School Holidays continue. Scenes of mess, mayhem and chaos continue in our too small house. Meanwhile, in the back garden, we've had the frame finished. Now we're just waiting for the roofers to turn up and put the roof on, which will mean an end to wet weather delays. Some of their supplies were delivered on Friday, so I'm ever hopeful that on Monday they will begin the sheeting of the roof in the corrugated iron. The framers finished their job on Wednesday by putting the little roof frame up on the top of the ceiling lantern. 



Hopefully that is the last picture of a frame any of us will have to endure. 

Meanwhile, on other house renovation matters, I have been jumping around in my mind like a crazy person from item to item finishing off the decorative scheme (all still in my head). I may not have quite finished off my drafting of the kitchen...or laundry... but I've been thinking about furniture, lighting and paint finishes. 

I have had my heart set on a dining pendant by Kevin O'Reilly - the Altar light. It looks like a black iron tray with candles on it, and would be almost as long as our 10 seater dining table (longer than that pictured below). Now, I realised that it would not be a cheap light fitting... but I was still a little crushed upon discovering through the Australian rep that it was $21,000 RRP. I lamented the expense to Mr AV, secretly hoping that he'd say magnanimously that if it was so important to the overall decorative scheme, that it could be a splurge item. No such luck. Not only did he almost choke on the price, but when I showed him the light fitting he actually said "I don't even like it". How can that be??? So, back to the drawing board on that item. 


One thing Mr AV did like was this - the Dedon Swingseat. I have been toying with the idea of what to do with the outdoor dining area, which is huge and will also accommodate a seating area in addition to our existing outdoor dining table and chairs. Cleverly, I showed Mr AV this picture, in which he immediately inserted himself in place of the bearded man in the panama hat. Thoughts of swinging gently in the breeze with a G&T at hand, dozing off while the children frolicked (quietly) in the garden appealed. Apparently, while we do not have funds for the light fitting, we have no problem in stumping up some funds for this... 


So, to some indoor pursuits. I've been cooking up a storm this week. Unfortunately my efforts have not been terribly appreciated by the children (unless my cooking includes Chocolate Cake or Crumble Top Puddings). One will always declare dinner is "extremely delicious", while the other two will declare that they are suddenly not hungry. I whipped up some little steamed chicken, mushroom and lemongrass Dim Sim. Here is a double tray full off to be steamed in my Thermomix. They were voted extremely delicious by almost all the children.



Did another one of the Leek, Thyme and Potato tarts. Children were not as keen as Mr AV and I on it.


We have a budding Picasso in our house. Unfortunately 3 year old S used the walls, rather than a canvas. Equally unfortunately he chose crayons, and just did some random scribbles, rather than an actual drawing, which would have actually made me feel better about the whole thing. 2 Magic Erasers and half an hour later, and the walls are back to normal.....here's a small sample


 I did a bit of gardening, and finally managed to weed the Veggie Garden. This was a difficult task, as a  month or so ago Mr AV got fed up with me saying I was going to weed it, and instead decided it would be best to just mow over the weeds. This meant that it has been difficult to find the carrots, which are strangely stumpy looking little things (but taste good), probably due to having had their tops cut off. I had two gardeners to assist me with this project, while small and untrained, they are quite good at pulling up weeds (and anything else in their vicinity), and especially enjoyed finding carrots as a sort of treasure hunt, which they would then wash under the tap and eat. I've put a thick layer of Cane Straw mulch down, so hopefully the weeds won't come back for a while.


 and this was what I looked like at the end - covered in dirt. We've had a lot of rain which meant that the weeds came up easily, but so did the clods of mud.


 Finally, I've managed to plough through a few books this week. I've finished off Nicky Haslam's memoir "Redeeming Features". He's an Interior Decorator in London who pretty much knows/ knew everyone of significance from the 20th Century. He's also a shameless name dropper and has a mind like a steel trap for gossip and anecdotes from years past. I've also read "Living in History", which is a lovely book about beautiful historic houses in Tasmania, and Holly Kerr Forsythe's book "Remembered Gardens", which is essentially a book about women gardeners in Australia, following 8 of them from the time of the Second Fleet's arrival through to more recent times and the legacy that they left (through importation of seeds and plants, garden design to collecting specimens for Joseph Paxton back in England). I've really enjoyed it. The last book I read was a little work of fiction, Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield, with its pretty Cath Kidson designed cover. It was written in the 1930's as a satirical diary on a middle class lady and her various domestic disasters. I found it quite amusing, and it's funny to think that not a lot changes, despite the years.


Hope you had a good week xx

29 comments:

  1. "I don't even like it" "I don't even like it" heart shattering!! MEN!
    But for $21,000 I am sure you can come up with something else. That is crazy talk! If it was a crystal chandelier, I'd understand.
    Go for 2 of the lights I like. The morris lantern by Suzanne Kasler. 2 big ones. Will look amazing! In antique zinc.
    Loving the progress!! how exciting. Hopefully the rest will rocket one! Can't wait for windows.
    Oh this thermomix. . . stop talking about it. I want one. I bet it makes mean baby food! Those dumplings look very nice.

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    1. So far though, I've drawn a blank to find a replacement. I've found a pic with a light fitting I like, but it irritatingly doesn't say where it's from (suspect it's a US company, but all the usual suspects haven't had it). We may end up with a bulb. That would please Mr AV as he said something to me about doing the interiors 'slowly' yesterday. Admittedly this was when I said I'd just like to win a few hundred grand in Lotto to really finish off the garden and furniture etc 'properly' (!). xx

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    2. I have bulbs all over my house and I am certain I will have more bulbs in the kitchen too. It is okay. Wait till you find your love. What about a light from Christopher Boots http://www.christopherboots.com/ He is in Melbourne.
      I'd like to win lotto too, but I never buy tickets LOL. So that won't work.

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    3. I can just imagine lounging in the heat in the swingy chair! great photo's thanks for sharing. Elle

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  2. Great drawings, you should do a Banksy and chip off the wall and save it for later! Ps met NH here a couple of times and he does talk to everybody but is def a character. Love that swing chair by the way xx

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    1. Definitely no Banksy!! Was NH in the Mayer Clinic, or do you mean back in London?? I always thought he seemed fun. xx

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    2. Mayr, he had a health scare so comes here often...ps I love scribbles!

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    3. I'll send the 3 year old your way.... you may not like the scribbles on your walls!

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  3. I'm with you Heidi. I have always loved that light when I have seen it on different sites. I didn't realise how expensive it was though! Bugger! Maybe buy a lotto ticket!! xx

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    1. No, I have to say leah, I was totally shocked!! I had thought maybe it would be around $6-8,000 (as I had found there are replicas which still cost close to $3,000). Those fake candles must cost a bomb.....! xx

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  4. I loved the Nicky Haslam book. I felt really sad when Old Paolo told him it was over red rover. I also like it when he started channeling Noel and Liam Gallagher. Too funny. And what about how when he saw the surgeon and said he wanted a bit of freshening the surgeon wrote " Nicky Haslam - Full Facelift"!!!

    Good for jun r gardening. I can hardly be bothered.

    I live in fear of drawn on walls.

    Nice tart xxx

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    1. I know, poor old Nicky, he was quite crushed along the way. I think if I remember correctly from my ID gossip that Paolo somehow wheedled the Nicholas Haslam shop out of him when they separated... and his name, which is why Nicholas Haslam Interiors is actually now Paolo, and NH Interiors is Nicky. So strange to trade on your ex's name like that....

      Every one of my children has drawn on the walls. I had stupidly thought that S was past that stage, needless to say after my reaction he won't be doing it again. xx

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  5. Omg Heidi... are you sure the light fitting isn't $2100.00? .... it seems inconceivable that it could cost $21000.00!!! ... Why?? ... So impressed with your culinary efforts - specially the DimSim - So rewarding when a veg garden gets that clean-up! Our roof is going on this week ... Have been just as jumpy with my mind going all over the place - suddenly paint decisions depend on fabric choices - depend on floor finishes and and and! Hope your roof gets done really soon! I do love that swing chair.. and especially the 'children frolicking quietly" !! Jenny xx

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    1. No, the replicas are around $2500!! My builder offered to knock one up for me, but I suspect it would look a little.... rustic! I do feel that I've accomplished one thing this week with the garden clean up - the green bin is completely full of weeds and weighs a tonne! (not composting at the moment due to the situation in the back garden!!). Suspect that Mr AV would find he was joined on the swingrest by some over excited children trying to swing the thing when ever he lay on it... may not find a lot of the 'rest' on it at all!! Looking forward to seeing your house progress - we're about on par at the moment (except I'm pretty sure that your project would be a lot bigger...!) xx

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  6. Love the swing chair. The Farmer just stuck his head over my shoulder while I was reading and thought it would be excellent for the beach house. Maybe he too can imagine himself lying back with a drink in hand and a panama over his nose?

    I like the light fitting but not 21K worth of like!

    Recovering from huge weekend here that included old friends staying and Farmgirl's 6th birthday party....

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    1. Oh I can just picture the Farmer on holiday in a Panama hat... a definite must for your beach house!!

      Oh boy, a child's birthday party... that will take a good week to recover from, sounds very busy with houseguests too (although fun) xx

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    2. What are these magic erasers? We had so many toddler scribbles in our former house, we needed to repaint the entire indoor area. Love the Dover swingchair and the look of those dim sims. x

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    3. They're Chux Magic Erasers... you just buy them in the supermarket in the cleaning aisle. You wet them and scrub at any mark/ scuff and it magically takes them away. They're brilliant - I usually go over the hall walls every few months with them, so thankfully already had some on hand - water and a sponge didn't move them a bit. xx

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  7. Doesn't it seem like you could design/make your own light fixture, that would be very similar in every way but the price? The hanging chair definitely, I can't count the number of garage sales I've seen getting rid of one of those papazzan chairs from the 80s that easily could be hung with a new mattress to give you the same space. Good luck, and happy Bastille Day!

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    1. I think that the difficulty with the light is in the 'wax' candles that actually don't melt from the heat of the bulbs... although I'm not sure how they can justify the price based on that alone! It's probably half the cost in the US compared to here... we tend to be royally ripped off in Australia for pretty much everything. Hope you're enjoying Bastille Day! xx

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  8. Hi Heidi
    That light is gorgeous! On a dull but practical note, think of the hours of cleaning it would require...better to get on that grownup swing with something nice to read!

    Then again, you are clearly very capable-that level of culinary skill and effort at any time is impressive, but when you're renovating it's incredible!
    Cheers, Renie

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    1. Ha! Too true Renie...I must say that I'd thought it would be tricky to clean.... but I suppose the people who can afford the light fitting can also afford the staff to clean it for them!!
      You're very kind about my efforts with meals... wish my children were more appreciative! xx

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  9. Wow that light fitting is expensive!! Beautiful, but I think too much.... how funny that Mr AV prefers the garden swing ;-)
    The drawings on your walls are delightful, but probably not really what you want on white walls! I once coloured in my parent's brand new off-white rug with my new felt-tip pens.... I think I was about 3 or 4. They are still cross about it to this day!!!

    YOur cooking looks delicious. My children are both vegetarians; in fact D only really eats orange and white food. So dull.....I live in hope that he'll go back to eating everything one day. They were both excellent and very adventurous eaters until they started Pre-School at 4.

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    1. Oh dear... your parent's still remember the felt tip and rug?? That must've been very, very bad!
      Your children sound difficult to feed. My oldest is a fussy eater, essentially he wants to live on carbs. He ate everything until 16 months, then would only eat spaghetti bolognase or mac n' cheese for 2.5 years. He's better now, but only marginally. The 3 year old will eat everything except olives, and will throw a tantrum on the floor screaming for mineral water and smoked salmon. The middle one is the most 'normal' eater. I live in hope that they will one day all like and eat the same meal!! xx

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  10. Oh I love Diary of a Provincial Lady ..very dry humour .

    I actually thought the light fitting was in situ at your house and was very envious I LOVE IT

    Saw a great exhibition called Smash Palace at White Rabbit gallery in CHippendale (inner Sydney) yesterday. This gallery exhibits comtemporary Chinese art . I fell in lust /love and just plain "I want it" with a work by Tzeng Yong-Ning , it was a huge work done with gel pen it looked like a red scribble ,,,gorgeous , beautiful colour

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    1. Sounds like S was inspired by the artwork you saw perhaps? Although the version you saw sounds really lovely...!

      Yes, I'm very sad about that light fitting. I've wanted it for 2 years for the space. Very, very sad! It would've been perfect...

      checked out the website you've sent through - haven't seen that blog before - thank you! Now I have something else to distract me from my drafting!! Some lovely houses on there... xx

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    2. glad you liked it ,,

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  11. http://inspiracionline.blogspot.com.au/

    Have you seen this site Heidi ?

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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