No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Well, that's it then.  An earthquake and a hurricane in the same week.  Definitely time to pack up and go home.

In fact, it wasn't bad at all.  I know there are people without power still and some who are dealing with flooding.  But the house of NKK was entirely unscathed.  In fact, the only danger was that we might have died of boredom.

We had a friend visiting for the weekend.  We had planned to go to see this, and to have lunch here.  And of course to do some shopping here.  And we had tickets to see this.  On Saturday, we did spend an inordinate amount of time in Anthropologie before it closed.

But then we were forced home.  Not by winds and hurricanoes but because everything was shut.

So we stayed in. And ate (sorry, no photos - too busy eating).

And we played lots of this:

And tried not to squabble over the made up words.

At some point I decided to 'style' my hall...

(It's not quite there yet -still working on it.  Think I have the ingredients but haven't worked out what to do with them yet.)

I am collecting hearts - one for each year Mr. P and I have been married.  I don't get them on any particular day, just when I see one I like.  Although the feathers were bought as a bit of a joke on our first married Valentine's Day and I liked them so much, they've stayed.

And I like how they contrast with the simplicity of the other two.

I bought the mirror at the local flea market in the first year we moved here.

And the lamp came from a local shop.

But really, it was just all an excuse to find a home for this pretty, bought on Saturday.  (It is essential that you buy a vase on the morning a hurricane is due to hit.  Or I suppose it could be vintage china, or a jug.)

It reminds me of some kind of sea creature.

Anyway, after we'd eaten ourselves silly and drunk too much wine, we went to bed with all the blinds down and a feeling of anxiety that we might wake in the night to the world ending.  But Sunday arrived more or less on time, and it was all, well, normal looking really...

Sure, it was a little overcast and damp.  And there was NO ONE on the streets at midday.

But all in all, it just felt like a wet Sunday morning.  And by 3pm, it had all cleared up.

So, that was it.  The NKK Guide to Surviving a Hurricane.  Re-style your hall.

Hope everyone else was as lucky.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hello Geronimo

 Hello everybody,

Thanks so much for all your good wishes after the wobble the other day.  It's bucketing down today and we're threatened with a tropical storm over the weekend.  All we need now is a plague to round things off...

And welcome to new followers.  Lovely to have you here.  I'm having a lovely time catching up on old blogs and finding new ones at the moment.   So much creativity out there.

Have you seen these button pictures?  Aren't they just the business?

Don't they make you want to reach for your button stash?

(I love that daisy button.  And the chandelier!)

And isn't this just lovely?

(Isn't that a fawn button for the eye?)

But my favourite one is this:

Just lovely.

These all come from Hello Geronimo (all images from their website).  My sister, niece (hello Isobel!) and I went to the South Bank while I was at home and they had this map in the window.  (I want I want I want.)

So which is your favourite?  And what picture would you make with your buttons?


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The ground beneath your feet

I was on the phone to someone just now talking about life assurance (of all things) when my chair began to bounce underneath me. For a few seconds, maybe 10, it got stronger and then it just went away. I live on the 20th floor. Not a good place to be when the floor starts bouncing up and down.

This is nothing, I know. My job brought me close to the effects of the earthquake in Haiti. And when we were in Sydney we saw the effects of the Christchurch earthquake. And of course more recently, Japan's has wreaked havoc. But it's still beyond weird to be anywhere near a 6.0 magnitude tremor.

Everyone alright out there?


Monday, August 22, 2011

Ups and downs

We are due to receive planning permission for the extension to the house by the sea tomorrow.  Today we got an email from the Council saying that the archeological service has marked our application.  This is not good.  I have visions of having to dig the foundations with a teaspoon.  Hopefully, we will be able to convince them that a close built in the 60s isn't the obvious place for pirate treasure.  And if it were, wouldn't they have found it in the 60s?   Fingers crossed.

Slim pickings at the flea market this weekend.

But I did snag this lovely at the charity shop down the road.

It may not win any prizes, but I love it.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm just saying...

As you may remember, I have been coveting the crochet throw from The White Company since I blogged about it here.

Well, The White Company is having a sale.  :)

img-thing (300×300)

60% off.

Sometimes it pays to wait.


Thursday, August 18, 2011


Thanks so much for all your good wishes.  You really are lovely, and I am so glad you want to share this new phase with me.

So, how many electric sockets do you have in your house?  And are you happy with their location, or do you find yourself trailing extension cords around the place so you can do the ironing while you watch the tele, or do you have to drag the mixer out from a corner every time you use it or walk half way around your house with the kettle in your hand to make a brew, or get half way up the stairs when the Hoover konks out and you're left with a flex dangling in mid air over the banisters?  And if you were given a chance to start again, would you know exactly where the sockets should go?  And the radiators?

These are the things that are keeping me awake at night at the moment.  I had what felt like 5 minutes to walk around the building site that is our house by the sea last week with two builders who wanted to know where everything would go.  In rooms that look like this

.  To be fair, they're not all that minimalist.  Most look like this:

And the kitchen's practically finished:

(Just kidding...)

And all things considered, I think I had a pretty good idea of what would go where.  (When we finished, the builders told me I could run a war I was so decisive.  That's a good thing, right?)  But now, everyone I speak to tells me that you can never have too many sockets.  And I'm not there anymore to figure it out.    Still, I have my own collection of extra length extension cords to fall back on.

And I have also chosen bathrooms, carpets,  wooden flooring, interior doors, a kitchen, taps, and tiles.  But bad for 10 days.

But in case you thought you'd tuned into the wrong blog, I have also been buying fripperies.  What do you think a girl needs most when she has a hall that looks like this?

Why, THIS, of course!

Isn't it just lovely?!  I'm thinking it needs a new cushion cover, but then I'm so handy with a needle that that shouldn't present any problem...

I bought it at a vintage fair near the house.  I was so excited I had to tell the poor guy selling it all about the 60s house it would be going to live in.  He tried hard to pretend he gave a fiddle.

Other than that, I was very good, except for one complete frippery which I couldn't resist.

It was only a tenner and the label said it still worked but needed a battery.  Of course it was only when I got it home that I realised that it needs one of those big old square batteries that you can't just pick up in the local Homebase.  So now I'm on the hunt for the right battery.

All in all, I think it's a good thing that I'm back in Manhattan.  Otherwise I'd be tormenting the builders and sneaking stuff in under the dust sheets.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All change, please. All change.

So, I have big news.  I resigned yesterday.  And we are moving back to England.  I have been bursting to tell you for the longest time, but somehow it didn't seem right to tell you lovely ladies when my team didn't know.  Pretty much no one knew actually.  But now I want to shout it from the rooftops.  There are BIG changes ahead in the house of NKK.  I've never bungie jumped (I'm a bit of a scaredy cat like that). But this is how I imagine bungie jumping to be - scary and thrilling and a little bit edgy.  In three months we sail out of New York on the Queen Mary II (delusions of grandeur, I know...).  And then we go to live in our house by the sea.  Hurray!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Dream weavers

Gosh, so much to tell you.  Where to begin?  At the beginning, I guess.  Or at least at the start of the two weeks away.

We left New York a couple of weeks ago after a very busy time here.  One of those times when you get spent onto the plane or into the car, having had no time to think about the holiday, or where you'll go or what to pack.  We arrived at Heathrow early the next day and I flew straight to Ireland for a two day writing workshop hosted by Claire Keegan, an Irish short story writer.  If you've never heard of her, then let me beg you to rush out and buy Walk the Blue Fields.  The first story in the collection still haunts me.

Anyway, I arrived in Dublin and hired a car, arriving in Bunclody in Wexford feeling stupid with tiredness and jet lag.  But it was all worth it for the next two days, spent with other women (there was only one man there), thinking and talking about writing.  Claire Keegan is fierce and uncompromising and not a little intimidating, but she had much to say that is worth listening to.

Driving back to Dublin, I had lots of time to kill, so I took a detour off the motorway to Avoca.  It's a little sleepy village in Wexford that wouldn't be much of a draw if it weren't or the fabulous woollen mill on the outskirts.  I grew up with Avoca, and have a blanket somewhere that I bought twenty years ago, but I'd never actually been to the mill before.  I'm so glad I did.  First there was the delicious cafe.  (I would show you the amazing home made goods, but I was so busy troughing that I forgot to take a photo...).  But then there was this:

Who could resist such a sign? At first I thought it might be just a sort of living exhibition, done out to show how it used to be done.

And sure enough, there was a man weaving away on an old loom.  

But as it turns out, that IS how it's still done, for at least some of the blankets.  Which frankly amazes me.  I wish I could show you the skill with which this man worked.  And how quiet and unassuming he was about it all.  He told me that all the bobbly bits on the wool get brushed out to make mohair blankets.

Not sure how the lambswool ones get make into these beauties.

Over the years, Avoca has branched out into homeware and clothing...

And cookbooks and the like.  (they don't sell these letters - I asked...).

Maybe something like Ireland's answer to Cath Kidston and Anthropologie all rolled into one.

I had only intended to stop for tea, but when I saw the amount of effort that goes into these blankets I somehow came away with two.  And I realised today that I have left them in the old lady house, in a cupboard away from the builders.  So I'll have to show you those another time.

Stay tuned for (before) pictures of the house coming soon.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Not quite AWOL

Hello there,

Just to say that I am gadding about and full of news, but it'll be a week or more before I can get my act together and post properly.  For now, I just wanted to say that we have completed on the purchase of the old lady house by the sea.  HURRAY!  There's about 12 weeks of buildings work and dust before I can get to the fun part of decorating etc.  My mind is spinning with choices of everything from carpets to where the radiators will go.  And it's all being done at a mad fast forward speed because I have to go back to work on Monday.  For now we're 'glamping', which basically means living in an empty house with a few sticks of random furniture, a camping stove and the blessings of hot water and a loo.  (It's amazing how little you need when you put your mind to it.)  But I miss being able to share it all with you, so will be full of news when I'm back.

Stay tuned!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...