Wednesday, March 30

Memory Lane




When I was stripping away the wallpaper yesterday I came across this piece of wallpaper. It was the very first design we used in what was then, our new home - twenty years ago. The previous owners used our now snug as a dining room. The carpet was a navy blue and I used this on the lower part of the walls with a navy and claret floral design above.



I also came across this carpet - the very best that money could buy. Again, some twenty years ago. I bought this when I was "acting" deputy headteacher for a few terms - the rise in my pay was put away and this is what we bought with it. An accident from our border collie Tess stained the carpet and despite endless treatments and cleaning the stain remained. I vowed then I would never spend such a great amount on carpet again - or at least one which would not clean up!



Well as you can see the stripping of the walls has finally finished and my preparation work for the plasterer has now finished. Jon now needs to do some door furniture stuff, put some light switches in and remove the radiator. The plasterer came last night to size up the job and he will be coming towards the end of next week This gives us a week then! Wayhay!




The room seems much bigger without the cupboards – so we have decided not to put them back – we will find somewhere else for them to go. For now I am using a table from the lounge to stand the TV on.

I must say I am sleeping well – like a log  . Fortunately the amount of preparation in the snug is the most we will have to do downstairs as the remaining rooms have all been plastered since we moved here, nevertheless there is still plenty to do.

Following the problems I had loading pictures the other day I am now using Windows Livewriter – much more reliable!

Tuesday, March 29

K is for……………………………..

Kathryn yes our very own Chrystal Jigsaw!

Author of.....Discovery at Rosehill!

If you enjoy suspense, mystery and nail biting excitement (well you must do - you ARE reading my blog!) this is a must!

From opening the first page this book drew me into it's deep dark spell and kept me captivated right throughout to the final words on the final page..... and to think it was penned by someone I know!

Having read Kathryn's blog for quite a few years there were elements I recognised/associated with - the house, the setting, the border collies this set the scene for an amazing script....but nothing could have prepared me for the journey I, the reader was about to take!

Fancy a read?
Form a queue!

Sunday, March 27


Yesterday I stripped! I have 3 more walls to complete but I must say the lower paper comes off a dream. I will do the other three walls on Tuesday, as I have some admin work to do for Jon on Monday. My target then this week is to have all walls stripped - then we will pull out the cupboards so I can get to the paper behind. The fireplace will come out and the room will be ready for the next stage - lighting wires. There is some woodwork to do round the doorway, and the door needs re-hanging, once this is sorted the room will be ready for plastering. I will be contacting a plasterer this week. We are fortunate in having a few pals who are good plasterers! I am looking forward in seeing the room plastered because then we will have arrived at my favourite part of the project - chosing colours. However I am not rushing anything - Jon said we should enjoy what we do and we are so far. Must say the main colour wont be much different from what it was - I have always loved daffodil white but the chimney breast will be a shade different!

We will be removing the curtain pole as I am having a roman blind made with the curtain fabric above. I think this room has been really thought about as we sit in it every night and plan together.

Watch this space!

Saturday, March 26

Choices choices!

I had a choice this morning - to share about our day off yesterday or to read a book - when I say read a book - I mean continue to read a book I am absolutely engrosed in! You know, the kind of book which you can't put down and you are counting the chapters because you just do not want it to end? Know the type? Yes - I bet you do! Well in the words of mrs nesbitt...."watch this space!"

Our good friends Dorothy and Keith Askew are over in UK for a few weeks house sitting. Remember when we stayed at their house in France last year? Well they are currently house sitting near Harrogate. We were due to go and visit, and it was an ideal time to get the motorbike out - so yesterday, when the sun was shining we set off! Jon studied the map and took us straight to their front door - no stopping, ni map checking - straight to the door.

Here are some of the places we passed through - a lovely glimpse of Yorkshire don't you think?
Sutton Bank



A171 Moor Road

We had a fantastic time with Dorothy and Keith and are looking forward in seeing them on Good Friday when they visit us for lunch, shortly before they return to France.

I can tell you, we were quite exhausted by the time we returned home - as you can see by the pictures, the roads are quite rural and therefore bumpy - especially on the back of a motorbike! Still - as we all know, a hot bath solved it all and yet again we slept like logs!

But - Jon is working which means I have jobs to do - watch this space - now I know Dorothy and Keith are coming in a few weeks I have rooms to prepare! lol!

Watch this space!

Thursday, March 24

A couple of days in the garden!

Whilst the weather has been favourable we have made great progress in the paddock/garden.

Last year we had an aerial photo taken of the house + paddock - we realised how much land had been lost through overgrown hedges and trees -

So yesterday and today we cracked on!

Now the hens are having a good scrat about!

Needless to say, yet again I feel quite tired, but a hot bath will soon sort that one out. Whilst I was writing this we received a telephone call to say the new door + window for the kitchen were ready - so we nipped round to collected them and they are now in the shed. All being well they will be fit next weekend. Once they are fit we can make the next move with the kitchen. Meanwhile in the snug we are discussing lighting which Jon will sort out the next bad weather day.

Another busy few days here - but the garden and paddock are certainly looking much better.

Wednesday, March 23

Snug so far.

Snug - chimney breast yesterday am....


and pm!
Wall am....


and p.m.

Other wall a.m.


and pm!

Jobs next on list here - remove fireplace and take down remaining dado rail and carpet then strip paper ready for re-plastering, then new skirting and edging round the door. Lighting needs sorting too.......but today the sun is shining so it can wait for a couple of days. The back breaking stuff has been done I reckon once the lighting is sorted I could have this room ready for re-plastering in a day.

Tuesday, March 22

J - just when you thought all was sorted!

ABC Wednesday is here again

Like many people out there we are concerned about the rising costs of heating our home. Our central heating is oil fuelled. The tank holds 1,000 litres of heating oil - when we first had the oil tank installed it cost £200 for 1,000 litres. This winter we have been paying £300+ for 500 litres. We have gone back to the drawing board and decided NOT to replace the Aga I repeat NOT to replace the Aga. It only heats one radiator - a Rayburn will heat up to 10 radiators and is multi-fuelled. It will run on coal, peat and wood. Whilst when burning wood on it the heat will not be as intense as it would be if we used coal, nevertheless we have a good source of wood and logs in the village.
As Jon is chief heating engineer we went to visit a chap who was selling his Rayburn in order to have a good discussion about the general running and maintenance of such a beast. Jon's eyes lit up at the sight of the various controls - thermostats, knobs, dials, levers, you name it, the Rayburn has it with bells on. Jon liked the idea of managing the efficiency with a twiddle of a few knobs.
The Rayburn is slightly smaller than the Aga but this will not present any problems. Now colour - I am fancying a pistachio/green/aqua one - will fit in nicely with my colour scheme.
If the nice weather continues we may have a period of time where we will let our Aga go out and be dismantled but no hurry just yet. We still have lots to do. Our Aga will be recycled and will be sold on to somebody else probably in part exchange for the refurbished one we will buy. Costs are cheaper than the Aga and should allow us to save considerably on our fuel bills!

Watch this space!

Monday, March 21

Chitting, Chatting and a Compromise.

We had a great day yesterday when the family came to celebrate MIL's birthday - today we were back to grafting. As the weather was quite beautiful we worked outside. Jon is clearing and thinning the hedge of bushes and trees which runs between our paddock and back garden - the space he created certainly brought the paddock into the whole picture of things. He will sow some grass seed later.

My potatoes have been chitting along nicely so I planted some of them in the small raised bed behind my greenhouse. I was going to fill all 4 sections but some friends popped in for a coffee so I only did 2 of the sections - I will finish the job tomorrow.

Although I worked outside for a while I wanted to keep on track with my DIY target so I removed some more rails from wall 2 in the snug. Only 2 more to do by the end of the week.

I came across this paperweight I forgot I had - will go lovely on the windowsill!

Yes a good day - now a nice bath and a quiet night in!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 20

Snug questions answered!

For Leslie, Dimple and Oakland ......
This was the snug a few days ago. It is the warmest room in the house as it only has one exposed wall. When we moved here 20 years ago it was a dining room. Very plain. The chimney breast you see was designed and built by Jon.

This is how it looks now. My job this week is to remove all wooden rails and shelves. The fireplace will then be removed. The cupboards will remain but will be painted to match the doors. New skirting board will be fitted. Jon's moving onto lighting this week!

The carpet will be replaced with a green one to link to the kitchen floor tiles.

The handle on the original door will be lowered and the surround will be changed to match the new doorway.

Watch this space!
back to the dinner preparations!

Saturday, March 19

A doorway!

We now have a doorway leading from the the kitchen..

or from the kitchen - to the snug!

The builder arrived at 8am this morning and performed his magic!

I had prepared the wall for him. At first glance the wallpaper looked fine - but it was hiding bad old plaster.

We have never re-plastered the snug - but it is on the list of projects.
I can honestly say I am exhausted. I worked late last night preparing the wall but it was well worth the effort - we both love the open aspect of the kitchen and snug. 
Jon is cooking dinner tonight - chicken kiev + sweetcorn! Wonderful! It will give me time to recharge my batteries for tomorrow - a full cooked dinner for 8 of us!
TI need a drink - a large one! lol!

Wednesday, March 16


So so sorry for not leaving comments on so many blogs! Firefox is playing up and not allowing me to view so many bloigs (blogger) but believe me - I am grateful of the responses.
Tomorrow - (Thursday) looking at plumbing for washing machine - and clearing snug. Friday - off on an information seeking quest re technical information re stove. Saturday - doorway knocked through by builder, between kitchen and snug.
Photos to follow.
Hell spells - it is all happening!
I am doing my best to keep up! lol!
Oh and did I mention Sunday? Family celebration here for my MIL's 81st birthday! I asked her what she would like to do and she said she would love to come here for a meal - so hey ho lovely roast dinner for 8 is on the cards. lol! Now just need to make some space.
Watch this space - I certainly will be!

Tuesday, March 15

I......Introducing Eva!

This is Eva - always first out of the henhouse, first to the breakfast porridge and first to greet me no matter what time of day. She loves being held and stroked. Oh and the big bird is me! lol!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 14

A HUGE Relief!

With any major DIY project there is a downside - when indeed we have to de-clutter and find homes for our posessions which no longer fit into the larger scale of the picture - as was the case of my beloved dresser. It is in fact an original linen press and I had the drawers made to match. When we first moved here, our neighbour, Alice gave me the top - she kept the dog food in it, the doors covered in newspaper. We had it stripped and it sat on top of the drawers in our kitchen. Whilst our house is not small, it simply wasn't big enough to house this and give it it's true glory.
I knew if it went to the salerooms it would not fetch it's true price, so today I contacted my good friend Phil at Eskdale Antiques. This is where we had our kitchen cupboards made. Phil has agreed to sell this for us - people visit his shop for good pine furniture and are people who would see the beauty of such a treasured item! Yes, a huge relief.
Now - on with the preparations - "Lead on MacDuff!"
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 12

More progress!

We have both been working hard - not much to see ie photographs just preparations and clearing clutter.

The planned door leading from the kitchen to the snug will be fit next Saturday. The builder came today and this is what we agreed. He has done work for us before and Jon has done some engineering work for him so we all know each other. This now means I have a week to empty the snug - all the books must be packed away and the cupboards emptied.

This is the type of door we are having - to match the rest in the house. Notice however where the knob is placed - the current ones  have the knobs slightly higher - inline with the door furniture but we are changing the fittings so they all look the same - aesthetically I think they will look much better.

Before Saturday we are looking at the pipework behind the Aga and possibly moving the washing machine. Once the door is fitted we will move our focus into the snug for a week and probably fit the fire. Jon will be doing some electic work too as we are short on sockets and the lighting is poor! I say a week because on Tuesday (15th) we have a chap coming to measure up for the new door and window to replace the patio doors here in the kitchen. He said it normally takes him 2 weeks to make, deliver and then fit, so this should take us to the end of March. Once the door is fitted the fridge and freezer will be moved and the worktop modified. The cupboards will then be modified accordingly and my shelves will be fitted. The Aga can only be restored once the weather is warm enough for us to switch it off as it will need to be dismantled. Jon will do the work on the barrell and any necessary plumming jobs to improve it's performance during the summer - if we get one! lol! Once the Aga is restored it will be ready to try it out! September/October - it depends on the weather.
The building jobs set the plan really and we are enjoying the process. We have to really as such tasks are out of our hands. Using reliable workmen is imperative.

Tomorrow we are having a day off - if we get out on the motorbike it will give me chance to plan how the snug is going to be emptied. I will start on Monday.


Friday, March 11

Quick update!

There's a lot of pipe work and electric stuff going on at the moment - the doorway going into the snug had to have a major wire running up it, so this.......

became this!

And just look at my curtains - aren't they wonderful? My neighbour and I have been working away over the past couple of days! These are in the main lounge and will be packed away when we start in there - but we hung them to judge length etc. I am well pleased.


Back to more sorting now, the house is upside down but it is to be expected! It is very cold outside so I am quite happy to potter and sort here in the kitchen where the Aga is nice and warm. Jon is draining various radiators/tanks etc etc so the rest of the house is cold!

Watch this space!

Wednesday, March 9

Post 200 - A giveaway and DIY Day 1!

We started on the first part of the Kitchen DIY today. As the building work must take place first we had to prepare the space for a doorway to the this

and this....

became this.

We started at 10 am and finished around 4pm! Needless to say we are very tired but enjoyed every minute!
As I have mentioned previously, all the wooden units will be utilised elsewhere in the house.
So post 200 eh? I had to set up this blog when my previous one developed problems on a big scale - I had about 900 + posts over there so I have been around quite a bit! lol!
To celebrate I am having a giveaway - I have a number of items - so if you would like to take part, just leave a comment. 
I wont be blogging a great deal over the next few days - but will be back with more pictures!
Watch this space!