Saturday, 22 November 2014

Christmas Decorations

Today Jean-Luc and I have been busy; very busy.
We are feeling virtuous and hard working.

Jean-Luc has been vacuuming spider webs from the ceiling and cornice and cuprinolling the boards which, one day, will form the sides of the much heralded; but as yet unbuilt, veggie beds.
I have been scrubbing.  All the doors, door frames, skirting boards, stair rails, banisters and other sundry woodwork have been scrubbed and washed from the attic all the way down to the hall.

There are no pictures of all this industry, it is not photogenic.  
Suffice to say Jean-Luc ended up dusty and dirty with a faint Cuprinol moustache; whilst I have the knees of a housemaid and the withered fingers of a scullery maid.
Why all this industry I hear you ask?
Well we have a decorator coming to paint diverse and various rooms.

We have spent weeks with paint charts scattered across the dining table and living room.
We've had samples wedged into picture frames and stared at them in sunlight and cloud, day and night, in daylight and lamplight.
And finally we have Decided.

So the highly recommended Dot is coming to paint our bedroom with its raw plaster walls; our hall, stairs and landing which Jean-Luc was thinking of painting and which I vetoed as being too dangerous without the aid of a net; and the living room which we thought could benefit from the tender auspices of a professional.

The living room will have a light sage ceiling, magnolia walls and a darker green sage on the alcoves above the bookshelves and on the wall opposite the window.  We're hoping it'll be warmer than the as yet identified cold greyish colour we have inherited.

The bedroom will also be magnolia with the wall opposite the window will be a lovely sunny warm yellow.
This will be in an attempt to make this north facing room warm and bright.
It's not the 'master bedroom' of the house.  That bedroom faces south but also overlooks the quite busy road that runs outside the front of the house.

The bedroom we sleep in is almost as large as the 'master bedroom';  it overlooks the fields at the back of the house, which means we can lie in bed on a Sunday and gaze at the view and admire the cows; we can listen to the sound of the braying donkey and the gentle clucking of the neighbours chickens and, when the wind is in the right direction, the sound of church bells; but most importantly we cannot hear the traffic.
This makes it worth it being a slightly chillier room in our estimation.

However, we are both sick and tired of raw plaster wall and eagerly await the rooms transformation into something cheery and bright.
It may be so cheery and bright that it will require new bedding to measure up. 
I have been perusing the John Lewis bedding just in case.  Jean-Luc doesn't know this yet.  I'll break it to him gently at a later date.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Idling Away

I'm afraid this is a very lazy post as I'm responding to questions from John's blog at Going Gently.
Please feel free to join in with your answers.

A) What does the last text you sent say? And to whom?
Mint aero! We’ve got fizzy @ home. Xxx.  To
my husband on his way back from the pub via the shop
B) What does the last text you received say? And from whom?
Love you xxx. From the above.

C) What time do you usually wake up?
.7.30 on a work day – later at the weekend

D) Are you afraid of walking alone at night?
No, bizarrely I’ve never been afraid, not even walking home from the pub across parks, commons, through alleys or shrubs or through city streets – apparently this is pretty unusual for a woman; perhaps growing up in the country and playing hide and seek in the woods as a child made me realise that if anyone does try to come at you from in the bushes you’ll probably hear them before they get to you.  It also taught me that what sounds like a small elephant in the undergrowth is usually a blackbird looking for food – boy are those birds noisy!

E) What do you do to relax at the end of a stressful day?
I should say I pedal away my stress on the exercise bike but sadly it’s as equal a choice with vegging out in front of Judge Judy – my secret shame.

F) Where did your last kiss take place and with whom?
Yesterday morning with aforesaid husband in the bedroom…nuff said.

G) Do/did you get into trouble a lot at school?
Not much but I did get hauled up in front of assembly at primary school with my sister and friend for climbing up onto the canteen porch.

H) Do you enjoy your job? If unemployed, are you content being so?
I’ve always enjoyed my job; once I realised how much time I would spend at work I promised myself I wouldn’t do a job I didn’t love – until this year that was so; now I don’t know – I think I’m having a midlife work crisis.

I) Do you often pick up on double entendres and innuendos?
Oh yes! I blame a childhood of watching ‘Carry On’ films.

J) Have you ever been offered drugs but declined?
Never been offered drugs so the opportunity to decline them has not arisen.

K) Have you ever met someone who has completely altered your way of thinking?
I think all the people that have influenced me I’ve met through books – Marion Zimmer Bradley’s writing was a huge influence on my later teenage years with her strong female protagonists.  More recently Rhonda Hetzel’s ‘Down to Earth’ blog has been hugely helpful in cementing some of my thinking on sustainable living.

L) Have you ever been offered drugs and accepted?

M) Tell us something weird that turns you on.
Well it doesn’t turn me on per se but I do like sniffing my cats paws.  I've been told that's weird.

N) When did someone last admit romantic or sexual feelings for you? Was the feeling mutual?
Err sometime this week and yes it was mutual – thankfully it’s always mutual with y husband.

O) What is something you have given a lot of thought to lately?
My career and what I want to do for the next 17 odd years that I have left to work.

P) When did you last swallow your beliefs to avoid an argument or confrontation?
Yesterday when aforesaid husband bought a whole host of modern chemical laden cleaning materials to do the windows with rather than using hot water and vinegar.  Deep breath – he’s cleaning the windows and that’s a good thing.

Q) Do you usually initiate hugs?
Depends on the person.

R) Are you a very affectionate person?
See above answer

S) Can you roll your own cigarettes?
Yes but so loosely that most of the tobacco has fallen out before it’s halfway through a smoke – I don’t smoke, I have a valet to do that for me – doesn’t every lady ;-)

T) What are you looking forward to?
The Future

U) Do you have any tattoos. Do you want any/more?
No. I have a slight hankering for a trail of cat paw prints up my spine but the cat walks all over me already so why encourage her.

V) Are you mentally strong?
I think it depends on the crisis – if I lost my husband or sister I think I would find it hard to be strong.

W) Are you physically strong?
I used to be when I worked outside 8 hours a day but now sadly arthritis and the aging process are taking their toll.

X) Do you think you’re a good person?
I’d like to say yes but I know I’m too prone to bad temper, impatience, forgetfulness and plain idleness to be truly good.

Y) Name one thing you wish you could change about your life right now.
I think I like my life so I’d be careful about wishing for anything to change – wishes can be far too mischievous in how they are granted for my liking – they need to be hedged around with so many limitations to make sure they don’t cause more damage than benefit.  On second thoughts maybe enough money to pay the mortgage off – not so much life changing as useful.

Z) What do you usually eat for breakfast
A muffin with coffee when I’m in the office; toast and honey with coffee when I’m working at home; sausage sandwich or poached egg on toast with coffee at the weekend – always coffee though – the nectar of the gods.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Of Books

A new book arrived in the post today.

It's one I've been waiting to arrive for a while.

It's a collection of writing; stories and poems of the Southwest of America by the women that know that land; edited by one of my favourite authors, Susan Wittig Albert.
 I read a lot of books and now I have my Kindle it's so easy to download them; but there is, to my mind, still nothing like a real life book.

The inviting cover calling to you, the creamy pages covered in crisp print, the warm scent of paper or old book bindings; and in this case the tactile seduction of rough cut pages.
All these things form a part of the poetry that is at the very heart of a book.
This book will be savoured along with several cups of coffee and cake and I can't wait to read it.

The most splendid firework of last night.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

This Weekend

This weekend we have been...

...eating and cooking...
chorizo and chick pea soup with herby croutons (made from stale bread)

 turkey meat balls

sausage sandwiches

...cuprinoling the veggie bed surrounds...

...checking on the greenhouse and harvesting the last of the chillies...

 delicious rainbow chard
jewel like Scotch Bonnet chillies

...admiring the Autumn colours...
 a sign that Christmas is on its way
cotoneaster berries - the birds love these

...hemming rags made from worn out sheets - we don't buy dusters anymore...
...and some of us have been catching up on beauty sleep...

I hope you had a great weekend - please leave a comment and tell me about yours.