What's going on at the cottages?     -  The Sunnybank Blog!    2020 

Jun 27
With thtreatening skies in the background (just had a thunderstorm!) the red climbing roses in Fellside garden are looking lovely.
The bank towards the old toilet has been strimmed and tidied and looks a lot neater. The two Mirabelle plum trees are doing well with numerous fruits growing on the larger of the two.
Jun 26

Restrictions might well be being lifted slowly, but like so many others, we are in no rush to dash out and mingle. After 14 weeks of self imposed isolation (more or less) we see no sense in throwing away that sacrifice!

We have continued to do all those jobs which we keep meaning to do but have put off. The gardens are looking great and our number 3 coalhouse has been transformed from a den for the depositing of "bits" and old tins of paint into something ressembling a showhouse in the world of coalhouses!!

After some "active pruning and weeding" the rockery has reappeared and now has 10 new rockery plants, given to Rich by Caroline for Father's Day!
Cobbleholes garden before we began. There's a rockery there - somewhere- and the hedge was far too wide.
During May we had most meals in the garden - including breakfast with freshly baked croissants from Cranstons in Penrith, (We bought a box of 90 frozen ones and we defrost a few overnight when they really grow in size!)
MDF was fixed to the wall in various places behind the existing worktops, and the space behind the MDF filled with foam. We even added a new LED batten lamp!
Now with the worktiops cleared and MDF on the walls fixed and painted white! the tools look beter sorted and the new kitchen base unit holds the tins of paint we actually want to keep!

The Cobbleholes coalhouse was a haven for spiders and cobwebs, half-used tins of paint (now set solid) etc. The place was caked in coal dust which has blown through from No 2 coalhouse.

Several trips to the newly re-opened dump saw much of the debris removed and then we needed some new cupboards for storage.

A quick trip to Wickes in Carlisle solved that need. Life in Carlisle seemed almost normal but Rich like several other shoppers in Wickes, wore a face mask, disposable latex gloves and used hand sanitiser as soon as he was back in the car!


Mar 27

Happy to report that we are both well and have spent so much time in the garden. We are lucky that we live where we do and can be sure that no-one can get within 10 metres of us let alone 2 metres!

Our milkman delivers milk, eggs and potatoes. We have Tesco deliveries and of course the internet, Facetime on the phones as well as WhatsApp means we can keep in touch with and talk to family and friends.

It's going to be a long haul but what the heck! Just keep smiling and maintain a sense of humour!

Best wishes and take care - to all our blog readers!

Mar 16
Our first day of self-imposed isolation due to the CoronaVirus situation!
Mar 6
Today is Jill's birthday and we planned to meet up with our friends at the Longlands Hotel near Carnforth. The aim was to have coffee and - a bit later - a lunch there as we made plans for a five day trip together in September. After much debate it was agreed that this year the seven of us would head to Glasgow (Caronavirus willng!).
feb 23 After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel following our second night there, it was time to drive Caroline Jess and Meg to Warrington Bank Quay station for their return train to London. Afterwards we briefly called at Costco at Haydock before heading back up the M6 to a quiet cottage!
Feb 22

Tonight we all went from our hotel to the Saints Stadium to watch the Saints play Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge match. Sadly Saints narrowly lost but it was a good match. Ben was also there - somewhere in the distance. He had driven up with his friends.

After the match he surprised Jill by climabing in the back of our car before Jill got there!

Feb 22

Today we visited the World of Glass Museum in St.Helens. Megan and Jessica posed against the wall of the old bottle kilm where the glass would originally have been made from silica sand and soda ash.

The entrance to the very modern museum was from inside the kiln!

Caroline's picture of some of the coloured glass bowls on display. Later we watched a display of glass blowing by a man who sounded as if he had a Polish background. The girls found it funny when he referred to glass bubbles as "boobles" and explained that the molten glass was like runny honey or as he said "runnyhoney". Jill and Rich bought a bowl identical to his demonstration piece which he had made earlier.

The one we saw being made takes 15 hours to cool down slowly.

Before he joined Jill, Caroline and the girls at the glass museum, Richard went off to the tranport museum where he has wanted to visit for years! It is housed in the old bus and tram depot in the town and houses around 40 old buses and other types of transport such as fire engines.

The cream and red bus (second from left) was from Darwen Corporation and when Andrew saw the picture, he thought he is almost certain to have travelled on that bus when he lived in Darwen as a child!

Feb 21
After a day of fun and action at Robert's riding school, we drove back to Haydock for the first night in our hotel - The Ibis Styles - in Haydock.
Feb 21

Today we all went off to Robert's riding school (after a visit to Poveys in Biddulph for cooked oatcakes with becaon etc).

Caroiline and the girls had a riding lesson with Charlotte being the teacher!

Here Caroline smiles as she does a circuit.

Caroline and the girls pose for a group picture with the two youngsters who led Megan and Jess around.
Robert's dogs. Father Brian (on the right) and Arthur (his son) doze at the side of the log burner. Brian is a very nervous dog and only ventured over to us occasionally whereas Artur was trying his best to be with us when he thought Robert wasm't watching!
Robert, Caroline, Megan and Jessica pose on the settee in Butterlands Farm with just a hint of the dogs on the right.
Feb 20 Tonight Caroline came up by train from London to be with the girls before they all headed south on Sunday 23rd.
Feb 19

The girls cannot come to Ambleside without having a blueberry scone and hot chocolate at the Waterhead Cafe!

Here they pose with their scones and then the pictures were sent to their Dad - Andrew who was very jealous!!

Megan - top left

Jessica - below left

Feb 16

It didn't take long for the girls to gather all the soft toys together and re-open their ever-popular animal hospital for sick teddies!

Here is the queue waiting for treatment!

Feb 15

February has been an incredibly wet month with a total of 426mm (16.77 inches) of rain. Our average is around 180mm.

As a result of the heavy downpours we have had erosion of the edge of the car park.

Knowing that we were due for another storm, Rich collected 15 sandbags from the council's emergency supply area in Ambleside and created this barrier. It worked because that night we had abother 50mm (2 inches) of rain but the water was deflected off down the road!

Feb 13 Today Jill went off by train to London to bring Megan and Jessica back tomorrow for half term with us.
Feb 2
Before returning home with 5 dozen oatckaes from Poveys in Biddulph (Click to sse pictures of the shop and its oatcake making machine) Richard had a nostalgic stroll to the "tin bridge" where he watched steam trains hauling the 12 o'clock sand train as a boy. Sadly it was very much overgrown these days!
Feb 1 A visit to Stafford Model Railway Show today before returning to Robert's and enjoyng a meal at an Italian restaurant in Congleton.
Jan 31 Richard drove down to Robert's for two nights' stay. Today he met up with his neice Charlotte and Joe for whom he is acting as celibrant at their marriage in Spain in June 2020. In the evening we all had a meal at the very good and very popular Castle Inn at Mossley, near Congleton.
Jan 25

No - it's not a view from a drone of Richard cutting the lawn!

It is actually a photo of a section of a model railway on display at Kendal Model Railway Show where Richard went today.

Jan 23
As the weather has become colder, we had a visit today from six long-tailed tits. Three are in this picture - with a sole bluetit on the right.
Jan 20 Spent another long morning (7am till 2pm) finishing off the lights removal. Ambleside looks dull and dark without them!
Jan 13 Spent the morning taking down Christmas Lights around Ambleside!
Jan 1
After our beautiful walk along Langdale in glorious sunshine yesterday, today was a damper afair as we joined friends for a walk around the park before returning to the hosts' home for drinks and food.