Monthly Archives: February 2013

Toilet humour

Just when you think you’ve turned the corner, and have dared to let out that lengthy sigh of relief before turning puce, you realise you’ve gone full circle.

The signs were there, we just weren’t paying any attention. In the last week, F has wet the bed twice, pee’d on a nursery teacher, piddled on a chair and not quite made it to the toilet several times. We should have known that it was only a matter of time before the dogs jumped in on the bandwagon.

So it was, whilst snoozing this morning,  D announced that the phantom poo-er (and wee-er) had struck again during the night; leaving an appreciative parcel behind the inward opening utility room door.

His parting shot as he left for work was ‘the tea towel in the sink is for the wash’. There’s nothing quite like it to get your attention in the morning. WHY?!  ‘Well there wasn’t any kitchen roll was there?’ OMG.

Being the only male in the house, his latest theory is that we’re in a weird female cycle and it’s making the kids and dogs incontinent. Perhaps its lunar, I’ll need to chart it and see what happens next month.

Needless to say the tea towel has been religated to the bin. Did he really think I would wash it and put it back in the basket with the others? Lets not go there.

Although, it is not the only towel to fall victim this week. Whilst cleaning the downstairs loo I couldn’t get away from the strong smell of urine even after the toilet had been scrubbed and the floor washed. My nose led me to the hand towel. YEUCH. The only plausible theory being that one of the girls (F) had had an accident and was trying to be helpful by cleaning it up. Perhaps the biggest cause for concern was that the towel was bone dry. God knows how long it had been like that. Personally, I avoid that loo like the plague; I know what goes on in there.

I can’t help but wonder when this will end. The dogs are 9 & 10, F is three and H is five this week; yet even she continues to shout at loud volume (usually when we’re eating) ‘WILL SOMEBODY WIPE MY BUM PLEASE!’ Cue selective deafness from us and even louder requests for help before someone gives in.

From an interiors point of view, I always find that the lowly cloakrooms gets totally overlooked or at the very best the most basic of styling; matching towels and handwash. Perhaps being the smallest room in the house, with the least time spent in them, they get forgotten in the grand scheme of things. Not me. Claokrooms are one of my favourite things to decorate and I have at least three new ‘looks’ lined up for when I tire of the current one.

I find the general consensus to be that with little, or no, natural light they should be neutral and light. No way. In my first ever flat we painted the entire room navy, then splatted it with white paint from small paint brushes to create a night sky – it was ace, although appreciate that without photos it sounds gastly.

Cloakrooms are the perfect space to have a bit of fun in and let your personality out.  Our current ‘loo’ has the famous Cole and Sons Tema e Variazoni Fornasetti wallpaper. When I first ordered it, I was adamant that I was going to draw on it glasses and moustaches in marker pen. But when it was finally hung, I lost my nerve; being left handed I have a tendancy to smudge what I have drawn and after several practice attempts I didn’t trust D to get it right. I will definately do it before we redecorate though.

I think houses should be as individual as the people living in them. Treating the loo as a gallery space for photos, books or art is a great way to inject some personality into them. If you are worried about painting the walls a bright colour, try painting the ceiling. Ours is currently a dark aubergine, but I have ideas for a lovely bronze colour and wouldn’t mind seeing what bright yellow looks like (I still haven’t found that ‘yellow’ thing I was hangering after in my ‘do as I say not as I do’ post.)

Below are a couple of examples of fab loos where imagination and personality shine through. Apologies for how many there are, I got carried away.

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Like daughter, like mother

Normally quite passive, no-one was more suprised than myself when this weekend I became so incensed that I was compelled to write my first ever letter of complaint and to boycott the local supermarket. I even managed to pull out of the bag a bona-fide tantrum that would have left both kids wide eyed and open mouthed had they seen it. They have taught me well. Thankfully I fell short of crying and stamping my feet.

I would love to say that my anger was over something of importance. Child labour, the raw deal farmers receive from supermarket chains or even animal welfare. Nope. They refused to sell me alcohol because I didn’t have any ID. In my defence I would like to point out that I’d had the most awful day with tantruming kids (spot a theme here?) and that I’m 37 years old. Retrospectively I know I should have been delighted that the woman on check-out thought I was under 25 -SERIOUSLY!?- but when her supervisor and then the store manager said it was worth more than their licence to serve me I failed to take the moment to bask in the compliment.

I did threaten never to darken their door again; but I am very particular about my sausages of all things and their luxury own brand Lincolnshire sausages are not only lower in fat, but have 90% meat content. Is this what my life has come to? comparing fat and meat content of all supermarket sausages? I doubt I’ll get round to writing that letter of complaint either.

On a positive note, I have been craking on with my coursework. Losing several hours on Pinterest creating colour libraries and collating hundreds of inspirational images.

It would appear we have another trainee collector in the household. It’s no surprise given the parentage. D has the biggest collection of CDs, DVDs and books I know of, whilst I could set up a specialist newsagents with the amount of interiors magazines I possess. One cannot comment on the others’ increasing stash without much tutting and accusations of colour and kitchen accoutrements. H, however has yet to hone her curating skills. There appears to be little or no reason for what she randomly squirrels in the most obscure of places. Listed below is what I retrieved from her junior bed the other morning, deep breath:

2x blankets; 13x teddies; 3x dolls; 2x books; 1x drawing; 1x colouring book; 1x pair of leggings; 1x pair pjs; 1x bag, 1x cd; 1x rubber egg; 2x lip balms; 2x necklaces; 2x plastic frogs; 1x bracelet; 1x pretend lipstick; 1x real lipstick(?); 1x notepad; 4x links of christmas paper chain; 1x string of sequence; 2x bobbles; 2x hairclips; 1x rubber; money; magnifying glass; piece of spirograph and an assortment of stickers. Phew.

Quite clearly all this was required to help her sleep. Documenting what she has hoarded under the bed would take too long and quite frankly I can’t bring myself to look.

However all our stuff has to live somewhere. Now, whilst I love to salvage furniture from junk yards I simply couldn’t fill the house with enough furniture and shelf space to accommodate our burgeoning collections. Nor could I afford expensive designer systems. Nope, there is nothing quite like mass produced Scandinavian furniture to swallow up a small library’s worth of books.

Some people look down their noses at flat packed furniture; I’m not one of them. That’s not to say our house looks like a page out of the latest IKEA catelogue; but I do reckon that some well considered pieces can work brilliantly alongside both antique and expensive designer pieces. What’s important is what you put on them and how you intergrate them into the room. When it comes to the kids I don’t think there is anything better to house their ever growing collection of books, stuff and general clutter. Whilst an ikea metal locker sits beautifully next to the custom made rustic sink unit in our bathroom (see below). There certainly is no denying the practicality, function and form that goes into their furniture design.

However, if money was no option, and space allowed, a custom built home library would be top of the list.


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