Monday 14 January 2013


Second Born and I have started running again. 

We managed a creaky 20 minutes or so before school/work this morning. 

My legs are apparently not happy about this decision.

Thursday 20 December 2012

Still here.

Just popping in to confirm that I have not died of starvation due to lack of cooking facilities or been crushed to death under a tottering pile of unwashed dishes.  The kitchen/extension project is moving towards completion but is not yet............ actually.....complete.  The fault is not with our builders but with our kitchen suppliers who supplied us with a curved worktop and breakfast bar that could not actually be curved.  And since the kitchen cabinets are curved, that is a bit of a problem.  A problem we only really got to the bottom of once said worktops were cut to size and installed.

We had a frank exchange of views with the kitchen supplier.  They suggested it wasn't entirely their fault.  We disagreed, as they had (a) designed the entire kitchen, (b) suggested the curved cabinets and lovely matching worktops, and (c) supplied the whole shebang.  We eventually agreed to differ on this point but only after said supplier gave us back the entire price of all the worktops.

So that is good, but it does mean I am back to looking at pictures of worktops on and trying to decide what we want to replace the non-curvaceous surfaces we currently have.  I seem to have done nothing but read about the different options for kitchen worktops over the past few days.  I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of days ago, totally furious.  I had been dreaming that we were having a whole new house built from scratch (God forbid) and that the builders were constructing it entirely from kitchen worktop.  I was furious because they were using the wrong kind of kitchen worktop for the walls and it would scratch too easily.  My subconscious is clearly not coping with all this interior design stuff.

And now, I must go and buy some Christmas presents for my children.   Apparently, gifts on Christmas morning are not optional.

Saturday 8 December 2012

Some Christmas stuff

 It is my sister-in-law's birthday today.  She has reached the grand old mental age of 12 (she wouldn't mind me blogging this:  she cheerfully admits to not having emerged from adolescence yet, despite being a couple of years older than I am.  Pesky chronological years that is.  Not the kind that counts.)  Anyway, we put on an early Christmas-come-birthday bash for her last weekend as she is going away to sunnier climes next week and will not return to dark and dreich Scotland until well into January.

In her honour we decided to decorate the Corbies and found the perfect tree to do it with.  SIL was allowed the honour of picking her family's tree way back in the 1970s and managed to locate a particularly lurid purple tinsel number which the family were then stuck with forever.  (The fact that their other little Christmas tree had a severed head hanging from it just added to the quirky charm of the seasonal decor.)

So, here, in all its glory, is Purple Tinsel Tree Mark II.  This photo is especially for Jen who demanded photographic evidence when I described the thing to her.  Here you go, Jen.  Enjoy.

However, if you really want shiny..........look!

I might get to turn it on tomorrow.  Can hardly wait.......

Monday 26 November 2012


We are now in our second week of living with no kitchen and, most problematically, no kitchen sink.  I know it is a very First World sort of whine - "Making a cup of tea is such a FAFF!" - after all, we have running water in the house, just not in the kitchen.  But.  But.  I reserve the right to whinge.  To make a cup of tea I have to fetch water in a jug, fill the kettle (after first finding the kettle and then finding a working socket to plug the kettle into) and carry milk into the garage to find a mug.  Then, once the tea has been consumed, said mug must be conveyed to a sink somewhere else in the house for washing.  Hardly worth the effort.

This is my kitchen at the moment.  The units are all built and lounging around in the dining area, waiting to be fitted in their proper places.  My oven is in the hall beside the downstairs loo and my cooking facilities, such as they are, are still in the garage.  We are a tad mixed up at present.  I never thought I would wistfully look forward to doing the washing up in the kitchen sink, but I do.  I really do.

On a completely, randomly different note, I was walking past a shoe shop today and noticed these alarming items in the window.  (The angle of the photo is poor but take it from me, those heels are HIGH).
Are these serious?  Are girls really wearing shoes like these?  And if so, when?  And why?  I did wonder if they are actually self-defence equipment, allowing you to perforate a potential attacker while continuing to look fabulous.  After all, what are the chances of getting through a whole night out without ripping your tights to shreds (or your friends' tights for that matter) if you were wearing these?

What do you reckon - does anyone out there fancy a pair for the Christmas party season?

Sunday 18 November 2012

Theft by housebreaking

When I left home to go to work on Friday, my kitchen looked like it did in the last post.  When I came home, it looked like this:

The rest of it is in a skip in our driveway.  What I sadly failed to take a photograph of was the lovely graffiti applied to the dining room wall by the boys the night before the wall came down.  I'm sure the builders were not at all disconcerted when they arrived to find "They're watching you!" and "BEHIND YOU!!!"  scrawled in blood red marker pen on the wall.

Whilst the kitchen is currently rocking the (very) minimalist look, my garage currently looks like this:

In estate agent-speak, our garage is now a "storage facility come laundry with built-in bijou kitchen annexe".  The kitchen annexe being the microwave and toaster you can see there sitting on top of a trunk full of books and beneath my husband's grandmother's old jelly pan.  On a completely (almost) different tack, as my new hob will be an electric induction one, that jelly pan will no longer work for me.  Anyone know a sneaky technique for conning an induction hob into believing a pan is ferrous when it isn't?

New kitchen arrives on Wednesday and is due to be fitted by the end of next week.  I foresee a week of toast, soup and takeaways.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Exhausted by junk

I am officially very, very tired.  The great renovation project is proceeding apace. Sort of.  No actual work has been done this week (by the builders at least).  I, on the other hand, have cleared every single item out of our dining room and kitchen and stashed it in our garage.    The cupboard under our stairs is now holding about 30% more stuff than it was ever designed to hold.  I can hear it groaning from here. 

But getting the dining room stuff into the cupboard was nothing compared to attacking the kitchen.  Have you ever cleared out your kitchen?  It's like entering the Twilight Zone.  Every time you empty a drawer of a couple of hundred bits of plastic clips and old pastry cutters, it fills up again when you turn your back.  I must have filled half a dozen cardboard boxes with cake tins, spatulas and a strange contraption intended to ensure that you cut perfectly straight slices of bread (which it doesn't).  I started out rationally, sorting,tidying and discarding as I went.  Eventually though I ran out of time and patience and just started throwing things randomly into boxes and then stashing them in the garage.  Hence we may, in twenty years time, stumble on a cardboard time capsule, cowering on the very top shelf and containing a Swiss Army knife, a bag of farm animal shaped cookie cutters, nine packets of paper napkins and some batteries.  And we'll wonder why the heck we bothered to keep those for all those years.

Anyway, in the interests of the documentary aspect of this here blog, I took some "before" pictures for posterity:

Of course, these aren't genuine "before" pictures because the kitchen is empty and therefore tidy.  Which normally, it isn't.  Oh, and there was once a window in the gap beside the washing machine in that last photo - it was removed last week, ready for blocking up.  Now am I off to the garage to make myself a cup of tea and try to remember which box I put the biscuits in.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Psychic powers

Tail end of ongoing bickering between First and Second Born this morning, overheard as they got their bags out of the car:

FB:  SHUT UP!!!!!!!

SB:  I didn't say anything!

FB:  Okay, but I know what you were thinking.