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August holiday

It's been a lovely, long and hot August. Some people like to go on holiday this time of year. But I like to make a masochistic seven-page list of things that need doing to the house.

And work through it. So plants have been potted, fences treated, comical arguments about fence treatments had in B&Q – though that wasn't one of the moments caught on camera. Among a few other things I did, however, photograph the wardrobe I bought on eBay and which we strapped precariously to the roof-rack of a borrowed car in Dartford. You can see it in situ below, looking as if butter wouldn't melt... fact it took four hours to get the beast up the stairs to the top floor. We almost gave up after attempting five different ways of getting around two particularly tight corners.

Then we had the brainwave to remove the bannisters.

Less arduously, we finally got that pile of pictures framed – including this sweet 1937 Jean Carrau print, below, which I had on my wall at university but hadn't seen since. It emerged amid a pile of dusty old toot during one of several frenzied clear-outs that were also on the list. The (real) cat is a recent arrival and suddenly this picture seemed perfect to hang low on the kitchen wall above where he has his food. Ahh.

In case you've noticed how bleached out this photo is, it's intentional. Repainting the kitchen and finding something other than a giant plank of wood to prop up the wonky fridge are still on the list. I also hadn't cleaned the floor before I took it. Over-exposure somewhat soften the ungroomed state of the kitchen.

I also – just yesterday – bought a second bedroom wardrobe. We haven't picked it up yet but it shouldn't require quite the effort to get in the house as the other one.
That's because it's a half-size wardrobe – a G-Plan Brandon tallboy, a piece of furniture often described as a gentlemen's wardrobe. Which is appropriate, because vast as the other one is, I've already filled it up, leaving no space for clothes belonging to the gentleman of the house. Oops.

Elsewhere, I've mucked out my office, cleaned windows, and revamped an old standard lamp for a friend's birthday. Which I bought for her when it looked like this...

But after some sanding (I don't have giant man-hands, btw, I got some help while I was making the tea)...

...some painting (quick-drying floorpaint, in case you're wondering; Ronseal grey may not have the quite the ring about it of any of Farrow and Ball's palette, but I happen to really like it and it has a good eggshell finish)...

...and some fancy new wire... now looks like this. And all only a year after promising it to my friend. (Though as you can see in the very top image, it still hasn't quite made it over to her house yet.)

The cable is from Fabric Cable, part of Urban Cottage Industries, and I also got the black cable you can see in the bedroom further down, and some bright blue and neon green that are destined to revamp two non-working Anglepoises.

Finally, I also found this rather larey lampshade – again on eBay...

I love it, even though it's borderline really tasteless, kind of Betty Draper in her not-so-hot bouffant period in Mad Men.

The bedroom is still a work in progress, with sheets instead of blinds and half-removed blind fixings we can't get off the window frames and too many chests of drawers (till the new tallboy arrives) but the lamp has at least been hung.

The dressing table on the left and the velvet chair both came from my grandma's house. The chair needs fixing a bit (wonky wheels, falling-off edging, needs a good lather) but the 1950s chest of drawers is ace now it's had a good scrubbing. And considering the bedroom looked like this only a couple of months ago...

...and the kitchen and hallway looked like this...

 ...we're making some progress.


  1. We had a similar thing with the wardrobe in our old house, and when we moved my husband refused to bring it with us.
    I love the shade.

    1. Haha. I don't blame him. I suspect we may feel the same way if we ever move!

  2. I love your house and what you're doing to it! It's always a dream to have a 60s home! x