Thursday, 30 April 2009

Two Whole Years in Cornwall

I cannot believe that two years ago today we were piling everything into a huge lorry, loading up the trailer and driving down the motorway for 6+ hours to start our new life in Cornwall.

All of that stress was well worth it though. Our lives are so different down here. The air is clean and smog/exhaust free. The evenings are peaceful, its a rarity to see an aircraft in the sky overhead, unless it's a coastguard, on a rush job to save a holiday maker from the cliffs, and every Wednesday evening we get the faint drift of the church bells in Carn Brae village, as they practice their ringing for the weddings etc.

Don't get me wrong, when it rains down here it really pours it down, but I only ever see the place with blues skies and sunshine and the promise of great things in our future.
Two years down, roll on the next 50 or so!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Visiting Friends

I have been like a bottle of pop for a good few days now, as my friends are coming down to visit me whilst they are on holiday in Cornwall.

And more to the point, I get to meet little Wilf their new beautiful baby boy, who was born in September, for the first time.

I made scones and got some proper Roddas clotted cream for an afternoon cream tea, and was able to coo over little Wilf and catch up on all that has happened since we last met up - and that was about 2 years ago just before we moved here!

I love being Auntie Jo Jo, and despite Fred's very curious interest, he was actually quite good. Despite trying to climb over everyone to get to the soft toys.

They have only been gone a short while and I'm missing the little man already - and you two guys of course!

Monday, 27 April 2009

New family...

For a few years now I have been tracing my family tree, and with a little help from some very good friends have done not a bad job, with 900 or so people found so far.
Anyway, today I was contacted, by someone through Genes Reunited who thought we may be related based on some family links that appeared to match.
It's been a while since I have done any work on my tree, and I got really excited when I realised that, yes this lady was a relative. She is living in Sydney Australia, and has sent me some fantastic info so far, that I am trying to correlate into my tree before sending it all over to her as a GEDCOM file.
I have loads of new cousins. Anne, if you are reading this, my family lines will be winging their way to you very soon.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Unpacking the boxes...

Those 96 boxes have all to be unpacked and built up at some point, and there is no time like the present...
I wanted a larder unit so that I have somewhere to put my vacuum cleaner, dustpan and brooms - and am really pleased with how well it is going to work, using this little test scenario...

I now have units everywhere - in the kitchen - obviously, in the living room (above), in the two spare bedrooms and on the landing!

we now have the all of the units built up - here are the fist three all ready to be put into the kitchen when it is finally taken apart.

Singing in the rain - literally

Last night it rained - and it did not just rain - it poured - at 3am we were awake and reading our books because of the noise of it on the slate roof tiles and smashing against the windows.
Anyway it has not let up all day, despite me promising my friends that their holiday down here will be sunshine filled - yeah right - sorry guys!
This afternoon we went off to see Singing in the Rain at the theatre in Redruth, done by the local amdram society.
It was fantastic, despite the chaps flies being undone in one scene, and a mike being missing and someone rushing off for it in another scene. It was well done, well acted and had a huge amount of scene changes which they pulled off really well.
The rain scene was a triumph - it had real water coming from above the stage onto a pad for the Don Lockwood character to dance his famous scene on - wonderful.
Then we had to walk home - and you guessed it - it was raining!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Can you tell what it is yet????

Yep you guessed it - the kitchen finally arrived....

and as Paul watched box after box come off the lorry, he was told.....

'Thats 96 boxes - there is one more to follow on Monday!!!'

and, once we get ours heads around the fitting instructions it will be replacing this....


Ground Force 3

Once the mortar had gone off on the brickwork, Paul started to do the roughcast rendering.

One layer of render later, all scored up and ready for the top coat and whitewash...

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Ground Force 2

Saturday dawned with beautiful blue skies and the promise of a fantastically warm spring day.
With this in mind, we decided to start the next phase of our garden makeover - my brick built raised planter. Our garden is most definitely not on a level so we hope that by the end of this whole building project we might get a garden with stepped levels and a lot less grass for Fred to dig up and bring in the house when it's wet.
We started by placing the breeze blocks in the general position that we wanted - with me shouting orders from the bedroom window! Well it was much easier to get the full picture for my 'vision' from up there!

Then it was a case of skimming off the grass and digging out the footings

Then the concrete footings get placed and levelled out with a spirit level to ensure a good finish for the brickwork

Then, once the concrete went off, the bricks get placed back in position and the mortar is used...

At this point many many swear words are used, at me as I wanted a long sweep on the front of the planter instead of a squared off flat wall - Paul had a real game making the front sweep of bricks stay put and ties in together

and as you can see he has managed it - and done a marvellous job of it too!

Once the mortar has gone off, we (that's the royal we of course) will render the front and inside lip of the planter and paint it white to match the garage wall and tie it all in together.
Whilst Paul was being creative, I was getting down and dirty with a paint brush and a tub of creosote.

the initial brush strokes were a little scary, as the colour was so dark

but once it was finally complete - it looked a darn site better than it had

All in all a very productive weekend, despite the severe sunburn to both of our backs and faces!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Cheeky Monkey

My boy know what he wants - and when we put stuff in his way that doesn't stop him. Can you see him yet?

We have 200 kitchen tiles, a tub of adhesive and an exercise bike (a little dusty you will notice) and still he manages to get into his favourite spot. ....... OK he had to climb onto the bookcase to get there, but hey ho - he did it anyway!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

I am soooo Cross

My Aunt, Uncle and 2 special needs cousins were off to Majorca this afternoon for a weeks Easter break.
I have just had a phone call from my Aunt, who was in tears, saying that one of my special needs cousin's had been dubbed a terrorist by the security staff at the airport, because the bleeper had gone off through the arch to the departure lounge.
They wanted to do a search. Now any mainstream person would understand that your clothing has to be checked for dangerous objects. This is not the case for a special needs person. They DO NOT UNDERSTAND, and as she would not let an unfamiliar person touch her, she quite rightly got very upset.
This in turn made the security staff decide that she was a danger to them and as such they were all forcabaly removed from the airport!!!

Farewell Forever

This morning I gave up a dream..... a dream of a sun room, where I could sit in the sun during the winter coolness and read by books, or do my sewing.
When we moved to Cornwall, nearly 2 years ago, I made Paul promise that my old conservatory furniture would be kept so that I could make use of it when we built my Sun Room.
The commencement of the work in the garden finally put a stop to the big green blob that had sat under tarpaulin at the bottom of the garden, since we moved.
When Paul unwrapped it, although it was still dry and furniture looking, it was also covered in mould, and the eggs of some kind of small creepy crawly creature type thing - Urgh!
I finally gave in and allowed Paul to take it all to the local rubbish tip.

Bye Bye Sun Room Dreams....... sob, sniff, boo.
Hello much much bigger garden suddenly!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Ground Force....

Our very boring garden - as you can see below - and even further below the transformation begins...
In a couple of weeks we have friends coming to Cornwall for a holiday. At some point they will be coming here for a visit.
It happens to be the same week that our kitchen will be delivered. There will be boxes opened up everywhere and, I expect, very little room for entertaining.
I hope you see where I am going with this..... Yep patio. And more importantly a pathway to the back of the garage to allow easy access to tools for Paul when he starts to build everything together.

Considering it is a Bank Holiday weekend, the sun is shining, so Paul is taking full advantage, and making a start on the pathway to the back door of the garage.

and as Fred inspects the work so far, I call Paul in for his well deserved lunch!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Get into Shape the Pilates Way...

Sally-Ann and I decided to try a Pilates class tonight.
I have put on so much weight it is embarrassing and had already decided to walk to work for the next few weeks to try and work off some of the fat.
Off we went for the 6.30 start, quite trepidacious of what we would be doing, especially as we both have bad backs!
As it was, we needn't have worried - we really enjoyed ourselves.... the pace was really slow and relaxed, and we found we had no problems with what we were expected to do.
Roll on next Monday, when the class officially begins.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Mamma Mia?

We went to an Abbafest / 70's disco tonight.

Loads of people dressed up in freaky flared trousers and bad curly wigs - we felt quite the odd ones out in our normal gear!
The hall was decked out in balloons, and old 70's 'frocks' had been pinned up on the walls all around us to get us in the mood for the terrible dancing that we knew would ensue...

The evening was in aid of Cornwall Hospice Care and The Merlin Project, Cornwall. As both of these charities are close to my heart, having friends affected, and in need of their expertise, it was lovely to help out in some little way, through our entrance fee and raffle payments.
As it is, I did actually win something, and chose this lovely begonia. The bonus was the bar of Bourneville dark chocolate we found hidden inside the cellophane cover!

A fantastic night was had by all, despite my tired eyes by the end of the evening.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Ballet Beautiful

Tonight was what I've been getting excited about for ages....

When I was a child, I had one of those hard backed annuals that were so popular during the mid 70's. My Nanny and Grampi bought it for me, after one of my stage performances at the Town Hall, doing some weird and wonderful ballet or tap moves that made them proud.
Now that ballet annual was my holy grail. It was my most prized possession, and as it was such a prized possession, my mother took great delight in binning it at the first opportunity (sorry Yes I am still bitter about that, even after all these years LOL!)
Anyway, in this most wonderful, holy grail of a book, there were some pages showing beautiful ballet dancers in even more beautiful costumes, dancing to Coppelia......... As a talented dancer who had actually been on stage at the Town Hall, I imagined, as any 10 or 11 year old might, that I could one day be that ballet dancer in those pictures, dancing to that particular ballet.

Needless to say, I became too tall, too gangly and too awkward to continue with ballet and ended up joining the Brownies and Girl Guides when I was older. Those costumes and that particular ballet stayed with me though.

In all of my years attending Ballets, be it the Nutcracker or Swan Lake or any other beautiful performance that I could get to see, I had never seen Coppelia advertised. Until now.

I booked the tickets and Sally Ann and I made our way up there in plenty of time. So much so, that I had time to stop at Tesco for many many many bags of sweets to get us through the evening.
The curtain went up and I held my breath.....

and as it came back down for the final time at the end of Act III to enchantment ended, and I became a 40 year old again.

It was a wonderful evening, and the Duchy Ballet should be very proud of themselves for the fantastic performance they gave us.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Bad News Travels Fast...

In a nutshell.....
Paul's work has been put on short time hours, to try and get itself out of financial trouble during this credit crunch.
Needless to say, we expected this, and at least he is still in work - for the time being at least!