Sunday, 13 August 2017

Bathroom update

We've been making a concentrated effort to get the bathroom finished. It's had a bath and sink in for the last 6 months or so but it's been undecorated and without the shower or flooring fitted.

The bathroom had originally been designed as an en-suite but we decided to make it slightly larger and make it the family bathroom. As such it didn't have any windows planned and although we could have lived with it that way we decided to put in a roof window. I don't seem to have taken any photos pre-window, but then the light was crap so never mind!

James put it in about a month ago during a hot spell and it look's great, but more importantly let's in natural light and gives an illusion of space. Only problem was he got a bit dehydrated and has given himself kidney stones again! Luckily he has private health insurance with work so didn't have to wait to see the consultant.

So a fortnight ago he plastered the room and I did the painting. Last weekend we laid the floor tiles and the wall tiles behind the bath. We put together the shower enclosure this week, but joy of joys it had wonderful instructions translated (rough interpretation of the word translation) from Chinese and the parts looked nothing like the pictures. Perseverance and two evenings later and we have a shower enclosure. James did some tiling yesterday whilst I popped into town with my mum to get some birthday presents for baby girl, who will be three on Tuesday. Last night James wired in some spot lights so we're well on the way now.

The blade on the tile cutter was blunt and started to break the tiles so today we went and got a new one and some extra tiles. This week should see the shower finished and we can get the grouting done.

We had a day of birthday fun, we gave baby girl the choice of what she's like to do so this morning we went swimming, we had lunch at McDonald's with her best friend and then we popped to our neighbours for a barbecue and the kids all played and we had a drink of wine.

On a quick time hop this week marks a year in my new job. I can hardly believe how quick it's gone.








Monday, 31 July 2017

Scotland


We've had a week back at work after another lovely family holiday, this time in Scotland. Once again the Sun have done us a good turn as the caravans we stayed in were clean.

On the trip up we stopped once again in York, one of our favourite cities.

We did four days in Eyemouth, not far outside Edinburgh and three days on the West coast at Gatehouse of Fleet.

The weather was beautiful and we only had one day when we were all soaked through to our pants and socks, which if you know Scotland at all means we did exceptionally well!

We spent a few days in Edinburgh and I absolutely loved it. It jumped straight into our list of favourite cities. We walked our socks off, seeing the castle, doing the Scotch whiskey experience, walked the Royal mile and Old town and Princes Street gardens, round the shops and also a fantastic Sandeman's walking tour that took in all the main sights including Greyfriars kirk.

James and I both agree there was so much more we'd have loved to see, but the kids can only walk so far. There were so many good restaurants and bars that we would have liked to visit and one day we'll return on our own.

I couldn't believe how much beautiful countryside was around Scotland and it seems so sparsely populated when compared with down South.

On the journey to the West coast we stopped at a newly re-opened distillery. It was obviously expensively renovated and everything was beautifully crafted. If you're near Annandale I'd recommend a visit.

Gatehouse of Fleet was very quiet and there was little do do that wasn't outdoorsy. We did get to see a neolithic burial mound which was brilliant. 

Well back to it, I'll post later this week on the work we've done in the bathroom.

As always a long procession of photos follows, starting in  Edinburgh and featuring the Eyemouth (and some seal feeding), the west coast, Annandale, two National trust properties breaking up the journey in no particular order.

Edinburgh















Feeding the seals

Eyemouth 
Annandale distillery




Neolithic burial mound - Cairn Holy Chambered Cairn



Carsluith Castle


Deer in the Galloway forest park







York minster










National Trust - Hardwick Hall


National Trust - Cragside






Sunday, 16 July 2017

All finished and on to the next adventure.

At long last I have finished my university course. I have passed my third and final exam and my portfolio of evidence has been submitted. This week has been lovely with my evenings spent cleaning and tidying that has been long neglected and weeding the garden. In the 6 months I've bene studying it's been the mundane things I've missed the most and it's great to feel that when I'm talking to the family I've been giving them my full attention.

Just a few random catch ups; we had hedgehogs in the garden, three of them in one night and as this has been a lifelong ambition of mine, I was pretty excited!



Just a quick pic of some of the guys I met through uni. We had a celebratory few drinks down the pub in Birmingham after our final exam and I felt pretty worse for wear the next day but it was great. 



Yesterday we met my mum and headed out to a National Trust nearby. She keeps telling me she's missed me, so it was high time I saw her. This summer's been particularly warm and sunny and the walk was sticky! The kids were shattered by the end but enjoyed the exercise. After the visit I surprised James and had my mum take the kids for the night, something she never usually does and took him out for a meal and the cinema to make up for lost time and let him know how much I appreciate the support he's been to me. He's done the lions share of the housework and all of the renovations. 






Talking of renovations; he has now finished fitting my roof window in the bathroom, so I can luxuriate under the stars. He's also spent time putting in the basics of plumbing for a shower and fitting aqua board onto the floor so the next plan is to plaster the room so that we can tile.


As a family we are off on our jollies and have stopped at a midway point today in one of our favourite cities to break the journey. We have been to another National trust, this one Hardwick Hall (making the most of the membership!). Beautiful country garden flower borders is one of my garden ambitions and here there is plenty of inspiration. We followed this up with a stroll round York and a quick trip to the national railway museum (not my thing but we tried), so here are a few pictures of the fun.