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, 22 January 2018

Dry.

Almost no rain today with a light breeze in the morning that tempted me to hang some washing out on the line. Speedy's latest game is to lie in the laundry basket batting the plastic bottle from the washing liquid bottle, round and round. I think he's bored with no small creatures to hunt.
Taking advantage of the dry weather I spent the day outside continuing the dismantling of the shed. 
It was a bit like one of those children's games where you have to remove blocks from a structure without the whole thing collapsing. The shed is disintegrating around the bottom and by the time I took a break (above) it was distinctly wobbly. From that point it was a matter of taking of a couple of planks from one side then moving to the other. My tools for this job were a claw hammer and an extra large screwdriver which I used to lever off the planks.
By the time I called a halt for the day most of the planks were off. The remaining door is wedged into the lintel so I left it there to support the frame. The back corner is being supported by a heavy plank but I wouldn't be surprised if it falls down in the night.
A touch of colour in the sunset tonight.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Wet.


With heavy rain falling all day long I've had an afternoon battling with my sewing machine. Foolishly I decided to work in the sitting room kneeling at the low coffee table. Fine for a while but not so good on my back when done for the whole afternoon. Sewing the hem on the under counter curtain went smoothly enough but then I decided to use the remaining fabric to make some shopping bags. Plastic bags stopped being free some time ago and the stronger 'bags for life' get very scruffy after a while and of course they are still made of plastic. I've a couple of jute bags but they are quite bulky. I had enough fabric left to make three bags and being me decided that I would make bags with side panels instead of the easier flat bags. I worked on all the bags at the same time and by the end of the afternoon having had a number of annoying incidents of the thread breaking or running out not one bag was completed. If I wanted to get my exercises done I had to stop for the day. I had to put everything away as the builders are starting work tomorrow and may be working in the sitting room as well as the loft.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Wet.

It has rained all day long. Not the cloudbursts of yesterday but steadily enough to keep me indoors which was fine as I had a couple of indoor jobs to get on with. I began by continuing to sand the paint drips & sploshes off the planks I took off the radiator. That done, and it did take a while I simply nailed the pieces together to make a box for the orchids to stand on. Best of all it was done using materials that I had to hand.
I've been really disliking this view of the kitchen especially as we will be replacing the solid door to the kitchen with one that has glass panels in the top half to bring some light into the dark hall. Not intending to replace the dishwasher or even the kitchen units and worktops which are not in the best of condition I thought that a curtain would at least help cover up the clutter. Being unable to find any shower curtains in town that would do ( I thought that shower curtains would give the most suitable fabric for a kitchen) I ordered one on-line hoping that the colour shown was fairly accurate. The curtain arrived in the afternoon and after careful measuring I got it cut and pinned. To hang it I was able to re-use the adjustable rod that our bedroom net curtains had been hung from.
I can't claim that the curtain is a design masterpiece but it does tone in with the kitchen colour scheme of mushroom brown cupboards and grey/orange/white floor tiles. Not colours I would choose myself but we will be moving on one day. I still need to sew the top hem but didn't fancy getting the sewing machine out today as it gets temperamental if I rush. 
I'm still debating which colour to paint the grey kitchen walls, cream to match the tiles or white because white is best.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Roof Removed.

It's been a day of sunshine and showers starting with a partial rainbow over the hill. It was windy enough to makes me think it was worth hanging out some washing. Five minutes later it began to rain lightly so back indoors the washing went. No sooner than that was done when the rain stopped. 

Although I didn't take the washing out again I took advantage of the mostly dry weather to carry on removing the planks from the roof of the shed. Not only did I get the whole lot off but even better than that I got it all down to the dump. I can cope with the fact that things get done a bit more slowly now but I really don't like to see things left in a mess especially when there's no telling when it will be dry again. Driving across town I could see black clouds with curtains of rain underneath approaching from the sea. I had just begun unloading the wood when down came big fat raindrops. Luckily I was back in the shelter of the car when the worst of the rain fell, the sort that you need to put windscreen wipers on at full speed to be able to see out.



Thursday, 18 January 2018

Storm Damage.

Since the new windows were put in I'd noticed a creaking plastic sound coming from somewhere near my study window. Last night while I was blogging the creaking increased as the winds intensified and I intended to ask Peter to ring the window company in the morning to come and have a look before something happened. Later around midnight with the winds gusting outside there was a loud crash which I presumed was the wheelie bin falling over. I thought I'd better go outside and pick up the bin to stop any rubbish blowing around but when I looked out of the window I could see some of the plastic cladding planks scattered across the garden. There was nothing we could do so we left it until the morning.
Peter phoned the company first thing this morning and someone came round within the hour. He didn't say much but my best guess is the old windows were slightly wider than the new ones and were helping to clamp the side bar that the cladding was slotted into while the foamy stuff they used to fill the gaps didn't have the same function allowing the wind to get in behind the cladding.
Later that morning the workmen turned up, set up their scaffolding and got to work replacing the cladding and whatever that membrane was. I asked them to leave  the old cladding as I can reuse it to make a planter to go in front of the sitting room window and maybe a storage box for the re-cycling bin as well.
I went out in the afternoon to have coffee with two friends and when I came back 3 hours later they were just finishing off. They put in an extra fixing batten to keep the cladding secure and sealed every joint to prevent the wind getting in. I think it would take hurricane force winds to rip the cladding off now. We weren't even in the zone of the storm that hit the north of the country and then moved on to Europe.
During the morning I got the rest of the roofing material from the shed off and bagged and finally could start the real demolition work. I began by taking off some of the roof timbers which along with an old metal dustbin went in the back of my car and off to the dump after coffee at the garden centre. While I was at the garden centre I had a wander around looking at all the lovely things I could spend my money on. There were some amazing orchids but I don't think I'll be spending £35 on a single specimen no matter how gorgeous it is.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Shed Cleared.

The window people arrived early this morning and took less than 15 minutes to take out the two lower double glazed units in the sitting room window and replace them with safety glass. 
Then I loaded up my car with bags of rubbish from the shed, mainly rotting cupboard sections and other old wood. Having successfully off-loaded everything at the dump and being told to 'Keep your hands out of the skip.' when I was fishing up some large plant pots from the plastics skip I returned to BJ's to buy another 5 of those crisp white boxes and more curtain rail fittings. The orchids sit nicely in their boxes and I've already made a start on making a wooden box/shelf to raise them up a little. I'm re-using the wooden planks that were screening the sitting room radiator. They are painted light green on one side and on the narrow edges so I'm sanding off the paint on the edges and the drips and splashes on the unpainted side before I make the box.
It was windy but dry in the morning so after I returned from my dump run I began striping off the tar paper from the far side of the roof of the shed. Heavy rain drove me inside after a while but once that is done I can begin the fun job of demolishing the now empty shed.
This evening was choir night so wrapped up against the rain I walked to Windsor rd. for my lift to the rugby club where we sing. It was dark going down the steps between the houses on the corner of our grass with 3 lots of steps which I took cautiously. Next time I'll bring a torch. At the rugby club there was a problem with the heating which made me glad I was wearing my fingerless gloves. I'm really enjoying the singing and it certainly is a mental exercise for the brain remembering the words as well as the part we are supposed to be singing. At least I knew the tune and some of the words to Happy Together and Kalinka.  

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Cold.

It's been very cold today making us grateful for the increase in warmth simply from having new windows, no draughts and a door to the conservatory. It was a good windy morning so I got my washing out on the line. I stayed outside clearing wood and junk from the inside of the shed so that I was ready to fetch in the washing in when the rain began. Later in the afternoon the rain became much heavier and was accompanied by hailstones. 
Today Wayne did most of the finishing off of the ceiling, just a final skim to do when the filler has dried. He also made a start on sorting out the hill in the wooden floor of the conservatory. He was almost upset about such good quality oak flooring being installed so poorly by the previous owner. Apparently you are supposed to leave a gap all around the edges of the room to allow for natural expansion of the wood and this hadn't been done. It also looks like the floors haven't been sealed which is why the kitchen counters always seem dusty. He's cut away a strip from one side and immediately the floor began to level out though Wayne says the patio doors shouldn't have been fixed to the wood floor but to a separate piece of timber. He'll check it again in a month's time to see if any more wood needs to be trimmed off.
I've just returned from my Pilates lesson walking home through rain and bitter winds. There were drifts of hailstones along the edges of the pavements and the earlier forecast was for more wintry showers through to tomorrow along with snow on the high ground, something we don't have to worry about now.