The door

The house is still keeping me busy, we’ve blown a lot of the budget on the big things and now I’m left with mostly small things to play with inside.  The biggest splurge on the house in general has been the windows.  The old ones looked just about passable … from a distance. 

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But what a difference the new ones have made.  We’ve gone from a semi-secure, noisy wind box to a quiet, warm fortress.  Goodness only knows how the tennants kept the place warm last winter.

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The survey more or less said it would be more cost effective to change all of the windows as a package rather than just fix the broken ones and we had already decided to replace them so the budget was there ready but I had no idea how bad the old ones really were until the new ones were in.

And the door?  Well, see for yourself.

It’s the only red door in a whole row of white ones, and yes, it cost more than a  white one would have, but if you count what it’s worth in smiles, it’s already priceless. 

2017-09. Door

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To match

The blog seems to have got as confused as my brain today, here’s a memory which didn’t get around to happening. 

“Well, finally that’s it. The last few stitches have gone into the bottom of the hem on the second orange curtain”.

Let me explain, I did actually make the cushion mentioned here, and I wrote the post shortly after the cushion was finished, but I wrote it in such a way that it would expect me to have hemmed the second orange curtain before I published it.  Needless to say, I didn’t get around to finishing the curtains, we’ve actually moved house and since all of our windows were different sizes, I left my curtains for the new owner… Complete with the pins which were holding up the hem on the one side.

” The  window in this room (this would be the room in the old house) is quite large but is north facing so although in summertime we get the rising sun streaming through the window for the first hour or so, for the rest of the year the lighting is quite bland so the yellow and orange decor sits comfortably. “

We left the cheerfully bright decor too although I’m guessing that’s probably gone by now.

” I did toy with the idea of making my own curtains, but considering how long it’s taken me to just turn up the hems on these, it’s probably just as well that I didn’t so the burgundy ones which covered the window before were demoted to the bedroom to a shorter window where I could cut off most of the holes made by “Alice” and I bought a set of ready-made orange ones instead.

I’m not good at “finishing”, I have no end of different projects on the go at the same time, I actually cut and pinned the curtains to the right length back in May for the wedding. (This would be the May of three years ago now)  I put the stitches needed into the bottom of one of the curtains and the other has just been looking after my pins since.

I cut about eight inches of length from the bottom of each curtain, meaning I had leftovers to play with.  I used to make lots of the girls’ clothes when they were little and I would use up the odds and ends to make something small “to match” so it was only natural for me to not want to throw away these little bits of curtain.

The material itself is very loosely woven so I only had to look at it to cause it to fray and leave threads behind.  The pieces themselves weren’t wide enough to make a matching cushion and if I sewed two bits together then they would look like exactly that, two bits sewn together to cover a cushion.

I slept on the problem, admittedly for more than a few sleeps, but eventually I came up with a solution.  Both Mum and Little Sister have recently been doing patchwork,  not the hand sewn type of patchwork I did years ago with thousands of tiny stitches, but patchwork sewn together by machine.  One of the designs is made up of strips of different colours, short strips at first, sewn into a square shape, then longer strips sewn onto the outside of the square until it becomes the size you want it – in my case, cushion size.

So, cutting the strips of material which weren’t wide enough to make cushions into even narrower strips,  I then set about them with the sewing machine to sew them back together into a new cushion to match the curtains.

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The orange curtain cushion came with us to our new home, as did everything else in this picture, I’m still working my way around the house doing lots of “fixing” before I can actually get to the decorating stage, but I’m getting there,  I’m bouncing no end of ideas around in my head, and of course, I’ll be taking pictures as I go along and posting little bits of memories as I go. 

Escapades

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I’ve got a few unscheduled weeks off from work so I’m off for a bit of galavanting around the countryside.

Of course, travelling with a companion is much nicer than travelling alone and I’ve managed to tie in my different trips here and there with different people.  Today I’m with Mum-in-law, she’s sitting opposite me, across the table in the train… Give her a wave.

Our destination today is Bicester, via Oxford, via, two other changes on the train too. Normally there would be just one change but you wouldn’t believe the variation in prices.  At first we were planning to travel on Sunday, but the cheapest tickets I could find were £66, going up to £133 at some times of the day. Ridiculous! How could they possibly justify that much. I poked about online, played with the different settings and eventually found tickets for Saturday teatime at the much better price of £22.50.  I guess the £133 tickets are subsidising ours this time.

We’ve been joined in our carriage by a “joyful” group of day-trippers on their way home from the beach.  Their accompanying trays of sausage and chips are making me hungry, Hubby has put a packet of crisps on my bag, how thoughtful, even if they are the ones he doesn’t like.

The sun is getting lower and making me squint as I look out over the hills and catch sight of a field of cows. I smile slightly and wonder if these are the “summer cows” my Mum told me about the other day – some’re brown and som’re white. 

All change. This is our stop. Not too bad a change, we scramble over the footbridge with our little suitcases and find our train mentioned on the screen hanging over our heads. For this leg of our journey we have reserved seats, no.47and 48.  Our platform seems to be filling up pretty quickly for just a little station. People are talking to each other, curiouser and curiouser, I catch a few snippets of conversation, signal failure, over an hour delay, change at Reading.

It would appear that the train opposite isn’t going anywhere soon but we’re changing at Reading and this is our train so on we get, looking for our coach, coach D. But coach D is first class, and only goes up to 47?

Oh well, two students sitting opposite us have had the same problem, if you can really call it a problem, we’ll just have to endure first class until we reach our next change at Reading.

Our new companions were typing into a laptop the results of what seemed to be some sort of survey they’d been doing today. Of course as much as I tried to poke away at the game of spider solitaire on my phone, their conversation still filtered through.  I smiled at the one comment about the young male of the species being much more receptive and so much more eager to respond to their questions and again of course, me being me, I couldn’t help but ask if they had considered the young males were responding because they were both pretty young females?

Oh no, they found that young males were more responsive in most of the situations they were recording.  Sadly, I seem to have become a cynic as I just smiled and went back to playing my game of electronic patience, hoping that these two pretty young females wouldn’t have a too bumpy ride through life before they found a young male to call their own, and wishing them luck in finding themselves one who’s brains were not in his trousers.

Our train trundled on, Mum-in-law dozed, it had been a long day, and my phone kept my brain ticking over enough to be alert when our station was announced.  We bundled up our belongings and went in search of the next leg of our journey.

We’d missed our connection at Reading, but that wasn’t a big deal really, we weren’t travelling at rush hour so wouldn’t have to worry about not having our reserved seats.  Our next train was waiting on the platform so we settled into comfortable seats, not as comfortable as first class, but comfy nonetheless, and messaged Eldest Daughter who was picking us up at Oxford.

Eldest, sitting in her little white car waiting at Oxford station was the most welcome sight of the whole journey.  .