6 months old!
Something drastic had to happen when the neighbourhood cats were using our garden as their litter tray.
The bamboo we cut down made excellent cat defences!
Gotta protect the herbs man.
J: Ok I admit, it’s taken a while. We took the tiles off in August last year! But we’re pretty much there. Thanks to Kate’s Dad for doing the technical stuff and thanks to Kate’s patience!
Here’s what we started with:Just incase you were wondering, yes that is wall paper above the tiles.
J: The re-wire meant that we could bring the kitchen to modern standards but it also meant that we had to use a kitchen which, well, was not very comfortable. Flaky tile adhesive, no ceiling, fluorescent light tube for light. Not a great cooking experience.
K: The kitchen was this state for 4 months…a nightmare to keep clean.
J: Rewiring a kitchen is messy work! It’s not something we recommend if you’re trying to live in the house day to day whilst it’s going on.
K: Finally with the rework done, we then moved on with tilling at a snails pace! Thanks to Dad’s hard work it took him a few Saturdays to complete. We were constantly emptying kitchen worktops and cupboards to gain access. I found these brick effect bevelled tiles in cream at a great price which i thought would reflect light and keep the kitchen bright and modern. Turns out they were the most difficult tiles to lay…and I also wanted black grout!!
J: Kate’s Dad put all the tiles on the wall - he’s a pro. It was slower to put on the wall and the bevel face meant that you couldn’t just slap a load of grout on them and wipe off. Similarly, you couldn’t scrape loads of grout across the tiles due to the bevel - to get an even coat it had to be applied into each joint!
J: This canopy came from Wickes for only £60!
K: The units and worktops were fairly neutral so just needed a good bleach and all handles removed and cleaned to spruce them up.
K: The canopy provides extra lighting and gets rid of the cooking smells. We had to sacrifice worktop space to relocate the microwave from above the oven but I think its worth it.
K: Keeping the kitchen bright, we painted the walls a light cream to match the darker worktops and terracota flooring. My Emma Bridgewater clock finally got out of the box too!
J: We installed a new ceiling plastered after the re-wire. The spot lights make the kitchen look modern and a definite improvement on the fluorescent light!
K: Look at those well glossed windowsills! Joel worked very hard breaking away the concrete yellow tilled windowsill and installing new ones.
So thats another room all done! Eventually we will get a blind to dress the window, but for now my vases filled with flowers will make a nice view whilst washing up!
Hmm, lets be honest here, we’re only trying to grow carrots and potatoes!
The long term would involve more veggies and of course chickens. Kate had planned to turn the end of the garden into a place for veggies to grow. We had already made room by cutting the tree last year.
This is what it looked like when we first moved in:
After clearing the ground and levelling, first job was building the raised beds. They’re a 1mtr square, so idea is to have 3 in front of the shed. All that was holding up the soil from the lawn were some sorry rocks. The soil would crumble when we attended the beds! We had to build a retaining wall.
Having measured and marked, I had to dig space for the posts - in the heat of the midday sun. Hot work! With no pick axe I made use of an enthusiastic DIY neighbour who was happy to lend me one.
Old tree roots are the enemy! I hit a few but the folding saw soon took care of that.
On the level.
Almost there, just got to make another bed and sides of the retaining wall. Plus more planting!
Looking forward to eating some carrots later
Snow - it almost ruined the plans to go visit Hampton Court Palace. As part of our new years resolution to get out and do something on the weekends, Kate’s soon to be sister in-law had an inspired idea. They were planning on visiting the famous Palace in Richmond and thought we could all go up together. It snowed a few days before and it was touch and go whether the snow would clear in time. Turns out, it was fine!
￼Last of his kind! ￼
Henry VIII pictured above. He made the palace famous. ￼
The palace is a big place, each section has a courtyard that you can walk through or admire. ￼ Inside, the were rooms were just as grand. Halls had kaleidoscopic stained glass which illuminated the rich tapestries that hung on the walls.
Antlers were a regular feature and paid homage to the era’s love of the hunt. ￼
I was impressed with the new 20mm 1.7 lens. The hall was very dark inside - all shots were handheld at about 800iso or lower. ￼
The attention to detail was incredible. Most doors were like this - brass and ornate. ￼
Due to the snow, we couldn’t see some of the grounds - the maze included. It was unfortunate as it would have been great to attempt a reenactment of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire!
Regardless, the grounds we’re still visible from the windows and looked very still with a blanket of snow. ￼
It turns out that this palace isn’t very pram-friendly, Boaz enjoyed being carried around regardless. I think he was a sleep most of the time so my attempt to teach him about the wives of Henry VIII was a bit wasted… ￼ ￼
A great adventure for the family!