New Room Update

 

How many weeks is it since we started this project? Sometime in September the old conservatory went and a brand new conservatory-end of our old TV room emerged. It has changed the nature of the room, and has given us the wonderful problem of what to call it…TV room is just not descriptive enough, nor is gym room despite the treadmill going back in there when it’s finished. It most definitely is NOT an orangery (Hubby take note) (he won’t, he doesn’t read this…does he know it exists??) Family room, Snug, Den…all good names, but not for this fab space! Of course, MINE springs to mind, teehee, as I shall be in there at almost every chance…the view, the light, THE WARMTH.

SO far the underfloor heating is working, and has produced THE warmest room in the house. This just adds to my frustration that we are not further on. The screed seems to be taking a long time to dry out, and now we have a dehumidifier helping it along. I don’t want to get the engineered oak for the floor yet to avoid any warping: it needs to be left in the room for 2 weeks before being laid to allow it to acclimatise. The new little window won’t go in until just before Christmas, so no decorating until that happens…there is enough dust in there anyway.

One reason it is all taking so long is apparently we should have rubbed off the white latex layer soon after it solidified…who knew? Not me, no-one told me. The builder, who changed it from dry screed to wet for some unknown reason, has not been seen since it went down ( done by an expert company, not the builders), and I have not heard from him…en email will be going this weekend.

As with all building projects there have been niggles. I shall never do this again (hopefully), but if I do it will all be done by local builders I know, rather than using the ones suggested. I shall get professional help locally…oh I could go on, but it’s all academic now.

Now I just have to be patient..um, not one of my virtues, as any member of the family will tell you. I will be surprised if its ready for Christmas sadly, nor for The President’s Putter at the beginning of January (it’s a golf competition for anyone who played golf officially for Oxford and Cambridge universities, played in all weathers, with great camaraderie and keen competitiveness). Hopefully it might be ready by the time the Cambridge golf team come to stay at the end of January…PLEASE!!!!!!!

I will now concentrate on Christmas…OMG it’s only 3 weeks away…out of my way, I need to panic!

Lx

The Builders are here, put the kettle on.

Have you, now or in the past, ever had The Builders in? Those of you who have will know how I am feeling. For those of you who have never had this phenomenon, here are a few tips for survival…

  1. Tea/Coffee. Always have a huge supply of these in your store cupboards. They may or may not be needed, but you can guarantee if you haven’t got either of these The Builders will ask for that one!
  2. Biscuits. Now you may have one of those rare Builders who doesn’t eat custard creams or ddigestive biscuits, but I haven’t come across them yet. Certainly British Builders love to munch.
  3. Earplugs. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a mansion where you can’t hear what goes on down the other end, buy some of these. Alternatively, plug yourself into your favourite music…no, don’t try an audio book, you will miss something vital. Ah, you think your noise cancelling headphones can block out the sound of a jackhammer? FORGET IT.
  4. Loo paper….enough said!
  5. Draft Excluders. Dust can move through walls and doors through the smallest of cracks. Be prepared to hoover every night, every day.
  6. Go Out! If you don’t feel you can leave Them alone with your precious house, invite friends over for a Watch The Workers party. The Builders might even join in!
  7. Pets. If you have any Precious Pooches then it might be an idea to board them with a trusted friend; I don’t think they make ear defenders for animals, but I could be wrong… Don’t worry about your cats, they will get their own back in their own way!
  8. Have a PLAN. Know what your are expecting the builders to do and when. Go through it with The Builders when they first arrive, watch as they collapse in laughter at your time frame, and rate of work per day chart.
  9. Cash. Now some Builders respond to the old paper stuff and will do just what you want for the thought of extra dosh. But be careful!
  10. Pills. If all of the above fail, ask your doctor for something soothing, just for a few weeks (months?) until the project is finished…well, add a few weeks onto that please Doc, the final bill isn’t in yet…
  11. Budget. I would have put this as number one but lets face it, the final figure will bear no resemblance to your budget, and The Builder will have given you lots to think about along the journey.

These little tips have been given in jest, as I have a great bunch of lads working on my property now. However, for those of you who are planning some work in the future, here’s the number of my psychiatrist…;-) On the whole our “project” has gone swimmingly, from The Builders point of view. They know what they are doing and when, how long concrete takes to go off, how thick the base needs to be, and how many sugars in tea they all like (2…they all like 2! Makes it much easier for me). The unknown factor in this project is….ME! every time I am told something that makes sense at the time, I am in a blind panic when I try to describe it on FaceTime to Hubby on the other side of the World…well, He shouldn’t have asked how it was all going as He is about to go to sleep, now should He???? Why should I be the only one awake at 4am, worrying that they might not have put membrane down where they should have whilst I was away playing golf. I should NEVER have listened to Hubby who said to just get on with my life!!!!

I Love September!

 

 

Weird? I don’t think so. To me this month means new beginnings. As a child it meant getting back amongst people of my own age, new exercise books, learning new stuff ( not sure I can remember any of it now tho!). As a teenager it meant going back to boarding school (that bit wasn’t so great…I still feel sick in Headington, Oxford), seeing friends again and putting up with those who weren’t.

 

For me this month has never been “the end of summer, sob”. As I have got bigger and bigger it has also given me respite from being too hot. A chance to move more without looking like I have just run the London Marathon, to put on big baggy jumpers that I love, and in the past BONFIRES! I love bonfires!!! Although I  have had to let the gardener do the last ones as they had just got too big, and I got scared of burning down our shed!!

 

 

Now it means the start of another photography course, another drawing course, golf gets easier (when its not raining), another chance to try and lose weight by exercising more… yes, September for me means New Beginnings.

What does it mean to you?

Lx

I’ll Be Good…I Promise!

Calling all mums…have you an only child? Is it a boy? Then you will understand, hopefully, and the rest will just lecture I am sure.

If you have read any of my blogs you will know I have a great Son, aged 27, and I am proud of him for loads of reasons, not just that he has survived the loss of his sister when he was 13 and in the first term of his boarding school without going off any rails.

I love hearing about what he is getting up to in London, at work etc…and he occasionally phones to let me know. As he shares a flat with his father but rarely sees him due to work/social commitments on both sides it’s great to catch up. Nothing wrong with that surely?

(At this moment I have my Hubby’s voice and a few friends’ voices too, yelling “It’s none of your business” . Let me say right off I KNOW!!!!!! but I can’t believe I am the only mum who feels like this ….)

What am I chuntering on about? My son has met a wonderful young lady and they are about to embark on the next phase of their lives. Bless them, they came down to give me a great Mother’s Day after my long drive back from Yorkshire ( another blog in the writing)…great food, lots of drink ( oh my head!), and my son told me of their next move. I am so pleased for them!! I have only me his girlfriend twice now, but she seems kind, loving, and they seem to make eachother happy, which is what its all about, isn’t it.

I think I was good, and didn’t tell them what I thought they should do…I am sure my son would have told me if I’d been a nightmare!! However, I keep thinking “this is what I’d like to say to them from what Hubby and I did”…NO – NOT telling them what to do!!!! It IS their life, not mine, and boy, have times changed!! But not everything has, and I would like to tell them it might be a good idea to rent for a year or two to get used to living together first. After all, my son might have some dreadful habits which might drive her nuts- hIs father did!!

Are you yelling at the screen yet? I asked Hubby how he felt about it, and of course he is happy for them both “but its nothing to do with us”… GRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Am I a sad old biddy? I do have a life of my own, but he is our offspring and I am interested in his life….ok,ok, I am a nosy old biddy for sure, but I promise here that I really DON’T want to be one of THOSE mothers of sons who expects to be involved in every aspect of his life. I know they will chose the best thing for them, and all I will offer is my support should it be needed, a bed and a meal whenever they want; I promise not to assume they will spend any public holiday with us ( as my mother did), unless they suggest it ( although some planning of food etc will be needed…no, no I will resist!),

In fact all I can promise is that I will do my best to be interested and not interfere. I will look forward to hearing what they are up to, but unless its been a month since I heard from them I won’t call to see if they are still alive…I am sure Hubby and friends will keep me to this! However I also promise I will never stop caring for them, and I do mean them not just him. I know he has grown up to be a good, kind, thoughtful chap (he had a good model), and I am sure she is wonderful, otherwise they wouldn’t be together.

Right, that’s me done…I am sure you want to yell at me that “it is none of your business!!!”…

L

Work in Progress

I am sitting in a new venue to write this – my husband’s desk in our study….sounds very posh and business-like doesn’t it, but as the desk is covered in my husband’s stuff there isn’t much room. It is all golf related with a no-longer-used cigar humidor in one corner, books, envelopes, golf rules files…It is my husband in a nutshell. I could move it all off so I can work in an uncluttered environment, looking out onto our garden (split lawns, one nick-named the Gin and Tonic lawn!) but I am reluctant to. Hubby is not here, and probably wouldn’t mind, if I put it all back where its supposed to be, but I am reluctant. It is his space.

Why aren’t I using my desk?? Its far too cluttered, is a drop-down desk, and if I open it I will have to acknowledge there is stuff in there decades old that I no longer need or use…that’s after I’ve picked up most of it that has tumbled out all over the place as it is so full. Do you shove things into draws to tidy up? Besides, it faces a dark wall, and there is an armchair in front of it….

So I have the perfect excuse to invade my husband’s space…and he is in London anyway until Friday as per usual.

I am trying to start a new discapline of sitting down to write something at least once a week. Stop groaning, I know I’ve said all this before! I need to change my mindset, get myself going, set new goals…yeah, yeah, heard it all before, I’ve said it all before – etc, etc! but that doesn’t make it any the less valuable for all that. Humans are always Work In Progress, as a species and as individuals. It is when this process stops that civilisations crumble, stagnate, decay. That is what I feel is happening with this individual, and so I look to the outside World for new influences.

At the moment that is scary, with all the tradegy that is out there. However, as always, thankfully, there are positives going on; humanity helps eachother in times of need, stress, horror, as it should. Let us hope that this continues!! For me it means making sure the world around me is a kinder place, showing those I know that I value them as friends, family, neighbours, even strangers. That also includes myself. It is tricky for those in power to know where to start to make things better when there are so many things needing improvement. For me it is much more simple…I need to move more, get out more, stop stagnating; the need to face the world even tho I am larger than I have ever been, to move more (even though on TV over the weekend I saw I am walking like Winnie-Ther-Pooh with stubby legs), and to concentrate on what can go right instead of what might go wrong.

So as our government here in the UK tries to work out how it can improve the lot of its populace, so I am going to work out how to improve my overall health, starting with a game of golf this afternoon…

Now, please don’t think I have been flippant comparing my obesity to the awful things that have happened in the last few weeks. I have typed my thoughts as they have flowed, realising that I have very few readers, but wanting to share what is going on with me. You can unfollow me if you feel strongly enough about it – I will be sorry, but as I don’t know you personally I am not going to have a huge outpouring of grief on social media. Just because someone does not pour their hearts out on Twitter or Facebook does not mean they are not feeling sadness or horror over things occuring in the outside world. I think perhaps common sense and a real perspective are being squeezed out by the desire to look more upset than anyone else. There, probably that is another unpopular view I have revealed.

Before I loose every single  reader I am going to sign off, get off my backside, and go do something else. Have a wonderful day whatever you are doing.

Lx

I’m Back!

Hello!

Did you miss me? No? I have been off-line due to Jetpack update sending the site haywire… I think several folks have had that problem, but were more tech savvy than me and could fix it. It’s taken me all morning, and several goes to fix, and now I will celebrate by having lunch on my terrace! It is thanks in part to a friend on FB and the site hosts that I managed to get through this.

It is scary to go in and “fiddle” with computer stuff when you are not used to it, even with YouTube videos etc, as they show pages that look nothing like mine, or the addresses aren’t the same…you know what I mean, right? I’m wondering if I should go on a computer  course for ‘almost oldies’…because, of course, I am not old yet!

Anyway, once I have sorted a particularly nasty looking bramble that is in my line of site, I will get back to entertaining you all.

Lx

Oh no…my fault!

Photo on 09-03-2017 at 14.16 #2 OMG!!!!! 

Have you ever had a day of panic when you find something isn’t working, you can’t remember passowrds ( or how to even spell the word itself!), and you can’t get to speak to a human being to talk you through what you think you need to do???

That was me yesterday when I logged onto this site and found it disabled! Arrrgh! Just as The Meuse, who rarely comes these days, had decided to pop in for coffee. I tried going in in different ways, then once I had got to a certain point I would be told of an error in large red and white banners. I stomped around the kitchen trying to wrack my menopause-addled brain for any passwords I had forgotten.

Late in the afternoon I realised I needed to contact my “server”…who??? Isn’t that WordPress?? Hold on, I’m sure I pay an annual sum to some company or other…begins with…A? Frantic calls late in the afternoon to a friend gave me a company…I emailed them, and then realised they are just my anti-spam guys; oh bugger! More help from Jo led me to discover a company under whose umbrella other companies get to host our sites. I had a lovely digital chat with Craig who said it wasn’t them, but try this company; discovery by Jo of yet another company, cries for a large gin to no-one ( Hubby in London during the week ), and then a rummage in the draws of the computer table (ok, so I am not organised and yes, I KNOW I should be! Give over!) triggered a memory of someone beginning with S….SI….SIG??? Ah ha! SGIS hosting! Got it…..

I managed to send them a cry for help, and poured myself that longed-for gin, cook supper, and fell asleep watching Sophie Rayworth finding out something about her ancestors (I’ll have to re-watch it later).

SO, here we are , and of course you can see all is resolved. What? You want to know what happened? oh well…confession is good for the soul…it turns out I had forgotten to pay my annual renewal…OK? Satisfied? Feeling smug? Or have you just checked when yours is due??

From today I promise not to procrastinate, and when the reminders pings into my electronic mail box, I will pay immediately! I am even now making a note of all the new passwords, sites, companies I need to know…I just want to check on April the Giraffe…

Lx

I admit it, I get depressed

“Oh don’t we all” I hear you cry.

It’s true, we all get down at times, have the Black Dog as Churchill called it, and I have those days too. However recently I have been having worse days – days when to be honest the thought that if I wasn’t here it wouldn’t matter. Other bad things too, which I won’t bore you with. Enough to say having to put my last cat down was the last straw…and no, I’m not a mad Cat Lady!

So now “in therapy”, and it is helping!! I hadn’t realised how much I was missing being able to honestly say things to another human; to have my views shown to me in a different way; to have questions asked that trigger different thoughts. It is early days but I do feel more positive now.

I wondered about posting this…but I am not ashamed of needing, and receiving, help. Sometimes it is good to confess.

Lx

 

 

Are you there?

Morning from a cooler South East of England. There is moisture in the air and the birds are singing like mad. Me and the pets are much happier now the intense heat has abated, even though it was only a few days.

I have a big decision to make about this site. I have just looked at my stats and realised a few things…

  1. I hardly blog any more
  2. hardly anyone is reading the blogs
  3. its costing me money!

SO…. do I keep this site going and try and blog more, assuming that the more I blog the more people will read it; or do I cut my losses and save the dosh in the long run?

Only I can decide this, and I’m not going to do it today…so You, whoever you are ( and indeed if you are there!) will have to wait for the next instalment!

In the meantime it is an art day today, so I will look out my pastels, find something in the garden I want to attempt to draw, then check the email about what we are supposed to be drawing (!), change the item, panic that I am late, and dash off!

 

Laters, dudes!

L x

Oh God- it’s sunny!

I can hear the rest of the South East cheering, packing up their beach gear and cutting the sandwiches…actually, does anyone still do that?

Here I awoke crying. I’m better now, having WhatsApp’d a couple of friends, and switched off the news. For some the sun brings out the best. Today the sun made me feel very down. Don’t ask me why – if I knew that I could do something about it. Is it my vast flabby body? My aching knees? The voice of my husband in my head pointing out I wouldn’t feel like this if I’d exercised more? He does it out of love, no really, he does! Also he is obsessed with exercise…OCD obsessed! Talk about Jack Sprat and his wife, that’s us! 

Something has been cancelled today and in a way that frees my morning. I am trying to look upon it as a good thing. I won’t have to drive to another town, park, walk to the coffee house…is it sounding sincere? Didn’t think so. I was looking forward to catching up with a friend, but her business changed that – we will do it in a few weeks time, hopefully. Meanwhile, I need to go vote in the local elections, shop, get petrol & diesel so I can mow the lawns, walk the dog, actually mow the bloody lawns, and then just bloody get on with stuff! AND CHEER UP!!!!!! 

I don’t like feeling The Black Dog, as my mother and Churchill called it. No-one does. For me it comes and goes, sometimes in the space of a few hours, sometimes a few days. As I get older the dog gets blacker. I know in my heart that if I got on with everything I need to get done, moved more, and got thinner and fitter, then my moods migh lighten. There is no guarantee, but doctors, fitness experts etc tell us the chemicals our bodies produce after exercise are like a natural happy pill…I am NEVER taking happy pills, by the way before one of you mentions them…I can’t even regularly take vitamins, I’m hopeless at it! 

So, today’s rule is No TV until Pointless at 5.15pm. OK? I can have the radio, my Audio books, anything else, but no TV…hopefully it means I won’t sit down until abou 4 pm, when I’m promising myself tea on the terrace with my knitting.

Place your bets, ladies and gents.

May your day be a happy one.

Lx

Fight The Good Fight

This is my school’s motto, and one it is good to remember…but do I? Nope!

Yesterday I met up with two very good friends for a coffee/chat/shop, and it reminded me how easy I find it to not do this; it is too easy to hide in my home and vegetate. I was told by an old friend that I always had this tendency, and it really is one to fight against. It’s a danger to not only my mental health, my physical health is suffering too. The ridiculous thing is that as soon as I meet up with friends, go up to our London flat to be with my two men ( son & hubby in case you are looking shocked!), go out for a walk, shop or just get out, then I remember how much I love seeing others, moving around, and being in the World.

So why do I let myself go the opposite way? Is it just my weight…in which case it’s a vicious circle…or am I like a sloth? I am a curvaceous woman at heart anyway. At the mo I am an obese one, but my weight fluctuates so much… Or at least it has done in the past. Lately I’ve felt the Universe has dumped a decade or so on me, which is really annoying, as I’ve always thought of myself as early 30s…stop laughing those who know I am 57!! So I can’t let this hold me back. My mother did, refusing to go with my father to office parties etc (tho her deafness was a factor here too) and it made my father very sad.

So I am going to try from now on to have at least one social event per week, be it dog walking, shopping or meeting for a coffee and chat. I am also going to try to stop apologising for being a big woman…and whilst I’m on the subject I do wish my favourite shop would stock more Plus sizes!! Just because I’m fat doesn’t mean I don’t want to be smart too!! Oh, I feel a rant coming on, so I will drink some tea, breathe and get back on subject.

Next week is a fab start to this new life as I’m back at Art, it is Camera Club-in-the-pub week, and I’m going out another night with another group of girls. I’m exhausted just typing this! A bit of a feast after the famin! 

All this has been triggered by a fab trip to Tokyo with Hubby, after a week spent in Norfolk with him during the Varsity Golf Match ( Cambridge Ladies and Oxford men won). I do like my Old Man – he is a true Gentle Man, and good fun to be with. If you see us together I’m sure Jack Sprat and his wife springs to mind. 

So feel free to nag me in comments if I don’t post in a week or so what else I am doing! I’d love to hear if anyone else finds this hermit- tendency creating up on them too… We could fight it together! 

I shall go gird on my armour ( make-up & clothes I love) and go chat to the World…be warned! 

Lx

Here begins the next phase.

What a weekend we have just had! Every year we host a few male golfers for a competition at Rye in East Sussex called The President’s Putter. This is for the members of the Oxford & Cambridge Golfing Society, known as The Society. Hubby has managed to get to the final once as the standard ranges form not bad to scratch and mildly professional.

This year saw Hubby become Captain…shades of The Dead Poet’s Society spring to mind, but without the poetry! This is a 2 year stint which means lots of mileage, very few free weekends (although that is up to the individual), the odd trip abroad, at least one “golf tour, wives not included”, and not a little pride from Yours Truly. Sadly Hubby still is working full time so even less time will be spent together, but hopefully I will spend more time mid-week with Himself in London, with the odd meal out ( fingers crossed), and LOADS of brownie points being earned here.images

Now, I’m not promising I will love every minute of His tenure, but knowing it is something he loves makes me happy. Soppy? Of course it is…I love him!

Lx