Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The tin has been opened

Evening everyone.

A busy week so far. Work got in the way for a few days, but have enjoyed my 2 days off. Waited in all day for EDF energy to come round and take out the awful key meter and replace it with a standard one. They didn't show up. All day listening for the door, unable to leave the house and for what?? The call centre staff were very apologetic. Not their fault, but honestly, now I have to make another appointment and stay in again. I hope they forget my first bill.

I took a few pictures of the garden and hens today. Work starts on the chicken run on Monday and I can't wait. The girls are all moulting now and have stopped laying for the winter. The past couple of days the temperature has really dropped and they have gone into winter mode. Eating more and sleeping lots!

A little picture of my garden gate (fascinating n'est Pas)??!

...and one of my tiny garden.

The walk in run will be at the end, where all the shrubs are. It should be just about the width of the garden, with a small lean to on the left. Proper roof and guttering, with an eglu on the ground outside and one on a table above it. Will be great when it is done as I won't have to worry about them when away.

The electrician has been and informed me I need a new fuse box with an RCD unit. All Greek to me, but it means that I can have an outside plug!! I need one desperately for the chickens. Not for their hairdryers, but for the new fandangled-electric-drinker-thingy that stops the water freezing. It is just a low voltage plastic disc, that the metal drinker sits on. The days of lighting a tea light in a jam jar won't work here at Bramble Cottage as I don't know the neighbours well enough to ask them to do it. When I am away it will make life so much easier.

I have now spent the evening talking to EDF energy. I should have stuck with Southern electric, but spookily enough, it is Southern electric that were supposed to take out the meter, even though my account is with EDF. I had no idea that electricity companies were so incestuous!! The lovely Melanie is going to call me back. I hope.

Fire is lit, Stanley is warming the kitchen and I have a few orange slices drying in the warming oven. The house smells like Christmas again.

I am doing a fair on Saturday. A local primary school, so have spent the day sorting out things for that. Need to bake lots of gingerbread men on Friday. They proved popular at the Michaelmas fair in September. Will be a challenge in the Rayburn.

Right, time to put the tin of Celebrations away. Stress with electricity companies forced me to open it. I think 15 Bounties, Milky ways and Galaxies will do for today. No will power. Shouldn't have bought them in the first place.


C x x x

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Introducing Bramble Cottage!

Hello everyone!

I am back! It has been a rough week and my back is knackered after moving. The day before we left Farm Cottage, we had water dripping through a light fitting in the ceiling! Emergency plumber called - a roof problem not a burst pipe! Luckily Rob our neighbour shimmied onto the roof like a nimble mountain goat and sorted out the problem.

Our buyer was on holiday until yesterday, so we moved everything out on completion date. I left the hens there for a couple of extra days, just to give myself a bit of time to settle here. Building on their walk in run will start on the 21st of November! So excited. It'll look fab and have a small lean to for me to store all their feed/bedding etc.

I got the keys for Bramble on Friday 28th at 11am. The removal company had moved everything in by 12 and then left with their cheque. Then followed 2-3 days of cleaning as the people had left the house filthy. They took lightbulbs, the fire grate, the door knocker and only left £5 on the awful electric key meter. They lied about the parking spaces, disputes with neighbours and barking dogs, not to mention cat hair in a sleeping-cat-sized mark on the bedroom carpet. That's right, they didn't even vacuum before they left. Peasants. I ripped the filthy bedroom carpet up within 2 hours of moving in. Mum took one look at the toilet seat and asked where the nearest Homebase was. I won't write about the state of the toilet seat. You might be eating.

It was an emotional time for Jase and I, but we will always be friends and there are no regrets. I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 7 years. Time to go our separate ways, but we will see each other I'm sure. I have been told my beef olive recipe is the best, not to mention my lasagne and chilli, so he will be a regular dinner guest at Bramble Cottage!

Right, now I need to explain a few things. The decor (although it is ok, just plain white), curtains and light fittings are NOT my choice. They will do until I get organised enough to replace everything. Just time and cash being the major stumbling blocks.

Anyway, onto the pictures as I know you are chomping at the bit!

The view from the gravel track -

The bush on the left of the door has been dug up. Mum and I have planted 100 daffodil bulbs along the length of the house.

My kitchen with Stanley the Rayburn!

And now - not much better -

The plan is to have a worktop over the washing machine with a hob and oven next to it. Stanley is still in the fireplace and is doing a lovely job at warming the house!

The lounge with widescreen telly (don't laugh)!

The wonderful little door hiding my stairs! I have always wanted that!

My bedroom -

and now -

The spare room or 'sewing corner' as it is now known. Complete with an ugly sink in each room. Handy though!

Just half of what I have for the craft fair this year.

I have a problem with crafting....

The little built in cupboards in the spare room.

The one of the left is called my BA cupboard. All my uniform and work related stuff fits in, so I can hide it all away!!

The conservatory is so full of junk that I can't take a picture. Once the kitchen floor has been tiled, the carpenter (the lovely Matt) will start work on the work tops and units. I need a hob and oven to use in the summer as Stanley the Rayburn kicks out too much heat to use all year round.

Having lived in the area for 5+ years, I have discovered a wondered shop. Well, it is actually a barn. They use old floorboards and reclaimed timber to make the most stunning furniture. Old dressers, tables, bookcases etc all made from floorboards, windows or any wood they can get their hands on. I have ordered antique reclaimed pine work tops that they are making out of wide floorboards! The guy that runs it also makes shelves, so I have ordered 2 oak shelves for the kitchen - one above the Rayburn and the other for storing my small *cough* collection of Le Parfait jars!

I went in this week to finalise my order and told the guy that although his furniture is amazing, he needs to 'dress' it. The bookcases need a few books, the dressers need a plant, tea cups and saucers and a few gingham hearts would add to the appeal. He has asked me to come back and help him style the showroom as he admitted he hasn't got a clue! *rolls up sleeves and gets the fabric ready* The fact that his Brother in law works for Laura Ashley and is recently single had nothing to do with me offering to help...............but think of the discount. *wink*

Oil was delivered last week, so I got on my tummy (not easy with my dodgy back) and tried to light the burner. Something I will not be doing often as it is such a faff. Once lit, Stanley - yes, he has a name thanks to Susie - is so hot. I have turned him down to number one, but even then the heat is quite something! It will take some getting used to, as cooking on a Rayburn is alien to me, but the roast potatoes I did yesterday were lovely!

Logs were delivered today and the lovely man knew that my back was playing up, so stacked all the wood for me! I didn't have any extra cash in the house, so I gave him a jar of jam, some limestone flour for his hens who are laying thin shelled eggs and 3 chocolate snowmen for his children!

Taking of snowmen, I hinted about them in a previous post! 32 made so far, each filled with a bar of Dairy milk. I hope they will be popular!

It is less than 2 weeks until I am doing the Appleshaw school fair and I have to learn how to bake in my new oven. Shouldn't be that difficult I hear you say! Well it is! The temperature gauge either says 0C or 260C so a bit of guess work is in order. And a new temperature gauge!

All in all, I have to say I LOVE IT HERE. The beams, the quirks, steps, walls that won't allow you to put up a shelf as they are so out, the dreadful economy 7 heating - all of it is fab! It will take some time for me to get it the way I would like it, but so far, very happy. Mum and Dad have been great, coming over all the time and helping. Jase and Dad cleaned out the gutters, as the plants growing in there were getting unruly! Friends have been dropping in and it is lovely.

To everyone on here and Facebook, that have sent me cards and wished me well, thank you! Sorry it has taken so long to write my blog, but in fairness BT only connected my broadband 2 days ago!

I am back to work on Tuesday, boo, but I have to pay the mortgage somehow.

Will write more soon.

C x x