Thursday, July 26, 2007

New sofas and garden envy

Nearly two-thirds of my six-week holiday from teaching has flown in and yes, I know, I know: six weeks is a long time. But I need more!

Today was the first day this week when I didn’t have to take my mum somewhere (hairdresser, chiropodist, hearing aid place) and wasn’t frantically restoring order in the garden in between times, so I went up town to try to find curtain material and paint for our smaller living room. This is the room for which we ordered new sofas about a month before we decided to get the kittens. Yes, I know, I know: dumb. The sofas have now arrived: a pale, bluey-green fabric with a nice loose weave… about to become looser, I greatly fear. Currently they’re in our larger sitting room, the one the kittens aren’t allowed in; so that room is somewhat full. Next week we’re getting the smaller room painted – yes, I know, I know: we should have done this before the sofas arrived. We also ought to have chosen a new carpet. I’m normally quite efficient, but the trouble with holidays is that I believe I’ll be able to do a million things during them and then they’re not long enough. Also I think I switch my brain off.

Never mind: here are some more pictures from our holiday in the Borders. Above is a general view of the countryside near the cottage.

This is a beautiful geranium in the gardens of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland (over the border in England).

The gardens have been made slightly Disneyesque – lots of ingenious water features and so on. This is me, taking a photo of my mother and husband reflected in a cylinder with water pouring down it.

Here we have some genuinely free-range hens in one of several such farms near our cottage. I found these greatly cheering. I had suspected that “free-range” meant that the hens were wandering around in a shed but these ones had quite a big field, though interestingly you can see that they clearly prefer to do their pecking pretty near home. A bit like me.

Here are another couple of views of the garden at Floors Castle.

Daughter 2 was once in an expensive clothes shop with her friend Anna, and Anna stretched out her arms towards a particularly desirable garment and said, “Want! Need!”

When I think of that garden, I know what she meant. My little patch is very nice in its way, but not quite so splendid. Also my house. Ah well. Think of having to hire and fire all those servants. What a bother that would be. And they don't have my nice pale green sofas.


  1. I feel we need to see the new sofas. I dream of sofas. But then I am practical, and I need to redo the bathroom, upgrade the central heating, and then fix the stairs, before painting the house, recarpet the lounge hall stairs and landing, and THEN get the sofas.By which time I will have to start at the beginning again.Sigh. My list is very long at the moment!

  2. Yes, Linds, you are a sensible person! You've left out "and then get the kittens" from this list.

  3. Your photos are like seeing a little slice of heaven. I love every bit of it - the countryside, the flowers, the architecture and the hens. The pale green sofas don't sound half bad, either.

  4. Your garden is every bit as nice as those castle-gardens, if not more so, since every little bloom is so watched and loved. Watched and loved not just by you, but all of us out here in lala land, including the antipodeans who can only grow thorny things in the drought.

    No, I lie, I have three huge olive trees which are not the least bit prickly.

  5. It is certainly a wondrous garden, but I would not like to have to take care of it. Much nicer to be able to visit, even my the medium of your photos.

    Have you bought your kitties a scratching post?

  6. It's interesting how pets control one's life. Especially cats with their aristocratic way. Our cat, Gabby (name appropriate), allows us to share her dwellings. She's quite old and we've talked about if we should get 2 the next time. You've shown me that I am too old for disciplining young 'anything'. You seem so patient with climbing kittens. I applaud you!

  7. I know what you mean about thinking you've all the time in the world once the holidays come, neglecting the fact that it's also quite nice to just relax in the holidays too! But imagine how much more hassled you'd feel if you had a great big garden to look after.
    The pictures do look lovely, the pleasure of such places I find is I DON'T have to worry about keeping them weeded, grass cut etc.

  8. Lovely photos, that garden is divine!

    I love the pic of your mum and hubby, but, oh, I don't know, they look a little wishy washy? :)

  9. Aaah. I did indeed. And then get the kittens. I also neglected to mention that long before the "plan" to get the sofas happens, we will be sitting on the floor. My 81 year old mother included. The springs on the 2 remaining comfortable chairs are history. Meaning I need a block and tackle to get out of either chair. I wonder if it is at all possible to get through my list in a week?????

  10. Such beautiful pictures. I'd gladly take the bother of hiring and firing, wouldn't you? ;-) And may I say, young woman, you are in BIG trouble. You've singlehandedely made me feel guilty when I post a recipe. 'Cause I just love fattening recipes even though I shouldn't eat them. Whenever I get ready to post a recipe, I always think...oh, maybe I shouldn't tempt poor Isabelle who's struggling so with her weight. HA! You've been found out NOW! Look at what a little WAIF you are!!! I'm NOT believing you ANYMORE. Hahaha!!!

  11. Isabelle, getting the kittens after ordering the sofas is optimistic rather than dumb. Having the sofas delivered before the smaller room is painted is .. is .. sigh

    Think of the fun you'll have with the kittens while the room is being painted. I am anticipating an entry about the kittens getting into the room before the paint dried.

    Good luck.

  12. I want! need! the flowers in that garden too. One of my favourite songs is "In an English Country Garden." I can see those diminutive four legged ones have taken over your house!

  13. Gorgeous photos, Isabelle. Amusing comments as usual..gee I'd love to chat realtime with you one day!! Do you have a webcam? We have; it is great fun to wave at a blogger-friend across the world (or interstate as we do here).

  14. LEATHER SOFAS This lovely velvet couch looked exceptionally extravagant