Thursday, 30 July 2015

Coming out of our ears!

Thursday already, I don't know where the time is going this week, been so busy.  Thanks for all the comments on the rat more rats have been caught since I last blogged, but they're still about - yesterday I saw 2 (one very small, clearly very young, the other considerably bigger), OH has seen 3 - 2 kids, 1 adult - this morning.  They're very bold, they're running about on and off all day, although if either of us goes into the garden, they do scarper.  OH bought another couple of traps yesterday and alerted a neighbour, who has also said he'll get his traps out.  Hopefully between us we'll keep on top of them.

We're inundated with produce at the moment - like everybody, I guess.  Unfortunately, we'd stocked up on meat at the beginning of the week (well, it's fortunate in that we won't need to buy any meat for several months), which means that the freezers are practically full.  So there's the problem of what to do with all this produce.....

OH decided, for reasons known only to himself, to dig up a load of carrots the other day - 2 bucketfuls to be precise.  I've cooked and pureed a large panful and frozen them in 3 plastic tubs.  The rest we've layered in dry compost in a deep box.  We have tons of blackcurrants, blueberries and raspberries....I have 4 or 5 boxes full in the freezer, another box is half full but will be full by tomorrow and there's no room for any more boxes.  So it will have to be jam, which means I need to buy some more jars, not enough left.  I have enough bags of sugar, so no problem there.

Courgettes coming out of our ears.....I've just sliced 9 or 10, sprinkled them with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper and put them in the oven to roast:-

We'll have some hot with lunch today (to accompany a cheese & mushroom omelette), the rest will go in the fridge to be eaten cold, I like them with a blob of mayo and a crusty roll for supper.  I think a courgette cake will have to be made too.

Have felt very lethargic and had a bit of a stomach upset the last couple of days - just what I don't need when there's so much to do. 

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Oh rats!

First of all, a warm welcome to Pensive Pensioner, DC, Simple Living and Sue Settle, I hope you enjoy reading.  Thanks to everyone who commented on Pam's lovely gift to me (and contributed to her red cheeks!), I think we're all agreed that she does some lovely work.

We've always come across mice or rats here, ever since we first moved in.  A day or 2 before we actually moved in, we were here decorating and the plumber was here also, finishing off installing the new bathroom suite.....he went outside for something or other, came back in with a white face and big eyes and announced he'd just seen a rat run straight across in front of him.  Clearly not his favourite creatures!  We live in the country, on farmland, both us and our next door neighbours feed the birds, neighbours on the other side of them have lots of chickens, so a vermin presence is inevitable really.  I'd rather they didn't come indoors, but am not really scared of them.

Having said that, one evening last year I discovered a mouse hiding behind the food processor on the kitchen worktop - I don't know who was more surprised, me or the mouse.  Well, the mouse was clearly rattled, as it proceeded to spend the next 5 minutes or so (it felt like an hour) charging around the work surfaces at the speed of light.....that did put the wind up me a bit.  I was here on my own, OH was at work, so I HAD to deal with it....I eventually managed to knock it off the worktop onto the floor (have you any idea just how FAST a mouse can move?  They're like lightning) and it scarpered out of the open utility room door.  I then spent the next hour moving everything off the worktop, scrubbing it all and disinfecting the work surfaces.....I mean, I make pastry and bread on those surfaces, and had visions of mouse wee everywhere.  Yuck.

We had a mouse living in our sitting room last year too (maybe it was the same one....he'd probably snuck into the kitchen to get his evening meal, since he turned his nose up at the peanut butter-laden traps set in the lounge).  I often saw it over a period of 3 or 4 weeks, it would appear early in the morning or in the evening, streaking across the carpet and diving under the sofa or computer desk....never when OH was around, of course.  It eventually disappeared, no idea where, it certainly wasn't in any of the traps.  Fortunately, there was no decaying body smell and I never found it when hoovering, so possibly it legged it outside. 

Over the past month, we've seen rats every day out in the back, I would throw a fit if one of them came indoors, a mouse indoors I can cope with, rats no way Jose!

OH said they'd been nibbling the tomato, cucumber and pepper plants in the polytunnel, so they had to go (the rats, that is, not the veg).  Rat traps were bought and armed with peanut butter and laid along the areas where we'd seen them running.  I wasn't particularly optimistic - why settle for a bit of peanut butter when you can have an unlimited supply of fresh veg, bird seed and chicken feed?  Well, blow me down, this morning OH waved at me through the kitchen window the body of the 7th, yes seventh, rat he's caught in the past 10 days (he seems to think I like to see his hunter/gatherer efforts).

We'll never eliminate ALL the rats and mice, I know, but do want to keep on top of them.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Thank you Pam!

I have today received this from Pam of A New Life in Wales:-

It's the gorgeous Cathedral Windows table topper she made (as an experiment!) the other day.  Pam very kindly offered to donate it to someone making a comment on her blog, and I was the extremely lucky recipient.  A lovely card came with it too.  Pam says it's not perfect.....well, it's not a mass-produced thing churned out in 10 minutes in a factory sweat shop, it's made carefully with thoughtfully chosen pieces, with time and love having gone into it.  And that makes it pretty darn perfect in my book. 

Pam, it's beautiful, it looks wonderful on my upcycled vintage oak table in our shabby chic dining room and I love it - thank you so much.  Bloggers are so kind!

Well, I made a start on sorting the masses of old paperwork in the desk and filing cabinet yesterday.  Half filled a carrier bag with things to be burnt, another half full bag of stuff to go in the recycling bin.  I found the tax reference I knew was there somewhere amongst the piles of stuff, which enabled me to fill in a form online and send it off, to do with my NI record.  Now I've made inroads into the sorting, it doesn't seem so daunting.....I'll finish it off this afternoon.

The cotton yarn I'd ordered arrived yesterday afternoon.....I was very good and didn't open the package until the evening - I did make a start straight away on a new project, I'll post pics in due course.

Chucking it down today, which will do the garden heaps of good (and save OH having to go out and water).  Bet the grass will be knee-high come the weekend though....

Thursday, 23 July 2015

A bit of bribery

....Or an incentive, that sounds better! (although bribery is probably nearer the mark).

We have a 2-drawer filing cabinet that we keep paperwork - old bills, statements, pension stuff, letters & cards - in.  It has those hanging folders in it, all headed up neatly, in the bottom drawer.  Space for odds and ends, plus a pen tray, in the top drawer.  It sits beside the computer desk in the sitting room.  The desk has several pigeon holes, for computer disks, a selection of new birthday/anniversary/blank cards, post that needs dealing with asap.

Well, that was the original purpose of both the cabinet and the desk, the cabinet is so chockablock full the pen tray has had to be taken out or the top drawer won't close, and there's a mass of loose paperwork just shoved in front of all the hanging folders.  The desk pigeon holes are so crammed full of old post that not even a single sheet of paper would fit in there.

I've been telling myself for weeks that it needs sorting out.....but it's such a boring job and I keep procrastinating and finding lots of reasons why I haven't got time to do it.  Of course, the real reason is that I just couldn't be arsed!

Well, seeing as we're getting on with our BCP (Big Cunning Plan), it needs doing, like NOW - I need to know that all our paperwork is in order, I need to know where things are (e.g., I need a tax reference number that I know is in there's just a case of finding it!).

Here's the bribery bit......I've ordered some cotton yarn in various colours for my next crochet projects, I'm really looking forward to getting started on them, have been champing at the bit waiting for the yarn to arrive.  Had an email yesterday saying it's on the way, it should arrive either today or tomorrow.  Well, I've told myself (very firmly) that I am NOT ALLOWED to start on the crochet, or even unpack! the yarn until I've sorted the cabinet and desk.

So that's what I'm doing today.....

Incidentally, all our old paperwork and anything with names/addresses/personal details on, we burn in the incinerator bin, it's so much quicker than shredding stuff in the knackered shredder that's supposed to take 6 sheets at a time, but in reality throws a hissy fit, mangles everything and gets jammed if we try feeding it more than 2 sheets.  What do you do with yours?

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Can anyone help a fellow blogger?

Good morning

One of my followers, Sue (there's a lot of us about!) from Happy@Home link here is having problems putting a Followers gadget on her blog.  I did suggest the way I did mine, which was Design.....Layout.....Add Gadget.....More Gadgets......long list, down bottom of which is Followers, add it where you want it on your blog.  Unfortunately, she says it hasn't worked for her (perhaps it was my explanation!).  As I'm a new blogger myself and a bit of a dunce when it comes to techie stuff, I don't know what else to suggest to help her.

So can any of you seasoned bloggers help?

I'm very grateful for the help I've had from fellow bloggers, you're all such a lovely friendly lot.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

What to get in?

Wow, 4 blog posts on consecutive days......don't get used to it, I doubt it will last!

Thank you for all your comments on my last two posts regarding stockpiling, they've made me think and you've given me some good ideas.  Some of you suggested stocking up on other things besides food and toiletries.....things like cards, gift wrap and small gifts, cleaning products, and even towels and bedding.  I do keep a stock of cards and a roll of general purpose gift wrap, it's a good idea to keep a look out for gifts throughout the year too and that's something I will start doing.  Cleaning products is another good one, although in due course I would like to start making my own.....Elaine at Mortgage Free in Three had a recipe recently for a multipurpose cleaning fluid.  I also want to start crocheting dishcloths, the idea of that really appeals to me, it's just a question of getting the cotton yarn.  Those of you who knit/crochet them, where do you get your yarn from?  And how many cloths can you make from one, say 100g, ball?  Is it cost effective, in other words?  I'm guessing sturdy homemade dishcloths will probably last longer and assume you can throw them in the washing machine.

Buying spares of towels/tea towels/bed linen is something that hadn't occurred to me but is a brilliant idea.  We've recently bought new bedding when we decorated our bedroom, so that should last a while, but getting some spare sets, and for the 2 spare bedrooms as well, will be a sensible thing to do whilst we can afford it.

Those of you who already stockpile, what sort of things do you keep in?  And if you don't do it as yet because of lack of space or whatever, what do you think are sensible things to stock up on?

Thanks for the comments re the Followers list thing, I'll have a play around with the layout and see what happens....could be dangerous, I hope I don't end up deleting the blog.....teehee.

Friday, 17 July 2015

A bit of clarification

Thank you all for your comments on yesterday's post re stockpiling, I'd just like to clarify a few things. 

Firstly, I never buy dented tins or squashed packets that the shop has sealed up with a bit of tape.....there's always the risk that the contents have been contaminated. 

As for use by dates.....well, there are two things to mention here.  Everything I buy gets rotated, with newly bought things placed at the back and older things brought forward, plus everything will get used in due course, probably within months if not weeks, I doubt that any food items I buy will get to be years old.  And....well, I don't really actually take that much notice of use by dates - not on dried/tinned foods.  I mean, I do buy stuff every so often from Approved Foods, as I know lots of people do, and some of their things are already well out of date.....OH and I have reached our ripe old (well, middle-) ages without getting food poisoning or dropping down dead.  I do have all my 5 senses in (reasonably for their age) good working order, if I saw or smelt or suspected that something was off or a bit dodgy, in the bin it would go.

But thank you for your concerns, it is appreciated.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's not sure how the Followers thing works.  It's a pity there doesn't seem to be a way of being notified of new followers though....I don't always remember to check the number of followers.  If there's anybody I haven't given a welcome to by name.....please accept my apologies, it doesn't mean you're not welcome (because you certainly are), it just means your arrival has passed me by because I forgot to keep a check!

By the way, Pam, you were up early this morning!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The BCP and a blog layout question

Welcome to my new follower, Delia Ryder, I hope you enjoy reading.

Having now got the extra storage shelves and plastic lidded storage boxes, we're moving on with another phase of our Big Cunning Plan for OH's retirement, or BCP as it is now known.....well, by me anyway.  OH is dyslexic and comes out with all sorts of letters....makes for some interesting and humorous combinations, I'm sure he just plucks an assortment of letters out of mid air!  Bless him.  Sorry, I went off at a bit of a tangent there, I have a habit of doing that.

Anyway, moving on.....we're starting to stock up on dry/tinned foods and toiletries.  When I see things we normally buy on a good special offer, I now buy several at once (provided I've got the spare cash).  I also thought it would be a good idea to buy one extra thing - a bottle of washing up liquid, jar of coffee, bag of sugar, that sort of thing - each week when we do the supermarket shop, that way we can build up stocks and hardly notice the cost.  The idea behind this is that when OH eventually gives up work for good, probably in about 3 years, our shopping bill will be cut down quite a bit.  Hopefully.

Now for the blogging question.  I notice some of you (those with loads of followers) have your followers' avatars in lines across the top of your blog.....others have them at the side, like me.  However, on mine, only 2 columns of blog followers (about 8 in total I think) show up, the rest you have to click on 'more' to see.  Whereas most other bloggers who have them at the side have more showing, around 20+.  Erm, how do you do that?  Be gentle with me, answers in words of one syllable please, this blogging lark is all new to me and I'm a bit (a lot) of a dunce when it comes to techie stuff!

Oh, and is there a way of being notified when a new follower joins up?  At the moment, it's only really by chance that I happen to notice, which seems a bit hit and miss, and very rude of me if I don't notice and therefore don't welcome a new follower by name.  I think I had someone leave recently, although am not entirely sure - I thought that the number of followers had gone down one since the previous day....I have no idea though who stopped following.  I wonder why they did....was it something I said?  :-O

It's been very muggy here the past few days, plays merry hell with my hot flushes, feel like i'm in a sauna most of the time.  God knows what I'd be like without the HRT!  Oh, and we've got those horrible little thunderflies at the moment too....step outside the door and you get smothered in them, which makes me all itchy and they get everywhere, even inside my bra (wouldn't have thought there was room, being ample bosomed).

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Blooming lovely

Our front garden's looking particularly colourful at the mo.  A few weeks ago I bought a selection of bedding plants for the many pots I have in the front garden, plus 2 small corner beds - petunias, geraniums, antirrhinums, lobelia and violas.  The petunias have done amazingly well, they've filled out the tubs and are absolutely smothered in blooms all the time, not bad for £3 for 20 plants!  I guess it helps that I deadhead them every day (my sister would be proud of me, she was always telling me to do that).

The wall basket above, matching one the other side of the door, has violas and a tumbler tomato in it, there are half a dozen or so little toms on it at the mo.

The petunias have all but smothered the geranium in the middle of each pot.  There are 2 blueberries in the pots behind the petunias, the fruits are just beginning to ripen and it's a race between me and the birds to see who can get the ripened ones first!  I don't mind them having a few.

A mass of honeysuckle and clematis tangutica, which has the most gorgeous nodding yellow flowers followed by silky tasselled seed heads.  I can't take credit for these though, they were already here when we moved in.

We've finally had some rain here overnight, and it's still going this morning.....that very fine rain that's almost like mist.  The forecasters have been teasing us with promises of showers for weeks, but we've hardly had any until now.  Boy, does the veg garden need it - OH has been watering it all regularly but there's nothing like a really good drop of rain to get things going again.....I swear our raspberries have shot up by a foot overnight!

This afternoon when OH's gone to work, I'm going to sit and redo our Big Cunning Plan.....that's the plans we've got and are putting into operation for when OH finally retires.  As we're now halfway through the year (I blinked and it was gone - just like that!), I need to cross off what we've already achieved, add a few extra things and generally just rejig it.  I haven't been this organised since I was secretary to a chartered surveyor about 20 years ago.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

25 Things.....

John at Going Gently and Pam at A New Life in Wales have both published 25 Fascinating Facts about themselves.  In a shameless swiping of their idea, here are mine:-

1.  One of my earliest memories is of living with my paternal grandparents in an old day the kitchen ceiling collapsed.
2.  There was a flock of geese on the farm, which used to chase my brother and I, frightening the life out of us.
3.  We lived in Gibraltar for a while when I was about 6 or 7.....we were out for a walk up the Rock one day when a Barbary Ape ran up and stole my beloved favourite big doll.  The ape ran up a tree and pulled my doll apart - literally pulling its arms and legs off.  I screamed and cried inconsolably for hours.  I've hated monkeys ever since.
4.  My Nan taught me to crochet.  All the women in my family can knit......apart from me, despite the best efforts of both my Nan and my Mum to teach me, I've just never been able to grasp it.
5.  I loathe sewing.  In Needlework at school, we could choose a garment to make for our first effort.....classmates chose simple t-shirts or A-line skirts, I chose a pair of trousers.  I never finished them and have never made anything since.
6.  When I was about 9, I pushed my 8 y.o. brother down a small hill, following some argument.  He went face first into a tree and knocked a couple of teeth out.  I was sent to bed with no tea.
7.  I love the Terminator films and the Bond films with Daniel Craig and Sean Connery.  I don't like the Roger Moore ones though.
8.  I also love musicals.....My Fair Lady is one of my favourite films ever.
9.  I'm scared of heights.  Despite this, my husband talked me into going on a cable car ride on the Isle of Wight.  I kept my eyes shut for the entire ride.
10. Purple, pink and blue are my favourite colours.  I have had purple hair in the recent past.
11. I have a blue butterfly tattoo on my left foot, and a purple pansy one on the inside of my right forearm.  I had them done as a birthday present to myself 5 years ago.  When I was having them done, my friend's husband stood behind me with his hands on my shoulders, in case I fainted (I didn't).
12. I found my first grey hair when I was 24.  I was horrified, and vowed I would never willingly go grey.
13. I've never learnt to drive.  I did take the written test some years ago and passed with flying colours, getting all the questions right.  However, a car accident destroyed my confidence behind the wheel.
14. I have a deep-seated phobia of 8-legged things (I can't even say the word). 
15. Cheese, virtually any kind, is probably my favourite food, closely followed by roast lamb and McCoys ridged crisps.  Not all together on the same plate though.
16. I absolutely hate celery, even the smell of it makes me feel sick.
17. I don't like red wine, it gives me a headache and a very flushed face.
18. I've done jury service twice.
19. I have incredibly strong nails and teeth - I have never had a filling or tooth extraction.  Probably due to the calcium from all that cheese!
20. When I was 19 I got an electric shock from a faulty coffee machine at work, it threw me a few feet across the room and knocked me out.  I spent a night in hospital hooked up to machines and was released with a clean bill of health the next day.
21. I find having a blood test fascinating and always watch (I'm diabetic so have regular blood tests).  But my nurse says she finds it offputting when I watch her!
22. I get prickly heat rash on my feet, legs and arms when it's really hot.
23. I have a schoolboy sense of humour and giggle at the stupid smutty toilet jokes on The Inbetweeners.
24. I love 70s/80s music and sing loudly to my CDs when husband is out at work.
25. My best friend is male, we've known each other for years and have the same stupid sense of humour

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Storage solutions

Thank you all for your comments on our newly decorated bedroom, we're both really pleased with it.  It has though highlighted the fact that neither of us is getting any younger and the decorating is getting harder as a result!  I think we'll need to get on and decorate the remaining rooms (twin bedroom, dining room and lounge) sooner rather than later, before we lose the will (or the use of OH's hands to arthritis).  Thankfully, the 3 remaining rooms don't need anything drastic, just a coat of emulsion....we've already got the paint for 2 of them.

Thanks to everyone too for their comments on my veg post.....seems most of us hated veg as kids.  Must be something to do with the fact that our parents' generation used to boil veg to within an inch of its life, and we were all told we had to eat it or else we'd have it served up cold at the next meal (well, I was anyway, and the thought of cold, slimy cabbage made me force it down when it was hot, and left me hating it for years and years).

Anyway, moving on......Kev at An English Homestead has today done a post about 'prepping' and self sufficiency, and it's something we are very keen to do and have started making preparations for.  As I've said before, OH plans on cutting down his working days as from next year, leading to eventual retirement in about 3 years.  Dawn in her comment on Kev's post has mentioned about her state pension age having been moved a few times.....mine too (along with everybody else's), the last time I checked mine had been moved to around 12 years from now.....a long time to wait.  And who knows whether the state pension will still be around then?

So our plan is to try and grow as much veg and fruit as we can....we've already got plans to create more veg beds for next year.  We have enough freezer space - we have a big fridge freezer indoors, plus an under the counter one and a small chest freezer which we were given, both in the utility room. 

The utility room is actually a brick built structure tacked onto the side of the kitchen, which used to house a loo and a bread oven, both removed years ago by the previous tenant who then used the room as a coal store and shed.  OH cleaned it up when we moved in, it has electricity and plumbing so I have my washing machine and tumble dryer out there, along with the 2 freezers and small extra fridge.  I keep some tins on shelves in there and things like flour and sugar in a plastic lidded box.  We do have a mouse problem (we live on farmland, so it's inevitable really) but keep on top of it with traps.  I know that mice can chew through plastic, but my thoughts are that since I go in the utility room every day, I'll notice sooner rather than later if they try to get at the stuff in the plastic box.....they haven't done so far. 

I want to get some more plastic lidded boxes so we can start building up stores of more flour etc - I do a lot of baking.  We've also just bought a tall, narrow but deep shelved bookcase, it fits neatly into the space behind the kitchen door, this is for things like foil, baking paper (I buy catering sizes from market stalls), tins, coffee, etc.  We have another similar shelf unit upstairs on the landing, this will be for spares of toiletries. 

We plan on stocking up on toiletries, tins of beans, tomatoes, etc, coffee and the like whenever we see them on special offer (and when we have the money spare!).

Hopefully, by the time OH retires, we should be well stocked up so that shopping should be cut to a minimum.  Well, that's the plan anyway.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Love it or hate it?

As a child I didn't have a love/hate relationship with was pretty much all hate - I would eat potatoes (in any form), peas (although back then it had to be tinned processed peas.....I wouldn't touch frozen or fresh ones) and occasionally even Brussels sprouts - oddly.  Any other veg I would only eat if threatened with dire consequences by my mother or teachers at school....and yes, I was one of those kids who would surreptitiously throw dreaded veggies under the table - at school, that is, I wouldn't dare to do that at home.  Although I did attempt to hide veg under a napkin, or squash it up as small as possible and tell mum I was full, or feeling I ever thought she'd believe any of that, I don't know!

OH, on the other hand, loves veg and will eat practically anything.  It was because of him really that I started, throughout my 20s and 30s, to cook and try eating a range of different veggies.  Nowadays I do eat lots of veggies, although even now there are things I just won't celery, which I wouldn't touch if you paid me.....kale, chard, artichokes, Spring greens....well, most green veggies really.  I've recently started using a small amount of frozen spinach in some things, like a risotto, where the taste of it is drowned out by the other flavours.  I'm not overly keen on parsnips or beetroot or broccoli - I used to eat a bit of broccoli, purely because it's so good for you, but recently decided that life's too short to force myself to eat something I really don't like.

Growing and eating our own veg has been quite a revelation for me.....I honestly didn't know that home grown veg could taste so totally different to shop bought.  And the one big thing that struck me, possibly even more than the taste of home grown, was the smell, particularly of tomatoes and made me realise that supermarket veg has virtually no smell at all.  And the smell of food I think plays a huge part in our enjoyment (or otherwise) of it.

We are now harvesting and enjoying our own early potatoes, carrots, courgettes (of course!), radishes and salad leaves, and purple sprouting broccoli.  Some time last year we had Sunday lunch out somewhere and one of the veggies on the plate was PSB.....after looking at it dubiously I eventually tried a bit - and was surprised to find I actually liked it as it didn't really taste like ordinary broccoli.  So at the beginning of this year when we were deciding what to grow this year, I suggested PSB.....and, guess what, it tastes even better than the bit I had with that Sunday lunch in the restaurant.  Our peas are now ready to pick, I'm really looking forward to those, in fact last year when we grew them for the first time I was eating some straight out of the pods whilst picking them - who knew they'd be so deliciously sweet and fresh tasting?  (Well, yes, I know all you seasoned veg gardeners knew that, hehe).

Are there any veggies that you just can't bring yourself to like?

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Bedroom finished

We've been decorating our bedroom this week....a hot job during the hottest week of the year, even with the windows wide open.  Our bedroom is at the back of the house, which is north facing (well, north west to be precise) so it is somewhat cooler than the front.  We slept in the front twin bedroom for 2 nights - boy, was it hot in there!  And that was sleeping in the twin beds.....thank goodness it's not a double bed in there, I think one of us would have been kicked out of bed.... ;-)

We've emulsioned the walls in a mushroom colour....initially I thought it was going to be too dark, but it lightened up a lot when it dried.  I like pale plain walls, but with plain curtains, bed linen and carpet, the room did need a bit of pattern beside the 2 large pictures I'd bought.  The room has a sticky out bit on one wall where the chimney is, so I had the idea of papering just that bit of wall to break up the plainness.  I think it's worked very well.  The paper I picked out isn't an in-your-face pattern, it's a muted one in colours that go really well with the walls and furnishings, and has flowers that exactly match the ones on one of the pictures I'd bought.  OH wasn't too sure about it when I picked it out in the shop, but seeing as he has so little eye (or regard) for colour that he will cheerfully wear non-matching tops and bottoms (or he would if I let him), I blithely assured him it would be fine.  Thank goodness it was, or I'd never hear the end of it!  tee hee

Left hand wall with papered chimney breast

Right hand side.  I love the picture above the bed

With the crochet blanket topper on.....the colours go really well.  Too hot to have the blanket on the bed at the moment though!

OH likes the room as well.....he leaves all the decorating choices up to me, I didn't want the room to be too chintzy, flowery or girly and it isn't, the two flowery pictures and the papered chimney breast add a touch of femininity without being OTT, whilst the plain walls, furnishings and sturdy antique pine furniture are masculine enough for his tastes.  He's not too keen on the decorative heart wall hangings though....

Next thing on the list is some new cushion flooring for the bathroom, I loathe the one that's in there now, it's so hard to clean and shows up every little speck of dirt (and when you have an OH who spends most of his time covered in mud and grease, there's a lot of that).

I hope we have the thunderstorms today that others had yesterday, or at least some heavy rain - it's so blooming hot and humid, I've felt like a wilted lettuce all week.

Welcome to my new followers, Kev, Rachel and John.