First Step

First step for me is selling my flat.

I’ve had two estate agents round to size up my property for sale. It’s been 10 years since I last moved house and haven’t things changed? Firstly there is no print advertising- it’s all online- and secondly it feels much more like a professional business.

Used to be that estate agents were youngsters who didn’t have a clue what to do when they left school, so went into property retail, dreaming big of huge commissions. Well, the standard fee is only 1% (plus VAT, of course) so big commissions aren’t big and the abilities required now are ‘knowing the market’ ‘getting the profile right’ and tech.

I think it’s comforting to hand my home over to slick, slightly -pushy-but-in-a-friendly-way marketeers, but time will tell.

The next step is ‘Open Day’. I disappear for the day and prospective buyers turn up by appointment and hopefully love my home so much, they end up in a bidding war!

That’s the plan…………:)

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All Change

It is February. Spring is springing and our thoughts turn to new life and brighter days. Lambs are appearing in the fields (well they are in Bedfordshire) and tiny shoots are bursting into the sunlight. And I’ve made a decision to change my life too.

15 years I’ve been a Paramedic- tearing about, never knowing what’s round the corner and occasionally saving lives. I’ve delivered 8 babies (6 boys and 2 girls), seen weird stuff and laughed uproariously at 3 o’clock in the morning (night shifts make you daft). I’ve cradled dead babies, broken news no parents want to hear and driven at ridiculous speeds to get to another tragedy.

And I’ve had enough.

I’m selling my flat, resigning my job and moving to Scotland.

Scotland may seem random, but my brother and sister-in-law live there and they have very kindly agreed that I can live with them until I have decided what I want to do. Because I may know what I don’t want to do, but I really can’t work out what to replace it with.

So I am going to write about my ‘journey’ – not just a reality show cliché, but a real reality in my case- and then when I’m 90, I can show my great grandchildren just what’s possible when you are determined and slightly broken but have the support and encouragement of those who love you best.

My flat goes on the market next week. I have my fingers crossed it will sell quickly and I can get this show on the road…………

 

Summer Collection

New arrivals! That’s always an excellent start to an email from a favoured retailer and Rose and Grey have come up trumps again.

A personal favourite is the crackle glazed Amelie collection of tableware which come in soft pink and light grey – mirroring the online retailer’s name.

Rose and Grey
Amelie Glazed Bowl in soft pink

There is also a new range of prints. Foliage and fruits all beautifully presented with the aid of Ferm Living’s wooden display frames. Inexpensive and readily updated as the seasons change, the prints bring the exotic into your home, without redecorating- always a bonus!

musa_banana_plant_print Rose and Grey
Musa Banana Plant

Rose and Grey are based in South Manchester and run by husband and wife team Guy and Lyndsey Goodger.

Their striking style is centred around white, dark grey, natural wood and exposed brick- all of which they contrast with splashes of vibrant colour to great effect.

 

 

Timeless Elegance

One of my favourite destinations for beauty and style is Skandium. They only have stores in London but their online presence is fabulous. With an A-Z of designers the ‘Home of Scandinavian Design’ never disappoints.

A personal favourite was a recent post about the Blue Fluted range of china from Royal Copenhagen. The first dinner service produced by the Danish company, made since 1775 and still painted and glazed by hand.

So, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, the Danish design was oft copied. Furnivals were the most prominent of several Staffordshire potters to produce versions of the pattern based on the Royal Copenhagen original.  Company records suggest that the pattern was produced from the 1850s with virtually no modification to the pattern or shape and continued until the closure of the business in 1968.

In 1813, Charles James Mason received a patent for his “ironstone china.” This hardened earthenware proved useful in the production of daily china, as well as industrial strength tiles used in furnaces, fireplaces, and flooring. Mason’s Ironstone called their version ‘Denmark’ and production only finished in the 1970’s when they joined the Wedgwood group.

Furnivals

Variations of the Danish pattern made by Furnivals and Mason’s which grace my breakfast table and were probably made in the 1950’s. Still elegant and still timeless.

 

 

 

 

Summer Curtains

The summer months mean open windows and evening breezes if we’re lucky. Last week was exceptionally hot and the breeze was noticeable by its absence but my new curtains came into their own when the cooler air finally made itself known.

The summer months mean open windows and evening breezes if we’re lucky. Last week was exceptionally hot and the breeze was noticeable by its absence but my new curtains came into their own when the cooler air finally made itself known.

The material was on sale in IKEA last year and I was actually unsure where I was going to use it, but it kept saying ‘curtains’ to me and the obvious home for it was my living room. The windows are Victorian gothic in style and huge, so often I just dress them and use the blind to keep out the dark, but the Ikea material was perfect for summertime.

Simply cutting flowery fabric to size and hemming the edges is a great way to refresh a window treatment, but I wanted to add a little extra pizzazz so I  incorporated a pair of LILL net curtains which only cost £5 and don’t fray.

Interior Perspectives
Summer Curtains

The effect is that of an elegant ballerina or a stylish guest at a 50’s cocktail party – a glimpse of frothy net under a billowing skirt of flowers!