Tuesday, 25 August 2015


This climate change lark (should that be accorded capital letters?  Is it a proper noun?) isn't fun.

Exhibit A: the lemon tree.

It has, simultaneously, mature fruit, juvenile fruit and blossom.

The poor tree hasn't had its traditional rest over winter.  Largely because winter hasn't happened.  There's been a bit of rain.  It's been a bit cool.  But winter - nope.

The other citrus are suffering similarly, but it's most noticeable on the lemon.  The poor mulberry hadn't even lost its leaves before it was bursting forth with juvenile fruit.

We also feel sorry for the bees who are as busy as they are in spring and summer.

Friday, 21 August 2015

The perfect thing.

There's been some decluttering at Marmalade Cottage of late.

The Practical Reinventor is thoroughly sick of the 1930s furniture that came with the house.  It's lovely Art Moderne, but too modern for a lady of 1917, who's more suited to Art Nouveau, or at a pinch Art Deco.

So it was out with this:

Which is a fairly large sideboard that had seen better days.  There had been plans to sand it back and revarnish...

Anyway, the Creative Reinventor's mum was delighted to load it up, take it to her workshop and lavish the shabby chic treatment on it.

In its place we have this:

A very simple telephone table with storage - that little drawer and a box under the seat.

And this detail:

Much more appropriate to the era of the house.  Also not in perfect condition, so it fits in beautifully.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

A gentle parting of ways

It's taken a week for this post to compose itself.

Grief does that.

Our lovely Maremma (Italian sheepdog) Maddie, she of the long legs and platinum blonde coat, is no more.

We think she had a stroke on the flight over to come to join our family 16 months ago.  She was always a bit wobbly.

Then she collapsed last week, possibly after having another stroke.

She was in obvious distress, panting, licking her nose, not able to stand or sit comfortably, not even wanting water.

We did the compassionate thing.

The Practical Reinventor held her as the vet put her to sleep.  Heartbreaking.

She's buried in the front garden of Marmalade Cottage.  Heaven knows what the neighbours thought if they'd seen us digging a large hole in the dark with tears running down our faces.