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Sunday, 7 August 2022

CAT SITTING ..........

We are cat sitting at the moment .....

We are looking after our son/daughter-in-law/grandchildren's cat, Cloudy .....

They are on holiday in Switzerland at the moment and all the Cattery's were full. Apparently , it's hard to get into a cattery at the moment ! 

Because he doesn't live here, he's not allowed out so we are letting him have the run of the conservatory ..... considering it's going to be pulled down next month, he can please himself in there and, it's a far bigger space than the cages they get put in in a cattery. He seems very happy and I go and chat to him and play with him a few times a day and he seems pretty contented. He is a lovely cat ..... we have had cats over the years but, I don't think I want the responsibility anymore but, it's lovely to look after him for a while. 

He goes home today and we will miss him. 



Sunday, 10 July 2022

PROJECT MANAGER !!! ..........

Sorry ..... it's been a while { slight understatement ! } ..........

My excuse ? I have taken on the role of Project Manager ! It is now getting close for the building works to start on our new conservatory. The builder should be starting in August  ..... SHOULD being the operative word ! The builder said he would be popping round last Wednesday ..... he rang and said he was caught up and would come on Thursday ..... I haven't seen or heard from him since ! I rang him ..... no answer, nothing, rien, nada, niente, nichts !!! Lets hope I hear from him next week  🤞

This is our present conservatory. It's over thirty years old ..... it's rotten and leaking and, if you've got a spare half an hour, I'll tell you why it's rotten and leaking. Thirty years ago we thought we would have a conservatory. Through a friend, we found this guy who , we thought, could interpret our ideas . He was a great admirer of William Morris and knew a lot about the period. I wanted it to look a bit Gothic and not look like the ' run of the mill ' type of conservatory and to blend into the rest of our late Victorian house. I showed him what I wanted like the gothic windows and he suggested a few things and we agreed that he should do it.  He got someone else to do the footings and the brickwork and they did a wonderful job. 

See that return between the conservatory and the kitchen wall ? That wall is going to be knocked down and opened up into the kitchen. That return is just a damp waste of space. It will become part of the conservatory.

This is the William Morris look a like !!!

The brickwork completed, he came back and, after paying him a third { which we thought was fair as he had to get materials etc. } he did the window  frame work 

This is what he did ..... and then, he buggered off for 18 months leaving the woodwork exposed to the elements ! We think he spent the third of the money that we gave him on his debts and then had to do another job to get the money for the materials for our job ! ..... and thats not the end of it. Now, thirty years ago it was the ' thing ' to have stripped pine in old houses so, I wanted the inside of the windows to be wood and the outside painted green. When he finally returned, he said to me, " wouldn't you prefer the green to be on the inside ' to which I replied " NO ". I didn't think any more of it until we realised after he was long gone, that he had obviously painted the wrong side of the windows so, he put them in the wrong way round which meant the glazing bars were on the outside and all of the rain and snow sat on them, which, after a few years rotted the wood ! There were lots of other things ..... cracked glass that he hid with beading to name but one !

AND THEN .....

he had the nerve to come back and demand more money as he didn't think he charged enough !!! Needless to say, he didn't get any ! 
But, considering all of this happened, it did last over thirty years { sort of ! } 

Fast forward thirty years and this is an artists impression of what our new conservatory will look like. As in all projects, nothing ever seems to run smoothly and, driving home from meeting a friend, I got a phone call from the Conservatory company. They said that this has never happened before {?} but, because of Covid and Brexit, our conservatory, which was due to be erected mid September, will have to be put back ..... they have had trouble getting supplies and joiners etc. I thought she was going to say it would be months but, at the moment, we are looking at October..... I could never be a property developer !!! 

So, therein lies the tale of our conservatory !
Oh, and , just to show you so you get an idea on the inside, here's a photograph and explanation ... ish ! 

In this photograph taken from our breakfast room, our kitchen is on the right and the conservatory is on the left. Those cupboards and wall behind them in the kitchen will be knocked through into the conservatory so that it will all be open. 
We will be having a new kitchen but thats another story !!!

Also, so sorry for not commenting much lately ..... being a project manager takes up a lot of time !



Thursday, 5 May 2022

PICTURES & PLANES ..........

I went to the cinema yesterday ..... I like this cinema. It's an independent, three screen cinema for arthouse and mainstream films, plus theatre and ballet screenings, two screens like the one above and one where you feel like you are sitting in someones living room ! You can have food and coffee, there is art on the walls and big, squashy leather sofas to sit on { and, the cleanest, loveliest toilet facilities in all of Hertfordshire ! I was about to take a photograph of me in the full length mirror in the lovely toilets but, a surge of ladies came in and I chickened out ! } 

We went to see Downton Abbey, A New Era .....

Now, I am a lover of period series and films and have seen all of the Downton Abbey series a few times and know it inside out. I have always thought that Maggie Smith is the star of the show and has had the best lines and pretty much all of the other cast members played their parts very well. I then saw the first Downton film which I thought was good and worth seeing and, although I felt this new offering passed away a couple of hours quite pleasantly, I felt that Julian Fellows didn't have his heart in this one and that he was desperately squeezing the last few drops of life out of it. There were some laughs in it and lump in the throat moments, but it was a rip off of Singing in the Rain, the storylines were quite weak and someone { I won't spoil it for you by telling you who } gets the same illness as someone had in the last series ..... there are many, many other illnesses you could have chosen from Julian !!! ..... and, Lady Mary's husband isn't in it { played by Mathew Goode in the last film and series, I read that he was unavailable due to prior commitments and, it looked odd that he didn't come back for the important ending { I won't say what ... }
Having said all that it was worth seeing and the clothes and scenery were lovely !  ..... and, before the film we went to The Giggling Squid and had Pad Thai so, all in all, not too shabby for Jackie !  

..... and then, I was just out in the garden when, hearing a loud roar, we looked skywards, and saw a British Airways plane { which I think is Voyager } flanked by two RAF Tornado fighter planes which I have found out was carrying the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, ahead of his meeting with Boris. The two typhoon jets and the RAF Voyager Vespina, finished with a Union Jack painted tail, flew very, very low over our garden ! We often get the planes used in flypasts, flying over our house after they have done the flypast. Must be their route back to base !
Makes for a bit of excitement ! 
The weather here is lovely ..... warmer than Saint-Tropez, Ibiza and Crete ..... we haven't had much rain for ages ! Who says it's always raining in the UK ?


image ! :via me, images 2, 3 & 4 : via goole


Monday, 4 April 2022


Last week, we went on a guided tour of some of Spitalfields  ..... an area { for those who are not familiar with London } of the East End of London. The name derives from St Mary Spital, a Priory/hospital { a lodging for travellers run by a religious order } on the east side of Bishopsgate. The area was covered with fields and nursery gardens until late in the 17th century when streets were laid out for Irish and Huguenot silk weavers.

As you exit Liverpool Street station, the modern buildings tower above you, interspersed with the old. 

This was John, our tour guide. I wouldn't say he was the most informative but a nice guy.

First stop, Devonshire Square, Bishopsgate. The statue of the knight represents on of the 13 nobles, { the Cnihtengild } who were granted land around Bishopsgate in the 10th century. 

Coffee ?

I took this photograph in Devonshire Square as The Gerkin was reflected in the windows but, looking all around, you couldn't see The Gerkin anywhere ..... it was weird !

This is the oldest London shopfront, built in 1756.

The Jewish soup kitchen, Brune Street ..... an institution deeply embedded in the community. It was founded in 1854 to supply soup, bread and meat twice a week to poor members of the Jewish community. It closed in 1992 serving soup to the poor up until that date. 

Christ Church ..... An Anglican church, built by Nicholas Hawksmoor in 1714 mostly for the Huguenots who dominated the area.

I love these shuttered houses .... when they were built in the 17th century, they were aimed towards working Londoners and migrants, particularly the Huguenots who had been fleeing religious persecution in France in the 1680's. Now, they sell for millions !

This sundial in Brick Lane dates from 1743. It was built as a chapel and has been many things over the years and is now a Mosque. ' Umbra Sumus ' which translates to ' We are Shadows'.

Finally { I can hear you all breathe a sigh of relief !!! } my favourite house. No. 4 Princelet Street. I love the shabby, pink facade and shutters. It isn't a home anymore but is rented out for events and a filming location. I've seen it in many period dramas. 
There is so much more in Spitalfields, including Dennis Severs house which I have been to many times and one of my favourite places to visit and I have posted about it before but, it would make too long a post to talk about all of Spitalfields. Oh, and Tracey Emin lived in Spitalfields and only recently moved away ..... just to give you an idea of how much the houses go for, she sold hers for £12 million !

Hope this post wasn't too long and you haven't nodded off !!!



Sunday, 13 March 2022

POSITIVE ..........

We both tested positive a couple of weeks ago and are still testing positive. I have heard of so many people getting it ..... they think the booster is wearing off ! 
On a different positive note, I have got quite a lot done  ..... one of the big drawers in the dresser is full of packets of photographs that have never been sorted or put into albums so, I have really had a cull. Do you remember when you had your photographs developed at the chemist ? WELL, they went through a phase of giving you doubles and even triples so I've got rid of all the duplicates, people I have no idea who they are and views that don't represent the view at the time ! I have bought two albums that hold one thousand photographs each so, my next project is to fill them both. I also need to get the photographs on my phone printed and put into the albums. 
I have also emptied the airing cupboard and the other big cupboard in the kitchen as that is the wall that is the be knocked through so, new places have been found for the contents of those cupboards. 
I'm on a Covid Isolation Roll { even though we don't need to isolate anymore ! } 
Sorry, that was pretty boring but Covid Isolation IS pretty boring ! 
We have also had SKY Glass installed so we are down with the kids on the streaming front. It takes a bit of getting used to but, as it's the way forward, we are happy with it. It's not much different to SKY Q except you don't record anything anymore as its all there whenever you want it. The only down side that I can see at the moment is that, if you miss anything on some of the terrestrial channels, you may have to wait a day or two for it to be available.They have had a few teething troubles but I think that was in the early days as we don't seem to have had any problems. The reason we had it was because they wouldn't let us have SKY Q as they won't go up and fix the dish because of health and safety { even though they put the dish up there in the first place !!! }

So, that is what isolation looks like for me !!!


photograph via google


Thursday, 17 February 2022


I'm decluttering !!!

Our conservatory, which was put up thirty years ago, has had it and is going to be knocked down and we are having a new one. It will also be knocked into the kitchen which will open it all up. There is a long story about our conservatory which I will go into in my next post { if anyone's interested !!! }


The work won't be done until August/September but, we are  getting all of our ducks in a row ..... we have to have a new kitchen as well ..... 💷 ka -ching 💷 !!!!

One of the reasons for de cluttering is that, when they knock through into the kitchen, I shall lose the airing cupboard and another cupboard { which is full of stuff we never or hardly ever use, and what's left has got to be found a new home. A good time to get rid of stuff I think ? Now, I am my father's daughter and have inherited his trait of not finding it easy to throw things away 😱 . Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hoarder but, having lived here for over 36 years, we have accumulated ' stuff ' as most of us of a certain age will have done ! I am rather pleased with myself, as I have managed to get rid of quite a lot so far but there is more to clear out. 

Are you good at decluttering or is it me ? 

Any organising tips ?


photographs via Vogue


Monday, 14 February 2022

♥♥♥♥♥ ............

💕 Feel the lurrrrve this Valentine's Day.💕

We can all do with a bit of love !

I'm off to Physio .... whoohoo !!!