18 October 2021

Life Happens

Has anyone else, in the UK seen the John Lewis home insurance advert and thought "This perfectly depicts eveything that is wrong with little precocious princes and princesses in Britain today"?

It shows a young boy marauding through the house, dripping in entitlement and has clearly never heard the word no.

The advert starts in the bedroom which is completely ransacked with stuff all over the bed, chairs and floor, an upturned laundry basket, opened bottles of nail varnish on the dressing table along with items of jewellery and make-up, and then as we leave the room the boy jumps up and throws feathers into the air, presumably from a cushion he has just wrecked.

He is wearing lipstick and eyeshadow, and what I assume is one of his mother's dresses, which is fine, all children should enjoy the fun of dressing up. I know it's fiction, but I think it's a nod to yet another propaganda exercise on the acceptability of gender nutrality.

The boy looks directly into the camera with a look of contempt before continuing his rampage. He kicks over a vase, lobs a shoe at a ceiling light then looks into the camera with a look of "yeah, what you gonna do about that" on his face. He goes downstairs smearing what looks like lipstick or nail varnish on the handrail. He picks up an umbrella in the hall, goes into the lounge pretending to play it like a guitar and then throws it at a glass ornament on a book case. He then moves over to where a young girl is painting, knocks the paints onto the carpet, puts some on his hands and face and then moves into the kitchen where he puts his hand on one of the cupboards, and spins a saucepan which knocks over a glass of juice. Where are his parents? ah there she is, his mother sitting at the table surrounded by books and drinking coffee with a bewildered look on her face as he picks some sprinkles out of bowls, jumps onto the dining table, knocks over salt and pepper pots before throwing the sprinkles into the air then finally falls onto the sofa spent. 

Can you imagine the insurance claim? "Well it's like this, I just watched my son trash the house and I did nothing to stop him"

The advert is titled Life Happens, well that kind of life wouldn't happen in my home, my daughters knew how to respect what we their parents had worked for, they knew discipline and the meaning of the word no. Sometimes they were naughty but they knew the boundaries.

The problem is too may parents are frightened of their children, frightened to upset them, discipline them, or say no. Schools and society don't help either, appeasing trouble makers, not punishing wrong doers, teaching that you can do more or less anything without consequences. And the ridiculous notion that, despite nature creating male and female species, now all of a sudden we don't have to be defined as male or female. How on earth are these children going to grow up to be sane, valued members of society?

I don't know how many people will be inclined to take out JL insurance. In my opinion the advert just adds to the depressingly increasing evidence that we are all being groomed into thinking that this way of life is acceptable, that saying "kids eh" is a valid excuse for not disciplining them. 

To me, this advert just shows a spoilt brat with no boundaries.

∼ Be safe and well ∼ 
Polly x

15 October 2021

A Good Read

Lazy Bones by Mark Billingham

Someone is writing to convicted rapists in prison, befriending them and then brutally killing them when they are released. DI Thorne and his team have difficulty mustering up the motivation to investigate the murders of rapists, how can he catch a killer when he doesn't really care about the victims?

25 years earlier a murder/suicide is witnessed by two small children. As his investigation progresses Thorne discovers a link between then and the present.

An excellent plot. Really enjoyed it.

            ∼ Happy Reading ∼ 

                           Polly x

10 October 2021

The Dolls Houses

 Lake View House

I bought Lake View House in July 2019. It was in a bit of a state.
It hadn’t been put together very well, it was badly glued, dirty, dusty,
slightly broken in places, had marks all over it, and most of the magnet discs were rusty.

It had been neglected for some time. 
I removed the doors and after a thorough inspection my first job was a bit of demolition.

I removed the mezzanine level and spiral stairs

These blue eaves were badly glued to the top of the window and weren’t absolutely properly aligned, which I think was partly responsible for the door not closing properly. I didn’t know whether to leave them or re-do them but because they were so badly glued one was only half stuck and the other practically fell off. I hope I can align them properly.

I should be able to fill and then cover this with roof tiles.

These look much better now the house has been sprayed

There’s no way this was going to be fixed by just putting more glue on it so I pulled it off.
When I re-do it I will put some brackets underneath and attached to the wall for support. 

These railings were in a right mess

badly glued and badly spaced

I removed most of them and re-positioned them.

The doors are damaged and the wood around the pins holding the doors in place are broken. I have 3 options

1: leave them

2: fill with wood filler and work out how to get pins into both door and surround

3: buy new door units.

Option 1 is the easiest. Option 2 will be difficult because the pins holding the door in situ would have been put in place before putting the door into the surround. Option 3 is my preferred choice but with this house I want to see how much I can save by doing things myself. I will decide what to do when I get there.

I’ve cleaned and sanded all the other components.

I filled the holes where the stairs were with circles of foam board

I don’t have a compass so I worked it out by measuring the diameter,
marking a centre dot then 6½ cms each side of it, and kept going

It was almost a perfect fit, needing only minor adjustments.
The first floor needed two to completely fill the hole but the ground floor only needed one
because the main part of the house will be on top of it. I then papered the ceilings prior to spraying.

I filled these grooves, towards the top of the photos, where the mezzanine level had been
and then papered over them before spraying.

After masking the beams it was ready for spraying white. It needed a few coats.  The weather was warm  so I was able to leave it in the shed until I was happy with the coverage. There is a fine layer of dusty/misty spray in the shed now, ideally it should have been done outside but I didn’t want insects to land on it. 

I'm now working on making stairs, which is tasking the little grey cells!

∼ Be safe and well ∼ 
Polly x

2 October 2021

A Good Read

Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner

Edith Hope  writes romance novels. Suddenly her life begins to resemble her plots - she has been having an affair with a married man, and she left her fiancé at the altar. Friends pack Edith off to Switzerland, where they hope the quiet luxury of the Hotel du Lac out of season will restore her senses. 
Edith enjoys the solitude of the hotel, but instead of peace and rest, she finds herself drawn into the  casualties and exiles of love’s assorted guests. She is also attracted to a worldly wise man who is determined to get her to indulge in some  mischief and pleasure which she isn’t averse to, but she knows she must find direction in her life. In those days many women had to decide between love and security, rarely being fortunate enough to have both.
Edith enjoys people watching, and there are plenty of them to observe. The Hotel is a snooty 50’s  institution. One memorable character is the ghastly Mrs Pusey. Edith secretly invents lives for the rich strangers who frequent the hotel, and in due course, she is summoned into their cosseted worlds and used as a sounding board to reinforce their social standing.
It’s a slow read with many descriptions of surroundings and people. Beautifully observed and some witheringly funny moments. Not so much a story, more an exploration of people, society and appearances.

∼ Happy Reading ∼ 

Polly x

29 September 2021

Another Birthday

Yes another year has flown by, another birthday celebrated and instead of bemoaning being another year older I'm celebrating getting this far.
My darling daughter took me for lunch at a fabulous new eating place called Cosy Club.

Beautiful Art Deco

with a feel of Havana

We both had a delicious Cherry Bakewell Cocktail,
 cherry juice and amaretto almond liqueur, Mount Gay rum and a drop of caramel syrup.
It was difficult to decide what to eat, it all sounded delicious. Eventually I chose salmon fishcakes
with hollandaise sauce and a perfectly poached egg, my daughter had a burger in a brioche bun.
We didn't have dessert, opting instead to visit Hotel Chocolat!

These beautiful flowers arrived from my darling Aussie daughter, along with some truffles, and the
following day a bottle of Martini Asti Spumante arrived, she found a supplier in Birmingham to post it.

With a John Lewis voucher from my daughter and a gorgeous rose gold charm
for my Pandora bracelet from my grandson it was a lovely birthday.

∼ Be safe and well ∼ 
Polly x

25 September 2021

Rufus' Diary

Hello dear reader, Rufus here, got my paws on the laptop to write a bit about what's going on.
Autumn already, mornings are dewy and cool giving way to beautiful warm days. We have had some lovely hot weather but not enough for Polly to say it's been a great summer. 
Autumn means blackberries, and Polly has been gathering loads for a blackberry and apple pie and a delicious crumble. I waited patiently on the lead each time while she picked them, it seemed to take ages. She kept saying what a good boy I was, and she did give me a few blackberries, and a few tasty morsals of cheese :-) I was hoping she wouldn't be picking any more because she doesn't think the red ones will ripen now, but she was checking them out this morning!

In the country
Back in the spring we had a lot of humid rainy days, which resulted in lots of fungi. 

These look pretty

but they're probably lethal

As for this one, well it's just rude, it smelled disgusting, and had flies all over it.

This looks like a poached egg!

Crops have been harvested

That's a mighty impressive machine

  fields are being ploughed

This field smelled lovely after the grass had been cut

We've seen a few trees with numbers on them, I think they are going to be felled.

In the garden

this hollyhock grew to about 10 feet

What a splendid spider

Polly loves the David Austen roses

Isn't this perfection

A house we pass regularly on our walks had lots of childrens toys outside with a note saying "please help yourself". Polly thought this was like a cute mini version of me! It hasn't got any beads on it, or anything dangerous. I don't chew things though, I just collect them and keep them close by.

In the village

The cream teas on the church lawn have finished. There have been six throughout the summer, raising money to reburfish the church. It hasn't been the best year weather wise, three had to be held in the church because of rain. Polly baked a couple of cakes and helped out serving.

And finally, a bit of fun

Where's my dinner, no seriously where is it?

Be safe and well
Rufus 🐾

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