Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Monday, 21 August 2017


The day began with autumnal mists obscuring my view of the surrounding trees. By mid-morning it was warm and humid and the afternoon brought more heat and wonderful blue skies.
After the usual housework I loaded up my car with more stuff for the dump. This included some wooden tool boxes that had been made by Peter's father to keep his tools in. (He was a carpenter.) It was sad to be throwing them out but we really didn't have any use for them. At the dump, sorry recycling centre, one of the staff gave me a hand unloading the car and he put them on the ground by the skip for wood saying someone might want them. Sure enough the next person along, who looked like a young builder type, was already loading them into his van as I left. Nice to know that they will re-used rather than crushed or burnt, whatever they do with the old wood.
I was glad of the opportunity to go to the Ilfracombe Tesco's which is on the way to the dump, because I had noticed they had a loose change machine. You put in your copper coins and it gives you a receipt which presumably you can present at the till. I have a box of loose change which I sometimes used in school so I packed it in my shopping bag. I even thought my bag was quite heavy as I placed it in the trolley but it wasn't until I got home that I remembered about the coins -duh! 
Before I sat outside in the sun I photographed and catalogued the pictures I had brought down from the loft. That was a bit tricky as first I had to find a place with a neutral background and not create reflections in the glass. Then it was glasses on to measure each frame and picture and write down the details, glasses off to take the photo and glasses back on to write a label on masking tape. After all that I enjoyed some time in the hot sun reading my book while fending off flies and Speedy who was lying in my lap and wanting lots of cuddles. BTW I've been putting drops in Squeaky's ears to get rid of ear mites and there is a little improvement in her hearing.

Sunday, 20 August 2017


It's been raining heavily for most of the day and now the stream is running high. I think there may be a blockage at the culvert leading to the lake so if the rain dies down a little I may wade down the stream to investigate. It's also been correspondingly cold necessitating the wearing of sheepskin slippers and fingerless gloves.
This morning I occupied myself with one of my favourite activities - making lists in preparation for our move. My folder includes a current to do list, the contents of each room and where they are headed and anything else I can think of. Hopefully this will help prevent a major panic nearer to the actual move. I also find it reassuring to see what progress I have made. Even if this sale falls through most of the planning will be the same for any other property.
On my to do list was taking photos of some things I shall try and sell including this pine cupboard that came from my mother's house. I quite like it but I don't see it fitting in our future down-sized life.

Saturday, 19 August 2017


Our offer, slightly below the asking price was accepted so it's all systems go with fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly. Most house sales, apart from auctions, involve a chain of buyers and sellers with the exchange of contracts having to be co-ordinated so that everyone signs at the same moment.
It's been a day of strong winds, occasional showers and longer sunny spells. In the morning a friend dropped in for a cup of tea and a chat. We don't see him that often so there was lots to catch up on. He showed us a modern push mower that he had just bought and was taking to show his Dad. Peter tried it out and found it very easy to use. Apart from the advantage of not being restricted by an electric cable it also did a good job of cutting the wet grass something our electric rotary mower struggles with. As the front lawn at the new house is small it would probably take longer to get the electric mower from the garage block (a few minutes away) and up the steps than to actually cut the grass. Peter was so impressed with it that he says it would be easier to use the push mower on some of the sloping areas here so I think he will be buying one sooner rather than later.
During the afternoon I began the task of bringing down my mother's artwork form the loft. I brought down a number of pictures and gave the frames a clean. I'm going to try and be organised by taking photos of each picture and keeping a written record before each framed picture is carefully packaged in bubble wrap. Just need the postman to deliver the 100m roll I ordered.
The recent rain and strong winds haven't been kind to the butterflies though I suspect that the red admiral (above) and the meadow brown (below) have made narrow escapes from the many dragonflies and darters (below). 

We've just returned from a wedding celebration in Pilton. We didn't stay too long as both of us were finding it hard to be standing as we chatted to people. However it was nice to be making contact with people from our new neighbourhood (hopefully). Fortuitously at the start of the evening we met the surveyor whom we had already asked to do the survey on the new house. He knows the area and those houses and we know him because our children went to the same village school and also he and his wife are fellow gig club members. We also talked to another of Peter's friends who will be happy to take down and clear away a dilapidated shed in the garden of the new house. I had visions of making many trips to the dump with bags of stuff to be disposed of but this sounds like a much better idea.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Heavy Showers.

9.00 am -The internet is back on once more but as it has worked briefly for the last few mornings then faded away I'm not yet dancing for joy.

We've finally accepted an offer for this place, lower than we hoped but we have to be realistic. However as a third of offers on property don't make it through to completion we're not getting excited. If things do go smoothly then I understand the whole process takes at least 8 weeks.

In the meantime we've started looking at properties in town. As we have limited the search area and one of our criteria is that the new property should be easy to sell on again several of the places we found on line (intermittent broadband is not helpful at the moment) have already been marked 'sold subject to contract'. That's not to say they might not reappear but we need to sort things quickly. We looked at one house yesterday which seemed hopeful with just a couple of niggles and today we are looking at another house 2 doors away. 

Here goes with trying to post this ......

Some hours later I'm back on line. Here are a few photos from the last couple of days.

 Peacock Butterflies.
 Small Tortoiseshell.
 Small Copper.
 Southern Hawker.
We're back from today's viewing and are waiting to hear if our offer (a little below asking price) has been accepted. Although yesterday's house had superficially better décor and an easier back garden we quite like the fact that there is some scope to improve the property and so add value. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that it all works out.
Today's weather has swung from bright sunshine to torrential downpours. This morning's forecast even mentioned hail and thunderstorms. Come to think of it there was a flash of lightning as we were leaving the viewing. Afterwards we carried on into town, dropped off more stuff at a charity shop and did some shopping at Lidl's and Tesco's. Right now I'm winnowing through my files once more. It's surprising how much there is that can be thrown out.

Overcast. (Thursday)

1.00pm We're still having problems with the broadband, on one moment and off the next. Even when it's working it's terribly slow. Although it's been the same problem for years BT wouldn't send out a line engineer for 72 hours after our latest report so apart from ringing up to ask if the broadband is working nothing seems to have been done yet.
It's warm and windy at the moment and looks as if we might get more heavy rain but I'm not too concerned as I got the last of the washing, drying and ironing done yesterday. 
There's a banana loaf baking in the oven as the cat got into the cupboard and stole the end of the last loaf much to Peter's annoyance. 
(Can't get photos up yet, will try again later.)

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Mainly Sunny.

Another enforced absence due to the Broadband dropping out Sunday morning followed later by the phone line as well. Much jubilation and excitement when it came back on this morning, limping along at the magnificent speed of 0.5MB only to have it falter once more. It's back on at the moment though for how long - who can tell? Will post more and even attempt photos later.
6.15pm No luck with the photos and anyway the broadband has gone again. We did get a phone call from a BT engineer asking how the line was - not long after I'd made a comment about BT on FaceBook.

So for a quick resume of the last few days-
After our barbecue we retired to the kitchen as things got a bit cooler. Apart from the kitchen being nice and warm from the rayburn our friends' young dog Sid is not house trained and not to be trusted on carpets. Our friends brought along a baby gate which fitted across the door into the hall so Sid was able to be free in the kitchen. Speedy the cat disgraced himself by launching himself at Sid and scratching poor Sid's ear which then bled copiously. Speedy had always been fine with Milo (a Jack Russell) but either he didn't like having an energetic dog in the house or maybe he has had a bad experience with one of the dogs next door. Who knows? We kept Speedy and Patch shut in the conservatory for the rest of the visit. Squeaky wasn't keen on Sid either and fluffed up to double her size as she hissed defiantly at him.

On Saturday evening, Sally, Vytas and myself sat up by the scree garden (or rather lay back in the sun loungers) to watch the Perseid meteor shower. The sky had a slight haze but we were able to see a number of constellations and the Milky Way. We weren't out there for too long and while we didn't see the quantity of meteor streaks of some years the quality of most was the best I've ever seen. Great long broad tails with a distinct flash for the final burn up.

Sunday was a bittersweet day for me as our friends left after breakfast not long followed by Vytas and Sally. I love having everyone to stay and find it hard when they leave but they do have jobs to go to on Monday and homeward journeys of at least 3 hours. I kept busy in the afternoon putting the rooms back to a tidy state and starting on the piles of washing.

Monday the weather was quite wet so the washing had to dry over the rayburn. After a couple of late nights and early mornings we both needed to catch up on sleep. It's been much sunnier today with just the threat of showers as dark grey clouds loomed. I hung up the first lot of washing on the line and then stayed out to keep an eye on the weather as I weeded the propagating beds and cut back some of the hardy geraniums that had finished flowering. The garden was full of butterflies also taking advantage of the sunny weather. I've been ironing as each duvet cover etc. is dry enough and all that is left is one machine load which is ready to hang over the rayburn and a final load to wash first thing tomorrow.
(Now I can't update until the Broadband returns but I can do my jigsaw which I'd left open.)

9.30pm - broadband returns!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Family Time.

At home it was overcast and raining lightly, out at Putsborough 5 miles away it was a glorious day. Another reason to move to the coast.
Some of us went in the water with body boards while the rest of us walked and Sid the puppy found out that he doesn't like the sea. 
Back home Peter had prepared a barbecue for us all. We stayed outside until it got too cold. Right now we are setting the world to rights in the kitchen. Sky looks too cloudy for watching the Perseids, 3rd poor year in a row!.