I Love my new Laura Ashley chair!

I have just taken delivery of this lovely ‘Lancaster’ Laura Ashley chair which is actually a very special Birthday present for a very special person, Mr Chandelier.

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This time last year he was in hospital, having suffered a brain haemorrhage.  We have been lucky beyond belief as he was fortunate enough to make a full recovery, even though it has taken some time for him to be back to his usual strong self.  It was a very traumatic time and my heart goes out to anyone that has a loved one who is unwell or in hospital – hang on in there and make sure you look after yourself too xx.

It is a little early for his birthday, but as Laura Ashley rang and said it was ready, I decided to take it to be safe.  I think it looks rather gorgeous sitting between my curtains which are made from Laura Ashley roses fabric – when I think of Laura Ashley, I always think of roses and country houses.

I don’t know about you, but the last few weeks have been unbelievably busy.  This is supposed to be the ‘calm before the storm’ as September until Christmas is my manic time of year but this year there is so much going on with the house that it is more like the ‘storm before the hurricane’!

We have, (of course – why wouldn’t we!), got even more chaos going on outside.   We have started digging out our patio to lay some decking and build a pergola over and are frantically going from job to job, trying to finish before the weather turns.

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This is the chaos outside the doors at one end of the kitchen………

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And this is the chaos at the other end, where we are installing new oak french doors………..

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And this is the beautiful view we will have from our kitchen table when the new french doors are in, and the reason why we knocked through from our sweet little snug.

We are in total and utter chaos in every single room in the house and in the gardens right now and I desperately need order not just for my sanity, but for business too.  But, as always when renovating or refurbishing a house, you just have to hang on in there and look at what you have done, rather than what you haven’t. I know, having renovated houses since I was 17 years old, that this is easier said than done.  The problem is that nothing is in its ‘home’ and most of your possessions are piled up here, there and everywhere.  Our house is like a giant jigsaw puzzle in that’ this needs to be done’ before ‘that can be done’, then ‘this can be moved’ so ‘that can be done’ – does that sound familiar!  Everything and everybody has to form a giant queue, generally those that ‘aggravate’ the most tend to get done first.  It really and truly is just a case of putting in the hours, sometimes forcing yourself to carry on when you really can’t see the wood for the trees and finally, bit by bit, you will see results.

I used to take the approach that unless I had time to do the whole job I won’t do it at all but Mr Chandelier has always said “Just keep plugging away, an hour here, an hour there and now I do take that approach and it really does work – trust me!

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This is me, genuinely cementing in preparation for the decking timbers.  I had done all the digging out, with a kango first.  It is not staged – I really did do that job – under the watchful eye of Mr Chandelier of course.  He gave me 7/10 which I know is good as I hadn’t done it before but I really wanted an 8 or more!  I did achieve this mark from Mr C when I did the next strip but I think he was only saying it as he knew I was disappointed with a 7 the day before!!!  We also have a bit of an issue as Mr C sees me as his labourer and I am sooo not.

It was really hard work, but the way I see it is, I want my house finished.  If I help, and I mean really help like above, it literally brings each job forward by weeks.  With Mr Chandelier working away all week most weeks, there are only 2 days in which to move forward and he does need to rest as well.  I then jump onto internal jobs like decorating, easy demolition, simple tiling or ‘hoarder next door’ decluttering whilst he is away.

Friends always ask me how I get this or that done, run a business and look after the children and the answer is always the same – “when most people are asleep or watching TV I am working!”  It is the only way as there is never enough hours in the day – even if I am exhausted I will still often sit in bed with the TV on in the background and I will work on something. This reiterates what I said above, just keep putting in the hours, even when you feel despair and eventually, loveliness will appear!

Soon, very very soon, loveliness will appear, I know it will because I am so absolutely on a mission and I will not stop until it does and I keep getting little flutters of excitement when I look at different aspects of the house and my imagination totally takes over – and I will share that loveliness with you – I can’t wait.

Keep chipping away.

Much Love

Sarah xx

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