Thursday, January 24, 2013

hello...and a house tour

The end of the golden weather.
Suddenly I completely understand that saying.
I'm back home, which is lovely in a 'coming home' kind of way, but ever so difficult in every other respect. 
Other than Brunnel, who was getting a little tetchy, and ready for the real world, I think the rest of us could have stayed at the beach for a little longer, heads firmly buried in the sand.
Milly was a little tearful as she said goodbye to all her beach friends. Eva cried as we arrived back in Wellington as the realisation hit her that she won't be seeing her cousin and bestie Emma for 'sob' 'sob' 'at least 2 months' 'sob'. Bruno is obviously depressed - lying around and looking miserable.
I've swapped my beach whale impersonation for that of a sausage impersonation. That's because every item of clothing I put on makes me look like a sausage tied in the middle.
Lovely! I knew you'd like that little mental picture. And... it's raining.
I've been busying myself with my website. It's an ease myself back in to work gently diversion, although the more I do, the more I realise there is to do.
And I'm sure there is a conspiracy theory. Styling my bedroom for this linen bedlinen photo shoot, and I discover that my camera charger is still on holiday at the beach.
It is literally a one-shot wonder! (Fortunate then, that linen is so forgiving, and so beautiful.
I can honestly say that once you've experienced the pleasure of sleeping in soft, inviting linen, nothing else will feel quite the same. Bliss! And, no ironing. That alone speaks volumes to me!)
Also conspiring against me is the internet, or lack of it. 
I'm still working via my hotspot connection, and frankly, it wasn't nearly so tedious in my beachy outdoor office.
So, Telecom, you need to get back here pronto. Please :)
Anyway, I just wanted to put in a little plug for a really good cause, and of course, an amazing day out. The NZ House & Garden Tour, in support of the Cancer Society of New Zealand, and Look Good Feel Better, is on in Wellington on Friday March 1st, and this year, my home is included.
All the details on how to buy tickets are here.
I have a month to persuade my girls to tidy their rooms.
See that plastic bag of rubbish just peeping into the photo?
That will be gone. You will not trip over it in the hall. And I'm working hard to make sure there is a dahlia or two left in the garden. Do not open the linen cupboard or the wardrobes or the fridge. Everything will fall out on top of you. Otherwise, it's open season. (And I hope not open slather!)
I am a little nervous. But the Cancer Society makes it all worthwhile. So, buy your tickets! 
Come & see for yourself.

OK, enough of this difficult internet. Bruno is now snoring beside me. 
Time to cheer him up with a walk.
Amanda xx
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Friday, January 18, 2013

dreaming & scheming

Don't you find January the perfect time to think aloud?
Dreams & schemes take shape.
My notebook gets filled with ideas for Small Acorns, many of which may go no further than a scribble on the page, but some just might take shape, one never knows.
The to-do list seems long, but given a little time (and organisation) not daunting.
Not yet anyway. My store, Small Acorns will be 20 years old this June.
I find that so hard to believe!

Last few days at the beach and bach.
I'll be making the most of them.
Tomorrow is the Waipatiki tennis tournament.
Yes, the court with the tree & the ducklings.
Melbourne it isn't, but it will be so much fun.
I feel sorry for my partner. But if we're drawn up against Brunnel & his young-gun partner then the adrenaline should kick in, and we might be okay!
I'll let you know next week.

I found a little bird on this windowsill today. He'd flown through the open doors making for the trees on the other side. All was well once I opened the louvres. Not even a skittle knocked over.
Have a lovely weekend.

Amanda xx

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

other lives

Last week, I was playing along with the lovely 7 vignettes instagram challenge organised by
Jen Bishop from the Interiors Addict blog.
My chippy old table featured as the background in one of my images, and attracted a few comments.
Like almost everything here in the bach, there is a story to be told about the table, so I thought I might share it...

Brunnel and I bought the hotchpotch cabin that was to become our bach around 13 years ago.
To make a long story short, it was an opportunity that we just couldn't pass on. A scenario that was unlikely to ever come our way again, and so we took the plunge.
The budget was tight. Super tight, especially given that buying a bach hadn't been budgeted for at all if you get my drift.
Hence the table.
I found it at the dump. No, not in a dump recycle shop (I don't think there was one) but actually at the dump. Of course we were dropping off, not meant to be picking up. Scavenging it may even have been called. Brunnel's face was its usual picture.
'But it's a door. Why on earth do you want that scungy old thing?'
'Quick! Help me get it in the car. And this chair as well.'

 On one of our working-bee weekends my godmother came to visit.
The door was propped up outside.
She thought it was being removed from the bach. Terrible old thing that it was.
'No', explained my mother, with raised eyebrows. 'It's a fresh arrival.
She's using it as a table.'
Beryl choked, but could see that after brutal disinfecting and a fresh coat of paint, that it could perhaps work as a table. 
I don't think she could see this at all, but being the polite and tactful godmother that she is, Beryl thought better of saying anything more that might require her to take her foot out of her mouth.
'Actually,' I explained, 'I love the chipped old paint, & I'm going to use it just as it is.'
Raised eyebrows all around, Brunnel's included.
I was pregnant with Milly at the time. I'm sure they thought it must just be the hormones.

Obviously the hormones are still an issue.
I'm not even sure that the term 'upcycled' had even been coined back then, but unwittingly, I had embraced it.
The table stayed. The most perfectly imperfect shade of chipped turquoise blue paint there ever was.
In my hormonally-challenged point of view anyway!

Amanda xx

(P.S I'm so pleased to learn that Jen's 7 vignettes instagram challenge is going to become a regular event. Follow the #7vignettes on instagram to join in and check Jen's blog for the dates & rules.)
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Friday, January 11, 2013

happy weekend!

Doesn't the week always fly when you're on holiday?
And we've had such gorgeous weather as well, which just makes things doubly good.
Although I promise I have done a little work in my makeshift office, I've also managed plenty of time off as well!
The sea has been so enticing, and the temperature hot hot hot.
Today Milly and I played tennis with a tree, 3 ducks and 17 cute & fluffy newly born ducklings.
It made for an interesting game. The ducks have right of way on the court, and as soon as I start to run, it seems the tree is there.
This weekend I hope to spend a little time here on this outdoor sofa, in the shade of the olive trees, with my book. I'm engrossed in Grace Coddington's memoir, Grace, but I have to race Milly to get my hands on it. I've taught Eva how to make coffee using our machine, and she's proving to be quite a good little barista.
(Yes, we bring the machine all the way from Wellington with us. Needs must I'm afraid.)
So, book, good coffee, lazy sofa. Occasional beached whale impression as I stagger to the sea.
I hope your weekend is just as lovely!

Amanda xx
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Monday, January 7, 2013

small things

Happy New Year everyone! 
I trust that 2013 is treating you all well so far.
Mine has been fairly idyllic so far.
The Christmas break, a few days back at the store last week, and now, back here at the bach.
The days take on a v-e-r-r-r-y slow rhythm.
My Dad wandered over to our bach this morning to find all four of us in our bed, books and magazines in hand, and it was almost 10am.
C'est la vie!
As always, an internet connection is the only questionable thing out here at the beach.
After years of driving over the hill or standing on the beach, one leg in the air, in an attempt to snaffle those evasive 'bars', this year I have switched to the dark side - Telecom.
And, so far, so good.
In my special outdoor office (see the image above), with a little jiggery pokery, and with my phone held aloft somehow, just sometimes, I can get online.
It's enough to satisfy a little instagram pleasure, check facebook, and as from today, manage a few hours work too.
In an office such as this, how bad can that be?

The bach is its usual casual self.
I have some of my favourite favourite vintage bits and bobs here.
Each year I am tempted to take some of them back to Wellington, and have to work hard to talk myself out of it.
And then, each visit, when I 're-discover' them, I'm always so pleased that they are here.
This bach is for want of a better word, quintessentially 'bach-y', and suits that almost everything in it has had at least one former life!

And OK, can I just skite about my dahlias for half a minute?
Going back to Wellington and work last week was certainly made more bearable by the thought that I could check on my garden, and pick another bucket-load of blooms to bring back to the beach.
It truly isn't an exaggeration to say that after picking flowers for the store, for friends and for neighbours, and the bucket for myself, I couldn't even tell where I had been!
Such joyful little things they are!

So, this is my little lot for now.
Amanda xx

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