Thursday, 28 August 2014

Eleven days to go...

Beverley Male Voice Choir.
 Last Friday brought to an end the week of festivities to celebrate Geoffrey's 90th birthday.  Sue Martinson had arranged for the Beverley Male Voice Choir to visit the church and give a recital there were also a couple of female soloists to add some variety to the performance.  The night was excellent and the quality of all the talent on show was undisputed by any of the church's packed audience. With light refreshments at the mid session interval and the obligatory raffle a further £850 was raised towards the church roof restoration fund.  This brings the total raised over the week including gift aid tax returns to about three thousand pounds.  Not a bad return for a parish of perhaps four hundred or so people.

Finley, the dental assistant.
Our week has been less hectic although we now have our house fully tenanted again with the final move taking place over the weekend.  I think Gary, Claire, Mason and Finley are very happy in their new domicile.  Finley came to see me the other night dressed up as a nurse.  He took pains to inform me he wasn't a nurse he was a dentist, we settled on dental assistant.  He and his mum produced to suit with paper and a stapler, I suspect If I leave any printing paper about it won't be there when I need it but at least he's having fun.

Red apples anyone.
We had been expecting Alison (Katoghi) to see us this weekend but because of family commitments she has had to call it off but never mind we will see her the next time we come home.  On the subject of which we have got our winter trips back home and then to Cyprus booked and paid for now so at least we know what we are doing now.  We are looking forward to our trip down to the Midlands this weekend to see Pete in his natural habitat, the lesser spotted front of house man.

I think we just about have all things in place ready for the trip back although I still have a couple of things to manufacture for the boat, it can't come soon enough for us now.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Finito, benito....

Some of the many displays
 Well the good news is that I think despite the weather deterioration this week we have finally finished all the work we set out to do when we returned to the UK.

Loads of flowers awaiting their turn to become something.
The decorator has finished his bit's at quite a steep price but hey ho.  He has done a great job on a couple of walls with forty five degree curves in them which for anyone who has wall papered themselves will know keeping a match around anything but perfectly straight is not easy.

The staircase as usual was very wasteful on paper, we've enough long offcuts to paper another room, memo to self next time get a none matching paper.

Village hall, each table had a little arrangement in a teacup.
Of course it appeared that I hadn't got enough rolls in to account for that so a quick trip to B&Q was needed, of course in the meantime they had stopped doing that particular paper and we had to get a contrasting one with a view to using it on adjacent walls.  Of course when we got to the bottom of the stairs the master engineer had measured correctly after all and the trip for more paper had been a total waste of time.

Larry and Maureens scaffold arch.
 All is well that ends well though and it looks like a new house now just finished in time for the day when the new tenants signed up and took over responsibility for the old house.  I hope Gary and Claire have a long and happy stay there and continue to treat it with the love and attention that it deserves.
Geoff having his sneak preview.
Jean, Libby and Sandra awaiting the throng.
The real event of the week however was the flower festival to celebrate Geoff's 90th birthday.  Sandra put an enormous amount of work into it both before the event and during the weekend itself.  She started collecting all her green bits on Wednesday, ours and many other peoples shrubs, trees and vines have been decimated.  And then with the help of our talented daughter in law, Fiona, started making their creations on Thursday working late into the evening both Thursday and Friday.

It seems Sandra was baptised 4 days after my 1st birthday.
Many people from the surrounding villages also had displays including a couple of local florists.  Sandra had arranged for a supply of blooms from a local flower packing warehouse who pack in foils for all the national supermarket from Harrods to Lidl.  They came up trumps and gave her hundreds of pounds worth of flowers, Thank you JZs you were great.  There were also some very imaginative creations from various people.  Paul and Sue, Geoff's neighbours made a coffee table out of the three hundred year old bell hanger which had recently been removed from the church and decorated it to suit the occasion.  Sue also went to the county Registry to get Geoff's marriage certificate and Sandra baptism certificate to display.

The glorious twelfth.
Another off the wall thing was a d├ęcoupage picture of close up photographs of the church's gargoyles, interspersed with flowers displayed in a huge frame, a bit garish but very imaginative.  There was also a display of painting by a local artist.

 I particularly liked the "Glorious twelfth" (Geoff's birthday) displayed in the entrance to the church with a couple a bales, shooting stick, gun bag, old Harris tweed coat and of course loads of flowers.  This was donated by the florist which Fiona works for.

No 2 son - gotcha!
The weekend was ended with a church service to close the festival and commemorate Geoff's birthday.  He'd had a marvellous weekend meeting loads of people and doing what he does best - TALK.  Best of all the whole event we think will have raised two thousand pounds by the time all the money is finally in.  This will be going towards to cost of the major roof repairs which the church needs and we couldn't have found anything closer to Geoff's heart than that.
Sandra and I would like to thank everyone who helped with the flower festival or donated cakes, quiches, pies or anything to the refreshments in the hall.  We would also like to thank all those local businesses who gave generously of their time or wares to make the festival such a success.  Last but by no means least thanks to every one of the people who came and dug into their pockets to make an old man very very happy.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Party time...

Jean with her birthday and er.. her husband too.
 Sandra and I had the weekend off, well dog sitting for John, Fiona and the kids whilst they had a weekend away.  Fi, was participating in the Marie Currie 5km run at castle Howard, subtitled run or die, with some friends and they decided to make a weekend of it in the tent leaving us to take charge of the reptiles and Dino, my best mate at the moment.
The table is spread, the diners await.

 Saturday night we went for a surprise party for our Jean our bestest pal.  Her daughters Kelly and Kirsty had arranged it unbeknown to her and it was a super evening with the restaurant reserved just for us.  We caught up with some people who we haven't seen for a long time and also met some new acquaintances, it was a super night thanks girls for allowing us the privilege to be a part of it.

Monday and the decorator didn't turn up or phone up.  Worst fears now realised.  So, after cutting all the grass we went to B&Q to get a few bit and bobs and tomorrow I would start wallpapering!


My pal Dino.
Tuesday, almost completed the dining room and made a quick repair to the downstairs shower base which has some airline cracks in it.  Wednesday started doing the back hallway which has six internal doors in it loads of switches and sockets and the controls for the central heating all to negotiate with the wall paper.  It only takes four rolls but every drop has something to be cut around in it and I have only just finished it at six thirty tonight.

Back hallway finished.
The good news is that the decorator turned up this morning and now I don't have to do the lounge and the front hall, stairs and landing.  He has got three walls of the lounge done today but I am not sure that a professional is that much better at it than I am.

Dining room in Sandra's bright colour mood.
In the meantime, back on planet flower festival, Sandra has been putting in loads of overtime trying to get the organisation sorted for this weekends flower festival.  Hopefully I should be able to give her a hand tomorrow, seeing as I now have a decorator!  Not touching anything to do with the flowers you understand but I'm sure she'll let me near the balloons she needs inflating.

Hopefully some pictures of her endeavours next week.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Gloss paint and other unpleasantries...

Gloss painting without removing carpets.
Awaiting wallpaper.
 Well we've had an eventful week since last week, on Friday we found out that our long awaited decorator can't get here.  He is still inundated with outside work which of course takes presidence over inside work in the fickle British summer.  This does not help me however as he won't now be able to come until next week at the earliest.  I agreed that he could come and do the wallpapering and I would do the gloss paint and emulsion paint in preparation for his arrival.  As yet I have not heard anything further from him and I may also end up doing the wallpapering as we have new tenants taking up residency in a couple of weeks.

Kitchen finished new emulsion colour and white gloss.

 We had a relaxing weekend however and had Paul, Nicci and daughter Katy over for Sandra's Thai special curry and an evening of light repartee in our capacious awning on the caravan.  We were really surprised that they had walked the five miles down down to our place and Sandra being a very light drinker at the best of times took pity on them and ferried them home in the car at half past midnight.  A great night, with great food and even better banter, thanks guys.

On Sunday we visited Allen and Jean in their caravan near Full Sutton, for yet another full day of jocular activities and again more great food and wine.  We had a flying visit from her daughter Kirsty with her new young man Andy, I think she must go out looking for guys called Andy as that always seems to be the name, perhaps there are just too many Andy's in the world.
Third coat of the red just finished, conservatory done. 



Utility room repainted.
Monday and it's on with the decorating, I've glossed eight doors both sides and countless meters of architrave, door frame, and skirting boards along with the staircase, well either side of it anyway.  That done and out of the way we have started the emulsion painting of the conservatory, kitchen and utility room all the rest is going to be papered.  Just finished after several coats of paint this afternoon prior to writing this.  I think the new tenants will at least not have to think about decorating for a long time to come.

Kitchen fit for a Sandra.
Just to finish off some painting and other work in the downstairs shower room now and other than the wallpaper the work will be finished.  The new tenants will start moving in in just over a weeks time so there is not a moment to lose.

Sandra, as well as organising the flower festival has also been babysitting for Mason, Finley, Melissa and Jessica most week days to make sure that their parents can still go to work during the summer holidays.  She is a good old sort you know!