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Everything posted by akiko

  1. Foodie, I never saw this thread before today... WOW. How amazingly wonderful, even with the horror of the process. How incredibly amazingly wonderful. (I tried very hard, not to let the tears spill over at several parts of this thread. Its been quite a journey for you, and for all of us that you were so gracious to share it with).
  2. Does anyone know what is eating my lillies? I see ants crawling up and down them, are they a pest to lillies? I see no aphids (although I haven't looked TOO hard for them) and no red lily beetles... I think my orange tiger ones died an early death (just the blooms) because some unseen pest went at it and I don't want these to suffer the same fate.
  3. akiko


    Helena! paella has been on my "want to do" list for two weeks now. I finally got around to buying myself the pan and calasparra rice (recommended by Moro but not recommended by the woman who wrote the other spanish table book... what's her name? Is it Claudia?). And then it just got too hot here to think about standing over a hot pan and turning it now and then to make sure it gets even heat from two separate burners. How was the bomba rice?
  4. Mongo, I know this is probably not helpful. But are you sure 6 million bugs will come in? I don't know the reason behind this but the common practice in the UK is - no screens. Not on the window, not on the doors. No where. Yes, we get the random fly buzzing in and out and at first this bothered me... but I haven't even thought of screens for at least a few years now. Not since the first year that we moved here. In my parents' home in Chicago we probably needed screens on the windows facing the backyard (my father watered that lawn constantly and we would have had mosquitos ev
  5. Ahh, there is a large venetian mirror that is meant to go above a mirrored dressing table in our bedroom... only the wall that its meant to be hung on is again - drywall - plasterboard. I'm afraid it is so heavy it will come crashing down, demolishing wall, dressing table, and mirror all in one go. Can you hang heavy things on plasterboard? The mirror looks just great laying on the floor of the guest bedroom (which is where it has been for over a month now).
  6. I think builder described doing this process (drywalling over) to my husband to which my husband nodded like he understood perfectly what builder was saying. And then after builder left my husband said, "Did you understand any of that?" He didn't say you plasterboard over, he said something about "fixing over" which I'm sure is English English speak for exactly what you described!
  7. Builder confirmed, yes, we will tear down the wall if we try to take that painted over paper off... so I don't think we'll be trying but we've put the decision on that off for now because scaffolding goes up on the house tomorrow at which point the project of new roof and new floors starts simultaneously... this should be fun I think the only thing that will get me through is the excitement of coming home every evening to see how much hideous carpet they've pulled up and how much beautiful wood floor they've put down... That and to see our yellow framed windows get painted whit
  8. porkwah, that's what I think is going to happen but E (our builder) pooh poohed this notion to my husband. E is coming over on Sunday so I'll ask him again, I have no idea whether plasterboard and drywall are the same things... And I don't want it to happen, my husband and I are not DIY-ers. We think painting may be stretching us to the limits... any drywall we put up is likely to be crooked.
  9. Actually our builder just told us: A: when we redo the floors we're going to have to rip out all the skirting boards and then redo them for a seamless finish. So it makes more sense to paint after we put down the new floor. B: there shouldn't be a problem, get the steamer and pull that wallpaper off.. Easy for him to say, if we tear apart the plasterboard in the process, I'm sure he'll be happy to get more work He hasn't given us any reason not to trust him and he's been really lovely, so I think we'll have a go.
  10. Lunch and dinner times are fine. There are so many Americans in London - you'll never be the only US diners. But, I don't want to dine with other Americans. We want to eat when the Londoners eat! but some of us Londoners are Americans! The Woseley is in St James as is Langham's. Benares, The Square are both in Mayfair. But considering that you'll have your kids with you Langham's Brasserie might be the best bet.
  11. mmm, I think we might have to live with the lines in the walls and just paint over it...
  12. Has anyone ever removed wallpaper that has been painted over I don't want to do it if its that much trouble... but little things like being able to see the line where the wallpaper starts and ends is the kind of thing that drives my husband crazy. And we can see them, I don't know if painting over it is going to make those lines disappear? I'm pretty sure our walls are plasterboard and I've heard that there is no way to take painted over wallpaper off plasterboard and keep the plasterboard intact. I'm not up for redoing the walls too...
  13. I love ladybugs (ladybirds in English English speak) and I'll do whatever I can to attract them to the garden. I like them even more now that I know they eat those horrid little green aphids. The rosebush has survived all our abuse (at least for now), I see double buds coming out. I'm scared to move the daylillies now that they are just beginning to bud, plus that pink will definitely drop all its flowers, which would be a shame but if that tree comes... I might have no choice but to move that stuff in the prime of its flowering... its either now or then. We have some very hungr
  14. I have been very naughty. I've been planting things like mad without really planning things out in the garden. I simply bought the plants I love (after making sure the area I planted it in had the right amount of sunlight and soil) and rearranged what plants were already there to accommodate. And now I've decided I can't live without planting two small cherry trees - a weeping one and a winter flowering.... how many times can I dig up and move shrubs and lillies (lillies don't mind being transplanted do they?) and pinks? Those are the things currently inhabiting the space I intend for
  15. Great, I'm about to go home to taste a bit of the lemon thyme that had such pretty little flowers blooming on it last week in my garden
  16. I tried to be kind: Evening 1: Spray rose plant with mix of liquid detergent and water.... don latex gloves and pick up all snails I can find and toss them over brick wall at end of garden. Morning - pansies with even more holes, worried they will not recover from the damage. Aphids seem undeterred by detergent spray. Evening 2: Armed with Rose Clear and slug pellets, douse rose plant and sprinkle around pansies. Morning - the area around the pansies looks like a big snail slaughterhouse. There are a few still clinging to the pansies but are dead. Rose plant looks happy.
  17. Prescriptives is launching a custom blended concealer... similar to their line of custom blended foundations, I guess. I just got a promo announcement to try it at harrod's but they're advertising it as a worldwide exclusive so... maybe they're testing the market.
  18. I asked a makeup artist about undereye concealer that doesn't make you look like a racoon and she said to mix a good quality concealer (she said laura mercier camouflage but she only said it as an example) on the back of your hand with your foundation and then apply. The foundation (as long as you've already matched to your skin) will make sure that it doesn't come out too light but the concealer will still do its duty in being opaque enough to cover your dark circles. It makes a bit of sense so its worth a try.... but I can't vouch for it. (I use YSL secret camouflage in the color blended
  19. More annoyances with that rose plant, little tiny green bugs on the new leaves... I donned a pair of latex gloves and pulled each tiny thing off and squished it. Are these Aphids? Do I have to check those leaves every day or is there something else I can do about them? And my lovely little pansies are getting eaten by the billions of snails hiding in my garden..
  20. akiko


    I've heard not the most encouraging things.... although I remain a fan of E&O, I don't even know if Pengelley is still involved.
  21. Beautiful colour. I didn't realize they were so fleeting. My childhood memory of the Peonies in my father's garden aren't.... but just because they were only around for two weeks or so (how long do they last?) doesn't mean anything. The fragrance, the beauty, and the little ants that would crawl on them made an indelible impression. I have some cut ones blooming in a vase on my table, I bought them at the farmer's market this past weekend.
  22. Fly, that is gorgeous! It was too late for me to try and grow peonies this year, but definitely for next. My father loved his and they held pride of place in his garden... one of the few things that he planted that wasn't edible!
  23. DON'T buy versaladder... we just found out about several lawsuits against them for mechanical failure... one person died using it and there is cited 120 other injuries. We're now looking at something called little giant and gorilla ladder....
  24. Yes, actually we may have just last night! My worry about the thing not being far enough under the ground caused me to ask husband to carefully dig it up and plant it further down (I read something about making sure that the graft is under the ground (where the stems meet the lower part) and I think I could see part of that woody bulbous bit. In the process C managed to lop off the two remaining rosebuds and all the others dropped their petals. The bush is back in the ground now... but I deadheaded the whole thing to see if we couldn't get it to begin again.... It looks really lovely exa
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