Thursday, 28 February 2013

Get out the way and stay out the way.....

Catching up on the past few days is a mixed bag.

Bad thing - Daughter while still using my car got knocked into by a para-medic car on blue lights. She did get right over left and the car in the outside lane moved right over to the right and the blue lights whizzed down the middle clipping her on the way past. Not much damage on my car but three hours late home for her waiting for the police to come and sort it out. She seems to be a car disaster magnet recently.

Good thing - Daughter found a car that fits what she needs and is cheap(ish). So yesterday I drove out with her to collect it (about 90 miles away) then I drove home and she went to friends nearby for a home ed activity day and sleep over, so that was good that it all tied in together.

Good thing - electrician came on Monday and did all that was needed.

Bad thing - Plasterer called in to say could he come Wednesday and Thursday instead of Tuesday and Wednesday as the job he's on is taking longer.....argghh could have stayed at my sisters!!!

Disappointing thing - got home after the long drive yesterday to discover the plasterer was making a good job of the ceiling.....just not the job we'd wanted! Total misunderstanding with Hubby thinking he was going to match in with the swirl pattern artex that is on every ceiling in the house but apparently he is just a plasterer not an artexer so assumed we wanted flat and neither of them thought to check! Grrrrr so now we either find an artexer to go over it, I hate paying twice for the same thing, or we pay this plasterer to flatten the other half of the dinning room so it matches, but can't do that till we can move out everything that's been crammed in there!

Bad thing - I hate having people working in my house as I don't want to be in their way, so I never set foot in the kitchen while the plasterer was there which meant no access to food or even a cup of tea from 8am breakfast till he left at 4:30pm. Today we are more prepared with trays of stuff and kettle in the lounge.

Good thing - BilK got the holiday dates he wanted from work and SisterS got our Italian holiday booked.

Bad thing - Hubby got a message back from Ray to say his holiday place is available for us in August (very cheap holiday solution) but it was too late the other one was booked.

Good thing - all moaning over for now and the sun is out :)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Song, sob, sisters, sleepover......

Hubby and I with sisterS and bilK want to holiday together again in August but as yet we hadn't managed to research independently so decided to do it together and arranged a weekend at theirs (which is a two and a half hour drive from ours). I actually know someone who would cringe reading 'theirs' and 'ours' when I know it would only be correct to write 'their house' and 'our house'. Sorry to say in blogland I do get a bit lazy, so if it offends you I apologise! 

Anyway, as you know there is a kitchen revamp underway here and Hubby had cleared and prepared all that was needed for our electrician to come Monday so the whole weekend was packed for a relax at my sister's before all the hardwork.

Of course there was a little hitch (isn't there always) as the plasterer said Thursday night that he'd had a job cancelled so he could do our ceiling next Tuesday and the walls on Wednesday. I checked if hubby was still happy staying away two nights and he said "Yes it will be lovely having a proper break before all the hardwork starts!"

Friday morning we set off via Daughter's as I needed to drop my car there (she is still car-less) and got to sisterS for a late lunch. We haven't seen them since the family gathering at the end of December so big hugs all round. The plan for that evening was eating out and the cinema, so after their shopping delivery we walked to the station and two stops hopped off again (public transport novelty for us hahaha), pizza/pasta fill-up first yummy then Odeon for a film bilK had prebooked. Song for Marion staring Terence Stamp and Venessa Redgrave. It's a weepy about her last days with terminal cancer and her husband coming to terms with it. I'll not bother giving a review of the film itself cos for me and sisterS it was just too close to reality   :-(

When we woke Saturday morning hubby then said "we'll have to go home today, there is so much to do now the plasterer is coming Tuesday".  So after breakfast we told them we would only have the one day to sort out the holiday as we would leave after the special dinner we knew sisterS had planned (not missing out on a yummy dinner eh?).

We all looked at the few links I'd shared for package hotels I'd found on the internet. Actually I'd discovered that Teletext Holidays seemed to offer the sort of thing I was searching for at the best prices. Well we were all ummming and arrrrring a lot and then Hubby mentioned his mate Ray’s place in Spain which they quite liked the sound of, so hubby sent him an email to see if it was available in August.  Then we were interrupted by football and rugby on tv, so sisterS and I walked down to the High St and popped in to see her friend the travel agent and collect some brochures.

Later on hubby found a holiday in one of the brochures that appealed to us all and I rang the company to check there were still places available but didn't book it because hubby needs to hear back from Ray and bilK needs to get confirmation from work that he can take those dates as it falls at the end of a major project he's part of. So fingers crossed!

Dinner was really lovely, so glad we stayed, and the late drive home must have been uneventful as I think I slept most of it.

And today we have both been working in the space that used to be my kitchen. So I'll leave you with a few building site photos.....


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Construction - part 1.....

First new thing to go into the kitchen was a radiator (it needed to be smaller and further along the wall). Of course the heating system had to be drained down and the old rad removed. M was here sharing his plumbing expertise with Hubby and between them it went without a hitch.....until the switching back on bit!!!

By this time I'd already put on my fleece jacket, on top of a blouse and cardigan, also added a scarf and when I curled up on the sofa I pulled a blanket over my legs (I really hate being cold). Meanwhile Hubby and M did lots of radiator bleeding round the whole house and boiler resetting and head scratching and going around the radiators again and then discovering an extra reset button hidden behind a panel on the boiler and finally all working and a warm house again :-)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Destruction - part 2 (with a sniff and a cough)....

I've got the rotten cold now, but hey I don't work anymore so no deciding if I need to take sick leave, I live in a lovely warm house fully stocked with food, boxes of tissues and a bottle of blackcurrent squash (my favourite hot drink when I'm not well) so just a case of riding it out!

Kitchen update is still at the destruction stage.

Cupboards coming off and the first hole in the ceiling. On the positive side we are very nearly at the stage of confirming the order for the new kitchen units, the electrician is coming next week to put in new hard wiring and isolation switches and possibly a new fuse box (not sure when he's actually coming as his wife is due to deliver their second baby any day now) and the cooker has been ordered for 1st March delivery.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Better fit....

Pleased to say the second cardigan knitted for little O has worked with all my guessing adjustments to the pattern, plus I used wool that was already here :-)

All I needed to buy was buttons but the weather was foul and everyday stuff got in the way of me getting into I made them! Denim from old jeans and those old fashioned curtain rings (there were still a few sitting in the button tin from way back when).

Hopefully he'll come over today for Hubby's birthday but they've all got colds and no car.

Next knitting challenge is to sort out a little project E started some time ago. Monster slippers, she has done half of one but found it tricky and lost interest a bit so asked Grandma to finish them for her.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Stuffed but worried.....

I'm sooo full up :-)
Hubby and I had a lovely 4-course lunch today, private function room at classy local hotel for 21 of us. This was hosted (and paid for) by FriendsP&A our next door neighbours, as a thank you to the people that have helped and supported them during A's recovery......he had a major accident and broke his pelvis in September and was totally immobile for three months and is still recovering slowly. The meal was such a lovely way to thank everyone.

Last night we had a three course pub dinner with Son and fiancĂ©e for Hubby's birthday next Thursday, so I won't want to eat for the rest of this week, well till Thursday as we are having more birthday celebrations with Daughter and the children, we will have chinese delivered (as valentine's day is a rotten day to book a table for a noisy family when cosy couples would prefer to dine romantically) and O says he is making granddad two cakes! 

So a really good weekend but now it's 10:30pm and I'm sitting in the lounge worried about Daughter who's car went bang on the motorway with her and the girls in it. She's at least two hours drive from home but at this moment she is being taken by the RAC 30 miles in the wrong direction to collect a car from the depot to drive herself home in, they will deliver her car to her local garage within three days. This is the reality of the girls living 250 miles from their dad and both parents doing everything possible to ensure fortnightly weekends with their dad, their cars take a battering. We are so proud of Daughter and her ex for the amazing effort involved to keep up this consistency in spite of the distance and travel time and costs, it really hasn't been easy.

But today is one of the really horrid days. Daughter will have left home about 4pm to meet and collect the girls at 7pm and with the car breakdown I'm guessing they won't get home till about 1am :-(

She has promised to text me when they get home, I'll stay here in the lounge till she does.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Destruction - part 1......

Hoping this will be an ongoing story of destruction closely followed by construction ending with finished wonderful KITCHEN.

Hubby and I have managed to get through the planning, rearranging, replanning, drawing up, choosing units stage. We've had a friend (who is also a kitchen supplier/fitter) involved. He came for consult, his wife just for a chat, then we went to visit their daughter in the showroom and then their son came to take exact measurements and work out solutions for a couple of tricky just waiting for them to comeback with a price for parts only as Hubby will be doing all the work! Also waiting for another of Hubby's friends, the electrician, to come round (he's on holiday just now) to talk over and price up all the rewiring needed, as the cooker is moving across the room and a cooker hood needs to be fitted. Years ago Hubby would have done all the electrics himself but the rules have changed and only the qualified and certified are allowed to now.

Hubby will also need to find a plasterer as that is one job he doesn't like doing. But meanwhile he has started with taking tiles off the walls.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

My way (#10)....

Over the years I seem to have developed some very definite ways of doing things and usually it's for a very good reason, so I thought I'd share. 

This one is my NEW way! I've been a knitter for as long as I can remember, my mum taught me when I was a young child and of course back then we only had straight needles either single or double pointed. Many years later I discovered circular needles for knitting in the round (did they come across from Europe?) and now I've just realised that using circular needles even for flat work is so much easier, no dropping stitches in storage, no long ends poking me in the chest, no need for a big bag as they just curl up into your ongoing work.
And for this little jumper I'm using double-knit doubled up, so pulling two strands from two balls together and this time I thought to put each ball into a sandwich bag tied loosely at the top and they don't tangle at why didn't I think of that before ;-)

What's your way?

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Quickie knit...

Chunky wool on big needles for a small person makes a new jumper in three days :-)

This was my first go at a top down seamless pattern and I loved it.
Excuse me while I go surfing for more patterns!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Hate waste invention...

I don't like avocados and neither does Hubby, however they were on the reduced shelf when we went to Asda and O loves them and tells me often to buy them, so I did (gullible grandma). Turns out he asked for some but barely ate any and his sisters weren't interested either.  Daughter then forgot to take the one and a half uneaten avocados home but don't think she wanted them anyway as she'd already told me that O had eaten some the night before and she still had three at home.

Quick surf and I discovered that it can be used as the 'fat' substitute in baking so I made these mini rock buns...
They have an unusual taste and are not horrible, so will all be eaten, however it won't be a regular ingredient in my baking as I much prefer using butter, but worth a try.