What can I tell you about Saturday? Between us, we spent over 6 hours raking up leaves.
And, as if tackling our garden wasn't enough for one day as there's been no sign of the council sweeping machine for months I took matters into my own hands and swept the avenue myself. The leaves are mostly from our garden and I'd feel terrible if some old dear slipped on them and broke a hip.
Several drivers stopped and said hello. I'm not sure if they were impressed by my efforts or whether my combo of vintage dress, ankle socks, stompy boots and massive pompom trimmed hat made me look like a bit of a bus nutter.
After half a pizza and some sweet potato wedges, we settled down with a rum and cola (or six) to watch The Americans, a long-running series about two Russian spies living in Cold War America. It's an excellent watch and with 75 episodes to catch up on, it should keep us entertained for quite a few weeks. The previous evening we'd rewatched The Talented Mr Ripley, the 1999 adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's masterpiece. I recently found out that there was a French adaptation starring Alain Delon, Plein Soleil (Purple Noon), released in 1960 which we're planning to watch soon.
On Sunday, after toast and The Andrew Marr Show, we drove down to the big charity shop with a bag of donations which we handed over & had a leisurely rummage before walking down to Wilkos for some household bits and pieces.
What did we find? An Outrage, London paisley shirt, a Monsoon Indian-printed dress (not my size, sadly, but its already found a fabulous new home), a Harris Tweed flat cap, a 1980s all-wool Benetton scarf, a vintage Foster Menswear deadstock fine-knit sweater, a 1970s Monsoon cotton velvet pinafore dress, a deadstock 1960s cardi, a 1960s Broderie Anglaise blouse and a Hollister cotton shirt.
If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I don't "do" knitwear but recently I've had a hankering for a chunky wool cardi to wear over my Indian cotton dresses (Vix, you've changed!) I'd looked on eBay but there was nothing grabbing my attention within budget. Would you believe the perfect cardi was waiting for me in the chazza? A vintage, handmade cable knit zip front beauty with tassel ties and patch pockets all for a mere £3.
Zips always tell a story! CLIX Zippers originated in Canada during the mid-1930s. In 1963 a UK factory was set up and proved very successful, so much so that, in November 1970, Lightning Fasteners bought the company. Lightning Fasteners closed in 1980 and CLIX along with it.
I'm delighted with my new cardi (well, new to me, it's at least 40 years old!) and, with our energy provider going bust and heating bills set to go through the roof, I think I'll be wearing it on repeat this Winter.
Lord Jon's come down with a cold (not the dreaded Covid, the tests were negative) so leaving himself & Stephen Squirrel to a lazy afternoon watching a spoof zombie film, I photographed and listed a few things on eBay and gave the spare room a clean.
With the chef not firing on all cylinders, it was broccoli & Stilton soup and a slice of bread for tea followed by a couple more instalments of The Americans.
On Monday morning I awoke to a heavy frost. After my Wii Fit workout, I wrapped the eBay sales and joined Jon in the kitchen for a bowl of porridge with bananas and honey. We moved the doormat, shuffled the plant pots around by the front door and gave the step a sweep in readiness for Tim the painter who was due to start work at 9am.
Tim finished shortly after lunch. The old door was white but we preferred black, to match the window frames and the original colour in the old photos of Stonecroft. The new door is hardwood and, bar the rot, almost identical to the previous one. The joiner even found some glass panels that matched the originals.
We had the exterior painted five years ago but, as Stonecroft is south-facing, it doesn't stay pristine for long so we'll probably have it repainted in the Spring. If you look closely, you'll see that the bricks are different above the bay windows. Built in 1750 and originally three single-storey farm labourers cottages, the exterior walls were knocked down to form a single dwelling and an upstairs floor added sometime in the 19th Century.
As you can see, there was another flurry of leaves following our sweeping frenzy on Saturday. The trees are looking pretty bare now so hopefully, that'll be the end of our regular date with the rake until next Autumn.
Jon, feeling a bit woolly-headed, retired to the lounge to watch some zombie nonsense whilst I messed around upstairs and, not wishing to disturb the snot monster, attempted to take a photo with the self-timer setting on the camera, which was easier said than done.
Check out my fair trade socks, a birthday present from Jon last year (they'll be a year old in a fortnight!)
Izzy arrived with the post, another bargain block printed dress I'd bought last week. I'd been in love with this beauty since I spotted it on a British website I follow that sells limited edition, handmade Indian dresses months ago and was delighted when a secondhand one popped up on eBay. The description said that the front had been sewn up and the tassel trim removed so it was a fraction of the original price. I unpicked the stitched front and found some cotton tassels on eBay for a couple of quid, so hopefully, it should be as good as new very soon.
I'll leave you with a tip. If you've got a fussy cat, leave their food outside. Stephen refused to eat these posh grain-free biscuits when they were in his bowl. Sprinkle a few in the garden and they're the tastiest thing he's ever eaten.
I'd blame it on his old age but he's been a law unto himself for the last 16 years.
See you soon!