At long last the steel windows have been installed. Not without a fair amount of drama, however. There was no need for me to throw a ticker tape parade for the return of the window installing team from Melbourne, 5 weeks after they were last here (and when they ran into numerous problems so departed leaving a half installed job). One installer rolled up on Tuesday. Yes, you can imagine my joy - only one. After he told us that it was a glazier by trade, not an installer, and was new to the company, alarm bells started to ring. We had the three biggest windows to install, which required 2 men (due to their weight). Previously a team of 3 installers had not been able to do this. It led to a lot of angst and frantic phone calls back and forward to Melbourne, and the end solution was that my Builder supplied extra labour to get them in. At one stage the one installer was threatening to leave and come back at a later date. I was saying I was going to handcuff him to site to make sure he was staying until the damn things were in.



So in the end they are in, they look great, but I'm still annoyed and distressed about the whole thing and it's something that only the passage of time will heal. I was on the phone threatening legal intervention at various points. It was that bad, and most of it I won't bore you with. So it was a stressful week. But the roof finally went on as well, so we've made some significant progress, as we now have lockup.


Dining area windows


Living room windows to outdoor dining


a roof on the living room


I spent the rest of the week, when not on the phone to the Melbourne window company, or inspecting all the myriad problems with the windows being installed, buried in the front garden.




When we left for Melbourne last week, we were literally wheeling our bags out the front door when the postman called with a box full of the bare rooted roses I had ordered 3 months before. Unlucky. They spent the weekend in their box on the veranda, and first thing on our return on Sunday I shoved them in a bucket of water ready to plant out this week. Fingers crossed they survive - so far they are shooting out new leaves, so I take that as a good sign... roses are fairly hardy so I think they'll be ok. 


I've spent probably 10 hours this week gardening, and am physically exhausted. I've moved plants to new locations, like the Japanese box topiary balls above, planted the 20 new roses, divided up irises and lambs ears, pruned topiary, put out bags full of cow manure and mulched with cane straw. I've still probably got another 6 hours to go, and we have a garden the size of a postage stamp at the moment. I may need to rethink my previous assertion that I would not have a gardener when we have the whole garden back and the reno is finished. Clearly the garden is going to be taking up some serious time. 

If you look really closely you'll see some sticks that will become David Austin "Heritage" roses in a couple of months

All the gardening and the renovation progress has occurred in large part through the fact that someone flicked the switch on spring a little early. After our endless grey, wet Winter, suddenly we've had sun and temperatures in the 20's. This has lead to a few things:
like the first Pimms of the season.

delicious

Last night we went out to dinner with friends to The Spice Kitchen in Leabrook. It's an Indian restaurant that John Lethlean (senior food critic for The Australian newspaper) named the Best Indian in Australia, and worth flying to Adelaide for. It was a big rap. The restaurant is not new, or flash - it's been in operation for 24 years, and is firmly in the neighbourhood restaurant style of establishment. The food was really good, we had the Indian Banquet as there is an extensive menu, and we had no idea what to order. Sometimes it is easier to leave it up to the restaurant. Except that I completely overate. Wore this: black lace Oscar de la Renta blouse, with waxed black jeans and a pearl and chain belt (very 90's Chanel tribute) from Zara. I was concerned the belt would start to self destruct, as Zara items can tend to do, but it held up for the night. Sorry, bad picture below. We had a great night out, the food was really good, but I wouldn't advise flying to Adelaide specifically for the experience, as John suggested. 



So today, having gone up one dress size overnight (I am not kidding), I wore this
summery Tory Burch tunic with my white cropped jeans

hiding a multitude of sins

And we had the Dad's over for Father's day this afternoon for some champagne and nibbles. I served up some Hot smoked Trout with dill sour cream tartlets, and some inauthentic Vietnamese rice paper rolls. Yet again I proved that last minute events are always possible if you make sure you keep smoked salmon/ trout and champagne in the fridge at all times. Truly.




Dad brought me some beautiful Camellias from his garden, which I've shoved in my (now extensive) collection of Alvar Aalto vases. This stripey pink one is Lavinia Maggi, an old Japonica Camellia (brought over from Japan by the original garden owner who was a bit of an international plant hunter in the 1880's).

Pretty

Hope you had a great week xx 

35 comments:

  1. Heidi, the house is looking absolutely fantastic!

    I will travel anywhere to eat fab Indian food, as it is my favourite cuisine. If you had said the food at Spice Kitchen was outstanding I would have booked tickets. We are having a week in Sydney and Melbourne later in the year and I am already researching where to eat! So many of the restaurants from Food Safari are in Adelaide - so lucky.
    Your Father's Day canapés looked delicious. Also love the Tory Burch tunic xxx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Fifi! The food was really good, but I don't think it warrants a plane ticket (although if you were coming to Adelaide and spending a long weekend, maybe?). The food is great in Adelaide.. we're really lucky. Actually the chef from the Spice Kitchen has new cookbook out. She is a trained chef from India, which is apparently highly unusual (all others are cooks). Here's a link to her book - might be cheaper than a plane ticket! http://www.doubleday.com.au/Products/Books/Spice-Kitchen-by-Ragimi-Dey/93684_2.aspx
      Actually, that's really cheap... I was looking at the book last night and it's huge - a real bible of Indian cookery xx

      Delete
  2. Oh hurrah for your windows! They look absolutely amazing! I'm so pleased that they are finally in.... I can only begin to guess how awful it must have been, waiting for the bloody installers to come back. And then to almost have the only one run away
    I would have taken to the bottle, big time!!

    Your Indian night out sounds great - I love Indian food, but had no idea the best was in Adelaide! Having grown up in the UK, we do find Sydney's Indian offerings a bit disappointing, but there are some great, very cheap Southern Indian places. Nothing compared to the places I've been to in India itself, but still, not bad.

    Love your blouse, too funny that your waist expanded after one night!
    Your fathers' day spread looks fab - such a good idea to always have the basics to hand!!

    Finally, so glad your spring has come. We had a beautiful 25 degree day today, so went to a park on the water and had a picnic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There has been a lot of drinking and comfort eating this week. That could well have added to the fat clothes that I have donned today. Back on the straight and narrow tomorrow!!
      Indian in England is definitely great - Funnily enough, the restaurant wasn't even full on a Saturday night, but does a roaring trade with the takeaway... probably because everyone wants to go to the 'hot' new place? We were also the youngest people there, which was interesting...
      The weather has made everyone happier in Adelaide - it's going to be 27 on Tuesday! xx

      Delete
  3. I love your outfits, I too have gone up a dress size overnight (or gained 3.8 kilograms to be precise). I no longer fit into 85% of my wardrobe.... I will have to invest in a Tory Burch tunic or two. I thought about dieting for a moment, but then started salivating at the sight of your Father's day spread.

    David Austin roses are my favourite. I've had little success keeping a garden in the past, but have invested in gardening equipment/ seedlings for Father's Day. Tomorrow, the gardening starts.

    Finally, the steel windows are fabulous. Sorry to hear about the drama in getting them installed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I highly recommend the old Tory tunic for hiding all sins. I wear a variety of her tunics as my transeasonal uniform with cropped jeans for everyday. Although I may have to think about more form fitting clothes... like swimwear far more quickly than I anticipated with my overeating this week.
      I love David Austin roses.. being in QLD you'll probably have difficulties with the humidity and black spot. Adelaide is ideal for growing them. Of course I tried hard not to put roses in (because you always want to grow what you can't have easily), but I caved this year - hence purchasing 20 of them.
      It's been a bad week of drama. I'm very glad it's over! xx

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  4. That sounded very painful but I must say that your windows are just fabulous. Dare I say it was almost worth it and glad they are in - better than no windows and legal action. I want new windows but apparently they need planning permission which takes at least 3 months but want to show this to S bc I like the clean lines of the windows. I think you have about a month worth of nonstop eating to even reach chubby!! Love the colors of you Tory tunic. Perhaps I should try gardening - it seems most gardeners are in shape! Your father's camelias are just so pretty - I hope you get a few cuttings and plant in your garden! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'm giving up on the camellia's in my garden.... the possums keep eating them, and they are really looking pretty lacklustre. I have a few that didn't even put out a flower this year, so they are staring at the axe.
      The windows do look good, and I have to say I've learnt a lot about them..... but it's been a pretty awful week, but yes, at least we didn't end up in court over it (which was looking highly likely on Wednesday). You should definitely do them. Ours are double glazed (but still look so light in the frames if you know what I mean). Planning permission is a total pain in the UK though... good luck! I like the tunic too - it's like a blue and white ginger jar xx

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  5. You certainly have made significant progress and the new windows are looking very good. A shame you have had to have all the stress though. The tartlets look delicious and Champagne is of course a perfect match! Your tunic would be ideal for my holiday next month especially in that colour combination which looks so fresh. The temperature has dropped here although warmer weather is forecast for next week - hope they are right!

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    Replies
    1. Well, we have cooler weather forecast again at the end of the week, so I'm happily breaking out a few of the transpersonal/ more summery things while I can.... I'm a bit over the layers of black wool!! Have a wonderful time on your holiday, I'd SO love one myself at the moment! xx

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  6. Windows look amazing... what a relief for you to have them in! What a fantastic entertaining space your dining area will be. Are you going to do any curtains or window treatments?
    Love the outfits and also I have to comment on the dish that you served your Vietnamese rolls in - very chic.
    x

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    Replies
    1. Hi Charlotte, I can't even describe the relief I felt on Saturday when the installer finished them off and left for Melbourne again! There won't be any window treatments - it's a casual area, and I want the focus on the windows as a conservatory/ indoor outdoor type feel, so curtains or blinds wouldn't work. They're double glazed too, so I'm not too worried about heat loss or gain through them.
      That dish is so beautiful - I love cabbage leaf plates and platters. It was a gift from friends for my birthday last year, and I was so excited when I unwrapped it! xx

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  7. Wow, your house is going to be absolutely stunning by the time it is done. I love floor to ceiling windows. Sorry to hear it was so stressful getting it done but at least it is done, and you can move on to the next stage. I also reach for the tunic on "fat" days, but must agree with CSW, you are so slim, you would have to overeat for a month to reach the chubby stage.

    Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! There's definitely a growing muffin top there, so the tunic is a great distraction! I'm very relieved we've got the windows, and now the plastering can start - it's actually starting to look like a house now! xx

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  8. How absolutely fantastic that you now have lock-up!!... your project has now steamed ahead of ours!!! I love your windows Heidi... but what an absolute pain it all was... That TB Tunic is SO pretty and I am very very impressed with all of your gardening efforts. I am still in France and get home in 10 days time. I cannot wait to see the progress at our house!... when are you hoping to move in?
    xx

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    Replies
    1. Your's is much bigger though Jenny! I don't have bathrooms which add a lot of time, and you've got more rooms overall. But now the windows are in it has made a difference - as they take up large portions of the wall, the bricking hasn't taken long (and we've only had one bricklayer and a labourer, so he's flown along the past week with the weather improving).
      I can't wait to see your house progress (and to hear about Alaska). Can def. recommend the tunics from Tory Burch, lovely and light, and will be perfect over bathers or shorts in Summer too. xx

      Delete
  9. Those windows are stunning what a shame the company was not good to deal with, they may well have got business from your blog with a recommendation! Your garden will be beautiful with all those lovely roses!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still dealing with them over a few other things, plus we have the wall around the stair well still to go.. so I'm being reasonably cautious about what I say. But I don't think I'll be singing their praises and recommending them to all at the end of this.
      I can't wait for Spring, and the roses - the garden is so bare at the moment! xx

      Delete
  10. Ohhhh my goodness. I am so thrilled to see the windows are in! But ohhhh my. One pathetic installer, what were they thinking? ONE!! Oh I am so angry and I am just a little nobody in another state and I feel so angry I can only imagine how you felt. But I do agree with the other commenter, maybe it was worth it. They are gasp inducing gorgeousness!
    So that is one big item you can tick off!!!!! YAY! I am now waiting with baited breath for the floors!!!! Hurrah! Great progress.
    I agree with your sentiments about smoked or cured food in the fridge and champagne. I always have champagne in my fridge but not a big champagne drinker lol, so luckily I don't drink it and it always there. Olives are another good one to have stocked. I love olives so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly couldn't believe the one installer, and to say my blood was boiling at various points during the week was an understatement. It's such a shame because it's a fantastic product - the steel sections are really, really lovely in person. They've got a really good finish on them and will not need to be touched for a few hundred years... but I feel very let down by the company that manufactured. And we still have a few little /biggish niggles to sort out.
      I always keep good olives on hand too - except I have a tendency to eat them myself when feeling a bit peckish. Opening a whole bottle of champagne for myself or making up smoked trout tartlets is a bit much effort! xx

      Delete
  11. Your windows look amazing, Heidi. I hope their beauty goes a little way toward erasing the memories of their installation! Wish I could have some installed in my house, really love the look of steel windows.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks N! I do love them... but I just feel a bit jaded by the whole thing at the moment. I guess time will heal....! xx

      Delete
  12. Those windows .... LOVE!

    That tunic looks fantastic on you.

    B

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    Replies
    1. Thanks B, I'm loving the tunics this week!! xx

      Delete
  13. Love the windows, they look fanastic. Sorry to hear it was so stressful!

    Gorgeous weather over the weekend, great to get the kids out and about burning up some energy. Hope your builders get lots done before the weather turns again.

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    Replies
    1. Well... would you believe it, but apparently today was a RDO (rostered day off). Convenient! I think the brickwork should be completely finished by then, and they'll be doing interior work after that, so it should be ok at any rate.
      I am loving the weather too though - the kids just want to be outside, which is great - my house hasn't been so tidy in months! xx

      Delete
    2. Oh typical! Yay to the builders being inside and not at the mercy of the weather.

      Yes, love the kids being outside, well a part from the dirt they walk in! Sunshine makes us all much less irritable :) But then I am no fan of winter. I spent five years in Canberra, no idea how I coped with the subzero temperatures!

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  14. Dear Heidi

    Love/love the windows - and the high ceilings! Great to hear they're double glazed too. The roses will be beautiful - they're usually very hardy, specially once established. So many people lost their back gardens here during the terrible Canberra bushfires of 10 years ago and then were amazed when the roses, alone of all their plants, eventually came back to life in their charred gardens. Thought of you when I saw the Adelaide weather forecast - you must be so happy after the rain and mud to have sunshine and warm weather. We've finally had warm days too, in fact so warm that my jonquils have suddenly "gone over" as the English gardeners on the tour used to say.

    Have been so busy after a week with the family in Sydney then with barely a day to spare they all came to us for a long weekend over Fathers' Day. But lovely despite all the sinful food and chocs. Just think how wonderful your house will be for Christmas this year when it's all finished! You'll be able have a gi-normous tree with those high ceilings! Best wishes, Pamela xxx

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    1. It's been such a lovely week with the weather Pamela! I can't tell you what a difference it's made to everyone's mood, not to mention that they've got a move on with the house. Finally!!
      The roses have all sprouted, except one which I'm a little worried about.... fingers crossed it's just being a bit tardy. If they can survive those horrific Canberra bushfires, then maybe it will survive its short time in a box.
      Don't talk to me about sinful food - I had far too much of it last week, and am definitely embracing my fat clothes this week!! xx

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  15. Looking great Heidi - windows are amazing.

    Thank God for tunics I say. They give a few more weeks of grace before summer really hits and the bathers need to be dug out.

    Still quite wintery here. Normally WA seems to have spring hit pretty hard but this year - not so much.

    Best go - have the kids school athletics carnival today.... At least it is not raining.

    T

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm quite frightened about the need to bather up so soon. Shall have to go back on that horrible elimination diet I was on earlier this year to shed a bit of the winter bulge.
      I've seen you've had cold temps in WA - but we've got them coming tomorrow too. I think we've had a brief spring fling and now it's back to cooler temps for the next week. At least we've got the roof on - rain forecast for the next week mostly.
      Hope the athletics carnival was fun! xx

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  16. Heidi those windows look SPECTACULAR and totally worth going nuts over. Know exactly how you feel as we have had a shocking time with our kitchen window and several other minor issues as well and I too have been cautious about how I have written about it until all the work is done but the door and window company certainly won't be getting a glowing review from me. So, so stressful at the time, and not fun when it takes the shine of what should be an awesome moment. We have hit a few reno hurdles right now in the last week with our deck and floors and we are SO over dealing with problems especially as it is so close to the end. Hoping we can hang in there until next week when hopefully it will all be sorted. Also when I first saw that pic of your windows thought it was snowing down there as they look all sparkly with all the white tapes on them (and you have had freak weather) but I won't wish that on you ! mel x

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  17. It was either snow or they came pre strung with fairy lights! mel x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Snow wouldn't be out of the question with all the weather craziness we've had Mel!
      I'm so sorry to hear you've had a problem with your windows too - it's the thing that is always the issue on Grand Designs, and it seems to run the same course here. Very sad, and frustrating due to the hold ups it causes, and the angst over an item that is quite a big spend on any house. Hope things go a little bit smoother with your deck and floors - hang in there!! It will be over much sooner than mine (which seems to be draaaaggging along at the moment), and you'll be enjoying your beautiful light filled house with a glass of wine to erase a few of the more painful memories! xx

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  18. I cannot tell you Heidi how much I love the butterfly wallpaper!... I have to say that the laundry is one of my favourite rooms in the house and to this end, I have also tried to make mine more 'habitable'... but have to admit that I never thought of wallpaper!... pure genius!! I have one blank wall and might just end up doing that!... I would adore one of those huge ceramic old-fashioned laundry tubs... but couldn't find one! I have also decided to put underfloor heating in the laundry.. both for drying the washing in wet weather and for keeping the doggies warm! xx

    ReplyDelete

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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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