Let There Be Light!

On nearly every property show we watch on TV, the prospective buyers or renovators always say they want a house with big windows and lots of light, open spaces and airy, with emphasis on LIGHT!

What puzzles me is why after being so insistent on LIGHT, they often install kitchens with black granite worktops and black tiles, that’s not very light!



Even worse, some of them install black bathrooms, would you want to have a nice relaxing bath in the black hole of Calcutta??!! And imagine if the power went out…or there was a spider running across the floor…



The latest fad seems to be for something called Metro Tiles, everyone appears to be using them. Apparently they are so called because they’re like the tiles used in the underground…oh and they come in black too!!

metro tiles



To me they look more like the tiles used in Victorian toilets, which is not the the ideal image to have in mind when cooking, though it may be appropriate for the bathroom!!

victorian toilet



What gardening programmes have taught me

From BBC2’s wonderful Beechgrove Garden about three weeks ago, we discovered (during one of the team’s visits to an outside garden) that a mature sycamore tree in bloom is equivalent, in terms of the various benefits to wildlife, to six acres of wildflower meadow! Yes, six whole acres. Across the road from Waffle Towers is a plot of land destined (eventually) to have a dozen or so three-storey houses built on it. In the centre of this plot sits a mature sycamore tree. What a loss to the area that will be.

From ITV’s Love Your Garden this week, during a lavish garden makeover for a recovering injured policeman and his family, we heard that it is simply not true that the roots of a tree extend outwards to the same distance as the tree’s crown or canopy. Instead, you should roughly treble the tree’s height and this will give you a more accurate figure. Aren’t tree roots amazing!

And from BBC’s Gardeners’ World we learned not so long ago that Nigel the dog likes squeaky tennis balls and that Monty Don suffers from box leaf blight. I dunno. Must be the aftershave, I guess 🙂

It’s all white!

Finally my bedroom is all painted, a little problem with the ceiling, but nothing that can’t be ignored!

In the middle of painting Chris muttered something about an old music hall song, “You can find it on YouTube later…” he said nonchalantly, now you know I love a challenge!

Here is the song with words so you can all sing along, I do wonder about Chris’ strange taste in music sometimes…

Beechgrove Garden: it’s not just for the Scots

We have only a small garden, so we’re always amused towards the end of each week’s Gardeners’ World on BBC2 when Monty Don lists his ‘Jobs for the Weekend’. ‘Better get out there and plant your dahlias,’ I’ll say, and Shana will chortle and reply ‘Only if you get started on the mulching.’ Then we both laugh like the Martians on the Cadbury’s Smash advert.

Gardening, for us, is mostly a spectator sport. Recently though, we’ve discovered a new team to support: Beechgrove Garden. We see it on Sunday mornings, again on BBC2. It’s warm and friendly, without a hint of celebrity posturing. Just like Gardeners’ World used to be back in the old days. Beechgrove Garden is described as ‘Scotland’s favourite gardening programme’. Welcome down here in England any time, I’d say.

One surprise to us was to see Chris Beardshaw on the Beechgrove team. He’s a long way north for a Gloucestershire man, isn’t he? Fits in very well though, but I reckon he may need to work a bit harder on his Scottish accent 🙂

The blue room

Sunday, 9pm: “I’ll prepare the living room walls for painting. Quite a few areas will need patching up with filler. And then I’ll have to sand the patched areas smooth, so the paint roller doesn’t snag on them. And then I’ll shift the bookcases. Should be ready for Tuesday hopefully.”

“Good idea,” said Shana. “Monday is never my best day, so it’s good not to have to get stuck into painting right at the start of the week.”

Yeah! Last words of the famous variety, eh?

Monday, 11am: “Are you done yet? I can’t wait to get started. I’ll go get my painting clothes.”

So, perhaps Monday, for Shana, is not so bad as expected. Before I know it, she’s wrestling with the lid of a Dulux Once paint container, sloshing the paint about like a swimmer trying to fight off a herd of piranhas.

And the ‘painting clothes’? A black skirt. Not sure of the length, but long enough to reaach the upturned lid of the paint can.(‘Nuff said.)  Picasso had his blue period, and Shana was determined to go one better. Not that I escaped unscathed: I collected a few blue drips, but I’ll live.

Once started, all went swimmingly. Meaning we (but mostly Shana) looked like we’d spent the day swiming in paint 🙂

Shana did the paint rollering, and I opted for the role of cutter-inner. (Cutter-innerer? Oh, whatever!)

By close of play, the only living being with no paint on him (and hence the winner of the game) was Smoky. And he’d wandered around the house totally oblivious of how he could have ended the day with little blue paws rather than his usual little pink ones.

Fortunately, Dulux Once lived up to its name: only a single coat was required.

Now all we need is a week to recover from all the exertion.