Thursday, 16 December 2010

Nearly there!

To all of you who have sent me messages of support and concern and encouragement I am so incredibly grateful. It has not been a fun time. However, this is my happy space so I am here to say I shall be back soon as things are finally getting to a point where we can move back home! But first lots of this...
In the meantime you can occasionally find me here if you would like to chat!
Follow kitschenpink on Twitter
I can just about manage a 140 word Tweet in between painting ceiling and walls!
I'll be back soon with a proper update and a "Home for Christmas' post.
I will, I will, I WILL!
And then I have already lined up a number of exciting giveaways to get this space back on the go into the New Year!
Much re-invention to be done, re-design, re-think. Exciting times! t.x

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A woman, a boy and a walnut tree...

Someone once told the Beautiful Boy and I the saying about Walnut trees. It still makes us laugh but we decided to change it to fit us better ...

We've been trying to keep up with our first harvest - at least the harvest we were left after the Rooks and Jackdaws had their fill!
These are English Walnuts also known as 'Wet walnuts' - and we have been trying to work out the best way to dry them. Once we work it out they should keep until Christmas. We're also getting wise to the rich brown stain the green shells put onto your fingers - nothing but nothing will wash it away!
We love our Walnut tree. It gives generous shade to the boy's garden, perfect for long days spent den building...
In Autumn we have dried walnuts for baking Brownies and Puddle Pudding, in Winter the dropped branches will make excellent kindling and in the Spring I will harvest the delicately scented green walnuts to pickle ... mmm.
You will have gathered we are not living at home yet. Builder bother and strife - everyone is doing their best now and I think we have a nicer team working for us than when we started out, but it has not been fun and I do feel I have been suckered more than once! But on the upside when I go home to our building site I can do this.... which gives me hope!
All it needs is to have a sofa in front of it instead of piles of cement bags and plumbing sundries and I'll be a happy girl! One day, I can't keep guessing when, we will be able to go home.  I just trust it will be this year!! Grandma has the patience of a saint to be putting up with our chaos!
Meanwhile we are enjoying our harvest....
For those of you who know the original saying, you will not be surprised to find that we changed the ending too...
"A woman, a boy and a walnut tree, the more you love them, the better they be". 
We like that much better! t.x

Monday, 4 October 2010

Retail Therapy.

The Good Homes article is out and Hazel and Brent have created a lovely tribute to the old house, although it is very odd to read about it now. 
This photoshoot was the very first back in the Spring of 2009 which is clearly a lifetime ago now. The beautiful boy is delighted that his room got a whole page of it's own...
The 'Get the Look' feature had me in stitches as I'm sure many of my regular readers will understand! I mean that's an extremely fine Cath Kidston pink chair but my pink chair was skip-dived and cost only some leftover paint!
Having said all of that, there has been some retail therapy of the unusual kind around here...
Oh stop! Plumbing kit doesn't count! I mean the grown up kind which I very rarely do. No skip diving, no charity shops and no car boots. Just full on girly retail therapy of the excessive and indulgent kind!
And just for a change it was a great deal of fun! I fell in love with this Warehouse frock...although I have no idea when it will get an outing!
but of course there had to be shoes so I'm ready on the day...
Mmm. That feels better. Now, back to the plumbing.. a couple of weeks is looking decidedly optimistic... but there's nothing wrong with optimism! t.xx

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

A fair distraction.

Don't you just love it when the funfair comes to town?!
In a village close to where we used to live the fair comes to town for one weekend every Autumn. Whilst at Hotel Grandma we are doing much the same school run as before and the beautiful boy and I were both delighted to see the first caravans appearing on the church green!
This is no nostalgic vintage fairground with piped organ music and mechanical rides...
This is a full-on electronic fair with hard rock music and hoodies and we love it!
 When the boy was little we would go to the Saturday afternoon session as he found the noise all too scary...
Now he vanishes into the neon darkness and I find him looking a bit too accomplished with various offensive weapons!
There is candyfloss to add a good sugar-rush to proceedings, although the boy and I don't eat the stuff - we're to be found munching through a bag of hot doughnuts....why do they always sell them in odd numbers? And don't you agree that the odd one over should always be eaten by mummy?!
The prizes don't change but still we spend too much money trying to win them...

The boy's favourite has always been 'Hook a Duck'. £2.00 used to buy 20-30 minutes of serious the same amount buys a maximum of 2 seconds sport and a big grin
I rather regret moaning about the piles of cheap soft toys and giant inflatables that would come home with us.... want to see our booty haul this year?
I think a girlie antidote is called for... happily provided by a quick bit of baking for the local Macmillan Coffee Morning and my new cupcake stand!
I hope you're all having a good week in spite of the bleak weather! I am having an entirely better week this week. It got off to an astonishingly good start on Monday and tomorrow I say goodbye to the first round of builders and finally my plumber friend can really crack on! Even the discovery of a dodgy electrical supply proved to be a mere blip as the utility company are coming to replace the mains feed on Monday next week. Astonishing all round! Home is looking more possible by the day!   t.x

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

News from Limbo

 The beautiful boy and I are still at Hotel Grandma and whilst Grandma has earned her sainthood putting up with our mess and disruption we are both more than ready to be settling into our new home now; just a couple more weeks and we should be there!
Life continues to race along on it's up and down roller coaster and if I'm honest, this week I'm not much enjoying the ride. Some weeks seem to have dragged on for decades whilst others have whilstled past so fast I realise I have not visited you in a while.
Taking one day at a time is all well and good, and it's a great way to get by, but I feel well overdue for looking forward now, if I could only work out where 'forward' is.
I have baked the final single-number cake for my beautiful little boy. Next year I shall have to bake two cakes. The beautiful boy is delighted at this prospect!
 Much fun was had with friends - for the first time this year due to Life in Limbo, we opted for an organised party venue and my oh my why didn't I ever do this before?! So much easier and so much less to clear up afterwards! The beautiful boy was delighted to spend a couple of hours doing death defying circuits looking all grown up....
I find he looks much littler again if I plonk a full sized cricket helmet on his head....
....not completely all grown up yet I'm glad to say!
And finally last week it was time to ditch the crocs and tatty t-shirts and return to scritchy new blazer and tie and the tyranny of the school run, at least for my half of the time. Autumn is really here.
The air is crisp and I yearn to be on the sofa in front of the wood-burner snuggling with my boy and a book. And this is where that will be! Very soon our lovely new 7kw stove will be installed ready for action!
Our builder will be leaving site at the end of next week and has made a lot of changes in just a couple of months. Not least by adding eye-wateringly expensive lumps of steel to the collapsing floor that we discovered in the boy's bedroom (yes, the room with the aforementioned collapsing ceiling)!
 The plumber starts work this week and as soon as he's finished the house is ours - although I think the electrician is planning to pop back a few times to sort things I keep changing......and there will be much slopping around of Trade White emulsion ...... and boxes upon boxes of heaven knows what coming out of storage.... oh my!
I have been shopping 'til I drop at Screwfix, Jewsons and other such builders' merchants haggling prices down and trying to understand how many possible ways there are to fix a tap to a pipe!
The tinky kitschen
I feel the experience of going to the counter in these places must be somewhat akin to what a man feels when he walks into a womens' lingerie store to buy a gift for his girl. The next time you're hinting that you want your man to go shop for you at Agent Provocateur just pop along to your local Travis Perkins and see how it feels.
The new workroom (try not to notice what happened to the linoleum floor!)
I know. That's a little sexist, and I'm presuming that all my readers are women - which you aren't. Sorry.  And I'm sure there are men who are perfectly at home in lingerie stores and I'm sure you're not all as dim as me about plumbing sundries.... But my goodness, how was I to know when I ordered 40 tees and elbows that they came in packs of 5? I mean....really? And who said it was second nature to understand the pump requirements of a condensing boiler? And do I care? Pah!
So you are getting a feel for the grumpy in the kitschen today folks. Here's our little antidote to take the edge off of the building site that we call home!
A sort of normality will return. At the moment I have no idea what that will mean, but clearly a little re-invention is required for a fresh start. Watch this space. I'll be taking a deep breath and jumping off of the roller coaster one day soon!

PS: The old kitschen will be featured in Good Homes' November issue out soon. That will be a bit weird. And for those of you across the Atlantic watch out for a feature in an issue of Romantic Homes early in 2011!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Being sensible....

Who? Me? Not a hope.
So, I think I said I'd show you the garden. Well, as you can imagine - with pipes being laid and drains being moved it's all a bit of a mess but I managed to find some pretties for you.
Of course I took them all close up to avoid nasty skips and pallets full of building materials creeping into shot!
The garden is very well stocked with lots of plants I can't name and a few that I can and many, many more that I'm sure are lying dormant waiting for their season to come around.
There are so many things I want to do and to change around but I am heeding the advice to live with a garden for a year to be sure you know what you're changing.
This is the house from what will be mummy's garden.... this is where there will be flowers and tables and chairs and lounging around in the sun....
And this is the house from the drive beyond which is the boy's garden... an entirely different prospect of dens and 'wildlife areas' and endless sheds - just like the Beautiful Boy loves it to be!
And of course his very own vegetable patch! Already planned and a few rows planted with help from Grandma!
House first then we shall tackle the garden. At the moment my brain is fizzing with all the decisions and costs! There will need to be a period of settling down and with the plasterer arriving next week, closely followed by kind friends who will be helping with some plumbing, we should be home again very soon! Meanwhile, whilst living in limbo between home and Hotel Granny, you might reasonably assume there has been no time for thrifting.....
You might quite rightly expect that I would resist the urge to go hunting out china and glass...
"Surely", you might say, "she has all her worldly goods in storage and serious grown up stuff to occupy her mind and china and glass do not the least fall into that category....
"....nor indeed do vintage plastics or huge quantities of vintage jelly moulds....
...and certainly not vast quantities of raspberry coloured candlewick!"
Well lovely readers you are quite right.... and quite wrong. There is always time for thrifting and I for one could not possibly resist any of these scrummy things - all happily residing in the Beautiful Boy's sheds until the builders let the girly stuff back indoors! For the boy this cannot be too soon! Hope you're all enjoying the last weeks of  the long holiday. t.x

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Out and away and all over the place!

We didn't mean to be away so long. No, really, we didn't. We've been so busy with the long summer in spite of the grim wet weather.
Freezing early mornings at the coast ... the birds have long since known it's Autumn - We've said our goodbyes to the Swifts and Swallows! There has a been a bit of Hero worship on the beach...
Garden snails bleached by their seaside holiday....
An abandoned Gull's egg - and later, a lesson learned about putting eggs in pockets!
A tragic jelly fish...
delicately coloured Sea Holly....
and tens of thousands of Knot, Oystercatchers, Ringed Plovers, Cormorants ... all wheeling about as the tides chased them in off the flats of the Wash which sits between Norfolk and the coast of Lincolnshire.
The Beautiful Boy would also like it noted that he made his first Gannet sighting and later, further around the coast, was lucky enough to be on hand as the reserve warden netted and ringed a Pied Flycatcher on it's way to Africa! A rare sighting around here indeed!
Our next trip to the coast gives a better picture of the weather we have been enjoying.....
Yes, we could barely stand in the on-shore gales! In the few minutes we stood to see the wave heights we were both drenched! Thankfully our favourite eaterie had plenty of hot autumnal food to thaw us out... in August! I ask you?!!
 Later we were supposed to be enjoying an evening of Moths - of course no self-respecting Moth was anywhere to be seen but we enjoyed a superb evening courtesy of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and a good number of Moth fanatics.
We are now hooked and intend to set up a Moth trap for the Spring next year to start to sort our Prominents from our Hawks and get to grips with all the little brown ones too!
And what of the house?
Well, when the boy is home we are staying at Hotel Granny and being spoiled rotten (although the Woodlice Colony was a step too far and they were relegated to the garden!)!
Progress is fast although the list of jobs is growing as we pull away layers of the oldest part of the house.
This beautiful reeded ceiling which had sadly reached the point of collapse....
Is now a much less scary view with solid timbers and high value insulation...
We visit most days and check progress, make a preposterous quantity of decisions and generally try not to get in the way and try even harder to stay calm when anyone mentions budgets! The plumber has been cancelled so there is every chance when we move back for good that it will be to a single tap establishment! On the upside, today we discovered that we have new neighbours....
The field to the back of us which has been a beautiful meadow, is used as a nursery field by the local cattle farmer so the Beautiful Boy is delighted!
Meanwhile I have a power-tools of my own to play with. I'm not knocking out walls but the hedges are getting the better of me so I'm off to wave this thing around until my arms turn to jelly! Whoever named it the 'Homelite' was having a laugh!
Hope you're all enjoying the holidays with or without sunshine! t.xx