Monday, 19 February 2018

Vanilla Latte

I like my coffee as I like my life, simple, straightforward. no fuss,  so I've never tried any of the flavoured coffees, the various milk or pseudo milk options, I don't even like latte but I am smitten by this pattern by Virginia Rose-Jeanes which is free to download on Ravelry.
I have made four pairs already, two have been gifted away but these below are still in the penthouse and Mr FF has his eye on the ones to the left

Another pair are on the needles.
The simple pattern, just two rows to remember the second being knit, offers a lot of options, three sizes, three different heel flaps , my favourite is Eye of Partridge
and two toe finishes, rounded wedge or star, I'm using star. 
How generous is that.  The pattern seems to suit all colourways from plain to fair isle.   If I could take only one pattern to my desert island this would be my choice, I can't imagine I would ever tire of it even when I had to resort to spinning coconut husks and seaweed as my yarn supply ran out.  Thank you Virginia.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018


Finally the bathroom is done, it looked like this
 Then this
 here it is now
The room is small with no window but now feels spacious and efficient

We already had the steel towel radiator which is on the wall opposite the units so difficult  to include in photos, how sharp are those tiles

Long  walk in shower with just a fixed piece of glass, big square overhead rain shower head and a small flexible hand unit on the wall, a simple black glass push button controller

The cabinet has white or warm lighting options and of course we can listen to radio 4 or music via Bluetooth
The fun part now after all the cleaning is selecting items to display on the counter top that complement the colour scheme and look beautiful, black seems to be the answer

I've filled the cupboards with things I don't want to see and not even used the cabinet as the shelves are not yet in place.  Makes me think I have plenty of room for more purchases, which is very wrong.  

Friday, 2 February 2018

Cat news, its not all good

We've been concerned about the three cats we left in Italy since Christmas.  We didn't have any news from Mario who has been feeding them and thought he might not be contacting us as he didn't have good news.  We sent several emails and texts and about 10 days ago received a note to say our cat is now living at his house, at first I thought it said cats and was delighted but then realised it was cat singular.  So we sent more messages asking which cat and if there were still others at our house being fed.  Today we received a note to say Grigio one of the kittens is living with Mario and Theo the shy black older cat is at our house.  That means Crema is missing.
Crema is a beautiful friendly girl and like the others a survivor. She may have been taken by someone, I can't imagine she would willingly leave her little family.  We were told last year after Marzio who looked very much like her disappeared that people like white cats and he might have been taken. If she has a good home that's fine but we will definitely be searching the village when we return, which could be as soon as next month, to see if she is still around.
I won't post any photos, it makes me too sad,  We knew we would be upset when we got more news but we had to know and the fact that two are safe and well isn't helping much today.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Its not over yet

I thought by now I'd be showing you our completed bathroom, wrong.  Mr FF is currently working on the lighting while we wait for trims to go round the door and a bit more silicone to be applied.  So although I've washed down the walls and buffed up the new units, no toiletries have returned to the space,  nothing is being used and our bedroom is still a shambles, you and I will just have to be patient.

When not working in the bathroom Mr FF installed some shelves in the utility for towels, linen etc and this job is finished. We had to get a new tumble dryer, which is stacked on top of the washer so it made sense to do a few improvements  Now this small room is much smarter and practical.  Unfortunately one shelf was damaged when it arrived from Ikea, the replacement is due this week just in case you were wondering about the brackets with no shelf.

The nights are getting longer, the weather is reasonably mild and January is almost over, getting there, feeling positive, looking forward.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Dusty days

It's everywhere of course despite a regular clean up session each evening and much washing of the black kitchen floor.
But progress is good, it's so worth it even if our bedroom looks like an area of mass destruction.  At some stage I need to get into my wardrobe to find a (dust free) party ensemble as we are out tomorrow.  
In this bathroom we selected two contrasting tiles, different shapes and different colours.  The grey planky ones on the floor and the back of the shower
have an interesting texture and go well with the plainer rectangular tiles on the other walls
and in real life look darker on the back wall than they do on the floor, which pleases me
Today we've taken delivery of the fittings, the shower screen only just squeezed into our lift and the plinth for the cupboards had to be carried up the fire escape, but everything is safe in our hall.  The cupboards are very dark grey, maybe granite, with a slightly metallic finish and of course all the sanitary ware is white.  We are getting there, I'm looking forward to a weekend of calm and a finish next week.  Keep you posted.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Answers on a postcard

I didn't report on our £5 Christmas stocking exchange, it was fun as ever though maybe a bit samey.  Books, soap and some pretty little dishes for me, socks from a £1.50 large ball of 4 ply I found in the charity for Mr FF plus a framed postcard of Ilkley and some shower gel.  
However, we received this from friends in Taiwan and I have absolutely  no idea what its for

It can't be a key ring surely as is too cumbersome, 5 inches across 6 inches long and padded.  The little overcoat comes off though the button doesn't work its just decoration.  Unless anyone comes up with the answer soon we are going to have to email and ask our friends which is a little embarrassing.
The bathroom is stripped out, the new fittings are all ordered complete with an illuminated mirrored cabinet that has different levels of light, chargers inside so we can keep the toothbrush etc out of sight, and blue tooth.  Mr FF tells me we can play music in the bathroom via the phone.  Like the little padded jacket, I have no idea what this is about.  I heard someone say on a comedy programme recently that they'd leave their partner if only they knew how to work Netflix.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018


So 2018, its a rather worrying year at the penthouse as Mr FF and I will be 70 in August and November respectively.    I don't feel that old but I am, I've no idea how it happened and what the coming years will bring, there's nothing I can do but get on with it. 
We continue as usual.  We've just moved ourselves into the spare bedroom and cluttered the beautiful new bathroom with our lotions and potion because tomorrow Jim is back to start stripping out the second en suite bathroom.
Today it looks like this with everything moved out, the layout will basically be the same as we've decided that having the sanitary ware built into cupboard arrangement works well, I have a lot of toiletries and I love a place to put things down.  We hope to have a walk in shower and have sourced some interesting tiles but talking to Jim I got the impression he was a bit disappointed we weren't installing another all singing all dancing bathroom.  Maybe we are starting to act our age, we'll be putting in grab rails next.
I'll keep you updated as things get worse before they get better, meantime happy new year to everyone.