Tuesday 30 April 2019

Walking by the River

Walking by the river each morning is lovely, not so much in the evening at the moment as swarms of midges are around.  But first thing every morning ... well after a coffee or two ... it really is the place to be.

After we cross the bridge dogs are allowed off their leads, so each day I am giving little Bella a few minutes of freedom, she loves it.

Although Suky is not so pleased with all the puppy kisses when Bella catches up.

It must seem a long road ahead when you're only a few inches high.

But she's remarkably brave and up for anything.

Back over the river and time to head for home.

Where a cosy bed in the sunshine filled livingroom is waiting.

Sue xx

Monday 29 April 2019

A Weekend in Pictures

Shopping for useful bits.

Lots of good food.

Relaxing and television watching.

Feeling safe and snoozing.

And lots and lots of doggy walks 🙂

Sue xx

Friday 26 April 2019

Bargains ♥️

The weather has changed dramatically after the glorious weather of the Bank Holiday weekend,  so yesterday after a doggy walk taken quickly between showers,  I nipped out to the shops to get a few food supplies and have a little mooch around the charity shops in Garstang.

 I was lucky in one shop and managed to pick up this teeny, tiny wooden candlestick for £2 and a lovely set of drawers that I had first spotted on Amazon when I was looking for a support for the kitchen shelf arrangement that I designed for the worktop here at the Van.  There it was priced at £14.99, at the charity shop it was just £3 ... bargain!

I paid for my little wooden goodies and then turned to leave the shop, and that's when I spotted the 'All Skirts and Trousers Just £1' sale rail.  I managed to get myself two pairs of M&S jeans.  The darker ones are more trouser style and are in 'as new' condition, the others a pair are Per Una and are a bit more worn but are still good enough to wear out and about.

When I got home the dogs were fine, and as usual favouring the littlest dog bed, which they returned to as soon as I had had my rapturous welcome home.  Dogs are brilliant for making you feel loved and wanted ... and the most important person in their world ♥️

Other dog beds are available .....

Sue xx

Thursday 25 April 2019

Starting the Re-Vamp

There was nothing for it ... the other day I just had to get started.  

I have been umming and ah-ing over this cupboard on the wall above the table since the day we got the van.  I have sat staring at it, stood staring at it and have let it catch my eye as I pass by just once too many times.

 So I listed the pros and cons in my head -

Pros -
It balances out the kitchen.
Its fake wood matches everything else in the van.
It holds the keys behind the right hand door nice and neatly and safely.
It holds things we need.

Cons -
It fills up the wall space too much
It is just more fake wood ... that I really don't like!
It's only good purpose is holding the keys ... so much cupboard for keys!!
It looks cluttered with stuff on and terrible if left empty.

There, finally ... decision made.

It took about two minutes to empty it, about half an hour to find new homes for everything in it, including a new cupboard door for the keys to live behind.  Happily all the hooks they were on were Command hooks, the sort that you stick up and can peel off when you need to ... and they always come with twice as many sticky pads as you need, so I used up all the spares and relocated the keys.

The biggest and most awkward job was getting the bloody thing off the wall on my own ... but after checking that all four screws would actually come out for me ... don't you just hate it when you're left with one that refuses to budge ... I took it off the wall.  Using one of the chairs to support the weight while I unscrewed the last one. 

And in true Blogger fashion hopping down from my chair to take a photo 😃

It was a bit of a struggle, and no wonder I've just weighed it ... and it's a stonking 17kg ... all held up on a caravan wall with just four screws!!

The effect was immediate, there seems to be so much more light at this end of the room ... and a refreshing simplicity. 

  I won't lie, at the moment as you look over from the living room end the kitcthen does seem a bit unbalanced, with so much going on on the other side and then just a blank wall of emptiness above the table.  But hopefully the final part of my little plan will remedy that nicely.

Anyway I just thought I'd keep you all up to date with my little re-vamp adventures.

The dogs were fascinated with all the arranging and rearranging, and posed for this shot as if to say "what's next Mum".

Sue xx

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Useful Cubes

My 'coffee table replacement' cube purchase of a few weeks ago is working out really well.  The cubes hide a multitude of sins and keep the van looking neat and tidy.

At just £12 they are worth every penny.

Especially to a certain little puppy who currently has one as her own private den.

Snug, cosy and safe ... and all cuddled up with her favourite teddy bears ♥️

Sue xx

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Cutting Grass the Old Fashioned Way

Cutting grass the old fashioned way, with a little push along lawnmower is strangely satisfying.  No electricity was needed in the tidying up of my lawn and there is the added benefit of a mini workout, saving me money on gym membership ...not that I had even considered joining one  😆😃

Though I did cheat a bit with a quick strim around the edges with our rechargeable cordless strimmer.  The garden was tidied and back to normality within an hour of starting, and that included watering the pots and boxes, and chucking all the bark chippings back on to the corner raised beds ... the blackbirds take great delight in flinging it everywhere in their regular searches for worms and bugs.

I had been about to sit and have a read when I saw the sun gradually creeping into the little garden space, and as I much prefer to work in the cool of the shade plans were quickly swapped around.

So out came the mower.

The Winter Pansies in the first box planter are all having a glorious second flowering, and to think I nearly pulled them out thinking they were dead.

And in my little tin bath the first shoots of garlic are coming through.  I appear to have at least 5 of the 6 garlic cloves I planted looking sturdy and strong in here.  The rest were planted in the box planters in amongst the flowers, spring onions and kale in an effort to hide them from inquisitive birds who love to pull out the early shoots of onions, garlic etc.

And just to show it wasn't all work yesterday, here's your little 'Bella fix' of the day.  My younger son and his girlfriend came round to take me out for coffee and cake at Suky's favourite garden centre just round the corner.  Then we spent a pleasant hour or two drinking coffee and watching a DVD back at the Van.

A lovely way to round off the Easter and birthday weekend.

Sue xx

Monday 22 April 2019

Yellow Stickers Can Start Addictions

Yellow Sticker shopping can cause addictions ... and not just in collecting more groceries with yellow stickers and thus saving you money.  Sometimes they make you buy something that you have never really even considered buying before ... like Giant Crumpets for instance. 

 Since I got a pack of these with a yellow sticker a while back, they catch my eye whenever I am out shopping.  Sometimes I can ignore their pathetic cries of 'buy me, buy me', but not always!!

They do taste bloody lovely though, especially with rather too much of my dairy free Flora.

Well crumpets are supposed to drip aren't they  😄

Sue xx

Sunday 21 April 2019

Birthday, Alcohol ... and Rats

It's been a brilliant birthday this year.  

Not just one day of celebrations but time spent with family on various days, over good food and maybe a little bit of alcohol, but I truly am barely drinking these days.  A nice cold cider on a hot day, a glass of wine rather than most of a bottle ... and yesterday a huge bottle of ice cold sparkling water over a leisurely lunch at Osborne House in Llandudno.

How much water can one person hold!!

I am about to head off to resume Van Life leaving a sunny Wales behind, and hoping the glorious weather continues as I head along the motorway to a more relaxed and laid back existence in my Lancashire home.  

Google Image - Our Apple Store is like this.

We've had a busy morning here, cleaning out the 'Chicken Shed' after I found masses of dried rat droppings in all the corners and then I found more on every level of our large apple store out there ... it was arranged like a block of flats for rats.  It's times like this that we really miss Rosy and her ratting skills, Mavis and Ginger are more 'rabbit murderers' rather than serious pest control.  All is now cleaned out though. and all debris burned on a huge bonfire,  and as there were no fresh droppings I am hoping that the poison sachets that were dropped down the rat holes a couple of weeks ago, safely away from our other animals and birds have had an effect.  Fingers crossed. 

What a strange post to leave you with as I get ready to hit the road ... birthday celebrations, alcohol consumption and rats!!

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter Break.

Sue xx

Saturday 20 April 2019

A Bed to Oneself

Sometimes it's a relief to get a bed all to yourself ...

... while your sister snoozes with the baby.

Live action from the paddock.

Sue xx

Friday 19 April 2019

Good Days

It's been a brilliant week, lots of good days.

Playing in the paddock each day with little Bella who has integrated herself well into the 'pack' of dogs, sheep, chickens and cat.  She has no fear and everyone loves her.

She met my Mum and brother at the Van mid-week,  she stole a couple of hearts there too 💗 

She absolutely loved the caravan and settled in immediately to Van Life.  

We had a little walk along the riverbank before heading for home in Wales again and she got used to her little red collar and lead set.  We keep red collars for the dogs at the Van with the caravan address on the dog tags in case they wander off, and then switch back to their purple collars with the Welsh address on the dog tags for the journey back to Wales.

Back in Wales she is now used to the twice daily perambulation round the paddock and playtime with Jasmine.  See a little snippet of one of the daily playtimes below.

Today is my birthday and it's a gloriously sunny day, so first thing this morning after a leisurely breakfast we piled into the car and went into Llanrwst for a w along the riverbank.

We met lots of folk that found our new little addition just totally adorable and lots of fuss was made of her.

The it was time for a pit-stop ... water for thirsty doggies and a caffeine top up for Mum and Dad.

Oh, and there might have been a rogue cream scone consumed by Alan  😉

New snazzy menus for the season ahead. 

Then as the heat of the day began to build up we headed back along the riverbank, with once again lots of stops for puppy petting by other walkers, and drove the short distance home.  

Now I'm doing a bit of blogging, a bit of sorting out ... what better time to sort out and discard your Winter clothes than on a really hot Spring day, although I doubt many of them will sell at a car boot sale if the weather stays this warm.  I'm still in the process of wearing and then either keeping or jettisoning all my clothes.  Whittling away possessions as and when it becomes obvious what needs to be kept and what can be very easily let go.

I hope you're all enjoying some sunny weather this Easter weekend, how lovely it is to have a Bank Holiday with sunny weather for once.

Happy Easter.

Sue xx

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Changes Afoot

This area has bugged me since we got the van.  I've tried leaving the shelves bare, bare-ish, with condiments on and now as they finally evolved with knick knacks ... mostly egg cups and useful stuff.

But ... it's not right.

  They're not right!!

So plans are afoot for a big overhaul.  I have most of the components I need, now I just have to figure out how to remove the shelf, cupboardy thing from the wall. 

Major simplification here we come.

The planned change worked well here, so I have my fingers firmly crossed that my new idea works equally well in the dining 'room'  😃

I couldn't sign off without your daily 'Bella fix'.

She's loving it here, she had her first little walk with collar and lead along the riverbank this morning.  Just five minutes on grass and then five minutes a little later on the tarmacked road.  All new experiences and in a new place too,  so it was no wonder then that the minute we got home she crashed out in the big dog bed. 

 Don't panic Suky and Mavis are fast asleep too ... on top of their Dad on the sofa ♥️

Sue xx

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Primroses and Puppies

I was born on Primrose Day.

So when I saw a lovely little Primrose had seeded itself naturally in our grass near the house, I was thrilled and came in to get my camera to capture the Spring beauty.

A certain little lady then followed me out ... and proceeded to steal the show from the gorgeous little flower.

Then she spotted what I was photographing ...

... and bit one of the blooms off.

You couldn't be cross with this little one if you tried though could you  💖

Sue xx