bEAching, cottage garden, decorating, homestEAding

back home and back to work…

I have been back home now for over a week but not had the time to put pen to paper (so to speak), not that I have anything very exciting to say – life has just been rolling along in the usual non-eventful way.

I spent a lovely few days in the woodland garden in Scotland rumaging around in the undergrowth like a wayward squirrel but this was followed by a few stressful days on my return to work which has thrown up that question again of ‘just how long do I intend to go on working’?  I am a few years off collecting my state pension but to tell the truth I don’t feel I want to work to sixty six as life is short and there are new challenges I would like to attempt before I get too old and creaky!

So I am in deep thinking mode at the moment which has been robbing me of quite a bit of sleep.

On the domestic front…

We have a number of projects on the go – far too many – both at home and in Scotland.  I should have named this blog My Double Life or Coming and Going – some days I wake up and don’t know which place I am in!  We never intended to have 2 homes for long but the flood at the cottage has delayed our plans to move up there.

Here at home we are decorating my younger daughters bedroom to use when my granddaughter comes to stay. It was a bit tricky taking a decent picture and didn’t help facing into the light that floods in from the Velux in the roof.


bedroom makeover

As you can see it is looking quite dated now with the lacquered pine that has mellowed and yellowed over time and is in need of a revamp. My daughter and her friends loved this room with the mezzanine sleeping platform over the shower room accessed by a ‘Samba” staircase.  You can lay in bed at night and see the stars.

The other end of the room has a normal window overlooking the back garden.  The room is quite narrow only about ten feet wide as it is directly above the garage and laundry room.

bedroom makeover 2

Sometime in the nineties whilst at art college my daughter added the stencilling feature to the staircase but this is really past its prime now.

Nineties stenciling

So it will be covered up and all the pine wood painted to give it a whole new cleaner and fresher look and bring it up to date.  More posts on the makeover later.

In the garden in Scotland…

By the pond

I spent more time around the pond – cutting back the Fernery and clearing the water of dead leaves.  We added a plank on top of the two wooden posts I discovered beside the pond last time so we can sit there, have a cuppa, and admire the garden – I planted a few more Primula in and amongst the stones and transplanted lots of Foxgloves into the wild flower patch just out of sight of this photo.

I have the Fuchsias  to prune back at the edge of the pond but then we can sit back and wait for everything to grow and flower.


16 thoughts on “back home and back to work…”

  1. I just wanted to say that quite apart from continuing to be amazed at your stamina – always am – it struck me that what you consider dated, I think is rather lovely – if you wait a bit longer it may well come back into fashion!

    I’m hoping the same thing is true of our 1970s kitchen – if we manage to move west in a year or two, we’ll need to find a buyer who enjoys retro interiors 🙂


    1. Perhaps I am just tired of seeing it and need a change – I preferred the pine when it was new and much whiter and paler. I want to the give the room a pale Scandinavian look and although they do use pine the amount we have in such a small room seems a bit top heavy to me but I must say that everyone’s reaction to liking the pine has now put doubt in my mind!!


  2. I finished work earlier than I should and haven’t regretted it for a moment. I do lots of volunteering but I no longer have sleepless nights and am more healthier and happier. I had to smile at the vine stenciling we had the same design around one of our mirrors in our old house. It do was done in the 90’s! Sarah x


  3. What a charming room! I love that staircase with the interesting planks, and what a treat to be able to look up at the stars. We have a Velux in our hall bathroom since we don’t have a window, but I’ll bet that would be great over a bed. I think that if your rooms feel dated, then you should by all means update them to your liking. We spend a lot of time in our homes, so we may as well make it to our liking. You have impeccable taste so whatever you do, it will be wonderful. I know that the varnishes have improved quite a bit over the years, so perhaps stripping and refinishing will bring it back to the Scandinavian look you are after. That’s a lot of work though, but if you hire it out, you can just sit back and enjoy the results. My boys would have loved a room with a set of stairs. That is quite charming.

    As for your garden, it’s lovely. I’m glad you’ve been playing in the dirt as I like to call it. It’s a wonderful escape.


    1. We had a day of sun here this week coinciding with my day off so guess what I ditched the decorating in favour of the garden! Yes I agree I need to update as I think fit but we also have in mind that this will be the last time we decorate here and in a way we are decorating to sell so I am mindful of what might be appealing to a house buyer in future too. I will keep you posted on the pine!


      1. Ah, that does add another dimension to things. It’s interesting the little things that sell a place. I once read an article that showed what sorts of remodeling lead to a higher price, or at the very list helped you break even. From what I recall, updated bathrooms and kitchens were worth it, whereas room additions were not. I look forward to the updates.


  4. My comment about the pine is that, though I think it looks lovely, I can understand that you want a change.
    The one thing I would be hesitant to paint is the stairs, especially the treads. We have one painted step into our bathroom and the paint wears off and starts looking shabby within weeks.
    Leaving work is a very personal decision. If you’ve calculated that you can afford it, go for it. You won’t need as much money ’cause you don’t need “work clothes”, will save on transport costs, lunches etc and will make/bake more etc.etc.
    My husband retired at 59 and we have never regretted it despite the reduced income. When he reached state pension age the extra money was a bonus because we had become used to living on a much lower income. I hadn’t worked long enough to earn a pension because I was a “stay at home” mum. That was a decision we never regretted either . It meant our children didn’t have any luxuries or lavish Christmas presents. In today’s climate we couldn’t have made that choice and I count myself lucky. Sue

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    1. Thank you for your helpful comments Sue. I too was a stay at home mum although at times I did some freelance design work and then when the girls were older I had my own business designing and making Wedding dresses for a short while until my elderly grandparents needed me to care for them for a few years. I only returned to full time paid employment in the year 2000 and have been there about 17/18 years now so fortunately I will now receive a full pension. Like you we had little money and struggled sometimes when the girls were growing up and we had only one breadwinner but we became very resourceful and I quite liked the challenge of making ends meet. My wage on return to work started as a luxury and was great as we didn’t have to stop to think if we could afford this or that. I think I just worry for the future of what might happen to the state pension or one of my girls as life is as much a struggle for one of them as it was for us and I help out at the moment where I can – if I leave work this flexibility will be gone. I wish I was the kind of person who could live for today where money is concerned but I am much too cautious – I doubt I will do anything in haste without much thought and pondering – but somedays at work with poor management decisions that affect us I could just lay my pen and calculator down and walk away! I will bear in mind about the stairs though – thanks for the tip.

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