Friday, 22 July 2016

Feline flip out

Oscar, our male cat is all over the place! As I mentioned, he peed on my duvet. A few days later he peed in our ensuite (carpet!); today despite Mr D, my son and my youngest daughter all being in my bedroom, he pooed in the ensuite. I was in the loft and could smell it - neither Mr D nor my son even noticed!!! They must have gone nose blind as the advert goes. A bit later, I was in my son's room chuntering to myself that the neatly folded pile of clean washing was still on the floor rather than having been put away....only to discover that Oscar had used that as a toilet too! Trust us to have a looney tune for a cat. Still only 16 sleeps to go and he can christen the new house!

Jet is slowly returning to normal if a little stiff in that leg still. They tested a sample from the tissue and he has staphylococcus in there, but we now have the right antibiotic so we will continue with that for another few weeks to make sure we have nailed it.

The owners of our new house are moving to an egg farm so are leaving us their chickens. From what I remember they have bantams and hybrids. Some of them lay gorgeous little blue eggs :) I have also offered to babysit their geese until they get settled as they are having to move into rented. They may have someone else who can do it, but if not it will be a good taster of whether I would like geese or not.

Mr D and I have been very busy today - one large charity shop run and two tip runs. We have pretty much packed up every bedroom now plus most of downstairs. Just the kitchen and sheds to go... Am really looking forward to this stage being over. I am so over boxes!!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Zero effort cleaning

Many years ago I inherited my mother's family piano from my uncle. I believe it's been in the family for over 100 years. All four of my children play it (as indeed does Mr D), but my youngest plays it the most. She has taught herself how to play mostly from the internet and can rattle off all sorts from Rachmaninov to Adele songs. I absolutely love to hear it being played.
After we had had it shipped over from the Isle of Wight, my uncle found the original brass candle sconces wrapped in newspaper in his loft. They were filthy, but because they are a bit fiddly, I decided that polishing with Brasso was not going to work.
Instead I filled a large plastic tub with 2 litres of the cheapest coke I could buy. I submerged the sconces for a few hours. They came out sparkling and shiny and just needed rinsing and a quick buff with a soft cloth. I then poured the coke down the toilet to give it a good clean too!
They stayed clean for quite some time, but in honour of the move, I have repeated the process to get them smartened up for their new spot in the 'music room'!

Separated into their components

Soaked for a few hours

Rinsed and buffed 

This is how they look on the piano. I took it back off as I don't want them damaged in transit, but I. thought I'd show you how lovely they look.

Monday, 18 July 2016

To keep or not to keep?

We are having a difference of opinion in our house!

This is some of the boxes of stuff I have packed already and there are a lot more to come!

The pile at the front has three equal sized piles behind it......

I see this move as the perfect opportunity to only take what we need or love and shed a lot of the things that are simply and often mindlessly gathered over the years. Mr D however is not of this mind set. We seem to be battling over every single item including five (one broke) hideous plastic garden chairs bought almost 25 years ago!! Books he hasn't looked at for approximately 20 years are being taken because he likes the look of a shelf of books. Now I would love a library corner if we had the space, but we don't so I have passed on almost all of my books to the charity shop except gardening, craft, DIY and some cookery books. Our bookshelf will look rather one sided with a predominance of sporting autobiographies!
My eldest daughter, who's room is in the loft, has been doing a sterling job sorting though years (she is not far off 24 and she has three younger siblings) of memorabilia. She came up with the brilliant idea of photographing the more interesting items and will then make a photo collage on her laptop. I even suggested that we could make a memory photo book for each of our children. I am 100% convinced that they would rather be presented with a photo book than three plastic crates of tatty paintings and slightly battered paper mâché puppets when they move into their own homes!

Sadly I think we will still have a loft and cupboards full of stuff that won't be looked at for another 20+ years. I have done the best that I can despite constant resistance, but I am planning on having another sweep through when we get to the other end in the hope that a few more items might be donated to charity.

How do you all feel about stuff? I know I'm not particularly sentimental which helps. Mr D however doesn't even have a photograph of himself as a baby from his childhood, which I think adds to his need for keeping hold of stuff. Would you have sympathy for Mr D? He could do with some backup!

On another front, Jet seems to be turning a corner. He is having his stitches out this morning and is a bit brighter. Hopefully we may have found the correct antibiotic to nail the infection this time! When he stayed at the vets on Saturday, they didn't put him in a kennel. He was so quiet anyway that they brought him a blanket down to one of the treatment rooms and he lay there instead so he could have visitors and fuss occasionally :)
The cat however disgraced himself again by peeing in the ensuite so he is very much on his last warning!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Proper poorly

Thank you for all the lovely comments yesterday. It's going to be great to share the excitement with you all :) 

Beachcomber kindly asked how Jet was. Unfortunately he isn't too good at the moment. He had his second elbow op about a month ago. The op went well, but he then developed an infection in the wound. He was then put on a course of antibiotics, but the wound wouldn't close back up again so they had to debride it (scrape it out to expose new tissue) and restitch it. We were then on our second lot of antibiotics. The wound has healed nicely now - just waiting to take the stitches out on Monday. However, he still has some issue in the muscle below the elbow joint. They gave him another longer term dose of antibiotics, but 48 hours later, the leg is no better and he is being sick and is lethargic with a temperature. Back to the vets AGAIN! They are keeping him in today to monitor him and try him on much stronger antibiotics. The poor soul is such a stoical dog - never complains, always tries to wag his tale. He still pulls to go into the vet despite them thrusting thermometers up his bottom (he almost sat down whilst it was up there on one occasion!) and poking and prodding him every time. 
We specifically had the op done so he would be well recovered by the time we move, but he's not been able to make much progress with this nasty infection. Let's just hope that over the next three weeks we can get on top of the infection so he can start walking and physio in earnest. 

Meanwhile one of the cats decided to pee on my duvet for the first (and last hopefully!) time. I have no idea why he thought that was an appropriate thing to do, but I was not amused. I had to drag my huge feather duvet down to the bath and try to shower and shampoo the affected area. Of course we haven't exactly had the right weather to get it dry either. Perhaps he senses something is going on? Mind you he might not need to bother because if he does it again I might carry through with my threat to leave him behind!! (Only joking) 

Some of the chickens seem to have developed alopecia and are shedding feathers by the bucket load. I can't quite decide if it's mites or if one of them is yanking them out. Maggie doesn't seem to be affected at all, so perhaps she is secretly making all the other ladies look ugly? 

I think we are all looking forward to a fresh start!  

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

We have exchanged!

At long last, we have, today, exchanged on the house in Shropshire. I am so relieved to finally have some certainty. The present owners haven't managed to exchange on the house they are buying yet, so may have to move in with family in the meantime, but they knew we wanted to move out of ours and in to their's simultaneously, so have 'broken the chain'.
I now feel I can share some photos of the house. I didn't want to jinx anything before. I can also truly start to get excited :)
So here, for your delectation, are some photos of the garden and house we will spend the next stage of our lives in.

Front of the house from the garden

Looking down the main section of the garden

To the side of the garden is a stream, pond, chicken coop, small barn, greenhouse and small vegetable garden 

The main lounge 

The other lounge, which we will use as a snug and music room 

The 26ft kitchen/dining  room 

The utility room 

The view over the garden towards our field from one of the front bedrooms 

Thank you so much to all of you who have patiently stuck with my little blog through this rather dull time. I am very much looking forward to sharing some of my excitement with you all in the coming months.....for now, I will continue packing :(