Tag Archive | Building Work

My Pumpkin Weight And A kitchen Update

This week at my allotment I have been planning next years strawberries.

I have been separating the runners from their parent plants and transplanting them into my new patch:

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There is nothing like the taste of the first strawberry of the year and I am already dreaming of it.

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I have also collected in my butternut squashes and put them into my greenhouse.  I will leave my squashes in there until it gets too cold for them and then they will be transferred to my usual ‘romantic’ position in our bedroom (as this is the coolest room in our house).

Unfortunately, at the moment my greenhouse is quite full as it has my dining chairs in due to our building work, so I have had to work around them:

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Pumpkin Competition

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So now it’s the moment you have all been waiting for……the total weight of my pumpkin is…….

(drumroll please)

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My '2013' pumpkin

My ‘2013’ pumpkin

My 2013 pumpkin weighed 5 stones and 8 lbs, which is 78 lbs altogether!

So the winner of my ‘guess the pumpkin weight competition’ is Mrs Yub, who guessed 81.5 lbs

Well done Mrs Yub!

I am very pleased as it has finally beaten my own pumpkin record of 76lbs in 2006.

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Today, I thought I would give you an update on how our kitchen is going.  The following three photo’s show my kitchen and back room after we had emptied them the day before our builders started:

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The builders have been here for three weeks now and below shows the progress they have made.

By the end of week one:

The kitchen was removed, the ceiling removed, the wall between the kitchen and dining room had been knocked down, the chimney breast had been removed, two steel supports had been inserted and the pantry, back door and back room door had been bricked up.

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By the end of week two:

The electrics have been put in, the plumber has been working on the gas and water and the building inspector has been round to examine the work.

The new door to my pantry

The new door to my pantry

By the end of week three:

The French doors were put in this week and the walls were plastered.  It is actually beginning to feel like a room again, instead of a building site.

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I am so looking forward to the builders finishing as I am really missing my home now.  I am fed up of cooking without a cooker and washing up with a bowl on the floor.  I have learnt how washing your clothes at the laundrette is expensive (£2.60 a load) and i’m not sure how people manage without a washing machine?… but all these little things will be a small price to pay when it’s finished.

Homegrown flowers

Homegrown flowers

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Monday at my usual time.

Have a good weekend.

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Life Is Too Short – An Exciting Project

Over the next few weeks something very exciting is happening….we have builders coming into our house to carry out some well overdue work and I would like to share it with you.

We have been in our house nearly eleven years now and we haven’t really done anything to the inside of it, except to give it a quick lick of paint.   All this time we have been dreaming of knocking our kitchen wall down and having a kitchen diner, as our kitchen is really small and impractical for the amount of cooking I do.

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It doesn’t look too bad in the photograph above, but the kitchen is too small to have a worksurface on both sides of it, which makes it very difficult to store my cooking equipment and groceries.  As you can see in the photographs below, we have things stored in all sorts of places in different rooms and my fridge is in my pantry and my freezers are in my dining room which is totally inpractical:

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Life is too short

If you have been reading my blog since the beginning of the year, you may remember that my very good friend, who I had known for many years, passed away in February.  This devastated me and I still struggle with coming to terms with it now.

The death of my friend made me question every part of my life, (which I think must be a normal part of grieving) and it has made me realise what is and isn’t important to me.

It has made me realise who matters in my life and who never did and I have finally realised that life is too short to worry about what others think about me.  My home is the centre of my universe and I love the simple life I lead with my family, even though it isn’t the ‘normal’ way to live.

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I love growing fruit and vegetables at my allotment and using them to prepare food for my family and friends.  I enjoy preserving, freezing and storing my produce so we can eat like ‘kings’ on a small budget, but I do find this difficult in my tiny kitchen, so this is why we finally decided to make our dream a reality.

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So we have decided to spend some money to knock two rooms into one, to make a kitchen diner.  It will be lovely to have room for my freezers and places to store my groceries and preserves altogether, but most of all, it will be big enough to have my family helping me with my cooking and preserving, which at present is just not possible (which is a lot of work for one person especially during the summer months).  I am also looking forward to chatting to friends and family  whilst I cook, instead of being locked away in my little kitchen that no one else can fit into when I’m cooking.

It is something we have thought long and hard about, in fact we looked at moving house to start with, but every house we could afford seemed smaller than we have already or was too far away from my allotments.  We also came to the conclusion it would be more expensive to move house anyway.

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Starting the building work has been a big decision for us and it feels like the planning has been going on for months, but finally tomorrow it will begin.  I have spent the last couple of weeks batch baking microwave meals for us all, packing things into boxes and moving everything from our sitting room and kitchen into our front room and bedrooms for the duration of the building work.

We have ‘car booted’ excessive items and given things to charity shops and now we are left with the items we really wanted to keep.

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So for the next few weeks I will share with you the ups and downs of our new kitchen diner, together with my usual allotment posts.

The death of my friend has made me re-evaluate everything around me and make changes for the better.  She has made me realise that life is short and it’s important to do the things that make you happy.  So even though this work is expensive and people would say it is not really part of a simple life, it will make my life much simpler and make a much more comfortable household to live in.  It really is time to spend some money on our house so we can enjoy the rest of our lives here.

And finally, I would like to say ‘thank you’ once again to my old friend, for making me realise that dreams can come true.

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Friday at the usual time.