Monday, April 11, 2016

Painting and restoring

I've been keeping myself busy getting a few things done around the house.

The mirror and the decorative side panels from that old wardrobe have been sanded back and given a few coats of Danish oil...and I have to say they look and feel fabulous. More on them later.

I've also spent some time painting an old hall table

It's been handed down and around a number of times, ending up with me about ten years ago.

.I don't know what it was coated in but it was all flaky and awful and  had a terrible smell when it got wet. So it was time for a spruce-up

First, a really good sand and then a coat of tinted undercoat

Then the first top coat 

The sheen on it is lovely, considering I used ordinary low sheen wall paint. It's the same paint/colour I used on an old chest of drawers and my pine filing cabinet.

Once the paint is cured I'll put the new handles on

I got a bit carried away and even gave my kitchen stool the once over

Although to be honest, it needs another coat. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Recycling and Repurposing

Years another life and another Victorian town I had a lovely little cottage that I had renovated and lived in for almost ten years.

Then I got a job offer interstate ... so instead of selling up and moving on, I rented out my little cottage...and it's been rented ever since.

Unfortunately though some of the old furniture that was left in the house has deteriorated to a point it's no longer useful. 

The main piece in point - this old wardrobe

Back in 2009 we had to do a major repair at the house as a floor in one of the bedrooms had rotted and was very "spongy". I wrote about it back then herehere and here.

This old wardrobe was sort of OK back in 2009...a bit wobbly but served a purpose. Not any more.

It was falling apart so instead of breaking up the three sections and throwing it in a skip, MONT decided to take it apart and save the most important pieces: the mirrored door and the side decorative panels, which are really lovely!

To cut to the chase here... we've been looking for a mirror for our bedroom for over a year now - we see something we like but then don't follow through for one reason or another. Then  I had a bit of a light bulb moment this morning. Use the mirror from this old robe for the bedroom!

It's now being sanded and cleaned up so it can be hung on our bedroom wall. I'll post a pic when it's done.

It's so good to be back!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Back in the Saddle....kinda

We're having a break from Number 10 and spending a couple of weeks at our usual campsite at the beach where we're trying to regroup and relax.

It's a great place on the Bellarine Peninsular...MONT goes fishing when the weather permits and I sit and read and sleep and generally veg out.

2015 was not a good year for our family. We're hoping 2016 is going to be less eventful, although it hasn't started well, with someone hitting my (parked) car. Not a lot of damage, but as always in these cases, I'll be the one who is inconvenienced while it's being repaired.

Still, I guess if that's the worst that happens then I'm not doing too bad.

I've never been one for New Years resolutions. I've never been able to understand the importance of making a promise to yourself on January 1st, when you could've done the same thing on September 16...or July, no resolutions for me, but there have been some changes recently

I resigned from my full-time job in November and am now officially a part-timer and will work two days a week. A better work-life balance, as they say in the classics. There are so many things I want to do and working full-time wasn't allowing me to do them, at least not to the standard I wanted to.

The events of last year also gave us a bit of a wake up call, so MONT and I have changed a few things regarding our health and fitness. Nothing drastic...we're not training for marathons or triathlons, but we are making a point of being a bit more active

I plan to get back into "blogging" and start posting more regularly. I may not have been a regular "poster" these past few months, but I have been a regular reader of other peoples' blogs, so I haven't disappeared altogether.

So there you have it. I'm back. Sorta kinda. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Life goes on

Considering my rather lengthy absence and lack of posts, one would think Life at Number 10 had stopped.

It hasn't.

But it has been a rather awful few months for us around here.

My (younger) brother passed away suddenly in April. It was a terrible shock and we're still trying to come to terms with it.

Then my elderly Aunt died. She would've been 102 next month. She was an amazing woman!

Even at her age she was sharp as a tack, lived independently in her own home, was an avid reader, shopped and sewed and until recently, mowed her lawn and pottered in the garden.

She was my Mum's only sister and she was my only Aunt.

I also learned just a couple of weeks ago that a very close friend passed away as well.

So, as you can imagine, we've been a bit down in the dumps around here.

But, life goes on here at Number 10. Fortunately, MONT and I are OK...just a bit sad

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Zucchini and Walnut chutney

Back in the 1980's a friend and I would get together and spend entire weekends cooking....and some of the things we often made was relish, jam and chutney

We both had this little gem from Margaret Fulton - Published in 1981

It's only small but it contains just about every concoction you could ask for, from pickled mushrooms to  curry relish and this one - Zucchini Chutney.

I got thinking about this recipe after reading Kitchen  Hand's Countdown: the top ten vegetables of all time over at What I Cooked Last Night, so I hunted out my little book and started cooking

It's an easy recipe:

You salt the sliced zucchini to remove the moisture

Peel the tomatoes by pouring boiling water on them 

Put all of the ingredients (except the walnuts) in a pot and let them simmer and meld together
Put the walnuts in and stir for a minute and you're done.

Sterilize your jars...I put mine through the dishwasher then put them in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes...and spoon or pour the hot mixture in and seal.


750 gr zucchini-sliced
1 table spoon salt
250 gr ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
125 gr onions, chopped
3/4 cup sultanas
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups spiced vinegar (I used half brown and half apple cider)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Put the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt. leave for two hours then rinse and pat dry
Put in a pot with all other ingredients, except the walnuts,  and simmer and stir until the sugar's dissolved.
Keep simmering until the mix thickens slightly and is all melded together...then put in the walnuts and mix. Spoon or pour the mixture into your sterilized jars and enjoy

If you like chutney's and relishes, then I think you'll love this.

Thanks up, asparagus

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Malcolm Fraser

Australia lost another of it's Prime Ministers this past week. It's 22nd to be exact

Malcolm Fraser was 84 when he passed away after a short illness...and it came just a few months after his great foe, Gough Whitlam passed away

They may have been great rivals in their past political lives, but both men grew to like each other and when Gough died Malcolm became very emotional about losing his friend

Vale Malcolm Fraser

Monday, January 26, 2015


Mont and I are at the beach for a couple of weeks and while the weather's been a bit cool...the sunrises are magnificent!

Not that I see many of them mind you....this one was rather nice though

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A long time coming

Welcome to my new kitchen...a peek of it anyway

To be honest, it was finished in November, but this is the first opportunity I've really had to put some photos together and show you what it now looks like

It's just a peek as most of the photos are on the home computer...

MONT and I are on our annual break at the beach and I have to say it's a VERY welcome holiday. Part of the, the main reason my blogging has been so slack this past year is because all I seem to have done is work....and this is the first break I've had since last January.

Yes, I'm exhausted.

This year - 2015 - is time for a reassessment of the work-life balance I think.

I'm always drawn to Ness Lockyer's wise words that...You only live beautifully!

My life has definitely not been beautiful this past year so it's time for a change

I want to spend more time cooking - yes that was neglected BIG TIME in 2014.

I want to spend more time doing things I really enjoy...and while I do enjoy the work I do, I don't want to do it every darn day!

Righto...well it's cold and windy and there's been some rain, but I don't really care because I'm on holidays!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale

That's a nice sentiment, but I think it's pretty obvious Norman Peale wasn't battling crowds at Chadstone or Doncaster shopping centres...or even the fish monger this week....

It's been a pretty sad time leading up to this (supposedly) joyous time of year.

Let's hope things only get better as we head towards, and into, 2015

Stay safe and be happy

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas contrast

Christmas is almost with us and yes, I'm stating the bleeding obvious here.

I've always said I love this time of year, but there have been times when I've realised that what I really love is what this time of year promises...but sometimes doesn't necessarily deliver.'s a great time if you're not stressed, tired or working...tick, tick tick

It hasn't stopped me mucking around with decorations around here in time for the annual family get together when everyone heads to Number 10 on the Saturday before Christmas

For the last couple of years it's been all white and silver around here...

...but this year I've gone down a different path

Black is my choice this year - just for a change

I spray painted the twigs in matte black and put them in a jar with some small rocks, then wrapped the jar in some black hessian. 

The little birds and stars are from Ness at Marley & Lockyer - they are absolutely wonderful

I've got three of these black twiggy trees around the house...

The entrance hallway

...and the dining room

This weekend will be spend gift wrapping all the books and bits and pieces and making sure I haven't forgotten anything