decorating, drEAming, general chit chat, homestEAding, nEAtening

Tidy Friday…and catching up with myself

At last it is Friday and my day off or rather a day to get down to some tidying and cleaning, paperwork and planning.  Such a lot to fit into so little time.

This morning my book prize arrived from Sue and I have now put it by my bedside table ready for some early bedtime reading.

Book Prize

 It was tempting to sit down and start reading this morning but I really need to get a grip on my messy house.  I am having to work all hours at the moment as my colleague is off sick for a few weeks and I am doing both our jobs but this means not much is getting done outside of work hours.

I spent an hour or two this morning stripping our bed and putting things away – my usual TIDY FRIDAY – I don’t know how it happens but at the end of a week I find many things that belong upstairs end up downstairs and vice versa – I think perhaps it is the little dust fairies who run round in the night moving everything around and sprinkling their fairy dust everywhere!

After my mammoth putting away session I went into the office to look over the pile of paperwork.

Tidy Friday desktop

Even though I try to keep a tidy desk by the end of the week it invariably ends up with bits and pieces strewn across it waiting for my attention.

I sorted through the many leaflets that had dropped through the door – there was one for the local Pizza place, a made to measure blinds offer and a Councillors letter asking for volunteers to help run the local village library  which is under threat.  I only wish I had the time – I can’t help thinking that if I had been able to retire this year at 60 as was the case under the old rules (now it will be 66) I would have had spare time to do this and also look after my new baby grand-daughter.

After sifting through the pile I pulled out anything interesting and snipped the coupons and put the rest for recycling.

Today on the urgent pile I need to look at our house insurance for our home here in Yorkshire and the BT line rental which we pay up front to save £30.  I have still to finish the accommodation receipts for our cottage insurers and find the contents receipts to send.  Probably more than a mornings work in that lot.

It has been quite helpful that I signed up for a Sainsbury’s Credit card earlier in the year as it is interest free on new purchases  until 2015 and I get extra reward points.  It means that we can pay all the accommodation costs without dipping into savings until the insurers reimburse us – we are over £1,000 out-of-pocket from our stays over in Scotland since the flood.

 Working until after 6pm each night for four days a week means I am not spending money at the shops as they are well and truly shut when I leave work.  In fact I had to get my son in laws birthday card and pressie from Sainsbury’s last night.  My daughter tells me he wanted a Christmas jumper so now he has one – a bright red one with an elf and bells on! We wouldn’t want him to feel left out this Xmas!

I have over £155 on my reward points and this week is double up week so if I spend them wisely I can get items to the value of £310.  So far I have bought some clothes for myself and baby L, the Xmas jumper, and some Xmas decorations (will show these another post).  They have extended the range of departments and goods to select from this time and wine is included so I may be able to stock up for Christmas.

You may remember I bought a Lumie lamp last year – and it worked but we put it away during the summer and have only just put it back in our bedroom since the clock change plunged us into those awful dark mornings.   We found last year that the alarm was irratating and unnecessary as the rising sun effect woke us up on its own.  There is one problem though – I prefer our ordinary clock to tell the time – I particularly like a proper clock face to a digital one and I find the light from the digital ones distracting when I am trying to sleep.  Current research has found that sleeping in complete darkness is better for our bodyclocks, unfortunately the Lumie lamp has an illuminated digital clock face which you cannot turn off so I have stuck a circular piece of cardboard over the clock this morning to block out the light!  I will let you know if it works and if it does I will have to think of a more permanent solution.

Lumie Lamp update


The bathroom pumps that we ordered to boost the hot water pressure from the new taps arrived by post this week and the bath one has already been fitted and it has improved the flow – so our builder will be back soon to do the basin tap.   Once done we can fit the down lights and the fan and the bath panel and hey presto it will be DONE.  It has almost taken as long as my daughters bathroom 2 years ago.

Bathroom refurb 1


Tomorrow me, hubby, elder daughter and partner are going to Masham, North Yorkshire for the day to my younger daughters and meeting up with my hubby’s sister.  We will be celebrating my son in-laws birthday and also my sister in laws recent marriage to her partner of many years.   We sadly missed their wedding celebration in Oxford  because of the flood at our cottage.

It is also our yearly Crisis at Christmas Coffee morning at our local church so I might pop in for an hour before we set off for Masham.  It will be the first year that I haven’t made anything for them but with my extra hours at work and all the paperwork for the insurance claim and my dodgy knee I think I am quite over extended at the moment.

Hope you have a good weekend. x


Chirpy chirpy tweet tweet…beeeep…

Hot chocolate, Café Zéphyr, Paris

Day 3   – Imagine that…

…you are tucked up warmly in bed sipping a mug of steaming hot cocoa and a enjoying a good read.  The light fades dimly in the background casting soft shadows around the room, you yawn and snuggle down drifting into a deep sleep as the room is now plunged into total darkness.

English: Willow Warbler (trochilus) Whiteworks...Birdsong

Eight hours later you are woken gently from your dreams by a soft light bathing the room like sunshine on a fine summers morning, the rays becoming brighter and brighter as the air is filled with a chorus of gently trilling birds.  You wake refreshed and after a soft cat like stretch, fling off the covers and leap out of bed wide awake, eager to start another day.

English: Alarm clock 日本語: 目覚まし時計

Well not quite how it went just rewind to ….eight hours later you are woken abruptly to the sound of continuous chirping birds as well as the intermitent sound of two other beeping alarm clocks (that were on standby just in case) and realise you have failed to wake up at all this morning.  In fact hubby obviously woke first and judging by the empty side of the bed I presumed was already in the shower escaping the noise.

One by one I hit each of the alarms until silence at last….. aah much better until that is hubby appears back in the bedroom draped in a towel and whistling the same b***** dawn chorus.

Anyone want to buy a Lumie Bodyclock – good as new – one careful owner!


Dawn chorus or a tweet too far…

the ongoing saga of the Lumie Bodyclock lamp…


Lumie Bodyclock

Day 1

– Saturday night and we lay watching the gradual sunset fade into darkness and we were asleep before we knew it with the lamp set for the birdsong and light to wake us at 7am on Sunday morning…can’t wait

Sunday morning – I awoke to a wonderful sunny glow lighting up our room – this is good I thought – and very realistic –  but absolute silence… I listened but no chirping whatsoever – not a dickybird!

I then realised it was 9am –  I had overslept and the sun was flooding the room with natural light not the fake sunrise I was expecting –  I had slept solidly for 9 hours and for once felt wide awake and raring to go – both the lamp and alarm had failed –  my better half had obviously read the Chinese instructions but it had inadvertently cured my sleep deprivation!

Day 2

-Once again tucked up in bed on Sunday night and once again we fell soundly asleep to the effects of the gradual sunset  I don’t remember anything until I awoke suddenly at 5.23am in the pitch black – nothing appeared to be happening with the lamp and acknowledging it was too early and too cold to get up promptly fell back to sleep.

6.23am something roused me – hurrah at last it was the sunrise beginning to stir and a few minutes later there is the bird song…and then there is more birdsong…and more birdsong and more birdsong – how can anyone snooze through that – obviously some people can as my better half is still fast asleep and snoring.

With a gentle nudge I ask ‘Can you switch it off?’    A half-hearted mumble mumble replied…so I head for the shower room out of the din.  Returning 15 minutes later to the bedroom the light is full on now and the room full of twittering and hubby still sound asleep and snoring with his head under the covers blocking out both light and noise!

Out come the instructions again…

Third night lucky…so do excuse me now while I go and get ready for bed!!


Resetting the bodyclock…

I am sitting here watching an all time favourite of the Good Life with Tom and Barbara – the one about the pigs.  I often fancied myself as Barbara living in her suburban home spending all day in the garden growing veg and tending her animals and doing it all whilst under the influence of that famous Peapod wine.  I especially liked their fun minimalist Christmas with newspaper hats and the knitted jumpers.

I spent most of the day being swept along by a hoard of Christmas shoppers in the Cheadle branch of John Lewis.  You can always tell the Cheadle branch by the number of Rolls Royces in the carpark!

I wasn’t Xmas shopping myself – just browsing –  and my reason for going was to check out the Lumie Bodyclock light as I am finding it extremely difficult to rouse myself on these dark wintry mornings.  I am not sure about you but each year as I get older it gets harder to wake up and get going.  The early morning traffic on the roads in the last week or two has been so bad I have found myself late for work so drastic action is called for – hence the light.

So to go back to the clock – we did buy one and having unwrapped it and read the instructions we are told that we can have sunset and sunrise which gently puts you to sleep and wakes you up, 5 different alarm sounds to choose from –  Big Ben or drums (I don’t think so) to birdsong or wind chimes (sounds better) or plain old beep (perhaps not).  So we will try out the birdsong although I suspect I might just sleep through it – I have never been aware of the birds chirping outside before.

Lumie Bodyclock

The Lumie Bodyclock Go 75

It also boasts a snooze feature – definitely a must in my case –  I am no lark and will put off that moment when my body has to be forced out of bed and into the shower. I always set my alarm 15 mins early so I can fit in 3 five-minute snoozes, a bit like the traffic light system wait, get ready…go.

Lumie Bodyclock

I will keep you posted on how well we do getting up in the mornings from now on…or not!


And continuing the cushion saga – in and amongst I bought two feather cushion pads as they did have the right size and decided I will, for now, reuse the knitted cushion covers from the cottage as I wasn’t inspired enough by the cushions on display in John Lewis either.

I did see the most beautiful soft woollen throw in muted colours just right for our bedroom but at £180 I had to leave it behind!

How did your Saturday go?  Have you started the Xmas shopping yet?