Friday, 17 November 2017

Another Journey

Today is one of the days when I have to venture to our County City for a work meeting

Happily for me I also can pick up the slate for our hearth extension

And collect tractor parts for hubby along the way

Unhappily for me is the fact that my back decided to complain badly yesterday

It had been rumbling for a few days

Then you go to stand up and wallop


So I'm planning for a hearty helping of pain relief

And a good old hot water bottle too

Yes if needs must I will attend the meeting sans hot bot!

It won't be the first time either


It looks a little frosty outside

And when the sun comes up I'm sure it will be a beautiful day

Poor Heidi will be able to have a duvet day

But judging by the depth of her snoring last evening perhaps this will be no bad thing

She went to work with me yesterday

And for a short while became a pat dog

She was a very happy pooch


So once more unto the breach dear friends

Once more!

Blessings J. x

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Six Weeks

Edited to warn that upon reading this after publishing it, it reads remarkably similar to yesterday's offering...
Such is the delight of a remarkably busy scatty brain!
Try as I might
I haven't been able to totally block out the fact that a certain celebration is a mere six weeks come Monday away
That's quite scary really
Not only due to all the things still in my head that I wanted to make
But how fast this year has flown by
I have done nothing
Absolutely nothing
I'm still frantically sewing door curtains
Never mind the pelmets!
The youngsters are due to fly the nest on Saturday
And pick up the rest on Sunday
I will be on a mission to paint two bedrooms as soon as they're halfway down the stairs
Such a caring Mother
The rush though is so that Sonshine and his girlfriend will be more comfortable when they arrive the following Friday
And when the youngsters have to return for a couple of months when their outside walls are being rebuilt they too will benefit
Our new carpet laying date has been brought forward to next Monday
So ideally I need to have finished sloshing paint around on the stairs and landing by then
My it's going to be a hectic weekend
I will no doubt be reaching for a glass of baileys before dawn breaks on Monday morning
Blessings J. x

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Fighting Through The Mess

I will miss the youngsters when they've flown the nest

Planned for next weekend

But right now there are boxes all over our table

Piles of miscellaneous 'stuff' dotted all over the place

And quite frankly I can't be bothered to try and tidy

As it would be undone in an instant

When they have gone I need to get what was their room painted

Skirting boards on

Then we shall move into that room

Hopefully no more banging my head on a sloping ceiling

Then once our old room is empty it'll be a coat of paint

And those skirting boards on

Before moving the daybed out of the little office room

And making a welcoming guest room for when Sonshine and his girlfriend come on the Friday

That's going to be going some!

Then the spare room can also be my work room

And I will no longer be looking at folders while trying to relax of an evening


A living room that is just that

I can almost feel my toes wiggling in front of the fire

Soon we will have extended the hearth and we will be able to leave the woodburner door open if we so choose

However today I feel the need of a list

So for now

Blessings J. x

Monday, 13 November 2017

Ten Minutes

I'm all set for work

But first

Instead of rushing up and down the stairs

Generally chasing my tail

I'm sitting with a cup of tea on the sofa

The calm before the storm!

Slowly Little Winter is taking shape

Two sets of curtains are now hanging

Though the valances still need making

Priority will be given to the front door curtain

And then I can shut out the night

At least from the road side of the cottage

The lights cast a warm glow in the evenings


Though with the best will in the world it's not a working light

In fact I've relied heavily on the light cast by the sewing machine

We still have a long way to go and much hard work to get Little Winter just the way we I want it!

But it is truly home and a good place to come back to

Especially after being out at the youngesters new house

It's rather chilly at the edge of the forest

And no insulation means that Daddy will be installing the woodburner we have in storage for them at his earliest convenience

I have an inkling that both Daddy and Mummy will be doing an awful lot more than that in the months to come!

And so my precious ten minutes is up

Time to earn a crust

Blessings J. x


Friday, 10 November 2017

Thank You...It Happened


It did

Though I didn't know until coming back from work after lunch

And breathe

Late this afternoon I went out to youngest and her caveman's new project to begin cleaning with her

I'd wanted to sweep the Rayburn chimney but there's quite a bend in it and without a man it just wasn't happening

Though we might phoo phoo the state of this house

We mustn't forget that it was somebody's home

Only the relatives selling the property have left behind stuff in the loft

And the loft hatch open

So mice have been playing

Like everywhere!

And there's a big leak and muchly bulging ceilings upstairs

As I said a man is required!

Most definitely a project

Anyway thank you everyone for your good wishes

Blessings J. x

Dare I Believe

Well today should be the day

Barring any last minute delays

That finally we will own our home

Little Winter

I'm sorry little cottage that you are in such a state at the moment

But painting is still in progress

Lights have been renewed


Wood sanded

Plate rack hung


Open cupboard hung


Downstairs radiators removed

The clock hung

By men (Yes two) one to hang clock and one to say when it was level!!

Then repositioned by me! (After photo)

Holes filled

And drilled

And filled!

Furniture has been moved

Carpet for downstairs, stairs and landing measured for replacement after unfortunate accident involving rogue flying coal from the woodburner

Cooker ordered after site visit

Door man has been to measure for composite door

But little cottage you have a hobbit sized door and they do not make composite doors that vertically challenged

We're considering oak

I've fallen in love

Well who wouldn't?!

I'm trying to make the curtains

With thick interlinings

Lots of hand sewing

And then there's work

Lots of it

Both from our own business and my assessing role

Life is busy

But mostly good

I'm actually looking forward to us being 'empty nesters'

Although I've been assured that they will be popping home frequently!

Oh and a builder has been to plan for our side extension

Hopefully that will begin next February

And thus I need to get ready for work

And hope as hard as I can

(Eyes tightly screwed up kind of hope)

That the final legal proceedings go without any hitches today

Blessings J. x


Monday, 30 October 2017



This evening we have played with pumpkins

Fun...but I am still suffering from a chesty thing

It's making me tired

The painting is progressing

And a plate rack and a made by me from a drawer open cupboard were both hung up yesterday

Also the large mirror and chandelier

The makings of our home

Still lots to do but we're getting there

Wishing you all Happy Samhain Blessings

J. x


Tuesday, 24 October 2017


Tuesday is usually my day to work with adults with learning disabilities

However last week I realised that today I had been put down for annual leave

Lovely I thought

I'll crack loads of learners files open and catch right up

And then hubby caught man flu

And the day after I began to ache

And that's how it has continued from last Wednesday until yesterday afternoon

When for good measure my cold began to 'come out'

So this morning finds me showered, dosed with medication

One minute hugging my hot water bottle

And the next discarding it and reaching for a cool glass of lemonade

So what am I doing to pass the time

A jigsaw at the moment

I have managed to fill the dishwasher

A Herculean effort

That left my legs feeling like quivering blocks of jelly

An engineer has been to fit a new part to our tumble dryer

We are mid decorating, daughter packing up, and waiting for builder

You can imagine the state of the place!

The weather is dismal...again

Yesterday eldest brought over grand puppy

And we took both bears into the forest for a good run around

Heidi rolled in something truly obnoxious on the way back to the car

The one good thing about being so bunged up

I can't smell the rascal!

Here they appear to be sporting matching slobber

In my fuddled head I am making the curtains

Alas my ailing body is having none of it in reality just yet

So another puzzle nearly complete

At least it's not mindless daytime telly!

Blessings J. x


Saturday, 21 October 2017

And Breathe!

Thankfully caveman 2's elders remortgage came through yesterday so it's full steam ahead on all the plans

I have succumbed to a sore throat and aches and have only half heartedly painted a wall today

The weather is truly horrendous

But the fire is aglow

I have a fresh puzzle to begin later

So despite the aches life is good

I may have a celebratory tipple later

It's got to be good for the throat surely?!

Blessings J. x

Friday, 20 October 2017



Youngest and her caveman were successful at the auction on Wednesday

And our purchase of Little Winter has gone beyond the point of no return

Just waiting for Caveman 2's elders remortgage to be finalised

Then I can breathe again

Their place was valued on Wednesday

And that was all that was waiting on the application

So fingers tightly crossed


Hubby has had man flu

And don't we know it!

I don't feel great and have had a pottering sort of morning

But I need to sharpen up my brain as I have learners to see this afternoon


The menfolk are all away for the day tomorrow

I plan to sand the remaining wall in the living area and paint it

Next it will be moving up the stairs and tiny landing

That's the trouble with open plan living

You have to decorate everywhere at once


I also wish to crack on with curtain making

And cosy everywhere up before Samhain

Don't want any ghouls peeking in!


After what sounded like a very turbulent night this morning though chilly has been lovely

And I've remembered I still have bulbs to plant

If only the soil was a little dryer

Though soon they will have to go in whatever condition their resting place

My mind is a whirl of tentative ideas

I've ordered new wooden feet for our two pouffes that go with the sofa

Extra bottom perching space

Now the large dresser is in the dining rather than living area the sofa is pushed back and no longer cuts the room in half

One more light is up too

Slowly wins the race hopefully!

Anyway no pictures yet

I want to finish the room and get the look

Rather than the haphazard dumping ground it is at the moment

Just need to get my work done and fight off this threatening virus


Blessings J. x

Monday, 16 October 2017


Is there no end to this?

Our mortgage agreed....bang

Youngest and her caveman though want to bid on a house coming up for auction on Wednesday

A house that you can't get a mortgage on

Enter much legal jostling and cavemans Mother and her partner potentially remortgaging

Enter also a very tight timescale

So far we are waiting for the formal remortgage offer for cavemans Mother

If that doesn't happen then no bidding

Contracts will need to be signed after the auction and whilst that's not such a worry if our purchase hasn't gone through fully it is still a risk

Two more sleeps....though how much sleep I'm not sure!

At the weekend hubby and I escaped all the worry and ventured to Bishops Lydeard to the National Ploughing Championships

We saw...

Dutch Draught horses


Steam engines and lots more besides

It was good to get away for the day

Yesterday was our village harvest lunch which went well but left me exhausted as all my preparation had to be done yesterday morning as I was away all Saturday

And today being Monday means work...though from home there is a lot for me to do so I'd best make a start

Blessings J. x


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Where Did You Go?

September...last time I looked we were skipping along together

The next thing I notice is the second day of the month of October

Time has certainly been flying by in an instant

So what has been going on around here

Well...let me tell you a story

Two years ago we were renting and the owners wanted to do some repairs and then up the rent

By a fair whack

Enough was enough so hubby took it upon himself to fix up viewings for a couple of Cottages in a nearby hamlet

What was not so easy was getting a mortgage

He had stayed on the family farm putting in a robotic parlour for which no payment had been received at that time

Making the accounts pretty dismal reading

I had my joint issues and had given up full time working and was yet to learn that I was destined to become an assessor

So basically there was no way on this Earth that we would be mortgage material

However youngest and her partner had started considering buying a place together

So together with our help they bought the cottage and we set about practically demolishing it right before Christmas 2015

In April 2016 it was just about liveable and we moved in

Things still need doing but we're getting there

Anyway it soon became clear that they didn't consider it to be their forever home and wanted to move to the back of beyond

With my new job in tow and a couple of healthier sets of accounts under our belts I suggested one day that when their fixed mortgage term ended would they like us to take on the cottage

Yes please was the resounding answer

And so things were plodding along easily to gain a mortgage offer by mid December

Then they go and fall in love with a house

That's coming up for auction mid October

Skates on

Paperwork rifling

Shoulders tensed

Anyway Friday afternoon we had the news that we have a mortgage offer

Tomorrow our solicitor is requesting searches on the property

So fingers crossed soon this sweet little cottage will be ours

Well and the banks

But nothing to do with hubby's family

With all their broken promises for nigh on three decades

This will be our H O M E

Anything else will become a bonus rather than a necessity

I would love to say I'm really excited

But I'm still very tense

There is still an auction coming up and it would be lovely for them if their dream could come true

But there is only so much money in any budget

I've been painting and the wall lights are being changed

Furniture is on the move

Curtain poles are down and tracks are waiting to go up

The sewing machine will soon be busy

I just need to relax and enjoy the ride a bit more

Last evening we discussed a new front door

Ours is glass top and opens directly into the living room

I find this rather freaky

Happy dance to a new door!!

Anyway that's my news

Blessings J. x

Monday, 25 September 2017

I've Been


Actually feeling rather poorly for most of this past week

Probably due to lots of things all happening at once

Changing seasons

Another funeral

Business meetings



I also have fingers toes and everything else crossed

Lots of big stuff going on

I'll let you know if it's a happy outcome

If not you'll probably find me living in some cave off the North Devon coast!

Micky has taken a liking to sleeping in our bedroom

In front of the window

As long as he's a good boy this is ok with us

Quite shamefully this is the only photo I've taken recently

Answers on a postcard please!

Must dash...a longish journey awaits for work meetings today

Blessings J. x


Thursday, 14 September 2017


This fairy has been feeling a tad battered and even crumpled since braving going out in the heavy rain and strong winds over the weekend

Unfortunately this fairy also has lots to do and yesterday lit the woodburner and sat literally up against the hearth to warm her wings as she worked

She was working late into the night as she had issues with the caveman's paperwork!

She realised in the dead of night that she hadn't changed the duvet from Summer to Autumn and woke many times feeling cold

Her garden is looking sad and neglected after the storms which have been raging all week and don't appear to have blown out quite yet

Poor fairy has another spell of mad panic this morning, but hopefully this afternoon she will find the time to have her locks cut and made to shine again and this will help her feel able to tackle all that she has to

The fairies accountant wants paperwork

The fairies financial advisor wants paperwork

The fairies bank account needs some money

The fairy has been feeling hungry all the time

Oh fairy I do hope you can find what it takes to make some magic happen

Perhaps this chap could help

Well at least he's not lashing out as people pass him anymore

He even accepts a cuddle sometimes

Unfortunately he doesn't like dogs and Heidi would love to press her nose against him to see if he squeaks

And continues to do this when claws are attached to her face

So for now he resides in his upstairs flat!

Anyway, much as this little fairy would love to hide under the duvet and let everyone else deal with the chaos that's happening at the moment, she deep down knows that without her nothing will get done and everyone will be in the same situation that they are now

And the fairy is going to do her best to make some good things happen

Blessings J. x


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Mightily Uninspired

I find myself alone on this miserable excuse of a Sunday afternoon

Sonshine left after an early lunch

So he is still on his journey

The weather is pretty vile

I have lit the woodburner

But even that keeps blowing out

A sorry state off affairs if ever there was one

Youngest is working

Hubby is at an all weekend Ploughing event

I went yesterday and wore plenty of mud home

The photo shows Sonshine pulling the fish and chip van with hubby issuing his orders!

It is not the afternoon for berry picking

Or meandering through leafy lanes

I am not a Sunday shopper by choice

A jigsaw has been finished

A 99p beauty from a local charity shop last week

Not the easiest which was rather nice

Now I know I have work I could be doing

But I can't face it

I should maybe even be planning what to make people for Yule gifts

But no, no enthusiasm here today

I need sunshine

Beans have been picked with great reluctance on my part

I still have to process them

However I have managed a batch of Cornish Fairings

Oops...too much syrup!

Still officially yummy though

And news that Sonshine has made it back to his girlfriends house for a roast tea

I always get a bit low when he leaves after a visit

Though I know he's happy

And that counts for a lot

Still... a Mother is allowed to miss her Son surely

It is rather windy here

But with the goings on in America and Islands it's but a whimper in comparison

Caveman no.2 has returned to the fold

Things are looking up!

Blessings J. x


Thursday, 31 August 2017

Can I

Much head scratching and pencil chewing has been happening here at Little Winter these past few days

The budget has been revisited

Several times

Yule/Christmas and birthdays had been unintentionally missed off completely


After pondering


Much sighing

Eldest and myself realised that actually I had miscalculated my fuel spend

Making the monthly figure a weekly one

Saving grace!

Oh and the Yule/Christmas budget this year £150

Including fresh tree


This is the year with no tiddlies in our immediate family to worry about that consumerism gets a huge bashing

So what am I cutting out

Crap basically

Plastic tat

Chemical laden food

Stuff bought on a whim

Love will be unlimited

Warm fires to sit by unlimited

Good wholesome food unlimited

Fun games and laughter will also be plentiful

I am well aware that I shall need to wear blinkers and ear mufflers from November onwards

Take no notice of the spending fairies pleas for me to part with my hard earned money

And gifts, yes there will be gifts

We have decided with the children that we will each provide for everyone else gift's' to the value of £5

These will be placed in their 'stocking'

I shall probably be in charge of hubby's £5's as well

Hopefully we will have fun guessing who gave what!

I do not intend to disappoint my offspring and have cunning plans forming

I have a decent supply of materials

And a sewing machine

We have charity shops that sell some good quality old curtains and bed covers sometimes

So girlies could reasonably expect a lovingly crafted shopping bag

Maybe an apron

Men...hum...a little more difficult

Aah...gloves...knitted gloves

Homemade crackers

With snap if I can find any in my stash

A chocolate for the gift

If Autumns' chill winds can hold off maybe I could keep picking the runnerbeans for longer and have enough to make chutney for gifting

They didn't produce beans until late in the season this year so I'm keen to use each one

Blackberries appear plentiful this year

So cordial might reasonably feature as a gift

Fun doesn't have to equate to a big spend thankfully

Our money will still be getting spent though

But hopefully on things like a mortgage and emergency fund

Oh and we have a new addition to our family

A three legged cat

He's 'retired' from the home I work at

He's choosing to live upstairs at the moment due to him not being used to dogs

He comes with issues

He's a feisty old man

But has had a past not many of his ilk have had to endure so we're forgiving him

So welcome to your new home Micky

And please no more biting when I stroke you

Or grabbing of ankles

You owe me a new pair of tights!

I really need to be downstairs and attending to the dreaded VAT which will probably swallow my entire day today

Blessings J. x


Saturday, 26 August 2017

Back on Home Soil

The last week has found us gadding about all over the place

First we travelled to Sonshines' place for a few days

Where we did lots of this

Yes it's gone

It was sooo good

The venue 'Cobwebs' in Abbots Bromley

Just imagine

Lime and pistachio

Heaven on a plate

See...happy people!

Then on Monday we trained ourselves up to Edinburgh

On Tuesday it was my birthday

A big one!

We dressed up in the Georgian house in Charlotte Square

I'd decided not to take a scrap of makeup with me for the whole holiday as I couldn't be bothered

I regretted this decision!

Of course there was more of this to be done

Then as dusk fell we headed up the Royal Mile to the Castle and watched the Royal Military Tattoo



What a way to spend a birthday

Anyway on Thursday we returned to Sonshines'

And yesterday we headed home though via Newbury for buying a machine purposes

The whole journey took 12 1/2 hours

This morning my back has officially said enough and I'm a hobbling so how much of the work I'd hope to get done will actually get done I don't know

Anyway I hope this finds you all well and happy people

Blessings J. x


Friday, 11 August 2017

The Rainy Season

Previously known to us as Summer

Frankly I'm getting rather fed up with it now

Some dry days would be most welcome


Today I actually have a day off

Though sadly have another funeral to attend


Yesterday I did manage to weed most of the area around the patio


We have been bringing in our meagre Harvest...


Runner beans

The first tomato

And as it's the school holidays eldest has been a frequent visitor

Of course you're never too old to lick out the bowl!

Sonshine came home on Tuesday

And his girlfriend arrived yesterday

A houseful!


So I must away to my duties

Blessings J. x


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

I Can Remember...

...a long time ago

each Christmas Morning

Dad's boss

'The Lady'

The farm owner

Would return from church bearing gifts for my parents

For Dad an envelope


For Mum

Maybe some new sheets

Or a table cloth


And always a huge most beautiful box of chocolates

So unlike what we see today

Sometimes the box had raised decorations

Usually a lovely ribbon bow


And inside the box

A wondrous array of shiny treats

We only ever had one at a time

And you learnt to savour the taste

After all were gone the box would be used

To store old photos

Or greetings cards


Never discarded


So now when I see mile high stacks of plastic tubs

Containing less and less sickly sweet blobs

Well I long for the return of the beautiful chocolate box

And the shiny goodness within

Nothing I've seen in recent years compares with those beautiful examples in my memory

Blessings J. x


Friday, 4 August 2017

Nature Friendly

This blog has been sat patiently waiting for me to add pictures which I have yet to take

Work has been hi jacking the majority of my waking hours

In fact some of my sleeping hours too

I really hope soon things will calm down drastically

Anyway this is what I had written


I honestly don't know how long we will live at Little Winter but am determined whilst we are here the garden will be a haven for wildlife

Ummm....apart from the flying ants the other afternoon

Sorry ants

We have left a huge tree stump in situ

Upon the stump sits an old birdtable top

Now grown over with ivy

And surrounding this is an area left wild

An old clay pipe rests nearby

Stone walls stand at the base of some of our perimeter hedging

Bird feeders are visited regularly

There are two large fir trees, and a small one that after nesting is over we want to remove

But hopefully in their place will be a small orchard area

I have a large round tub without holes

Heidi was supposed to use it as a paddling pool

But doesn't

So maybe we could utilise this and dig it in as a pond liner

With stones placed in it so that wildlife can get in and out at their will

Some oxygenating plants

Then I'm sure Heidi will love to wallow in it!

Plans and hard work and a body full of aching muscles

I should also like a few raised beds for vegetables and soft fruit

Hubby is not a tidy gardener

And our harvest this year is modest to say the least

I feel that raised beds would help

A gooseberry bush that we found in an overgrown bed last year has not fruited at all this season

This needs to be moved

But I am not able to do everything at once

And hubby and his muscle power are kept busy at work this time of year

We have had several days of constant rain

At times I could almost have done with some lighting on

I hope that soon the weather Goddess will see fit to shine some golden goodness upon us

Much as I love Autumn

I would like a little more Summer before she appears

Blessings J. x


Thursday, 20 July 2017

A Week Of Storms

This past week has raced by

Hanging washing out when possible to blow in the breeze

Taking a chance, and hoping that the ominous looking clouds will not empty their contents upon it

Winning some and losing some

Listening to thunderstorms rolling in

Hearing the straight down rain and wondering if it will ever stop

Getting frustrated when work meetups don't come to fruition

Enjoying watching the world para athletics

Realising that the nights are beginning to pull in

Grieving for the loss of an Uncle

The last of his generation

And also for a local young farm worker

Killed when thrown from his tractor

It has been a week with so much going on and happening

I haven't had much opportunity to browse the usual blogs

But I'm still here

And will catch up eventually

I'm cutting myself some slack

And accepting that not everything will get done

Not everything will be perfect

The rain will batter the flowers

But that's ok

And I can't do anything about it

Blessings J. x