Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Sometimes all you need is a little push. Or simply a fantastic idea which you can implement without having to buy very much at all. In my case, simply some double sided tape.

Spend some quiet relaxing time going through magazines which were going to end up in the recycling bin and find those magical images which help create these wonderful bits of tape.

The lure of the envelope was too hard for me to resist. I just had to join in you know?

Thank you Ali, and of course Kirsty for such great inspiration. It's just so pleasurable making something with only tape, paper and scissors. Back to basics crafting!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


First of all, I'd like to thank all of you for your comments on my last post. Whilst I found some to be rather on the defensive, I appreciate all of them and all have been useful. We have not reached a decision as yet, but I'd like to make it quite clear that I wasn't trying to find "excuses" not to get a cat, no one is forcing me to get one (or two), but rather I was trying to write down every thing that could possibly annoy us or make use change our minds. Isn't it best to consider every possibility before bringing it into our home?! Anyway, I do not wish to defend my position against people who clearly have a manichean view of the world with those that love cats and those that don't. Some on us love animals but simply like to make informed choices. Now, onto today's post if you will!

Living somewhere new means people want to share your joy. And make it even bigger than it already is (your joy that is). (And yes, I realise that sounds totally weird and foreign! I'm sure you get it anyway). So anyway, they feel that one way of doing just that is to give us presents. We have been given a few so far and honestly, it's just so much fun to get new things! They don't have to cost much, it's just the novelty you know? So far we got a few goodies from France (more on those some other time)...

The finest washing machine in the land...

Some seating for our garden... I could eat that fabric I love it so much!

And a generous aunt is helping us stay in touch with music in the kitchen.

Finally, we got ourselves a little present too - one that consists of a table and two chairs - surely there are some nice days left out there during which we could sit our little bottoms outside in the garden and soak up those rays? Bought in the sale too, so a completely reasonable purchase, I'm sure you'll agree!

Now, I don't want to sound like I'm gloating, and life has proved to have its ups and downs, but it's feeling pretty damn good right now. So, let's enjoy what's left of August and keep all our fingers crossed that an Indian summer is on its way...

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Cat or no cat - that is the question

Actually the question really should be "cats or no cats". Oh dear, I need some help.

Basically, we have wanted a pet for ages. Living in a flat where pets weren't allowed and with no access to outside space meant is was a complete no-no. But we now live in a house, so what's stopping us? Well, quite a few things actually.

After dog-sitting the neighbour's dog a couple of weeks ago, we realised a pet really would be a lovely addition to our home. We gave it some thought, looked at information on a local rescue centre's website and last week, we even went to visit a couple of cats, two sisters, that matched our "criteria" (sorry, I hate having to use that word in this context). (For the record, we'd both prefer a dog but full time jobs and commuting mean that's just not an option unfortunately).

The cats were gorgeous, that's not the problem. Actually, it might have been easier if they'd been moody little shits, we should have just thought, forget about it, it's just not for us. But they were terribly friendly and looked a lot of fun.

So here is our problem. We're just not sure whether to take the step or not. Pets make great additions to a family, but are we ready for the commitment yet? And there are so many downsides that we just can't shake off....

  • having to give up some amount of cleanliness in the house. Cats climb everywhere and you just don't know what they've been up to when you're out at work all day
  • having to deal with cat hair getting everywhere
  • feeling a little nervous about leaving them on their own in our new house for about 10 hours each day...
  • having to compromise on the type of carpet we had our eye on because apparently you can't have loop carpet with pets...
  • the financial commitment is quite large and maybe not the best timing, having just bought a new house and everything. There will be the food, the litter, the vet bills, the cost of jabs and chipping
  • the extra worry when organising a holiday (and possible expensive bill at the cattery...)
  • Mr Petit Filoux is most probably allergic to cats. Not a great deal, but maybe enough to make the whole idea have to go away entirely
  • not knowing where we could fit the litter tray. The house is rather small and there just aren't that many options...
  • having to clean up after them if they've been ill on carpet/ furnishings
  • the risk that they might scratch wooden flooring and soft furnishings
  • the possibility that they'll dig up flowers/ plants in the garden
I love cats but all these things are making us think twice about it. I know this sounds like a list from hell, but they're all things we have to consider and accept if we do indeed decide to adopt some cats.

What's your opinion on the matter? Any tips or suggestions?

Friday, 26 August 2011

What were you doing this morning?

In the "what we you doing" series, I bet your heart didn't beat as fast as mine did a couple of mornings ago at 6.15am. Let me tell you the story...

Mr Petit Filoux got out of bed first and without his glasses on, couldn't quite see what that dark patch was on the wall. There definitely wasn't a hole from the previous owner hanging a picture there at that height...

Close you eyes, he tells me, I have to turn the light on. (Yes I was lounging in bed.)

Oh. My. Goodness, he says.

I jump out of bed and subsequently jump out of my skin too. There is the biggest spider I have ever seen in my entire life in this country right there, on my bedroom wall, chilling out above the radiator not far from the open window.

Mr Petit Filoux offers to squash it. I say no, it'll only make a mess on the wall. Call me an animal lover. So off I trot down the stairs and grab our biggest pint glass from the kitchen. And as if by magic, my nerves calm down, I trap the spider in the glass and slide a piece of paper so I can carry it outside right at the far end of the garden.

But before that, I insisted Mr Petit Filoux take a photo. For the record. The biggest spider ever in my living memory. Fat body and fat legs. Look, that's a pint glass. And there's a human hand for scale too.

You'll have guessed right, we've slept with the window firmly shut ever since.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

At the weekend

Soulemama does "right now" posts so well, I thought I'd try it myself... although of course I'm a little busy and posting tends to be delayed a little somehow... I'm sure noone will mind though! And it's quite nice doing a little retrospective anyway...

At the weekend I:

* Enjoyed lovely flowers scattered around my home. I can actually say "my home" now which is rather unerving... and terribly exciting!

* Prepared lunch for some garden helpers. The weather was good, new tools were purchased, gloves were worn (through? already?!). We've started the battle of the gardens. And we're enjoying some seasonal cuttings on the mantelpiece - I'm in love!

* Was thinking that my crochet top is long overdue. It just needs blocking and sewing up woman, get your skates on! Did I do anything about it though? Not yet, *sigh*...

* Got a little sad that we've had to say goodbye to our furry friend... and already thinking of a way to fill his shoes paws...

* Painted my toes red. Meant to do it in my favourite shade so far this year, Marron glace by Mavala, but a party meant it just had to match...
* Tried to make the most of the weekend and not let myself have a heart attack after the quote we were given to get the carpet changed... now, where's that lottery ticket gone?!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Transformation no. 2

It all started as an old table covered in stains...

But after a little sanding...

A coat of primer...

Two coat of lovely paint (I Farrow and Ball tester pots!) and a coat of varnish, it's looking truly wonderful! Now all that's left to do is paint the spare room/ office in which this will be living in...

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Favourite room

I'm sure everyone must have a favourite room in their house. Somewhere you might like because you feel comfortable in it, somewhere you can relax, somewhere you can read in peace, or somewhere you can sing to the top of your voice without anyone taking notice. My favourite room? The bathroom. Might sound like an odd choice to some, but let me tell you why.

The house on that side is east facing and on bright clear days, the view of the sun rise from the bathroom window is simply incredible. You can feel yourself slowing down, breathing a little deeper, closing your eyes with the sun rays coming through. Any day that starts that way has got to be a good day, no doubt.

And when you have a beautifully smelling rose which has found a new home right there, I'm pretty sure it can't get any better than that.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Transformation no. 1

It all started as a bunch of flowers given with much love, and even more youthful innocence...

Because they were indeed fake flowers... but regardless, they were admired and enjoyed, and treasured they have been for the last 6 years...

Until some scissors got into my hands and an idea popped into my head...

Much better I reckon, don't you think? That way, they're not stuck in a corner of the living room, but enjoyed each and every single day. It can't be a bad thing to be reminded of young and innocent love, surely!

ps if you like the look of that little blue table in the top photos, keep your eyes peeled for Transformation no. 2 later on in the week!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Dog sitting

He's only small...

But that doesn't stop him to have a larger than life personality - wait until you walk away, upstairs (where he's not allowed) or throw him a ball in the park ...

Or wait until he gets used to you and the routine sets in... here he is waiting for Mr Petit Filoux to get home from work...

We'll miss him when we have to give him back. No more cuddles on the sofa. No more hairy company under the table when we have dinner.

But then the cleaning will have to start. Oh dear, where to start?

Friday, 19 August 2011

What were you doing last night?

Sounds like a dodgy horror movie doesn't it? Well after we'd a few hours of torrential rain yesterday evening, I went out in the garden armed with a plastic bag in lieu of a bucket, and another plastic bag in lieu of a glove. Hey, you work with what you've got, right?

No no I didn't go and pick flowers, I'm not that bonkers. Well actually you may decide that's debatable, because I did go on a snail hunt. I feel rather strongly about anything slimy (I blame these little buggers) so I couldn't leave them wondering around the garden knowing the amount of damage they can cause to my beautiful plants.

So I picked. And picked. And picked. And half an hour later, let's just say my bag was rather heavy. First major positive. First implies second? Yep yep. I found a casualty of the torrential downpours, a beautiful pink and most fragrant rose.

ps you'll be glad to know the snails didn't come to any harm and were gracefully dumped at the back of the green on the other side of the road.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

And back again

  • It's been totally hectic here. I feel like I've been swirled around, bashed against walls, dropped off for a second, and off I am again. Only this is it for a while. Busy work and busy weekends aren't making for a quiet time to look forward to though, so I'm trying to calm down and take it all in while I have a spare second.
  • The Petit Filoux household spent a few relaxing days in France. Some were more relaxing than others actually, and some were definitely much greyer and wetter than others. But we still tried to make the most of it; I had so much food I felt like a dumpling.
  • We are getting a new, albeit temporary, member of the family tonight. More on this later. Let's just say it's a he, with four legs, a small appetite and a need for two walks every day. When he's not feeling lazy.
  • We need to decide on new carpets for the bedrooms. I'm definitely part of the wooden floor boards family, but Mr Petit Filoux is most definitely a carpet man. So we compromise. Wooden floor boards downstairs, carpets upstairs. Now we just need to make our minds up. The selection is ridiculous. Who knew there were so many different types of carpet out there?!
  • I'm struggling to get back in the blogging routine. Taking photos, downloading them, writing posts, it all takes some time! I know I've said that before, but it's true, living in a new house makes things a little complicated. Things aren't where they should be, the to-do list grows bigger each day... you know the drill, it's just life I guess!
  • I'm trying to loose some weight. Broken record? Kind of. Only this time I hope to be serious about it. I look back and see a succession of half hearted attempts which all start with good intentions but fall down the drain as soon as I get peckish/ anxious/ stressed/ down right hungry. Like right now. Someone lock me in a room and throw away the key. And feed me healthy food at regular intervals. Please?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The lost month

I totally missed June with the move etc. I did however carry on taking a few photos so this post will be an eye feast of this month lost to estate agents, solicitors and mortgages. And yes, I did actually mean to post this in June, but I guess life just got in the way! I think you must have noticed that, since I'm rather erratic in my posting these days! So, here goes for June...

Spending a day at the races... don't get me started on the fact that money most definitely doesn't buy class. No I'm clearly not talking about the queen here, but rather about those scantily clad ladies who thought the more was on display the better....

Enjoying an unexpected bunch of roses (they weren't really for me, we just forgot to bring them to my nan when we went to visit her! Oops)...

Indulging in my annual pea podding exercise...

The rest of the month must have disappeared in the sea of carboard boxes that became my life for a few weeks, because I can't actually remember taking any more photos...!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Music in the park

I'm well aware we are now in August and it's absolutely baking. But let's not forget what July was like hey? Anyone notice the weather?! At times it felt like autumn. Not a good feeling when summer should really be in full swing.

The Killers at Hyde Park

So even though a couple of concert were eagerly planned and booked - surely an outdoor event in July will be alright? - we enjoyed a good few hours in the rain. On two occasions. The first time, we weren't very well prepared and got home soaked through and through and shivering to the bone. The second time we actually checked the weather forecast and donned our wellies. And carried a couple of umbrellas too. We just didn't want to look out of place.

Elton John at Hatfield House

It's funny how easily one forgets how utterly rubbish the weather was only a few weeks ago when the sun is now firmly in place and warming our hearts and skins? (I know, rather poetic don't you think?! I'm making the most of it, you know it won't last!)