Saturday, 24 June 2017

Can We Rewind Today Please?

Can we rewind today please?
It has been one of those days when everything we do seems to work against us!
It started with the sad drive down to We Buy Any Car.CON as they shall forever be known to us!
We went through the simple process yesterday of entering the car reg, being given a quote and told bring it down, with all the documents and we will transfer the money in to your account.
All seemed easy enough, and in fact the process was very easy and the man we dealt with was very nice indeed and we have no gripe against him.
What did frustrate us was the lack of openness on the website and TV ads.
We were quoted £150 for the car, which seemed a steal to be honest, but with not many days left for it to be legally on the road we had to make a quick decision.
Having checked it all over he just had to deduct £18 for a minor scuff ...and then the £50 fee!
The what???
The fee!
What fee?
When were we told there would be a fee?
We had assumed the price quoted included any fee.
Say what you like about ebay, they are up front about all their fees.
Well at this stage of the day we had no option but to accept it, but had we known yesterday we would have researched other quick sell sites and quite frankly would rather have given it away.
Anyway, we went away and licked our wounds and I thought, well at least it covered the £48 MOT fee I paid for needlessly for the day before!
Sadly there was more wound licking to do when we got home.
I phoned my insurance company to say I no longer owned the car and was told it would cost me £50 to cancel the policy ( which was only a month old!)
So that's £150 spent in two days on a car I no longer own!
She was such a great car too, so reliable, I just have to remind myself she paid for her keep many times over the past year, keeping Hubby on the road when his own car was in the garage for two weeks and she was a great work horse taking stuff to the dump.
So, I gritted my teeth and got on with the day.
For lunch I decided to make microwaved eggs....which I have made countless times, I made three with no problems, but the last one exploded in the microwave making a terrible noise and a worse mess!
I hasten to add they are not cooked in their shells either, just in a cup.
Hubby and Teen Two then took the old sofa to the dump, it was a shame as there was nothing wrong with it, but several responses on Freecycle didn't result in anyone actually coming for it, so it had to go.
We managed to get it on the car roof ok, but sadly when Teen Two and Hubby were taking it off, it left a dent in the car as they hadn't realised all the legs weren't off the roof as it was carefully pulled down!
So Hubby was a little annoyed about that!
Next up was to clean the flat roof above the conservatory, as every bit of wind blows grit and dirt on to the glass roof... problem with that bit, then we had to hose down the roof itself, so I climbed the ladder to put the hose on a large sheet we had lain on the roof, so Hubby could reel it in from the  flat roof...
...and that was pretty successful.
Hubby hosed everything down and all was good, until we heard the phone doing a strange ring...
the only way to stop it was disconnect it!
Then we noticed water dripping down inside the conservatory!
Some on my newly painted wall too!
It appears we had been too enthusiastic shooting the water UP in certain areas, we had hit the phone wire which had caused the phone to go funny, but lesson learnt, only shoot water the same direction as rain fall in future and that should avoid unwanted leaks!
But the most frustrating part of the day for me has been the painting.
Not just because I hate painting, but I hate it even more when it all goes wrong!
It started with me "cutting in" using the wrong paint...even though I had thought I had the right one, it was the one I had used for the beam and not the wall.
When I realised I switched to the right paint (whoever thought it would even matter being white) but the correct paint isn't the same consistency and no matter how often I paint over you can still see the cutting in paint! add insult to injury the roller ...a new roller at that...kept leaving fluff everywhere..grr that really annoys me.
So I went and got another new one from the garage, a foam one this time, which was only a tiny bit better  (no fluff, but bubbles instead!) but even then I was getting the odd bit of I decided it must be in the paint tray so went and got a new paint tray and even washed it but was still getting the odd bit of fluff, I was on the verge of giving up....
...and then as if all this wasn't enough I noticed that despite covering the floor with a dust sheet, little speckles of white paint were all over the black tiles!
Well, I was either going to throw a brick at it all, leave home, shout at someone or walk away from it all quietly and do some knitting!
You will be glad to know I quietly  walked away(well there might have been a bit of muttering about it being a blue job ) and changed into my  PJ's and watched Gogglesproggs...without doing any knitting!
I decided it was too risky to pick that up, for sure I would have dropped a stitch or two!
Having sat down for an hour and laughed at those cute kids ( especially when they couldn't get over the "old men" singing The Flood!) I feel almost myself again.
I will cook tea now....trying not to burn the pasta...then give the painting one last chance!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Let The Long Summer Holidays Begin!

This morning was spent doing the usual grocery shopping, calling in to a local indoor play area to book a surprise party for the Friday Club kids and then finally back home to discover these lovely flowers  awaiting me.
My late neighbour's son had popped by and I was sorry to miss him.
The builder worked hard again, but didn't manage to finish it as he had hoped.
All the conservatory floor is down, the edging has been done...which I really like the look of and will make cleaning easy, but best of all, no skirting board to paint!
I love how he has covered in the drain as well, it all looks so neat.
He had expected to tile out the toilet area today, but realised the drop was too deep, so he had to level off the floor, which used up all of the plaster, so Monday he will get more, and also the grouting and hopefully that will be it...then the rest is down to us!

The weather has not been so hot today, thankfully...but warm enough for the bunnies to chill out in the sunshine....and talking about chilling...
...for Teen One the long summer holidays began today
and she is looking forward to just chilling for a while!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

"Just A Tin Box On Four Wheels"

Well I decided to get creative with the jam jars again for the lunchboxes.
Teen One had this spinach leaf/baby plum tomato/mozzarella salad....basil leaves would have been lovely, but I was using up what was in the fridge.
Hubby had a noodle salad...using left over noodles from our stir fry dinner, layered with baby spinach leaves, gherkins, grated carrots, Chinese style chicken breast...again all stuff that was in the fridge.
We also had several little bottles of soy sauce in the fridge, left over from our Sushi school in March, so that seemed an ideal accompaniment.
Both said they were lovely and perfect for this hot weather.
The morning was spent at church with Parent and Toddlers, and I also spent about 20minutes having a clear out of our junk/  stash /store spare room.
It has got beyond ridiculous as far as organisation is concerned and the only person to blame is me!
I just never have the time at the end of the groups to put left overs from activities in an orderly place, mainly because storage is not wonderful there, so each week a carrier of left over is left and so the pile grows and grows!
Its infuriating when I know I have a particular thing, but cant find it!
So, not for the first time, I started to clear out the bags and see if I could find a way of organising it all.
Its too big a job for tacking on to the start or end of toddler group, so have decided Teen One and I need to go round one morning and have a good old sort out.
I did however manage to get rid of a black sack of stuff today and also found a pile of new birthday cards I had bought a few years ago and promptly lost.
I knew they would turn up one day!

I am sure the builder was glad to have it a tad cooler today.
He has almost finished the tile laying, just has to edges to do, the loo and then the grouting.
I spent the afternoon pottering with bits and pieces of housework, and rearranging the living room yet again... and I may yet do another switch round, I think I need to sleep on it first.
My old Clio had to go in for its MOT today.
I have kind of dreaded the day, not wanting to hear it needed anything doing to it.
She has been a good little car and I feel quite attached to her, for the past year I have kept up the insurance/tax etc with the expectation Teen One would have her.
However, with Teen One still waiting to take her Pass Plus test ( the waiting list is horrendous) we don't know if keeping the Clio is going to be the most sensible option.
We have been told its more expensive to insure a new young driver on an old car than a newer car.
The Clio is also much heavier to drive than a new car....I hadn't realised until I had my own new car, so it doesn't make it an ideal car for a new driver.
What with that an the low revving issue....for an experienced driver like myself its not a problem but Teen One has found it very hard to adjust to the very high revs needed to ensure the car doesn't stall when moving away at junctions etc ( and we have had a lot of stalling during the lessons process!)
Needless to say, the phone call from the garage to say the car had failed was not what I wanted to hear.
Whilst it will only cost £200 to put the few small issues right, that is more than the value of the car.
When I spoke to the garage and asked if he could keep hold of it until tomorrow, to give Hubby and I a chance to look at what options we have, I explained that I felt rather attached to it and didn't want to just scrap it he said "remember...its just a tin box on four wheels!"
He then added...."but I have an old tin box on four wheels at home and know just how you feel!"
I suspect tonight we are going to come to the conclusion its time for her to go the scrap yard....
...seems such   a waste of a good car but head must overrule heart I fear.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

One Of Life's Happy Coincidences

For Hubby and Teen One's packed lunch today, I took inspiration from Tales From A Happy House,
jam jars of course feature a lot in our house, so I was really pleased to find a new use.
Both Hubby and Teen One really enjoyed their salads, Hubby's was accompanied by a crustless quiche, but I knew just the salad would be more than enough for Teen One.
I hope to try another salad out for them tomorrow.
I had to pop into town today for various things, and was really really excited to see a clearance section in Sainsbury's with all kinds of things I actually wanted!
For starters there were these mega bottles of shampoo, 1000ml for £3.50.....usually £10!
Teen One really rates this shampoo, so I always stock up when its on special offer, at this rate I wont need to buy any for over a year!
Next up was a whole stash of stuff from Home Baking.
I totted it up and the shelf price for all these goodies was over £30 and I got everything for 20p each, making it just three pounds!
Oh how I love a bargain!
Tomorrow is Teen One's last day in school and she asked me to buy some thank you cards and pressies for the class and staff (as instructed by Uni!)
I rather liked these cards, very educational don't you think!
The suggestion had been made that she bring in sweets for the class...but I like to be a little more innovative than that, and had I had time I would like to have knitted up something small and fun for them, however I didn't have enough notice, so something from the shops it had to be instead.
I saw these pencils and rubbers and thought they would be fun...
I also saw these little post it note animals and thought they too would be fun.
When Teen One saw them she couldn't believe her eyes!
Unknown to me she has been using the exact same owls set ( from  a different shop though) for her intervention work.
One of the girls had fallen in love with them and had asked her mum if she could have a pack when she saw them in a shop, but was told no.
So, that little girl will have a happy surprise tomorrow!
Good old "The Works!"
I must confess to doing a silent fist pump to of life's happy coincidences!

I don't often use Iceland, but had been impressed with their frozen cauliflower cheese which we had at a relative's house recently so went in to buy a couple of packets.
Whilst browsing the freezers I saw these mini Vienetta cute!
Being on special offer (£1 a box I think) I had to try them, especially as Teen Two loves that ice cream.
Today has got to be the hottest so far, and I really did feel sorry for my builder.
His "lad" was still not at work, so the builder had to single handedly load all the tiles into his van then unload them and walk them down our alley, through the garage, down the garden into the the sweltering heat!
Once again I kept him well watered with iced drinks, but at 3pm he called it a day.
I take my hat off to him I really do, it was as much as I could do to carry shopping!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Little Summer Shepherds!

Starting with last night....the builder had asked if Hubby had the time, could he finish off the job of taking up the tiles in the downstairs loo, so he could prepare the floor for tiling.
Hubby had started his a week or two ago, but abandoned it after struggling with the last few and the ones under the loo.
As usual the job was trickier than expected and in this heat not an enviable task at all.
I could hear lots of moaning and groaning, so kept calling out encouraging words to lighten the mood!
Eventually I went out to see what was going on and was stunned to see he had taken out the loo!
(which leaves the builder without access to a loo, so he will have to come into the house now!)
He had found a large lump of concrete underneath the several layers of flooring that had been laid over the years, and had decided the only way to make a decent job, and an easier one for the builder, was to take out the loo!
I only hope it eventually goes back without too much hassle.
When the builder arrived this morning he was of course surprised to see the loo in the garden and asked if we had decided to get rid of the old loo in the end!
Old loo? It doesn't seem like five minutes ago we bought it and as there is nothing wrong with it I have no intentions of replacing  it!
This morning I had promised to take Grandma to Southampton to see her niece and hubby.
He is currently in remission from cancer of the brain.
Their grandchildren were there, this little one is always serious when we first arrive and sat in her little chair weighing us up for a while!
Pretty soon she and her older cousin were entertaining us coming in with tea towels on their heads, like little shepherds!
They did this with much giggling for ages, in and out....but as soon as I got my camera out and said
"smile!" the serious face came back!
For some reason, in all this heat, Grandma decided to take down her upstairs curtains and wash them.
But the task became too much and she was unable to put them back cue me doing it instead!
Putting up curtains are one of those "needs must" jobs and it was certainly hot work up that ladder!
When I came home there was nothing for it but a chillax in the garden.
The builder had gone out to buy something so I enjoyed the peace and quiet.
I really love the colours of this West Yorkshire Spinners wool, Rum Paradise its so pretty.
The builder has sealed the floor ready for the tiles to be laid tomorrow, so things should really start to take shape then!
I can then start looking for furniture to go in.
I have deliberately left it until last as I need to know what space there is,
I am loving the minimalist look out there right now!
I have yet to find storage space that I like/will fit, but need to get cracking soon or the dining room will forever be the room of doom!

Monday, 19 June 2017

It's The Taste That Matters!

In this heat, Morrisons was definitely the best place to be!
The air conditioning was wonderful and I overheard one of the assistants say, for the first time she couldn't wait to get to work and wanted to stay as long as she could!
I couldn't resist buying this roll today, I should have put something  else there for comparison, but trust me, its the size of a frying pan!
There were also burgers the same size, but at £3 I decided I could make my own much cheaper!

Teen Two did some baking....
...he had this for Christmas but we keep forgetting about it.
It looked easy enough, but I had a sneaky suspicion they wouldn't be as easy as they looked to make!
The pretzel antlers refused to stay in, so we glued them together with melted chocolate, the eyes also didn't want to stay on, so I melted each chocolate drop on a warm plate...boy was that fiddly!
The end result look more like a cross between Zingy the EDF mascot and a teletubby with the TV screen tummy with their hair in rollers!
Am sure they will taste good no matter what they look like!
For lunch I retreated to the shade of the gazebo, although it wasn't particularly peaceful!
The builder arrived for the last stage of the work in the conservatory, and had his radio on full blast.
Now he was very considerate and offered to turn it off/down, but I wouldn't hear of it.
He was working hard and I was just chilling, so it didn't seem fair.
I started another pair of socks and had the builder not been around I would probably have sneaked in a few more rows, but instead I went back indoors to tackle some jobs.
The builders project today was to plaster over the old exterior painted walls which surround the inner part of the conservatory....
..and he worked very hard all day, in the intense heat, and all alone as his "lad" didn't turn up.
It's making the place look so much better already!
Needless to say, I ensured he was well hydrated throughout the day, supplying endless glasses of iced drinks.
Teen One had her final assessment for this academic year and passed, with compliments from the tutor on how she answered some of the questions.
Only 4 days to go and that's her first year at Uni finished!
A lovely long summer ahead of her.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Happy Father's Day

Today is of course Father's Day, although I often say "every day is Father's Day in this house!"
The Teens presented dad with a couple of little pressies.....and as I type this Teen Two and Hubby are watching the DVD whilst munching into the sweets!
It was church as usual in the morning and I must admit I was not looking forward to going home and cooking a roast dinner in this heat!
I did suggest to everyone we ought to eat something cooler and easier to prepare when it was this can imagine the looks they all gave me!
With dinner done and dusted there was nothing for it but to retreat to the shade of the gazebo.
Grandma had a snooze in the chair, Teen One was...well you know what Teen One was doing...more course work....Teen Two was bunny hunting and Hubby was reading the flight details of planes flying overhead on an app..."that one's from Brazil" he told me!
After Grandma's nap, she joined us out in the garden and we indulged in the usual trio of games...with Teen Two getting a little help from his friend!
Once the games were over, it was time to go back to the knitting...and I have finally finished this Passion Fruit Cooler pair. They are destined for Australia so I will try and get them mailed in the week and then on to a new pair.
My local wool shop has a special offer each week, with a different theme each time...last weeks special offer was...sock wool!
So I emailed my family in Oz and got them to choose their next colours.
Tonight was church as usual, and we were glad to see a middle aged man come in, who is well known to us and comes intermittently.
He has some mental health issues and sadly had a fall out with his landlady in what sounds like a rather spectacular style!
As he has technically made himself homeless, he is unable to get housed by the council currently.
He has been sleeping rough, and to see him come in with his sleeping bag rolled up was hard to say the least.
No one wants to think of someone they know sleeping rough, but what to do about it was the problem for us.
We offered to bring him back for a meal and a bath, but he has a friend who has been feeding him and letting him wash and shave etc at his place.
We have arranged for him to meet up with one of our elders tomorrow morning at 9am, as the elder is hoping he can get something arranged for him, having worked in the housing department of the council before he retired.
Hopefully he will also be able to help with form filling and ensuring it is clearly known he has mental health issues and likely to be vulnerable.
We will ensure his basic needs are met, as discretely as possible, one worries that if too much help is given the welfare system focuses on others and other folk fall through a gap in the system.