Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Half a ton

Last Sunday I turned 50. 

I'm in denial.

I actually don't feel much like an adult most days, I still feel 17, how can I possibly be 50?

OH is happy, now we are the same age, at least for 8 months.

As per usual on birthdays we had a drive out, visited an English Heritage property, this time to Witley Court, where the young lady who made me a hot drink from their machine told me about her mothers recent 50th birthday, and then driving down unknown roads to find the nearest pub serving food and having a meal. We hit the bullseye with the pub when we arrived at The Dog Inn in Dunley, no sniggering at the name please, it took a while for the penny to drop!  The French maitre d' made us feel most welcome and the French chef created a masterpiece, large portions, low prices, and as it was chucking it down outside, hardly any other customers!

Here's what we had, huge gammon with an egg on a bed of fried onions, with fried mushrooms and tomatoes cooked on the vine, with extra chips. It looks small, the gammon was 9 inches wide and half an inch thick! This lot was £9.95

Witley was unbelievably wet, we were only the second party to arrive that day.  We had a swift walk over to the house and a swift walk back!

All shots were taken undercover!  

As we left the Dog after our huge meal, it had thankfully stopped raining so I was able to get a nice shot of the pub sign

As you can see from the photo below, we were able to eat in solitude, it felt quite exclusive

On New Year's Day, we took a ride out to the National Trust managed Packwood House in nearby Warwickshire.  I love Packwood and Baddesley at Christmas, as they dress the houses and it is so atmospheric.  Before going to Packwood, we stopped in a village where I had heard about an Anthony Gormley statue alongside the canal, we had to visit.

I felt the need to copy the pose, but love the old lock keeper's cottage on the towpath side, isn't it gorgeous?  

Packwood, of course, was a delight, from the little wren in the car park

to all the Christmas trees and decorations

  I lost count of all the trees, and missed some too

 Outside, the topiary and the gardens were dormant
We had a pot of tea and admired the hand made Packwood tiles

I hope all of you have had a good Christmas and a great start to the year.  We were spoiled with food and drink gifts and I am feeling like I weigh half a ton already!  Much exercise is needed to rectify the situation.

 I am hoping this year will be good for us here, we have so many things to do so we are hitting the ground running hard and fast into 2016.  Hopefully, I will soon be blogging regularly again, in the meantime keep an eye out on my facebook page for snippets!


Thursday, 31 December 2015

Not a year end review

As I've not blogged regularly for quite a while, it seems inappropriate to do a year end review, so I'll just round up the past month.

The build still rumbles on, it was supposed to start at the end of August and take six weeks. The builder was delayed on his previous job by around 5 weeks, and started work during the first week of October. As it took just a day to demolish the old extension and remove it, we thought we were going to be done and dusted by mid November. 

Oh, the best laid plans!  Once the external structure was up, the delays began. As we got closer to Christmas it became obvious that the build would not be done to such a finish as to get the decoration done. We still cannot use the new rooms properly as they are not yet fully painted or carpeted.  The outside has yet to be rendered as the builder was let down at the last minute by his sub contractor, so the cottage looks very much like a building site from the outside too. I imagine we will not be straight until the end of January, as everyone appears to take a two week break at this time of year. It has been a very disappointing time.

I was going to forget the Christmas tree again this year ( we had just moved in last year and there was no time to get our decorations out of storage) but OH insisted I put it up in our makeshift lounge.

      Not bad, and it certainly has made the place a little more festive!

We managed to cobble together presents and OH was spoiled by some of his students, with lovely bottles and boxes of sweets and biscuits.

I was given the first off the production line of his new ladies t shirts, only available to students.

No make up and half drunk!

These had to be my favourite themed pressie, always a sucker for jelly sweets

I've had a few nice little charity shop bargains in the past few weeks, although OH found a rather lovely leather Linea jacket for £7.95 when I reluctantly took him to the local chazzas. 

I managed to find these gorgeous soft leather gloves for £1.50

Just today I managed to pick up this fab top for a pound, my final bargain of 2015

The label just says 1974 originals, so I've no idea of the brand, but the top is unworn.

Even though we are living in a dusty mess and have run out of money, at least we can start the new year healthy, and with the majority of the work on the house, and associated mess, behind us.  

I will be starting the new year with only two chickens, as my lovely large French copper black Marans, Duck, passed away on Christmas Eve. I am pleased she got to spend a year in the countryside, and as she was 6 years and 9 months old, she had a good long life.

I am 50 in three days time, something I'm finding hard to take in, and hopefully this next year will be memorable in a good way.  We are both keen to see the back of 2015 for many reasons, most of which I'm not prepared to share.

I hope you have all had a good Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Autumn bargains

Having not blogged regularly for a while now, I'm losing track of what I have and haven't shared with you, bargain-wise.

I do share my purchases on my facebook page, but it is hard to get time to sit at the computer at present and actually write a blog post, so I do apologise if you are sitting waiting patiently for my bargains, and there have been some nice ones.  

So, without further ado, here's a quick bargain round up for the past 8 weeks or so!

First, long and sloppy Joe Browns jumper £1 

Next, some bodycare products.  I'm always on the lookout for toiletries or makeup, especially to stock the gift drawer.  Unfortunately both of these items found their way into the bathroom and are now in use! 

Both were 50p

I do love it when I discover something which might actually be true vintage, and this hat appears to be so.  It was just a pound and is by Frank Olive

Next, a nice selection of denim and casual, which were bought together.  A great Lee Cooper t shirt for 50p, FCUK denim bag, £1, and my new favourite skinny jeans with a high waist, which are H&M and cost £2

The jeans are just so comfy and they fit really well.  On closer inspection of the label I discovered that they are in fact children's jeans, height 164 and age 13 to 14. I'm not complaining!

I do favour sloppy clothing around the house, as I do a lot of DIY and the like.  So I tend to live in sweatshirts and jogging trousers a lot of the time. I was very pleased with these brand new Hanes (US brand?) sweatpants for £1.  Not exciting to look at but warm and great for working in!

I've been trawling around on ebay recently, and this pretty beach cover up caught my eye.  It was 99p to start and there was no extra postage charge.  I bid on it and won, and felt very sorry for the seller who probably lost out big time after postage and ebay fees.  I washed it and spent ages trying to stretch it back to the size and shape it was when I got it, only to notice the label, dry clean only, seriously?  On beachwear??

I've taken the ties out under the bust and arms, and will replace with fake bows and elastic at a later date.

Lastly, I was thrilled to add this pretty and unusual silk scarf to my scarf drawer for just 50p, so pretty!

Cottage update:  most of the external work is done, just render to go on the outside but the weather needs to be dry and frost free for that so not sure when it will happen.  Internally, we are currently between first and second fixes, with second fix about to start tomorrow.  Tiler is booked for 1st December and I collected tiles today, with the help of him indoors.  I am very pleased with the wood effect UPVC windows, unnaturally so I think!

  Had a major cock-up with the interior doors and fingers crossed they will be delivered tomorrow.  The doors were supposed to arrive on Friday, but never turned up.  On checking the carrier's website, I saw the delivery note had "refused as not ordered" scrawled on it, right next to my name and contact number, which he never bothered to use to find out where I actually was.  It seems the driver tried a similar address two miles away with a different postcode, the delivery was obviously refused, so he took them back to depot, in Yorkshire!!  To say I was angry is and understatement!  

That has set us back as the doors need treating before they are hung, and as they are Oak  veneered I need to see the manufacturers instructions with the door, before I can buy the correct treatment, gah!! 

We are hoping to be straight for Christmas but not expecting to be.  Once we are I shall have a new lounge and workroom so will be back to regular blogging and trips out, oh for a routine again!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The mists of time, a trip down memory lane

While the building work continues at the cottage, We've kept ourselves out of the way as much as possible. The house is dusty and dirty and builders have taken over every room downstairs, or so it seems.

A walk around the village earlier in the week was interesting, it was so foggy we could hardly see a thing, and we both got absolutely soaking wet in it too!

To keep away from th ebuild here at the cottage I've been attempting to renovate my childhood home, and we intend to rent it out. Removing wallpaper, old shelves and boxes has uncovered some forgotten treasures mostly of the throwaway variety, so I took some photos for posterity.  Unfortunately, my phone doesn't have a great camera and the lighting isn't the best so the pics are a bit blurry.

The old wallpapers include the following

 The paper above is vinyl and presently a drawer lining, not sure if I can sneak it into the cottage as OH doesn't like old stuff. 

 I think this paper is lovely, probably 50's?  Really pretty and with a toning border too

 This flower border was a bit unexpected, it doesn't appear to be with any other papers and this is the only bit I've found so far.  Love the Made in England edge of the paper above, just showing in this photo.

Several decades of wallpaper, the middle paper is hiding the previously shown flower border

I also found jazzy Formica covered chipboard shelves, which have now been disposed of at the tip

60's without a doubt.  Mind your eyes!

An old Martini box hid a plethora of old food and drink containers

Anyone remember Tree Top?

This skimmed milk tin is full, it might end up on Ebay.

70's jelly boxes

 Assortment of bottles

One of my few baby food jars, kept for posterity. I was mostly fed on mashed up adult food

Had to look up nonpareils, never heard them called that.

Did anyone else collect the Stork margarine containers?

I also came across this old Sunblest bag

An interesting old shoe box, which probably held my first pair of shoes

This ladies shoe box, with the interesting non pc colour description

This label was on a really large box I found, it was nappy liner in a roll, for inside terry nappies.  

Well, who knows what I might uncover elsewhere in the house, will keep you posted and hope to resume more regular blogging soon, when the builders have gone.