A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Summer. Show all posts

Friday, 24 June 2016

The Week That Was... 24th June 2016

Always remember to plan aheadI'm wondering if there's any such thing as a normal week in the Anderton house?

Here, it's more a case of define normal, move the goalposts several times and just run with it. I've decided that it's good to find humour in the ridiculous. I suspect it's the only thing keeping me sane.  
This was my week...

Monday evening provided a welcome reprieve from the rain and we ventured out for a walk and came home via the pub. There is something rather indulgent about sitting in a beer garden on a Monday night and drinking Pimms in the sun. Life's too short not to enjoy a glass of something on a Monday don't you think? Note to self: make the most of the great British weather whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Why  I don't send Mr A into town all that often
On Thursday Mr A went into town to run a couple of errands. As I arrived home late that evening, I asked about his day and it transpired that as there was a queue in the bank, he promptly turned around and left again and instead of picking up the couple of items I'd asked for, this is what he bought...

                                                   2 French lavender plants
                                                   A bag of compost
                                                   Some rechargeable batteries
                                                  A thoughtful gift for the love of his life...

Abandoned cat toys on a wooden floor

In case you were wondering, this is the love of his life and here they are curled up on the sofa...

Man and cat curled up on the sofa
The cat has never ever played with anything that's a conventional cat toy. She prefers getting hold of things she isn't meant to have and fixating on them for days. She will sulk if you take it off her and so we've mostly given up. She looked at her gift on the floor, shot Mr A a withering look and wandered off into the garden for several hours.

Sophia arrived safely at Camp in Oregon and we managed to Skype on Sunday. The camp looks unspoilt, rustic and she is enjoying herself immensely. She won't be home until September. After last year's Camp America trip, followed by travelling around for 3 weeks, I am feeling more relaxed about her being away this time. If you love them, you have to let them go, right? Oregon is 8 hours behind the UK and I find thinking about what she might be up to at any given moment strangely comforting. I have no idea why this is.

Olivia, meanwhile has been on a work experience placement and arrives at home next week along with 3 year's worth of whatever it is they accumulate at university. 

I've recently finished reading To Be Continued by James Robertson. This will be reviewed at a later date on the blog, but was a thoroughly enjoyable, slightly surreal read. Thanks to Penguin for the advance copy.

The week ahead...
If I'm not around much over the next few days, it's because I'm in Cornwall collecting Olivia from university and will be staying for a few nights. Beloved daughter has already made plans and we're off to the local rum bar for cocktails and maybe the gin palace... as well as packing up all of her belongings ready for the move home.

Gin Palace in Falmouth

Have a fabulous weekend. See you when I get back x


Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

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Monday, 11 May 2015

Mmmmm... what are we going to wear today?

Is it just me or does everyone spend most of their annual clothing budget on gorgeous clothes for the summer? In comparison winter is easy and my outfit of choice would be a pair of jeans, a jumper (or two) and a pair of biker boots. I own three little black dresses, one pair of smart black trousers, a couple of skirts and voila, every eventuality is covered. Head into summer though, and it's an entirely different ball game...

There are so many options...

1. Don't we need sandals for those rare days when feet aren't freezing or we're lucky enough to head off to sunnier shores?

2. And who doesn't love a pair of Birkenstocks for the beach?

3. Not forgetting ballerina pumps for days when the weather's not sure what it wants to do.

4. There are mini dresses for hiding the bikini body.

5. And maxi dresses for hiding everything...

6. Skirts in an assortment of lengths and eclectic prints...

7. Cropped trousers for when you're not certain that the weather will stay perfect.

8. And full-length trousers for when summer's deserted us.

9. Shorts for holidays and warmer days in the garden.

10. Bikinis and sarongs... gulp! Only if I absolutely have to...

11. Plus an assortment of gorgeous shirts and T-shirts to go with the weird but wonderful assortment of clothing we've bought for the warmer weather.

Mr A does not get my obsession with the fabulousness (is that even a word?) that is the summer wardrobe. But then I guess he doesn't have anywhere near as many options. His only dilemma would be full-length or cropped trousers and he's all sorted whatever the weather.

So here's to blowing 75% of my annual clothes budget on the summer wardrobe and spending the winter living in jeans, jumpers and boots.

Summer clothes are simply gorgeous and I guess my winter wardrobe will always pale into insignificance.

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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Monday, 2 March 2015

One Day the House Will be Tidy...

Is there anything more inspiring than a home emerging from the drab cocoon that was winter and into an oasis of freshly scrubbed loveliness for the summer months ahead? It's this thought that motivates me to make a start on the house just as soon as we've welcomed in the New Year. The promise of lazy afternoons reading in the garden, days out, picnics, barbecues and evenings outside the pub is a delightful one. All we need is some warmer weather and while I'm waiting, the house is a welcome distraction as it's still so cold outside.
In January and February I plan to declutter the entire house from top to bottom and offload the stuff we no longer need. I made a start in the office back in January and it was going rather well. During the process I emptied the shredder no less than 8 times and burnt out the motor, spent another hour hoovering errant paper shreds that didn't make it into the bin bag and got covered in papery bits by the time I'd finished. But onwards and upwards, my spirit wasn't broken just yet.

Once the girls returned to university their bedrooms were straightened out in no time at all. Next I moved on to the dining room and worked through the lounge while listening to a random assortment of CDs that hadn't seen the light of day for some time. This was a welcome distraction. Yesterday I finished the kitchen cupboards, washed our expensive wine glasses coated in a fine layer of dust, wondered why I'd held onto so many birthday cake candles accumulated over 20 years of twin birthdays and vowed to use up several packets and jars that were slightly beyond their sell-by dates. Why do I promise to deal with these issues when I spot them and then fail to tackle anything for the rest of the year? I also discovered a pack of dark chocolate gingers stashed in the back of the cupboard that were 6 months past their sell-by date and ever so slightly soft, but still delicious when dunked in the numerous cups of coffee I rewarded myself with throughout the day.

Thoughts of summer may be tantalising, but the reality of how willing I am to commit to domesticity far outweighs how much will be achieved. If I had to grade myself on wanting to finish the tasks I've set, I'd have to award myself an F.

For every room I restore to its former glory, another area unravels and I have to add this to the list of things that require my attention. Yes, this will look perfect in return for several hours of my time, but the sad realisation is that the tasks are more demanding than I'd thought and this leaves me questioning my sanity. I'm convinced for every mind-numbing task completed, at least 2 more appear. This makes me weary and unconvinced that the oasis of  minimalist calm where we're all caught up on all the niggly household tasks we've ignored for the past year or so is achievable.

I know that the chores need to be done but I'd rather be doing anything else instead. Right now Sophia's bedroom looks like this:

And I wouldn't mind, but it was one of the rooms I'd crossed off the list before Mr A commandeered it as a workshop while revamping the bathroom. So far the bathroom has taken 6 weeks and can only be described as a work in progress. We're getting there, but progress is slow and painful.

Will the house be a fragrant, minimalist haven by the time summer rolls around? Watch this space. Right now, I'm not overly optimistic. 

Until next time...

 Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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Monday, 5 January 2015

Longing for summer already

water lily, pond, summerThere is something about this time of year that's all a bit meh. The house is bare after being stripped of its festive decorations and everything looks a little jaded and in need of a revamp.

So I'm planning on putting the next couple of months to good use: clearing the clutter, working on new projects in the house and sifting through my wardrobe to make room for clothing that can be worn to keep cool when it's warmer outside.

I long to emerge from hibernation and nights curled up in front of the TV wearing pyjamas and toasty socks - to eagerly anticipate warmer evenings sipping Pimms outside the local pub. In the meantime I'll plan days out and plot a makeover for the garden to turn it from drab into blooming. I've tolerated winter until New Year and feel that it's outstayed its welcome as I've recovered from partying a little too hard and long to spend time outdoors.

If it's wrong to fantasise about booking a vacation, balmy days ahead and being able to leave the house without multiple layers of clothing - then I don't want to be right.

The days are longer already as winter solstice has been and gone, but with endless cold days of January, followed by lacklustre February and March which can be cruel, I'll write work plans for the coming year and stay focused in the hope that the temperature outdoors will have climbed significantly by the time I have mastered all of the above.

The house will unfurl from winter to reveal a more hospitable living space that's a little bit more gorgeous when it's warm outside.

In the meantime, I'll keep the heating on and listen to my summer playlist from 2014, featuring gorgeous tracks like this...

If I close my eyes, I can almost remember how it felt to be warm...

Is anyone else fantasising about summer too?

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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