Monday, 22 May 2017

Week fourteen

Day 92

We have a replacement tap fitted to the kitchen sink, notice the lovely easy-to-use levers . .

Day 93

. . . and a new flush pushy-in-thingy fitted to the bathroom loo.

Day 94

But now the bathroom ceiling lamp has come unstuck!

Day 95

A nice surprise, a wild poppy flowering beside the kerb at the front of the house

Day 96

After a month of no rain, we get a month's worth in one day

Day 97

A well earned break by the sea at Sidmouth . . .

Day 98

. . . and Budleigh Salterton.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Bucket List, Hot Stones Massage

Just short of two weeks into the year, and I've already achieved one of the items on my bucket list, although to be fair it was booked up a while ago, so I knew it would happen. I've had a Hot Stones Massage, and very enjoyable it was, too.

For those of you who have never tried this, I would urge you to give it a go. It's a bit like a normal aromatherapy massage except that it lasts twice as long, feels twice as good and the masseuse uses the hot stones and her hands, as well as placing the hot stones on various parts of the anatomy.

This is a whole body massage (apart, obviously, from the private bits) lasting 90 minutes, and I was lucky enough to be able to choose my background music - I can't imagine anything nicer than being massaged to the "Elvira Madigan" theme and other Mozart piano pieces, but each to his own.

I took a couple of photos but the room had very low lighting and I forgot to change my camera settings, so they are a bit blurry, but if you google Hot Stones Massage it will give you an idea of the size and nature of the stones.

I was very fortunate that as GM had no idea what to give me as a birthday present he very generously offered to pay for this treatment, and also another one, so I'll be going back next month for a second go. If any of you are close to Warminster and would like to have a go yourself, please leave a comment and I'll put you directly in touch with Jen.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Week thirteen, our first three months.

Day 85

The flushy thing in the bathroom loo is broken (less than two years old, so couldn't have been very robust!), so I had what I thought was a brainwave - a plastic cork from a bottle of wine makes a good pusher-down.

Day 86

I bought a new pedal bin for the en-suite, I love the colour.

Day 87

I bought this some time ago, but don't remember if I showed it or not, it's a basket that sticks to the inside of the shower cubicle door by suction pads, for shampoo, soap etc.

Day 88

My cheeky toothbrush holder mug

Day 89

Homeward bound (ours is the one in the middle)

Day 90

His shelf unit is more or less filled, now he just needs to populate his desk.

Day 91

The kitchen sink tap, again less than two years old, but unless it's turned off so tightly it can't be turned on again, it drips incessantly. A replacement is in hand and a plumber is booked.

I hope you have enjoyed the first three months as much as I have.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Week twelve, and a little bit about Andover

You can read the official stuff about Andover here, what I'm giving you are just my own impressions as a newcomer.

The reasons for locating here are simple enough, I have two sons and their families living in Surrey and I have two sons and their families living in Wiltshire, thus Andover is almost (but not exactly) midway between the two, and is in a position where it's an easy day trip for me to visit - that is until one or the other of them decide to move elsewhere!

Andover is growing, there's a lot of new development, and according to the developers' sales office, it will be continuing to grow for the next five or so years. The centre of town is isolated by a ring road, so finding it can be a bit confusing to start with, but perseverance pays off. A comfortably pedestrianised Market Square gives the town much character. The River Anton runs through the middle of town, and the river has been treated in such a way as to feel very much more rural than it actually is, the river corridor is heavily treed, so that both housing and light industry are shielded from it. As in most places, the church is very prominent, standing at the top end of the Market Place at the highest point of the town.

Most of the new development is to the north east of town, and it is pleasing to the eye that large swathes of open green land are much in evidence in the midst of all the new estates. The surrounding Hampshire countryside is less dramatic than both Wiltshire and North Surrey, but is never-the-less very attractive.

I like my new adopted home town. I feel comfortable here.

Day 78

The church, with Almshouses below.

Day 79

The river as it meanders through the town

Day 80

The main river crossing in Bridge Street, behind the Market Square

Day 81

One of the large areas of open grassland surrounding the newer parts of town

Day 82.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, GM has got his main PC up and running in his office.

Day 83

The spider plant looks very happy sitting atop the dresser.

Day 84

I recently celebrated my birthday, and my bestie sent me a selection of gifts all nicely wrapped and then packed in this box. She must have known that ADVENTURE is my buzzword for this year.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Week eleven, during which we make a start on his office

Day 71

. . . emptying the room

Day 72

. . .  stacking the boxes neatly in the dining area

Day 73

Batten and curtain rail fixed, curtains hung - the same curtains he had in his office in the house in Surrey (all those years ago!).

Day 74

His treasured white board is fixed to the wall

Day 75

Filing cabinet and pedestal fit nicely in the alcove.

Day 76

Shelving unit partly erected

Day 77

Meanwhile, outside we have four dead trees and I'm struggling to find out who is responsible for them, it could be the developer, the developer's management company, the local council or the county council - I'm currently being sent round and round in circles. But never fear, I shall get to the bottom of it.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Bucket List

These birthdays are a real nuisance aren't they? Just think, if we didn't have birthdays we wouldn't need to get any older - not that the numbers really matter though, how old you feel is just all inside your head, isn't it? Today I'm having what is very aptly described in our house as a dopey day, I've spent an entire weekend with my ancient mother, who is fast losing her mental capabilities and I think maybe she has leached mine as well and despatched them off to Fairyland with her own. So I'm feeling a bit oldish today, although thankfully still nowhere near to feeling as old as the number of candles which will be appearing on my birthday cake (should I be lucky enough to have one!) fairly soon. Given that the number of years I've been on the planet ends with a nine (yes, you've guessed it, I'm nearly nippety nine), next year's birthday will be a biggy.

With this in mind I've decided to spend the next twelve months completing a bucket list of things I'd like to do before I'm nippety ten, so here is that list, and my reasons for it. (To be completed in no particular order, but just over the coming twelve months)

No. 1. Many years ago when the younger two sons were little more than toddlers we spent a week in South Devon, and one of the places we visited was Budleigh Salterton. I liked it there. In fact, I loved it there, and I always vowed to myself that one day I would return without a pair of toddlers in tow. So, now the time has come, sometime during the next twelve months we'll return to Budleigh Salterton for a childfree break.

No. 2. Back in 1970 GM graduated from Newcastle University, and ever since we've been together he has wanted to go back to see how much (if anything) has changed. So I've promised him that this is the year he'll return to Newcastle, with me, so I can see it for the first time, AND what's more, we'll fly there.

No. 3. I'm a Fulham Football Club supporter through and through, but I also like to support a Premier League team, and with my historical connections to the area I've chosen to support Southampton while Fulham are in the lower division. The last time we went to a Premier League match in 2012 it was Southampton v. Fulham, and now there is distinct possibility that Fulham will be promoted back to the top flight league so this fixture might well happen again during the 2017/18 season. I very much want to attend another Premier League football match, obviously if this could be at Craven Cottage to watch Fulham then no-one would be happier than me, but if they miss out on promotion this year then instead I should like to make another trip to St. Mary's to cheer on the Saints.

No. 4. I'm a very lucky lady, in that while I have four sons I actually have five lovely ladies that I call my daughters-in-law, four of whom are current partners and one of whom is an ex partner (the mum of my grandson and one of my very dearest friends). I would love to have a DiLs day, a day when the six of us would all meet up and have a great day together. This might take a bit of planning, so be warned girls.

No. 5. I love drawing and painting but have had no formal training, so I think it's time I did. I'll see what I can find.

No. 6. GM and I have always loved walking, and whenever we've had the chance we've climbed the highest hill available at the time. Recently moved to Hampshire, I find that the highest hill in Hampshire (Pilot Hill) is less than ten miles away from where we live, so it is on the list.

No. 7. A hot stone massage, a real treat, just for me (and, in fact, already booked for 12th May - watch this space).

No. 8. Despite living in the London area for more than 85% of my lifetime, I'm ashamed to admit that I've never attended a promenade concert. This will be remedied before the summer of 2017 is out.

No. 9. I would very much like to try either pole dancing or line dancing, just the once. I have two left feet so dancing doesn't come easy to me.

No. 10. I have a friend who lives in Sussex who calls is a Mentor to Passionate World Changers, she's also known as a Happiness Experimenter, and I belong to a group that she runs called Dancing in Your Soul Shoes, so you get the general idea of the sort of person she is. I'm so looking forward to attending a weekend retreat that she intends to hold later in the year. She lives in the middle of a forest and will hold the retreat and activities in her recently acquired yurt. Sounds wonderful.

No. 11. My dad came from a large family, so I have lots of cousins, mostly girls, and all within a 15 year age range. We don't get together nearly as often as we should, it's so much fun when we do, so I'm hoping we can get something organised for this year - maybe I have to arrange this myself to make sure it happens.

No. 12. I intend to spend this coming year eating well and healthily - plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, enjoying the odd glass of wine or two now and again, drinking lots of water and a good dose of kefir on a daily basis, and also to increase my daily step count quite significantly - these measure will, I hope, lead to my body becoming more shapely and slender than its current condition and will incentivise it to stick around with me for many more years to come.

So, my twelve month bucket list, please come back next May to see how well I've done. If this catches on I might possibly do it every year.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Week Ten

Day 64

Where do you keep yours?

Day 65

My dresser in its permanent position and fully loaded

Day 66

Bath-time companions

Day 67

This bus is here most weekends, one day I'll visit and find out what it's all about.

Day 68

New, and matching, loo-roll holders in downstairs loo, bathroom and ensuite, woohoo.

Day 69

The cooker hood lamp cover is broken and keeps falling down, a new one has been ordered.

Day 70

Danglies in the entrance hall, which neither of us are fond of, so a couple of ceiling mounted lamps are in hand and will be fitted soon.