Wednesday, June 08, 2011


We got a shed when it was on offer from Sainsbury's just before Easter. We painted it to preserve the wood and it's been sitting in bits in the garden ever since.

Ollie started dismantling the old shed at 9 in the morning while I started sorting out all of the screws. As expected we were missing some screws so I was dispatched to the hardware store on my way to the dentist.

By the time I was home half an hour later Ollie had already dismantled most of the old shed and after helping him dispatch the rest of it we set about levelling the base. This was harder than we had anticipated as the base for the existing sheds were in no way level. Several bricks and paving slabs later we had a level(ish) surface to lay the base onto.

Many many hours of assembling later (almost 300 screws, plus nails and tacks) and only the minimum of breaks for lunch and dinner we finally put the final piece on at 9 in the evening. We still need to put the catches on the doors, but we were far too achy today and besides it keeps raining! We have been outside to check the waterproofness of the roof and it seems to be sound, sturdy and it's huge inside! I'm very pleased with the end result.

The only remaining problem is that we now have many many pieces of old shed in a pile in the garden that need to be disposed of!


We came home from Ireland Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning we were back out on the road down to the New Forest for a few days camping with Helen, Alan and the piggies. We had left the organising to Alan so all we had was the postcode of the campsite! We timed our departure just right and met up with the Sharmans at Fleet services for a KFC lunch.

Alan ignored the Sat-Nav on the way down which turned out to be a good thing as his route kept us to the motorways and main roads instead of the small country roads through the New Forest. The campsite turned out to be an old airfield and was the largest that we had been to. Unlike all our previous campsites there were no fixed pitches and we hadn't been allocated an area so had to choose all by ourselves! After looking at the map we picked an area we thought looked ok and headed over. On stopping Helen was a bit worried about the distance from the toilet block so we said we would drive round to the other side to see if there was a suitable pitch somewhere closer. However, on the way there Alan saw a good spot and headed straight for it, just about as far away from the toilet block as you could possibly get!

Wednesday was a trip out to Paulton's Park to visit the newly opened Peppa Pig world. It was quite expensive for what it was and being half term was absolutely packed with really long queues.

We went for a ride on the train
After spending a while at the Peppa land we had some overpriced lunch (No one had remembered to pack a picnic) and headed over to the grown up rides. Ethan loved the grown up rides and couldn't get enough the little thrill seeker!

Ollie won the race down the bumpy slide

Niamh was feeling a little left out though so while we queued for the rollercoaster, Helen took her back to Peppa. After a couple of rides on the huge slide it was time to head back to the tent via Sainsbury's for 3 types of steak for our BBQ!

Thursday it was our turn to pick the entertainment and as Ollie had never been to Portsmouth to see the boats we headed off to the historic dockyard. This time we had remembered our picnic so we had cheese sandwiches on the boat ride around the harbour. We saw lots of ships, old and new including 2 boats containing shipments of bananas. We had just missed the US aircraft carrier that had been docked just outside the harbour the weekend before. We looked around the HMS Victory and then had ice creams before playing for a bit in Action Stations which is the educational area before heading back to our tents.

Dinner was a well deserved take away from the local Indian take away which Ollie and Alan went while we took the kids to the play park.


It was Anna's birthday on bank holiday Sunday so we headed over to Ireland to celebrate with her.

We had booked flights early in the morning from Stansted so we treated ourselves to a hotel at the airport the night before.

Friday afternoon we had a walk around the town fighting periods of rain, drizzle and wind. We dropped Anna's birthday cake off to the bakers who were going to ice it and had a nice cup of tea and a cake while we were there!

Saturday we headed into Dublin to the Guinness factory. I had been very disappointed that the last time we visited Ireland I didn't get my pint of the black stuff so was determined to make amends this time. It was quite busy with a few stag do's but was very educational and we got a have a pint in the sky bar with a great view over Dublin.

We had wanted to visit Kilmainham Gaol (where they filmed the prison scene in the Italian Job) but they were only doing toured visits, the queue was long, the next tour was a long wait and it was expensive. So we went to meet Paul and Anna in the modern art museum across the road. We must admit that it wasn't really our things and after a wonder around we settled for a cup of tea and a cake and sat outside to take advantage of a period of sunshine and break in rain.

Dinner was a great meal in a traditional pub on the way home and we were there just in time for the second half of the champions league final.

Sunday was Anna's birthday and after a breakfast of egg and bacon we spent the morning lazing around before getting ready for the birthday lunch. This was at a very nice hotel about 20 minutes away and we were joined by Anna's son Simon and her daughter Karla, Karla's boyfriend, Paul and Anna's neighbour Mary Theresa and Anna's sister Ilene. After lunch we headed home for cake and champagne and then spent the rest of the day reading our books and trying to digest all the food we had eaten!