Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Thanks to the minor car accident the other day, we are finally getting our house sorted. We've only lived here ten years. This has been a long time coming and we've been very patient.

We've spent the last week stripping wallpaper, pulling down coving and moving furniture. It's been...fun. Pete's been picking away at it for months, but once we had a deadline it was all systems go and we had to work late into the night quite a few times. The plasterer that we used was great, really great, and I can't quite believe this is my house!

Before and after pictures:

Under the stairs before...

...and after.

The worst bit - the bottom of the stairs where Ryan kindly flooded our bathroom and made the ceiling collapse.

What a difference!

The useless blocked up door to nowhere...

...now it's gone!

The living room was the worst. Underneath our old wallpaper it was decorated like a crack den by the previous tenants, who'd kindly painted straight onto bare plasterboard.


Lovely navy walls. Classy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

5 Years

Five years ago today, Ryan moved in with us. I can't believe how quickly that has flown by, I really can't. This is something worth celebrating. When he was younger, we used to buy him a chocolate cake to celebrate another year here with us.

The mess he was in when he moved in, you would never believe that he was the same person. He couldn't sleep, had to have long term counselling, felt guilty all the time and was completely brainwashed. He used to have nightmares every night about us all dying at Armageddon, and was so stressed that he had a nervous tic. Don't get me wrong, he's still an arrogant little turd who thinks the whole world revolves around him, but my god did we think he was going to go off the rails big style after the childhood he'd had and the emotional abuse from his Mum. He's turned out remarkably sane, all things considered. His Mum is still messing him about, doesn't give two hoots about him at all, but he's just used to it now.

I'm very proud, and so glad I fought for him and did the majority of the pushing to get him here. It's been worth it.

So, in celebration, here is ickle Ryan on his first day at senior school in 2005, age 11, two weeks after he'd moved in:

And this is almost 17 yr old Ryan now:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

MORE pictures

Sorry to be a complete bore, but I just love the light at this time of year for outdoors photography, so tend to take loads of shots of the kids. When we actually get some sunshine that is. It has been quite sunny here this week, but bloody freezing!

Kit has really grown up all of a sudden, he's chatting away constantly. He has learnt to say "Dark", "Bird" and "Moon" this week, but now gets very disappointed when there is no moon to look at.

I took this one yesterday and instantly thought how much he looked like Isobel at the same age. They've always been similar, with Kit looking more like me and Bel more like Pete, but they really are pulling the exact same face here!



Saturday, October 16, 2010


I think I am either raising a genius, or a sociopath. Maybe he is both? An evil overlord or something. This picture just about sums him up really. A hilariously suspicious baby;

He laughs all the time, even if it is a little worryingly maniacal at times, but then he flashes from giggling to being completely deadpan and staring right deep into your eyes. He is so intense.

Taylor came home with a swollen eyebrow last week. When he told me the story, I wished I'd been there because it sounded seriously funny. He was on the bus, the driver braked too hard and Taylor shot forward. He fell down the steps in the middle of the bus and headbutted the bell. It dinged, and everyone on the bus laughed at him. One lady laughed so much she had a coughing fit.

The best thing? The bus driver heard the bell, stopped, and it was actually Taylor's stop!

Saturday, October 09, 2010


Pete had a car accident on Thursday morning, with all the kids in the car on the way to school. I wasn't there, I'd stayed at home to get ready for work. A young girl went into the back of our new(well, technically 10 yr old) car at a roundabout. She was very upset and admitted responsibility. Her insurance company called with an offer by lunchtime and we bargained with them a little and are now the recipients of a £1600 payout. The car is fine, you can barely see the damage, but we will need to get it looked at as it may not pass the MOT now. The kids were all fine too and went to school with no problems.

Our credit card balance will now be looking a little bit healthier, and we can finish plastering the hallway and fix the TV. I just can't wait to get the house finished. We've waited so long to have it all done, we've owned this place for three years and have lived here for eleven, and we have been battling with it that whole time, watching it crumbling before our very eyes and just getting worse. It's a little sad that I'm so excited about painting freshly plastered walls, and having flooring that isn't ratty and horrible. We also finally got a garage after 18 months on the waiting list this week, it's in a terrible state so the council need to sort it before we can use it really, the door is hanging off and there is a terrible roof leak, but to finally have somewhere for the moped, bikes and lawnmower to live is great.

Monday, October 04, 2010


We've just spent about 4 days decorating and cleaning like mad things as we had valuers coming to have a look at the house. We want to remortgage to get a better interest rate and pay it off over a shorter term, so a better deal all round, but needed the top end valuation to get it. Pete and I stayed up until 2am decorating, then were up again at 5am finishing it off. All week we nagged the kids to tidy their rooms. Taylor & Isobel were angels and were really helpful, Ryan thought he was above all that pulling-his-weight for the family stuff, and waited until his lack of response caused a massive row, and did it under duress ten minutes before the man walked over the threshold. Lovely.

We are right, slap bang in the middle of a massive redecorating spree, so I thought I'd take before pics while the house was nice and tidy. Probably the tidiest it's been for years to be fair, though not for long I'm sure.

Isobel & Kit's room

Our bedroom

Our newly decorated bathroom, it took about 3o hours, with work in between, to wallpaper, paint and lay the flooring. I do seem to work better with a deadline looming!

I'm very proud of my new floor, I am now a self-proclaimed DIY genius!

The hallway, a work in progress - Pete's been stripping the walls to get them ready for plastering for a few weeks now, and I started laying the wooden floor this week.

The kitchen, which is the only finished room in the house.

Taylor's lovely tidy bedroom. It doesn't look like that now.