Saturday, 3 April 2010


We have undercoated, painted and wallpapered. Here are a few photos of the process and the results!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Moving Day

We thought we would never move into the house, but once we got notice that the sale had gone through, things moved very very quickly. On the day before St. Valentine's Day, it was time for serious packing...

Mary scrubs the kitchen in our old lofteen to within an inch of its life

Our life in boxes. The next-door neighbour said that this was the tidiest move that she had ever seen. It did not feel that way.

New living room, with Elsie the armchair, and the girliest TV ever (TM). Or, as a male friend said, 'It looks like a telly... but a lot smaller! Note makeshift sideboard solution: Mary's iBook box, which currently contains her sewing machine.

Our new bed, built by US! (Well, mostly by Mary, if truth be told.)

The over-industrial kitchen, rendered slightly more hospitable by (a) our wooden table (b) bunch of flowers.
Making a house a home, Le Creuset style.
Snowy morning, first weekend in the nesteen.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

What Helen and Mary did next

...after getting civilised, in traditional order, they bought a house! Or at least, they hoped to buy a house. While everyone was waiting for the lawyers to sort everything out, the kind owner let them into the house to take measurements. Here's a sneak peek of our new houseen, currently decorated in tasteful but oh so drab shades of grey, mushroom and white...

View of the garden from the back bedroom window. Note length and scope for planting trees, vegetables, duck houses et al. This faces west.

The back bedroom, photo courtesy of the estate agents. Not very big, but very bright. It will not stay tasteful white for long.
Back bedroom, window to the left, looking into the funny little study-extension-annexe behind it. This is teeny tiny, but has a south-facing window and is the perfect size for a desk and a couple of book cases.

The south-facing window in the little study annexe
Mary braves the ladder into the loft. Does she get a round of applause?
The loft. Unbeautiful, but note the following a) gallons of storage space b) gallons of insulation c) a proper hard floor and c) a light. I have never had this much storage in my life!

Front room, photo courtesy of the estate agent. A symphony of tasteful colours, soon to be frillified. I'd remembered this room as unbearably poky, but actually it's a decent size.
Front room, east-facing, looking towards the front door. There's not a hall per se, just a little entrance space. I'm happy to keep it; Mary is eager to knock it down and expand the space of the front room. We will see. But look at that gorgeous flooring!

(The glowing alien device is a fish tank; the vendor, apparently, counts a fish tank business among his many ventures.)

Front room, facing the chimney breast. Not sure about the metallic paint, but you can't say it's frumpy. Again, the kindly vendor is letting us keep the custom-made Venetian blinds.
Mary takes measurements ferociously in the kitchen. Note depressing shade of grey. Fear not, that's going.
Estate agent photo: the kitchen. It's not precisely the kitchen I would have chosen, but it's nice. And that weird pseudo-steel flooring is going. The vendor is selling us the fridge at a very reasonable price, because he is nice that way. And check out the GAS cooker. GAS!
More kitchen, courtesy of the estate agent.
Stairs up from back door in kitchen. Again, the grey will go, and probably the white too.

The deck. I never thought I wanted a deck, but I'm quite fond of this one. Check out the blue lights under the deck! It will be like picnicking in a boy racer! The kindly vendor is giving us the garden furniture.
Bliss on the deck

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Mary and Helen are civilised! We had an absolutely blissful day on the 8th of August. Our talented and generous friend Niall captured the day beautifully in photographs, and we'd love to share them with you here.

We've created a Flickr group called civilisation080808, and we would absolutely love it if those of you who have photos of the day could add them to the group there! If you are not on or don't like Flickr, it would be wonderful if you could mail us any particularly hilarious
or touching photos.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, good wishes, messages, generous presents, and for contributing to make our day so wonderful, whether in person or from afar.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Picnic, 9 August

Dear All

As some of you are aware, we're going to be staying in York the weekend after the ceremony and hope to see some of you. On Saturday, we're planning a picnic at Rowntree Park () to which anyone who is staying in York on Saturday is invited. The 10-day forecast is currently saying 20 degrees and intermittent sunshine, which sounds promising! We are aiming to be down at the park by about half-past twelve, armed with some provisions. We'll probably pick up a couple of bottles of wine, beer, soft drinks, bread and things to put on it, crisps, fruit and plastic cutlery, plates and cups. However, we aren't going to try and cater it fully, so if you would like to bring something edible or drinkable along as well, that would be very welcome.

We will have one or two blankets, but please do bring more if you have them. (We also aspire to coolbags/icepacks, but that's probably not possible.) This is all going to be very casual, so please feel free to just drop down to the park if you have time, chat to us for a bit, have a wander around and then wander off again. Do also feel free to bring frisbees, kites and so on.

Look forward to seeing you next week!

Good places to buy food:

Sainsburys, Foss Bank (map)

M&S, Parliament Street (map)

York Market, behind M&S, between Parliament Street and the Shambles
(There is also a great delicatessen just by the market, which wins many awards and does particularly fine pork pies! And I say that as someone who is generally disturbed and disgusted by pork pies...)

Betty's Tea Shop, St Helen's Square (map)

the Yorkshire Brewery Shop and Little Bettys, on Stonegate (map)

There is a also Cornish Pasty shop on Coney Street - but I have no idea whether or not this is dire! There are also off-licences on Church Street (Threshers, I think - I'm doing this from memory!) and a slightly nicer one on Picadilly. There are also various other convenience stores, supermarkets, bakers &c dotted around the centre of York, and car-accessible ones outside the city centre.

If there is anything particular you would like to find that I haven't thought of, ask me or one of the York residents for suggestions on Friday night!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Nimble Fingers

Those of you who have clicked through to my other blog will have noticed that at times I am quite a Knitting Fiend. I hadn't thought of knitting as a civilisation project, though, until I realised that July had come around, and I was still clutching my jacket around me and shivering as I went out. Could it be that... August mightn't be sultry and balmy after all? That I might actually need some warmth?

I cast on this morning. Three weeks to go. Knit, Helen, knit!

Want to take bets on whether I actually get finished in time?

Monday, 30 June 2008

Five weeks to go!

As it's now only five and half weeks away, there are a few things we thought we'd let you know.

Firstly, the ceremony starts at 5.00pm sharp at the Merchant Adventurers' Hall. The building is open to the public during the day and we only have access to it from 4.45pm onwards, so please do time your arrival between 4.30 and 4.45 - the ceremony starts at five promptly and there will be no reception beforehand. If you arrive very early, we suggest a drink in the Red Lion pub on Merchantgate, which is just around the corner from the Hall.

Please let us know if you have any particular dietary requirements so we can inform the caterers. All the food is going to be vegetarian.

Some of you have been asking about a wedding list, and we do have one at John Lewis: you can find us by entering either of our names and the date (08 August 2008). However, we do want to stress that we are incredibly touched that so many of you are able to be present on the day, and this really is the best and only present that we really want.

Don't forget that stilettos are not allowed in the Hall!