Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Review of the month, looking back at June

Look at this - 2 Posts in 2 days, and I'm still gooseberry picking!

Half the year has gone, so time for a  look back at what happened in June

  • We got the house on the market, the brochure looks good, 2 viewings so far.
  • Col did a few hours work for his Leiston customer
  • We had lots of visitors to the campsite so income was over £1,000 and we are just a little up on the same time last year.
  • 4 Good  tyres for the small horse-box trailer for £50
  • Managed to get Mabel ( the shy cat) to the vet for her jab.
  • My unexpected pension pot pay out - Thank you Suffolk County Council!
  • Lots of good reading from the library
  • Col fixed squeak on car - new brake pad - £21
  • I made all our own bread all month
  • We had potatoes, salad leaves, radish, lettuce, cucumber, green beans, carrots, onions, calabrese, cauliflower, beetroot, courgettes, strawberries,tayberries and gooseberries from the garden and poly-tunnels
  • Saved £13 on £40 Tesco food shop ( £6 off £40 voucher and £7 loyalty vouchers)
  • Saved £10 on £30 Co-op food shop ( £6 Divi and £4 off £20 shop voucher)
  • Due to the above food spending was down below budget.
  • Made 8 jars of gooseberry and strawberry jam
  • And 10 jars of gooseberry jam.
  • Visited friends in Essex for the day
  • Tennis from Queens Club on TV to watch every afternoon for a week and the start of Wimbledon fortnight.
  • Lots of clearing and tidying done and a load of scrap to scrap yard = £240.
  • Started cross stitching again, the picture for a fridge magnet and lavender sachets for small gifts 
The blank fridge magnet was one of 3 I bought from a boot sale on May 4th. I got the 3 for 50p, made up with the stitching it makes a little gift small enough to fit in an envelope

  • Looked round 2  car boot sales spent 50p on 3 tumblers, 50p cross stitch kit, 50p string holder, 2 books 50p each, £1.50 beginners tea-cosy knitting kit
  • The story behind me buying this kit is that a few weeks ago the man at the car boot had several of these in a box and wanted £4 for them, I offered £2 but he said no, so I said you'll be left with them at the end of the day, to which he just shrugged his shoulders. So there he was at the boot-sale on Sunday selling them for £1.50 each! They have 2 balls of chunky wool, knitting needles and easy - I hope- row by row instructions and a thing for making pom-poms. This is my next knitting venture after dishcloths.
    On the negative side of the equation

     A water main along our road burst and we were without water for 4 hours and then the road was closed for 10  days, so 10 days unable to sell anything
    There are too many gaps in the campsite bookings diary for July
    Large electric bill due to busier campsite

    I wonder what July will bring . Will we get the hay in or will it be ruined by storms now forecast for tomorrow - Drat!
    Will we get more viewings or any offers. Time will tell.

    Many thanks to Pat, Kev, Amy, Kate and Making,mending,crafting for comments yeserday.

    Back in a few days

    Tuesday, 30 June 2015

    How did I forget Hay-on-Wye

    You know I did a list the other day of places we want to visit if we get the opportunity, I forgot Hay-on-Wye. How did I do that? as it's one of my favourite towns. So many wonderful second hand book shops all in one place, it's  book lovers heaven. I shall go there with my list from Furrowed Middlebrow blog of all the WWII books by women authors he has found out about and see if I can track some of them down.

    Continuing on the book theme, one of the 50p books I picked up from a car-boot sale a couple of weeks ago was this

     one of Arthur Ransom's 12 books about the Swallows and Amazons. It made me remember our visit to the museum in the Lake District where we saw the Amazon.  I've now got 6 out of the 12 as well as a couple of non-fiction books about the author and the real-life family - the Altounyans -that he based his 1930s and 40s books on.Then in one of the newspapers Col brought in from the campsite I spotted
    "Titty becomes Tatty as BBC rewrites classic" ,
    The BBC have begun shooting a new version of Swallow and Amazons in the Lake District and Yorkshire which  will be released next year. The youngest girl called Titty in his stories will be called Tatty in the new version so that people are not offended! In real life the little girl was called Mavis but had the nick-name Titty after a childrens story 'Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse'.
     I've watched the 1974 film version a couple of times, one of my favourite childrens stories.

    I hope everyone further inland is surviving the heat wave, here on the coast we have a nice breeze to keep things more comfortable. Col has gone up the road with the tractor and hay turner, and I'm deciding between sunbathing or tennis. Gooseberries, potatoes, flowers and cucumbers are selling well after the road closure delay - thankfully.

    Back Tomorrow with my review of the month - looking back at June. ( how the heck has half a year gone already?)


    Saturday, 27 June 2015

    It's Hot - Just The Weather For Haymaking -AGAIN

     I wrote about haymaking last year, Day 1 is here, and here we are round to Day 1 of this year.The difference is that we are are almost a month earlier,  and we are only cutting our field and the one up the road behind a Londoners second home. Our field will be made ( God and weather permitting) into small bales and the one up the road into large bales. A farmer has been up to cut  and Col will turn and bale.We have buyers for both lots of hay but how much help we will get shifting our small bales is another matter and as Col is meant to be taking things a bit easier it will probably be down to me to shift them off the field, onto a trailer and into the barn - as I did last year. I really hoped last year that it would be the last time I did this job, it's always so hot for haymaking - obviously!
    Why Oh Why did I jinx things by saying this two weeks ago -

    I might be a bit busy over the next two or three weeks, with tennis on TV, a couple of hundred punnets of gooseberries to pick, cross stitching while I watch the tennis and making jam to save putting things in the freezer and HOPEFULLY showing people round the house.
    Instead we had one week with the road shut and no point picking because of no traffic, now the road is re-opening Monday and tennis will be back on TV, there are still several dozens of punnets of gooseberries to be picked, another potential buyer to show round Monday, Col taking our sons old car to the scrap yard and we have to add in  Haymaking too. Phew!

    I might be a bit busy over the next two weeks Oooops better not tempt fate!

    Back again any day

    Friday, 26 June 2015

    Lists While In Limbo

    Still in limbo here because as predicted by the lady at Essex and Suffolk Water the road is still closed. They are waiting for a big machine for resurfacing due to so much tarmac being damaged by the water. So instead of picking gooseberries, bunching flowers and digging spuds to sell I've been tidying and sorting things, trying to find more stuff for a car boot sale and getting rid of rubbish ready for future moving. ( First viewing tomorrow)

     I came across this scrappy bit of paper which has the years 1992 to 1999 along the top and then lists of all the work we did here and what we planned to do. Under 1992-1993 is says we
    cleared rubbish,
     felted and insulated the house roof,
     repaired the chimney,
     painted right through the inside, 
    reclaimed some vegetable beds, 
    cleared out the first shed, 
    planted raspberries and strawberries, 
    put up a greenhouse,
     took down the derelict Nissen hut,
     started keeping chickens,
     replaced the bathroom fittings, 
    built compost bins and
     replaced the septic tank.
     A busy time as Col was working full time and we had 3 children under 12 but we were SO much younger! That was in our first year here and  the list under the next few years are just as long.

    We were sitting out in the sun again today for a while and  started another list  -  places we would love to visit if we had the chance to have a gap year with a caravan. We came up with the following

    Chatham Historic  Dockyard
    The Black Country Museum on their 1940s weekend
    Weald and Downland Open Air Museum
    Butser Ancient farm
    The Isle of Wight
    Dover Castle
    One of the Big Antique Fairs
    Snowdon Mountain Railway
    Keswick and the Lake District and the Cumbria coast
    Yorvik and the Railway Museum in York
    The Imperial War Museums at Duxford and in London
    The Northumbrian Coast

    Several of these we have been to before but not for years and never without children. Should keep us busy for a few months.

    Back Sooner than Later