30 January 2024

A New Bike?


for sale

My faithful old Claud Butler hybrid bicycle is a bit heavy and dated compared to the bikes owned by other members of my family. Both girls and Paul have at least 3 bikes each - lightweight carbon models designed specifically for the road, rough trail or racing. Paul has been trying to persuade me to get something newer and faster for ages so when our neighbour (another cycling nerd) told Paul he was selling his almost new Boardman road bike it seemed like a great opportunity.

Mick wheeled the bike into our garage, it looked very sleek and space age and light as a feather. This was exciting. I was going to be able to give my girls a run for their money on this handsome bike. But that saddle looked a bit evil. Oh-oh, drop handlebars. I haven't ridden a bike with drop handlebars since I was about ten years old. I got onto the bike. Ouch! That saddle hurt. I stretched forward and could just about reach the handlebars. I was practically lying down. There was no way I was going to feel safe or comfortable riding this bike.

Sarah on her mountain bike at Sherwood Forest

Kat preparing to ride at the velodrome

I was very disappointed but sadly I had to decline the offer. My old bike fits me like an old pair of slippers, I have to pedal hard and it shakes me about a bit but I'm going to stick with Claud.


29 January 2024

A few more

 These are the last of the cottage refurbishment photos for the time being:-

new cottage style front door

oak flooring

kitchen still awaiting re-vamp


Sarah's art desk

Sarah's cycle trainer (she has a lovely view of the village while she rides)

Sarah's bed is huge

27 January 2024

Does that rug look familiar?


old fireplace

The fireplace in the sitting room was dated and unattractive so Sarah decided to replace it with a wood burner. Jackdaws were desperate to build a nest in the chimney so Paul had to sweep it every day to dislodge the twigs before the workmen arrived. If they had succeeded in building a nest the whole job would have been delayed. The chimney has now been capped so the jackdaws will need to look elsewhere.

a messy job

It was an expensive project but I think the new hearth makes the room far more inviting and the wood burner is efficient and easy to manage.

a cosy fire

this dog gets everywhere

Sarah favours strong colours, she is definitely not a pink and pastel type of girl. She chose two modern sofas for the sitting room in teal; they seem to go quite well with the multi-coloured Persian rug that she has inherited from me. Selecting a colour for the Roman blind was tricky but in the end she bravely opted for a burnt orange picked out from the rug. I think the overall effect works well.

does that rug look familiar?

26 January 2024

A new look for Rose Cottage


Sarah finally moved into Rose Cottage in April last year after weeks of hard work. Sarah helped with the stripping and painting but Paul installed and tiled a new bathroom and fitted a brand new oak floor and skirting board throughout the ground floor of the cottage. Roof tiles were fixed, new gutters fitted and the stone chimney was re-pointed. New external front and back doors replaced the rotting ill-fitting ones. The fireplace was ripped out and a beautiful new wood burning stove installed. New carpets were fitted upstairs.

Sarah bought new sofas, dining table and benches and bedroom furniture. She finally opened the crates and unloaded her stuff that had come all the way from Australia. A brand new chapter of her life had started.

So let's start in the dining room...


Sarah was torn between choosing a blue, red or green accent wall

dining room with rustic table and benches - a hint of Viking!

room starting to come together

finished room with new oak flooring

25 January 2024

It's been a while


It's been a long time, over a year perhaps, since I last blogged. I blame it on a malfunctioning browser, life stuff getting in the way and sheer laziness. Anyhow, I am still alive and kicking and all is well in rural Lincolnshire. Here is a quick update on the 'family'.

Sarah has been back from Australia for almost two years now and is happily enjoying life in the UK. She spends some of her week at Rose Cottage and the rest of the time living with her new partner, Andrew, in the city (Lincoln). Andrew is an experienced sky diver and rock climber. Sarah has no intention of ever jumping out of a plane or climbing a mountain but they are both into mountain biking and crazy music.

Kat and Craig are enjoying married life together and are now based at RAF Odiham working with 'wokkers' (Chinoook helicopters - if you've ever heard a Chinook you will know why they are called wokkers). They both cycle competitively in RAF teams so get the opportunity to train and travel to events together.

Paul is now a cycling fanatic and spends hours in the gym leading his Zwift e-team to victory. He has become incredibly fit and it's a sport that he enjoys so I try not to complain too often! He also plays bowls twice a week at the village hall; he is well occupied.

Rick continues to rule the roost in this household and I love him to bits. He is getting older (I reckon about 9 or 10 years old now) and a bit stiff and slower in the mornings but still capable of out-running the postman's van.

My life just revolves around the home and garden and dancing - I thrive on routine and rhythm. I still enjoy cycling, more often in the summer when I can trundle along the country lanes. Gym cycling puts pressure on me; I have to ride fast to keep ahead of the robot that is chasing me!

The whole tribe spent Xmas with us (“of course we are all coming for Christmas!”), a joyous three weeks of over indulging, commandeering my kitchen island for jigsaw puzzles and talking about, you guessed it, cycling!

Sarah's cottage update ... coming soon.