And yes, these white floorboards are in the sitting room! I painted for many, many hours yesterday and long into the night. Now comes the bit I've been waiting for...putting it all together. I can see that light at the end of the tunnel. Phew...
And that's only downstairs. Take it from me that upstairs looks just the same. It hasn't been the greatest of weeks. On Tuesday the floor was sanded (by someone else) but when I came to paint it we realised that we would have to redo it....ahhh. So yesterday we hired another sander and poor old Anth had to do it and now it's ready for painting. I was hoping that by now it would be all over and I was going to have over all the people I have said 'Oh you must come and have a cup of tea' to in the last few months. But that may happen yet. As we had to wait 2 days before we could hire the sander again I managed to squeeze in some sewing. I have nearly finished another loose cover for the chair and I have changed our curtains a bit. Right then, I really need to get my painting clothes on and get back on track...that's if I can actually find the paint brush!
The week has arrived when the rather stained and tatty sitting room carpet, will be assigned to the dump and some beautifully sanded white floorboards will take it's place. Yes, I've been counting the days and now there are no more days left to count. Yay! But before I show you grotty 'before' pictures let me fill you in on the past weekend. Early on Friday, Anth had his exam in Exeter (the closest and loveliest city to where we live) which allowed me to go along and do some shopping (I had realised that I hadn't been to Exeter since last December when I got my iphone.) We had had a rather worrying email from Tom that morning who was feeling terribly ill with a nasty chest infection - so had decided that we would drive up to Wales and collect him after Anth's 4 hour exam. (He thinks he has dome well...phew!) We even squeezed in a trip to Ikea and ended up not returning home till after 11pm. A very long and tiring day but it's good to have Tom home for a short while to feed him up and make him well again. Saturday and Sunday were spent taking everything out of the sitting room - yes all the printer's tray bits, my sparkly corner, the books and the wall of flowers. You can hardly get through our front door because of the piles of stuff. The carpet came up yesterday and I am just loving the boards already -
even though they are paint splattered. I'm in a good place at the moment and feel excited and happy about the weeks ahead. I bought my first Christmas magazine on Friday
and treated myself to the fabrics beneath it. I know what I'm making for Christmas for my friends and family (not the mistletoe now, which I'm still hoping to make for myself instead) and am loving making it. I have another crochet project in my head which may very well be my 'Christmas project' but more about that another time. Now I must get going with the nail punch and buy some cement. We are sanding tomorrow...wish me luck!
Thanks for all your recent comments. Many of you asked about the dust. Well, I don't really dust my printers tray apart from running my finger along the narrow shelves every now and then and commenting that I really should dust them one day! As I've said before I'm a terrible housekeeper and can find many other things to distract me from dusting. Having said that, I do so love a clean house too. Mmm, there's no hope really.. I will also show you what's in my inspiration books another day. I am officially on half term now for 2 weeks! Life couldn't be better...sander here I come...
**Thank you, friends for all your kind anniversary wishes. We found some time to be alone during the day (rare, I can tell you but more frequent than it ever used to be now the children are older!) and in the evening we had dinner in our favourite restaurant.**
For the next few days I'm going to be sharing a few photographs of around the house. Anth has an exam on Friday and I need to be spending less time blathering on my laptop and more time supporting him and keeping house. So this will mean less words everyday (I hope I can control my need to talk,) more cooking (darn it) and more pictures until normal service is resumed.
So let's start in the kitchen in a small sunny corner and turn to our right.
[The view of the open understairs cupboard door incase you are wondering..) and the ironing board (I can't believe I've just posted a picture of my ironing board..oh dear. But it's the old flowery Green Gate cover that makes it pretty.)
Today, four and twenty years ago I started my married life with Anthony - at around 3.15pm to be exact. We spent yesterday smiling at each other and every now and then saying, "Can you believe it's almost been 24 years?" I can, but then I can't. Sometimes it only feels like yesterday and other times it seems a lifetime ago that days after our wedding we flew to New Zealand to live there indefinitely. I was 21 and Anth was 23 - that seems so young now but I knew the moment I saw him that he was 'the one' so that made all those life changing decisions so much easier. So I'm just going to take a little time here to show him how much I appreciate him as I haven't bought him a card (oops) - so 24 years of marriage call for 24 thank yous I think..
Thank you for our 3 wonderful children.
Thank you for providing us with our cosy home.
Thank you for letting me decorate said cosy home however I want.
Thank you for smiling when you read my blog.
Thank you, again, for living with such floral goodness.
Thank you for letting Lucy and I dominate the TV.
Thank you for accepting the fact that I don't drink alcohol and can't share a bottle of wine with you.
Thank you for letting me take up the sitting room carpet (only one week to go -yippee!)
Thank you for letting me have an iphone and you make do with a 'normal' phone.
Thank you for always sleeping on the right side of the bed.
Thank you for living in the UK.
Thank you for doing the dishes most days.
Thank you for having a faith.
Thank you for being such fine example to our children.
Thank you for never getting grumpy about me ringing you up at least twice a day to tell you I love you.
Thank you for being the best husband in the world.
Thank you for making me so proud of you.
Thank you for tidying after me.
Thank you for being the best kisser in the entire universe.
Thank you for getting more handsome each passing day.
Thank you for making my life special and happy.
Thank you for making dinner because you know I hate it.
Good afternoon friends. How are you all doing this rainy Friday? Good, I hope. I should not be sitting here blogging if truth be told and I can only do this because everyone is at school/work and cannot shout at me! You see in 4 hours we will be having a sleepover of massive proportions - 3 extra teenage girls will be descending upon us for the night. One of Alice's friends and 2 of Lucy's. That means that we will have 5 teenage girls here in our small humble home but we only have one extra bed. Hmm. I have been given very strict instructions to tidy and clean the house for their arrival and not to spend too many hours on my laptop. Hmm. I also had a very interesting conversation with Lucy last night. It went like this:
Lucy: "....blah blah blah..and I have a talk to them about it."
Me: (pricking up my ears) "What on earth do you mean, have a talk to them about it?"
Lucy: "Well, before anyone comes to the house I have a talk to them about it."
Me: "What about?"
Lucy: "Well I have to explain that the house is like a junk shop/charity shop and that it's like someone has sicked up flowers."
Me: "Sicked up flowers? That's an awful thing to say!"
Lucy: (trying to justify herself.) "Well, there is a flower on everything."
Me: (rather prickly now.) "Good."
Lucy: (continuing to justify her actions.) "Well, I have to tell them that my family is like nothing you can imagine. [Me thinks she has inherited my occasional habit of exaggerating here!] No other mother has a shrine to Chris Martin on their fridge. [True.] What shocks them most is the noise...
I realise that she has a valid point there. My youngest brother Matthew and I probably hold the family record for being noisy. If we're not singing we're clapping, and if we're not clapping we're laughing (and Matthew does have the loudest guffaw ever.) I then remembered an incident that happened when we were preparing for the visit of Bernard and Jeanette in August. That morning I had decided to do the wallpapering of the understairs cupboard where the new boiler had been fitted. I wanted to do a patchwork effect - nothing that needed careful measuring. I was still in my pyjamas and thought right I will do it now or it won't get done at all. It really was a botched attempt as I never prepare anything, being too inpatient. So I grabbed the left over Cath Kidston wallpapers I had lying around and just went for it.
Not brilliant photos and not brilliant wallpapering really, but I am easily pleased and the paper covered the large holes in the plaster and the flaking paint in an instance. I'm so lazy I love instant results! Now whenever I do any decorating that has the potential to look great and I'm pleased with the results, I do a sort of mental and physical 'dance for joy on the spot' sort of thing. Well this August morning the first thing that came to mind was a song when I stepped back to admire what I had done in all of 2 minutes. And out of my mouth came this loud, almost ecstatic made up ditty. I had taken the chorus of Kings of Leon Sex is on fire, a song I really didn't know or own but had heard Tom playing it, and sang "Whoa oaa, Jane Goble's on fire..err!" I didn't just do this once either. Oh no. I suddenly saw Lucy appear around the door. "Will you stop that please." she hissed under her breath. Ah. I then remembered she had a friend upstairs. Apparently she still talks about that now and the same friend witnessed me opening the latest Cath catalogue too apparently... Well, I have come to the conclusion that these teenagers in my corner of the world must be a mature and sensible bunch - sent here to help and guide me,but hey, that is no bad thing is it, after all I need as much help as I can get at my age. Don't you? Have a great weekend.
It has been raining all day today; at times quite torrential. We haven't had much rain in the last month or two but we probably have had our monthly quota just today. But today, despite the rain, I have had 2 unusual encounters. The first, along the lanes whilst I was being driven to school by Anth. We came across some wildlife..nothing unusual, I see pheasants and rabbits on a daily basis, but today it was this
- a peacock! Excuse the poor photo but I was in the car. A peacock deep in the Devon lanes. Then at school I popped out of the classroom and came face to face with my friend from the trees outside..
But alas, I may have birds where I least expect them; but I have none where I really would like them...like here
On my return home I put on my wellies, grabbed an umbrella and went to check if any of the food put out a few weeks ago had been touched.
It hadn't. I've had no birds (sparrows) now for 3 months. I miss them and I keep having to throw away the food. I don't have much luck with birds do I!? They are either in the wrong place or not there at all. I'm now officially taking it personally...
I'm writing this letter to encourage you, if like me, you had wondered where the son you bore some years ago had disappeared to. In his place we have had someone who sometimes was unrecognisable from the laughing, sunny boy we knew so well. But do not despair - your son will return - and in our case he returned to be a wiser, more lovelier son than we could have ever hoped for. As you might remember, Tom went back to Uni about 3 weeks ago to start his 2nd year, and in these few weeks we have seen an incredible change in him. Take this phone call last week for example:
Anth: Hi Tom, what have you done today? Tom: Well I got up at 7.30 (miracle 1) had breakfast and went into town to apply for a job (miracle 2). I then dashed to uni to go to a lecture (miracle 3) which I really enjoyed (miracle 4). The lecturer told us about a book we will be using so I went straight to the library to get it (miracle 5). I spent 3 hours in the library (miracle 6) and then when I left the library I saw a poster wanting volunteers to help old people do their gardens so I signed up (miracle 7). Anth:...stunned silence... Tom: I then went home and tidied my room (miracle 8) Anth:..er, Tom that's fantastic..we're so proud of you...
That was an '8 miracle' phone call - and most of our daily phone calls are sprinkled with the odd miracle or two. In hindsight, we now think he spent his first year at Uni being rather overwhelmed (understandably) and is now coming into his own. Praise God. He even has 2 jobs - yes 2, after a year or two spent cajoling/encouraging/begging him to at least try and get one or do some voluntary work instead. Anth and I could weep with relief and are sending up quiet prayers of thanksgiving. He is even making his own packed lunches instead of buying sandwiches; he's worn the black skinny jeans (bought 2 years ago after ensuring me he would wear them but never did,) nearly everyday. Everyday. On Sunday he spent 6 hours in the library..and so the transformation continues. But seriously, if you have a teenager you don't recognise, be patient and hang on in there because when the time is right the bedroom door (cocoon) will open and this new person will emerge and you'll realise that it was going to be OK all along..
(more about Tom another day. A miracle seems to have happened!)
3.25pm :: home-time for the children
4.10pm :: home-time for me
4.15pm :: housework
6.30pm :: light the fire (even though it isn't really that cold) just for the pure pleasure of it.
6.31pm :: get my crochet out for the first time that day - ignoring the total mess still evident in every other room and the rather hideous smell from the kitchen bin. Beg Lucy and Alice to make the fillings for our baked potatoes..