Keys and Cup Hooks

When we first moved in to our house, we were astonished to find locks and keys in pretty much every door, internal as well as external. OK, so you expect front door and back door keys, and one for the door going out into the garden from the conservatory – but to find keys dangling in the doors from the hall to the living room, to all three bedrooms, and to the kitchen?

And in the double doors from the kitchen to the dining room, and then again from the dining room to the conservatory? I understand our house once used to be used for a Bed and Breakfast business, so that explains why locks on the bedroom doors may have been a sensible option there, but who locks up their living room, or their kitchen, or their dining room and conservatory? And why, for what possible purpose? Welcome to my home, but at the same time keep out?

Anyway, the superfluous door keys are now safely stored in an old tin in an old alcove cupboard (unlocked, but also with a key!) while our internal doors are all enjoying a new-found freedom in a rather more relaxed household security regime. But our next surprise was the sheer volume of cup hooks screwed in around the house. Cup hooks of all dimensions were everywhere, with the greatest density appearing in the kitchen – even lining along the insides of all the cupboard doors, as well as under the wall cabinets.

I have been known to employ the odd cup hook myself when needs must, but not to that extent! So after we’d removed and stored all the excess keys, our next job was unscrewing all the cup hooks from everywhere – we even found some very small ones spaced at regular intervals around some of the door frames! Curiouser and curiouser… For holding fairy lights in place, we wondered? Doesn’t really gel with the idea of requiring mulitple locks and keys though, does it? I guess we’ll never know 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Key

When Dreams Come True

My husband and I used to dream about buying our perfect home – or rather, buying a house that had the potential to be turned eventually (however creatively) into a home that is perfect for us. And here we are today, living in the dream house we fell in love with the moment we walked through the door… ❤

The funny thing is, looking through our pot of potential viewings, on paper this house wasn’t in any way near the top of the list. We’d spent a lot of time making practical decisions on the age and style and size of house we’d buy based on very sensible, rational criteria, having a favoured wish-list but understanding the likelihood of achieving everything wished for would be far-fetched in the extreme. So we worked out on paper which things we thought we would be most prepared to compromise on, and started viewing those houses that most closely matched our criteria.

Indeed, every house we viewed we could easily have lived in had we chosen to, there was nothing specific in any of them that completely ruled them out of the running. But somehow there was an over-riding bland ‘sameness’ to them and one after the other they just didn’t feel right – we just didn’t feel ‘at home’ in them. And yet with this one – the oldest and most needy by far – we booked the viewing not quite as an afterthought but certainly more as a determination not to rule anything out that met our basic criteria, however unlikely it may be to suit our specific needs as we’d calculated them to be…

But the minute we crossed the threshold, we felt the warmth of welcome. The house itself invited us in, enveloping us in its embrace and encouraging us to explore further, offering spacious well-proportioned rooms and loads of natural light, with a lovely sense of flow throughout. Even with someone else’s decidedly-not-to-our-taste decor and furniture in situ, it felt immediately like this could potentially become the perfect home we had dreamed of, list or no list.

Later that night we found we spoke animatedly of nothing else but what we would like to do to the house if it was ours, what changes we would make to it, where we would put our current furniture and what we would buy new. We were already considering possible colour schemes and flooring and window coverings and felt inspired to action in a way none of the other perfect-on-paper houses had done for us.

So after a second viewing we put in an offer that was accepted, and we bought our dream house! It certainly needs a lot of TLC but we’re more than happy to give our time and energy to fixing it up. We’re the kind of people who like to do things ourselves as far as possible, so we’ve got a long-term plan of action in place covering the next few months to slowly transform the house from the previous occupant’s home to our home, and so far are thoroughly enjoying the process!

We’re just absolutely delighted that for us, our dream of a perfect-for-us home is definitely coming true 🙂

Stream of Consciouness Saturday: Dream

A Beautiful Sight

Walking along the path by the Caledonian Canal yesterday afternoon I came across this beautiful sight – it was partly the way the light hit the boats that caught my eye, the bright highlights of the white masts and the softness of the pastel clouds reflected in the stillness of the water. There’s a slight curve in the canal at this point, so I came round the corner and there they were, all these beautiful boats sitting moored in the Muirtown Basin just waiting to be captured by my camera… it felt like one of those immediate photographic moments that was just meant to be… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: ‘ght’

Dressing Up Warm

When I first moved to London in the South of England from Inverness in the North of Scotland, it took me such a long time NOT to feel the need to take a jacket and a brolly with me everywhere all year round. And NOT to have to wear loads of peel-off-able layers to help deal with moving between chillier outdoors and warmer indoors environments, except for the couple of weeks or so that count as the height of summer in the Highlands.

But now we’re back in Inverness, I’m having to learn to dress up warm all over again, and already I’m loving my layers, my chunky knits and cosy clothes and scarves and hats and gloves. So far we’re having a beautifully blustery Scottish autumn with a mix of crisp clear air and blue skies or damp grey moody clouds – oh, it feels so good to be home! ❤

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Dress

Oh My Days!

Oh my days, Fandango seems to have swallowed a dictionary for breakfast this morning – our One Word Challenge today is copacetic… WTF? I had to look that one up, and apparently it means ‘in excellent order’ – ha!

Suffice to say, everything is most definitely not in the least bit copacetic in our new home in Inverness all of five days after we moved in! Our eclectic collection of stuff we had in our London flat is almost all sorted out – as in mostly unboxed and put in place – but we’re remaining mindful that we have a LOT of redecorating to do, absolutely everywhere, so everything will have to be moved around to allow for painting and wallpapering and new carpet-laying… It all feels quite exciting, but also quite daunting.

I know some people prefer to buy a house ‘in walk-in condition’ where absoultely nothing needs to be done, but unfortunately for us the house we loved most is decidedly dated in its decor. It’s an old 3-bed 1930’s bungalow that was updated and extended to what would have been a very high standard in the late 1980s, adding a bigger kitchen and dining room and conservatory, but basically it probably hasn’t been touched since.

So we have a very heavy, solid 1980s wooden fitted kitchen (to be replaced sometime in the future); a heavily ornate wood, brass and marble fireplace (ditto); shiny vinyl striped and floral wallpapers in a variety of traditional patterns; and brass doorknobs and light fittings throughout – including an overbearing sparkly chandelier in the dining room… yuk! All the windows have either venetian blinds or vertical blinds and fussy pelmeted curtains, and the carpets are mostly heavy wool in horrendous hangover pub floor style designs… gross… none of it is to our taste in the slightest…

We’ve got lots planned, though, and have already bought bold new curtains and poles and roller blinds and soft, light-diffusing voiles to put up once we’ve redecorated the walls. We’ve chosen new wallpaper for the living room and master bedroom and have already decided on paint colours, so hopefully we’ll get started on that soon. It’s such fun to visualise how it will look, our beautiful house, once we get it all the way we want it. It’ll just take time… quite a lot of time… Luckily we have the rest of our lives to do it in! 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Oh

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Ent-Ten-Net

Abandon hope all ye who enter the twilight world of ADSL broadband.

Seriously… click on something – a browser, a web page – and wait impatiently for it to load… or not. Get annoyed it’s taking so long, then make yourself count to ten to calm down… then count to ten again… and again… and again…

Watch the little whirling circle of nothingness for a while, feeling your level of frustration growing evermore unbearable, then completely give up on the idea of accessing the internet for now… 😦

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Blue

For this week’s stream of consciousness saturday prompt Linda has given us the challenge to post about the first blue object we see when we sit down to write. Not difficult in the sense that I’m sitting propped up on our bed with my laptop on my knee, on a checked blue and white duvet cover. And there’s also a blue floral-ish patterned carpet in the room as well as blue floral curtains – my husband and I are temporarily staying with my parents, sleeping in what is commonly called ‘the blue bedroom’ for obvious reasons!

It’s all done out in a nice dark denim-to-navy blue palette, and the walls and woodwork and furniture are all painted white. There are three rugs, two plain white and one blue flowered. There’s actually a bit too much floral pattern on the carpet and curtains for my liking, but they’re very much my mum’s generational taste of appropriate spare bedroom decor and I’ve certainly seen (and been in!) a lot worse.

I realise from my description it all sounds quite plain and stark (just blue and white) but there are also myriad old books and fussy ornaments and fiddly little nick-nacks cluttering up every available surface, which I’ve tried tactfully to reduce while we’re here to make space for some of our own everyday belongings, so there are also cardboard boxes now full of bits and pieces – some of mum’s, some of ours – neatly stacked around the edges of the room.

This particular gingham check duvet cover was actually our choice, there are several other (distinctly flowery) alternatives available in the linen cupboard but we’ve decided this one suits us best for now. We’ve also got our own bright yellow quilted bedspread folded down across the bottom of the bed, and the woven cane chair in the corner of the room has several of my cotton scarves draped over it, in reds and pinks and mulitcoloured tie-dye, so that gives a real splash of bright colour to our immediate surroundings.

I do like blue, I find it a really calming colour so considering we’re living in someone else’s house for now I’m absolutely fine with our room just as it is. But however grateful we are to mum and dad for letting us stay with them for the time being, oh how we long for our own home again, our own space and the freedom to live our own particular lifestyle choices every day without constant comment or criticism and being left feeling weird and wrong for being different to my parents.

So there we are for today, my rather random blue-topic post written on my blue-covered bed in my blue bedroom – The End! 🙂