Saturday, November 9, 2013

Mad Woman down Under

Here's hoping I look suitably refreshed after traveling for 24hrs to Sydney and then driving north to North Curl Curl. Its a beautiful spot, transport connections are great; if we dont want to use the car we can walk or hop on the bus to Manly and get the ferry . Or we can just stare at the view, remind ourselves there was a frost last night back home and crack open another bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

The flights were actually a breeze, we flew non stop with a break for an hour in Hong Kong (Been there done that and yes Mickey is smaller). Seriously though' I dreaded the whole length of time on a plane issue, but I think the fact your always leaving in the evening and your always heading East combine to make it a non event. We didn't even leave the barn till after 3.00pm following a great lunch so we had had a great sleep the night before. Compare that to the usual restless sleep whilst you worry if your going to get up in time for the flight and the idiotic early check in to Orlando and this was actually less stress.

Quick summary of the first day.. Arrived; picked up car; cursed that it was too hot, drove to North Curl Curl; dumped cases at the cottage, showered. Drove to Woolworths in Dee Why and did a bit of shopping ; cursed some more at how much food costs here; found a nice bakery and bought a sausage roll .. Sat on a golden beach cursing at how hot it is (whilst eating a hot sausage roll) and why I hadn't changed to less clothes. Back to cottage , cooked fresh Bream fillets from the fish market in Dee Why (fish luckily is cheap and plentiful)..  Early night but its going dark, just hoping my body has sleep on the agenda.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Honey Hole Chutney

Finally found a use for those excess courgettes in the front garden.. Its the barns first chutney, should be ready to eat by Christmas.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Moving In . Bit by Bit

We have  been slowly moving things in over  the last couple of weeks room by room. No delivery men in a van for us (it wont fit down the track). It's just a case of pile it onto the back of a trailer on the back of a 4x4 and pray it doesn't rain.

The sitting room/snug areas worked out really well. Perfect to snuggle up in after dinner  and throw a record on.

The Kitchens about 90% finished. The walls behind the units need papering and there are some under cupboard lights to finish.

Downstairs the Oak floor is in place and has been treated and last night the new sofa arrived at 9pm in the pitch black. Dan and Neil had to meet it at the top of the lane and transfer it to the trailer before carrying it around. Still a few things to do in here - window sills, a window seat and the fire needs cleaning and reconnecting. 

Bedroom one is also 90% complete and now carpeted. The en suite and walk in wardrobe is also finished.

Bedroom two is also finished and is the only room to actually have a wall that has been papered.  All the other  Bedrooms now have carpets and are just waiting for those final bits and pieces. The big  projects we need to get on with next are a new staircase to replace the temp one.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Pretty Shiny Things

Time to start moving in, week by week, plate by plate.And most importantly for Dan; horrible electronic equipment (though it does make the most beautiful noises). Have to dash I can smell new carpet arriving!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Roam if you want to......

Last night we took a well deserved night off, headed into Manchester to our fave venue and took in the fun of the B52s. And fun fun fun it was, the band was on fire and Fred, Kate and Cindy had an absolute ball as did the audience. Great set list - great band and great venue (though I think I lost a stone in persperation - why does every venue refit seem to forget to put Air Conditioning into the mix). We all danced our socks off all night. Dan recognized Sterling Campbell was on the drums (last saw him on the last two Bowie tours)

Talking of concerts and venues I really do appreciate these smaller more intimate places. Its been a mixed batch this year - Rush at least know how to use an Arena and put on a show and were excellent as usual - Lisa Stansfield pure class upstairs above a bar as she warmed up for her tour - Bon Jovi (well half of Bon Jovi as obviously Richie had had enough of the farce they had become) could best be described as dull and soulless trying to create any atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium - Slash with Myles Kennedy at the Apollo superb. New policy - if it isn't Rush no more Arena gigs and all Bon Jovi records to be burnt.

Looking forward to the Ramsbottom festival (don't worry its attendance is more likely to be in 100s not 1000s) in September (3 days on a cricket ground and only a bus ride from the barn)- Sinead O Connor and Moreland & Arbuckle  - mmmmm

Anyway reality calls.. Carpet underlay has just arrived - the carpets ready for delivery (for the bedrooms) and the oaks ready for the lounge floorboards.. 
 "The whole Shack Shimmies"

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Harvest time

We just harvested our first courgettes of the year. In truth it was one courgette and it was about 3 inches long but we are very proud - if self sufficiency is ever a plan I think we're all going to loose weight. Still it tasted nice and the plants look like they are going to keep producing more rather bendy courgettes.

Its been fun taking a break from building for five minutes and trying to pretty up the front garden with some plants but this weather has been causing some things to go crazy. The window basket seems to grow a few inches every time you stop looking at it and is slowly taking over the front window - a hair cut and good talking too may be necessary.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lamb Nursery

The field at the rear of the barn has so far been put to very little use. I kind of have a general idea that we'll put in  some raised beds  for vegetables but its not priority at the moment. One problem we do get each year though  is that when  Summer arrives it turns into a meadow of deep grass that is of no use to anyone (though the insects and Swallows love it). You quite physically can't put one leg in front of the other to wade through it - and after a shower (or as seems to be more common this year a deluge from the heavens of a months rain in an hour) you would have to wear oilskins and waders to cross the field without being soaked up to your waist.

The solution has been to fence part of it off and allow the hand reared lambs (natures great lawnmower) back into it and its now become a nursery field for Joan (The Giantess) and MaggieAnne  her new best girlfriend who is actually slightly older but much smaller. These two seem to compete on a daily basis for who can be the cutest. Joan is nudging ahead slightly because when she runs those oversized ears bouce up and down and make her look like Dumbos making his take off run.

The flock arrived back two days ago (all sheared) and went into the "Top Field". It was lovely to hear them all shouting and watch the reaction of Joan and MaggieAnne who could both hear the rest of the flock  but couldn't actually see them. Much bleating and baaa - ing from one field to the other as the night set in.

And in other (kitchen) news... Spot the deliberate mistake!!!!!