Thursday, 26 August 2010

Going green

Last night I spent the evening in the Edmonton Ikea. The goal was to buy up lots of glasses. We'd had people over for lunch at the weekend and I noticed our glassware was a motley collection of mismatched sizes and styles.

I got white wine glasses, red wine balloons, tall drinking glasses, shorter ones and some champagne flutes. And a duvet cover, a couple of spare sheets, some cookware and what the heck, some toy dogs for the kids.

The bill came to £215.

I thought Ikea was meant to be the budget option? For this kind of money I could've gone to John Lewis or Habitat and saved the torturous trip up the A10 in the pouring rain.

On the upside, the kitchen accessories were a bargain - pictured clockwise at top: peeler 79p, timer £1.99, measuring spoons 79p and bottle opener 79p.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Lettuce despair

We've just gotten back from two weeks in Northern Croatia where it was in the high 20s (celcius that is) most days. On two days there was the most severe thunder and lightning storms right over the Istrian villa, and monsoons would dump down for a few hours. It was pretty crazy weather.

Turns out it had been raining in London too, which was great for our lawn which is now a lovely bright green colour (pictured top, this morning - even the bamboo looks happy). Unfortunately, rain also means snails get their groove on. One evening last month I managed to slay 36 of them who were giddy from their spoils after a heavy shower. They must have had relatives because as you can see from the photo below, there's not a shred of leaf on any of my lettuces. I didn't get to eat one bite. All that plant food and sunshine and constant watering and for what?

Next summer it's war. I'll be collecting coffee grinds, egg shells and yoghurt containers (to make beer traps) for my amory, until then, I'm on the lookout for a hobby which doesn't involve gardening.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Lettuce joy

So the seeds I planted a few months back didn't get up to much, and there were so many weeds I gave up. Fortunately a few weeks ago the local primary school had a fete, where I picked up four teensy lettuces for 20p each. A few litres of miracle plant grow, daily watering and nightly snail squashing has resulted in these enormous lettuces.

I was going to tear off a few leaves to make a salad at the weekend but friends arrived with a gourmet version, so we've yet to taste them. We've been enjoying the spoils of next door's raspberries, blackberries and cherries. Their apples aren't quite ripe yet though. (I should mention that the neighbours are in Singapore for the forseeable future so they don't mind us eating their fruit).

It's a nice feeling living in central London but eating as if we're living in the countryside. If these lettuces survive throughout August I'll be extremely chuffed.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Measuring up

Be still my beating heart: the measurements have been taken for the splashback! Unfortunately, the kitchen fella forgot one of the "important" measurements and is coming back tonight, but we're on the road to getting a 6mm thick bit of toughened glass installed this side of Christmas.

The concrete counter top isn't completely flat, in fact, it's quite wavy. The edge of the glass is going to be completely straight. We're going to get around this little hitch by running a metal edge along the splashback where it meets the concrete. Hopefully this will remedy the visual hiccup that having a matte lime green wall peek through in places would create.

Another issue was that the switch for the waste disposal was only two centimetres away from a socket - the gap between the two is too narrow, the glass can't be cut with a thin pillar between two holes as it might crack. This is easily remedied - we'll move the switch closer to the socket. Well, Rob will if he can figure out how to drill into the wall.