Monday 30 January 2017

The balcony is shaping up

The Italian porcelain tiles for our balcony arrived last week and had to be removed from the front of the building two at a time, half put outside ready for laying and half stored in the car to be taken to a specialist for cutting.  
As the balcony is curved it took Mr FF a full day to calculate and draw up the intricacies of shaping the tiles to fit, luckily the cutter was impressed, all worked well and once again the engineer proved his worth.
The tiles sit on special pedestals that are adjusted to eliminate the major fall on the surface of the balcony, no more wedges under the table legs, we will now be able to sit out without feeling we are leaning over or that wine is spilling out of our glasses.
The work isn't quite finished as we had a house guest for three days, Mr FF did as much as he could and put the furniture out there to make some space in the second bedroom.   It feels like the huge amount of work we started last year knocking out the walls is almost over.
But don't worry that we might be resting on our laurels, our guest left today tomorrow we start stripping out the horrible bathroom.  I guess we won't be sitting out admiring the view just yet we shall be too busy carting rubble down four floors to the skip and don't ask me how we shall get that black bath on silver legs out.

Wednesday 25 January 2017

I wish I'd said that

Today we were out looking at bathrooms, tiles etc and met a lovely enthusiastic lady full of wonderful ideas who totally agreed with me that some of Mr FF's suggestions are decidedly odd.  I told her we needed to sort out not just the bathroom but the bedroom and it's storage problems too so we moved on to discussing fitted wardrobes.  She recommended a local craftsman who would produce bespoke units with painted wood doors which she suggested should have a matt finish, adding 'of course I'm very partial to a crystal knob'.  I don't know how I kept my face straight, it's my mind I know but I've been smiling and giggling all day long.  Victoria Wood lives on.

Thursday 19 January 2017

Plots and Plans

The first weeks of January have involved a lot of scheming in the penthouse, there are big plans for more changes.
Mr FF has been drawing up ideas for the horrible black bathroom and there has been a lot of disagreement.  I want us to retain a bath, I normally use the shower in our en suite but just now and then I feel the need for a luxurious soak. We have eventually managed to fit in everything we need by selecting a hexagonal bath, we are even toying with the idea of a steam or massage shower, and hopefully there will be plenty of space to put things down, one of my main requirements in a bathroom.
I've bought my organic marmalade oranges and will soon start the big boiling session that will scent the penthouse deliciously.
I've been daydreaming over this Christmas book, lots of lovely sock ideas that match my love of cables.  
Sadly my LYS decided while I was away to become my local sewing shop so now there is no sock wool within walking distance of home. I'm very disappointed by this but keeping an eye open for some plain 4 ply that will show off the pattern detail nicely.
New tiles arrive this week for our balcony which is presently covered with rather ugly stuff.  The porcelain tiles will match the inside steps and hopefully give the overall effect of the outside and inside being one.  Mr FF is sourcing new double glazed windows for our two bedrooms, we received listed building consent for these last year but the challenges of installing them on the top floor are huge.
Planning ahead for a summer in Italy I've bought myself some new glasses.  I was sick of either wearing sunglasses and not seeing or wearing my normal glasses and squinting.  These purple ones should solve the problem although since I bought them this week there hasn't been any sun for me to run a trial.  
So lots to firm up, lots to do, more disruption, dust and debris no doubt but it's all positive, a good start to the new year I think.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

It never fails

Retail therapy works again and I'm feeling much more positive.  I decided if I was to become a couch potato I needed to do it in style so I've binned my grotty old slippers and bought these.
Beautiful beautiful Uggs, they are solid, hug my feet in sheepskin oh so cosy and almost pass as going out footwear.  
I  thought they'd be good for wandering down to our ground floor entrance hall for the post until I got caught out this week going down for a delivery for Mr FF that needed to be signed for, I was still in my dressing gown at almost mid day. I had to load four big boxes into the glass lift then carry them into the penthouse all whilst trying to stop my dressing gown flapping open.  I don't think pricey slippers made up for that faux pas but luckily I only met one person who didn't seem to notice what I was wearing.  I am now thinking I need a smarter dressing gown that veers towards all day lounge wear, or I need to get up and dressed earlier.

Wednesday 4 January 2017


I don't know what the year will bring anymore than you do but as Liz at Love those Cupcakes said in my comments recently, there is plenty going on in the world to keep us awake at night.  Whilst I do worry about the world I also spend a lot of time thinking about what's in store for me.  I am 68 and mostly I don't feel my age.  Of course I've slowed down, the girl who ran marathons and long distance hill races is someone in my distant past, but I'm not overweight, I still walk quite a bit, keep myself flexible when I remember to bend and stretch. I cleanse and moisturise twice a day, rub more cream into my arms and legs than is necessary, I wear perfume every day and try not to go out without earrings.   Last year I read 50 books and knit enough socks to last me and Mr FF many years.   
Yet I do feel that I am slowing down, not just the walking into a room and wondering why I'm there confusion but generally feeling lethargic and without enthusiasm.  You will by now if you've read my recent Christmas bah humbug posts be shouting at the screen that I never have much enthusiasm anyway. Probably true and it may just be the time of year but I think at the back of my mind there must be some recognition of every day bringing me closer to senility. When you are in your 30s and 40s life still stretches before you, I've already outlived both my parents and some days the inevitability of old age seems too close for comfort.  Not that old age is necessarily something to dread, we have folk in this building who are in their 80s and bright as buttons, ladies and gents beautifully turned out living life to the full.  Mr FF regularly steps out on a Friday evening for a drink with John from the ground floor who is late 70s, there is a lady in her mid 80s who eats out every day of the week, taking a taxi to and from town early evening often dressed in Gucci.    
I'm fortunate and grateful that I have no great regrets about my life so far (we could have returned to Yorkshire sooner) I've always had good health and I live comfortably in a beautiful home in a town I love with all this 5 minutes walk from my front door.
As I say it may be the January blues caused by everyone being oh so positive about the new year, how they will get fit, eat less, live Danishly etc, or perhaps too many mince pies have made me sluggish.  I need to shake off this feeling and get some winter sunshine into my eyes, that always works wonder for me. I will once I've finished the mince pies,  for now feel free to give me a good talking to but please don't tell me about your new year's resolutions.