Saturday, 29 March 2014

Gabrielle Ducomble

I know, I know I haven't posted for ages nor have I read any blogs for over a week so apologies all round. Even this isn't the post I intended which is taking longer than I thought to write so will have to wait.

Anyway we were listening to Loose Ends on R4 a couple of weeks ago, a programme we really enjoy as they have some really interesting artistes on. Not all the music is to our taste but it is always interesting. So the other week they had Gabrielle Ducomble as a guest, singing from her new album 'Notes from Paris'.

Gabrielle is a jazz singer with a hint of chanteuse, a lovely combination to listen to with a glass of something on a warm evening. Andrew kindly downloaded a copy for me and I've been humming ever since.

Promise I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Bedroom progress

By mid week we'd both had enough of feeling unwell and decided on the good old kill or cure method and went back to the winter project of the bedroom. Andrew had boxed the chimney breast, extending it so that our bedhead would fit.

Boxed over chimney breast
The ceiling had been part plasterboarded and the ceiling light had been moved to the centre of the room.

This internal wall was definitely in the worst condition, I would like to point out that the large inverted Y of filling is nothing to do with us but was uncovered under the wallpaper,

Worse wall
Insulation and plasterboard were put up on all external walls and the window framed.

Window reveal
Andrew was now ready to put a plaster skim over the ceiling which had a rather nasty stippled effect. Like a lot of our building projects my main role is that of general labourer and chief provisioner, I just don't have Andrew's skills. He is kind to me though and ramps up the importance of the tasks I do, apparently bucket cleaning is a very skilled job. Once the plaster mix has been loaded on the board the bucket has to be thoroughly washed as dried bits of plaster are NOT ACCEPTABLE in the mix.

Now for reasons I don't really understand the tap in the garage can't be used as an off/on tap. Oh no. Whenever you want water out of the hose you have to go halfway down the drive to an underground tap. For me this means my arm goes in way past my elbow, it's not so bad now but in the summer it's a favourite haunt of slugs.

So then I spend ten minutes with freezing cold water to achieve an immaculate bucket, ready for the next mix.

Andrew has now finished the ceiling (here it is half way through) and two walls.

Halfway through
And on a completely different subject it's the 'dog I don't want to own' category.

Swamp monster
 Buddy, the trainee guide dog puppy, has taken a liking to rolling in mud. Even Mortimer doesn't do that!

And he eats mud too!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Armchair traveller

Last Wednesday Andrew succumbed  to a heavy cold which he generously shared with me. I thought I'd got away with it but by Friday evening I had a sore throat and it's full force hit me Saturday afternoon. So I spent 36 hours festering in a chair by the fire. But there was an upside.

I got to snuggle in blankie which you may remember was made for me by a very generous friend.

Bright & beautiful blankie

I finished reading the very atmospheric 'The Winter Ghosts' by Kate Mosse

which is set during winter in Ariege.

Ariege in winter

Ariege took me to drop in on Margaret to see how her packing is going. Having lived in the area for quite a few years Margaret and her husband are returning to the U.K. I still can't believe she is leaving such a beautiful area and clearly such wonderful friends.

But all this winter weather was making me feel a bit chilly so I headed east to see what Vicki Archer was doing. Vicki has an enviable lifestyle split between London & Provence but it's nice to see how the other half live! Staying in France I travelled north to Normandy to catch up on Jennifer who lives a life that I'm more likely to achieve, but is none the less one I envy. Have a look at some of her photographs and enjoy her cheese tastings too.

Jennifer is a pinner and via her link I updated some of my boards.  I loved this fresh look for a granny square throw, something I could do.

White & bright via Pinterest
And found this amazing cake which I forwarded on to my porcine loving sister-in law.

Pigs in mud cake - via Pinterest

Apart from France I visited Italy, Spain, Canada and the Caribbean and who knows where via Pinterest. Not bad from my cold ridden armchair.