Thursday, 28 August 2014

Day Three to Five of my Twenty for Twenty Challenge

So clearing the top of the cupboards on Monday ended up with me cleaning the walls and one thing led to another and next thing I knew I was painting the kitchen walls.  Long overdue!  I have been wanting this job done for a few years now, but while on medications for the neuropathic pain I suffer from I just couldn't seem to co-ordinate my body or mind for such activities, never mind the pain factor involved.  Now my head and body are so much clearer (and lighter!) I felt ready to undertake the task.  Two days later the walls look so much better and it has even inspired hubby to paint the ceiling for me!  I have also been asking for this to be done for a VERY LONG time...even he admitted that although the ceiling should have been done first, he wouldn't have done it if it hadn't been for seeing the difference the nice fresh walls now look which highlighted just how bad the ceiling was.

So Day Three and Day Four were spent painting more than de-cluttering, but I figure that I was over by 10 items a day on both Days One and Two, so could get away with less in view of the fact that I the kitchen looks so much better.  (Photos to come as I am now completely blitzing all the cupboards!)

Day Three:

3 Tea Tins
3 white oval bowls
1 soft ball

Day Four:

3 Glass jars
1 broken bowl

Day Five:

1 Tea Cosy
3 Oven Mits
1 Remote Control Holder
1 Manky Tea Towel
2 Next Books
1 Art of Crochet Folder
1 Artists Water Colour Palette
1 Set of Water Colour Pencils & Pad
13 Boxing Magazines
1 Toy Bottle
1 UJ picture
1 Glass Jug
6 Tea Pots

Total: 33 Items

Five Days:  Total = 104 Items plus 8 re-purposed tea towels - Cleaning Rags.

I have also boxed up some things that I want to keep, but don't currently want out, in readiness for when we eventually are ready to move.

Seen in the garden beside the patio today...

Mushrooms or Toadstools?

Day Two of Twenty for Twenty Challenge

Today we started work on the garage - we had to move the cages that we use for storing things, which involved emptying them first.  This was so we could move the fridge down to the end and move the freezer from the utility room into the garage.  Of course once we had done this, despite measuring the freezer didn't quite fit as the walls aren't straight, but angled!  So back to the drawing board we had to move yet more things, empty the cages again and move the fridge to the other side of the garage and empty and then move the cages again!  Complicated - yes!  No where near finished of course, however the fridge/freezer and the chest freezer have both been defrosted and cleaned a job that has been needed to be done for some time.  Having these two appliances in the garage means that we can keep things away from our walking garbage disposal who eats everything before I get a chance to actually plan and cook things!  Sometimes I can buy something in the morning for our dinner in the evening only to go to the fridge or freezer and find it gone! Now we can lock the door and remove temptation from him.

During this time I also decided to clear the top of the kitchen cupboards...and most of the items for Day 2 are from there!

Day 2 of my 20 Items 20 Days Challenge:

6 tins
2 Britex Water Jogs
2 Glass vases
2 Glass candle holders
1 shot glass
2 trays, 1 stainless steel, 1 brass
1 Floral plate
1 toaster
1 steamer


2 Tinfoil trays
2 chipped cups
CB radio, foot pedals, misc cables.

Total:  Approx 30 items, plus a black sack full of rubbish.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Birds, Mice, Flowers & a Challenge.

Sitting on the patio having a cup of tea after lunch today we saw a little cheeky mouse snacking on the dropped seeds from the bird feeders....

There it is just behind the robin.

'You can't see me'

'Oops...have I been spotted?'

'Looks like it!  I better skedaddle off home!'

Lovely young Dunnock

Our Robin is growing up!

The roses on the patio are looking gorgeous

This one in particular has the most gorgeous scent.  I can smell even when inside the lounge sometimes.

Magnificent!  My roses bring us great pleasure.

Down by the pond our new resident frog is making him/herself right at home.

Hiding under a rock...

I have done some baking this weekend.

One of our favourites, Matamata Apple Shortcake - already eaten - made from some of the windfall apples.

Today I made Raspberry Blondies.


150g white chocolate broken up
100g white chocolate finely chopped
200g unsalted butter, diced
3 large eggs
150g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
150g fresh raspberries


Place broken chocolate and butter in heat proof bowl, set the bowl over a pan of steaming water and melt gently, stirring frequently. Remove bowl from the pan and set aside.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat throughly until mousse-like texture.

Whisk in the chocolate mixture.

Sift the flower and baking powder directly onto the mixture and fold in. Scatter the fresh raspberries over the top.

Bake at 180 C /350 F, for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out almost clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin before cutting and removing. Store in an airtight container and eat within two days.

Brownie tin 13 1/2 inches x 8 inches x 1 inch perfect size.

Of course several slices of that have gone already as well!

I have been really cold these last couple of weeks and decided it was time to put the duvet back on the bed - it seems summer is over.

I also put a different quilt on top and have washed the other quilt which is currently hanging on the line drying.

I have set myself a new challenge - to De-Clutter 20 things a day for 20 days.  It is okay if I do more, but I want to try to get rid of at least 20 things each day.

I started with this basket which has been sitting in my bedroom for too long full of 'stuff'.

most of it was able to be thrown, some in the charity bags, some in the rubbish and some paper recycling.  Other things were put away in their proper place.

I have also been clearing my clothes again.  I did a blitz at the beginning of the summer, and had the coat hangers the 'wrong way round' so I could determine what I actually wear and what I don't by putting them the right way round when I have worn something.  Needless to say I have quite a few items that may well be making their way out as well.

Today's items are:

9 Bras - mostly all new that I have never worn and never will.
2 pairs of jeans
3 t shirts
2 shorts
1 slip
1 brand new pair of underwear that I won't wear
2 camisoles

4 books
1 video
2 magazines

3 soft toys.

Total:  30 items!

Not bad going for the first day.

Anyone else want to join me in a similar challenge?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Holiday in Wales - Part Three

Monday of our holiday in Wales saw us visiting Devil's Bridge.  We first heard of this place on the Welsh TV Drama Y Gwyll/Hinterland so it was great to be able to visit the area.  

Pretty flowers round the sign at the railway station.

Marking the bridge.

Devil's Bridge Hotel, or rather Hafod Hotel 

Not at all as creepy as it is portrayed in the series!

There is a charming nature walk to do which features waterfalls.  There are a lot of steps and it is quite steep in places but pretty easy going otherwise.  

The bridge - or rather the three of them.

The view over the valley, looking across the chasm.

One of the delightful waterfalls of which there are two, Mynach Falls and Gyfarllwyd Falls

The water was flowing pretty fast down the falls considering it was mid summer and it had been relatively dry.

It was so pretty.

With little pools at intervals.

The Sailor and Percy

They were taking a well earned rest after descending 'Jacob's Ladder, some 300 feet into the gorge.

The river

Winding its way through the valley

The iron foot bridge that crosses the gorge.

The Sailor crossing the iron bridge with Percy.

The river flows underneath

My husband taking some photographs

and then climbing up the steps.

Standing in what is left of the Robber's Cave

The 'Boys'

Looking back down into the gorge and valley - you can just see the Gazebo which gives a view of the Mynach falls.

The next half of our day we journeyed by steam train to Aberystwyth.