Wednesday, 30 September 2009

What is THAT??

A small heap of brown objects, it's autumn so it must be conkers? Correct. And aren't these very artistically positioned?

Yes, very neatly arranged, on the side of the bath. Yes, that's right the BATH

Well, where do you store conkers? In this house, this autumn, on the bath, on the window sills, in small bowls dotted around in unexpected places. But why? I hear you ask, as you well might. Well, have you heard about the spider invasion? Lots and lots of them had a wonderful summer and are now heading indoors for a pleasant autumn and are really quite looking forward to Christmas...
The resident arachnophobe read that conkers are an excellent spider deterrent - thus conkers all over the house!

PS I'm not really at work but my home account won't work!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Dining room update

It's all going swimmingly. Quite literally for the fishes. So last weekend (Sat 19 & Sun 20) we had to clear everything out prior to the arrival of the decorator. Books, ornaments etc are really quite simple, box them up and carry out, dining chairs also easy, just pick them up. But a 16stone fish tank complete with fish? No, not really something to even consider picking up. Managed to borrow a 3 foot tank (thanks to Helen and Helen's dad), wonderful we can just transfer water and fish from one tank to another, however, nothing is ever that simple is it? Especially not in this house...
Friday we started by setting out water to stand and for the water treatment chemicals to evaporate. Saturday morning dogs and I set off for Pickering to collect medicine for Maia and to buy some additional gravel. Upon our return we set to with a will by starting with cleaning out the borrowed tank and to make sure it was water tight, then cleaned all the new gravel, desludged the large filter to ensure the water was as clean as possible and also removed some bits of tank decoration to be cleaned. Then everything needs to dry before we go any further so that leaves the rest of the afternoon for moving more stuff and a small bit of destruction - my favourite job and I'm quite good with a lump hammer! But seriously I wanted to remove the additional molding from the picture rail which was really quite an easy task for the strip above the bay window and it certainly made it all look so much better, showing off the cleaner lines and so much more in keeping with the house. Everything done and cleaned up in time to watch tigers first home match of the season which they duly won but didn't manage a try - never mind, 11 players out injured and we still won. The new Cat stand looks amazing, there's always next week.
Sunday rolls round and it's time for the fish to move house, water decanted by the crate full and dragged across the hall before being poured in the temporary tank in the sitting room. About halfway down and it's time to move the fish before they get sucked up the siphon. The small fish were very good, easy to catch and carry across in water filled bowls. But then came the big ones and the algae eater (Edgar) and the YoYo loaches were not so accommodating - I was soaked, man are they strong?, and really, really big. You don't realise when they're in the tank but Edgar and Mrs Bossy were both bigger than the bowl. Anyway all in the new tank, clean decorations added and new water. Time for lunch. Then the grotty business of emptying the old tank and cleaning it, a very smelly job but not that difficult. finally the fish are sorted. Next on the list, photocopiers. Well they came in this way, they must go through the doorway. A spot of applied geometry and rather a lot of brute force later and the one we're keeping is out in the hall. The other one can wait for the logistics team to collect. And at last I can get at the second piece of molding, this one was not so compliant as the first one and decided to part company with the picture rail and the affixing nails but off it came, in several pieces and the nails came out too, one by one.
And that's it, we're done, just one final job - block the office door so Hebe can't help with the decorating.

Monday and Lon arrives to start, we discuss the paint and I set off to buy many, many gallons of varying shades of yellow. Upon our return there's a message on the answerphone, the logistics team will collect the old printer today - hooray!

Lon finishes on Thursday a day ahead of schedule, for TM that's a miracle! And it all looks fantastic - I'll post up pictures when it's done.
So this weekend we've been polishing and cleaning furniture. The bookcases have come up a treat and if you didn't know you can't tell that the top of the new fish tank table has been varnished. Carpet will be laid on Thursday to give the gloss time to set.
And finally - for now, the first lamp arrived today and we assembled it this evening, the tall uplighter and it fits the scheme very well.

So that's it, you're just about up to date. When the next phase goes according to plan (I can hope can't I?) I'll tell you all about that too!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

plums and fences

Since Juno's escapade with the plums (internal blockage leading to a very poorly dog and very large vets bill) we've made sure the dogs can't gorge on plums. Which makes autumn a little awkward. The plums are now ripe and beginning to drop, not that Hebe or Cara wait for that, picking their own straight from the tree. So every reachable plum has been picked and suitable ones bagged up and dropped in the deep freeze for use later on. But there is still the odd one or two which escaped or dropped before the harvest and is hidden in the undergrowth. Needless to say this is great hunting for the girls who rummage about collecting and eating every little scrap they can find but the odd little piece is not going to cause problems so we've let them be. Today the small black monster (a.k.a Hebe) wasn't content with the plums in our garden and smashed her way through the fence to rootle around on the other side of the hedge. There is now a large Labrador shaped hole in the bottom of the fence by the tree. Until it's fixed labs are on escorted visits to the back garden...

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Dining room colour scheme

Malton this morning to pick up the wallpaper. It's every bit as lovely as I remember. Took one roll up to Stitches to look at fabric, they have even more books of fabric samples than the wallpaper shop has of paper! I thought Indian red would look good against the yellow of the paper and found a lovely red silk with golden embroidery but then I saw a golden woven tapestry like fabric with red motif so brought them both home. The silk is completely wrong and although I love the golden one I have red fixed in my head. So like a nutter off to Beavers to look at carpet and more fabric. Carpet was quite easy, lovely green with flecks of yellow, gold and shades of green. Also found a lovely red damask so brought than home too but that's not quite right (and Mum hates it!).
So yellow paper, golden curtains and green carpet, now selecting the paint, a toning colour for the woodwork and bright but warm yellow for the painted wall above Pig. Not a bad day all in all.
Dogs are exhausted having run all the way to Malton and back this morning and then into Whitby and back.