Sunday, 31 July 2011

Eyes wide open

I'm taking it all in. Trying to make the most of the nice weather. Enjoying where I am at this stage of my life.

Thinking of what can be done to the house, getting a little inspiration from those freebies (thanks again Freecycle!)

Enjoying flowers in and out...

And making the most of the "out" yet again, taking advantage of the warm warm sun to clean and dry winter woolies...

Getting ready to sample some home-grown, albeit not by me, fruits of my garden...

It's frigging amazing I'll tell you that for nothing. If you can feel pride and happiness in this post, I think you're on the right track. Just keep going.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Lovely weekend

We had an absolutely superb weekend here in the South East of England. The sun shone its heart out and the temperatures were for once in line with the calendar. It was such a pleasure to have a little walk around the gardens, looking out for newly flowered blooms. Oh the joy of seeing little bees covered in our pollen!

We made the most of the weather and started making a dent in our mountain of dirty laundry. The move and the near wintery temperatures meant it was nearly as tall as me. But then of course the downside of clean clothes is that our ironing pile is the size of a small Greek island. Actually that reminds me, I must set up an "ironing station". Maybe seeing it all ready will encourage us to embrace the iron (not literally of course)? You never know.

We also had some family visit, which was a good incentive to give the place a good clean and tidy. The house now feels more and more like a home and it is just so exciting. Plans are being made for small touches of (cosmetic) renovation, and I feel so giddy about it, I can't wait to get stuck in! Just putting up a new towel rail has given us the DIY bug!

Family visiting obviously meant food had to be prepared, and I'm sorry to say I didn't even get a photo of the table covered in all my tasty offerings. One hungry cousin was rather too eager to get stuck in. I didn't think mentioning the blog would be a great move. So there, we had marinated olives, 'oeufs mayo', tuna and sweetcorn sandwiches, cherry tomatoes with basil leaves and mozzarella on little skewers (my favourites!), hummus and veg sticks.

 For pudding, some little chocolate biscuits, an apple tart (both from the supermarket, I haven't quite got to grips with my new kitchen yet!) and of course my trusty old chocolate and peanut butter brownie for pudding. That I can make with my eyes closed.

I wish I could say there was some left, but you know how it goes...!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The slug chronicles

Well I did it. I stayed up and waited for them. I got myself in a box unpacking frenzy, tv flickering in the corner, torch firmly in one hand. I couldn’t risk disturbing their naturally dark night-time environment by turning the light on. No way was this going to get messed up. So I kept my fingers crossed that they would turn up as per usual, and made a deal with Boyfriend that perhaps we should take turns to stay up, in case they decided to make an appearance at 4 in the morning. But no, they were quite well behaved actually, they only went and turned up at half past midnight!

I couldn’t believe it. I shone my torch on the front mat out of habit, not expecting to see anything, but there they were, two little wriggly things. Totally innocent looking actually, much smaller than the ones I’d 1/ seen on the internet (horror stories galore!) and 2/ caught drowning in our beer traps.

We waited around, let them have a good dig around the mat – that is what they seemed to be coming in for! Hooray, finally an answer!!! We couldn’t for the life of us figure out why it was they kept coming back. The answer to that is that they seemed to find ample food in between the hair of the mat. They kept burying their little heads in there. I could practically hear them smacking their antennas in delight.

So after cooing over them – aren’t they small, aren’t they not scary at all!! – we decided it was time for action. One of them seemed to make a move for the sides of the mat – an exit perhaps? Yep, totally. So before it vanished down the side boards, I used a couple of bamboo sticks to pick it up and drop it in the beer. As the next one moved a little bit later and headed for the same direction, beer came to the rescue once again. They may have provided us with answers, but we weren’t going to let them get away with it.

Our next move? Go to bed. After that? Well, we removed their source of food (yummy old dirty foot mat!) and spent a few pennies in a large DIY store to get some supplies. We used some sealant around the entire area of the front porch where there were clearly gaps between the flooring and the walls and waited for a miracle.

A miracle which has indeed happened since. No more slugs in the front of the house!!! Go us!! We were so pleased, and rather relieved too. No they’re not supernatural monsters who come and slurp on our floors during the night for no reason. They’re looking for food and they come in through tiny cracks. Fill the cracks and they’re gone!

We still plan on getting air brick covers (any suppliers anyone? We’ve found some on the internet but they’re rather pricey…). Getting them covered seemed to stop the problem in the kitchen at the back for a while. They have occasionally come back since, but that could be due to the tape coming off the walls slightly, or them finding another entry point – not hard in a kitchen where there are a lot of gaps for services.

So there, the fight isn’t over yet but we’ve done pretty well so far. We haven’t won the war yet, but we’ve totally won a major battle.

For any of you out there who have a similar problem, I cannot recommend enough staying up to see where they’re coming from/ where they try and leave from. That was the best thing we ever did and helped us solve the problem quickly enough. Ok it means you might have a late night, but it’s oh-so-worth it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

My first

Very own door...

Little rotten bench...

Glass cabinet...

Lavender buds...


Yes, I love it all!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Uninvited visitors

We have some uninvited visitors. Unfortunately not the type that can be satisfied with a bowl of pasta and a bottle of wine. Or crisps. Or whatever, you get the idea.

No, we have uninvited visitors who come into our house for god knows what reason. And only at night. Sounds suspicious yet?

Hmmm it's rather disgusting actually. We get slugs coming in every night (the little buggers are nocturnal) and have a wonder around the living room. They used to come in the kitchen too but we seem to have sorted that one out. Because we have indeed turned into demoniacal Slug Busters. Like Ghost Busters only slightly more creepy in my mind.

The reason why we've sorted out the kitchen is because we're currently trying every solution under the sun to get rid of them (unlike our neighbours who seem content on hoovering/ mopping every morning...). Slug pellets? Salt? Beer? We've tried it all. And I can tell you that finding a slug that has drowned in beer first thing in the morning is a rather weird feeling. Combined excitement of having killed one with the fact that they, yet again, have made their way inside.

During the course of last week we decided to find out where exactly they were coming from. We can't just carry on putting salt outside, it's not practical, and I think it's turning us into slightly demented and obsessed Slug Busters. So we taped plastic sheets over all our air bricks. We thought they might be coming in from there. Now before anyone calls Building Control on us, we know you're not meant to cover air bricks, this is just a temporary solution to work out if indeed that's how they're coming in. We'll eventually buy some mesh covers instead.

But still, one (or more?) is coming in the living room. Always in the same area. The night we put up covers on the air bricks it got really angry and left us an extra amount of goo on the carpet (are you grateful yet that I have chosen not to include any photos in this post?). I think it's upset. But we don't care. Only we're getting quite angry that we can't figure out how they're getting in.

Cue the final solution. Stay up all night in the dark with a torch and wait. Wait for the little buggers to come out. Then we'll fill whatever hole they're coming through and hope (for the sake of our sanity) that they never return ever again. Please.

Come back later this week for the next instalment of Slug Busters...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

And she's back

Hello everyone!

Sorry I’ve been away for so long, it’s just been a few crazy weeks. Between the packing (and mental last minute packing), the cleaning (first of the house, then of the flat before handing back the keys), moving (until 10.30pm…), blogging just didn’t come into the equation! Not having the internet at home for a while and no up and running computer didn’t help either.

But I’m now I’m back and ready to give you glimpses into my new home! I love love love, love it! It’s absolutely incredible to feel that you own a place. And being able to spend two hours in the garden weeding is an exceptional feeling. Before I would have spent every evening making dinner, eating dinner, watching tv, making the next day’s lunches (with help from Mr Petit Filoux of course). Now, I can spend time outside, taking in the fresh air, making the most of the nice weather. And even when it’s windy and overcast, it just makes you feel healthy. A little bit of physical works does wonders for the mind and soul. And I can’t even say I’ve missed that living in a flat. I’ve never lived in my own house, so this is all new to me. I hope to learn as I go along, and will be eagerly picking up gardening tips from your blogs.

Come with me on this adventure, I can tell it’s going to be a heart-stopping roller coaster!