Saturday, 28 September 2013

Boring couple of days ...

... and a headache!  I blame that on the OH.  Yesterday he mentioned that I'd been really good with headaches of late and I had been - until last night and one started.  I went to bed with it and I got up with it.  It's been ..... can't remember how long, since I last had one.  If he'd kept quiet perhaps I'd not have this one now.  It's not bad but annoying, none-the-less :(

Yesterday we took a trip to Farnborough, about 1½ hours away from home.  OH had some new wheels for his wheelchair, ordered from Germany and they needed fitting.  They're super duper, bells and whistles all singing and dancing and I'm hoping they'll get him out from under my feet a couple of days a week.  I'm hoping they get him back to his shooting which hasn't happened for 4 years or so now. Not since the problem started with his thumb back in 2009 and has been ongoing with his left arm, in one way or another, since.  These wheels each have a motor in the hub that assists with mobility - it aids him pushing himself by taking some of the strain and is, supposedly, particularly helpful over rough ground.   They have their own axle and that is what had to be fitted and he had to have instruction on how to use them.  

I should have stayed at home or taken my Kindle!  It was boring, snoring. We were just round the corner from the Art of Craft craft shop so I took a stroll there when I went to get us some lunch.  Got there and then couldn't be bothered to go in, just looked in the cheap bins outside and didn't see anything that took my fancy in them.

The one thing of note from the trip?  I recognised one of the guys sitting at a computer when we arrived but didn't know why.  Just a very familiar face to me.  While we were there a young guy came in and he was measured for a wheelchair ... a tennis wheelchair and 'ding' a light bulb went off.  The guy I recognised was a Paralympian and not just any old Paralympian.  It was our top medal winning wheelchair tennis player, Peter Norfolk, OBE - and the guy who was our flag bearer, leading the British team, at the opening ceremony of the Paralympics London 2012.  He's retired since the games but the business we visited is his.

Anyway, there I was in the company of 3 Paralympians ... my OH (Atlanta 1996), Peter (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012) and Nathan Milgate (Beijing 2008, London 2012)  long time friend of OH's and who we've known since he was a lad needing his parents to ferry him around.  He was the one who was dealing with OH and his wheels.  Anyway, axle fitted, wheels tested and day (manual) wheels adapted to new axle and home we went.

In my 'brief' catch up post last October I mentioned eldest grandson had got married in September.  He's not long celebrated his first wedding anniversary.  It was a reason for another photo book. Completed this one a few months ago now and I did 2 versions.  One was a copy for both sons - grandson's Dad and bridesmaid's Dad.  Neither wanted photos of the other families involved (ex daughter-in-law's or bride's side) so I did one without them but I've also done one with them using the some of the professional photos and snagged ones from Facebook.  They said they were going to give me copies of discs others gave them but they weren't forthcoming so I did the best I could with what I found and this is the result ....

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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Not a lot ...

... going on at the moment so not much to blog about with up-to-date stuff.  Normal everyday business.  Grocery shopping (hate it!), chiropodist and general bits and pieces.  Archery stuff on eBay has a lot of interest ... thankfully ... so I'll be packing and posting soon.  Hope it all goes but over half already has bids and there's still over 4 days to go.  Strangest thing is that I listed my quiver and it's got 3 bids with numerous watching.  It is a quality quiver but ... it's personalised!  I had it made to my design way back.  The 'decoration' is as asked for, including my name.  Yep, it has PAM scribed on it in quite large letters.  Now it could be a name but I guess it could equally be initials.  Whatever, it was one of the first things I got a bid on.  On started it at 99p because I didn't think it was worth anything to anyone other than somebody called Pam so a very limited market.  It's currently at £7.50 and I've been asked how much to take it off auction and do a Buy it Now.  I won't do that because it has bids but more because there are so many watchers.  I'll let it find it's own price and be happy with that as it nearly got dumped :)

Think I'll continue the bathroom story ... as much as I can.
Bathroom was finished and we were using it well, despite not being happy with the finish (photos could show but we'll leave that bit now)  In February I thought it about time I got on with sorting the study out.  Other things had come along and put a stop to it over a few months.  Was progressing well when I took something off of a book shelf and found this ....

Blue 'dust'
Pulled the shelf out and moved stuff on the shelf below and saw this ...

More ... and down to the ground
I emptied the book case completely and started cleaning the mould away.  From the top it wiped off the wall quite well, then wallpaper started coming away with it and I realised the wall was wet.  On checking I found the edge of the carpet was wet and the bottom of the bookcase a CD tower next to it was also damp.  Wondering where this had all come from I suddenly realised that the other side of the wall was the wet room basin!   LEAK!  Went into the wet room and a quick check proved there was a leak but ... we couldn't turn the water off other than at the mains as I couldn't locate the isolator valves.  More to the point - I couldn't get to the pipework at all other than the top few inches.  The pipework had been boxed in with no access made to them.  Called plumber and asked him to come as an emergency.

Back to study and further investigation showed that the mould was behind a double wardrobe as well - and had transferred some to the back of the wardrobe.  The mould extended over a metre long and a metre high.  For the amount of mould we'd obvioulsy had the leak since the new basin and tap had been installed back in September/October.
Behind the wardrobe

Pulling the wardrobe away dragged some of the back off :(

The mould extended to where the dark spot is above the yard stick.
From there to where the paper is stripped it 'dusted' off.

Plumber arrived and, long story short ... this is how he left us.

Note how wet the boarding is under the basin ... and along the bottom!

This was after he'd had the basin off the wall.  It transpired that the isolator valves for the basin were behind the boxing in but in the bottom left corner and totally inaccessible.  This part of the room had to deconstructed to get to the pipework and with a view to putting in an access panel and new isolator valves.  It was then left open to help dry the wall.  This was February.  In May, after nearly 3 months and several attempts to cure the leak, unsuccessfully, we sacked the guy and contacted somebody else.  They found other problems that needed to be dealt with and problems that the guy, as a supposed heating engineer, should not have left us with.

The wet room, and the other problems, were finally sorted out and finished at the end of August ... nearly a year after the room was started.  We're finally leak free and have an access panel so our wet room now looks like this ...

Not a huge change but at least we're now dry and have access if ever needed again and .... the study wall is finally dry and has been cleaned up.  The paper is lifting and the room needs decorating but it's all clean and hidden and the rest can follow in time.  The saga is not yet finished though.  The original guy guaranteed his work.  He has had a bill sent and we're prepared to take it to law ....

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Monday, 23 September 2013

Mission accomplished ...

... well, one of them - no 2, I guess.  I've been working on one project for months now, the other just a few days.  The one I've been working on for months?  My 2012 year book.  I've only ever done one year book before but many photo books.  A lot to record from last year, hence it taking so long but the order went in for printing today so I can call it done!  Mind you, got the online version and noticed an error on page 5.  Fortunately they'd not started printing it so I rang them and pulled it.  They stopped the process and sent me a credit so I could correct the error and reorder.  All done now and the process continues.  They updated the online version and sent me the link so here it is *grin*

The other project finished today?  A Christmas present.  A photo book for eldest granddaughter who left High School this year and had her prom on 4th July.  There were professional photos taken of her and (I believe I may have mentioned before) she wanted a photo book of the pics.  Also said before .... student, no money so Nana Pam & Grandpa had a Christmas present solved.  Just as well I like doing photo books *LOL*  I'll post the online version of that at a later date but I'm really pleased with the end result.  Different to what I usually do but was thinking it needed to be for a 16/17 year old.  I just hope she likes it.

Rest of the day?  Not a lot and don't feel like doing much now so will make this short and save 'stories' for another time ... including the rest of the bathroom saga up to now *grrrr!*

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Sunday, 22 September 2013

Busy couple of ...

... days, or so it's seemed.  Spent most of the day yesterday listing 'stuff' on eBay.  Archery stuff mainly.  I accepted I'll never shoot again some time ago but it's been hard making the decision to get rid of the equipment. Well, you never know, do you?  If I hung on to it then I could at least pretend that one day ....

Anyway, decision made so it's been offered for sale and within 15 minutes of being listed I had a bid on one of the items.  I've now 8 11 items with bids on (it's gone up 3 since I started this post *happy face* and everything is being 'watched').  I know that doesn't necessarily equate to bids arriving but the bow has had 118 views and has 23 watchers so I'm quite confident that will go, especially as I've had somebody ask if I'll ship to Italy - and it's now one of the items that has a bid on - YAY!.  It is a good bow, arguably one of the best ever made and it's no longer available.

Once I'd done that, hubby decided he wanted to try some of his target air rifle accessories.  He's not really shot target air rifle since around 1996 following an injury he picked up in the Atlanta Paralympics.  Trouble with OH is that he's no idea how eBay works for selling so it was a frustrating afternoon for me trying to explain and him not listening.  Suffice to say that if he sells any of what he has listed (courtesy of moi) he'll be blooming lucky!

I'm trying a new slow cooker recipe I found on Pinterest.  It smells good but may be a tad salty.  I always follow new recipes to the letter - unless I've not got all the ingredients but if I've got close I use that.  For this one I had them all.  We'll see what it's like come dinner time :)  After we've tried it as given I then make adjustments subsequently to suit our taste.  Watch this space - *LOL*

Washing machine is busy.  Guess the ironing board needs to be next :(  Bed was stripped yesterday and linen washed. Today it's the day to day stuff - aka, clothes!

I've also got a letter ready to go in the post tomorrow regarding our bathroom makeover.  Story goes - and I'll keep it as brief as possible ......

Spur of moment decision to have it done, bought on by OH's elbow problem (another story for another time) last year.  We had a plumber/heating engineer already doing odd jobs and he had good references on CheckaTrade.  Disabled bathroom/wet rooms were on his website as within his capabilities and tiling was one of his skills.  Oh ... how wrong all that was, as it turned out.  Anyways, quote given and accepted and work started.  3 weeks work he said.  Started well.  Room gutted, old tiles removed and walls all plastered by the first weekend.  2nd week started with the floor being prepped for the drainage and tiles started to be put into place and that was when we realised that perhaps he was a little short on the truth regarding his skills.  Every day, after he'd gone, I was finding tiles that weren't satisfactorily installed.  Every day he was having to remove some tiles and redo them.  It ended up that he was spending ½ the day putting right work he'd done the day before and the initial 3 week timescale started to get longer.  Eventually the room was finished (?) 7 weeks later.  Have to say that the finish was appalling.  We ended up with grout on the window frame which won't come off, even now.  To get it off we would ruin the frame.  Mind you, it's ruined with it on there.  We had tiles where he'd not even bothered to cut them round pipes and we had spaces between tiles that varied from nearly nothing to ¼ inch (spacers varied from proper plastic spacers to strips of cardboard of varying thickness).  There were holes in the grouting and .... I could go on but it gets boring!

I'd gone out the last morning.  I returned to be told that it was all finished but the shower didn't work?  WHAT???  Seems that he knew it was unlikely to work as he'd blown the fuse the very first day he was here but thought he'd fix it later.  He'd not isolated the electrics to the shower (which was being reused as it was newish, but moved) before he started taking the tiles off the wall or doing any of the 'demolition'.  In the end he had to call out an electrician friend (he couldn't find the fuse in the fuse box) who found the fuse and went to buy a new one.  Everyone left.  I went round with a notebook and post-it notes to label the 'snags'.  He came back to sort it all out .... not!  He did what he could that was possible.  The rest wasn't.  He got paid but less the cost of the door and his charge for fitting it.  Brand new door ruined when he cut it to fit - but it's only a little bit, was what he said when pointed out.  Not good enough, no pay :)

And that, as they say, was it .... or was it???

From this ...

To this ...

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Friday, 20 September 2013

Oh dear!

It's been practically a year since I did any sort of blogging other than trying to do something about all the spam I'd suddenly started getting.  Well it wasn't sudden but it started creeping up in volume until it got silly.  I've now stopped anonymous commenters and it's stopped the spam so guess that was the solution.  Shame if there's any genuine anonymous commenters that now can't but, as I'm not overly worried about whether any readers out there comment or not I shall apologise but leave it as is.  I do this blog for myself primarily - or did it for myself - and that won't change.  Readers are a bonus along the way but I certainly don't worry about not having many followers or commenters.  Anyway, where had I got to ... ?

I last posted anything of any worth, back in October last year.  We were in the middle of a bathroom makeover and I was in the middle of a pulmonary rehab course.  The pulmonary rehab was successful.  The bathroom makeover, as it turned out, not so much.  There is a long story which is ongoing nearly a year later and will probably continue for a while yet but that's a story for another day :)

Pulmonary rehab - 2, 2 hour sessions a week for 8 weeks.  Started beginning of October and ended last week in November.  An hour of circuit training and an hour of instruction/information etc etc relating to the condition so we gained a better understanding of how to live with it.  The condition?  COPD.  Lung disease.  Debilitating.  In my case, probably my own fault although Consultant totally denied it.  Anyway, circuit training ..... 2 minutes an exercise with 5 rotations over an hour, after warm up and before cool down.  Step, exercise bike, wall push ups, resistance bands, walking, arm curls with weights, lunges and a couple of others.  Quite exhausting when you have probs breathing doing anything the least energetic.  I was probably the healthiest there!  The others made me feel a bit of a fraud however, I know how it affects me and I want to delay it getting any worse for as long as possible.  One poor guy, on ambulatory oxygen, couldn't do it.  He had to drop out in the 3rd week.  Anyway, course finished and I needed to find something to replace it.  Finally found something in May, after deciding a Zumba class I went to watch just wouldn't hack it for me *LOL* and I've been going ever since.  Think I'm probably the youngest, bar one, that goes to this class but hey, it works for me so I'm not worried.   Wish I could afford to go more than once a week but now thinking of 'treating myself' (is that the right phrase?) to a cross trainer with seat for bike work - when I've found a place to put it :) 

It's been a busy-ish day for me today.  Not necessarily energetic but I've been busy.  Bad night.  Up for 3 hours.  Went back at 5:30am and woke with a start at 9am.  Suddenly realised it was Friday and exercise class day.  Found that hard going today and had to sit out for a while but she's happy with that as long as we keep something of our body moving .... feet are the easiest - lol!  Back home, lunch and on to try to complete a Christmas present.  

Eldest granddaughter left high school in July and had her prom.  She had some professional photos taken and wanted them in a photo book,  Student, no money!  I suggested, as there was nothing I could think of for Christmas, that I put one together.  Happy granddaughter and a pressie solved.  Book is now complete unless she tells me that there are photos she wants in and photos she doesn't and I've used them, or not!  She called to collect her laptop this afternoon (guess that's another story but long, short - new lappy, rubbish downloaded, Nana Pam cleaned it up, downloaded useful programs, uninstalled useless ones) and then Nana Taxi took her to her next destination .... maternity for her to meet her new cousin, once removed.  Not sure how this Nana Taxi business started but Mum Taxi never did :)

Back home and been collapsed since although I've photographed 'stuff' for OH who has things he wants to sell on eBay - so that's my next job then.  Free listing this weekend!

How about a photo?   Our little great-granddaughter popped in with Aunty yesterday.  She is growing into such a pretty little girl.

Our first granddaughter and our first great grandchild - together
Tulisa - 20 months old

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Thursday, 19 September 2013

I've sort of ...

... promised!  I've sort of promised that I'm going to pick up blogging again.  I sort of promised Clair of Valentines that I would - sort of.  I've followed her blog for a long time now but only just started going to her workshop on a Thursday morning, with my mate Cally.  Only done 2 so far but it's good and we'll be continuing.  Anyway, not sure whether to try 'catch up' or ignore what's happened over the whole of ... how many months?  Will have to have a think on that one.  I guess I could combine current stuff with a catch up.  Hmmmm - what to do.  The one thing I do know is that it will continue to be my 'diary' so it's still going to be a mix and not entirely craft related.  In fact, there's likely to be little craft in it at all as I'm not really making anything at the moment unless I go somewhere specifically to make 'stuff'!  I guess there could be a peppering of what I have done over the past .... how many months?

For now I'll do a sort of catch up.  Crafter's House Party (check out the label in the side panel).   Started back in 2008 and this year saw it's 5th anniversary.  It's been going from strength to strength, even if there have been fewer attendees of late and next year it's being extended for the 2nd time.  It's gone from 3 nights the first year to 4 subsequently.  Next year it's going to be a full week for those that can.  For those that can't it's still 4 nights.

Over the years there's been a fair few photos taken by myself and others.  It wasn't until the past 3 years that I've had access to other's photos, well, not easily anyway.  3 years ago I opened a Photobox account where we could all upload our photos so that any of the attendees could post their offerings for others to access.  Obviously, only those they were happy to let anyone have were uploaded but I snagged a fair few as I had an idea *scary*.  Over a few years now I've been posting links to photo books I've produced,  Today is no exception 'cos I'm posting a link to a book it's taken over a year to put together because I was waiting for the 5th year to be completed .... and, trying to reduce photos down a number small enough to get into a 120 page book, spanning 5 years, is no easy matter - *LOL*

Here it is, in all it's glory - (click on title for larger view) 
5 Years of Crafter's House Parties ....

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