30 October 2018

Playing House

Paul has painted over the dingy green walls

It is cold and damp in darkest Lincolnshire today so I am playing indoors.  My new console table arrived yesterday for the inner hall so I have been rearranging things.

The table is contemporary in design and my first thought was that it looked a little lost and not dissimilar to a computer table when it first arrived.  But my plan is to hang an enormous mirror behind it and get some big table lamps to sit on top.  I have temporarily ‘borrowed’ a canvas from daughter Kat’s stored belongings to give the room some colour.  The red will be reflected in the mirror – when I get it.

Very much a work in progress but I am keen to get things done.  We are not going to re-decorate until some of the messier projects have been completed (bathroom and kitchen) so I am just going to have to be patient.

I need to find a large mirror for the blank wall
Rick is quite bemused by all the general disorder.  A pheasant landed in the garden yesterday amid a flurry of flapping wings.  I think he had jumped off the bungalow roof as they are not known for their flying skills.  Rick went frantic but the pheasant just stomped across the garden and disappeared through the hedge.  Never a dull moment here.

27 October 2018

Another Culinary Disaster

Apple Batter Cake

I think those lazy, hazy days of summer have finally gone, we had wintry showers of rain and sleet today.  It was definitely not a gardening day so I decided to do some baking.  I wanted to use up some of our apples so I made an Apple Batter Cake.

I put the mix into the tin and placed it carefully in the oven to bake for fifty minutes.  After about ten minutes I could smell something burning. Unfortunately I didn't line the cake tin properly and the batter had leaked out all over the base of my oven.  It was a bit of a disaster but I served it up anyway.  Paul said it reminded him of Bread and Butter Pudding...without the bread.

scraping the burnt bits out of the oven

26 October 2018

Getting Things Fixed

Alex the plumber came yesterday to fix our oil fired central heating boiler; he said it probably hadn’t been serviced for nearly a decade.  He was a nice, chatty chap and did a good job and all is well with our heating now.  I am beginning to get used to the local Lincolnshire accent; it’s very different from my own southern accent and to the North Yorkshire accent that I once came to know so well.

The quote for the new bathroom arrived yesterday, eye wateringly expensive but an essential part of the re-modelling process for the bungalow; work will commence in the New Year.  I don’t have any new internal doors yet but we have bought the handles!  Hopefully the carpenter will come and fit the doors some time next month.

I love my new handles

existing door and handle

The smartest room in the house at the moment is the utility/boot room.  Paul quickly covered up the dark blue walls with a coat of magnolia and built a bench.  Somewhere to sit and put on our muddy boots and wipe muddy paws.

25 October 2018

Bake Off

Kat and Paul have been watching BBC’s Bake Off and decided they would have a go at making baguettes.  I came home on Saturday to the delicious smell of baking bread and a kitchen covered in floury fingerprints.  Paul had even made a contraption to help mould the dough into baguette shapes while it was proving.

Paul's contraption
The end result was excellent, far better than supermarket so-called baguettes and not far off French boulangerie standard.

Today Paul surprised me again by presenting me with freshly baked croissants.  He cheated this time though and bought the frozen pre-made dough from the local deli.  Tomorrow it’s going to be chocolatinas!

 I need to get those pedals back on my bike so I can start cycling the calories off!

22 October 2018

No Going Back

It’s done.  It’s finished.  We completed the sale of our house in France today.  It still feels unreal.  Everything happened so quickly; we thought it would take years to find a buyer for our old house.

The relief of selling so easily and quickly is tinged with sadness.  We enjoyed that house for almost twenty years and have so many happy memories.  It was such a big adventure at the time. I cannot think about it right now otherwise I shall get too emotional.

It was the right time for us to make the move and since we left France our thoughts have been totally consumed by our new home.  Days have whizzed by trying to organise things, find carpenters, plumbers etc. and working in the garden.  When things quieten down I know I shall get sad and nostalgic about France.  Today I’m not quite sure what I feel.

21 October 2018


Why on earth did I volunteer to knit some poppies?  I was just trying to be polite but a knitting pattern, courtesy of neighbour Jenny, was pushed through my letterbox before I had even taken my coat off.

Luckily daughter Kat was home for the weekend and she said that she would teach me how to crochet some poppies and they would be done in no time at all.  So we drove into Market Rasen and bought red wool, black buttons and crochet hooks.

Kat showed me how to crochet.  She is right handed.  I am left handed and cack handed.  No matter how hard I tried I didn’t seem to have enough fingers to keep the tension or figure out which loop to insert the hook into.  In the end I gave up and Kat saved the day by quickly crocheting half a dozen poppies.

Life’s too short to knit a poppy.

I prefer puppies to poppies

20 October 2018

Chat Group

Jenny, my new neighbour, called for me this morning and took me along to the local tea rooms for the ladies’ chat group.  It was pretty much what I expected, a group of about a dozen ‘mature’ ladies whose hobbies include knitting and tapestry for the local church kneelers.  Not really my cup of tea but it does force me to get out and meet some local people.  No idle chat here though, the session in led by the local Methodist Church minister.  She introduces specific topics to discuss, all a bit churchy.  I think I’m too irreverent for this kind of thing! Don’t laugh but I think I may have agreed to knit some poppies for Remembrance Sunday.

Paul is going to the men’s equivalent next month.  They have a guest speaker.  And it’s held at the pub!