We've just got back from a weekend at our friend's farm. It's such beautiful countryside around that part of Adelaide (about 1.5 hours away from the city), lots of rolling green hills with a patchwork of paddocks. We spent most of the weekend eating.... and drinking... and having bonfires.



There were a couple of walks to visit the cows and see the Kangaroos hopping by at the end of the property. This is not a serious working farm - it's a hobby farm, but it kept the kids busy zipping around on the Gator and there was one moment of high drama when the sheep got out of the paddock and straggled over the road. Of course the rank amateurs (Mr AV and our friend D) trying to herd them back to their paddock was pretty funny to watch (there is no sheep dog to assist).




 Today we had more friends and their kids join us for a big lunch and a few bottles of wine. The one thing about living in Adelaide is that you pretty much are guaranteed that there will be a friend at a lunch/ dinner who has a connection to the wine industry... which means lots of good wine to try.


Our friends K & D - whose farm we stayed at - used our mutual friend K to do the design (she is an Architect too). It was almost a ruin when it was bought, but K did a superb job in selecting the materials and finishes - very Country Chic. Lots of Mintaro Slate - huge slabs - were used on the veranda, for benchtops in the bathrooms and kitchen and for the flooring in the hallway. The bedrooms all have carpet in the same tones, walls in warm creams and lots of use of the natural stone that the house was built from around 150 years ago. All very simple/ rustic with bleached wood tones to complement and simple white plantation shutters at the windows. They have added Art with a nature theme to it, and the simple light fittings look beautiful (all from Dunlin). It was a very comfortable weekender to stay at (so many times over the years we've stay at friends places which are very shack like, and usually have no window coverings/ never get cleaned/ have beds with strange lumps and sags in them). We had a lovely time.



So, onto the Giveaway! The blog has turned 1, and I have to say a big thank you to all of you who left such thoughtful comments - I really wasn't expecting it, and I found it so interesting to hear of your favourite post, or the posts you enjoy reading.

I received 37 comments (aside from my own!) and Random.org chose comment number 3....

Deborah who wrote
"Hi there! I'm a newer reader, having found your blog via FF and Lovely Jublies. I'm living in Adelaide at the moment, so love it when you mention local bits and of course adore the clothes/fashion.
">(Also, 28th Sept is my birthday ;) - a good day!)

Congratulations Deb - it is indeed your lucky day!! How funny that your number came up - please email me your full name and postal address and I'll send the book and soap out to you  anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com and a Happy Birthday to you - hope you had a lovely day.

So, on to the renovations.... I honestly feel at the moment it is one step forward, two steps back... as some of you read in the comments from Wednesday's post we have launched legal action with the Steel Window company in Melbourne. It's not ideal, but we'll hopefully force a resolution on the matter. So far the windows began their installation around 11 weeks ago. And they're still not complete. It's been quite stressful trying to deal with this particular company.

On Wednesday night we had gusty winds in Adelaide, and when the builders arrived early on Thursday morning, they found that one of the large double glazed units had blown out of the window (as they have still not completed the installation properly - they are all 'temporarily' in place) and smashed on the ground. So it's been a bit of a week of drama on that front.



On other items, I feel that I am constantly having to retrace my footsteps and contact suppliers/ follow things up as almost nothing gets done that you are told will get done. Due to all these problems, I decided a few weeks ago to order the wallpaper (as it could take quite some time to arrive if not in stock in Australia). So of course, the next week all the wallpaper arrived, and is now in our dressing room taking up space as we don't actually have any walls to wallpaper yet. Sigh. Meanwhile, the light fittings ordered several months ago are still on a boat from Italy somewhere.
 
Oh, and just to torture myself I decided to price up the Italian sofa I wrote about here. I thought I should satisfy my curiosity just on the off chance it was cheaper than the $25,000 I had estimated it would be. Well, I was quite wrong about the price. It wasn't in excess of $25,000. It was in fact way in excess of $25,000 .... try $43,000! Plus leather would be extra if you're interested. So, that knocked that idea over, and I'll most definitely stick with the very reasonably priced Jardan sofa (which Mr AV had been complaining about the cost of. Not any more).

So a trip to the countryside was a good tonic to take our minds temporarily off the rather stressful phase of the building works we're currently in. Hopefully things will be a little better this week... fingers crossed!

Hope you had a good week xx

37 comments:

  1. Those cows are so cute! M (daughter) just squealed in delight! Your weekend away looks lovely, and just what you need give the awful stress of your renovations. Your friends' house looks stunning! It is a real treat to stay in a well-appointed and comfy house.
    I'm gobsmacked at the price of the Italian sofa!! Jardan seems positively cheap in comparison.
    Anyway, wishing you a quick and stress-free litigation against the window company. I think you should name and shame here!

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    1. The cows are cute... from a distance! They are quite big with scary looking horns (and you can't see their eyes).
      Italian sofa was hilarious - it truly shocked me (although really, I shouldn't have been). Yes, Jardan is the model of reasonable priced sofas I think!
      I might do a name and shame - but have to wait until this is all sorted first of course. I'm certainly happy to tell people who to avoid by email if they want! xx

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    2. Seriously. please be careful about any name and shame , ..out of interest did you try Fair Trading first? though v. difficult doing it from SA for a Vic. company, though if time is of the essence as it is here, the legal avenue would perhaps be quicker

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    3. Oh don't worry smr, I would be careful. My husband is an ex lawyer, so I'd run it past him first. But if it comes to it I'll lodge a complaint with the Housing Industry Association (as they claim to be a member), and Consumer Affairs in Victoria. The legal letter is a much faster route, and if it ends up in court then a necessary first step. xx

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    4. Oh gosh, I was half joking about the name and shame idea! Sorry!
      As an aside, we have a book called 'Hamish the Highland cow', and that cow does look the spitting image of Hamish (who has never had a hair cut and keeps sticky toffees in his coat).
      My kids love Hamish!

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    5. Oh no - I was thinking about it quite a bit... unfortunately people don't do it enough! Frankly if you stuff your client's around, word gets around - we're just too far away to hear most of it.
      Hamish is a great name for a Highland Bull... but these are cows! What's the female version of Hamish? xx

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  2. Oh I love those cows and that farm looks amazing - we don't have many stone structures around here - this being all woods, all of the houses are made of wood! and would love to see kangaroos hopping by!

    43,000 for a sofa! Yikes!!! I would be afraid to sit in it!

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    1. There's no wood housing in South Australia - termites would make short work of it! Plus there were never large areas of forest to cut down... so it's all stone. It was all very bucolic with the kangaroos in the distance, and the shaggy cows.
      Yes, sofa would be considered a work of art by me, and certainly not for the children to be anywhere near! xx

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  3. love the pics!! The countryside is so green as well...Those cattle were just on TV in some farm in Scotland. James Martin was cooking it on the hills near the farm which wasn't very nice thou...Stone homes have got something special about them too.

    Congrats to lucky Deborah - I guess I will have to just go out and buy one now.

    So sorry to hear about the windows. What a fright and thank God noone was hurt Heidi! Though it doesn't really surprise me as your other builders had to help that one guy they sent with the glass...I hope the served papers show them you mean business.

    Always a good tactic to show a ridiculous price which could be a house deposit and then the others seem reasonable in comparison :)

    Hope you have a smooth week and that the glass situation sorts itself out pronto!! xx

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    1. It's so green at the moment - we've had such a wet winter. The cows are pets, there are definitely no plans to eat them! I wonder what they taste like though (any more special than normal cow?).
      The window situation is ridiculous, and yes, there have been bad signs all the way along. Unfortunately we've come to the point where we have to force a bit of action.
      And yes, I have inadvertently made the sofa look very cheap. Now if I could only find a way to do that with De Gournay wallpaper I'll be sorted! xx

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  4. Such a lovely way to spend a weekend re-charging after all that stress... how awful about the broken window and the impossible window suppliers... So sorry to read this. How on earth can a sofa cost that much... in some different world to mine there are obviously people who are happy to pay as much ... I love the stone house on the farm and the cows with horns!! Really hoping things will improve for you this week Heidi!... xxx

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    1. I often wonder about the people putting in the $21,000 light fitting I liked, or the $43,000 sofa. They must be the type to buy a crocodile Birkin without blinking!
      Thanks for the good wishes - it's going to be an interesting week regardless! xx

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  5. Wow, such great luck!! I am extremely lucky - thanks for making this possible Heidi :). Your friend's house is just beautiful and hope you had a relaxing time there! I have just emailed you too :). xox Deb

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    1. Well done Deb! Hope you enjoy the book xx

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  6. Oh flipping hell, nothing gets done! I have had to chase everyone and am thinking why the hell didn't I start a business, no one seems to be bothered enough to put in any effort.

    Oh and are those my Highland coos you've rustled?
    MMM to de Gournety, saw his house last week, fab and just bursting with personality.


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    1. I know! My husband keeps complaining that it's like no one wants your money! Also, if they're like that before you've put in an order then what are they going to be like once they receive it?
      Yes, a few Highlands in the field... they're pets over here, think it would be too hot to try to run them en masse on a farm commercially.
      Please post on the De Gournay house - can only imagine the scrummy wallpaper xx

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  7. Almost died when I saw that v. sweet highland cow/steer/bull ..arent they gorgeous .

    Im glad you went for the Jardan ..a 43k sofa is OTT..maybe OK for the croc birkin ..no make that a croc kelly

    hope this week more succesful on the building front

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    1. So funny, you'd prefer to carry your sofa money then lie on it then!
      The cows are cute, from a distance... they're not that tame! xx

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  8. Oh Heidi, I feel your pain. We are 2.5 years in and still going. We had to fire the original builder and get a new one (doesn't help that the original builder was my brother). Absolute nightmare, but that is why god made wine. Hang in there. Kx

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    1. Oh dear K! Firing family is not ideal at all... but I've laughed at your last comment - yes indeed, there has been a fair bit of wine consumed the past few weeks. And chocolate brownies... And I keep trying to say to myself "only a few more months" to try to keep the faith (that it will, in fact, finish one day!) xx

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  9. Highland Cattle!!!!! Oh so gorgeous...and such a picturesque setting with the eucalypts and the rolling hills...that and a bottle of good red wine...what else does one need?

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    1. They have such a lovely view from their house... and yes, a few bottles of red were enjoyed! xx

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  10. 1. I luff those cattle LUFF THEM

    2. nice cake

    3. So happy an FF reader won

    4. Legal action is terrible. And the cost! Awful. Hope you settle promptly.

    5. $43k for a sofa is insane

    6. rushing to catch Boardwalk Empire x

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    1. The cake was delicious. I have perfected my sponge recipe. Shall post it on the blog I think.
      Yes, the legal thing is not good. We have got a cheap deal due to family connections, but only if they respond to the letter... court will cost a bit regardless...
      I know, the sofa is ridiculous! Although if I had all the money in the world I'd still buy it! Enjoy BE xx

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    2. Yes... please post the sponge recipe.... we'd love it!!

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  11. Oh dear, feel your pain. Renovations are painful enough without running into those sort of problems. Hope it all works out. What a great place for a weekend break with friends. Looked gorgeous. Have slept on some lumpy beds myself over the years and had a laugh at that! (Hope your friends don't follow the blog) Happy Birthday Blog. Kate A

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    1. Hi Kate! Renovations are fairly painful.. It's a little like childbirth for me - you forget it when it's all over, but at the time you vow never again!
      Lumpy beds are the worst! My friends don't read the blog, so I should be safe (and still get invited for a weekend with added back pain in the future)! xx

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  12. Oh I feel so awful about the windows. Why would they run a business if they don't actually want to run it successfully? Hope there is a quick resolution.You have kids in the house for crying out loud!! What if more fall on them??? $43k for a sofa. Did they hand raise and individually pluck and wash each feather for the stuffing? And hand loom the material, then stitch it with gold thread by trained princesses? And then that is not even leather. My goodness. I must say, that is quite an attractive cow. What a cutie.

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    1. People are very strange Laura - but as I type an installer is working on the ... he arrived out of the blue from Melbourne this morning, so hopefully we'll be resolving this without the Court.
      Yes, the sofa is pretty funny price wise - it's a bit like clothes though - some of the prices seem quite excessive.... xx

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  13. The Highland cows bring back memories of a wonderful holiday in Scotland many years ago. Very dashing and romantic looking - but I wouldn't want to get too close and personal with them!
    Yes, you must be so fed up with the reno by now! When we had our kitchen and bathrooms done everything went smoothly as it was nothing like your huge undertaking, but I got so sick of strange men wandering around the house at 7.30 in the morning - just not a morning person. One day one of the tradesmen found me in the study and said "there's a lady walking around your house, is she a friend of yours?" I hurried out and there was indeed a strange woman, a complete walk-in, examining my house in great detail (opening cupboard doors etc). I asked if I could help her and what she wanted. Turned out she'd noticed the reno, stopped her car and followed some of the workmen into the house. Didn't know her from Adam. She was surprised when I politely asked her to leave, she said she hadn't seen the bedrooms yet! After this I just couldn't wait for it to be all over.
    Looking forward to your sponge recipe!
    Had lunch last Sunday with friends who've just returned from a visit to Latin America. One night they dined at a great restaurant in Sao Paulo that I think may have been the one in your picture a few posts ago, with all the fabulous romantic lamps that I raved over. They said the enormous tree was a fig, so, not quite sure. But a great coincidence!
    Good luck with your windows! Hope you can get it settled quickly without resorting to courts!
    Pamela xx

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    1. How amazing re the lights and Sao Paulo! It would be a wonderful and atmospheric place to eat at.
      Laughing at your stranger story Pamela - but people often do that! We had it in our old place in Melbourne. One of the neighbours used to walk around our house when we were at work and the tradies were in on their own. Grrrr. We were still living there!!
      Yes, a bit sick of tradies - had to stop blow drying my hair and attend to something early this morning, by the time I got back inside my hair had dried and looks quite dreadful now! xx

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  14. Gosh, sounds like the window fiasco has reached a new low. Fingers crossed for you that it is resolved soon and things can get moving again.

    Love the house, gorgeous. Is it around Clare?

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    1. Thanks Gabrielle, no, the farm is in the other direction and is near Yankalilla. xx

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  15. Just catching up on posts tonight after juggling work and feral school holiday children, so sorry to hear about your window dramas. You must have steam coming out of your ears with it all, fingers crossed that you used your scary voice and they scuttle back over and sort it out quick smart. It is all looking amazing and it will end at some point- I can vouch for that part! mel x

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    1. I know intellectually it will end at some point... it just seems a long, long way away at the moment!! xx

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  16. Hello Heidi!

    Love the furry cows - they look like bovine vikings.

    Your friends' farm is lovely - such a gorgeous old house too. The window situation is obviously a complete shocker. I really hope you get somewhere soon.

    Also loved the post about the interior designing in London especially the changeable accent on your employer's daughter. Have heard that a few times! Always makes me laugh.

    Hope all is well with you, windows excepted. School holidays here and have been away for a little while. Back now though.

    T

    xx

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    1. Laughing at the bovine vikings - they do a bit!!
      Hope you had a great holiday - we're all stuck home, and it's school holidays here too. Fortunately the weather has finally improved, so the second week should be fine (as they can play outside in the front garden!)
      Fingers crossed about the windows. I have a feeling it will end up in court.... xx

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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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