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.

Friday 31 January 2020


Pretty pink clouds this morning heralded a day of rain. Grey skies and middling/medium? rain. Not sure what the correct word is to describe rain that is neither light nor heavy.
It was such a relief to tidy up the dinning room this morning. I packed two boxes with stuff from the big cupboard. None of it was especially fragile so I used cost of the contents of the hats, gloves and scarves drawer to fill in the spaces. I left some gloves etc. out in case they are needed. That might signify that the rest are surplus to requirements but I see them as stock for the future. I don't know what the shops in Aberystwyth are like but I'm pretty sure I won't want to be spending time looking for clothes and accessories. Some of the earlier boxes were small enough to fit back into the cupboard and a few random items also went back in.
During my 'breaks' I carried on with my knitting and completed the first of the current pair of mittens. Again I had to use two colours but this time I created a shaded effect moving from one colour to the other.

Thursday 30 January 2020


Today has been grey and warmer with light rain. In the afternoon I drove to Braunton to have my tattoo 'touched up'. It's usual to lose small sections of a tattoo in the healing process so the repair work is included in the initial cost. I really enjoy being tattooed, it's not painful and it's nice to have a conversation while it's being done. It took about half an hour as he went over quite a bit more than I had initially thought. 
Braunton as a village has grown a lot since our first holidays at Saunton and I took the opportunity to call in at the Tesco's that now serves the area. This was mainly to see if they had any wholemeal pitta breads for Peter which they did as our local Tesco's didn't on my last shop. I also got some reduced ham for Peter and reduced Cornish Blue cheese mainly for me. 
Then on the way back I called in at the garden centre (where today's photos were taken) to have a general look around and see if they had any cardboard boxes. Inside I came across a Reduced table where I chose two more cyclamen at £1 each and a dendrobium orchid for £2. The orchid looked strong and healthy but didn't have any flowers hence the reduction. There were a number of the ordinary orchids for £2 most still with some flowers but I decided not to buy any. If money wasn't an issue I have to admit to really liking this resin cute but fierce dragon but not for £225.
They always have a selection of empty cardboard boxes by the checkout so I planned on picking up a few. I was lucky enough to spot a whole pile of already flattened sturdy boxes and piled 10 into the back of the car.
I'd painted a coat of paint on the skirting board in the dinning room before I went out so when I returned Peter gave me a hand to put the cupboard back but  away from the wall to avoid condensation. Before we put it back I stuck felt pads on the underneath of the cupboard to stop it catching on the wooden floor. Now I'm wondering if that will put too much pressure on those four points instead of across the whole of the flat base. I'll have to have a look when we get round to moving.

Wednesday 29 January 2020


It's been a bright and sunny day with enough wind to make it worth hanging out the washing. It still felt chilly and I could see a few of yesterday's hailstones around the plants in the shade.
Speedy likes watching out of the window and something had obviously caught his attention. I had a good look but couldn't see either a cat or a bird.
I painted on two more coats of paint over the ex-mouldy  spots and then when I moved the old towels protecting the floor I found a damp and suspiciously smelly spot which had left a brown stain on the skirting board. Speedy? I know he doesn't like the hum of the dehumidifier which we leave running overnight in the conservatory where his litter tray is kept. I sprayed and wiped with bleach and then gave it a good spray with a pet anti-chew spray that I have.
Another of today's jobs was to go through some of my clothes and I succeeded in culling a bagful of things to go to the charity shop. In between jobs and exercising I've been knitting a final pair of fingerless mittens for the time when Vytas loses his current pair. He did have the first pair for a number of years before losing track of them. 
We had bright blue skies for most of the day and then towards dusk the clouds began appearing.
Imagine these photos many shades brighter red and that will explain why I looked out of the window and exclaimed 'Wow.' 
I've been trying to get my blog done earlier to make it easier for me to get my head down earlier that usual. For the past week I've been turning the light out as close to 10pm as possible. Peter falls asleep within minutes of his head hitting the pillow but I take at least an hour. I tended not to turn my light off until well after midnight and if lucky would sleep till 8.00. Now I'm still waking at the same time but getting several hours more sleep each night which is a good thing.

Tuesday 28 January 2020


A day and night of wintry weather. I woke a number of times last night to hear hailstones and heavy rain. A thunderstorm joined the mix, a weird one in that I didn't see any lightning and the thunder rumbled on and on. I'm sure I've never heard one like that before.  
We've had some bright spells today and a lot of hail with icy north winds. 
In the afternoon I continued applying woodworm killer to the big pine cupboard. First I emptied out the three drawers and painted the killer on the insides and underneaths. Then Peter gave me a hand with the cupboard itself, tipping it up so I could reach underneath. I didn't do the underneath of the cupboard last time so I suspect that's how the nasty worms survived. Hopefully not now. With the cupboard moved right away from the wall I was able to shift some of the newly packed boxes to get to the last bits of mildew above the skirting board. I sprayed on bleach and then scraped off the black marks. I'm glad I did that because some of the spots were tiny at the surface and a lot bigger under the layer of paint. With most of the spores gone I sprayed more bleach and will begin painting tomorrow. I did apply a coat of paint to the other part of the wall and one last coat should be enough.
While I knitted the blackbird came to feed on the seeds and fat ball crumbs I'd scattered under the feeders.

Monday 27 January 2020


The morning rain came with icy temperatures and was followed by a sunny but cold afternoon.
As I was driving across town to buy woodworm killer I planned to do the food shopping at the same time. We get through a lot of fresh fruit and veg and there's a limit to how much keeps well at home. I also called in at BJ's and found these bright cyclamen to cheer up the hanging basket by the front door. I guess I'm hoping for more house viewings.
In the afternoon I sponged the cupboard over with the woodworm killer. I still need to empty out the drawers to do the underneaths as well as the interiors and tip up the cupboard to get to its underneath. The woodworm killer was expensive at £20 for a tin but better than letting the woodworm eat the flooring. The killer was marked as 'low odour' but I took no chances and wore a facemask and goggles. Once that was done I painted the bits of wall where I scraped off the mold. Another coat or two should get that sorted.

Sunday 26 January 2020


Lots of rain in the morning, a little sun and now it's turned cold and grey.
After yesterday's tidy up the dinning room is now in a complete mess. I decided to get on with tackling the damp behind the big cupboard. I'd used up all the boxes so I emptied out the remaining contents of the cupboard, took out the drawers and carefully slid the cupboard away from the wall. The mildew was much as I expected dotting a few inches high in places. I sprayed with bleach and wiped it off and then decided to use a knife to scrape off the black spots as I didn't want to leave any spores. That done I gave it a last spray. What I wasn't expecting was evidence of active woodworm in the back of the cupboard. I had gone over the back with a woodworm killer before we moved from Dingles but either the chemical was too old or I didn't apply it sufficiently. We certainly don't want to be introducing woodworm to our new wood floors in Borth so I'll be buying more woodworm killer and doing the cupboard inside and out.
Signs of Spring flowers in the front garden.

Saturday 25 January 2020


Another grey day with no view beyond the river at any time. In the morning I went around putting away clutter and making the rooms as tidy as possible. Peter had a meeting which was probably a good thing as the viewing couple turned up with three children. Two of the boys go to the local school so we had a nice chat about their teachers, my old colleagues. The estate agent  had told us they've only just put their house up for sale so there's little chance of them making an offer. They were also going to look at the other bigger house near the garages. One bit of hopeful news was the fact that they had planned to view a house in the next road but couldn't because it had gone under offer. That means the market is picking up again.
As I'd made the house as tidy as possible I thought it was a good time for a virtual tour. Pushing the armchair right back gives a better idea of the size of the sitting room. The exercise bike is tucked in to the left.
Painting the walls white and the glass panelled door made the hall a lot brighter than the original dark grey.
The kitchen is bright and serviceable though it's ready for a makeover. 
Believe it or not my study counts as a double bedroom because you can get a standard double bed in it. Since the last viewings I've put post-its on the wall with the measurements so that people can work out how furniture would fit in. 
Again, this counts as a family sized bathroom. The bath is to the left and many of our viewers have said their bathrooms are much smaller with the shower over the bath. To us it's a tiny bathroom. 
Peter's study which includes a rowing machine.
And finally our bedroom. We have a super-king bed and when we were house hunting we had to turn down many properties because the bed wouldn't have fitted. The bedroom in Borth is huge with enough room for a wheelchair or walker should we ever need one. 

Friday 24 January 2020


A morning of mist continued on to a gloomy grey day.
Today I began boxing up some of the stuff in the big pine cupboard. I got the roll of bubble wrap down from the loft to protect the fragile glass and china items and for extra protection padded them out with a number of my fluffy fleeces, mostly winter pjs. It's surprising, or not,  how few fragile items you can put into each box. We haven't got a moving date so at the moment I'm using saved boxes and need to bring home more each time I go shopping with the car. At least this way I can spread out the packing and not have to do it in a big rush. And all the stuff in the loft is still boxed. Maybe I should have kept the empty boxes from the move here but the rooms were so cluttered and we hadn't boarded out the loft at that time.
The rest of my day has been the usual routine, started early as today was one of those days when I woke early and had to get up to exercise away the aches and pains.

Thursday 23 January 2020


Grey and hazy today but dry. I went down to the garage to get some paint and was surprised by how damp the garage was. When I looked up could see that all the rafters were soaking wet. We had the roof sealed last summer which took care of several leaks but now it looks as if water is getting where the corrugated boards are screwed to the rafters. I'm wondering if the sealant reacted with either the screws or the holes. Or else if simply having somebody walk on the roof loosened up the screws. Another problem to think about.
The paint was to touch up a couple of places on the dinning room wall where I bleached off the mildew. I was able to get a second coat on just now and it's looking good. But I will still have to empty (and pack the contents) of the big cupboard to move it out from the wall and deal with the mildew I'm sure is there.
This morning I was in the kitchen when suddenly the power went off which was strange. First I stuck my head out of the window to see if anyone else was out looking to see what had happened. I spoke to a chap coming out of his daughter's house and yes their electric was off too. Another neighbour came out and I saw she was on the phone reporting the fault. It makes you realise how much you rely on electricity when it goes off. No internet, tv or radio, except for my MP3 player. No heating, kettle or hot water. Fortunately we have a gas cooker so it didn't take long to boil a saucepan of water to do the washing up and before half an hour was up the power was back on. My next door neighbour said she heard a bang just before the power went out which might have been the large metal container on the corner of the close that the power goes through. Exciting happenings in my mundane life!
I gave the bathroom a Spring clean today and sorted out the plants on the windowsill. The pitchers on the pitcher plant are beginning to dry up so I cut those off and last year's stalk too. The asparagus fern isn't doing as well. It was thriving on the downstairs toilet windowsill at Dingles which didn't get a lot of sun but here in the bathroom I don't think that the heat and any draughts from the window above are doing it any good. I put it in the bath (to catch all the dry bits from the stems) and cut off everything that was looking yellow. It's now in a clear container so hopefully I'll see better when it needs watering. For such a delicate looking plant it had surprisingly sharp bits on the stems.

Wednesday 22 January 2020


Today has been warmer with the tiniest amount of occasional drizzle. Much better weather for driving the camper up to the farm. In fact when I saw just how steep several of the hills were I was very glad we hadn't driven out yesterday. As usual the farm was deserted, only the dog in the yard and some sheep out in the field.
We called in at Lidl's on our way back to pick up some shopping including milk. With our morning porridge and my very milky tea and coffee we get through quite a lot of milk. Semi-skimmed of course. Back home I sprayed bleach onto a few patches of wall that have gotten mildew because the big cupboard doesn't allow enough air circulation even though it's not right up against the wall. More bleach got sprayed into the depths of the washing machine. I've been cleaning under the rubber seal but then discovered a further gap that was mucky. Once I'd sprayed and cleaned as much as I could I ran a quick hot wash to clear out the bleach, I love that stuff for cleaning.  
And finally, my completed 'hobbit' mittens. I'm pleased that I achieved matching colours. A bit of fun for me.

Tuesday 21 January 2020


The continuing sunny weather has tricked this osteospermum into flowering.
We were up and out fairly early this morning to collect the camper from the garage. As we set off we discussed the route we would take out to the farm and then came to the conclusion that both options had some potentially hazardous steep hills that could well be icy. So back home we went to arrange collection tomorrow which is due to be wet ie not icy. I then drove off clutching two shopping lists (his and hers) to the supermarkets. I pottered around quite happily, got Peter the last box of red wine on the shelf and the only one of these teapots. I'd been thinking about getting one for a while, when we were first married we never used teabags but our own mixture of loose tea, Assam and Earl Grey and on our recent visit to Vytas he also used loose tea in a metal teapot of similar design. Not only will we save money but we won't be using the chemicals and resources that go into making the bags.
In the afternoon a plumber came round to sort out the kitchen tap which had been leaking from the column. He hadn't brought along the exact same tap but this one is more reliable. I will admit that there is less splashing of the water over the counter, due to the poor placing of the tap by the last people, but in my mind it's ugly and harder to use especially one handed. However we're not staying so it doesn't matter. 
We've got a viewing on Saturday but as the lady has only just put her house on the market we won't take it that seriously.
While the delay in moving is frustrating it does give me time to source ideas and work out my designs. The other day I found what I hope is the solution to our window/privacy problem. My study, our bedroom and the sitting room all have large windows which are about 3ft. from the pavement. Too close to have clear windows with people looking in. Also I like or almost need, to be able to see out. The old fashioned solution of net curtains is definitely not my thing. The modern solution of one way mirror film would do the job but I don't think I'd be sure people couldn't see in as the windows would be clear from the inside. I had come to the conclusion that venetian blinds would have to do. Not the wide vertical ones, too much like an office but narrow metal ones which is what had been up before. Nice new white ones of course. Then I was watching a tv drama and in the background was a cross between a roller blind and nets. These are designed to be opaque from the outside and sort of fuzzy from the inside. I've sent off for a sample for a better idea of how it works but hopefully they'll be the answer.

Monday 20 January 2020


The weathervane on Mortehoe church.
We had another frosty morning followed by a crisp sunny day. I took this photo of the frosty deck just before I hung up the washing at midday. I was very careful when walking over the slippery wood and paving, it would be silly to fall and break something. The light breeze helped the washing to almost dry before I brought it back in for ironing.
The only notable event in my day was when I looked out of the window and saw an elderly neighbour trying to prise up one of the services manholes set into the pavement by his garden. I took our mini pry-bar out to see if that would do the job. It turned out that he wanted to check his water meter but was busy trying to lift the phone line cover instead of the small cover marked WATER. Once he'd got that open I left him to read the meter. The lady from the next house was also out offering advice and mentioned that her phone line had been down since yesterday. A bit later on a BT workman was lifting up the phone line cover and hopefully fixing what ever the problem was.

Sunday 19 January 2020


We had a very heavy frost this morning and even now in the late afternoon I can see areas of frost on people's roofs which haven't been reached by the sun.
It was too nice a day to be stuck indoors so we headed out to Morte Point for a walk in the sun. At least once we'd gone around the point. The north side had been left in the shade and was fairly chilly. 
That ruled out our usual stopping place so along with a few other walkers we sat in the sun on the rocks right at the point. They're not the most comfortable rocks to sit on except in a few places but we have two children's foam garden kneelers. They are lightweight and good for keeping out the damp or bumpy rocks when we stop for coffee.

Some very large rollers were coming in across the point but in the wrong direction for anyone down on the beach.
There were some very muddy spots on the main path along the top of the hill so we varied our usual route to bypass the worst of them on our way back.
On our way to Mortehoe along the back road we came across a flooded section of road. While we might have got through it as demonstrated by a car driving through it towards us we knew that there would be a deeper flood further along that road. Peter turned the car round to be safe. The other driver must have thought we were real wimps. Instead we took the main road down to Braunton and then up to Mullacot. On the return journey we drove through Muddiford. It's a deep and steep valley and the fields on the right, north facing side were still covered in heavy frost. I don't miss the fun of trying to drive out of Dingles with black ice on the steep bit that never saw the sun in winter.

Saturday 18 January 2020


After a clear starry night the day began with a crisp frost and continued sunny and cold. By late afternoon all was gloomy at the back of the house which was in shade but the front felt lovely and warm, at least on the inside.
With no major projects on the go I pottered around, sorting out paperwork, unpicking another letter from Peter's polo top and knitting a bit more of my mitten. For supper I  made a big pot of cabbage soup which also contains onions, tomatoes and chopped up smoked sausage for extra taste. Served with crumbled ('cos it's been in the freezer) strong cheddar cheese it's a real winter warmer. Good if you've been working outside or as in my case just emptying out the water from the stone trough. One other job today was to back up my photos as it hasn't been done for a long time. I plugged in my external hard drive and …….. nothing. I did the usual checks ie jiggling both ends and trying a different USB port but not a thing. However when Peter gave me a new USB lead to try it sprang into life. Whole months' worth of photos simply flew across. I'm now wondering if the old lead, which did look a bit rusty at one end, had been slowing the process down.
The sunset tonight was very pretty. If you imagine the colours of the photos below greatly intensified ie glowing orange and deep pink they will give an idea of this evening's sky.

Friday 17 January 2020

Hail Storms.

It's been a day of sunny spells and heavy wintry showers. Peter went out to meet up with a friend in the afternoon and got caught by hail and rain on his walk home. 
I've had another quiet day at home, a few finishing alterations to one of the cushion covers before tidying everything away and extra kitchen cleaning. We have a neat slide out wicker basket in one of the kitchen cupboards which is good for keeping vegetables in. The only downside is that with the heating on for the winter even the minimal amount in the kitchen is enough to speed up the aging of the vegetables. Our fridge, even on the lowest setting is a bit too cold for salad vegetables so I've begun keeping a box of vegetables out in the conservatory which is pretty cold. 
While tidying up my sitting room desk I came across Peter's old work polo top with my started unpicking of the company logo whilst leaving his name. It's a silly thing to be doing in that he doesn't need to keep it as he has more than enough clothes but it was a project that appealed to my thrifty nature. So I sat there with a stitch ripper, needle and tweezers and have removed the first of the four unnecessary letters. Machine embroidery is very hard to unpick!