Stop watching me do the dishes please.

Not all that long ago, it was easy peasy for passers by to see into our kitchen. I say kitchen very loosely of course. Nonetheless, with our driveway built and cleared of the jungle that previously resided there, it was time to get some privacy.

You can see from this picture of Joe and his dad laying the concrete driveway, that anyone from the main road could see straight down to the end of the garden, and if they really wanted, could see me doing the dishes at the kitchen window.
But now, we have a lovely new fence…..and about a trillion leaves. Cheers Autumn!

We were tempted to paint it bright blue just like the front fence but weren’t brave enough.
For anyone interested in the actual colour, here is Joe modelling the paint: Cuprinol in Forest Oak.

Looks good no?
Karen x

Building a home for our cars

Over the past month or so, Joe and his dad have been concreting the driveway. When we moved in, it was mostly overgrown bushes and a small broken fence that introduced a concrete footpath to the front door.

Well, we (read: Joe) have ripped out all the bushes, turned over all the soil, and prepared the area to become a driveway. We have 2 cars so it always made sense that this would become a home for them. Not to mention that when I park on the road, the birds in the huge tree above the house leave me daily presents – open your bowels elsewhere will you!?

With Winter fast approaching, and not wanting to park on muddy soil, Joe and his dad have worked long and hard to get the driveway concreted. They first dug down into the soil to make way for materials – It later emerged that this was too deep, but you live and learn!
They added foundations for the concrete (I think Joe actually used some old golf clubs in there somewhere to reinforce the concrete. Very creative dear!)

Gravel was then added for drainage. This was the original plan for the driveway, but because of the huge tree, it would be near impossible to sweep up Autumn leaves without making a jolly good mess. So, it’s sloped concrete instead. All around the back garden is now about a foot high with soil thanks to the digging down. It’s like we’ve got loads of mini ramps around the side!

Here are the boys evening out the final batch of concrete.

The gates that were given to us (for free woohoo!) have now been added and all the fences are now blue. Here’s a panoramic shot of the front garden! Starting to look better isn’t it?
…And we also put our hand print in the final lot of concrete with the date, just for giggles.

I didn’t get to take as many sneaky pictures for this project because Joe and his dad did so much before I would get home from work!
It took a lot of patience and time, because every time they wanted to lay some concrete, the skies would open and just heave it down – typical British ‘summer!’ The tree offered some protection and they eventually got it done. They’ve really done a great job.

Karen x

Wishlist Wednesday – 14th March 2012

Something that we loved about the house when we first spotted it about a year ago (I can’t believe it has been that long!) is the area. It’s lovely. There are lots of families that live on our street and you will struggle to go five minutes without seeing someone happily walking their dog. Awww. How quaint.

Well, I love dogs. In fact, if you know me, you’ll probably know I’m a sucker for pets in general and if we had it my way, I’d have a full on personal zoo. But, Joe has categorically said that we will never be getting a dog for one reason alone: their poo.

Joe’s argument:
They do their business anywhere they want and it smells awful.

(I don’t think it helps that Joe often destroys lovely shoes by walking in the….filth)

Karen’s argument:
But everybody poops Joe! And we would never let our doggy woggy go to the toilet without appropriate training and cleaning it up.

Well, apart from my ridiculous baby talk when discussing cute animals, I thought I had a pretty sound argument. But nope, I didn’t.

Since moving in the house, we have replaced the front fences and moved some concrete posts to allow room for a front gate one day (at the end of the driveway we will one day build. Seriously, our to-do list just grows by the day!).

As you can see from Google Maps, our house used to look like this before it was vacant:
It looks very different now and from the black fence to the right is cleared and all open. (I smashed that black fence with a spade. It was so much fun) So open in fact that plenty of dogs are coming into the driveway and doing their toilet business on our imaginary driveway. And their owners are allowing it!

Joe witnessed it the other day and if he weren’t naked, I think the dog owner would have got the beating of their life. (By the way, he’d just had a bath re: the nakedness. Nothing dodgy here folks!) Actually this image of a naked Joe battering one of our neighbours is really making me chuckle to myself.

Anyway, I think I’ve waffled on enough now. For the time being Joe put some bleach down on the front, as his mum said this was a good tip for deterring the dogs from popping it’s leg up on our new fence. Unfortunately, all we had was Domestos (lemony fresh!) so we’ll see how it goes.
So, in a nutshell, we need a gate.
And since it’s Wishlist Wednesday, I’d also like a pug puppy. One that doesn’t poo please.

Karen x