Monthly Archives: October 2014

What have I been up to?

Posting has been very light over the last week or so. Life has been busy.

You know I was decorating my bedroom AND the radio!

Since then, I have watched the paint fall of the wall. Really!

Did the paint fall off

Did the paint fall off

Maybe this is the reason for the colour change:

This might be the reason

This might be the reason

It actually givesa very comfortable and restful light effect.

One dark & dreary wet day, I finished the base fabric for another project. The exciting part might happen next week. 😀

I finished the base fabric , now for the fun

I finished the base fabric , now for the fun

Wednesday was glorious.with blue skies and sunshine, so I headed to Carrickfergus. Sitting at the mouth of Belfast Lough, you can smell the sea!

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle

What is that chap up there doing?

He has me in his sight

He has me in his sight

Looks like he has me in his sight.

Meet Peter Pumpkin

Meet Peter Pumpkin

The latest Toyboy in my life – Peter Pumpkin – He was finished at 6am, yesterday morning. He is sitting on my spectacles case, so that gives you an idea of his size!

Peter has a wicked smile

Peter has a wicked smile


Not bad for a first attempt.

Yes, Elly. I hear you!

Thursday Special ~ Best Use of a Pumpkin Patch


Willy retired from his job and bought a pumpkin patch. He thought that he could make more money from chickens than the previous owner made from pumpkins, so he went to a poultry farm and bought 50 chickens.

’50 is a lot of chickens for that little pumpkin patch,’ commented the proprietor.

‘I am used to big business’ Willy replied.’

A week later Willy was back at the farm.

‘I need another 50 chickens,’ he said.

‘Boy, you are serious about this chicken farming,’ the poultry farmer told him.

‘Oh yes,’ Willy replied. ‘It’ will be Ok if I can just iron out a few problems.’

‘Problems?’, asked the farmer.

‘Yeah,’ replied the Willy, ‘I think I planted that first batch too close together.’


Happy Halloween to one and all, especially PP, who sent this tale to me.

The End is never the End ~ Part 17

“Mrs Giles. Welcome back from New York. How was the wedding?”

“The wedding was wonderful, a little tiring with all that travel, but I was glad to be there.”

“I’m taking this tray to the library. Alice & Morgan are already in there and expecting you. I have counted you in, and only need to know which you prefer: Tea or coffee?”

Gigi moved to open the library door. “I am a coffee fan, tall and strong, please.”

“Just like yourself. A good combination for the post of Housekeeper. Thank you for holding the door.”

“Ah, Mrs Giles. Come in. Come in. I see our George has you working before you take your coat off. How was the journey and the wedding?” Asked Morgan.

“Gigi, please. I’m told it is a short form of Virginia, my grandmother’s name, and that the meaning is Brilliant. I will leave it to you to decide if that applies to me or not, Mr Troy!” Gigi’s eyes twinkled as she spoke. Good morning Mrs Slythe. Thank you both for being patient and agreeing to see me again. The wedding was wonderful. In fact, we rented a period house for all the groom’s family for the week, it was wonderful to have us all together again in the one place. It also gave me some ideas, which I hope to share with you.”

“That sounds interesting. I am glad the wedding went off so well.” Said Alice.”

With that, George arrived with the coffee, closely followed by Caroline.

“Looks like I timed that well, The aroma of George’s coffee, called me down from upstairs. Good morning Mrs Giles, it is good to see you again.”

George, poured and served the coffee, all five sat sipping while enjoying general chitchat for about twenty minutes, then George & Caroline left them, to go and continue with their morning tasks.

Alice, Morgan and Gigi, turned the conversation to the business of the moment: The roll of Housekeeper. They recapped the ground already covered in the first interview, and now discussed in detail, the requirements from both sides, the hours and the pay scale. Gigi, seemed pleased, and she only had one problem.

Gigi’s family home was a large rambling house thirty miles away. With the last of her children now married, it was time to down size. She wondered about housing in the locality, if there were houses available to rent closer to Hour House. It would mean she was closer to work with less chance of delays on dark icy mornings. Renting would give her the opportunity to get to know the area and not commit to buying a house, until she was ready.

“We may have an answer to that problem. We have two mews houses in the old stable block. Alice and her sister are in one and I occupy the other. They will become vacant when we move in here. As Alice will tell you, we planned to rent them as self catering units when we moved.

The rooms in the main house and extension are well dried out and aired by now, so if Alice chooses which one she wants to live in, either she or I could move.
The house I now occupy has two bedrooms, we can let you see it before you go away today, if you wish.

I have personally tested all the new showers here in the house, and beginning on Monday, I had planned to test a new bed every night. I am bound to get through them before November 21. We need to know they are all well and truly comfortable for future guests! Don’t you agree?” Grinned Morgan.

“I do!” Said Gigi through her giggles. “I would very much like to see the mews house this morning, it would give me a starting point in the adventure of selling the home I moved to twenty five years ago. At this stage, all I know is I want to move house and am not sure of exactly what I want for the future.”

George handed Alice his keys. “You take Gigi over to look at my digs. Kick any dirty socks under the bed, she will never notice.” He winked.

“Goodness, Mrs Slythe, this might be a revelation into your Mr Troy. Do you think we should have a peek in his cupboards while we are there? You never know what skeletons we might unearth.”

With that there was a tap on the door and Carolyn came in. “You all seem to be having fun. I hope I am not interrupting.”

“Not at all.” Said Alice, “We are finished here, meet our new Housekeeper. We are on our way to inspect Morgan’s drawers, do you want to come with us?”

“Now that might be fun, you never know what secrets lurk there.” Said Carolyn.

“Actually, I am taking Gigi to see the Mews houses, she wants to rent a place closer to work. One of them might suit her needs until she is ready to buy a place of her own.”

“What a great idea.” Said Carolyn.

With that the girls headed towards the old stables.

Morgan, too made his way outdoors to see Wacky and Willie. They both jumped at the chance of working at Hour House and began the very afternoon of their interview. Already you could see the mark of their hands on the grounds. The shrubs to the front had a birthday haircut by Wacky, and the herbaceous borders were the main focus for sorting and clearing today.

The old ride-on grass mower had been cleaned up and serviced in the workshop, by Willie, before he set to work on the lawns. Morgan noticed that he had put all the tools back in their proper places and cleaned up when the job was done. That pleased him. He would welcome seeing Willie work on his own jalopy, some day in the future when life calmed down and was on a more even keel.

Plans & sketches with notes for the enclosed kitchen garden were given to Morgan and he made copies for George, The soft fruit cages and the orchard could wait until the turn of the year. The original ventilation and irrigation systems in the greenhouse and potting shed would benefit from updating, but Willie would check them out over the next few weeks to discover how much work would be involved.

Already these guys were proving their worth. They were certainly not afraid of hard work. The brothers worked well together or alone, both using their skills to the full.

Seeing the lads were content, Morgan returned to the house. He made his way to the kitchen, where George was busy making preparations for dinner. The sound of laughter announced the arrival of the girls. They came through to the kitchen, this time accompanied by Lovell. Accepting the welcome offer of a coffee before commencing a tour of the house. This time Gigi would have her official hat on, she was no longer a candidate or a visitor, this time she was the Housekeeper!

Over the coffee, George offered sweetmeats as a trade for tales of Morgan’s inner sanctum. The tales they told were hilarious and even Lovell joined in. Morgan let them have their moment. He was happy that Gigi was on board and that she got on so well with Alice and Carolyn. Lovell had already taken to George, not alone did he give her treats, he also found time to make biscuits just for Crumbs. Now it looked like Gigi would become her friend too. Happy staff make for a happy hotel to visit or stay in.

When Gigi had gone for the day, Carolyn returned with Alice to the kitchen. Putting her hands in her jacket pockets, she found the stub of the ticket for the Jazz concert they had attended together. Pulling it out and waving it about, she asked “What did you think of our very own Charlie Yates and his jazz quartet the other night?”

“Jazz swing is right up my street.” Said Morgan. “I can see myself dancing Alice off her feet on 21st. Alice, we need to have a practice, what do you think George?”

“Oh yes, we cannot have you beginning married life by stepping on you wife’s toes. Than would never do. Our Charlie, has plenty of strings to his bow, never mind reeds to his Clarinet! I actually think he would like to play at functions here.”

“Then Alice, we better have a word in his ear tomorrow when he calls in.” said Morgan.

“Right folk, time to clear my kitchen, dinner will be ready in half an hour, so like good children, it is time for you to go wash your hands,. Don’t be late, I am trying a new recipe and I think you will like it.”

George’s food was always tasty, so they did as they were bid and went their separate ways. Nobody wanted to be late for the meal.


All the previous episodes can be found on their own page under the header.

Thursday Special ~ Two Pumpkins

Thursday Special ~ Two pumpkins

One day two pumpkins, who were best friends, were walking together down the street. They stepped off the curb and a speeding car came around the corner and ran one of them over.

The uninjured pumpkin called 911 and helped his injured friend as best he was able. The injured pumpkin was taken to emergency at the hospital and rushed into surgery.

After a long and agonizing wait, the doctor finally appeared. He told the uninjured pumpkin, “I have good news, and I have bad news.

The good news is that your friend is going to pull through.”

The bad news is…..

He’s going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life.



Thank you Frank for this timely little number.


Bits and pieces

The remains of Hurricane Gonzalo has arrived in bursts of wind and rain. As I type we are in a calm spell with bright sunshine, I had no plans to go outside today, so am happy to stay warm and cosy with my knitting.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Blogging & Blog reading have been light from me in the past week/ten days. I spent the time decorating my bedroom. A telescopic roller was great for the ceiling and the large stretches of walls, but for the edges and corners I needed to climb on the step ladder. I had a great feeling of achievement when the work was complete, curtains made and hung and the bed dressed in new colour scheme.

In years gone by, I would have the ceiling, walls and woodwork painted in one day, but alas this time it took the whole week. The radio falling into the bucket of emulsion before overbalancing and falling onto the floor covered with paint sheets, was not part of the original plan. 😥 I am left with a small reminder, but it is under the bed so nobody knows except me. Right.

I scraped off most of the paint with the brush, then took the radio to the kitchen. I used a cloth to remove more emulsion, but it had seeped inside.

Deciding the radio was a gonner I washed it in water. Yes. I put the stopper in the sink and stood the appliance on end where all the paint was. One speaker and half the cassette deck had been for a swim in paint, so another one in water would not make much difference!

I left it to drip on the draining board and went back to my walls. By the time I finished for the evening, the radio had stopped dripping. I set an old towel on the floor out of the way and put the radio on it. Twenty four hours later, as I was about to put it in the crate for the recycling centre, 💡 I wondered… I wondered if it would come to life again. I put the plug in the socket and then connected the other end to the radio. Bingo! I had music. It may not be very beautiful, but it works.

I loved that old radio/cassette player, we bought it for Elly about twenty five years ago, and I inherited it when she went to France. It kept me company all through the years of sleepless nights, gently playing in the background, in the hope of lulling me to sleep.

Paint dunked radio casette

Paint dunked radio casette


So in this case, the end was not the end!

Now that reminds me, I need to think about the next chapter of that story…..

Thursday Special ~ BUMP…BUMP…BUMP…

A man was walking home alone one night when he heard a “BUMP….BUMP….BUMP…” behind him. Walking faster, he looked back, making out an image of an upright coffin banging its way down the middle of the street towards him….”BUMP…BUMP…BUMP…”

The man began to run toward his home, and the coffin bounced after him faster….faster…BUMPBUMPBUMP.

He ran up to his door, fumbled with his keys, opened the door, rushed in, and locked it behind him. The coffin crashed through his door, with the lid of the coffin clapping BUMP…BUMP…BUMP… on the heals of the terrified man. The man rushed upstairs to the bathroom and locked himself in, heart pounding.

With a CRASH, the coffin broke down the door, coming slowly toward him. The man while screaming, reached for something, anything….all he can find was a box of cough drops which he hurled at the coffin…and suddenly “the coffin stops.”

Thanks to Noreen for this scary tale.

The End is never the End ~ 16

It was a cool wet day when they brought Lovell home from the hospital. She was so excited to see and play with Crumbs once more. Deciding to keep life as quiet and normal as possible, Alice and Morgan had not told her of their decision about Nov 21st. There would be plenty of time for that and since Morgan had promised the ‘new dress’, he wanted to be with them when she chose it. A couple of hours shopping followed by lunch would be just the ticket. But not for a few weeks.

Driving through the entrance from the road, one lunchtime, Morgan saw a man walking along ahead of him. He stopped along side him and lowered the window, asking. “Can I help you?”

Recognising the driver as one of the owners of the property, the visitor tipped his cap in respect, then asked a question.

“I was wondering if there are any jobs going. Outdoor work. In the gardens. I had my own allotment for years. The land has been sold for redevelopment, a shopping mall I hear, so we were all given notice to quit. The garden centre I work in, has served notice, they are closing down at the end of the week. Times are hard and not many jobs going around here at the moment. I am an outdoor soul, love working on the land, close to nature.”

Opening the passenger door, Morgan invited the stranger into the car and up to the house for a chat. They went in through the back door and into the kitchen where George always had the kettle on the boil.

Over a pot of tea and fresh warm scones, they had a chat. Paddy Woods was his name, though known to all and sundry as ‘Wacky’! Morgan took to Wacky Woods immediately. Once the snack was finished they walked outdoors to the gardens. Automatically, Wacky pulled a weed or two, before straightening up and apologising for doing so without permission.

“No Problem, as you can see we were working on the house and it is only now we are thinking of the area outside. I think it might be a major task to keep the grounds in order. I might manage the grassed area with a ride on mower myself, but the walled garden, fruit trees and shrubbery would be beyond me. George the chef, you met him in the kitchen, would like us to provide our own produce, if possible.”

At that, Wacky’s eyes came to life and he oozed enthusiasm for the project.

“The land round here is healthy and not bombarded with modern chemicals. The walled area would give protection from the worst of the weather. Ideal for vegetable growing.

Is there a green house or a shed for potting and keeping tools?

How large are the grounds?

My brother worked in the garden centre too, he was indoors, mainly doing the heavy work, lifting, shifting and the a few bits of maintenance and joinery work. He helped me in the allotment when I needed extra hands, but he spent most of his spare time under the bonnet of an old jalopy that he bought from a car auction a couple of years ago.

Now it was Morgan’s turn to sparkle. Was Wacky’s brother a kindred spirit, with a love of engines?

“Now I have to end our conversation for today, I have a meeting in twenty minutes. Come back into the house and give me your details. I would very much like to have another chat with you and your brother, if he is interested. I am sure we could come to some arrangement. We do have a map of the land that I could dig out for our next meeting.

How are you fixed for Wednesday, I will be free all morning?”

“Wednesday will be fine for me and I am sure it will suit Willie, my brother too. I will check with him and let you know this evening. Thank you Mr Troy, I really appreciate this.”

With that, ` they shook hands and went their separate ways.

Morgan went in search of Alice. He found her talking to Mr Yates. At the new reception desk in the hallway. The desk blended in with the surroundings and it was difficult to believe it was only a week old. Carolyn was a real treasure, to source it for them.

Perhaps, someone else was won over to Carolyn’s charms? Mr Yates was appearing more dapper these days. Gone were the many layers of untidy clothes and he no longer looked like a well worn packed suitcase. His whole countenance had softened since the day he came crashing through the ceiling to their feet. That fall seemed to break through an invisible barrier between them. Now his beard had adopted a more shapely and cared for shape that emphasised his eyes. They actually smiled and looked alive, particularly when Carolyn entered the room.

With that, Carolyn came tip-toe tripping through the front entrance. Bubbling with ideas as usual, this time about the plans for the wedding.

Alice, before I go home today, I need an half hour with you and your fancy fiancé, to run through a couple of ideas.

“Fancy Fiancé indeed! Come on girls , we have interviewees eagerly or should that be nervously waiting to entice us with their talents.”

It was George’s idea for the interviewees to gather in the Oratory with tea and coffee on tap for them. It was a relaxing space and gave them the opportunity to chat together and also get to know the talent they were up against. He joined in with them, thus discovering how they interacted with each other. They had no idea that he was part of the team. This method worked well the previous week, when he was interviewing waiting staff. Morgan did the Oratory duty then, while Alice sat in on the interviews. Morgan said that he wished he had thought about this ‘extra pair of eyes’ over his years of interviewing.

George brought all the ‘kitchen’ folk that he suggested in on another day and together they prepared a meal, with Alice, Carolyn and Morgan in attendance. When it was cooked, they all sat at a large table in the banqueting room and shared in the feast. It was a good experience all-round. The interviewers, got a feel for the ‘heat and timing’ in the kitchen, and the cooks got to meet their employers on their own level.

By evening they had all but one member of the team to negotiate with: the Housekeeper. They wished to have another chat with Mrs Giles, but she was away, at her son’s wedding in new York and due back later in the week.

Carolyn had her time with Alice and her fancy fiancé, when she reminded them, of how they wanted the staff to feel part of the Hour House family.

“So why not involve them in the arrangements for the wedding, and invite them to join in on the big day? The meal they had with the kitchen staff, gave her the idea. Employment contracts would mean they were in place from the beginning of that week, to get a feel of the place and know where they fitted in the scheme of things.

“Be brave. Be different. Don’t wait a year before having a staff party. This way they will gel together and see each other both in the work situation and at play.

“It might work.” said Alice.

“Of course it will.” chimed in Morgan. “Then all we need is to have another chat with Mrs Giles, and find a few musicians. We need live music so that I can have a first dance with Mrs Troy! We need to put our thinking caps on.”

“Did you know that our Mr Yates plays the clarinet?” Asked Carolyn. “He is actually part of a quartet and I am invited to hear them play at the weekend. Would you like me to ask for a couple of tickets, so that you can hear them for yourselves?

“Please do.” Said Morgan. Our Mr Yates is a man of many talents. Just ask Alice, she had him falling at her feet!”

Now come on, dear heart, we are well on the way to living our dream!”