Thursday, 31 July 2014

Spreading yourself around....

Just to Prove that No.3 son can use tools when he tries!
 Wow, what a week, we don't seem to have had any time to ourselves this week.  I've not even picked up the guitar (sorry Pete).  We have moved all Gary's workshop into our workshop in preparation for his moving into his new house.  This means that we had some major heavy stuff to shift between us compressor, thickness/planer, radial arm saws etc.  And then we moved all his now empty wardrobes to make it easier when the moving day arrives.
New bunded oil tank in place.

San and I have more or less finished everything in the house, we are just waiting for the decorator now.  We expected him this week as he had promised the last week in July but as of today we have not seen hide nor hair of him.  If he doesn't get here next week we shall do the work ourselves but would rather not even though it would save us a great deal of money.  We wait with baited breath.

And the shed put back.
John had decided that his old steel heating oil tank was getting past it's sell by date and he didn't want to risk filling it up and ending up with a thousand litres of oil in his back garden.  So with this in mind he asked if I would help him remove the old tank and install a new one whilst he was off work for the week.  He ordered the tank on Monday and it was delivered Wednesday morning and between this time we had to disconnect and remove the old one, create a new base at the appropriate level to make it work without the need for a tiger loop.  Suffice to say we succeeded and the new tank is now filled with oil and waiting for the change in the weather which must be coming soon!

Church all cleaned from top to bottom.
Geoff being productive with the polish.
 Sandra's preparations for her dads flower festival are now in full swing and seem to be going very well.  One of the things she actioned herself to do at her last meeting was to give the church a thorough clean out.  This was our job for today and tomorrow but we've cracked on really well today and completed it.  Cob webs high up in the stained glass windows would have stopped Indiana Jones in his tracks!!  Geoff also came and gave us a hand cleaning the brass and polishing the wood work, he's a star, Sandra told him this is being done for his benefit so he shouldn't be doing it but would he listen... Anyway they are now all cleared out and all is polished and cleaner than a clean thing, we however, are shattered.

San, double buggered!
I think tonight we may go for an Indian meal and then sleep all day tomorrow, well maybe not the sleeping bit.

We have had some really nice emails and telephone calls this week from people who who don't get to see that often, it does help us to keep cheerful when all around is going tits up :-)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Still glorious weather in the UK...

Pea viner's in action.
Three of em in the field behind us.
 I think we can safely say that this year we have had a summer, since we've arrived back in the UK some five weeks ago we've only had about three not so good days the rest have been lurvely.  Today is about twenty six degrees although a bit on the humid side, we can get used to it.

Tipping in the truck.
Friday evening got off to a good start, we had been invited to the deputy police and crime commissioners house, oh all right Paul, Nicci and Katy's house, for one of Paul's superb home made "bubs" (We used to call Indians from cowboys and Indians, Indibubs in our childhood, thus Indian food has been further abbreviated to "bubs").  Excellent fodder and banter young man look forward to your reciprocal visit to the "pikeys" domicile.  When we arrived back home we found I had smashed off a water pipe in the caravan and flooded us out again, well almost as the water got into the electrics and tripped out the pump otherwise we would have had tons of water all over because I have a self filling water tank from the mains.  So I had all that to fix at midnight before we could go to bed.  Just not fit to be left in charge of going into cupboards me!

On Saturday we had the Pea viners arrive in a field adjacent to our paddock.  We were expecting them but usually it's at around four in the morning, this was mid afternoon.

Paths all power washed and garden tidy
Fascinating things to watch as the three machines tore into the field at a great rate of knots.  An hour later they were leaving, job done.  They discharged their shelled peas into a tractor and trailer which then backed down to the road.

The trailer remained horizontal to the ground and lifted vertically up to the awaiting lorry on the road side.  Only then did it tip it's load into the wagon all ready to be zoomed off the the factory and frozen within an hour.  Mr. Birdseye will be happy with this lot methinks.

Still looks the same after £1000 spent on her.
 Tuesday was a big day for the car, bless her, she had to have a new air conditioning condenser fitted, a new rear wheel bearing a new screen washer pump and a service and MOT.  I'd already given her four new boots ready for going back to Greece with and also the Insurance was due. Phuweey, looks like the wallet's gonna get a hammering here I thought.  The tyres were £200, service, aircon, MOT etc. £700 and the insurance £150.  It was going to be £132 for the insurance but we had to increase the mileage again with not leaving her in the garage for most of the year.  Oh well I suppose that's the price you pay, if you wanna keep driving you gotta keep paying.

They wanted tree fellers and there was only the two of us!
In the meantime, work on the house is almost complete apart from the decorating itself.  Hopefully my mate Lenny should be starting on that at some point next week.  I've pressure washed all the drive and paths as well as the walls which still had muck from the flood showing in various places.  The garden is all trimmed and pruned, looking good and ready for the new tenants moving in around the 20th of next month.  I really do hope they keep it in the cracking state that it's in when they move in.  I don't think they should have any excuse.

 Today we are surrounded by a cacophony of sound, in another field adjacent to our paddock they are removing some large ash trees.  Stacking the trunks and very large branches in a trailer to be removed for processing and the rest is going through a huge industrial grade shredder for composting or mulch.  Elsewhere the combined harvesters are out in force getting the rape seed and very soon the wheat and barley also.  There is also the noise of corn dryers in the distance too, who said something about the peace and tranquillity of the countryside.

Just a quick mention of our bestest ever pals, Allen and Jean, visiting on Sunday.  We had a great day just talking and catching up with a little lubricant and food thrown in.  Before we knew it twelve hours had passed and I still don't think I mentioned......

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Another Hellenic visitor...

Finley showing off him impromptu scarecrow. 
 On Saturday we had an appointment with fear!  Looking after Mason and Finley for the entire day while mum, dad and big brother went to York races to loose what little money they have.  Actually it was to celebrate their wedding anniversary.  The kids were great and unusually, on top form behaviour wise.  I got a telephone call from Ian (who lives in Vafkeri, Lefkas) who said "I'm nearly at your place can I come and stay".  We had said if he was in the area to call but never expected him turning up like that.
Sanny and Ian just before dinner is served.
Ian's camper secreted away in the paddock.
So against my better judgement I went back to our house at Yokefleet to await his arrival with both kids in tow and no Sandra to rescue me if things went awry!  As it happened Finley was too taken up with some scarecrows he had spotted in the pea fields so after we had got Ian in and settled and explained we would not be home while silly o'clock so wouldn't be able to entertain him until the next day, we set off back to the kids house to try and build a scarecrow.  I think he did quite well when it was entirely his own efforts.  We took them to the craft fair at Shiptonthorpe and for MacDonald's for lunch.  I have never seen two kids so entertained with just playing with balloons for many a year much be the best value toy ever.

Ian departing on his grand tour.
Lounge strip complete and filling all done.
 After getting home at about eleven thirty Ian was tucked up in his pit so we left him alone until Sunday morning.  He seemed very impressed by the area and told us of his plans to tour Britain over the next six weeks or so and his next stop when he left us was Northumberland and then on to Scotland.  While he was here he would need certain things before going any further and Sandra offered to take him into town and around the charity shops.  He certainly makes me look like the last of the big spenders does Ian.  Ducks backsides don't even come into it! Anyway she managed to make him part with some cash for shoes but failed to get him the stew pan he desperately needed, he didn't think it was worth £15 brand new!  "I'll get one at a car boot and chamfer it up" was his response.

Kitchen all filled and ready for painting.
He left on Tuesday morning leaving us to get back on with the tasks in hand and finish the stripping filling in and other prep work needing to be done before the decorator comes to do his bit.  I've completed all this today and now sitting back and watching the Golf and the Grand Prix and easing the back for a while.  Might even get around to picking up the guitar which won't please someone close to home!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Cracking the whip...

Just some of my secret stash being incinerated.
 Wow, I'll be pleased when I get this lot all done and can return to my normal sedentary life.  Sanny is aching in places she did even know she had.  But the garage/workshop is now completed with tons of room but already I've found things I have thrown out which I need, I knew there was a valid reason of hoarding all this junk.

And of course some going to the scrap man.
Most of the scrap has now gone, including an eight foot square, two foot deep metal tank I built years ago for number one son to dip the fence panels he made into wood preservative.  It's not doing my back much good this!  Hopefully the rest of it will go today.

We had a visitation from our letting agent on Tuesday to inspect the house after our tenants have left.  Things where much as we had expected and the place was clean.  Thanks to Lesley & Andrew for being good tenants and I hope their new house proves to be a happy home.
End result a clean and tidy workshop again.

 Of course this means that the next phase of our working summer has now started.  We are trying to get everything done as soon as we possibly can in order for the new tenants to move in and for us to have some time to ourselves and with the Grand kids before setting off back to Greece in Early September.
Our House, now empty and waiting.

With the insurance at last paying out we have got a decorator in the redecorate the entire ground floor but he can't start until late this month.  With this in mind (and the fact that I'm a tight Yorkshireman) I thought we would do all the prep work prior to him coming.  So  on Wednesday we took a trip to B&Q to get some bits and pieces, £500 pound lighter we came home prepared.

Sanny stripping for a living, no punters though!
Yesterday morning Sanny and I set about stripping (not a pretty sight) and fitting the new oven in the kitchen. The last tenants had their own oven which they took with them and ours stored in garage had been damaged in the flood.

We managed to get three rooms stripped, barring bits behind radiators etc. the oven fitted and the sealant all stripped out of the shower room ready for replacing.
Still a few bits to do yet.

Both totally knackered by seven in the evening we decided fish and chips would be good for dinner and we ate them on the side of the road out of the paper, yummy.  And then to bed.....

Sorry for the blog being a little late this week but I really didn't feel like doing it last night after the trials and tribulations of the day.
New Oven in the kitchen.damaged in the flood

See yer next week..

Thursday, 3 July 2014

A duck dinner....

I'm a duck plucker, a duck plucker's son....
 Friday morning up bright and early and the first task on the agenda is to catch, dispatch, pluck and dress eight ducks from no. one sons.  They are not a real problem to deal with once you have caught them, Gary tends to chase rather than coax them though so we had to bring a little chill to the proceedings.  We had one, Geoff had one, and what Gary wasn't using over the weekend went into the freezer for another time.  Ours was eaten on Sunday night as Chinese style crispy duck, yum yum.
Mark doing wheelies in the kitchen.

Mo's beautiful garden.
 Saturday morning it was time to go and visit Maureen and Mark.. We took Geoff along with us as he's been nattering to go and see the garden which has been much talked about but he had not yet seen.  He was impressed by how well it looked especially given the short time that Maureen has been working on it.

Mark was in good form once he'd been evicted from his bed, lazy bugger.  I think he looks an absolute king since we last saw him and Mo is looking great too.
...and well tended veg plot.

My growing scrap heap and the roller door beyond the tractor.
 As usual she put on a great spread for us to feast on the pear and Stilton tart was a real treat.  Mo spent hours making a fabulous banoffy pie only to be told by Sanny that she can't stand the stuff.  Never mind say's Geoff that means we can all have a bit more, Maureen made San a fruit salad as a consolation prize.

Into the new week and the farmer next door has been asking me to wire up a new roller shutter door on one of his barns.  I had said that I really didn't have much time available at the moment but if he run the armoured cables in I would connect them up for him.  After telling him what he needed and what to do I left him to it.  When I returned after he had completed it I connected up the mains, he had done the starter box which looked fine but nothing would work.  We got a new starter and it didn't work either and I'm scratching my head knowing that it would be down to the limit switches and auto stop controls on the door.  After about an hour or so the penny finally dropped.  The cable which went into the starter from the mains and the cable which went up to the motor had been wired to the wrong side of the starter so that the control circuits weren't powered dohhhhh, now I know why I gave up electrical works thirty years ago.  Anyway it's all working now.
Our Garage in mid transformation.

The rest of the week I have been having a mass merciless turf out of my Garage - workshop.  I have and am still being ruthless about it and the scrap pile is growing bigger day by day and to date I have had two great big bonfires, by next week you'll be able to park two rollers side by side and still have room to work, I HOPE!