29 April 2011

Great Day

Today was great for two reasons:

1. We put the "great" back in Great Britain, doing what we do best - selling the brand Britain to the world. Catherine looked elegant; William looked handsome and in love; the Middlestons looked every bit as good as their Royal inlaws (in fact better - what on earth was Beatrice wearing on her head? It looked like she had had a head-to head clash with a stag) ; and the pageantry was the best GB Ltd can deliver. Even the weather, forecast to be dire and thundery, tried its best to shine at the end of the ceremony.

2. I got through another of Greg's birthdays without him, admittedly helped by the distraction of the Royal wedding. He was here in spirit though - he would have been 62 today.

19 April 2011


I am still chasing my tail, trying to get two rooms decorated simultaneously (why oh why did I agree to have two ceilings painted at the same time?) It is not just the decorating per se that is urging me on like a thing possessed, but the desire to get rid of the chaos that ensues from having to empty the contents of two rooms elsewhere all over the house. I am seven-eighths of the way though finishing the kitchen/diner (I still have to scrub away at kitchen cupboard doors to eliminate any hint of tobacco) and hope to tackle the bedroom after Easter. Meanwhile, Kay and I are making a short trip to my mum for Easter. So in my attempts to tidy, reposition furniture and step over crates of belongings all over the place, my blog-reading and writing my own posts have been a bit wayward. Meanwhile a couple of photos..........

View from my lounge window

Waiting for............?

Happy Easter!

13 April 2011

Comfortable slippers

I met up with my two best friends yesterday - I have known them for 42 years. We met at university all those years ago. They were studying French and I German and we got on so well we have stayed in touch ever since. We have grown over the intervening years from impoverished students to wives, career women, (in two cases) mothers and (in two cases) widows. We only get to meet about once in six months because our lifestyles and geography of our homes - one in Brighton, one in Hertfordshire and me in London - dictate that, however even that is more often than in the past when busy jobs and growing children demanded more of our time. When we do meet up, it is like an old comfortable pair of slippers that has been missing from our lives. We never tire of things to talk about and slip into conversation as if we had never been apart. To me they are the sisters I never had.

One was 60 in 2009, I reached 60 in November 2010 and yesterday we were celebrating the 60th birthday of the one in Hertfordshire, my bridesmaid and Kay's godmother. We had lunch here - a treat paid for by her husband who was also present. We were wined and dined at this gorgeous venue and lunch lasted for well over two hours. Then we wandered around St Pancras International Station taking in all the changes that have been made here over recent years. It is of course getting ready to be the Gateway to the Olympic Games and here is a picture to prove it.

St Pancras Station is a really magnificent example of Victorian architecture and well worth a visit on its own, let alone the adjacent British Library which we also visited for late afternoon tea while we watched the commuters scrurrying home at end of their working day.

So thank you, my friends, for a truly wonderful day together. I throughly enjoyed it.

04 April 2011

Mothers' Day

Kay is 200 miles away revising for an end-of-term exam this week, so I had intended to spend Mothers' Day on my own just bumbling about doing whatever took my fancy. Maybe a long lie-in, followed by a special unusual breakfast, then maybe watching wall-to-wall TV (which is unusual for me), a long relaxing bath, a bit of TLC. But Fate had other plans.

Last week, I had shortlisted three painters to inspect my kitchen/diner and quote me a price for just painting the ceiling, obliterating the nicotine stains. To be honest, I was happy with the first one I saw but then felt I had to go through the charade of seeing the other two just in case they were even better than the first (but they weren't). So I rang the first one again on Saturday lunchtime to hire him. He knocked me off my stool by saying he would turn up on Tuesday. (When he had called to look at the job, I had stupidly mentioned to him that I might also want my bedroom ceiling doing too at some stage, although there was no urgency and some time after Easter would be fine for that). However, when I rang him to hire him, he said he would prefer to do both ceilings on Tuesday as opposed to having to allocate two half-days to do the two jobs separately. As I have been waiting since November for the job to be done by the guy that let me down last week, I did not want to let this opportunity go, so I feebly agreed.

Mothers' Day therefore saw me climbing up step ladders in both kitchen AND bedroom to get all the pictures down, ornaments off tops of cupboards and floor-length curtains down too. Because of the layout of my house, there is nowhere to put away all this stuff which doesn't involve carrying things up or down at least one flight of stairs, so it has been exhausting. These are the two rooms of the house I use the most, so there are more things to remove than in any other room and the disruption is huge. I also have to find somewhere else in the house to sleep while the bedroom is out of bounds.

So much for a quiet Mothers' Day. I did end up with a relaxing bath at the close of the day, simply because I looked a dirty miserable wretch by the end of it all. And to my horror, when I took all the pictures off, this was the state of the disgusting kitchen/diner wall as a result of years of Greg's heavy smoking. (I hate to think what my lungs look like on the inside), but hopefully within a few weeks, I shall get round to doing the walls myself and it will all look a lot different. My blog may be a little quiet for a while, but I'll try to get round to yours as and when I can!

Oh and by the way, it's Snoopy's 12th birthday today.