Monday 25 April 2022

Missing floor

We thought that we had solved the damp floor problem by moving the kitchen sink, however, when we got back after two weeks away it was still as damp as ever.

We then decided on the idea of digging up the floor to see what we can find.

Well, we now have a big hole in the floor but are non the wiser about the damp. The only thing we do know is that the pipe to the old sink did not leak after all!

Next issue - a big pile of rubble in the garden. My brainwave was to dig up the very sad looking rockery at the bottom of the garden and make it bigger and higher. 

I had collected lots of stones, bricks and rocks from around the garden, so I started again.

It worked well, if a bit wobbly and the next bit was the hardest. I had to dig out the existing soil, back fill with rubble to raise the level and then put the soil back on top. I was doing nicely with my trusty lady spade, but progress was slow.

Darren watched from a distance and offered advice and encouragement. Top of the list was getting a bigger spade.

Next thing I know he bought a man size spade for himself and got stuck in for the whole afternoon.

Result - rubble gone and a lovely new flower bed to plant, but still a damp kitchen. 

Saturday 23 April 2022

Green roofs

Not sure if it should be green roofs or rooves, but anyway, we now have four of them. Work started a few weeks ago on a bin store, bike store and two log stores.

The idea was to hide all of these stores behind the hedge and Darren took down a fence at the bottom of the garden, and reused all of the wood to build bases. An old door or two were cut down for the roofs and I filled them with soil and gravel to make the green bit.

It's all starting to grow and I have been finding 'treasures' to put in amongst the plants. These include a fossil of an ammonite, part of a very old glass bottle and a tile from the old brass mill that says '14" and 12" right oven' on it, whatever that might mean. I showed it to Wendy from next door and unfortunately we both agreed that it looks like a mini gravestone.

I think that it will blend in a bit better as the plants grow, so will post another picture in a couple of months or so.

I also have plans to put a door at the end to add an air of mystery to the end of the garden, something a little like this. 

Wednesday 13 April 2022

Speaker's House

Today we caught the train to Marylebone Station and hopped on the Santander bikes to Trafalgar Square. After a nice whizz around the Raphael exhibition, and coffee and cake with Susan and Paul we headed for the main event of the day.

On the way there we passed Horse Guard's Parade and were just in time to see the changing of the guard.

Excellent marching and synchronised dismounting of the horses whilst wearing totally impractical boots. However, I was very pleased to see that one of the new guards was a woman. 

Just down the road we reached the Palace of Westminster and saw a very rare phenomenon.

Look very closely and you can see that the clocks tell two different times. This is because the renovations are not quite complete and the final clock needs a bit more work and cleaning before they start it up again.

We had a 2.30pm appointment to visit the Speaker's House inside the Houses of Parliament. It is actually a surprisingly grand and beautiful house hidden away right under the clock tower.

There was only 15 people on our tour and we learned lots of interesting facts about the Speaker, but no photos were allowed. 

For instance, the latest speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, is the 158th Speaker and in the olden days nobody wanted the job as it could be dangerous, particularly if Parliament upset the King of the time. This is why they are ceremonially dragged, possibly kicking and screaming, to the chair, but nowadays they applied for the job, get paid for it, and it is a fantastic place to live.

There was loads of security and armed police everywhere and after a very interesting hour we ended up back on the street outside.

Back on the bikes to the station and a quick train ride home. Good day out.