Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Limbo Time

Suspended animation between Christmas and New Year for all that the orders are coming in again - but this evening we did the perfect thing and watched 'Bye Bye Birdie', prompted by the episode in Mad Men when they all froth and dribble at the thought of Ann-Margret. She was worth frothing and dribbling for, but I did't realise what exuberant good fun it was, and that so many songs I know come from that show. When it finished I made a bee-line for youtube and have been sitting singing along for two hours. Simple pleasures.

I am inheriting William's old laptop (inheriting may be too gentle a word, I am relieving Felix of it, but he is being very sweet about it) and I can't wait to sit in airports with it like a grown-up.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gnarly Day

Well, some things went right, I have dispatched orders which piled up while we were filming, but to clear them I had to do the buttonholes manually. At one point I heard myself saying "only thirty-six to go!" So packed them all up nicely in tissue paper, Stefan bravely carried them to the post office, at which point the new machine, bought to do buttonholes, turned up on the doorstep.

On Skype I could hear my mum but she couldn't hear me, her phone was playing up, and we ended up typing back and forth.

My watch has stopped.

Didn't even get a walk.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This Made me Laugh

Oh dear, I know I probably shouldn't do this:


Going Soft

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On the Other Hand

After all the hard work of last week it was hard to coast to a close, so I cleared and sorted the sideboard drawers wondering once again how could I have too few tablecloths and so many napkins - about four dozen? Ah, sweet mystery.

Then my ever-chaotic bedside drawer. Very pleased to find my fountain pen, five nail files and the usual plethora of pens which I weeded down (I wish there were a place to donate them!). At which point it was time to confront the wardrobe, or as they say over here, walk-in closet, though I haven't been able to walk into it for a while as my tool chests are on the floor.

Big plastic bag: ill-chosen shoes went first, then the pile of out-of-favour garments I had been stock-piling on the top shelf.

I managed to clear two shelves completely to store my now colour-sorted fabrics in good order, squeezing my clothes back another rung in scale of importance. I would be quite happy with a uniform! Especially an Armani uniform...

I did realise something else this morning as I sat up in bed in great satisfaction with coffee, my pashmina and one of Louise's nighties. I am two people. One side of me wants the very best, and the other side slashes away in paint-stained clothes and sentimental knickers you wouldn't give a bag lady, and not just for utility. I like being mucky. I always want to have the option. Call it respect for the process, it certainly makes organising my clothes complicated. Maybe I need two wardrobes etc, like dishwashers in a Kosher household.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ice Wool

Leo and Axina sent me pictures of this strange stuff they call ice wool - I have never heard of it before. Maybe I have to go to Gotland.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


What a busy week, Stefan editing flat out, and I was trying to keep up with orders while maintaining a happy working atmosphere for clients, scrubbing the curry off the table before I could put my precious white linen on it again, providing cups of tea and soothing words.

I am so thrilled with my secondary work area and have been refining it, cutting the tabletop back and rounding the front corners so it fits the space. I have a better cloth on it - actually the pale denim that was the original headboard, how neat - and have ordered many cunning little hooks from http://thehardwarehut.com, I recommend them. I don't think I need a curtain over the glass section of the door, I can always hear people coming so shouldn't be startled, and I'll put up a little mirror opposite as well, good feng shui. As soon as the new battery is in the camera I will take some photos.

My main need is a neat little chair since we stretch the use of the existing ones, and I need to re-jig the covers of the table for its dual role of potting/ironing.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


The world is spinning: I am suddenly seeing our only door as the back door, because that way I can use the hall like a room, for gardening things, and potting up, as a much more intimate, homely, utilitarian space. It is big enough.

It started because I couldn't find a place for my pretend French pot rack, which has now been sanded and waxed and has turned out beautifully. The only place I could think to put it was in our 6' by 9' front hall, opposite the front door - a space which also holds the big laundry cupboard. Suddenly with the pot rack and the ironing table (put here purely to get it out of the living room while we were photographing), it turned into something warmer, more purposeful, and I could envisage the table as a potting table, and the door as a door onto the garden, not a fortress front door to keep strangers out, something that has to be barricaded and watched.

I don't really like people.

So just by juggling the furniture, I realise what a misanthrope I am, and how suspicious I have been all this time about the front door (it lets people in: was it it really on my side?), and how much more I own the hall now that it has a purpose.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Strength of Ten

Before breakfast with Mary I painted the new pot shelf I copied from a blog I now can't find(!!), put new knobs on the laundry room doors, put glides under the big block which holds the centre speaker, put the carefully saved old hooks into the pot rack, put a new hook behind the laundry door to hold my hat and the dog lead (instead of cluttering my office with them), re-hung our only valuable oil, finally screwed the bases to the two wicker hampers which hold our firewood, re-gussied and tidied, and had a lovely long deep hot bath before our client turned up to chose music.

I tracked down and inserted three of those wickedly small expensive light bulbs for the cooker hood, under cabinet lighting and picture light respectively and rehung my favorite picture in a more prominent position, beside the fireplace under the picture light.

I mounted my two new oars over Stefan's sofa, and we set up the green screen to film William on the bike rollers to re-create the bike crash for our hospital film - very sweaty all round, and good fun.

Then we lit the fire, watched two episodes of Mad Men and I slept for ten hours - good!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Winter Activities

Pears always remind me of my father, he considered the flavour better than that of papaya and even mango. I think they taste almost tropical, so smooth and subtle. I have a sideboard full.

At a stroke I have improved the new ironing table AND solved the old headboard problem: by dismantling the headboard and carving a new tabletop 5'x3' from the sheet of wood. This small padded table is easy to work at, I have set it up with the iron and cut and press while watching Rachel Maddow, what could be better?