Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Why is it that the first signs of Spring have us launching into nesting mode?  Last weekend saw the South of England bathed in glorious sun...remember what that is?  All of a sudden people emerged with lawnmowers and trowels (me included) to make good the effects of winter.  I even tidied the front garden!


 The back saw some action too as I planted 15 Lidl gladi bulbs  (£1.15) and did a spot of pruning..

There's been activity indoors too, where there's been a sort out and jolly good clean.  Blimey, you don't realise how many cobwebs there are until the sun comes out and shows just how much of a slattern you really are. Or is that just me then?  Of course a visitor coming to stay, always prompts a quick dash round with the Hoover,(Auntie coming today) but the place felt so tired I had a bit of a change round and tried to view my home with fresh eyes.      

I've prettied up the spare room and tried to make it look like a bedroom instead of an office, my computer's in here and the desk was laden with bank statements, tax return paperwork and other crap. 

My least favourite room is the conservatory....a upvc box.  In the winter it's Ice Station Zebra because there's no heating installed out there and in summer unbearably hot. When I venture in after the winter it's covered in cobwebs, dead insects and spider poo. Nice. I desperately want to do something with it because it is a useful dumping ground space but the main wall is made from ghastly upvc panels which I can't hang anything from or cover up easily. It's also home to the washing machine, which is awkward. 

 I have a tester pot of green paint as yet unopened, for the walls that I can decorate and I've ordered a couple of cushions.  Radical, I hear you say. Ideally I'd like a sort of potting shed come garden room type of thing...is that madness?  Ideas anyone?


Despite the busyness at home I did pop out briefly to a favourite junk shop yesterday for a good old poke about.

As I was about to leave the lady inside said how nice it was that someone had spent time and had a proper look at all the stock...do you think the subtext was bloody hell you've been in here 30 minutes and not bought a sodding thing ?
Anyways I mosied on down to the next village to have another rummage in their vintage nook where I had more luck. 
 They had some racy titles

which I managed to resist, but this (1960's?) little French desk calendar had to come home with me..

Still in good working order, it was covered in decades worth of grime, but after a swab with a windolene soaked cotton bud and a wipe down, it's not looking bad.  I googled Etablissements Nalet and they are still in business...depuis 69 ans, in fact. 

I love it and think it's worth every penny of the five quid I paid for it.  Have you bought anything for your home lately?


  1. I always feel guilty when I spend ages looking around a shop and don't buy anything! But I do it a lot! I would love a conservatory or any type of room like that, but I can see how it would be neglected over the winter x

  2. It's great to have a freshen up of things especially at this time of year. Love your new desk calendar, great buy for a fiver I would say!! xx

  3. Looks like your gardening and Spring cleaning had fab results Fiona (would you like to come and do mine tee hee?)
    Love that calendar too, a really great idea and good to see it's French ooh la la!
    Hope you're well and enjoying some more sunshine today.
    Fliss xx

  4. Lovely pics, Fiona, your garden's looking fabulous. And I love your little calendar.

  5. Whenever I watch UK Lifestyle shows on the telly they are often talking about UPVC windows. Does this mean the actual window frame is made of plastic?? I'm confused … we don't have such things over here.
    I love the green of that garden room … if that's the colour you picked I say use it.
    Your guest room looks lovely … I'd come and stay ;0)

  6. Tell me about the cobwebs and the dust. Oh and the grime and the handprints on the landing and on the walls up the stairs. Sigh.... I tend to favour doing the cleaning in semi darkness so that I don't have to see all the grime and dust. That way, the cleaning gets done rapidement and I can spend more time doing things I want to do. Yay! Anyway, j'aime beaucoup the French desk calender. Tres jolie. xx

  7. What is it with all the cobwebs? they have to grow themselves right? I refuse to accept there might be that many spiders in my house!!!!

    Gosh I don't envy you that conservatory wall though it would be lovely to have a conservatory at all.

  8. Great post Fiona, definitely not buying anything for the house, in fact I am putting a selection of stuff on an occasional table in the hope that one of my daughters will take a shine to it and takes it away. Everyone has strict instructions that anything coming into the house has to be edible, wants something, or is just looking for a hug. Sorry cannot suggest what to do with the upvc box. xx Flora

  9. Your garden and house look so lovely! I like the idea for your conservatory, lichen green walls, shabby white furniture, lots of plants in pots, maybe some old seed boxes as shelving...
    Love the desk calendar and the look of that junk shop. I know what that lady means. I'm more than happy fro someone to peruse my rails at leisure and to look properly than just a cursory glance, makes me feel like I'm not wasting my time. xxx

  10. Your spare room looks like a lovely place to spend a night or two, your Auntie will love it.
    I bought some primroses, tete a tete daffodils snd pansies and plsnted them up in pots forvthe garden. And, wait for it, yesterday I bought a toilet roll holder cos the old one fell apart lol.
    Your posts always cheer me up Fiona, thank you xx

  11. Another interesting post Fiona & I totally agree with you about spring putting you in 'nesting' mode (I wish I had a way with words like you have).
    My latest posts have been full of 'spring chores' such as cleaning windows & washing nets & tidying up the garden. I put the blame on the sunshine as it seems to wake up a part of my brain that has been asleep all winter. lol.

  12. Don't mind me, but I am chuckling at your front garden tidying, and action round the back... I know, I am so childish, it's embarrassing.
    But good for you for getting everywhere shipshape and rearranged. Hmm, what to do with the conservatory. Plants, lots of big ones? Can you lean some trellis or old ladders up against the uPVC wall and for climbing or trailing plants? Just breaking it up a bit would change the look, I think. Could you screen the washing machine off behind something? Crates, boxes, garden-y parapenalia always look good. (Emma Kate will be able to offer some suggestions, I'm sure.)
    Your spare room is looking lovely, and the desk calendar is just gorgeous. Your photos are exquisite, Fiona, I have camera envy now!
    What have I bought for the house lately? Vintage crockery. Can't help myself.
    Now, where did I put my copy of Dauntless Dick?! xxxx

  13. What a lovely tour round your home Fiona - it all looks lovely. I think you can paint UPVC as long as you prime it properly or perhaps you could cover it in loads of your gorgeous photos for a statement wall! Sniggered at the books and very envious of your beautiful desk calendar! Vicky x

  14. Your garden is a thing of beauty and so wonderfully kept. You put the rest of us to shame. I decided mine was to be a wild flower patch, but it just looks like scrubby soil with a few weeds! :)
    Your photos are lovely, full of colour and interest and I would happily rummage around in that junk shop.
    I like people's ideas for your conservatory. My thought was to put tongue and groove over the whole wall, then paint it, but that would cost a bit. Alternatively, you can get that paint which covers anything and if you did it in a nice shabby shade, it might look like old wooden panelling? xxx

  15. You have such a lovely front garden, puts the rest of us to shame. Mine is supposed to be a wild flower patch, but in fact it looks like scrub land with a few weeds! :)
    Your pictures are so beautiful and I would happily while away an hour in that junk shop.
    I like all these suggestions for your conservatory. My thought was to cover it in tongue and groove then paint it, but that would cost a bit. Alternatively, you can get that paint which covers anything. In a nice french colour, it might look like old wood panelling? xxx

  16. You've done such a great job in the garden, looks bloomin' lovely! I've spent a lot of time outside recently - find it helps at the moment. Dad loved gardening, especially veg growing, so we've made a very small veg patch in his memory. Thanks so much for your lovely words the other day.
    Tricky about the conservatory - plenty of good ideas above to give it a lift. Did see one thing I liked recently, not a major change though - old wooden shelves, quite big, freestanding (could have been top of a dresser) - painted, with various potted plants dotted about on it. Looked fab I thought - another thing for the auction list! Adore your french desk calendar, I'd have whisked that off home too xx

  17. Your yard and home are both looovely :) I can't wait to do some gardening, but I can't emerge from my hobbit hole yet. Time to work! :D

  18. Your garden's looking lovely. It's so nice to have the first tidy up after winter. I mowed my legs today and it was the same feeling. Ah, roll on spring!

    Now, that wall. How about tongue and grooving it. It's the most amazing fun. Like jigsaws but bigger. You could even just build a false wall that just props up, held in place by sofas etc so you're not drilling into your upvc. Paint it some gentle potting shed colour and Bob's your uncle. A few dangley plants in those macrame plant holders and it's instant colonial-potting-shed-orangery-chic. That is an actual thing, I've not just made it up. It's tres hip. xxx

  19. What a gorgeous garden and beautiful photos. You have just nabbed yourself another follower!!

  20. WOw, you HAVE been busy! The spare room looks gorgeous! Wish I could clear some of my junk up from my spare room to make it pretty!!x


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