llywela: (flower-daisy2)
I was recently reminded by [livejournal.com profile] galathea_snb that I never have posted any pics of my new flat, so, for Chris (and anyone else who may be interested), here's a picspam.

Cut to spare your f-lists )
llywela: (flower - trolius)
Spring has sprung and the transformation of my horrible scrubby lawn into a real lawn with proper garden borders is now well and truly underway.

There is still loads to do. Like, the entire lawn. But the border has been dug and many plants have been planted, with more on the way because every time I visit my parents, Mum takes me out into the garden and points out more plants she's been bringing on for me or can split for me. Today we went to the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff and came home laden as usual - I bought a fritillaria, a dicentra, a fuschsia, an aquilegia, a thrift, a poppy and a narcissus, all in the ground already along with the batch I planted last weekend after The Big Dig which created the border (still have a mound of turf to dispose of). Tomorrow the teenagers are being dispatched to me with a bunch more plants from Mum's garden, to likewise go straight in the ground. And I still have a box of bulbs and about a zillion seeds to go in. Then it'll just be a matter of sitting back and waiting for everything to grow.

Oh, and fixing the lawn, of course. It needs cutting - and I don't trust the mower that came with the flat (an electric mower exposed to the elements with only a bit of tarpaulin to protect it? No) so will be borrowing something else instead. And it needs re-seeding, which will come after the mowing. But it'll get there in the end.

But it already looks like a real garden now. I'm happy about that.

I'm taking photos as I go to mark the various stages so I can look back later and see the difference.
llywela: (FF - ball failure)
1. Father Mine seems to be recovering nicely after his knee replacement - almost two weeks on and he is well enough to be bored, hobbling around the house getting under my mother's feet and sneaking out when she isn't looking to take the dog for a short walk!

2. The day before Dad had his surgery, his cousin Alma also went under the knife - in her case it was the third surgery since Christmas, which is not to be sniffed at for someone who is 80 now. She's had melanoma - it started on her leg and was removed some years ago, then they found it in her nose a few months back, hence the multiple surgeries, which thank goodness have seen every last scrap of the cancer removed. Unfortunately they also saw every last scrap of cartilage removed, so she's basically had to have her entire nose rebuilt, but she's very philosophical about that. "I've always wanted a smaller, cuter nose," she told the surgeon. "And I've had to wait till I'm 80, so please make it cute!" Bless her she's out and about already and in great spirits. I'm very fond of Alma, so hopefully she has many more years in her yet!

3. I took the plunge and invested in a new computer at the weekend, taking with me not one but two technical advisers to help choose which one. I ended up with a laptop - at the upper end of my price limit but much higher spec than I expected to be able to afford thanks to being substantially reduced as last-in-store, and so far so good. I'm delighted with the speed and functionality now that I've got it set up the way I want it, and although I haven't reinstalled all my old programmes yet, I haven't come across any that won't work on Windows 8 yet, so fingers crossed that continues!

4. Also at the weekend, I held a working bee to dig a couple of borders around my scrubby little lawn out back and got a few plants into the ground. There's still a lot of work to do, but by summer I might even have a nice garden to enjoy.
llywela: (Cymru-CastellCaerdydd)
Welsh flag
Dydd Gŵyl Dewi hapus, pawb

This morning, for some unknown reason, I thought it would be a good idea to go outside at 7.30am and spend 2 hours digging buttercup roots and moss out of my scrubby little lawn. I also did two loads of washing and vacuumed the entire flat from top to bottom, all before 10am. My poor back is now wondering what it ever did to me!

Am now going out for lunch to celebrate my Aunty Lel's 68th birthday, so at least I don't have to cook.

Rather horrible news from Kent this morning. A couple of weeks ago, my sister and her husband decided it would be a good idea to get a second dog to 'keep Amber company'. Since they already have one big, powerful, boisterous dog (which I would never leave alone with my cats especially as she's gone for Alfie once or twice) and a house full of cats, none of us thought that was a particularly good idea, but with my sister to think is to act so they went out and got a second big, powerful, boisterous dog from a shelter - a rescue dog, background unknown. Last night they came home and found that the new dog had killed one of their cats - ripped its throat out. Horrible. Deb is in bits. The dog is going. And the moral of the story is that if you want to adopt a big, powerful, domineering dog from a rescue centre, make sure you are taking it to a house where it will be a lonely only rather than a house full of smaller animals (or children) it can intimidate and attack. :(
llywela: (Xmas)
I just had a Christmas card and present from a complete stranger.

The doorbell went.

So I go to the door. There's an old man standing there with an armful of gifts and he gives one to me. And it is addressed to my flat. And he also gives me one for the family upstairs. And he says Happy Christmas, welcome to the street, and wanders off, to deliver more gifts to more neighbours. And I have lived here for two months now and have never seen him before!

This is a very different neighbourhood than the one I moved out of.

stuff

Nov. 16th, 2013 09:27 am
llywela: (DW1-brainyspecs)
1. My Mum and Dad's house sale has fallen through at the final hurdle (the survey - he 'advised' the buyers to push for a 10K drop in price, which...just no). I'm gutted for them, and also very worried because they needed that sale. They don't have my rent to cover the mortgage any more.

2. My cousin's baby daughter was transferred back to the children's hospital in Cardiff yesterday, following her surgery at the specialist heart unit in Bristol. She's doing as well as can be expected, after two major surgeries in a week - the first to repair the holes in her heart, the second to insert a pacemaker because the first surgery didn't repair the defect as well as hoped. Poor baby, only 12 months old and she's already been through so much.

3. I've tried taking the cats out the back three times so far this morning, but every time they go out, they hear a 'scary' noise and rush back inside again. Wusses. But it's too cold to leave the door open for them to come and go as they please!

4. I got run into by a bike on my way to work yesterday. That was fun. On a pedestrianised street, too, where the bike had no business being, especially not that fast. I was walking along minding my business when the bike came flying around a corner, way too fast to swerve, I couldn't get out of the way in time, so it clipped me and sent me spinning, the cyclist nearly came off the bike, and it was all a bit hair-raising for first thing in the morning. Neither of us was hurt, though, so that was good.

5. The BBC has released a pre-anniversary minisode, Night of the Doctor, and have you all seen it? It's fantastic!


Spoilery thoughts )

6. I watched The Science of Doctor Who the other night, with Brian Cox. The little skits with Brian Cox and the Doctor were all kinds of delightful - I have to admit, though, that the science lectures kinda sent me to sleep...

7. I'm really, really looking forward to An Adventure in Space and Time next week. The trailer is all kinds of fabulous - David Bradley just nails Hartnell perfectly.
llywela: (cats-PoppyAlfie02)
Three weeks after the move, I have started this weekend (in between torrential rain showers that have caused flash flooding across the city) to introduce the cats to the great outside world beyond our door, aka the back garden. One at a time, a little at a time, just so they can begin to get familiarised with what's out there.

It looks as if this could be quite a lengthy process.

I started with Poppy. She clung to me like a limpet, all "no, no, I got out here on my own in the dark last week and IT WAS SCARY DON'T MAKE ME GO OUT THERE!!!" and tried to get back in through the window she'd escaped from the other day (which is still closed). She relaxed enough to sniff around a tiny bit, but she was very nervous about it. Her stir craziness was completely cured by that brief escape! She's so freaked out, it's going to take ages to get her comfortable with going out again. Which is fine, the slower the better, really.

Then I took Alfie out and he was far more excited, "yay, outside world, new smells, it's all so interesting, I want to explore all the things, this is brilliant...okay, that's enough excitement for one day, time to go home," and that was that, he's had enough now!

We'll try again next week...

STUFF!

Oct. 11th, 2013 09:48 am
llywela: (DW-2-bored)
I have been catching the bus to and from work for a week now and have already ascertained that the #61 bus is ALWAYS overcrowded. Ah, the joys of commuting!

But the trials and tribulations of bus travel aside, today is a happy day because, after months of rabid speculation, the BBC have finally, officially confirmed that lost episodes of Doctor Who have been found! One complete serial and one almost complete serial, both from season 5 - one of the hardest hit by the burnination policy of the 1970s.

More details here and here - it's an absolutely fascinating story, the outcome of a physical search that's been going on for a number of years, with a big find rumoured for about two years now. The rumour went viral within the Doctor Who fandom back in the summer and the speculation since then has been fevered, to say the least. But now we have The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear back in the fold and available for digital download immediately, with DVDs to be released in November and February - the number of missing episodes now down from 106 to 97. Awesomesauce!

No doubt there's a lot we still don't know about this find and what's been going on behind the scenes, but for now let's just be happy that we get to see two more adventures with the Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria! Enemy of the World is one of my favourite novelisations and Web of Fear features the very first appearance of the Brigadier - before he was promoted to Brigadier and put in charge of UNIT. Baby Brigadier, Yeti and evil doppelgangers - what's not to love about that?!

In Other News, my Poppy cat managed to escape from the new flat the other night. It was my fault completely. I'd opened a window, just a crack, but I knew she was a flight risk (she's been stir crazy ever since we moved) and I knew she knows how windows work. So she got out, knocking a windowbox off the sill in the process (she's a very clumsy cat) and disappeared off into the gathering gloom of evening. I panicked and spent half an hour calling her and jingling a little bell that she usually responds to, fretting that she'd be lost in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. Then finally I heard crashing in the apple tree in next door's garden, and at last Poppy came flinging herself out of the tree, closely followed by a big unneutered ginger tom - which ran when it saw me. But Poppy was in such a state that she ran straight past the wide open back door and tried to get back in through the window, which I'd closed - she hurled herself at the window and bounced off into my plant pots again, squishing a rather fragile fuchsia in the process, which I'm not happy about. I had to call her and physically shepherd her through the door, she was freaking out so much.

So should I be impressed by her ability to memorise her route back the way she got out, or despair at her brainlessness in running straight past the open door to try to get back in through a closed window?

Finally, just to spam your f-lists even more, here are some pretty pics of Poppy and Alfie helping me pack for the move.
P1090361 P1090365P1090366 P1090435
llywela: (Pros-wheresmybed)
Whew! Out the other side at last!

Okay, so I am moved and two days later I now have TV, telephone and internet once more, and the flat very nearly looks like a home - still loads to do and loads to unpack (books to organise, DVDs to organise - it's killing me already that they're just shoved onto the shelves any which way), plus loads of bills/insurance details/etc still to switch, but we're getting there. Eventually, all my stuff might just find a home!

The cats are adjusting - a bit confused still, following me around like little shadows, and already bored of being cooped up indoors, but in general they've been more chilled out than I'd dared hope, so I think they'll settle okay when they get used to the place.

Thanks to everyone who left messages wishing me luck with the move. :)

Onwards and upwards!
llywela: (SN-sleepyboys)
1. Moving house is bad for my tennis elbow.
2. Sometimes browsing the internet makes me despair of humanity.
3. I'm not sure where the hours, days and weeks are going. Wasn't it January just a minute ago?
4. I am moving on Monday and don't feel the slightest bit ready!
5. Seriously. Not ready.

Okay, so this week has been the saga of the flat. I got my keys on Monday and was a bit disappointed to find that the flat had not been professionally cleaned after the previous tenant moved out, as I'd been promised. The landlord is away this week, however, and I'm on a schedule so couldn't wait, so I spent Tuesday evening at the flat with my mum and dad, scrubbing the place down from top to bottom to get it into a suitable condition to move my furniture into next week. Then on Wednesday evening we took a trip to Ikea to buy my new wardrobe and bookshelves, construction of which continued into Thursday and will be completed (hopefully) at the weekend. Also at the weekend, I need to take down all the curtains and nets from the flat for washing before I move in.

And I still have packing to do! I've barely touched the kitchen and bathroom...

I'm not going to finish sorting through all my old files of paperwork and whatnot, not before I move now. I've done a fair bit, but the rest will have to be done post-move.

So I've got next week off, the van is booked for the actual move on Monday. My internet is being disconnected at the house on Monday and not reconnected at the flat until Wednesday - luckily I'll have plenty to do to keep me occupied!

Not convinced yet that we'll manage to get my sofa through those narrow doors and hallways - or that I'll manage to fit all my stuff in - but I daresay we'll find out soon enough.

Catch you all on the flip side! When I will be sleeping for about a week to recover!
llywela: (SN-facepalm)
I now have a moving date. Monday 30 September.

I pick up my keys and sign the contract tomorrow. Then a week later we're hiring a van, stuffing it with everything I own, and moving me.

Still so much to organise! ZOMG!
llywela: (FS-facepull)
So it's been a busy week.

First off, there was the Cardiff ComicCon last weekend, which was a lot of fun, and then the lovely Sue and nephew Adam came to stay and the weather couldn't have been more glorious if we'd arranged it specially. We took in the Doctor Who Experience, which was as much fun this year as it was last summer when I went and had a bunch of new exhibits, including the First Doctor's console room, as recreated for the forthcoming docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, which I am looking forward to enormously. They've taken the Zygon costume away, though, which I can only assume is because the Zygons are due to pop up in the anniversary special, so perhaps it'll be brought back with a new exhibit after that?

Perhaps it isn't a good thing that I can tell which exhibits are new and which ones have been removed! I already know I'm going to have to go again next year, to see what they do with the interactive bit after the regeneration...

Then came Wednesday. Now, Sue was with me on Tuesday so can vouch that I was absolutely fine. Then I got into work on Wednesday, rested my elbow on my desk (not the tennis elbow elbow, but the other one, the supposedly healthy one) - and yelped because it hurt. It felt bruised, which was weird, because I don't remember knocking it, but I do have a graze on the elbow that I'd noticed a few days earlier - again, I don't remember doing it, but I'm always knocking myself and not noticing, so I didn't think much of it. When it started hurting on Wednesday I just thought it must have taken a few days for the bruise to come out or something. But during the day it got worse and worse - the elbow became all puffy and swollen, bright red and hot to the touch and very painful. Barely slept a wink all that night, the arm was too painful and I couldn't let anything touch it, couldn't find a comfortable position in bed - spent most of the night curled up in an armchair watching the Fourth Doctor and Sarah battling the Seeds of Doom. Rang the doctor's surgery first thing Thursday morning and spent 10 minutes going round a nightmare loop of telephone menus before finally getting through to a human being, who refused to give me an appointment but took my number for the doctor to ring me back, which didn't happen until 10.30, so no work for me that day - not that I'd have been good for anything anyway. On the bright side, it was Dr Thapar who called and he's lovely and gave me an appointment for midday, examined the elbow and agreed with my self-diagnosis of an infection. So now I'm on antibiotic and two days later the elbow is much improved - still puffy and red and sore and hot to touch, but a lot better than it was; I can actually bend and move my arm again now, for starters!

So I've not been getting much packing done this week, what with having two duff elbows and all, but I need to pick up the pace because a) I'm supposed to be moving in three weeks, and b) this house is sold! We finally found a buyer - a lovely young couple looking for a home to raise the family they are hoping to start. Good timing, really! I'm just keeping my fingers and toes crossed that nothing falls through now.

I can't move for boxes now, which the cats are very excited and curious about. Alfie keeps packing himself!
P1090225

Here are some piccies from the Doctor Who Experience! Cut to spare your flists because I'm kind like that, sometimes )

And last but not least, here's a pretty view across Cardiff Bay, as seen from on board the teeny-tiny ship Daffodil.
P1090340
llywela: (SQ-shiny)
The die is cast and lo! I am moving.

Well, in a few weeks, anyway. I viewed a flat yesterday that's pretty much ideal - not quite as central as I'd hoped for (I'm going to have to get used to the buses for my daily commute!), but bigger than I'd dared imagine I might find for what I can afford to pay: the whole ground floor of a large house, so that's bedroom, two reception rooms, a really big bathroom and a larger kitchen than I've ever had. Enough space that I'll be able to take most of my furniture with me. Nice area, lots of storage space, garden (shared with the upstairs flat via fire escape but not really used, so it'll essentially be all mine), the landlord allows pets...it pretty much ticked all the boxes. So today I toddled along to the estate agent and put down my agency holding fee, now they'll have to take up references and credit checks and whatnot, but if all goes well I'll get the keys on 23 September and move sometime shortly afterward!

I'm a bit concerned about leaving my parents in the lurch when they don't have a buyer lined up for the house, but they agreed that I can't afford to let this flat slip through my fingers, and they have a few options to play with. I worry about them, they worry about me, that's how it goes!

So much to organise now!
llywela: (DW - eyes)
We have an offer on the house. It's low, so my parents have countered it and are waiting to see if the guy accepts. Looks like I'd better get serious about my house-hunting! Wish me luck, folkses. I'm gonna need it.

This is my childhood home, which I've lived in now for the last 4 years after 10 years away. It holds a hell of a lot of memories. So with a sale on the horizon, I've had myself a little 'dear photograph' project to recapture a few of those memories and compare the then to the now.

Starting at the beginning, here's baby me with my mum and dad out in the garden - until I took these photos, I hadn't realised just how many years those shed doors have been blue!
P1080463 P1080458

More behind the cut )

stuff

Jun. 13th, 2013 03:05 pm
llywela: (AtS-borednow)
1. There was a Bon Jovi concert in the stadium just down the road last night. With my windows open, I could hear every word, crystal clear. Who needs to pay for tickets?

2. We've had a little flurry of viewings on the house in the last couple of weeks - there's a guy coming round this afternoon for a second viewing, because he liked what he saw yesterday. If he's seriously interested, I'm going to have to start some serious flat-hunting!

3. I think most of my f-listies know the story behind all this, but for those that don't I should explain: the house I live in is owned by my parents; I've been renting it from them for the last four years. They raided their pension fund to buy house#2, taking out a 5-year interest-free mortgage in hopes that the real estate market might improve over those years. It hasn't, and the 5 years is almost up, so they are now selling house#1 from under me and when it goes, I will have to move on. Which is fine, that was always the deal, but it has been nice to have so much space! I've especially enjoyed having the spare rooms, and have certainly made the most of them. So if any of my friends out there fancy a quick trip to Cardiff and needs a bed for the night, speak now because once I've moved on I won't have the spare rooms any more! :D

4. Speaking of the parents, I was at their house the other day when my Small Sis somehow managed to break the lock on the bathroom door (she was larking about with a friend, 'nuff said). This was her idea of a confession: "Mum! Dad! I've turned into a super-hero! I didn't know my own strength!"

5. Big Sis has been back to the neurologist, who remains absolutely useless. He upped her pain killers, because she's in agony with chronic migraine most days, but other than that simply made another appointment for in 6 months time because she hasn't had all the tests he wants her to have yet - because the system is so damn slow. It is now 18 months since she was first taken ill. Viral meningitis, they said, and then didn't say, and then said again - they can't seem to make up their minds. Whatever it is, the damage to the brain isn't healing, and clearly isn't going to until they figure out what's causing it and start treating that cause instead of the symptoms. Stupid system.
llywela: (scene - seascape rainbow)
I'm not entirely sure just where this last week or so has got to - I'm sure it was here a moment ago...

I had a very lovely fannish few days last weekend when Sue and Carol came to stay - and Marnie also popped down to join us for a bit. We watched many, many DVDs, and some of them were even The Professionals. We also visited St Fagans for a glorious sunny spring day out. I didn't take any photos, though - but I have still got a few holiday photos to share, so here, have those instead.

During my week in Wroxham, I took to taking a stroll along the tow path every day, sometimes with the dogs, sometimes on my own, just because it was so peaceful and pretty. I took a stack of photos of the views along the riverbank, so here's a selection.
P1070525
More behind the cut )

In Other News, Flickr has massively increased its allocation of filespace for free accounts, which means I can start adding images to my long dormant account again... (not that I, you know, needed new places to show off my photos, but what the heck).

In Other Other News, I am still having to keep the house permanently spotless because of Viewings. Another one this morning. Fun and games!

In Other Other Other News, congratulations to my cousin Gareth and his partner Nina on the birth of their 3rd child, Lara, a sister for Luca and Evan. So prolific, my family is. In the last 17 years we've averaged at least one baby a year, sometimes two, between all the many branches of the family tree!
llywela: (flower-blossom)
It's proper spring now at last! And long may it last...

I spent most of yesterday at the local RHS flower show, and it was warm and sunny and lovely, and Mum and Chelsea were under strict instructions not to let me buy anything, because of how I'm going to be moving at some point, and it almost worked - I came away with three small plants to bulk out a few of my sparser pots, which is not bad considering how much I usually buy!

nostalgia

Apr. 8th, 2013 08:39 pm
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
There's a for sale sign in my garden today. Times, they are a-changing. And so I find myself reminiscing about the past, and for that reason I'm going to have a 'dear photograph' moment - but for a different house.
P1070405
Continued behind the cut )

meh

Apr. 5th, 2013 09:50 am
llywela: (DW-blink)
My house is now officially on the market. How fast will it sell? Only time will tell.

It's been about 10 years since I last did the house-hunting rounds. I didn't have the cats back then! Interesting times ahead.

yikes

Apr. 2nd, 2013 11:45 am
llywela: (LoM-Sam-headclutch)
So my shower exploded this morning. I was in it at the time and suddenly there was a series of bangs, sparks, smoke - the full shebang.

I got out of there pretty damn quick! Turned it off at the fusebox, called my dadlandlord, closed the door on it.

So the shower is now well and truly broke.

And I'm still jittery several hours later. That was not a good way to start the day!

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