Tuesday 30 March 2021

Living by Water


Mavis posing prettily yesterday, she knows how to look dainty and delicate.

And Suky has sleeping and dozing to a fine art form.

But they do occasionally drag them selves off the sofa and out of the doggy beds.

The riverside walks this past week have been different every day, from cold and icy to windy and wet with the odd warmer day thrown in for good measure.  This photo was taken on Saturdays walk and already after a day of sunshine yesterday and this morning starting gloriously well the large Willow tree is much greener and everything already feels more Spring-like and fresh.  

The birds along the riverbank are nesting and as we walk Mavis is tempted over and over to dash to peer in the hedges and borders when she hears them chunnering and pushing through the branches.

Right at the start of the path though, we are warned that some birds must be much more dangerous!!

The house with a lot of land at the side of the river have just added this sign to the other instructions at the start of the riverside path, much to our amusement.  It's nice to look over their gate at the new additions.  They are a mix of rescued hybrids, like our 'brown girls' and a couple of Skylines, the sort we had that laid the blue eggs.  The most recent addition to their mixed flock of chickens and ducks are some Indian Runner ducks, which Mavis finds fascinating to watch as they run across the field in their comically upright position.

There's always something to see as we walk along the riverbank each day, I wonder if the canal-side living will be as entertaining ... gosh I do hope so, I love living by water.

Sue xx

Monday 29 March 2021

Be Gentle


I think we are all feeling a bit up and down at the moment.  

So many blogging friends are finding life hard, as are friends and family in the 'real world'.  It can take one word said out of place or not thought through properly to trigger a downward sliding of dramatic proportions.  

We all seem quick to judge, and yes I include myself in that.  I purposefully keep away from the computer and away from the Comments boxes when I feel in one of the moods that make me quick to pass a judgement or have a thought that is not really mine to make.

Of course the trolls and the Anonymous' of this world don't bother, and spew their vitriol for all to read, making no-one but themselves look bad.  Why is the anonymous written word so much less friendly than the named or spoken one.  

It stood out to me the other night on Channel Four's 'The Circle', instead of a game where all the contestants could see who was writing what suddenly they were given the opportunity to pass comments on each other anonymously ... and boy oh boy did the gloves come off.  This is one of the few reality type tv shows that I watch, as while it is still relatively new the psychological aspect of it still intrigues me the way Big Brother did for the first couple of series. 

I think ... and yes this is just my opinion on my blog ... that not just for a little bit longer but for a lot longer we need to be gentle with each other.  Kinder, take words at face value and if they seem harsh question when they are, sometimes they are not meant in the way they are said.  We need to learn gentler ways of communication with each other and have eyes that smile, while the smile we aim at strangers is still hidden behind a mask.

Have a good day, and hopefully with the promised sunshine tomorrow a few spirits will be lifted and we will all enjoy a lightening not just of the sky but also of our moods and our hearts.

Sue xx

Friday 26 March 2021

Uninstalling, Unfollowing and Heading Back to Simplicity


Last night I went to bed early to read for a while.

Only I didn't pick up my book I picked up my phone.  Two hours later as the hands of the clock passed midnight I looked up.  I had played my word puzzle game, I had caught up with Instagram and I had had 'a quick look at TikTok'  ... I hadn't read my book at all.

This morning as I woke up I pondered this straight away.  

What a waste of time ... it had left me unfulfilled, dissatisfied and with little flashes of light in my eyes rather than a satisfying turning down of a corner and happy putting down of a book.  So before I had even cleaned my teeth or put the kettle on, I sat up in bed and uninstalled most of the time wasters from my phone, I had unfollowed people and companies on Facebook that constantly send me messages and I put my book in a prominent place ready for tonight.

Tonight I will read about the family that sold all their belongings and bought a barge to cruise up and down the canals making jewellery and enriching their children's lives, and I won't turn the light off wondering why somebody would film a little clip for TikTok of 'a brave person' rescuing a little drowning puppy as it's mother ran up and down the side of the deep water panicking ... while they filmed it and did nothing at all to help.

Heading back to simplicity one uninstall at a time.

Sue xx

Thursday 25 March 2021

Just an Animal Day


I went into the bedroom yesterday to fetch something and look what I spied.

I just had to tickle those pretty little feet ...

... and look who popped out.

Ginger  is settling in well to his temporary home here at the flat and is getting used to sitting on the doorstep for fresh air whenever I pop out to the recycling bins.  Although he's really not used to people being able to walk so close to our door, and if he hears anyone talking or walking along the road that leads to the riverbank  he scoots back in to safety.  He's slightly braver at night when it's dark and will come out with the dogs when they go out for their last toilet break, but for now he's happiest and very content to be indoors

It won't be long until he has a small garden to call his own territory, and hopefully he'll let us share it with him.

The dogs seem happy enough.  Suky is over her dental work and fully recovered, and although Mavis was a bit unsure of the new routines at first she has finally settled down now that she's been here for almost two full weeks.

So all is well in animal world. which makes life in our human world very happy too.

Sue xx

Wednesday 24 March 2021

The Oldies That Stay


Thanks so much for all the comments yesterday, it's great to have input and keep me thinking about my intentions and plans for the new place.  So I thank you all 😀

What I do know for sure is that only a few things are coming with me from the flat and from Isfryn.  The main item of course is my much loved Welsh Bread and Cheese in the top photo which will be in the space between the end of the run of kitchen units and the windows next to the front door.

  This will be used as my main food larder, with heavier tins in the bottom part and other food in the top cupboard.

This bench, formerly from my shop and then all our previous homes after that, will be on the opposite wall for sitting on to put on shoes etc ...

... and above it will be these hooks and perhaps the mirror too.

The little green chest ... Alien as he has been christened ... will probably be in the bedroom, he currently holds the television here at the flat.

The final definite piece of furniture is my bookcase/cupboard, which I think will be in the living room for all my non-cook books.  I can't imagine living in a place without this, it is another item that I have had for more years than I care to think about and was also a shop fitting.

The bureau that bought after moving into the flat and that I use as my office space, will probably be coming if I can find a place where it looks nice.  It is really useful and holds such a lot of stuff it would be a shame not to be able to have it at the annexe if possible.  And of course my new-to-me mirror will also be re-used.

These curtains will definintely be coming with me and will most likely be in the bedroom, where they are more than big enough to cover the window and the double doors.  The recently purchased corner bookshelves may come with me, or if I can't fit them anywhere ... I don't have many actual corners ... Alan has said he will have them for his spare room.

I do need to buy a few things for my new home ... a four foot bed similar to the king-sized one I had at the Van with full under-bed storage, a sofa ... I am currently debating between a corner style or a simple three seater ... and a wardrobe.  

I will only need a small double wardrobe with one or two drawers at the bottom as I really don't have that many clothes now and any out of season stuff will be able to go under the bed.  Something a bit like this is my preferred option.

So as you can see I have been thinking about, and indeed still am thinking about so much.  We are going to the properties today to take more measurements and to get the info needed that the window repair people have asked for as we are having some of Alan's windows repaired, a very necessary cat-flap fitted into his back door in a new panel, and we are also having all the locks changed.

First though it's time for some lunch.

Take care. 

Sue xx

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Researching and Ideas


I had a genius idea yesterday ... if I do say so myself 😀

I knew in my head what I wanted so I trawled Google Images and then Pinterest, until I found this image and then saved it.

Looking at this still from the estate agents virtual tour of my new annexe, you can see on the righthand side there was originally a radiator cover under the cupboard when we viewed the annexe, now it is gone but I knew I wanted it re-instating.  

As I mentioned in my YouTube tour of the flat on yesterday's post my idea is to add a drop down table of some sort in the kitchen.  I really like to be able to sit down and eat my breakfast at the table, I'm never as fussed by other meals as I tend to eat lunch at my desk while I read through coursework or having a break and skimming through Facebook, and I prefer to eat my tea on the sofa answering Bradley's questions on The Chase, but it's nice to have a leisurely breakfast with lots of coffee and a chapter or two of my latest book ... and you really need a table for that.

Top photo again so you don't have to scroll up.

Now imagine this with the cupboards at either side of the radiator cover a little bit wider and therefore the shelves too.  The cupboards used for a couple of my larger pots and dishes and the shelves full of cookbooks and in the middle  instead of a television ... a drop down table leaf.  When it's closed to give the kitchen/hallway more space it has one of my favourite pictures on view and when it's open is the perfect little table for two people to sit at or me to spread out my reading material and mugs and bowls.

It could of course also have some narrow shelves behind that could hold salt, pepper and anything else that I wanted to keep ready for table use to save me jumping up and down, that would be neatly hidden from sight when the table was folded up.

I'm finding things like this and making a sort of mood board to show the kitchen fitters when we meet with them on Friday morning and have a chat about re-doing both kitchens.  If they can manufacture something like this to tie in with my new kitchen units it would be brilliant.

What do you think?

Sue xx

Sunday 21 March 2021

A First Peek Inside My New Home

So we picked up our keys late on Friday afternoon, walked the dogs back down the riverside and then leaving them at home headed off in the car.  Although the new homes are only a ten to fifteen minute walk from here, Alan's leg is still very painful so hopping in the car seemed like a very good idea.

In no time at all we were letting ourselves in and having a good look around.

Don't properties just look so much sadder when they are empty of everything they once held!!  Seeing the bare bones of Alan's place made us realise how well the furniture and clever staging had hidden the damage and the wear and tear the house had suffered purely from being a well used family home that the previous owners had simply fallen out of love with.  It all felt quite sad, and made us realise that quite a lot of work was needed.  The first thing to order will be a large skip.

 My little place was quite a bit cleaner and fresher and although needing some work will be a much easier proposition ... once I have decided on the style of kitchen I want that is.

So if you would like to now it's time to grab yourselves a cup of coffee and settle back for the full tour of my new tiny home. 

I still love it.

Sue xx


Wednesday 17 March 2021

Tales from Wales - The Grand Finale

There, that's it ... the final view of Isfryn, our home in wales for the last seven and a half years.

We left for the final time at three o'clock yesterday afternoon, me driving my Fiat 500 with a full boot and passenger side and two very excited little doggies in their bed on the back seat and Alan driving our truck filled to the ginnels with it's final load, which included a cat that escaped from his carrier just ten minutes into the journey and who spent the next two hours perched on top of the things in the back seat, watching a very unfamiliar world rush by through the windscreen.  He took it all in his stride though and left Alan mostly in peace to drive, apart from a few plaintive yowls, and he arrived at his new temporary home looking quite bewildered.

Before we left I took some final photos with my phone, so I'll take this chance to share them with you.

Looking back at the house from Chicken World.

A henhouse that's been empty for a few weeks now.  Our last elderly hen died in late January, so we gifted our one remaining hen, a good layer, to the new neighbours across the road who have a lot of older hens but not many still laying. 

Behind Chicken World, beyond the fence is where we have our regular bonfires and we had a pretty spectacular one burning a lot of stuff we didn't want to take or leave behind on Monday afternoon.

The Chicken Shed.

Still with everything you need if you keep chickens, the new people have or will be getting some of their own.

Walking across the front of our garage, looking towards the view I will miss.

The hedging and trees that we put in before the polytunnel was erected, that have grown so much in the years we've been here.

The Tunnels and the Veggie Patch

Leaving lots behind, including some of last years Spinach and Kale.

Bits and bobs for the new growers to make use of.

A final shot of what was my domain until two years ago.

Lets go back to the house now for a final goodbye.

Two shots of the conservatory.

Anything you see on these photos was left behind for the new owners.

Including brewing up supplies, a New Home card ... and a cheeky bottle of wine.

Ooops ... one thing we did forget to bring with us was the dog's and Gingers water bowl!!

Luckily they have far too many bowls for us to really miss this old one.

Shhh ... lets sneak past a resting Alan, although the dogs have spotted us.

Alan developed a DVT three days after his Covid-19 vaccination and has really struggled with all the physical stuff this week.  So it's been a question of do a bit, rest a bit, do a bit, rest a bit ... on doctors orders.  Best to try and live your life as best you can, take the tablets and the painkillers but do keep moving was the instruction.

Upstairs and the bedrooms are empty and echo-ey.

With the office furniture left in situ as the new owners will also be running a business from home.

And that's it, time to go back down, wake a snoozing Alan, bag up a cat and hit the road.

Town Life here we come.

Sue xx

Wednesday 10 March 2021

Taking My Time


I'm in no rush to move into my new place, yes I have the key from next week and that is exciting but it's from then on that I will be making more solid plans.  For now I am just dreaming and pondering over what I could have.

As I said on the previous posts, I swing one way and then the next and while I am in that frame of mind I won't make any drastic changes.  But hey, even if I did when you only have 341 square feet to worry about there's not much that can go too drastically wrong.

The boilers in both properties have been serviced so we know they are safe, the repairs that needed doing to the house have been done and the cost shared between us and the vendors, so we both know we have safe, secure and fully working homes to go to.

All I am planning for sure is a complete redecoration right the way through my little home by professional painters and decorators.  I have spent far too long working on my homes in the past, tiring myself out in the process and making me fall out of love with them right from the get-go, that I think it's time now that I am in the position to be able to do it and make my own mind up about it, to have someone else do it for me and in the process support a small, local business.

That reminds me I must take down the swing this weekend!!

Sue xx

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Still in Two Minds

 Carl Vilhelm Holsoe - Interior Light of Spring

I love this image.  

The lacy drapes at the windows, the pot plants on the windowsill, books and blousy roses in a vase on the old table.  I can imagine myself at the window drinking in the view of the gorgeous Spring flower filled garden.  Wafting around in my lightweight 'posh frock' and sipping my coffee out of a delicate bone china  cup.

Sadly at the moment this is more me, slumped in my chair ... just change the little black cat to a Pug  😀

Sue xx

Monday 8 March 2021

Will the Real Sue Please Stand Up


I am starting to realise I have a split personality!!

 I had always suspected it but now in trying to set up my new home it has been revealed all the more ... and there's just no escaping it.

The kitchen has been just one of the major eye openers in this realisation.  I swing, on an almost daily basis between wanting clean lines and modern but with a country, retro twist, to wanting completely rustic with mis-matched everything and clutter all around me.   I mean to start with I don't know if I even want to change the kitchen or just put my own slant on what is already there.  That would definitely be the cheaper option, but what if what is there is not in brilliant condition, then I will have to make a decision as there will be no space to have a new kitchen fitted once I am living there, I mean it's only six foot wide and is directly off the front door.

To try and work out a way forward and plant some more inspiration in my head I Googled  'Modern, Minimalist Kitchens' and picked my favourites,  the top photo was one of those that came up and was chosen ...

... and this one.  
Now a plate rack, although with less slots would be a very good idea above the sink.

Then I Googled 'Cluttered Country Kitchens'.  At first this one came up, which is not cluttered at all in my opinion, just open shelving and glorious stone walls.

Scrolling further down the page this one came up ...

Haha ... nope, I'm moving away from this particular one 😄

Then I Googled simply 'Cluttered Kitchens' and just got a page of something that looked like it came off a hoarding show ... most definitely not the way forward.

So what do I like:

I like clean lines ... and battered edges.

I like white ... and a riotous patchwork of colour.

I like easy cleaning ... and wood and stone with nooks and crannies.

I like airy and bright ... and cosy and subdued.

I like clear space ... and I like my things all around me.

I hope in one way that the kitchen is in such good condition, that to rip it out and start again would be a crime, but I remember doors slightly askew, a missing oven and wasted space in a tiny area.  I only need to hold my patience for just under two weeks and I will have my keys.  Then my mind will have to be made up and choices will have to be made.

The 'soon to be mine' kitchen as it was on viewing day.

But for now I am most definintely in two minds about most things 😄😬

Sue xx