Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Today's The Day!

The new furniture has arrived. All of it. At the same time! There were three massive delivery lorries blocking the road while they unloaded ... I have apologised to the neighbours ...

I haven't bothered to photograph the bed - imagine any white two-drawer double divan with mattress and headboard and you will be imagining my new bed. I also haven't photographed the new mirror for the bathroom (which was in the biggest lorry!), but I have photos of the new sofa and chairs for you. They look a bit odd lined up along the wall but I'll explain why later in the post.

this one of the sofa shows almost the correct colour of the fabric - it's 'stone'

the reading chair - so looking forward to cuddling up in this seat to get lost in a book!

the single chair, a different fabric and design but it tones in with the other two pieces of furniture
The workmen didn't turn up today. I was expecting them and haven't had an answer to my text so I'm not too happy as they were going to help move the furniture around. However, the delivery guys were great and fitted everything into the living room; it's the reason why the new seats are all along one wall as the bed was against the opposite wall when I took this photo. The old sofa is taking up a lot of room where the new reading chair needs to go, so it's just a case of living with it for the time being.

The divan base has since been moved to the dining room as I couldn't get it upstairs on my own. I tried to move the mattress upstairs without help but failed on the second bend in the stairs, so phoned my nephew for help. He wasn't in (typical!!) but his wife and the two girls came round to help and between us we got it upstairs out of the way. I then had the pleasure of a mini recorder concert as Little Misses C and H, mattress movers extraordinaire,  treated me to a performance of their latest pieces ... once they got their breath back.

Thank you all for your kind words and advice yesterday. I'm feeling a lot better now. As always happens, the head cold only lasted for 24 hours and has now gone on to my chest so I have a cough and my breathing is rattly but, at the moment, is not too painful. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2018


Colds in plural because I have a cold, because the house will be cold and because of the weather!

I'm feeling sorry for myself! I started to sneeze yesterday afternoon and this morning have woken with a rotten cold. I think it may actually be a man cold as I am shivering, sneezing, losing my voice and I feel rather sorry for myself. On top of that I've been told that the electricity will be turned off in about an hour so there will be no heating for a while. At least the room is warm before the power goes off and I'll bring a duvet downstairs to keep from freezing to death.

I definitely will not be going outside today. It is bitterly cold out there and I'm trying to not feel guilty about staying in - I need to collect the prescriptions I ordered last week and I also need to go to the bank but I can't face either of those tasks today. I know I will regret this decision as I have to stay home tomorrow for all the deliveries, have medical appointments in Bath on Thursday so the next available day is on Friday ... the day I run out of some of the medication! Every time I do this I promise myself I won't leave it to the last minute again, but I always do!

I didn't make it to the singing group last night. I checked their website to see the start time and saw that they don't meet during half term. The next session will be on Monday 5th November, so just as well I checked. Instead I watched Only Connect and QI, and in between carried on reading. 

Monday, 29 October 2018

Chores Completed ...

... for today at least! 

I've finished moving everything around in my playroom and have created a space for the bed to be stored when it is delivered on Wednesday. At the same time I have got my act together and now have a designated shelf for the band admin. This will hopefully make it easier to keep on top of the admin, both personal and band, in the future ... time will tell.

My playroom (2nd bedroom!) is the one that was fitted out with three large storage cupboards and I'm now in the happy position of having plenty of spare cupboard space once I dispose of some unwanted hobby related items. As I've been sorting (over the past few days) I've been making decisions on what stays and what goes, and everything that is going is, for the time being, stored in one of the cupboards. There's not enough room to photograph it and advertise it for sale when the workmen are here and, as getting the house finished is the priority, disposing of these thing will have to wait. At least it is all in one place which will make it easier when I get round to it.

I've decided I've done enough for today so will get some lunch and settle down with my latest book - 'Lethal White', the latest Cormoran Strike book by J K Rowling.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Sunday and the week ahead.

It's been a very different sort of Sunday! We went to the cinema for an 11:45 am screening of The House With A Clock In Its Walls, 'we' being J and myself. Described as a family film, it was an enjoyable and undemanding break in the middle of what has turned out to be a busy weekend.

It's going to be a busy week. Tomorrow will be taken up with the final push to move things around to make enough space to store my new double bed and then I'll be carrying on/catching up with some band admin. Tuesday, the plumbers will be back for the final push to finish the en-suite and then start on the other bathroom. On Wednesday the new sofa and chairs, and the new bed, mattress and headboard are due to be delivered. Thursday I have medical appointments, and on Friday I'm hoping to get the adverts done to sell some instruments and some of the odds and ends which didn't go to auction.

Socially, on Monday evening I'm trying out a local singing group which meets in the church where I used to sing in the choir as a child. Tuesday night is the book group; I've finished the book, a good read, and am looking forward to discussing it with everyone. Wednesday night should be friends coming round but most of them are poorly and couldn't come to the cinema this morning so this may be cancelled ... we'll just see how everyone is feeling on the day. Thursday night is back to the cinema to see Bohemian Rhapsody, about the life of Freddy Mercury of Queen fame, and Friday is the film society meeting but I can't remember which film is scheduled for this week. Saturday morning will be spent with the rest of the music team to sort out the music folders ready for January. The others have never done this before and I don't think they realise just how long it will take as I doubt that we'll get it finished in the two hours we've set aside for the task. 

Saturday, 27 October 2018

A Surprise!

I haven't taken much notice of the garden recently. It's all overgrown but will have to wait until next year for some attention ... by then I'm hoping my eyes will have improved and I'll be able to do it myself, but if not I'll pay for it to be done.

Anyway, this morning on the way to take the rubbish to the bins I spotted this ...

... one cosmos plant ready to flower. I didn't plant any this year so this is left over/self seeded from last year. I hope it's pink!

Friday, 26 October 2018


The talk at last night's Family History meeting was interesting but not what I was expecting. I knew it was about census records and the leaflet I had described it as ways of searching the records. It turned out to be a talk on the records which were created before the first official UK census. It was interesting and may be of use at some stage in my research, just not what I was expecting!

Today started with pouring rain but it's stopped now and there is a beautiful blue sky. I've just been outside to open the side gate and garage for D (so he can plug in his tile cutter) and it is cold ... much too cold for me to enjoy being outside today, so I'm pottering about indoors. I have ordered my new bed ahead of schedule so need to move some things around to make room for it. I'd originally seen this double divan bed, complete with memory foam mattress and headboard advertised online, really liked it but it was way too expensive for my budget. I was looking again yesterday and found the same bed, mattress and headboard, now in their clearance sale and marked down to £279 ... so I ordered it. I just have to make space for it all to be stored until the bedroom is decorated, probably at the end of November.

I also have to get on and read the book for the book group on Tuesday - 'I Am Missing' by Tim Weaver. I got myself confused about the dates so have only just started it and, of course, because I've left it so late this is a long book ... 516 pages. I'm on page 26 so guess what I'll be doing over the weekend! 

Thursday, 25 October 2018


Thank you for your kind comments yesterday. I had a lovely time meeting up with Joy and some of you may be pleased to hear that the list for the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt has been decided.

The home improvement project is picking up speed. I'll be meeting D at Wickes at 8:30 am to choose the toilets and buy some bits and pieces that will be needed next week. I'll follow him home to open up so he can carry on with the en-suite while I drive over to Leekes to pay the outstanding balance on the order for the new sofa and chairs. The store has notified delivery for next week, which is a week earlier than expected. I also received an email advising that the TV unit I want to buy is expected from the overseas manufacturer by the end of next week so I'll be phoning to pay for that and to arrange delivery. Disappointingly, their standard courier delivery is 12 - 15 days so I'm hoping there is an option to pay for a speedier service. I've delayed ordering the new carpets because I want to be sure of the colour of the new sofa and chairs before I make my choice. Also, I'm more likely to get a better price if I wait for the January sales! 

This means that I now have to dispose of the old sofa before next Wednesday. There won't be room on the skip but it's almost full and they still have the other bathroom to do so I'm going to check with N to see if he's planning to order a second skip. If he is, I may ask him to get a bigger one, share the cost, and then take the opportunity to get rid of a lot of stuff in the garage as well as the sofa and the old mattress. The local council now charges over £20 per item to collect large household waste so the chance to dispose of it all in a skip on my drive isn't going to be much more expensive when I take account of all the large items in the garage which have to go.

It's the monthly Family History meeting tonight. There will be a talk about different ways of using the information in the census documents, which I'm really looking forward to, and then it'll be home for an early night.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Meeting Friends ...

At last! I have something different to blog about so I'm back online. 

There is still a huge pile of tiles in the middle of the living room and a couple of large cardboard boxes are masquerading as the davenport desk and the small armchair (while I'm trying to imagine how the room will look when the new furniture is here), but last night was my first 'having friends round for a meal' night. Okay, it was only one friend (J) and we had a takeaway delivered which we had to eat on our laps in the living room as the table is piled high with things still to be sorted, but ... I still 'entertained' at home. I can't really explain why this was so significant for me as I've often had people round for meals since I moved to this house, but this time it felt like a 'first' and a 'moving forward' occasion. 

The tiler is back today after a day off (due to a tooth extraction) so the tiling will definitely be finished today and he may have time to install the new toilet as well (he's also the plumber!). After that, it shouldn't take long to finish the basin and the shower, and then they'll move on to the family bathroom.

I'm out later this morning to meet Joy for coffee and, as well as catching up with all the news, we'll be discussing the list for the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt. 

Saturday, 20 October 2018

It's Looking Promising!

In the end D made good progress yesterday, despite all the interruptions as anything and everything went wrong. This was what it looked like by the end of the day ...

The mosaic tiles are slowing things down as they are difficult to cut and there will be lots of cutting of tiles on Monday! It's only a small room but it's a strange shape and there are, including window sill and shelf, seventeen corners/angles to deal with. He's nearly finished the mosaics and the white ones won't take long at all so he's still hopeful about finishing on Monday. It's made slightly more difficult because there wasn't any white tile adhesive so he's had to use grey and has to keep cleaning away all the smudges.

I have band practice later this morning. As far as we are concerned it is now officially Christmas and the Christmas music has been issued. I love this time of year - the part I play has some beautiful harmonies ... sheer joy! It's our last session before the half term break so there's lots to do tomorrow. We're going to do a folder check (of the non-Christmas music) so all the folders will be collected in tomorrow and a team of us will check them on the second Saturday of the break. It's a lot of effort but worth it to have everyone organised for January. The prize for most practice has to be issued, sponsor money collected and the Christmas Tree Decoration competition announced.

Apart from that, I have nothing else planned. The 7th Harry Potter film is on TV so I'll be watching that and then probably reading for the rest of the time. I hope you all enjoy your Saturday whatever you have planned.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Problems, Problems, Problems!

D is here today to start tiling the en-suite. He's said that if things go according to plan it will take two days, so will be completed by the end of Monday.

We agreed the orientation of the tiles and the positioning of the coloured mosaics, and he made a start ...

... but then his tile cutter stopped working (something to do with the power switch). Work has stopped while he goes shopping for a replacement. A Monday completion now seems elusive!

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Take Three Thursday | Liverpool (again!)

I haven't been outside of the house much in the past week so have had to search through recent photos for today's contribution to Mary-Lou's Take Three Thursday. The ones I've chosen are from my recent stay in Liverpool, showing the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, known locally as Paddy's Wigwam.

The first one was taken from the top of the Anglican Cathedral. You can see how the cathedral got the nickname!

The next two were taken from the top deck of the tour bus, this one showing the tower ....

.... and this one showing the bells. The tower cannot support the bells so they are mounted on a bell tower outside of the building. Their official names are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John but are known to the locals as John, Paul, George and Ringo!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt | Final Selection

Better late than never, here's my final selection of the scavenger hunt. Many thanks to Mary-Lou for organising this.

No 1 | The Rosiness Of Red

No 2 | Stripes

No 3 | A Framed View

No 4 | Wings

No 5 | Pedal Power

No 6| Glorious Green

No 7 | An Unexpected Reflection 

No 8 | A Pile Of

No 9 | Looks Smaller Than You

No 10 | A Field of Plenty

No 11 | Pretty In Pink

No 12 | Bell(s)

No 13 | Equal Portions

No 14 | A Trilogy Of Three

No 15 | Out Of The Blue 

No 16 | Something That Could Be From A Favourite Book/Movie

No 17 | Re-purposed

No 18 | Currency; Coinage or Paper (the odd, the different, the beautiful)

No 19 | Picture Postcard Perfect

No 20 | Mellow Yellow

The Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt will start on December 1st but I'll probably announce the list a few days before.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018


It's a misty start to the day and it looks very wet and dreary out there. It's also cold as the power is on/off again but this time due to a power cut rather than to avoid electrocuting the workmen! They don't seem to feel the cold and keep leaving the front and back doors open, so the house is cold again. Actually, it's been three short power cuts so far so I'm hopeful that it won't last all day.

On the plus side, my knee is back to normal. I have no idea why it was swollen and painful yesterday but was obviously nothing serious so I'm not going to worry about it. I don't know what I'll do today now. Upstairs is packed with industrious men, either painting ceilings or preparing for tiling so I need to keep out of their way. I was going to cook up some meals for the freezer but that's out of the question now so no doubt I'll end up reading for most of the day. 

I'm writing this on my phone so it's going be short as I want to save the battery  but at least I'll be able to update the blog today. The power cuts don't usually last for too long thank goodness as I'm gasping for a hot drink. 

Monday, 15 October 2018

Monday Morning

I was fine yesterday, had an undisturbed night, but this morning have woken with an extremely painful and swollen knee joint so I'm back to hobbling around the house again. Luckily I only have to  go out to get some bread, but will be able to manage if I decide that driving to the shop isn't going to happen. It's nearly time for the monthly Tesco delivery so I can easily bring it forward if needed.

The plumber is here (making enough noise to wake this side of town!) fitting in the shower tray in the en-suite. He has a couple of other things to do after that but ... fanfare of trumpets 🎶🎶🎶 ... will sort out the two radiators in the living room before he leaves. The temperature has dropped enough so that the central heating needs to be switched on, especially first thing in the morning. 

The builder will be here later to install the brackets to hold the basin. If the plan works the basin will be sitting on a worksurface that has no visible means of support, something which will look good but actually requires lots of hidden metalwork and reinforcing. 

As for me, I'll have to keep out of their way, sort out an ice pack for my knee and maybe try for a doctor's appointment if the problem continues. 

Sunday, 14 October 2018

A Quick Catch Up ...

It's been raining on and off all day, is still very windy and is definitely a day for staying at home.

The living room is nearly finished, or at least as finished as it is going to be for now. The walls and ceiling have been painted white, all the electrics have been finished and the TV mounted on a swivel bracket on the wall. Still to be done are to reconnect the two radiators (this week), the gloss paintwork (when all the messy work is finished) and re-hang the blinds (this week, hopefully). For the time being the old sofa has been moved back into the room and, if I ignore the pile of tiles and radiators in the middle of the room, it's feeling like 'home' again and I have a pleasant space to relax in the evenings.

The first fix electric have been completed in my bedroom, the en-suite and the family bathroom and those ceilings have been skimmed. The decorator will paint the en-suite and bathroom ceilings by Wednesday and then N and D will start to refit and tile the en-suite, after which they will move on to redoing the family bathroom. We're getting there! 

I haven't been out much but during the week I arranged to go out with Julie and Lauren, together with another friend we have in common, Sue. Lives are changing and if we don't make the effort to see each other we will lose touch, so this is to be a monthly girl's night out. Hopefully Julie's other daughters will also come if they happen to be visiting home. This time we went to a pub quiz and we won first prize - £40 of vouchers which we'll put towards a meal in December. It won't necessarily always be a quiz as you don't really have much opportunity to chat and catch up, but we'll see how it evolves. 

Apart from that I haven't really done much. I'm off to visit my favourite school tomorrow to let them have some of the resources I used when teaching recorders. A bit of a double whammy as it'll be lovely to see everyone again and I'll be clearing out another big pile of things I no longer need at home. The rest of the week I'll be at home .... supervising!

Sunday, 7 October 2018


A day of peace and quiet after a busy Saturday ... just what I need.

The new beginners all turned up at band yesterday and did extremely well. It's obviously early days but, based on how well they did yesterday, I think they will all be quick learners and will gain early promotion to the junior band. Let's hope so anyway as we are more likely to keep them once they can move to playing with the rest of the band. 

After band finished I met with a friend for lunch. We haven't seen each other for a few weeks because of holidays and her work commitments so we had plenty to chat about. We didn't take any notice of the time and when we did finally pause for breath it was gone 4 o'clock and we both needed to rush off to other things. In the end I was too late for what I'd planned to do so I spent the rest of the day at home catching up. The electricity is switched off most days and I haven't been able to run the washing machine during the day, so I took the opportunity to catch up with the laundry. It's all done now with just some ironing to finish off later today. 

There will be people here working every day next week so, as I'll need to stay out of their way again, I'm going to use the time to reorganise the cupboards in my hobbies room. Tomorrow will be the day for emptying all the cupboards, although I'm not sure where I'll put everything as I'm using this room to store the boxes of living room ornaments etc. while the work is done. I'll also need to bring some of the things up from the cupboard in the music room. Tuesday will be the day for putting things back in their new home. If I manage to get that done I'll be a happy bunny!

Friday, 5 October 2018

Getting Ready ...

It's another industrious day here, not that I'm contributing any effort yet! 

N is doing the final bits and pieces to make ready for the plastering next week. Because the previous owners used vinyl silk paint on everything, the areas to be plastered have to be coated in a green gritty solution (can't remember the proper name for it) to provide a decent base layer for the plaster to fix to. It's an extra step in the process and needs a day to dry out before plastering can begin. S is making good the holes left by the electrician, created when cabling was hidden in the wall rather than in trunking, and where the electric door bell and the old thermostat have been removed. 

Later, I need to finish getting fourteen brass instruments ready for tomorrow when I start this year's intake of new players following the workshops I ran in the local primary schools. I've already washed them so now just have to clean the cases, do a final check of the valves and complete a loan agreement for each instrument. I say just, but this will take most of the day - loan agreements require a detailed description of the condition of the instrument.

I'm excited to be starting a new group of players. This time there are thirteen children and one parent, so it's a nice sized group and it will be a fun start to every term time Saturday for the next year. Tomorrow is mostly about getting them registered and all the forms and agreements completed and signed, but they will get the chance to blow their instruments. It's the one and only week when it is just a noise - from next week they start learning to play simple one line tunes, in unison, based on the first three notes. I'd better get started ...

Thursday, 4 October 2018

A Quick Update

The internet is back but the electricity is being switched off as soon as possible, so I need to keep this short and sweet.

Everything on the improvements is progressing well. The living room will be the first to be finished. It's been gutted, new electrics installed, plastered, and will be partially decorated on Monday and Tuesday. This will be the walls and ceiling, finished in white matt emulsion, after which the radiators can be reconnected and the second fix on the electric finished off. The skirting and door won't be done until the rest of the dirty work upstairs is finished.

They are now working upstairs on the ensuite, my bedroom and the family bathroom so that it is ready for the plasterer to return and skim those three ceilings. Then they'll install the ensuite and once I have a working shower and toilet, rip out the family bathroom. 

They're about a third of the way through the work and pretty much on schedule so all is good ... so far!