Saturday, 17 July 2010

A new obsession....

So it's Saturday which means business as usual in this household...tearing up the garden. Well to be fair today was more of a disaster recovery mission. We spent most of it hauling concrete and rubble out to the front and bagging up what was left. However, the really exciting bit was a very nice man named Collin came and paid me .25p per brick for some of my old patio bricks that we are getting rid of! So excited. Money you didn't expect and someone else is going to take away some of my mess. Top of my favorite people list. Even better he said he might need some more and will call me in the week.

Now while I was waiting for someone to pick up my ad on gumtree about the bricks and offer to buy them I started fretting that noone ever would. So I decided that quite frankly I was happy for anyone to take some off my hands. A bit of a brain wave and some lunchtime googling landed me on Freecycle. By no means a new phenomenon, but the first time I've really spent any time exploring it.

I'm by no means an eco-warrior tying myself to trees or not bathing to save the oceans, but I do my bit. Recycle everything I can, always switch off my computer at work when I leave, and try not to throw away perfectly useful things. That's why I love the idea of Freecycle. Someone needs something that you have, but it's sitting around collecting dust and you can give it to them so it has a new lease of life. Happy faces all around! After a short 30 minutes on my local group's site I not only had someone willing to take away some of the busted up concrete has hardcore for planters, but also found new homes for some more of the patio paving and some card paper I've had lying around for almost three years. I just love that I can help someone out and prevent stuff just piling up in the landfill. Plus it seems like, with my local group anyways, you could pretty much kit out your entire house without spending a dime. I can see myself spending a good bit of time on this site... Check out yours at

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

In need of a cool breeze

Something very strange has happened here in London...something unseen for two years....something we never thought would happen again..summer has arrived! The hot weather and lots of sun means that the house has gotten really sticky and uncomfortable, especially upstairs. Guess that whole heat rising thing is true. We have a really bulky, but very effective portable airconditioner in our bedroom, but I've been on a quest for something to use in the kitchen/living room. Main criteria were that it was sleek, portable and not ugly! Currently love the retro styling of these fans and the copper is really different.

Of course fans are also a great way to beat the heat outside or where ever you are. Hand fans are the classic accessory that is still a great purchase what else can you slip into your purse that will instantly make you the envy of all your overheated fellow commuters?

Saturday, 10 July 2010

7 weeks to go!

I counted this week and we only have 7 weeks to go till the builders arrive! Exciting and terrifying at the same time. So this weekend has been glorious sunshine with no clouds and hot hot weather which makes me very happy. Despite this I am doing what I'm always doing....scrambling around the backyard while hubby is destroying something trying to make sense of chaos. Seriously if the idea of blood and guts didn't make me queasy I'd be right there in the ER sorting stuff out!

Adventure of the weekend (this is a big thing for guys judging by the awed expressions on two of our friends we had over for dinner tonight) was the pneumatic demolition "drill". It's kind of like a jackhammer and some psychotic torture instrument. It's great at chewing through concrete though. So we spent most of the day pulling up the path and trying to break up the hard packed backyard. Tomorrow for day two of DEMOLITION SOUTH LONDON will be going after the support posts that used to hold up the decking. Here's how it looked this afternoon.

Good news though. I convinced hubby that we should just pay for a professional to redo the fence. Phew! Now to just get everything else done....Anyone got a Motrin?

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Happy 4th of July

Two posts in one day what is the world coming to? Well just a quick one to say Happy 4th of July and a very Happy Birthday to my lovely Sister-In-Law! As is only fitting for a great holiday and a birthday a cake is in order. Here's a real beauty I did recently that got rave reviews. A layered swirl cheesecake of alternating layers of lemon curd and raspberry curd. Beautiful and tasty!

Recipe supplied upon request.

Backyard destruction

Well I'm going to make this short because hubby is off on trip 2 of 3 to the tip and I have to look helpful when he's back. I've got some finished pictures of the shelves avec les livres as you may say if you are French. It looks so nice and I'm really pleased. Here is the finished product!

The other big news is the backyard. After getting multiple builders quotes we were SHOCKED to find out how much it would cost to pay someone to redo the paving, fence etc in our little backyard. So the ever practical hubby decided that there was definitely some stuff we could do ourselves....cue me with a shovel a mountain of gravel and lots of rubble sacks....oh and a hammer, hand saw and whatever else was needed.  I learned a few things from this: 1) gravel is the devil's own playtoy (it's heavy, dirty and we have tons of it), 2) decking should not be put in a damp corner that never gets the rots...badly and 3) we're insane. Enough of that here's how it looks in progress:
PS. We also have wild blackberries growing in our backyard so super excited when those are ready!