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 concentration....now 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?
Hmmm.
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!  t.xxx

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