Friday, November 9, 2018


Some normality has crept back into my days, and that includes getting things done around the house (we are still renovating three years after moving in). In autumn last year I deliberated over decisions, mixing three paint colours to get a calming shade for our bedroom walls (named 'Marina's Tears' by John), and spent hours painting. Fast-forward to October 2018, and it took me five minutes to pick a new colour without seeing it in real life, and this time we hired a professional.

For months we had noticed a strange smell in our bedroom, and after some detective work and paranoia (a diagnosis like lung cancer makes you extremely sensitive to any smells) it turned out we had got a bad batch of paint from a well-known company. In an effort to make their low-VOC paint even greener (not the colour), something to be applauded, they ended up with paint that allowed bacteria to grow, hence the cat-pee smell. The summer's heatwave aggravated it, but with everything going on we left it and moved into the spare room.

When I had recovered sufficiently from the surgery, the painter came and Marina's Tears disappeared under coats of stain block primer and the new colour (see first photo), which goes well with the blush colour in the dressing room. He also painted all the remaining timber and the radiators, and it has made a huge difference. We moved back into our bedroom, and that in itself has brought back more normality.

Though I happily interrupt that with different sleeping arrangements. My sister and her family stayed the night recently, and Aidan and I slept on the pull-out bed in the map room / yoga room. I had never shared a bed with a three-year old before; it melted my heart hearing his breathing.

I decided to tackle some small projects of my own and finally finished knitting the blanket that had been sitting in a big lump in various places for months and, momentum thus built, went on to knit a cushion cover for the guest room in two days, designing it as I went along, necessitated by running out of yarn: the other side features a pink square on a grey rectangle that has drawn generous comparisons to the art of Patrick Scott and Mark Rothko (apologies to both). 'Great to get that bit done', as they say here.


  1. What a lovely room. And set of pillows shimmering in the sunlight. I'm happy to hear you found the odd smell and remedied that in your house.

    I sure do like your book lists. I'm going to go in search of some of them. I'd probably start with the Iris Murdoch memoir. And I found your list of favourite art books. I'm not an artist, but I love reading about art and learning about artists, so I'm going in search of some books that list too. (My Christmas book wish list is getting longer all the time.)

    Wishing you a beautiful day...

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Brenda (I only saw it now - apologies for the late reply). So glad you like my book lists. I just had a quick look at your blog - what a a treasure trove. Looking forward to reading more, Marina