Monday, 19 June 2017

What's in the box?

A knock on the door the other day  - a parcel for me! It was quite large so I couldn't think what it could possibly be. The delivery driver read out the name of the sender, nope that doesn't ring a bell. Then he read out the customs slip which describes the contents of the parcel - two mugs. Nope, still not remembering. I explained I enter a lot of competitions, so maybe I had won something. 

So what was inside this big box with all the packaging? Three little bags of buttons!
I ordered them online a few weeks ago for Big Girl for a Christmas stocking. Coming from China I was dubious of the quality as they were quite cheap, but I was really pleased with them. They were a good quality and a great range of colours and styles. I'd love to get some more for myself, but I'm very anti excessive packaging, and this was taking it to extremes. I guess they were making sure there were no damages, but I think a decent Jiffy bag would be fine for a bag of buttons. 

Well at least the box was put to good use - a lounge full of comfy armchairs and a sofa, and Little Boy decided to sit in the box to watch telly!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Rubble to the tip trips

Now the outside of the house is virtually finished, we can concentrate on the inside. Next job on the list was to knock down the wall that was the front of the house, but is now taking up room in our lounge. We could have had another grab hire but that would have meant weeks of rubble piled on our drive until we had enough to justify the cost, so we decided to take it to the tip ourselves. Seeing as OH has a van, and we don't have a permit for it for the tip, it was down to my poor car to be the workhorse. 
It doesn't look like there is much in the boot, but it was sure heavy, and so it took many, many, many trips to get rid of a whole wall. Good job the tip is just a few minutes down the road. 

OH stayed at home, knocking down the wall brick by brick, then passing them through the window to me. We had to take our time and do it carefully as we still had all our stuff in the lounge and didn't want it covered in dust! I had the job of heaving it all into the car then heaving it all out the other end. I was worn out by the end of the day. 

The photo below shows OH in the extension part. It looks tiny, but once the inside wall was taken down it made a huge difference to the sense of space in the lounge. 

My reward for all the lifting and sweating was a freebie! On one of trips I pulled up to the rubble skip and saw this perched on top. As long as you don't actually get in the skip they turn a blind eye if something decides to 'fall into your car'. So this beauty came home with me. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, just needed a bit of a clean. 

Planted up with a grass and some huecheras it now stands guard at the front door with my other blue pot (which incidentally also came from the tip, but that one was a different tip where they sell stuff, cost me £2 if I remember). I just have to set up the self watering system then they will all look after themselves. 

It's Fathers Day this weekend, supposed to be the hottest day of the year! Hope all you fathers out there have a fab day. 


Monday, 29 May 2017

First strawberry

We've finally picked the first strawberry from the garden this year, and it was deeelicious! Unfortunately only one was ready, so split into three it didn't go far (Little One was in bed, so we only had to share between three of us!). 

I originally bought one of these big planters, which holds loads of strawberry plants. It has some netting to cover over the fruit when it is ripening. I've learnt from last year not to put it on too early though, as if you do the strawberries just grow through the netting, then you can't take it off! It's great but I didn't really think when I placed it, as the plants around the back don't get much sun so are a lot smaller and don't produce much fruit. Maybe we should have put it on a spinning jenny so I could turn it around ;-)

This year I decided to use a three tier basket to put some of the runners in from the plants above. This is where our first strawberry of the season came from. I've planted some lobelia in there as well. The plan is to trick the birds so they only see flowers and not my yummy fruit. I'll let you know if my plan works!

Speak soon

Friday, 19 May 2017

Building onwards, upwards & outwards!

This is what our garden looked like a year ago. Nothing special, a work in progress, but at least there was greenery, and a few flowers growing. 

This is what it looked like the same time (May) this year. Quite literally like a building site...

Nick the tiler came, and hey presto, we now have a smart roof and a velux in the kitchen extension...

Little Boy is enjoying having lots of different things to climb on and jump off but also doesn't mind helping out. Give him a box to fill and he's quite happy collecting together all the timber off cuts or bits of rubble...

Inside was rather an upheaval, as we needed to have steel uprights fitted to hold the big steel spanning the width of the lounge. That meant digging two big holes in our lounge floor...

The dust and noise was horrendous, and we had to section off a part of the lounge with heavy duty plastic backed dust sheets so we could carry on living there. 

We also needed to take down units in the kitchen so they could knock through to get the steel in there too. So all the stuff had to come out of the units and be boxed away...

And more mess and dust 😩...

Big Girl wasn't too impressed as they had to knock three holes in her bedroom wall, to put in the acros to hold up the wall. 

Then out came the old concrete lintel...

And in with the new. We had to have extra help that day, as it was really heavy and took four of them to lift it all in place. It was a nervous time, as if anyone had measured wrong and it didn't fit we were in trouble. It was alright in the end, a bit too big but nothing a bit of bashing didn't fix!

Once the steel was in the front wall was soon up, roof tiled, new windows in and a smart new green door...

I'm really pleased with the front door. I didn't just want boring old white PVC, and was tempted by the oak effect. In the end I chose the green, and I think it looks smart with the chrome accessories. Finishing touches will be an outside light and a new door number I think. 

Now all it needs out the front is the window baskets re fitted and planted up, a fence put up, all the rubbish tidied away and some plants planted....


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!!