Saturday, January 24, 2009

Country Living

One of the things I should have blogged about last year was buying our escape-to-the-country home. We've left concrete Croydon and moved to the Chilterns.

Here's the view from our bedroom window:

It's green and beautiful and it makes it difficult to go into grey, crowded London for work. The village is tiny and lovely, and we have wonderful next door neighbours who welcomed us on our first evening and have been good friends ever since.

Of course, we can't resist redecorating and renovating. We're redoing the kitchen, IKEA-style, just as we did in Croydon. We're turning bedroom three into a nursery, and doing a few bits and pieces everywhere else (new fireplace, new floors, painting everywhere...).

Progress so far:
We have had the hideous Artex ceiling plastered over by a skilful, efficient and clean workman (yay!), and we've had custom bookshelves made by affordable and skilled but not very communicative pine bookcase builders.

Artex ceiling:

Artex celing no more:

We've also bought a new couch:

My darling hubby has pointed out that my New Year's resolution about getting all the DIY done by the end of the year isn't really fair on him, but I've always been a little ambitious...

I'm off to IKEA on Monday to finalize the kitchen and place the order for everything, so I expect you'll see a picture of the stack of flat pack in the near future.

Friday, January 02, 2009

It's 2009!

If there is anyone out there still reading: I can't believe it's been six months since I've posted! I apologize for my lack of follow through. Since it's a new year, I'm going to get back on the blogging horse.

I have a couple of things to blog about from the second half of last year that I will post in the coming weeks, but this post is a combination "big news" post and 2009 goals. Lots of my blogging friends are posting their goals for the year for all to see, and perceived pressure from all you people watching me will help get me get them done.

My first goal is combined with my "big news".

1. Give birth.
Yup. If you didn't know already (but I'm guessing you do!) I'm six months pregnant with a baby boy, due at the end of April. This and what follows will take up the majority of my energy and efforts, so the rest of my list will be short.

2. End the DIY.
Help my husband install a new kitchen, set up the nursery (both before baby, I hope!)and decorate the rest of the house so that it's completely done by 2010.

3. Begin the gardening.
One of my dreams for moving out to the country and having a proper backyard (oh yeah, we've moved!) is to be able to grow my own vegetables. I'm pretty good at killing house plants, but I'm going to try to garden anyway.

4. Become a better publishing employee.
Read at least 30 non-work books, to beat the measley 25 I read in 2008. Write those articles I've been meaning to write. As much as possible while I'm away from work, stay involved in the children's publishing world.

5. Enjoy the inevitable chaos.
I won't sweat the small stuff. I will make lots of mistakes, but it won't matter. I will not be hard on myself and I will have fun with my baby boy.

6. Don't disappear.
I will stay in touch with friends and let myself take a break when I need to in the hobbies that I love. I will post on this blog and play as much Scrabble on Facebook as baby will allow.