Sunday, 31 July 2011

Finishing Touches

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Sunday morning, and it’s a bit mizzly, but we cracked on regardless.

Having checked with the next door neighbour that they did not mind the grinder going, (as they were at home) we got the cutting dome for the second man hole.

This is the complete pack of slabs now down.  The second lot arrive tomorrow, for us to continue the pattern across.  We shall then buy some separate slabs to me across the front and enclose that last manhole, giving a complete finish to the project.

Role on our holiday next weekend.  Hopefully we shall get the second lot laid by Sunday evening, and then we have just over a week to spend relaxing and exploring our beautiful Cornwall.

Jo Anne

 

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Landscaping Made Hard….

For our wedding anniversary, Mom gave us some money, and we decided that, rather than blowing it on one nice meal out, we would do something we could enjoy for a long time.  Some of the garden.

The plan was to build some decking in the one corner, however, having priced it all up, it was coming up at about £500 for 7m2. Obviously this just was not practical.

We then spotted a fixed price pack of garden slabs that would cover a 7.2m2 area. It was only £125.00, and as Mom’s money pretty much covered the most of this amount, this was the way we decided to go.

The pack contained two sizes of slabs, 600x600, and 600x300.  We were supplied with a plan to work from for the layout, that would give us a very nice random pattern effect.

We were not at all daunted by this, as we had dome a very similar thing at our previous house, using a 3 slab size pattern, and it was a great effect.

It all began with the delivery of the slabs, sand and concrete.  The nearest we could get was a tarpaulin at the rear of our home, in from of our garage door.  this meant, relocating the sand, shovel by shovel, into the back garden! I placed the sand into the wheelbarrow, and Paul transferred it all into the bag in the garden.

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Then we placed the slabs on top of the grass, in the general area they were going to be placed, to ensure we understood the pattern layout.

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Having got it all sorted in our heads, it was then Paul’s time.  Pick axe in hand he pulled up the existing plain grey concrete slabs and broke up the ground underneath, keeping some as hard core.IMG00227-20110728-1620IMG00229-20110728-1656IMG00232-20110729-1822

All of this groundwork was completed on the Friday afternoon, and so, bright and breezy on Saturday morning, we began to lay the slabs, centrally to the rear of the house, so that we could lay a second pack along side when we were ready, creating a nice central square design (fingers crossed) when it is all finally completed.

Paul’s job was to lay the slabs, and mine to mix the muck, using a borrowed cement mixer from one of Paul’s friends.IMG00233-20110730-1008IMG00234-20110730-1009

We got the first 5 or 6 slabs down, and then I had to leave Paul briefly, in order to meet up with Jamie, Phill, Simon, Vikki, Sara, Pam, Sally-Ann and Mike.

Everyone was down to see Pam as a surprise.  Pam was exhibiting some of her art this weekend in the Millennium Hall in Portreath, and they came as support, and to help set up for her.

We all drove in convoy to Falmouth, where we stopped for a cuppa and a chat at the Falmouth Watersports Centre, and a few of us then headed into Trago for a quick mooch.

An hour or so later, I bid everyone farewell until later, grabbed a couple of pasty’s from Oggies, and headed home to feed and continue helping Paul.

I arrived home in time for the worst slabs to go down.  The area we are currently working on has 3 manhole covers to cut around, so not the easiest to deal with.  Having suggested we use the man hole cover as a template to get the circle correct for the cut edge of the slab, Paul got out his angle grinder and began making noise and dust.  Of course, he also got a perfect curve to go around the manhole too!IMG00238-20110730-1550IMG00240-20110730-1717IMG00242-20110730-1726IMG00244-20110730-1727

Suddenly it was 5pm, and we had to quickly pack up, and get showered, as we were going down to the opening of the art exhibition, as Pam’s guests, and also meeting up with everyone once more.

We had a lovely evening looking at the art work, and casting our votes for most favoured piece, and a few of us even bought some paintings.

A tiring but lovely and very productive day.  Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to complete the laying of this pack of slabs before the second lot is delivered on Monday morning!

Jo Anne

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Chef Extraordinaire !

Today is a day of trials for new recipe’s.

Firstly Orange and Walnut Flapjack, courtesy of a chap that Paul works with, and the other Quesadilla's, inspired by Thomasina Miers new TV show, Mexican Meals Made Simple.

I started with the flapjacks.  I used to make flapjack on a regular basis many many years ago, but never flavoured ones, so this is a new experience for me.

IMG00212-20110723-1705Using the hand written notes that Paul had been given by his mate, I measured everything out, and followed the instructions. (If you click on the image above, you should be able to read the recipe quite easily, if you wish to reproduce it yourself)

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It was all quite straightforward, and only took about 10 minutes before it was all in the oven.

About 10 minutes later (ours is a fan assisted oven) and the flapjack were golden and brown and making the whole house smell of oranges and walnuts – lovely!

Meanwhile, Paul was making use of his best talent….. cleaning the spatula!

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Let us just say that these did not have a chance to get cold…. we ate the lot in one sitting! Terrible I know, but very lovely!

Next came the Quesadilla's.  When I watched these being made, not only was I pleased at how quick and easy they were to do, I was also pleased that there was only one ingredient that we don’t have in our store cupboard on a weekly basis! Bonus!

  • Too make them you need:
  • Some boiled potatoes left over from the previous meal (or boil one up and cube it) (cost  pennies)
  • Chorizo Sausage x 2 (£3 for 4 from Tesco)
  • diced onion x1 (about 15p)
  • garlic (I used about a teaspoon of squirty stuff) (£1 Tesco)
  • Fresh thyme small handful from our kitchen window sill!)
  • Tortilla Wraps x 2 (£1.19 for 8)
  • Tesco Value Mozzarella cheese (about 35p!!!)
  • Some grated Cheddar

OK, so this isn’t actually how Thomasina said to do it, but it’s the easiest way I translated it it my head!

I diced up an onion and put it in the frying pan with a squirt of garlic paste (you gotta cheat with garlic in my book!)

When it starts to soften and brown, add the potato cubes and warm it all through.

Meanwhile dice up two chorizo sausage (I bought a pack of Tesco’ s own which come as a four pack, and froze the spare two for next time)

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Add the sausage to the pan, and allow the oils to be taken on by the potato and onion, making everything a lovely deep orange/red colour.

Then place a second frying pan on a second ring and put the heat up high on it.

Place a tortilla wrap along the bottom of the pan and break about a quarter of the mozzarella over the bottom of it and sprinkle some cheddar over it.

Add the chopped thyme over the potato concoction, stir it on and place half onto the wrap in the other pan.

Fold the wrap in half.  It should be crisping up by now. Flip it over to ensure both sides are crisp and place it onto a plate for the first victim….. repeat the process with the second wrap, cheeses and mix for yourself.

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We have never eaten anything with chorizo before, and have to say, we really enjoyed it.

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Happily there is half of the mozzarella left, and along with the two spare sausage in the freezer, we have enough to be able to repeat the meal again next week.

All in all a totally successful day of cooking unknown recipe’s, and certainly will be repeated again!

Jo Anne

 

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The New Arrival

Pricilla arrived home today……

The stork had a little trouble in lifting her weight, so I had to go and collect her, but it was worth the trip!

Yes, I did have a few tears in handing over Betty Blue, after all she had been a big part of our lives for so long, but Pricilla had me smiling the moment I sat behind her wheel.

It’s now time for our Mini Adventure, so no doubt she will help us to create some new memories, just as Betty did for us.

Paul did a little valet on her for me and then it was out and about to try her on the roads.

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Meanwhile, my biggest joy?  Being able to get a weeks shopping in her boot! LOL (BTW, I do normally use reusable bags, but I forgot to put them in her boot before I left the house!)

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Welcome Pricilla!

Jo Anne

 

Friday, 8 July 2011

Crafty Companions

It was a long time coming, but finally the day arrived for Tracey and I to attend the local school Summer Fair.

The plan was to sell all of the cards that we had been creating, and building up our stock especially for.

We had both worked really hard to build up a good range of cards to cover every occasion possible, and the plan was to make loads of dosh so that we could have a spend up on more crafty items!

I had arranged to finish work, charge home to let Fred out for a wee, and then throw the paste table and all of my cards into the boot of Tracey’s car.

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We arrived at the allotted time, and set up our table, beneath some pretty gruesome black clouds.  I had thrown in a lace cover, and Tracey had grabbed an old duvet as a pretty cover for the table.

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All of our wares were laid out, and then had to be re-arranged as the wind kept blowing them down!

Thankfully, Tracey’s husband, Adrian, had the foresight to find out his tarpaulin, just in case it rained……

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and we needed it!

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The cover came on and off through the afternoon, but that did not stop the fun and games for the children.

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There was a coconut shy, Rat down a drainpipe……

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hook a duck, cakes and candy floss.

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We both managed to sell some cards, but to be honest, not enough to cover the cost of the table which they priced quite highly to get money for the school.

Despite the comedy of the two of us covering and uncovering our stock, we enjoyed ourselves, and are now considering doing an indoor table at the local car boot.  Perhaps we will have more luck?

Jo Anne

 

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Duncan’s Day Lily

A little while ago, my friend Duncan bought some plants from his garden into work for me.

I arrived to find a large black bag under my desk, containing Day Lily’s and Canna’s.

Me? Not a blinkin clue!, Duncs – “They’ll look fabulous luv, trust me, and do as I say!”

And so, following his instructions, I transplanted said lily’s and canna’s into pots, and waited…… and waited…… and waited…..

….. and then, Voila! Fabulous darling!

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Thanks Duncs x Red lips

Jo Anne

 

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Jannah’s Big Day

Amazing! Another year has gone by, and Paul’s little sister, who was only in nappy’s yesterday surely? is now 17 years old!

Even more amazing? She is learning to drive! How did this happen? Where did the years suddenly disappear to?

I remember going to see Dee in hospital taking with us a bouquet of flowers for her, and a teddy bear for the tiny, tiny  JB, and now she is 17!

I think it’s time for a midlife crisis and a panic about how old I now feel, LOL

Anyway, back to the gorgeous young lady that is our sister!

We were all invited for a meal to celebrate her 17th, and headed over to Perranporth to meet up and hand over cards and prezzies prior to the meal.

Then it was time to have a slow stroll over the road to the restaurant, and find our seats.

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It was the usual suspects that attended, along with Jade and Ambers family.

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As we sat at our table we were able to watch the gorgeous view as the sun began to come down over the beach at Perranporth.

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A view that none of us could get tired of, and that makes us proud of where we are living.  Such a fantastic County.

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We ate our meals, and then followed it up with a cake that Dee has made especially for the birthday girl.

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What a fantastic evening.

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Jo Anne

Pongtastic!

Yesterday Paul did a bit of a daft thing!

We had a load of rubbish and recycling to go to the dump, along with some garden waste.

Pauls car will hold just about anything asked of it, as it is an estate, so everything went into the back, including the garden waste bags.

The garden waste bags had been closed and festering for about 6 weeks, in the Cornish sunshine, and were pongy, acrid and soupy. Nice!

Off Paul drove to the local council tip.  I never thought any more of it.

An hour or so later a very green looking Paul fell through the front door, feeling exceptionally sick!

The garden rubbish bags had split and spilt the liquid contents into the entire rear end of the car, soaking into the upholstery and carpets, adding an altogether un-nice fragrance to the interior of the car!

Today, he is spending the day taking apart every piece of interior upholstery and carpet, trim and fitting, and placing it in the garden to be wet vacc’d or scrubbed.

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Thankfully the sun is shining and the day is exceptionally hot, so it should not take long for it all to dry, but Oh Boy! I hope this gets rid of the smell!P7030007P7030008

Fingers crossed!

Jo Anne