30 October 2015

Family And Birthdays

Last Friday we journeyed to St Helens to stay with relatives for a few days, celebrating two birthdays while we there, my son-in-law on the Sunday and an early celebration for my grandson, and I finally got to visit Liverpool. On previous visits we’ve been snowed in or doing other things. I can’t believe I forgot my camera! so once again I bought some postcards of places visited, and scanned them! -  Reason No. 1 to return.

Liverpool, probably best known as the home of the Beatles 

On the left the Royal Liver Building, opened in 1911, is the home of the Royal Liver Assurance group, set up in the city in 1850 to provide locals with assistance related to losing a wage-earning relative. Today the Royal Liver Building is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city and is home to two fabled Liver Birds that watch over the city and the sea.
Legend has it that were these two birds to fly away, then the city would cease to exist. 
Along with the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building they comprise the Three Graces.
We didn't get to take The Ferry Across The Mersey - Reason No.2 to return

Albert Dock
the brilliant Tate Liverpool gallery of modern and contemporary art 
the Maritime Museum
lots of lovely shops and eateries

There were 7 of us and only two knew the city well so we decided to stay together which unfortunately
meant that those of us who wanted to go to the cathedral were outvoted in
favour of shopping - Reason No. 3 to return

all those shops and the only thing I bought was a cheap and cheerful pair of pyjamas,
but I had bought two, not one, but two pairs of boots in Manchester the previous day!

 There were some very good buskers

Back home on Monday, blood test on Tuesday for cholesterol.

My gorgeous grandson’s 12th birthday on Wednesday, he is a delight,
even when he's rehearsing  to be a surly teenager!
We celebrated 
Lovely daughter and myself drove grandson and his friends to a trampoline park 

waiting for dodge ball to start

after working up an appetite with all that jumping they were ready for burgers

and what better way to round off the day than with a visit to my favourite chocolate shop.

27 October 2015

Rufus' Diary

The weather is starting to get chilly in the mornings and SL is wearing her winter coat. Some mornings she wears her gloves and hat, but she usually takes these off after about 20 minutes.

The horses are wearing their coats too

We meet lots of friends on our daily walks. This is Percy, he is SL's favourite, he is brilliant, he's only 2 and full of life, he always chases around with Buster and me but he can never catch us. He has been very well trained, he sits and waits, and returns to his owner when told to.

This is Henley, he is also about 2 and loves running around with us. SL likes him too.

We only met Harry and Treacle recently, they don't usually do this route, their owner's daughter was walking them this day. They are so sweet.

There are others we meet, SL is going to try to get photos of them.

This cute sheep is a doorstop. I've taken a liking to it and want to keep it near my bed 
but I know it will be put back in the study soon.

 I can pick it up another time though because they know I won't chew it, I just like collecting things.

We've all had a lovely weekend visiting relatives in St Helens, and SL finally got to visit Liverpool.

23 October 2015

Dolls House

After spraying the basement I decided to put an opening in the top of the staircase at the back, leading from the basement to the ground floor. I knew it wouldn't be easy but I also knew it would bug me forever more if I didn't do it. 

The opening will be at the top of those stairs in the basement up to the ground floor of the house.

The first thing was to measure the top of the basement and the bottom of the house to ensure the two openings would match up with each other. I'm not very good at this sort of thing, I often get things the wrong way round, so I had to concentrate!

Once I was confident that my measurements were accurate I drilled holes round the edge of the opening

sawed in between the holes 

pushed the drilled piece through, and sawed and filed the edges

then did the same with the basement. 
My MO was slightly unorthodox, basically using anything that would do the job.

It's not pretty or neat but when the banister is in place it will look ok

19 October 2015

Buster's Diary

One of our walks involves crossing this bridge, over a stile and into a field that leads into other fields. It's a nice walk and used to be a regular one until the bridge broke. We continued to use it occasionally until the day I refused to cross it on the way back from our walk, it was starting to get a bit wobbly. SL tried to coax me across, then she got cross, then tried coaxing again. When none of that worked she said we would have to backtrack to cross the stream at another point. She and Rufus came across the bridge, she was a bit cross as it was going to add time to our walk so I crossed back over the bridge. I don't know why she said a rude word, I thought she would be pleased. 

The bridge has now been replaced with this metal one. SL thought it was ugly said it was a shame they didn't replace it with a nice wooden one, but it's only a bridge in a field not a runner up for an architectural award.

We have had some lovely weather on our morning walks lately, 
a little cooler but most days have been gloriously sunny. 

Fields are being ploughed 

and this crop has been harvested, it looked like grass, I don't know if it's winter feed for cows or horses. Rufus hadn't seen any of these bales before, he started barking at them from a distance,
then he followed me onto the field for a closer look. 

He had a good sniff round this one, peed on it, then oh oh he found it, 
yes he found something gross at the side of it. 

SL got to him in time to stop him getting it all over himself like last time, but just this small amount was bad, it smelt disgusting and he had to have a wash when we got home.

No I wasn't eating these. SL heard on the radio that there has been a bumper crop of wild mushrooms due to all the rain we have had and that many of them are ok to eat. She was going to pick them and look online to see if they were ok but she kept forgetting to take a carrier bag out with her!! 

Those horrible, nasty harvest mites are still bothering me, I thought they had gone, as if that's not enough to cope with, last week I injured one of my paws. I think I cut the soft bit in between two of the pads. It was bleeding profusely when we got home, SL rinsed it with some water and wanted to have a look at the damage but I wouldn't let her. 

Wonder if I can manage to jump up onto the sofa.
I missed a few walks and I've been hopping around on three legs but I'm much better now.

15 October 2015

The Dolls House

Work on my dolls house is usually confined to the winter months, however, I needed warm dry weather to spray paint various parts of it outside. 

First up was the house itself. Cutting extra windows in the side panels left marks around each one. It needed a couple of coats on each side. They don't look the same colour because of different lighting but they do blend very well with the colour of the rest of the house.

Before and After

Next were some banisters and the door for the room at the top of the house, some windows and patio doors. This work had to be done outside because of the mess and the fumes. I used an upturned stool and a piece of cardboard to balance and stand some items on. I strung the windows across the stool, and hung the patio doors on the clothes line - slightly Heath Robinson.

The basement is going to be a garage on one side and a utility room on the other. I wanted the walls to have a whitewashed brick effect. I covered them with an embossed brick paper then sprayed them. 

I sprayed the stairs on the other side of this door first

then the whole area. Next I put the patio doors in, put a key plate on the door 

and fitted the lights, which had to be shortened as they were far too long. 

After fitting the lights I realised I wanted to put an opening in the top of the staircase at the back, leading from the basement to the ground floor. I knew it wouldn't be easy but I also knew it would bug me forever more if I didn't do it. So that was my next job.........

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