Sunday, 29 March 2015

Banking and biking, haziness and happenings.

Well it's 3 week since our holiday, and we've been keeping quite busy, I had to go into town to sort out a bank card which hadn't been sent to me when the other one was due to expire. I spent some time explaining to the cashier what had happened, she offered to let me draw money from one of the other accounts, so arranged that. We have about 4 accounts between us, with this particular Spanish bank, as they took over several failing banks when the crash happened.
Later on, when I got home, I checked the accounts online, and realised that she had taken the cash from the wrong account. that should have set alarm bells ringing, but it didn't. When the card arrived, it was for the account for which I had already received a new card, so that necessitated another visit, later on that week to try and get a card for the right account.
One card number was also used for my internet access, so to be on the safe side I had to order new internet access details. I was not too pleased.
On the Tuesday, we went for a bike ride.  I hadn't ridden for ages for various reasons, mostly health and lack of time. I was surprised how far we got, in view of that, four and a half miles in total, but can only surmise that all the walking in the Lake District had improved my overall fitness. We only realised after we got back from the holiday how much stuff we hadn't put back after the decorating. I found three boxes, mostly containing clothes, one with a load of socks, which explains why I had trouble finding enough socks to take away with me, and after I had put things back, and was rearranging things, I also found the pack of tights which had been meant for the Lake District trip. They had some how leapt out of the case and hidden in another plastic storage box alongside my ottoman. The mystery was solved. I changed the bed linen, for the new stuff, so the bedroom transformation was almost complete, just still some items to be put back, but husband has forgotten where he had them before. Another bagful left home for a temporary stay in the charity shop, before hopefully finding new homes.  We have discovered that the Lions charity will even take out of date, computer books as they still get 20 pence for them even if they don't sell to the public.

Curtains are actually the same shade, blackcurrant

We looked after the children, as normal. They were not too much trouble. However we saw more of them than usually,as the Sunday after was Mothering Sunday, so we were invited to their home for lunch. Our Son in Law cooked a roast dinner in honour of his wife, I received a hanging basket of spring flowers, and a copy of the first Poldark book. I had them all at one time, but some fell to pieces, I did wonder if they would start reprinting them with the remake of the series. As dinner was late, so was tea, which meant we didn't make it to the evening service.
new hanging basket

During that week there seemed to be a haziness hanging around the town, then we heard that it was actually a sort of pollution smog, I didn't take Lydia out with me on the Thursday, but she awoke wheezing from her nap,and we had to collect her little puffer from home. Whether the smog had crept in through the bedroom window, or whether it was just her cold  we don't know, but she brightened up after a while.
On the Friday morning, we were hoping to glimpse some of the partial eclipse of the sun, but we awoke to thick cloud cover. All that happened was that it got darker and colder, then suddenly, we were aware of the sun trying to break through the clouds, and I realised we may be able to see the last quadrant. There was still a certain amount of cloud, but we donned protective glasses and got our cameras, and it looked as if something had taken a bite out of the sun. Later that day, we rode along the canal bank on our bikes in the opposite direction, 4.7 miles in total.

I baked a chocolate cake, as we had a fellowship day on the Saturday at church. The speaker was Prof Edgar Andrews, a brilliantly clever man, who wrote a  book, 'Who made God?', which was in answer to the militant aggressive atheists such as Dawkins, who is prone to asking that question. As he spoke, he revealed by scientific deduction, that the theory of evolution and the big bang theory are just theories, and can never really have happened.
He had books at a reduced price, so we bought one. I had a hunch that we already had a copy,and sure enough, later that evening, husband discovered a hardback copy upstairs, which was part of his Christmas present from me, 2013. Oh well I'll read the paperback and pass it on.
Spring in my garden

Monday, 23 March 2015

Lake District pics

Here are more pictures from the second half of our week
Round Tarn Hows

beside the lake , but not beneath the trees
The Tarn

the ferry approaches

view from ferry

Old tea rooms

church far Sawry


Still in the Lake District

On the Wednesday, we decided to go over to Keswick. I looked up a walk, online, which said that it was 4.45 miles long, and  took about 2 and a half hours. We had a look round the shops, and I found a cheap slimline fleece. My old fleeces are quite baggy, and under my waterproofs, made me look like the Michelin X man. So I changed fleeces, felt just as warm, and didn't feel quite so bulky. We went to the Information office as I thought they might have a copy of the walk, but it wasn't on their list. The lady did however look it up online, and printed out a copy for me for the princely sum of 25p. We went for a drink in a bakery/ teashop, and had a toasted teacake, then back to the car, moved to another car park, and donned our boots.
The walk was under Walla Crag, and the Great wood and lake. We set off from the moot hall, out through the town and up a lane, through a farm yard, then up a huge steep hill. The path was  being repaired in parts,and was quite uneven I needed a few stops for breath. It didn't help when, as I was struggling along, a young man passed me running!!!
Not much further and we turned right, across a, field, then onto a path through the woods. We were quite high up, and the ground was quite uneven, and I tripped a couple of times and jarred my back. After a while we began to descend, we saw a couple of police helicopters, and 3 military, but it was difficult to snap them amongst the trees. Eventually, we reached the path which was to take us down through the wood, and across the road to Derwentwater. We skirted part of the lake, but missed a part of a diversion, as we were getting tired. Eventually, we found the Lake theatre,and the road back into town. The walk had been harder than we thought, so we were glad to get our boots off, and zoom back down the valley to Ambleside, then down to Bowness.
looking down on Keswick and Bassenthwaite lake

Derwentwater from the wood

Hotel by the lake

One of the military helicopters
Derwent water

the crag we walked under

friendly robin
national Trust century stone complete with oystercatcher.

We had a bit of a rest before dinner, going down at our usual time of 7.15. That evening the soup was cream of carrot, then I had a starter of gurnard with ribbon pasta, and a crab sauce, followed by steak with a blue cheese mash and veg,  Then peanut butter and chocolate tart with peanut toffee. I'm not sure what starter husband had, but we both had the same mains and dessert. That was the only evening that we declined the coffee, we were both shattered, as the walk hadn't been as easy as we thought.
On the Thursday, I let husband choose the walk, he didn't think too much about it and suggested Tarn Hows. A nice easy walk, no stiles or really steep hills. it is National Trust, so we don't have to pay to park. Husband will not take the car on the ferry, as we once watched cars going down on it, and the fronts of the cars seemed to crash hard into the metal. I think it has improved, but he still doesn't trust it, so we went via Ambleside. There were plenty of people at Tarn Hows, but the lake was not frozen this time, and the sky was dull. We decided to use our sticks, but husband found his was more hindrance than help. I don't think I could manage Nordic walking poles, I would be a liability. It was still quite pleasant. Afterwards we drove down into Coniston, had walk around the village and the shops. We found a cafe which we have used before, they do huge baps there. We had coffee and cake, but the cakes slices were huge as well. I had suggested a walk round Ambleside after, but we were tired so went back to the hotel for a rest.

That evening at dinner, the soup was broccoli and bacon, husband had the mackerel starter, I had chicken terrine, we both had herb crusted cod, with crushed potatoes, mussel and  leek veloute, and samphire. Husband had sticky toffee pudding again, but I had panna cotta with plums, the plums were poached with balsamic, a very unusual  and lovely combination, That evening, we did have coffee, the waiter pours the first cup, then leaves us to it. I'm sure that husband got the pots mixed up and gave me ordinary coffee instead of decaff, as it took me ages to get to sleep that night.
Friday was our last full day. I suggested we tried again to walk to Hilltop.
After breakfast, we got maps, etc, packs packed,and down to the car for our boots. We set off across the grounds, down the road, checked the board and found that the ferry was running. After crossing on the ferry, we followed the road around, and saw a wooden sign to Hilltop, 1 3/4 miles, so we  turned on to the path, climbed a steep slope till we reached a sign, near the old tearooms which said Hilltop 1 1/2 miles. Then the path took a sharp left hand turn, and went down, on sort of log steps, and the sign at the bottom said Hilltop 1 3/4 miles! Great, half a mile to end up as far away as we had been. So we went on to the road, and followed that. It was an uphill climb, sometimes there was a path which went along beside the road, behind a wall, others we were on the road. Eventually we reached Far Sawry. There was a path from there across the fields, but once bitten, twice shy we kept to the road. I'm sure Lake District miles are longer. Eventually, we reached Near Sawry, and saw the sign for Hilltop. Sadly, I had forgotten to check the brochure, and was greeted by a lady, saying, 'Welcome to Hilltop, the gardens and the shop are open, but as it's Friday the house is closed'.
I said, 'Oh no! we've just walked up. Anyway, do you have a toilet?' I was duly directed there, and we looked at the gardens, not much to see, and then in the shop, where Jemima Puddleduck,and other Potter characters, embroidered on cushions cost £35. We went out and debated what to do. we recognised 2 Chinese girls from the hotel, they got into a minibus, we were tempted to go over and join them, but it was fairly obvious that they had hired it to do a tour, the ad on the side proclaimed visits to 12 sites.
We discovered that the pub next door did coffee, so went in and had a coffee each. We strolled through the village, nothing else there, a bus stop advertised the Mountain Goat service, which was limited in winter months. We decided to head back to Bowness Bay, and look at the shops there. The next bus stop we saw had a sign which indicated that The Mountain Goat service only ran during the half term week. Back in Far Sawry, we saw a sign for a village shop, but on approach found it was not due to open for a few weeks. It was becoming quite windy, so I began to worry about the ferry. Eventually we arrived at the ferry, the mere was being whipped up into waves.  However the ferry came across, and as we boarded, I asked the chap how high the wind had to be before it stopped running. He replied '30 mph, it's getting that way over the other side but it's intermittent'.  I sent a silent prayer of thanks up to God, with whom I had been silently pleading earlier, to 'please let the ferry be running.' On our last trip on Windermere, 5 years ago, it had been partly frozen, and very calm. Now the waves lapped at the side of the ferry
We left the ferry,walked down the lane and onto the path which leads to Bowness bay. I began to complain about my aching back, hips and ankles. At the bay we found a cafe, not far off closing, but we had tea and coffee, then I felt I could climb the hill and look in the gift shops. We got almost to the end of the shops, I realised I needed a cash machine for money for Saturday's journey home, then as I rejoined husband, I said 'I don't think I can walk much further'. He wanted to look in some other shops, so I walked back down to the bay. A bus passed me, and gave me hope that I might not have to walk back to the hotel. I was having trouble putting one foot in front of the other.
I sat for a while on a bench, than wandered over to the bus stop. The only bus I could see advertised, was one which went North, towards Keswick; we needed one towards Ulverston. Husband joined me, I explained that buses were as rare as hen's teeth, and as he had the internet on his phone, could he please phone for a taxi.We were directed to the taxi rank, and advised one would be there in 15 minutes. After 25 minutes, we decided to ask the driver of a rival company, who was idling there, if he could take us. He said, ' No problem, jump in', and proceeded to transport us to Longtail Hill, and our hotel.We were so grateful. Later husband calculated we had walked well over 7 miles. I can't remember walking that far since my disc problem first began; walking can aggravate it. We got out of our boots, went in the hotel. I lay on the bed for a while, then had a bath to ease my aching bits. I went down the stairs quite slowly to dinner that night.
The soup that evening was sweet potato and coconut. I didn't take the bread for the second evening running. Whilst in a way I was sad that it was our last evening, I was thinking I couldn't eat the dinners for much longer. For starters, I revisited the ham terrine, and husband the goat's cheese mousse. As it was our last evening, we decided to try the beef, for which there was a supplement payable. As with all the food, it came from a local supplier, it was 'pan fried' with smoked potato mash, bone marrow fritter, baby veg and wild mushroom jus.
I'm not over keen on smoked things, but the mash was interesting. For dessert we both had sticky toffee pudding, with salted chicory ice cream. It was an interesting combination, the ice cream offset the sweetness of the sticky toffee sauce.
After coffee and petit fours in the lounge, we said our farewells to some of the dining staff, they had all been superb. Devastatingly handsome Oscar, to whom I had patiently explained English idioms, charming Antonio, who patiently explained the wine differences to us, and the other two Spaniards.
The two Jamaican lads, and the chap from Kendal, all seemed sorry that we would be leaving the next day.
We went back up to our room, and did some packing, and gathering together of stuff that we would not need for the journey. We were up relatively early, showered dressed and down for breakfast. The hotel was beginning to fill up for the weekend. We had managed to park near the entrance, so we didn't have too far to take all the luggage, We had help to bring the main cases down, soon the car was all  packed, I settled the bill, and by 10.18, we set off on our journey home, We stopped at lunchtime at our Son's home in Cheshire, unfortunately he was working, but we spent some time with our Daughter in Law, and little Ethan, and had a very welcome hot drink. We skipped lunch as we were so full.
Sadly we had to leave,and stopped once more at Watford gap for a drink,and arrived home shortly after 5 pm. back to reality, sorting post, unpacking, and then off  to the supermarket to stock up on food for the weekend. I must admit to buying something easy for dinner that evening.
I have run into difficulty with some of the photos, so will upload them separately

Monday, 16 March 2015

35 years married!

On Saturday February 28th,we finished off some packing, tidied the house, loaded the car, and set off for a week in the Lake District. It was to be our 35th wedding anniversary the next day. We went there for our 25th, and our 30th. I did wonder whether we could afford it this year. I prayed very hard before booking, I checked the hotel website, and they had a room, so we decided we would book.
Most of our holidays and family visits are self catering, so it's nice to have a break from the cooking once in a while.
We didn't leave too early, had a fairly decent run, despite road works on the M1, and stopped for lunch at Watford Gap. We drove through quite a lot of rain, stopped at Charnock Richard, then somewhere further North for a coffee. We arrived at the hotel just before 6, and were booked in quickly, and shown to our first floor room. There was obviously building work going on at the hotel, some improvements to the entrance, the steps down from the extended car park, and an area where there had been an aviary, turned into a third ground floor bedroom.
 I contacted family to let them know we had arrived safely, then we unpacked, made ourselves a drink, and freshened up and changed for dinner. The dress code is smart casual, no trainers and no denim.
We made our way to the lounge area, and were presented with nibbles, menus, and asked for a drinks order. Soon we were on our way into the dining room, which is always pretty full on a Saturday evening. The standard of food hadn't slipped at all in the intervening 5 years, although the sorbet seems to have been dropped form the main menu.
We were presented with bread, which was brown one end, white the other, hot and freshly made. I don't usually take bread, but it was so lovely. Then we were served with a little cup full of soup, and a teaspoon. The soup was chef's compliments, leek and saffron. The pianist was at the baby grand,and we guessed most of what he was playing, although he obviously had his own arrangements, and twiddly bits. We had both chosen the same meals, ham hock and guinea fowl terrine, pickles, parsley emulsion and quail egg for starters, panfried sea bream,with saffron turned potatoes, green beans, and seaweed buerre blanc.
We had intended to try the chef's recommendation for dessert, but the Spanish waiter misheard us,and thought we said chocolate delice, so that's what we agreed to. It was so mmmmm! and chocolatey, by the time we had had our coffee, decaff for me,and petit fours in the lounge we were pretty full up.
Back in our room, which by the way was huge, we relaxed, watched tv news, and then got a reasonably good night.The bed was about 6ft, seemed to be two single mattresses on one big base,and had a thick pillow top.

Our room

Next morning after breakfast we debated what to do. It was a bit late for driving 9 mile or more to Kendal to find the evangelical church, and we wouldn't have enjoyed the services in Bowness, So we decided we would walk into Bowness, have a look around, get me some tights, as the 5 pack I'd bought and was sure I'd packed were nowhere to be found. I wouldn't normally shop on Sunday, but I couldn't go to dinner in a skirt and bare legs, or ankle socks.
Tights bought we went and had a cup of hot chocolate and a Kitkat, then set off for the ferry, and a walk, to Hilltop, Beatrix Potter's old home. The road to the ferry is on the way back to the hotel, but we walked a different way. We knew the ferry had been closed on the Saturday, there was a threat of high winds, but hadn't noticed the board as we passed on the way into Bowness. As we approached the ferry, the driver  waved his hands at us, so we took it that we wouldn't be able to cross. It began to rain and was quite unpleasant, so we walked back to the hotel, thinking that we would pick up the car, and drive round. We took our boots off, left them in the car ,and went to our room. We got a bit too cozy, and left it a bit late. I consulted the leaflet ,and said 'We need to go now last visitors admitted at 3.' As we drove to Ambleside, it seemed to take forever,and when we were nearing Hawkshead, I said we wouldn't make it, so husband decided to drive around the lake. We turned off, driving past Esthwaite. As we drove along, rain turned to sleet,and suddenly we were in a blizzard, huge snowflakes, hitting the windscreen. I was pleased to see Lakeside, and at Newby Bridge,we soon found the road back along the lake. It was much nicer being able to see the lake, through the snowfall. Husband asked, 'What shall we do now?' I said, 'Back to the hotel, and down to the lounge for a cuppa'. So that was what we did. I took the Telegraph with me, and we sat in comfort, near a log fire. A lot of guests had taken refuge in the lounge, with tea, some were having afternoon tea, as some hotel packages include it. Biscuits sufficed for us, then we went back up to our room for a snooze before dinner.
That evening,as it was our anniversary, I allowed myself a glass of white wine. It was palatable, husband chose a red. It was at this hotel, 10 years ago, that he developed a taste for red wine, and takes a glass about once a week at home. The mini soup was cream of carrot, we both had the still warm bread, I chose confit of duck leg for my starter, sea bass on a sort of risotto, for mains, husband had rump of lamb, can't remember his starter, and sticky toffee pudding, and I had whiskey parfait, with shortbread biscuits. After  coffee and petit fours, we retired to our room. Being Sunday the hotel was less full.
Monday, we drove over to Kendal, had a walk round the shops, with frequent hailstorms. I bought more tights, we still haven't located the evangelical church, but I did find a strict Baptist chapel. We met up at the chocolate house, I had rose flavoured chocolate,and one of their smallish cakes, husband had a bitter chocolate, which nicely offset the rich chocolate gateau which he chose. We found a department store and had a browse and he bought some small pudding basins for his next project in cooking. I fear he is taking over my kitchen! We walked down the road,and saw signs for the K outlet, so decided to walk there. It was quite a long walk along the river bank,and I think someone had switched the signs as we crossed the river, then back. There were not an awful lot of shops, but husband managed to find a pair of Clark's shoes reduced.
Old wash and bath house

Old Town Hall

Snow capped fell

River Kent

Blue skies
We found a quicker way back into town, did some more exploring, then found a cafe for a drink before leaving for the car park. On the way we found a toy/ puppet shop.It was quite expensive, but husband found a cheaper Grommit puppet, to help keep the Grandchildren amused. It's good to have an excuse to visit toyshops. Driving back I was oohing and aahing, at the snow covered fells. For once they had been fairly bare when we arrived. That evening, at dinner we were given a small cup of leek and potato soup. For starters I had grilled Anglesey mackerel, husband had chicken terrine, for mains I had rump of lamb, he had pressed shoulder of local lamb, then desserts were panna cotta with berries for me, chocolate delice for him. I think it was that night I didn't sleep too well, possibly having eaten too much.
On Tuesday, the weather didn't promise much, so we decided to visit Lakeland, the kitchen store. it is right at the top of Windermere village, near the station. We had a jolly good browse, bought some odds and ends, and two lovely children's caps and aprons for when Nat and Lydia help with the baking. Husband bought some more stuff for his cooking projects,and having spent far too much,we made our way up in the lift to the cafe, we had hot chocolate, I had cake, which I later regretted, then we moved the car to the pay and display by the station put on our boots, crossed over the road,and found the path which leads to Orrest head. We met many people coming down, who warned us it was blowy, but well worth the walk. We were quite wrapped up with several layers, so didn't feel the cold too much. Of course as we climbed, we got warmer, but I began to wish I'd picked up my stick out of the car, especially when we reached the summit, and the last few rocks were fairly steep. I couldn't quite make it up there. It was quite blowy, we stood for a while, enjoying the view.
Part of the view

Add caption

 Windermere is 10.5 miles long,and we could see all of it. Up towards Ambleside,we could see some sort of precipitation, and wondered if it was heading our way, so we picked our way down, and walked round the streets of the village, popping into various shops. The antiques place with all the ticking, chiming clocks is still there, but they are trying to retire. We found a little cafe under the Tourist information place,and had a drink, before heading back to the car, removing our boots and going back to the hotel. Dinner that evening was sweet potato and coconut soup, goats cheese mousse, corn fed chicken and black garlic mash, followed by chocolate terrine for me, husband's starter was smoked haddock and egg, then he had pork belly and black pudding mousse, with roasted pork cheek, then chocolate terrine.
We didn't spend a lot of time watching TV,as there seemed to be so little on when we got back from dinner. We did watch the news though

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Trying to get sorted out.

We both made it to church on the Sunday of last week, we had a visiting preacher, he had a soft Welsh accent,and was very good. I slept rather deeply in the afternoon, just went out like a light before I had even drunk my coffee. The only problem was I had trouble sleeping that night.
On the Monday morning, husband asked me if I wanted him to move his chest of drawers, so that the last bit if painting could be done.
I wasn't feeling much in the mood, but didn't want to leave it, as I dislike uncompleted decorating. I popped out, and when I came back, he had moved the chest, and he was using the wallpaper steamer to remove the last few feet of woodchip. He cleaned up, then I got changed into my painting clothes, sanded and washed the last bit,and then gave it the first coat. It didn't take long,and I thought it looked so much better.
I was still catching up on the washing backlog, and using the tumble drier, as it's so much quicker,and if I get stuff out and fold it straight away, it doesn't need ironing. I got the second coat of emulsion on, did a cosmetic job on the skirting board, and told husband how soon he could put the chest back. Although when actually on the wall, the paint is only a couple of shades away from what was up before, it all looks so much better.
I didn't make the bed up with the new stuff straight away, as the old stuff hadn't been on for long. I'd booked a late appointment at the hairdressers, just for a cut, so walked down there, and popped into town and got the bus back up.
On the Tuesday, I phoned my friend C. I haven' seen her for ages,as in January I didn't want to carry germs, and wasn't really up to visiting at the beginning of Feb. It's not good to go and visit people and cough all the time. When I arrived, her husband said he had to pop out, so I said, 'Ok, I'll look after her' She has had laser treatment on her eyes, after 24 years of early onset a m d, someone decided laser could help, but she said she couldn't really see me at all. We chatted for over an hour and I think I managed to cheer her up. I usually try, and we do have a laugh about things. I left at about lunchtime, not long after her husband came back. To add to her problems, she now has to see a skin specialist for a problem with itching.
Back home I had a lunch of soup, as my weight had crept up a bit, too much comfort eating of chocolate when we had the washing machine trouble the previous week. For some reason I was having trouble sleeping. I managed a doze.
On Wednesday, we collected Lydia, and afterwards drove to the dump,as we had some empty paint cans and other stuff. The dump was closed, apparently it closes 2 days a week now. By the time we got home Lydia was fast asleep. As the front bedroom was still in disarray, husband laid her on the sofa, and she napped for about an hour. Then I gave her lunch. Afterwards she played happily singing to herself, I was hearing snatches of  'The wheels on the bus'. all too soon it was time for Grandad to collect her brother, and about half an hour later, I took her home too.Sadly I had yet another bad night. The next day, we collected her at 8 am, At least, I got her in the car after husband had left for school with Nathaniel. I tried the dump again and it was open this time.
The weather wasn't very good, and when I took her out in the buggy, we had to put the rain covers on. I met my former neighbour,and we had a chat. Then I saw someone else I knew. I was tad late getting home,and Lydia was sleepy, I'd managed to make room for the travel cot, so she had a nap, after lunch. When her brother came, he was quite happy to see her. They played together quite happily then watched some Thomas DVD. Unfortunately, Nat decided to do a huge track layout just before home time and wasn't too impressed to be told it was hometime.
Friday I spent partly trying to empty the washing basket, and catching up on some ironing. I still can't find the pictures I took of the crocuses, so it's a boring post again

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Decorating and drenching.

So on the Monday of the week before last , I stripped the bed, took the bedding into the spare room, adding it to the pile of stuff already removed from cupboards, etc. We wrestled the mattress off, and into the spare room,  split the top of the bed from the bottom, piled one half on top of the other, and husband emptied his wardrobe and moved it. The paper on that wall was 'ready pasted', that wall had never had woodchip, and it came off so easily. By 12 I was applying the first coat to that wall. No shelf supports had ever been on that wall, so no protruding wallplugs, or holes to be filled.
After lunch I popped out. Husband had started emptying his huge bookcase. I went shopping for a few small items, then drove to the local lodge/hotel to book us in. I got the room key, inspected the room, not much storage space, but we didn't really need it. Just somewhere to lay our heads for a couple of nights.
Back home, at around 4, I put on the second coat of paint, it went on like a dream. Then I cleaned up, made dinner, and we departed for the hotel. The bed wasn't very comfortable, but we went to bed fairly early, for me at least,and got a reasonable night. We awoke relatively early, without an alarm, showered, dressed and went down for breakfast. It was one of those buffet style breakfasts, basically, you just choose what you want from the cereals, yoghurts, tea/coffee, muffins, croissants, fruit, brioche. There are also cooked items scrambled egg, sausage and beans. We wondered why no bacon, but I then pointed out that bacon doesn't actually improve with standing. I remember when we accompanied our Son to uni, we stayed overnight in a Ramada, and the breakfast buffet bacon had been standing,and was like cardboard. There was also a toaster, where you put in bread at one end and it does a sort of tour and comes out as toast.
I had wheat biscuits, a banana, then as I was going to be physically active, toast and marmalade. there was no decaff, so I had hot chocolate, but on enquiry, a member of staff gave me some sachets of decaff, which are available in reception for refurbishing rooms stock. Husband had quite a substantial breakfast, including egg sausage and beans.
We drove home, he put his wardrobe back against the wall, we moved the bed a bit, then he moved my wardrobe and a small chest so I could get behind it to scrape off the woodchip. He emptied his bookcase, and moved that, so that I could scrape off more. He cleared all of the scraped off paper for me. After lunch I began painting the wall behind the wardrobe, and a bit to the side which I hadn't been able to reach before. Suddenly husband called. He'd gone downstairs and found the kitchen flooded. There was water pouring out of the powder drawer. We had to stop the machine, and tried to mop up. Obviously the machine wasn't draining properly, so I flushed soda crystals through twice, but the machine still would not drain. after mopping up, I went back and finished the wall.
I suddenly remembered that an engineer had once unblocked my machine, and found a lot of tissue in it. The previous day  had forgotten to change onto  my 'painting trousers', had got paint n the ones I was wearing, so had stuffed them into the machine without checking the pockets, Sainsbury's own brand tissues tend to clump when wet, and often stay on the pocket, but I'd used so many tissues when I had my cold that I bought extra in town, They were Kleenex, which just disintegrate.
Because of all the extra hassle, we were later eating and a bit later getting to the hotel. There were no parking spaces at all. So husband dropped me off, then took the car home and walked back. feeling a bit down in the dumps, I bought us a Kitkat each. After husband came back I watched 2 things in iplayer, before going to bed, I didn't sleep too well, probably too wound up to sleep.
For breakfast the next day husband had something similar, but I had orange juice, a croissant which was hard and overcooked, toast and jam, in fact I had 2 slices. Then I found a sachet of the decaff. so just added hot water and milk. Husband went back home for the car, and we were soon checking out.
Later that day I went to Homebase for more paint, I had located where the filter should be on the washing machine. Husband had taken the top off the day before, but no sign of it. Once the machine was actually switched off, I could open the door, I'd removed the inadequately rinsed clothes, but as I was trying to drain the machine the door was shut and wouldn't open.
Husband decide to do some gardening, whilst I painted the second coat. I quickly sanded the skirting board and applied a one coat gloss. As I was pulling the masking tape off the carpet, I heard a yell, and raced downstairs. Into the kitchen and I was paddling again. this time water was running from the under sink cupboard. Husband explained he'd tried to pull the washing machine out, and water just appeared. I sent him outside to turn off the stopcock, and then as the water subsided managed to reach the switch for the cold fill. Once that was off and the water back on, no further water came out, so out with the absorbent cloths and towels again. This was beginning to be depressing! Water all cleared up, then I was back upstairs finishing off picking up the tape. the wardrobe and chest went back and husband's book case,and we were at last able to put the bed back together.
 On inspection, husband discovered that the cold fill pipe had actually split. It was quite old,older than the washing machine, as it's been easier since our kitchen was done 18 years ago, to reuse the old pipes, rather than fit new ones.
We managed to clean up the mess, but I was then left with wet soggy towels that I couldn't wash, added to the pile of badly rinsed clothes.  I ran our Daughter, who was visiting her Grandma, with husband and the children as it was half term. We have a key to her house, and she gave me permission to use her washing machine. So on Thursday, I went up there, rinsed the stuff that had been stranded in the washing machine, and then put the towels in to wash whilst I went to the Supermarket. Whilst there, I found a duvet cover which would fit in with my new colour scheme, I had bought some valanced sheets online Our old sheets were wearing a bit thin, they are about 10 years old. Then after lunch we went to B&Q, I can't recall what I went  for, but husband came with me as he wanted to buy extra long hoses for the washing machine. He found the filter, and removed 1 penny, 2 curtain hooks and various bits of paper. the filter went back the new hoses were fitted,and I tried a rinse with an empty machine and it worked. Brilliant, so my 12 year old machine is not yet for the scrapheap.
Friday was spent sorting stuff and putting it away,and I had a trip to Homebase for a second duvet cover, then Dunelm Mill for curtains, which turned out to be not wide enough, so I ordered more online,and despite the delivery date being shown as Monday, they arrived on Saturday. We had a walk nito town, then later I put the curtains up. We're getting there by degrees.
My photos are in disarray atm, so I won't upload any, hope it's not too boring.