Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Hotter than Honolulu

The first May Bank holiday, and it was a record breaker - reaching 28.7C (84F) it was the warmest early May bank holiday in UK history.

 So how did we enjoy the lovely weather? Stuck indoors installing a floating floor in the playroom 🙁
It used to be an integral garage, so only had a concrete floor which was cold, and also there was a step down from the house. So we added a floating floor (insulation with flooring over the top) to bring it in line. 

Looking out of the room towards the hall, you can see underneath the house, where the step was. This has now been filled in, but I still go to step down whenever I go in the room!

We were a bit worried that the floor was going to make a noise, as when just the insulation was down it was a bit squeaky when you walked on it. But once the flooring was laid on top, it just feels like a normal floor. 

Everything that was stored in the room had to be taken outside, so our drive resembled Steptoe's yard!

I was lucky to get a bit of a reprieve and some sunshine when I tidied out the greenhouse. 

I've got three raised beds in there that I wanted emptying so I could move them. Little Boy offered to help, and I gave him an incentive by paying him 20p for every plant pot he filled. £1.20 later, he'd emptied one bed and we stopped for tea and biccies. 

Once the contents were emptied out onto the lawn, and the floor swept it was already a vast improvement...

There are lots of staging and shelving ideas in garden centres and online, but the majority are expensive. We had a few garden tables surplus to requirements, and they are just the business. The smaller one fits nicely on top of the big one, and I have room on the larger one for a potting tray with a chair. 

Next time, I've got HeApS of photos to show you

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Sad snowman

It's hard to believe that a few weeks ago it was freezing cold. This picture was taken ten days ago - it's the remanants of the snowman built by OH and the children, now looking rather sorry for himself but was still hanging on for dear life even though the sky was blue and now warm enough to venture out without a coat on. In fact I even did a bit of gardening (you can see a pile of deadheading on the floor by the bird feeder). 

Only four days before he was being built. How fickle is the British weather?!

He grew to rather an impressive size...

The Beast from the East was most definitely a monster wasn't it, that wind was bitterly cold. The children were pleased though, as they got two days off school. I couldn't stop thinking about all the poor homeless people. It doesn't bear thinking about having to sleep out in weather like that. I also worried about the wildlife, so first thing I did every morning was don wellies and a big coat, and put out some rolled oats, bread, bird food and fresh water. No sooner had I come in on the first day then Mr Blackbird had swooped down for his breakfast. I was a little worried I may hurt him, as I had put hot water in the drinking bowl (so it would last longer before freezing up again) but he had a few sips so he must have enjoyed his hot cuppa!
I also spotted a pair of magpies, a little wren, and was excited to see my first fieldfare. Apparently they are social birds, but this one was quite happy finding food by himself. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of him/her, as the zoom on my phone camera wasn't strong enough to get a clear picture. 

Strange to see photos like this in March. In fact they are pretty much identical to the photos I took way back on the 10th/11th December. Don't you just love opening the curtains in the morning and finding a snowy blanket. Even better when it's still a pure carpet of white, untrodden upon except by the occasional little bird who ventures out in the cold. 

Snow angels

And snowmen (he looks cute but a little alarmed doesn't he!)

There was a good eight inches of snow fell, and temperatures dropped to -7 overnight and in the early hours of the morning. 

This is my favourite snowy photo. Even though its evening and the sky is dark, the snow lights up the ground and gives it a magical appearance. 

It wasn't until I ventured out into the garden I realised how much snow was resting on the roof of the greenhouse. That much weight on a sheet of glass didn't seem very safe, so I carefully slid it all off with the broom

That's it, I'm all snowed out, well done if you've reached the end! Hopefully that's all the snowy photos done for the year (unless we have some more in December). The warmer weather has lulled us into a false sense of security though, as apparently this weekend we are going from double figures to just above freezing during the day, and bitterly cold winds again 😩

Speak soon

Monday, 19 February 2018

British Camp walk

Half term is upon us in our neck of the woods, and so plenty of ideas for entertainment are needed, particularly ones that don't cost lots of money. A good one, which also ticks the exercise box, is a walk up the hills. So today we had a jaunt up British Camp, the most recognisable of all the Malvern Hills. It is thought to have been the location of a hill fort dating from around 3,500 years ago in the Bronze Age, and stands at an impressive height of 338m above sea level. 

The photos aren't the best as it was quite overcast, but it wasn't as windy and cold as I thought it was going to be. Sometimes when you reach the top its bone chillingly cold. 

Little Boy and I headed straight for the top, whilst Big Girl decided to cut around through a valley and head up the side of the hill to meet us. She underestimated how steep it was, and got a bit stuck on the way up! It's steeper than it looks on the photos. 

When we reached the top we found a QR code on the floor, which when scanned with my phone came up with a History of British Camp article (from which I obtained the info about about British Camp in this post!)

I love this photo, it looks like a path to nowhere...

The British camp reservoir, owned by Severn Trent was built to supply Malvern with water, but hasn't been used for several years. On reading an article online (dated Sept 2017) I was surprised to read that the firm were hoping to partially or completely drain the reservoir by cutting a notch at the bottom of the dam to allow it to drain. Whether or not this is still going ahead, who knows. 

There were a few scary moments, as Big Girl decided she didn't want to be boring and use the paths, she was going to run down the side of the hill. Fair enough, but then Little Boy decided he wanted to as well 😮. Who am I to crush a little person's bravery, but there were a few heart in mouth moments as his little legs struggled to keep up with how fast he was going. He did face plant into some sheep poo at one point, but thought that hilarious, picked himself and carried on. I have a video of them both, but don't yet know how to insert it (if anyone does, please let me know). I've seen online tutorials on inserting videos onto your blog from YouTube, but mine is just a video from my phone. 

On the way home we popped into Waitrose and picked up some scrummy cakes for tea (well we had just burned a few calories on our walk so I think a reward was justified!)

Speak soon

Saturday, 3 February 2018

A February walk

If OH is working on a Saturday which means we aren't going anywhere special, I like to get the children out of the house and go for a walk somewhere. Last weekend I thought we would have a hike up British Camp, but that idea was squashed when OH phoned and asked if we could drop some materials off to where he was working. As I drove down the lanes to the address, we passed many footpath signs, so I decided on the way back we would just pick one and go for a surprise walk. 

There were signs of Spring - catkins, hellebores, snowdrops....

Little Boy pointed out Peter rabbit's house, and we did see a few rabbits too but they were too fast to photograph....

And Postman Pat - can you see him?

There were several horses dotted around, and some lucky person had a huge posh new stable block 

We had no idea where we were going, and how long it would take, but then we turned a corner and I realised we had done a full circle and were entering the village near where we left the car. Outside one house someone had a collection of gnomes, with rather a 'cheeky' little one at the front...

Sadly even garden gnomes can't escape modern technology - there was even a gnome with his face stuck in a mobile phone....

This photo tickled me - however often I ask Little Boy to please move out of the way so I can take a photo, there is often a little head photobombing my blog photos. It's like Where's Wally!

A signpost pointed the way to Stanbrook abbey, and you could just spot a tower pointing up in the distance between these two wonderfully shaped houses. 

I couldn't get a decent photo of the abbey, but looking at it online it sounds a great place to stay if you've got the spare cash. The abbey was originally built to house Benedictine nuns in 1838 but in 2010 was sold and converted to a luxury 55 bedroom weddings and conference venue, with 50 bedroom suites that were formerly cells belonging to the nuns!

By now Little Boy was flagging, but luckily the car was just around the corner. When I checked my fitness tracker on the phone, we'd done 1.78 miles so I think he did quite well for little legs. We all enjoyed our surprise walk, so I think we will do something similar again. 

Speak soon