As we are already knocking on February I think I may have missed the boat for a New Year resolutions post. That said I have one I’d like to share which is to try harder to find the time to write. In fact I’ve struggled so much of late that I started to wonder if the blog had just come to its natural end. I mooted this to a friend.
“Is your house finished?” she asked.
I raised an eyebrow in a “come on ….you know me….what do you think?” manner and cast my mind back to what we’ve managed to do….in addition to having a baby and starting a new job (and that’s me and S) …in this past year.
A revamp of O’s room took place and the office has been relocated to the snug to make way for a nursery, albeit a very bijoux one, for Baby A. The snug library wall has been tackled, the hallways (both upstairs and downstairs) have been Down Piped and most momentous of all…both gallery walls have been finished. Or rather the upstairs version will retain the status of ‘work in progress’ for evermore, featuring as it does the children’s artwork…the nearest I’ll get, I’ve come to the realisation, of ever having the art collection I talked longingly of in last year’s post of about this time (Picture of a New Year).
Possibly more shocking though is what we still haven’t done. Our bedroom, which we painted in the beautifully enveloping Stiffkey Blue in December twenty fourteen still hasn’t, in twenty sixteen, got pictures on the wall. Or at least not all of them. The light fitting was changed to a copper version and frames have been sprayed copper to match but as yet they have simply been kicked around the floor, chipping as they fall and clatter. So that’s on this year’s to do list. Which led me to have a think about what other house resolutions I might make….
And it looked a bit like this…
Reupholster those infamous care home chairs, plus the blue sofa currently draped in IKEA throws. I feel the need to apologise to every new guest for the sorry state of this eclectic collection of furniture and I’ve started to bore myself, let alone everyone else, with my constant repetition of the mantra ‘they’ll look wonderful once recovered’. Time, I think, to take action. This may well be the priciest project of the year so whilst we save I’ve plenty of time to figure out exactly what fabric they should be recovered in. I’m thinking a denim for the urine-coloured (and more than probably stained) mid century chair which now has a spot in our bedroom.
Then perhaps grey felt for the wooden framed pair of chairs and caramel leather for the sofa which lives in the kitchen. I’ll need, however, to try and track down the leather supplier I used to recover the Balzac sofa and chair a few years back which now sits pride of place in our lounge. I’ve already decided on the upholsterers however and would love to use Out of the Dark, a charitable social enterprise that both trains and employs young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. That part, certainly, feels like a no-brainer…..
Invest in a she-shed. For S’s birthday last year I bought two workbenches and had handyman J board out the shed ready to make it into a suitably functional man-cave. For a while it looked pretty organised with tools hanging from the walls and drawers housing everything from tape to screws, silicone to hardware. The truth is though that we are trying to store more than it can suitably hold so it’s now reverted back to being a dumping ground, albeit with chipboarded walls. My solution, which admittedly is skewed in my favour, is to purchase a she-shed to slot into the sizeable gap behind its male counterpart, paint it out, praps put a little bistro table outside of it on the pretence that I might actually find the time for a cuppa whilst ‘pottering’ (as opposed to racing against the clock before school or nursery pick-up) and fill it with neatly ordered garden paraphernalia. Perhaps I might even buy one of those insanely over-priced string dispensers from the Garden Trading Company to complete the aspirational look. With fair acompli surely tending the veg patch will be that much easier this year as I’ll actually be able to find the gloves/secateurs/tomato feed/delete as appropriate. And, btw, it would simultaneously free up the man cave for all things man-cavey. And surely that’s win win?
And talking of the veg patch……. this year I’ll try harder. I’ve no excuse not to since our new library shelves are groaning under the weight of various gardening tomes to which I can quickly and easily refer on how to pinch out toms or plant pumpkins.
Or maybe that’s the problem, I should stop trying to plant things like pumpkins in our handkerchiefed sized plot. What I won’t make the mistake of doing this year is spending a fortune on seeds (and yes, they do mount up) only to watch them wither and die as I prioritise feeding my kids above caring for my seedlings. So I’ve had a brainwave. I bought a Rocket Gardens Voucher on Black Friday which will deliver a range of plug plants at planting time which should more than suffice for our little plot.
In fact I may need to get a bit creative with pots etc to fit them all in …..but in theory it’s a winner. Which leads me smoothly to my next resolution which is to divide the patch from the garden with some kind of glorified trellis, for want of a better description, perhaps up which I can grow some of the climbing crops like beans. I do believe I harped on wistfully about this last year……
Another resolution is to finally sort the lighting in the kitchen….We have four green factory lights occupying a wardrobe, of all places, awaiting a decision from us as to where they should hang. I think I’ve now worked it out so best to get them up before I change my mind. And praps get some dimmers fitted too….inspired by a recent visit to a friend’s awesome kitchen which had delightfully atmospheric pools of light delineating particular ‘zones’. Loving a bit of that.
Then perhaps we should turn our attention to the front of house. If we are not yet thinking of anything as ambitious as pebbledash removal (and bank-breaking stories from our lovely street community are not helping me persuade S in that direction) then perhaps we should think about temporary, purse-friendly solutions to shooshing it up beyond my window boxes of (practically dead) geraniums. And luckily for me my green-fingered friend has offered to help come up with ideas for this area before so I may just need to rejuvenate that conversation with some wine and good food.
The Worlds Smallest WC may also be due a grown up makeover as I’m still apologising for its Benidorm Beach Bar tackiness. What were we thinking. Or rather, what was I thinking…. as that faux pas was mine and mine alone.
On S’s radar for this year is some maintenance……lead for the roof (neither of us is particularly excited about that one…), a re-sand of the kitchen floor and maybe even a deep clean and re-oil of the kitchen units to bring them back to their full glory. I think the under stairs cupboard may also need to be tackled if S is to stay sane…..
And finally, I fancy giving the spare room a lick of paint. Nothing too bold or daring……no stiffkeys or down pipes. A simple off white. To go with the Orla Kiely blanket S bought me when pregnant with O which I’d like to make centre stage.
I’ll probably tweak the room a little around it….dare I say it I might add or take away some pictures, make over the pedestal lamp S hates so much and clear out the wardrobe so that guests can, actually, use it. After all it’s a rather large piece of furniture to use simply as an ornament.
Which brings me, exhaustedly, back to the original question….
Are we done here?
No. I think we’re not.
So if you still enjoy reading about the tales of this pebbledashed pad and the little family nestled within its bumpy walls, do bear with me this year. Ill try and post regularly but my fear is that I won’t. But behind the scenes things are happening and, as regularly as I can, I’ll look forward to telling you about them.