We are almost there. Jobs still to do are: tiling, installing the ceiling chandelier, fixing up a shelf and replacing a door that is a little damaged.
Friday, 29 February 2008
We are almost there. Jobs still to do are: tiling, installing the ceiling chandelier, fixing up a shelf and replacing a door that is a little damaged.
Thursday, 28 February 2008
As you can see, the kitchen is looking pretty amazing. I keep standing in the middle of the room, doing a strange little pirouette as I admire the workmanship. Just one workman has been here today; the joiner. As usual, he has worked extremely hard to get the units up, pelmets on and everything fastened together.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
An empty space is today beginning to resemble a new kitchen. Base units have been built and work tops have been cut to size. The rewiring and toilet training of the last couple of days all seems like work behind the scenes, but work that has to take a large chunk of the credit in order for the kitchen to be designed in the first place. It goes without saying that after the joiners had finished today, we could visualise the kitchen in all its glory and I was half tempted to give the place a once over and start filling up the shelves. I haven't. Can't have the building crew thinking I'm a desperate woman.
None of them have been bothered about having their photo taken for the world wide web. The joiners even asked for a comb.
We just had 2 very minor hiccups today. The first happened this morning when I was typing a couple of paragraphs for the novel and the electrician decided to switch the electric off. I hadn't saved the work I had done. I mentioned that perhaps he should let me know next time he intended to do this and then found myself saving my work after every sentence. The second little mishap occurred this afternoon when I popped downstairs to see progress. A small section of worktop had been missed off the end near the sink unit. It appeared on my plans but not on the joiner's. Good job I'm about. Think I might take up this project management, it's quite fun. I have a delivery of a farmhouse kitchen table and chairs arriving tomorrow. All in flat pack of course. I have asked the joiner if he would do the honours - I shall throw him a few quid for his trouble. And probably a dozen eggs.
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Tea up! I have to say however, the only break they had was for lunch, half an hour in the van.
I could almost taste the dust while I sat working in the office, upstairs. Eventhough the kitchen is on the ground floor, the whole house will need to be cleaned. I am thinking of recruiting. My mum. The wood panelling will be painted, possibly a shade of cream. The Farmer thinks it just needs a bit of a clean. Get the nicotine off. Yeah, right! The skip which should have arrived yesterday afternoon still hasn't landed. We have been left with kitchen debris outside the back gate. If these winds pick up any more, we could be left with debris scattered way beyond the back gate.
We dined in one of the holiday cottages last night. Amy thought she was on her holidays. We all sat round the table eating homemade fish and chips watching Doctor Who save the world. It was great fun. She made herself comfortable and even wanted a bath. "I've got enough cleaning to do this week," was my reply. I did not fancy deflooding the holiday cottage for Saturday's guests arriving. The workmen are quite confident they should have the kitchen in and functional by Friday tea time. They did more than expected today and tomorrow the joiner arrives to fit the units. The garage currently resembles a furniture warehouse. It makes one wonder how he will sort his way through it all. But I hope to bring you a few shots of the new units tomorrow, so see ya then.
Monday, 25 February 2008
Lunch time. Didn't they do well.
Two really nice guys have worked like trojans all day. The electrical points are in and now the wires and leads have to be run through the house. They go into the loft tomorrow and will no doubt discover my shoe-clad spider friends. God help them!
See you tomorrow!
Friday, 22 February 2008
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
Woolacombe in North Devon was another favourite hot spot for our family holidays and one year we went away with three other families. Their kids were a little older than my brother and I while my sister was still in a pram. We all trundled down to Croyde Bay, a stunning stretch of coastline, popular with the surfing community, and set up our rather large corner of the beach. Three of four windbreakers sheltered the sunbathers amongst us while my dad and my brother spent the first hour blowing up the rubber dinghy in true holiday, "is it ready yet?" "If you helped instead of standing there pickin' ya nose, it might be ready quicker," style.
Meanwhile, I sat and stared at the sand, wondering if I could get away with leaving my flipflops on. Even back then, I hated sand. The amount of items we would take onto the beach was quite excessive. Deckchairs and windbreaks, picnic baskets in abundance, bags filled with clean clothes and towels, beach balls, tennis rackets, cricket bats and stumps, not to mention the rubber dinghy. We must have looked like we were moving house and what the icecream man used to think as we struggled past his van and queue of customers makes me cringe.
But the highlight of those beach trips has to be my mum's famous changing robe. A huge piece of blue fleece-like material, open at the bottom with a drawstring at the top. The adults, not the kids I hasten to add, would step into it while someone else, preferably a husband or wife, would hold the top at shoulder height. The idea was then to pull the drawstring so that no one could see the person inside the robe removing their clothes and changing into a swimsuit. Then voila, transformation would appear, the robe would be dropped to the sand and the newly attired person would step out, all ready to sit on a nice clean deckchair and eat a cheese sandwich, flavoured of course with Croyde Beach.
On one of these beach visits, I accompanied a couple of the men to the local chippy. I will never forget the many faces behind me when my dad asked for fifteen portions of chips and several fish. It took a long time for us to live that down. We have a great photo in the suitcase of memories of all of us sat on that beach enjoying freshly made chips. The next time I am able to look in the suitcase, I shall seek out some of the old photographs and post them on here. To me they are priceless.
Monday, 18 February 2008
Saturday, 16 February 2008
Friday, 15 February 2008
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
There are other pieces of furniture in this big old house that I would never dream of parting with and I am sure he would be happy to hear me say that. Even the kitchen table is going to serve a new purpose. As a dining table. The farmer will not allow me to get rid of it so we are therefore throwing a table cloth over it and sticking it in the dining room, which is currently filled with items for the charity shop, including two recliners and a settee. Oh and another Victorian sideboard, but a beautiful one which I am definitely keeping. I will have to buy some dining chairs for our "new" dining table as Sparky is often so hungry she simply cannot wait for her supper.
I guess February the 14th is a relatively ordinary day in the Jigsaw household. However you wish to define ordinary of course. Life goes on, the sheep are fed, the farmer is fed and the rest of the animal kingdom which resides here are spoilt rotten. Life on a farm is ongoing, never a moment spare when something or someone does not need attention. Don't tell, but I have bought the farmer a card. Neither of us are in the least bit romantic but just to tell the love of your life once a year that you appreciate them does not hurt anyone. I am one hundred percent sure that I will not get a card back, but a hug will suffice. And perhaps a bunch of flowers. Freesias or roses if you please. Maybe even a chocolate or two. In fact, I was hoping he might have booked a table at my favourite restaurant. In Paris. Oh well, like I have previously said, miracles do happen. Just not in the Jigsaw household!
There is a meme flying about where you are required to reach for the nearest book, turn to page 123 and go to the 5th sentence. From there, write down the next 5 sentences. As usual, my nearest books include a number of compositions based mainly on the same subject but I have put my hands on one named "Life After Death" written by Deepak Chopra.
"At this point Benedict made a startling decision. He asked for the experience to stop, and it did. That he found a way to control what happens after death would not surprise a rishi, but it is almost unique in NDE literature. Benedict called a halt so that he could talk to the light. As he did so, it continually changed shapes, sometimes resembling Jesus or Buddha, other times turning into a complex pattern like a mandala or archetypal images and signs, as he puts it."
Most people who have done this meme have left the tagging open to anyone who wants to have a go so being a sheep farmer I shall follow suit.
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
Every night, apart from lambing time when the farmer is in bed between the hours of 7pm-11pm (another story for another blog), I see to the dogs, taking them out for their bedtime wee, fluffing up their baskets, making them a hot milky drink, the usual routine. I went to bed myself at 10pm. I like to sit up in bed each night, watching the television. I have a collection of sitcoms on DVD which I adore; To The Manor Born, The Thin Blue Line, One Foot in the Grave. I watch them over and over again and never tire, a little autistic trait in me I suspect.
After kissing the dogs goodnight and making myself a drink to take upstairs, I went on my way turning the lights out and closing the boot room door, remembering not to close the kitchen door in case the cat wanted a midnight snack. My warm cosy bed awaited. Pink fluffy dressing gown and red flannelette pyjamas hugged my skin as I covered myself up with the duvet and switched on the DVD player. Currently watching To The Manor Born Series 2, I pressed play on the remote control and settled back against the pillows.
Within five minutes into the episode, I heard a dog bark. Sparky to be precise. She has a much higher pitched bark than Molly and a tendancy to bark at anyone who comes to the door. She is an excellent guard dog and we always know that someone is about when she barks from the boot room. Pausing Penelope Keith in full flow, I pulled back the duvet and reluctanctly made my way downstairs, a little anxious that someone should be at our back door at five past ten at night and I was dressed in my pink fluffy dressing gown. I had not heard any car draw up outside yet Sparky continued to bark, not aggressively, but what I would call, intermittently. I was quite sure there was no one at the door as I entered the kitchen, switching the light on and extinguishing the odd shaped shadows.
I went through the kitchen and into the boot room. Both dogs looked up at me, confused as to why I had disturbed their longed-for rest. There was no sign of anyone at the door, thank goodness, nor was there any reason for Sparky to have barked. Her head, gently resting against the cushion in the basket, stayed where it was. Molly barely opened her eyes. I left them in peace. But just before going back through the kitchen, I decided to walk past the oven. I did not need anything from that side of the room yet something pulled me towards it, as though reminding me of something that needed to be done.
As I walked towards the oven, I felt a sudden warmth around my hand, gliding it over the ceramic hob. I had carelessly left one of the front rings on, just low, but enough for me to have realised as I almost touched the top. Switching it off I smiled and looked at the door which leads to the boot room. The shadow disappeared as I thanked him for reminding me to turn off the oven before going to bed. One of his favourite bone-picking moments with me when I first did it a few years ago and he, typically, was first to realise. This time, however, he made sure I came downstairs.
Saturday, 2 February 2008
1. When I was 13, I was bullied at school by a horrid older girl who lived around the corner from me and caught the same bus. I used to sit at the back of the bus in the morning, trying to look hard whilst choking on a crafty fag. She hated smoking and I hated her. One winter, on the way home from school, she bombarded me with snowballs. One of them contained ice which hit my face and ever since I have hated snow. After six months of bullying and me getting off the bus a stop early to avoid having to walk near her, I heard the devasting news that her dad had passed. He was only in his early 40's. Not long after, we became friends. Not particularly good friends, but at least she didn't bully me anymore. However, still to this day, I hate snow.
2. I nearly emigrated to Baton Rouge in Louisiana during 1997 after being involved with a guy I had never met. Tom, was a work associate. He was a lovely man with a great personality and my loneliness almost introduced me to a new life. I have blogged about him if you want to read it here.
3. When I was 21, I lived in a house in Aylesbury with two other girls. I had moved there to join my then boyfriend who later became my first husband. The girl who owned the house was rather mysterious and we used to have our suspicions that she was a private hooker. She would take phone calls at all times of day and night then without explanation, disappear for an hour or two, completely dressed to the nines, only to return and spend an hour in the bathroom.
4. After becoming homesick and moving back to Manchester, I got a job in the city as a Legal secretary in a Jewish firm of solicitors. They were so rude and nasty, I went in work one morning and told my boss where to stick his Menorah. I felt pretty low as I descended the stairs to make my way to the train station but I still got my pay cheque the following week. And they had given me a bonus.
5. I went on holiday with my boyfriend on Christmas Day in 1997. We went to Lanzarote and only booked 2 nights accommodation in an apartment. Having booked the flights separately to return 7 days later (i.e. New Year's day), we had to find 5 nights accommodation when we arrived. We scoured Puerto Del Carmen for a full day for somewhere to stay until we finally went into a 5 star hotel on the outskirts of the town and managed to check in. It cost us an absolute fortune, but boy, was it worth it!
6. And whilst in Lanzarote, we went nude bathing on the beach right near Arrecife Airport. It is located so near to the airport that passengers can see bathers as they get that all-over tan. The sea was incredibly warm.
7. I once played a pregnant French woman in a production with a local amateur dramatics society. My character was split when I had to appear later in the play, as an American spy with a southern drawl accent. Always wondering if I would make the big time, I left after being approached by Ken Dodd.
So there you have it. A few more things about me that you never knew and now you do. I have that many skeletons in my cupboard that I have had to buy a new one. Some skeletons are best left at the back, covered up and forgotten about.