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Thursday, 6 August 2015


It all started when I spotted a vintage larder in Addison's very last auction sale. It was lovely but too small for my needs. So I checked out ebay and lo and behold, there was one just the right size in Scarborough and I measured up carefully and decided it would fit in the back of the car. It had been in the same family for sixty three years.
So I bought it and we had a drive out to fetch it.

At home, food had previously been stored in the original built in larder so it was all moved into boxes...

So that the old larder could be washed and painted...

and then filled with the china and cookware ...

which had been at the bottom of the old pine dresser...

which had to be moved to make way for the Scarborough larder...

The Scarborough larder was brought home and deposited in the yard to be scrubbed and whitewashed. Sixty three years in the same family had not done it any favours!The inside was then painted white and the shelves lined with "contact". The outside was painted cream.
The doors were all removed and the hinges taken off and dunked in paint stripper for the night. Then it was allowed in the house. Gradually it was reassembled...


and filled...

The drop down counter was repaired and glazed doors re-aligned...

It sounds as if we had a great time doing it up but we both agreed that if we had known what was involved we wouldn't have started! It was only at the end when it looked like it does now that we were happy with it all.

To complete the cycle, the old pine dresser is on ebay to find a new home and all we have to do is remember where everything is.

Cheers Gillian

Saturday, 4 July 2015

New Socks Walk To Whitby

The fine weather continued and so we took the camper to Sandsend. The tide was on its way out and Whitby beckoned. Its a good couple of miles so we strode off across the sand.

I wore my new socks and old plimsolls. It is now impossible to buy a pair of Rod Laver Adidas tennis shoes. So comfy! About halfway there I took a pic of Sandsend behind us...

...and then Whitby in front of us.

It doesn't look so far but it took us a while. I search the pebbles for interesting rocks as we go, and so I drift from tide-line to cliff scree.
As we approached Whitby there were more and more people, dogs, boats and school groups. The beach huts were partly opened and deckchairs were on the sand.

We sat on the prom to eat some cockles and mussels while we watched the woman harness up the donkeys.

It was warm and tiring enough to catch a bus back to Sandsend.

The fine days recently have also found us out and about with my sister and her husband, who were visiting. We took the beautiful A66 across to Cumria and headed for peaceful Ullswater. We caught the steamer from Pooley Bridge to Glenridding  and then back again for lunch. The pub garden had a riverside table for us and we ate lovely food while watching the ducklings and cygnets learn that humans can mean "food".

There are some truly lovely places to visit around here and the weather has seen us try a few of with your coffee at Archers, pretty Summerhill waterfall at Bowlees, beers on the village green at Heighington.  I hope we get some more good summer weather soon.

Cheers for now

Sunday, 21 June 2015


I saw a jigsaw of the city of Barcelona when we were there recently. It had layers of maps and models of buildings and was really attractive.
I love jigsaws so when we got back I "googled" one of London. Amazon obliged.

The joiner was working on the upstairs cloakroom and so I got him to cut me a piece of ply to fit the jigsaw which was an unusual shape and would need to be carted around during its assembly.

The first layer was a map and story of London in 1666, the year of The Great Fire.

The second layer was much more complicated and was made of foam rubber covered with a paper picture layer of the streets in the present day. Some pieces were shaped to fit corners and bridges and buildings.

The models of the buildings were to fit into the spaces in the foam! Like this section of Canary Wharf.

And the last part was very satisfying. Positioning the the buildings to show the skyline.

The completed jigsaw sits well on the board and has pride of lace on the sideboard for a while. It will get dismantled and passed round the family next.

The board was an off-cut from the floor of the new cloakroom on the top floor which is all finished now and waiting for some carpet on Tuesday.

 I came home from Art Class with a picture of York...or mostly York and some invented bits.

It looks quite good in the new cloakroom!

All this is just in time for Summer guests, the first of whom arrive within the week.
Cheers Gillian

Monday, 8 June 2015


I have been to Wales on three brief occasions. Long ago I went to St Davids with a geology field trip from university. Many years later I went to Aberaeron with the family on a trip back from Oz, and then a few years ago, I went to Bodelwyddan, in north Wales with DJ for a "short break".
This time I saw all three in a week. Not only was I surprised and thrilled by all the lovely scenery and pretty places we went through but shocked to realise how big Wales really is when you are driving round it in a motorhome at a fairly leisurely pace.

We started in St Davids, camping at Caerfai Bay. Mick and Diz had joined us and it was a very splendid view from the top of the cliff. It was also a bit windy.
It got windier. And then a lot windier still...terribly windy and raining...and then raining sideways and whipping up a storm. It did that for 24 hours non stop. Many tents got destroyed including Mick and Diz's lovely campervan tent on the right. It was a tragic way to start a holiday.
The next morning with the wind still blowing strong gusts, we walked the cliff path to the city, passing the old ruins of St Non's chapel as well as the new Retreat.
The Cathedral is at the bottom of a valley and hard to find without signposts. It does not stand high and beckoning from the top of a hill but still has been found by many pilgrims over the centuries. A funeral was taking place the day we were there and we viewed from a distance.
The place (seems strange to call it a city when it is so small!) is very pretty and we returned along the cliff path the next day in slightly better weather. Gusty breezes rather than winds...
A brave artist painting "en plein air". Such different conditions from those experienced by Helen and her fellow artists in Florida.
He has to have his easel secured by ropes and how he manages to cart all his gear across the cliff tops to get to this wonderful view is amazing. He was cheerful and busy so we reluctantly left him to it.
In town there was a studio belonging to an artist called Tony Kitchell who used a similar palette and technique so it may have been him. There was a sign on the door saying "back in two minutes" !!!
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes you along some magnificent cliffs and the geological processes have left amazing features. The cliffs are often baked, metamorphic slates and have been twisted and folded into remarkable shapes...
...And colours.
We moved north along the coast.
And into the hillier north to stay at Betws y Coed and from there visited  Mount Snowdon...
...up and into the clouds we went on the little train. BUT we will have to go back if we want a view from the top.
We passed the slate mines at Llanberis...
And watched the water at the Swallow Falls...
Smiled at the smallest house in Wales...
And admired the castle at Conwy.
We are home now. The washing has been done, the campervan cleaned , the kitchen painted and the art room tidied up. Tomorrow is a visit to the dentist!
and another blanket is on the knitting needles.
Billy is glad to be home. I miss him when we are away but he has a great cattery to go to and is safe and well looked after.
I hope real summer comes soon.
Cheers for now

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Wheelie Bin Tidy Up

We have two large wheelie bins and a small courtyard to put them in and the yard also performs as a garden, car-park and cat refuge.

The first attempt to enhance the bins was a stick-on strip of camouflage. You can, of course, ignore camouflage and make them stand out with stick on sheets out of this world like  cottage gardens .
Some people stick their numbers on them but no-one around here seems to be interested in bin-theft and we can rely on our bin being back there after the bin-men have been.
Eventually these green (not "green") stickers go blue and anyway we have just spent a jolly hour or so ripping out the ivy that is invading the decades old, privet hedge. Having it as a camouflage on the bin seems inappropriate to say the least.
The next attempt at enhancement involved the willow screen. So natural looking! So easily it disintegrates! True, that it took a couple of years to disintegrate but the gradual decomposition, starting at the base (it's upside down in the pic)  and fragmentation meant that repairs and sweep-ups were continuous.
So this is the present solution. Note that I speak with little future conviction. Here's why.
It arrives like this. The instructions are wordless. There is an inconsistency in the number of screws reported to be needed and those provided. It wavers in the wind and there are two bits of everything because we have ordered the DOUBLE, to fit two bins. Is there a left and right?

It's a two person job. One has to hold it and the other has to wield the electric screw driver. Someone has to have read and absorbed the diagrams. Someone has to know where to put the 39 screws used so far. It's a good idea if your brick paving is fairly level...

It's really great when you find that the bin fits even if you have it the wrong way round.
Then you join it to the other side so that the recycling bin can go in there too. it is really great to have a screw driver gun. They put screws in, in a jiffy and take them out pretty quickly if they have put in the wrong screw or put the right screw in the wrong place.

Eventually it all looks like this and the other stuff is off to the skips.
Because the old stuff did fit in the Meriva to go to the skips I won £5!
The new wheelie bin screen has already been rained on and has coped well.
Cheers for now,