Friday 28 April 2017

Thursday 27 April 2017

As April ends.....

What a busy month April has been.

It started off with the Reunion - a fantastic night of reminiscing! 

We bought the mini and said goodbye to the 'sensible' car!

Jeff built the new deck in the 'sunny corner' of the garden - all ready for Summer now.

Jeff and I worked hard to find homes for all the dots and spots stock

My friend Anne Marie, celebrated her birthday in Slimming World, Country style

We've found time to start adding a little bit of us into the garden - planting and styling it to our taste. It's starting to feel more like 'our' space now.

This week I have found homes for all the unit furniture - tomorrow I hand over the keys
 and dots and spots will officially be no more!

It's been a busy month, with the main focus on closing down dots and spots but Jeff and I have come out the other side still smiling. He joined me at yoga last night, to improve his stretch - he's super fit but as a result all his muscles are so tight, so yoga it is!

So the month of May, I wonder what you have in store? Sophie has her AS levels fast approaching, I have some supply teaching booked in and have signed up for exam invigilation and half term doesn't seem too far away. Let's hoped it's filled with sunshine too but not on invigilation days (that would be a waste!!!)

Sunday 23 April 2017

Easter Hols - Garden Project

Jeff goes back to school tomorrow after a 3 week break. As with every holiday, we like to tick off another project and as always Jeff ends up going back to school for a rest. 

This holiday, our main focus has been clearing the unit and closing down dots and spots but with the Summer approaching, we also wanted to tackle the 'sunny corner'. If you remember it was once home to the summer house, which we removed last summer. I think we thought that the concrete was okay, better than the Summer house but I thought it was a bit back yard'ish, with the different surfaces and old plastic pots that had been left.

So we, or rather Jeff, has built another deck!

I removed all the ivy off the wall, as we intend to have planting all around the back of the deck - grasses or bamboo - something to add some greenery in front of the old brick walls, slight screening from the houses at the back but we don't want to lose our view of the Tor

We intend to make a proper deck path and gravel up to the edge of the deck over the crazy paving. We've planted a couple of white hydrangeas, which we hope will eventually fill that bit of bed.

We've cleared part of this bed along the side, ready to plant out some beans and peas.

And further along that bed, we've planted out some raspberry canes and strawberry plants, where the blackberries are and added in a rhubarb, ready for picking next year..

I've moved the old step ladder down to the side of the house and planted out these red planters I had over at the unit, with geraniums. I intend to add some more herbs when it gets a little warmer and have potted up a mint - perfect spot for picking, by the back door.

I picked up a new table and couple of chairs from Ikea for the top deck - we ate out there last Summer. You get gorgeous sunshine in the morning at breakfast time, half sun/shade at lunch and mostly shade at tea when/if it's hot - perfect.

We've utilised a couple of the pots that were left and we brought over from our previous house. The old pail is full of Hosta's and the old chimney, proudly holds the cascading strawberry planter.

The old apple tree is full of blossom this year and we've planted an aubergine, courgette, cucumber and squash plants in the space underneath. They may come to nothing but at less than a pound a plant, it's worth a go!

There is still a lot to do and will probably be on hold now until half term, unless there are jobs I can get on with on my own. We spend so much time out in the garden, it's so nice now that's it's feeling like ours. The previous owner had the garden looking lovely but it wasn't completely to our taste. Then with the building work and subsequent mess, it's slowly taking shape and feeling more like us x

Saturday 22 April 2017

End of another week!

Heading over to the unit now every day this week to palm off furniture to various people.
This morning the big Ikea units go and by Tuesday morning everything, except what's staying for the next occupants, will have been found a home!

Annoyingly they can't come until Thursday, but this little lot of packet tops is being collected for recycling  and then Friday it's time for a room inspection, key handover and I'm done.

Yesterday I had a well earned day off. I went to Slimming World, faced the scales after 5 weeks and was relieved to still be in my target range. Aiming now to head back to the bottom end but I've no big events to spur me on, just me and the will to do it. After group, a fellow Slimming Worlder was celebrating her birthday and invited a few of us back to hers for this lovely lunch - it was delicious.

So I'm about to head over to the unit - have a great weekend. Not much sunshine in the forecast - it's saving it's arrival for when I'm done and have some time to enjoy it x

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Nearly the final farewell

Jeff has just made a new landing page for the website, in case anyone visits and hadn't realised dots and spots was closing.

It says......

''DOTS AND SPOTS now closed. 
Thank you for your support, encouragement and custom over the past 8+ years''

We are nearly 'done' over at the unit. We're using our last reserves of energy and enthusiasm to motor through the final week. Tomorrow, I'm hoping that most or all of the stock will be gone. I have furniture collection times in the diary for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. On Thursday the recycling people will take the final packet tops and then I'm hoping the unit inspection and key handover will be done on Friday, before the Bank Holiday weekend begins.

I will be so happy when it's all done now. I oddly have no emotional attachment to the business I grew, over the past 8+ years. That's really sad in a way but also a true sign that I'm ready to move onto something new. Still no idea what as yet but I'm a believer in things happening for a reason and have faith that something good with come my way. 

Sunday 16 April 2017

Happy Easter

Happy Easter 

We celebrated our Easter on Good Friday, as Sophie was out the door this morning at 8am for a 2 hour motorway driving lesson, then she was being dropped straight off at work as she's there 10-5pm 

So Jeff went early to the tip (yes it is open on Easter Sunday, surprisingly!) then out for a run, Sam is still in bed! as Jeff just put it 'he hasn't risen yet, has he?' So I had a quiet breakfast on my own. Have to have a hot cross bun on Easter Sunday, this is my last one, saved for today and jolly nice it was too. Used all my syns, so no chocolate for me today but it was worth it.

The sun is shining here, wasn't forecast but most welcome. It's still chilly but hopefully we'll get a bit more done outside today. We're trying to get rid of everything big and messy before the silver 'bigger' car goes on Friday. The previous house owner left a lot of old plastic pots which we've not got around to emptying. We've also done some sorting inside, will share pics on a blog post soon. Once the doors to dots and spots close for good at the end of the month, I shall turn my attentions back to the house and tackling the painting projects that still need to be done.

For now, I'm going to enjoy today as I'm over at the unit all day tomorrow sorting.
Have a lovely, long weekend x

Thursday 13 April 2017

Lucky me!

Look what I (we) just got!!!!

Aren't I a lucky girl? It was fate - I'd seen a mini a week or two ago for £2995 but by the time I had persuaded Jeff to go and look at it, it was gone. It did open his eyes up to the possibility of getting a new car, as the silver car needs money spent on it to get it through it's MOT, too much to be worth it. So he's been keeping a lookout and this one came up, 5 minutes up the road, for a bargain £1600. It's 13 years old, has a few scratches on the body work, which doesn't bother us but is why the price was such a bargain. It'll be great to nip around here, not sure we'd all squeeze in it on a trip to Cornwall but we can face that as and when the time arises. We still have the Micra which Sophie is insured on and the 'black box' has just been fitted by the insurance company, so no speedy nipping about in that.

Sam and I have just been to Bath and back in it, roof down for the last bit and he gave it the thumbs up - mustn't embarrass the teenagers!

Sunday 9 April 2017

School Reunion

School Reunion - had to come around eventually and as it was 30 years since I left school, now was the time. Time for a catch up with some old faces and a brilliant night it was too!

I haven't actually been back to Cleobury Mortimer, where I went to school, for 27 years. My parents moved down to Somerset the year I went to University, I kept in touch with a few people but never really went back.

So I drove up to Hereford to meet a friend, then travelled over together and stayed with her Mum, who still lives there.

I did make my friend drive past our old house, just for a nosey!!

So champagne to mark the occasion and to start off the celebrations....


It really was quite surreal being back - some thing's had really changed, others, well it could have still  been 30 years ago!

(The school hall - looked smaller than I remember)

Sadly 3 of our year group are no longer with us and with all these things, quite a lot didn't come, it was a shame as I'd of liked to have seen them but their loss, as they missed a fab night. 

 It was a fabulous night, genuinely so lovely to see so many friendly, familiar faces, including a teacher or two! 

I loved my school days and last night refreshed some of those great memories, although going to bed gone 2am has left it's mark on me today. Those 30 years were cruelly evident this morning - I need a day or two to recover these days!!

This breakfast was most welcome this morning!

Hope you've had a great weekend x

Thursday 6 April 2017

And we're done!

The last orders have been picked and packed and final mail sacks dropped off at the sorting office this morning! The dots and spots website is now closed!

I haven't finished yet though, there is a unit to empty and still a reasonable amount of stock to shift! I have someone coming to the unit tomorrow, to take items for fund raising, I've pretty much allocated all the furniture to various homes, once the stock has been cleared. Early next week I may well be offering raw stock items over on the face book page, first come, first served, so look out for those.

I'm away for the weekend, a school reunion, 30 years since I was last there! My parents moved the year I went to university, so I've only ever been back once and that was 27/28 years ago. Should be an interesting weekend - hope you have a good one too.

Monday 3 April 2017

Don't miss your last chance to buy!

Tomorrow is the last day to buy from our website 

I've been busy over at the unit picking and packing orders. I've also brought home two on my Billy bookcases, joined them together, to make them deep enough to house my stash of dots and spots wrap, before it's gone for good. As you can see, I am a wrapping paper addict - I have rolls of the stuff! It did all used to hide in my lovely old wardrobe but we've moved that down into Jeff's study, to make room for a bigger wrap store. I've still a little more to bring over but there's in excess of 2000 sheets there, plus all the rolls!! Should last me a while.

So tomorrow the website closes and I take stock of all that's left. 
It's been a busy few weeks!