Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Did I mention that it was hot here? In England??

Midnight is approaching rapidly here, and if I tell you that I sat down at this computer for the first time today a short while ago, would you believe me? Me? Away from all Internet means all day? Yep. I even forgot my phone in my bag until a short while ago and then had to scroll through 25 emails and assorted messages and it is too late to answer any of them. But there is always tomorrow. 

I had things to do. And spent a great deal of time outside. Under the apple tree. 

Just look at that blue sky above my 10ft tall roses. Stunningly blue, and a real scorcher today. Incredibly hot and humid too, and if sweating buckets is a way to lose weight, I should be approaching Twiggy size any moment now. 

Maybe not. Yet. If only.

I was out of here early to have coffee in Nicky's garden to celebrate the sunshine. And to just enjoy her rooms in the garden. I love garden rooms, don't you? You know what I mean - special different areas in a garden. Like mine. Distinct sitting areas. I LOVE them. And Nicky's garden is probably the nearest to mine in size and style, and so it was lovely to sit, relax and chat with a friend a while. 

And then zap off to aquazumba. Oh, the water was cold and wonderful. To start with. 45 minutes later it was like a steam bath and we were red in the face and the sweating did not stop after that. A hot shower, and as I sat down in front of the mirror to do the hair and make-up, I looked at the red face, the sweat still trickling and thought, why on earth am I bothering? And left with hair dripping. The drips cooled me down a little, as did the free bottle of power drink I was handed as I reached the stairs. How nice. Ice cold. Perfect. 

I had to go and get petrol, and dripped my way through the supermarket at the same time, and then came home, still dripping. You do not want to know what happens to my hair when I just leave it, it is hot, and I forget to do anything to it all day. Oh heavens. You have NO idea. This sounds quite revolting, doesn't it. Well, it was hot. I was boiling. So was everyone else in England.  

So I decided that the mission for the day was to finish the breakfast nook. And clear away every tool I possess, which had found its way to the kitchen. Let me just say that I needed 4 arms and hands. Have you any idea how difficult it is to attach a 6 ft shelf onto a wall while balancing a spirit level on top of it by yourself? Hmmm. It took me 5 hours, which included frequent (every 10 minutes) stops to splash cold water on my face, mop up, sit under the apple tree, ponder the next move and get it done.

I had to cut grooves for the bench supports to fit against the shelf, which has an edging. That was simple, until I discovered the wall wasn't straight, but I sorted that. So the grooves were cut. The shelf attached to the supporting 2x2 piece of wood underneath it, which then had to screwed into the wall. It also had to be EXACTLY level with the top of the seat back. You try doing that by yourself. There was much muttering as the spirit level crashed to the ground and the shelf tilted at strategic moments. And many more visits to the apple tree (which provides some shade).

My lovely painted wall had some interesting pencil lines waving across it. Then I shoved the seat in place and triple checked and thought *** it, I am attaching it. So I did the first drilling bit into the wall, popped/hammered in the rawlplug and it was 2 mm out of place. Back to the seat under the apple tree. Another litre of water. More mopping. Back to the other drill to make a new hole in the support, a new hole in the wall and we were good to go. 

I cannot tell you how many times that shelf was on and off that wall before I was finally satisfied. All screws were finally drilled into the wall and it is level and in the right place. 

Enforced pacing, people. 10 minutes at a time was all I could manage. 

But it is done. So I packed away all the tools, and now have to either find somewhere to store the wood I have from the old study or take the lot to the tip. The second option is appealing more by the second. Now I need to go on a mission to the top of the deck and unearth the cushions I have for the seats. Maybe tomorrow. But I am seriously impressed with myself and SO glad the daily painting is over and it is done. And I like it, in all its whiteness. I need to get the mirror I want for the wall and sort out the photos and a lampshade and I feel a sudden trip to Ikea coming on in the very near future, like tomorrow. Maybe they have air conditioning. I could go and sit under a fan for a while. 

And now I want to show you the most ridiculous strange lily in the universe. Lilies have these dangling pods when they are waiting to bloom. They are usually greenish - looking like they are about to burst open. But I have a lily in the top part of my garden and it was getting more yellow by the day, not opening, and I thought the pod was dead. I looked at it in the morning and sighed dramatically, because a few things are dying in my garden and I have NO idea why.
 See? Poor lily. 

Or so I thought. I turned my back on it, and so help me, minutes after I had bemoaned its fate, it did this.....

It shot open and the petals curved right back on themselves. I mean - have you ever seen anything so weird? It looks like a loose lily. As in a loose woman baring all to the world. There it is, completely undressed if you know what I mean. It is hysterical. 

 Pop, pop, pop. Three of them so far, and the rest will no doubt follow suit. It doesn't look anything like a proper lily. But it amuses me. There is blooming, and then there is blooming. This is not the normal way. 

What? You want to see the breakfast nook which will probably be used for everything except breakfast, I suspect??

Okay, here we go.............
 It is very white, but you wait until I do the decorating or "dressing" of the room. And find a lampshade. Etc etc etc. I do have table cloths too, but I am keeping the table bare for a few days to make sure it is totally dry. 
 The cushions will make such a difference, but LOOK AT THAT SHELF WHERE THE EMPTY PHOTO FRAME IS!!!!!!  Click on it to enlarge it. 

{{And she bows, as the applause thunders through the internettywaves.}}  
It has been a hot day, and glory be, I even managed to fit the vacuum cleaner in the newly organised tool cupboard. As I dripped. The dripping only stopped a short while ago. So I am now off to wallow in the bath and read my book. Well, maybe a chapter.......


Dawn said...

Awesome job, Linds! You are a wonder. I can only imagine doing all of that while being so hot and dripping. I would have given up and curled up in a ball to die.

Which is better? Too hot or too cold?

Crystal said...

It looks wonderful! I am far too reliant on my husband for those kind of details, I'm afraid. We had 3+ inches of rain here yesterday in about an hour - and we got water in our basement. It's my absolute worst case scenario - thankfully the problem was sorted out, the shop vacuum has been sucking up and the fan is running now. Such a pain!! Your garden looks lovely - most of my plants are looking very ragged today!

Linda said...

Oh Linds, I am so proud of you. I don't think - no I know - I wouldn't even attempt to do the amazing things you do. It will be such a delightful corner of your home.
As for hair in hot and humid thick, naturally curly just goes completely wild. I tend to wear a baseball cap when I go out walking :-) because hot and humid is the order of the day for summers in south Texas.

Becky said...

The new breakfast nook looks fabulous. You're truly amazing and skilled.

Needled Mom said...

England is trying to put its best face on for the Olympics!!! Yeah.

The nook looks spectacular. There is something so clean looking about the pure white. Won't it be fun to decorate in the different seasons?

Stripeyspots said...

I love the image of you sitting under the apple tree… You and Newton must do your finest thinking there!

MotherT said...

Your nook is really looking bright and new! Great job!

And I love the yellow day lillies. I have orange ones growing at the back of our yard.

Sandra said...

Stunning Linds. I have a breakfast nook which is actually not in use right now, but it's wood colored, I much prefer your pretty white one LOL

Cait O'Connor said...

A very productive day. The lily information was very interesting and amazing!

Debbie said...

Linds, your garden and nook are both so beautiful! I'm always amazed at what you are able to accomplish. I came across a link to a series of photos of low cost container garden ideas that I thought you might enjoy because they made me think of your garden.

Isabelle said...

You're so clever, as everyone else has said. Well done.

Those are Turk's Head lilies, aren't they?