Saturday, 31 August 2019

Mrs Mac suggests: What to read in SEPTEMBER 19

Hello there!

This was my mother's favourite time of the year...... the sunlight is glorious, and the mornings have that little chill that you know will warm up later. And it is still Summer, whatever the pumpkin sellers say!  In the UK, Autumn/Fall does not officially start until 22 September.  In my garden I have a lot of orange this year (including tomatoes!), and until recently I didn't ever choose orange for flowers.  Then I acquired a baby rose, and a couple of crocosmia all in lovely shades of peach and orange and I was off!

For the dog days of Summer then,  what shall we read?

How about a little slice of fantasy?  

 Not sci-fi, no wars, no dystopia..... but a fairytale for adults perhaps?  I'm reading  a recommendation from more than one booky friend: 

The Toymakers - Robert Dinsdale

Enjoy the sunny days and crisp mornings, everyone!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Kitchen makeover in small house - We love it!! PART 3

Continuing on from Part 2 - and here are the final pics.

We asked for any small spaces to be filled with pull-outs and  the result was 4, dotted around the kitchen.  the smallest three are only  6 inches wide, and the bigger one 12 inches wide.  Hold loads, though!

And who knew you could get coloured fridge freezers without costing a fortune?  We kept our original (white) for a while, but then decided that we could afford to treat ourselves.  These are made by Bosch and the coloured doors are actually giant fridge magnets.  they just stick to the original door - and have a range of colours.  When we went to buy, they had three on special offer, turquoise, raspberry and black with a price reduction, meaning the colour panels were sort of free.  Nice one!
..... and I guess lots of people fancy islands in their kitchens?  Don't be ridiculous in a kitchen this size, darling!  However, this baby console table with added casters and a shelf for the onions and garlic gives us a bit more work top if we need it.  As we already had this (shopping the house!) it was free.

Well I guess my advice to anyone thinking of a new kitchen  is - have the kitchen you want,  not what someone wants to sell you.  Ask for exactly what you want, and if they say they cannot, move on, there is a firm out there who will suit you.  Don't worry about exact matches  - the paint or the tiles will pull it together.  And if you have things around the house or in your existing kitchen that you like and use already -that's OK - see my kettle?  Nothing else in this room is cream, and they certainly don't make that kettle in the colour of the tiles and the wall, so that's fine.  Add your own little touches.  I love my tea caddy with the elephant on top - no-one I know has one of those!  And I love my little Alessi man holding the roll of kitchen paper too (and he was reduced in a sale so I guess not popular round here, but I love him!).  Shop your house, shop the sales.

 So that's our kitchen.  Easy to clean, plenty of storage, and something that doesn't appear in magazines.  We like it.  That's how it should be.  Make your home a place you enjoy, a place you are content in.

PS If you want to see the kitchen before..... have a look at older posts, same title, but PARTS 1 and 2.

Kitchen makeover in small house - We love it!! PART 2

So after the painting, and decluttering, and getting it right, here's what the finished room looks like:
So here we are on a gentle tour round our new small space.  We had a British Bake Off oven installed at chest height for comfort.  And the door folds right underneath for ease of access to dishes inside.  No "reaching", no fear of burning!

All the boards at the front are those used most, and they are collected together in an old box that once held just a bottle of wine.  C'mon!... it doesn't all have to be perfect, and this cost nought!

Anthropologie Sale - oh yes!  £10ish each reduced to £1.99 so lush upper knobs at a saving of £90!
We loved the tiles - especially after choosing a selection of square light and dark grey tiles and then them not matching the cupboards.... got a refund, went somewhere we didn't know existed, and found these lovelies!

Remember in Part 1 I showed you a gaping hole under the oven.  What a waste, but the cabinet for these kinds of ovens are a stock size, and you get what it called a "vanity panel" to fill in what's left.  Mmmmmm.  Well - here's that vanity panel attached to a drawer we asked a local carpenter to make for us - more "stuff" has a home!

Go to PART 3 now, following on immediately!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Kitchen makeover in small house - We love it!! PART 1

Long time coming..... here's our new kitchen!!  But first, as this is Part 1......

This was the old kitchen.
The room was extended by 3 feet so it had been only 9 feet long.  It's still small, 8 feet wide and 12 feet long in total.

You can probably guess that we didn't have enough storage!  All the working tops were covered in "stuff" the rubbish bin was permanently on display, everything was fighting for space.  We had this kitchen for 15 years!

At it's worst.............

we just didn't have enough space to put everything away!!  In this picture, right in the centre above the dishwasher, although you cannot see it, we had two wine boxes side by side with "stuff" in and on top of them!

Moving on, and telling you what went out:

Green cabinet on the right in picture above, in store in our summer house because I love it and want to find it another home.
Trolley under green cabinet, now in summer house awaiting a new owner.
Cooker/Stove now passed on to someone else.
Cream wall cabinets cabinets taken by someone for their workshop.
Waste bin went to a recycling centre

We kept:

The knife rack (top pic on the wall).
Kettle and toaster.
Lots of the "stuff" you can see all over the work tops.
Washing Machine.

But before the change, we went to see four different kitchen companies - one was way too expensive for not very much; one was not really quite what we wanted, another we nearly went with - and finally,  not a quarter of a mile from home, we found a new company who worked with us and gave us exactly what we wanted for an affordable price.

And here we are almost at the end result:

The night the kitchen fitter finished, so not yet  Wow!  but nearly.....

Ignore the symbol, this is not a movie, but just a decent pic of the sink and the hob
...and come back tomorrow and see what we did with this bit of spare space

Next post I'll show you wall colour and some close ups of our storage and you can see what you think!

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Anne's House of Dreams - L M Montgomery

This is the 5th in the series about Anne Shirley, the little girl who got sent to Matthew and Marilla's farm at Green Gables by mistake (the had asked for a boy).  She had ginger hair, and never stopped talking.  Written over a period of years, the author also covered Anne's growing up, education, career and marriage.

Anne and her beau, Gilbert Blythe, are married in the garden of Green Gables, and set off for a new life in a small house on the other side of Prince Edward Island, sight unseen by Anne.  Gilbert is taking over a medical practice as a new GP, and rented this house as the retiring doctor is staying on in the home where his practice was.    So Anne and Gilbert arive, and Anne finds that it is indeed (as the romantic she is) her "house of dreams".  Adventures befall her, new friends are made. Some real sadness in this book along with joy, for that is way of things, back then or now.  Having read myself through the series I found I liked this one the best, and as usual there are some great characters.   I loved it, and now it only leaves me Anne of Ingleside (although there are more books about the children if I take a fancy!)

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Miss Treadway and the Field of Stars - Miranda Emmerson

I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed this at first seemingly light read.  Certainly easy to read (I zipped through this less than 300 page book over a weekend) and totally different; this was a spin on what seemed at first like a murder mystery, but  whilst certainly a mystery  - a good one - it's only possibly a murder - no body can be found however hard the police investigate.  Police procedures in the 1960s were certainly not what they are now and ignorance and abhorrent behaviour was sort of taken for granted.  Set London, An actress disappears.  Totally.  Her dresser Miss Treadway at the theatre is out of a job temporarily because the play was pulled when the lead disappeared and the theatre is dark for a while; and with time on her hands she is quick to try to find her actress. So in her very amateurish way, she starts to investigate the disappearance of Iolanthe Green.  She's only on the front pages for a short while as a dreadful case up North takes over, and suddenly no-one is talking about the missing actress anymore.

But there is much more to this story than the missing actress.  Lies, deceit  and an acutely smart observation on racial issues at that time form only part of the book.  It has a great twisty surprise half way through and a nicely surprising end too.  If, like me, the current explosion of psychological thrillers is not for you, try this one - I recommend it!


Early One Morning - Virginia Baily

I was attracted to this novel purely by the cover (as I suppose this is meant to happen!) and it has very little about the contents on the b...