Image by silviarita from Pixabay
In my last blog “When I Grow Up I Want To Be…” I talked about how we are expected to choose our paths at an early age and how we let this choice define the rest of our adult lives. It got me thinking (or actually one of the comments I received in response to that blog did), about how we are all expected to do and be certain things in this life and how difficult it is to manage these expectations.
Those of us of a certain age grew up in a vastly different era.
We accepted things we wouldn’t dream of putting up with today.We felt and took responsibility for things that happened to us.
This sounds noble, but it is anything but. Hell, half of my childhood TV heroes are now in prison…way too late because victims blamed themselves and/or were too embarrassed, or frightened, to come forward.
We were tricked by societal lies that...
The Most Terrifying Question Ever.
The question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ was for me both the most boring, yet terrifying question ever.
Boring because where I grew up, it seemed the only options were to go and work at the nuclear plant, the shipyard or learn shorthand and become a secretary, none of which excited me.
Terrifying because the first time this question raised its head, I was around 13 years old. What subjects do you want to continue studying to enable you to become what you want to be in life?
I was 13, how on earth was I supposed to know what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was a long way from being a grown up and all I knew was, I liked being outside and I liked being around animals. Neither of which really earned you good money, unless you were a vet or something…hell yeah, I’ll be a vet then!...
I Need More Time!
We are so busy renovating, gardening, cooking, kayaking, painting and generally enjoying this crazy life we chose... that I haven't sat down to write since January, when I laid out the plans for this year.
Whilst the Western World appears to have gone a little bit mad, here in Eastern Europe (at least in my little part) things seem to be pretty much business as usual.
Yes, we carry masks with us wherever we go, we avoid crowded spaces and only eat outdoors in restaurants, but there is no doubt whatsoever, that we are truly, truly lucky to have made early choices in life that now are paying us back in spades.
Life has changed very little for us. We have achieved the best part of the three things that were on our list, with the exception of perhaps the continuous improvement in the garden area...which the cooling temperatures will help with immensely as the year progresses.
But we have...
Time Off for Good Behaviour
Normally once it gets to November we down tools and get some time off for good behaviour. Maybe the odd day will be a work day if the sun shines or there isn't too much snow.
2019 had other thoughts! The weather was amazing, so here we are in January and we haven't stopped yet. This means we are getting a good jump on our tasks for 2020.
Before I go into our three tasks for this year though let me sum up the third item on last years list. I have already covered the kitchen in this article here. And the garage floor in this one - just click to read them if you've missed them.
Item Number Three
You might be getting the theme now that only having three things on our list doesn't mean we have very little to do. Similar to the UK saying we will only 'save the NHS', 'build a high...
Second on our List
Us humans look for patterns in many things. We all have our superstitions (even if we say we don't)... personally I have some really weird ones and most of them are based around even numbers (don't ask).
However, for some reason last year we decided that both good and bad things come in threes so we should hedge our bets and pick just three things to complete in 2019.
That might sound simple, but us being us - those three things were enormous tasks. You have already seen what we did to the kitchen, but in between days working on this we tackled another two large projects.
The second on our list was the garage floor. The frame of this garage had been up for a year and we couldn't use it because we had no floor. It was a big space and would need around 12 cm3 of concrete, plus a covering (6 tonnes) of gravel, rebar reinforcement...
The Whole Nine Yards.
As promised I have accumulated all of the images related to our kitchen transformation and I will try to take you through our process, but first I think you have to understand what other stages it went through during our time here.
When we bought the house in 2013 this room was down a dark corridor and contained two beds and a little old sink behind a curtain. It was cold, dark and damp and we thought... this would make a great guest room!
We dug out the floor, and put down a new concrete surface. Some of the wooden beams found in the floor have been used elsewhere in the house, in fact one of them is above the new door to the kitchen.
We then replaced render on the walls, tiled the floor, painted, put in furniture and bobs your uncle...
Four years later .... fed up of living in a cramped 'make-do' kitchen which attracted flies in...
There are many situations in life when it is necessary to apologize, but there are times when sorry just doesn't cut it!
Like when you're trying to rescue a spider out of the bath and are armed with glass and paper and the little bugger moves at the last second. You panic and plunge with the glass, unceremoniously amputating a couple of its legs... for the spider this is one of those occasions.
For me the situation I find myself in, may not be like losing a limb, but still I think the fact that I haven't written a blog in 18 months, might also be filed firmly under the heading 'Where the fuck have you been' and 'no you're right, sorry just doesn't cut it'!
But I am sorry! Not only because you of course have been desperate to hear what's going on in my life, but also because now I am faced with the problem of how to update one and...
I love writing about our adventures, but why do it if there's nothing to tell, or if I seem to be just duplicating everything I've already put on Instagram or the Facebook page...I don't want to start boring you guys senseless....
Yeah I know not all of you follow my social media journeys...why, I don't know, because I am a photographic genius!!
This may be a slight exaggeration, or even a downright lie, but you are missing some cracking adventures...usually me hurting myself or just making a fool out of myself and putting my injured pride out there on show for all to see.
In fact since I last wrote I have done a ton of things, from painting silly pictures - this one here is going up for auction in the UK to raise money for rescue dogs out here! I've kept running (mostly just to have some quiet time) and have made it to 5kms which is pretty amazing for me....
Well now the snow has gone, it is full steam ahead with my plans for a new kitchen. As you may have guessed I have spent quite a lot of time planning layout and requirements in terms of pipes, electrical points, appliance, wall and door positions, but now it is time to get cracking!
First the room needed emptying so we can see what we're dealing with, so I mentioned to Dan that we'd have to live with the mess for a little while, his response?! "What another 4 years?" Ha ha, how we laughed...
So the chest freezer is now in the lounge (how this is more strange than it being in the bedroom I'm not sure), the large sofa is in the dining room, the bed and mattress are in the next door's barn (thank you Neil) and I have yet to find a home for the large wooden chest full of goodies...if all else fails it might have to...
They say that, 'Necessity is...' and that is where I found myself...and so I had to become a little inventive!
It is not original, in fact it is done all over the country and many depend on similar set-ups for hot water supply, however what I am quite pleased with is that in the, now aptly named, Box Room from Hell, we already had most of this set up. All except for the little brass tap in fact, I am not sure why I am surprised by this as there is not a lot that is not in that room somewhere...but finding what you want at any given moment can be somewhat demotivating!
The black tank we have used is part of a Finnish wood-burning sauna system that we brought here...for obvious reasons but haven't yet had time to put it to use in the way that it was intended...but it is perfect for this temporary hot water solution.
So now you would...