Monday, September 17, 2012

(Not quite 50) shades of grey: exterior house colours

I am living vicariously through several friends who are embarking on medium to large scale
renovations. One of my friends is about to have the exterior of her Queenslander painted, and 
we have been talking about colour shemes. I wrote here about choosing the 
colour scheme for the old girl, and it's much nicer thinking about this when the pressure is off .....
I think I am enjoying the process a lot more than my friend is!
We both love all the shades of grey that are popular right now. She has decided on
a medium grey, with the verandah railings and the window sills a glossy black.
It's funny how once you start looking at certain colours, you see them everywhere. These
are just a few from the streets around the old girl:

 This is really white but the contrast with the darker trims is 
stunning. There are some black and white striped exterior blinds
along one side of this house and it looks fabulous. 

 in real life this is a greenish grey 

 another beauty just around the corner. I was mortified when 
the owner came from behind the fence with the lawn mower
 while I was surreptitiously taking a photo. He was actually very 
flattered and wrote down the paint colours for me - the main 
colour is Flint Smoke and the trim is Western Myall. 

 same house - I love the dark front door

 another lovely grey 

this is one of my favourite local houses - it's a 
beautiful soft grey with crisp white trims

I know that colours schemes come in and out of fashion, but somehow I think all 
these shades of grey will stand the test of time. I guess we will have to wait
and see.

And an update on the chicken front - still no eggs. 

Two blog posts in three days - I need to have a lie down!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Anniversaries and Instagram

September always makes me reminisce - especially this year.
I arrived in Australia in September 1992 - twenty years ago.
Typing that sentence, it seems incredible to me that it has been two decades.
I still remember the days leading up to leaving Scotland, packing up my flat and alternating
between excitement about the adventure ahead, and tears and anxiety about 
leaving friends and family behind. My parting words to my darling Mum in Glasgow
were "don't worry, I'm only going for a year". And yet here I am, 20 years later.
That guilt still stays with me, and I wonder if it's just me, or if anyone who has
 made a new life for themselves in a different country, leaving behind loved ones, 
 ever feels completely at home in their "new"home . 
Even when the new home has been home for 20 years.

It was however a great time of year to arrive: not too humid, gorgeous sunny days
 and a city coming alive in spring. For the first month in Brisbane I lived in accommodation 
at the hospital where I was employed in South Brisbane. This was close to everything, 
especially South Bank, which seemed idyllic to me at the time. It's Jacaranda season
soon and I remember that year seeing them for the first time and falling in love
with their beautiful colour, and the carpet of violet petals they would leave 
on the ground.

On another note, it's the one year anniversary of me starting this blog.
I don't post as frequently as I'd like, and I've mentioned before that I have been
enjoying Instagram which is like a condensed but more immediate form of blogging. 
Turns out I have Instagram to thank for my most recent furniture purchase too!

I had been keeping an eye out for a table to fit a long space in our living room upstairs.
I hadn't seen anything at all that would fit the space.
Lo and behold the lovely Katherine posted a photo on Instagram and my 
eagle eye spotted it. A flurry of measurements later and I became the proud
owner of this table:

I love the fact that this table has been pre-loved, and that it's my turn to give 
it a home. Many of you know Katherine, she is such a helpful, kind and warm 
person. She often puts photos of her lovely items destined for either the WAC or the 
shop at the Cottage Garden Nursery on her Instagram feed.
You can follow her there: @katherinetheoldboathouse

And in the latest chicken news:
escape attempts : five
eggs laid: NONE

Those statistics better start turning around soon........

Have a good weekend

Monday, September 3, 2012

Taj Mahal for chickens

Well, we have taken the plunge and have added 3 feathered girls to 
our family. Meet Sophie, Matilda and Gracie.
We have taken an area at the back of our garden that is very shaded - nothing 
has ever grown there - and have turned it into a chicken run.
They have plenty of room to roam and peck and whatever else they like
to do - and when they need a bit of down time they have some
nesting boxes and a lovely bespoke timber ladder to roost on.

 boy wonder is of course beside himself and has been 
spending almost every waking moment with them

 there was a lot of indignant barking from the spotty dog
when they arrived in what she felt was HER garden

 I think she's worried about where she is now in the 
pecking order

Our three girls are Isa Browns. They are supposedly very hardy, don't mind all the
man-handling that is inevitable with children, and are profuse layers of eggs.
I say supposedly as so far we haven't seen any eggs. 
We got them from here - they were extremely helpful.

 I fell in love with these lovely little hens - they are 
Silver Spangled Hamburgs. I thought they would look good
with the spotty dog, and had to be *patiently* reminded
by the man of the house muttering under his breath
 that we were looking for chickens that would give us lots
of eggs rather than designer chickens....

Spring is well and truly here. It's been glorious these past few days.
I just wish we'd get a bit of rain as the garden needs it.
It has felt good though to open up the house and use the verandah fully again.

 Sunday was the first day since winter that we have 
fully opened up the bi-fold doors from the kitchen to
the verandah. The spotty dog looks so well behaved
in this photo - maybe she thinks she's been put on 
notice now that the chickens are here.

I had almost finished this post and then boy wonder called me out to the
garden as the chickens were squawking a lot. We ventured out to their coop
and found not three but only one chicken. Disaster! I had visions of a monster
snake having eaten them, or a cat having carried them off. We then found the
escapees - one of them had ended up on the fence between us and our
neighbours, and the other one was up the macadamia tree. The chicken run has
a fence that is 6 feet high - not sure how that happened. We need to add a roof asap.

 escapee one

escapee two

After all this late night drama and chicken rescue, I need a glass of red.