Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Week Off Work

This past week I've been on annual leave from work, we haven't been away, it was just nice to spend time at home.  The first two afternoons I had Oliver as Jenny was at work, on Wednesday I had a lovely day in Cheltenham, DH had to go there for a meeting and I spend the day looking round the shops. It's a nice town with a lovely variety of shops and, I managed to find a wool shop, Budget Wools.  Lots of choice, and of course I came out with a bag full of goodies :-)

As the day worn on on Thursday I developed a stinking cold, sneezing, eyes and nose streaming, it came out of the blue as I felt fine until lunch time!  Not what you want when you have time off, so by mid afternoon I was tucked up on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.  

I bought tickets for the Great British Food Festival many months ago now and Saturday was the event day at Ragley Hall.  We had a lovely day out, there were lots of different foods to try and things going on.

A Man V Food Challenge

Some delicious cakes and fudge (all of which we resisted!)

There was a 'Cake Off'
Bake a traditional Victoria Sponge cake, 50% of the marks from judges and 50% for the general public.  I so wanted to enter this but really didn't feel up to baking a cake the day before, perhaps next year I will enter.

 Some interesting burgers on offer.

Later we took a walk round the lovely gardens

 We took Oliver with us for the day, he had a great time running round the large grounds.

But didn't know quite what to make of the statues, lol

We had afternoon tea on the terrace

Where there was a very cheeky peacock, which Oliver insisted on running round after and calling a chicken, lol

The view from the terrace, (DH and Oliver on the steps)

Our afternoon tea also gave us entrance to the State Rooms

I LOVED the library, what a wonderful room!

You couldn't actually go into this room, just view from the doorway.

Ragley Hall is still a family home to 9th Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford and their 4 children,  we were told that some of the rooms are used by the family therefore there are personal things like family photographs in most of the rooms.

We should really visit more stately homes, it's wonderful to see how the other half live!

I have one more day off work, and to hopefully get rid of this dam cold, then back to work on Tuesday.  On Wednesday I have a hospital appointment, to have a camera in a place where the sun don't shine,  :-0 ......I think that's all the information you need on that, lol.  Needless to say I will be glad when it's done.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. 
Until next time

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Crochet, Garden & the Beginings of a Pantry

How time flies, can you believe we have been in our new home a month now?  I have no idea where those weeks went.  We have unpacked most of our stuff, but as we have a few jobs to do around the place there are still things in the garage, some things I might not have room for or need, this house is a bit smaller, still large
for a semi but it's from the 1950's rather than 1901, so totally different in respect of room size.  On the whole I like it, it's easier to keep clean / do house work and keep warm, but there are some things that I'm not getting on with too well.  I miss my old kitchen and my cooker,  and the bath is small, it's a good job none of us are on the larger side otherwise we would be in danger of getting our backside stuck, lol but that was always on the list to be changed anyway so we just need time.
On the plus side we now have a drive to pull onto instead of fighting for a parking space :-) and the garden is nice, and I have a nice view of it from the kitchen window :-)

Our bedroom is in the process of being decorated, well, I've stripped the wallpaper at least, we decided to have new windows so it may be a few weeks before that can be finished, and this week we have started to give the pantry a make over.  The pantry might seem a strange place to start but I wanted more space for food storage and shelves put in, (there was a very old wall cupboard in there which was absolutely no use at all) so hopefully what we have done will make it a more usable space.

Here's some'Man at work' photos

Pantry in progress

The shelves will be painted white, and you know who will have that job, right? lol

Mark said, 'oh my god when he saw the wall paper :-) I wanted to see something pretty when I opened the door, lets face it, Mark won't go into the pantry that often!

So while Mr Fix It was busy doing his builder thing in the pantry I offered to do the lawns and tidy the garden up.
Usually he is responsible for the mowing and I will take care of the planting (i.e. the harder work, lol) but today I got to play with the 'big boys toys' :-)
I haven't really had a lot of time to spend in the garden, there are lots of different plants and bushes some I have absolutely no idea what they are, others need cutting back and there are probably plants that are yet to show, so I don't want to go digging around and clearing too much until we have seen what comes up, I'm just going to clear / pull up what I know for certain are weeds and deal with anything else next year.

The garden is split into patio then two lawn areas which are separated by a deep boarder, I was concentrating on the second lawn area furthest from the house as this needed some shrubs cutting back and weeding.

Looking better after the tidy up

Looking very green!

This is looking towards the furthest end of the garden from the lawn nearest the house, this boarder needs a major clean-up.

And this is the lawn nearer to the house, with the left hand boarder cleared but again the area to the right needs a good old clear-out.

There is a huge Pieris in the centre of this lawn, well over 5 foot tall, I'm hoping it will be a glorious red when it starts to turn :-)

I tell you, when I got up this morning I was aching in places I didn't know I'd got from all that garden work yesterday! Better than any gym workout :-)

I'm still enjoying crocheting when I can sit down for a while, It's so much easier to pick up and do a bit rather than getting all the equipment out needed to stitch and, looking round at charts I'm  not getting the same feeling as I used too, It's a phase, I know I will stitch again, just not at the moment.

So this is what I've been crocheting:
A blanket for my great Nephew.  He saw a blanket that my sister (his Nan) had done and he asked if he could have one too.  She had just started one for my mum so I said I would start one for him and perhaps Nan would carry on with it.  He's only 5, he must have taken a shine to the bright colours:-)

More bunting made too, this one is for someone who expressed an interest in the last one I made and wanted some for her camper-van and  maybe will want more to sell in her shop.  I've still got to put this one together and attach the pompoms.

Trying out some circles, I have plans for a cushion...eventually

And some new yarn purchased, I love Cath Kidston and was trying to put together something that would resemble CK colours, I would appreciate your opinions on how my choice works, I'm trying to be more colour aware but it's hard, for me anyway.

Do you think it needs white? or any other colour?

I've also been playing around with pompoms and making something that I'm absolutely in love with, it's autumn related so I'm going to keep you in suspense just a little longer :-)

Thank you for visiting my rather long catch-up :-)

Until next time

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

We're On The Move :-)

At last, after many months of waiting we are finally on the move :-)
We got notification late yesterday afternoon that contracts had been exchanged.

We are all packed up and ready to go, tomorrow morning at 8am the removal van will arrive and load up all our belongings. 
It all feels a little un-real still after waiting so long, we sold our house right at the end of January and never thought it would take as long as this to move.

Still, it's happening, and after all the low points of last year.  

This time last year was a particularly bad time, and there were times when I didn't think I would get through it, but I did, we did, and if anything it made us realise what we had, what we still wanted and what we didn't want to loose.  

We have already made so many changes in the last 12 months, good things, this move is just the topping and we are both so excited to be making a new home together.


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Good News and Sweet Kitties

We may be able to complete the house sale/purchase on the 22nd.
so yayyy the end is in sight.  the first one in the chain is going in to sign his contract tomorrow and fingers, (and toes) crossed that the solicitors can do their thing and make it happen.

I'm sure you will all be glad when i stop banging on about house sales and post about something more interesting.  Unfortunately there is not a lot interesting going on except packing, phone calls and endless talk of moving!  I was awake at 3am this morning with house stuff going round in my head....not good.

Another thing you will be glad of is the last of my holiday photos, just indulge me this last time, they are cute kitties so I hope I am forgiven  :-)
Santorini Cats

See ,told you they were cute :-)
Until next time

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The House Move Hell Continues!

We are still in the middle of the nightmare house sale, we had thought that we might be moving by next Friday but that seems very unlikely to be happening now.  The very last date that we can possible complete is July 24th.  That is the date that our buyer's mortgage offer expires, after which she will have to apply all over again for another mortgage.
Honestly, you couldn't make it up what has gone against us with this move, It would take forever to go through it all so I won't, I could have sat and cried on Friday when we hit yet another hurdle, we both really want this move to happen so we are keeping everything crossed, we are in the hands of the powers that be now to make it this space!

In the meantime, as there has been very little craftiness going on I will share some more holiday photos with you, (and it might bring me out of the gloom going through them too). 

The day before we flew home we hired a quad bike, (yes I know, my kids had a laugh about that too, mum, on a quad?? must be some middle age thing!!!)  
See, they didn't know their leather clad biker mum in her youth, I can still be 'cool' you know, lol.  Anyway we had a great time, and it was a much better way of getting around in the heat, being stuck in a car when the temperature outside is touching 40 would have been no fun!

At the end of the long walk of shops and restaurants and the beach was a huge rock, which was (I suppose) left over from when the volcano erupted all those years ago.

As this Island was a volcano the sand is not really sand, it's black and made up of shingles, not very good on the feet!

 We spied a road running up the middle of that huge rock one day when we were out walking, we decided that if we hired transport we would give it a go as the view would be amazing.  
It was probably a couple of miles to the top along a zig zag mixture of cobble and concrete road, we should have clocked how far but didn't think at the time.  There were a couple of brave (or insane?) people  walking up there, in that heat, it was probably torture!
But what a reward at the end!
Looking toward Kamari

Later we headed over to the other side of the island.  We had seen a building and some masts high up on another hillside and decided to go in search.
This time the climb was much higher, and the masts and building turned out to be a military base.

The view was amazing, like the view you get when your plane is coming in to land.

Our travels took us to one of the ports and another steep zig zag road.  There was not much of anything to see at the port itself but the view of the boats and cruise ships when we got back to the top was worth stopping to look at.

Our last stop for that day was at a Winery not far from where we were staying and it seemed like a good place to end our day :-)

Santorini is quite famous for wine, (I didn't know that), but being a very dry land they don't keep farm animals, instead, income was made from growing grapes and making wine.
The tour and the story of Santorini wine growing was interesting, even if the displays contained weird looking mannequins!

I was impressed by the size of these barrels from the 1800's, kept filled with wine to preserve the wood, they were bought over from France.

I think I found Micheal Jackson hiding in one of the strange displays, lol
The price included tasting 4 wines, one white, one red and two dessert wines.  We are not white wine drinkers and were not too keen on this one.

The red was ok but a little too dry for me.

But this! this was the most amazing wine I have ever tasted...ever!
It was so smooth you could hardly feel it going down.
At  €24 a bottle it wasn't cheap but we just had to bring a bottle back with us :-)  We are going to keep it to celebrate when we move into our new home :-)
(Mark did a quick search the other night and can't find it for sale in the UK, if anyone has seen it for sale here please let me know as this won't last for long once it's opened :-)

The last wine was also very nice, but by then we had tasted the best so it really didn't matter, lol.

We agreed that hiring the quad was a great idea and we should have done it earlier in the week and had it for a couple of days instead of catching a crowded bus, but we will know for next time :-)

Hope you enjoyed this other little 'tour' of Santorini

Until next time

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