Sunday 26 March 2023

Slow Progress


I would love to be able to sleep as contentedly as these two. Enjoying a comfortable, warm bed, no bills to pay, and not concerned with what to eat for dinner every night. 

I am still having several issues with the house, but I am, at least, making some progress. The plumber should be arriving early next week to fix the taps and fit the new radiator, and the new window is booked in to be fitted on the Thursday. I have been assured a roofer will be around at some time in the next few days to find out what the problem is, and to give me a quote for any necessary repairs. As if all that wasn't enough, the gas engineer turned up last Wednesday morning, only to advise me that the part I needed for the boiler was now obsolete, meaning having to get a whole brand new one! This is now sitting in my hallway waiting to be fitted on Friday, until which time we have heating, but no hot water. It has been challenging to say the least. 

In happier news, it would seem spring is gradually beginning to show itself  here in the north. There are lambs in the fields, wild garlic is carpeting the woodland floor (I really need to go and pick some), and I have enjoyed seeing my washing blowing on the line on more than one occasion this past week. I'm still not entirely convinced that Wordsworth was in this part of the world when he wrote his Daffodils poem, as the only ones I've seen lately have been entirely flattened by the winds and rain, as opposed to 'fluttering and dancing in the breeze'. Thankfully, the weather does appear to be improving day by day; and now that the clocks have changed, we can look forward to some lighter evenings once again, which are always much welcome after the dark winter months. 

Mother's Day was lovely. I spent the morning relaxing at a nearby leisure club. I swam, went in the sauna and jacuzzi. It was quite a treat. After lunch I had my nails done, then I took my 'nail technician' for a bike ride down to the river. 😁

Yesterday, we spent another happy morning orienteering in the woods. Our times could be faster but our map reading skills are definitely improving, and we found all the markers. It was rather muddy underfoot, so after having had a good clean, my boots are still drying out. There are many more events planned, so we will have to try and see if we can pick up our pace.

For the Warm Space last week, I baked a Plum Cake. The recipe is here if you would like it. This week will be our last one, which will feel a little strange, although I am looking forward to having that time back, so that I can focus on completing the rest of my course work. It has taken a back seat recently, while I've been trying to get on top of everything else, and I really don't want to be late submitting it. I think I will bake chocolate brownies for the occasion.

Back soon.  

J. X

Monday 13 March 2023



What was it I said in my last post about the wintry weather. As it happened, unlike the rest of the country, we didn't actually get very much in the way of snow here. It all looked very pretty for a day or so, then it thawed very quickly once the sun appeared. I hope everyone is keeping safe and warm. 

I would have posted sooner, but I have rather a lot going on the background at the moment. I have been mainly kept busy with my studies, and  I am really pleased to say my first modules have been completed and assessed, for which I received some very positive feedback. My next submission will take me a little while longer, as it covers a wider range of topics. Then, I think I will have a little break before looking at completing another course.

Another thing, which is proving quite draining, is the situation with my house. The chimney is, once again, letting in water, Lily's bedroom needs a new window fitting, the kitchen tap is dripping, and I need some further roof work completing at the front of the house. I really would like to get on with some decorating this year, but it seems pointless to do anything cosmetic until this work is completed. And of course, trying to get hold of trades people is a nightmare, so I'm finding it all a bit demanding, especially on top of everything else. Anyway, when I last checked, the chap has been out to take a look at the chimney but I am still waiting on a quote; the window company are now, thankfully, measuring up tomorrow; the plumber is booked to arrive the first week in April (I've also requested some new taps and a radiator in the downstairs loo), and I am still waiting on the roofer to get back to me. Wish me luck :) Should I also mention the water leaking from the boiler? Thankfully it is still working okay at the moment, and the engineer is coming out to it on Wednesday morning. 

Aside from the stress, I am happy to report that there have also been some nice things going on. Lily enjoyed her very first ski lesson. She had been wanting to give it a try for a while now, and last Christmas she was lucky enough to have been gifted a session at an indoor slope. She had such a great time there. The instructor was lovely and she took to skiing straight away. I can see a few more lessons happening in future. 

At the very end of February, I enjoyed a lovely walk from Far Sawrey, up to Moss Eccles Tarn. In  a contrast to the current damp weather, it was a lovely bright sunny day, and the tarn itself looked gorgeous, with the fells standing dramatically in the background. Apparently, it was one of Beatrix Potter's favourite places, and I can see why. I will definitely go back again in the summer, when I can spend even more time there.  The chips in the pub afterwards were pretty good as well. 

On the March 2nd, school took part in World Book Day. There were, as usual, some amazing outfits worn by all the children and staff. Lily went as Little Miss Sunshine, in a bright yellow sweatshirt and leggings, red ribbons tied in her plaits and some extra freckles added using an eyebrow-pencil. Not forgetting, of course, her natural sunshine personality ;)

The Warm Space was slightly better attended this week, and I baked a marmalade cake this time. There are only three more weeks left to go now, by which time I would like to think we will be experiencing some milder temperatures. It has, however, provided a wonderful opportunity for people to get together for some welcome companionship during the winter months, regardless of the circumstances. I wonder if these initiatives might be here to stay.

At the weekend we helped out at a local litter picking event. It was surprising just how much we managed to collect, as at first glance the area had looked almost completely free of  any sort of rubbish. One hour later and four refuse bags filled proved otherwise. A job well done by all concerned, and it was encouraging to witness all the children's enthusiasm.

Yesterday, we spent another morning orienteering. We completed two courses, finding all the markers, but I'm not sure whether or not it is something we will continue to participate in, moving forward. There are quite a few more meets coming up, so we definitely give it another go before making a decision one way or another. And of course, this course was just as muddy as the last, so I will be cleaning our boots once again this evening. 

I am still yearning for spring, and I am looking to the year ahead with cautious optimism. Fingers crossed I might have at least some of  these house issues sorted very soon. 

J. X