Friday, 29 August 2008

It got worse

No blog update so far this week, sorry folks, but everything I did since last time was paled into insignificance when I received a phone call yesterday evening to tell me that Alan had been rushed to hospital. He'd fallen from the scaffold at his house. He is going to be okay, has bad concussion, cuts grazes and bruises and a sore neck, keeping in until Sunday now, but he's still hoping to be out tomorrow. He can't remember what happened, luckily a neighbour heard, but he knows nothing about it, or the five hours between that and us at the hospital. They landed the air ambulance helicopter in his neighbour's garden, but in the end he was transported by road as the weather was too poor at Swansea. Last night was just awful, he was shaking, crying and couldn't speak properly or remember simple things like his date of birth. I've been there all afternoon and evening again today and he is much improved, but the neuro-surgeon still wants to keep him in for observation. Of course all Alan is worrying about is being at his dad's funeral on Monday. It never rains but it pours eh?

Thursday, 21 August 2008

The Nightmare continues

Sitting here right now wishing I was a million miles away. I need to let off steam, everything imagineable that could go wrong seems to have. The last straw was yesterday afternoon when the plumbers thought they'd finished installing all the heaters and pipework etc. Switched the water back on (I'd had none all day) and suddenly a puddle appeared in the hall/bathroom doorway, which got progressively larger, until the carpet was soaked, and there was about an inch of water all over my bathroom floor. They had to take up my lino, and the half the hall carpet and then guess where the pipes ran under the concrete floor, and drill down till they found them. I had my very own fountain. Luckily they guessed right and a joint was leaking there because of the higher pressure on the hot water system caused by the new combi boiler. The pipes were probably the originals put in when the place was built, sometime in the 1950s. So I spent last night with a soaking wet hall, big hole in the bathroom floor and no hot water (which I wouldn't have had any way really until the electrician came back today to finish off the wiring)

I am sick of not being able to go to the loo because there is always someone and lots of tools either in the bathroom or in the loft from early morning.

I'm sick of not being able to do any washing. I've either got no water, no electric or it's pissing down with rain and nowhere to dry anything. I normally hang stuff over the bath but that's out of the question with guys in there all the time.

I made a huge mistake in deciding to have the kitchen floor done. We had to move everything out apart from the gas cooker which they wouldnt touch, I told them to just tuck the lino under a little way. Once the cooker was disconnected, they have to have a corgi registered person to come back to reconnect it. What a load of bollocks. I'd have done it myself, it's oh so complicated isn't it to turn a tap off and then turn it back on? The washing machine had to stand outside, and as luck would have it, we didn't actually have any rain for about 3 hours, first time in weeks, and managed to get it back inside before it torrented down otherwise I guess that would have been buggered.

So now my fridge and freezer were in the living room for about 36 hours. Now the freezer is back in the kitchen, it has stopped working. The fast freeze was roaring all night even though it wasn't (fast-freezing) so god knows how much electric it's used. And the food is slowly but surely all thawing out. All the bread has done so already, only a matter of time before everything else does too I guess. So now I have to buy a new one, and get in touch with the insurance to claim for the lost contents. I may also be able to claim for the lino in the bathroom and get some new stuff.

So what else? Oh yeah, I hate, hate, hate the kitchen lino. It is way too light in colour, looks nothing like the tiny sample I got to see ( a one inch square photo in a brochure) It shows every tiny little blob that you tread in. I shall be forever cleaning it. It also feels like walking on sandpaper, non-slip see, great.

The new fire place I chose was supposed to be "Ivory" It isn't. It's a warm pinky beige colour and looks absolutely vile against the proper Ivory colour on the hearth wall. It is also about two inches narrower than the recess made by ripping out the old one so the guy is as I type, bodging a piece of wood down one side. On the left hand side, there is a lump of plaster ripped out which I'm not sure if they are going to bodge also.

The Smoke Detector on the hall ceiling went off this morning when I had a shower. It sounds at around 100 decibels. I think they would have heard it on the other side of the village. I had to get out half way, covered in soap and stand with my finger on the re-set button for about 30 seconds to shut it up.

The outdoor sensor light in the porch goes off every time Michael from next door, or Tim the dog sets foot outside their own front door.

There's been a dispute about who is responsible for dismantling and taking away my old night storage heaters. I've managed to get that sorted now though, and they are going today. Until then, I can't re-arrange the furniture in the bedroom and living room, and have lost about 4 feet of wall space and nowhere to put anything.

Oh yeah, the boiler outside being huge and now I have no path to walk on to get round the side. But I think I already mentioned that.

Everywhere now needs decorating. Paintwork has had lumps knocked out of it, and that which hasn't had dirty hands all over it.

None of that of course can compare with the pain and anguish Alan is now going through. His dad died during the night. A blessed relief for him though, he no longer has to suffer that terrible pain any more. I would say God bless him, but I'm not a believer, but I'm sure you will understand what I mean. I guess I will have to go buy a funeral outfit now, you can't go to a funeral in jeans can you?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Please let it end!

I'm going up the wall, stuck here, it's a complete nightmare! Council are upgrading all the places and luckily (or not) I am one of the first, I could've had a new kitchen, bathroom too, but decided mine were fine, apart from kitchen floor, so at present I am sitting in the living room, trying to watch the olympics through the tiny gap alongside my fridge and freezer. I have half the contents of the kitchen in here, and the rest in the bedroom. I wished I'd taken up my lino from the kitchen as planned, because the workmen came in before I knew as the door was open and have ripped it up. I was hoping to get it in one piece as I was going to use it in the bird shed. Sigh. I can't go to the loo because the boy is in the loft and tools and stuff all over the floor so couldn't shut the door even if I wanted to. I have had to go wee up behind the aviary! The main cause of the disruption though is having oil fired central heating put in, which I did want, and all my electrics have been upgraded, new sockets everywhere and lots more of them. I had no electricity all day Friday, and about 3 hours again yesterday.

Have to mention the weather of course. Done nothing but blow and pee with rain apart from the odd day here and there for about a month. Luckily today is one of the odd days so the bloke is fitting the central heating boiler outside on the wall. It's bloody huge, sticks out about 4 feet so no chance of walking down the path anymore without sludging into the grass. There is now a dispute as to whose responsibility it is to remove the old storage heaters, so I've lost about 4 feet of wall space at the moment in the bedroom and living room until the old ones are out of the way. I'll bloody rip the things off myself if they don't sort it out by Thursday. I need to find a new home for Chippy and Alfie's cage as they can't now sit in the window on top of the heater.

Well, best find something else to do now, hoping they leave about 4 o'clock so I can nip into Llandysul and get Emma's heart pills from the vets, else will have to go first thing tomorrow as she took her last one this morning, and if I get really lucky I will get to see Damien. Swoon. (Yes still, after all this time)

Hey ho, happy days. :o(

Monday, 18 August 2008

Saturday and Sunday

No fainting, but I'm actually getting this done the day after instead of a week later! Due to the fact been stuck indoors all day because of the workmen being here and also because it's been pouring with rain non stop since about 4pm yesterday. Winds gusting outside right now to about 50mph, lights on in the house since 6pm, heater on in the hall. It's still supposed to be summer haha bloody ha.

Anyway, Saturday was also raining all day. We went to Cardigan and looked round the shops, walked Emma down the towpath alongside the river, had lunch, came home and watched tv.

Sunday we went to Ogmore by Sea and Southerndown, (nearest town Bridgend.) Was lovely in the morning, photos below - and there's more here - Had a nice walk, there's a Victorian walled garden, some ruins, cliffs and miles to explore. You can see right across the Bristol Channel to Somerset, in one photo you will see the land in the distance, which will be Minehead, it almost looked like you could swim it!

Went on from there to Alan's dads, very bad news, all the family was there as the doctors think he hasn't long left now, so sad to see him go down hill so fast, only a few weeks ago he was able to go out into his greenhouse, now he is out of it mostly. Feel very upset, but they have all been expecting it for a while now.

Well I'm about to jump in the shower as I won't get a chance in the morning now, unless I get up about 6 am, no thanks!

I can do bees....

Friday, 15 August 2008

Just an even quicker quicky

Well I was without electric nearly all day in the event, I wrote the stuff below here when on battery power in Notepad, so will paste this now otherwise I will get even further behind. I will have to upload the photos another time, although nothing special as they were only taken with the Nokia this time, no camera with me, apart from some of Frank and Pepper today.

No doubt be more stuff after this weekend too, but not sure as the weather is attrocious outside right now and is supposed to be like it all for the next few days again. sigh.

Well. I'm sitting here slightly bored, slightly embarrassed, and trying to keep out of the way of the two young workmen who are here putting in lots of nice shiny new electric sockets, light fittings, smoke detectors etc. Their tools and tool boxes are all over the house, I have no electric and due to a burst water main in the village earlier, had no bloody water either first thing, it was off for about 3 hours. I had to go to the car and get the dog's water bottle out to make myself a coffee this morning!

So I will briefly mention last weekend, on Saturday, it was the most awful, horrendous weather, it was also Alan's birthday, so we just went out for lunch, intending to take Emma for a walk after, but in the event, no chance, it never stopped lashing down so we came home again and watched telly!

On Sunday, we went to Barry Island, my first ever visit, and it was like stepping back in time again to a typical seaside town in Kent, like being in the 60s really. Amusement arcades, shops selling buckets and spades, the beach of course, which due to the bad weather (although not raining, but chilly and blowing a gale) had about three lots of people on it. We had lunch again, a look around, and a walk out onto the headland, where it was hard to stand up. Some hilarious photos of Emma to follow. Stopped off at a huge Tesco and got some shopping, on the way to see Alan's dad and sister.

Wednesday met Alan at Llanelli for lunch and shopping and walked Emma round the lake where we went earlier back in May I think it was. The wind was so bad that all the swans were sheltering one end behind the trees, and there was an enormous flock of gulls down on the grass, which shows how bad the sea must've been.

I've just been outside as today it's not raining (hooray) and taken some great photos of Frank and Pepper, they are giving me so much pleasure, Frank (I'm such a Poser) and Pepper (I just love to sunbathe) I am now calling them, lol. Also still feeding little Sage, but I have a funny feeling there may be two Sages! I must take a note of the markings as I did with the other two, who are currently easy to tell apart. When they get rid of their baby spots and develop the full red it's going to be hard though.

The summer has been the worst I can ever, ever remember, I am not kidding. The wind, the rain, and now the cold is ridiculous. Last night the temperature up by my aviary dropped to 2c, almost had a frost, in mid August! Really had enough, and I doubt now if we will have anything much better, there's a real chill in the air even when the sun is out again.

Frank posing

Pep sunbathing

Frank left, Pep right, a temporary truce

Monday, 11 August 2008

My Poor Garden!

Will blog about my weekend when I get round to it, but for now just a quickie before tea as I've been out today, leaving the workmen to it to do the base for my oil tank for the central heating. They said they didn't need access to the house today, so I made the most of it and went over to Pat's for the afternoon. Came home to find half the garden cordoned off and a HUGE trench has been dug too, not that I mind really, they are supposed to make good after, and the less grass I have to cut the better really! This morning, Alan and I had to chop down half of my bamboo too as the slab base was bigger than the gap we'd created. Still, it will grow again and shouldn't kill it.

Anyway, I took the camera out to take a few photos, and little Frank appeared to commiserate with me, he landed almost on me, and then let me put the camera right in his face to take the photos, he's amazing. Pepper was up in the area that had been dug, and wasn't particularly interested in me I guess he'd found lost of nice worms. Today, I got another baby robin to feed from me too - named him Sage, took some this morning, and again just now. Chuffed. :o)

Newby - Sage

Friday, 8 August 2008

Getting worserer!

I have to confess, I probably have had the time, but I just can't be bothered with this anymore. I think my problem is that I'm now only concentrating on weekend stuff, and we seem to go somewhere special each time, and I take lots and lots of photos, and then think, oh hell no, takes so bloody long to downsize, edit and upload here, and I put it off and off. Well I did the first two things last night, and now have about 40 photos to upload and still can't be bothered.

In a nutshell, Saturday we went to Cilgerran, took a picnic, and walked the entire length of the Teifi back to Llechryd, a round trip of about 5 miles. Emma struggled a bit, but we kept stopping and were only strolling. The highlight (apart from the food of course....) was I saw TWO Kingfishers! As many as I've seen before in my lifetime. One at Llechryd end, and then another back near Cilgerran castle, so highly unlikely it was the same one. Alan to thank, he spotted them, and where they went, and we just stopped and waited till they re-appeared. No chance of a photo though, swiftly flying off down river each time.

Sunday we went to St Fagans, near Cardiff. It's a place where they reconstruct, brick by brick, original historical buildings - it's a museum of Welsh culture. It's free, and it's brilliant! All sorts of buildings, churches, mills, toll house, farm house, a terrace of houses through the ages, all furnished with original stuff, had to laugh at the 1970s one which had the most enormous video recorder, an original shop with lots of products that I remember way back when. There's lakes, gardens, and a Castle. Lots of animals too, and of course spent time taking photos of them, especially the chickens lol. You can read all about it here, and if ever you are in Wales, I can highly recommend the place, don't miss it!

Other stuff this week - highlighted yesterday by getting some great pics at last of little Frank landing on my hand and taking the mealworms.

Weather been bloody terrible, torrential rain a couple of days, but won't go on about that, very depressed on that score, summer has been worse this year than last, and I never thought that would be possible. I have my heating back on, and it was dark enough to need lights on at 7pm last night, grrrrrr.

Not looking forward to next couple of weeks much, the workmen are coming to instal my oil central heating and the upheaval will be horrendous, worrying about where my guinea pigs are going to go, and the budgies, and Emma and and ...oh well no use worrying I guess, just wish it was done and in working order!

Okay, I will attempt to upload some of the photos anyway.

Right thats those, now for little Frank from yesterday....