Sunday 29 November 2020

New bench

 Darren found a bench on gumtree for £35 including delivery and it arrived a few days ago. It was supposed to be for the hallway so that we had somewhere to sit while we put on or took off our shoes. (I can't remember if I always needed somewhere to sit while I did this, but we are getting on a bit now.)

Anyway, within a couple of days he moved it in to the kitchen and it fits beautifully under the table. 

This is a bit of a weird photo of it, but I have taken it from the garden and the reflection makes it look as if I am standing on it. 

This one makes more sense. 

I have been busy wallpapering today and the upstairs hallway has taken on a whole new look. 

In real life it doesn't look quite as ott as this, fortunately. 

Saturday 28 November 2020

Under stairs finished

Well, the curtains arrived yesterday and I have cut one in half and also cut them all down to size. They are now up, so the huge monstrosity machine is now hidden.



Darren thinks that it looks like a sweet shop now, so I will get some wine gums in. 

Darren has been busy and is now putting down the floor in the cloakroom, and making a cabinet for the underfloor heating manifold.

He had also put a door in to the kitchen, and I know that this sounds a bit boring, but I like it.

Thursday 26 November 2020

Frosty morning

 For the past few weeks we have started taking a bit of time off first thing each morning. I know that's a bit naughty, but we have worked all day virtually every for well over a year, so I don't care.

Darren is running every morning of the lock down, and because I rushed into it and hurt my calf, I am taking it a bit more slowly by walking every other day. 

And what a lovely morning it was today. I walked down to the Graven Hill communal orchard and it is growing nicely. I also took loads of photos, and here are a few of them. 

Tuesday 24 November 2020

Garden panorama

 My phone has a new feature and I have just worked out how to do it. See below for a panorama of the back garden.

Oh dear, it looks a bit small, but if you click on it, it might look bigger. 

Anyway, moving quickly on, we built the new pergola yesterday, but it did look a bit over the top, and not in a good way. 

After a bit of a re-think Darren straightened up the edge and I bought some new paint today. It now blends much more into the background. However, I have bought some bright red paint and am considering painting a Japanese style tori gate on to it. 

I have bought a honeysuckle climber and I already have a small wisteria, so these should cover it quite quickly, and it definitely helps cut the wind down.

Darren was very pleased that he didn't have to get involved today and instead stayed inside in the warmth. He has put the flooring down in the hallway and it looks good I think. 

Sunday 22 November 2020

New pergola

 It was a beautiful day today, so I thought that it was time to start making the new pergola. 

I drew up a detailed drawing for Darren, see below, and to get things started I also spent a couple of hours digging five deep holes for the posts. 

I am hoping that it will help to block the huge gusts of wind that charge across the garden and that are forever knocking my plant pots over. 

Darren set to work with the spirit level and drill and we now have the uprights in place and the postcrete is drying. Tomorrow we should be able to remove the wood that is holding it steady, and I can give it a coat of paint.

It doesn't look much like the picture, but it already looks less wobbly which has got to be a good thing. 

Wednesday 18 November 2020

Next step

 Day three of the storeroom project and Darren has put the flooring down.

It's looking better, but still very silver pipey. Skirting boards and painting tomorrow. 

I have put the blind up in the bedroom, but my photo is a bit rubbish so I will try again tomorrow. 

The upstairs living room is almost finished now and we even have some pictures up on the walls. 

I almost dare not say it, but not too long to go now! 

Monday 16 November 2020


After measuring many, many times, I finally pressed the buy button and my blinds were made to measure. They arrived today and the first one fits beautifully.

The second one is a bit more complicated because it goes in the bedroom, and the balcony door is too high for the track to go above it. What that means in plainer English is that once the blind is up then the door won't open.

To get around this, Darren has cut a hole in the plasterboard above the door and the windows to either side of it, and has fixed the track into it. I have started to fill in the gap either side of it, and once that is dried and painted then we can finish it off.

I have also been working on the monstrous store cupboard and this is how far I have got.

We also had a few deliveries recently including a big telly, some beer glasses for Darren, a saw, a missing bit for my bike, and the flooring for downstairs arrives tomorrow morning. I think that there was also something more interesting than this random sounding list but I can't remember what it was. 

Friday 13 November 2020

Hiding the monstrosity

 We were on edge all yesterday morning because the building inspector was coming to see the house. We haven't seen him for many months, and have had to make many decisions in his absence. We weren't sure if we had always done the right thing, so were keen to hear his opinion. 

However, it went well and he was very complimentary. He took a couple of photos, but they were of the kitchen because he liked it, and the picture wall that I put up which has the architect's plans and drawings.

Phew, what a relief, although there are still a few items that need to be ticked off. 

Today Darren decided to try to tackle the ongoing issue of the MVHR machine and its giant tentacles. How could we make the room into a store cupboard?

After a lot of thought we decided to put a shelf above the pipes with some sort of curtain underneath and boxing in above it. It's in the very early stages, but he cut the shelf out in the garden - just got to see if it is going to fit. 

And after a couple of alterations it did!

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Sunrise over the building site

 Up early this morning and out for a stomp around the site. I was just in time to see the sun rise behind the telehandlers at the future apartment block near to the site entrance.

I had hoped to be posting photos of me jogging along because I started running again at the beginning of the month, but I got a bit over enthusiastic and did too much to soon, and now have a pulled calf muscle.

I hope it's very temporary, but while it gets better I am building up my legs by going walking every morning. The scenery is beautiful and the autumn colours are lovely. 

I couldn't resist taking a photo of a handsome stranger who also resumed running again recently, and fingers crossed, I may be able to join him on a run on Sunday. 

Tuesday 10 November 2020

More painting

 Today I spent most of the day painting door frames in the hallway, which was so deadly dull that I couldn't be bothered to take a photo.

But then, hallelujah, it was nearly done so I could then do something else. I suppose a change is as good as a rest, so I got the green paint out and started on half of a white wall. 

My time was limited because Darren was getting ready to put the flooring down on the stairs,  and he was going to start at the top and work down. 

To avoid being stranded on the top floor overnight while it dried, I had to work speedily. I have almost finished, apart from a bit of edging at a couple of corners, but had to leave it so that I could escape.

I couldn't stand on the steps with tape on, and as soon as I was down Darren filled in all of the blanks. We just have to wait 24 hours now to get the finished effect. 

Monday 9 November 2020

Intruder spotted on cctv

 Darren had the excellent idea of putting a cctv camera inside the garage. The reasoning for this is so that we can check that the door is closed when we are not around. However, it also captured footage of an intruder. 

A couple of days ago I was in the garage and noticed that a bag appeared to have chew marks on it, and my guess was a mouse was around. Straight away I mixed up a bit of mortar and filled in the small gap either side of the base of the garage door. I also took all of the outstanding rubbish to the tip. 

Darren went in this morning and picked up a roll of insulation from a shelf. 

He wanted me to title this blog 'when mice attack', although after watching the cctv closely I think that he is exaggerating slightly. 

He tells me that a cute little mouse had made a nest in the insulation, and it tried to attack him! It made him jump so much that he threw it away and screamed.

I am guessing that the mouse was more scared than Darren as it probably thought that it had a home for the winter.

Hopefully it made it back outside because I am quite confident that there is no way in or out for it now.

In the meantime I have been painting, painting and painting, although Darren has set my turbo trainer up in the gym now so I have done a little bit of cycling too. 

Thursday 5 November 2020

Spidery garden

There was a spooky mysterious atmosphere in the garden as the sun rose, and everything is covered in spider's webs.

The lovely stork looks as if it has a wedding veil over its already unusual hair do. 

The new magnolia tree looks like a Christmas tree covered in fairy lights, and the sun is just appearing over the top of the trees behind us. 

There was a long single thread that stretched about six feet from the magnolia across to an acer, and would be very handy for the spider to sail across without having to get its eight legs wet on the soil. 

What a clever idea. 

Wednesday 4 November 2020

Walk around the site

 What a beautiful sunny day today. We decided to get some fresh air and go for a walk around the site.

Our house is up on a bit of a hill by the Graven Hill woods, and then the ground slopes down towards the main road and railway lines. We managed to spot the top floor of our house in the distance. 

Quite a lot of the ground is flood plain, and after lots of rain it was quite full. 

It looks almost perfect, but I think that it could even better if a flock of flamingos moved in. About 50 would be spot on, although probably a bit unlikely.
The ford is also in operation and I knew this already because I went running down here yesterday. 

I tried my best to keep my feet dry by running along the grass verge, and managed quite well. Not so lucky were a group of soldiers coming in the opposite direction who must have run from the nearby barracks. Their commander shouted out to them to run straight through it, which I thought was a bit mean. 

Tuesday 3 November 2020

Orange and green

 A bit of an update from the last blog.

The cupboards by the front door are finished and I painted them the same colour as the wall. 

I don't know why the telly says 'no link', that isn't my department fortunately. The top goes on tomorrow.

The kitchen chairs are now all painted but they are still a bit tacky (I mean the paint, not the look hopefully), so we haven't tried sitting on them yet. Looking forward to it. 

The floor on the landing is now completed and looks really good although the photo leaves does not do it justice. 

The woodwork all needs painting and then perhaps a bit of colour on the walls should do the trick. 

Sunday 1 November 2020

Lime green paint

 Yesterday I heard the news about the proposed second lock down, so decided to do some shopping to help keep us busy in the coming weeks.

Almost top of the list was a tin of lime green paint, and I started to use it today. 

Susan suggested that I should have lime green accents around the kitchen table, so I took her views to heart and started painting the chairs. 

We have eight chairs that I bought from charity shops over the years, and they now have a bit of a theme. 

Darren has been working on a shelving unit by the front door to hide lots of sockets and weird wires. We are also going to have a little TV on the worktop that shows the pictures from the cctv.

At the moment there are no doors for it, but we are hopefully going to solve that problem by making some from mdf. I might even then paint them orange to match the front door.