Wednesday, August 26, 2015

After the Storm Came the Calm

Today has been a day of almost constant rain and storms.  Then suddenly it cleared and left a beautiful evening so I went for a walk along the river Stour to the Sudbury.  No more words are required, just enjoy the pictures of my stunningly beautiful Suffolk. (click on any image to enlarge it)









Beautiful isn't it.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Very Nearly Finished

After what seemed like months but was just over 7 weeks, my dining room, stairs and landing are almost finished and I love it.

This is what it was like before I started, with dark red paint


and dark pine furniture,


and  carpet.

That's all been replaced now.

The dark red paint has been replaced with a pale taupe,


and the dark pine furniture has had a coat of white eggshell paint to brighten it up,


and the carpet in the dining room has been replaced by a beautiful oak wooden floor the same as in my lounge.


On the stairs and landing the red paint has gone too and the floor has been painted white, the same as I did in the bathroom.


I bought myself a new lampshade,


and a 'new' chair for under the stairs (the chair was actually from eBay so is only new to me).


This is the only bit that isn't finished yet as I've ordered snazzy new covers for it in this fabric and they won't be ready until the end of September.


The only 'slight' snag is that a certain cat has decided that she really likes the chair and is probably not going to be impressed with me replacing the covers. But I will be able to see her better as she's quite well camouflaged at the moment and I've nearly sat on her on several occasions!



Friday, August 7, 2015

A Walk with Sculptures

I love Marks Hall, I've blogged about it before.  It's a wonderful arboretum with gardens and lakes not far from me, I'm a member and I go there often.  Today's visit was a little bit different though as throughout all of August they have the most fantastic sculptures throughout the grounds - over 230 of them.

There are sculptures that are big and in their own space,


some stand by water,


and some float on the water.


What I really loved was the sensitive placing of the sculptures, especially those in the walled gardens where they clearly enhanced their surroundings.



I really loved these fish swimming through the grasses.



Willow angels hang from trees,


metal sycamore wings spin round in the breeze,


and birds rise from swathes of white agapanthus.


These are just some of the photos I took, there are more on my flickr stream.

If you're in the area it's well worth a visit - I shall definitely be going back before the sculptures go at the end of the month, as looking at the catalogue and the website I missed quite a few!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Treasures From the Loft

Yesterday I was at Mum and Dad's in north Norfolk to help them start sorting out the loft.  It'd got into quite a state as Mum hadn't been able to get up and down the ladder to it but now that she's the owner of a new hip she wanted to start tackling it.


We did quite well, with a bag of stuff going to the tip and 3 bags ready to go to the charity shop, oh and I came home with a car boot looking like this!


Amongst cushions, bedding, and old jars I also brought home some boxes of treasure:


playing cards with this delightful lady her elegant cigarette holder,


old christmas decorations, mainly old glass baubles but also the Father Christmas model and paper fairy that, as a child, I used to get so excited about when they reappeared from the box,


a clay chess piece (about 10 inches high) that I made during my PGCE,


and all these other ornaments, some of which I remember and some of which I don't.

And loads of old photos, including this one of my mum as a bridesmaid that I don't ever recall seeing before - shame she doesn't have the dress and jacket anymore as they look amazing!


When I eventually got home I also found treasure in the greenhouse


the first of the tomatoes :-)

I am sure there are more treasures waiting for me in the loft - I'll be back there in a fortnight to continue the mission!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Slowly Getting There.

Things are progressing steadily on the decorating front.  The decorator has done his bit and I've painted the floor of the stairs and landing and also painted the dining room furniture.

Before and After

Gone are the dark red walls and carpet, replaced by taupe walls and white painted floorboards.

Before and After

All the pine furniture has had a coat of paint, I've deliberately left the tops etc wood as I didn't want to go to all paint.

Nothing more can now be done until the new wooden floor is laid in August, until then I have to continue living out of boxes and in a bit of a mess!

But whilst the inside of the house is in a state of flux the garden is looking lovely:


The geraniums on Dad's steps are flowering well as are various clematis still.


This hollyhock has appeared from nowhere and is very pretty (I don't think I planted it....)


and I love the expectation that the agapanthus buds bring.


Meanwhile the front garden is doing very well too.  


I dug up some overgrown box balls earlier this year and planted with some dahlias and larkspur that I'd grown from seed.  Whilst this isn't a colour combination I would have chosen, it actually looks good!

And as for hydrangea Annabelle - she's putting on a fantastic show, intact she's encroaching into next door's garden too,


just look at the size of her flower heads!



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Half Finished.

Hello, I'm still here, just running hard to keep up with life and in a state of half finishedness in lots of things.

A few weeks ago I decided to prune the 'hedge' of eleagnus, cornus kousa and choisya but couldn't bring myself to cut the cornus as it was about to flower - so I have a half pruned hedge with a large tree growing out of one side!


Not sure if you can see it on this picture but it's the tall shrub with white bracts on in the middle at the back, what you can't see is the large gap to the right of it where the rest of the 'hedge' used to be!

The bracts are beautiful but almost impossible to see from anywhere apart from my study window as they are so high up!


I also have a half finished stairs and landing - I ripped the carpet up a few weeks ago and have so far sanded, filled and undercoated.

before

half finished
I can't paint the floor properly until the decorator has painted the walls, ceiling and woodwork etc.

But the roses have finally come out properly, so I'll leave you with a few beauties from last week:

William Shakespeare

Lady Emma Hamilton

The Generous Gardener

Fighting Temeraire

Now tomorrow I have an appointment a conference involving a new frock and these little beauties by Kurt Geiger.


Do I have a shoe habit? You bet I do.  Do I care? Not one little bit!