Friday, September 23, 2016

Blue Door?

I have a confession to make…….there IS no blue door, except in my imagination. It is a virtual Blue Door. But there will be a blue door one day - I will eventually paint the front door blue. Meanwhile it is varnished wood. Painting it blue is not an immediate priority. The glass side panels had to be replaced when I moved in, because they'd been broken at some stage and a kind of repair effected with odd-shaped pieces of perspex and silicone - very creative, but not very practical! I called in the glazier and had those panes replaced, along with the two mock stained glass panes with a rose design in the door itself. I had the panes replaced with plain frosted glass - much more stylish! The small entrance hall was the second room that was repainted, followed by the toilet. A lovely coat of white paint to replace the tired, dingy, dirty blue that it was, has freshened it up considerably for now. At some stage in the future, I will replace the floor-covering - I don't like this mock slate tile vinyl floor-covering, which is also in the kitchen. Both of these spaces now just need some artwork on the walls.

When I'm feeling particularly energetic, I tackle some of the big outside jobs - there is a lot to do, but bit by bit I'm getting there. When you look out the back windows, the garden looks smallish, but this is deceptive, because there is a whole lot going on that you can't see - a lot of which will have to be ripped out. Like the house, the garden has been neglected for a number of years and it is overgrown, overcrowded with a number of inappropriate (for a suburban garden) trees that will have to go.
To make tackling the garden a little less daunting, I decided to just start working from the house outwards in manageable bursts - otherwise it could simply become overwhelming. 
The first job was removing a green steel gazebo affair right outside the back door. It was covered with several layers of rotting canvas roof and festooned with a tangled mass of electrical extension cords, double adaptors, fairy lights, plastic butterflies and rusty electrical lanterns. With much of this electrical stuff exposed to the weather, it was really dangerous! I just pulled the lot down…..

…….and threw it out. A few weeks after moving in, the garden looked like this:

You can see the metal gazebo structure still in place. It was very rusty and rickety and not worth keeping, so I began to cut it up with a metal cutting attachment on my grinder……then I discovered that it was so weak, I could simply break it up with my bare hands - much quicker!. I've removed dead shrubs and trees and the two huge pittosporums in the right of the picture and opened up the garden to more sunshine, light and space. It's looking like this at the moment:

I've established a vegetable garden, planted fruit trees and generally am well on the way to establishing some order into this once-beautiful garden. Sometimes I feel like Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden with all the discoveries (both surprisingly good and surprisingly bad!) I am making as the seasons change!


  1. Oh Susie I love your house stories and seeing the good come to the fore and life. You've done a tremendous amount of work. I think your kitchen is one of your best works of art

  2. Oh, thanks Tanya - you are a big part of my inspiration, you know. What has surprised me is how much I am ENJOYING it - I though it would be much more of a chore - you know, just get it done and get on with life. I think it must be because I'm making all the decisions entirely myself and doing most of the work myself, for the first time in my life. Also, I just taking it at my own pace - no deadlines, no "gotta get it done yesterday"! Would change it all in a heartbeat to have Bob back, though!

  3. Was wondering bout that blue door??
    I'm just getting David to realize that slow and steady gets it done even better! It's amazing what my heart attack has made us both appreciate xxxxx

    1. Yes - I think I'm making little progress, but when friends come around that haven't been here for a while, they are always amazed by the changes. We all know who won the race between the tortoise and the hare! Always good for a cuppa, when you are in town. :-)