Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Wet Bank Holiday weekend

With the usual inevitability, May Bank Holiday was a complete wash out.

It was a shame because Graham and Janis came up to stay and we were hoping that we could have taken them out and about. We had planned to take a run through to Crosby to see the Antony Gormley Iron Men on the beach and then carry on through to Southport. But what the hell, a weekend of eating, drinking and chewing the fat was a very good alternative!!!

Last week, in between visits from various builders, handymen and Mormon missionaries, I managed to get quite a lot of writing done for Spanish Steps. I am tending to write , rewrite and edit all at the same time, not a good idea. (Note to Self - I must get more organised) My head fills with ideas, usually at about 4o'clock in the morning, then I frantically write it up longhand. In the cold light of day I then start trying to type it up and it is at this point that I realise I have gone off on a tangent.

Unless I can convince my readership that a retired gay civil servant from Southall, would open a bed and breakfast in Blackpool, meet and fall in love with a flamboyant Drag Artist and then retire out to Spain, I am stuffed!!!

Thursday, 17 May 2007


To all those eagerly awaiting the launch of Spanish Steps here is a link to the forthcoming e-soap site:


  • Will Martin risk everything for an affair with a girl young enough to be his daughter?
  • Is Sony really in Barcelona on business?
  • What is Mrs Hale's dark secret?
Coming soon on e-soap-live Spanish Steps the first interactive online soap opera

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Barn Hunting

OK I'll admit it, I am still watching the relocation programmes on the TV. I know I promised that I would wean myself off them but occasionally I give in to temptation.

I suppose that this is what has prompted us to start looking for a barn to convert in Cornwall. Well let me be the first to tell you what you have always suspected, Estate Agents photo's often bare no relation to the truth, well slight exaggeration but soft focus and wide angle lenses can give a very misleading impression........ We went down to Cornwall this weekend to see two barns 'with potential'. The first we saw was so far up an unmade track that only the very brave, or foolhardy, would venture there after dark. Admittedly it was a big barn but there wasn't any land with it and it was surrounded by a working farm on three sides.

The second 'barn' wasn't, it was a cow shed, and not a very big one at that. When we found the farm all the gates we padlocked, Dave phoned the Estate Agent who told us just to climb over them!!! When we worked our way around to the front of the cow shed the new owner of the farm house came out to see us and very kindly gave us the guided tour. Well I say kindly but she was very keen to stress all the negative aspects, to such an extent that I was beginning to get suspicious of her motives. Later that afternoon when we spoke again with the Agents they told us that we had just missed out and an offer had been accepted that very afternoon........hmmnn.

Monday took us to another Barn near to Bude. This farmer was selling the farmhouse, a large barn and a smaller barn/milking shed. All three properties come with a big chunk of land. All three would made a fab home, the only problem we can see is the cost of removing all the old agricultural buildings (a prerequisite of the planning consent), the removal of all the concrete areas around the buildings (huge job), installing electricity and sinking a bore hole for the water supply, oh yes and installing a septic tank! I am sure that they will be snapped up soon and I would love to live there but we have to look at the financial implications before we can even consider making on offer. Fingers crossed for the lottery

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Dunham Massey

As promised Sunday brought in the showery weather.

Rather than being cooped in all day we took the short drive through to Dunham Massey. This was our first opportunity to use use our new National Trust membership but I must admit that I was a bit disappointed. The house and grounds are beautiful but I have never seen so many Don't signs in one place. Don't sit on this chair, Don't take flash photography but the best of all was to switch off mobile phones as they may interfere with the sensitive electrical equipment in the hall........... This is a stately home not an operating theater!!
I'm not being picky here but if this is the way the National Trust treats it's visitors it is a poor reflection on the UK to tourists from overseas. There didn't appear to be any translations of the guides for non English speakers and the volunteers on duty in each of the rooms acted more like security officers rather than helpful enthusiasts. It was a shame and I hope that it is not typical of all NT properties.

Bank Holiday Weekend

After a bit of confusion (I thought Janis and Graham were coming to visit this May Bank Holiday) we found ourselves with a three day weekend to do with as we wanted. Now the sensible thing would have been to get some of the little jobs done around the house or catch up on the company paperwork but the weathermen had predicted that the fine weather would break on Sunday and we would be getting the more seasonal weather of showers. So what better than to take a trip out on Saturday while the sun was shining.

The drive up to Grange over Sands only took about an hour and a half and we had a lovely time mooching around the town and finding a little pub with a beer garden. We then drove out through the very pretty village of Newby Bridge before taking the lakeside road through to Bowness. We stopped along the way at a really pretty picnic area alongside the lake, sitting in the afternoon sunshine enjoying the fine view before taking a stroll down to the waters edge.