Category Archives: At Home

Well, top marks to the osteopath and to the NHS physio I have just started seeing (who happens to be a friend from church).  I am now considerably more mobile than I was a fortnight ago, and also in hardly any pain.  I was even able to walk to the hospital and back for my physio appointment this morning (a good 2 mile round trip)!  And all this is despite having spent the last two days cleaning the house!

Our house is now fully double glazed. It took the workmen 7 working days – I can’t believe they did everything so quickly and with so little damage to the inside of the house.  It is definitely warmer in here now, and the heat is staying in the house instead of going straight out the windows!  Oh, and everything looks cleaner and brighter (clean windows inside and out!), the new white plastic window frames will be much easier to clean and will never need painting.  Hurrah!

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Filed under At Home, Pregnancy

of windows and shopping

Workmen arrived this morning and started replacing our windows.  We are getting double-glazing!  I am so happy.  Also rather cold as the wind whistles through the windowless rooms while they work.  We didn’t know they were coming today until the end of last week, so it is all happening sooner than we expected at this stage.  (Actually, my beloved husband found out on Friday that they were starting work today, but didn’t tell me until Saturday night.  We had just had good news about the Church heating and our window situation just kinda slipped his mind.)  The workmen think they will have the job finished in about a week – this is extra good news as I’d assumed it would take much longer.  The disruption is huge while this is going on (we are having to tie the dog up to furniture and the cat is hiding under the duvet), but it will be fantastic to get it all over and done with.  I’m looking forward to a much warmer house when the work is finished.  This is our 5th winter in the house and we can rarely get the living room over 15 degrees Centigrade at this time of year (actually it rarely gets up to that temperature even), the first year when one of the radiators in there wasn’t working properly I considered contacting the local funeral director to offer use of the room as a temporary mortuary!  We are so grateful that the diocese has found the money in its budget to reglaze us this year, even more grateful that the work will be done before the baby arrives.  As heating costs continue to rise it will be great to be able to retain a bit more of the heat we put into the house.

When the chaps arrived to start work I was busy loading my shopping trolley in Sainsbury’s.  I was getting close to finishing, about to hit the freezer aisle, when the alarms went off and we were evacuated.  Thankfully, they were letting people into the carpark so I was able to wait in the car for a while before I decided that I might as well come home as clearly we weren’t going to get back in to the shop for quite some time.  It is an inconvenience, but we have food at home so we aren’t exactly going to starve!  I’ve just placed an order online to be delivered later this week instead of trying to go back and I’ve been able to get a few more heavy items than I could have managed in store on my own (a month’s supply of cat litter, for example!) – so it is not all bad!

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Filed under At Home, out and about

in which bicarbonate of soda works wonders, the oven doesn’t work at all, and we have window joy

I said it was cold – as we were going to bed last night we realised it was snowing.  Well, mainly it was a sleety rain, but there were definite snow flakes in there.  It didn’t settle, which I am glad about, and we have been having another bright but cold day today.

The dog threw up in the study yesterday, and the smell has been really, really, bad.  Simon and I have scrubbed the carpet, I’ve steam cleaned the carpet, we have had the window open, used enough air freshener for that alone to make us feel ill, and still the smell lingers.  It hasn’t just lingered in the study either, it has pervaded the entire house.  In the recesses of my memory I seemed to have something about bicarbonate of soda helping in these situations.  I did a google search (I am really loving the internet at the moment) and came up with instructions to make the bicarb into a thick paste with some water and rub it into the area (you then hoover it out when it is all dry and its work is done).  I didn’t have a lot of bicarb in the cupboard but the little I had has worked its magic – we have actually been able to use the study with window and door shut.  Amazing.  Simple, cheap and effective.

The oven stop working on Sunday as I was heating it to roast our beef.  I was not a happy bunny.  We have a small top oven (with grill) which is uneconomical but did cook the beef, and I fried the potatoes so all was not lost.  We had to say goodbye to the idea of Yorkshire pudding, though.  Ironically, I had been feeling so tired that I was threatening everyone with pasta for dinner instead of a roast.  Clearly the oven felt much the same as me.  So no cakes, no home-made bread.  I feel bereft.  The crockpot is putting in overtime though – leak and potato soup for lunch, and now a steamed pudding cooking in there for dessert this evening.  I am pretty certain that the oven element needs replacing.  I know I can order a spare through the manufacturer’s website, I just need to work out whether this is something I can replace myself or whether I need an engineer/electrician (and how much that will set us back).

We had some good news this morning, though.  We had a letter through to say that the diocese has approved a quote to replace our windows.  We are going to have new windows.  New, double-glazed windows.  Double-glazed windows that don’t have rotting frames.  I danced for joy in the hallway.  That will save money on our heating bills, not to mention making the house warmer.  And safer.  And quieter.  Yippee.  Praise the Lord!  Work can start whenever the company can do it.  I am so grateful.

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I’ve made a start on repainting the baby’s room – I’ve done the ceiling and one wall.  Still a lot to do but I feel better about the task now that I’ve started!

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I didn’t manage to get on to the cookery course after all – when I got to the college to register the class was already full.  I might set myself the challenge of learning 2 or 3 new recipes each week (main course, starter/dessert) for a couple of months to compensate for not getting on the course.

My mother is staying at the moment so my time is taken up entertaining her. We have just had an old friend who we used to know abroad and has just moved to London and who we haven’t seen for 18 years to lunch! 

I will post holiday photos once my mother has gone back home (the weekend?).  Will also catch up with gardening, cleaning, etc!

I am now 20 weeks pregnant – half way through – and I still can’t believe it is all real!

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students and food

The two Russian students who are staying with us for 3 weeks are sweet 16 year old girls.  It is nice to hear them giggling with each other.   Alas, they don’t eat, though.  Well, obviously they do eat a little, but it really is just a little.  All the teenage boys we’ve had staying with us in the past have had grand appetites, and all the adults have tended to eat well, so these girls are a bit of a contrast.  No surprise that they are very slim.  I’ve had to play around with the menu a bit, moving to more salad-based meals, which is fine by us, as well.  I had had the menu planned out for the whole three weeks before they arrived – ah, well, they are cheaper to feed!  I’m supplementing the veggie box with lots of salad items, and the carrots are taking over the kitchen, I still can’t get through them fast enough!

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I fluffed up the pillows and pulled back the duvet to get into bed, and EEEK! There was a HUGE beetle down at the foot of the bed, IN the bed.  It was cockroach sized, but happily not a cockroach.  It must have come in through the window, and was rather reluctant to leave again.  I was a touch reluctant to share my bed with it, and relieved when I finally managed to get it out the window.  I would say I’ve been checking the bed neurotically since then, but to be honest I’m mostly too tired to care!

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