Category Archives: Uncategorized

Staircase to hell #loft

It’s been a while since updating this blog. I’ve been busy you see.

I’ve moved out of the amazing home…


And after a prolonged pause which saw us staying at Grandma’s place, we’re now settled into the new pad. Somewhere further South of the river.

The main downside with the new pad is a lack of a third bedroom. And a garden. But the bedroom thing really isn’t all that great. Happily there is a loft above us, ripe for converting and so, I thought, I will do something magnificent – because, well, when life gives me lemons – I squeeze them on my tagliatelle.


However, despite dreams of something like this


Planners (and budget) are shoving me down the road to this:


Or if you prefer naked, this:


Suddenly stairs don’t conjure up a magical journey to another kingdom or floor. They spell out a sad building-regulated, planning-approved, boxy face-punch of conformity.

Boo Hoo. Any good ideas on how to make a pretty stair out of a load of old twallop?

Let me know.



Does Green Smoke make you Wicked?

green smoke bedroom

I came across this bedroom on the brilliant blog 

The site is a super-time-sapper extraordinaire so don’t go there. Or do “Goodbye…” *wipes tear.*

Simply the best, smoky, deep, chalky soft green I’ve seen. It’s called Green Smoke. I know – great name too! And of course, it’s not that you would ever wake up and think ‘Oh, my life would be infinitely better if I could only wake up enveloped in a foresty dark green room’.

Melody Farrow and Be-jyma Ball – I salute you as ever and your continued stirring of wit and intelligence into those excellently posh tins of paint.

How to kill a floral feature wall

So we’ve moved out of our old house and thanks to the rather painful process of being in a property chain (OF HELL)…we had to pack everything up into storage and move in with Grandma. But, it’s fine, now, we’re nearly at the finish line. Our new home beckons but it does come with it’s own special challenges.

  1. We’ve moved out of a three bed house and we’re going into a two bed flat.
  2. Pretty much every wall in the flat is beige.
  3. Except the bathroom which is covered floor to ceiling in tiny dark blue tiles. From floor to ceiling.
  4. There are two feature walls covered in shiny floral wallpaper. Not pretty floral wallpaper like this glorious Little Greene Paint Co. example above.

    This…floral wallpaper elm road

  5. THIS will not do.
  6. Our entrance hall is tiny and shared with our neighbour downstairs.
  7. The door to our flat opens straight onto the stairs.
  8. The stairs in question are narrow.
  9. There is nowhere for coats
  10. There is nowhere for shoes
  11. Nowhere for school bags/shopping/footballs/bicycles/skateboards/scooters/big fluffy elephants and other random STUFF that children bring home every day.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a lovely time full of promise. A new place to call home, and a totally blank (and slightly floral) canvas for me to bring to life.

So far I’ve not come across the perfect solution for our non-existent hallway conundrum so if anyone has any brilliant suggestions for where to stash an unexpected elephant (or muddy football boots) please do share!


It’s been a while since I updated my blog. Real life has gotten in the way. That, and I wasn’t quite sure how to spin my latest post. But really there’s no spinning this – I’ve sold my lovely house.

SOLD.jpgThe house with the ice cream colours which played out so prettily in Apartment Therapy’s  House Tours. The place that I built, one tin (of fancy paint and vintage treasures) at a time.

Now I find myself sitting midway between that house and something else; something next. And pondering how life can twist and turn in gentle but newly defining curves, and lifting a glass which is literally half full.  I think it’s my lemons and lemonade moment.

I’ve got my eye on the next project though. I’m planning, and pinning and tearing pages out of magazines.  Plotting it all. And you know I really do feel sure that in ways I’ve not even imagined yet –  it’s going to be wonderful.

Moving on, baby.

A dirty word


Such a dirty word, such a weight, such a drain on life and the potential for happiness.

Last night’s news of the death of the fashion designer L’Wren Scott reminded me of this modern plague of debt and what sometimes appears to be our unmonitored freedom to spend money we don’t actually have.

This was also publicized in less glamorous surroundings recently in ‘Famous, Rich and Hungry’, a Sport Relief programme which portrayed so-called famous folk living for a very, very short time with people struggling on the poverty line.

One of the starkest facts to come out of the programme was how one family had become crippled by the interest they were forced to pay on a payday loan. I’d never heard of this particular type of loan before; – maybe I’m lucky, and maybe just a little deluded. But I pray I never have the cause to take one out  since the interest rockets so fast, that of course there is no way the original loan can be paid back. It really is a cruel curse straight out of a fairy tale, a monstrous dark art which should be banned.

L’Wren Scott was a talented, beautiful woman in her prime. Capable of anything, and apparently mind-bogglingly in debt to the tune of $6 million. She could have lived off her fabulously wealthy boyfriend (Mick Jagger) but instead she strove to be a success in her own right. Fashion is a business so fickle that even the best of the bunch are prone to bankruptcy if they get a pussy bow or embellishment in the wrong place. The media is reporting that the reason L’Wren allegedly ended her own life was debt, and the shame that accompanies it.

Worrying about affording a family holiday this year pales to nothing when I think of the daily struggle many people are faced with trying to keep their heads above this rising tide of stinking, filthy, all-consuming debt.

Questions should be asked.

Kids eh?

I had planned to write a lovely blog post last week. It was going to be full of sunshine and promise. And it would have made you laugh. Honest.

But our dear seven year old came down with a bug instead throwing every plan and routine out of the window (with a temperature of 38.2).

We went to the doctor and then three days later we ended up in A & E talking about emergency operations.

In the end, it was a virus, another unexplained, horrible old virus. One that caused fevers and a swollen leg and a family worried half to death. And created a fist that punched a hole in our weekly routine. And made us wobble over the future we had already counted on.

And then the virus went and it’s gone now (fingers crossed) and I am ecstatic to report that our boy is back in school today, and that was just a horrible week of waking nights and sick-lagged days that will have strengthened his immune system. And taught us to take nothing for granted, ever.

Most of all it made me think of all the parents that go through this kind of stuff on a regular basis with their children. The worry, bewilderment and search for strength and clear faith in the face of something very, very scary.

So, I wanted to dedicate this, the first post of the new year to all those brave children and parents out there that deal with fear and sickness like this on a daily basis. And to our heroes…the men and women that invented CALPOL.

And that is all for now.

State till 8 should have an ASBO slapped on it


I’ve been reading with mounting horror a thread on Nappyvalleynet about schools. The thread is called ‘State till 8’, a phrase I’ve only just recently become aware of, and now find, abhorrent.

State till 8 is the practice of some parents who take up a perfectly lovely local primary school place for their child in the full knowledge that they will move them regardless to a prep school in year 3 (aged 8).

Their reasons for doing this, as far as I can tell, is to ensure they get them into a ‘decent’ private Secondary School without having to pay fees for a prep school from the moment their child officially starts school.

State till Eight is clearly about saving money on school fees, and whilst we can all applaud the concept of saving money – the direct result of this nasty little practice is the disruption of all of our children’s lives.

Despite the fact that I don’t like our current education system, I do support parents rights to choose the path that they feel is right for their kids. That said, it’s not really a fair choice because most people can’t afford to ‘choose’ anything other than their local school. If they can get in of course. But still, each to his or her own and all that.

But, State till Eight is not about choice, it’s about being anti-social and putting your child in a situation whereby they indirectly harm the chances of another child’s education.

This issue is not just about the poor kids pulled here and there for their parents irrational yet rampant fear of State education. It’s the children who lose out every year on a place in the school of choice because of these sharp elbowed Mummies and Daddies.

Of course these are also the very parents who can afford the rent or house prices in the better school catchments, so there’s a sense of cheating the system twice over.

Then, you have the children left behind in the now clearly inferior State school when Tarquin is moved on. And then, and of course all the siblings of the first lot who didn’t get a place, who now also won’t get a place because some people want to save thousands of pounds by taking a school place they have no intention of keeping.

Some schools are trying to deal with this vile little phenomenon by asking parents at the open evening that they only apply for places if they are going to stay with the school. It would be nice to think that appealing to the parents sense of morality would work, but let’s face it, with this kind of parenting there is no morality when it comes to educating their children.

We all know that the best way to support the State Education System (other than get rid of Michael Gove obv.) is to put your child, and your time into it. But for those parents who clearly have no faith in themselves, or their children, perhaps it’s time to hit them where it hurts – in their pockets?

I’d like to see an exit fee charged for parents who withdraw their children from State Schools to put them into prepatory schools. Perhaps that way they will think twice about saving themselves money whilst depriving other local families of school places?

Failing that I would love to see these ASBO parents tagged so that their winter ski trip and summer decamp to the house in France/Cornwall/Tuscany is forfeitted. Bad enough we have parents misusing religion to get into selective schools but taking places in those schools and then ditching them for private really is low.

Rant over. Let’s lobby parliament. Seriously. I hear you can catch some of them at the school gates of your nearest prep school. After eight.