Sunday summary: DIY Disasters, slate floors & ladybird rescues

Been a busy old week this week, packed full of lots of different houses, jobs and sights. The poor car needed some attention this week so we nipped it up to Blackburn to our fav mechanic and en route stopped for lunch at one of my old haunts, the Clog & Billycock. It’s been gastro-pub-ified with a stylish makeover which manages to bring it into the 21st century whilst not forgetting it’s 150yr history and the importance of local produce. Lots of dark wood and the lush slate floor you can see above. Chef Nigel Haworth’s tempting Northern menu meant it was hard to choose, but my Lancashire Hotpot was brilliant, stuffed full of tender lamb and  a side of gently vinegared red cabbage. Mr M’s burger was good but he was very jealous of mine… when will he learn just to let me choose his dish, I always end up with more than him in restaurants 😉

We got on with trying to find contributors for our new Channel 5 show and also a guest spot on Daybreak in the week before Easter. Today (Sunday) will find me filtering through emails of peoples’ disasters. The Manchester Evening News came round to take some snaps for a feature going in this Tuesday’s edition, with perfectly sunny Manchester spring weather to help us out on the shoot. I even got to wear my new boots #result

Lots of ladybird rescuing as the early warm Spring has brought them out in droves and most of them somehow seem to be in my bedroom. With a soft makeup brush & small box, I took them all outside and popped them on my already-sprouting-and-covered-in-aphids rose bushes where they immediately started the chow down. Bit sick really but strangely satisfying. If you like ladybirds.

On a visit out, I saw this very cleverly designed fencing and gate, chunky yet elegant and very well constructed. Looked brilliant at the front of its period terrace house.

As couple of doors down, we were helping out on a kitchen redesign where the purchasing client is trying to decide whether to knock down a wall between the centrally located dining room, in a Victorian terrace, and the small kitchen at the rear. Not quite so straightforward as it sounds as there would be three steel beams involved to what are effectively two rear supporting walls and one outrigger side wall, plus the purchase of large sliding doors to the garden, but doing so would increase the feeling of light and space immeasurably. That said, I pointed out that not doing so wouldn’t necessarily mean darkness & bad design as we came up with a solution giving a feeling on bringing the kitchen more into the dining space which would be approx £5k less costly. All of this went out of the window when the current tenant mentioned that the neighbours had opened up their space next door….. the look of rapturous kitchen envy on my client’s face as she stood in the neighbour’s house = wall coming down!

More kitchens followed as we paid a surprise visit to a friend’s new kitchen & bathroom showroom up in Lancashire. Unfortunately she wasn’t in, but her son, who we know well, was there minding the studio. 15 minutes later Alex & the showroom were on Twitter and had entered the wonderful world of social media / free advertising. She hasn’t called me yet and that was four days ago, I am slightly worried 😉

Fab Neff oven in the showroom where the door opens then slides into a special recessed compartment meaning no bruised shins / hips – I want one!

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