Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Bonus Day

Given the pounding we are experiencing this morning from 'Storm Frank' it is hard to believe that Management and LP were able to work outside from 9.00am until gone 5.00pm yesterday.  Granted there were a few unscheduled tea breaks whilst taking shelter by the log store, but everyone was delighted that after an unplanned three month break, we are finally making progress on the next shed in what is becoming  "a useful range of outbuildings" as Rightmove might say.







Did I mention the rain breaks?



And tea breaks - accompanied by a much deserved little treat








Thanks to a large halogen work light, by the end of the day the outside of a 16 foot long frame was completed.  Fingers crossed we will be able to get the concrete done next week.









Tuesday, 29 December 2015

2015 Review

It is that time in the calendar when annual reviews seem apropos and unusually, here at Bag End this evening I feel like being conformist and joining in.   It has been a strange year, thoroughly unpleasant at times (the devastating flooding this month following one of the poorest summers we can remember) and extremely positive at other times.

It has been a year when I really did follow my plan to Simplify, even if I didn't write about it much.  Not only have cupboards and shelves been thinned out but considerable behind-the-scenes simplification took place in the depths of chez brain and I am coming out of 2015 a lot more calm than I went in :-}   
(and if you think that's a bit introspective and naval-gazing, just wait until you see what I plan for January 1st).

Working on the premise that history is re-written by the victors, I'm going to pick (mostly) the best bits of the year and hereby decree that 2015 wasn't so bad after all.

January





February



March









April





May













June







July





August









September









October





November







December























Saturday, 26 December 2015

We're not doing presents this year

Let's be really painfully honest here - there are times when my husband drives me absolutely nuts.  In fairness I know there are also times when he feels the same about me, but we're both adults and capable of sufficient self-restraint that the irritation passes soon enough :-}   However, there are also times when he is an absolute gold-plated little star, much as it pains me to admit it!  Christmas Day morning was one of those times.

As per usual, this year we did not buy each other presents.  He's just had a mumble-zero birthday which provided a big iOptron SkyTracker with a telescope still to come, and I am the proud parent of an iPad Pro, so be honest, what more could we possibly buy?  However, we did have a couple of gifts from friends and I placed them on the kitchen table at breakfast time, after which the conversation went:

M:  We're not doing gifts this year, are we?

J:  Not to the best of my knowledge

M:  So is this it then?  (looking at the kitchen table)

J:  Yep, I haven't done anything sneaky

at which point he rushes out of the kitchen, and re-appears with one arm behind his back.
and he's grinning . . . 
at which point I knew he'd done something sneaky. . .

And the story of that sneakiness is that one afternoon in early December he was working at home and I was conveniently out of the house, probably walking Daisy.  A chap came to the door doing the "unsolicited selling" thing.  Management thought about it, found some cash, and handed over what was probably an exorbitant amount (I've forbidden him to tell me what he spent), and then had the exceptionally bright idea of hiding the evidence until Christmas Day.

Which has netted him a zillion brownie points.  He's a bluddy clever chap, but then we knew that - after all, he chose me!

To stay I am stunned and delighted is a massive under-statement.  On the rare occasions I have been able to get a higher view of the garden (when the roof was done, and when we were rebuilding the log pile) I have absolutely loved it but this is really beyond any dream or expectation.  Every time I look at the picture I am blown away;  I have never before seen the evidence of all our work laid out in its entirety.



Scanning the image at very high resolution in TIFF has given me a 65MB sized file and the amount of detail I can see in it is mind-blowing.

For the time being, everyone else will have to make do with this one, a mere 3.5MB.  In time I will update the "Finding your way around Bag End" page - I guess there is no longer a need for my out-of-date cartoon attempt :-}



Management is now researching drone-cameras in case I want a monthly "Aerial View From".

I'm encouraging him!

















Friday, 25 December 2015

Christmas Day in pictures

Quickly, before the lunchtime rain arrived, Little Miss Perfect and I had a couple of miles at Crummock Water.  Rather more people around than I'd like, but it was a pleasant enough stroll for us both.  Apart, maybe, from her insistence in checking if I'd washed properly this morning . . .












What flooding does to tarmac in Lorton: