31 January 2008

Photos from my walk today

This is one of the paths that lead along the seafront. To the left, over the hilly bit is a path along the road, and to the right, over the grassy bit is the path along the actual beach.

Facing the other way.

The pathway leading to the sea.

The sea, with the tide out.

Cloudy skies and muddy beach.

This is what the beaches in this part of the country look like. They slope so gently to the sea that when the tide is out there is mud forever before you get to water. I have heard that it's about a mile to the sea, but don't know if that's true or not. And when the tide comes in it rushes in suddenly.

Facing back towards the road (where the houses are.)

The path along the seafront.

The first spring bulbs coming up!

Check out this restaurant in a disused train. Noah was very impressed. We plan to eat there sometime.

I love this hotel - the Grand Hotel.

Bridge over man-made pond.

First crocuses!

I had to take pictures of this water fall with fast shutter speed ...

... and slow shutter speed.

The Grand Hotel again.

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The front of our house

Here's the front of our house. It's an old house, about 120 years old. The house next door that we are attached to (blue door) has been turned into 3 flats.

I love the little deatils like the white trim and wrought-iron railing.

This is our little front yard. We plan on removing most of the front wall to create access for off-street parking.

There's the cellar window well.

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Sometimes, most times, it's just easier to stay in, where it's warm and you have things that need doing. But that path of least resistance was leading me straight down to the doldrums so I made myself bundle up, wrapped Noah warmly and put him in his buggy for a walk.

It turns out that it takes only six minutes to walk to the beach front. Although the air was still and calm at my house it wasn't so at the seafront! Gosh, the wind can blow there. It was the kind of air that slices across your skin like shards of ice, making your ears burn (despite being under a hat,) your eyes water and your hair and clothes whip into a frenzy. It makes you feel alive, and grateful to be so.

What a difference that walk made! I pressed against the wind for a short space along the beachfront, taking pictures now and again and quickly putting my camera away and my gloves back on between pictures as my fingers froze. Then we wandered back along the road to see the ducks at the man-made bridge and pond. The spring bulbs are starting to poke up through the soil like green daggers and the sight of the first tender yellow crocuses brought a grin to my face - they always symbolise hope, to me. Although it's ages away, spring feels just that bit nearer when I see them. I spoke for a minute or two with a cheerful stranger and felt better for that, too. Then Noah and I made our way to the school to pick up Daniel and come home where it's warm and I still have things to do.

But they're that much easier to do with a lighter heart, which is filled with gratitude.

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Am feeling a little melancholy and lonely today. The isolation and lack of adult company is starting to wear on me. It's a beautiful sunny day but cold outside and I might go for a walk to the beach with Noah a little later. I had intended to go to the toddler group at the church a few doors down from our house but we've mail-ordered a couple of things on the internet so I wanted to be in in case they were delivered this morning.

I've been spending my time today doing laundry, organising cupboards in the kitchen, clearing the pantry area in the cellar and I hung some pictures on the half-landing. Slowly the house is taking shape and organised systems are being put in place. We have less storage furniture than in the last house so that's been a bit challenging, and there are a few items we still need to buy, but we need to watch finances as I'm still not working. Noah has been as good as gold today, just pottering around with me or playing with his toys. My sweet angel.

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29 January 2008

Touring the upstairs

I'm glad you enjoyed the tour of the downstairs! Thanks to those who commented, you are sweet. Now for the upstairs. The first room upstairs is the bathroom. We installed the dark wood blind as there was nothing at the window and I didn't want to shock the neighbours.

I also got the mirror I wanted and it was on sale! The air vent above it doesn't work and has in fact been blocked up with expanding foam so we will eventually take it out and plaster over the hole. I still need to get a brown soap dispenser.

We added two towel rails in the alcove. The blue box you see is the third towel rail that we will install above the radiator and level with the one on the right.

We love our huge walk-in shower! It's a rare thing over here in England.

I plan to hang a clock above the end of the bath and pictures along the long wall.

The storage cupboard is just a Billy bookcase from Ikea. I may fancy it up a little with some moulding one day. I still need to get brown baskets for the shelves and another set of towels. Oh, and I also want to get a Frog Pod for the kids' toys, but can't bring myself to spend what it costs.

This is the half-landing between the bathroom (the door you can see) and the bedrooms.

Standing in the bathroom door facing the bedrooms - that's the boys' bedroom on the left.

The landing in front of our bedroom, where our laundry sits. Hmm, methinks I'll be working on doing some laundry today. The stairs then lead upward to the penthouse suite - Grant's parents' portion of the house (no pics.)

The next room is the boys' bedroom. I bought their beautiful new bunk beds from a store on eBay and I love them. We originally put the two beds seperate into the room but decided the boys would love the novelty of a bunk so we put them together. I like that we can have them either way.

And look at the perfect bedding I found for £6 (that's around $12) at Asda!

We installed an Ikea Pax wardrobe.

Last night I ironed, hemmed and hung their curtains (plain off-white.) We installed the white wood blind.

This half of the room looks really empty but it's nice that way - the boys can spread out their toys and play.

Okay, onto our wonderful bedroom. We absolutely love it, it is so big (about 19ft x 17ft.) I'll add some curtains to soften the windows. We also installed these white wood blinds. And yes, I need a bed valance.

We love the white Pax wardrobes from Ikea. We simply installed them straight across the alcove even though it goes further back behind half of them. The door leads to the ensuite shower room.

The view from the wardrobes. The treadmill is lurking behind the door. We plan on getting a white chest of drawers for each side of the bed and making a headboard.

I'm not sure what I'll do with the tv, which is only in our room for us to watch when we're on the treadmill. I hate it there, but there's nowhere else for it. I'll figure something out.

*Sigh* I love our windows.

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