Tuesday 30 December 2014

Magic is Might

I've just finished re-reading all the Harry Potter books.  Phew, long but really good.

My Neighbour, the retired Teacher, did something really nice for me.  At her church a man has been cleaning out his house to move to a small bungalow following the death 2 years ago of his Wife.

Long story short, I had said on one of the days that she had invited me in for a cup of tea, that it wasnt worth fixing my bicycle as the parts and labour would have cost more than a new bike.  

He had told her, his garage was full to the top and in there, there were bikes!  And that he was going to leave them against the hedge for people to help themselves to.

Last night she arrived at my front door, breathing huge plumes of smokey looking breath.  And there poking out of the back of her Golf, was a bike.  It is older than me and the tyres have perished.  But its a beauty.  Shiny black frame with just 2 tiny spots of rust on the handle bars. 

So so happy.

I will walk around to his house and thank him later.  

Not only am I talked about as the one who gardens in the wee hours of the morning, but I have also been spotted by a little old couple, who used to look out the window and watch the world go by.  And the world some mornings was me, hurtling by to the train station on my bike.

Today is a good day.

Today has a little magic.

Monday 29 December 2014


Ha Ha

I saw this in a barbers window in Brixham in the summer.  





Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Are you all having a good day? My Migraine has gone, just a little bit of twinkly lights in the corner of my left eye.  And no that isnt the christmas tree!!!  lol 

Thank you for allowing me to wallow yesterday.  I slept for 14 hours last night.  A miracle in its self.

I hope you are all ready...  We are but it is only the 2 of us so it cant be too complicated.  I will make my huge Yorkshire puddings today ready for tomorrow.  I know that doesnt normally go with salmon, but we are having all the things we like.  Stuffing, pigs in blankets (not for me), Yorkshire puddings, pickled onions (also not me) and lots of other little bits.  Yum

I will sign off here.

Merry Christmas everyone!  See you Friday.

Sol x

Tuesday 23 December 2014


The post in which I moan for a minute.  Please feel free to skip today and come back tomorrow.

Wow, my head is pounding.

I went to a job interview this morning.  I got there early after leaving here at stupid o'clock and wandered the town as the interview was for 0745.  I didnt have enough caffeine in my system and I cant eat until about 0930 as it makes me feel sick.  The person interviewing me, reminded me of Catriona from Ab Fab. 

The job advertised wasnt the job being offered, there had been a mix up apparently.  She then asked me more questions about my personal life than about my experience or what I am actually able to do for a job.  Was my relationship solid.  Did I have a mortgage on my house?  Seriously I have never had an interview like it.  It was more a weird interview for a friend or if I was solvent or not.  Bizarre. Not to mention that she left me in the interview room for half an hour and was on the phone to her kids I could hear her through the glass.

My headache is due to going hot, cold, hot and not enough caffeine. 

We sent a pre-application to the planning board, for the changes we would like to do to our house.  Did you know you can do that?  Because of where we live we cant do what we want with our own house.  

Today is a write off.  

I turned down the job with the lady, tried to get the architect off of the phone as he was just repeating himself.  Have made 4 cups of tea, taken 2 solpadeine plus, and gone to bed with the pillow over my head.  

Tomorrow better be better.  I am fed up of compromising. 

Tell me something funny please...  I need some light relief...

Somewhere out there

Misty Scotland, June 2014

 I saw {this} and {this} and thought I would share.


Friday 19 December 2014


My head feels shrunken at the moment with the change of direction with houses.  My brain is trying to get used to it all.

I am having a little break from blogging I will be commenting but there just wont be any posts until Tuesday. 

Saw {this}, take a look.  Wow. Do you know what I noticed first?  The clothes.  Werent they smart.  No slouchy trousers.

Have a fabulous weekend I hope it is a nice and calm one! 

P.s. I am a little addicted to Made in Chelsea and the screaming and shouting on House wives of New Jersey!  The DRAMA of it all...

Thursday 18 December 2014

Ticket to Ride

With some in trepidation we sent our passports off last week to be renewed.  After the chaos of the summer where they had half a million applications in a backlog.  I am pleased as punch that ours only took 4 days to be turned around.  Very VERY pleased. 

Not that we are going anywhere just yet, but who knows!

And how can you compete when a toilet sells for £415,000!  *le sigh*

Wednesday 17 December 2014


The view from Dartmouth to Kingswear

Above is the hill where the {Red Arrows} appear for the Regatta, as a little kid you held your breath so you could hear them before you saw them.

Up river towards Noss Marina

Every time I see buildings like this I remember a young American couple who rushed by with their tour group.  Exclaiming, "I read they empty chamber pots out of the windows".  LOL  That always makes me smile.  I should have told them that we had toilets from the late 1900's but I didnt want to dispell the 'Quaint little olde England' mystique.

From old to brand new and high tech this super yacht below, opened at the stern like a car boot, the back section came up and 2 jet skis popped out and were taken by the chandlers to be given the once over.  The man who owned it was extremely nice.  He offered us a look but we needed to get off the quay side before the ferry started.

Dartmouth is a really special place.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Pete Tong

From Lifehack

Everything has gone a bit wrong with the selling and buying of houses.  We have taken stock, sat back, thought about it.  Cried a little = Me.  Slammed doors = Me Stamped foot = Me.

Then logic came through the door in the shape of 3 large gangly men, known by Posh Boy since they were all first thrown together as scared 8 year olds in a cold room and told to unpack and that their parents had gone home, (boarding school is not like Hogworts where everyone is happy to have been left... ).

I tried to leave the snacks and retreat to the bedroom with the laptop to watch Sleepless in Seattle.  But as normal they drew me in and we chatted and then got down to the nitty gritty.  "what exactly are you trying to achieve by moving?"

More room, better area, better planned rooms, a bigger kitchen (I have a 1930's galley kitchen).

'The Broker' being more logical and mathematical than the rest said do the pros and cons whilst we are here.  They added their input.  Everything was assigned an importance number against each one and then averaged out against the last property we saw.  there was less in it than 1% difference.  

Then we added in the side about the difference in money it would cost to purchase, renovate to bring it the new house out of the 70's, stamp duty and outside space.  Then all of a sudden our house becomes very appealing.  Was changing area worth all that money?

It goes back to the move or improve.

Then Little Ben, all 6'5 of him, said let me do a video of the house, and email that and the satelite view from google to my BiL and see what he says.  

I served the pie, from {Frugal in Derbyshire's Blog }(I have a lot of venison in the freezer and 4 rabbits and soaked it all in red wine and thyme),with oven chips.  By the time I had handed out {Artic Roll}, which they all seem to love.  we had a quick diagram with some clauses about drains and the starts of a new plan.  They all agreed whole heartedly with their knees all up around their throats that we could do with a larger lounge, as I had to sit in the doorway on the kitchen steps as there isnt enough room in their for me to sit as well.

It seems ridiculous that I just want a little more space and to do that we were going to move.  With all of this and a lot of soul searching we are giving up the idea of moving.  The average house price has apparently gone up £30k this year.  When you start moving the percentage of change up the property ladder price it becomes a lot more like £70k-80k plus stamp duty.  We have just been left behind.  

What are we going to do?  Well, to start with, we need a workshop.  We had been looking at a shed for the new house, the Lady we were buying from, has with drawn this house from the market as she doesnt want to sell now as it has too many memories.  which I can understand is heart wrenching to leave.  So, a workshop we will have. 

I contacted "our Man Friday", who is a semi retired Italian from around the corner who fixes things we cant.  He came around, Pronto, had an espresso with me.  Surveyed the back garden, all 150 feet of it.  Tutted.  Walked back and forth.  "OK", he shouted, "I know a man"...

Out came his mobile phone.  "Hey G*****, comesti? *pause*.  Si Si, *lots of really fast talking none of which I caught, whilst he gave me a cheeky wink*, Siiiiiiiiiiii, siiiii *lots of wild gesticulating*, Ok, so you come now, he said in English.  and then something that sounded like "regatsi ciao bello."

20 minutes later and half a pack of biscuits and a further espresso, 2 vans arrived and 5 men poured out.  They were taken to the garden.  Lots of tutting.  What sounded like shouting.  A shovel was brought in from the van.  a hole dug.  "Prego".   Ciao's all round.  and gone.  Man Friday says, tomorrow you will have prices.  Ok for them to start new year?  Not till after the 6th.  In the mean time you need to buy 2 windows and a door.  I look in the skips for you.  if not The Boss will have to put his hand in his pocket.

There you go, the answer was here.  We just fell out of love with it.  

Is this the end of our adventure in finding some land?  Never.

Their is a hole in my heart and it is barn shaped

The difference in price from us extending this house and the price that the other house was up for, means we can maybe buy and investment for our retirement.  Who knows.  For now we need to start to like this house again and getting the workshop done will help with this.  Bits of motorbike and car in my very small dining room will be a feint memory in March.  

The urgency and stress seems to have melted away.  I feel quite calm.  Its like when you have a headache and all of a sudden the pain goes.  You are relieved and cant quite work out why.

Just maybe it wasnt a new house I needed, maybe it was new eyes.  Sometimes you need a kick in the pants by people you have known for a long time.  Who test you and stretch you and tell you when you are being a down right fool.  Those friends are true gold.  

We are very fortunate people.   We have a house, we are warm, we are OK. It will all come good.

Is this the end of the dream?  Never say never, but sometimes dreams need to stay dreams. For now anyways.  

Thank you for all of your support and well wishes previously.  

Now to make this house a home...

Sorry I dont know the origin of this.  If this is yours please contact me in the comments

Friday 12 December 2014

All walks of life

I feel like {Aunt Sally} when I look at a picture like that.

I read {this} and liked it. With everyone out visiting family over Christmas I hope this helps someone.  It also wouldnt hurt for you to take some cake! 

What are you all up to over the weekend? 

Thursday 11 December 2014

Yum - Fort William

In the summer when we were in Scotland 'visiting', we took a few days off and went to Fort William.  Whilst there we ate at the {Crannog Restaurant}.  I am glad I booked early as I really wanted a table with a view.  It didnt disappoint the view was lovely.  And the food.  Oh ja!  delicious.  Above are the langoustines and below is the lobster served with mussels and samphire.  Ive decided samphire should be eaten more.  You cant get it around here and I have looked.  (I wonder if you can grow it away from the coast?)

As you can tell by the body language of Posh Boy in the picture above, he was fed up with me taking pictures of things.  And taking a picture of the dishes was going too far and poor taste at the dinner table...  ho hum told off.

"with his antenna flip flapping..."  lol  {here}

The aftermath...

The view.  

Starting to plan next years Scottish escape.  I quite fancy a night or 2 on Skye.

{Two thousand acres of sky}.  I cant look at this with out getting upset by how she is pegging the washing out... But, I do love Abby's skirt in this clip.

Are you planning a holiday or days out for next year?

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Dasher and Dancer?

Our Christmas tree. Its spartan.  I dont really like all the bits on it.  The lights are on dimmer so they arent all lit in the picture.  Please ignore the rogue croc in the back ground it doesnt belong there and why is there only one?

The reindeer were at Whitehills garden centre in Lacock.  Never again will we go there in December.  The car park was nutso (churned mud) and the shop floor absolutely packed with people.  I actually think it was a fire hazard with that many people in there.  Serves me right that it gave me a bit of a panic attack.  We went to look at a shed.   wrong decision.

Are you going shopping this weekend?

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Hurry up!

Hurry up longest day of the year.  
So we can all look forward to some warmth.

Monday 8 December 2014

From my house to yours...

I have sent out my Christmas cards already this month.

Here is my virtual one for all my readers, thank you for all of your comments and your own blogs.
Your are some inspiring people.


From our house to yours, 

I wish you a Merry Christmas, I hope it is beautiful.

*Normal posts resume tomorrow*

Saturday 6 December 2014

A Treat a post on Saturday - Garlic

Many other people have probably thought of this but I am going to give this a trial.

Although it is late  in the year I am going to plant these rather small garlic cloves (teaspoon for scale),  3 for 90p.  Now I normally buy garlic from the Isle of Wight garlic farm.  but they are a little steep in price for me at the moment.  

When in Tesco-poly a few days ago, I picked this pack up and thought I will just have a go.  I dont know if they have been heat treated but I thought why not.  I am going to plant them in trugs and see what happens.  Then we can move them if we find a house.

I have had great success with Jerusalem artichokes, ginger and tumeric, which I bought from in a supermarket and planted.  I am hoping this will work as well. 

I will keep you updated. Have you tried garlic growing from supermarket bulbs?

Friday 5 December 2014

Enigma Machine

I'm sorry the pictures are blurry.

 *edited, this is at the Imperial War Museum, sorry I missed that out of the original post.*

Thursday 4 December 2014


At Edgware Tube station, whilst on the platform I saw these tiles on the side of a building.  

I thought they were pretty and better than the wall being covered with dirt.

I like all the colours as well.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Notting Hill

The lady in the shop was lovely.  I bought the book, Thrive, by Arianna Huffington, the lady who started the Huffington post. 

When I look at all these pictures I really miss living in London, the ease of getting about and seeing so many wonderful things.  More councils should run their public transport like London does.

Tuesday 2 December 2014


I was lucky enough to go to the {British Museum} whilst I was in London.  Lets not talk about how, although I was staying in Holborn, I couldnt work out where the museum was.  yep, completely lost.  

I was very pleased to see the {Rosetta Stone}.  It was elbow to elbow rugby scrum in there.  If you visit, I would try a week day.  

Behold the Rosetta Stone.

Absolutely amazing and stunning.  If I hadnt been dug in the ribs about a 100 times, I could have gazed at it for ages.