Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our New Bathroom!

As promised, for my last post of the year, I am delighted to reveal the end results of almost 2 years blood, sweat & tears converting the Bathroom-From-Hell into the Bathroom-From-Heaven! While there are a few things not quite complete, (the 2nd shower rose is still sitting on the floor ready to be thrown up, the far side panel of the vanity bar needs to be fixed in & the newly painted door needs to be put on its hinges), it's pretty much done. This room is never going to win any awards for style & design, but I'm so thrilled with the results & that's all that matters. Our main objective was to turn a tiny, dark, grotty, disgusting space of 1.7m. x 3.1m into something functional & light. All on a budget of under $10,000 & doing all of the work except the plumbing & the major electrical ourselves on the weekends.

Here's what we started with. The original 1972 tiled floor, no power points, a shower over the bath, desperately inadequate storage & poor lighting.

We barrowed lots & lots of bricks down the stairs & out via the front door!

The rotting timber window had a bizarre external grid of bricks on the outer wall, MOTH ripped those off early in the piece to try & let some light in.

The space is still the same & we needed to keep all of the major items (loo, basin, shower) in exactly the same spots to save on plumbing relocation costs.

Despite some initial doubts that the configuration would work, I think it all flows really well & just feels so much more spacious.

I knew from the start that I wanted a really, really big mirror to create the illusion of lots more space than we actually have. I had to really fight to convince MOTH & the manufacturers that I needed such a huge mirror. This is what we had before, with the man of the moment starting to rip the tiles off the bath surround on Day 1 of the reno.

And here's what's in the same place now - I really think it works a treat.

The single shower over the bath before image.

And now the double shower recess. We decided against installing a bath here, as I'm planning on putting one in the en-suite when it gets it's much-needed renovation next year. Yes, that thud you heard was the sound of MOTH dropping to the floor in dismay!

As you can see the ceiling height here sloped up & was too high, so MOTH built a frame & dropped it down & we now have 2 varying heights in the room. The yucky window went......... be replaced by a bank of clear glass bricks. I love being able to see all the big trees from our front garden through the glass & all that daylight is scrumptious.

Look away now if you are a fragile flower, as this is not a pretty picture!

A great improvement in the loo department! So here it is, albeit a brief post. I want to do a more thorough post on the project & will do that soon. MOTH has had many structural challenges along the way with this room & he reckons this project has been his renovation nemesis, but I think he's amazing for a 62 year old amateur!!

I go on 3 weeks vacation today & the first of our interstate Christmas guests has just arrived, so I need to say my goodbyes now until next year. I have had another year of blog love, thank you, thank you to everyone who's left comments or lurked, kept our spirits up & had a laugh with's been a pleasure beyond all measure. Merry Christmas from all of us at The Hedge & I'll be back in the New Year. xx


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Last Christmas our beautiful 'girls' down on the Tennis Court flowered early, so I was able to enjoy dozens of white Christmas lillies strewn artfully arranged throughout the house over the Festive season. Sadly, this year the freezing cold, miserable start to our Aussie summer has delayed their blooms & a couple of nights ago when we wandered down to check on them, the buds were still tightly shut. MOTH reckons they are at least 2 weeks away - cue deep, heaving sobs from moi! However, when MOTH stumbled in from work last night, he was carrying the most exquisite branch of stephanotis (Bridal Veil). 'Here Mills I knicked this from a customer's place I was working on today.' Oh always the romantic my MOTH! So I popped the blossoms into small water vials & tucked them into the stocking hanger on our grotty, smoke-stained mantle. I wish we had SmellaBlog, as the scent wafting from them this morning is nothing short of divine!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Flip Flip

MOTH bought a huge whole Ocean Trout on the weekend, & with his normal surgical precision style, filleted it out giving me 12 big plump scrumptious cutlets. Wanting to do something a little different with them last night, I gave this recipe from a very old issue of NZ House & Garden a whirl & it was a Winner! 5 Millie & MOTH stars.


250g. dry spaghetti pasta
Olive Oil
2 French shallots, finely diced (not Spring Onions)
2 cloved garlic, minced
5 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium red capsicum (Bell Pepper) julienned into strips
1 spring onion, finely sliced
2 pieces pf Ocean Trout poached or lightly pan fried, broken into chunky pieces (I'm sure you could substitute Atlantic Salmon for the Trout)
For the dressing:
really good quality olive oil & a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Cook pasta to directions, refresh under running cold water & set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in large, heavy non-stick frying pan & quickly cook down French shallots & garlic on medium until just soft.
  • Beat eggs lightly in a really large bowl. Add cool spaghetti, shallot & garlic mix & parmesan & mix well. Season to taste.
  • Throw some olive oil in the frying pan & pour in the spaghetti mixture. Cook over a medium heat until the base is crispy golden, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Grab a white serving platter, loosen the frittata around the edges with a spatula, get your MOTH or similar to flip the frittata onto the platter. Cheer when the whole thing comes out intact!
  • Chuck some more olive oil into the frying pan, heat up & carefully slide the frittata back into the pan to cook the other side until it's golden & crispy too. Remove from heat & do the whole sliding the thing back onto the serving platter & cheer again if successful!
  • Combine salad ingredients, whisk the olive oil & balsamic together, drizzle over salad & toss well.
  • Serve the salad piled on top of the frittata & then cut into wedges to serve.
  • Yummo!

Image: NZ H&G


Monday, December 20, 2010

The Finishing Line!

MOTH the Old Rower feels exactly like this today. We both worked day & night over the weekend in a huge last ditch effort finishing the Bathroom-From-Hell. We stopped briefly on Saturday night for a wonderful evening out at my Company's Christmas Party (just the 4 of us & it was brilliant!). The clock is ticking as the first of our cavalcade of Christmas guests arrives on Thursday. If it's the last thing I do this year, I want to post the completed pics before I head off on vacation. MOTH is most insistent that darling Jane get the first look at the entire room, as she's been with us from the start of this project......he reckons it will speed up her recovery no end! But I thought I'd give you a sneak peak of a couple of features, just to build up the momentum for the very last post of the year.

I put up with this for 2 years, grotty basin, no storage, not one power point - disgusting isn't it!!

Ooooooh it's gorgeous, I can't keep my hands from her beautiful curves!

The old shower rose over the bath had a perpetual case of the droops. We had to continually push the thing to an upright position as we were trying to shower. And as for that rotting timber window that let a chink of daylight into the room alternate Friday's at 11.25a.m. - be gone!

Now this beauty is so stable & upright it brings tears to my eyes & she has a gorgeous twin staring at her from the opposite end wall of the shower recess.

And the shower taps were atrocious, constantly falling off the wall whenever we tried to use them.

I'm loving this mixer, all shiny & ready for action. We've got 3 nights to finish things, the room is without a door as MOTH's taken it down & is painting it on trestle's in the garage. The cantilever bench's sides & drawers are still sitting on the floor in the Guest Room, but MOTH reckons that will be the last thing he does on Tuesday night. Wish us luck, as we lurch to the finish line in a totally exhausted state!!


Friday, December 17, 2010

For Jane

Darling erudite, so compassionate, so funny, so generous, so witty, so loyal, so beautiful. Violets for a sense of calm & stillness sweet girl. We hold you in our hearts.

Image: Little Augury


Thursday, December 16, 2010

God Save The Queen

Christmas Party # 2 of 9 is going to be held in this gorgeous room today. Although I work in an extremely competitive industry, each Christmas we forget all that stuff & about 12 of us leave our sharp knives at the door & get together for a long, long, long lunch. This year it's my turn to organize & host. So I've chosen one of my favourite pubs, The Queen's Head in North Adelaide. It has been met with universal approval, so I feel a very Festive session coming on.

MOTH & I have sat by this fire often & once we've secured those Egg chairs, no amount of bribery from other patrons will move us on.

And here she is looking down on us, Our Gracious Majesty - raise your glasses please to the year that was!

The Queen's Head is in a quiet side street in North Adelaide within batting distance from the world famous Adelaide Cricket Ground. It's the oldest pub in Adelaide, having served its first drink in 1838 (& no I wasn't there that day!!). While it's been given a very snazzy internal make-over in recent times, it still retains enormous heritage charm & street appeal. Adelaide still has little bluestone gems like this scattered around the city - & long may they continue to thrive & prosper I say.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Party Dress

MOTH the Grumpy Christmas Grinch reminded me last night I need to start thinking about a pretty new dress for Christmas Day lunch. The clock is ticking he said - he's right, so I'm onto it. I've had this gorgeous tear sheet image tucked away for years, & while I may be a little old for the puffed sleeves, Peter Pan collar & sash around the waist, these two cherubs look so sweet in their gorgeous party dresses!

Image: Hearst


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Start Your Party Engines!

I've requested the Safety Car today to lead me out of the Party Starting Grid as yes, it's that time of the year. Last year saw me having to drag that clunky cast around everywhere, so this year I'm putting on my highest heels & joining everyone on the dance floor unencumbered. My diary shows 9 functions in the next 10 days & I have no intention of missing any of them. However I don't finish work officially until Dec. 23rd, so of course I will not be allowing any of my Festive 'activities' to impinge on my work.....yep. How are you holding out, & more to the point, did you manage to survive the office Christmas party relatively unscathed? If not, do share!!

Image: BMW


Monday, December 13, 2010

Banjo Man

Today's the day I pay the iTunes store a visit to carefully select & download my 2010 Christmas Play List. Now as you can understand, MOTH the Grumpy Christmas Grinch cannot abide any form of Christmas music, so I can hardly wait to hear his truck pull into the driveway tonight. And when I hear his key in the door, I'll let my 2010 Christmas selection rip at top note!!! Strangely, this year he had one request, he wants me to include a banjo christmas song.....just to get his own back I reckon. So I'm off to find a track of the great Earl Scruggs playing Silent Night for my very own Banjo Man!!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Trial By Shopping

Date: Dec. 10th 2010
To: David Jones Department Store, Rundle Mall, Adelaide
From: Millie
Subject: Brace Yourself!

MOTH the Grumpy Christmas Grinch (GCG) informed me @ 0730 this morning as he was running out the door to work, that he will be 'visiting' your store tonight around 1900. The purpose of his 'visit' will be short raids on the following Depts.: Lingerie, Cosmetics, Books & if the Retail Assistant from Electrical is still on Stress Leave from his last visit, then he'll be able to dash in there unrecognized. I have included his photo for easy identification. I would advise that during his time in the store, your security team keep a close, but discreet distance. From past years experience, your staff will be safe for the first 15 mins., but around the 20 min. mark, things will start to get ugly.

You will know that things have escalated by loud exclaims of ' Geez Millie, I've just about had enough of this & I've only bought one present.', 'It's HOW much - that's bloody daylight robbery!' & 'I know I bought that for him last year, but I don't give a toss, he'll get another one & be grateful for it.'

However, there will be one last statement that will warn the Security Guards to ready themselves for action, the GCG will complain at the top of his voice 'I'm hungry!'. Once his empty stomach starts to override everything else, it's over & out for another year. Last year your Security team escorted him out of the store in a gentle but firm manner. This year I already detect a much shorter fuse on the GCG, so stronger action may be needed. You have my permission to use whatever force is needed to get him back to the car & out of the CBD without further incident.

Merry Christmas.

Image: Hollywood Vulture


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Grosgrain & Girls

MOTH emerged briefly from his miserable Christmas funk last night when I reminded him that very soon it will be his favourite night of the year (thanks Jac!). The night when he can combine 2 of his most loved chores - 'innovative' Chrissie wrapping & the 2010 Victoria's Secret Fashion show. If you missed his How-To tutorial from last year, do take a look here.

He's still waiting for the call to come from Martha - he reckons it will still happen, it's just that she's coming to terms with the fact that he's better than her. He remarked that the ideal time for him to make a guest appearance would be when we're in New York next May. Oh & wouldn't the taping of that show be a sell-out!!

Image 1: Jane Means

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Enjoy this adorable trio of gorgeousness while I try to keep up with a very busy, heavily overcommitted week. Plus the arrival of grumpy, grouchy MOTH the Christmas Grinch who made a huge appearance early this morning!! Flaying his arms around & muttering loudly "I hate Christmas, I hate Christmas. Do we have to have those decorations everywhere Mills, you know I hate Christmas!" I think I posted last year about putting him in suspended animation from about now until Dec. 26th, so hand me the knock-out drugs quickly!

Image: Sarah Wood

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Beautiful Weekend!

It was only 2 days, but our weekend away was fantastic! All your good wishes for the sun to shine worked, as it was 36C. (100F.) both days - so thank you all so much. It was the anniversary of our first date (18 years) & MOTH insisted we celebrate it at Marion Bay, a lovely little beach village about 200kms. from Adelaide.

He'd organized some fabulous accomodation & we enjoyed dinner both nights at the local Tavern. The chef Adam Sommariva is an absolute legend, he surfs during the day & cooks up a storm at night. His food is brilliant, totally worth falling off the diet wagon from a great height for.

We drove down the road a couple of kilometres into the Innes National Park to enjoy the spectacular beaches. This part of the coastline over on Yorke Penninsula is breathtaking & a really popular destination for surfies from around the country.

And as we started our trek down the stairs to the beach MOTH noticed this kangaroo & her adolescent joey giving us the once over in the sand dunes.

Isn't it spectacular, even my pitiful phone images look good! We had this beach all to ourselves the entire afternoon, & other than a very gusty wind & a few hundred thousand flies it was magic.

MOTH was champing at the bit to get out to sea to hang a line over. He did have a successful afternoon & came back happy & very tired. So back to reality today & a very busy week ahead.

Related Posts with Thumbnails