Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Houston, we have flooring...


Floor's finished!  Well, except for the threshhold pieces, which they are going to come back and fit after Mike does the skirting board, as that gives a better finish.  It's getting closer to being done. Hoorah!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Renovations: Half a Floor


The floor wasn't very even, so there has had to be some levelling and so forth, before the wood laminate can go down. But it's about halfway done - the rest will probably be finished tomorrow - hoorah!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dinner, 20/4/14: Roast Lamb, Roast Potatoes, Green Beans, Gravy


In honour of Easter, a roast leg of lamb, which was marinated in garlic, rosemary, peppercorns and juniper berries. 



Served with roast potatoes and green beans, and a spontaneous* port wine & blackcurrant gravy (no redcurrant jelly in the house - worked just fine).


*A word which in this case, means "invented quickly to cover up the fact that I didn't realise the red wine had gone way off to vinegar until I added it to the gravy"

Rocky Mountain Puzzle


In the holidays, there's lots of time for things - both going out and staying in. Today was definitely a staying in day, so we finished off the puzzle we'd started yesterday (1000 pieces) - love this design!

Goldfinch Feeder Party


More birds - they don't seem to mind the rather rubbish weather, even if it means we can't get out and do anything...

Look who's coming to breakfast...


There was a moment when the parakeet was perched on the washing line above the feeder while the woodpecker was still eating, but unfortunately, I missed that shot...


An invasion of bunnies...




Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dinner, 19/4/14: Bang Bang Duck


This is a dish we've had many times before, but this time, I used duck breast instead of chicken, as I had the duck breasts in the freezer from when there was a good sale recently. Tasty!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Renovations: Losing Track of Which Number Day


...but getting near the end. Sort of.  A second coat of paint on the feature wall, and some other bits and pieces done - second coats of paint in other, less showy places. All that really remains to be painted is the bit around the top of the doors and windows in the dining room, but Mike (the builder) is trying out a different kind of glue for the wallpaper or something.  More on Monday, I guess. And Tuesday...the floor guys are coming!  Yippee!


A day of digging


Because it's the holidays, and because we wanted a day out, we headed off to Kent to go to Diggerland. This is a small theme park, based around all sorts of diggers. I first took Alex there when he was 6 or so, and I expected to be quite bored (though I knew he'd have fun) but actually, it's surprisingly fun.  You get to use various types of diggers and other construction machinery to do different activities - a couple of them are just for moving dirt around (the diggers don't move other than side to side, but the arms do), some smaller ones are set up to play games like skittles or hook-a-duck, some you can drive (though they have set them to go even slower than usual), some are adapted into rides, and so on. 


There are also a few other activities - like driving a Land Rover - here is Sarah in the driver's seat - they only let you drive in Low gear, so it doesn't go more than about 10mph (and you have to be under 17 to do it). There's a minimum height on this one, which Alex was never tall enough for before, so he was happy to be able to have a go.


One large armed machine is adapted with seats; it raises up very high and you get a wonderful view.


This is the book-a-duck game - it's good fun; the hardest part is remembering which control does what, as there are two joysticks, each of which offers four options.


Sarah concentrating very hard on getting that last duck...


...these are serious things, you know!


And here's the skittles game - you can see how much concentration it requires!


Here's Alex driving a really big JCB - again, you can only do it slowly, and there's a guide who sits on the left of you and helps out as necessary. 


There are also little tractors to drive


and these things, which I'm not sure precisely what they are.


And some little dump trucks, which go at a top speed of 4mph, so Sarah's expression of terror at the speed is of course, complete and utter exaggeration. 


Dig, dig, dig away!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dinner, 17/4/14: Roasted Tomato Tart with Double Cheese Pastry


This was nice, with caramelised onions under the tomatoes, but I don't think the base cooked as well as it might have done - maybe needs to be a bit thinner?  Still, quite tasty. We had it with a salad.

Renovations, Day 21


Colour! By which I mean, a striking, dark colour (in this photo, the paint is still wet, and will be darker when it dries. Also, it needs a second coat. But still - colour!)


And you can see that this room is nearly finished being painted as well, except the bits above the windows and doors. There was another coat of vinyl white on the ceiling, too, but it still looks basically the same.

Wandering along the Wandle, Wordlessly...