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.

Tuesday 30 April 2019

Too Many Twos.

No rain today, a little cool but not enough to need a fleece or jacket. This afternoon I took myself off to the surgery for my appointment with the nurse to check my lung capacity. It was only when the screen didn't recognise me and I went to the receptionist that it began to dawn on me that today wasn't the day of my appointment. I knew full well it was on the 2nd at 2.20 but for some reason, and the tiny printing on the appointment slip, I thought it was on Tuesday rather than Thursday. Silly me. I still needed to call in at Lidl's as I was completely out of vegetables for my salads and a few other things. I stopped in at several of the big DIY places looking for a small paving slab which I need to cover a broken drain in the garden. All I could find were slabs that were much too big. There are still few places to try so hopefully I'll find something.
This evening I went to the first Pilates class of the term. I don't know how long we'll be here but I really need my Pilates and don't fancy going to one of the gyms around here for one off classes. There were only eleven of us and I got chatting to one lady who had just moved into the area. I may also have persuaded her to give the choir a try as it really is a good way to make friends. The class was quite hard work but I went at my own pace and stopped early on some of the exercises. I even managed several sit-ups which is really good progress.

Monday 29 April 2019


Today I went to the bank and sent the contents of my piggy bank, metaphorically speaking, to the solicitor's account. That means that the sale is just about done, hooray. It took a long time at the bank because they were 'having trouble' with their IT system and I had to shift from one computer to another and then yet another before everything was done. No wonder we don't trust internet banking though I have to say they were careful to check that I hadn't been tricked or coerced into moving this money around and there were more security messages on the wall tv screen advising people that they will never phone and ask you to move money to a new account. I'm so cautious that the only way I can get into my savings account is to go to the bank in person.
Here are some more pictures of the bungalow. It's the one with the red tiled roof and a number of flat roofs all of which need replacing. The strange narrow back garden is filled with lean-tos, greenhouses and sheds but I'm hoping to transform it into a courtyard/Japanese garden. It looks quite crowded from the aerial view but the front garden is a decent size and the view goes on for miles.
Back to today - It was still raining lightly this morning as I walked into town clutching yet another bag of clothing for the charity shop. I first called into the vets' to pick up more steroid tablets for Speedy. At £8.50 I thought they cost more than a human prescription but on checking I see it is now £9.00 per item. (You can buy a 6 or 12 month ticket which gives unlimited items and works out a lot cheaper but the one perk of being over 60 is free prescriptions.)  The stockings are still on Speedy's feet and doing their job of protecting the bare/sore bits.
The blackbirds are frequent visitors to the bird feeder and didn't seem to mind my watching them through the window but as soon as I moved albeit very slowly, to pick up the camera they were off. The rain eased off later on so I carried on working in the front garden. I dug up a couple of varieties of crocosmia by the wall and in their place planted out some very straggly and bendy sunflowers. I only grew them for fun but have given them long canes for support. I also planted the small begonias and some big trailing begonias in the large planter only to hear on the radio that it is going to get vey cold tonight. I'm sure we won't have a frost.

Sunday 28 April 2019


It's been a cold, grey day with constant rain that put paid to my gardening plans. Instead I got on with those small jobs that have been needing to be done for a while. 
I finished altering the last two long t-shirts and made two new small tube bandages for Speedy's feet. I wanted to cover both of his feet so that he can't scrape them against ? which he may have been doing accidently or deliberately. Then I used my sewing tape measure to measure Speedy's girth, a fat 15" and ordered a cat harness (a sort of jacket thing) and lead. I want to get him used to it so that he doesn't have to travel in his cage which he really doesn't like.
I also did some admin that I'd been putting off and by the time all that was done it was time for exercises again. I've upped the weights on each ankle from 2kg to 3kg for the leg exercises the physio gave me to protect my knees. She also said to increase the resistance on the exercise bike and from pedalling at the lowest settings I now do 10 mins at 11 and 5 mins at 12 (it goes up to 15) twice a day. I'm willing to follow any exercise regime if it's going to stave off the inability to walk. 

Saturday 27 April 2019


The strong winds arrived some time in the night. I woke at 4.00 to hear something clattering outside. I had to open my study window to lean out and check the bin store but its doors were firmly closed. It was dark but I assume that somebody's bins were making the noise. The tall acers in the back garden had been blown over so I've tied them with rope. The wind carried on through the day which was bright and sunny. 
I drove over to the dump to get rid of a bag of grass cuttings then called in at Lidl's and Tesco's. I also went to BJ's to present my vouchers for a free gro-bag and pack of bedding plants. I chose begonias as being the most likely to survive a bit of neglect if we have to go away. It was too windy to plant out the home grown sunflowers, cosmos and nasturtiums. I'm going to keep the blue grass and sedums from the big planter so I removed them and potted them up.
Even though the wind has been very strong it was blowing from the wrong direction and from the surf-cam we could see the waves being flattened rather than dramatically crashing against the cliffs. Never mind, I'm sure we'll see plenty of wild waves when we move. 

Friday 26 April 2019


Lots of wind today and quite a few showers too. In the morning we drove to the garage, paid yet another very large bill and collected the camper. Then we drove up to the farm and left the camper in the field. Hopefully it's all ready for any adventures.
During a dry spell at home I trimmed the unidentified bush by the path. From above it's now an egg shape while from anywhere else it's just a blob. At least it's a tidy blob. I also made a start on removing the pebbles from the large planter under the sitting room window. I need to take out some of the plants so they can be taken to Borth and I'll replace them with some bright annuals.

Thursday 25 April 2019


The lower air temperature this morning made it possible to pick out details of the cliffs around Hartland a good 17 miles away. The latest storm began to make itself felt with frequent very heavy showers and increasing wind. Even heard some thunder rumbling earlier on this evening.
During a gap in the rain I hurried down to the garage and extricated our old wheelbarrow which I brought up to the front garden. It was duly collected so that's another item rehomed.
The biscuit box was almost empty so I baked a batch of peanut butter and chocolate cookies. I forgot to add the chocolate  until I began forming the dough into balls at which point I realised something was missing. Chocolate added I have to say they turned out nicely this time.
I climbed up into the loft and went through another of my clothes boxes. A few of the tops I used to wear for work have gone into the charity shop bag as they are just reminders of an unpleasant time. I also rediscovered some rather nice tops and a couple made their way down to my wardrobe.

Wednesday 24 April 2019


The day began with fine drizzle that developed into a gentle rain and then not-so gentle rain. The man from the removal company came round first thing to give us an estimate though I think it will be a while before we're ready to move everything to Borth. Afterwards I drove to town to do some shopping. I couldn't avoid the chocolate aisle and I GAVE IN. Somehow I found myself putting a small bag of tiny eggs in my trolley. Only 80gms but probably at least 70gms of sugar.
I've been busy clearing out stuff and making use of various FB pages. I love this small pine table but can't see where it could go in our new home so reluctantly I've put it up for sale for a nominal amount. I put the old wheelbarrow on the Just-Don't-Bin-It page and within minutes had people asking for it. Somebody is coming tomorrow and if they don't there are two more people waiting. Who knew a wheelbarrow would be so popular? I've spare hardy geraniums too and someone came round for some this afternoon. 
Mr and Mrs Blackbird have been visiting the birdfeeder. The picture is blurry as I had to take it through the upstairs window. I've tried keeping the camera to hand when I'm in the sitting room but they're a bit shy. It has been the sort of day when I could have happily gone to sleep at any point so instead I had a major paper shredding session.

Tuesday 23 April 2019


The weather was much the same as yesterday so wasn't too hot when I walked into town. I couldn't help going in to M&S to check out their fancy Easter eggs. They were half price but I couldn't bring myself to buy one, partly because I'm still watching what I eat but also because even though chocolate tastes better in an egg shape (it's true) that didn't outweigh the fact that they were more than 5 times the price of bars of excellent continental chocolate in Lidl's. I just like to torture myself every now and again.
Back home I went up into the loft to locate some more curtains as well as put away the washed and ironed curtains. There's so much stuff up there. Last time we moved I had emptied the loft myself before the move but I don't know where we would put everything.

Monday 22 April 2019

Getting Cooler.

High hazy cloud kept the temperature down this morning and while the sky cleared in the afternoon the gentle breeze made being outside more comfortable. 
Today's task was to paint the brickwork in the porch. It wasn't too bad when we moved in which is why I didn't paint it last year. Now the bare brickwork left along the edges when the last owners replaced the front door is painted and the whole porch looks fresh and well kept. I also touched up some of the walls and steps in the back garden. Not the whole lot but just around some edges and anywhere that was grubby or going slightly green. Got to make a good impression when the house goes on the market.
I also did some more sorting in my study which has resulted in a pile of paper for recycling and another pile for the shredder. 

Sunday 21 April 2019


Happy Easter. 
I find it sad that fewer people celebrate this day for it's spiritual importance. Some celebrate with traditions from the cultural heritage (Lithuanians are big on decorating real eggs) while for the majority it should be renamed chocolate day. Sad but true. Maybe it's just society making new cultural traditions, nothing to do with company profits of course. That said Peter did give me two small(ish) chocolate and marzipan eggs which were much appreciated.
We are still basking in the heat so I carried on washing, drying and ironing more of our stored curtains. Last night I was planning which curtains to use with the everyday curtains to increase their insulating capacities. One question that crossed my mind was how to wash the resultant curtains. That was when an idea popped into my mind (I'm sure this has been thought of before). If we have proper curtains poles as I was planning anyway, I could have twice as many curtain rings and hook up both curtains back to back on alternate rings. So I'll try that. A pair of pink velvet curtains which had been passed on to me by a friend looked as if they had be altered a number of times. There was an initial  strip of header tape, then they had been sewn into pencil pleats and later the folds had been stitched together up to the top of the curtains. I unpicked the pleats so that now I have flat curtains with header tape which I can gather if needed.
I had planned to check Speedy's foot under the bandage today but while I was hanging up some washing he managed to get the cone off, then the bandage and of course lick his foot until it bled. Aarrrgh! On the plus side I can see that the raw patches had reduced to a half in just three days. I cleaned everything up, put the bandage back on and tightened up the cat collar that holds the cone on.
Not only was I washing curtains that had been up in the loft but I ventured into the garage to see what state two enormous but very old velvet curtains that kept the draughts from Dingles' front door were in. I had expected them to be horrible and mildewed but it seems that the leaks had missed the boxes they were in. In the end one of them was too far gone to do anything but throw it away but the other may still be of use so had a thorough airing before being repacked.
I brought a bundle of plant support twigs and a tiny pot of blue paint up from the garage. I then painted the ends of the sticks blue and used them to mark which plants will be taken down to Wales. I'll take just two of each variety of hardy geranium as I'm not sure how they'll do in the seaside conditions and my garden plans don't have a lot of space for planting.
It was really too hot to be out for long during the day and it was only later in the afternoon that we sat outside to read. Peter keeps telling me that simply putting the thermometer in the sun doesn't give a true temperature but I was sitting in that same sun and yes it did feel hot. 
We had the mushroom and lentil pie this evening and Peter pronounced it delicious though not quite the same as a beef and ale pie. I thought it was okay but then I'm not a fan of pastry/pies.

Saturday 20 April 2019

Hotter Still.

The temperature continued to rise as we basked in an almost cloudless day. It was so warm that Peter opened the conservatory door 'a crack' through which Speedy promptly disappeared. When he eventually returned for his food the bandage was still in place and the unbandaged foot undamaged. For once it was very quiet here during the day as I think most people headed out to the beaches. Out in the garden all I could hear was birdsong and the muted rumble of traffic. Things changed later when the end house hosted a party followed by a smaller gathering at our neighbours'. You can't blame people for wanting to sit outside on such a glorious day and evening and all was quiet by 10.30.  
I had a busy and productive day so forgot to take photos of the sun lighting up the acers and had to snatch a few garden shots towards evening. The best of the day's events was the disposal of our sofa bed. We'd inherited it from my mother many years ago and it was useful when we had more visitors than proper spare beds. We had decided not to take it with us to Wales so yesterday I got the two foam arm/back pieces out of the garage. However when we went to set up the sofa so that I could photograph it for the give away FB page I was horrified to find that having the two foam mattresses leaning against an outside wall in Peter's study had caused black mould on the wall and nasty staining on the sofa bed cover. I'd already thrown the cover of one of the arms into the washing machine but when I tried to scrub the main cover it remained quite stained and I didn't think anybody would want it. Thinking that somebody might make use of one or both of the foam mattresses I photographed them and put that on the free site explaining about the covers. This morning somebody messaged me wanting the whole thing which surprised me. It was a friend of theirs that turned up with a van to collect the sofa so I showed him the cover as I didn't want it to be a shock. He phoned his friend who still wanted it so off it all went. That saved a couple of trips to the dump and reuse is good for the planet.
With perfect drying conditions I made a start on washing some of our stored curtains. Knowing how many windows we'll have I thought I might have a fair number of curtains to give away but then I had another thought. While at Dingles curtains were hardly ever drawn, at least not by us, when we get to Borth they'll be needed not only for privacy but also for keeping out the cold. We've abandoned the plans for triple glazing rather than double as all the research indicates that triple glazing is only needed with very low temperatures and Borth doesn't drop below zero even in the winter. The advice was to draw your curtains to reduce heat loss through windows. Old style curtains with very heavy linings are best, our ancestors certainly knew this. So I'm thinking that I'll use some of the heavier curtains I have stored, to line the curtains I planned to use. Today I washed the white/blue/yellow curtains that used to be in the kitchen. It was so hot that the first line of curtains dried by the time the next machine load was done.
Recently I came across a recipe (on FB) published by a blogger who shares her money saving recipes. This was for a mushroom & lentil ale pie which promises to be a good substitute for beef and ale pie. We haven't tasted it yet because while the pie was in the oven Peter announced that he still had half of yesterday's fish and chips to finish up so it's pie tomorrow.   Hopefully it will taste good as I find myself more and more reluctant to eat meat for both health and ethical reasons though I do eat meat occasionally. 
The sun went down through a hazy sky giving a flash of rainbow colours to one side. Looking forward to another hot day tomorrow.

Friday 19 April 2019


The promised heat has arrived, here it was 23C/73F according to the Met. Office. Their forecast is for another hot day tomorrow, then cooling down a little at the start of the week followed by cloud and then thunderstorms. If you were to believe one of the more disreputable papers we are in for a 4 month heatwave. Not very likely.
It was too nice a day not to head out for a walk at the coast. With the good weather and the school holidays plus Easter Bank Holiday weekend the crowds have arrived. It took us a while to drive along the country road leading to Mortehoe behind three enormous caravans heading for one of the campsites there.
Although the path following the cliff edge was quite busy there was still plenty of open space to appreciate the tranquillity of this beautiful area. I saw quite a few dogs being walked off lead but I didn't say anything as the farmer has sensibly taken the sheep off the Point.
The tide was out revealing the rocky shelf and glistening brown seaweed. A single seal bobbed about in the usual place then followed a large group of kayakers enjoying the gentle sea. 
This is my favourite rock formation which to me looks like ancient ruins in miniature. 
We stopped for coffee at our usual bench. So many times we've sat there and looking across to Wales made plans for our move there. Now we may be there in a matter of weeks, depending on when the builders will be able to start work. Peter has already begun saying goodbye to his wide circle of friends. 
At the last appointment the vet said he expects it to take months for Speedy's feet to heal. Part of the problem with the fleas is that they make the whole of the cat's body itchy. The delivery of the room flea spray arrived today so I've been on a flea extermination campaign. All the sitting room throws were washed again and I decided to throw out two large feather cushions. Feathers set off Sally's hayfever and I expect the cushions are a hiding place for fleas. In the bin went the cushions which are over 40 years old so we've had good use out of them. When I took the leather cushions off the sofa and chair I was horrified by the amount of fluff, crumbs and cat hairs trapped under them. Cue very long hoovering session as many of the cat hairs were trapped in the fabric of the undersides of the cushions and needed picking off with tweezers. I then sprayed inside the zip-up leather cushion covers as well as every inch of the sofa and armchair. I'm currently working my way around the house zapping the floors with lots of spray. I'm determined to get rid of the fleas, even hoovered Speedy with the nozzle attachment which he didn't mind.
The vet at the earlier appointment said it wouldn't be possible to bandage Speedy's feet but I had a second try this afternoon. Only one foot to start to see how it goes. I found an elasticated tubular bandage for an adult's wrist in my first aid kit. This I cut in half lengthways, then sewed up the long side to make a cat sized foot tube. This I pulled above his ankle joint and secured it top and bottom with some strapping. He tried to shake it off at first but so far it's stayed on.