5 August 2013 Holidays

Our summer holiday this year was spent about a mile down the road from Seahouses in the North East of England.  It’s always a gamble weather wise staying in the UK and this year we hit the jackpot.  Fantastic weather and a short walk to the beach meant the holiday was fabulous.  Our cottage was just right, not so fancy to worry about wrecking it and comfortable and homely enough to feel at ease.  ‘Our beach’ was amazing, about a mile long and each time we went there were no more than 4 other groups sitting on it – it felt like we owned it.  Evenings were our favourite time to visit and have a smokey cup of tea made with teenboy’s new gadget, the Kelly Kettle.

teenboy makes tea
teenboy makes tea
holiday shoes
holiday shoes
view from Seahouses
view from Seahouses
what are they doing?
what are they doing?
our beach
our beach

Barter Books was a real find in Alnwick early in the holiday, we were mesmerised by the layout and the feel of the place, the dogs were welcome which is always a bonus and they found some books of interest too.  The shop is an old railway station and has retained many of the original features and it only sells second-hand books.  You can take unwanted books in and collect credit for them to spend in store, so simple an idea and a wonderous place to visit.  You must go. It’s got a wee claim to fame too, have a look

and, yes, I did buy one.

Barter Books inside
Barter Books inside
IMG_0627
IMG_0641Lennie finds some interesting reading Lennie finds some interesting reading

At the moment I’m spending less time blogging and more time doing so there have been fewer posts recently.  Catch up is the name of the game I guess, slowly but surely I’ll get there.  No more regeneration news, nearly decided on wallpaper and flooring for the final finishing off.  Next stop, quotes for sanding the floors.

now, here’s a rarity, ha ha

a rare photo of me, make the most of it!

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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

2 July 2013

sneak peak into H's bedroom cupboard
sneak peak into H’s bedroom cupboard
F's cupboard door handles
F’s cupboard door handles

Today I’m sharing some of the things I love about our new rooms.  Instead of getting bogged down by what I’ve got to do, I am going to enjoy what has been done and what we have gained.   The chaos downstairs will get sorted slowly but surely over the next wee while.  These things take time (good line for a song).

view from my bed
view from my bed – shutters are fab
upstairs bathroom
upstairs bathroom
how long have I loved these radiators? now I have one in my bedroom
how long have I loved these radiators? now I have one in my bedroom

Other Stuff

Instagram is something I’ve been aware of for some time but have never really got into, I’m wary of it I guess.  This post from  Tales from a Happy House Instagram has changed my mind, now I’m keen to get on and use it.  My goal is a photo a day for the whole of the school holidays.  I will let you know once I’ve got organised with a name and so on, technoteenboy will be on hand if I get stuck

Daisies cannot be beaten – look at these super hair accessories being modelled by the gorgeous H.  Wish I’d got myself some now.

love a daisy
love a daisy

The Glasonbury father returned eventually last night.  Tired, brown and happy that he was home after a super-long bus journey.   The kids all have their very own Glasto t-shirts now, H and F have all the bands that played on their backs – one is not that great for a 5 year old to notice.  Never mind. L has a Rolling Stones one which he absolutely loves. It’s good to have C back xx