Kitchen Refurb June 2014

We have started a major kitchen renovation with the impending arrival of my mother in law.

She is almost blind and cannot cope at home on her own now, so she will move in with us and make the dining room her room.

First though we need to renovate the kitchen to take in to account a downstairs WC and a re-designed kitchen area.

The downstairs WC means that we need to lose a bit of the kitchen space, block up the existing back door and relocate the sink.  To compensate for losing the back door, we are having french doors fitted at the bottom of the kitchen, hence the relocation of the sink.  They will open out directly into the garden.

A completely new, integrated kitchen will then be installed, giving more room in the kitchen but not less space (we even get a wine cooler!).

Here are few pics from the start to current showing what has been done so far….

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The wall at the bottom that was the original door entrance and under stairs cupboard is gone and the new WC frame in in place.  A false ceiling is going in to house the down lighters in the bottom end of the kitchen.

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Above is the outside of the window that was at the bottom of the kitchen being readied to be removed to make way for the new doors.  the bricked up coal bunker at the side of the house and the rehoused piping from the boiler.

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The view from the hall way down through the kitchen still has the window in.  The hall wall is being readied for the new under stairs cupboard and the back door has now been bricked up with an aperture left for the new window for the WC.

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The old back door has been bricked and breezed up ready for boarding.  the cupboard in the kitchen has gone.  Boarding is now up separating the WC and kitchen.

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The frame for the WC in and the hole in the wall for the cupboard is now there.

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The floor in the new cupboard needs concreting but that is nothing major.  The sink is now relocated and the window area is ready to be removed and the new doors put in.

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The false ceiling void now has the all the wiring for the lights.  the new doors are in to left of the lounge doors and the WC window is in and the soil pipe hole is in the wall.

Next week the WC walls will be finished, the walls boarded, the false ceiling boarded and the lights situated.  The plasterer will then skim everywhere.

Then the toilet, wash basin and towel rail will be plumbed in.

Its been messy every night but Ally has generally cleaned up before I have got home from work.

It won’t be long now and hopefully the major messy stage has been passed, bar the plastering of course.

We can’t wait now for it to be done so we can then get the new kitchen installed.


By Clive Weston Posted in Home

Legoland Windsor 8.8.13

Today was a very long day!

We took Dylan to Legoland as he really wanted to go. Amy had a chill out day on her own.

We were up and our by 0830 to catch the tube from Angel to Kings Cross. There, we tubed to Paddington.  No sign of that little bear though!

We then went over ground to Slough and changed for one stop to Windsor.

A courtesy bus then took us to the park.

Now, legoland used to be the Windsor Safari Park but legoland seems to be bigger to me. Maybe its the amount of walking we did from wet attraction to wet attraction that we did!

Dylan loved it but he really wanted to skip the park and go straight to the shop to spend our money!

We queued for the river raft and log flume for about 3 hours getting the wet rides out of the way whilst the sun was nice and hot.  We dried off in no time.

A few rides later and we found ourselves in the shop. In fairness he didn’t go for the big expensive items.

Then it was time for long journey back to the hotel.

2 hours later we were back and in the restaurant having some well deserved food..  

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By Clive Weston Posted in London

Les Mis vs London Sea Life Aquarium

Having seen the film (I thought Russell Crowe did well), Dylan and I ventured to the aquarium whilst the girls went and cried themselves silly.

Sea Life London is huge and worth every penny just for the main tank and sharks!!

We saw fish from every region of the world but the sharks were by far our favourite mammals there.

I thought the penguin feature could have been bettet but on the whole, a great afternoon’s entertainment.

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By Clive Weston Posted in London

Hard Rock…great music

Tuesday night we ate at the afore mentioned Hard Rock Cafe.

Dylan used to love Rock Radio but has lately got more into music of the now (much to my amazement), so this was an attempt to get him back into the groove.

It failed but, the nacho’s, ribs and beer were great! 

I loved the music and food so much, I bought a t-shirt!!

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Tuesday was really hot but, as you do, we sat on an open top bus for a tour of ye olde Londinium.

What a great tour!

The tour guide, a Londoner (by a strange qwerk of fate), knew all the history and more.

The tour was approx 3 hours long and allowed for plenty of photo opportunities.  There were also options to “hop off, hop on” as and when you wanted to.

We stayed on until we got to the EDF London Eye. 

We had tickets pre booked and joined the back of the very long queue.

Having been on the Eye before but it was great for Dylan to see the sights from such a vantage point.

We finished on the Eye and walked over Tower Bridge for photo opportunities at Big Ben and the House’s of Parliament. 

We then went back to the hotel to freshened up and change for our venture to the Hard Rock Cafe…….to be continued……

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By Clive Weston Posted in London

Covent Garden et al

Wow what a busy afternoon/evening.

We caught the tube from Angel Islington to Kings Cross and then into Covent Garden. 
There we watched some levitating statues. We sussed it eventually!




We got a snack and went for a wonder around the market.

Another act was inside and this guy escaped from 3 chains wrapped around him!


We then headed to Trafalgar Square and onto Leicester Square, via The Strand.









We had a lovely Italian and headed back on the tube.

Shattered now so chilling and then bed……

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London August 2013

So, for the second time in a month, we’re off to London.  This time for a week of sightseeing.

Today we have caught the Virgin HST from Picadilly to Euston. We’re then off to drop the bags at the hotel in Islington. 

We have to sort out the oyster travel cards for the tube and then get something to eat.

Islington is great.  Lots of bars and a variety of restaurants so I’m sure we’ll have a tough choice. …

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By Clive Weston Posted in London

Not a Racist but I want my Country back…..

Firstly I want to say that I am not racist at all.

We live in a multicultural society where integration is key to its success.

The problem we have in this country is that our hands are tied by bureaucrats in European countries and the Human Rights Law.

Now, we all have rights as humans. No one can deny that and in the main, they work for us all.

But today’s and previous events around the world just go to show that Human Rights should be withdrawn when one human acts so barbarically towards another.

Where are we going wrong when known terrorists can’t be extradited from the UK because our own courts have their hands tied by the Human Rights act.

These terrorist’s are glorified and turned into martyrs and worshiped by the so called dis-affected youth.

The atrocity that occurred in Woolwich today sickened me to the core.

Here is a man who joined the army to put his life on the line for us.  So many have died fighting for the cause’s we, as a nation, decide to fight, rightly or wrongly.

He should not have been targeted because of who he was or what he wore.

I totally disagree with all the “lets take our country back” rhetoric but somethings needs to change.

We need to know that people who come in to the UK want to be here because we are a great country and not to “sponge” off all the hard working people in the UK.

I don’t know the answers but I do know that “an eye for an eye” is not the answer.

We have to stand up tall and say “You will not beat us.  We will prevail”.


Plot 7B Allotment Updates

After waiting almost 12 months we finally got an allotment this month.

The plot is 15 meters by 8 meters.  It had previously been worked but had laid “unworked” for a while.  It was over grown but fortunately the allotment society arranges for Community Payback “employees” to come and clear the plots!  Now that was a bonus I can tell you.

Attached are photo’s from the day we took over the plot.

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During the first week, I spent a couple of hours building a composter.  I was lucky enough to plan the top end of the site to allow space for the composter, a green house, which we are getting soon from a friend and a shed for the storage of equipment.  Taking notes of how other had built theirs and where they had positioned them, Ii came up with this first effort.

Today was the second time we have spent some time at the allotment.  I marked out the boundaries and we started to clear some of the remaining weeds.

I also sorted the composter out and levelled the ground it stands on.

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Spent a few hours at the allotment today.  Not been for a couple of week so the weeds had tried to invade again.

Whilst there the weather tried its best to dampen spirits by lashing down twice.  I really need a shed and quickly!!

So today I started the boundary at the bottom of the allotment patch and weeded the re-grown buggers and started on the weeds that hadn’t been attempted.

So at the end of nearly 4 hours toil, there is now a patch approximately 15 meters long by 3 meters wide that has been turned and weeded.

The next visit will now be week nights to continue with the boundary marking and weeding.

The plan then is to mark the growing beds and paths and plan the planting regime.

Here are today’s photos.

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Wow what a day.  got quite a lot done today.  Shame we still have a pile of others rubbish at the top of our plot but we have put some in the composter and I have got rid of all of the non composter rubbish!!

The plan today was to clear the final weeds from the first half of the plot, thereby giving 15m x 4m of workablw ground.  Then I laid a path of weed protective material from the bottom to the top of the plot.

The next job was to stake more of the pallets as the boundary fence to the plot.  Managed to get 3 pallets staked and secured.  The plot is coming together nicely!

One of the water butts is in situ now and will start to collect the precious thirst quencher when we get some rain!!!!

The last thing I did today was to plan 2 of the raised beds coing off the boundary towards the middle of the plot.  You will see from the photo’s that it is all coming together.

The plan now is to finish the boundary pallets and prepare more of the plots off the boundary toward the middle of the plot.

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Spent a couple of hours at the allotment today. We had had a visitor or two over night that had left their foot prints on the matting I had put down.!!

Planted another boundary pallet and marked 2 more beds.

Had two thunder storms fighting one and other whilst I was there.  Saw some of the lightening.

When the rain started, I went and sat in the book of the estate car and chilled for a bit.

Really enjoying my time down there.  So much achieved so far and only half of the plot has been touched.  the other half is a weed patch!!!

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Spent the afternoon at the allotment on the 11th.

The plan was to weed some more of the plot, add more to the boundary to protect the plot and start to build the centre raised bed.

Actually cleared approximately 5 sqare meters of the centre bed and laid the initial boards.

Was a lovely day too so enjoyed my time there even more.

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Spent this afternoon at the weed patch, er allotment!!

Covered the half of the plot that has not yet been touched.  This will kill off the weeds and allow easier removal in time.

I also continued the border fencing slightly.

The weeding of the central bed is a work in progress but I am thinking that maybe the bed is too wide.  I am considering my options.

Whilst there a fellow allotmenteer gave me some seeds which were duly sown in the first bed to be readied.  There are now spring onions, little gem lettuce and beetroot seeds sown.  Quite exciting.

Anyhow, here are today’s photo’s including the bruised thumb I gained whilst not concentrating!!!

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Ordered a shed for the allotment on Monday, 6 ft wide by 4 ft deep!! Rejigging the plans now and having to level the area that it will stand on.

Having to build a second composter as well to cater for all the weeds and rubbish that we need to compost down.

After the heavy rain of the last few days the soil is sodden but the weeds are coming out easier!!

Going to start to cover the walkways this week as well in an effort to keep the weeds at bay.

No pictures today but more to follow as I hope to have the shed in situ by Saturday!!


Well the second composter is almost complete.  Just needs lining and then I can start to fill it, making space for the shed.

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This composter is at the bottom of the plot and also serves as part of the boundary, thus protecting the plot.


Went to the allotment around 1800 tonight for a couple of hours.

The plan was to prepare the space for the green house (still to dis-assemlbe and move to the plot) and the shed (bought but needs collecting).

Firstly, i lined the new composter so that it can start to be filled.

I then found a huge pile of wood chippings and, having spoken to a fellow allotementeer, started barrowing it to the plot for the walk ways.  Covered some of the walk ways and between beds.  It makes the plot look so much better already

The pile of compost and soil that had collected at the corner of the plot was then spread out to try and level the area for the greenhouse and shed.

I guess this may be a waste of compost but the area needs to be level so that the blocks can go down and be level as the bases.

Anyway, here’s the photo’s….

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8.09.2012 – 12.09.2012

Since lunchtime on Saturday I have been constructing a store at the allotment.  Its not a shed as it has double doors and no window!

Althought flat packed, it wasnt easy to assemble with a 6 year old for help!

Anyway, with other help, eventually, the store was constructed and creocoted (mostly) on the Saturday.

Sunday saw me finish the creocoting and secure the doors with a rather meaty lock and clasp.  I also finished securing the roof felt and giving the tools to be kept in the store their own hanging place!!

Tonight, after the heaving rain for the last two days I ventured down to see if the store was still in one piece.  Fortunately it was and it appeared to be fairly water tight!!

I added a weather strip to the doors and creocoted it, as well as some of the internal panel joints.

I now have a place to store my tools, shelter from the weather and contemplate life in general….

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What a day!  Another 7 1/2 hour shift at the allotment.

The plans today were:

1. Build a shelf in the store

2. Create 1 small bed and 1 large bed.

3. Weed the existing beds and wood chip the walkways.

4. Wood chip the area infront of the store.

The shelf is only made from ply wood but will suffice for now.  Using it to keep stuff of the floor really but another shelf is planned to help when potting seedlings on.

The area in front of the store is uneven and needed levelling and then covering with weed control fabric and wood chippings.  This now allow a nice even area that is relatively clean of mud before entering the store.

The creation of the small bed was easy and the weeding inbetween was hardly worth it but the paths between are now freshlty wood chipped.

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The bigger bed was slighly more time consuming as the ground had become compacted and was uneven.

The bed was constructed and then the weeding and turning began.

There weren’t many weeds but the ground was tough.  I turning it all with the big fork and then weeded and broke up the soil with the smaller version.

I tried as best as I could to level the ground oud out but this will take time.

Anyway, a very productive day at the plot, very pleased with the progress so far…..


Spent another afternoon at the allotment, again with plenty of plans in my head.

I acheived some but not all.

I found a note through the stoore day from a plot neighbour offering me some manure.  An offer to good to pass up.

I barrowed 4 – 5 loads on to weeded and prepared beds and will leave it to rot down before digging in.

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I also weeded and re-barked some of the path ways between the smaller beds.

I prepared another larger bed to run down the middle of the plot. The larger beds will be used for squash’s, potatoes etc.

I made the store more secure with the addition of an internal door bolt.

I also started to pallet fence by the store so that at some point I can put a gate into the plot in the boundary fence.


Spent a few hours at the plot today.

Planned to shift manure onto 2 small beds and 1 big bed.  Acheived that with 10 barrow fulls moved.

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The next plan was to build a secong composter which will have the compost from the top composter transfered to.  This will give more space at the top of the plot for the green house and a herb / flower bed.

I also barrowed manure into the comoster to the right to aid the composting process and to save some!!

Next will be creating some more beds and preparing the ground for the green house.


Wow what a day.  & hours at the plot in beautiful sunshine!!

Mind when I first got there, after nights rain, it was rather squishy!!!

I first started by preparing a path between the bottom and soon to be middle big beds that run through the centre of the plot.

A bit of weed control fabric covered in wood chippings did the job nicely.

As you can see, I had also weeded half of the next big bed.  That was the relatively easy half!!

So I c arried on with the other half which took forever due to the compacted soil and the weeds being more of a challenge!! But I got it all done and even leveled the bed edging!

The path way needed some attention so it got another covering of chippings, bringing them level with the end of the bed.

I replenished my stock of chippings and then started to barrow the rest of the manure down onto the new bed.

6 barrow fulls later, the bed was covered.

So, thats all the manure gone now and all the beds covered.

The next visit will include more weeding and preparing the area to the greenhouse.

I am getting a 10ft x 6 ft greenhouse.  I will be flagging the area where it will reside and ensuring it is weed free.


Another 5 hours at the plot today.  The plan was to prep the area for the greenhouse butthere was a delivery that could not be ignored.

As I was “planting” 2 further pallets for the border fence next the the communial path, having weeded the area and turned the soil, a delivery arrived.

A wagon load of “greens” – chipped conifer tree!!

My neighbour on the plot had arranged it and offered some of the delivery to me.

I helped them transfer it from the road onto his plot and then onto mine.

I first had to line the second composter with an over size bin bag and then filled the composter with the chipped tree.  All of this, I am advised, with rot down.

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So I now have 1 composter full of manure, greens and weeds rotting nicely and a 2nd composter with greens in, awaiting another delivery the weekend coming.

The pallet fencing is coming along nicely.  The plan to to go as far as the shed with an entrance near the composters and one by the shed.

Really enjoying the hard work as the results of every days work there are proving that the plot will be ready to start planting in the spring.  Cant wait……


WOW!! What a day.  Today I added to more pallets to the path fence.  This time they look nice and striaght….ish.

I had bought some over wintering onions on Friday but, as all the beds were covered in manure, had to build, weed and turn a new bed to accomodate the bulbs. Once turned and weeded I added some compost from home and planted 36 onion bulds.

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I then turned the manure in the two smaller beds to help it rot down nicely.

All of that took a few hours and lots of coffee but what a great day.


Two days on the spin this weekend!!  Had to try and plant the rest of the onion bulbs which meant creating another bed!!

Decided where the bed was going and turned the soil in readiness to weed.  It was pretty wet so decied to put andother pallet in the path fence.  5 in now and it will only need one more.

I then continued to weed and turn the new bed but alas it was still to wet to plant any bulb so i bought them home with some pots and will star them in pots at home.

i then tunred the manure in the two big beds and re-barked some paths.  I also barked the areas in front on the two composters as they will become paths when the new beds are started on the until now covered area.

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Have the area where the greenhouse is going to weed and level next.  then I’ve just got dismantle it, transport it to the plot and assemble it again.

Ogh also found out the plot number from the council – Plot 7B.


Been ages since I’ve been to the plot.  I was worried after all the rain we have had bu surprisingly it is not water logged.

I didn’t do anything as I didn’t have the time but I took some photo’s of the winter onions that are growing and various snaps of the plot.

Got to go back next week….missed the place….

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Spent a goods 5 hours at the plot today.  The plan was to turn the one bed prepared without manure and the 4 beds covered with manure.

The ground was wet but not as bad as some plots, as you can see from the photo’s.

My over wintering onions are coming on and I also have some growing in pots at home.  they will be transferred once the frosts have gone.

More chippings were delivered to the site as well so I got a few barrow full for the paths etc.

Some photo’s are of other plots, some suffering from water logging and some that are to aspire to.

Really looking forward to creating more beds now and planning the first crop planting just as soon as possible.

As always, any comments, feedback or advise is greatly appreciated.


Spent most of the weekend at the plot.

Completely weeded the final big bed and turned the soil / manure in the other beds.

We planted some onions and decided what was going to be planted in the other beds.

I then started to turned and weed the area where the greenhouse will be situated.

The final part of my weekend was taken up by walking around the site and seeing what was happening on the other plots.

here are some photo’s of the bed and site inhabitants.

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Spent an hour at the plot last night just tidying up the wood that I’d delivered during the day.
I then rechipped most of the paths.
Tomorrow I have a delivery of manure arriving…..going to be a long day…..

Luna and Orion 8.2.12

I went to the Wythenshawe Park Star Gazers Club meet tonight.

The sky was clear to start with but at approx 2000 started to cloud over.

Before hand though I managed to photograph Orion and then Luna as she rose majestically.

At the beginning of the night I focused on Jupiter and saw 3 of her moons.

I have learnt to take atmospheric photo’s by watching and learning from other people who post beautiful Moon images.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage