10 days off, all one after the other and no fixed plans. That’s what we have in store and day 1 is today.

DIY lounge

Of course the British weather has decided to play up and therefore, not beaten, Day 1 will be dedicated to decorating.

As I write on one side of the room Paul is stripping on the other – wallpaper that is! :)

The walls underneath aren’t too bad, they will need sanding a bit which I hate as dust seems to reach every nook and cranny in the house and I have painted some squares of colour on my newly plastered wall. I have chosen from the Dulux colour charts, 3 options from the Light and Space range and 3 options from the Once range. Maybe they’d like to send me one of their Paint Pods to trial and review? :)

shades of white paint

As per usual I have gone for plain light colours which I think make the room look open, airy and give an impression of more space. I do love seeing all the colours used in magazines but fear I would get fed up with them after a while and seeing as I won’t be convincing Paul to change the room every time a colour goes out of fashion this seems to be the best option. My choices are from the left, Frosted Dawn, Jasmine shimmer, Coastal glow, Barley white, Almond white (which we used at our last home for the front room) and Ivory Lace. So far my two favourites are Coastal glow and Ivory lace, luckily Paul agrees although he’d rather piant the room like the Spanish restaurant La Tasca ie terracotta and yellow!

I am hoping ladies and gentlemen that by the end of next week I will have photos of our finished Living room to show off.

Yesterday I went through the Next Made2order curtains and requested to be sent four samples to try out. The window is a large one, 3 metres across so will need a lot of material to cover it. we’re looking at at leat £200 – and that’s sale prices!

As for the fireplace I was toying with the idea of spraying it white as I’m not overkeen on the dark wood look but right now I’m going to wait until it’s all decorated and see then if it needs doing or not.

I have been looking at light fittings  as we have two wall lights and two ceiling lights. At the moment they are 2 x 80’s faded green shades a la Amityville Horror, remember the fringed lampshades?

bare wall

And a mirror for over the fireplace. Have a look at the photo here to see what we found scratched into the wall under the paper….Paul! How freaky is that? It must be a sign that we’re on the right track surely?  Shame we didn’t find a hidden letter going back to the 60’s when the house was built, maybe with directions to a buried treasure…yes,with X marks the spot!

It’s weird, but having just looked at a few bits to furnish the room, without choosing anything ridiculously expensive, I’ve managed to tot up about £750, that includes a new coffee table admittedly but it does show that it’s easy to spend a grand before you’ve even thought of changing your suite! Which of course I’d love to but we need to completely revamp the upstairs bathroom first (future blog material!)

And with all of this going on we also have friends round for a take away tonight…with their children so that’ll be a mad rush to get the place looking relatively tidy in time.


We have been here for almost a month now, we’ve unpacked all of the boxes, tackled some of the garden, found places for everything to live, held two successful BBQs, settled the girls in very nicely indeed and hopefully completed all of the Change Of Addresses that needed doing apart from DVLA and a couple of others.

Now it’s time to start on the mammoth task lying in front of us – that of updating the house. Bringing this 1960’s property into the third millenium.

Of course to do all of it immediately is impossible unless of course I win tonight’s Euro lottery in which case I’d probably move to a mansion and keep this as a ‘project’ to while away my luxurious days.


So we have decided unanimously to tackle the living room as it’s the place we spend most time in and host when people come to see us.

The photos before we moved in show quite clearly a striped wallpaper which I’m afraid I don’t like and a dark wooden surround to the fireplace, which again I don’t like. Here are some other photos for you to gain an insight of what I’m up against and to allow you to appreciate the wonderful work we shall perform in this room. :)


So here’s the plan….please note the previous owners have covered the only radiator in the room with a plasterboard wall and two grids to allow a little of the heat into the room.

So one wall to come down and who knows what we’ll find behind it apart from the rolls of wallpaper already stashed there?

The fireplace I’m considering spraying white or off white for now.

The curtains are coming down! Whoever chose those to go with stripy wallpaper? I have nets at the window which again I don’t like and so I’m currently sourcing an alternative and thinking of blinds, not vertical or venetian though.

The two wall lamps with their Amityville Horror shades need changing. (Why green?)

We also need to add a second radiator and move the other as the long term plan is to open up the room to the kitchen behind and make it open plan.

This weekend however, we’ll be concentrating on emptying out the garage of all their old pots of paint, bits of carpet, lumps of wood and rubbish stacked neatly on the back shelves.

We’ll cut even more back of the overgrown garden and spend hours shreding it and possibly start to bring down the plasterboard wall in the lounge.

Busy times, have a great weekend all xx

Welcome home!

‘Sorry. Your front room’s in a bit of a pickle love’ 

Last famous words from the Phil the removal man. 

I can’t have too much of a go at him as they were brilliant seeing as I was alone that day. Paul, not being able to get the day off work due to others on holiday, left Winterscroft that morning at 7am and came home to a new home that day. Weird to say the least. 

Phil and his men had Winterscroft completely cleared out by noon, garage and a couple of plant pots too that I shoved on at the last minute. I had dismantled the bed and the cots single-handed, roaming the house with my Phillips screwdriver and an Allan key and feeling very ‘handy Andy’ I must admit. The solicitor had phoned to say we had received our buyers’ money and so it should only be another half an hour for completion. 

Brilliant news! 

On that note I phoned my buyer, Mr Elliott (remember him?) and arranged to hand over the keys if he could get there as it was all going very much to plan. 

The 28th June was a massively hot day, whereas Phil on the day of quotation had told me to leave the kettle and tea bags till last he hadn’t mentioned cold drinks, so I phoned up grandad to do the honors and he nipped out to Morrisons’ for me and cane back with bags of water, coke and soft drinks. Just as well as they were all sweltering in the heat and so was I! 

‘bit’ of a pickle?

Anyway, keys handed over, Phil and his men gone, I made my way round to nans’ where the girls were with my mum, nan and grandad. A light lunch was prepared for me which I woofed down in nano seconds – hungry work being a handy Andy I can tell you! and I waited and waited for my phone call. 

‘They’ve all gone to lunch’ (mum) 

‘The money has got held up in a queue’ – (Grandad – ex banker) 

2.00pm I call the solicitor for info. ? ‘Oh yes, who knows what has happened? You know sometimes there’s just a delay – anyway all over now. (yes, and did you have a nice lunch??? ggrrr) 

2.30 I collect the keys = Very Excited Mari :-) 

Putting the key in the lock for the first time is quite something. Is this really happening? Will we be happy here? Wonder if the neighbours are looking? Which room shall we do first? Hundreds of questions that went through my mind. 

The house was quiet, musty smelling and HOT, I made a point of rushing around and opening every window I could to let some air in. 

Now the decor guys, leaves a lot to be desired but that’s part of the project right? I think the tops is the downstairs toilet/shower room which is 70’s vintage – or that’s how I’m selling it for now, grey blue tiles and light blue formica…nice eh? 

The entire afternoon was spent unloading the two vans and trying to make some sort of organisation out of pure chaos. the girls were very much left to their own devices in the overgrown back garden until I had an afterthought about sun cream and dragged them inside again much to their dislike. 

moving in

Mum trying to make sense of the kitchen

Paul came home to a nightmare and slowly slowly we started to get our new life together. The girls went to bed filthy that day but in clean cots and wearing clean pyjamas (one day won’t hurt!) and we managed to put our bed together before crashing on top of it. Yes, on top as it was far too hot to sleep in it. 

And that ladies and gentlemen is the day we moved to Shorne.

Well it’s all coming to a head right now after 3 weeks of waiting for the others in the chain to get their act together which has been so frustrating. I mean why call up extra enquiries the week we’re supposed to exchange contracts, especially if you’ve had longer than us to get them all done?

Anyway, I have had the solicitor on the phone asking me for available dates and as we’re going on holiday and not back till the 27th we cannot do before then.

Mr Parkinson, on the other hand, goes on holiday on the 29th and is pushing for the 28th! (Mr bloody Parkinson is also the one who’s been faffing about until now -grrr) There’s always one isn’t there?

So the big question for us this morning – can we do the 28th fresh back from Lake Garda? Yes of course I said, thinking it’s going to be a nightmare anyway, let’s just get on with it. To be honest, I’d rather be in my new place unpacking and sorting myself out than here and waiting. So. Bring it on!

I have managed to provisionally book a removal company just now and thankfully I have boxed up most of our stuff so there’s only a small amount of packing to be done to add to the panic of move day morning but on the whole, we’re in a pretty good place.

I will have to inform the gas and electric people today plus Virgin media and maybe the council too?

Who knows?

Anyway, far too busy to be waffling on here that’s for sure.

See you all soon, folks. There will be a couple of scheduled posts coming your way, and if I manage to get on I will say hello from Italia too.

Take care and have fun, Mari xx

Our new lounge. No 1 on the redecor list!

So near and yet so far, that’s where we are currently. 

It’s a five house chain and we’re at the end of it praying that all goes smoothly so we can move soon. 

Our solicitor has confirmed that we are ready to go with contracts signed but it’s the others who are holding us up, Mr Elliot, our buyer, was on holiday last week (cheek!) and the first time buyers at the bottom of the chain are buying a leasehold which apparently needs more legal work. 

We have been told that we may expect an exchange this coming week with a date for moving obviously on that contract. We are off to Lake Garda on the 10th June so we’re hoping to move before then but realise this may not be possible. If so it’ll be after the 27th on our return. Watch this space. 

Our new place is currently empty as the family moved out in February so I cheekily asked the estate agents acting for both if us to see if, after we’ve paid the 10% deposit along with the signed contracts, would she be happy for me to go in one weekend and clean the place as it’s been standing closed for so long? Not only that but it would make our moving in easier, especially where the girls are concerned. 

She doesn’t mind, so long as she knows beforehand so she can go along and check for post. Brilliant news! So that’ll be coming up in a week or two I hope. 

Our house is looking more and more like a warehouse every day as I find things I won’t be needing and pack them away in boxes. I have already found I’ve packed things I need, like the needlework basket for some buttons that need sewing and CD’s as I seem to have lost my iTunes (?) dammit. 

This morning I spent a couple of hours in our back garden, trimming back all the growth (it was everywhere!), I’m pleased with the result and hope it looks a little better now for Mr Elliot. I was also thinking of writing him a note with details of rubbish night, who the neighbours are and other things that come to mind that he may find useful. 

Should I tell him that over the past weeks, ok months, the downstairs toilet flush makes a funny noise on use? If he opens the cold tap the noise disappears, it’s obviously not mega important but I don’t know whether to let him find out by himself or not? 

Nice weather today, we’re most likely going to the beach tomorrow and this evening we’re invited to a barbecue with our good friends where I hope a photo opportunity arises for Tara’s The Gallery this week. I’ve missed it for a while now so it would be nice to catch up with her. 

Have a great weekend all, Mari :)