Saturday, March 19, 2011


Dear D and I had a child-free day today (thanks Grandma!) and we did what we like best - tinkering. D went out into the garden and tinkered with the car all day long (it needed it, believe me), which is his idea of heaven, and I did the same in the house.

I finally hung some of my pictures:

These are my Nikki McClure prints which I've had for ages and I've been meaning to hang, just like that, for equally as long. It creates some continuity with 'Congregate', which is presiding over the place where we hang the coats.

Anyway, we'd been meaning to hang these prints for ages. The holdup was that our walls are so bad, so every time we tried to hammer a nail into the wall bits of plaster would come off, creating a big hole in the wall and making the whole process of hanging pictures a nightmare of frayed nerves, swearing and bickering. Then a friend of mine introduced me to these:

They revolutionised our life! No more lumps of plaster falling off, no more wobbly, bent nails in the wall. You hammer them in and they are solid. There is the small draw-back of them being impossible to remove once they are in the wall - they will be there for eternity I fear. As I found out when I managed to whack one of the hooks off with a too-enthusiastic swing of the hammer. I had to put another hook in next to it because the damaged one coming out? No chance.

Anyway, I digress... The six pictures being up I felt inspired to do other things. I hung another picture that I bought recently. It's themed around a Morissey quote: "There's more to life than books you know, but not much more". I love it.

Together with Say's artwork (thank you so much Say, it makes me happy everytime I look at it!) this makes the living room complete as far as pictures are concerned. :-)

I was on a roll. We've recently ut some of the stuff in the sheds on ebay and today someone came to pick up a bathtub, so I had a good look around and dug out a tattered but quite cute little chest of drawers:

Battered but cute, no? I think I will whitewash it, because it's been painted before and it just doesn't get any cleaner than that. (Lorry made out of cardbord boxes and plastic trays sitting on the chest of drawers curtesy of the Bean)

I also dragged out another cupboard. It used to be full of tools at my MIL's. No idea where it was from originally, but D reckons it was someone in his family. Still have to take a picture of it but it has found a new home in our bathroom.

Sometimes, Grandma days are great! And tomorrow we'll take the lads to the carboot and then spend the day playing in the garden. :-)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - Favourite Smells

What a strange one, was the first thought I had when I got this week's prompt for Ten on Tuesdays, but then I realised that there is a lot to think about when it comes to smells and in the end it was very easy to compile the list. So here you go:

Vanilla pods – I’ve always loved the smell. Delicious.

Christmas baking – of course all baking is lovely, but there is something about Christmas cookies in the oven and that smell of cinnamon and cloves, and Christmas spices that just encapsulates everything that is magical about Christmas.

The sea – that salty smell. Difficult to describe what it is about that, but I love it.

Spring – earthy, moist, fertile. There is a distinctive smell to spring, when the earth wakes up and the first fresh shoots are starting to appear. It brings it with it all the joy of the changing season and longer days and warmer weather and the promise of another summer spent in the garden.

Roses – delicate, fragile, decadent, delicious. Beautiful flowers, beautiful scent.

Mint – fresh and zingy. I love mint anyway – peppermint tea is one of my favourites, and just the whole idea of picking a few leaves and crushing them in my hand and getting this lovely scent from them is beautiful I think. Such a powerful scent from such an unimpressive looking plant.

Lavender – old-fashioned and nostalgic.

Babies – everything about babies is delicious. Especially newborns. Difficult to describe what they actually smell of, but there is something about their delicate and precious little selves and that warm baby smell, all milky and snugly, that is irresistible I think.

Fresh bread – what’s not to love?

Old books – yes, that weird, fusty, slightly mouldy smell of old books is one of my favourites. Don’t ask... I guess it has something to do with my love of books, not just to read but also as objects . Somehow that mildew-y smell is comforting and calming to me, reminding me of happy days spent hidden away at antiquarian bookshops and car boot sales digging through dusty old tomes. And yes, I do realise that this is a bit odd.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

Ten Things to Like About the Month of March

1. Crocus and snowdrops

2) Warmer days - there are still a lot of cold days, that's for sure, but you get the occasional warm day that makes you think you can smell spring and damp soil and fresh growth, and all those other things that make you realise that the earth is waking up again.

3) The days post D's exams which are soon. So March is always tied up with that lovely feeling of having the exams over and of having the summer ahead of us.

4) longer days - every day just a little bit more daylight

5) Gardening season is approaching - towards the end of February and the beginning of March I start getting impatient and I start looking through seed catalogues and clearing the shed to get to the puts for my veg this year. So exciting to know that in a few weeks time it's all going to start!

6) getting out with the kids more - playing in the garden, going to the playground...

7) the first leaves of the daffodils peeking out.

8) Things generally start happening - everything seems to speed up around this time

9) We start thinking about Easter - making things, talking about it all - with the kids these things seem to take on a whole new meaning.

10) And last but not least, Spring officially arrives in March