A moment of madness

Having recently discovered a programme called French Collection, we’ve watched a few episodes on Channel 4.

The premise… contestants go to France, buy old furniture, bring it back to the UK and sell it. Sound familiar?
Apart from the selling part that is, which is a somewhat crucial part of the show as three people compete to see who makes the most money. 
The weird coincidence, it’s mostly set in the South of France, and a couple of episodes were filmed in… Valbonne!
And so after watching a couple of episodes, I decided in a moment of complete and utter madness that I would apply to be a contestant. What was I thinking?
I sent off a quick and fairly witty email about how I carried a chandelier back as hand luggage and how I’ve been banned from buying any more green glass bottles and next thing I know, I have an audition on Friday!
Did I mention I’m absolutely useless at haggling and selling? Apparently I forgot that bit. 
Again, what was I thinking? This is possibly one of my worst ideas ever!

New boots

Another wet day (grrr) and having resisted both the third gin and the curtain rod installation, I was up early. 

As there was a leaving do (there are a few at the moment) I decided to get the bus to work and so wore my shiny new Chelsea boots, bought on my birthday. 
They remind me of wearing new school shoes where we would drag our shoes along a wall to scuff them, shiny shoes not being cool. 
How things have changed, I even bought cedar shoe trees as these boots will be with me until I’m 60!
New boots, dry feet!

ginny gin gin

How many gin and tonics are too many? One is perfectly acceptable, two might be ideal, three… hmm, is it one step too far or is it perfection?

Suffering from seasonal malaise (too much rain in a week) means introducing a coping mechanism. During the worst days of the renovation we renamed wine “coping juice”. As Autumn officially begins but in reality continues into its second month, gin apparently is the coping mechanism of choice.
Am I better off going for the hat trick or attempting to install a curtain rod single handed? It’s not much of a choice really!
Chin chin or is that gin gin?

The back room

We have finally finished the back room! 

Hurray, now if only we could agree on how to furnish it. One of us wants a bedroom, the other a dining/multi purpose room with a pull down bed or sofa bed to maximize space usage. I wonder who wants what?!

Anyway, for the time being, here’s what it looks like…
Before… airing out the damp
After… Lovely shiny floors! No cooking on a door…
View into the hall (a few bits of skirting board still to sort out)
And into the kitchen


After a very long time and a ridiculous amount of research, we finally have a glass shower screen installed over the bath. Hurray, no more flooding and overspray and no more hand held showers!

Part of the reason it’s taken so long was the idea of drilling into the tiles in the bathroom. I had ordered said screen, taken delivery and read the instructions. I went off to buy an 8mm masonry bit which, to the novice, looked awfully big and then someone was going to have to drill through the tiles.
After the debacle of the dodgy tiler, I was worried the tiles would crack or maybe just fall off but eventually I attached the drill bit, marked the holes, did a trial run on a spare tile and then went for it.
It was a bit scary, lots of noise but ultimately three nice clean holes in the tiles, nothing broken or cracked and with a bit of teamwork/debating Letad and I did the final installation.
Et voila! Glass shower screen installed over bath. Another item crossed off the ever-shrinking list.

The Autumnal Cyclist

Having cycled to work through the summer, I have been determined to transition into an Autumnal and ultimately Winter cyclist. It saves me money, it’s quicker than public transport and I get forty five minutes of exercise a day. All good things. It would appear however that the weather has other ideas.

Rain. And rain. And more rain has fallen during September and despite my recently purchased waterproof golf trousers and new even higher visibility jacket, there’s something pretty miserable about cycling to work during torrential rain.
Wet bike, wet handlebars, wet seat.
Arrive at work, wet head (need to wear a shower cap under bike helmet), wet socks, wet trainers. Body surprisingly dry as golf trousers while a bit sweaty are apparently waterproof and jacket, while not very warm is water resistant.
I spent some time online yesterday looking for more waterproof cycling clothes. While not stylish, it would seem to be a necessity for the coming months. 
My next challenge is what to wear when it snows…

Lest We Forget – the ballet

This week we went to Sadler’s Wells to see a ballet about World War 1. Lest We Forget – the ballet. 

It sounded interesting and while slightly skeptical, it turned out to be one of the most amazing and moving moments of dance and performance we’d ever seen.

It was a three part ballet. The first part was quite traditional with women working in the munitions factory while the men went off to fight. Things changed dramatically during the second and third acts as the dance became more contemporary and emotive.

During the second act the lighting was ingenious as the play of scale was emphasized by red and blue lighting. It was 3D ballet. It was mind blowing and by the third act, I was an emotional mess as the interpretative dance of post-traumatic stress was incredibly beautiful and moving. Hard to explain, perhaps you actually had to be there.

By the end we were speechless. It had been incredible and words couldn’t capture our feelings.

Afterwards I went to the loo (before the inevitable trip home on public transport) and came out to discover Letad had joined a private party and was happily enjoying free wine and bowls of risotto and meat balls. Can’t leave him alone for a second…

We ended having to stay for the speeches. It turned out to be the Dancers’ Career Development www.thedcd.org.uk. How do I know that? Because Letad nicked one of their pens.

Thank you Sadler’s Wells!

Birthday Eve

It’s my Birthday Eve! Letad is out for the evening and I’m enjoying an evening just me. Let’s just say there might have been gin involved…

I’m reflecting on the year gone by. It’s been a good year, a year with lots of work, lots of renovation and lots of travel. I’ve enjoyed myself and feel I’m in a good place in my life. It’s a good time to look around and appreciate what I have in my life.

I’m excited about the year ahead. Am I really forty six? Inside I still think I’m sixteen!

Public Shaming

It would seem the recent landscaping wasn’t appreciated by the locals. Too avant garde perhaps?

I arrived home to find a notice of public shaming taped to the door. 
Joking aside, I thank the concerned neighbour for this as it was disgusting to return from a picturesque French village to find Tracey Emin’s barbecue installation outside our front window. So much for curb appeal. 
The garden has now been partially cleaned up. We will be taking matters further.