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Personal

The Last Little While

lavender

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I’ve got some photos from the last little while for you.  I have to say, I’m terribly behind with blogging – pregnancy has really taken it’s toll on me this time time around.  At the end of September I had a nasty tummy bug which knocked me for six, and just lately I’ve been diagnosed with anaemia, which explains how exhausted I’ve been feeling lately.  Of an evening for quite some time, when I’d get home from my day job and got my daughter into bed the very last thing I’d feel like doing was firing up the laptop and writing!  Instead I’d cosy on down in front of the wood burner with my partner and watch all the good TV!  Give me all the Homeland, and all the Fargo!

Needless to say the third trimester has been tough going!  I’ve had time off work to recuperate from the anemia, a strong dose of iron supplements, and just generally been putting my feet up whenever I can.  I’m planning on taking a little bit of maternity leave from blogging in December time but we’ll see how long I last with that – I’ve been blogging for nearly 8 years so it’ll be a hard thing to stop for very long!

Anyway, on to the photos!

dried lavender

lavender

I was walking past a gorgeous florist’s on Bernard Street in Edinburgh a few weeks ago (I think it was Petals By The Shore), and was completely taken in by the smell of a vase full of dried lavender.  Of course, I couldn’t leave without buying a bunch or two.  So cheap, so beautiful, and they’re giving my bedroom a nice sleepy aroma.

Our living room redecoration has kind of ground to a halt as we try to finish off our kitchen.  This is how it looked on the day we moved in (no, I don’t know what happened to the fireplace!).  We have made good progress, but still have lots of fiddly bits to do like hang mirrors, change the single glazed doors to ones with safety glass, paint some of the woodwork, etc.  Once we’re completely finished, or at least close to completely finished I’ll be sure to share the full photos!

In the meantime here are a few shots:

cheap wood burning stove

We kept the redecoration to a minimal cost, by just repainting.  The only thing we splurged on was a wood burning stove to replace the old and non functioning gas fire.  Our stove wasn’t expensive – we went for a Firefox 5 stove* from eBay which cost us around £350, but does a great job at heating our living room (even with it’s 12 foot ceiling height!).  The expensive part was getting it fitted, but it’s been worth it’s weight in gold in keeping our living room toasty.

moose print

Most of our decor are items I’ve bought from eBay, charity shops or Etsy, our own photos that we’ve framed, and plants from my favourite florists (Rose & Ammi in Edinburgh).  I recently picked up this Moose canvas print* from Etsy.  He’s a new favourite!

sofa sofa cushion

Sofa Sofa, a sofa retailer selling sofas made in Wales, recently sent me two gorgeous cushions for my sofa,which fit in beautifully with the sofa and our style of decor.  As I’ve been sofa napping a lot lately during the day whenever I can grab 10 minutes, I can say with a great deal of authority that they are very comfortable indeed for lounging on, or for napping on!  They are also standing up well to the test of my boisterous three year old, who has taken to practicing her musical bumps game on them (she takes party games VERY seriously!).

kitchen tap

This is how our kitchen looks at the moment.  New fittings – unfinished walls.  We hope to make a bit more progress in the next couple of weeks!

Landmark Centre Carrbridge

A couple of weeks ago we took a week long family break to Aviemore, in the Highlands.  It was just what we were needing, and the weather was so good to us!  I have slowly been working on my guide to Aviemore, which I hope to share with you shortly!

George Clarke

Finally, Truedor kindly sent me a copy of George Clarke’s latest More Amazing Spaces* book.  We’re big fans of George Clarke, and of both Amazing Spaces and Shed of the Year (whilst in Aviemore we tried to find the gin distillery that won Shed of the Year, but sadly we couldn’t find it!).  Our house was originally a one bedroom 1920’s cottage that has been extended at various points in time, to be a (small) three bedroom cottage.  Needless to say space is at a premium in our house, so it’s been pretty inspirational to read through and gain some clever ideas from the Amazing Spaces builds!

amazing spaces george clarke

That’s all for now, but don’t forget to enter the What You Sow competition!  You’ve only got until Sunday!

Personal

September So Far

blowing bubbles

Our quest for slow living has continued through into September.  My work has been really busy so it’s been really good on days off to take things easy with no plans or places to be and just enjoy what the days bring, and watch the changing of the seasons.

Our tomatoes that we grew in the polytunnel on our allotment didn’t quite come to much this year.  Like the rest of the UK, summer in Edinburgh this year was a bit of wash out, and the sun most definitely did not have his hat on for a great deal of the time.  Consequently our poor tomatoes were just not ripening, so we’ve put them on a south facing window sill and are trying to redden them up.  With another batch we put them inside a bag with a banana and placed that on the windowsill, but that did nothing. We seem to be having a bit more luck this time around – there are definite signs of ripening!

ripening tomatoes

green tomatoes

We’ve also had a bit of bad luck with the blackberries in our garden.  I took this photo last week, and the blackberries had already gone rotten (whilst some haven’t even ripened!).  The week previously I had big plans to pick them all and make vats of jam but after picking a few I realised they were all mouldy on the inside.  Normally blackberries are good until the end of September, so to see this in early September was a bit of a disappointment to say the least!  I’m thinking maybe a consequence of the poor weather this summer?

rotten blackberries

The weather hasn’t been all doom and gloom though: we have had some lovely days this month.  So whilst battling sore throats and other bugs brought home from nursery school, we’ve got out in the garden and enjoyed the warm sunshine and fresh air (and bubble blowing – all the bubble blowing!).

blowing bubbles

We’ve improvised a bit with a green roof for our bike shed for just now.  We have so many projects going on in the house (next week the old kitchen is being ripped out and a new kitchen installed!) that I think it’s a project for next summer.  This is the next best thing for now!  (Also on the list, finish painting the bike shed and trimming the roof felt!).

makeshift green roof

This week our new kitchen units and appliances are being delivered in advance of the joiner coming next week, so this is the calm before the storm that is major home upheavals.  Our house is quite small so we have nowhere to store the new units, etc, but in our living room, so that’s going to be fun.  We also need to set up a temporary kitchen in our living room too – microwave cooking for a week!

What have you been up to this month so far?