All the pretties

The new furniture arrived yesterday, so as promised, photos of the pretty:

TV unit:

Ok, so the furniture shop called it a bookshelf, but I couldn’t find a TV cabinet I liked, and this looked like it might work, which it does, perfectly.  I haven’t decided yet what to put on the lower shelves, and I need to attach some cable clips to the back to hide the spaghetti of wires, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s looking.  I should probably also figure out some way of securing it against earthquakes, seeing as I haven’t got it sitting flat against the wall (I tried, but it looked better out at an angle like that – plus it makes the TV watchable from the whole room).


I was thinking of getting two chairs for this corner (to replace the two-seater couch that used to be there), but I only found one I liked, and now I see it there, I think a second would make it look too cluttered, so I might stick with just one. It definitely needs a lamp next to it, and possibly a little footstool.  And I need to find some sort of cabinet to store the glasses and wine (they’re just on those shelves temporarily until I find a better place for them), and somewhere to store the board games (ditto), but I reckon this corner has a lot of potential – I can just see me sitting here doing my cross-stitch.


I’ve always wanted a room completely lined with books, and the sunroom (maybe I should rename it the library ;-)) now pretty much qualifies – well, the two walls that aren’t lined with windows do, anyway.  The two lighter coloured bookshelves were there already, the darker ones are new, and yes, I actually have more bookshelf space than I have books (well, sort of – there’s a couple of boxes of bookcrossing books in the study needing to be sorted, plus a pile of textbooks I’ve got in my desk at work… still feels like luxury to not have double-stacked books though!).  I’ve got a bit of work to do arranging the books into some sort of more logical system, and I’d like to get another chair for this room (I’ve got a lovely comfy armchair for reading, but I need something more dining-chair-like for when I want to sit and work at the table), but otherwise this room is pretty much done.

So, very happy with my new purchases, and I reckon I’m well on the way towards my aim of making every room in my house one that gives me joy just to be in.


What’s making me smile right now:

  • A brisk walk home under a dark and threatening sky – I made it home without getting rained on, plus I’m feeling energised from the exercise.  And now the fire is roaring away and soon the house will be nice and warm.
  • I made a start on a big project at work that I’ve been putting off because I wasn’t sure where to start.  Once I finally dived in, though, it all became clear, so I managed to make some good progress, plus I now know exactly where to go from here.
  • The final paragraph of this post.  (Don’t cheat and skip to the end – you have to read the whole thing to fully get the impact.  And don’t forget to read the hover-text on the pictures!)
  • A cup of my favourite Japanese Lime tea, brewed in the gorgeous teapot Jenny gave me for my birthday.
  • The bunch of spring flowers (jonquils?  I can never remember the name, but they’re some sort of daffodilly-thing that smells good) that Mum bought last week haven’t wilted yet, and they’re still spreading their amazing smell through the house.  Apart from the longer days, I reckon the smell of spring flowers has got to be my favourite thing about spring.
  • Talking of longer days, it’s light enough in the evenings now that I can make it home before dark.  Walking in daylight is so much nicer!
  • Parsnips was sitting in the window watching for me when I got home.  She does it every night, so it’s not a particularly special event, but it still makes me smile every night when I see her there.
  • My shiny new TV.  The programmes on TV are just as boring as when I last watched them (way back in April when they switched to digital and my old TV stopped working), but it’s wonderful to be able to watch DVDs on a widescreen.  Plus it’s of the clever new variety that can talk to my tablet, so I can watch YouTube videos on it as well (there goes my bandwidth!).
  • I made a really nice apricot dish for pudding the other night, and there’s still enough left that I can have a bit tonight.

At last

The last couple of weeks have been very long ones, full of drama and a total emotional roller-coaster.  But perseverance paid off, and on Wednesday, 6 months and 2 days after H left, he signed the separation agreement, and I am finally completely legally and financially free of him.

It’s cost me a lot, both in stress and financially (ironically, property law that was originally set up to protect women worked against me, because despite the fact that I’ve been pretty much the sole income earner for the last decade (in his best year his business earnt less than 5% of my salary), he was still entitled to half of everything.  I can tell you, it irked enormously to have to take out a huge mortgage to re-purchase the house that I’d already worked hard to pay for! And don’t get me started on the whole “no fault” thing! (apologies to those of you who have already heard me rant at great length and multiple times about the evils of the Matrimonial Property Act over the last few months – promise I’ll shut up now)), not helped by his conviction that I was out to cheat him so disputing every tiny detail all the way through the process, adding ever more to the delays and lawyers’ bills.

But in a way, I’m actually glad it got so nasty.  It means that when it was finally all over and the papers were signed, all I felt was joy at having removed such toxicity from my life.  There can be no regrets for the loss of a relationship when you’ve spent half a year seeing only the worst of someone.  So now I can truly get on with my life.  I intend to enjoy every minute of it!

It wasn’t all drama over the last couple of weeks though – I managed to do some fun stuff as well.  It’s Film Festival time, and I’ve managed to get along to a few interesting films.  First, last Friday, was Omar, a Palestinian film which I really enjoyed (although perhaps “enjoyed” is not quite the word for such fraught subject matter).  Harvestbird, who I saw it with, has written a much more coherent review than I could ever manage, so I’ll leave you to read hers rather than attempt my own.

Then last weekend I went and saw a selection of NZ short films.  As is usual, some were fantastic, some just mediocre, and some outright weird.  At least one had me on the verge of tears, and a couple made me smile uncontrollably.  The one that really stuck in my mind was “I’m Going to Mum’s”, the story of a marriage break-up told via the clothing worn by a small boy being shuttled back and forth between his parents (yeah, sounds weird, but in the film it makes total sense).  That one definitely made me smile, it was so beautifully done, and nearly made me cry too.  Actually, I’ve just realised there was a bit of a clothing theme to my favourites – another that made me smile was “Friday Tigers/Ngā Taika o te Rāmere”, which featured a mother and her child dressing up in costumes (with a different theme for each day – hence Friday Tigers) for the train ride to her kohanga reo (kindergarten).

And on Friday Harvestbird and I went to see Computer Chess, a very strange semi-mockumentary about the early chess-playing computers of the late 70s/early 80s, and the people who built them.  I thought it was just the couple of glasses of wine I’d had beforehand at Friday night drinks at work that confused me about a few aspects of the story, but talking to Harvestbird yesterday, she was just as confused.  After much discussion we still couldn’t decide what exactly was going on at a couple of points, but were agreed it was definitely weird.

Mum was up for a few days this week, so I booked us in to a class at the Make Cafe.  The aim of the class was to make a pot-holder, but really it was to teach the basic techniques for finishing off a quilt (which is really just a really big potholder, from a sewing point of view ;-)).  I was quite pleased with my finished product:

Here’s the back:

My hand-sewing isn’t the best (so much for “blind” stitch!), but it never is.  It’s lovely and colourful and brightens up my kitchen though, and I learnt a huge amount from the class.

Yesterday Harvestbird and I (accompanied by one of the junior Harvestbirds) hit the shops for a long-planned expedition to replace some of the furniture I had to give up in the settlement (now that my frozen bank accounts are finally unfrozen and I can at last access the inheritance money from my stepfather, which my lawyer thankfully managed to protect for me).  We didn’t manage to find everything I wanted, but we found a few really good pieces at very reasonable prices (and drooled over a few totally impractical but oh-so-tempting pieces), so I’ll soon have the house looking good again.  I’m not getting them delivered until next weekend, but I promise photos once I do.

For the bookcrossers (and non-bookcrossers too if you’re interested, but you have to promise to write a journal entry) who haven’t yet read This is How You Die, the Machine of Death anthology featuring a story by ‘Nathan, I’m planning on offering it up as a bookring.  If you’re interested, let me know.