Wednesday, April 06, 2011


There always seems to be some type of work on the go here at the Old Police Station..... and looking back in my iPhoto file I am reminded of just a few of the many projects we have achieved in recent months.

Our latest major project. took place in the kitchen and was started on New Year's day. Originally this part of the building was not connected to the house.... it had its own entrance and was officially the police office. When we moved here in January 1994 we built a conservatory that linked the two buildings... for a few years I used the old police office as my home based office whilst still working in the travel business. When I retired, it became my craft room, then we started thinking it would make a nice kitchen.... so another conversion took place. Being a separate building it had four exterior walls before the conservatory was built. It always was a very cold room in winter, despite extending the central heating system into here and having cavity wall insulation.... not a place to linger during winter months.

Having had a multi fuel burner installed in our sitting room 12 months previously and appreciated the efficiency of these stoves, it was decided this could be the answer to our heating problems in the kitchen. Where to site it was the difficult choice tho', all the wall space was taken up with units and appliances and I could see no way around the problem, until one day.... I stood looking at my cooker with its pretty slate roof which concealed the extractor fan that John had built and thought this could be the ideal location..... This is how it looked 'before' last New Year's day.....

Brother Roger arrived early that day to help. The slate roofed cooker hood was dismantled, kitchen units were covered in dust sheets and work commenced. Here is Rog adjusting the Kango drill.

A few very dusty and noisy days followed, but I always comfort myself on such projects with..... "It has to get worse before it gets better".
At last the slate hearth was built and the wood burner put in place. We are slowly getting there.....
Of course the other problem we were faced with was where to site the cooker. The only option we had was in front of a window. I didn't think that suitable, but John said he could board up the top section of the window and fit in the pipe of an extractor fan. It has worked perfectly.
The little slate roof was reconstructed and neatly covers the hole where the chimney now goes through the wall....
And Voila! the work is done and our little stove installed. The kitchen is toasty warm now, a kettle sings on the hob.... it's the perfect place to pull up a chair and do a spot of knitting, read a book or just take a break for a cup of coffee. What a wonderful husband I have!

October is always a busy month, its the month of harvest..... We had an abundance of apples last year that had to be gathered.

Chutney was made, pies baked, lots sliced and stored in the freezer for use later and lots given to friends and neighbours.

Whilst out walking along a favourite lane with Kenzo at the end of last summer, I was thrilled to discover this little wild plum tree... simply loaded with fruit. It amazes me how much fruit we did in fact gather from it when I look at this picture recently taken stripped bare by the ravages of winter. I walked past it again today and already it is laden with blossom. I'm keeping a watch on 'my' little plum tree.

Wild plums are no bigger than damsons.

Damsons are darker in colour and my real favourite fruit for jam making, but wild plums are now a close second. Love their tart sweetness. Delicious on toast for breakfast.

We have decided to give our allotment up and grow a few vegetables in our own garden. The top lawn was a suitable space and so......
.......two raised beds were constructed at the end of the summer. Of course soil was needed to fill them. We were advertising for a good quality top soil for months with out any success......

......then, a couple of weeks ago a local builder who had spotted out ad' called and asked if we still required some. An hour later we had this truck load dropped in the drive. It took 88 barrow loads full to fill the two raised beds. A job made more difficult because our garden is on such a slope its many steps that had to be boarded over to made transportation with a wheelbarrow easier. After John tipped off the loads, I raked it all out. I'll have to take pictures of the finished project.

October is also the perfect time to gather hydrangeas. I like to string them up in bunches and hang them from the beams indoors. The colours are so beautiful and if kept out of sunlight will stay like this for many months.

Here's Baby Boy Kenzo, looking somewhat bored with Mummy's flower arranging.

'That's better... now she's taken those flowers away I can have a nap'

October is also the time we take a delivery of logs for winter fires.

John does work hard and it looks as if I only take the pictures, but believe me, I do help!

John has built this handy log store. I think there is something quite beautiful as well as comforting to see a store of fuel gathered in.

The church we attend had a new meeting room built last year and it was decided that new stacking chairs were going to be far more versatile for its use than the original pews. So a number of the old pews were up for sale and we bought two. The one we planned to use in the conservatory was too long, so John set too and shortened it. It was quite surprising to see all the dust that had collected and concealed in the old joints over many years revealed when it was taken apart..... these beautiful pews made of old pitch pine feel so precious to us.... we think of the many folk over time that have sat in them, celebrating happy occasions, weddings, christenings, confirmations, blessings and the sad times too when folk with heavy hearts filled with grief at funerals. We feel it an honour that they are in our keeping now and will be loved and respected always.

The other pew needed no alteration and is placed on the veranda.

We also bought from church is this old hymn book cupboard, also made of pine.

Beautifully made many years ago and sectioned off into pigeon holes to take the respective books..... the piece of paper pasted inside the left hand door lists the names of the ladies in the choir in 1934

Another project completed last summer was a balcony leading off from the kitchen and joining up at the front of the house with the veranda
We've had thoughts about doing this for a long time..... it is perfect to sit out here now with a cup of coffee and enjoy the view down the valley.

This is how it looks from the front of the property.......
.......and from inside the kitchen.

At last..... John is enjoying a well deserved rest with our well behaved 'children'.

But not for long, George can be so unpredictable with Kenzo and if the mood takes him, he'll whop out a clawed paw in his direction. As can be seen, there is not much difference in their sizes.

Unsuspecting... our dear little Kenzo sits blissfully unaware that George is giving his claws a bit of a sharpen on the fence.

March was a glorious month in so many ways.... day after day of golden sunshine..... and the daffodils have been such a spectacular sight with mile after mile of them along the lanes and main roads.
If there is one month that can be attributed with a single colour then it is yellow for March. Looking around in garden and countryside, one can very soon come up with quite a list of yellow flowers and shrubs in bloom at this time. It only took a few minutes to spot the following...... dandelions, celendines, crocus, primrose, cowslip, daffodils, tulips, forsythia, catkins, pussy willow, golden gorse and witch hazel..... and I'm sure there are a few that I have missed.

The drive into town has been a delight.... but I fear the flowers will all be over by Easter.

Beautiful sights of spring all around.

A picture of Baby Boy Kenzo just before he was taken to the doggy hair stylist.... in desperate need of a hair cut.

And finally, I'd like to show you this picture of our darling Grand Girl Laura.... at a session of modeling vintage wedding gowns

Have a blessed week everyone.


Barbara said...

How cute is Kenzo sitting among the flowers.
You certainly have made a difference to the old station.

I love the deck and know you are going to enjoy many hours sitting out there.

The daffs are beautiful in the park too.

We gave up our allotment and grew stuff in the garden for a while but now have even taken out the last which were the blackcurrant bushes. Shrubs only now. Prefer not to have the extra work these days.

Blessings Marion and have a good week.

Alke said...

daffodils in a band through the country.. that is how i know britain in early spring :)

your kitchen story makes me glad.. after thinking to have our kitchen here or there and nothing happended i decieded lately to leave it there, where the kitchen already is.. still since about 5 weeks it is not ready yet, afte my last " ia ma going to make it nice in between short time"
i was just about to finish it, when my son in law came an built a new radiator in.. an now my window-side looks awful - because my majoritiy was to do the garden.. but one day my kitchen will be finished, too

lots of love from germany

mrspao said...

Beautiful photos, Marion. Your house looks fantastic and it is lovely to see spring springing in your part of the world.

I can't believe how big George is - he is such a lovely cat. The hymn book cupboard was a great find.

Mountain Mama said...

Marion thank you so much for a great post. I love the miles of daffodil's!! It must be wonderful to walk alongside them. Mine are blooming nicely too but I certainly don't have THAT many!
You really did a great job with the remodel. I love the wood stove in the kitchen. You can probably cook on it and keep the tea kettle hot.
You certainly did harvest a lot of apples. I still have four apple pies in the freezer. I might bake one for Easter. Maybe before then. LOL!~

I don't know if we have wild plums here. I need to check that out. I love trying new fruits.
My daughter made several raised garden beds last year but has moved so has to start over again. I have never had them myself but have sure heard a lot of good about them.
I love your picture of Kenzo in the Hydrangea's. How sweet he looks. I just trimmed my little girl Yorky a few days ago. Her fur is not like the typical Yorkie but is thick and fuzzy so it mat's eaisly. I hope she doesn't get cold as our Spring temps have been on the cool side.
I love what you did with the Church Pews. The one on the veranda looks as if it were made just to be right there. Wonderful idea.
I love to sit on my deck when it's warm out and read my Bible and let the sun warm me. It's like a hug from heaven.
Your granddaughter looks so sweet in the wedding dress. What fun she must have had.
I have thoroughly enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing with us,
Hugs till next time.

Betty said...

Dear sweet Marion,
It seems just the other day I dropped by your blog but Chris' truck was at the top must have posted just after that.

Although I've seen the progress as you remodeled the kitchen it looks super! Yes, John is indeed a prize husband!

All the fruit made into jams and preserved looks delicious.

The hydrangeas are beautiful and so is 'my lord Kenzo'....George is pretty tolerant as he was the 'firstborn' for so long.

How I long to sit with you and gaze over the valley and Bird Rock.

Laura looks spectacular in the vintage gown...a resemblance to Joules and you....

Blessings to you by dear, sweet sister....

Beth said...

Your grandgirl Laura is so beautiful! George and Kenzo are looking great too. Loved the photos of the daffodils as well as the news and pics of all your projects. My, you and John have been busy! Love your pews and church hymn cupboard as well as your veranda and kitchen stove. This is a lovely post, Marion. Thanks for a taste of life in Wales! Thanks for stopping by the English tearoom post I did and for letting me know it appears very authentic English. Suppose you are getting excited about the royal wedding! Even we Americans are excited about it!
Blessings, Beth

Alke said...

even if u can't read my blog.. but i can read yours.. and that' a pleasure and so nice..
i just wanted to pop in and wish you and your family a wonderful easter.
lots of colouful flowers and eggs, open eyes to see that life starts growing again and people araound who warm your heart.
pleasant holidays from me - from germany - from alke

Barbara said...

So nice to read your kitchen's story happy ending! The good ideas often come up very unexpected!
The daffodils are great, I love this bright yellow Spring flower, which here has already faded.
Wishing you happy easter days!

Fresh Garden said...

Absolutely wonderful!
I love flowers!!

HORIZON said...

Wow- such a lot to comment on Marion! You might not post very often but when you do....!!. :)
Can't believe all the work you have got through- love the kitchen and fire- love the decking, love the raised beds, love the logs.... can l move in with you?? wink
I am so please to see that you are doing well and Kenzo certainly makes me smile- what a lovely wee dog.
Wishing you the very best,
Try to rest and enjoy it all this summer
sarah x