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.
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).
Hope you had a great week xx
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