Demiversary – Part 2

Damp discovered and treated. Chris then plastered the walls ready for the stairs to be finally put in place.
Damp discovered and treated. Chris then plastered the walls ready for the stairs to be finally put in place.
At last - the stairs have been positioned, a new landing created, electrics re-routed and put into conduits - all went like a dream.
At last – the stairs have been positioned, a new landing created, electrics re-routed and put into conduits – all went like a dream.
Health and Safety! The top of the original stairs very cleverly 'roped off' by Chris to prevent any falls into the space left by the removal of the original stairs.
Health and Safety! The top of the original stairs very cleverly ‘roped off’ by Chris to prevent any falls into the space left by the removal of the original stairs.

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Various stages of the demolition process of the old stairs - very rewarding.
Various stages of the demolition process of the old stairs – very rewarding.
More floor joists delivered by Barton Building Contractors. Chris quickly turned these into the base of our new floor upstairs (over the area that previously accommodated the original stairs).
More floor joists delivered by Barton Building Contractors. Chris quickly turned these into the base of our new floor upstairs (over the area that previously accommodated the original stairs).
New hallway created - another step along the way.
New hallway created – another step along the way.
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At last a level surface outside our bedroom door and a new landing from the top of the new stairs to join it.
New landing at the top of the new stairs and flooring to the third bedroom. Great fit, Chris, very professional!
Another view of the new landing at the top of the new stairs and flooring to the third bedroom. Great fit, Chris, very professional!
Eliot, the plasterer, finishing the ceiling of our new roof, fitted by the Phil Coppell group - we are delighted with this addition.
Elliot, the plasterer, finishing the ceiling of our new roof, fitted by the Phil Coppell group – we are delighted with this addition.
The garden has continued to grow and produce not only a peaceful place to sit in but also scrumptious produce. It is not only the house that is changing.
The garden has continued to grow and produce not only a peaceful place to sit in but also scrumptious produce. It is not only the house that is changing.
Of course not everything goes to plan - these are the 'crop' I have from my blueberry plants! They'd best be 'superfoods' as I only have three berries!!
Of course not everything goes to plan – these are the ‘crop’ I have from my blueberry plants! They’d best be ‘superfoods’ as I only have three berries!!
The allotment did much better as I was awarded two second places and a third for my jams and chutney. So thrilled.
The allotment did much better as I was awarded two second places and a third for my jams and chutney. So thrilled.
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Having had such an exciting and busy 6 months we decided to reward ourselves with a day at the seaside – in fact three seasides: Bridlington for coffee, Filey for lunch and Scarborough for ice cream! Yorkshire outdid itself with beautiful sunshine all day.
Over the last six months we have had plenty of visitors; regularly visited by the grandchildren who see this as another home from home, David and James with their friend, Heather were our first visitors in February this year followed by Lola and Ed, John and finally David and Christopher last Thursday - a flying visit but much appreciated.
Over the last six months we have had plenty of visitors; regularly visited by the grandchildren who see this as another home from home, David and James with their friend, Heather were our first visitors in February this year followed by Lola and Ed, John and finally David and Christopher last Thursday – a flying visit but much appreciated.

Demiversary – 6 months progress report no.1

The start of looking after 'Trevor's' allotment - it has given us lots of pleasure and a few heartaches ...
Just after we moved in (February 13th 2015) we were offered a half allotment – this is the start of looking after ‘Trevor’s’ allotment – it has given us lots of pleasure and a few heartaches …
 nice view from the safety of the ground floor. The hole has certainly shed some light into this previously dingy backroom.
The hole where the stairs will go – at the time we were not sure how it would go but we are thrilled with the outcome.
Access completed and electrics re-routed. Go Team Chris!!
Access completed and electrics re-routed. Go Team Chris!!
No need to stair - we're on our way. Soon there will be no lying down on the job.
No need to stair – we’re on our way. Soon there will be no lying down on the job.
Stairs delivered and ready to assemble - unfortunately due to a variety of things we did not get around to assembling the stairs until August but they are now in and being used - yippee!
Stairs delivered and ready to assemble – unfortunately due to a variety of things we did not get around to assembling the stairs until August but they are now in and being used – yippee!
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The structure made out of recycled roof laths.
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Inside shelving came from a huge storage cupboard we demolished in the next room. Waste not want not.
From roof laths as the skeleton structure with recycled shelves from a cupboard to the final finish of bath panel doors - job done. Lots of cupboard love for my husband x
Finished off with bath panels from Victorian Plumbing – cheaper and lighter than wardrobe doors or MDF.
Chimney stack that needs removing as it is only sitting on our floor joists - hey ho!
Chimney stack that needs removing as it is only sitting on our floor joists and it is also in the way of the new access for the stairs.
So, now some serious remodelling. Defunct chimney stacks demolished, bricks saved for another project and all safely supported and finished.
So, now some serious remodelling. Defunct chimney stacks demolished, bricks saved for another project and all safely supported and finished.

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Well the stairs have to go somewhere and this is the somewhere. We had already checked this out with North Lincolnshire Planning Department and paid for the additional changes to our plans. Another plank in our strategy.
Well the stairs have to go somewhere and this is the somewhere. We had already checked this out with North Lincolnshire Planning Department and paid for the additional changes to our plans. Another plank in our strategy.
Despite rabbits, moles, slugs and butterflies, we reaped lots of lovely fruits and vegetables.
Despite rabbits, moles, slugs and butterflies, we reaped lots of lovely fruits and vegetables. So our allotment showed real dividends – we made jam, chutneys, vinegars and lots of friends. Brilliant.
We had originally planned to put the single storey extension across the back of the house but it is now part of our burgeoning and evolving garden.
We had originally planned to put the single storey extension across the back of the house but it is now part of our burgeoning and evolving garden.
Potato planter up and running as well as blueberries, ginger and rhubarb. Even the tile adhesive tub didn't escape her cunning plans.
Potato planter up and running as well as blueberries, ginger and rhubarb. Even the tile adhesive tub didn’t escape her cunning plans.
New composter and potato planter made out of recycled materials by my resourceful husband and a very useful additions to the garden.
New composter and potato planter made out of recycled materials by my resourceful husband and a very useful additions to the garden.
Not quite Chelsea Flower Show but a good attempt. As you all know, the RHS has started a campaign to green our front gardens so we are doing our bit - we already inherited a concreted front garden but with the recycled slate from the roof, new paint on the railings and an up-cycled previously unwanted garden chair I think we are making a promising start. Plenty of drive by appeal here.
Not quite Chelsea Flower Show but a good attempt. As you all know, the RHS has started a campaign to green our front gardens so we are doing our bit – we already inherited a concreted front garden but with the recycled slate from the roof, new paint on the railings and an up-cycled previously unwanted garden chair I think we are making a promising start. Plenty of drive by appeal here. Just about to re-plant the hanging baskets and put in some lavender borders ready for autumn.
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The garden is a haven for wildlife and for us too – a private space full of loveliness.
More recycled and revamped articles adding to the garden ethos.
More recycled and revamped articles adding to the garden ethos.
Looking optimistic but not fulsome - yet, 'from little acorns' ...
Looking optimistic but not fulsome – yet, ‘from little acorns’ …
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Lavender edging a very lucky find at Lidl and some cheap but effective black gloss planters create a smart border.
Green Lane - a green oasis.
Green Lane – a green oasis. Of course another pallet creation made by my ever obliging husband.

Upcoming posts.

I said there were upcoming posts .... no, not just these; I will be updating and reviewing the progress of the work on the house, garden and allotment that we have made over the first 6 months of our sojourn in Green Lane, Barton. Watch this space!
I said there were upcoming posts …. no, not just these; I will be updating and reviewing the progress of the work on the house, garden and allotment that we have made over the first 6 months of our sojourn in Green Lane, Barton. Watch this space!

Yippee – success at the Barton Allotment Show August 2015

This year is the 65th Barton Allotment Show - so, nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the saying goes; we entered some produce...
This year is the 65th Barton Allotment Show – so, nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the saying goes; we entered some produce…
So, schedule collected and entry form ready for taking the plunge.
So, schedule collected and entry form ready for taking the plunge.
Okay - so these were not from the alotment but then neither were the dates and oranges in my chutney and marmalade - these were effectively 'scrumped' by my ever resourceful husband from the trees that overhang the ancient byway that runs beside our house in Barton. Photography tips from Heather and James.
Okay – so these fruits were not from the allotment but then neither were the dates and oranges in my chutney and marmalade – these were effectively ‘scrumped’ by my ever resourceful husband from the trees that overhang the ancient byway that runs beside our house in Barton. Photography tips from Heather and James.
A touch of the Marley's - Bob that is -
A touch of the Marley’s – Bob that is – “Jammin’ jammin'” with the addition of Mick (Jagger that is) as the Stones came Rolling to the surface with a touch of brown sugar and the jam was completed in a ‘flash’ – from tree to jar in three hours!
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We had an absolute abundance of gooseberries from the allotment and the lanes close to the plot provided elderflowers with which I made Elderflower Cordial.
Here are my entries for the Show. The jar covers, labels and ribbons came from 'The Works' in Grimsby and were a real bargain as well as prettying up the produce.
Here are my entries for the Show.
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All ready to go. Fingers crossed.
Produce pimped and ready to go!
Produce pimped and ready to go!
Finally, the entry form and the class categories - a very fair 20p an entry. Now to give this in to the Allotment Secretary appropriately named Sharon Bush - must have been destined for this job.
Finally, the entry form and the class categories – a very fair 20p an entry. Now to give this in to the Allotment Secretary, appropriately named Sharon Bush – she must have been destined for this job.
Feeling mightily puffed up and proud having been awarded places for my produce - a second for the Strawberry Jam and the disputed Damson Jam (more later on that topic) and a third for the Rhubarb and Date Chutney. The Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam had excelled itself and on being opened by the judges had managed to 'sprout' its own green produce in the form of a mould - mighty enterprising and in the whole spirit of cultivation I thought but as Shania has noted and the judges agreed
Feeling mightily puffed up and proud having been awarded places for my produce – a second for the Strawberry Jam and the disputed Damson Jam (more later on that topic) and a third for the Rhubarb and Date Chutney. The Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam had excelled itself and on being opened by the judges had managed to ‘sprout’ its own green produce in the form of a mould – mighty enterprising and in the whole spirit of cultivation I thought but as Shania has noted and the judges agreed “that don’t impress me much” or even at all, in fact. I was surprised that the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang entry of Rhubarb and Orange Marmalade, which is Truly Scrumptious, failed to get a place – still truly scrumptious though.
The culprits - these are the fruits that Chris took to be Damsons and I in turn made into so-called Damson Jam - oh no, on being judged at the 65th Barton Allotment Society Show on Saturday it was revealed that these fellas were NOT damsons, oh no, they were identified as a type of old-fashioned plum (that could sum up my husband, tee hee) and so the jam was relegated to second place due to mislabelling! You have to be so careful when you enter the arcane world of the Horticultural Schedule. This was not the end of the story though, as when I rang my best friend Renee in Sutton and seasoned Show Secretary of the Benwell Road Allotment Society, it appears from my description that what my husband had scrumped and I had cooked and that had been adjudged as plum was in fact - Myrabelle. Take a look, what do you think, all answers on a postcard, please.
The culprits – these are the fruits that Chris took to be Damsons and I in turn made into so-called Damson Jam – oh no, on being judged at the 65th Barton Allotment Society Show on Saturday it was revealed that these fellas were NOT damsons, oh no, they were identified as a type of old-fashioned plum (that could sum up my husband, tee hee) and so the jam was relegated to second place due to mislabelling! You have to be so careful when you enter the arcane world of the Horticultural Schedule. This was not the end of the story though, as when I rang my best friend Renee in Sutton and seasoned Show Secretary of the Benwell Road Allotment Society, it appears from my description that what my husband had scrumped and I had cooked and that had been adjudged as plum was in fact – Myrabelle. Take a look, what do you think, all answers on a postcard, please.

In Memoriam – Pat McDaid

Pat and Peter Christmas 1979 at Oberstein Road, Battersea. The first 'family' Christmas for us and a one year anniversary for us all - Chris and I one year going out and the first year of knowing Pat and Peter. My new family.
Pat and Peter Christmas 1979 at Oberstein Road, Battersea. The first ‘family’ Christmas for us and a one year anniversary for us all – Chris and I had been going out for one year and it was the first year of knowing Pat and Peter. My new family.
Peter Pat Rick David
Helping to celebrate the wedding of June and Clive in Essex. Peter’s brothers, David and Ricky in the background.
Pat C&S wedding
A very special day for us both – December 14th 1985, Watton Registry Office; the day we were married. It was a small wedding and here our nearest family includes Chris and Pete’s Mum, Peter, June, Pat, my sister Suzanne, my Dad and Mum our lovely daughter Hannah and dear niece, Samantha, both now proud Mums themselves and of course the happy couple (still together after 37 years and 30 years of marriage).
Over the years we celebrated many family weddings and Pat was always there with special gifts and smiles.
Over the years we celebrated many family weddings and Pat was always there with special gifts and smiles.

Pat Chris Stephanie James David 2 Pat Stephanie Hannah

Over the years we all came to know that Pat would never forget a birthday or an anniversary card and as the family moved away we all recognised the handwriting on the envelope of the birthday card and on opening it found that she had wrapped a £5.00 or £10.00 note in tinfoil for us to buy a gift or put into our savings. Thank you Pat for not only this generosity but also the loving thoughts that accompanied the cards. Madeleine and Matthew were the last to receive an Aunty Pat card with money on June 13th and 18th.
Over the years we all came to know that Pat would never forget a birthday or an anniversary card and as the family moved away we all recognised the handwriting on the envelope of the birthday card and on opening it found that she had wrapped a £5.00 or £10.00 note in tinfoil for us to buy a gift or put into our savings. Thank you Pat for not only this generosity but also the loving thoughts that accompanied the cards. Madeleine and Matthew were the last to receive an Aunty Pat card with money on June 13th and 18th.
Sometimes we were able to celebrate Pat's birthday and here we are having birthday tea with Aunty Pat.
Sometimes we were able to celebrate Pat’s birthday and here we are having birthday tea with Aunty Pat. Lots of nice gifts and a new handbag, too.
Pat Hannah
Aunty Pat with two of her UK nieces, Becci and Hannah. Pat left home and came to settle in England working as a Nanny and household help to the McKenzie Family and their children. She always had a way with babies and children – a talent she never lost.
Pat pictured here with Peter and Chris's Mum, who she loved very dearly and with her then youngest UK niece, Rebecca (now a lovely young woman).
Pat pictured here with Peter and Chris’s Mum, who she loved very dearly and with her then youngest UK niece, Rebecca (now a lovely young woman).

Pat and Clacton lot Peter Pat Julia

Over the years there were many family events (some formal) and outings (less formal) and holiday times spent together on Mitcham Common, Wimbledon Common or Streatham Common - we were just plain common! Or at Acacia Road, Mitcham in the first house that Pat and Peter bought together and just down the road from the house we were renovating (yes, another one!). Good times, many laughs, lots of love, many happy memories.
Over the years there were many family events (some formal) and outings (less formal) and holiday times spent together on Mitcham Common, Wimbledon Common or Streatham Common – maybe we were just plain common! Or at Acacia Road, Mitcham in the first house that Pat and Peter bought together and just down the road from the house we were renovating (yes, another one!). Good times, many laughs, lots of love, many happy memories.
Bridget Patricia McDaid 20th February 1957 - 19th July 2015
Bridget Patricia McDaid 20th February 1957 – 19th July 2015. Dearly missed friend, sister-in-law and Aunt – we love you.

Grandchildren, Grandparents, Galas, Gambling and Gardening

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Well, not what I would describe as a glut! The first (and only) cherry on our new tree, oh well, let’s hope for a better ‘crop’ next year. No cherry tarts this year, then.
So, the last school residential trip for Madeleine. Looking good - let's hope the weather stays fine.
So, the last school residential trip for Madeleine. Looking good – let’s hope the weather stays fine.
A superb performance by the Goxhill Primary School year 6 class in a gala performance of 'Olivia'. Madeleine did really well and Great Grandma was thrilled to be there too.
A superb performance by the Goxhill Primary School year 6 class in a gala performance of ‘Olivia’. Madeleine did really well and Great Grandma was thrilled to be there too.
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Great Grandma bought Madeleine a new magazine – no wonder she’s looking Frozen! T-shirt courtesy of the charity shop and her cheapskate Gran!!
After the excitement of the school residential and the resounding success of the play Madeleine came for a sleepover and of course we all had to visit the Barton Food Festival. It was a glorious day and the brass band was playing and although Madeleine did not want to be embarrassed by her Gran dancing with her she did want to gamble her £1.00 on the Homemade Cake Tombola - and guess what she won? A fantastic Coffee and Walnut Cake - excellent, teatime sorted, then! Unfortunately Grandad had to carry it home!
After the excitement of the school residential and the resounding success of the play Madeleine came for a sleepover and of course we all had to visit the Barton Food Festival. It was a glorious day and the brass band was playing and although Madeleine did not want to be embarrassed by her Gran dancing with her she did want to gamble her £1.00 on the Homemade Cake Tombola – and guess what she won? A fantastic Coffee and Walnut Cake – excellent, teatime sorted, then! Unfortunately Grandad had to carry it home!
Not content with a sleepover, Madeleine invited Johanna for a play-day - both seen here having a swinging time in Baysgarth Park.
Not content with a sleepover, Madeleine invited Johanna for a play-day – both seen here having a swinging time in Baysgarth Park.
Grandad training up the youngest grandchild - obviously for the processing of all the produce, as can be seen from above!
Grandad training up the youngest grandchild – obviously for the processing of all the produce, as can be seen from above! I must discourage the supervisory style that Grandad is adopting – I need him to get on with more house renovating and Daisy is too young yet for bricklaying and hod carrying!
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“Let’s look like sad Victorian children” suggested Madeleine. The look is not quite working I feel, girls.
Drama at the Baysgarth Museum - another gala performance, you can't keep a performer down. Hmmm, why has Madeleine pinched the best costume?
Drama at the Baysgarth Museum – another gala performance, you can’t keep a performer down. Hmmm, why has Madeleine pinched the best costume?
Sensibly, Matthew has found himself a quiet spot in which to play. This will be Grandad's Music Room when we get further on with our renovations at Green Lane - got to have somewhere to keep the clutter!!
Sensibly, Matthew has found himself a quiet spot in which to play. This will be Grandad’s Music Room when we get further on with our renovations at Green Lane – got to have somewhere to keep the clutter!!
Aaah, now that is much better. Watch out everyone these will be transformed into fruity Christmas gifts - that gets us all out of a jam, I always get into a pickle about gifts; no problems this year.
Aaah, now that is much better. Watch out everyone these will be transformed into fruity Christmas gifts – that gets us all out of a jam, I always get into a pickle about gifts; no problems this year.

Before, After and During …

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The front view of our conservatory – pre update.
Front and back of the original conservatory - Tuesday 4th August.
The back of the original conservatory – Tuesday 4th August.
The team arrive - Lee and Stuart from Phil Coppell and it is a lovely sunny day, just right for taking the roof off the conservatory!
The team arrive – Lee and Stuart from Phil Coppell and it is a lovely sunny day, just right for taking the roof off the conservatory!
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Going, going – (Chris looks delighted not to be doing anything – hmmm, that won’t last long!)
Going - gone! Let's hope it doesn't get any cloudier.
…. gone! Let’s hope it doesn’t get any cloudier.
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View from outside of the new aluminium roof frame in place.
Aluminium frame now on, replacing the old structure that held the polycarbonate roof.
Aluminium frame now on, replacing the old structure that held the polycarbonate roof.
Marine ply, already cut to size before it reached the site is now in place - we haven't seen Lee or Stuart take a break yet. Talk about 'cracking on'!
Marine ply, already cut to size before it reached the site is now in place – we haven’t seen Lee or Stuart take a break yet. Talk about ‘cracking on’!

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DPC and external insulation in place as well as roofing membrane and the Tapco slates (colour - Plum, and a good match with our roof tiles). WE are really excited about how it looks already.
DPC and external insulation in place as well as roofing membrane and the Tapco slates (colour – Plum, and a good match with our roof tiles). WE are really excited about how it looks already.
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Lee starting work on the ridge tiles – looking like a roof now!
Ridge tiles in place. Lee is doing a splendid job of this as well as the lead flashing onto the side of the house.
Ridge tiles in place. Lee is doing a splendid job of this as well as the lead flashing onto the side of the house.
Inside the kitchen had t accommodate all the furniture and cupboards that were previously in the conservatory - quite a squeeze getting past everything.
Inside the kitchen had to accommodate all the furniture and cupboards that were previously in the conservatory – quite a squeeze getting past everything. Notice the bag of ‘scrumped’ Damsons – these were soon made into a lovely jam; from tree to jar in three hours! I tried it out on Stuart and as he liked it I gave a jar to him.
Wednesday 5th August - Stuart has insulated the internal roof space and put up the plasterboard and routed the electrics. All looking good.
Wednesday 5th August – Stuart has insulated the internal roof space and put up the plasterboard and routed the electrics. All looking good.
On the outside Lee and Stuart put up all the edging strips and the guttering. Andrea the representative from Phil Coppell's suggested the black as a finish and it works really well. Only one small hitch but Chris quickly solved it, was the 135 degree downpipe joint was not long enough so a quick trip to Fleetgate solved this and soon the downpipe, guttering and water butt were all connected and good to go! Well done, Team.
On the outside Lee and Stuart put up all the edging strips and the guttering. Andrea the representative from Phil Coppell’s suggested the black as a finish and it works really well. Only one small hitch but Chris quickly solved it, was the 135 degree downpipe joint was not long enough so a quick trip to Fleetgate solved this and soon the downpipe, guttering and water butt were all connected and good to go! Well done, Team.
Thursday 6th August all was completed and ready for the plasterer to finish the inside. Stuart had changed the old window boards inside for new ones, which look very nice and give a really crisp clean feeling to the 'new' conservatory room. Lee finished off most of the work outside but one part was still outstanding - so he arranged to 'pop' back on Friday 7th August to complete the last small portion of the end boarding - a mere 3 hour round trip. Thank you so much to Lee and Stuart who worked tremendously hard and have produced a great finish. Thank you and well done - we are really pleased and would thoroughly recommend both you and your firm.
Thursday 6th August all was completed and ready for the plasterer to finish the inside. Stuart had changed the old window boards inside for new ones, which look very nice and give a really crisp clean feeling to the ‘new’ conservatory room. Lee finished off most of the work outside but one part was still outstanding – so he arranged to ‘pop’ back on Friday 7th August to complete the last small portion of the end boarding – a mere 3 hour round trip. Thank you so much to Lee and Stuart who worked tremendously hard and have produced a great finish. Thank you and well done – we are really pleased and would thoroughly recommend both you and your firm.