Thursday, 31 December 2015

Not a year end review

As I've not blogged regularly for quite a while, it seems inappropriate to do a year end review, so I'll just round up the past month.

The build still rumbles on, it was supposed to start at the end of August and take six weeks. The builder was delayed on his previous job by around 5 weeks, and started work during the first week of October. As it took just a day to demolish the old extension and remove it, we thought we were going to be done and dusted by mid November. 

Oh, the best laid plans!  Once the external structure was up, the delays began. As we got closer to Christmas it became obvious that the build would not be done to such a finish as to get the decoration done. We still cannot use the new rooms properly as they are not yet fully painted or carpeted.  The outside has yet to be rendered as the builder was let down at the last minute by his sub contractor, so the cottage looks very much like a building site from the outside too. I imagine we will not be straight until the end of January, as everyone appears to take a two week break at this time of year. It has been a very disappointing time.

I was going to forget the Christmas tree again this year ( we had just moved in last year and there was no time to get our decorations out of storage) but OH insisted I put it up in our makeshift lounge.

      Not bad, and it certainly has made the place a little more festive!

We managed to cobble together presents and OH was spoiled by some of his students, with lovely bottles and boxes of sweets and biscuits.

I was given the first off the production line of his new ladies t shirts, only available to students.

No make up and half drunk!

These had to be my favourite themed pressie, always a sucker for jelly sweets

I've had a few nice little charity shop bargains in the past few weeks, although OH found a rather lovely leather Linea jacket for £7.95 when I reluctantly took him to the local chazzas. 

I managed to find these gorgeous soft leather gloves for £1.50

Just today I managed to pick up this fab top for a pound, my final bargain of 2015

The label just says 1974 originals, so I've no idea of the brand, but the top is unworn.

Even though we are living in a dusty mess and have run out of money, at least we can start the new year healthy, and with the majority of the work on the house, and associated mess, behind us.  

I will be starting the new year with only two chickens, as my lovely large French copper black Marans, Duck, passed away on Christmas Eve. I am pleased she got to spend a year in the countryside, and as she was 6 years and 9 months old, she had a good long life.

I am 50 in three days time, something I'm finding hard to take in, and hopefully this next year will be memorable in a good way.  We are both keen to see the back of 2015 for many reasons, most of which I'm not prepared to share.

I hope you have all had a good Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Autumn bargains

Having not blogged regularly for a while now, I'm losing track of what I have and haven't shared with you, bargain-wise.

I do share my purchases on my facebook page, but it is hard to get time to sit at the computer at present and actually write a blog post, so I do apologise if you are sitting waiting patiently for my bargains, and there have been some nice ones.  

So, without further ado, here's a quick bargain round up for the past 8 weeks or so!

First, long and sloppy Joe Browns jumper £1 

Next, some bodycare products.  I'm always on the lookout for toiletries or makeup, especially to stock the gift drawer.  Unfortunately both of these items found their way into the bathroom and are now in use! 

Both were 50p

I do love it when I discover something which might actually be true vintage, and this hat appears to be so.  It was just a pound and is by Frank Olive

Next, a nice selection of denim and casual, which were bought together.  A great Lee Cooper t shirt for 50p, FCUK denim bag, £1, and my new favourite skinny jeans with a high waist, which are H&M and cost £2

The jeans are just so comfy and they fit really well.  On closer inspection of the label I discovered that they are in fact children's jeans, height 164 and age 13 to 14. I'm not complaining!

I do favour sloppy clothing around the house, as I do a lot of DIY and the like.  So I tend to live in sweatshirts and jogging trousers a lot of the time. I was very pleased with these brand new Hanes (US brand?) sweatpants for £1.  Not exciting to look at but warm and great for working in!

I've been trawling around on ebay recently, and this pretty beach cover up caught my eye.  It was 99p to start and there was no extra postage charge.  I bid on it and won, and felt very sorry for the seller who probably lost out big time after postage and ebay fees.  I washed it and spent ages trying to stretch it back to the size and shape it was when I got it, only to notice the label, dry clean only, seriously?  On beachwear??

I've taken the ties out under the bust and arms, and will replace with fake bows and elastic at a later date.

Lastly, I was thrilled to add this pretty and unusual silk scarf to my scarf drawer for just 50p, so pretty!

Cottage update:  most of the external work is done, just render to go on the outside but the weather needs to be dry and frost free for that so not sure when it will happen.  Internally, we are currently between first and second fixes, with second fix about to start tomorrow.  Tiler is booked for 1st December and I collected tiles today, with the help of him indoors.  I am very pleased with the wood effect UPVC windows, unnaturally so I think!

  Had a major cock-up with the interior doors and fingers crossed they will be delivered tomorrow.  The doors were supposed to arrive on Friday, but never turned up.  On checking the carrier's website, I saw the delivery note had "refused as not ordered" scrawled on it, right next to my name and contact number, which he never bothered to use to find out where I actually was.  It seems the driver tried a similar address two miles away with a different postcode, the delivery was obviously refused, so he took them back to depot, in Yorkshire!!  To say I was angry is and understatement!  

That has set us back as the doors need treating before they are hung, and as they are Oak  veneered I need to see the manufacturers instructions with the door, before I can buy the correct treatment, gah!! 

We are hoping to be straight for Christmas but not expecting to be.  Once we are I shall have a new lounge and workroom so will be back to regular blogging and trips out, oh for a routine again!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The mists of time, a trip down memory lane

While the building work continues at the cottage, We've kept ourselves out of the way as much as possible. The house is dusty and dirty and builders have taken over every room downstairs, or so it seems.

A walk around the village earlier in the week was interesting, it was so foggy we could hardly see a thing, and we both got absolutely soaking wet in it too!

To keep away from th ebuild here at the cottage I've been attempting to renovate my childhood home, and we intend to rent it out. Removing wallpaper, old shelves and boxes has uncovered some forgotten treasures mostly of the throwaway variety, so I took some photos for posterity.  Unfortunately, my phone doesn't have a great camera and the lighting isn't the best so the pics are a bit blurry.

The old wallpapers include the following

 The paper above is vinyl and presently a drawer lining, not sure if I can sneak it into the cottage as OH doesn't like old stuff. 

 I think this paper is lovely, probably 50's?  Really pretty and with a toning border too

 This flower border was a bit unexpected, it doesn't appear to be with any other papers and this is the only bit I've found so far.  Love the Made in England edge of the paper above, just showing in this photo.

Several decades of wallpaper, the middle paper is hiding the previously shown flower border

I also found jazzy Formica covered chipboard shelves, which have now been disposed of at the tip

60's without a doubt.  Mind your eyes!

An old Martini box hid a plethora of old food and drink containers

Anyone remember Tree Top?

This skimmed milk tin is full, it might end up on Ebay.

70's jelly boxes

 Assortment of bottles

One of my few baby food jars, kept for posterity. I was mostly fed on mashed up adult food

Had to look up nonpareils, never heard them called that.

Did anyone else collect the Stork margarine containers?

I also came across this old Sunblest bag

An interesting old shoe box, which probably held my first pair of shoes

This ladies shoe box, with the interesting non pc colour description

This label was on a really large box I found, it was nappy liner in a roll, for inside terry nappies.  

Well, who knows what I might uncover elsewhere in the house, will keep you posted and hope to resume more regular blogging soon, when the builders have gone.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Golden boy!

OH and I are 4 months apart in age, he being the elder of the two of us, and he turned 50 at the beginning of September.  He took the day off work and we headed out for a relaxing day. 

Dudmaston Estate is just over the border in Shropshire, near the Severn Valley Railway (SVR is coincidentally also celebrating 50 years) and managed by the National Trust.  It isn't open on a Friday, so it was a happy coincidence that OH's birthday wasn't a Friday, and we took the opportunity to visit. Dudmaston is actually lived in, hence the funny opening times, and photographs indoors are not allowed.  

Happily, there were plenty of lovely things to photograph outside.  

The lady emerging from the house is actually the present Lady of the Manor, I recognised her from the many personal photographs dotted around inside the house, as she walked past us.  I didn't realise I had photographed her at the time.

The gardens are extensive, but while we were there we got caught in a very heavy storm, fortunately, we were in a heavily wooded part of the grounds at the time, and it didn't last long.

It is actually chucking it down in the photo above, we were chatting to a chap who was also sheltering from the rain and it turned out he lived in the next village to us.

Bad weather aside, here is a photo tour of our day out:

 The lovely lake

The lake as viewed through the eye of The Watcher, a 1969 sculpture by Anthony Twentyman 

 The gorgeous boathouse

Boathouse selfie

 Extensive views (storm approaching!)

How now brown cow!

Tea and cake (of course!)   

 Shepherd's hut in the picnic area

 Picnicking in the orchard

Best looking loos ever!!

 Never seen medlars before

...or mulberries

Birthday boy

Beautiful grounds

Old stable block, now contains the shop

Love this staircase!

 More gorgeous borders

OH's birthday tea... the Lock in Wolverley (old photo of mine, it wasn't raining when we got there!)

I've had some great charity shop bargains in the past few weeks, the best one being this necklace.  I bought two necklaces for 50p each, one is a present so I can't show you here, and this was the other

Yes, it is gold, and it will have to be scrapped as one of the links is bent to the point of breaking.  The scrap value is around £35.

I also bought these tops, one is Wallis, the other Mantaray, both were a pound.  I've worn the purple Mantaray one a lot, it is so comfy.

Found these Primark jeggings in a children's clothing 50p bin, they are ladies, not children's.  I don't usually buy Primark in chazzas, but for 50p it was a no brainer!

I found this lovely Prestige hand whisk too, paid £2 for it but it has plenty of weight, not like my modern one, which has now been donated to a charity shop.

We've also been busy in the garden, the summerhouse is now up and painted, both inside and out

Since taking these photos it has been painted on the outside again and is now a much darker shade of green, and the back wall inside has had a touch up, it was really runny paint!

Well, that's it for now, as of this morning the builders have been hard at work and the garage has been reduced to skip junk and is no more

We are really busy now but I will try to post some updates as we go along, and of course any bargains I may find along the way.