Monday, 29 May 2017

Week fifteen, and with a long awaited week of warm weather, we concentrate on the outdoors

Day 99

I've mentioned before that the soil in our garden is pretty rubbish, it's going to take a lot of work to improve it.

Day 100

The fig tree seems quite happy in its new home

Day 101

As I've been digging over the raised bed I've removed A LOT of big stones, this is just a small part of the pile.

Day 102

The front border could do with a bit of weeding.

Day 103

Lavender in front of the lounge window, sadly it doesn't have a great deal of scent

Day 104

Several hydrangea plants beside the front path, as yet not sure whether they will be pink, white or blue - watch this space.

Day 105

Hardening off the tomato plants I bought the other day

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Bucket List, return to Budleigh Salterton

Only a very brief return, but it was more or less as I remembered it. We made a trip to Devon. GM's sister and brother-in-law live in Plymouth, and in the past when we've been down to see them we've made a daytrip of it, however, having recently moved further east by 35 miles, a daytrip to Devon was just that little bit too much to attempt, so we booked a couple of nights accomodation in Sidmouth, and visited Budleigh Salterton on the afternoon of the first day. Had a wander round the town,

and then down to the beach.  This was the first thing I noticed,

 - not sure I would want to be naked under an unstable cliff!

Then turned round to see the first thing that GM had noticed.

Someone had written our granddaughter's name in dark pebbles.

Walking along the beach was quite difficult, because of the large pebbles, but we did it anyway.

Just a flavour of our walk, and a second item crossed off my bucket list.

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.