BrocanteHome has moved to Wordpress!

Hello and thank you so much for dropping by.
I'm Alison, that's my little boy Finn, and we are absolutely thrilled to have you at BrocanteHome!

Brocante has been online for five years and with soooo much to see and do here, the best way to make the most of the site is to sign up for the monthly newsletter and get my scrumptious way of vintage housekeeping delivered directly to your in-box...


Get BrocanteHome Mail!
Email:

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Before and After

Gosh. What happened? Where did all the loveliness go? Down the swannee m'dear, with the rest of my life, down the swannee... Though I truly once thought that it would only be when Finn was safely ensconced being force fed phonics in school that I would be able to achieve something resembling hard work unencumbered by a five year old wrapped around my personage, it seems that my heart is at it's happiest when said child is pottering about planting sunflowers, felt-tipping my toenails and stashing secrets in his lidded desk during the school holidays. And so last Wednesday in a fit of industriousness not oft seen in these parts, I set Finley up with a set of Easter cards to paint and went outside to strip the dilapidated garden back ready for the removal of the precocious ivy crawling up the house and the chucking of some whitewash at the crumbly old walls. I was happy with my lot. I stashed the various pots and half dead, half alive plants around the corner, brushed away a forest of fallen leaves and went inside to summon up the strength to dig the mud out of my nails and prepare myself for the packaging of son off to his Daddies and the arrival of the Rocket Scientist in time for tea. I lit candles all over the place, let the scent of the blue hydrangeas blooming in terracotta pots on every surface, fragrance the house and climbed into something that said I like you, but it's time to stop pretending I'm a full time dolly-bird and that at 5.30pm on a Springtime Wednesday evening this my Darling is how I look. Deal with it... And in he came, dressed in his work clothes, insisting he be so hungry we had to eat forthwith and only takeaway pizza would do, and I ran about like one of the flustered little chickens I am currently minding, looking for, and failing to find a pizza menu, so we got into the kind of car you just don't picture rocket scientists driving and collected pizza's and trashy magazines and creme eggs and went and snuggled on the sofa, and ate garlicky doughy food in tandem, and giggled at the state of Britney Spears and then he went and stashed the pizza menu somewhere we could find it next time, went upstairs and took a shower (while I tried to come to terms with the very idea of someone using my house like his own), faffed about with the noisy boiler and walked about muttering about remembering to bring a radiator key next time he called, then let himself out of the back door to deliver pizza boxes to recycling bin and came back looking shaken at the state of my garden, texted someone in a mysterious fashion, backwards and forwards for an hour (reporting me to the backyard police methinks) and then promptly fell asleep, holding my hand. And all was well that ended dully. And I decided that I could really rather get used to this man about the house lark even if here was a plodding lukewarm little man who never wanted to leave the safety of my sofa for anything more thrilling than a pizza, let alone a meal out, cinema spree or even a tinsy little walk around the dusky light of the neighbourhood, and in my own head set aside the bristly don't tread too deeply into my territory little soul that I am, at exactly the same time as he was deciding that the shock of my destroyed garden and bangy old boiler was just too much too bear and thus he would not be returning my calls ever ever again and would instead ruin my Easter weekend with the kind of sudden all consuming silence that would have had me spitting feathers had I cared about anything other than the fact that I cannot abide bad manners in forty two year old men who should know better. Damn him to hell and back. But never mind because there was rose and black pepper chocolate for breakfast and an Easter egg hunt to distract me instead, there was a gorgeous cream leather handbag from my sister and fish in a restaurant with all the family, there was lavender syrup trickled over big fat strawberries, lots and lots of sun, a night spent holding my sobbing little boy after an ankle accident, an Elizabeth Taylor novel procured in a secondhand shop and thrown off in favour of the new Marion Keyes 800 pager, prawns and hake and trout to wash out my insides after too much stolen Dairy milk and of course the pleasure of still holding the world record for being dumped more times than it is possible for one woman to tolerate without volunteering herself for the convent. And the moral of this woebegon tale? Be a dolly bird all your life or else! And in the meantime hound your darling, lovely blog readers until they come up with something that will transform that ugly little patch of concrete into something resembling a pretty little garden in which to tear out your hair.... Help! Ideas, s'il vous plait? banner17

8 comments:

Morag said...

Alison,
It wasn't the state of your garden that shook your rocket scientist. It was something he saw in your recycling bin or garbage bin.

Jayne said...

Oh my heart was singing for you, until it got to the part where he gave you the silent treatment. That's just plain bad manners. What the heck is wrong with people?

I thought your little garden looked very pretty before so I'd go back to pretty much what you had. I used to be a keen gardener, pre illness and even dabbled in garden design so I'd be happy to give you my input (be it ever so humble) if you email me the rough size of the patch and its aspect - most specifically which way does that long wall face. Whitewashing the wall is a great idea and I was thinking that a pretty clematis might work well climbing on that trellis.
...Ahem...I'm rambling away here ... Anyway, let me know if you want more input on plants etc.
And keep smiling Alison, the bozo (rocket scientist or not) isn't worth another thought.

Ali said...

There ARE decent men out there darling. Promise.

Ali @ A Cosy Life

Morag said...

A wicker sofa with shabby chic red rose print chintz cushions, a chimenea (http://www.chiminea.net/) for cool evenings and in which to make smores and grilled cheese sandwiches with a round pudgy pie iron (http://www.pieiron.com/designs.htm), lots of potted salmon red geraniums, a wind chime and a fountain to make that wonderful tinkling sound of running water. Now you have all the elemental powers present. Very feng shui.

Tracelaine said...

Start with a super pressure wash! If you have a local tool rental shop, and you have the inlcination to get sopped with all sorts of slippery goo, pressure washing has the effect on my mind that knitting has. It is repetative, immediately satisfying, quickly rewarding, and you would be AMAZED at the horrifying smells that are unearthed and washed away. Mossy rocks smell funny like old fish. If you do the rental yourself, get a commercial grade washer. It will make a way faster job of it, and it appears your section is quaint so the job would likely only take two hours give or take. Depending on the length of rental time, you may be able to split the cost with someone and they could use the machine for the remainder of the day. My hubby bought a pressure washer and we use it on our patio every summer. If I could pressure wash the inside of my house, by god I would. The clean it produces makes me want to take my lunch outside - barefooted. I wash the walls of the house, pathways, the fence, the yard toys, the wood furniture, the decking boards, the windows, etc. It makes a nice clean pallette for all the fresh colors of my outdoor scheme. If you are planning on whitewashing the walls, or painting furniture or the trellis, this prestep would help the paint adhere for sure. It is rather fun and gratifying, and whenever I clear a corner of my house, I clear a corner of my mind. Perhaps the washing away of old grime will have that renewing affect on you that you may be mysteriously craving.
OR...you could hire the job out, and watch the contractor through the window with your spiriting tea, dangle earrings, and sock feet! If he is lively and handsome don't forget to ask if he's seeing anyone!

Tracelaine said...

I am not sure what these are called, but perhaps they could be fashioned from ordinary items, too. Lantern posts from the camping store... they have hooks on the top to hang the lanterns from for illuminating the campsite. Anyway, they may be stabbed into the ground, or in our case, stabbed deep into a planter pot. Get a few of these posts going, and string up various sets of fairy lights between the posts.
Alternately, think of the long hooks that are screw fastened onto wooden posts from which to hang bird feeders or hanging flower pots. These can be screw fastened to your brick wall with mortar anchors. Then, from these hooks you could hang the fairy lights as well as some hanging potters. In using the right anchors, these applications can be very strong. (I have my long garden hose hanging from mortar anchors.) Hang them high as you can to reach for watering the potters, then plant trailing flowers in them.
Also, a tiki torch stabbed into a planter pot with citronella oil to burn has a charming effect - keep a low wick to reduce sooty smoke.

sarah said...

it's so hard to interpret silence, isn't it. I've always found that one person's tranquility was another's terror.

I thought your before picture was really beautiful.

Karen said...

Oh my . . .

Clear across the ocean this guy sounds SO irritating! Is it just me??? And anyway, I thought your garden looked just fine before. What guy actually notices such things anyway? I thought he was there to pay attention to YOU! And if that weren't enough, the texting (for an HOUR??) would do it for me. I'd rather be alone - forever - than have someone in my life like this self absorbed jerk - rocket scientist indeed. . . .

Puttery Post!

Buy The BrocanteHome Vintage Housekeepers Planner Today and get organized with sixty pages of the prettiest downloadable forms and planners designed to transform the way you live your life...

Add to Cart

Search