Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

My Photo
Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Back From My Theatre Trip...

pardon my language but if I said I was knackered...that was an understatement. I'm in a period of particularly bad mobility. I expect it will be so for life but I hope there is enough improvement to allow me to do what I have managed to since Mum passed away and I am not heading for needing a mobility scooter/wheelchair outside of the home.

Taking it easy again today as I have another trip there tonight. I have more time this evening. I may take a taxi back to the bus station if it is a long time to wait for the bus home. Going there I hope to connect to a local town bus or I have certain points I know that I can stop and have a rest.

Who did I see last night the Scottish comedienne Susan Calman. It was funny and she was well received(almost a sell out)I had the perfect seat middle of the row, slightly higher than the row in front and no way that those sitting in front can block my view. 

But the whole show was about being gay. And life as a gay. Not a problem and the audience was a good mixture of ages, sexes and orientation. But I probably would've liked a bit more variation in the routine. Which tends to happen on TV and radio. I do like Susan and her regular appearances on many popular programmes.

Tonight it is a terrific night of music with Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Big Band.

Today I have done a little more tidying up, again I will shave later. I have to leave earlier tonight as buses run less regularly and the show starts earlier than last evening too.

I have had coffee, toast with Marmite and a couple of Kellogg's All Bran Breakfast Biscuits. Had my meds too.

I will probably finish my bread buns this afternoon(again using my ham, tomato and lettuce)but I am gearing up to using my new slow cooker and microwaves. If I had not been going out today I may've done more but initially I think I shall start tomorrow with a cod fish cake and perhaps a salad(Its not just an ordinary fish cake)I'm also thinking of having a go at a roast meat meal with vegetables and gravy again.

I have seen quite a novel slow cooker that has a divided pot making it easier to keep ingredients separate. But I think I can get around that by using roasting bags/foil which I had started to do around a year ago.

I  have also in recent days purchased some items that I haven't perhaps for years...like bacon. With a little plate/paper towels I can do that quickly in the microwave and even avoid using a frying pan on the main stove. Then again it is possible to fry bacon without adding any oil. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Taking It Easy Day...

I have to be reasonably rested so I am able to get to my theatre show tonight...I attempted a small shop yesterday...going there(and we're only talking two streets)was slow and painful. I leaned on the trolley in the supermarket and though I saved on the items I purchased I had to give in and get a taxi home.

If I time it right tonight I will catch a bus from approx. three streets from home, connect to a bus when I arrive in Durham and that stops virtually outside the theatre and if the show ends in reasonable time I will have time to get back to the bus station and back home. The route also has various seats that I can stop off at along the way. And I will...

As I have got back into having toast at Breakfast, I was thinking either bread has increased in size or electric toasters are too small. There is always some bread sticking out of the toaster which never gets toasted properly.

Next time I buy a toaster I think I shall buy one that takes four slices of bread and perhaps only toast two slices and lay them on their side and that may solve the problem. Or is it just me that has this problem? *:)) laughing

I am better today walking wise so finished what I was unable to yesterday. I think that I shall take some ham, tomato and lettuce baps with me tonight to have before or in the interval at the show. And I'll either buy a bottle of water at a supermarket nearby or take a bottle of fruit juice. I'll leave around 6.30pm to allow plenty of time to get to the theatre without rushing. That should give me approx 45 minutes to get from the bus station to the theatre and if the show lasts approx 100 minutes with interval included, I have approx 20 minutes to catch my bus home. Though there is another but that would mean hanging around for another 75 minutes. I only have to get shaved and perhaps change my shirt. I will have a rest and listen to a new play on Radio 4 by Alan Bennett.

I know its coincidence but as I went past Argos an elderly lady was coming out with a microwave and it was the model I purchased myself earlier in the week. So it looks like a popular choice either because of the special price, brand or both.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Yes, My Home Needs Painting And Quite A Bit Of Work...

But I think by the end of the weekend things will be in some kind of order, I think that I need a new vacuum cleaner to take up the dust and I will need to take up the coverings that were put on the carpets.

I think that I shall be moving on getting rid of the sofa and chairs in the lounge quicker than planned.

Its a new day and If I can keep it up I am back into some kind of routine. I have had six hours of good sleep. The house has been quite warm so the heating hasn't been needed and the one advantage so far with the new heating system is access to virtually instant hot water. Otherwise the old system was still pretty good. Because if I made certain that I did not run masses of water off and occasionally heated the water in the tank for a few minutes it remained hot for many hours.

I'm back to watching some of those classic TV series and I'm starting as I mean to go on...some days I may have a cooked breakfast but this morning I am having cereal/grain, fruit and toast with Marmite.

I will have to buy some fruit juice again(or if I can get the juice maker working again)make some of my own.

I have had coffee already and some of my meds.

Update:Not a very exciting day...not much to blog about, just some general tidying up around the house and then I can begin to see a way forward.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I Won At Bingo Tonight...

I called and realised immediately it was a false call. It was one of those games where you play a line, then two, then the full house. That can confuse. I thought I had the house but there was number 90 in the top right corner. I thought I stood no chance. But it came out soon after. I won £15 but as the night comes in at around £5, I am £10 up overall. But its very welcome.

Now home, had chicken sandwiches, coffee and already have an episode of Bonanza under my belt and I'm now onto The Lone Ranger, it sometimes feels a bit like the old Saturday mornings at the movies which many cinemas used to run for children.

Microwaves Are Installed...

And looking good. They were heavy and I wondered how I was going to get them up onto the counters but I used a bit of brain power and put them on a big stool so they were higher than the floor and then I had to lift them only half the distance I may rearrange one of them later, we shall see.

In a previous post I mentioned that when I was out recently I found myself in the company of one of Mum's friends. For a number of years I wondered what had happened to a teacher I knew quite well even though I was not in his class my best friend was and he lived almost next door to my friend but the street he lived in was full of professionals. Doctors, Psychiatrists , Teachers, Shopkeepers, Magistrates, Councillors etc...

He used to walk down my street to the shops but its been such a long I thought he could be dead or moved away, to be honest he was teaching when I was not even a teenager but in a roundabout way and again because of someone I know I have found out he is still alive and what has happened to his wife and son. Once again, I am tempted to say what a small world it is. Its awful what I hear regarding how so many end their lives. It brings home important care and the Health Service is to continue their quality of life and help keep people independent for longer.

I did a little shop too. Just some fruit and salad. I have plenty of food in the house and now that it is stored more easily I am spending less.

Now in a bit of a slack period but that's nice and I am going to take things slowly and pull the house around. And will get ready for my weekend at the theatre. I was about to say then there is nothing for a while but a few days into October there is an intimate conversation with the actor Tim Brooke Taylor.

Generally, Not A TV Fan But...

I have not really watched much TV for a fair amount of time but whilst the house has been taken apart I have had to spend hours with little to do...and I have found that to some extent I have found the interest again. Having said that, I am more likely to watch TV series' rather than films or the news and a lot of what I am watching I associate with when I was growing up and much younger. Its like being in a time warp.

But not having seen them for many years they are like new to me and many episodes were not shown in the UK. And a lot of my viewing is overnight or in the early hours. Lately, I am mainly switching between Bonanza, Bonanza, CBS Action with some E4/C4 and the Drama channel thrown in(this is in the UK)and my main viewing is Bonanza, The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Sherlock Holmes* Hawaii Five-O, Streets of San Francisco, Dragnet, The Beverley Hillbillies. Perhaps the most modern shows I am watching are The Big Bang Theory and Everybody Loves Raymond.

*Not being paying much attention to who is playing Holmes in this old TV series but he looked familiar, then I saw his name in the credits Ronald Howard and it all fell into place. His father was the actor Leslie Howard(Gone With The Wind/The Scarlet Pimpernel)

Joe Brown...The Everly Brothers...

I realise that I have not mentioned my trip to the theatre last week. that did not quite go according to plan.

The buses from my town to Durham run every 15 mins Mon to Sat but after 6pm drop to approx one per hour as I discovered therefore I got into Durham for approx 7.10pm and I did not connect with a local bus that usually saves me a bit of a walk(being slow is bad enough)but when it hurts...also it is uphill and quite steep. I made it with two minutes to spare and then had to ask everyone in my row to move to get to my seat.

It was a great show with great musicians and I'm not sure I can do it justice. I'm afraid I did fall asleep temporally but missed very little. I blame being tired from rushing there and with all the work going on at home I had had little sleep the night before. It was also quite warm in the theatre too.

The following are the best images I was able to take of the night...they were not so hot about banning taking pictures, some artists and theatres are more understanding and not so heavy handed about the taking of them and within reason realise that more often than not all the public wants is a memory of a terrific night.

Now this past Saturday night a group of us managed to go to what was once called a Workingman's Club at a little place(I say little)called Chilton. I have passed it many times but never realised what a big hall it has attached towards the back of the building. We saw a show that lasted approx 200 mins but we missed the last thirty minutes or so because we did not know that after the main act the opening one returns to close the evening and we already had a taxi booked. We also had reasonably priced drinks, we took some buffet food and...we had the chance to play a couple of quick bingo games for serious money. Upto £250,000.

The image below isn't too good but it gives you an idea of what the main act was...a tribute to the Everly Brothers. They were very good but with such a strong back catalogue of songs they could not fail, they also included some other songs of the era by other popular artists such as Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent and Roy Orbison.

We have another ticket booked for October to see a tribute artist portraying Buddy Holly. The tickets were only £5. And when sharing a taxi, a couple of drinks and bingo it cost approx £19 but that works out around £4.75 per week(68p daily)what can you do for that?

The twist was that one of our group I met approx a month ago and the Irish accent made me think that I knew her but I did not like to ask in case I was wrong and she had been doing the same with me. I haven't seen her much and only a few times in years. She was a friend of my Mum's and for some time after Mum passed away I would give her an occasional phone call. Turns out she knows another person that I now know. It's a small world and all that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I May Soon Be Left Alone...

Coming into the final straight regarding house upgrade I believe but still having problems. When doing the kitchen the workmen moved my slow cooker and microwaves into the passage(covered by a roof I'll grant)but temperatures become low(I originally asked they put in another room)tonight I started cleaning them and getting rid of the dust, then opened them up...I will have to throw them away and buy new. I can't be bothered to attempt to claim from H. Ass, The interior finish was all buckled and cracked and/or rusty.

Fortunately, I had some cash(and think I have found some items at Argos that may fit the bill and have a saving of £70 and I have a spare slow cooker in the house that is new. You can see the state they are in the images and in the final image the flaked off bits of the interior. For some reason I am having difficulty turning the image around the right way.

Oh and they managed to scratch the newly laid tiled floor replacing the washing machine...I managed to persuade them to replace the worst marked tile but they did not offer to replace the remainder and it was really easy to do but I think I am expected to live with the other damage. 

It may not look too bad and no further damage if I put down a couple of carpet runners, there is slight damage to my washing machine which I am told can only happen with chemicals but it works so I'll live with it...the writing has been smudged(there is no scratch)so maybe they were wiping the machine for some reason...

For now I am going to be approx. £160 out of pocket replacing items before I start replacing curtains, carpets, painting and replacing some furniture. Good job I am doing the work slowly and not rushing it.

I have started to put out my kitchen gadgets on the worktops. In time I will arrange them better(perhaps put some that are used less often)in cupboards or in the pantry. The only two items not displayed are my George Foreman Grill and a food processor but at present I have no plans to do much baking of cakes etc...In time I may try out the bread maker but often bread in my local supermarket is on offer/reduced and it can last me ages so that is the easiest option.


Update:Sorted...I have found(I believe the model is discontinued)a white Morphy Richards micro/combi oven 800watts, with grill and convection oven reduced to £79.99(approx half price)so the two I am buying are coming in at the same price as one would normally cost me.

It has had lots of good reviews and should be ideal for me. Though it is larger I found the spare slow cooker I had in the house too. It is a better one and has more control(in black)but apart from the halogen oven(that's in glass and silver)unless you count the lid and holder and slow cooker...everything is in white or will be.

The new kettle is now a rapid boil cordless model and I am about to use a basic kettle upstairs for drinks when upstairs. In time I may install a basic microwave upstairs for quick meals.

So back in business. The Microwaves are being moved from the Argos retail branch in Durham and should be in my town a couple of streets away after 4pm today.

Another visit minutes ago and they are taking away my old microwaves, TV, slow cooker and kettle so that will save me hanging on to stuff and eventually having to pay for it to be removed.

There is no boasting intended of what I have or own, not everything is a well known/expensive brand, many were on offer and some items have not been used that much so they seem new or were boxed until the time was right to use them. I reckon all of the above items come in under £300. In time I may need to consider a new stove again.

I'll soon put up some new images of completed kitchen/bathroom/toilet now the work is done and the damage is hidden/repaired.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Everything Is Back To Front...

In general its all coming together and all may be well...if that bath issue is sorted. I have found out the linoleum floor in the bathroom is now being installed in the toilet too. It will save me the cost of carpet there but I guess the option is there to add carpet should I wish.

What has now happened follows on from the start of last week, when the central heating was installed there was talk of a radiator being put in the kitchen. The truth is its not needed so I had accepted that it was not installed. I don't spend  hours in there and now the ventilation hole in the wall and door has been blocked, its not that cold. Well, they called today and they have insisted it is to be added.

This means draining the system again and all the work that has been done filling holes, painting of the ceiling, walls, plastering etc...may be spoilt and have to be done once again. It's unlikely I will use it. I certainly wouldn't with the door open against it and I don't usually keep opening and closing the door or work in the kitchen with the door closed. There is a radiator in the hall virtually inches from where the new one will be be.

Anyhow here are some images of how the kitchen is. I have been adding some images to previous blog posts as I try to get back into the habit of blogging again.

And here are a few images of how the bathroom is going but obviously the work is not completed.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I Wasn't Up To It...

I found that my mind was willing but the body was not up to going to the events in Durham(statue unveiling and WWI celebrations)not the right word but I cannot think of the appropriate one to use. I did however manage to get to the theatre so not all the weekend was lost.

I did manage to take(or so I thought)a picture of the statue and a group of people dressed in costumes of a military nature in front of it and the plan was to share it here. I thought it had taken it...sadly I find it has not so that's the end of that.

I shall write more later(hopefully tonight when I come home form my bingo club.

In my favour I won a Domino card(£20)but when you take in what I spent on the night, I am approx. £7 in pocket better than a loss.

I have filled up all my kitchen cupboards with food taken out whilst the kitchen was installed. Found a cabinet has a damaged door corner(will see if it can be fixed/needs replacing)but it means the coating is missing and you are seeing the internal material and the washing machine which the workmen moved into the passage instead of wheeling it into an adjoining room now has a slight crack in the plastic casing around the top of it but I don't think that will affect its performance its just cosmetic and once in place won't be seen.

The site boss is supposed to visit tomorrow so we'll see what happens initially he was supposed to be sorting out the mismatching doors/bath damage.

At least I have made a start on clearing away debris and I can leave unused rooms upstairs untidy and do them last. There is no reason(even if they need painting/carpeting/curtains and blinds putting up)the Dining Room, Kitchen, Lounge, Landing/Hallway and Toilet can be tidy and empty of rubbish/old furniture. Think I shall do my bedroom last of all(thinking of buying a new bed too)but this will take time.

Update:Have not shown you the bath damage have I? The boss did not visit but I suspect that will still happen. The first is when the damage was first discovered, the second is when they tried to make it better it is but can be improved on...I wondered if the answer could be to make the box that encloses the water pipes behind the sink could be increased in size giving me a bigger shelf and by bringing it forward it would hide the hole still further?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

If I Am Up To It...

There are some events taking place in Durham Market Place on Saturday to do with WWI but I can only stay for short time as I have to come back to my town because I have been invited out for my tea and then myself and sort of friend will be getting in a car and going back to Durham to see a kind of farce/comedy play starring some vintage comedians/actors from old TV shows. They are doing the story of Robin Hood. It stars Su Pollard and Cannon and Ball. I hope to take images of the events in Durham. I think it will be an early start to squeeze all that in.

Then on Sunday sadly the bus service starts too late so I may miss the events planned or I will be pushing things...as a stature is officially unveiled and dedicated by the Bishop of Durham of a Bugler who represents the Durham Light Infantry. I understand tickets are being issued for the event but before/after there is a parade for all to see and a service at Durham Cathedral which again could be difficult to attend. It will be a case of being there and seeing what I am able to.

Images will be taken if possible and its a bit of a break form all what's going on here.

Next Wednesday I see Joe Brown at the same theatre in Durham as the play this weekend then on Friday attend a meeting all about saving the NHS, so quite a diverse week ahead, in between that I have my bingo nights and my music club to attend.

Its all happening in Durham...

Twenty Four Hours Of Fun...

Firstly I wrote a long comment in reply to Lesley(previous post)and my blog managed to lose it and now its a bit more complicated even for me to publish comments...on my own blog!

So I will write that comment up as a new blog post. here...

I started yesterday despondent with how the work was going in my home, then the site boss visited in the afternoon and what he said gave me hope that all will be well and any repairs made good. I was even given better news that I am not just getting a shower head but a shower and a floor suitable to match for when you have a shower installed.

The hanging of new internal doors would be delayed whilst they completed other tasks. And there was even talk that they will pain my kitchen and bathroom(not something they usually do)but as it has been offered great.

This morning they are...hanging the doors(so that plan goes out of the window)I have sneaked a look at the work being done and they have managed to take a lump out of the wooden door frame that the bathroom door is being attached to so how will they repair that then?

Anyhow I'll start at the beginning what my plans are if/when hopefully all is well(The boss promised all holes, dents etc...will be made right. Its fine when you are talking to one person but so many different people keep calling. And its difficult to collar who you want to talk to, feel happiest with and whether one person has a different plan/information to someone else. I only know his christian name and nothing else.

When I went to bed I did have a plan and felt more positive so lets stay with that for now.

I have decided to put more kitchen gadgets on show and...use them(I have more working surfaces now)so I will have the cooker(naturally)but I will have two microwaves(one is a combination oven)a halogen oven, a slow cooker, a toaster and kettle. I will keep another kettle upstairs in my bedroom as I have for years and that saves going downstairs unnecessarily.

In the lounge I will have my TV and some new arm chairs and a sofa and perhaps nothing else. Keeping it minimalistic. Before then I will have got rid of the old suite I have now(that has seen better days and is probably 40 years old(that's lasted well)and the stool that matches it.

As the fridge/freezer will now be in the kitchen in the Dinning Room there will only be the folded Dining table and chairs(unlikely ever to be used but you never know)and the tumble dryer is in there. Again nothing else.

I may turn one bedroom into a TV room but as I have a TV and computers in my bedroom that may go on hold. I have thought of bringing a microwave upstairs for quick snacks and that could be put in one of the bedrooms(again that would save me going downstairs sometimes)and its no different to what happens in a flat/bedsit.

For now the other bedroom may be left fairly empty except for a wardrobe to store bed linen and/or clothes. But in time I may buy a spare bed for any guests that may stay, not likely but you never know.

If they do as promised(the extra painting to the kitchen and bathroom)because some rooms were hardly touched, out of the ten rooms(I am including the hall and landing in that figure)five may not require any decorating at all or just a small bit of touching up. So that saves me some time and money. And of course when items are put back where they should be or I can throw some things out my home will start to look as it should.

But I know I will have to replace carpets and that could be expensive. But I think the painting etc...should be done before I consider laying carpets.

I think I shall also be investing in a new single bed or a slightly larger one for myself. And whilst on I shall also have some new curtains put up and probably new blinds in the lounge, bedrooms and kitchen. This all be done over time and not in a rush. If it takes months or up to a year I don't mind.

But quite a bit will be done over the next few months especially the getting rid of furniture etc...and being alone if needs be I can sit on a dinning room chair in the lounge if I decide to use that room during Winter but as friend on Twitter said living upstairs in the colder months is warmer anyhow.

I may be able to rearrange items that I store in the internal wardrobes. So we'll just see how things progress, its all up in the air at present but as I may've said earlier it has been done in double quick time which can be a blessing or mean corners are cut...

Monday Central Heating. Tuesday rewiring, plastering and installing of new power points in a different position(and I think I have a couple of extras that I did not have)Wednesday kitchen installed and continued work on the bathroom. Thursday, doors are being hung, work in the bathroom continues, tiling and holes filled in regarding the Kitchen. Not sure how long they will be here today. But the previous days on average they were here for approx five hours from 8am-1pm.

That's quick in one way but that was because they also spent ages standing around talking...work time you could actually knock another hour or two off especially when you have up to five people all working on different tasks.

I will probably post some images of before or after but I don't think I have any of the Kitchen as it was before they started. Just images after they demolished it and when its finished.

The garden is finally being pulled into shape so that will look OK as the year ends and we head for the new one.

Another problem hopefully has a good ending, my laptop no longer allows me to use the letter "S" on the keyboard and I believe the contact is broken but my computer repairman thinks he can get a new keyboard for it for perhaps £50 and then it will only be labour costs. I thought that I may have to purchase a new laptop so that will save some money for now...You try writing texts/blogs/twitter posts without that letter included, its not easy. I am now on the old refurbished desktop.

Hopefully everything is coming together.

UPDATE:Spoke to soon...the doors they have hung are now an issue as 5 of them are white and 4 are a kind of dull fawn colour and I really would like them all to be one colour. I can't decide if this is a genuine error or they hope that I will just accept the mixture. I have checked with others who have had doors installed and they are all one colour.

Here are some images but to be honest they do not really show much difference, its more noticeable in "Real" life. The white ones really stand out. Would I lie to you?

Update:The doors were painted and now look ok(an easy solution)

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I'm Still Here...If Anyone Cares...

Not sure where I am though...house is a tip as it is taken apart and its been blitzed since Friday. It will be ok when finished no doubt but its all been done on the cheap and if it had been done privately I suspect the workmanship would be better.

Heating was installed on Monday(approx 5 hours)Today the kitchen was rewired, electric points/fusebox moved, many more gadgets wired into the electric and they have been attached to the ceiling. You can't miss them. If the house was private I think that they would be disguised more. And today's workmen created cracks, holes and dents that were un-necessary which I hope when its all over, can be hidden. Took around 5 hour,

Will write more later...

Monday, September 01, 2014


I have images to add...but that's where I was on Thursday, since then practically at home. Not had the energy to do much at all which is a pity as the weather has been kind and there have been a few last minute Summer events that would've been fun. Speed Boat racing on the River Tyne. Flower Festivals in Durham being just two. I gave up...this morning I woke in a lot of pain and needed my painkillers.

I haven't been in Scarborough for perhaps 29 years and it looked the same as I remember it all those years ago. But it was fun...we had fish and chips plus a decent mug of tea, an ice cream later and came home with another hat, the kind the umpire wears at Cricket matches(made for the Burton's Menswear Chain)and that only cost £1.

It took approx 3 hours to get there and around 2 hours to come home...I think we could've got there quicker if had not made some rest stops and perhaps used the motorway. More to follow...