usedtobeljs: (Default)
Just got back from a morning walk. (I have started a workout plan created by my friend and trainer Fr, in anticipation of a walking-tour vacation next July, hurrah.) It is still Hot Soup here in the subtropics, but the light has changed, and soon, soon the dewpoint will drop to livable levels.

(I hope.)

While the weather should be changing in good ways soon, my house and backyard are about to undergo Major Updates. I foresee two and a half to three months of craziness with the house, while my contractor redoes the 1960s addition and makes it a) a rationally designed space, and b) one better suited to Aging in Place. Example: currently there are two steps down from my kitchen to the utility room/hallway; these steps lead directly, as in less than a foot of clearance, into my washing machine. To the right of the steps is a giant Nixon-era (LITERALLY) water heater. It's a cramped and slightly dangerous arrangement, and I will be so glad when it goes away. I am NOT looking forward to the construction noise and mess, but the end result should be great.

Also, I adore M the contractor, who did my other bathroom renovation, and he will do a good job for me.

The other change is that my backyard, which is sort of a mess (except with excellent treework!), is getting a proper design. D my landscape designer is doing some practical things I requested, like a Corgi-size border fence keeping Master Danger away from the proper fence, but he also, like, somehow intuited the kind of Provencal stone courtyard image that I keep pinning, and is giving me a courtyard space of gravel, flagstones, and succulents, which I'll be able to see from my kitchen window. YAY YAY YAY. There will also be some "lawn" for the young master and loads of native plants, including pollinators.

I'll keep you posted on how Master Danger does with all these changes. :)

What change are you looking forward to?
usedtobeljs: (Default)
See icon.

Anyway, so Hurricane Irma happened. I spent several days at my friends' house, being nervous (before the storm) and exhausted (after the storm). The power went out Sunday night as the winds began to howl overhead. Luckily Monday, after the storm had passed, was breezy and relatively nice even without power, and when I went home Tuesday morning, my power was restored.

But that's luck.

I live in a Tree City, and everywhere old oaks lie cracked in yards or near roadways. The neighbors behind me never do treework at all despite a yard full of aged water oaks, and as in Matthew last year, half of one of the oaks fell on my back fence. La la la.

No, seriously, la la la, because my neighbor across the street (who also doesn't have tree work done) had HER giant oak snap off near the roots, and it rests partially on her house. She is staying with church friends, possibly for a long time.

Master Danger and I are back to almost normal, except for the hum of generators nearby and roads unexpectedly closed by trees and a few local shops still not blessed with power. My current project is to buy a new mattress, because after last week's hotel stays and the weekend's stay at my friends', the inadequacy of my own bed is making itself felt. OUCH.

May you only have the best of breezes this week!
usedtobeljs: (Giles blue shirt LJS by Head Rush)
I'm back home. Master Danger is snoozing on the linoleum, it's bloody hot in the subtropics and there's worrying news about my dad -- so let me remember my trip, which after an initial hiccup was awesome.

Rather than listing everything I did, a few moments to remember:
*unexpectedly seeing friends at the gate next to mine, and having a nice visit before I boarded (and before they went to Europe)
*checking my phone one last time on the plane out, with a glass of fizz on the armrest
*hot strong PG Tips and toast in the B&B where I stayed one night
*sitting in a cafe in a small town in Derbyshire, windows on a rainy green, with a be-hatted older woman drinking tea at a nearby table whilst her lurcher sat at her feet and sighed
*at the House Style at Chatsworth exhibit, the motto jumpers worn by the previous Duke of Devonshire Andrew Cavendish -- such as "Never Marry A Mitford". LOVE.
*green green EVERYWHERE
*a single pale rose on the bush outside my bedroom window in the flat in London; drinking wine on the garden patio of the flat
*HOT for three days, OMG. London theatres are largely not air-conditioned, either (although thank heavens for the National, which was)
*tea at the Ritz, with ambiance and sweet stuff
*some awesome theatre, including a revelatory performance of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches wherein Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, and Russell Tovey were mesmerizing and heartbreaking (okay, Roy Cohn wasn't heartbreaking); DAVID FUCKING TENNANT in Don Juan in Soho, a star to his bones, louche in slim-cut suits and charmingly repellent as the modern rake-figure; the sweet and delicious love story in Rattigan's Love in Idleness, wherein Tony Head was dashing and GORGEOUS and passionate, and Eve Best was Life Goal. [Also in LiI: CLOTHES PORN, omg: 1940s silk pyjamas for Eve Best, and a silk shirt/wide-legged trousers outfit that looked classic and still current; pinstriped Savile Row for ASH, also black tie (OMG), and a camelhair coat that was unreal in its swagger and perfection)
*visiting with friends, including Paratti
*the colors of the David Hockney exhibit at the Tate Britain
*new shoes
*my footbridge over the Thames, in afternoon and at night

Hugs to all, and may your weekend be full of good things.
usedtobeljs: (so-not-amuzed-Flowery_Twat)
This Sunday afternoon I have a fair amount of work (although I'll need a nap first), but first, hello! I come to the blog to confess my guilt.

I have been so good about budgeting in these last few weeks before the England trip. I mean, other than the extra money for car maintenance, Master Danger's more expensive than usual trip to the vet, and the unanticipated need to pay for a refill of allergy drops (which are not on insurance and thus v.v. expensive), I have been doing okay. To be fair, I also had some breathing room because my landscape plan for the front-yard had seemingly been set aside for the year due to irrigation issues and thus I had a nice cushion in my budget....

And then, lo! The landscape designer emailed and said "Hey we have a workaround for the watering problem, want us to go ahead with the job?" I was torn, but the power of oakleaf hydrangeas compelled me, and I said Sure. [Note: the job has not been scheduled yet and may still be set aside, but as of now I can't spend that budgeted money.]

And then, lo! A work event where I was to share expenses with colleagues has lost so many contributing attendees so dramatically that I might have to pay for most of it myself!

And then, lo! While reeling from the wrecked budget, I saw a pair of trousers on one of my favorite shopping sites that I desperately want. They are unusual and classic at the same time; I can imagine at least five outfits with them and items of clothing I already have; I super-hard-core long for these trousers. They are also, and I say Alas, budget-busters at the best of times.

I haven't ordered them, but...my fingers are twitching.

I comfort myself with a quote by Vanessa Friedman, linked by fashion blogger Disneyrollergirl, which suggests "immediate gratification leads to a lot of extraneous stuff."

Okay, it's not really comforting, because I have given my heart away, and also I'm feeling guilty. Alas. For distraction I will think on P Cap, lovely with a haircut and in his holey sweater, in last night's episode of Doctor Who.

Cheers and hugs to those who are longing for something today.
usedtobeljs: (Giles for fuck's sake from Melissa base)
At random moments through the day today -- exhausted by work and horrified by U.S. politics -- I thought of this old icon, which expressed my feelings exactly.

Also expressive of my feelings -- internal screaming. But anyway.

WHATEVER, evil GOP politicians. I am not a vengeance demon, nor do I play one on TV, but right about now I'm thinking that electoral vengeance will definitely be A Thing.

So let's also think of joys:

*rain, a fierce short storm, and the promise of a little more
*wearing my old, battered, once-white Converse sneakers today
*Champagne with a good friend downtown, right before the storm
*scarlet-flowered sage, spreading in its little bed
*the other morning, a hawk on a chain-link fence, turning its head to stare at me and Master Danger as we walked by
*rewatching "The Husbands of River Song" because Twelve/River forevah
*less than a fortnight til England!

Cheers, and better days.
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