Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Folkeast 2013 - a very Vicki weekend

Good morning

Oh what a weekend - a great combination of some of my most favourite things - folk music, live music, camping, Morris dancing, friends, family and beer - all mixed with some very sunny days and one rather wet one!

Here's just a few pictures from the weekend - my camera never left Bertie - instead the few pics I took were snapped on my Iphone;

 Always the sign of an excellent Morris weekend - henna tattoos - the perfect way to start a Sunday morning - sitting with friends and drawing with henna pens on each other! I hate taking my festival wristbands off - this one will remain for a few more days.

I am an early-bird these days and this was the view when I peaked out of the caravan window on Friday morning - the most gorgeous sunrise.

Friday was spent getting camp sorted and waiting for all the side to arrive. There was lots of sitting in the sun, drinking cider and beer and also a crochet session. Once everyone was there, we headed into the arena for our first dance spot. Quite a big crowd to watch us and another side dance - including for the first time rather a lot of people I knew. No nerves and lots of dancing and twirling happened.

Back to the campsite to change and then off to listen to music. One of my favourite musicians was opening the festival with his musical friend, John Spiers. Am sure I've mentioned before my love of Jon Boden - I was a very happy Vicki standing at the front dancing with friends.

 I stayed till late watching the others bands and dancing and drinking more. Once the music was over I headed back to the campsite and to bed - I knew we'd a long day ahead of us on Saturday.

Saturday was a long and hard day - an early start with a Morris workshop - I got to teach a dance to a niece, a friend and her daughter - we had such a blast and by the end of the session there was a massed dance and very few stick injuries!!  Off to the pub for a lunchtime dance fringe event and then back to the festival site for another dance slot. The weather was not kind for most of the day - the heavens opened and we all got soaked. We huddled together in the dance tent and most of the Morris side took part in the afternoon ceilidh. For some of us this was our first proper ceilidh experience and we loved it. I danced with so many people and had such a blast. We then had another Morris dance slot.

Another evening of watching bands was next - I'd gone back to the campsite to get find dry & warm clothes and some dry boots too. I was shattered but determined not to miss anything. I fell into bed after midnight and knew nothing until almost 7.30 the next morning - trust me that's a lie-in for me!

Sunday was sunny and warm and also my friends birthday. We started the day with jugs of Pimms and birthday pressies! The Morris side went off for a lunchtime fringe dance session and I stayed on the festival site - firstly to decorate Fi's caravan with birthday banners and balloons but also to go and see a band with 2 of my sisters who were there this weekend.

More beer and dancing in the afternoon before back to the campsite for supper and birthday cake.

Back again to the arena for the closing acts of the weekend. More dancing with friends and yes more beer! Gradually during the evening lots of the side headed back to the campsite with aching limbs and sore heads! I was determined to see the last act of the weekend and managed it. We were almost the last people on the festival site before we headed back to the campsite. It was extremely late when I crawled into the caravan - tired but very happy.

My home for the weekend - Bertie my caravan - rather lovely to spend 4 nights in him - he's cosy and water tight and with the amount of stuff I needed to take it was much better to be in him than my little tent.

The festival site early on Sunday afternoon - lots of space and not overcrowded - lovely - here's hoping that 2014 is similar.

One last picture from the weekend - me with my niece - selfie stylie!!

Back to reality today - festival washing to sort, kit to unpack AND the boys have been away with P for a lads camping weekend and there's a heap of their washing to tackle too!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Pretty and Practical

Good evening

Wow a week since my last post - where has the time gone? Mainly in a sea of unpacking, sorting, tidying and dealing with lots of work that's happened on the house this week (more on that in a while).

Pretty stuff first!! It makes for a better opening photo!!

When I was in hospital I was lucky enough to be given yarn & a hook by a friend and a book by a sister - putting the two together I started making a little string shopping bag. I continued for a while when I came home but wasn't happy with what I'd done. I re-read the instructions, swore and pulled more of it out!! In the last week in the evenings I've sat and crocheted a lot and finally I finished my little bag;

I love it and everyone who has seen it has too - I've started on another as a pressie - they are lovely to do and the pattern - if you read it carefully and not in a morphine induced state as I was when I started - is quite simple!! Its from the wonderful Granny Chic book which if you haven't got it you need in your collection.

A few weeks ago I went out with my friend Dawn and whilst we were browing a local vintage shop we spotted some kitchen stools - we both said we wanted one but at those prices it wasn't going to happen! Well I was working in the charity shop the other morning when I got a text from Dawn. She was across the road in another charity shop and had spotted 2 stools - utterly perfect and just £2 each!! Did I want one!!I downed tools and dashed across the road and met her just as she was paying for them both!!

They need a sand and paint/varnish and perhaps a new seat cover but otherwise they are perfect - mine has already found its spot in the kitchen - perfect for sitting on when dinner needs a close watch!!

Now for the practical - just really for my records. When we bought the house we knew we needed some work doing - one of the major tasks was a new boiler - the old one was ugly, very old and most likely uneconomical. Well work started on Monday and the has been mess, strange smells and some disruption. Lots of the plumbing work has taken place under little son's bedroom floor so he has decamped to the front room during the day. We've been without water and power at various times as old plumbing/wiring have been replaced with new, safe stuff.

The old boiler - trust me it was so useless it could barely cope with one bath full of tepid water! Though that might have been the hot water tank too - which rattled well when it came out of the airing cupboard and into the rubbish heap earlier in the week!

 Its replacement - modern, efficient and very cheap to run. The first night 3 hot, deep baths happened in quite, quick succession - it handled the task without a murmur!

I am now left with a space in the kitchen - I think I will clean it up, paint it, get shelves fitted and probably cover it with a curtain - am thinking patchwork because I've rather a lot of fabric!!

I mentioned a rubbish heap - well at one point the back garden could have rivalled Steptoes yard;

Lots of things from the utility room spent the week outside too as their space was full of plumbing and plumber!! We finally got rid of the last of it yesterday - a huge trailer load - luckily Big Son and his mates arrived just at the right moment and between them soon got the garden clear.

We are feeling rather chuffed and smug with what we've achieved this week - boxes are all unpacked and most things are now in their permanent places. We've recycled, sold and donated more 'spare' things. The best bit was when I finally got to unpack my china collection - I've kept as much as possible though some things are heading to the charity shop this week as there is simply not enough space and I don't want things living forever in a cupboard wrapped up - I'd rather they were being used/loved by someone.

Right I'd best be off - more photos next time - I've just realised I meant to take some more today but completely forgot! Instead I went to visit Bertie the caravan to let him know he's off on an adventure in a few days!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

PS - Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post. The boys and I are loving our new home. We have got relatively straight so quickly as we'd measured and planned where furniture was going after one of our many pre-move visits! We also decided as the year has been so disruptive we didn't want it to continue once we'd moved. Instead we'd work very hard and get things normal as quickly as possible. Meaning instead of boxes we can fill the house with family and our friends instead. Its lovely for the boys to have their mates over and I enjoy hearing them having fun and being so happy. Once I've got my new oven this week I look forward to making sure the cake tins are always full as its amazing how much 6 extra teenagers can eat!!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

3 @ Number 6 - New beginnings

Good afternoon

We did it - emptied one big house into a lorry and moved it across town to a lovely smaller and older house in a street I never wanted to leave (we owned the house almost opposite until 10 years ago). Actually I didn't do any lifting in the old house - we decided packers were the way forward - oh boy did those men work hard!!

Since we got the keys Wednesday lunchtime the boys & I have worked extremely hard at getting our new home sorted and box free. We are now almost there - as boxes have been emptied we've sorted, recycled and charity shopped things we no longer have room for - we've also given away things on a local selling page and to friends/family too.

Today I've been sorting my bedroom - there are no longer cardboard boxes in there - there is a pile of stuff for the charity shop and some yarn being given to the local WI for a yarn bombing project!! Also more craft stuff that needs sorting at some point - thats in wicker baskets which don't count as boxes ;)

Anyhow, the important bit - some pictures of the new house;

Loved the original front door and stained glass on the first viewing - we cleaned the door Friday lunchtime and Little Son added a new shiny number and my wonderful BIL attached a new door knocker to replace a tatty and nonworking doorbell.

When I woke up Thursday morning, I decided that by the end of the day we'd have one room sorted and box free - it had to be the front room;

Its been lovely sitting in here with the boys watching tv in the evenings - also with visiting friends and family - its not always been tea and coffee on the menu!! Last night at the grand old age of 43 - I opened my first bottle of bubbly - something I've always delegated as I believed it was difficult!!

The dining room is the last room with boxes - I shall get these unpacked this week as there are some kitchen essentials hiding in there somewhere!!

I am loving my new kitchen - yes its smaller but its just such a lovely space and I think I've got it set out to suit me - again I had my BIL put some things on the walls that needed screws - anything with nails has been put up by Little Son who is now my own Mr Fix it!! Big Son has been the technical wizard getting the Internet set up and working for all of our devices!

One of my favourite kitchen features is the original mantle shelf - it didn't take me long to fill it!!

Lastly the garden - a lovely enclosed manageable sized space which also faces south. We've eaten lots of meals out there this week - sometimes due to lack of dining table space but other times because the weather has been lovely and sunny.

I think I'm done with sorting today - those last boxes can wait till tomorrow or Tuesday. I'm off for a wander around blogland to see what I have missed.

Already the boys & I feel settled in our new space and it very much feels like home. There's lots of things we want to do with the house overtime - some major projects which involve tradesmen and other that the 3 of us are going to try to do ourselves. Just this afternoon I drilled my first hole so Little Son could fit a handle to the under stairs cupboard!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Holiday at home week

Good evening

Think I'd best post whilst I've the time. Just one more day of our holiday at home left - off to the cinema to watch Monsters University with my boys - sometimes you just have to see films with the same people you saw the original with - another 3D experience for me!!

Holiday at home week started on Monday;

 We headed to Aldeburgh - lounging on the beach and eating chips - blissful

Can't beat chips out of the paper - especially sitting on the beach with my two fab boys.

Tuesday morning it was warm when we woke so we decided to cook breakfast camp-style in the garden.

That evening as part of the campaign to empty the cupboards before the move, we had to have Pimms!!
 Today I've been to Thorpeness with Dawn - we ate ice-creams by the Meare and watched the swans;

And then we headed down to the beach for a paddle;

All rather lovely - we've spent time as a 3, time with friends and time with family too. When you live somewhere as lovely as we do and with this great weather, holidaying at home is rather great fun. All happy and contented before next weeks big adventure!!! 

See you on the other side - the internet gets connected next Friday 9th so I am sure I'll be back blogging soon after if my computer doesn't sulk too much about moving!!

xxx Vicki xxx