26 June 2012

Everything Stops For Pimms ......

Well, it's officially one of my favourite times of the year ..... Wimbledon :-) I love tennis and have even, on occasion, been known to knock a ball around a court if the mood descends and every year, around mid June, I begin to feel the tingle of excitement that I get at the prospect of watching my favourite sport on TV ...... all day ....... for a blissful two weeks. It all starts with Queens, my first glimpse of grass court tennis and a teasing taster of things to come and although Andy Murray went out in the first round this year and many of the 'big' names seemed conspicuous by their absence, I still spent a blissful week getting re-acquainted with all my favourite players and checking out this years crop of new faces. Wimbledon, however is the highlight of the sporting year in my opinion. I love Wimbledon ...... I love the tradition, the strawberries and cream and the jug of Pimms which are, I find, essential accompaniments for watching an exciting tennis match. I love the Britishness of it all and the way the crowd gets behind the players, particularly the underdogs and I love the fact that, for me, Wimbledon is the beginning of summer. This year, however, the weather is awful down here in Cornwall. It's rainy, grey and chilly and as a result, for the start of Wimbledon 2012, instead of windows and patio doors flung wide open with curtains fluttering on a warm breeze holding a luscious glass of ice cold Pimms, I am cuddled up on the sofa with a dog asleep on my feet and a steaming mug of home-made soup. C'est la vie, Andy Murray begins his Wimbledon battle for the Wimbledon title this afternoon on Centre Court, yesterday Heather Watson won a blistering match against Iveta Benesova beating her 6-2, 6-1 and becoming the first British woman to win a match on Centre Court since Jo Durie in 1985 and I still have another 11 days of wonderful tennis to be watched. What more could a girl ask for :-)

Wimbledon Logo Image http://longislandtennismagazine.com

24 June 2012

Getting Plastered

Well I know it's been a while since I have posted anything but things have been a bit stressful lately, however, I thought that as it's raining here in Cornwall ..... yet again ...... I would use the time that I can't get out into the garden to update some things on my blog. Sooooo what have I been up to? Well, last week, having lived with the hideous artex on the walls and ceilings of my old house for the last eight and a half years, I decided it was high time that I did something about it. I managed to find a plastering taster course at Saltash College near where I live so, being brave, I rang the number to find out the date of the next course. I chatted with a very nicelady who said that they were holding a taster course the following Saturday and that although it was fully booked, one or two people usually dropped out at the last minute and that she would ring me and let me know if they could fit me in. On Wednesday last week she rang and said there was a place for me if I wanted it and that it was free. Well how could I resist :-) I'm a sucker for a bargain. At 9am on Saturday morning I found myself stood in a large warehouse holding a hawk and a trowel (I even know the lingo lol) with seven blokes who were all looking at me as if I had just arrived from another planet. I got the feeling that the lecturer wasn't quite sure how to deal with me and Icould tell that they were all waiting for me do something wrong. Fortunately in situations like this, my innate stubbornness stands me in good stead and I was determined not to oblige. With good humour I accepted the large blob of render that the lecturer slapped onto my hawk and although it was really heavy and despite the fact I had never held a trowel in my life, I started to turn it the way the lecturer had shown us to eliminate the air pockets. The look on the faces of the rest of the class was priceless. This seemed to break the ice slightly and the guy next to me decided that if I could do it, it must be a piece of cake and went over to the wheelbarrow and scooped up a huge blob of render and started to turn it on the hawk. it took all of about 10 seconds before there was a loud SPLAT as the contents of his trowel ended up all over the floor. For the next four hours, we were taught how to render and outside wall with two coats, using a combing tool between coats to give the second one something to adhere to, using a rule to make sure the wall is flat, using a float on the second coat to give it a nice smooth finish and finally a damp sponge to give a nice texture to the final render. More importantly, we were taught how to skim an interior wall, again using two coats and including how to get a nice even finish. I finished up the taster course confident that I would be able to achieve a smooth(ish) finish and next month I will be giving it a go starting with the downstairs loo. Watch this space.