Saturday, 24 September 2016

My week of relaxation and last weekends mammoth grass seeding

I have spent this week on a residential course for work. About a month ago I changed jobs again! I am doing a few days a week in a local GP surgery as a practice pharmacist, with the other days spent locuming in community pharmacy. There is a fantastic training program at the moment that is sponsored by NHS England to help increase the number of pharmacists working in practice to improve patient safety and increase the number of appointments available. So I spent four days brushing up on my communication and diagnostic skills using medical actors. The hotel was near Reading and was set in beautiful grounds. The people were fun too and I managed early nights reading my book in bed and having a lie in to 8 every morning; poor James had to manage the kids at home.

My very pretty hotel

Last weekend was spent in levelling the garden out as best we could using a roller and rake, followed by sowing grass seed, re-raking and watering. It's not that huge an area but it didn't half take forever and I got blisters on my hands from the rake. Still no sign of grass but I live in hope that I won't have to do that job again!

The back garden after levelling and sowing

Whilst I was enjoying a restful break my hard working husband (as well as keeping the kids alive) managed to get the bath tap plumbed and mounted to the wall, so upon my return I tested the facilities and it was amazing to have a bath inside my own house. It wasn't quite the peaceful scene you'd imagine, James was putting some plasterboard on the ceiling and there's no electricity so it was a bit dark.

The hole in the wall is where the bathroom cabinet will sink into the wall, but for now it acts as a good window to let in some light. We are thinking that next year we'll put in a Velux window so that there is some natural light, but as with all things it will wait for some money.

James has continued to put up more plasterboard on the ceilings in preparation for me to be able to unroll the loft insulation.

This morning I did some locum work and when I got home we had a family session making blackberry and apple jam using fruit which James and the kids had picked from the common. The house is coming along great guns now, we're on a roll.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

We have a toilet and hot water in the house!!

So it's time I caught up with what's been going on here. I'm not sure if I said that we have a toilet in the house, an actual real life flushing toilet. James has worked like a trooper putting in miles of pipes for the heating and hot water and even  plumbed in the radiators. Today we even got the boiler plumbed back in and sparked up, so there's hot water too!

The weekend before last we finally had our drainage dug back in, not a moment too soon as the autumnal weather has meant plenty of rain. 

Whilst the digger and dumper were here we had the back garden dug back bit further to give us space for a patio behind where the dining room will one day be. The digger driver gave us two options for the soil that needed removing. The first was to have it removed by a grab lorry and the second was to have it re-distributed around the garden.  Now the first option costs and the second doesn't (well not as much). I'm sure you can imagine which option we went for! It has also given us an opportunity to make the garden more level. The only negative being that it now means we have no grass left and the veg beds had to all come out. So this weekends job for me is to try and roller the ground flat and re-seed the lawn before the winter weather sets in.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Happy 5th Birthday little man

Today was spent with our family at home, opening presents, playing games and eating cake. The little man enjoyed his day so much, with his favourite presents being a space station and a Scooby Doo mystery house. 

To both my children, when you are older my angels I hope you look back on these times with joy as I know I will.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Croft Castle - Battle re-enactment

Tomorrow is a special day, the wee man's 5th birthday and today we took him on a special day out to Croft castle. It's a national trust site and as we're members we can go as often as we like. 

This weekend is a living history weekend for the battle of Mortimer's Cross in 1461, one of the battles of the wars of the roses. 

Both the children had a fantastic time visiting the castle, watching the battle re-enactment, walking round the camp, watching dancing, trying on costumes and holding weapons and watching a gun display. They even got to hold a ferret! 

The little man got to choose a present for his birthday and he chose a bow with a quiver of arrows. What a refreshing change it was to forget about working at home and just enjoy their company.

I'll confess here that one thing I have always wanted to do is living history re-enactments, perhaps when the kids are older and we have more time I'll get to dress up and sit round campfires with fellow history addicts.

Monday, 5 September 2016

First day of school!!!!

It was the little man's first day of school today and he looked so grown up and so small all in one contradictory package. James has taken a few days off to try and get the bathroom to the toilet stage so he took him into the classroom. Apparently within 2 minutes the wee man shouted 'bye daddy' and James slunk off not quite ready to let him go. His confidence has come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 months and we are so super proud of him.

When he got home he got to have a sit in the digger, so all in all a great day to be a little boy.

We've been hard at work every spare minute so I've got so much to tell you all and show you but it'll have to wait for another night. I did at least get the important pictures up!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Insulation and plasterboard

This week I have been cutting insulation to go into the 'side bits' of the roof (technical term). Building regs states we need 12.5 cm depth so 10cm has gone between the rafters and 2.5cm over the top. Whilst I've been doing that in the evening James has been cutting plasterboard to put on the sections of wall where the radiators will go. 

He was busy in the extension this weekend and didn't it rain! The kids spent hours playing outside and they were soaked through. 

Today James dot and dabbed the cut plasterboard on ready to fit the radiators in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed we'll get the boiler fired up in the next month or so before the cold weather sets in. It's hard to believe how much thought has to go into doing things in the right order, there should be a guide on what to do when, it would save us  making some rookie errors.

Today I gathered some seed from the wildflower bed to fill in any gaps where they don't self seed next year and to grow in some more spots around the garden. Problem is I don't know what some of them are called so I've had to label them things like 'flowers with big heads' and 'long light purple flowers', I'll refer to my pictures when I come to sow them next year. 

Little man and I also gathered some damsons and raspberries, which have been ripening in bucket loads for the last few months, the freezer is getting full so a day of preserving is needed again, yay.


Sunday, 21 August 2016

Windows are in!

Windows are in and we love them! In true style the window manufacturers put vents where they shouldn't be and they'll have to replace 4 panes at the front of the house that have vents in. 
Building regs mean we need vents in one window per room and I had them put at the side of the house as I think they take away from the nice clean lines of the window. Plus the manufacturers forgot the vent covers on the vents that are supposed to be in. But for now it's water tight and the window fitter says as the frames are in it won't take long to replace the opening panes when they come. Just the bay roof and we'll be ready for winter weather. 

This evening we had a plum and blackberry crumble with the fruit the kids picked today, blackberry season is just starting and hopefully there will be loads more to come.

Baby girl has had her two year development check this week and we've got to try and work on her talking, she is pretty hard to understand but they all develop in their own time so I'm not worried just yet. The health visitor says she'll call me in three months to see how she's getting on.

We also stopped by at the garden centre with friends and the wee man asked to ride a pony. He actually asked to do it!! He's pretty apprehensive of anything new or out of his comfort zone and I was incredibly pleased that his confidence has grown and very proud of him.

Here's hoping for a great week for everyone.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Happy 2nd birthday my not so baby girl

Just a quick one today to say 'Happy Birthday' to my not so little baby girl. She has grown into such a little personality and I am so proud of how well she gets on with her brother, they adore each other, she follows him like a lost puppy at home and he is very kind and loving to her.

I got up this morning and thought back to that time two years ago we were in our little hospital room taking a few hours just enjoying the secret that she was here and looking at her little features, a very special magical time.

Peppa pig featured largely in the birthday presents, she is a pretty big fan!

So happy birthday angel xxx

P.S. She is looking confused in this last pic as my sister bought her a fab card, only she's not 3, she's 2!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Stud work started

I've had this week off work and couldn't I ever get used to it! James has taken the day off work today and tomorrow and we have done some stud walling in the upstairs extension. The kids have been in and out all day keeping us company and 'helping'. It's great to get a feel for the size of the rooms, looking at the en-suite, we're pretty sure we'll not have the en-suite now but use the room as a main bathroom.

Baby girl was loving spying with her binoculars

I got my first full-sized tomatoes from the greenhouse today; we had them with mozzarella and basil as a salad and they were so tasty. I'll definitely be growing this variety again.

We also found a courgette on the plant we missed, I had James stand in the photo for context! He said it weighs as much as a baby, oops.

This week James went on a course to certify him to do household electrics as well as the industrial he can do at the moment, there's a further course that he'll have to do soon but for now he passed, so well done angel.