Friday, 28 March 2008

Faffing about with rooms..oh and a lovely award! (updated)

A nice lady called Claire has made my she's given me one of these!

An award! yay!

Thank you so much Claire, that's really lovely of you to think of me with my waffling blog (that was meant to be about pretty vintage things but has gone off on a tangent somewhere along the line and is now about all sorts of stuff to do with my own little world! It's really nice to know someone likes reading my ramblings enough to send an award over!

Hope you all had a lovely Easter and thanks to everyone who sent messages recently which I hope I've managed to reply to and to Lynn for your email which has introduced me to yet another lovely blog to keep me glued to the computer!

What a estate agent is going to throttle me, The photos she took for the sales brochure were awful and then the spinny-round 360 thing that some agents do made the sitting room look even more awful. She insists on calling the house a "cottage" which it clearly isn't and even managed to photograph the air freshener in the loo...nice.

I e-mailed some photos to them to use and thankfully they have..although the sales brochure is still all wrong and full of spelling mistakes...aaaaaaaah! just who is earning the commission here?

Well now I've swapped the rooms round, I think it looks better, as it makes more sense to have the dining room next to the teeny weeny kitchen.We now have one finished room downstairs instead of 2 half finished ones.That will really please them..they're gonna love me!

The dining room has been a right pain from the start,personally I would prefer just a big kitchen with a table in it to eat at, dining rooms can seem a bit formal sometimes,but as there is a chimney breast right up the middle of the house, it would have been a nightmare to simply knock it through and besides which, it has a rather pretty fireplace attached to it.

It started off a beige colour (String by Farrow & Ball)now its gone to a blue(Tin white by Dulux) which was meant to be more grey to match some Cath Kidston curtains I've dragged out of the cupboard. I'd half made them for somewhere else but got annoyed with the crookedly printed fabric that was not even meant to be faulty but alas Ms Kidston has a clause when you purchase fabric..once cut you can't complain if its faulty. they were stuffed in a bag and shoved in the cupboard, so now I just need to hem least favourite sewing job. This week the dining room has had 4 pairs of curtains at the windows, Vintage ones, Rosy ones, flowery ones and checked ones..none of which went with anything..I could scream!

So it got painted and now looks too cold!(it will be better in the summer as the sun comes round in the afternoon then) The pictures on the walls didn't go either,so I had to raid the cupboard again for more pictures I had hoarded away in there.

This one was a bargain..£6 from Oxfam, it's the most beautiful embroidery, I think done in silk...£6! Great for me but what an insult to all those hours of work.

I'm trying to get everything sorted and back to looking normal (ha! 'normal') as we have 2 people viewing tomorrow..scary..I'm going out with the dog..

The hoover is blocked with all the dust and there are fur balls rolling around the hall like tumble weeds in the wild west.The cats caught something horrid,ate it and then re-gurgitated something even more horrid ...and I still haven't hemmed the curtains..I was too busy faffing about which eiderdown looked the best on the important you see.

I'm a nervous wreck!

Now I can't sleep fretting about a wrong coloured room that I probably should have just left alone and will probably get painted again anyway by the next people!!

Am I the only person in the world that has a colour in her head and then buys it and its seems to be the opposite to what they thought? It drives Pete mad.

The next house will be white..lovely snowy white,or maybe oldish snowy white or old snowy white with a hint of vanilla....CREAM! I'll paint it cream! or should I?

hmmm. Will I never learn?!!

UPDATE!..... Fred you described the first couple to a tee!!!! how hilarious. I had to stifle my amusement by making a quick exit (didnt help matters that Red wanted to play front door skittles with everybody..rushing up to them and nearly sending them all flying,when he gets told off he freezes so I was trying to get them in through the door and drag a fat,stiff labrador out the way! I knew as soon they came in they wouldnt like it..and the shower-arounder woman, who was a dubious shade of deep orange was one of those clubbing-type girls who hadn't got a clue about old stuff...what a surprise..yes they wanted something more modern and bigger..can they not read the sizes and descriptions in brochures then?

The second and third couple were very nice and very complimentary actually, both lets say quite 'mature' in age (the second pair were terribly posh!) but I dont know whether they would buy something like this house with the work that still needs to be done..

The orange girl showed up late, hadn't seen the house before and I was going out so I have no idea what she already must have said, I came back later, she had sent people to arrive at the backdoor (the scruffiest bit) and heard her saying an absolute load of crap to the potential buyers so had to step in and correct her "no I dont think you would be able to have a fire in those, no that room hasn't got fitted cupboards" YESSSSS YOU CAN/IT HAS! and because they still hadn't changed the brochure she got the rooms muddled up..what an idiot.

These people are charging us 3 grand for this!

To answer your question Lindsay,we are going to rent the next house rather than buy, but it's going to be tough with all our menagerie and the stinky boys so we will be looking at rural farmhouses, cottages or land-owned properties, hopefully 'oop north'.

The plan is to buy a small piece of land for now and maybe in 10-15 years time build a wooden 'Waltons' type house on it...well that's the plan this week anyway!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

More waffle and more Cath kidston

I've just had a man round to do his HIP report..taking photos of the boiler and checking whether we have that furry stuff in the roof and what lightbulbs we use, all for the bargain price of £400. (£400!!!) hmmm

Whilst he was snapping away I actually made something..shock horror.. yes I pulled my finger out and glued some wallpaper onto a box file..I finally found the right sort of box. Whilst on this crafty roll I also covered some books and re-arranged my desk..but I don't like it now, never mind.

I love this wallpaper...,it's an old Cath kidston one called Rose bouquet

I'm normally gardening on a Tuesday but because HIP man was coming I've had to change it..(just hope its not going to rain on Thursday now!) I'm not a Charlie Dimmock type gardener..I actually wear a bra and will always have make-up matter what.. and if my hair isn't in pigtails its twiddled up and held in place with a crochet hook, or a pencil or a twig or anything else long and pointy.I couldn't cope with it all flapping around and getting in the way like the Dimmock....and as for the

Don't get me wrong..I do like to get my hands dirty and I can haul tree stumps and chop hedges like the boys...just with a bit of face on! I used to be the only girlie working with a gang of 6 blokes..They worked you like a mule, you slept like a log and I loved it. My mother in law thinks men are vile and says they all smell like tom cats but I love working with men..they tell it how it is, none of this bitchiness and back stabbing that I've experienced in large stores when I was a window dresser. If you look fat that day they will tell you outright,but then have a right laugh with you about it and it doesn't matter.
You would hear stories that would make your toes curl ( if their other halves knew what I knew!!!) They would bet on me not being able to do something and that to me was like a red rag to a bull, I've lifted railway sleepers and dragged huge ton bags of garden rubbish across enormous lawns (no wonder I have a bad back!) had stingers,scratches,black-eyes and bruises..but wouldn't have swapped it for the world. Most of the burley gardeners I worked with were totally politically incorrect..some feminist would have their balls for earings..I'm not really into all that stuff, but I soon sussed that if you give as good as you get, you fit in fine, have a good laugh and get to see them work up a sweat with their tops off in the summer..haha. Those times have long gone,I garden for a few little old ladies keeping their gardens immaculate but I do miss the big clean-up jobs and the really hard-work.I occassionally get a text with the most obscene man-joke from my old boss,but thats about it.

let us out ...NOW! or you wont get any easter eggs.

The ladies of the feathered variety are most upset with me, normally I let them out in the afternoon to run riot in the garden,but as the house is up for sale I thought they had better stay in their run.

The noise they're making! crikey are they telling me off..shouting and bickering with one an other, pacing up and down the fence like tigers at the zoo. I'd better let them out for a bit..I know what they'll do, de-head the daffodils, eat the lawn and poop on the doormat. What hooligans!

"you lot eat the lawn and we'll wreck the flowers"

I'll let them off this time as they did manage to rustle up 6 eggs between the ten of them today..Mavis is still laying even though shes a bit matronly and her eggs look like large bosoms (seriously they do ..I'll show you sometime!) and break easily..especially when those massive clumsy Orpingtons get in the laying box to pop out their dainty little pale eggs..but she still gets a gold star for effort..bless.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

The deed is done...

is up for hoo

So to cheer myself up I went off to Ledbury in Herefordshire (on the other side of the hills) with my sister no.3.

We ate homemade scones with clotted cream and jam at Mrs Muffins teashop down this little cobbled lane...

(Borrowed this picture from google as my brain is like mashed potato as the moment and I forgot my camera!)


stuff the diet, it can start next week.
and I bought this little wooden moneybox for a pound....yay!

I think its quite cute and a darn site cheaper than the crochet one I was hankering after!

Friday, 7 March 2008

A bit of nostalgic waffle

I've been flitting about, being scatty and blonde..thinking I've left messages on blogs when I clearly haven't. Well I would like to really thank everyone who's left me a message..I think its lovely to receive these snippets from people whom I've not met and I'm sincerely grateful for've lifted my spirits and made me think maybe selling up isn't a bad thing after all.

It actually got me thinking about how I decorated this I thought it should look rather than how I really wanted it to look..which if I'm honest is probably a bit kitsch with a dash of all the other styles I like! ( I must say I absolutely adore Fred and Hayley's house)

Our first house was a tiny two up two down terrace and because we loved the 1950s (and dressed the part) it was totally Retro. A red leather sofa and diner style kitchen with flamingos and an original huge 1955 English electric fridge with a pale blue interior (currently retired in the garage with a blanket over it) It was great..I loved seeing peoples reactions to it all...something we thought was 'normal' had the gas man/milk man/any man! bemused and speechless. I'd answer the door with a baby under one arm bright red lipstick and blonde hair set rigid in a Marilyn monroe 'do' and wondered why people did a double take. I loved that time,It was great fun. Our car took up the street and stood out a mile against the normal cars...

our 1950s ford tudor pin-up car, she was the palest primrose yellow with a green velvet interior and graced the cover of classic American magazine!

We pulled up outside an American diner in Birmingham in it once and everyone came out to see was hilarious..there's me ( I'm quite a shy person really) with the afformentioned do and lippy with the addition of an old 1940s flying jacket and some sparkly 1950s cats-eye sunglasses, trying to hide from all these people crowding round and gawping at us.It was the closest I've ever come to experiencing what it must be like being a celebrity(and I dont mean that in a showy-off way, honestly) It was so embarrasing!
Me in 1991!
We are much more sensible nowadays, but I must admit I do still like driving something a bit different, I didn't pass my test until I was 27 and I love pootling about in an old banger..I know its not eco friendly..but its sort of make do and mend isn't it?

Our next car was 'Betty'.

A lightweight Landrover straight out of the army, she'd been dangled under too many helicopters in her lifetime and became an alcoholic, her passion for petroleum I have yet to find a match for, so after several years of gardening duties together, and lots of waving from firemen, we sadly parted company.

My Beast is Pete it's not you (In your dreams matey!!)

The Beast is my old battered h-reg pick-up (like those meanies at Top gear tried to destroy) with what looks like a sheep pen on the back.You can live in the beast if you need to as it has all manner of nicknacks,tools and bottles of water, lipsticks,dog-poo bags (minus poo I hasten to add!) and handy hair bobbles tidily hidden away in it. The funniest thing I've seen happen in the Beast was when poor old Red had to go in it for a trip up to Northumberland. We put his wicker bed in the back sheep-pen bit and it moved with him in it everytime the car turned a was Labrador-wicker-bed-skating and you could just see his worried little face through the back window hatch as he whizzed past..first this way, then off down to the bottom and back funny, poor Red! (we did tie his basket to the truck when we stopped incase you're thinking we were being mean!)

"hmmm I remember it well!"

I really dont know why I've gone off on a nostalgic tangent talking about cars when I started off about decorating..oh well..we'll blame the vintage magpie...she started it!!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

My little house before and after...

We've got to a point where we will have to sell the house.

I won't bore you with details, but we had a business fail two years ago and it cost us a heck of a lot of money.Money we had to add to our already big mortgage to save us from going bankrupt, then Pete got an agressive and rare form of cataract in his eye which meant he couldn't drive. Not good news when you drive HGV's for a living. He had left his job and was taking a break before starting a new one, all which meant he wasn't entitled to sick pay and he lost the new job. We have never really caught up and life has become more of a struggle to pay the bills,than a life that's for living and enjoying. Having paid a mortgage for 16 years we are back at square one with another 25 years to go.To use my favourite word..It's all got a bit pants.
(this treacle-like brown varnish was everywhere!)

I had great plans for this house. Extentions,knocking walls about, a fantastic family kitchen (the units and worktops for which are boxed up in the garage) with french doors leading into the garden.We spent a lot of money making it habitable;damp proofing,spraying for woodbeetle and a new roof, windows, garage and 30's style porch.We kept all the original features (unfortunately we couldn't save the rusted metal windows) and went to great pains matching up lightswitches and doorhandles that couldn't be salvaged. The garden had been completely turfed over,there was nothing but a couple of shrubs,a huge conker tree and an apple tree left, so its all been done from scratch.
(yes, that really is just earth on the floor of our kitchen,after the quarry tiles had been taken up-and much to my horror-thrown away by the builders..!!!)
I think the worse thing will be to have people pick your house to pieces, yes it's small and it's un-finished (I hate that fact) but surely they can see the potential? I dread someone coming in and modernising it door had the same treatment...all the chimneys and fireplaces were out, picture rails gone, laminate flooring everywhere and the obligatory beech kitchen with black worktops. All very nice if you like that style, but it's just not me. We renovated rather than modernised.
(each wall had a different wallpaper in this damp-ridden box room,I kept some bits of the prettiest ones and backed some picture frames with them)
Well, I have to do a massive tidy up (someone once asked me how I keep my house so tidy with all those animals..the answer is; selective photography! It looks like a bomb's hit it today!) and then I have to make the phonecall, I have very little trust in estate agents and I will probably cry because I'm a wuss and this is our home.
Then on the other hand it may take us to new adventures and happiness.I'm a great believer in fate and trying to see the positive side of things..hard when you have had a few years of bad luck like we've had.
We are hoping to move to Northumberland and I love Northumberland.... I'll keep you posted!

Monday, 3 March 2008

The stinky boy's birthday!

Who ever thought this little cutie with his cheeky smile and infectious giggle would grow up to be a big, stinky six foot 16 year old, wearing his trousers way too low and his hair way too long, the occassional grunt that gets translated for us by his younger brother and trouble for a middle name.
I can't quite believe I have a 16 year old in the's most odd,heaven knows what I'll be like when he turns 18,now that really is scary!
Well, happy birthday George...
it's certainly been a roller coaster so far,with quite a few downs as opposed to ups,but none the less entertaining!
love you lots, honest.

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