Monday, 1 June 2020

Life In Lockdown - Day 72 & 73




On Sunday (day 72) Jon was up first. He made tea and brought it back to bed, where we read until 8.45, how very decadent! We had toast for breakfast, I put a load of washing in the machine, pegged it out and then shortened and hemmed a pair of shorts Jon had bought from a charity shop a couple of years ago.


Jon went round to Tony's with some groceries he'd managed to get him from his foray into Farmfoods the previous day. After a mammoth blog catch-up, I watered the patio plants, Jacob's enclosure and the veg plot.


Watering the garden is rapidly becoming my favourite task of the day. It's hard work and it takes ages but every morning I discover something new has burst into life overnight.


Including the clump of sweet peas scrambling up a long-dead apple tree, how on earth did they get there?



Remember me showing you this tiny chest of drawers somebody had knocked up in his garden shed from an old cigar box? They sit on my dressing table and house my pendants and the earrings that I can't hang up. They're cute but a bit brown and the wood's not the greatest quality, its time to breathe some new life into them.


I sanded it down, wiped it over and gave it a couple of coats of paint then, while it was drying,  cleaned out the pond. A job we've put off since last Autumn. 


It's a bit of stinky task, dredging up all the muck festering at the bottom & being up to the armpits in brackish water but, by the time I'd finished and disposed of the last of the slimy leaves, Jon arrived back in time to help me with my drawer makeover, cutting the Indian wrapping paper down to size & glueing it in place - he's much more steady-handed than I am.


A coat of fast-drying varnish later and it was ready to go back in the dressing table. The trouble is that, when you improve something, everything else starts looking shabby. The to-do list is never-ending.


After our noodles, I assumed my regular position on the lawn with The Alienist, happily interrupted by a visit from neighbour Ray, delivering us a home-made sourdough loaf which he'd kindly sliced and put in a freezer bag just in case we already had plans for tea so we could eat it later in the week.


While the lads decamped to the undergrowth.


Jon potted up our heritage pink tomatoes and then joined us for a lazy afternoon in the sunshine.


Although the sun doesn't set till after 9pm, with twenty-six trees in our garden, it's all but vanished by 5pm so I slipped on this block printed organic cotton kaftan I'd bought from Tuk Tuk, a tiny boutique in South Goa, back in February. The owner worked for a world-famous designer in New York for many years but, disillusioned with the terrible working conditions of the workers in the Asian factories she used to inspect & the endless hamster wheel of fashion, decided to create her own range of sustainable, non-trend-led, beautifully made, artisan-produced clothing. It's the first time I'd worn it and was excited to discover that it had secret pockets. 


 After another session with the hosepipe, I caught up with blog comments whilst Jon cracked on with making tea, a delicious cauliflower & broccoli (from the freezer) and paneer curry.


 Later we watched the second part of the harrowing two-part documentary about The Jonestown Massacre (co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio) on the BBC i-player. It had happened in 1978 when we were both 12 so, although we were both aware of it we didn't know the full story. It's riveting but awful. To lighten the mood we watched the penultimate episode of Killing Eve, with yet more violence & murder. Considering what a cheerful soul I am, what with my choice of reading & viewing, I do seem to have an insatiable appetite for the macabre!


Monday (day 72) was Frank's birthday. We're not sure how old he is, the vet reckons somewhere between five and seven years old. When I got up this morning I sung Happy Birthday to him, then did my Wii Fit session. When Jon got up we had our fruit and yoghurt and sat in the sunshine drinking coffee. The birthday boy was definitely back to his usual self after the trauma of the dental surgery, vocalising his displeasure at the choice of cat food available.


Ever the cat slave, Jon drove to Pets At Home to stock up on cat food, nipping into Poundland next door for bird food and some car-related bits and then swung by the Co-op for tomatoes and cucumbers and, despite having Ray's loaf in the freezer, couldn't resist a sourdough loaf with Kalamata olives, strategically placed next to the entrance.


After my daily watering session, as always helped by cats wanting to play, I planted the catmint in the border (Frank doesn't like this variety as much as the old one so it's safe for now). I dragged the Victorian cast iron bench ends from their previous position under the lounge window then threaded the climber that I thought was dead through the slats. Look at spiky bastard, isn't he pretty with his fluffy blossoms? Shame he's such a vicious swine.


Next, I went upstairs & retrieved the chests of drawers I use to store my make-up and bangle collection.


Both once stood on my Mum's dressing table, housing all manner of bits and pieces. Marcus and I loved to have a rummage through them when left to our own devices as children. One day we discovered some baby teeth in an envelope and came to the conclusion that the Tooth Fairy didn't exist (but kept it a secret between ourselves for a few more years.)


Under Mum's ownership, the drawers were sprayed bronze and papered with William Morris wallpaper, when I inherited them ten years ago I decoupaged them with vintage Bollywood posters I'd photocopied from one of my film books. I still love how they look but they were starting to get tatty so it was time for a change.


I set about stripping off the paper and applying the first coat of paint whilst Jon got on with planting out the French beans, creating his own wigwams with sticks from the woodpile. The copper hoops were rescued from an outbuilding in the parental home, they really do seem to keep the slimy slugs at bay.


On the subject of vegetables, do you think we've got enough tomatoes?


The weather was so deliciously hot that my paint was dry within half-an-hour. I applied another coat and then took a break for noodles. After we'd eaten Jon papered the drawer fronts while I varnished the carcasses.


We heard the familiar crunch of gravel and looked out to see our friend Mark with a tray of marigolds and a couple of mystery plants. He'd brought round the van he'd just converted into a campervan and we admired that and chatted for a while.


After he'd driven off I potted up the new additions and gave them a thorough watering.


By now my varnish was dry and the drawers were ready to be refilled with make-up and bangles and returned to the bedroom where they're now making the dressing table look very drab..



We lounged in the sunshine on the bedcover for a couple of hours and watched Jacob as he bumbled around his enclosure.


Once the sun had vanished behind the trees I covered up my bikini with this dress.


 When we arrived in Goa after two weeks travelling around Rajasthan I realised that I'd neglected to pack my beach dress and bought this organic cotton, handmade, block printed maxi dress from Cotton Cottage in Margao (check them out HERE). As the temperature was touching 90°C, I didn't bother trying it on in the shop (their "S" always fits perfectly) and, as we only had a mirror above the bathroom sink in our guest house, I didn't have a clue what it looked like. I wore it almost every day for three weeks and it felt so comfy that I assumed I looked like I was wearing a sack.


I was amazed when I saw my reflection in the bedroom mirror today, I love it!


Tea was Kalamata olive bread, cheese, pickles and salad with some homemade potato salad sprinkled with chives from the garden. After I've given the garden the final watering of the day we'll be watching Grayson Perry's Art Club and we might be naughty and watch the final episode of Killing Eve on the I-player rather than wait for next Sunday.

SOURCE

See you soon! Stay safe, stay sane & stay in touch.


59 comments:

  1. Well hello Vix, first again lol. Listen, you made my day with your reply yesterday, of how I come across and how we would get on. So lovely to get a compliment from such a fab lady such as you! Today has been SO boring with having to try and get my head around accounts queries for the hubster trying to teach myself quickbooks yuck anyway I have not got a fresh air fix today and that is why your lovely post today was such good medicine. Everything is just so fab( the drawers, the dresses, the garden I am going to have to think of more adjectives to describe all this lovliness! Thanks you have lightened the mood after such a drab ol day a big hug for that x

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    1. Morning, my friend! What a star you are spending the day with the accounts and technology. I think you deserve a huge treat after lockdown.
      What a miserable day it is here, I'm not sure whether to crack on with something inside or just think, sod it and go play outside.
      Have a lovely day whatever you get up to! xxx

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  2. I'm off to Wilko before work tomorrow to stock up on more mealworms...the starlings love them and they've now brought their babies to the feeders so they're disappearing even faster! Arilx

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    1. We were talking about starlings the other day. After years away they've taken over the town centre again and we were wondering what they were doing now Greggs was shut (they always hang around outside the Walsall branch - must be addicted to sausage rolls!) xxx

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  3. Hello, Vix, Jon, Stephen, Frank and Jacob! Happy birthday to Frank - I thought he was older, but he's younger than Vizzini (now 9). I love your beautiful dresses, Vix - how wonderful that you have pockets in the one! And so nice to know that such a comfy dress as the green one actually looks good too!
    I'm totally impressed with how great your drawer sets all look, all painted and decoupaged! Super job on those! I'm excited to see what you do with your pond.

    RE: Jim Jones - I had to explain to one of my coworkers what "drinking the Kool-Aid" actually meant, as it's part of the vernacular now for going along with a corporate line. A much more grisly origin than my colleague thought!

    L and I have been watching Alfred Hitchcock movies, which have been running on Starz here. So far, "Vertigo", "The Birds," "North by Northwest", "Marnie", and "Strangers on a Train." They're amazing!

    Have a good week! I'm about to be on vacation for a whole week, and am very excited, even though we're really not doing anything, ha ha!

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! Frank's the baby of the family but he's had a hard life!
      Once I'd washed that green dress when I got back from our travels I packed it away, I didn't want to try it on and realise that I'd been walking around Goa for weeks looking like a scrag end - what a pleasant surprise when I put it on!
      I've seen reference to "Drinking the Kool-Aid" in American literature over the years and after I'd watched the documentary I realised where the expression came from.
      My brother is a huge fan of Hitchcock but I'm ashamed to say that I've only ever seen The Birds, which I really enjoyed. Maybe we need some culture in our lives!
      Hope your vacation has got off to a cracking start and that you've got sunshine - ours has vanished today! xxx

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  4. The jobs certainly are never ending! Love the make overs you have completed.

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    1. They are. Every time I do something it shows up how tatty something else is! The time just flies! x

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  5. Hi Vix
    ooow! I love your Tuk Tuk caftan, it is absolutely beautiful I adore the tangerine colour. You and Jon certainly have green fingers. Your garden is so interesting and colourful. I really dont know how many of us would cope in lockdown without our gardens. I spend hours in mine and by the end of the day I have no idea where the time went! I watched Simon Reeve in Burma last night and just realised how very fortunate we are to have such beautiful and safe spaces. There were people in The Golden Triangle, Shan area who had absolutely nothing and were still being hounded and having to live with horrific danger in order just to get by. It made me appreciate what I have even more. I also reaally love Grayson's Art Club, which has just finished it has been a really good programme and has highlighted how many people enjoy art in all its forms. Im sure he'd love your wall of misery. Once again thanks for your great posts. Shelagh XX

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    1. Thanks, Shelagh! I don't see much of that tangerine colour and loved it when I spotted it on the rails of Tuk Tuk. Like the green dress, I didn't try it on till I got home - Jon wasn't keen in the shop, he thought it looked a bit nightie-like but he's changed his mind now!
      Our garden really has been our saviour, I don't know what we'd have done without itm, there's only so much cleaning a human can do!
      I love Simon Reeve, I don't think I've seen the Burma series, that's something I'll have to investigate.
      Grayson's show was utterly wonderful, wasn't it? Like Joe Lycett said, it made art seem fun and accessible.
      Much love to you. xxx

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  6. I can’t help thinking how much my auntie gladys would
    have loved reading your blog Vix. She'd have so much to say about the garden, the boys and your fabulous outfits.
    Awh bless her I miss her so much. Well done on the drawer renovations they look really vibrant now.
    I’ve been skip diving today. Jack across from us has been clearing his garage out and he’s got the best scrap crap going. I had to rein myself in haha.
    Lynn xxx

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    1. What a lovely thing to say, Lynn! I wish I'd have met your Auntie Gladys, from what you've told me and written about her I know that I'd have loved her. Putting her house up for sale must make everything feel so final.
      I hope you're going to share your skip diving finds, I can live vicariously through yours, our local ones are just full of rubble and weeds! xxx

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  7. I have to go backwards and find where you sources all the Indian print paper. I love all the remakes. Let me say, this cheery look into your life is so wonderful right now-particularly now in my home area. I feel like some escape is in order and you have provided it for me.

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    1. You'll have to have a look on-line and see if you can track some of that paper down, Sam! In the past I've gone to DIY shops and helped myself to a few free wallpaper samples. You don't need a lot to cover drawers. Stay safe. xxx

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  8. I certainly love the peep into your peaceful and colorful world Vix, great therapy, thank you.
    When things get back to normal,(or maybe we will never see the old normal), it will be interesting to look back at your posts again.
    I do hope we make some permanent changes going forward. Even through the difficulties, life has seemed more meaningful and purposeful somehow. Time to smell the roses!
    Love from Pam in Texas.x

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    1. I agree with you, Pam. Lockdown has slowed us all down and we're taking the time to appreciate not only what we already own but the nature around us. I'm not scared of going out and shopping again, I just don't want to be part of that rat race again.
      It's raining today and , in "normal" times I'd go out charity shopping to brighten the day, frittering away £2 and £3 here & there on things I have no need for. Instead I'm looking around the house with a critical eye wondering if I've got enough paint in the shed to improve what I already have. xxxx

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  9. You could make a sack look like an evening gown but alas, the beach dress looks brilliant! I feel like I've overdone it with tomatoes especially as now I can't eat the bloody things. Hubby and Mom will enjoy the fruits of my labour, at least I can eat strawberries. Great redo on all of those pieces, I see a dressing table redo in your future based on your comment. Jacob looks like he likes his new pad. Cheers for surviving 2 more days of this whacked out life!

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    1. You are kind, thank you! That dress s absurbly comfortable, it should be illegal for something that feels that freeing & relaxed to look presentable!
      That's such a shame that you're allergic to tomatoes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a bumper crop of strawberries to make up for it. xxx

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  10. What a gorgeous post, Vix!! I loved reading every word, and seeing all the lovely photos. Your garden is certainly beautiful, and I love the revamped little drawers - so pretty! Your kaftans are fabulous too. So nice to see the kitties enjoying being in the garden and finding shade to rest in. Happy Birthday to Frank! Ours were 3 on 24th. They love being in the garden, too! I am so glad you are also watching Grayson's Art Club - we just love that series! I love to see him and his wife working together in their studio, and the sense of community they have encouraged with their fellow artists around the country is great. You hear such lovely stories of people's lives, and so much fun too - I loved the virtual cocktail party in the garden a couple of weeks ago! We love how his favourite teddy, Alan Measles, features so frequently in his art, as well.

    My hubby took me out on my birthday on Saturday - first time I'd left the house and garden since the lockdown began - we got lung-fulls of sea air and enjoyed seeing everyone in real holiday mood. The country lanes are looking so green, as well.

    Shoshi x

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    1. Hello Shoshi!
      Thank you so much for your kind words, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post.
      I'm glad you celebrate your kittycats birthdays, too. They are part of the family.
      We absoluted loved Grayson's Art Club, I loved watching the wonderfully easy relationship between himself & Phillipa and, of course, Kevin the cat! It really did prove that art was something anybody could do, a real insight into how other people see the world and feel about life, there's no right or wrong way to create as long as you do.
      Grayon loaned one of his Alan Measles ceramics to Walsall's New Art Gallery a few years ago, I kept going back to look at it!
      Happy belated birthday for Saturday, I'm so happy to hear that you wee able to go out and enjoy your gorgeous part of the world and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.
      Much love to you! xxx

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  11. The Alienist was an awesome read. Next you have to read Angel of Darkness. I believe that is the name of it. It is the follow-up to The Alienist!

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    1. Thanks so much for that, I shall track it down. I'm nearly finished now and trying to read slowly as I don't want it to end. xxx

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  12. All of those drawers do look nice, rather retro art deco to me. And regarding your plants, it is so exciting and rewarding to keep finding new life peeping through the soil and foliage. All the gardeners whom I've evr known are nice people, lol, maybe it should be even more encouraged in society.

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    1. Thanks, Ratnamurti! Indian designs are just exquisite, aren't they?
      I think you're right, people who enjoy gardening are always lovely, calm and kind. I wonder if that's because of their gardens or that they were born that way? xxx

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  13. Cripes! Now I have a hankering to decoupage and update storage pieces around our house. I do wish I had papers like yours. So pretty!

    In the US, working folk has a phrase we used for people who were brainwashed or stupid enough to buy the BS our executives were trying to sell us. We referred to it as "Drinking the Kool Aid" in reference to Jim Jones. Later on when I worked with younger folks, they had no clue what that meant! Was that phrased ever used in your country?

    And I think both frocks look fabulous on you!

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    1. Decoupage is so rewarding. We've used samples of wallpaper from DIY shops before now, you don't need a lot and they're free - the best kind of makeover!
      Sheila also commented about the "Drinking the Kool-Aid" saying which, although it's not used here I've read it in American literature and heard it mentioned in films. When I watched the documenatary the origin clicked immediately. xxx

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  14. Hi vix, the drawers look fab!! Mine are all Chinese japanese boxes so I think I will leave them as they are as they are so pretty. Jim Jones always scared me as a kid. Mind you most cults end up in death as they know they are on a hiding to nothing and the police are on to them. Just look at Waco. The dresses are so pretty , I swear down you would make a bedcover look fab !!!! I think you have havent you ???
    The humidity over here is killing us, 80 percent and rising! But hey ho if you live in this climate what do you expect.
    I am a daiso whore, which is like Poundland but everything costs between 70p and £3.00!!! And you can get anything you want !!! Puts Poundland in the shade. The plants are looking fab shame my sweet basil isn’t. And I am glad frank is back to normality . Take care and keep safe

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    1. Hi Alison! Thanks so much, they look loads better now. I can understand why you want to leave your pretty Chinoiserie drawers be, they're already decorated, mine were just dull and brown. No room for anything like that in this house!
      It has been known for me to wear bedcovers, sheets and curtains!
      80% humidity? Goodness me! Is that normal for Japanese summers? We're back to grey, drizzle and damp today. It's the first time I've had goosepimples for weeks!
      Daiso sounds ace. I love going in a shop and knowing that I can afford to buy everything!
      Much love to you! xxx

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  15. two fabulous dresses, an abundance of flowers and well done with the chests of drawers!
    please cuddle the boys for me - very cute photos of them! (btw. - "felix" did not pass a latest test for catfood here - it has to much of a certain stuff that harms the kidneys of the cats....)
    i´m craving potato salad now!
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! The boys are very naughty at the moment, they've found a mouse nest and have slaughtered the poor things indiscriminately.
      Come round later and I'll make you potato salad for tea! xxx

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  16. I love the drawer makeovers. Much like yourself I have lived in my bikini for the last few days. Cooking in it has proved a little more challenging, however :)
    I'm envious of the wonderful colour in your garden. Mine is very much a work in progress. X

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    1. Thanks, Jules! I'm missing my bikini already. What on earth am I going to wear today? xxx

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  17. woww, I'm in love with this Indian wrap paper in all its colorful glory and how brilliantly you've been using it on your drawers!. I'm a huge fan of drawers, love them, and yours looked so cute (particularly the lovely Bollywood decoupage) but now they are magnificent. I'm really enthusiastic and feeling inspired to revamp my bedside tables, ;DDDD (fuchsia paint looks really appealing to me!)
    Love to see you enjoying your garden and all these unexpected finds!. And you look so gorgeous in your kaftans and summery dresses. Love the green beach dress you bought in Margao, such a delightful print!, and it fits you like a dream!
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! isn't it gorgeous paper? Far too lovely to wrap presents in and give away, it needed to be kept and admired!
      I can't resist buying tester pots of paint from DIY shops, I've got a cupboard full of colours I'd never paint a wall with but are perfect for revamping boring furniture and picture frames.
      xxx

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  18. I do like that kaftan. Also the upcycled shelves, love the colours.
    One of the best things about killing eve is Vilanelle's clothes, I love her confident dress, shame she's a psychopath!!
    Glad to see Frank looking so chirpy. xxx

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    1. Thanks, sally! the kaftan was another item I bought without trying on, I was surprised at how it looked, Jon thought it would look like a nightie - but he says it doesn't!
      Villanelle wears some geat clothes on Killing Eve although there's a distinct lack of jewellery and the shoes are never quite right - pernickity, aren't I? xxx

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  19. You're so proactive with your gardening, I'm sure you can see changes daily. I remember how watering my grandmother's plants was one of the my fav things to do when I visited her, it can be so relaxing even if it can take up a lot of time. I'm sure it is exciting to see the changes and new growth in your garden. Your gardening diaries have really inspired me. When I get back to Mostar and my real house, I plan to do some gardening myself. For now, all I can do is to plant cacti, aloa vera and succulents into mason jars on my balcony.

    The green organic and locally made maxi dress is gorgeous. The block print is so pretty. It proves that a dress can be comfortable and look great. We should never sacrifice comfort. There are dresses out there for all of us that will make us happy both with how they look and with how they feel.

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    1. Watering really is like meditation, with the sun on your shoulders and the birds cheeping, I really do relax, lose track of time and just live in the moment something I've always found impossible in "normal" times! xxx

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  20. I watched the Jonestown documentaries they were so disturbing but fascinating too. I wonder if you have watched The Commune,a Danish film on iPlayer?
    I love seeing the glimpses of your life. The garden is looking beautiful. And I love the chests of drawers x

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm really happy with the drawers aftre their second coat of varnish.
      Thank you so much for recommending The Commune, we'll definitely we watching it in the next day or so, it looks right up my street and the clothes look incredible. xxx

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  21. I find watering the garden - and deadheading - very relaxing, especially after a day at the office. Just 15 minutes spent among my plants usually does the trick. Love the drawer makeovers, and yes, I do think you've got enough tomatoes! Cleaning our little pond is on our list too, but that's certainly not a job I'm looking forward to. Love the block printed kaftan and the beach dress you bought in Goa. I was 17 when the Jonestown Massacre happened, so I remember it very well. Needless to say, it made quite an impression. Aww, happy birthday to Frank! But how do you know it's is his birthday? Did you just pick a date, or is it the date he decided to come and live with you? We have no idea how old Phoebe is either. The vet said she must have been a mere one-year old when she came to us, so that would make her about 12 now. Jon being the cat slave made me chuckle! xxx

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    1. Isn't it a wonderful way to spend an hour or so? I sigh to Jon and say, I suppose I'd better go and water the garden, but once I've unravelled the hosepipe and moved any trip hazzards (health & safety first!) I'm as happy as a happy thing!
      I've just ordered a special product for ponds I've seen on a gardening programme which should help alleviate my pond woes, I'll let you know how I get on when it arrives, it might be good for Dove Cottage's pond, too.
      We just picked a date for Frank and thought the week after Stephen would be as good as any. the Wii Fit actually reminds me of everyone's birthdays the week before, which is very helpful! xxx

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  22. You have a paradise there Vix.It's so lovely to see the boys and Jacob enjoying life too x

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    1. Thanks, Flis. I don't care about shops or pubs any more, I'm happy to stay here! xxx

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  23. Happy Birthday to Frank!! Good to see him feeling better and enjoying the weather with Stephen Squirrel. Love the way the drawer makeover turned out. The colors are awesome! Your garden has so many beautiful flowers. I always look forward to going out to do the watering. It's calming to be outside and I can take my time. The birds haven't caused any trouble lately and the dhalias look like they're about to get some big flowers blooming any day now. Love your kaftan from Tuk Tuk and the Cotton Cottage dress is gorgeous! Take care and enjoy the awesome weather!

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    1. Thanks, Cheryene! Frank's much better although he's driving us mad today, he's asked to go out five times already but refuses to budge every ime we open the door because it's raining!
      I'm really happy with the drawers, sadly they make my dressing table look really tatty now - I think I know what I'll be doing later - painting!
      I'm glad to hear your dahlias have survived the dread bird attack. I think I want to grow dahlias next year.
      That green dress is so comfy I wore it two days on the run, unheard of for me!
      Have a lovely day. xxx

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  24. You can't really ever have too many tomatoes :)

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  25. Before my husband and I were married. He meant some people of people temple. Jim Jones wasn't there that day. Anyhow he thought they had a little to many amen.

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    1. How interesting. I can understand the appeal as it offered equality to people of all racial backgrounds but they must have been brainwashed to believe all the lies they told for them to have been so scared of leaving. x

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  26. Happy Birthday to Frank, glad to see he is now fully recovered. Your early Summer flowers are lovely , a bit envious I am now tidying mine up to put it to bed for Winter.Always better to have too many tomatoes , lots of relish, pasta sauces , etc.
    The chests all turned out so well. Love both of your dresses . Keep enjoying that sunshine.xx

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    1. Thanks, Jill! I know, I feel the same when you're posting photos of your glorious garden and summer wardrobe when we're in the depths of winter! xxx

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  27. We did a sneaky watch of the last episode of KE, too. Not really sure about the ending...

    I'm glad Jacob approves of his remodelled premises!

    I love what you've done with the mini chests of drawers - they look fabulous. You have spurred me on to do something about storing my brooch collection properly. I have a set of 3 IKEA drawers which I bought and stained about 15 years ago. I could decorate them using glued on paper and just varnish it; I just need to find some nice paper and hopefully some foam rubber cut to size to fit the drawers...thank you!

    Isn't it great to have mystery plants? We visited a local garden last year on Open Garden's weekend and bought a plant which I think is called Cosmos; it has just bloomed and we'd completely forgotten what it was. All your blooms are amazing and spiky bastard is looking ravishing!

    Well done on cleaning out your pond; what a horrible job that must be.

    I loved your kaftan and the green dress is lovely on you; nothing further from a sack could be imagined...

    I've just come back from B&M where OH had previously got me good cheap suet blocks for the birds and there were none to be seen!

    Change in the weather today here is it the same for you?

    Take care
    xxxx

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    1. I can't say that I loved the last series as much as I did the first two and I agree about the ending.
      Your Ikea chests of drawers would look brilliant with some decoupaged drawer fronts, it's a really quick way to transform them and, if you're anything like me, you're bound to have some recycled wrapping paper, wallpaper samples or some sort of paper ephemera tucked away.
      Cosmos are gorgeous, I had some in my window boxes a few years ago and everyone commented on them. They lasted ages, too.
      What a shame about the lack of suet blocks, we've always got ours from Wilko but no there either, we ended up buying some from Amazon.
      What a rotten day it's been here and to put the icing on the cake I've got BoJo droning on in the background. I need a drink! xxx

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  28. Your observation that even a tiny tidy-up can make everything else in a room appear tatty hit home! Our family code for this clue that a great refurbishing is about to begin is, "New lampshades?" Once upon a time, an auntie scheduled to host a family golden wedding anniversary decided that all her lounge needed was new lampshades....

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    1. Haha! New lampshades indeed! I've just finished reviviing the dressing table only for the necklace tidy to look shabby in comparison. Arghhhh! xxx

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  29. First off, a belated Happy Birthday to Frank - I'm glad he is recovered nicely from his dental surgery. Your garden is truly a thing of beauty; in lieu of having my own, I look forward to your updates as to what is blooming. You've done an excellent job of sprucing up those miniature drawer sets.

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    1. Frank says thanks for the birthday wishes!
      We're back to cold and rain again, hopefully all the water will encourage some new growth unless it batters the life out of everything! x

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  30. I have the same spiky bastard as a hedge in front of the house. The blossom is lovely as are the berries in the winter but it is an absolute bugger to prune it's so vicious. I'm guessing that is hwy they planted it there to discourage people!

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