Friday 28 January 2022

Prep school

Flo's loving her new prep school, on Friday she does ballet.  Luckily we're back to the same school on Saturdays where we coincidently do rugby tots.  A much better 'sport'

She's really enjoying her new school and is learning lots.  Although she loved her previous nursery environment we were worried that she wasn't being stretched enough and would just get bored in her final year or pre school. She's getting involved in lots more at Hilden Grange and loving every minute.


House update

 The house build is coming along well.  The chaps have stepped up their work and it look like the kitchen will start to be put in place in a couple of weeks.

This week the guys have plaster boarded the whole kitchen and over the last two days the plasterers have blitzed the whole are.  They've started work on the back wall and stairs to the garden and next week they should start putting in the floor.

We're still waiting on radiators to arrive and the main event (juke box) but all is going to plan.  That is if you exclude the budget going £50k over our original £150k that we took out of the mortgage.  The actual initial build hasn't gone up my more than a few grand but we've added in a renovated bathroom, new boiler and shifted the washer and dryer upstairs too.

We're in the process of getting an additional extension to the mortgage which in normal circumstances would have breezed through, but the umbrella company i'm forced to use through IR35 rulings has been cyber attached and they're unable to give the extra detail the mortgage provider needs to process our application.  I have no doubt it'll all sort out in the end but am getting frustrated with the company, especially as i'm only using them as they're affiliated with my accountancy firm.  Incidentally they've been fucked too.

She certainly is my daughter

Flo likes her Grandad's pickled onions!  Shortly after we attacked April with the obligatory pickled onion kiss.  She was not amused.


My name is Stuart Clark and I have a problem

 I can't stop pre ordering dice from kickstarter.

I currently have on the go with a total price of something north of £200.  I've currently got a new weekly game that i'm enjoying but it certainly doesn't justify the addiction.  I'd love to play more an actually use them but circumstances are what hey are.

In the mean time I look forward to receiving

  • Some round dice
  • Dice with dragon's eyes in them
  • Dice that light up 
  • And some Cthulhu themed dice that comes with a plush Cthulhu toy.  Who should I give it to?  Florence has a green one already and Arthur as a Rainbow one the Florence secretly coverts. 

Monday 17 January 2022

Grand parent visit

 We went back to see my  Dad on Sunday.  Probably the last time for a while.  It's a bit of a chore doing 4h of driving only to be able to stay there for 2h.  Once the house is done we'll have to make them head here.  There's plenty of room once we've cleared away all the boxes and shit moved out of the kitchen and play room.

Steve's popping over tomorrow afternoon and will work in my office for a bit before a night out in Tonbridge, i'm missing my D&D session for that.  I hope he appreciates it!

Date night

One of our regular babysitters volunteered to look after the kids from 5pm on Saturday so we jumped at the chance.  We hopped on the train to Tunbridge Wells and went to one of our favourite restaurants.  Sankey's!  What's not to like about fermented chilli buttered lobster.  The benefit being the abundance of fries underneath acted like a sponge and soaked up all of the left over butter.  Hmm...  Pinchy....

Afterwards we went to Trinity theatre for their monthly comedy night.

I'd seen Alasdair Beckett-King a few times on various clips he'd put up on YouTube and April is a big fan of Felicity Ward.  She's a regular on the Bugle a long time podcast created by John Oliver and ex Tunbridge Wells local Andy Zaltzman. 

It was a good night and we were back by before 11.

Turned out quite a pricey evening though, once you've factored in the £60 for the babysitter and £20 cab ride home.


Wednesday 12 January 2022

More house renovation photos

 We spoke to the electrician this morning about where we want lights and electric power points.  I'm slowly starting to visualise what the space will look like once it's all finished.

The builders were surprised to see the thinkness of our walls (a brick and a half)

View from the back

Peaking into our still (for the time being) usable kitchen.  Back wall should come off today.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Time lapse from my office

 I was hoping to see a squirrel, no luck.

The next one I do will be the correct way up.  I don't want to be responsible for any neck injuries.  Maybe the next one should be of me with the phone flipped the other way.  Although not sure there would be any point, it would just look like a 20 second long photo.

Textbook Rayburn removal

 Our builders are due to start knocking down the final wall from in the extension rebuild later this week so needed our old decommissioned Rayburn boiler out of the way.  April did some digging and found a reputable company that would take it away for a fee of £375.  These scrap dealers did it the same day for free!

Luckily we had a plumber on site as when they disconnected one of the pipes it started squirting water.  They also broke their crowbar and the trolley they'd borrowed from one of their girlfriend's aunty who works for M&S.  They had to ask our builders for help to load it into their van.  Good luck to them, let's hope they get some money for it.

The dog is very please with her new dog flap...


More demolition


Now for the fun part

Measuring how much to remove, CD shelves may return 

Roof going on and ready for two new Velux windows by the end of the week

After this there is only one more wall to take down, that's the one leading to the old utility room.  In other house news our neighbour has complained to us that it's going to be too big.  We've referred her to the planning permission signed off by the council.  It's never easy.

Thursday 6 January 2022

Blog post update


That's a whopping 5665 posts!

Here are some photos from Flo's first day


Not too happy about Arthur's photo bomb attempt

Arthur's back full time at the nursery, he will join Flo at Hilden Grange after the Easter holidays next year.

Lovely walk this morning

 If a little bit fresh...

The added benefit is that Arwen doesn't get covered in mud due to the frozen ground.

Here she was yesterday before her bath.  She was chased by a large greyhound and went head over heels and skidded in the mud.  If it wasn't so funny I would have been annoyed.

Wednesday 5 January 2022

House update

 Wooden rafters are in now, I think they may be smashing through the back wall this week too.

Flo's first day

 First day at her new school today.  She's still at the nursery level, reception starts in September.  She's very excited though.  Let's hope she has lots of fun and meets some new friends.

Tuesday 4 January 2022

What makes Dad laugh...


Arthur falling into Arwen's bed

Florence being made to stand and point at him whilst daddy takes a photo and laughs