Saturday, 11 April 2009


It's been over a month since I posted. I've woken up and have started doing things in the house after a year of abstinence. Forced abstinence because my shoulder prevented me absolutely from doing anything really, that is now much better with the rest, acupuncture and some special exercises to muscle up the shoulder cap. And voluntary abstinence because I was sick of painting and didn't have the cash to do anything serious in the house.

So I've redecorated my little bedroom, the one on the ground floor overlooking the back terrace. It had to be papered, the walls are so uneven. So I bought a japanesy paper back in December, pale willow green with a textured irregular sort of folded stripe running top to bottom, but not straight by any means, which makes it very easy to put up, no repeats, doesn't matter if the strip of wallpaper is off kilter, etc. But first I had to remove the existing orange wallpaper, and the polystyrene liner underneath. That flew into bits and stuck everywhere. Then I painted the door a sort of pale pale primrose yellow gloss. Looks good. Changed the door handle. Papered. Changed all the plugs and switches, half of which were crooked, all of which were old and horrible. I have a carpenter coming in next week to put new plinths and boards (literally boards) all around the top of the walls to make sure the board ceiling doesn't fall on me when I'm asleep!

New bedroom, very nice! Too small to photograph I think.

Then I put the power hose over the terrace behind the house, long job, messy. And the wall. I still have the steps down into the garden to do and the garden paths, then I can put it away for another year. The terrace is north facing and in winter gets practically no sun. The wall in question was white and grows moss and pink micro-organisms. Most unattractive. So I thought I'd paint it green so moss wouldn't show as much. I've chosen the same green as the veranda, a bit extreme but very brightening in the greyer months in the Finistere. It has totally transformed the terrace into a bright little space I really want to sit out on.

I took the car ferry from Roscoff last week and went to Dorset for the weekend. Had to get up really early to drive up from Quimper, and it's a very boring boat trip. But the sea was calm and the weather sunny, so once I was on my way it was OK. It's still a 12 hour trip from door to door though. Thank God for GPS! I forgot my road map of the UK and had to go into the depths of Devon to fetch two fleeces I'd ordered from a rare breeds farm near Okehampton. The lanes got so wild that one would have had to back for miles to let anything pass! The lanes were all lined with thousands of daffodils, quite beautiful. And from there home to Dorset.

My old Mum had celebrated her 92nd birthday the weekend previously. Doesn't she look GREAT? Nicholas and Marlena came down from London. And we had a nice family weekend not doing much, but doing it in brilliant sunshine. All weekend. Weren't we lucky? Nicholas took some really good photos, we all lost money on the Grand National, the F1 in Malaysia was cut short because of torrential rain, and we went out to lunch on Saturday which was a great success, Grama liked the restaurant!

On Sunday, we did lunch up at Mike's and Grama got to speak to Cecile, Aziz and Marius on Skype for the very first time. And on Monday I left and drove back home with all sorts of plants I'd pinched out of Grama's garden, a couple of seedling parasol pines, runner beans, fresh eggs for a month, and a dozen quincy which I reimported into France.

Youpi, my unsociable cat, who lives outside when I go away, went missing for two days after my return, that is, she never came back and I thought I'd seen the last of her, but she finally turned up, famished and thirsty and with a bleeding back paw. She's still growling at me whenever I touch her so it must hurt. I'll put a picture of her next post.
Happy Easter!

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