Monday, 22 June 2020

Enjoying the Ordinary


  
Last weekend was lovely. Nothing special happened, it was just one of those weekends when ordinary doesn't feel so ordinary, when everyday life feels uplifting and liberating, rather than suffocating and oppressive, as it sometimes did during lockdown. Actually, something unusual did happen yesterday: my sisters and I met in our parents' garden for a Father's Day cream tea, the first time we'd all been together in person since lockdown began. It was so good to all be together - although without our own families - in the garden, eating my mum's delicious scones.

I've felt a renewed appreciation for our weekends since returning to work and was very happy to spend most of my time in the garden. What started off as "I'm just going to have a bit of a tidy up" turned into hours of painting, weeding, pruning and moving plants. 

This old planter needed a lick of paint, so I started off optimistically with a tin of mint green, leftover from when we painted the balcony railings a couple of years ago.


I was so optimistic for that mint to work, it made me think of Miami and sunshine. 


But as soon as I put on the first coat I had doubts. It was so bright, and seemed to get brighter as the evening got darker. I kept catching glimpses of it out of the corner of my eye from the kitchen and it was troubling me.


So yesterday I gave it two coats of a soft blue-grey, leftover from when we painted the metalwork on our stairs, and feel much happier. 


John painted some of our wooden fences with a gorgeous charcoal grey paint/stain (above) and then used up the leftovers on our wood store and gate. It's all looking much smarter. Just try to ignore the paint I managed to walk all over the decking.


All plants seem to have doubled in size in the last two weeks - it must be the rain. Everything except my sweet peas, that is, which continue to look straggly and weedy and I despair that they will ever flower. I planted them from seed and won't do that again. My redcurrants are looking promising though, and the blackcurrants are not far behind. 


I accidentally cut off a few stems of my favourite verbena bonariensis so I brought them indoors whereupon they promptly shed all their tiny petals over the mantel and floor.


Excitingly, I just bought an outdoor rug for our decking area. (£18 from B&Q, a bit of a bargain I thought.) For months I failed to see the point of outdoor rugs, but then I thought about creating a little sitting/reading/coffee drinking area and suddenly a rug seemed like just the thing to bring it together. It's made of plastic so rain proof and easy to clean, I imagine.

In the kitchen, I tried a new recipe: rhubarb, ginger and white chocolate cookies. My mum gave me about a kilo of rhubarb from a friend's garden and I was excited to try this recipe. 


They are very good; soft and chewy, with the tart rhubarb contrasting nicely with the sweet chunks of white chocolate.


It still left me with a lot of rhubarb, half of which I roasted with a little sugar, and the rest was chopped and frozen ready for future crumbles.


I've been enjoying a bit of seasonal faffing lately, moving pictures and plants around, creating little displays. I moved the log basket into the garage and put this monstera in it's place. I like it there, with the green leaves by the white wall and black stove. 


I haven't felt like crocheting anything since March but I finally have a project on my hook that I'm really enjoying. You may remember that I unravelled a pink cotton cardigan a couple of months ago, and so I needed to find a pattern that used Aran weight cotton yarn. I am making this t-shirt which I'm hoping will be a versatile summer top which I can wear with jeans and cropped trousers.



Do you remember my sugarhouse blanket which I made last summer? It was inspired by the tiled wall at Sugarhouse Studios in London. Well, it's currently enjoying a moment of fame on this episode of the architecture podcast, 99 Percent Invisible, which is all about the wall itself. It's sent lots of people my way on Instagram and I feel so proud for my little blanket, getting so much love from all these different people. Architecture and crochet, who'd have thought?





12 comments:

  1. Lovely. Your home always looks so very clean and perfectly serene. I love the first paint you used for your garden box, my fave color, tho the softer grey is nice too.

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  2. Like you, I can't see the point in outdoor rugs, but it certainly looks nice on your deck, like a proper room, just without the walls and roof :-)
    Those rhubarb cookies make my mouth water! And as always, I enjoy looking around your beautiful home and see what you have moved elsewhere since I last spotted it in a picture on your blog.
    Weekends are wonderful - I wouldn't want to be without them! But then of course I have constantly been working full time, no furlough for me.

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  3. Happy for you to be with your sisters at your parents house. Such a stealthy and quiet period it is for all of us. Love the pattern for the cropped top, simple but effective. Ah! They recognised your art of colour use. Congratz for that.I sold my camper and the two bright turquoise carpets came to my home to sparkle up my pastel garden, goodness what a dash of colour XD

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  4. Very beautiful, the ordinary isn't it? I can't recall if you planted sweet peas in that trough last year but sweet peas need very deep soil. They thrive on having long roots so if they have already hit the bottom of your planter to get where they are, they will limp on to get a little bigger. If you plant from seed again they need to go into deeply dug bed for a full flourish. You outdoor area looks wonderful. I am waiting to level our new garden and get started - getting impatient! Jo xx

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  5. https://www.thompson-morgan.com/how-to-grow-sweet-peas

    Few tips. Jo xx

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  6. That podcast episode is how I found your blog, and I absolutely love it!

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  7. How very fresh (and tidy) your home is and full of creative things that catch the eye. the mint paint looks good, great against lots of dark leaves. Isn't it nice to potter about and do these creative things - I think one good thing about lockdown is that we are appreciating what we have and enjoying our homes more :)

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  8. Lots of lovely things going on in your garden at the moment. Glad you found a colour you like for your raised beds. Hope you grow lots of lovely plants in them.
    We have started to be able to see our grown up children again so know how much it means to be even a little closer to family. Hope you had a lovely time with your sisters x

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  11. I would like an outdoor rug for outside our summerhouse, I think they're a good idea. I couldn't help but smile when I saw your globe. I still have mind from when I was a child in the 1950s. I pestered my parents for a globe for my 8th birthday, and it's been with me ever since. But, like you, I line up Great Britain just as you have done, so that it as the 'front', with Africa below. It doesn't look 'right' to me if it's left in any other position.
    Margaret P
    www.margaretpowling.com

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  12. I meant to comment sooner when I saw your post... I wanted to say that your home is anything but "ordinary"! Really quite extraordinary in fact! So many beautiful touches and lovely details in every corner of your home and garden. Your posts are always artistic and delightful and I can't thank you enough for the joy I get when I see a new post from you!

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