Showing posts from October, 2011

Tales from my kitchen

I haven't really turned my back on the garden.  I made the mistake of wandering around in yesterday's sunshine and it clamoured at me about all the things that still need doing.  But before I get out there and try to sort things out a bit I thought you might like to have an update about the kitchen.  If nothing else, seeing how truly vile it used to be might make you feel better about your own house! This is really as close as I get to a "before" picture, as shown in house and garden magazines.  The main reason for the absence of "befores" is that it was so dingy, mouldy and generally dreadful that I couldn't bring myself to take pictures in it.  So in this picture the horrible eighties cupboards and the marked and stained worktops have come out, but you get the general idea. Here we are with the ceiling coming down so that Steve, the wonder electrician, could put in the new electrics. Here is the ceiling, decorating the floor.  We are in

Autumn projects

OK, rant over.  Normal service is resumed.  It was great though to find how many of you share my wish that we could all relax, accept that we grow older,  and be comfortable in our own skin. Saturday here was a beautiful golden day, autumn at its absolute best.  Younger son and daughter in law were staying for the weekend and we all went walking.  I love the way here that you can walk, really walk with grass and heather, hills and views to the horizon, right from the door. The dog loved it too.  You can just see her at the top of the path, whizzing back to check where we were, before heading off again at a joyous lope. As we walked up to the end of the road we met a local farmer.  "Better just hop over the stile there" he said.  "I'm bringing the cattle down."  Safely  on the far side of the gate, we watched as the herd came down from the hill, driven from behind by two guys on one very small moped. I don't know how many there were, sixty or se

Does your skin seem older?

I had settled down to watch Grand Designs on Channel 4.  It was just the kind of build I love - eco-friendly, with a small budget, and passionate and principled builders getting their own hands dirty, not a "£2m throw money at it and produce an identikit piece of modernism" build.  Ian was watching with me.  I had a glass of wine in my hand and a fire going in the woodburner.  Perfect. Then the commercial break.  A young and beautiful woman was being used to sell skincare products to women at least ten years older.  So far, so normal.  I can't remember the name of the magic moisturiser which was being promoted, which I must say seems both ironic and pleasing, but suddenly a line in the advertising pap leapt out at me "Der der der der der der der .... skin seems older..... der der der" with the exhortation to use whatsit and improve things. "Skin seems older"?   Well hang on, if you wake up one morning and "skin seems older" that's bec


The dog went home and I raised my head from the world of dogfood, chewsticks and the downstay.  The cat came in again, somewhat crossly, and made its displeasure at its exile clear by sleeping in my chair instead of on the sofa. At the beginning of the week the garden was glowing in summer heat.  Even the roses were throwing a last glorious party.  By the end of it, the temperature had dropped ten degrees and the wind had flattened the cosmos, still flowering their hearts out in the cutting garden. Inside the stripy little Welsummer chicks were beginning to show their first true feathers. As the dog's owner returned, I disappeared off for a weekend with elder daughter, son in law and nearly two year old grandson.  Grandson makes me laugh all the time.  He is obsessed with cars and trains and all kind of vehicles and rides everywhere on his little trike, beeping slowly and carefully every time he goes backwards to show that he is reversing. He plays with total

Dogs, cats and the whole darn thing

I offer you five things to think about if you are considering offering to look after your daughter's young dog for the week. Is the dog still inclined to jump up at people from time to time? Do you have a just about to be ninety three year old living with you who is not too steady on his feet?   Is your beautiful ginger cat inclined to turn into a spitting, shrieking, dog seeking missile? Do you have a large number of chickens? Is your husband someone who tolerates said dog and cat rather than a full blown animal lover?  Actually this last one is the best bit so far as husband is engaging fully and productively with the whole dog, grandpa, cat etc dilemma.  Of course I thought about these things, of course I did.  I am a forward planning type of person.  The dog is asleep at my feet.  The cat is miaowing crossly on the doorstep.   Father in law is watching the televsion in his room.  The chickens are shut up in their runs. It's all fine. My God, is it really