No slacking today – jam and furniture revamps

Today has been quite a productive day all in all.

Seven pots of windfall jam have been made – we have lots of apples on the tree still, plus plenty of blackberries to pick in the garden and yesterday a neighbour popped round with a bag of plums from her tree.  The gift of plum was, weirdly, a thank you to us for having cats that are good pigeon killers  – the pigeons wreck her garden, our cats have killed a couple of pigeons in her garden and she is grateful and hopes they kill many more.  I thanked her for the plums and have decided not to dwell on the reason for the gift.

Anyhow – blackberry, plum and apple jam was made:


It was also a day for furniture renovations – although stupidly I forgot to take the ‘before’ photos so only have the end result and not a photo for you to make a comparison with.

The first was a big wooden box.  This box has, for some years, been a toy box for small person.   She also used it as a low table for many different crafts, it was also a snack table.   Essentially it was a wreck, and the top of it was covered in crud –  paint, glitter, glue, pen, biscuit – crud!    I did use to clean it but never really giving the wood a good scrub.   The box has now been repurposed as a blanket box and is not now used by small person for activities – she has the desk we recently upcycled for her.

The state of it was bothering me so I emptied it today, took it outside, got the sugar soap and the wire wool and attacked it.   Once all the crud was removed it got a really good going over with wood balm, this was rubbed in, left for a while then the whole box was polished up.  It looks so much better:


I realise it is still tatty but it has a certain tatty charm.  Before it was covered-in-crud tatty.  Now it is clean and polished tatty!

The other furniture revamp done today was bookcase painting.   Small person has two half height bookcases, both are tired-looking Ikea bookcases that have little in the way of charm and there is not a lot that can be done to make them look any better.  They are also very old – being bookcases I have had for about 20 years.   We decided to get her a new bookcase and went to a great shop we found in Taunton, owned by a man called Phil.   We bought a big butchers block for the kitchen from him when we moved in.  He has a workshop out the back of the shop where he makes things to sell.  This is a man who clearly likes working with wood.   No two things are the same – many things have the same style and design but because he is working with wood in its natural state everything is slightly different.

Phil had some bookcases that we liked the look of so we bought one for small person.   In their natural state they are lovely as you can see the knots and lines in the wood.  I think I will be getting some more for the dining room/study as the bookcases that line that room are all, also, tired, old Ikea shelves.  Any I buy for that room will be left in their natural state with just some clear varnish or wax put on them.  For small person though we did decide to paint her bookcase, in her favourite colour  – blue:


I didn’t take a close-up, which I should have done.   The shelves are good and think and should not warp or bend, the whole thing is really sturdy, a solid bit of furniture.   Small person is delighted with it and we should be able to put it in her room tomorrow.

So, all in all, a productive day.

Menu plan for the week:

Today:  Roast

Tomorrow:  Homemade soup and bread (planned this last week but for one reason or another we didn’t have it)

Tuesday:  Scone based pizza and salad

Wednesday: Sausages, noodles and vegetables

Thursday:  Tuna, pasta bake

Friday:  Homemade fish and chip night.

I hope you have all had a good weekend.

Until tomorrow…



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