Friday, 31 May 2013


So this is my first Australian winter.
It's pretty good so far - apparently it got down to 2 degrees last night which is really quite chilly! Mark's struggling not to say 'I told you so' every two minutes...(I refused to believe it would ever be cold...)
Now though, at 1pm, the sun's out, the sky's blue, the neighbours are mowing their lawn, the upstairs of our house is lovely and warm.
In fact, if I shut my eyes, it feels a lot like an English summer's day - of the warm dry variety ;)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Before and After - Kitchen!

When we first bought The Ugly House the room I was most excited about was the kitchen - basically because there really wasn't one! Just a sink, four cupboards, one drawer and a bit of singed '60's formica worktop... Oooh, the potential!

As a cheap fix I painted the cupboard doors white and changed the door handles ...

Now it's a pretty nice room - still need to sort out the strip lighting and the scruffy blinds, but with the aid of a cheap Bunnings worktop and a wallmounted shelf unit Mark's mum picked up for me at a swap meet it looks pretty good!

It was my birthday last week so I treated myself to these gorgeous postcards from Lisa Stubbs - I love her illustrations, and especially like the fact that there are two each of three designs in the pack so you can send one and keep one for yourself :) These two make me smile every time I put the kettle on!

Also making me smile - my present from Mark and the boys - they have amazingly good taste, it's almost as if I told them exactly what I wanted and where the cheapest place to buy it was...

And from my lovely friend Karen, an Emma Bridgewater teapot! Which travelled safely in the post all the way from the UK!

And from my equally lovely sister, who always buys the best presents - a DIY Trophy Deer Head

Friday, 24 May 2013

Surf's Up!

We drive to school along the beach road each morning - yep, we're living the dream ;)
And the waves were HUGE this morning. 

All the car parks were full of utes and 4x4s, surfboards on roofracks - poor Mark was at work so Molly and I went to check out the waves for him!

They reminded me of my favourite Guinness ad (1999)


which was inspired by this painting -

Our waves weren't quite that impressive but still pretty good!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Reading this month...

My top recommendations for this month!

In the Winter Dark
A dark tale of guilt and retribution from WA's King of fiction!

Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

True stories of life in East Germany

Sibling rivalry and childhood secrets

From the author of Chocolat, a story of island tension

On Green Dolphin Street
I loved this for it's detailed descriptions of 1950's New York

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Stormy day

The first storm of the winter has rolled in - typing this in our living room I can hear the waves crashing on the beach down the road. 

It would be a lot more enjoyable if our uninsulated house felt a bit more solid than a giant cardboard box! Last night we took turns running downstairs to check for leaks - think we've got them all covered now, apart from the stream coming in under the back door...

Monday, 6 May 2013

Beach Finds

The first thing I noticed about Western Australian beaches is how clean they are. There's the odd plastic bottle or can washed up or left on the beach, but looking along our local beach there is just a bare expanse of sand with a bank of seaweed.

To be honest I find it quite boring! I love beachcombing - and the UK must have the best beachcombing beaches in the world. I suppose it's because the seas around the UK are so busy and all the little coves and inlets around the coastline catch all the treasures that are washed up.

Here, we're a long way from anyway -  4885 miles due West is South Africa....that's a long way with nothing in between!

So, I've had to start looking for other treasures - no sea glass or pieces of pottery here - natural treasures are the way to go -

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Demolition Depression...

I'm having one of those days when there are about fifteen things I should be doing, but I can't decide which to do first, so I'm sitting around doing nothing... 

At the weekend we knocked down the steps to the balcony, because they were pretty much rotten and just waiting for a boy to run up them one too many times and fall through...

Before Demolition

After Demolition

Isn't it depressing when the 'After' looks worse than the 'Before'??

I've finished painting the bottom storey so it does look slightly better... (Slightly..)

We've come to terms with the fact that the big renovation will be a year or more away - we need to save some money and also agree on a design!

So in the meantime, the plan is to turf the garden, finish painting the exterior, install the free log burner we found in Mark's dad's shed, and start squirrelling away some money!