Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Where is Ty when you need him.........

In what is going to be the flavour of the summer, here we go with The House Renovation - Day 1, minus the great army of people and the cruise as in the TV programme, of course! 

Well, you see, yesterday evening, as in after 6pm, I had a call to say that the new doors and windows were arriving today and that they would be starting work at 8am. This is a few days earlier than expected. And what you don't know is that after I hit "publish", I packed 7 boxes of the contents of the linen cupboard (not all linen, I hasten to add - my quilt collection, season change stuff etc) and sat back feeling very clever.

They were all piled neatly in front of every door and window which is being replaced today.

Not every door or window is being changed, I hasten to say. Just those needing replacement. Or panes of double glazing which have popped.  To me, the extension of our house is still the new part. I think of it as new. It is now 17 years old and I am told it is OLD. Hmmm. Things lasted back in the old days. Why do I sound like my grandmother? Ah. That could be because I am indeed a grandmother.

So, last night, David was moving water butts and compost bins and garden furniture, and we had to find space for the mountain of now totally in the way boxes. And I have been up since dawn. They are wrestling mother's bedroom window out as I speak. I must go and take more photos.

Window out. Rest of house still standing. You never can tell, you know. (Are you enjoying the blow-by-blow report here?)


I am in need of more coffee.

And a steam mop.

The new window is going in now. I have made more tea and coffee. The sun has vanished. Dinner prep has begun. I am a little distracted by the footsteps up and down the stairs and the voices, and finding something interesting to relate has escaped me for the moment. 

I will be back.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Boxes are the feature of the day......

Did I mention that we are having our heating changed? We are indeed. The hot air system we have is appalling, and we are changing to radiators. This is both economic and wonderful, except for the fact that every single room in the house is going to be a) disrupted and b) need decorating after the work is done.


And I have spent the last who knows how many years helping everyone to decorate and sort their homes, and now I have run out of inspiration in a huge way. My only solution is to say I want white. White! Make it white! And this whole house will be painted white, so help me. Where is the Nester when you need her??? 
Then there is a new bathroom to come too, but at the thought I sort of want to crawl into a cupboard and sit there with a blanket over my head sucking my thumb, rocking back and forth. White! I want white!

Time for a holiday. Or two.

Anyway, as I speak, the plumber is coming to check measurements, and the boxes are piling up. The kids will be here to move anything I want moved to a storage unit for a few weeks while the work is done, because I cannot risk falling over mountains of Stuff. I need to get rid of Stuff. Lots of Stuff.


It is amazing what you find. This is one of a pair of moth or mouse eaten bed socks which I knitted when I was about 7. You can clearly see that knitting was never going to be my thing. So I took a photo of it and tossed it in the bin. Keeping it for 53 years is long enough. 


I started packing some boxes today, and managed a couple and it is so humid that I was in danger of melting into a puddle. So I watched Roger on Centre Court. I do love Wimbledon.


I am back. The plumber arrived. He did his plumbery thing, and we sorted the plan of action for Monday. 8am. There is a mountain to move here. So when he left, I packed another heaven knows how many boxes. The house is filling up. 

While I was sorting the un-hung paintings and photos, and discarding unwanted frames, I found this photo of me with my Dad. This was taken the night before I left with the children to live in the UK. Geoff was in Hong Kong. 1990. I was 36.


It is a lovely photo. Dad has that mischievous look in his eyes. 
I miss him. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer has arrived............

Well, in the midst of the looooong silence, I have moved up a decade, and survived to tell the tale. I have been away for the weekend, had visitors and continued to teach my ladies how to use or not use the iPad. Therein lies another story.  I have changed the house to summer and planted the garden. 

I also need a nap.

I have a new computer and this, people is the first real thing I am attempting on it, and as my adult children are all not here, I am patting myself on the back for not blowing up the internet. Oh heavens, I will now have that FBI place monitoring everything I say. Oh well, welcome! You will enjoy the prattle re granddaughters, children, crochet, gardens and tennis, I am sure. 

Yes - Wimbledon starts today. It takes Wimbledon to really make us believe that summer is a fact, not a distant dream. Regardless of the weather. Today is greyish but warm, and the sun is trying to shine.  Andy Murray starts his defence of his title this afternoon, but we are British here, and I suggest that hoping for another victory is not a good option. Being pleasantly surprised should one miraculously happen to occur is much less damaging to the blood pressure, as recent World Cup disasters have proven. Sigh. 

It could be depressing, you know - we keep losing. Oh well. Looking on the bright side, I popped into the hairdresser the Friday before the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, and let the little apprentice cut and highlight my hair. She is such a honey. She did very well. It was a very long procedure. Very long. But hey, I like having my hair done and the morning whizzed by. So did lunchtime. Early Afternoon. 

My hair was not green.

Brixham and start of summer 14 073

The plan was to do nothing for my birthday. As in, I have been too exhausted to contemplate anything, so my close friends and family arranged for us to go out for breakfast at one of my favourite garden centres. Actually, that is a misnomer. It is The Place To Gather around here, and we love it. 

And so, the day before my birthday, we had a splendid outing and a delicious breakfast. All my children were supposed to be here, but Missy had just recovered from chicken pox when her Dad managed to catch it. He most definitely had it as a child, but caught it again so he stayed home alone while Ann and Missy came to join in the birthday fun. We really missed him. (He is taking after his mother. You are only supposed to get chicken pox once. I had it 3 times. )

Their gift to me is a new all singing all dancing BBQ with all the bits and pieces, so he really needs to be the one to christen it, after his brother did the assembly for him. Something to look forward to! 

Brixham and start of summer 14 095 

I was about to open the BIG box containing the BBQ. I had a great helper. 

Brixham and start of summer 14 107 

There were many balloons about. They are still hanging from the rafters in the kitchen. I believe in drawing these things out. 

On my birthday, the phone rang a great deal, and so did the doorbell, and so much for saying that I didn't want anything special - Diana baked cakes and it was a lovely, people filled day. I was incredibly spoilt by everyone. I have an envelope full of amazing gift vouchers!  

 60 is not so bad. 

Actually, age has never bothered me at all. It is the numbers I can't get my head around. 60. How did that happen? Was I asleep for part of it? 60? When? How is that possible? 

Brixham and start of summer 14 162

So, after a fairly manic week, Diana and I drove down to Dorset. edited : Dorset? What? I mean DEVON.  DEVON. Brixham is in Devon. Sigh. The new car is a delight. Thank heavens for automatic gear boxes! We dropped our friend, Tessa, at the station in Exeter so that she could catch the train to visit her son in Falmouth for the weekend, and we  headed on towards Brixham, stopping at Totnes on the way to explore a little. I remember this part of the world so well. When Geoff and I got married, we lived in Devon for the first year, and spent so much time out exploring. He had family in Dorset too, so these are old hunting grounds for me. 

Brixham and start of summer 14 160

We were on our way to a lovely celebration. My friends, Cathy and Tony, were celebrating their ruby anniversary with a fabulous weekend. Their friends and family gathered from all over the place/world, and we were there to join in. 

Cathy and I have been friends for 38 of those 40 years, you see. When Geoff and I were sailing back to South Africa on the RMS Windsor Castle, to live for a few years when I was expecting Andrew, I met Cathy on board. She was travelling alone, and told me of her sea-faring husband. I told her of mine and so a friendship was born. 

Once we had arrived in Cape Town, we bumped into each other in the shopping centre and discovered we were living opposite each other in the same road. And so the long and happy friendship grew. I am godmother to her daughter, and she is godmother to mine. She, however, is a stellar godmother. I am a diabolical one. I do love my goddaughters though. I have two. Neglected. But loved.  

Brixham and start of summer 14 354 
Congratulations, Cathy and Tony - you are a wonderful example of how marriage should work. 
And we love you both. 


So that was the exciting part. Linds actually left the village. There have been a great many medical issues this year. We are conquering all, but it has been tough, I confess. And, for those who remember, at long last, I had a letter of apology from the hospital. We have finished the battle although the potential class action one rumbles on in the background. The stress levels have been high, believe me. But thank God it is over. 


I nearly forgot to plant the garden. I decided to cut back the flamboyant enthusiasm and be more selective and that lasted for about 10 seconds. I love my garden. So the planting of seeds began. Late, but still..... 
And they grew, and I planted and this year, they seem to be doing the work while I sit and watch and marvel at their beauty. 


And at the beauty of the little one who is not so little any more. She loves watering my garden, and I love her. 

Summer is here, and Linds is back.