Prints

Prints for the living room wall have now been ordered, all 24 of them!  Got an excellent deal through Quidco for Photobox as well – 30% off + 5% cashback.  Ker-ching!

My brother’s moving house this weekend, so we’re moseying on over to see the new pad.  Don’t know about you, but if we have one thing to do on a weekend at the moment, it means that the rest of the weekend becomes null and void and we don’t want to plan anything else!  Think that means we’re getting old.

It’s also my Nanna and Grandad’s 50th wedding anniversary this weekend, and I’m very excited that I found them some gold dinnerware for a present (don’t worry, they’re not silver surfers!).  I also got a lovely card printed with their wedding photo from Moonpig.  We’re all going out for a meal a week on Saturday with the rest of the family to celebrate.

PS – the new Batman was very good, 4/5, I recommend it!

Drumroll please

The auctions have ended; the bids have been counted and verified (drumroll please)… we have a dazzling £343 from our old kitchen to spend on the new!  Note to self: never bin anything again ever.

It’s so much more than we were expecting that we don’t know what to do with it (don’t worry, it will be spent!).  The joiner is the first item on the list, and then I suppose the rest may go to flooring (or lights/tumble dryer/coffee machine/mixer/photo frames for the living room/yesterday’s hair cut/anniversary meal).

The lady wanted us to deliver, but we don’t have the facilities to transport 3m long worktops, etc., so she’s going to have to book a man with a van.  Hopefully she’ll sort it this week so we can carry on painting.

As I already mentioned, yesterday was our fifth wedding anniversary, and so we had to get wooden gifts.

Panicking in Boots, I originally bought Barry a wooden Botanics nailbrush, but then had a proper think about it and bought him some of his favourite aftershave ever – Marc Jacobs Men.  He hasn’t had any in ages and it has (wait for it) top notes of cypress and base notes of cedarwood.  I am the master.

Although Royal Mail are currently holding Barry’s gift to me hostage, he’s shown me a photo of what I can expect – it’s this lovely wooden jewellery box.  I’m looking forward to receiving it!

A brief history of abodes

Today marks our fifth wedding anniversary – happy anniversary, honey!

We’ve actually been together more than ten years, since university, when our only source of decoration in the halls was books (his, sciences, mine, languages), posters (his, the tennis player with her bum out, mine, more embarrassingly, the Backstreet Boys) and interesting rugs (his, ratty strips of woven cloth, mine, a fluffy pink heart made of a wandering fibre that ended up on everything I owned).

We then moved to a shared house, where we had the whole top floor which had recently been renovated. Again, we had no power over what it looked like and function and utility reigned over beauty. The only painting Barry did was the bathroom ceiling, in a paint that just wouldn’t stick and turned out to have sand in it for some reason. It all peeled off.

In our third year, he worked in Peterborough while I lived in Spain and France. Spain was your typical apartment with tiled floors and airless rooms (pictured). My entire flat in France was smaller than our current bedroom. In the fourth year, we returned to (fancier) halls, in which I don’t think we even had posters or rugs.


At the end of that year, finally, we rented a house together just outside of the city which had a bit of character. The living room was on the third floor – very topsy turvy! The kitchen worktop had to be oiled regularly – I think Barry’s looking forward to doing that again. The bathroom was a horrendous aquamarine when we moved in, but we asked if we could paint it white and we were allowed.

The first house we bought was another magnolia kingdom. The couple we bought it from had lived in it for a few years and never done anything with it. Ha! we thought. Lazy buggers! We ended up painting this strip in the lounge a purply-chocolate colour, one wall in our bedroom green, a wall in our spare bedroom red, and the bathroom pink. Thus endeth our decorating of the first house.

Our current house is our second, and we nagged Barratt’s to death to get a cheaper price for it. It can be done! All of a sudden, the market will crash, and they won’t be able to give you it fast enough. That’s what happened to us, anyway. We ended up getting it for £25k less than next door, whose house is a mirror image of ours.

We fell in love immediately with the top floor when we saw the show home. It consists of our bedroom, a dressing room/nursery and ensuite. Light streams from opposite sides of the house and it feels huge and airy. The whole of the show home was very black and silver, but it did give us some excellent ideas, even if it’s taking until now to implement them (like black walls up the stairs).

As I’ve mentioned before, we’d love to have built in wardrobes, but they cost an arm and a leg. In fact, I’m not sure my arm and leg would cover the cost.

I was talking to Jules about house blindness (after the carpet discussion), and we’ve decided that once you’ve been in for a while, you just don’t see “it” any more. “It” can be the bland walls you see past, the nail pops you choose to ignore, the hideous (sorry, vintage) carpet you no longer look at. We’d been “planning” to decorate for some time before we actually started this January, but it took a shock this Christmas to actually make us get up and do something, because we needed a project to keep our minds off things.

As my friend Michelle says (and no, I’m not talking about myself in the third person), you always need a project.

Tiles, floorboards, floorboards, tiles

We’ve been looking round at tiles again and nothing’s striking either of us, so we’re thinking we might just stick to white floorboards for the whole of the bottom floor.  It would match, although there might be a bit too much white in the kitchen then, so I may finally get my wish of it being painted pale grey.  We definitely need to stop the new radiator from dripping first!

The other option is to have a darker wood on the kitchen floor (think dark grey).  I prefer the white, myself.  Bracing myself for the bill that’s over £500 just for some floorboards though.

The old kitchen, hob and oven are selling well on eBay – finishing this weekend and then we can wave goodbye.  Can’t wait – we’ll have a bit more space in the current kitchen (not that that’s a huge issue now), and can carry on painting the room.

It’s our five-year wedding anniversary this weekend, which ironically, is our “wooden” anniversary.  Spoiler alert, Barry: if a new kitchen and flooring don’t count as an excellent wooden gift, I don’t know what does.