I spent two hours yesterday tramping the streets of Guildford (and there were plenty of young women there that would SO suit that soubriquet - I mean, don't they look in the mirror before going out first?) looking for curtains. And, despite Dusted Damson being such a weird colour, I actually managed to find some that matched, see:
Trouble is I now don't know whether I want purpley curtains or neutral beigey-cream ones - I suppose what I'm saying is which walls do I want them to match? I dunno. Plus it's quite a pricey thing as the ones in the above colour would have to be made up and I suspect it'll be the best part of 500 quid, which is a lot of money.
So, in the meantime, the old ones have gone back up just so we can at least have something to shut the dark out with. (ooh, bad sentence, but you know what I mean...)
I apologise in advance for being competely incapable of tidying up before taking the photos but, hey, if I spent all my time tidying my house, I would end up with nothing at the end of my life but a tidy house, so just suck it up, people...
We're also going to replace the side tables as well (The Husband's is an ancient narrow thing from Ikea donated to us by his sister and mine is huge, heavy, round and marble topped but it used to belong to my late father and as I have so few things that were his, we're not getting rid of it - it'll just have a different use somewhere). We'll also get a pair of new table lamps as well - currently The Husband has an ancient standard lamp from Ikea donated to us by his sister (can you detect a pattern here?) and mine is a mother-and-daughter uplighter and reading light, also from Ikea, that The Husband hates.
The gorgeous red rug is a genuine Persian one and was given to us by The Husband's parents, and the large palm plant in the corner I have had since about 1987.
I put up my prized Norman Ackroyd etching 'From Malin Head - Tory Island' that I got from this year's Royal Academy Summer Exhibition a couple of days ago on the wall that faces me when I sit watching the telly. Here's a close up of it - apologies for the funny angle but it was necessary in order to avoid reflections:
Looking the other way, down to the back door, the bridge and the garden beyond:
The wall lights are pretty groovy - a cross between 1930s cinema lights and props from David Lynch's version of 'Dune'. We've decided to not hang any curtains here because they interfere with the view (not that the view is all that, but I like to see what's going on out there). The small white metal bucket by the door is what the cats drink their water from - don't ask, it's a long story....
All the floor laying paraphernalia is still there against the wall on the right because we've decided to replace the floor outside the kitchen, which is next door to here (you can see the 1960s-style serving hatch above the square table - an ancient table from Ikea that was donated to us etc., etc., you know, the table that's next to our drinks cabinet which is ancient, from Ikea and donated ...... ) but there wasn't time before The Husband had to shoot off to slum it drinking wine and ogling beautiful women in Rome. And, yes, you really can see The Cat [that] Sat On The Mat. I'm nothing if not a cliche.
So that's that. I actually really love it - you can't imagine what a massive improvement it is to the hideous student-like pit we were living in before - now I actually feel I can invite people in and not feel embarrassed about the state of the place. Oh, we also did the upstairs landing too in the same colours but we need new carpet up there so you'll have to wait for pix.
It's 3 September 2009 and Autumn is definitely on its way. The temperatures have plummeted, the winds have picked up and we had stormy weather including thunder, lightning and 3 separate power outages last night while I was trying to watch 'The Reader' (remarkable film, by the way, watch it if you haven't already).
So this morning I've decided to instigate an Autumnwatch, tracking the progress of the inevitable death of the garden. I find Autumn very bittersweet. It saddens me almost more than I can say that everything starts to die off, the weather gets colder, the nights get longer, as we slide inexorably into the freezing heart of winter but, on the other hand, there's apples, conkers, kicking red and yellow leaves about, mists, the smell of bonfires, the gift of a single unexpectedly hot day in the middle of October. Pain and pleasure.
Callicarpus is grown for its profusion of grape-like berries that change from green to purple with the onset of Autumn. Today my plants look like this, they're definitely on the turn:
Next to the Callicarpus I have a Sedum called 'Autumn Joy' which flowers pink in the autumn (the name's a bit of a giveaway really) but the bees absolutely adore it:
And finally I have two small Japanese Maple trees, one that goes flaming red, and the other that goes through every shade of yellow until it hits orange. Neither of them have started to change colour yet, but I'll post pictures of their progress because they're usually spectacular. This is the red one that lives at the end of the garden - as you can see, nothing much happening yet:
And this is the yellow one, which is right at the end of the bridge:
Again, not much happening, but it's good to have a base from which to delineate colour change. Now I've bigged them up, they'd better do a good job this autumn or I'm going to look really stupid.
Talking of which, I need to go and put pink highlights in my hair before The Husband gets back.