Thursday, 15 July 2021

Life at Lavender Lodge

 


Hello ... remember me 😃

Sorry I've been away sooooo long, it's been a tough couple of weeks.   We officially moved into our new homes on the 3rd July, which seems like a lifetime ago.  With my ongoing back pain and now blood pressure problems I have been doing everything   s o   s l o w l y   it's been unbearably hard for someone that is used to cracking on and just getting things done.

Hopefully I will be able to get back to regular blogging once we have gotten this weekend out of the way.  We are completely emptying the flat over the next few days, I say we but it's mostly Alan doing the lifting and shifting with me sat like pained-face royalty issuing instructions.  

There's only bits left but bits nevertheless and they do need bringing here ... especially my boxes of tinned and packeted foods.  All but the large bookshelves we have now sold on Facebook Marketplace, with the little sofa being picked up just last night.  We have a cleaning company coming in next week for an end-of-tenancy clean and then I will hand the keys over early and hopefully get my deposit back.  I have plans for the money 😉


My kitchen is almost complete, I am just awaiting delivery of an upright piece, a small section of worktop and my oven ... but excitingly with my new hob came a free gift, I say free in the loosest sense of the word as the little multi-functional hob cost an arm and a leg as far as I'm concerned.  But I'm getting used to it and it cooks food as it should, if I press all the right buttons in all the right order!!

And with it being an induction hob only certain pans will actually work on it.  I was thinking about streamlining my pan collection anyway ... now I have no choice  😄



I'm taking full advantage of any useful spaces that I have in this tiny annexe that I now call home, so the shelf under the combi-boiler has been requisitioned as my tool and bits and pieces cabinet.


And Ginger has claimed the off-cut of sleeper to have as his evening vantage point.  As you can see in the top photo all the animals have settled in extremely well, having their own outdoor space once again and the day-long access to both Mum and Dad's homes has made them very happy and relaxed indeed.  

Happy animals = happy us.

Oh, and as you will have noticed from the new header the name of my new abode is - Lavender Lodge.  Which ties me neatly back to my roots and my beloved little shop in Ulverston where I sold lavender plants and goodies of all descriptions.

Back soon.


Sue xx




Monday, 5 July 2021

Well We are In ...

 


This was my kitchen on Saturday morning, moving in day ... not finished and with the wrong sized worktop having been ordered it won't be completely finished until the next order turns up.  I have a temporary oven ... which I won't be using but it does mean that all the electrical parts have been tested etc so at least we know my oven should work when it arrives.  By tonight I will at least have a usable sink and my washing machine can be used, taking the pressure off Alan's.  I'm not happy, but I do know it will be worth it in the end I just have to grit my teeth and actually get to the end.

Just out of interest would you use an oven that has been used by lots of other people, especially when you don't eat meat and have no idea of what might have been cooked in there in the past?

Luckily I have my nice new Remoska to tide me over and my microwave once I fetch it from the flat.


I love the colour scheme of the kitchen, and seeing the Smeg alongside the units it no longer looks humungous and out of place in it's setting.  So all is not lost 😀

The whittling down of the kitchen appliances and accessories will be ongoing as I place things into their final resting places,  I really do not want the few cupboards that I have to be crammed with stuff that I could actually live without quite happily.


So we are currently in that chaos that is moving into a new place, you know the one, where everything we need is somewhere else and usually inaccessible.  but you know eventually you will get there, it's just that something in your brain says it should be happening NOW, RIGHT AWAY ... and I'm getting remarkably good at ignoring that.  😄

 But bit by bit we are getting things straightened out and today while Alan worked up in his office struggling with the hit and miss Wi-Fi ... which it turned out was due to EE having us on a phone tariff instead of a dongle tariff, for the last year ... I managed to get both our televisions tuned in and connected to the Freeview boxes, changed some addresses and generally emptied boxes and found things that we really needed, simple things like soap dishes, dish cloths, phone chargers, the dogs new ID discs.

Now I need to sit back and reax for a while, waking up at 5am each morning due to my aching back means I am missing out on my usual 8 hours of sleep a night ... and boy do you want to keep away from me when I get this tired, even I get scared of my own company!!


Sue xx




Thursday, 1 July 2021

The One Where It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better



My back was pretty bad yesterday so Alan went round to oversee the kitchen fitters, wait in for our sofas to be delivered and work from the comfort of his new kitchen, with the table and bench now in place he had as much comfort there as he has here at the flat.  He stole the dongle so he had internet connection and it worked out pretty well.

My kitchen doesn't look that much different from the last photo I showed you, but now all the electrics and the plumbing have been sorted out and the units are properly fixed.  They will be back to finish off today ... and tomorrow if needs be.

After tea we took the dogs round to the annexe so I could have a peek at the kitchen progress and check on my new sofa, which had also been delivered in the afternoon.  Gosh it really feels like it's all go at the moment!!


The living room ... wow what a mess, and I couldn't really see the sofa properly as after checking it over and the legs being attached by the delivery guys, it was left in it's plastic covering to protect it from any dust.  But the colour is glorious and it will really be a feature that fits in well with the name of my new home.


Then we went into Alan's house so I could see his new sofa which had also been delivered yesterday, although it was bought from a different company to mine. His has an electric recliner at each end and a fixed centre seat, it's really comfortable and Alan admitted to perhaps falling asleep on it for ten minutes at lunch time ... so it's been well and truly christened 😄

As Alan's place is now fully decorated, carpeted, curtained and cleaned we will be moving into our new places this weekend  ... at last!!  But there is no rush to do everything all at once as I have my rented flat until mid-August and have booked for an end of tenancy clean for late July.


The decluttering continues and these chairs were put up on Facebook Marketplace yesterday.  Sadly I will have no room for them now.  It's time to be brutal as I would like for this to be the last time I have to declutter.  To move into my new space with just the things I need and love would be brilliant.

Less than 350sq ft of living space doesn't give you much space for clutter if you want to live a good and simple life.


Sue xx





Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Selling Some Old Favourites

 


Some of the things I have here at the flat are just not going to fit into my new place so I have been having a bit of a selling spree on Facebook Marketplace.  As well as little things, a couple of pieces of my much loved furniture has or is going.

My bureau went to a nice guy first thing this morning at the bargain price of £35.


And then later, as soon as we had picked it up from the storage unit I listed the lovely old gate-leg table.  For the £50 it cost me a few years ago it has served us well and now it's time for someone else to enjoy it.  If I had been back home in Wales when Alan was packing things up it wouldn't have even made the journey ... like so much of our stuff, but it was here and stored before I even knew about it.

Now that Alan's house is completely carpeted and curtained we will be moving all the stuff from the storage units and putting things into his 'blue room'.  Once there we can go through things a bit more carefully and just put into our spaces the  things we really want to keep or think that we need.

I am on a continuous decluttering journey and to be honest I think over the first few months of living in my new much smaller space this will continue.  There's really no point in keeping anything that 'might come in handy one day' ... especially if it hasn't up to now!!


Sue xx



Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Moving Along Nicely

 


This was one of our two storage units this morning after we had removed two truck loads of our things and taken them to the house.  I say we in the broadest sense of the word ... the royal we ... as while I perch on whatever surface I can find poor Alan does all the lifting and shifting, with me offering advice over what we should be taking first ... and Alan occasionally doing as he's told 😄


Locking up after another successful trip.

My new bed arrived this morning and the guys assembled it for me.  It looks lovely in the room and is the perfect size, I'm so glad I went for the four foot option.  We went back an hour ago to check on things and I managed to stash all those white storage bags in the spaces under the bed with a little bit of room to spare.

The most exciting thing today was the delivery of the kitchen.  Currently some of it is stacked in the living room in the exact space the sofa will be sat by tomorrow night ... hopefully!!


The other units are already in place, and a bemused Suky checked them all out while Alan took Mavis for a walk along the canal, it was too warm for Suky to go, she's like me in that respect ... the hot days really take it out of her.  The kitchen will be properly fitted tomorrow and the guys have the keys ready for a 9am start.


Ginger says hi, he doesn't know it yet but his new cat-flap is in place in Alan's back door and soon he will once again have the freedom to roam and stake his claim to a whole new territory.

Back soon  😃


Sue xx





Friday, 25 June 2021

New House Update - 3

 

I don't think much has changed in the annexe over the past couple of weeks, but everywhere is a bit cleaner, the curtain poles are all up and the wardrobe was assembled.  Alan managed to unbox the boxed-in toilet long enough to be able to replace the old toilet seat and then reassemble the boxing in, so that is much better now.

Everywhere seems lighter and brighter and since this photo was taken my old shop fitting bookcase is now in the living room, stood at the end of the sideboard ... there should even be books on it by the middle of next week ... a house is not a home until the books are unpacked in my opinion 📚😀


One day the curtain pole was up at the front door ...

... and the next day the Smeg was in place.

The sofa and bed are both arriving next Tuesday now, so hopefully I will be well enough to hang around at the house until they arrive, the plan is to be stacking books on the bookcase while I wait.


Or I could supervise Alan planting one or two of these Courgette plants.  Here they are 4 days after seed sowing ...


... then one day later.


And then another couple of days.  The beauty of sowing seeds late is that they romp away, now I just need the sunshine to come back so that they can go outside, where all good Courgettes plants live.

Yay ... homegrown vegetables 🤞


Sue xx



Wednesday, 23 June 2021

New House Update - 2



One of the reasons that our house renovations have taken so long is that although when we viewed the property everything looked good, on closer inspection once it was empty this was not the case with the main house.  A lot of the walls and the bathroom ceiling needed the old plaster taking off.  Once the wallpaper and ceiling paper had been removed there were a lot of cracks and damage underneath that we really hadn't expected, so they had to be re-plastered before painting.

Luckily the warmer weather over the last two weeks has meant that the plaster dried out nicely and now everywhere is painted.


 As in the top photo this is the front bedroom ... now known as the red room ... with the fitted wardrobes removed and completely re-plastered.


At the back of the house is Alan's soon-to-be office - henceforth known as 'the purple room'


The little box room or 'the blue room'.

Each room has one wall painted in Alan's choice of colour and a matching lampshade.  The 'blue room' also has plain blue curtains.  The lampshades were bought from Dunelm and then the paint colours mixed to match them exactly.


The living room ... the paint cans were removed the day after I took this photo.   All the radiators were put back on the walls at the start of this week and the central heating boiler in both properties re-checked by a qualified gas engineer.  The carpets will be fitted in the whole house on Friday of this week.

Last week new windows were installed over most of the house and all the locks changed, today the snagging work was done and a cat flap for Ginger was installed in the bottom half of the back door.


I ordered my Smeg weeks ago and have had to wait for it until Monday of this week.  Alan loved the photos of mine so much he ordered himself the black version ... and it was delivered almost immediately.  He is very smitten with it, and as you can see it fits in with his snazzy light fittings very well 😀


A little doggy update too.

They both went for a good grooming session last week and Mavis has had her two-yearly clipping to turn her into a sleek version of the scruffy Jack Russell she usually is.  I think it makes her little tail look very strange, luckily they left her distinctive eyebrows intact.


Sue xx



Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Time for Some Updates - 1


For my own records and to keep you updated I will try over the course of the next couple of days to upload some photos of the progress we have made over the past couple of weeks.  Things have really ramped up now and although I am out of action Alan, along with all the tradespeople we have employed have been working hard on the house and garden.


Alan and Dave first levelled the area that the paving stones had been lifted from at the back of the house and next to the annexe, poured a layer of small gravel to smooth things out, then laid a sheet of water permeable membrane and then two tons of Berkshire Stone was wheelbarrowed along next doors driveway and brought into our back garden. 


The stone is on around three quarters of the sleeper edged area and the final quarter had a ton of top soil barrowed round and tipped into it, also on top of the membrane, along with six bags of multi-purpose compost.  The blue plastic is just laid at the edge to protect the bottom of the fence from watering that will be done in that area.


Once the groundworks had all been done I came to the house with Alan, perched on a stool made of sleeper offcuts and supervised the planting of the garden area.  With Alan following my instructions ... 'no, turn it clockwise, not here, there, no to the left'  etc etc ... within in an hour we had the start of a new garden and at last some life in what had been a yard of concrete and paving.


For now there is just a small selection of plants to start us off, with the plants that are currently outside the flat about to be added to the bed once we have time.  The tree in the corner is an Apple Tree to supplement the food I will be growing in a small raised bed that will be built once the shed is made and in place.  To accommodate more growing room for the tree roots I came up with the idea of buying a half barrel and removing the centre section of the bottom, hopefully this will give the trees roots some extra space to grow downwards and outwards.

The square metal thing is the small kitchen sink that was taken out of the annexe.  I thought it would make a perfect little pond to encourage wildlife and insects to the garden so I rescued it from the skip.  I will let it naturally fill with rainwater and will place a couple of large rocks inside and around the edges for small creatures and insects to be able to climb on safely to access the water.  It also gives you a sense of scale for the area as it is exactly one foot square (30cm x 30cm).


To break up the expanse of gravel we have a couple of the paving stones on top which will have large plants pots on, which will eventually be planted up.  The second layer of sleeper on the left-hand side in this photo was cut to size and then added to the end nearest the house, so that it can be used as a bench if we have a few people round.  You can see this in the next photo.


A photo taken from Alans office window ... which is now known as 'the purple room',  there will be more about that in the next update  😃


Sue xx



 

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Back Soon

 


Just popping on extremely briefly as I am about to run out of charge in my laptop, mostly to thank those of you who have, for the comments and emails enquiring about my back.  OUCH is all I have to say about my back ... or words slightly more offensive along with some deep groans.

I am really out of action at the moment and trying desperately to 'get back to normal' in any way that I can.  With this in mind we called to the house this morning to take some measurements for curtains and then went onto Dunelm to get Alan some curtains.  His choice of colours are his and his alone ... and that is all I am saying on the matter.  Although I did after some slight persuasion encourage him to buy some really beautifully patterned curtains with touches of green and purple in them instead of the plain purple ones he was going to buy to go in his purple and white room. 

I can cope with being in the car on the motorway, it's mostly lovely and smooth even with Alan driving (!!)  but the potholes in the roads of this bloody town are to be felt to be believed, ironically it was the subject of discussion on the local Facebook page yesterday with the road we have to use to get to the new house being cited as one of the worst in the area .... trust my luck.


I'm just off to do this while my laptop re-charges .... yeah right!!

😄😂😆😳😰


Sue xx



Saturday, 5 June 2021

Confusing Photo

 

This photo caused a lot of confusion when I shared it on my Facebook page last week.

Some people saw the mirrored bathroom cabinet for what it is, and understood the reflection of the heated towel rail on the wall over the end of the bath that you can see in it.

Others saw it as a teeny tiny towel rail stuck on the mirror ... and now that they've pointed it out that's exactly what I see every time I look at it  😃🤣

I'm off for my second Covid jab this morning, as it's a 30 minute car ride away it will be a good judge of how my back copes with a longer car journey.   It was excruciatingly sore last night after my lunchtime visit with the physiotherapist.  I have another appointment next Friday so he can inflict some more torture  😳


Sue xx









Thursday, 3 June 2021

A Quick Walk Through

 


My new wardrobe arrived the other day.  

I had ticked the box for 'All Day Delivery' which meant delivery was free of charge ... how was I to know that I would be first on the list and it would arrive in two huge boxes at 6.35am!!

I got a text the day before to tell me my delivery slot was 6.30am - 8.30am, which usually would not have been a problem but obviously as I don't live in the annexe yet, it meant setting my alarm for 5am to give myself enough time for me to drink two cups of coffee and let my painkilling tablets kick in before I took a slow drive on deserted streets to get to the new place.

The next day Alan assembled it for me, and he was so pleased with it he's ordering the same one for his house as it matches the king-sized bed and bedside tables that we already have.  With this one the drawer section was already put together in one large box and the upper section was in five parts ... top, sides, back and doors already fitted into their frame with the hinges already on, all very carefully packed for a safe delivery.  It made for a relatively easy assembly job, which would have been even easier if I had been able to help, but the early start and travelling the day before had finished me off for the weekend 😓

Anyway I love it, and it matches the doors and the curtain poles perfectly so I have a very co-ordinated bedroom developing.

I've been asked a couple of times for a walk-through film when the annexe is all finished and I will do that I promise, but yesterday while we were there checking out Alan's decorating progress I decided to do a quick video tour of the annexe while I waited for him.


For those of you who need it - 


It's a bit rushed as Alan burst in at the end to ask me a question and I instinctively stopped filming but it does give you a little glimpse of things as they are now.


Sue xx



Wednesday, 2 June 2021

The Fence is Finished - Tick

 

The fence between us and next door is finished, and it's looking really good too as this photo taken from the first floor window shows.


This is it from our side ...



... and this is it from theirs.

It felt a bit strange going down their driveway to have a look into their back garden, but as they were away I wanted to check what they would find when they got back home.  I thought they would be pleased, and they really were.  They rang us to let us know as soon as they saw it.

Good fences make good neighbours.  

Over the weekend we went to Daisy Clough garden centre to pick up some bags of compost, some plants and an apple tree.  We might also have partaken of a cup of coffee and a sausage bun while we were there, it did seem strange to be out and about and eating out again, strange but very nice.

Although I love the neatness of the neighbours garden I need colour and greenery in mine and I am itching to get things planted in the ground.  But first I just have to wait for a ton of top soil to be delivered, while I wait I will sow a couple of the Courgette seeds that I also picked up from the garden centre into a plant pot here at the flat, I know it's late but they should romp away and maybe give me a little taste of homegrown by the end of Summer.


Sue xx



Tuesday, 1 June 2021

My 50p Marks and Spencers Jeans


We got this £10 gift card the other week from the company that were our former solar power installers in Wales, they had sent us a brochure and accidentally put unknown to them forged stamps on the envelope.  This meant that all we had received via the redirection service was a card from the Royal Mail asking us to pay postage on an unknown large letter item.

We weren't going to bother sending back the stamps to retrieve this mystery item anyway but then the next day we got a letter from the solar company apologising and explaining what had happened ... and sending us a £10 gift card as an apology, which they had had to send out to everyone who should have got the mailings.  Their buying cheap stamps had backfired big style!!

Then my quarterly M&S vouchers arrived.


 With £19 in the form of a gift card and vouchers for £9 and some extra points for ordering online, it made sense to order something that I really needed.  So with one of my last two pairs of jeans giving up the ghost only the week before I decided I would buy a new pair of jeans for just 50p ... so I bought myself a t-shirt as well  😁


Sue xx