Friday, 22 September 2017

Getting The House Ready For Selling

We live in a maisonette, which is basically a house that has been split into 2 flats, we live in the upstairs and we have a neighbour downstairs. We have lived here for 7 years and have given it a lot of love in that time, it needed it! But knowing we will soon be putting it on the market has given us the much needed push to do the last few cosmetic jobs before we can finally say it's finished- and move on to the next one!

Last Monday my Dad drove up from Dorset and hung some new doors for us, fitted our new shower door, replaced a light fitting, fitted a blind  and did a bit of tile repair for us.

Now we just have to do some decorating to freshen up 2 of the rooms and the porch and we're ready to go on the market!

So excited about this next chapter in our lives! If the weather stays fit this weekend I will hopefully get to paint the decking and I MUST get to the allotment which has been severely neglected the past few weeks.

On the craft side I am crocheting a hat and have been making gluten free crackers from buckwheat flour which is delicious.

Will check in again soon!


Sunday, 3 September 2017

A Little Catch Up

From now, until the end of September is so busy, almost every day on the calendar  has something written on it! We are pressing forward with the plan to move and had my parents up last weekend as my Dad is going to do a bit of DIY for us as he is a pro at it to help our home be ready to go on the market.

I had a couple of friends up last weekend for 2 days. We had lovely weather. I saved some of the money I got for my birthday and it was lovely to be able to treat them to lunch at my favourite cafe. We went for walks, went blackberry picking, played games and had general merriment. It was lovely
Work has been busy. It has undergone a big expansion and unfortunately now every day seems a bit chaotic and I am having to do regular overtime to cover for people being on holiday or off sick, which I don't really like to do as I value my time much more than a little extra money (not that we don't need it, I just don't want to be at work all the time). I won't be sorry to leave really when we move so it will be an easy tie to cut.

I have not been doing a lot craft wise but I am still working hard learning Welsh and we have been re-enacting recently doing Lacock At War and we have Bude At War coming up too.

We went over a friends house for dinner last night and we played games and had fun. It was realy fun. Today, I started the day by making dh pancakes with stewed blackberries (handpicked from the hedgerows), I've sat with my coffee and had a short read. It is raining here very hard but I promised a friend some allotment produce so I will go down their and pick some bits. We are going to call in for a cup of tea with one of my lovely elderly lady friends, I am going to do some more Welsh, do the ironing and go and pick up a second hand computer monitor dh got off Ebay yesterday as his has packed up and he got this one really cheap :)

My walking challenge continues and I am loving it. In mid August I challenged myself to walk 500 miles before the end of the year (walking round at work etc doesn't count). It has really motivated me to be more active, I walked 6 miles yesterday. Sometimes it's hard to find the time, but I seem to be managing at the moment :)

All in all, a busy time but I will try and keep posting in September as much as possible. We have a trip to Wales planned, more reenacting shows, decorating and DIY to do, the allotment shed to paint, the decking here to finish painting, as well as working full time. Life is exciting at the moment and I am enjoying all the challenges and changes that are happening because of it :)

Breakfast pancakes for Dh
All the extra walking before and after work means I get to see some great sunrises and sunsets. Yesterday I saw 4 deer first thing having a nibble on the hedgerows :)

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

What I Do As Soon As I Get Up

Since we came back from Australia, I have started doing something in the morning I can't imagine ever stopping as I enjoy it so much.

I've never been one for getting up in the morning and putting the tele on, occasionally the radio, but not the tele. I like quiet in the morning. It's calming and I think it's a much nicer way to wake up. I don't even like a lot of lights on if I can help it, prefering natural light or lamps, if neccessary. I used to get up and potter round doing jobs until I was ready to go to work or whatever. But now I get up, make dh and I a tea or coffee, go into the lounge, sit and read, for about 20 minutes. I love it. I love the quietness, I love just sitting, I love hearing the cars of people rushing past going about their daily business. Burt usually comes and joins me. Dh usually goes straight to his office, or if it's a weekend sometimes he stays in bed and has an extra half an hour, so it's always just me. It's lovely.

I usually read factual books rather than novels, but that's just me. I know it's easier for me as I don't have children but I still see this time as a treat. I'm more of a morning person than an evening one so I know I wouldn't do this in an evening, plus there's something about the stillness of the morning that makes my quiet, early morning read even more enjoyable :)

I was at Lacock At War reenacting the weekend just gone so have lots of catching up jobs to do this week before guests arrive for the weekend. We have a busy September coming up before everything quietens down for winter.

My Current Book Bought Second Hand Is Absolutely Fascinating. 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Visiting Friends

For the last couple of days we have been away visiting friends in Portsmouth. They are such lovely people, its always a treat to catch up.

We arrived on Monday afternoon and after a cup of tea and catch up, and showing each other our latest ww2 finds, as they are also into reenactors, took their dog out for a good walk, whilst taking the foraging bag. We managed to forage apples from some trees on public land and blackberries. M was also eyeing up stone fruit (that I'd not heard of before) , hazelnuts and plums that wern't quite ready yet. In the evening we socialised and watched A Royal Night Out, I love that film!

On Tuesday we went round Portsmouth historic dockyard and went round some of the museums. We have been before so it was sort of a continuation of our last visit. The weather was devine and I love going on the water bus, which is a free service of a little boat, that takes you from one side of the harbour to another. You get a good view of all the boats moored up too :)

We went round loads of antique and vintage shops and I brought a beutiful woollen deep red dress which will be perfect for when the weather cools off. I also found a large vintage cotton Union Jack flag for my WW2 display. It was attached to a wooden flag pole. It measures approx 2.5 ft x 3.5ft. Anyone who has tried to buy a material flat will know how expensive they are. I got mine for £15, which was a steal! We stopped off for lunch then went round more shops and a final museum before heading home.

We walked the dog in the evening and relaxed. I slept well that night.

On Wednesday we went to the Explosion Museum. This was extremely interesting and had lots of information about the women who worked in the munitions factories is WW2 as well as a history of munitions. I learnt a lot, and could have spent longer there if we didn't have to head off, as I was dog walking in the afternoon so we said our goodbyes and headed for home. 
Forging for blackberries and apples that will be made into jam. We got a jar to take home with us :)
Dog walking! 
The Explosion Museum

Monday, 14 August 2017

A Weekend Intentionally Slow

Dh was away for the weekend. He got up at 4am on Saturday morning and started getting ready. At 4:45am I got up and made him French toast and an earl grey tea. At 6am he said goodbye and left, so I put the kettle on, made myself a coffee and sat down in the lounge with a book for half an hour. It was lovely just sitting in the quiet dawn with a book and it is something I do most mornings, but that is a post for another day.

Having the weekend to myself and with so much going on for the next few weeks especially at weekends I wanted to spend this weekend at a slow pace. Not, not doing anything as I had much I wanted to accomplish, but spending my time mindfully, enjoying every aspect of all of the homely tasks I set out to do, spending quiet time reflecting, reading and just enjoying my own company. Sometimes the weekends seem to go by in the blink of an eye and I wanted to embrace this alone time I had, and savour every minute of it. Here's what I got up to.

On Satirday I cycled to the allotment, did some work then went for a country cycle. This path was really long and I had to cycle into really strong wind the whole way!
The first of the runner beans from the plot. I cut my finger using my runner bean slicer :( I blanched them and popped them in the freezer.
Lovely looking elderberries I saw on my walk I went on Sunday
This meal is made mostly from allotment produce including beetroot, peas, courgette and spring onion.
I walked to a local cafe and had this lovely lunch. It was made with local produce and decorated with edible flowers. It was really cheap too and I sat for an hour and read with a coffee before walking back in the sunshine :) 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

A Facebook Update

It's been a couple of months since I came off Facebook and I thought people might be interested in how it was going seeing as it is such a big thing these days and practically EVERYONE seems to be on it.

Well, I am still off it and have no plans to go back on. The only thing I might do is go and download all the photos on there so I can print them off and keep them- yes, actual hard copies of photos! So few people seem to do that these days. I miss them!

The main thing I've noticed since coming off Facebook is firstly, how little I missed it after only about 3 days and secondly, how much nicer it is to stay in contact with people. What I mean by that is that the real friends I have are messenging me through text, email or Wattsapp and we have an actual conversation. Not just a 'like' here and there as we skip through our 'newsfeed' but actual conversations that are engaging and meaningful. Friends are sending me photos they are posting on FB, as they know I won't see them, and we have a chat about them and catch up. They make a real effort and I do the same. Since I came off FB one of my friends had sent me 2 lovely cards thanking me for my support to her during a difficult time. We were always close but chat almost every night now I'm off FB.

The thing I wonder is 'do I miss seeing what 'not close' friends are doing?'. A bit, maybe. But not enough at the moment to go back on. I think because most people only put the good things they get up to on FB, it can give you a distorted view of other people's lives. With true friends you know not only of the good bits that they put on FB but you will be aware of all of the struggles and hard times they go through too as it is likely you will be supporting them through it. If all you really know about someone is what they put on FB then, maybe the view you see of their life, can be misleading.

I know FB is a great way for some people to keep in touch, and for people, not like me (!) who can go on it occasionally and enjoy it for what it is, it's great. But, as DH was saying today. What would the world be like if, for one month, the internet was just turned off. What if we all went back to the 80's for a month, not that long ago when you think about it. No social media, no internet, no Instragram or Twitter, no YouTube or email. Back to letters, phone calls, postcards(!), posted newsletters and 4 channels on the tele. No digital radio, Kindles, CD players, smart phones, mp3 players or DVD players. What would everyone do instead of looking at their phones all the time?!

I am definately going to be thinking more about the technology we let into our lives. I don't believe modern is always better and I think it's easy to get sucked in to modern life. It's not easy to stay on a more traditional path as, with everyone on social media etc, you can feel like you're left out if you're not 'staying current' or on a friends Facebook Chat Group or Forum.

So, I am going to make the effort to reach out to all my friends on FB (there arnt many!). I have 5 friends I regularly Wattsapp message and would consider very good friends. I am going to go back on FB tonight and let everyone know I'm coming off FB (in case they hadnt noticed) and give people my mobile number if they don't have it,  and let them know they can message me or write to me and let me know they want to keep in touch and we can message or write snail mail. If people don't want to then that's fine, I'm happy to let things move on. If they do, great! It will hopefully be a good way to get properly back in touch with people. I feel maybe I shouldn't ask people to be the first one to make the effort to message me but I don't have everyone's contact numbers so I will need people to message me so I can contact them back.

I hope by doing this I will be able to have a more personal relationship with people In may have lost touch with apart from through Facebook. I realise I'm rambling now, I hope I haven't offended anyone with my Facebook post. It's just my thoughts. Nighty night.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Mondays Are My 'Doing' Day

Unlike a lot of people, I actually like Mondays. Mostly because I only work until 2pm, then I get to spend the rest of the day doing all sorts of jobs. I like this because it means that when we go re-enacting at the weekends or visit friends I haven't got  a mad dash on Sunday night to get everything done, I know I have Monday afternoon to catch up. Sometimes I go to the allotment, sometimes I spend it at home. Today, it was the latter.

When I got home I sorted the allotment produce I had picked the day before, cutting runner beans and making an early start on dinner by grating beetroot and prepping spring onions and herbs.

I had washing to fold and ironing to do. I made Dh a GF quorn and mushroom pie using the buckwheat flour I got from Approved Food. I served it with vegetables including beetroot, spring onion and peas from our allotment. I also used my own fresh herbs.

Once Dh had gone to meet friends I did some of my Welsh studies. I have just been doing some crochet. I am still working on my crocheted cushion cover and am watching  David Starkeys Monachy, which I aways enjoy.

It's not going to win any awards but it was made with love and actually tasted really good :)