Tuesday, 31 August 2010

That was the week that was!

Well it was quite a week in many ways. On Monday afternoon daughter came round so that I could help her with some voile curtains. I got my sewing machine out, and we completed the living room curtain. She was also typing something on the computer to do with the non return of their deposit on the flat which they rented. She was not her usual bright self, and was complaining of backache, saying that she must have overdone the gardening at the weekend. A mother's instinct told me to say that she needed to start timing how often the backache came and warn her that she could be in early labour. She ended up resting on our bed until her husband came to collect her.
My husband was on a course last week in London, and came home complaining about the trains. He hasn't commuted to London on a regular basis for about 8 years, and had had to stand all the way to Euston. I had a strange phone call at about 10.45 pm, I could hear Daughter talking to her husband but then the line went dead. I did pray ' Lord if this baby is to be born soon, will you make it come quickly please'
Next morning I was a little late rising,due to my poor sleeping habit, and my answering machine was beeping as I went from the kitchen into the living room. I duly discovered the number and rang it only to have daughter answer and say ' Hello Mum you have a Grandson' He was being weighed as we spoke and I could hear his protests! He was 7lb.11.5 oz. Daughter told me that her waters had broken at 10.30pm, and the call I had was originally to tell me, as they were gathering stuff to go and be assessed. She had thought better of telling me, and I had missed a text from her husband sent just before midnight. Just as well as I would have only lain awake worrying.
They actually sent her home at midnight, and only re admitted her when she felt she really couldn't cope any longer. She used the birthing pool and only had gas and air, and the baby arrived at 7.45 am. I did not get to see her in the hospital. but went up to their home as she arrived home just after 4pm. Needless to say I took my camera.
On Wednesday after my usual Sainsbury's visit I spent 2 hours in the afternoon waiting for the gas engineer to come and service the boiler. He didn't arrive, so I rang them up, and was told he would not be there anytime soon, so I rebooked for Friday. This time he did ring to say he would be late,  and  when he arrived did a very thorough inspection. He told me that we have sludge in the system, which is why that radiator didn't come on last winter. He said if I didn't get the system flushed out before winter the boiler would seize up and pack up. His estimate was £ 695! He did say by all means get another couple of estimates, so I  now have to start the task of finding a decent heating engineer again.
 On Sunday Daughter and husband came for lunch and the baby went to sleep on my arm, which was very pleasant We put daughter's old bed back in her room, and she went up for a rest. They decided on Saturday he would be Nathaniel James.
At about 4.30pm the door opened and our son and his wife and a friend came in, they had been in the South of France camping for a week, their car had had a problem with a broken alternator belt, fortunately they had extended their RAC cover, and they got a free hire car. Unfortunately one of their party had to get back, and Son's wife also had to be back for work, so they came back in the hire car.
Our Son and their friend shared the driving, so she was going to go back with Son, but yesterday I got a call to say that  the car was ready and his wife had managed to get some more time off, so she was going too. They were due to cross the channel at about 10pm last evening, Son also is not due back till Friday at work. They are staying at Avignon overnight tonight, and hope to return tomorrow in their own car. Please pray that the journey will be uneventful. They do rather seem to be going through a patch of trials at the moment.
On a more positive note, daughter's landlord rang whilst they were still at the hospital, apologised, said he had been out of the country ( for 2 months?) and that the cheque was in the post, so now they are a bit better off.
The Bank holiday was spent partly in the garden working, but I'd had a bad night on Sunday so I didn't achieve as much as I wanted to.  Well I'd better go and get on, the other grandparents are coming up today, and I want to pop in to see them as I haven't seen them for 18 months. I have promised not to steal their cuddle time

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Some geat news

For those of you who are not facebook friends and don't already know, out daughter gave birth to a baby boy yesterday morning at 7.45 am. He weighs 7lb 11.5 oz and is as yet unnamed. We are grateful to God that he has given us a precious Grandchild, and that the birth was without incident. Will post more later

Monday, 23 August 2010

A week on the tiles

I am a little late blogging this week, We were away for the weekend, so that is my excuse. The week didn't start too well. I decided that I needed to tackle the corner of shame again, and when it was clean thought I must do something about the washing machine sticking out. This was due to the washing machine man pushing it back and in the process pulling up at least one vinyl tile. He muttered something about me needing to pull everything out to redo it, and I did manage to replace the visible one with one of the original self adhesive tiles.
The problems mounted one by one. I got the machine out and remembered to switch the water off at the wall, not easy as the cold fill is extremely stiff. There were scrunched up tiles there and others that had shifted sideways. A real mess.
Marley doesn't exist any more, so the tiles are no longer made. However I recently managed to locate a supply, (good old Google), but when they arrived they were without adhesive.  I have contact adhesive so no problems there. Having disconnected the water I was able to start pulling up tiles. I had forgotten though, that I had used the contact adhesive on some of the tiles and they refused to budge.I tried my hand held steamer, no joy so got out my hair dryer, this worked but also melted the adhesive on the thermoplastic tiles underneath, so they  broke and came up with the vinyl tiles! I ended up with a two tile hole.
It was going to be decision time soon. Did I try to patch up the floor, or start afresh, pulling up thermoplastic tiles and replacing them as I went with ceramic tiles?. I knew that the latter would take me months as our house is so small that one cannot just clear a room, unless one throws everything away. Actually we did clear  a room when we had the new living room carpet fitted about 5 years ago, but it was hard work and I popped a disc carrying a box of books upstairs. I was in pain on and off for two years. We were fortunate that day that it didn't rain and some of the stuff had to go on the back lawn!
I spent part of the week wandering round DIY stores looking for solutions. Floor levelling compound is sold in big bags, far too much for my needs, and needs to be mixed. I did find out from my local Wickes that Wickes in Aylesbury stocked the ready mixed that I had found on line. So, I think it was Wednesday, I set off for Aylesbury armed with a map from Google maps which purported to show the location.
Where the map showed Wickes was a huge boarded up area, so after driving who knows where in my search, I decide to go into Aylesbury town centre and ask.
I parked and headed for the library where I hoped to find a phone directory- no joy. All assistants too busy to ask, but  I managed to find a leaflet for the tourist information office. Once I had located it, I explained I wasn't a tourist, but the lady couldn't have been nicer. I set off after a quick look at some shops, armed with maps and duly found Wickes. However the 'ready mix' contained 10kg, far too much again for my needs, so I eventually found a ready mixed filler which I hoped would do. I also bought a kitchen  wall cupboard which is the nearest I can find to match the existing cupboards. This is so I can move some stuff off my working surfaces and so reduce some clutter.
Unfortunateley I was later leaving than I had planned, and hit the rush hour, plus a torrential downpour on the by pass, which ended in non -moving traffic about 2 miles before my turn off point. Being at a standstill, I quickly phoned husband to explain why I wouldn't be in when he got home. Eventually the traffic moved, and just as I left the bypass I saw a police officer clearing away cones, so presumably there had been an accident near the junction.
On Thursday I set about filling the hole, then Friday I laid some tiles, reconnected the machine, but kept it mostly pulled out, and did 4 loads of washing, The weather wasn't good so I resorted to using the tumble dryer. Husband came home just as I was unloading the last lot to put on an airer in the spare room.
We finished off our packing and loaded the car and set off for the South Coast to visit Mum -in Law. This was our last weekend before Daughter's baby is due, and next weekend is a Bank Holiday too, so travelling to be avoided.
We were going to get her a new phone, but she insisted that blu tack was helping keep it on the hook, and the mower problems were caused by  next door's extension lead being dud when she had tried to mow next door's lawn for her. So no mower to be bought, nor visit to the dump, but a trip to Eastbourne, more compost and manure from the local garden centre for her, and then lunch out and a quick look around the shops.
I was very good and only bought a half price knitting bag to keep my knitting tidy.
We went to the local evangelical church Sunday morning, then left at about 4.45 pm. The weather had not been good, quite a lot of rain, but as we came up country it cleared up, only to start raining heavily here at about 9.30 pm. Daughter said it had been glorious here.
Today is D day for returning washing machine into its slot. I left it out all weekend so that everything could dry out and stick. I had a nasty moment last evening when I thought the machine had stuck to the tiles, but I think the wheel was just a bit stiff. The cupboard is still in the boot of my car. They are coming to service the gas boiler on Wednesday, and I want an electrician to sort out a couple of slight problems before I put the cupboard up next to the boiler. After last week I don't want to stir up too many problems for myself. Must go and get on with the day. The title for this post was an easy one to think up!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Every day it's a-getting closer, (apologies to Buddy Holly)

This has not really been a week packed with activity, just the usual routine stuff. I did have an awful night when I couldn't sleep till about 5 a m, and have been trying to catch up ever since. The trouble is some mornings I oversleep and by the time I've caught up with myself it's lunchtime!
I managed to get the baby jacket finished as you can see from the picture. It is for when the baby is older, the parents to be are pleased with the finished jacket, so am I. At one point I began to worry I might not have enough wool. I'll swear I began to knit faster. It's a bit like when you are about to run out of petrol and you find yourself accelerating to get to the petrol station before you run out. I bought the wool in Lyme Regis, so it would have been a looong trip to buy some more, and I couldn't find it for sale on the web.
Talking of holidays, whilst we were away we accidentally came across a film of a Catherine Cookson book, and were watching it before going out. I got fed up of waiting for it to end, and so we turned it off. Not having seen the beginning or end, I said I wouldn't mind seeing it. Last weekend in Watford I found a copy on DVD, it was quite inexpensive, so I bought it. It is called A Dinner of Herbs, and was actually a t v series in 6 parts.
I had forgotten how bleak Catherine Cookson stories can be, and one of the characters was a bit hot headed, and his favourite saying seemed to be 'If I see him again, I'll kill him'. Well at least I know now how it began, we had come in halfway through, and I now know how it ends. I don't think I will watch it again, so it's probably one for the charity shop bag. Certainly last week's Nanny McPhee and the big bang was a lot lighter.
Daughter went to the midwife on Thursday, and apparently it could happen any time soon. She is still fretting about the house being straight, but I have told her the baby won't notice, and won't be running its fingers along the skirting boards saying 'Look at the muck in here'
The weather has been very mixed this week from a bright sunny day, through grey and overcast, to torrential downpours. According to the papers we can expect rain till October, but they certainly got today's forecast wrong.
Late yesterday afternoon we set off for Essex to see Son and Daughter in law. We felt quite guilty not having been before, but weekends  have been so hectic. Having seen the flat, we now know why they find it so depressing. You couldn't swing the proverbial, and it's not in the most salubrious area. Son cooked us a lovely Mexican style meal, and we also had lemon tart. He was regaling us with stories of his life as a delivery driver, some quite hairy! They will find their home in the North quite docile after this. We got home at about 10.30 pm, the M25 was a bit quieter.
After church this morning Daughter and Son in law came for lunch. She is not sleeping well at night and had fallen back to sleep so had missed church. We had a good bit of beef and I'd done a crumble. It was a bit too breezy to eat outside. After lunch 3 of us feel asleep by degrees, and Son in  law washed up and then gently woke L in time to get her to church. We had 2 good sermons today, then communion this evening. Everyone stood around chatting for ages, we didn't get home till nearly 9, but it's good to  have fellowship. I wonder what this next week will bring?.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Pattern, parcels, painting and Poirot not needed

Another weekend, but not much change in my tiredness levels-this time I blame the knitting. I completed a second baby jacket, and picked up some wool that I found on holiday. It is lovely wool. all different colours, and it knits up like a fair isle. I decided to use a different pattern from the book I bought, in a larger size, and got the back done in no time. However the front has a pattern, a holey pattern and I keep on getting things wrong and I keep on having to undo it, and I think I'll just try and get this bit right before I go to bed, and before I know it the hands of the clock have crept round to after midnight.....
On Tuesday I waited in all morning for the buggy to be delivered. I could have rung J L to get a more accurate delivery time, but I had mislaid the  receipt which had the phone number on. They arrived at 12.45 pm. It was in 2 boxes, the smaller containing then carrycot. I rang daughter and said I would go up after lunch. She said she had spent the morning painting and had managed to spill some paint on the pale blue/grey bedroom carpet. I thought she was meeting a friend. If I had known it wasn't Tuesday that she was meeting her friend, I would have had the buggy delivered to her house.
I put the carrycot box on the back seat of my 2 door Fiesta. I opened the boot and lifted the heavier box  into the boot. Oh dear it didn't quite fit! I lugged it out and stood panting and praying. 'Lord where can I put it?' I tried the passenger side and it went in-just! I also threw some painting clothes into the car,and a roller and tray.
On getting to daughter's I knocked and the door was opened  by a paint stained daughter. I managed to lug both boxes out of the car and into her house, they just fitted under the stairs.
I told here I was here to help, and quickly got changed, and was soon brandishing my roller.Unfortunately she hadn't managed to clean up the paint which she had spilled on the protective cloth, and I stood on that bit of the cloth and of course it seeped through, so lots of water and a sponge, and a cloth were employed. Between us we managed to finish  the second coat. Why do they always say one coat paint?
I cleaned up as much as I could, rollers etc whilst daughter had a bath and then I took her down for an appointment with the midwife. This meant she didn't have to look for a parking space, and arrived with a few minutes to spare. I parked the car, then went in search of a cold drink before heading to the surgery to meet daughter. Everything was ok, so we had a quick look around town and then I dropped her at her home and went home for a well earned cuppa.
Wednesday morning was spent as usual at Sainsbury's. The cash machines there  are somewhat out of action as some idiots stole a digger from the motorway roadworks and at  6 am on a Friday morning attempted to steal said machines. They managed to wreck the wall and part of the roof and ran off empty handed, on foot.  I honestly don't think that a digger is the best getaway vehicle.
We were having trouble contacting Mum in law again, we had been unable to ring her since Tuesday morning, so after my walk and lunch on Thursday I rang her neighbour, and she went round to tell her. Mum in law was full of apologies, but said that one phone, the main on, slips off its cradle very easily. So next time we go we will get her anew phone. It has played up a lot, sometimes she cannot hear us at all.
One evening this week I was bemoaning the loss of my Resperate which I hadn't seen since we got home from holiday. I had also lost  a large crossword dictionary and a red camera case. I said I had remembered packing some things in the holdall. on top of the towel. Mum in law had offered to wash the towels when we were there, so I knew I would have taken out whatever had been on top. I told husband I had checked the holdall twice, including the side pocket. He then gave me an odd look and disappeared through the door. A few moments later he was back clutching a backpack of his, and out of that, just as a magician pulls a rabbit from a hat he produced my missing items. I had not thought to check that pack as I thought it just contained his stuff. I was so pleased to get it all back that I couldn't be cross with him.
On Thursday evening  Daughter was having a painting party doing the living room. Son and his wife were there too. I nipped up there after dinner taking my painting stuff and inspected son's 'new' car. When I got in the house I realised that there was a friend there too, I decided that 5 people wielding rollers was enough and beat a hasty retreat.
Friday was Daughter's birthday, so we drove to M K, as she needed to order something form John Lewis, so once ordered, I treated her to lunch at J L. We then had a good look around the shops, she bought sandals and then we headed home. Middleton Hall a large open space in the shopping area had been turned into a huge beach and the kids were loving it.
Daughter's husband took her out for a meal to a secret location and he drove. I think he is becoming more confident behind the wheel I hope so as he will need to be for the hospital dash in a few weeks.
Yesterday we went off to Watford so husband could buy something from Maplin.  We had M&S sandwiches, and then after taking him to J L to show him the buggy that his hard earned cash had paid for we went in different directions. I found a pair of reduced comfy shoes I need comfy for when I walk a lot. We met up at our favourite camera shop, and then went into Clements'  furniture to drool over their dining furniture. It's UK made, and could save us a bit of room if we had a drop leaf table. The cheap pine one we bought has been a bit of a disappointment, and we don't have it extended often these days since husband's parents moved away.
Well we had a good sermon on the 5th commandment this morning, and soon it will be time for the evening service. I'll have to go and put the kettle on.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Clouds, cups, carrycots, car bills, and of course church

I do feel sorry for anyone out there with children of school age as the weather has been so variable here. It is supposed to be so much warmer here than elsewhere, well it is, but we haven't seen a lot of sun, mostly grey clouds. The sun is shining at the moment , but today we woke to rain, then cloud, and it brightened up when we were in town. I had put a cardigan and a waterproof in my bag as we left to walk into town, but in the end neither were needed.
I have been quite busy this week, but haven't managed to lose any weight, probably as I'm still not sleeping very well. On Monday afternoon I abandoned the ironing,which I had spent most of the morning doing, and took my quest for cups and saucers to a small town about 5 miles away. I also needed more plants as one or two in my pots had died off. I found some cups and saucers in a charity shop there were 5, but checked out all the other charity shops first. After a good wander round, I went back to what is the Hospice charity shop and asked if I could buy them. The lady explained that she could not leave the till, so could I take them over. Apparently, someone had locked the till one day to show someone something in a locked glass case, when a man came in managed to get into the till and stole all the £20 notes, about £280 in total.
How low can people stoop, stealing from a charity shop? The cups and saucers were duly packed up, and I was soon off to the small garden centre on the main street. I picked up about 4 plants, and they let me take a plastic plant tray to carry them to the car. Then I went to the local Waitrose to use their 'facilities', and had a cup or two of tea in their cafe. I then wandered round the store and picked up a few things that I cannot get locally.
On Tuesday it was off to Watford to our local John Lewis to buy a buggy and attachable carry cot for daughter. I chatted to her by mobile to check on the colour, and the item was duly ordered and will be delivered next Tuesday all being well. I also had lunch at JL, a salad and fruit salad. I looked in M& S and stocked up on their low fat sausages again.
The cups and saucers were BHS, so I looked in there and found that they still do them, so I bought another to make it up to 6, and a couple of breakfast bowls, as I am getting low on those too.
I had my usual run to Sainsbury's on Wednesday, didn't spend a lot for once, then Thursday walked up the hill for good exercise to get the papers.
I forgot to say that husband's Rotary watch strap broke too, he managed to order one for him and one for me, for less than the price that I would have paid for mine, through a jeweller's shop. Another good use of the internet.
Well it's now Sunday, I had to abandon this last night as it was getting too late.
On Friday I took my car in to Ford's for a service and MOT, then walked about 3 miles into town,and had breakfast in M&S cafe, I think I had earned it. When they rang about the car they advised certain work to be done, and as some of it was to do with the suspension, I decided to have it all done, but had misheard something to do with the quote. I was quite upset to be presented with a total of over £550!
Still, it is done now, so hopefully will keep me mobile for another year. Annoyingly, none of the things done would have stopped it from passing the MOT. I may not take it to Ford's next time.
Yesterday was the usual walk to town, lunch in town, bus up, then a long doze for me,as I'm still having bad nights,and more work on the front terracing for husband. I did do a bit of gardening though when I woke up, then phoned Mum -in- Law,as I'd met an old friend in town who we had been discussing this week. Mum-in Law seems a bit low, she seems to have a 'hangover' from the anaesthetic, and her eye problems are preventing her form reading and watching tv. She takes solace in the garden, working in it rather than sitting in it.
Daughter finished work on Friday, and has started painting! They invited us for lunch today, and after a good sermon, we had a good lunch. We took our 'studio' garden chairs with us, but didn't get much of a doze. Their proper furniture arrives next weekend DV. We came home for a brief cuppa and then rushed out for the evening service. It was good, but 3 families are away so we were at least 15 down in numbers today. We all had to sing a bit louder. Well it's bedtime again, so I'd better finish this for now. Another busy week looms ahead. perhaps I will sleep tonight as it is cooler.