A fully plastered house!

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Apart from the stud wall in the master bedroom...

I wasn't going to do another post on plaster but I couldn't help myself. I love looking back at all our progress shots so it only felt right to document this moment. A fully plastered house! This time last year this moment felt like a million miles away but we are here, the hard bit is over! Thank goodness! Our bodies ache and we are both constantly drained. I cannot wait to book myself an at home massage and facial, light all the candles and the log burner and just chill out. But first... we've got two bathrooms to finish, paint to chose, carpets and wooden flooring to lay and a kitchen to find and fit. I'm a little nervous thinking about all the money we'll have to spend over the next couple of months, it's a scary feeling, especially when things cost so much but I'm determined to get most of it done before we move in before Christmas. It's looking like early November will be a bit too soon but the push is on and we'll see where we are this time next month.

I made my decision on tiles for the en suite today. We were undecided but I asked Smart Tiles to send me over some images of a few different options together because I just couldn't picture what would work in my mind. Thankfully, we agreed on a colour and style but I'm saving the en suite and master for a totally finished reveal, so it may be a while until you get to see them! What colours do you think we have gone for?

Let there be light!

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As if it's Sunday again! It doesn't feel like 5 minutes ago we had completed Haystacks for the 5th time, and we were sat in the Bridge Inn eating roast lamb. But here we are and what a week it's been! The plasterers were back on Thursday and got almost everywhere finished, apart from one wall on the landing and another wall leading up to the master. They should have it finished tomorrow though!

I started painting yesterday. Just emulsion, thank goodness because what a terrible painter and decorator I would be! We are hoping to get someone in to do the 'proper' and 'final' coat. Although, I still need to make a decision on colours! I also picked our carpets, wooden flooring and stair runner. Westmorland Flooring have been so helpful when it came to picking carpets and oak engineered flooring. I originally chose a New Zealand wool 3 pile carpet, which was going to cost us a small fortune to only carpet 3 rooms. So I went back and looked at a very similar option for a fraction of the price. It's not New Zealand wool, so it's not as soft but it is still 100% wool. It's gorgeous and I cannot wait for it to be put down! I also visited Smart Tiles to take a look at, well, tile options. I think I've decided but I still need to email them with measurements to see if they can get them in time for our tiler coming at the beginning of November (eeeeeek).

Isaac and Josh have spent alllllll day at the house today, bless them, but we finally have lights upstairs! It just feels so different, it's amazing. The office and dressing room are on dimmers, so we can dim the lights when we don't want it so bright but it's nice to have the option incase we need it, especially when I want to spend more time creating prints in the office space. I need to order some pendant lights for the spare room, landing and the living room but I'm just too undecided at the moment. Would you recommend any online stores for pendant lighting? I'd love something that hangs quite low over the bannister/staircase which needs to be roughly 40cm wide. Anything bigger will look a little over the top.

Anyway, time for a shower and then a cup of tea before bed. I've been nagging Josh for the past couple of weeks to pick up my running bum bag from the van, which is still in the garage and has been ever since we got back from Scotland! Well, turns out I packed my bum bag in my rucksack, so I'm going to go for a run in the morning. I feel like I've piled a tonne of weight on over the past month and I feel so lethargic! I loved running most days so I'm really looking forward to getting back in to it again. Speak soon, L.

One of my favourite walks in the Lake District & Erik’s first hike

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Looking back towards Buttermere and Crummock water.

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Warnscale Bothay - what a view!

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Looking back towards High Stile and Red Pike.

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Josh found a bottle of gin in the bothay.

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Lunch break - ham and mustard mayo sandwiches with hot chocolate. 

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Pillar in the distance.

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Erik thoroughly enjoyed his first day out in the Lakeland hills. 

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Roast Lamb at The Bridge in Buttermere and one very sleepy pup.

Hello lovelies! What a stunning day it was yesterday here in the Lakes. We knew it was going to be a nice day so on Saturday night we got our walking gear ready and had an early night. Josh, myself, Alex and El all tackled Haystacks yesterday. It's one of my favourite walks in the Lakes because it's not too hard and the views are stunning. This must have been my first 'proper' walk in the Lakes since March! I cannot believe it! Although, we tend to do most of our walking from September to March anyway, as we do prefer the cooler weather and when there aren't so many tourists. Yesterday however was BUSY! I've never seen so many people on a mountain before but I can't blame people for getting outside. It was just the most perfect walking weather. We stopped for lunch near the top, overlooking Pillar Rock and the Ennerdale Valley. It was so peaceful and the sunshine felt so lovely and warm on our faces.

On Sunday evening, I had a surprise message from an old college friend who was staying in their camper van nearby. We met her and her partner at our local for a pint in the beer garden, under the fairy lights. It was rather chilly but so good to catch up, as I haven't seen Sarah since studying which was like 6/7 years ago, when me and Josh got together! It's crazy how life just passes by in the blink of an eye but seeing her again just felt like old times, just like nothing had ever changed. We are both into our walking/camping/outdoor adventures, so as couples we will get together and do lots of fun outdoor stuff.

This week we have quite a bit going on at the house. Aaron and Isaac are here this evening finishing some jobs, ready to get the main bathroom sorted. Josh is going to tile the main bathroom his self, and it is looking more like we'll get the spare room and main bathroom done before we move in, rather than the top room and en suite.

We have Westmorland Flooring coming to measure up the rooms for carpets. I've found this gorgeous New Zealand wool carpet, in 'Harvest'. It's a beautiful soft creamy white colour, which we are thinking of using throughout the first floor. I would quite like it as a runner up the stairs and along the landing with an alternative border but I'm going to look at ideas for that. I quite like the idea of having a black border but then I'm not sure if it will look too harsh and clash with the decor. Any thoughts?

The plasterers will be back in later this week finishing off the office and the landing, which means.. everything will be fully plastered and we can start painting! Hip hip hooray! Then once all the rooms have had their first and second coat of emulsion, we can add skirting and then panelling etc. I am still so unsure about colours. The bed we currently have is like a dark charcoal colour but I think it sometimes looks a little purple in the light (hate purple, worst colour ever!). This bed will go in to the spare room but I'm really unsure on what paint colours to go for. I'd love to go for dark colours, and really like the idea of Jack Black but then I think something with a burgundy tone might work better... I'll have to get some more sample pots but they cost a blinkin' fortune!

Anyway, I've got tea to make for the workers and then I've got some college work to do before Thursday. So I will speak to you again soon! Maybe when we have a fully plastered house! Eeeeek!

We’re getting things going again

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Cleaned the downstairs so we can actually move and ordered a load of logs ready for the colder evenings. This gorgeous stove is from Chesneys.

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Ripped up the flooring in the attic and started insulating it this evening. I only did about half so I'll finish the rest off tomorrow.

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Pigged out on sausage rolls from The Black Bull - so good!

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Took Erik on a few walks to give me a break from housework. Saw a double rainbow!

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Erik giving us a tour of his house (he also needs his claw snipping).

Hey guys. How was your weekend? We were so busy on the house, the weekend flashed by in the blink of an eye! But we are so pleased with how much progress was made, we finally feel like we are back on track and we are getting somewhere. I'm already planning how we will host Christmas, where the dining table will go and whether we'll have enough seats for the 6 of us. I'm sure it will work out, things always do! Marks and Spencers Christmas food magazine came out over the weekend, so of course I picked one of those up and my mouth is watering thinking of the beef wellington which I've been wanting to have for Christmas for the last few years. This year may have to be the year, as a celebration for getting the house ready in time... we'll see!

I'm already in bed after a good 2 and a half hour shift at the house again this evening. We got a bit done but it's always hard after a full day at work. I'm watching Emily in Paris on Netflix, a new series I started over the weekend. I love it! It is more of a chick flick, so I will only watch it when Josh is out of the house. I'm waiting for him to come to bed so we can stick David Attenborough - A Life On Our Planet on. We started that last night too but only saw about 10 minutes of it before we started nodding off. We also started Ratched too, which is a new series on Netflix. It's a little dark but we like that sort of thing. Oh, I also started another documentary, American Murder - The Family Next Door. Apparently it's unbelievable what happens, so I'll continue that sometime over the next week. Speak soon, L.

A weekend in Edinburgh

Celebrating my Mum's 60th birthday

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Where we stayed

We stopped at this beautiful Georgian apartment in Stockbridge. It has three double bedrooms, a good sized kitchen and dining space and a huge cosy lounge. There was everything we needed to spend a weekend there. Lucy (the host) kindly left us a bottle of Prosecco in the fridge for Mum's 60th and told us to help ourselves to any condiments.

The apartment was only a short walk away from Princes Street but Stockbridge itself is a quirky part of Edinburgh. It has some lovely shops and bars and on a Sunday there is a food market about a 5 minute walk from the apartment.

The apartment is on the top floor, which I think is up 6 or 7 flights of stairs and unfortunately there isn't a lift, which would make it tough for anyone elderly or impossible for anyone who requires wheelchair access. There is parking outside on the single yellow lines which is fine to park on over the weekend but you must move before 8:30am on Monday. There are a few car parks nearby you can pay for though.

If you are interested in booking, you can find it here.

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The Last Word Saloon

We enjoyed some really good cocktails at The Last Word Saloon in Stockbridge, literally a 3 minute walk from the apartment. There are lots of delicious cocktails to choose from from their menu but I did ask the waiter for his suggestions. We had espresso martini's, porn star martini's, gin based cocktails with a citrusy kick and a very strong one with absinthe! To be honest, they were all strong and I'd say certainly worth the £7-£8 price.

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Went shopping but didn't spend any money...

I tried on this gorgeous wax Barbour jacket that I've been wanting for ages but resisted because I'd rather put that money towards getting the house finished. Also tried on some ace hats from Barbour and Levi, which I loved but I never wear hats. I think I just wanted to try and be a little 'cool' because I was in the city. I love visiting cities because I love to see what everyone else is wearing but it also annoys me that I don't have anywhere to wear nice clothes to when I'm home because all we do is work, exercise (sometimes) or go walking so there's no need to wear trendy stuff because it's not practical! When we get the house done though, I'm going to invest in some pieces I've been dying to get my hands on for ages and then I can actually do my make up and wear nice things once in a while!

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My first time in Edinburgh was great, I just wish we could have stayed a little longer and booked restaurants and things to do in advance, as there weren't any tickets for the castle or the dungeons, two things I really wanted to do. I'm 100% going to return as soon as I can as I'd love to go with Josh for Christmas or for our anniversary later this year. A few recommendations were to drink cocktail at the Dome, walk to Arthur's Seat, drinks/food at the Ivy, spend an afternoon at Camera Obscura and a few other restaurant recommendations.

Our Scottish Highland’s road trip fail

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Sunday

First image: One of the most photographed houses in Scotland.

Second image: The Yakima SkyRise roof top tent when we first set it up. Loaned from The Roof Box Company.

Third image: The roof top tent again at dusk.

Fourth image: The River Coe.

Fifth image: Drinking red wine by the fire.

Sixth image: Kelly, Kurt and Josh sat by the fire at the Red Squirrel campsite.

 

This Sunday we set off on a road trip to Scotland. We headed up past Glasgow and Loch Lomond to Glencoe, where we stayed at the Red Squirrel campsite.

The campsite is lovely, set by the River Coe and nestled in the trees, it's quiet, well kept and a nice safe place to stay. It was £25 for Josh and I to stay, which we thought was worth it because we know the toilets and showers are kept so clean and it's set in such a picturesque area. Last time we visited the Red Squirrel campsite was back in 2017. It was much quieter then and we woke up to deer around our tent!

Kelly and Kurt decided to stop by on their way home from Ullapool. It was nice to catch up with them and hear of their adventures on Harris - where we were heading to! I was so excited and Kelly kindly lent us her two paddle boards.

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Monday

First image: The van parked somewhere on Skye.

Second image: Josh walking, also somewhere on Skye.

Third image: Erik sat in the heather.

Fourth image: Uig harbour.

Fifth image: Uig harbour from our bed.

Sixth image: Erik fast asleep in the roof tent.

 

We woke up early, cooked ourselves a bacon and egg butty, packed up and continued our journey to the Isle of Skye. We stopped off at Fort William for a few things we needed and ended up getting ourselves a pork, stuffing and apple sauce sandwich - it was DELICIOUS.

It was quite a long drive, but a very scenic drive. We stopped at a few places along the way to let Erik out for the toilet and a run around. The first few images were taken along the road to the fairy pools. We were going to walk to them but the paths were heaving, so we decided it wasn't for us. Plus, it had started showering and we just weren't up for walking too far in the rain at that point. I say we, but really I mean I. I really need a new waterproof jacket. Ideally Gortex as all the other jackets are never actually waterproof!

Then we drove to the top of Skye, where we needed to catch the ferry from early morning. The wind and the rain was horrendous. We couldn't find anywhere to stay in Uig that was out of the wind, so instead of heading in land a little, silly us decided to stay on a road side, basically on a cliff over looking the ferry port.

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Tuesday

First image: Me after crying for 5 minutes at our situation.

Second image: Erik on a bar stool in MacKenzie's Bakery in Portree.

Third image: Portree bay.

Fourth image: Salt and pepper squid, pan fried scallops and of course, a portion of chips from The Lower Deck Seafood in Portree.

 

When we woke up in the morning, we were glad to have survived the night. However, as soon as we started the van we had all these warning lights flash up... 'fuel tank empty', 'brake pad wear' etc. We thought there may have been a little water damage but we still headed to the port to board the ferry. We were cold and wet so had the heaters on and then the engine started cutting out. From there it was all down hill...

We ended up being left on the lane to the ferry when everyone else boarded. The kind lady in the ticket office offered us a full refund, which I thought was extremely kind considering it was totally our fault. We waited for around two hours for a tow truck to pick us up to take us back to Portree. Then we had to walk around Portree in the sodding rain looking for somewhere to sit and eat and drink. Everywhere was full, so we had to wait for ages to get in to a cafe. Finally we got a seat by the window and we sat there for almost 3 hours waiting for a call from the garage. Long story short, the problem was with the fuel pump, which explained the engine cutting off. It wasn't fixable, so we stayed on the garage forecourt that night.

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Wednesday

First image: Portree roof tops.

Second image: Portree bay.

Third image: Loch Portree, early morning.

Fourth image: Josh in the tow truck, on our way to Kyle of Lochalsh.

Fifth image: Erik asleep on my knee in the tow truck.

Sixth image: Airing the tent and sleeping bags out behind Mormar motors. Waiting for a call from Josh's insurance and the RAC.

Seventh and Eighth image: The Skye bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh.

Ninth image: Erik and I in the taxi to Inverness to pick up a hire car.

Tenth image: Loch Alsh during sunset.

Eleventh image: Erik between my legs in the hire car.

 

When we woke up, the sun was shining. It was a beautiful crisp morning so we took it in turns to take Erik for a walk. It was uplifting to see the sun again. I love crisp, fresh mornings like this. The most perfect Autumnal morning! We were then towed to Kyle of Lochalsh to the garage that would then transport our van back home. We sat there all day, in the sunshine. We were notified 10 minutes before our taxi was due to pick us up to take us to Inverness for a hire car. 10 MINUTES! Had we known we would have packed everything to take with us from Inverness but instead we had to go to Inverness and then come back to Kyle to pick all our supplies up. What a nightmare! Honestly, this holiday just went against us in every single way.

That night, we ended up arriving back in Glencoe at the Red Squirrel campsite at 11:30pm. We set the tent up, had some food, a beer and went to sleep. I received a text from my Dad that morning to say it was one of the coldest September nights in Scotland ever recorded! Thankfully I was in a winter sleeping bag, with a comfort level of up to -27 degrees and Josh's is -12 degrees I think...

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Thursday

First image: Loch Etive.

Second and third image: Me by Loch Etive.

Fourth image: Looking through the trees over to the mountains.

Fifth image: Josh on a swing rope.

Sixth image: Me on a swing rope.

 

Thursday was another glorious day. We packed the car and headed to Glen Etive, around a half an hour drive from Glencoe to reach the end of the road. We were hopeful we would see deer. Which we did but not as close as we had hoped! We would love to camp/stay in the van here. It's so peaceful and the views are incredible.

Then we began our 4 and a half hour journey home, stopping off at Burger King on the way of course. When we reached Sedbergh, of course it was raining! We hurried to empty and hoover out the car because Europcar were collecting the car at 6pm. Anyway, two days later and the hire car is still sat outside our house! We could have potentially stayed an extra night in Glencoe had we known! The weather was much better than home too! Anyway, this is our failed road trip summary. I can't believe what an ordeal we had but we kept telling ourselves 'it could be worse'. I had so many things I wanted to see and do. Perhaps I will share those with you in another post anyway, incase you ever want to attempt this road trip! Speak soon, L.

A photo diary from the past week

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Sunday

On Sunday we went for an afternoon stroll along part of the Dales Way. It's such a nice walk, so quiet and serene. Even though it was a little damp, it was nice to be out in the fresh air. Josh and I had a bit to drink on Saturday evening, do we actually spent almost all morning/afternoon in bed - watching Selling Sunsets (duh).

Later on Sunday we went out for tea at the Black Labrador in Underbarrow. We were celebrating Alex's birthday but had to sit on two separate tables. The menu was so hard to choose from, there was so much choice and good choices too! I ended up going for the scallops, black pudding and pork belly starter. It was DELICIOUS. I could have eaten another portion! Then I decided to go for the half lobster with truffle and parmesan fries. This was good too! The chips were a little strong so I think plain chips would be better next time but still so tasty and although doesn't look a lot, I was so full!

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Tuesday

I didn't feel too well when I woke up on Monday, so I spent the day off work and in bed. I thought I was coming down with something, after having a terrible nights sleep for two nights, waking up sweating, tossing and turning but thankfully it didn't turn in to anything!

Thankfully by Tuesday I was feeling a little better. During my lunch break Erik and I headed up the fell, so he could have a paddle in the stream. There were so many walkers about and couples enjoying a picnic in the sunshine. I love this end of summer heat wave we are having.

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Wednesday

On Wednesday I woke up early and took the dog for a walk along the fell wall. It was a beautiful autumnal morning. The bracken is turning red and it's just so lovely. I love this time of year!

Later that evening, something exciting happened! We were kindly loaned this roof top tent for our trip to Scotland by The Roof Box Company, the company I work for. It's a new product which isn't for sale yet, so I'm giving it a test run to see how easy it is to use, how comfortable it is to sleep in and if we get some rain, we'll see how waterproof it is too! I'll share a review on this when I'm back and let you know more about it then.

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Thursday

Thursday began with a walk along the fell wall with my Mum and Erik. It was such a beautiful sunrise and warm too. We even spotted another red squirrel making it's way up a tree. It's so nice to see them back, after only ever seeing the grey squirrels for many years. The red squirrels are native to the UK, whereas the grey squirrels are native to North America and fight/kill our red squirrels.

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Friday

A lie in this morning was needed, especially after being woken up multiple times in the night from Josh trying to order the new PS5, then our neighbour below us in the flat was listening to her radio at 5am full blast. I could even hear it through my ear plugs! What another beautiful morning though. I decided to walk along side the river, the side I never usually walk along. It was nice to have a change of scenery. I was hoping to spot some salmon jumping or the otters by the weir but unfortunately they weren't there.

Tonight I'm going to try and get everything packed out and packed ready for our road trip. I've still got some food to get and I still have the van to valet but I'll leave that for tomorrow day time. Speak soon, L.

A walk up Winder

The Howgill Fells

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Hey loves! A second post in less than 24 hours, who am I? I'm on my lunch break and I don't have Erik because today he's with Josh, aka The Boss, so I'm having a relaxing lunch, drinking my tea and eating a piece of toast. These photos are from yesterday's early morning walk on the Howgill Fells. It's a nice jaunt up from the flat, or in fact anywhere in Sedbergh and a walk I'd recommend for anyone looking for a short walk with nice views. I feel like The Howgill Fells gets a little over looked, they aren't as magnificent as the mountains in the Lake District but they are so lovely to walk across, you could do it in bare feet the ground is so soft and grassy. There are a few ways to the top of Winder, which is the nearest Cairn to reach. I much prefer following the ghyll up the East side of Winder, it's a nice gradual walk with magnificent views back towards Dent and Sedbergh. Once at the top, I follow the path back down the Western side, which is a nice gradual walk down looking over to Kendal and the M6. You can then loop back round and walk through the farm to head back in to the town, where you can stop off at a cafe or a pub for a nice warm drink or a cold one if it's a hot day. The walk takes me just over an hour but that's when I've got my yomp on. You could make it even longer by heading over the the Calf and up to Arant haw. The views from Arant Haw are beautiful but I don't have time for that in a morning and it's just a little too far for Erik at the moment. Speak soon, L.

Plastering has begun!

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The spare bedroom

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The dressing room

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The office

Hello! How are you all coping? I'm tired and headachey, I probably shouldn't continue sitting on my laptop staring at a screen but I really wanted to come and write a blog post, so here I am.

My day began with an hours walk up the fell, in the glorious sunshine. It was so quiet and lovely to be out in the fresh air before every one else was up and on their way to work. I only bumped in to one other lady on the way up with her two English Pointers. I see her every time I head up the fell early morning. Then it was back to my desk, or should I say, my Gran's dining table for work. I can't believe it's been 6 months since I started working from home. Time has gone nowhere! I'm unsure how I will feel when the nights start drawing in and we start waking up in the dark and finishing work in the dark. I'm really not looking forward to it but I'm just going to have to get over it because it's inevitable!

In other news, plastering began towards the end of last week. The master is done, we just need to get the tiling done in the en suite and then we need to get the shower system, toilet, vanity unit, sink, mirror etc. in. We hope to get that done as soon as possible so that we can move in but the tiler we would like to use doesn't think he'll fit us in anytime soon. Sorry, no images of the master. We've decided to leave that room as a complete surprise so we can do a little reveal when it's finished. You should only ever see that room now if you come to the house and see it for yourself and that's not going to happen!

The guest/spare room was completely plastered out yesterday and today the dressing room was finished too. It just feels so good to have rooms! I cannot tell you how happy it makes me. I'll have to start picking paints and I actually need to choose a coving and skirting too. This is when the fun begins!

The next major step is to finish plaster boarding the landing and then the office. That's the focus for the next week or so and then we are going away for a week to enjoy some time off work and the house. Although, it's been so hard to take ourselves away from the house because we know how much work needs doing. I say 'ourselves' but really, I have no qualms with going away, it's Josh that I've had to peel away from the house. He's just worked non stop, during lock down and ever since. It's so hard for him to switch off, I feel like I need to help him do that, so we are kitting out the van and going on a little road trip. I'm hoping for some decent weather because I will cry if it rains for a week and we have to share the van with a wet dog!

Right. I'm going to make myself a hot water bottle for my tummy and get in to bed. It's been a long day. Enjoy the rest of your week, speak soon.

Paddleboarding on Windermere

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When I first started wild swimming last year, whilst training for the Great North Swim, I never thought it would be something I'd continue and something I would grow to love. I crave it constantly, the cold water, the fresh air, the stillness, the peace and the quiet. On Monday I went paddleboarding for the first time with a bunch of friends. Thankfully they had spare boards so we all had one each. It's something I've been wanting to do for so long and now that I've done it, I want to buy my own board and I want to do it all the time. Being so close to the water but not actually being in the water was a cool experience, especially when you stand on your board because you feel like you are walking on water. It's a little difficult to keep your balance, I have really dreadful core strength but it can only get better with more practice, right?! Now I'm on the hunt for a decent paddleboard, even second hand if it's in good condition - so if you know of anyone selling one, please send me their details!

Update on puppy training - we went to our second class this evening. Erik was a little too excitable this week. He kept jumping up and biting my hand but the lady who runs the class taught me to yank his lead and growl at him, which made him submit. Although I couldn't growl at him in a hall full of people, I was so embarrassed and was sweating in my mask and gloves! He's now sat behind me on the sofa fast asleep. I don't know why he loves sitting behind people but he does it with my Gran through the day too! It's so true what they say, they are velcro dogs!

Today plastering began in the attic room. I won't be sharing any images of that room until it's finished now, but as soon as the plasterer moves downstairs on to the 1st floor, I'll share some progress pics. I had a little nosey today on my lunch break and it was just so nice to see another colour on the walls! I love plaster - it's a lovely orangey terracota colour and then when it dries I love the setting plaster shade too. Anyway, it's time for an early night and Disney +! So far we've watched the new Lady and the Tramp and Black Panther, both were such good films. Speak soon, L.

Let’s catch up

...with lots of photos of Erik

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Hello! It's been a while. A long while actually! I feel like I've been crazy busy although I have nothing much to show for it or even much to tell you! As you may know, we've been super busy prepping the house for plastering. All being well, the plasterers will start on Thursday in the master bedroom and continue throughout the rest of the house. We still have lots of work to do before then, which includes building a stud wall at the top of the stairs, plaster boarding the office and lots of other little jobs too. We'll spend the rest of bank holiday weekend there because we both really want to move in asap. Now that the cold weather has arrived, we just want to be in our own home, in front of our own log burner and curled up on our own sofa. I'm so excited, I still plan to host Christmas there this year, so keep your fingers crossed for us!

Currently, Erik is curled up behind me on the sofa whilst I type. I love this dog so much. His behaviour has switched completely this week, which has made a huge difference to the energy in the house. There were times when I thought that the dog mum life just wasn't for me, but with a little reassurance and perseverance, I feel like we are getting there with him. I thought that both he and I would benefit from some classes, so I took him along to a dog training/puppy class on Thursday. I was a little nervous how he would act but all in all, he was great. I'm looking forward to seeing how he progresses over the coming weeks because he's already changed so much.

We are planning a little trip away in September, which I'm excited about because I didn't think we'd get away this year, what with trying to push the house move forward and with the circumstances but we are going to go on a road trip in the van. When I say 'van' I mean 'van' - which is Josh's work van. A few years ago he insulated, carpeted it out and added LED strip lighting for a road trip to Scotland. It was so cosy, we even had a proper double mattress and double duvet to keep us snug but with a dog it may be a bit of a struggle, especially if the weather isn't great and we are all soaked. It will be a nightmare if our bedding gets wet, so we'll have to figure something out!

The things that make me happy

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What makes you truly happy?

 

I've been thinking a lot.. about all the things I truly love and all the things that really make me happy, that give me butterflies and make me feel like I'm walking on air. What encouraged me to write this post was the churning feeling in my stomach I got when we were driving through the Lakes this weekend. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the mountains stood all around us. I turned and said to Josh 'I just want to cry'. I felt so happy and so grateful for being where I was. I felt so lucky. Then I started thinking about all the other little things that I couldn't get by without, so I wanted to share them with you and of course, if you have anything you'd like to share with me, let me know in the comments section below because I would love to hear whether any of these relate to you or whether the things that make you happy are entirely different.

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Being spontaneous

I've always loved routine, making lists and keeping a diary so I know exactly what I'm doing each day of the week, but I'm beginning to love being spontaneous. Josh was off work one day last week, and 10 minutes before my lunch break we just decided we'd have a picnic by the river in the sunshine. He made us some sandwiches and we packed a bag, sat by the river, went for a dip and then rushed home to get myself back to work. It was really nice to do something a little different and something so unexpected. I know, I know.. It doesn't sound so exciting but just that change in routine was lovely, especially because Josh and I haven't spent a lot of time with one another alone recently. We are either always with family or friends, or working, or doing the food shop. Things that have to be done but you've got to remember to make some time for your relationship too, just like you did at the beginning.

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Being outdoors

Walking, running, swimming & camping are now my favourite things to do. I have always loved being outside and I'm so glad I grew up playing outside, rather than sat indoors playing on games and staring at phone screens. Although, MSN and BEBO was a thing in my early teens. So glad they don't exist anymore! The more time I spend outside, the more I want to avoid ever being at home. You just get used to the elements, the wind, the rain, the sunshine, the cold. Next year we plan on doing some camping and walking over a few days, rather than going away just for one night. It will be a challenge for sure but so much fun if we get decent weather. Obviously, we will plan around a good weekend and hope for the best! If you have any tips for us, fire them over!

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Early mornings

I'm not sure I've managed to lie in bed any later than 7:30 over the past few months. Especially now it's Summer and the mornings are lighter, I tend to wake up between 6 and 6:30am. Erik also likes to be taken outside for a wee at this time, so I couldn't snooze my alarm clock, even if I wanted to. Truth is, I love early mornings. I love sitting quietly for half an hour or so, with a cup of tea (Yorkshire may I add), or a smooth orange juice. I don't turn the tele on. I like to just sit and be quiet. It tends to be the most beautiful time of the day. I can't remember the last time I woke up early to rain, it always seems to be so still, so quiet and just so pleasant. I've also been enjoying splashing my face with cold water, almost immediately after my alarm goes off and getting up and out on to the fell. I'm waiting for the day Erik can actually join me and not be so interested in sheep!

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Discovering somewhere new

I spend a lot of time researching walks that aren't so popular, finding tarns, view points, waterfalls, as well as asking people where I can find such places. Part of the fun is actually researching because you often come across places you never thought you would. We've decided we won't be sharing any of the locations here in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, which I know is incredibly frustrating for loads of people because I know how annoyed I get when I can't find out where someone has been but on the other hand you just have to respect that decision and the reason behind it. We've experienced so much littering during lockdown, that I really do not want to share these beautiful places with just anyone. It's so easy to jump on Instagram nowadays and find a Instagram worthy location, find the location either from the tagged location or from giveaway hashtags and venture there yourself. But when you've done your research and when you've made connections with people who love what you do and really love the outdoors, it's incredibly frustrating that one, some do not respect the countryside. They literally come to take pretty photos, have a good time and then trash the place and two, nobody ever credits you for helping them discover these places. So I'm really sorry to anyone who has asked me for locations but I hope you respect my decision not to share those.