary staging area. The place was packed, not a seat to spare, I was glad I had acquired tickets well in advance.
The pageant depicted the story of the first members of the church arriving in England
 and spreading the word of the restored gospel.
Six hundred members of the church took part in the show  all dressed in costumes from the 1830's.
Complete families took part, including babes in arms through all the ages of children to adults.
The singing was so good at first I thought it was recorded but then saw high on a mezzanine level the choir.
Stage production and dancing were faultless.
I am proud to be a member of this church.

 All the performers, choir and back stage people were volunteers, in fact everything was free, the seats and even the programmes. If there is ever another Pageant [ it was on for two weeks] try and get to see it,you will not be disappointed.




The new furniture

Exciting times, the furniture lorry turned up this morning with the new settee and chair. Two men quickly had it in the house removed the w...