Monday, 31 October 2016

Me on Monday - towards a new kitchen

The top of the staircase just peeking through the small hole.
It will get bigger eventually
 It's been a long week this weekend. Mr M doesn't like changes in his home, he hates it if I move the furniture so he is pretty darned stressed. Add to this the fact that some really nasty foreign truck driver reversed his huge articulated truck into the side of our car last Monday and you can kind of imagine how Mr M feels about "change"

Anyhooooo, We progressed quite rapidly from cellar full of cra stuff to staircase fixed top and bottom and then I said something.
"Because of all the woodworm in the wood we are chucking out," I said, "could you check all the joists in the floor above you?"
The staircase fixed top and bottom
"Yes" said Mike, and produced the technical testing equipment ( a cross-head screwdriver. You poke the joists, if the point sinks into the wood you have a problem if it doesn't you don't)
He called me down to see what he had found. Three of the joists were affected so this meant stripping the ceiling off the rest of the cellar and checking right across then replacing those affected joists and treating everything with anti-woodworm venom chemicals.
The new ceiling will be plywood with insulation between the joists so the ply has to be treated too. All good stuff for stress right? We still need to get vinyl flooring into the bathroom so we went to a place recommended to us by a satisfied customer and arranged for the man to come and measure.
Then we popped up the hill to see Lady B. She seems to think that she should have stopped crying by now, after all it has been three weeks (her words not mine). I have told her that we would all worry if she wasn't still dissolving and that it is to be expected for the next several years. She doesn't agree. I wish there was some way to convince her that it is not weakness it is human. I mean you don't live with your soul-mate for fifty years and not dissolve into tears unexpectedly when someone says a particular word or a memory fills your mind - do you?
She will be very cross with me for writing this but it is simply my way of coping with the ache I feel for her.

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing

PS two more rat bodies were found between the joists so it was A Good Thing we had to strip the ceiling

Monday, 24 October 2016

Me on Monday - no Tuesday, sorry

Birthday boy, anniversary couple and Miss Boo all listening
 to Grandpa (or WSD* as my daughter calls him)

Some of the contents of the cellar in the garden before it
 travels on to the tip
 This weekend has been like the curates egg, good and bad. We had a lovely birthday/anniversary lunch with my Daughter and her family. They celebrated 17 years of marriage and also the birthday of S-i-L. They figured that if he got married on his birthday he wouldn't forget, so far this has been right. Miss Boo made us all laugh .... need to give background here... Mr M is diabetic and I have just been upgraded with new dentures. He can't eat sugary stuff and I was still learning to chew without biting my own face, so.
Miss Boo made us all laugh when she refused to give Grandpa any of her raspberry ripple ice cream and said she would make sure that she always had dessert that was too sweet for Grandpa and too chewy for Grandma.
It was a lovely lunch.

Sunday I continued putting the contents of my larder into boxes ready for the builders to come and do the stairs into the cellar. Paused briefly when Lady B arrived with some stuff. She is not a great one for hugging but I so wanted to wrap her in my arms. I knew it would finish us both completely so I stiffened my upper lip and so did she.

one corner of the nearly empty cellar
Monday and Mr M went off to work at silly o'clock. I continued slowly moving stuff out of the way and when the builders arrived we went down into the cellar. O.M.Goodness! Some of the stuff has been quietly mouldering there for thirty years. After an hour and a half most of it was out in the rain in the garden. We had discovered the dead rat, taken precautions with gloves and stuff because of the rat sh*t and I had condemned most of the stuff to the tip.
The builders are really good. They treat me like a little old lady...... which I am, and they shifted everything.
Mr M came home and showed me the photograph of our little car after a nasty foreign truck driver had reversed into it in the works. Yes he signed a letter saying he was responsible, no Mr M wasn't in the car when it was hit, it was parked and yes I still feel really nauseous every time I think of it. We haven't had the darned thing very long, it is the newest car we have ever had and this is the second time it has been bumped. What a b*tch of a start to the week eh?

My Thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing (and sane)
*WSD... Wicked Step Dad

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Birthday and Anniversary so the Birthday boy doesn't forget

The Birthday Boy and his lovely wife celebrate their anniversary
17 years. I think he's a keeper

Miss Boo, totally full after eating her own dessert and then some of Mummy's and some of Daddy's
Even Grandpa had dessert!

Mr M letting his Raspberry Trifle go down after a really good lunch
After the couple of weeks we have experienced it was lovely to sit and talk and eat really good food. We went to the Cripple Creek for lunch. It was totally full, the food was really good and we all made sure we had enough room for dessert. This was the first time back there for us since the middle of the 1990s. It has changed a wee bit and for the better. Fabulous meal, fabulous company and now we have time to make a cuppa and have a snooze.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Today was the funeral.

I am so proud of my cousins and my children. Not one of them was afraid to cry. This man has been a shining star in all our lives so it was hard to have to let go of him.

His brother wrote a poem about the two of them that softened everyone up and then the music while the curtains closed around his coffin made sure that everyone wept.

Even the UPS driver that collects the parcels they send out for their business was there.

I salute you Lord Admiral, you are locked in my memory forever.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Me on Monday - Kitchen designer

See all this kitchen? well it will soon be gone. We spent four hours on Saturday with the help of a marvellous designer-man called Babek putting together my nearly dream kitchen. Everyone who has listened to me knows that my dream kitchen is all stainless steel with catering range appliances and a floor that slopes slightly to a drain so it can be hosed down with a pressure hose.

Because I am 70 and not likely to need that standard of appliance unless I have a full time cook in my future I am having the other dream - an Edwardian style, arsenic green kitchen that has only two cupboards as all the rest of the units are drawers.

My knees are reluctant to bend too far now AND kneeling is out of the question so if I need something from the back of a cupboard I have to text Miss Boo to come up to our house and get it for me. She doesn't need that responsibility at age 11 and usually I need something after she has gone to school or bed. So all drawers. The larder will be two pull out shelf units. The colour is called sage these days but is the same as the victorian kitchens had and in those days the pigment used was arsenic - I know, it's a wonder the human race survived eh?

We are keeping our sink because we like it, we are keeping our microwave because we like it the dishwasher could have been kept right up to the moment its on/off button fell inside the door and the compartment that holds the tablet refused to shut. The fridge will be replaced by a fridge freezer and I will have an oven that I don't have to bend down to see in and it has what they call a slide and hide door! apparently this is what they use on on Bakeoff. As I don't watch it I can only pass on what Mr M says.

OH, oh talking of my best beloved, he is now saying that out of the whole kitchen he only chose the wine cooler - you remember that we don't drink, right? Yes he did choose the wine cooler. He also made a lot of other positive contributions to the layout, but a wine cooler for a non drinker?

"Well," he said, "I can keep my bottles of pop and water in there and that takes them out of the fridge"

And he's right. At least a quarter of the fridge is taken up with bottles of water and cans and bottles of pop and squash so I think he is brilliant!

Lady Bluefunnel is coping. I am hoping that when she pauses for breath I will be able to support her but I realise that she has to do things in her own time. I just want to help where I can. Funeral this week

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and drawing me back every week to keep writing

Monday, 10 October 2016

Me on Monday - still reeling

It's been a shocking week. The Lord Admiral Bluefunnel died on Thursday. A bloodclot took him from us and left us all with a huge hole in our lives.

He was my cousin and he was the closest I had to a brother, me being an only child. We went on holiday together, My Dad sold us castles for threepence - we jointly owned Cardiff Castle because it was big. We shared a tent and I was sick in his wellies and now he has gone.

We had dinner with them on the previous Sunday and we laughed so much. I will carry that image in my mind forever.

My thanks to Sian for inventing this meme and keeping me writing.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Memorandum Monday - back from the Northern hills

The Tyne Bridge in the heart of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Roman road, no! really! Roman road
 We went to Northumberland for my birthday treat.
"Where do you want to go" asked Mr M after saying no to Ireland because I wasn't definite about exactly where to go.
"OOH I said, what about Morcambe, I would love to see the sculpture of Eric Morcambe that's there."
"Hmmmm," he said, clicking the mouse and staring at maps and stuff.
Several hours later he turned and said "We are booked into a log cabin in the same place we went to before."
"In Morcambe? We've never been to Morcambe before" There was a momentary silence and then he said
"AH, I got a bit side tracked, we are going to Northumberland now."
Oh that's great," I said, "We can go to Alnwick Castle and back to Cragside." Suddenly I was excited and really eager to be there.
The Satnav lady got a bit stroppy with us because we kept ignoring her advice. She never once shouted at us but you could hear the frustration in her voice when she told us to "take the second exit in this roundabout" and we took the first one because we were stopping for a loo break.
Top o' the world, Ma - ooh hidden dips!
We had a lovely time. We went to Wallington on my actual birthday. Fabulous house and lovely people there.
because we were in that bit of country between Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall there were lots of very straight roads and lots of hidden dips where the road ahead looked totally flat and straight but suddenly a car pops out of the ground.
I discovered that even though the satnav lady is very nice I like my book of maps and I feel kind of lost without it. I like following the roads across the pages and telling Mr M what number road he has to look for and what the name of the town is likely to be. I am a good Nagavator (as my cousin once called me)

The obligatory hat picture - actually I took three because
there were three different hats

We went to Cragside again. The first private house to be lit with electricity in this country. Mr M posed for the now compulsory hat pictures. It is such a fabulous house and they have a minibus for those of us who can no longer walk far. The restaurant was lovely and we spent ages in the shop. I got my National Trust passport stamped so I have nearly completed my second one.  So that's me on Monday. Back to the routine, well not really because I still have plumbers needing to come back and ... plumb and then I shall nee to get someone to do the floor and then I shall prepare for disruption with my plans for the stairs to the cellar................. more of that anon

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing.