A busy old time

Things are a little bit crazy with us at the moment. We've barely come up for air. Last week was my first week in my new job and it was totally hectic. I'm only just finding my feet and getting used to how everything works and there's a lot of new stuff to learn. So far though it's going well. It's so much more stimulating and interesting than my last job and I'm feeling happy (if a little tired). 

Our builder has now started work on our kitchen and the wall between the kitchen and dining area has come down (eek), and two redundant chimney breasts have come out to give us more space. It's looking a little bit scary but I'm sure it will all come together in the end. We have been spending every evening choosing tiles and countertops and plug sockets and light fittings and all sorts of exciting things like that. Such a lot of choosing to do. I hope we've made the right decisions.

After many trips to Ikea (I never want to see a Swedish meatball again) we decided to on a very simple white kitchen from their new range and also a beautiful massive double sink (I'm very excited about this). We've found our own worktops - solid oak for either side of the cooker and then either marble or silestone around the sink. I can't wait until it's all finished!

We've been doing a little bit of painting and lots of pootling around in our garden, trying to make it look a little more pleasing. The lovely sunshine has spurred us on. Luckily it's been helping our garden look a bit prettier too (just a bit). We've planted a couple of  fruit trees and some climbers, but we still need to build a path and level off the ground for an eating area. We also have some shed-related plans for the future.

Everything (including the plants) got very dusty during the building work

We've had several outings to

Phoebe's Garden Centre

in Catford, which is not far from our new house. I absolutely love it there. It's hidden away on a residential street but it's huge and filled with a vast array of plants and garden stuffs. The staff are really helpful too. This is very important for garden novices like us. And they have special offers every week if you join their mailing list. I couldn't resist taking a few photos of all the spring flowers. 

I can't remember what these are called but they were in the "shady" section so I might get some to put against our fence, I think they're beautiful.

We've managed to fit in some fun things too (not that spending 2 hours on Screwfix's website isn't fun of course). It was R's birthday last week so we had breakfast in bed (made by me) and then after work went out to


on Portobello Road. They have an incredible huge wood fired oven in the middle of the restaurant and make the most delicious pizzas (and seafood pasta, which is what I had). 

I got R some of his favourite man-perfume, a leather camera strap, a fishy oven glove and I made him a tweed eye mask that he loved. It was a bit of a scramble this year but he seemed very pleased all the same. 

It's my birthday next month too - we're getting old!!

We also tried


for the first time last week. It was really good. I had one of their pornstar martinis which was mmmmm;) We went with some friends and then went out after to see Brett Goldstein at the Soho Theatre, and then for cocktails at the


. It was really nice to drink lots, chat all night and forget how manic things have been lately.

I also managed to sneak in a little trip up the Shard with work (on the day before I left!) We went up just as the sun was starting to go down and the lights in the city were gradually coming on. It was such a clear evening that you could see for miles and miles. Amazing. I wanted to stay up there all night. My terrible phone photos don't do it justice, but trust me, it was totally beautiful. Sometimes, with demanding jobs and the grind of commuting and busy lives and hectic weekends it's easy to forget how spectacular this grimy old city really is.

This weekend, we will be doing more gardening, possibly fence painting, choosing wall tiles and driving from North to South London and back several times. Oh and lots and lots of sleeping!