How do my lovelies?

I’ve been a busy chicken, even my Insta Stories have been neglected in the last few days, recent Facebook outage not withstanding.

The wardrobes are now up in the dressing room, one has suffered a little damage to the loop that supports the hanging rail which we need to replace, but had no time to unpack some of our boxes and hang anything up. That should really help de clutter upstairs. Boxes have been ransacked over time and everything is open and spread everywhere. Then I’ll move onto doing the decorating in what will be our bedroom and possibly even order the bed we like.

The kitchen is coming along in leaps and bounds now, thanks to the Screwfix delivery finally rocking up with the lining paper. It was abandoned on the top step in the rain while I was out walking the dogs one morning. Every box looked like there had been a stampeding elephant encounter but miraculously contents were all fine.

Hanging the lining paper was slightly problematic, we did the first two strips by pasting the wall rather than the paper – epic fail! More bubbles than an Aero. We then switched to a makeshift pasting table, a vintage wooden stepladder, dining room chair, braced with a box of flat pack kitchen something or other affair. Left the paper for 10 minutes once pasted and then it went up like a dream! Started to paint the walls the following day and on those first two strips you could feel the roller pulling the paper away from the wall, but it still looked ok. By the time I’d finished the wall however, after hours of painstakingly cutting in the very dark blue, those first two strips looked absolutely horrendous. Had to peel them off and re hang, but got there in the end after a couple of longish days. Absolutely love the colour, and it’s amazing how much more finished a coat of paint makes a room feel. Le Papa yesterday added some more cement to where the old bedroom (now to be kitchen) fireplace hearth was, so there’s much less difference in level now. Our joiner/kitchen fitter will then begin battle on the 25th with levelling everything and installing the worktops. Can’t wait to see it all come together.

Only thing we’re still desperate for is a plumber, ours seems to now be too busy or has lost the inclination to do the job. I had a visit from a lovely plumber called Carlos, who only spoke Spanish so we translated in English over the phone with his wife. However it’s now entirely possible via Chinese Whispers, we’re now being mistakenly quoted for a swimming pool instead of a kitchen sink and dishwasher…..only time will tell. I have another plumber coming to take a look next week, but it seems everyone can pick and choose the work they decide to take on. Just because they come to look, doesn’t mean you’ll get a quote, and just because you get a quote doesn’t mean there’s any appetite to do the job. At this rate it’ll be like an Ikea show kitchen where none of the appliances work. Perhaps I should buy some plastic fruit?

Our lovely plasterer was here yesterday though, and has transformed what will be the dining room and put up the false wall in our horror movie downstairs loo. The depth of plaster in the dining room is such that the plaster might actually be dry by Christmas if the weather doesn’t perk up. Fortunately by next weekend we might have had a few days of sun which will certainly help.

What this has done though is caused me to relax a little. I can’t finishing the dining room because of the wet plaster, so it does mean I can focus my attention back to elsewhere. I can pretty much do all of upstairs now, plain basic white on the whole, but it’ll allow for us to have some functional rooms.

What I really need to do is focus back on outside, if it ever stops raining. The living room seedling situation is out of control, and a few outside plants that are currently in containers, could really do with being in the ground. Crates of onions are doing really well, and our gifted rhubarb and strawberries are also thriving. Poly tunnel is now ordered and should be here in a couple of weeks. What we don’t have is any prepared ground though, and removing the legacy of decades of brambles is backbreaking, slow work. The mattock (kind of like a flat bladed pick-axe) does the job well, but you must sever the roots to be able to drag them out with the heavy rake. It takes an hour to do a square foot. Might look into the possibility of a man with a mini digger coming to blitz it, but not had chance yet. Then there’s 18 sq mtrs of polytunnel to dig too! An acre is rather a lot of land it has to be said, but I’m trying to remind myself that I can’t simultaneously paint the house and dig the garden, so weather and priorities change where my time needs to be best applied.

All of this said, it really does feel like in the next couple of months we should make some leaps and bounds. It feels like all the little jobs are starting to come together. Even the fosse has been relatively happy for the last couple of weeks, perhaps the weekly sachets of enzyme have perhaps finally got the bacteria levels where they need to be. 🤞🤞🤞

Instead we now have an intermittent gaggle of middle-class ants living under the Nespresso machine. Next thing they’ll be eating avocado toast and doing ashtanga yoga.

The joys of rural living.

Still, every time I listen to the traffic news on Radio 2 and traffic is backed up at my old junction -Tingley roundabout on the M62, I do a little happy dance……

TTFN xx 😘

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