Wednesday 18 December 2013

I've come over all natural

Recently, Mr J and P told me that our neighbour over the road was going to give us a bottle of Baileys because he had one spare.

Fast forward a week later.  I had to call round to said neighbour for something and after we'd finished our conversation, he said "I've got something for you" and dashed off into the house to retrieve it.  Aah, that would be the bottle of Baileys I thought.  Imagine my poor bewildered little face when he thrust into my sweaty mitts a bunch of bay leaves.

Clearly NOT a bottle of Baileys.

I accepted the bunch of bay leaves with great enthusiasm, declaring excitedly (a little too excitedly I feel) "I LOVE bay leaves!" and toddled off to give Mr J and P the full admonishment he deserves; the deaf old git.

Now, this is the time of year when I get busy making our Xmas wreath.  My major contribution to the Xmas decorating here at J and P Towers.

This year I've come over all natural.  No more the plastic bags wreath of 2010 and 2011 here with its glittery penguins and oversized reindeer.  Gone too is last year's  pompom garlanded wreath and all its paraphernelia.  It's been dismantled and in its place is holly from our very own holly tree and a few sprigs of our very own ivy (which is looking a bit droopy but never mind).

Perhaps I could have added a bay leaf or two eh?

I suspect that this has done the rounds but it was sent to us at work via our occupational health and safety newsletter:
Did you know that…?
  • 31 Brits have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the Christmas lights were plugged in.
  • 142 Brits were injured in 1999 by not removing all the pins from new shirts
  • 58 Brits are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of screwdrivers.
  • 19 Brits died in a 3 year period believing that Christmas decorations were chocolate.
  • One year British hospitals reported 4 broken arms after cracker pulling accidents.
  • 101 people since 1999 have had broken parts of plastic toys pulled out of the soles of their feet.
  • 18 Brits had serious burns in 2000 trying on a new jumper with a lit cigarette in their mouth.
  • A massive 543 Brits were admitted to hospital over a two year period after opening bottles of beer with their teeth.
  • Over one Christmas period 5 Brits were injured in accidents involving out-of-control Scalextric cars.
  • In 2000, eight Brits cracked their skull whilst throwing up into the loo.
Do be careful pulling those Xmas crackers now won’t you?

Au revoir mes amis.  See you in the New Year when I get back from gay Paris...xx

Friday 6 December 2013

The Postcard Wall

Friday is my day off and recently, Little Miss J and P asked me what I did all day.  "Oh, I'm very busy,"  I lied.  I explained that I go to Aqua Aerobics in the morning with my fellow over-50s.  It's a dead cheap session - a bargain at £2.70  The only downside is the music.  Last week I had to endure such gems as Cliff Richard's "The Young Ones" which the old dears sang along to with great gusto  and Rod Stewart's classic "Do you think I'm Sexy?".  Such fun...

Anyway, back to my discussion with Little Miss J and P.  "Oh and I do lots of cleaning, " I lied again.  "Funny that," said Little Miss J and P "every time I come home from school on Fridays, I notice you've been fiddling with the postcard wall again."

I can't deny it, dear readers, I just can't leave the postcard wall alone.

I recently rediscovered Mr J and P's vast collection of postcards languishing in the loft.  I rescued them and stuck some on the wall on the landing.

First of all they looked like this.

I wasn't happy.

Now I've stuck them over two walls so they look like this.

I'm still not happy.

Particularly as the washi tape that I've used to stick the posties on the wall is not fit for purpose and they keep falling off  *cross face*.

I've noticed that Little Miss J and P has taken a leaf out of my book and stuck her postcards on her bedroom wall like so:

I must say I'm liking the randomness of the display.  I may have to copy.

Talking of Little Miss J and P, I've also noticed strange pre-teen behaviour on her part.  Look what she's daubed on her globe light:

And this:

 And it can only get worse.....

Peace and love.  xx

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Bang Bang Crash

It's hellish here at J and P Towers.  We've got the builders in and it's week 3 of raging chaos, dust, grit and no proper kitchen, lounge or downstairs loo.  What's more, they're still going strong!

The sad ruins of our kitchen:

We've got rising damp, caused by a defective damp course. It's one of those annoying things where you really don't have anything to show for all the banging, crashing and chaos not to mention all the dosh we're having to throw at it *gulp* .  Apart from a new kitchen worktop which looks very similar to the old one, only in black, and new kitchen tiles.

We can't find a thing because everything is where it shouldn't be:

The downstairs loo without the loo:

That's because it's in the garden.  Of course!

There's even a bloody cement mixer parked in our beloved dining room which Mr J and P has a habit of colliding with, turning the already dusty air blue with his swearing.

Never have I been so happy to be going to work.  Particularly as now our next door neighbours have got the builders in too.  Poor old Mr J and P is currently at home, in between jobs, and I keep getting emails from him saying "It's like the fall of Berlin here" and "news from the bunker....." and "Oh God, there's a builders' convention right outside our house."

The only thing that is keeping me and Mr J and P sane(ish) is our nightly dose of Breaking Bad (just finished season 2 fyi).

See you on the other side... xx

Friday 27 September 2013

Pouffe Palavar (it wasn't really a palavar, I just couldn't think of another "p" word)

I always love it when something I've been hoarding for no particular reason or purpose actually comes in handy.

I'm talking about the single duvet languishing in a bag under the spare bed together with the cushions that had lost their oomph.  What I was keeping the cushions for, I know not.  They really were useless and not fit for purpose. 

Anyway, I decided to knit a pouffe and use the duvet and useless cushions as stuffing. 

I was inspired by Pickles' so-called Puff Daddy here:

Cute huh?

I couldn't quite follow the instructions (because I'm a fool) but I found this one easier to follow.

I used this deliciously soft chunky yarn which is 51% wool and 49% acrylic.  It's probably far too lovely and soft for an item of furniture but it was cheaper than the equivalent 100% chunky acrylic.

Now, I would have liked to show you the steps leading up to the pouffe's creation, but Little Miss J and P has, YET AGAIN, deleted the pics from the camera *tries to suppress evil thoughts*.

Anyway, if you follow these instructions you can't go wrong AND it's the same principle, would you believe, as my round cushion here .

So, you knit a large rectangle, sew together the two short sides to make a cylinder, gather one end of cylinder with running stitch, stuff with spare duvet and useless cushions, gather and sew the other end so it looks like this:

I didn't much care for the gaping hole at either end so I knitted two small squares and stuffed them in the holes at both ends:

Aah that's much better

Here it is in situ:


And here it is, for some reason, posing proudly on the sofa:

The pouffe cost just under £20 which isn't bad when shop bought pouffes cost a whole lot more.
On another note, rejoice with me, dear readers, as there are a whole TWO jumble sales to go to tomorrow.  I am so excited that I fear I won't get a wink of sleep tonight.....Seriously.....
Bye bye one and all. xx

Friday 13 September 2013

Only I could get excited about a kitchen sink

When we visited our friends in Holland in the summer, I told Little Miss J and P beforehand that the kitchen sink in our friend, Marianne's, house was simply the bees knees.

Little Miss looked at me as I was some sort of fool and said "Seriously, mum, no-one cares."

Little does she realise that my readers do care about such things.  Don't you?  (Don't let me down now will you?).

But before I show you a pic of said kitchen sink (I really know how to ramp up the excitement don't I?), I had a good old snoop round Marianne's house and took a few pics.  Just for you, dear readers.

Cute stag head in pink downstairs loo:

Cute lock on toilet door:

Cute little shrine thang going on - still in the downstairs loo:

I've always lusted after these Jielde floor lamps.  Sadly, they're really expensive and I am, as you know, a complete skinflint.

A foolish person posing next to the floor lamp and getting in the way:

I should have taken a photo of this Agfa (what the hell is it??) light box thingy when it was lit up:

Another pretty floor lamp:

I love these handy storage canisters in the kitchen:

Nika is their daughter:

Near vertical stairs are common in Holland.  They stem from the 17th century when canal houses were taxed on their width:

I adore this vintage wallpaper which they bought from a well known vintage wallpaper shop in Ghent, Belgium:

The wallpaper shop in Ghent which I visited a number of years ago.  It really is stuffed to the gunnels with rolls of to die for wallpaper:

And now, for the kitchen sink:

Sadly, not the best of photos but it's pretty fabulous is it not?  A blue and white tiled kitchen sink:  what's not to adore?

Who'd have thought that I'd be lusting after a kitchen sink for Gawd's sake?  Aaah, the thrills and spills of my little world.....

Actually what was genuinely thrilling was winning the Vanilla Squirrel's giveaway in the summer:

This is an adorable squirrel pin cushion (Cath Kidston if you please) which is currently on display in our front room as it's far too lovely to be put away in our sewing box.
How lucky am I?

Byeeeeee  xx