27 January 2018

Time for an update

With the first month of 2018 nearly over - where does the time go?  I thought I had better get around to updating you on whats been going on around here.

Work started in earnest w/c 20 November and has continued at a pace since then, apart from a week break over Christmas.  We now have a new boiler, have been rewired, archway removed from the lounge, every room has been plastered, the cloakroom has a new suite and has been re-tiled walls and floor, the bathroom re-tiled walls and floor and a new kitchen.  Utility room made in the store room at back of garage. The back bedroom now has built in cupboards in the eaves space, the under stair cupboard in under way and the front bedroom eaves cupboards will be started soon.  The wood burner for the lounge will be fitted next week all being well.  Decorator is due to start during February. Parquet flooring has been discovered in the hall and back sitting room, so this needs sanding and refinishing as we are keen to keep it. Carpets have finally been chosen. Still to finalise the curtains and upholstery fabrics for the lounge and chose curtains for the bedrooms and back sitting room.

Then, on to outside, the large conifer trees come down on 9th of Feb, we can then replace all the damaged fencing. The patio and driveway need to be pressure washed and repaired where necessary. At this point we can finally start to enjoy making a garden.  Exhausted yet, we are.  The garage and loft are still full of unopened boxes ........

So lets see what photos I can show you, it will only be a peek as nothing is finished yet, as in lights not in place or decoration done.

dining end of lounge with archway removed and wet plaster

new hearth and opening ready for small wood burner
parquet flooring in back sitting room

Some photos of my new kitchen, not so tidy, as I was about to start marmalade making




lovee these corner drawers


So yesterday we bid farewell to Steve our plasterer - with the help of his son Aaron - he's been with us for 7 weeks, almost feels like part of the family.  If you are in the market for plastering or tiling then Steve's your man, thank you so much for a great job done.  Give me a shout and I'll be happy to let you have his details. To Simon our electrician, Dave the plumber, Kitchensmiths for the kitchen, son in law Stuart for all the carpentry work - still on going, Swain Builders, British Gas.  I think that's everyone so far - thank you.

Must admit it will be good to get the house back to ourselves..........

6 December 2017

Finding the time

We are up to our necks in building projects, dust and dirt, mess and muddle. I have however managed to make not 1 but 4 Christmas sweaters for the grandchildren. 

The pattern is by Jane Burns and was published in Yours Magazine issue 283.  I used King Cole Big Value DK as I had 4 to make, and am really happy with the results.  I can't wait to see the children in them.  I'll post photos when I have them








8 October 2017

Settling in

Its hard to believe that we have been here 3.5 weeks. Actually we were in France for one of them, helping the Jones family settle into their new abode - you can follow along here - Chateau de la Ruche

Anyway back to us.  Its been an interesting few weeks, a lot of mishaps along the way involving water - leak from the bath, leak from the loo, broken stop tap involving an emergency plumber last weekend, slow filling loo, noisy/slow filling water tank, its was actually like chinese water torture.  But on the whole we are happy.

We have had most trades round now to check out the work we need doing, and are hopeful to get started soon.  Son in law Stuart has already removed and replaced the banisters and fitted new doors to the downstairs rooms, we like them so much we decided to get upstairs done too. We still have lots of boxes unopened as there seemed little point in setting up rooms only to have to pull them apart when the work starts, so its a bit like camping!!
ugly iron banisters give way to simple white

We have spent the day working outside, having a bit of a tidy in the front, washing down the fascias and cleaning windows, chatting to neighbours, they all seem very friendly so far.  Peter is currently replacing a chipped back door handle, not sure how that is going, I'm keeping out the way but there seems a fair bit of sighing going on!!

There are some good plants in the garden, all a bit overgrown but I am hopeful that we can tame them.  7 large conifer trees to come out, that will be fun, in fact 8 if you count the one at the front



A new fence to go up, the current one to the left has collapsed under the weight of ivy!  So as you can see we have our work cut out.  No chance to get bored and if we do there lots of wallpaper to come off

I'll leave you with a lovely rose from the garden




9 September 2017

Last innings

We finally find ourselves at our last weekend here in this house.  For weeks I never thought we'd get here.  I am sat at my craft table as our dining table and chairs went off yesterday to be stripped, waxed and painted.  A new look for the "new" house.  I sent along a side table and a nest of tables too.  I had planned to do these myself, but once I heard the price for a professional job decided whilst I would have the time, I'd never be truly happy with the results.  Plus its a couple of items we don't have to move on Thursday.

The packing is going reasonably well, we are at a point now where we still have to live, so our bedroom is intact, though I do need to pack our clothes.  The lounge has sofas and the tv,  the kitchen is sort of parred down. The front sitting room looks like this.  I wish I had had my camera handy yesterday when Gus got here and went to go in this room......priceless


the hall like this


and there are piles of boxes in the dining/utility/kitchen so its a bit like an obstacle course.  This weekend I am hopefully to consolidate them so I can start cleaning, that way we don't end up in a mad rush and I can leave here knowing that I left it presentable.

We have both had colds over the last 2 weeks which has helped to pull us down, Peter suffering badly with blocked sinus.  I think I got off reasonably lightly.

On Wednesday we interviewed for my replacement at work.  It seemed very odd going through my job with someone new, though I'm sure the person they are taking on will do a great job. Almost wish I was leaving sooner.  We will do a handover during my last week.

So there you have it a quick recap on where we are right now.  I guess my next post will be from our new home, have a great weekend

29 August 2017

Making the most of the weekend

What an amazing holiday weekend it has been, 3 days of wall to wall sunshine, and the forcast is for more to come.  September seems to be summer most years now so at least something to look forward to and enjoy, though the nights are drawing in fast.

After two days of sorting and packing - still plenty to do - we gave ourselves a day off yesterday and went for a cycle ride into St Ives, then on to Hemingford and met some of the family for a drink and a chat.

I had a wander around the garden when we got back to check out the state of play with the apples - there are lots







There is also plenty of colour too







Looking forward to seeing what we have in the new - very much smaller - garden, not long now

25 August 2017

The saga continues

Whoever ranked moving house up there below bereavement got it about right.  This past week has been frustrating and emotional in more ways than one.  Wrangles over a completion date between the two parties below us, then when finally everyone is ready to exchange a solicitor goes awol.  I guess he decided he'd rather slip away early for the holiday weekend.  We are now left waiting til Tuesday, but at least have a moving date of 14 September, though can put nothing into place until exchange has happened.  Sigh.

Here's a picture to make you smile, this child knows no fear


There is something else that we have been keeping to ourselves, our eldest daughter and her family are heading for pastures new, starting a new life in France.  You can follow their adventure here.  We will be sad to see them go, but plan on spending as much time as possible with them in France to help them achieve their dream.  As you can imagine that would be hard with us both working, so to that end we will be retiring at the end of October and making good use of our time both there and at home (we have so much to do on our new place!).  I'm trying hard not to think about them being in a different country.  If they had moved to Scotland or right down in the west country it would take as long to visit them.  I guess we have just got used to them being 45 minutes away.  I know that lots of people have families spread all over the world, so France is just a hop across the channel, or rather under, don't do boats!


My knitting has been going slowly whilst we try to sort and pack up the house, but I have got my Mdina cardigan finished.  I have also cast on the first of 4 Christmas sweaters for the grandchildren, that should be fun!  I have made all the "bits" for them all whilst waiting for the yarn to arrive.  I'll share as I progress.



So that is our news for now.  I hope you all have a great holiday weekend, looks like the weather is going to be good.  We will be sorting and packing, then finally getting round to an afternoon tea which we were gifted last year, I think we deserve it after the week we've had.........

13 August 2017

Holding your breath

It has felt like we have been holding our breath this past week.

We returned home on Saturday from a lovely family holiday.  I won't say we were relaxed, but we had a fun, hectic, noisy time, HOT, one where you get to spend quality time with the whole family in one place.

On returning there was the usual post to go through, a few enquiries from the solicitor re the house sale, nothing much. Monday email from solicitor arranging a meeting to sign contracts, then comes the call from the agent.  Our buyers have lost their buyers at the 11th hour, shock, disappointment, all those plans put in place, now on hold........  I have to hand it to our agent, she pulled one out of the bag.  She contacted all the previous viewers that had offered on their house and fortunately one of them was still interested, to cut a long story short, everything is back on again as of yesterday.  I have to confess I had a few tears, I hadn't realised how tense I had been all week, so it was back to the packing.  I guess we are a few weeks further away from moving than we would have been, but as long as it happens we don't mind.

Here are a few photos from the holiday and this past week........ and breathe..........





Laurie had a birthday



Stu cycled Mount Ventoux THREE times in one day!!!











Bit of knitting



Doesn't look impressed does he?

Helping Pops