Sunday, 26 April 2020

Life in Lockdown - Day 36 & 37


As always, I woke up at the crack of dawn yesterday (Saturday) but forced myself to stay in bed so Jon could get up first and bring me a mug of tea. I lay in until 9am, finishing my current book, then joined Jon in the kitchen for coffee and wholemeal toast. We have two slices each,  Jon slathers his in butter, I have one spread with Morrison's yeast extract and the other with Whole Earth crunchy peanut butter and no butter. 


After breakfast, I stripped the bed, loaded the washing machine and put back the houseplants which I'd left soaking in the bath overnight. My aloe vera was looking a bit sick so, remembering that I had half a bag of cacti compost stashed away in the coal house, I split the plant up and repotted the components into five of our terracotta pots which, according to some internet research, aloe vera prefers.



I put the rest of the plants in the bath, gave them a good spray, swapped them around the house to give them a change of scenery and then gave the bath a thorough scrub.


The postman delivered the Nepeta (catmint) I'd found on eBay to replace the one Frank had decimated. I pegged the washing out on the line and potted up the new arrival, keeping it on the windowsill outside for now (and away from Frank!) Jon watering the seedlings and reported that the rocket he'd transplanted yesterday was doing well and that the purple sprouting broccoli had made an appearance.


Then he made a box to cover and house the socket for the outdoor lighting, using scraps from the woodpile and some shed felt he had knocking around. He just needs to add a door now.



I watered the pot plants then sat and contemplated for a while, coming up with a solution to avoid the plants in the bed growing over on to the paving bricks and being trampled (by us and the cats). I grabbed a spade, dug out a channel at the back of the bed and then took a break for noodles.


After lunch I moved some of the Edwardian edging tiles from the pile we'd created next to the woodshed and positioned them into the newly dug channel, at this point Jon took over, hammering them into place with a mallet as I lacked the brute strength to do it.


I can't believe how good it looks, why on earth hadn't we thought of doing this before? Having the time to sit quietly and ponder on the things that surround us really is doing wonders for our home.


I'm wearing my hair in plaits again and still dipping into my summer suitcase, wearing a pure silk recycled sari top I'd bought in Jodhpur and an Interlinks 1970s Indian cotton block print midi skirt (an eBay buy-it-now bargain).


As it was Self-care Saturday I deep-conditioned my hair before showering, epilated my legs, dyed my eyelashes and stripped off my nail paint ready for repainting in front of the TV later. Jon showered and gave the shower cubicle a thorough deep clean before cooking tea, some spicy home-made jacket wedges with baked beans & grated cheese.


Before the season finale of Scandi-noir series, Twin, we watched an absolutely wonderful documentary about Peggy Guggenheim on the BBC i-player. Not only was she a fascinating woman but her style was incredible. Needless to say, rum was consumed.


This morning I was up at my usual time, I watered the seedlings on the kitchen windowsill, fed the cats and brought mugs of tea back to bed. Once we were up Jon put the sausages in the oven and we sat outside in the sunshine drinking coffee and contemplating the day's jobs. After breakfast, we dressed and got started.


I dug out a channel at the back of the other bed (the one that runs beneath the lounge window) and carried up more of the edging tiles from the pile, whilst Jon whacked them into place.


Ta-dah! Can you believe we rescued these from the parental home a decade ago and hadn't thought of using them this way before?


On Beate's recommendation, I planted the new nasturtium in the flower bed beneath the kitchen window, repotted a rather feeble looking Fuschia, moved the euphorbia I'd picked up on our daily walks and a Festuca glauca (blue fescue) I'd had for years, then gave everything a thorough watering.




This week's Barry M nail paint is Rock Pool, chosen by Jon.


I missed this cast iron chair (another skip find) when I painted the others last week as there were a pile of plants on it and I couldn't be arsed, but today I decided to scrub it down and give it a coat of paint to match.


Much better! Jon spent most of the afternoon fixing the outdoor lighting cable to the garden wall and attaching it to the mains electrical supply. In an attempt to conceal the bright yellow flex, he dragged out these ancient tressels we'd rescued from the parental home. Hopefully, I'll be able to find some trailing plants to fill the pots. Any suggestions for suitable plants? I'll attempt to go online first thing tomorrow and order some.



 I gave my hair its weekly wash yesterday and yet again managed to plait it successfully, it's becoming a lockdown habit.


It's clouded over now and feels suspiciously like rain is on the way but it has been yet another beautiful day. I'm wearing a 1970s India Imports of Rhode Island block printed maxi skirt (an eBay find from last year) and an off-the-shoulder top bought for £1 from the charity clearance shop in the week before lockdown. The Cleopatra buckle belt was another of last year's charity shop buys. 


When I was putting in my new plants on Friday morning - horror of horrors - I snapped my trowel in two! In our previous existence, we'd have searched the car boot sales until we'd found a suitable secondhand alternative, but in this strange new world, Jon ordered me a new replacement online and it arrived within 48 hours. The gardening can continue!


We haven't been for a walk since Friday as Jon reckons I've worked him to death and he can no longer move. Instead, he's on kitchen duty, trying out a new dish, spicy potato wraps, based on this recipe found on the BBC website. As is usual on a Sunday we don't bother with lunch as we're still stuffed from our veggie sausage sandwiches. He's got to use his imagination as we haven't got fennel seeds, fresh coriander, mint or lime but who follows a recipe to the letter, anyway?

SOURCE

Tonight we'll be watching the series finale of  Race Across The World and the second episode of Killing Eve. Thank goodness for the BBC, keeping us entertained with top telly.

Stay safe, sane and healthy and let me know how life in lockdown is treating you.

52 comments:

  1. Some of my favorite recipes have come about when I was missing ingredients and added others. Those Edwardian edging tiles are magic! They look so good. I am so glad you saved bits and bobs from your parental home, and now you are finding spots to use them. Your gardens are looking lovely as you are (as always)

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    1. Necessity is the mother of invention - or something like that! Yes, the best dishes are always improvised and it was delicious!
      I can't believe the difference those edging tiles make, I keep running outside to get another look! xxx

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  2. We have railway ties as lawn edging and planter markings around our trees.

    This winter the largest woodpecker I've seen arrived. He decimated one particular railway tie on two sides. Husband is replacing it with paving brick. Woodie has returned and is starting work on another section of wood.

    We have really strong winds today. So, I'm having an easy day. Change the bed, cook supper and a bit of embroidery. Then back to work tomorrow. This being an essential worker is beginning to bite.

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    1. I love railway sleepers, we've edged our lawn with a few and the shelf in the kitchen is also one.
      I love woodpeckers, it must be a pain for them to wreak havoc on your garden but aren't they a joy to watch.
      I'd love to try my hand at embroidery, maybe if this lockdown continues I might give it a try.
      I have so much respect for you and your colleagues, hope you stay safe and healthy. xxx

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  3. That mint green paint is so nice on your found furniture. I need to think about colors for chairs or bench for our porch. I'd love to find something to upcycle.

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    1. It's such a pretty colour, less harsh than stark white. You need to start stalking your neighbours to see if they're chuckimng out anything interesting! xxx

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  4. Isn't this weather we've been having just wonderful? Imagine being able to wear off the shoulder tops in April! Both the midi and the maxi skirts are gorgeous too! And how brilliant are those Edwardian edging tiles! I was dithering over some Nepeta when I was in the garden centre, but I'm sure Phoebe will just decimate it. We used to have it in our garden and our previous kitty just went wild. Love this week's nail paint. Just the name Rock Pool conjures up UK seaside holidays for me! Would have loved to see that Peggy Guggenheim documentary! xxx

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    1. It has been balm for the soul. Today surprised me, it was a lot warmer than expected but the rest of the week looks shocking, I'd better find some activities to do indoors!
      Stephen can't be bothered with nepeta but Frank looks stoned after a few sniffs. He's only allowed it under strict supervision.
      You're right, rock pools reminded me of childhood trips to Tenby beach!
      I think that documentary was actually a cinema releaese so you might be able to find it elsewhere, it really was fascinating. xxx

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  5. More beauty for your garden, so full of interesting bits and pieces, including the plants, of course. So strange how one starts "tidying up" outside the house and it becomes a source of joy. It's interesting "watching" the various changes in your garden. Today is my first small car ride, after 5 weeks. To visit new grand daughter, just a couple of months old. People who live alone (me) are allowed to extend their bubble to one place only, preferably family, close by. Aside from walks (have to be close to home) and a couple of food deliveries, phone chats, I've pretty much been alone, so am looking forward to my little sortie today.

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    1. Who knew tidying couple bring so much pleasure? A few of us are going to find ourselves radically altered after lockdown, I think.
      I'm delighted to hear about how NZ has successfully tackled coronavirus and so happy to hera that you'll be able to visit your precious granddaughter at long last.
      If only Brits were as sensible as New Zealanders instead of flaunting the rules t every opportunity, we could start seeing a few friends, too. xxx

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  6. It's been another glorious day here too. I was expecting it to be cooler but when I opened the back door it was like stepping off a plane. It's changing this week but thankfully it is all set to come back in a week or two. I've never dyed my eyelashes but am seriously tempted to.
    You do suit those plaits Vix.

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    1. Yesterday was gorgeous - possibly the best day of the week. I was surprised that today was still warm, looks a bit odgy for the rest of the week, though.
      Dying your eyelashes makes such a dramatic difference - you can also dye your brows if you're lucky enough to have any, unlike my sparse horrors! Little tip, use an old mascara brush rather than the plastic spatula that comes in the kit! xxx

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  7. I am so impressed with your productivity -- especially since you have issues with your hip. And how do you keep your nails looking so good??? Your garden has always looked nice but all your are doing really has made a difference. Wow!

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    1. Thank you! My hip has it's moments, especially this weekend when I didn't go for a walk, but as long as I keep busy I can ignore it!
      I use the Sally Hansen nail strengthener under my nail polish, it really does work! xxx

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  8. I have spent a while in the garden trying to train the overgrown and trailing honeysuckle to some rails to screen off an area for privacy.I really should have done this before.On holiday I walk my dogs with a lady whose husband wrote a book about Aloe Vera he used to work at Kew Gardens.I was surprised to see Peggy Guggenheim's dog as one of mine is very similar and was a rescue and was very dirty and matted when I collected him-I love your skirt x

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    1. That's a good idea, anything to shield you from that unpleasant sounding neighbour, Flis.
      I've no idea what I've done to my aloe vera, I think I overwatered it at first then stopped watering altogether, I hope I manage to save the poor thing.
      I think Peggy Guggenheim said that her dogs were mostly Lhasa Apsos, at one time she owned 45 of them! She's buried in venice with 14 of her dogs, bless her. xxx

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    2. I have lost my aloe vera plant I think through overwatering.I had potted up babies from it and lost those too.Looking at those sweet little ones in terracotta pots on your chest of drawers they look a little too deeply buried.I did that and they became waterlogged.I think they need their root only just covered-I may be wrong though x

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    3. I'm hopeless with succulents and cacti, I can't not water plants! I wasn't sure what to do with those little bits, they were all part of the plant and still had their roots attached but fell away from the rest when I removed it from the pot. I had a look online and the advice was just to stick them in cacti compost in a terracoota pot, put them somewhere bright but not in direct sunlight and to completely leave them alone for a week - no water, no movement. I'll report back next weekend and let you know how they fare! xxx

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  9. Hi again, well we actually got motivated ourselves and tidied out our garage believe me it needed doing. We had a bbq and also went for a awalk in the woods next door to admire the beautiful blanket of bluebells. We are so lucky with the weather at themoment. I love the nail colour and also keeping up with all the progress in your lovely garden.x

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    1. Hello! Doesn't it feel good to tackle a room you've put off for ages? We always feel justified into having a treat when we accomplish something like that.
      This weekend's weather was perfect for a BBQ and a walk in the woods.
      Lovely to hear from you and read your kind comment. xxx

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  10. Those edgers look amazing - your garden is so incredible to begin with, and now it's even better! You'll be thanking yourselves for years to come.

    Love your silk off-the-shoulder blouses, Vix - they look charming on you with your plaits. I have to wash my hair daily (seriously fine and oily hair), but I do deep condition it weekly too.

    Hello to the fur-boys (Frank, keep out of the catmint!), and Jon!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila! They really do neaten that edge up, I can't stop admiring them.
      I've loved being able to get the hair off the back of my neck without resorting to a ratty bun this week and it's been geat to wear off-the-shoulder tops in April.
      You wash your hair every day? No wonder it always looks so good! xxx

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  11. You have some nice looking plants. I am also early raiser. I usual get up hair before the sun actual rises.

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    1. Its the best part of the day, isn't it? I love being the only one up! x

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  12. Great post!Lovely photos!Thanks for sharing!
    beautyqueen000.blogspot.rs

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  13. Very nice blog that you have shared and thanks for sharing with us.haute her simple makeup tips

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  14. It's quite the adjustment not being able to hunt for secondhand replacements for things isn't it in the charity shops and boot sales? But like you, some things we really need, and so we've had to order them to be delivered. We're really grateful that family and friends gave us so many baby clothes too before this all happened, as Otis is growing so fast he'd be costing us a fortune if we had to buy it all new!

    Those edging tiles are really smart, and go for a lot of money - you did well to salvage them. They look briliant.

    I've taken your tip about weeding between paving with a table knife, it works a treat, thanks!
    xx

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    1. It really is strange not waiting to find something secondhand, it feels very decadent ordering a new item. I was scared to open the garden tool set, I'm not used to things in boxes!
      It must be really difficult to keep Otis looking stylish, he gets bigger in every blog post. How lovely to have such kind family and friends.
      I can't believe how much those tiles are, even the repro ones are expensive.
      Love a bit of dinner knife weeding. xxx

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  15. very cool peggy guggenheim!!!
    the border tiles look like they were always part of that border! genius!
    your garden looks more posh by the day - once the madness is over you can charge people for visiting it....
    you can plant trailing petunias in those pots on the tressels - they are available in every color now - bright or pastel - i esp. love the ones in pastel with tiny flowers. but please secure the pots up there!
    fabulous summer-y outfits! i have the feeling, plaits will be the dernier cri this summer :-D
    xxxx

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    1. What a wonderful woman she was, her personal style, her eye for a talented artist and her don't give a toss personality. A fab film if you get thechance to see it.
      I had to place my order at 8am this morning so your helpful tip about petunias was too late, sadly! I'm going for trailing geraniums instead. xxx

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  16. Your new borders look fabulous!
    I've been sporting a single plait recently, it's perfectly low maintenance.
    i planted some cat grass seeds a few weeks ago in my greenhouse. The cats like to chomp on it but I think the seeds were too old and haven't germinated. I'm tempted to go to B&Q - 1. to get out for a while, and 2. because I feel the cats need their fix (and if I'm honest 3. I might be able to pick up some veg or flowers seeds at You could try Nasturtiums in your trellis post?
    xx

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    1. Thanks, Hazel!
      I do love a plait, single, double or those amazing twin french plaits all the cool girls wear at festivals. I'll probably be in my nineties by the time I can master those.
      We were tempted with B&Q but say some footage of the queues outside the Norwich shop and were put off. There's some amazing seed sellers on eBay, I've ordered a load today! xxx

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  17. Edwardian edging tiles! I spotted them stacked next to the woodpile (Days 28 & 29) and wondered what they might be. Along with the stacks of terra cotta pots, you and Jon have set a high standard of recycling real relics of the past! (Aside from your heirloom clothes, of course.) More kudos to Jon for choosing Rock Pool for your nails. What a crisp cool colour for summer temps! My own garden look features kitchen gloves, lest I stain my nails in our native clay. The mendhi look, it ain't. :)

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    1. Aren't they fancy? We've been carrying them around the garden and forming piles with them for years, it's taken us a decade to work out what to do with them!
      I do wear some work gloves when I'm doing dirty stuff - they're not fit for sharing on my blog! xxx

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  18. Loving the new borders and the lovely trim - I always thought they were Victorian and my childhood was filled with them as most gardens had it.

    I love your skirts and tops - so summery!

    The garden reveals yet more wonders...will be looking out for the Peggy Guggenheim documentary; she was a fascinating woman.

    Take care
    xxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni!
      Those tiles were original to Mum & Dad's house which was built in 1910, they could well have been produced in Victorian times, too. B&Q do some passible repro ones but they're almost as dear as the originals!
      You will love that documentary! xxx

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  19. You snapped a trowel, CBC snapped a toilet brush...
    The edging tiles look soooo smart- they really do make a difference! I love all the things you have kicking around in your garden. I really wish we still had my Grandad's place- there were so many amazing gardening things like this in his sheds- I really could have done with lots of them now!!
    The new chair looks really smart!
    I plaited my hair today too! It kept it pleasingly out the way though I have an annoying habit of chewing the plaits whilst I work- disgusting I know, but I do it absentmindedly!
    Love that outfit- it looks so stylish and cool!
    You two are getting so much done! I'm super impressed! It does make me itch for a bigger garden! I wish ours wasn't so short!
    Gorgeous nail colour. Turquoise nails are my favourite colour to do! I always remember when I met Sophie Aldred who played Ace in Doctor Who when I was 16, I had turquoise nails and she thought they were really cool!

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    1. That's such a shame that you couldn't rescue all the things in your Grandad's lovely garden. This gardening lark could get really expensive if we have to buy everything new especially now there's no car boot sales where you can always find excellent plants way cheaper.
      Aren't plaits good? My hair gets so tangled and wild looking, it's great just to palit it and get on with it - I haven't been tempted to chew mine though!
      Fancy the Doctor Who actress commenting on your nails, obviously a lady with taste! xxx

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  20. Love your Edwardian edging tiles in your beautiful, plush garden! Wow, they are so neat, what a nice keepsake to have from your family home. I will definitely have to make your potato wraps, I make my own tortillas, too, as the ones store bought already made, seem to be so gummy, and I have found homemade is much more filling! Your outfits look so much like a beautiful summer day, in this amazing April we are having this year. Today we had rain in the morning and blue sky and sunshine the rest of the day...so very nice. I am upstairs in my art/sewing room, trying to get some creative mojo going, making a collage for some greeting cards. Takes a while to go through my overwhelming load of supplies and materials to get things arranged to begin, once I get through that.....the fun begins and hard to quit....but I must cuz there are a million projects that have to get completed, laundry, cleaning, etc.....make supper in an hour....Take care

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    1. Thanks, Chrystal! Tiles really do neaten up the edges of the beds and stop the plants from spilling out on the walkway, I can't believe the thought to use them only occured to me on Saturday morning.
      I like the sound of your collage and the crafty day you have planned. We've woken up to heavy rain this morning, a real novelty after seemingly weeks of dry days. I shall be doing stuff in the house today but not sure what yet! Much love to you. xxx

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  21. The barkey twist edging looks great, it's the perfect colour match for the brick pathway too.
    It's good to see the gorgeous garden photos and you looking beautiful and summery, especially as its pouring down here today and about 9 degrees, brrrr.
    Killing Eve is brilliant if horribly brutal isnt it? Vilanelle always looks magnificent, chilling though!
    Happy Tuesday xxx

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    1. I think they're both Staffordshire blue brick, produced locally. They really finish the edge off, don't they?
      Killing Eve is wonderfully brutal, I wonder if they get any complaints?
      Such a miserable and cold day today, I miss the sunshine alreday! xxx

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  22. possible duplicate or even triplicate as tried leaving a comment last night but blogger playing up! Love the block print skirt and the plaits are fun. I ordered a trowel set online 3 weeks ago and still waiting so you did well to get yours so fast! Killing Eve on the last episode was fabulous, that amazing apartment/décor in Barcelona, the beautiful clothes Villanelle is wearing - I can't get enough of it!

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    1. Blogger does that to me sometimes, very frustrating! The post is very unpredictable, isn't it? I never know if it's got lost or just delayed due to the pandemic.Hope the trowel set turns up soon. My organic seaweed plant feed turned up this morning, a fortnight later than expected, at least it got there in the end!
      That Barcelona appartment was the stuff of dreams, wasn't it? xxx

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  23. Your garden looks incredible! I love it that document each day, it would a lot of fun reading it after awhile. I absolutely love your braids: so very pretty!

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    1. Thanks so much. Documenting what I do every day during lockdown is a great incentive to keep on keeping on! xxx

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  24. So lovely to see your plants growing luxuriantly and looking fab, and love those recycled tiles framing the garden beds.
    And I'm loving your plaids and your Frid-esque inspiration, love those tops and skirts and accessorizing, and love that photo of you watering the plants in your red outfit. And also love the 'Rock Pool' nail color!, so cool!
    Your mirrors corner is looking really enticing, such a cute place to sit and relax!
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! It's been lovely to have gorgeous weather and to be able to spend so much time outside! xxx

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  25. Love the Edwardian fencing, Vix. What a clever idea.
    Your bluebells look gorgeous too.

    Poor Jon, I laughed aloud at that comment about him saying he can no longer move due to being worked to death! Haha - you've both achieved some much around your house and garden. X

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  26. Your edging tiles are fab. We used a load of Victorian semicircular bricks as edgings in ours - we found them behind the shed when we bought the house. Our garden doesn't look anywhere near as lovely as yours though.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix