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.

Saturday, 24 March 2018


The concert last night was a resounding success and much enjoyed by choir and audience. The rugby club was full to bursting with an audience of about 150. Including the encore we sang 19 songs and surprisingly I was able to join in with most of them. A couple of times I had to mime and for the Czech song I stuck the words onto the back of the lady in front of me. I couldn't see them clearly as she was too close to me but they gave me enough of an idea. Hopefully by the time we do another concert I'll have learnt the words.
The chap with the bald head (bottom right) is a choir member who had a sore throat. He chatted to Peter sitting to his right (out of shot) and I think Peter is ready to give the choir a try when we start up again after the Easter holidays. Here is a link to a video somebody posted on FB. (Not sure if it can be opened by people not members of the group page.) Not the best sound quality but it gives an idea of the enthusiasm the singing generates. I was standing right at the back hidden behind everyone else. I had gone along earlier to help with the setting up and by the time we got home I'd been on my feet for over 4 hours. No wonder I felt tired but it was worth it.
I woke early with a headache, took my usual morning painkiller then woke up 2 hours later with a really bad head. Nothing for it but to take my other strong painkillers which did the trick. Our builder friend came round to put the edging strip on the bathroom counter top and make some boxing to cover the pipes to the towel rail. He left me with instructions to paint the exposed copper pipes before he comes back to put a sealant around the joins. 
I planned to have a quiet day doing general tidying in the house but after sorting out the kitchen and dinning room I found myself back outside. I hoped to finish weeding the small flower bed under the bush rose but it took longer than I thought. This was due to yet another bucketful of bindweed roots and a large bramble growing right next to the rose which all had to be removed. It was a matter of digging carefully around the rose roots but making sure to go deep enough to get all the bindweed out. I found the rose's label which after scrubbing revealed it to be Sweet Juliet a 'fragrant English shrub rose'.

Friday, 23 March 2018

It's been mainly overcast today with enough wind in the morning to hang out more washing. Just to stretch my legs in the afternoon I took a couple of letters to the post box. It had begun to rain lightly but that didn't stop all the birds singing away. I can still hear blackbirds through my open window.
First thing this morning the men from the council were round cutting the grass. When the man with the mower got to the section we'd already cut he has a little confab with his co-workers and left it as it was. The big mower didn't pick up the grass so the other sections look a bit messy but it has left a lovely smell of cut grass in the air. 
As I failed miserably in my plan to spend the week learning the words of the songs I'm unfamiliar with that's what I've been doing today while being careful not to strain my voice. Really that means 19 new songs so I've given up on some of them and hopefully will be able to join in with everyone else for the rest. Usually us newbies stand in front of the stronger singers which makes it easier to hear our part but for today's concert the strong singers will be at the front. I have tried to learn the Czech song of which we only sing 8 lines but I'm having a back-up and have the words on a post-it which I'll put on the back of the person in front of me. 

Thursday, 22 March 2018


Mostly grey clouds today with enough wind to dry some sheets which I ironed while waiting for Peter to return home with the carpet tape.
The old lino.
It's a good thing I didn't attempt replacing the lino yesterday. It has taken most of the day to; cut away the sealant all round the edges of the old lino, trim the lino so that it fitted, tape on some card where it should have been bigger, find out how to take up the door bar and carry the old lino to the paving in the garden to use as a template. Then once I'd repaired the hole in the floor and traced the possible point where the shower needs new sealant all I had to do was put the new lino in place. Hah! First I had to take the door off its hinges, then check and cautiously retrim  the lino, wait for Peter to come home with some double sided carpet tape which I'd forgotten to buy. (Or rather never bothered with before.) I don't know how but the lino still needed adjusting in a few places. Finally the door bar had to be put back, carpet inserted and the bathroom door screwed back into place. All I can say is that I don't want to be doing that job again in a long time.
The colours of the new lino don't show up too well in the photos but the silver, grey and brown stripes have quite a beach house feel.  I quite like the way they have some of the same colours as the hall carpet. Not bad when there were only 2 designs to choose between. Most of the rest of the designs were of the floorboard type or large tiles which would not have suited our tiny bathroom.
I was putting some things in the bin just after Peter came home when up the path trotted a French bulldog. He looked a bit lost and I didn't recognise him as any of the neighbours' dogs. I was about to go inside to find something to use as a collar & leash when the chap from the end house came out calling for 'Bruno'. They bought their house just before us but are doing it up before they move in which was why I didn't recognise Bruno.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018


We're back to chillier weather again. It's been cloudy with a lot more grey clouds than sunny spells. 
Having decided to buy new lino for the bathroom I drove into town today so that I could check another flooring warehouse before making my final choice. The warehouse was the most unappealing place I've been in for a long time. You couldn't walk around to look at the stock because the floor space was blocked by rolls of carpet and numerous sample books that looked as if they has just been thrown there. Not only that but the whole place smelt of cigarette smoke. Eventually somebody wreathed in a cloud of stale cigarette smoke came out to see me and pointed out a few rolls of lino in the far corner. None of them was suitable and I don't know if I would have wanted anything from there anyway. Instead I called in at the carpet place I usually go to. None of the offcuts were suitable and I ended up choosing between 2 rolls. One of them had the sort of random granite pattern I wanted but was almost black. That would have picked up the feature black tiles in the bathroom but I didn't really want something so dark. Instead I picked the other lino. Much as I was tempted I haven't laid the new lino yet. I can't use the old lino as a template until I've trimmed a few places that don't fit and added a bit on where it doesn't quite meet the bath panel. Also there's a hole in the floor by the door which could do with sorting out. 
Right now I'm practicing more songs for choir tonight. There's a Czech one I haven't learnt yet which has 16 lines! It's powerful to sing so I really want to learn it by Friday.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018


The Spring Equinox brought with it sunny skies. Having 'come in like a lion' hopefully March will live up to the old saying and 'go out like lamb'. Despite the sunshine the snow was still clinging on in those shady corners. 
Much as I would have liked to be potting up the rest of my plants the tedious job of scraping paint awaited. I did try using my hand held electric sander to see if that would speed the job up but the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. It is quick but heavy to hold and awkward to get into corners. Also though it does have a dust box I find it messy to use. One door frame proved difficult but then I decided that if the paint stays on after sanding and scraping then it's not going to come off when I paint over it. 
There was enough wind today to dry the washing. I got it to be ironed and back on the bed before I went off to my Pilates class which I see from the flier we were given re next term's dates is Pilates Exercise. No wonder it's such a good work out.
The white lily is now on the bathroom window sill as Speedy snuck into the bedroom and was happily watching the world go by as he sat on the window sill next to the lily. Before I moved the lily I carefully cut off and disposed of the anthers because the pollen was beginning to fall off and it stains fabric.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Bye-bye Snow.

The sun shone in full force today, first making the snow sparkle and then disappear. All except in those places not reached by the sun at this time of year. Looking out of my window now the house directly opposite still has a small patch of snow on its roof and some over the front door. Although for us the snow is over conditions are very different up in the hills and people are being told not to drive out to the moors looking for snow as they may find themselves stuck or hindering snow clearance work. 
I don't think Speedy was expecting the snow to be so cold when he tried leaping on the table that is usually his sunny spot.
In the distance I could see people enjoying the last of the snow in the same place as yesterday. 
I spent my day mainly scraping paint and managed to do all up one side of the stairs and a bit of the upstairs skirting board as well. When I had finished I felt the need to stretch my legs and although we didn't really need anything urgently walked down to the Co-Op. I got some j-cloths and some reduced items. I deliberated over some tubs of ice-cream that were reduced and then decided I didn't need them. The grapes and blueberries that I got are much healthier options.
Walking back up Chaddiford Lane I could see across town to the still snowy north facing hills.
I always like the countryside views I get once I turn onto our estate.
Another spectacular sunset with a red sun going down behind the trees.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

More Snow.

It began snowing heavily yesterday evening and when I looked out of the window at 5.00 this morning the world was covered with a blanket of snow. A few hours later and the snow had conveniently melted away from paths and the pavement. I thought it was a shame that neither of the families with young children came out to make snowmen on the grass. At Dingles I used to be as eager as the boys to get out the toboggan and slide down the steep field behind the house. Talking of Dingles - we've just found out how bad conditions were there after the first bout of snowy weather. Up at the top of the drive the snow reached the top bars of the field gates and the stables had to close for 2 weeks because road conditions were so bad. In 25 years of living there this only happened to us a couple of times.
Here it carried on snowing lightly and by midday the heavy flakes were back only to peter out again by the evening. We're currently under an amber weather warning until the small hours of the morning. Seeing snowflakes drifting past the window had me thinking of warming winter food so I made a hearty soup of onions, tomatoes, white cabbage and lentils with small chunks of salami and smoked sausage for flavour as well as garlic and smoked paprika. I also threw in the remaining roast potatoes (cut up) from yesterday. By the time all that had gone in it was more of a stew than a soup and tasted delicious with a sprinkling of grated cheese on top. There's enough for us to have it  tomorrow as well.
The rest of the afternoon was spent scraping paint in the hall and singing along to my MP3 player to learn the words of some of the songs for the concert. All the hall skirting boards are now done, apart from under the stairs which I'm happily ignoring for the time being. 
I had to laugh when I saw a snowy photo a member of the choir had posted of their cat behind which were some upright decking posts with rope, 2 strands this time, strung between them. 
Our bedroom is currently filled with the scent of this lily. I took it out of last week's bouquet as all parts of lilies including the pollen are toxic to cats and our bedroom is the one room they are not allowed in.