Saturday, 18 November 2017


The guest, craft, dressing, spare room is now virtually complete.

Plenty of storage for craft supplies ...

books and ...


That's another one to tick off the list.


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Now is the time

... to get the Christmas decorations out of the loft. This involves crawling into the loft space and dragging out a million few seven boxes containing decorations accumulated over the years. Tinsel, garlands, baubles, bells, nativities and trees are now awaiting a place in my home. My first task is to sort out as I really think I need a cull.

Oh dear!

The bags in front are destined for the CS and this little lot is destined for an untangle. 

I can see that it will take some time!


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Updating, upcycling, upsetting, upheavel, uppiling, upstairs now, uplifting

* Decorate family room - check

* Decorate kitchen - check

* Decorate dining room - check

* Decorate lounge - check

Decorate back bedroom - nearly check. The painting is done and the carpet fitter has measured the room and taken our order for a new carpet.

The bathroom new washbasin and cupboard are in boxes in the front bedroom, the back bedroom furniture is on the landing, in the front bedroom and in the bathroom.

The new toilet for the under stairs loo is in the hall with the new washbasin and cupboard upstairs in the front bedroom.

Some of the back bedroom is up in the loft room and all my craft stuff is in the loft room and the front bedroom.

The carpet underlay for the front bedroom is in the other loft room.

Still with me?

We can only just walk around the bed. Order will be restored by next year - hopefully!


PS The CS has received quite a few donations these last few months.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Haircut time again

It's the last trim of the year for the strawberries and ...

... the grape vine.

I was going to wait until all the leaves had fallen but decided to trim on this sunny day (interspersed with showers).

The new vine is growing nicely and I only trimmed off one side shoot and no other leaves. The main stem can clearly be seen. I've trained the stem onto a wire at the back of the greenhouse which runs parallel with one of the offshoots of the main vine.

All the unwanted growth was removed from the main vine stem.

The side lead was trimmed back so the stem can clearly be seen.

The main lead runs down the centre of the roof and quite a lot of growth has been trimmed away. 

The end of the lead has been cut back.

All neat and tidy now and ready for next year.

The showers came before I finished the strawberry patch. 

The cutting of the Chinese lantern plant from a friend has grown well and the lanterns are a welcome autumnal splash of colour.

They clash with the leaves of the blueberry bush though.

Thank you garden for all your produce this year. I've eaten most of you and now you can recover over the winter ready for new growth next year.


Sunday, 24 September 2017

Not - Everything but the kitchen sink

So, the sink that I shined last night greeted me first thing yesterday. New dishcloth and scrubber at the ready - I can nearly see my face in it.

It's not lasted long as the sink is a workhorse in this kitchen. The fridge and microwave were tackled and the sink had to help.

Next up was the hob so a bowlful of hot soapy water was needed.

Scrub, scrub that's the way.

Bread was needed so out came the mixer and the dough hook was rinsed in the still hot water.

Kitchen floor tackled next with the same water - which is getting rather dirty now.

Sink cleaned again but a cup of tea soon put paid to that.

How many times must I use a tea towel to shine my sink - it's always getting wet!

Yep, going to get wet again to rinse out the mug.

Sandwiches and another cup of tea for lunch.

Who sneaked the next cuppa?

The bread is on its second rise so the mixing bowl is now soaking in the sink.

Let's prepare the veg. for tea.

Tea time over and pan put to soak.

All washed and what's this - another tea towel.

The bread's been baked and the tin is soaking. I know where all the crumbs come from that end up on the floor.

Half the loaf put in the freezer and the other half ready for slicing for toast tomorrow. The kitchen sink has had its last shine for today.

Plenty of tea towel washing for tomorrow though! Well that's the kitchen sink and everything.


Saturday, 23 September 2017

Grape vine pruning

Dani has asked if I could post a close up shot of my grape vine pruning. Your wish is my command but this is my way of pruning and the vine still produces fruit for me. Basically I prune for me rather than the grape vine. The greenhouse is not large and I want the vine to go where I want it to go rather than where it wants to go. There is one main stem which comes into the greenhouse from its planting position outside. Roots outside, stem inside. This bigger vine has survived transplanting from growing in our kitchen to growing in the greenhouse. Each year I prune it back to the bare bones - usually in spring. Throughout the growing period I am continually cutting back the pieces I don't want. On the bigger vine I have 2 main leads, one running down the centre of the greenhouse and one over to one side. I cut off all the side shoots in spring and then wait. Quite a lot of side shoots will grow from the main stems. Wait until you see a bunch of grapes and then cut off the side shoot one leaf after the bunch. More side shoots will grow - just keep cutting them off.

Here's my very last bunch of grapes.

Unfortunately I only ate about 3 of these as the rest are definitely 'past it'.

The vine leaves have started to fall.

This is a picture of our most recently planted vine - (planted about a year and a half ago). The roots were planted outside the greenhouse and the shoot trained in through a gap to the inside.

Our main vine comes in along the same wall. It's much thicker as it's much older. See the side shoots? They can be cut off.

The stem grows up to the middle of the roof of the greenhouse ...

... and travels the whole length. A side shoot off the main stem has been trained to run along one side of the greenhouse.

Here you see the side shoot. From these main stems other side shoots grow and on them grow the grapes. (Grew the grapes.)

All the leaves will eventually fall off and then I will be able to see the skeletal vine. From there I will start to prune back long and unwanted shoots.

To sum up - prune to however many leading stems you want. From those leading stems prune off any side shoots you don't want. The vine will grow like mad in the growing season. Keep pruning to keep it in check and in some form of order.

Hope this helps, Dani. I will post whenever I get out my secateurs so you can see the vine's progress over the year.