Friday, 21 April 2017

Half term entertainment

It was finally back to school last week, after a longer than usual half term. Little Boy seemed a bit under the weather the week before the holidays. When I took his top off to get him in his pyjamas I discovered why...

Chickenpox!!!! Obviously he then couldn't go to nursery, so he was actually off for three weeks rather than just two. He was a model patient, and didn't itch at all. Whenever he had an itchy spot, he would come and tell me and I would put some gel on it. I veered away from the traditional calamine lotion, as I had read that when it dries it can actually be the cause of some itchiness, but instead used ViraSoothe.   It wasn't cheap, at nearly £9 for a 75g tube, but it worked a treat. 

So by the start of the actual half term he was feeling better. We don't splash out lots on days out, but we did have a few nice outings. 

Cotswold wildlife park in Burford

A day out for the children with Nanny and Grandy. Set in 160 acres of parkland, it houses a wide variety of birds and mammals, many of which are endangered in the wild. There's lots to see, including a walk through Madagascar exhibit, Reptile house, and children's farmyard. A miniature train takes you for a ride around the park, but you have to pay extra for that. The adventure playground is amazing, and big enough for adults to go on too (I may have tried it out, purely to keep an eye on Little Boy of course!). For plant lovers there are beautiful landscaped gardens in the walled garden. 

Did you spot Little Boy above with his red painted finger nails? Joys of having a big sister, you get your nails painted a variety of colours in the holidays!

Eastnor Castle, near Ledbury

OH came here too, so a rare 'complete' family day out!

Not only is it great looking around inside the castle, but outside is just as fun, with an adventure playground, knight's maze, and junior assault course....

It's also home to the Land Rover experience, but at nearly £300 for a half day experience is a bit beyond our budget!

A walk in the park

Well it's not actually a park, it's Rose Bank Gardens at the foot of the Malvern Hills. We had a bit of time to kill and thought we'd have a mooch around. Not a lot in there, but a pleasant little walk around, with lovely far reaching views. 

Another walk
This time it was a walk with my sister and her dog in some woods near Suckley. The photos don't do it justice, as the bluebells looked gorgeous. 

I'm sure Little Boy was a dog in a former life. His little hands are stick magnets, and we can't go anywhere without him zooming in on any stick he spies. He was actually struggling to walk with his twiggy bundle, until we suggested maybe he left it on the path for the next little boy who came along who might like some. 

On the home front there was gingerbread decorating (Big Girl's on the left, Little Boy's on the right)....

Mud pie making....

And to wrap up the holidays nicely, I had a phone call from our local Countrywide store to say that Little Boy had won their colouring competition! Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of his entry (bad mummy) but it was an Easter bunny. His entry goes into the next round, and if he wins the national round he wins even more Tractor Ted goodies!

Well done if you reached the end, that was a mammoth post! 

Next time, I will show you the rest of the building works, as the outside is now finished!!


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Over site - extension works continue

Right where were we? It's been six weeks since I last posted, the builders have been and gone already and I'm only just beginning to tell you about it!

Footings dug...

More BIG piles of soil on our drive...

Here comes the ready mix...

And we are out of the ground at last!

I had to sit back and watch the garden get trashed - diggers, wheelbarrows, piles of bricks. At least the garden didn't look to smart too start with. 

Out the front of the house there is a small extension to the lounge, to bring the whole of the house in line. It kind of looks like it's not worth the effort, but will make a big difference when it's knocked through inside. 

Inside the house is chaos too. The one bathroom has been ripped out completely, and the toilet in the other one taken out too. The shower in that room is still there with some temporary pipe taking the water down through the ceiling, into the downstairs toilet and out through a hole in the wall! We have a toilet still downstairs, but upstairs now there is only a portaloo - with strict instructions for night time use only and definitely no number twos!

Did you spot the iPad in the photo above, propped on the sink? He pretends he's busy, but secretly he's watching the football!

The bath was so heavy OH had to smash it up so we could haul it downstairs. Boy was it noisy when he was doing that, it was like someone ringing church bells in the house - good job he's already got tinnitus as I think that noise would have started it anyway (he did wear ear muffs, but it was still loud). We left the pieces in the front garden and it soon disappeared. I won't name names, but there are certain people who patrol the area looking for scrap, and are quick to take anything off your hands. I would have taken it to the scrap yard myself to get something for it, but it was too heavy and big to manhandle into the car!

I'll leave you with some cheery photos of the daffodils in the garden, taken in April but I forgot to show you 😊. I'm going to try and get at least one post a week done, as I'm just so slack at blogging at the moment but have so much to say. Too much to do and too little time to do it. I think we need a four day week don't you, or an extra four hours a day. 


Thursday, 9 March 2017

Let the building commence!

We have finally got some builders sorted, so it's all systems go! OH dismantled the old conservatory a few weekends ago, and cut it up so I could take it to the scrap yard. Only got £54 for the steel but better than nothing I guess. 

Do you remember the mystery oval shape in the soil we discovered when we removed the gravel from the patio? We thought it looked like a pond, but thought surely it couldn't be as it was built right over the main drain. Well I guess it must have been a pond, as can you see the electric cable running from the conservatory to the pond....

Then it was time for the builders to come, to break up the old conservatory base and divert the drainage...

Little Boy enjoyed having his own personal digger show in the back garden!

The original drain ran in a straight line which would have gone under the edge of the new conservatory footings, so it had to be diverted meaning two more manhole covers in the patio. 

The pile of soil on the front drive gradually got bigger, then the grabhire lorry came to scoop it all up. The disadvantage is it makes a big mess piling up all the soil somewhere, but the advantage is it is much much cheaper than hiring skips. 

At least the weather stayed fine, so we didn't have a wet, muddy pile!


Monday, 6 March 2017

Toilet roll and milk

I only went to the supermarket for some toilet roll and milk....

I wasn't expecting any good deals, as I was there earlier than when they normally reduce things right down. But I was in luck, and I think this has to be my best haul yet. £67.11 worth of goodies, for only £11.06!!!!

The biggest saving was on flowers. I picked up my weekly bundle of £1 daffodils, only to spy some reduced flowers and went to investigate. 19p a bunch! A £12 hand tied bouquet of flowers for 19p! So three bunches of flowers with a total full price of £24 cost an amazing 57p. 

I spread them all out, trimmed the ends and rearranged them to make two lovely new bouquets, one for the lounge and one for the dining table. That floristry course I did many years ago paid off. 

Just to finish off the day even better, I had a free dinner! Our lovely neighbours have gone away on holiday and instead of wasting their fridge contents decided to offer them to us. We had loads of lovely bits and pieces, and I used the chestnut mushrooms, chillies, tomatoes and  free range eggs to make a yummy omelette. 
Hopefully tomorrow I will do a post on the building works progress.