9 July 2013

What a weekend, brilliant sunshine, children outside all the time, good times had with friends of all ages, charming museum discovered and then, just to polish it all off nicely, Andy Murray wins Wimbledon.  Amazing.

Perthshire is only an hour away but this weekend it felt a million miles, we stayed at the wigwams at newmillfarm near Stanley.  They facilities are pretty simple but the welcome was warm and the location just perfect with a little burn nearby where the children, all ten of them, could go and dabble with little worry of danger.  Our car was first at the wigwams, while the children were checking everything out I managed to read a bit of the book I borrowed months ago, I seem to have forgotten how rewarding reading an actual book rather than a screen can be.

spot the dog.. all this for 2 nights (no clothes in this pile)
spot the dog.. all this for 2 nights (no clothes in this pile)
wigwam ready for delivery, they are made at the farm we stayed at.
wigwam ready for delivery, they are made at the farm we stayed at.
an actual book
an actual book
simple yet functional (sort of)
simple yet functional (sort of)

We visited Active Kids nearby the next day – so sunny but pretty windy too.  It kept everybody happy for some hours with jelly bellies, a fortress, go carts, slides, trampolines, animals and crazy golf.  Barbeques were brilliant both nights, a feast for everyone – the dogs would have had a field day with all of the dropped bits and bobs had they come too.

reggie reggie vegetable kebabs
reggae reggae vegetable kebabs

Once we were all packed up ready on Sunday we headed up to Dunkeld where there is the very charming Beatrix Potter Exhibition at the Birnam Institute. It kept boys and girls aged 4-14 interested for ages, not bad going.  There’s always one who is not so impressed!

interesting to see how the kids acted when they were playing 'teacher'
interesting to see how the kids acted when they were playing ‘teacher’
little wardrobe with dressing up clothes and intructions
little wardrobe with dressing up clothes and intructions
not loving exib but still finds something to investigate
not loving exib but still finds something to investigate

That was my weekend then, hoping there will be more like that over the next few weeks of the holidays.

Thought you might like to see how beautiful Edinburgh was this evening, I will always be a city girl even though I love a bit of country life once in a while.

view from Inverleith at 9pm tonight
view from Inverleith at 9pm tonight
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4 July 2013

Pots full of colour are a joy at the moment in my garden.  The ranuculus have turned out well, more pale pink ones are coming soon and the margarite were an orange sticker job from a while ago, they’ve got massive now.  The peonies are the best £4 I have spent for a long time, this is only half of the bunch, a bargain indeed.

4 july 005

pretty  peonies

4 july 003

Gumtree vs Ikea

There is a constant dichotomy for me when  I am looking for furniture.  I love the clean lines and great prices at Ikea, the furniture is good looking, easy to get home and the whole experience is pretty good on a quiet day.  I also love the thrill of the chase and the individuality that you get by looking for furniture from Gumtree and second hand shops.  The two shopping methods can go hand in hand and result in a really interesting looking home.  I am betting most of you have at least the odd thing from Ikea, it is so hard to go there and come out with nothing!

Somehow I feel like I’ve failed a bit when I get something from Ikea.  Take the Malm chest of drawers, plain, simple, white and functional – the only thing is I swore I would not buy them again because they fell to bits last time after 9 years of hard labour.  The design has been improved since the last ones I had, they now have a bar under the base of each drawer to stop it dropping and I have to say that they really suit my bedroom.  I have that little bit of me that feels like I’ve sold out, given up the hunt for unique, and have joined the thousands of regular folk who have these drawers.

ikea malm chest of drawers. simple and unassuming
ikea malm chest of drawers. simple and unassuming

Gumtree is hard work. You might not be first to see the item if it is highly desirable, you need to carry it down lots of flights of tenement steps if you buy from a flat (not unusual here) and you don’t really know where the item has been – you have to use your gut to decide whether you can cope with that or not.  This chest of drawers is a great piece of furniture.  After agreeing to buy it, I realised it was actually falling apart a wee bit once it was moved, what do you do?  Say no thanks before you battle it down the stairs?  Well, I didn’t this time and C has repaired it a bit.  L has it in his new room now and he loves it.  So does his pal who saw the 3D despicable Me at the weekend hence the glasses.  It was a challenge to get it home but I feel like we are extending the life of an interesting item that comes with an unknown history.  The little shelf in H’s cupboard is from the same house and it fits perfectly.  Another triumph.

gumtree find, well made, character full and unique
gumtree find, well made (once upon a time) character full and unique

So, there you have it, my thoughts for today on furniture buying.  Where do you go for furniture? Have you got a favourite place to look?  Edinburgh is great for furniture shopping , from specialist mid-century modern items to your traditional antique shoppe.  Modern furniture and charity furniture warehouses are here too.

P.S.  Great programme on as I write about supermarkets, have a look on bbc  i-player, ‘Summer’s Supermarket Secrets’  – fascinating.  Boys are loving it.

Have a great weekend, nearly there x

Red Roses

red roses 014

These are from the garden this morning and they have the most amazing fragrance filling the room.  I am just about to move them to the hall so they last a bit longer.  I don’t need to tell you what red roses mean, we have that ad nauseum at Valentine’s day don’t we.  My Dad thought flowers looked best in the garden so I doubt that he’d approve of me picking these blooms. He definitely loved red roses though, they are what he chose for Mum when we said goodbye to her.  My naughty friend, Jean, presented me with one of the roses pressed in a frame not long afterwards, I treasure it dearly.

even Lennie loves the smell of roses, wish he smelt like them too
even Lennie loves the smell of roses, wish he smelt like them sometimes

Joining in with Lou, week 18 at Little Green Shed. This week’s theme is ‘red’. Little Green Shed