29 January 2008

January Update

As the end of the first month of 2008 approaches, I thought that I would have a ramble through what we have been doing and see what comes out.

January, for the most part, has been wet and very windy here in Cornwall but for the last week there has been a marked improvement allowing us to make some progress in the main garden. I have now completed the first tidying up session on the borders and they now look more respectable. I have also started to clear the dead fern and other vegetation from the top of the Cornish Hedge running up the side of the entrance road. I still have to figure out how much to take off the top of the Leylandii at the bottom of the garden. We haven't yet managed to cut the grass because it is so wet. Maria has busied herself with tidying up other borders as well as cleaning both cars on the day that the sun shone; a great job she did as well.

Between us, Maria and I managed to clean all but two of the windows (outside) in the house with the two on the second floor defeating us because my ladders are not quite long enough. The window above the conservatory also proved difficult; pressure washing it and the conservatory was fun; I think that a little more thought and organisation is required to stop me:
  1. Getting so wet and
  2. Almost dropping the pressure washer from the top of the conservatory.
Perhaps a roof crawler ladder would help!

During the winter a friend and I tackled the Ride-on tractor, which had a petrol leak. With the help of two washers that has now been fixed; whilst doing that John noticed a problem with the exhaust, in that it was held on with only one bolt instead of two and even that one was not done up properly. I have two new bolts on order but am worried that the threads in the exhaust manifold are damaged, which might mean taking that off and sending it to the mower workshop for repair. I knew that the tractor was noisy but hadn't realised why! Now if I can get the driving wheels straightened up, we shall be ready for Spring.

We have looked after Annette's dogs on a number of occasions, as well as Annette and Clive. The dogs just love the freedom that they have here and we don't see quite so much of the rabbits.

We also had Dot and John Wastell for a weekend; they decided to leave the metropolis of Newquay for a while and spent a quiet time with us to celebrate John's birthday. The weather wasn't great but John did manage to fix the petrol leak as mentioned earlier.

On this last weekend, it was the RSPB Birdwatch and I decided to have a go at that; it was a little disappointing considering that we are surrounded by garden and trees and I had all my feeders full. In my hour, I managed to spot 4 Greenfinches, 4 Chaffinches, 2 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits , 2 Coal Tits, 3 Blackbirds, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Magpies and one Robin. This morning, I had any number of Thrushes and my ever present pair of Wagtails, which were not "ever present" on Sunday; never mind I don't know what sort of Wagtails they are anyway.

On the Family History front, I have come across a small section of the HILLS family in Minnesota/California in the USA and some very kind soul, Duane Spicer, is currently looking for some more information for me. Considering that he has nothing to do with our family, it is most kind of him. Thankfully, this sort of help is not uncommon in the genealogy world. I have updated the HILLS family file on this site. In addition I have spent some time sorting out some of the 3,000 references on my TURNER Family Tree. The trouble with doing that, apart from the useful tasks of identifying wrong references and merging duplicates, is that it always identifies other tasks that need doing. Oh well it keeps me out of mischief.

So on to the future, well February will bring visitors in the guise of Andrew, Amy, Joe and Amy's niece Molly, followed by Nick, Karen, Charlotte, Curtis and Connor. It is fortunate that half term for the two families is on different weeks otherwise they could have all been here together!!!! Anyway, we look forward to welcoming them all.



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