Oh I’ve got a lot of things on my list for ourlittlehouseinfrance this year. With it only being a matter of weeks now before the long drive back to the French house, my mind inevitably has begun to turn to all the things that I’ve been collecting and storing up over the past few months that I plan to take with me on the next trip. Of course before all that there is the rather large matter of whether or not I’ll be able to bring pooch Bella with me to France. What with all this Brexshit nonsense.
So this is the latest from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit#return-to-the-uk
On this basis it looks like I will be OK to bring her. This is a relief as it would be a long journey without her for company.
The next thing I need to do in preparation is paint a couple of bedside drawers that I purchased from a local charity shop. They cost me £15 each and I thought that was a bargain and so snapped them up. I’m going for an Annie Sloan neutral colour, probably “Old White”. I’m going to strip the tops back to the natural wood and then stain them up to a warm oak colour to match the existing armoire and chest of drawers that we purchased from Maison du Monde last year.
I’m going to change the rather boring little pine knobs for these old look rustic shell drawer pulls (see below). I purchased 2 as samples from eBay and just need to get a further 4.
I’ve also purchased a pair of beech kitchen chairs from another charity shop. These will go well I think with the kitchen table I hope to eventually purchase from somewhere. I’m also keen to have several styles of chair around the table.
The exact table I WANT is sitting upstairs in a Cafe Nero in Harrogate. See below:
So when I’m up to it over the next few weeks, I will be stripping, sanding and painting. Probably during February half term. But there are other things I would like to try this year involving the garden and in particular the fruit trees. I have about 12 fig trees in the garden now, along with 6 plum trees and a pomegranate. There is one very special local fig tree on our boundary which I have tried in vain to propagate since we bought the house in 2012. So this year I want to try air layering which according to all the research suggests is relatively straight forward. What air layering does is effectively create another plant. It’s a natural process and happens when a branch/stem touches the ground and then takes root. In order to do it artificially I will need to find a good strong healthy stem and then cut away the bark all the way around to about 2 inches. Rooting hormone can be applied and then this bare patch is covered with damp compost in a plastic bag or container and taped closed. It remains covered in the plastic until new roots can be clearly seen. At which point it can be cut from the parent plant and potted. I’m really looking forward to having a go at this. Will probably have a go with a very mature apple tree that we have hear in the UK too.
And then the final thing that’s on my mind is the purchase of a new shower curtain, hence the vibrant image of Freda Kahlo at the start of this blog post. I saw this yesterday while mooching through my Instagram and then the search to find one began. I did find one but it was really too expensive so a new shower curtain is on hold for the moment.
I will update with pictures of the bedside drawers once they are painted and have their new knobs.
The funny thing about having ourlittlehouseinfrance, our home away from home, is that the minute I know it’s only 9 weeks until I’ll be back, then I begin to plan for all the small and large jobs that need to be done. That’s while I’m sitting here on the sofa ignoring the fact that I have half a wall in the lounge still to paint and yet I’m thinking we need new gate posts and gates in France. Oh yes, and all the new shutters we had fitted last year still need to be painted. Good job I’ve got my feet up on the sofa at the moment or I’d need to sit down. Ha, ha!!!