Tuesday, 24 July 2012

How many swallows does it take to make a summer?

The swallows nesting up in the roof space of our shed have been thriving, despite the heat in the last couple of days - it's very, very hot up in the eaves under a felt roof.
We've gone from this......
This was on June 18th

July 6th

July 10th

July 15th

July 19th

July 23rd

And these two are from today

So I think the answer is... this is how many swallows make a summer!
Can you see all the bird poo on the beam? You can imagine the heap on the floor below!

Hasn't the weather been glorious for the past few days? We managed 4 cricket matches over the weekend and a lot of practice in the garden. I came home from work today to find a lot of extra teenagers in the garden weilding bats, oh well better than spending the day glued
to facebook or the x box.

And by the way, Little Miss's award for the camping this year was "noisiest camper" which she won jointly with a couple of others. Sadly no certificate this year but needless to say we are, once again, very proud!!!

Friday, 20 July 2012

It's a Mystery

I wasn't sure whether to write this post at all, I hope you'll read it as it was intended, it made me smile at the time and it's written without any predjudice.

Slightly strange things happen to me all the time, which my friends find highly amusing!

Occasionally I work as a mystery shopper, I get paid to go into a shop and assess the service and the layout of the shop. I say get paid, it's very little actually but it means I get a few hours in the city (Norwich usually) and it covers the carpark and a Costa coffee.

Well I had to do one during the last week, I acted out the scenario by asking for advice and help from the assistant behind the till. Part of the assesment involved checking that the staff were wearing the correct uniform; store t-shirt, black trousers with black shoes and belt.

He was a very nice and extremely helpful young man. He had neatly tied back long hair and really knew his stuff. When I asked for help he even took me over to the display of items I asked about to talk me through them.

When he stepped from behind the counter I checked the uniform; he was wearing the t-shirt with store logo, a black mini skirt, sheer tights and kitten heels!!

I just had to smile!!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

"Mum, Daddy's broken the house again...."

Well work has been continuing on the house, we are once again at the messy stage. The kitchen is as done as it can be, I'm still waiting for a windowsill and curtains but that's not a big problem and will soon be sorted.

The next job to be tackled is the laundry/utility room. This was in desperate need of a revamp as we had a flood some years ago from the bathroom above and the ceiling came down. As we were in the process of extending the house outwards and increasing the size of the laundry room it was decided that the ceiling and some of the walls would be plastered and painted when the extension was finished and the two rooms joined up; that was around 6 years ago!!

We don't like to rush things but the room was a place I continually apologised for! If you ventured that way I would hastily say "Oh please excuse the mess, we're having building work done" After 6 years it was wearing a bit thin!

One of the jobs needed was to take up the floor to install a new drain, not an easy job in a small narrow room. The trench had to be deep which meant a "gun" was needed - the type of thing you see when workmen are digging in the road. Oh yes, it was ever so slightly noisy and ever so slightly dusty!

This is how it went....

And this is where we are today, no washing machine, no drier, no spare fridge and a soil floor. At this point they went to cricket and left me standing with my mouth hanging open!!

Hopefully tomorrow the new floor will start to be laid. We originally used quarry tiles in here which were very practical but didn't really go with the age of the house. Renovating the second time around we're trying to get it "right". The house had an original Norfolk pamment floor laid on soil when we bought it, they were around 200 years old and well worn. (The link is the new replica tiles and explains a little of how they are made). They were however very beautiful and we re-laid them where possible, we have them in the kitchen and hallway. They are around 2-3inches thick and are porous unless sealed, they make a lovely floor and hold the heat really well.

We have managed to find some handmade replicas and are going to use them in a mix of shades to hopefully match the originals. They'll never match the wear of 200 years though. The new ones are just less than an inch thick which we needed as the ceiling is so low in here.

So another job progressing well, I'm getting excited now!

Oh and by the way Little Miss did get an award for her school overnight camp, not the same one as last year so I'll show you when the certificate comes home; needless to say we're very proud!! (and only slightly embarrassed!)

Thursday, 12 July 2012


As its almost the end of school lots of fun things are being organised, especially at the primary school. This week is outdoor week, all activities were meant to be outdoors, and aren't we having some torrential rain? Typical!

Little Miss tried her hand at sailing on Tuesday, waterproof trousers were required for this. That's ok, I knew we had some. We tried them on on the day of the trip, I'm organised you see! And they were a perfect fit, well perfect if the waistband was supposed to be level with her ears!! No time to get new ones so they had to do. (You can imagine she was pleased about that!)

And Today/tonight they are having their overnight camp in the school field. Lots of campfires, cooking your own food and midnight feasts no doubt. We pick them up tired and probably very grumpy tomorrow at 3pm. Before they come home there will be a short presentation ceremony where certificates are handed out. You know the kind of thing, most helpful pupil, tidiest tent, best cook etc etc.....

I just hope Little Miss doesn't get the same award as last year..........

                                     I don't know where she gets it from.........................

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A bit of everything

Last week contained a little bit of everything, quite a lot of cricket obviously, but quite a lot rained off too. Some of number 2 son's matches were shortened to enable some play and he had his best score ever for the school team, 72 not out.

On Wednesday we all met up in Norwich to watch the Olympic Torch arrive; well I say watch, we stood there for hours and then due to the crowds actually saw nothing!! Lack of organisation on our part really, we didn't bother to find out which direction it was coming from. Anyway it was a fun evening and we watched some of the entertainment in Chapelfield Gardens in the city centre.

And these are the pictures of the torch arriving taken by Little Miss, sitting on Daddy's shoulders - she was the only one who could see anything!

Can you see the torch? No? Little Miss obviously couldn't see it either! And she told me she'd got some good pictures!

We did meet these guys on the way back to the carpark, they gave us a bit of a fright as we turned a corner.

We also went to a party, just Little Miss and I as the boys were at cricket (for a change!). Strangely the party was at an animal park, lots of fun for the kids though. Not so keen on the smells and flies, rather put me off the buffet!! Not to sure the pigs liked the look of the hog roast either!

And then to round off the week this happened...
Can you believe that we've had two feathery friends in the house in one week? This one, a baby starling I think, arrived via the chimney and woodburning stove! I think it's supposed to be unlucky but I think he's quite cute.

When the cricket was rained off on Sunday we decided to brave the beach, we only ever make it to the beach as a family in winter - and this was a very wintery July day!

Can you see the colourful "mushroom" houses over the dunes? We were in Winterton and these little holiday cottages always fascinate me.

They do however have a lovely beach cafe, luckily for us it was open and
 we weren't their only visitors.
A cappucchino and a homemade date slice, that cheered me up!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Wildlife In And Out Of The House!

Another busy week at this house as we near the end of the school term. I can't wait for the school holidays, I'll be working reduced hours for the 6-7 weeks the kids are home and the school cricket will of course stop, thank goodness!

It seems that as I try to cram some more information into my brain (rearranged fixtures/cup final matches/gymnastic schedules/sixth form entry proceedures etc etc) some of the stuff that was in my brain falls out. I think it stands to reason that as you push more info in, some of the other stuff falls out - that's normal isn't it?

Number 1 son has had his 2 induction days at sixth form college; he then pointed out to me that he was exhausted "you don't know what it's like, I've been at a desk all day trying to take in a lot of information"  (Thats 2 days out of the last 14) Oh no, I have no idea!! I of course have short days, doing nothing but lay around watching tv!
 Of course the "day " in question was 9am til 3pm!! Well, you would be exhausted, wouldn't you?

Number 2 son had his usual week at school, cricket, more cricket and then a little extra cricket!

But onto the wildlife. I staggered out of bed last Sunday, very bleary eyed and not quite awake to be hit by this

not sure who jumped most, the bird or me!

I somehow managed to chase him around the house and up stairs where he left through the bathroom window! He'd obviously been inside all night and we haven't yet found any bird poop!!

Outside there have been plenty of birds on the feeder, lots of bullfinches which are so pretty.
I'm sorry it's a really poor photo, I've been trying hard to get a picture when there are 3 or 4 birds on there together but they're not very brave and disappear as soon as they see movement at the window. Underneath the bird feeder we've had a little more wildlife in the shape of this little chap
and his family -so cute! You'll have to look closely I'm afraid.

And finally, before I dash of to organise this weekends "whites" and associated maps/picnics/flasks of coffee//bats/balls/tank of fuel, here are our new babies!
I discovered a swallows nest in the eaves of our shed a little while ago

Then we had a clutch of eggs
Not the easiest to photograph, I'll be brushing the cobwebs out of my hair later!

And in the last few days the babies arrived and mum & dad are very busy swooping in and out of the shed (we never shut the door, in the hope that someone will steal all the junk!)

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Monday, 2 July 2012

And another thing.....

Following on from the previous post, how could I have forgotten one of my all time favourite sayings?
Number 2 son really loved to sing that bear song....
You know the one?
From the Jungle Book?
Sung by Baloo?

Thats it!
The Bears of Sesame!
We all sing that now - it will never be "Bare Necessities" ever again!