Saturday, 30 January 2016

Everything in the garden is lovely!

What happened with the weather?   Yesterday morning it was cold, blowing a gale and raining, okay it was heavy showers.  By the afternoon the sky had cleared,  the wind had dropped and it wasn't too bad.  Then today!   Wowser,  nearly got blown over when I ventured out, and it was FREEZING,  it was all rounded off in the afternoon by hail and sleet,  lovely...  NOT.   So Harvey is stuck in, he refused to go out this morning,  couldn't blame him but he keeps hoping that things have improved and so keeps demanding that I go let him out.  One way to get some exercise I supposed. 

So to the lodge.   It is now complete,  the last things to go on were the two chimneys.  I dabbed on some paint and then sprinkled the sand over them,  then they were painted again.  There is just a little more weathering to be done on the house.    So I've been able to focus on the landscaping.  

The first thing to do was to plan the garden and cemetery.  Next was to add the paper clay, the plywood was given a couple of coats of mod podge as a primer.  The road separating the cemetery and lodge has been cobblestoned.   For the time being it has been protected with masking tape while I get on with transforming the rest into a garden and cemetery.

After the paperclay had dried it was given a rough coat of green paint,  the colour didn't matter as it was going to be covered up.  

I was delighted when the postie delivered my fence, gate and headstones.  The little picket fence is super cute,  but will need another pack.  I've also experimented with making a brick wall using some balsa wood.  I had a longish piece,  just the right height and thickness, however trying to use the brick mask on it was decidedly messy.  Methinks a bigger piece of balsa would be less messy.

Today it was time to start adding the grass.  I've got three types,  an under grass,  a darker green top grass and some clumpy grass.   I've started with the undergrass,   and begun now to scatter on the clumpy stuff.   It will need at least one more layer.   The paths have gravel on them,  I did think about paving stones, but cos the path is curved I chickened out.   The gravel will be painted, it looks far too new at the moment.  Just beside the house is a small paved area.   There will be bushes as well,  and the wall.   I've also got to paint the headstones, and then arrange them.  I'm basing it on the small village graveyard near me.   

It's been a bit of a frustrating day, it was too cold for me to stay out,  the Raynauds is getting worse.  I had to get my prescription,  normally I'd drop it at the chemist, do my bit of shopping at Home and Bargain next door and then go back for the 'script.  But today I stayed in Boots to warm up, and get my hands working.   As the pharmacist gave me the 'script I thought the bag was a bit small,  so had a look and, no painkillers!  Yikes,   the pharmacist checked the 'script,   there were just three items on it.   Now I would never forget to order my painkillers, and I can remember ticking all four boxes on the repeat bit of the 'script, so the mistake is down to the surgery.  Luckily I still have enough to get me through the next couple of days.  I was angry and upset,   then when I logged onto the computer FB had decided to remind me of what happened on 30 Jan 2013,  just 6 weeks before mum died, and she hadn't been having a good time, which had been reflected in my post.  A double whammy, and one that I just didn't need.     I was cheered up when Jamie Murray, brother of Andy, won the doubles at the Australian Open,  so now Andy has to win tomorrow.   I kept busy with the landscaping,  this time of year has always been an emotional time as my father died in early January, and for various reasons his funeral was slightly delayed.   Now it is doubly emotional because of mum's rapid decline in health in January 2013.    I'm waiting for appointments as well, which is always stressful,  oh and the shower decided to kind of go kaput!   This time I do need a brand new switch,  the present one has overheated and melted the wires.  It is a niggly issue, but even so,  it is another problem. 

That's it for today,  tomorrow is ironing day,  and hopefully celebrating a win by Andy Murray!   Now that would be a nice end to the weekend, two Brits have won so far, so come on Andy, make it a threesome.   I've got more landscaping and painting to do,  but that won't be a chore.  I hope the weather is a little better so poor Harvey can get out, he's just tried again, he did venture further than the front door for all of five minutes.  He's now filled up his tummy and is settling down on my bed. 

I hope that wherever you are the weather isn't too bad and that you are safe and warm.  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Lodge...

I'm feeling quite pleased with myself.  The Lodge is nearly complete,  it just requires its chimneys,  and a few roof timbers.   The porch is now fully attached to the house, all the bits of roof have been painted and weathered.   I've also begun work on the base, and ordered a few bits and bobs from PP, just some fencing, and headstones... !    It sounds grim, but it won't be, I hope to create a little country graveyard, the kind you have a nose around, but this one is being looked after.   I also spotted a lych gate, sooo tempted and it may still wing its way here.

It looks a bit smart with its painted roof.   It is far grungier in real life,  my camera likes to make things look nice.   I may have to play with the settings to get a truer picture of what this little Lodge does look like, complete with its grunge.

I'm just trying to imagine who'd live in the Lodge,  I can imagine a man who takes his job seriously, and has a sense of pride.  His wife would take care of their home, making it comfy for them,  pottering around her little veggie garden, wearing one of those wrap around pinnies.  

I'm painting a picture of a different time,  a gentler time in some ways, and much harsher in others.   I was watching Call the Midwife,  and while I was quite young in the early sixties, very young,  I can remember a very different world.  It wasn't bright and shiny,  people made to because they had to,  my family lived crammed into three rooms,  we were on the council waiting list but it wasn't till I was 12 that we finally moved into a spanking new maisonette.  Mum was so proud of having her first new home, she saved up to buy new stuff,  not cheap tat, oh no.    Gradually she furnished the place with new furniture,   she loved the house, we had nice neighbours and it was a really lovely estate.   Sadly over time it became one of those dreaded sink estates,  partly because of its location,  there was nothing to do, no employment locally and the right to buy meant that the nicer estates were all being bought up.  It is once again a nice housing estate,  the maisonettes were torn down, houses built,  new shops etc and it has come back to life again.  

That storm has arrived here, we've had strong gales all day, not so much rain, though I'm sure that will change.   Last night Harvey had a big fight with another Tom cat,  who could have been his twin.  In fact at first I was confused as to which cat was Harvey, he was really upset and so I brought him in.   It took him ages to calm down.  I've never seen the other ginger cat before, so no idea where he came from.  Never a dull moment. 

That's all for tonight,  work to do on the base and those chimneys, and must remember to post a card!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

On the tiles

From plain rooves, to those with tiles!   I am definitely getting the hang of making tiles.  This only took me two afternoons.   I took the porch away so that you could see the very cute front door.   This little house has come together so quickly,  it wasn't as involved as Winterberry Hall (sill ongoing),  but it was a lot of stop and start with the brick work.  It just needs its chimnies and a few other bits to be added, and of course the landscaping.

I always think the houses look smart with their tiled roofs.   The roof will now be painted, and 'dressed' or weathered.  I enjoy that bit, adding sand, mixing up various paints and dabbing it on then the roof comes to 'life'.

 Another angle, the side door.  Once the Lodge is on its base I'll add a small step.   There'll be a side garden, and at the front a strip of grass, then a shingle path,  after that there will be the: graveyard! 

I picked up a piece of plywood at Hobbycraft yesterday,  I can only assume that the hobbyists must have asked for a wider variety of wood as there was a bigger selection, plus the area had some new shelving.    I also got a cheap set of brushes, and a teeny tiny trowel, used by artists, but in my case it will be used to fill in hard to reach gaps.    I was in luck as the brushes were on offer! 

Last pic, the complete Lodge, with the porch.  The main roof has had a coat of primer,  while the annexe is still white. 

Not been a good weekend, I'm having a few problems getting to sleep.  I was trying not to worry about it and of course ended up worrying about it!     I'm used to waking up and not getting back to sleep, but I've always seemed to get to sleep.    Too much worrying going on!   My neighbour was taken into hospital yesterday,  I'm really annoyed at the carer, she never told me, even though I've asked her to do so, nor did she bother to ensure his family were notified, so I had to tell his son today, who had been telephoning his dad and wondering why there was no answer.  The poor man raced round and wondered what the hell he was going to find.   I'm doubly annoyed with the carer, she rang the ambulance but didn't wait till it came, she went off to her next job!  The other carers are lovely, and make time for my neighbour, but this one carer is more concerned with arranging her social life than her clients,  I often hear her on her phone arranging to meet up with a friend after work.   Grrrr....   My sister worked as a carer for a while,  and I know it is a tough job, but even so there is still time and room for compassion.  And if there isn't then what the hell is wrong with this society? 

Oops, seem to have slipped onto my soap box, but it does annoy me, and I really do wonder what is happening to our society and why we are allowing so much bloody misery to be inflicted on others?  Now I will get down off my soap box.  Harvey is demanding food so best go and feed him.

Thanks for stopping by...  landscaping this week!

Topped off...

I know the pic is crooked, but honestly the Lodge is straight!  It is precariously balanced on a drawing pad.   I made real progress today and made up the two roofs.

I actually didn't think I'd be doing much today as I really felt very ill last night.  I woke about 2ish, with a raging sore throat, feeling rotten,  just wiped out.  I took some painkillers and ibuprofen, and a nice mug of tea,  it took nearly an hour before they kicked in and I got back to sleep.

The back of the house,  roof tiles and chimneys now needed.

 Oh and a gable roof to be completed.  The the side door is in,  its surround now in place...  all windows now accounted for! 

The annexe,   which is still not attached to the main building, and won't be until the roof tiles are on.

Back to me, and not feeling very well.  I slept through till half seven, then needed to take more tablets, and a cuppa.  I still felt awful, so curled up and went back to sleep.   This is how I felt before the extreme fatigue started, and which, up until yesterday, had been improving, started.   I'm feeling a tad more human now, but starting to feel tired.  Harvey has just returned from his evening walkabout,  at some point he had a 'row' with the girlfriend,  much fur seemed to be flying! 

I just hope this bug now buggers off,  last time I had the sore throat for over a week, then the fatigue kicked in big time.   Sadly I didn't make the beach again,  shame really as the sun did come out mid morning.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a better day, I hope that I have enough energy to enjoy it.  I have to switch to card making mode tomorrow and finish off my swap card.

I'm off to my bed,  take good care and have a lovely weekend.  

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Coming together...

The grey and soggy stuff has returned...  yuck.   Give me cold, frosty mornings any time.  Another fractious night,  but slightly better than the previous one.  

I have made more progress on the lodge.  The chimney stack was 'bricked', so to speak,  and here it is in situ.   I've also begun to dab on a bit of the Black Soot,   which also helps to define the brick work a bit more.   The annexe is just about ready for its roof,  I tidied up all the edges and painted them,  just a few more touches of this and that,  ageing stuff...  or should that be 'weathering'?    Who knows!

The arch surround to the gothic window was fixed into place,  oh and the window has now been tidied up!   The brickwork has made such a difference to the whole thing,  it is looking quite realistic. 

Work on the main bit is slower,   progress seems to be slow,  but it it simply because it is made up of more pieces.   I've discovered, through trial and error, that each bit must be carefully considered in how finished they need to be before moving on to the next section.    Does that make sense?

This is the front,  last night I posted a pic of the inside.   I decided to give the porch the 'brick' work effect,   the front door is now in place, and its surround,  the roof is on as well.  However, the porch is not secured to the frontage, this is what I meant by knowing how 'finished' each section can be before adding another bit.  If I glued the porch into place then it would be very difficult to put the tiles on the roof.

There was no chance of going to the beach front today, the weather was against me.  Then I had to go back to the supermarket to get - loo rolls!   I forgot them yesterday,  and they were on my exceptionally small list.    And of course the moment I stepped out the door the heavens opened!    Will it ever stop bloody raining?   No, not for a couple of days, I mean for  a few weeks!     Oh and my energy supplier has finally decided to pass on some miniscule savings...  grrr, gas prices have been plummeting and I get a measly 5% off my bill this year,  well excuse me if I don't break out the champagne.  Funny how prices rocket when the suppliers put up their prices,  yet when they fall they never pass on the savings to us, do they?  

Right, plans for tomorrow,   given up making plans, I shall see what the day brings me.   Stay warm and dry!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Getting that weathered look

Well in spite of my slow start to the day,  partly due to me not being able to get to sleep last night,  I made a lot of progress on the Lodge.  

I managed to complete all the brickwork,  even a really fiddly bit!   So it was all ready to be tidied up, sanded and painted.  After that I sanded it back again to give it a weathered look,  it will  also  be getting a few dabs of Black Soot.  

With the walls all tidied up and painted, I could start putting in the windows and surrounds.   I always enjoy this bit,  the building seems to start taking on some character.   This arched window is really nice,   it needs a wee bit of tidying up with a cotton bud at some stage. 

The arched window is at the end of the annexe,  this is the front with window, surrounding it is a 'quoin',  that is the name of the fancy frame.  Who knew?   Okay, I guess builders do. 

The paint is 'sidewalk grey',  by Crown, should you want to paint a few walls. The wall looks nicely battered,  which is how it is meant to look. 

Final pic of is of the inside of the front of the Lodge.    I do like that door!   I used some watered down umber to paint it, then gave it a gentle sanding. The door handle is a seed bead.  Windows also in and have been given a tidy up. 

All in all a good afternoon's work.   I also managed to get some clay onto the front step and use the paving stone mould to create the impression of paving slabs.  I've painted the front porch, but now think I should put some bricks on the front of it...  now if I had taken a pic you'd know what I meant.  Will mull that over.  I'm also wondering about putting hinges on the main roof.  All stuff to ponder. 

I did have a very sluggish start to the day,  woke up at around 7ish,  but it was too early to get up so turned over intending to just have another hour in bed...  and woke up at 9 a.m.   Harvey was also snuggled up beside me, he clearly doesn't like these frosty mornings!    I don't mind the cold stuff, far better than all the soggy weather we've had of late. 

So the plan for tomorrow is... no idea.  Kind of depends on my energy levels,  which still aren't great, I have that 'half empty' feeling.   And it depends on the weather,  if it is sunny then I may go look at the sea and read my book, and if not... 

Stay warm and safe.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Time for a new project

New week, new project!   Sadly it does have a grim sounding name: Cemetery Lodge, and wait till you see the extras that will eventually accompany it!   It has two parts, main building and an annexe, two floors in main part.  Lots of arched doorways and an arched window.  As you can see I've made a start,  the inside painted and everything glued into place.  Er, not the front bit,  that is separate from the building. 

I even had a go at making floorboards.  I used the papercutter to cut thin strips of brown card, the core card.  That was glued down and I used one of the thin liner pens to draw some lines, it was all finished off with a couple of coats of the glossy mod podge.   Oops, before that lot I sanded the card a little to give it a worn look. 

Today it was time to start making some brick work.  This mask makes 'coarsed' brick work.  It arrived today,  so after prepping the outside of the lodge,  coat of PVA,  then a coat of paint (to give the impression of mortar) it was time to add the bricks.    This work can get a tad messy, but it is worth it.   Here I was trying to miss as much of the door and window as I could, but to also get the molding paste on thick enough. 

I did this bit as well,  and managed to finish it in two goes.   This mask is easier to work with than the brick mask as it is a little bigger.  I think I made a neat job around the door frame.     I've managed to complete two sides on each bit and should get the rest of the lodge done tomorrow.

As always there is a huge amount to be done,  it is a bit like building a proper house.  The Hall is still being worked on,  lots more foliage, roof tiles and trying to decide where to put the lamp. 

I have been feeling a little less tired recently,  I think the Vit D stuff has finally kicked in, but still not feeling a hundred per cent.   And boy has it been on the cold side!   But I've still not had to indulge in much extra heating due to all the insulation. 

Then there his HIM.  Yes, he does look cute!  Today he confounded me.   He demanded breakfast, so I opened up a fresh packet of food, it went into a nice, clean dish and... he turned up his nose and walked off.   An hour later I popped into his 'bedroom',  my large airing cupboard, he was reposing in his 'bed',  or what was the laundry basket.  I offered up the bowl of food he'd refused earlier and... he gobbled it all up!   Go figure,  in fact if you can explain, feel free!   All cats are fussy, it is a given, but he is the gold medallist of fussiness, and also massive u-turns...   wonder if it was because I threatened to give him away?    Don't let that cute face fool you,  Harvey can be a right PIA when he chooses. 

And I'm happy to report that I am still smoke free,  not a cigarette has touched my lips since October.  I'm pretty happy with my vape machine,  now using Minty Gum.  Mind you there is more to it than you think, the machine needs some maintenance,  plus you have to replace the coil, they're cheap as chips, a couple of quid, the e liquid is a fiver and lasts a couple of weeks, so saving all round.  Well I woud be if it weren't for all the bills!    Love to know why the utility bills are so high, gas and oil prices have been tumbling for the last couple of years.  Mine are way down on last year, thanks to the wall cavity stuff,  so chuffed with that.   I've also been sorting out my cupboards,  funny out out of date food lurks in cupboards, I found some pickled onions that were best before 2014!   They are looking a bit bare,  guess that is how it is when there is just one of you.  It took a while to get used to buying and cooking for one, but think I've cracked it now.  Appetite has shrunk lately,  jeans feel looser,  and the breathlessness continues. 

Well think that's all for now,  be back in a couple of days with a full 'bricked' lodge.   Stay warm folks, and thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Going back to basics.... kind of!

I thought because it has been so cold we should step inside the hall, just imagine a roaring fire in that fireplace!   

I certainly felt the cold today, especially my hands.  I really didn't think I'd need my gloves to bring in the recycling bins,  however I was proved wrong and really suffered.  The situation wasn't improved at the supermarket,  I had to pull down my coat sleeves to try to warm up my hands.  

I spent more time working on the base today.  I filled in a few gaps round the house.  This time I just mixed the sand with the glue, then let it dry before adding the paint.   Plus I added more foliage to the bushes,  and started a new one.

I also used the glue and sand mix to fix the gate into place.   Sadly the glue gun didn't work,  I hope it does on the other two bits of fence.  It is now firmly stuck in place!   The gate also opens,  the detail in these small properties is quite incredible.   There is no way I'd have the patience to cut out a gate like this,  even if I could. 

And finally, the woodstore, complete with wood.   It has had some snow added, well it will soon look like snow once it's had a coat of paint.  The wood is a chopstick,   no idea why there were chopsticks in the kitchen drawer, but there they were.  

Harvey has been a happy cat.  Yesterday I got him some fishy food,  he tucked into the tuna with gusto and cleaned his dish.  So I've been alternating his food between meat and a fishy pack of food, so far it has worked.  For once he has a full tum,  hence he is curled up fast asleep.  He's also been mooching around me looking for cuddles,  only because he's cold you understand.  I think he was hoping I'd put the heating on today, but I held firm, well I wasn't cold and I told him that with his fur coat he shouldn't be either. And what did he then do, plonked himself on my lap and refused to budge!  

Well the weather is set to get even colder,  I've dug out all my warm socks,  and more jumpers.  I think I'll go get myself a really warm pair of gloves tomorrow.   

All for now,  a new property is winging its way to me,  might be here tomorrow.  Stay warm.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Let there be snow!

Well there is some snow in Liverpool - at Winterberry Hall to be precise!   Not sure we'll get any of the real stuff,  we have, of course, got rain.  There is a definite drop in temperature,  in fact Harvey decided to keep warm on my lap today, while I got out the thick socks, so it IS cold.   Not had to put the central heating on any earlier, or for longer, so the cavity wall stuff is doing its job. 

I had an exceptionally gooey and messy day yesterday creating snow for the base.   I mixed some sand with paint then dolloped it on.    You understand that 'dollop' is a technical term...     and there was plenty of dolloping.  The tricky bit was getting it tight to the Hall itself but without getting the mix all over the walls.   

There is also some snow round the back of the Hall.  I'm just getting round to putting snow on the wooden frame and window sills.   And that small gap in the roof has now been fixed!    The left over glitter has settled nicely on the grassy bits unintentionally.   Harvey also got covered in glitter when he clambered up onto my lap, so he spent the rest of the day all sparkly.   You can always tell when a cat is owned by a crafter, they usually have glitter or things stuck to them!

Coming round the Hall and there is more lumpy snow.  I had to paint it all white as the sand had caused the white paint to go a grubby grey.   The bush continues to sprout foliage,  and there is a nice covering of snow on the lower window sill. 

I've not yet managed to put roof tiles on this side of the roof, though I did make some today.  The middle section is going to be tricky, in fact I wish now that I'd put the roof tiles on before glueing it together. 

And now the other side.   The logs are now tucked into the log store, it has had some snow added to the roof, more to be put on the logs. 

And did you spot the gate?   I had to get the glue gun out to secure it into place.  It does look fetching, and adds a nice touch to a rustic scene. 

It is now a case of finishing things off, the tiling, fencing, a few more bushes here and there.   But I am pleased with it. 

I decided to go out today,  needed a change of scenery so I went to my least favourite place: the nearby shopping centre.   I just felt like a mooch round, but also allowed myself some 'treat' money.   So, of course, I didn't find any 'treats', not at thing.  I ended up getting Harvey some food, the fishy variety,  and that was it.   I did bump into one of mum's old friends, it was lovely to see her, and hard to believe that she is 93!   Such a spry lady,  she does have aches and pains but tends to ignore them.  So we had a natter,  I was sad to hear that another of mum's friends isn't so well,  and in fact seems to be very depressed.   It's always the same: good news followed by bad news. 

I fully supported the junior doctor's strike yesterday.   It reminded me of the only time that I went on strike.  I was in the ambulance service, we'd been complaining about poor equipment, the life saving stuff for months,  then two members of staff were suspended for something trivial,  then we discovered that our control room had been revamped and that the controllers were all sitting in £200 chairs - that was while we tried to build stretchers from spare parts (I kid you not). So we had a few meetings, a ballot was held, and we entered talks, but we had said that if the talks failed then we'd walk out.  So a few days later I found myself having to make a horrible decision: would I walk away from the emergency vehicle?   I did, I had no choice,  all of us made it clear that we were available for emergencies but management attempted to lock us out, and they tried to blacken our reputations.  We stuck to our guns, but then we decided to take matters into our own hands we went over our management's heads and went straight to the head of the Northwest NHS,  we kinda stormed the boardroom!  We refused to budge until the chief idiot came to talk to us, can't use his name cos he ended up with a knighthood (not sure how cos he was an idiot), but we did cobble an agreement together.   So I hope the junior doctors win their battle, this government is out to destroy the NHS, and if it wants a 7 day NHS then it will have to fund it properly, and it will need to employ a lot more staff.   Had to get that off my chest... and don't get me started on housing!  There was a perfectly good scheme in place that was designed to upgrade all council/housing assoc. properties, it was axed by - The Tories!   Now they're 'reinstating' it, only with no money...  not sure how that works.  Oh and there were no sink estates before the right to buy came in, and I do not live on a sink estate, or in 'social housing',  my property is owned by a Housing Association - got that?  Good!   And another thing, this 'lie' about properties such as mine being handed down to other family member is a big FAT lie!  I had to apply to remain in this property after mum died,  luckily I met the criteria, and because it was not deemed to be a family sized property.   And yes, I do have  secure tenancy, someone tell me what is so wrong about that?    Now I'll get off my platform...

Let's all look forward to a cold, but apparently 'dryish' weekend!   Keep warm and safe.

Monday, 11 January 2016

A snowy scene

Well considering the weather forecast for the next few days the photo is pretty apt.  There is already a definite chilly edge to the air in the Pool,  this morning the car was somewhat frosty.  Even at 11 a.m. I was still scraping ice off the windscreen.  I had been a yucky night, rain, as usual, then the wind got up for a while,  odd that Harvey hasn't been demanding to go out in the middle of the night lately!

So to the Hall.  I spent yesterday afternoon covering the base with a mix of gravel, sand and grass.  Whilst that was drying I sprinkled some glitter onto the hall,  just a sprinkling of the stuff here and there.   Once it was dry it was time to dab on some white paint using a very, very fine brush.  

Yep, there are now a few tiles on the roof.  Plus lots more green stuff, and that shrub is growing!   Putting the grass on is laborious, there has to be a generous splodging of glue first,  then an equally generous sprinkling of grass, which is then tamped down with a spoon.  Then it has to dry cos if you touch it then it will just come off.   Same procedure with the gravel and sand,  so it all takes time to apply.    It does allow you to do other stuff, like play a game,  feed the cat, make tea, watch the darts...   I used to be good at darts.  For some odd reason the all girls school I attended had a darts board and a snooker table - go figure!   So I spent many a lunch time honing my throwing skills,  which was helpful later in hustling my male ambulance service colleagues.

Just to prove that I did do the other side of the base.  The sand will become 'snow' at some juncture.   There is also the beginnings of another bit of shrubbery.  

Today it was more snow,  and more greenery, plus painting of sand.  Oh I also put some snow on the fence.   This time the intervals were taken up by some form filling and paying of bills.   While Harvey watched his squirrel video, he's addicted! 

Not as tired today, but then I'd had a lazy Sunday.  On Saturday I was so tired,  I had planned to pop up to Hobbycraft just for a look round, but after getting stuff in the supermarket I just came straight home.  I was thinking before of how fit I was in my younger days,  able to carry folk up and down a flight of stairs,  could manage some of the Jane Fonda workout,  and loved dancing.  Now I get puffed going up a flight of stairs.  

That's all for tonight,  more snow tomorrow, on the Hall...  doubt we'll get any round here.  Stay safe and warm.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Progress is slow... just been overtaken by snail!

A little more progress on Winterberry Hall.   Yesterday I made some paving,  or should that be: I laid some paving stones?   Well I rolled out some of the paper clay (it is lovely to work with),  and put it in front of the Hall, then cut round the window and doorstep,  next stage was to use the plastic mould to make the imprints of the paving slabs.  

I added more sand,  and more grass, plus there is the start of a bush!   There will be a few more trees, and more greenery,  oh plus a lot of snow - or rather glitter painted white. That's what I did on the Yuletide shop and it worked very well. 

 There is one tree.   It is one of the Christmas trees I found in the Garden Centre, lingering amongst the Xmas decs.  I removed it from its plastic base, then using some of the paper clay I made a new base for it.  

Then I had to wait for all the clay to dry before I could do anything else.  I've now given the paving area a coat of paint, just a primer.  The tree base will get some sand, grass and snow on it tomorrow.   And the actual base will be covered in more stuff, whatever takes my fancy.  At some point this week I shall begin to add the roof tiles. I've been busy making them, so they are ready to go.  

And finally, here is Harvey, indulging in his new hobby: watching birds and squirrels on MY kindle.   He spent a whole hour watching this video,   he was fascinated by the squirrels, not sure what he thought they were!  He tried catching one or two of the birds,  but most of the time he just sat there utterly fascinated.  If I dared to pick the kindle up to look at it, well he immediately jumped up on my lap and demanded that he have the kindle back!  Today he was pawing at the kindle,  thus telling me he wanted to watch his favourite TV show.   Honestly I'll have a cat with square eyes at this rate. 

Oh I have also bought a new house,  well I had some good news so decided a treat was necessary.  Not had a lot of good news,  but for once I got a letter saying that someone wished to give me some money!  Not sure how much,  it is my works pension, I had forgotten that it kicks in this year.  It means more form filling, and more informing of everyone,  but I have to wait first to see how much I'll get.  So with that nice bit of financial news I headed off to Petite Properties and bought Cemetery Lodge,  yeah, sounds a bit grim, but it is such a lovely house - and gives me scope for some spooky stuff! 

I also learned how to do some maintenance on my vape machines.  Who knew you had to maintain them?   I had noticed that one wasn't working, so went to Google,  and googled 'vape maintenance', and yes loads of vids came up.  So I stripped one ecig down, and gave it a good clean, and now it works perfectly.  Still not smoking,  have had a few 'moments' but not given in to them.  My hairdresser has also now taken the plunge,  he'd got an ecig but said he couldn't get the hang of it.  So I showed him how to use it,  and he said he'd give it a go.  That was before Christmas,  but he didn't quit until New Year.  What non smokers don't realise that until a smoker really wants to quit then they won't,  they'll try and fail.  That's what happened to me, and with many of my friends,  last October I decided that I really did want to quit, and that was that.   It was the same with Bill, my hairdresser, he too decided he was fed up with smoking.    He and I had a good old natter on Thursday,  he has been cutting my hair for... a very long time!    Mum found him,  I was using a posh salon in town, but whe my hairdresser headed off to pastures new I decided to try somewhere else.  Mum persuaded me to give Bill a try, and I did, to my surprise I found out that he'd started at the posh salon in town.  He's a great hairdresser,  I never have any problems blow drying my hair after he's cut it, it just falls back into shape.  It was a relief to get it cut on Thursday,  I'd left it a little bit too long, but that was all down to my extreme tiredness.  Oh and I am still tired,  it took me ages to get going today,  just didn't want to get up, mind you, neither did Harvey, he was happy to stay snuggled up beside me.  I told him that it was his fault that I had to get up as he needed food!   I hoped that the fresh air would wake me up, but it didn't,  I'd slightly mistimed one of my meds, and if I do that then it does make me feel a little more tired.   

Tomorrow is: focus on base day, really need to get going on it.   I have to admit that Railway Terrace is depressing me, it hasn't turned out like I hoped.   I think I need to put it to one side for a while and come back to it.  I've kind of lost my way with it. 

Now my one wish for this upcoming weeks is: for the bloody rain to stop!   It poured down in the night, then dried up for a while today, but by 3.30 the rain had returned.  I am so sick of it.  There are huge puddles everywhere,  which I know isn't anything like the flooding in other areas.   My heart really does go out to those whose houses have been flooded, and I hope that their misery doesn't go on for too long. 

All for tonight,  may be back tomorrow with update on the Hall.   Try to stay dry, oh and warm, it is starting to get cold out there.  Take care.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Let there be sunshine!

A dry day,  indeed it was dry all day, the sun shone, there was blue sky...   I nearly fell over in shock.  Can this state of affairs last?  

A recap on Railway Terrace.  The pavement is now in place,  just need to sort out front, and finish off roof tiles, oh and put the chimney on.  And of course, find the blooming front doors.  I had another look around the craft desk, they are there,  but they are 'lurking',  in some safe place!

 Winterberry Hall wasn't forgotten today.   I found a suitable dowel that I was sure would be the right size for the wood store.  And I was right,  I've begun cutting it down to 1cm pieces, and will mix it in with a thinner dowel. 

I also remembered to glue the front porch roof into place, and managed to straighten the roof over the window. 

I also survived blitzing the cupboards in the kitchen.  It wasn't so much of a blitz, more like a tidy up.   I did get rid of things that were a tad out of date...  only by a few years!   Harvey of course had to investigate the lower cupboard - right after I'd cleaned it,  he left a nice set of muddy paws in it.   The kitchen has now had a tidy up, and I've got three vases, a glass thingy, two torches and a cutlery drainer to go to the charity shop!    More stuff to be added as the clear out continues. 

I seemed to have found some positivity today,   so I made use of it and cancelled a useless insurance policy and my Now TV account.  The latter took some doing,  in the end I had to get in touch with their helpdesk, who were very good, but even so it should have been much easier. There was no instructions on how to cancel the account online.   I make every effort to save water,  yet the most expensive charge on the bill is for surface water and highway drainage,  something I have no bloody control over, so why do we get clobbered?   As for the farce of having privatised water companies, there is no bloody point in being a private company unless there is competition!   Moan over,  it has been a good day,  things accomplished,  dry weather and some sunshine thrown in. 

Hope you've had a good day. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The grass is greener... ?

Good evening.   It is still extremely wet here...  may swap car for a boat.

The base is coming along nicely.   After the filler had set thoroughly I sanded it.  Then the whole thing got a coat of dark chocolate paint.  I then sealed it again with PVA, and gave it a blast with the heat gun to dry it off.  Now comes the gungy part - covering it in foliage!

I have to be mindful of where the Hall will sit and keep that area clear of landscaping.  There is also a gate and fence to consider, plus trees, lamp posts...   wondering whether to stick all the stuff onto the base or - decisions!   

I've also repaired Railway Terrace.  I'd messed up a little, so I wasn't able to glue the front of the houses onto the pavement.   I had to carefully prise off the brickwork bits,  then stick front to pavement and reattach other bits.  It all went incredibly smoothly.  Only one snag,  can't remember where I put the front doors!   They're here,  as usual they've been put somewhere safe.   A habit I think I'd no longer adhere to.

Nothing else to report on the building front.  I'm currently making roof tiles for Railway Terrace, and about to order some for Winterberry Hall. 

I'm a medical mystery according to my doctor.  I have all the symptoms of anaemia, except I have plenty of iron, what I don't have is a lot of red blood cells.  They come in handy for transporting oxygen round the body.  So GP is stumped and is passing me on to a specialist,  in the meantime I have to learn to cope with the tiredness, and with the cold weather my raynauds!   I forgot my gloves the other day and oh boy did I suffer,  the lovely assistant in Tesco was very patient with me as I fumbled for my money,  she sympathised with me.   I had to wait in the car till my fingers had woken up again before I could drive home. 

I've had fur flying here,  first Tibs, Harvey's 'girlfriend', tried to come in after I'd locked up.  It turns out her owner is on holiday, so a neighbour is looking after Tibs.   Then last night she tried to pinch Harvey's food, he took exception and so fur was flying...   no idea why he was so hostile as he'd not been keen on the food.   He had a treat today, some chicken,  I was making a curry and the chicken breast was a little too big for me.  He's currently outside, contemplating whether to take his evening stroll or go back to sleep.  

That's all for tonight,  hopefully I'll get more green stuff on the base tomorrow - if I survive the kitchen cupboard clear out!