Pretending we’re in Maida Vale

In my mind we’ve moved to Maida Vale (rather than the dodgy fringes where we currently live!)

I’ve changed my daily bike route to detour along the roads where I will be cycling and this weekend I walked past the flat we’re hoping to buy.

I was on my way to the local cinema (conveniently located five minutes away from the new flat) and so walked through the park in order to do a little pedestrian stalking.

A dog came out of the building so that fear was laid to rest as we weren’t sure pets were allowed. Dogs are certainly not allowed in the communal gardens so twenty metres of Welsh Terrier will have to be deployed if the doors to the gardens are open.

From the road it looked like there was a TV on in the living room. Odd, as the flat is unoccupied and the previous owner passed away…

I strolled along, went to a local corner shop, admired how close the tube is and generally felt quite smug.

With all that said, we are still to put our mortgage application in and basically nothing has happened, the whole thing could fall apart and I’ll be the sad cyclist riding past the flat we didn’t buy.

Let’s hope not!

The Yellow Brick Road

We went out searching for crazy paving and it all went a bit crazy.

Firstly neither of us like crazy paving but as the house is surrounded by it, we felt it made sense to continue the madness.

Secondly the house and the paving are old so it’s hard to match new paving to old without looking like a patchwork quilt.

By the end of the day, we were obviously feeling the strain and ordered ten metres of yellow paving stone to be delivered the following morning. Payment due on delivery.

A sleepless night followed for Big T as he tossed and turned worrying about the yellow brick road.

We got up early and rang the stone yard to cancel the order. Yellow brick road narrowly averted!

Dress Rescue or Drescue

I had a very nice cream Prada dress from five years ago which I wore a couple of times this summer. Hurrah it still fitted and I still liked it. All good.

I took it to be dry cleaned and it came back with orange stains under the arms where deodorant and perspiration had reacted badly with chemicals. Not good.

I decided to have a crack at sorting it out myself. Hmm, definitely not good!

I do like a home remedy and so with white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda I applied a small amount of fizzing paste to the stains. I carefully rinsed and thought I could see an improvement. A second application and I was convinced I’d saved the dress but I was worried about being left with water stains.

I decided the thing to do was wet the entire dress and leave it to dry, despite it being dry clean only. What could possibly go wrong?

It was a synthetic fabric, I used lukewarm water and I carefully left the dress to dry flat. It was then I realised that the dress had shrunk, it was a dress for midgets, dolls or a very small child and it certainly wasn’t going to fit me again.

I felt sad and decided to go to bed in denial where I looked up “How to unshrink clothes” on the internet. Again, several home remedies came up involving hair conditioner or baby shampoo to relax the fibres. I decided to call it a day.

Arriving home from work, I decided that as water had caused immediate shrinkage perhaps ironing was a better way forward. Drying the fabric rather than wetting it seemed a logical process. Hopefully I wouldn’t burn or shrink it even more!

I carefully ironed the tiny dress inside out and lo and behold, it reverted back to its original size. A miracle indeed as I never thought I’d squeeze into the little dress ever again.

And so, with many lessons learned (look for a new dry cleaner, don’t wash clothes which aren’t supposed to be washed, don’t sweat, always have white vinegar to hand) I now have my dress all ready to wear (once I sew up the rip from where I tried it on when it was small) and the best thing is, incredibly the stains came out!

Another handy household tip!

The Cupboard of Crap

On the outside I am very organised. I apparently give the impression that my home is immaculate and all things in it are pristine. I wish people wouldn’t judge me based on outward appearances!

Open a cupboard door or a drawer and it’s apparent that my life is far from immaculate and while the facade might look good (although rapidly crumbling), the inner chaos is very telling indeed.

I spent part of Saturday organising the inner chaos of several cupboards and boxes as, at some point, we will have to pack everything and move somewhere, wherever that may be…

I sorted out the kitchen and bathroom first, binning old food, frozen soup from two years ago and old cosmetics and bath products. A good start.

After that I moved on to the dreaded Cupboard of Crap where I found pointless bits of wrapping paper I’d liked at some point, hairclips from Japan which I’ll never use, old pens, sewing remnants, old technology including an iPad (first generation), an iPod (I’d forgotten what it was called), a Nike Fuelband and other antiquated bits and pieces, none of which seemed to work. And lots of plugs and cables. And all the bowls I made in ceramics which weren’t very good.

I have always tried to believe I was pretty minimal but the Cupboard of Crap would prove otherwise. More purging to come as I can’t face packing this stuff to move again.

 

Bath time

This weekend I decided to take myself off for a bit of detox having become quite exhausted from travel, work and cleaning over the past few months.

I went back to Ironmonger Row Baths in Islington/Shoreditch where Big T and I had recovered during the renovations on the Money Pit in the depths of winter in 2015.

I booked a Spa and Turkish Bath experience and spent several hours flopping around between sauna, steam, tepidarium and then the hamman. Seemed there were a few different cultures going on!

I was steamed, soaked, scrubbed, oiled and boiled and by the end of it was covered in a thick coating of shea butter which was a bugger to get off.

I emerged into the late summer sunlight like a pink, shiny, suckling pig all ready for the rotisserie and went home for a bit more relaxing.

 

 

Patching the holes

While I’m back in London this week dealing with solicitors (and work), Big T has managed to get the bathroom roof patched up. Apparently it involved gluing back tiles which had blown loose in a recent storm. With rain on the way, it happened just in the nick of time.

While the builder was up there, he inspected the rest of the roof and the news wasn’t good. Not entirely surprising but it would seem the main roof has been patched up in many places and there are many loose tiles. It all sounds very expensive and will have to go on the future wishlist for when we win the lottery (it would help if we actually entered it!)

My concern would be whether the walls would hold up to the roof being replaced, as it all looks a bit dodgy. The last thing we need is a big pile of rubble where we used to have a house.

So for now, another tube of superglue should do the job and a big pile of sand to bury our heads in!