Category Archives: Dad’s Makes

All posts that Paul has made

The Daddy Tag Challenge #TheDaddyTag

Today Daddy is answering questions from the Daddy Tag Challenge – a challenge set up by fellow blogger The Frenchie Mummy.

Answering questions for the Daddy Tag Challenge
Answering questions for the Daddy Tag Challenge
  • Are you a Stay at Home Daddy or a Working Daddy?
    • Both – my job is only part time so I’m home a lot, and spend the entire summer with my family (as my work is tied in with the Football season)
  • Would you have it any other way?
    • Yes – I’d much rather be working full time if I could (then I wouldn’t be bothered by the kids so much!)
  • Do you co-change dirty nappies? Even the very smelly ones?
    • Not any more, but I have done
  • A little fairy gives you the possibility of breastfeeding? Are you going for it or do you run away?
    • Yes, I’d go for it – I’d love man boobs!
  • What is the one must-have item for a daddy?
    • Earplugs
  • How many kids do you plan on having?
    • No more!!
  • Lads’ nights? How often do you have them?
    • Rare to never (unless there’s a big football match on)
  • Your children’s favourite achievement?
    • Both kids skiing a black run in Obergurgl this year. Hugo did every black run in the resort. Toby has improved so much since then, he could easily do it now too.
  • What is your best memory with your kid(s)?
    • Our wedding day – Hugo half undressing himself as we took our vows, and Toby screaming the place down because he wanted to be fed by Mummy, whose bare flesh in a strapless wedding gown was too much for our 4-month old to bear!
  • Name one thing you miss since being a daddy?
    • Regular nights out with my wife. We were just saying how we need to get into this trend of having ‘date nights’
  • Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now? And we mean YOU DADDY, not the mummy!
    • No, I’ve always been this fat!!
  • Dream holiday with your kids?
    • Something with a very good kids’ club – with childcare from 8am to midnight
  • Dream holiday without your kids or even without the other half? (You’re allowed to dream)
    • Heliskiing in the Rockies
  • How has your life changed since having kids?
    • You obviously become less self-conscious and less self-absorbed as you have others to think about. Life changes in every way – you can’t do anything without thinking of them first.
  • Finish the sentence “It makes my heart melt when…”
    • when the boys spontaneously come and throw their arms around me and say “I love you Daddy”.  It doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, it’s lovely.
  • Favourite beers brands and football team?
    • I like to drink local beers – Brewdog IPA is my current favourite. My favourite football team is difficult to say – I do support my local team Hartlepool Utd. I used to follow Aberdeen when I lived up there. I’ve always favoured small local teams, I’m not into big clubs that buy success.
  • Huggies or Pampers?
    • Pampers
  • Have you always wanted kids?
    • It was a heavy price to pay….!
  • Best part of being a dad?
    • Bedtime.

Don’t forget to nominate three daddies to complete this daring challenge!

Use the link below to see the rules of the Daddy Tag Challenge on the Frenchie Mummy’s page

the Frenchie Mummy Blog
 I’m going to nominate for the Daddy Tag:
 Big Stevie Cool, hubby of the fabulous Sam from Northeast Family Fun, and a great blogger in his own right too
Sam at Mummy Here and There – brilliant friend of Family Makes, I’m sure you mentioned you’d like to join in so here’s your nomination
Martyn from Inside Martyn’s Thoughts – the Dad blogger I most admire for doing it all and writing about it brilliantly

You Baby Me Mummy

How to Renovate a Run Down Pool Area

When we bought Chataigne, the whole place had been empty for about two years. It was early Spring, and we hoped that we could get the place ready for letting that summer.

The swimming pool had to be the crowning glory of the place. It is what attracts guests, and what sets the place apart from others. I knew it needed to be special, so I made it something of a priority.

Of course, we live in a normal house in the North of England, and before that we were in Scotland – swimming pools were not our area of expertise, so we knew we’d need some help and advice.

Chataigne House Pool Garden/Picnic area before renovation
Chataigne House Pool Garden/Picnic area before renovation
Debris in the pool and picnic area when we viewed it
Debris in the pool and picnic area when we viewed it

The surrounding area of the pool used to have decking, as the marketing photos testified. However, all that remained were piles of rotting wood by the side of the pool where the old decking had obviously been torn up, and a whole area of broken tiles and plant pots which looked like it might have been the start of hardcore for a patio. It was like a weedy, overgrown rubbish tip. Therefore, we had to start again with a paved patio area and a grassed area with picnic tables.

Chataigne House Pool Area – Before

We employed help here with the earth removal, levelling, and landscaping. We are really pleased with the results, and the work on the landscaping here continues, with some tree surgery, fencing, planting, and improving the pool verandah.

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Earth moving equipment
Land cleared and levelled, ready for landscaping
Land cleared and levelled, ready for landscaping
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Patio being laid, pool starting to improve too

The pool itself also needed work. I employed a pool expert and tried to learn as much as possible from him regarding chemicals and pool maintenance. It is important to keep the chemical balance right for safety as well as visual appeal, and pool maintenance, as we had been warned by other swimming pool owners, is a demanding and ongoing chore. I’ve written a separate post about the pool improvement and ongoing maintenance as it is a complex area.

Pool area with patio laid, picnic area laid, and grass seed down
Pool area with patio laid, picnic area laid, and grass seed down

The old paving slabs have now been cleaned too, to help them blend in with the new ones. We used a chemical cleaner (a bleach solution agitated in with a brush), then jet washed it off (away from the direction of the pool!)

Swimming pool area ready for visitors
Swimming pool area ready for visitors
Swimming pool illuminated beautifully for a spot of night swimming
Swimming pool illuminated beautifully for a spot of night swimming

The verandah has tables and chairs, bar stools and a beer fridge, plus an illuminated beer sign I picked up at a local brocante – my pride and joy!

I know, you want to dive right in! Me too. Here’s the link to our gites in France http://www.gitesenfrance.co.uk

Proud to be linking up with:

My Random MusingsPink Pear BearMonkey and MouseRun Jump Scrap!themumproject
Lou Messugo

Renovating In France – What We Bought

Chataigne Farmhouse in France, before renovation
Chataigne Farmhouse in France, before renovation

The decision to buy a property in France was a complex one, kind of made following a series of events including illness and redundancy. For a while, we even contemplated moving our family out to France, but as my job offer there was based on ‘commission only’, we decided it was too high risk in the end.

The France bug had bitten however! It is so tempting once you see how much your money can buy out there, and you imaging the idyllic scene of children running in fields and playing outside in the fresh air, cycling down country lanes and eating fresh fruit straight off the trees. We imagined sitting outside on the warm balmy evenings, sipping our wine, watching the stars and listening to the crickets chirp. Oh, yes, we’re dreamers alright!

Playing in Fields in the French Countryside
Playing in Fields in the French Countryside

We decided to look for a property with a gite, so that as well as giving us the chance to enjoy family holidays every year, we could have a modest income to help the property pay its way.

Imagine our delight when we found a place (almost) in budget, with not one, but three gites! Of course it needed work (don’t they all?), but we convinced ourselves that, even though it had been standing empty for several years, the work was manageable and we could have it up and running in no time!

Swimming Pool Area at Chataigne House before renovation
Swimming Pool Area at Chataigne House before renovation
Chataigne House Pool Garden/Picnic area before renovation
Chataigne House Pool Garden/Picnic area before renovation
Debris in the pool and picnic area when we viewed it
Debris in the pool and picnic area when we viewed it

Standing empty for a while might have been the least of our worries, as we found that the property had actually suffered from neglect or lack of investment for a considerable number of years.

And so begins our story…..