Monday, 28 February 2011

General chaos

Last week was really rather easy. Yes, we had builders wandering through our house all day. Yes, our kitchen was a black hole (half of it was boarded up and the windows had been demolished), and rather chilly.

This week started by having to entirely empty our study (which equals a storage facility for boxes of things that haven't been opened since we moved, piles of bits of paper that ought to be filed, enough stationery supplies to put paperchase out of business, and videos dating from 1982). Then the fun really began.

Here is what the kitchen looked like the day the builders arrived:

Today it looks like this:

Our larder is here (dining room):

Our boiler is non-existent which means no hot water and no heating. The BBC forecasts tonight temperature as 0 degrees. Our oven is sitting under a dust sheet gathering dust nowhere near a gas supply. Irritatingly, our camping gas stove regulator packed in this evening, so here we are cooking our supper:

There are some surpisingly large holes in the side of our house!

Friday, 25 February 2011

A new roof

It has tiles and everything!

It's actually a great improvement on the previous flat roof, both in the fact that water runs off it and that it looks pretty.

This also means that we now have an "inside". Here is a first look at half our kitchen. The other half is still on the other side of the wall on the right.

There are interesting bits of metal in position to stop our house falling down.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

We appear to have lost our roof

It's convenient that the sun is shining!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Friday, 18 February 2011

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Spot the difference

Unsurprisingly, both Ian and my reactions when we got home were the same: "Why are we rebuilding it? Look how much garden we'd have!"

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

And so it starts......

It’s been an interesting morning. By 7:30 there were people walking around our garden and sun room and Nathaniel had lost all interest in eating breakfast. He got dressed with no fuss whatsoever (usually this is the sticking point in our morning), and was standing on the kitchen step watching radiators being removed by 7:45. A skip was lowered onto our drive (by a “big lorry with crane on top!”), and by the time Nathaniel and I set off for nursery, sludge-filled guttering was being ripped off the wall by a group of very cheerful builders, and the back door was being unscrewed.

I have no idea what we are going to come home to this afternoon!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Boredom is not an option

Remember that building work that we have been talking about for a year? Well suddenly it is about to happen.


Yes, we were a bit surprised too. But when there is an opportunity, you have to take it!

Say goodbye to the lovely (leaking) sunroom.

Friday, 11 February 2011


Nathaniel has never been super-keen about drawing. In fact, over the last year, he has spent more time demanding that trains and tractors be drawn for him than he has spent drawing himself.

But now that he has started to develop some control of his drawing, he has become much more enthusastic. And he is doing some pretty amazing drawings.

Yes, we still have to draw a lot of trains (though now he asks for bullet trains or stream trains with red wheels), but now he has started to help.

Ian drew the "body" of this steam train, but the wheels, funnel, window and steam were put on by Nathaniel.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Saturday, 5 February 2011


We didn't really have much idea what having kids would be like before we had them. But somehow I always expected, and looked forward to, days like today. This must have been what my toddler-dom was like.

It's been a drizzly, bleak, but relatively mild day. Perfect for taking an inflatable ball on to the windy moor. Gather some children (borrow one if necessary), and then romp!

Equipment includes several large sticks.

Become fascinated by the antics of over-excited dogs.

After everyone has got thoroughly chilly and damp, return home for hot drinks and snacks and then retire to the kitchen for some cooking. Who says that raw biscuit dough isn't delicious?!

Friday, 4 February 2011

A hint of spring

A blustery south-westerly wind has blown into York, buffeting the house and making cycling in any direction other than north-east an exhausting activity. Although I feel certain that winter has not left us, it's nice to have the wind feel warm against your face, and I can almost smell the green in the air.

Our garden is now full of branches, both substantial and twig-like, so yesterday Nathaniel, "Aun Minnie" and I went and collected them to make a Winter tree for our dining table.

Like all best laid plans, it didn't go quite to plan. Nathaniel enjoyed cutting all my decoration shapes in half, and the picture above is of him systematically unwrapping each one after we had officially finished the activity.

But it's very pretty. I'm sure that if we were a proper Steiner family it would have needle-felted snowdrops on it, but Nathaniel likes stars and moons, and so that's what we've got.

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Poor Nathaniel doesn't get to watch television except for the occasional viewing of our DVD of Camberwick Green (we enjoy the anti-capitalism subliminal messages). So instead he has become very interested in listening to CDs. He got a CD player for Christmas, and has a selection of things to listen to ranging from Rupert Sings an Hour of Nursery Rhymes to Mozart's Requiem.

This morning, while I was pottering around, he sat on the floor and listened very carefully to the Little Red Train on a CD that came with the book. It's read by Richard Briars and has accompanying music with interesting modulations, so many repeats are fine by me! It's nice to see that although mostly Nathaniel has to run around at all times, he can sit still and concentrate if he finds something interesting enough.

I tried to get a picture of him being totally engrossed, but he noticed me putting the telephoto lens onto the camera and so that ended that game. Here he is listening (notice he has got out two CD players!), whilst absentmindedly poking his big toe through a CD: