Wednesday 31 January 2024

Plants are a great balm for the soul!

Just to cheer us up, we are due a long cold spell soon, with minus 13 temps, and possible rain-turns-to-ice-the-moment-it-touches-the-ground.  Oh great, we live on a hill so a return of the Cresta Run we had in 2010.  Our neck of the woods looks like it might see some of the action . . .

I had a bad day on Monday.  I had ordered necessary medical stuff which Keith was running out of, and by the time the delivery was made, I was down to just one (not pills).  When I opened the package later, you can imagine my horror to find we'd been sent ones which were incompatible with what we were using.  Frantic phone call to District Nurse office then to see if they had some that could tide us over.  Fortunately they could help, and would leave them out for me next day.  But it was another of those what the hell do I do next moments I could have done without.  I needed cheering up took myself off to the garden centre.  Keith had promised to buy me a wooden obelisk, and I found one at what must have been old-stock price (£45).  That came home with me, and so did a pack of Ranunculus in mixed colours, a small frilly Polyanthus in yellow with a red border, and a big pot of purple Polyanthus.  I thought they deserved a nice pot and bought a half price terracotta one with a lattice pattern.  All planted up already now.  

Then a better day yesterday when Keith and I watched a Drew Pritchard programme where he and Tee went to the French antiques markets and Fairs.  We really wanted to be there too!!! We enjoy any antiques programmes and there were some good buys made (oh and some lovely stuff in shot we'd have liked too).  Then in the evening we really enjoyed watching the latest Indiana Jones film (finishing it tonight - v. good).  It's on Danny's Disney account, which he's loaded up for us now.  

I can see I am a going to have to be very careful with Emma's cat though, as Pippi rushed past me today and into the room he was in and I had to grab her quick as he was going to attack in a bad way.  I will have to shut the door on him before Keith goes up or downstairs as he is so slow going through the bottom door.  Could do without this.

I sent the greenhouse people a what are you doing about my glass message - they could deliver in our area again 15th Feb, or we could get the glass cut locally and they would reimburse me.  Handyman, when questioned, did NOT want to go and get the glass for me locally. (Even though I would be paying for his time).

I have now had words with the Handyman, and told him the time of day.  I reminded him that he had booked a date with me and then not bothered to turn up (or even cancel). Ok, he couldn't finish the greenhouse because of the lack of glass, but there were other jobs I needed done (before winter) and I am still waiting.  Oh, he had a kitchen to do for someone.  I saw RED.  How about it being nearly spring and I was still waiting to have my autumn jobs done? And I'd obviously gone to the bottom of the queue!    I told him if he didn't want the work, I would go elsewhere.  I also explained how important the greenhouse was, because it was my only way of respite as I couldn't go far from the house due to nursing my husband, which was very stressful.

He emailed me 10 mins later and could come the day the glass was being delivered (15th Feb) and do the other jobs that same week.  Sometimes it pays to speak your mind.  Don't upset an Aries is all I can say.  I will try to be polite with strangers (my normal default is to lose my temper at the drop of a hat), but push me too far . . .  

Back later

 Busy busy - need a trip to the Tip today - overwhelmed with excess ancient pillows and duvets and need ROOM.   The Universe threw yet MORE challenges my way in the past couple of days.  Deary me, fed up with this "What the HELL do I do???" testing!

Sunday 28 January 2024

Totally down in the dumps

 I am really struggling to get over this latest setback.  I slept very badly as "I" up late as she slept late in the car on the way home, so I didn't really get any "down time" before bed.  Couldn't sleep, them awake 2 hours in night, and wakened at 7 by the smell of burning porridge.  D, E and I up VERY early to get back to Carmarthen to have inspection and hand the key over etc, then going on to Llanstephan beach for the day, lucky devils.  They didn't realize quite how quickly the hob heats up here.  You can't walk away and leave it.

        I am still simmering with rage over the broken glass. The blardy driver they sent was the size of a leprachaun and struggled to lift the pack.  There were several lots of glass on board - presumably for people in the same state as me, with broken packs delivered before - and it looks like he had dropped them in position and then fixed the ratchet strap far too tight, which broke the front pane in 3. I imagine other folk will make the same discovery.  The glass just has a layer of tissue paper between each pane, one thin layer of cardboard and then shrink-wrapped plastic.  They must have phenonemal wastage . . .  

        When we had our kitchen delivered, packaging included hefty air-filled plastic "jackets" - I kept several pieces in case I needed to send something which needed protection, and edges of unit fronts had foam L-shaped corner pockets to protect them.  Something similar for the glass would be sensible.  

        I have to go and see the farmer with the sheep this morning as the situation is getting ridiculous.  3 years ago it was one ewe and her lamb, same one with twins last year.  This year it started off with 7 sheep, a dynasty! - and then the owners of the bottom cottage (for sale) got a digger in to clear all the brambles in a patch of land with it, so there was somewhere to park.  This then allowed even more sheep to get through and the last couple of days I've had 14 of the blighters.  I shut the front gate, but then they get through my post and rail fencing around the paddock.  They've been eating my roses and nearly ricocheted off the greenhouse yesterday when running away from me in panic.  That would be ALL I blardy well needed, finally getting it finished and then a flock of sheep demolish it.  Believe me, the way my luck is going that could well be a predictable end to it all.  

        The whole house has extra "stuff" everywhere, which is still - hopefully - being found a home for.  I am seriously thinking that until I have a Unit (and I may have to check Leominster out if the other one doesn't come up soon) I can't go to Malvern any more, as I have no room to put anything.  That would truly be the final downer.  

        I will try and get out in the garden to prune and feed the roses today.  Providing there's anything left to prune that is!

Saturday 27 January 2024

A gritting of teefs . . .


Well, I woke at ten to five this morning, got up 6.30 and came down to await the delivery of my greenhouse glass, with my handyman all set up to come on Tuesday and fit it.  Just before 8.30, the chap appeared and unloaded the cardboard package which was the glass.  I set to with my sharp penknife and opened it to check it - and found the first piece broken in 3 pieces and the bottom edge of all the others chipped and crumbling - obviously where someone had put it down too heavily in the back of the van . . .  I told the driver to take it back and have since written to the company to request replacement glass - UNBROKEN please - as soon as possible. At this rate, I shall still be waiting for it to be completed next autumn, and the before-the-winter jobs of gutter cleaning, downpipe unclogging and replacement tiles on the stable roof, plus putting in the gutter hedgehogs . . . to keep the leaves out, have still not been done either.  A bit blardy late now.  If he had TOLD me I'd need to wait 6 mths I'd have gone elsewhere.  

I went to Llandod again this morning, and did some shopping for Danny as they had to go back to Carmarthen to do the final cleaning bits on the flat.  I found some of their washing which needed doing - they had no chance to get it dry whilst packing.  They're cooking for themselves from now on, and we're having a roast tomorrow. Emma being veggie, has a cheese and spinach lattice instead.

Friday 26 January 2024

The quickest post ever - and some more positivity

 Danny, Emma and little I (and their cat Shadow), now  safely here.  Shadow under bed (who can blame him?)

Summer, Powis castle

There was a minor miracle today - Keith was saying yesterday he needed to walk more (but his balance is so bad he has lost confidence, knowing we can't get him up again if he falls).  Anyway, knowing Danny would be here later, he walked from the kitchen to the living room, then back again later AND then up the stairs.  This is amazing - I know it is temporary, but I honestly thought he couldn't walk at all any more - just stagger a few steps, holding onto the furniture.  If he can be more mobile for a few months even, then he can enjoy some Fairs this summer, and visit some of the stately homes on his bucket list.  

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Too busy for a proper post

 I'm the "WoMAN with a Van" who has been called into action to help move Danny & Co here.  Going backwards and forwards to Carmarthen this week.  Will do a proper post a soon as I  can.

Monday 22 January 2024

How about some GOOD NEWS for a change?

 Well, we have known for a good few months now, but didn't want to make an announcement until we were well assured things were going smoothly.  Keith and I are to be grandparents (first time!) in March.  Tam and Jon have given weight to that old adage, "new house, new baby" (just as I did with her sister when we moved to Wales). A scan has revealed a little girl.  I am hoping they will go with the family name which is on their list but Tam is very selfless and may let Jon choose.  One of the names on the list is Cornish, which is apt given I have just discovered MY Cornish roots through the Adams family.

Poor Tam had terrible sickness and nausea just from the sight or smell of certain foodstuffs for months and Jon had to take over the supermarket shopping.  She took to carrying round a "sickbag" at work, as she never knew when she would suddenly become nauseous.  Unpleasant to say the least, but it slowly wore off (at around 6 months).  

So now you know why I want to get to the quilt shop.  Unfortunately that's not going to happen anytime soon, and I have had to resort to choosing some fabric (for a crawler quilt) online.  The excitement of finally having our first grandchild on the way has been more than tempered by Keith's progressing illness and the worry and tiredness of caring for him.  I just hope that the birth goes smoothly - the hospital seems to have paid attention to bad statistics in recent years and from what Tam has told me, they offer some positive ways of giving birth, from water births, hypnotherapy, positive emotional support etc which will hopefully make giving birth not too worrying a time.  She's been told "no way are you going to be made to give birth lieing flat on your back".  That having been my experience in the past, it can certainly be improved on!

We have survived last night's storm (Isha) but it was pretty wet and windy out there from teatime onwards and lots of sprigs off our biggest pine tree now decorate the yard.  

I have to get Keith an early lunch, then settle him in front of the tv whilst I do an urgent dash to Carmarthen to load the car with some of Danny's belongings.  Danny couldn't pick his car up at the weekend due to the door handle repair not having been carried out yet . . .

Saturday 20 January 2024

Well that was a bit of a shock!

 . . . to see our old home now doing B&B.   Mum's flat is let separately and they've done a good job down there. HOW on earth they got our huge cast iron Hergom stove down from the main kitchen to mum's inglenook is beyond me!  They needed some strong blokes for that.  HERE:  

 They are also letting the ground and first floors (so are living in the attic suite).   They haven't changed anything and most of the furniture is what we sold them. Don't care for the absolutely hideous pink sofas in the living room though! HERE 2 One of the reviews - much of the antique furniture we sold them is just where we left it - including our magnificent bed, which we couldn't get up the stairs here! - mentions the furniture looking like it "fits the place as if it were born with it." The "fresh delicate flower painted on the chimney" was my work . . . Glad it has remained and not been painted over.

"Like a fairy tale. A charming house in the middle of picturesque Welsh hills. The room is exceptional. Every single piece of furniture fits the place as if it were born with it. Many little details kept us amazed during the whole stay: the fine bed linen, the fresh delicate flower painted on the chimney, the beautiful hand-bound welcoming booklet, the discrete bottle of bubble bath sitting on the edge of the tub. And I almost forgot the delicious breakfast and fascinating hosts. You cannot dream of a better place to spend a romantic holiday or to visit South Wales."

. . . and we were lucky enough to spend half our lives there. Here it is when we first bought it at the end of the 1980s . . .

The little building beyond the yard in the bottom photo is the old Victorian "Ty bach" or outside toilet, carefully placed astride the stream . . . all very well until you had a long hot summer!

        They bought our house to offer residential book-binding courses and did a wonderful job of turning our lovely stables into his workshops for this.   I am guessing that Covid didn't help his cause, hence the B&B.  That house HAS to earn its keep as it cost a bomb to heat before prices shot up.

Right, some attic tidying is on the menu for this morning . . .

Thursday 18 January 2024

Well - this is what happens when I tidy up!

 I find all sorts of "useful notes" which probably should have been recycled years ago.  However, still of interest to some of us and once  I have committed them to the blog, they can go, though I will probably keep the old Georgian recipes, which I shall share tomorrow. This piece is from November 1875 "Bye-Gones" - noted when doing research at Carmarthen Archives some years ago.

"Within the memory of our fathers, in Shropshire, in those villages adjoining to Wales, when a person died, there was notice given to an old "sire" (for so they called him) who went to where the deceased lay and stood before the door of the house, when some of the family came out and furnishing him with a cricket (or stool) on which he sat down facing the door.  Then they gave him a groat, which he put in his pocket; a crust of bread, which he ate; a full bowl of ale, which he drank off at a draught.  Then he got up from his cricket and pronounced with a composed gesture, "the ease and rest of the soul departed, for which he could pawn his own soul."

It sounds rather like a variation of a sin eater.

On the other side of the page was this:

"Death Bed Customs - a case is related of a woman who died, in 1803, at a farmhouse called Southern Pills, in the Parish of Lawrenny, Pembroke; that on her death-bed the nurse snatched the pillow from under her head.  I have heard of this custom in other places.  What was the reason for it?  and is it a universal superstition in Great Britain that people cannot die easy if there are pigeon's feathers in their pillows?  I knew an intelligent lady in Oswestry who did not doubt the fact, and who believe that it would one day be scientifically explained!" 

To follow it, a scribbling of mine from a visit to Carn Ingli in Pembrokeshire:

"The dead bracken was the colour of ground cloves on the hillsides of Carn Ingli; the rocks that strewed the peak lay gunmetal grey.  Then through the lowering clouds about it came a strong ray of light which lit up the peal like the hand of God, catching every drop of moisture so that it seemed to glow like a prism, refracting the light and shattering it into a trillion fragments.  No wonder St Brannock climbed up there to commune with the Angels . . . "

Well, a few hours closer to get-the-car-back-day . . .

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - and car update

 Will it snow?  I jolly well hope not.  Not until I've got my car back (with a fresh MoT and a huge bill for repairs to front brakes area. Not content with needing new brake shoes, it had also got a caliper jammed in place (that's what the noise was I went in about last week).  I desperately need to get a big shop in (particularly cat food, fresh veg, cheese and milk) just in case the weather worsens.  Update: "waiting for the brake shoes to be delivered.  It will be late today . . . the car will be ready in the morning."  Right, last time I use THAT garage.  They are always busy and I get mucked around and am left waiting.  The "waiting to be delivered" excuse has been used before, to buy her time. Thoroughly p'd off now.  It was always "same day" repairs in Carmarthen.

        Danny has bought a car now (Nissan Juke) but has got the help of a mate to bring it back from Bridgend, where he bought it, as the journey back involves motorway driving and Danny's not driven since passing his test a few years back.  He tried getting booked in for a refresher course but driving schools busy busy busy.

This was the scene in early March last year.  Pretty to look at but the older I get, best looked at rather than having to get out and about in.

        Yesterday I finally set to and baked a cake for my farmer neighbours up the hill - a Spicy Dorset Apple Cake.  When I delivered it, they asked me in to say hello to their mum (she's awaiting hip operations on both hips so can't get about much.  I ended up staying half an hour or so and we all had a good natter (all the boys were in, thawing out).  

        Whilst I was baking, I made a batch of Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, and froze half.  They are soft and not too dry for Keith to eat.  I still have over-ripe bananas to use up (Keith doesn't eat so many these days) so will probably make a Banana Loaf today, for the freezer.  

        I've been going through Family History files, looking for the copious notes I took a few weeks back on the Adams family in Plymstock, but can I find them?  Nope. However, the sort-out was needed and I have a multi-pocket folder with sections for stray pages on various family branches now, which need to get checked against the tree and once I see I have all the details, can go to be recycled.

        I got the Fair tables moved this week, and various other bits stashed away.  I think I will move some boxes of stock up one end to leave a stall clear for Danny's white goods to go in.  He was asking if he could set a gym up in there?  Hollow laugh - not without chucking some of your dad's wood collection out first I told him - and that's not a subject I raise with him.  It's a job for the future. . .

            I desperately want to get to the Patchwork shop in Hereford.  Let's hope I can get there soon. I'll tell you why in another post.

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Things sorted . . .


Here is the Pippi-kitten helping programme the universal remote . . . in Russian . . .

Thanks to Eldest Daughter:

H Key now functioning - tick.

DVD player - tick.

TV remote - tick (whoever knew that they actually worked better if the batteries were in the right way round?!!!)  What a duffer I am.

TV working now - tick.

And some general ticks too -

Pippi-kitten staying close to home - tick.

Ability to change catheter leg bag (my ability that is) - passed with flying colours.  Tick.

New air mattress for Keith - working well.  Tick.

Sore bit - healed, tick.  Heels headed off at the pass too :)


It's a tail!!!

Alfie enjoying the winter sun.

Right, this is my one and only attempt at woodwork, overseen by Keith and I even cut out the shapes for the supports.  It was going well until I glued the last bit on wonky . . . I must have overtightened the clamp.  Anyway, Keith insisted on it being put up and Danny & Jon did that a couple of weeks back.  The scratch-built boat is from stock and will probably go back there eventually.  The two reproduction helmets (the one on the right is Victorian) are from Keith's collection and you can just see the repro Medieval battle flail that Jon gave Keith for Christmas and which he was delighted with.  A change from Chocolate Gingers!  The bottom shelf is mine and I have bought through my Victorian two-handled cider mugs (two with china frogs in the bottom), as they were a bit perilous in their old position in the Library - could easily become Kitten-cat victims on one of their jet-propelled hurtles!  You may just make out the little Zebra between the middle and the left hand mug, which was a gift made by my dear friend Yarrow (Kim) who now lives in France.  I have always treasured it and her friendship.  The twiggy bits are blown down in winter storms, covered in Oak moss.

Tam's now left, and I have been out and had a well-needed sort-out in the stables, moving boxes of stock and bits of wood and all my Fair Tables up the other end of the stalls.  Phew.  I even put my garlic in (belatedly) and have had to water round out there as the bulbs I planted recently haven't been rained on recently.  That makes quite a change!    I feel so much better for having achieve something myself today.

On the downside, this is an even WORSE time for money going out as the car has just catastrophically failed its MoT - the squeaking noise I've been hearing is a seized up caliper or something, which has to be replaced, along with the brake shoes and a couple of other brake-related issues.  I don't drive on the breaks either, honest injun!  Hoping I can get it back before I have to haul back another bag of cat biscuits but think I'm ok for a week - just hate not having a full one as a spare.

Sunday 14 January 2024

. . .When Pippi decided to risk one of her nine lives . . .


 24 hours on, I can bring myself to write about it, but yesterday was just SO distressing.  My stress levels are sky high as it is, as I never know from day to day whether at bed time, Keith isn't going to make it up the stairs and into bed.  He has a wheelchair to the bottom of the stairs (I have the ramps we originally bought for the mobility scooter, which proved too short, but they're just right to go from the Library into the kitchen.) I never know at any meal whether he is going to choke or not, and it is distressing to see how difficult it is for him to move even a few steps these days, when it's a bad day.  I can just about cope as long a each day goes smoothly. Each week it seems more like nursing and less like caring.

    However, yesterday was the day from hell.  About 11 a.m. I realized I hadn't seen Pippi since she went out just after 8 a.m.  Normally she comes back every couple of hours to present us with a rodent, or use the "facilities".  I went out and called her and could hear a piteous miowing from the grounds of the big house.  I went in search, getting progressively more and more worried as I neared the biggest tree in the grounds, and she appeared to be in it.  However, I could only hear her and not see her, but went to get my neighbour to see if we could get my ladder anywhere near.  When he arrived, I had found Pippi about 30 feet up, and when I called her, she came right onto the end of a branch (it was a Balsam Fir) and I had to desperately encourage her back towards the trunk. She had gone up a U-shaped branch and couldn't get down it again and just sat on that then, yowling. It was clear that the ladder I'd got was going to fall short, even with the other sliding length.  The neighbour went back home.  I called our friend from across the valley and he came straight away, but even with both ladders we were still a good 15 feet short.  He thought Pippi was a welfare issue because of the height she was at, but unfortunately the fire brigade won't come out unless summoned by the RSPCA and the RSPCA (when I finally got through to them) won't come out until a cat has been up there 24 hours.  All these phone calls and I was getting nowere.  As you can imagine, I was totally distraught at the thought of leaving her to be there overnight.  I was just so desperate for an end to the fear and worry.  Every time I went back to the tree I expected to find a little broken body on the ground.

    As you can imagine, I was crying throughout - it truly was the final straw - she's my favourite, as you know, and the prospect of losing her . . . She insisted on coming and sitting (to look at the view?!) towards the end of a branch, and looked like a blardy Christmas Tree ornament.  By now it was nearly 3 p.m. and I was getting so desperate - I headed up the hill to our next-door neighbour farmers and hearing my plight, they came down with 3 ladders.  I was looking up into the tree to see if she was in the same place, but couldn't see her.  One of the brothers asked if she was a little black and white cat.  I said yes, and he pointed and said, like that one there, on the grass?  It was her, little wretch, looking like she was peeved because I'd abandoned her!  Oh my goodness, the RELIEF.

    I didn't sleep well last night - I was awake from 1 a.m. till 5 a.m., reliving the day, and after a couple of hours came down and watched the first episode of Mr Bates vs the Post Office, which is very good and made me very angry at the PO.  They treated sub-postmasters despicably.  Talk about being Judge, Jury and Hangman . . .

     I have been exhausted still all day today.  Pippi hasn't gone out of sight of the house, so obviously had quite a fright yesterday - I don't now if she was chasing a squirrel, or if something chased her.  However, this afternoon I DID take myself off to the Nursery to get some compost for planters.  I also bought a little Evening Primrose plant for the orchard, and a Globe Flower (always wanted one and will probably get more)- I bunged that in at the back of the pond the moment I got home.  I also got a pot with several young Auricula in as I don't have any here.  I walked slowly several times round the nursery, looked around inside and bought Tam some small gardening gloves (that size very hard to find) and a trowel which I knew she needed.  She's arriving tomorrow afternoon and then we can get the tv sorted in Keith's bedroom, and the DVD player and the Firestick and if he wants to go up early, he has something to watch.

    Off to try and relax now.

    Thank you for listening to me feeling sorry for myself but yesterday I just got in such a state.

Friday 12 January 2024

Progress - and an expensive month!


Sorry that the light wasn't very good on this, but you get the idea I'm sure.  My hand got sore doing all the French knots for the Umbellifer.  The embroidery stitches are all very simple though - Stem Stitch, French knots, Lazy Daisy and some straight stitches.  I sewed some more yesterday afternoon whilst Keith and I watched back to back Digging for Britain programmes.  I took a walk along the lane for a mile or so each way late morning, and that was very calming and then a lovely Friday afternoon relaxing.

    I finally got around to choosing another Audible book - 2 in fact, as my other credit came through yesterday (reminds me to cancel it before next month).  My choices were "Tell the Bees That I Am Gone" by Diana Gabaldon - mainly because I've had the book two years and only read a few chapters - just couldn't settle to it with some many other worries and distractions.  At least I can listen to it when I do the ironing.  Then I went for something cheerful - a Jeeves and Wooster by P G Wodehouse - Joy in the Morning.

    I met the new neighbour yesterday too.  From Hampshire, nice young man who is an architect.  I'm glad the end cottage has gone to someone tidy!  We had a lovely chat, and he brought up the subject of the water, so I didn't have to, thankfully.  A three way split on going on the mains . . .

    January has been a very expensive month so far - topping up the oil tank for starters (we wanted to make sure plenty was in if we are going to have snow/bitterly cold spell); then the central heating boiler needed its annual service - will book that in for October next; then Keith has passed the car over to me so insurance is simpler in future and he (11 yrs older and unable to drive) is no longer on the policy.  We've had to send the car tax form off to get a refund and I shall take a 6mth tax out, so it renews in the summer, and then I can renew for a year again, which we've always done, but trying to get this away from the house and car insurance, which come close together.  

    So that means car insurance (due in a week) to be renewed, now I've scouted around and found someone cheaper and who we were with before. I was NOT impressed by the quote doubling from £243 last year to £495 this . . .  Then when I tried to speak to someone about it I got the runaround (call centre in Thailand by the sound of the accents) and by the time I'd got to the 4th woman, who assured me she could deal with my problem, then after I'd told her in full said she would have to pass me on to a colleague.  I told them where to stick their policy as they had just lost my business!  I renewed elsewhere for £307 . . .  When I am on my own here, things are going to be very difficult as I will just have my OAP and an eighth (or is it a tenth?) of Keith's small Army pension, which will work out about £15 a week . . .  I will probably have to pay monthly, which costs more.  Well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  I hope that the Unit will help with the bills.

    Meanwhile I spent ages yesterday trying to get Danny's spare tv working, along with the new Universal remote.  Remember when you just used to plug a tv in and turn it on?  Not any more, and I couldn't find out which 4 figure model I should be typing into the remote (which required this in order to work) - just had a 10 figures and upper/lower case letters "model" on the back.  Tam looked it up and gave me a relevant number but still no good.  So today, swop tv's back and try and get the old one working. I have a feeling I shall have to wait until my "technical advisor" (Tam) is here on Monday though. I thought I was doing well just getting the Firestick and DVD player in the right holes!

    As for the H key on my keyboard, well we won't go there!  Can't get the darn thing back on, now I've removed all the FLUFF in there . . .  

Thursday 11 January 2024

A tiring and frustrating day

 I was a Good Girl this morning and cleaned the oven (well, both of them).  Then the top shelf of the fridge.  Such enjoyable jobs - NOT! I even went up into the attic and started tidying up there, intending to give myself the afternoon off.  Then Keith's new (air) mattress was delivered.  (his heels have got very dry and heading towards bed sores, and a discrete area elsewhere ditto.  We didn't know the heels were prone to ulcerating).  It turns out I needed a single mattress protector in order for his electric blanket to be used.  So I went from having it strapped onto the mattress to having the mattress protector and the bottom sheet beneath it and just putting it in on a low setting to warm the bed, then removing it again.  We had bought this one specially so he could have it on at night on a low setting if he got cold.  Plan foiled.  So I had to go into Llandod again to go to get a 4 way switched extension lead to plug the new mattress into (it was a considerable trip hazard where it was) and the protector.  I thought I would pop into the little newsagents on the offchance my Family history mag was in, and it was, so that is my treat for later reading.

Should any "h"s be missing from this, the key is playing up - I took it off to try and clean it and now have at least removed the fluff beneath it but can't get the key back in place!  The delete button is also perilous - think it needs to go in for the keyboard to be cleaned. What fun!  I've left an email with a local chap who seems reliable and speedy.

Tam gave me a lovely embroidery book for Christmas, and an embroidery kit which I've been enjoying stitching.  


I find it very relaxing and enjoyed working on this over Christmas, when I had more time.  Tomorrow I'll put up a photo of the work in progress.

Once I had a working computer again, I found I had an email dated before Christmas from the greenhouse company, wanting my address so they could send the replacement glass.  I have told the handyman it's on its way, but he can't get back here until February because he has some big jobs on (sigh . . .) and what's more, his daily rate has gone up by another £10 and because I have guttering hedgehogs to be put in and some low roof tiles on the stables to be replaced, there is  a "working at heights" premium for that - first I've heard of it - and that will be a further £20 on top.  I am NOT amused about that and if there was anyone else would tell him where to go.  Let's just hope the greenhouse is finished in time for SPRING!

I've just copied this from Gardens to Gables, on Facebook.  This is the interior of a room "From Historic New England, Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, built in 1907."  This is just the green I've wanted for the Guest Bedroom - when it is vacated once more and I can persuade someone to paint and paper it for me. The room, like all the upstairs ones here, has tongue and groove panelling on 3 walls, so that would be painted green.

Wednesday 10 January 2024

Thank you

Can't wait for May . . .

 Thank you all for your kind comments.  I won't have time to go and reply to them all, and I am sorry I couldn't post anywhere to say I was ok.   I will say here, if I go quiet for that long, it's because I cannot get online because the broadband is out.  Were anything to happen to me, I would get one of the kids to post and tell you.   

Christmas and New Year just seem a dim but pleasant memory now.  New Year's Day saw me taking the baubles off the tree and putting it outside on the orchard edge.  If I knew anyone with goats, I would happily donate it for them to munch.  I can't wait to get rid of the decorations once the year has turned.

I've not been anywhere or done anything for weeks and weeks now.  My only respite time is a local walk or doing the weekly grocery shop.  Even Brecon seems exotic these days, as I've not been for months.  Danny & co have put back their move a week so he can buy a small car.  Gives me time to get up in the attic to make room, and try and move stuff from one end of the stables to the other.

The only really positive thing I have done is to approach an antiques centre I know well, which has a good footfall, and to put my name down for a Unit there.  Hoping one will come up soon as I have so much "stuff" here and as I'm none too sure if I can do the Builth Fairs this year, because of Keith's health, it makes a lot more sense.  There are things which came with us from Ynyswen which I just don't have room for, and need to be moved on. I'll still go to Malvern as that is something I am addicted to, and it's good to catch up with friends on the circuit too.  It also gives Keith an interest.

I also hardened my heart and gave the Library all my copies of PSAS (Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, of which I am a lapsed member - when it got to £100 a year I drew a line under my membership).  I was hoping they would put them in their Reference Library but apparently they will just go into storage, which is disappointing.  I gave them so that others might have access.  No point in trying to sell them as they only go for £5 each and such a niche market that I would still have them forever.  So that has cleared a shelf . . .

OT have written to us about a made-to-measure wheelchair for inside and out, and that would be better for Keith to possibly get around Fairs in - certainly Builth.  Unfortunately long journeys (Malvern is an hour and a half nearly) make him very stiff but we will see what we can do.  The little Llandeilo fair would be easier too, and we could go to the fabulous Botanic Gardens Fair again (the one we used to do.  You just couldn't have a better setting than the big glasshouse, where we used to have our stand.)

Today our heating boiler is going to be serviced, so we have to switch the heating off at 10.30 (3 hours before they come).  Needless to say it is perishing cold outside . . .  I've turned the heating up, and shut all the doors, and Keith can be rugged up beneath the electric throw if he needs to be.  Plenty of quilts and blankets here anyway.

Now I'm off to Ancestry to follow up the lead on 4 x  g.grandfather Adams, who lived in the "cherry blossom village" of Botusfleming just over the Cornish border.  I bought a copy of his son's marriage certificate (as a widower) from 1870, and so got the link back.  I'd already made notes and a likely family tree for that branch, and can't wait to delve back further.  The certificate of course arrived the day after we lost the internet . . .

Tuesday 9 January 2024


 After lightning took out the Router on Weds 27th December, I have been waiting (none too patiently I must confess) for broadband to be restored.  I waited 6 days for an engineer, and another 7 for a Router - an earlier one was apparently sent but delivered somewhere else.  They left a line of my address off so no wonder I didn't get it.  

Apologies to you all, as I'm sure you must have thought I'd disappeared off the face of the earth.

I'll do a proper post later.  Meanwhile, have to do my online-banking, which was another thing to suffer from the broadband desert.