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. 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Knock through complete

This weekend we hosted two very nice builders who have knocked through a new doorway for us into our upstairs extension. We no longer have to walk through our bedroom to get to the bathroom and baby girl's bedroom. We have now completed all the major demolition upstairs and will be putting everything back together over the next few months.

It's hard to describe how the layout upstairs has changed but I have taken some pictures so you can at least see the before and after.

In each of the above photos you can see before, during and after. We plan on pointing up the stone and keeping it on show on this side.

Same again from the other side. In the first photo you can just see the last piece of wood left from the original stud wall, to the far left of the shot. The stud wall will be put up next to the new door to make a corridor on the opposite side of the room from the original configuration.

As a family we've had a lovely weekend together. I've done some gardening and went to visit my sister's new house on Saturday. Today we took the kids swimming this morning and then walked over the common to the pub this afternoon to catch up with our neighbours over a few pints of cider; all the kids ran riot and played football in the beer garden.

Ready to swim

A few from the walk back from the pub.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Catch up time... holidays to Cornwall, the stairs are turned and more deconstruction.

I'm back for a short while. I had my second round of exams on Monday so can take a few days to relax before picking up the books for the third round. As you can imagine it's been a bit stressful in our house with me closeted away in the evenings and weekends to study but it feels so good to have some time to look at the internet and venture outside.

James has once again been doing a stellar job looking after the kids and the house.

We had a week away in St. Ives, Cornwall over the Easter holidays, which was beautiful. We stayed in what is easily the most disgusting accommodation I've ever had the pleasure of staying in. The weather and location made up for all that though!
We visited all of the national trust sites, which when you're members makes for a cheap holiday. The little villages of Polperro and Mousehole were so chocolate box and we took the kids to Lands end. I've put a huge collection of photos at the end. Whilst in Poldark country we visited so many ruined tin mines and had the cobwebs blown away. 
St Michaels Mount was also great; there's a giants well where the story of Jack the giant killer is based, when the giant was slain and was thrown down the well. The kids were fascinated! There was also a body found holed up in a small cell hidden behind a wall which also caused much excitement with the wee man. We alsogot to go out in a boat which the kids got to steer, much to their hilarity.

Whilst we were away a carpenter friend of ours came and turned our stairs around and it was a wonderful surprise when we got home.

Stairs in old configuration

Stairs in new position.

This meant that the stairs now turned into what had been little man's cupboard. Luckily we just had to take out the shelves and we could walk through his room to get to the old corridor. A few weeks later the carpenter came back to make a new doorway through the wall. There were beautiful old oak beams that had to be removed which I was sad to take out, but the carpenter brought round some reclaimed joists and made a lovely doorway.

James took the old wall out in what had been baby girl's bedroom and then stripped the plaster from the walls.

The wall from inside the bedroom before dismantling

The wall before being took down from the corridor

Baby girl helping with the work

Last weekend he even dug over a flower bed for me. One of our neighbours over the road has been so kind and keeps bringing me over pots of plants to plant in our garden. They were starting to look worse for wear so we had to get them in the ground pretty quickly.

Look no further for a million holiday snaps. I promise to be back sooner than last time!