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12 juillet 2011 2 12 /07 /juillet /2011 13:43

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


You may remember that July was the month of the first phase of the Little White House's remodeling (out of 50-something phases...). Well, it's not going so well and I'm experiencing some problems.


Vous vous souvenez peut-être que juillet est le mois de lancement de la première phase de travaux dans ma petite maison. Tout ne se passe pas très bien.


I will tell you all about it... But I need a little time to know how to write about it without being too mean towards the previous owners (I wouldn't want the blog to be rated PG because of its language!!!).


Je vous en parlerai dès que j'aurai réussi à trouver des mots pas trop insultants pour les précédents propiétaires...


If you're wondering why I haven't written for a while and haven't commented on your blogs for a while, it's for the exact same reason. The Internet was down at home and also I had to pack and come live with my parents'... But now, I've found a way to get the Internet on my laptop at my parent's.


Du coup, j'ai trouvé refuge pour quelques temps chez mes parents.




Right before I left home, I was working on a tiny project that was huge for me as I had never redone a room before.


Mais juste avant de partir, je travaillais sur un petit projet qui était énorme pour moi qui suis débutante.


As I live in France, my toilets are not in the bathroom: they have their very own tiny room, that's actually the size of a closet, located opposite the bathroom in the upstair landing.




Given the personality of the previous owners, you can guess that it was very colourful. And I decided to change that. The walls are all bumpy because I believe they were done a long, long time ago.


Comme à leur habitude, les précédents propriétaires avaient fait des toilettes une pièce bien colorée...


It took a lot of sanding to get rid of the fish and of the orange waves that were rather thick.




Il a fallu pas mal poncer pour se débarrasser de la surépaisseur des nombreux poissons et des vagues... orange...



I also had to put something on the damages on the wall... I had never done that before, so I was really worried about it.




Il a aussi fallu enduire un peu, ce qui était une grande première pour moi...


And then I primed and painted...




The plinths, door and ceiling (or slanted ceiling) are white. The walls are a beige/greige colour that was called "Ivory #6", though I really think it has nothing to do with ivory.


Les plinthes, porte et plafond sont blancs et les murs sont beiges.


There was no way I could paint behind the toilets as I didn't know how to remove them (give me time, I'm just a beginner), so I applied some wallpaper, swearing quite a lot as it was really hard to work in such a small space...




Un peu de papier peint derrière les toilettes... Et pas mal de juron pour atteindre cet espace un peu étroit... Vous savez pourquoi Valérie Damidot ne refait jamais des toilettes dans son émission? Eh, ben, moi, je sais maintenant!


You may notice that because the junction between the two walls is so bumpy, it was very difficult to cut the paper straight... But that was my first try with real wallpaper.


There's still work to do in this tiny closet: I need a proper light fixture, a shelf above the toilet and something to hold the toilet paper... But that's the state the room is now, when I had to leave the house... More on that in a few days...


Il reste du boulot: une lampe digne de ce nom, une étagère, un dérouleur... Mais à ce moment-là, j'ai dû évacuer ma petite maison...





Magali, from her parents’ house



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28 juin 2011 2 28 /06 /juin /2011 21:03

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


I'm so very late for Sarah's party. It's a pity since I loved the idea of a "kitchen favourites" party and I took pictures as soon as she suggested it.

But then, well, life happened...


For the third summer in a row, I'm putting my whole house in boxes in order to be ready for the first phase of the remodeling that begins next week... My whole body aches from going up the stairs with all my stuff... Why do I own more books than the National Library? Sorry I can't be witty, can't probably write any good English, or even French, because I'm so tired...


Pour la troisième année consécutive, je mets ma maison en cartons, cette fois pour préparer les travaux de l'été.


My kitchen is an awful mess. Not "awfuler" than the rest of the house, just the average awful.

Here it is the day I "met" it.


Ma cuisine est une catastrophe. Voilà à quoi elle ressemblait quand je l'ai visitée.




Somehow, call me crazy, I could see potential in this room! But to allow this room to reveal its potential, I need time and money...


Moi, j'y voyais du potentiel...


So rather than being completely depressed by this room for a few years, I decided to add small beauty spots in my kitchen.


Plutôt que de déprimer, j'ai essayé d'arranger les choses par petites touches en attendant...




First, I put a little curtain under the sink... It doesn't hide the stains in the sink, but it's a little better, isn't it?

You can see I took that picture right after moving in as the table is still a mess... and the fish are still on the backsplash (they aren't anymore!)




My favourite open shelf, bought in an "attic-sale", to show off my white china... And yes, I shamelessly put ot on the awful built-in buffet the previous owners made.




Some of the many mugs I brought back from England... They just look so out of place in the weird yellow and orange kitchen!


Mes mugs ramenés au fur et à mesure de mes voyages en Angleterre. Ils ont juste l'air un peu perdu au milieu de la déco actuelle.




Little beauties I bought second hand.


Des petits trésors trouvés dans des brocantes.




Mint, ready for the evening herbal tea.




Some of my cooking books...


Ma "petite" collection de livres de cuisine.


So this how I tried to have a not-too-bad kitchen for a year. And I was really happy with it, all year long, because it would have been useless to complain about it all the time!


I will have to create other beauty spots for next year, as the remodel that's going to take place next week is only phase one... Meaning, still no proper kitchen!


Magali, from the Little White House


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19 juin 2011 7 19 /06 /juin /2011 20:47

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


Year One of blogging is actually over... On to year two!


La première année de blog s'achève. En route pour une deuxième année!


I thought it would be nice to share our thoughts about what we love about blogging.


Il est donc temps de faire un petit bilan.


So, I'll start, if you let me...


Je commence si vous le permettez...


And you'll just have to keep the list going on in your comments. Alright?




Vous pourrez ajouter vos propres idées à la liste dans les commentaires. D'accord?


1.  "pen-pals" (or "keyboard-pals") all over the world: I loved reading who had snow first in November or was able to celebrate Christmas on the beach. It does a lot to help me think outside my little corner of the world.


1. Correspondants (enfin, correspondantes, pour être exacte): j'aime rencontrer des gens du monde entier via le blog. Cela permet de ne pas s'enfermer sur sa propre façon de vivre.


2. Inspiration. All the make-overs I saw on your blogs and all the pictures of your home have given me so many ideas.




2. Inspiration. Vos magnifiques blogs me donnent tellement d'idées


3. Parties! which is quite weird as I don't actually love big parties in the real world (I'm more the quite-dinner-with-friends kind of girl). Parties are just great to see what others people are up to.


3. Parties! J'aime les regroupements organisés par les blogs pour connaître les nouveaux projets des bloggers.


4. Guts! I admire how you have the guts to transform things and how you give me the guts to try my hand at things, when I never hold a paintbrush before!




4. Le cran. J'admire le cran qu'il faut pour se lancer dans les transformations, surtout dans celles des meubles...


5. Sharing. For the first time in my life, I can "talk" to people about choosing the right paint colour and they don't think I'm completely mad (well, if you believe I am, just say so in the comments!). It's nice also to be able to talk attic-sales finds without the "what are you going to do with that awful things?" comment I usually get from my grand-mother!!! (still love my grandma, even if she doesn't always get me!)




5. Le partage. C'est vraiment chouette de pouvoir parler d'hésitations entre deux teintes de peinture qui sembleraient identiques aux gens autour de moi. J'aime aussi vous montrer mes trouvailles de brocantes qui déclenchent systématiquement la même réaction chez ma grand-mère: "mais qu'est-ce que tu vas faire de ces vieux trucs?"


6. Life. Blogs often begin as decoration blog and then let life in: I love reading about your everyday life in your homes.


6. La vie. La plupart des blogs que je lis démarrent comme des blogs de décoration à proprement parler, puis laissent la vie quotidienne y pénétrer: ces moments de vie rendent la décoration plus réelle.





So what should be number seven according to you?



Magali, from the Little White House



PS. Pictures are just me having fun with windows I met while wandering around my beautiful country...


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13 juin 2011 1 13 /06 /juin /2011 20:57

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,



The Little White House is about to get its first phase of remodeling in less than a month and I'm both excited and worried.

I already told you about my hesitations with the new floor and my hesitations about the opening I wanted between the kitchen and the dining-room. Those are almost settled, but I won't tell you anything before it's done.


La prochaine transformation de la Petite maison, c'est ce plafond.




So do you think my mind is finally resting? No way! Here's my new problem. The living-room ceiling. Can you imagine anything less cotage-y than that? I hope you didn't miss how perfectly it's been painted!!! I'm wondering if they tried holding the brush with their teeth... There must be an explanation for that mess!


It's actually a fake ceiling hiding the beams that show in the kitchen and in the dining-room.


C'est en fait un faux plafond qui cache les poutres visibles dans la cuisine et la salle-à-manger.





So what am I going to do with those beams in the living-room, once the fake ceiling is gone?


Que faire de ces poutres quand le faux plafond aura sauté?


country cottage LR hth


Dark beams?


barn-style-living-room2 hth


Raw wood?


library1 hth


A mix of raw wood and white?

I love the bookshelves covering a whole wall.


Paula Grace Designs


All white?


Lately, my mind is rather set on white as I love how it looks in the dining-room, it's actually the only thing I don't hate in the dining-room! Also, it has a beachy feel, that could go well in a house located a few minutes from the sea.


Mon cerveau est plutôt bloqué sur le blanc pour l'instant. Et vous, qu'en pensez-vous?


What would you do?






Magali, from The Little White House




PS: All inspiration pictures are from the site House to Home, except for the last one, found on Paula Grace Designs.


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9 juin 2011 4 09 /06 /juin /2011 17:13

Hi everyone!


Bonjour à tous!



I'm busy as a bee and so I'm more than a little late with blogging, both in writing and reading: about a hundred of your wonderful posts are impatiently waiting to be read in my mailbox!



Je suis un peu débordée et je ne prends pas le temps le soir d'écrire mon petit article, ni malheureusement, de lire tous les articles que je reçois dans ma boîte mail... Mais je vais me rattraper!!




But it's the end of the school year. So staff meetings are compulsory, even if you're just a substitute visiting for a few weeks. Do I need to tell you how boring it is when you're only here for the company and can't give your opinion as you barely know the school?


C'est la fin de l'année et les conseils de classe et les réunions se multiplient... Même si je ne suis que la remplaçante qui ne fait que passer dans le collège!




Also, my dance school is preparing for the end of the year show, which means lots of rehearsals... I agreed in September to be "Alice" as I had been told I would just be on stage so that the different routines performed by the children would seemed to be linked (they all do something that evokes Wonderland)... But now it means I have to be present for all the different groups' reheasals!!! Who am I kidding? I love every moment of it, but I can't deny it's time consuming!!! The laundry waiting to be dealt with in the bathroom is about the size of Mount Everest!


De plus, comme chaque année à cette époque, les répétitions pour le spectacle de danse se multiplient. Conséquence immédiate: ma pile de linge sale est en passe de dépasser le Mont Everest... Je vais peut-être rentrer dans le livre des records!


Last week, a dear friend visited and we managed to go hiking in some wonderful places in between rehearsals. The weather was perfect. And can you believe the colour of the sea? Does it look like it's in France? I thought I was on a Carribean island, at least.


La semaine dernière, une amie est venue me rendre visite et l'on a réussi à glisser quelques petites ballades entre deux répétitions! Non, mais vous avez vu la couleur de la mer? Juste à quelques minutes de la maison! Je sais, j'ai tellement de chance.





I would like to thank my friend in this post as she's such a sweetie, always smiling... Even if I wasn't always in the best of health during her stay! Thanks, Delphine, for being who you are!




We spent a lot of time admiring wondeful houses.




Seeing all these houses actually gave me new energy for the remodel that's going to take place in July at the Little White House: choosing tiles, doors and switches is like going to Wonderland - a mix of dream and nightmare!







Magali, from the Little White House



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25 mai 2011 3 25 /05 /mai /2011 16:53

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


So I'm pretty sure you're wondering where I'm going with this title. Won't tell you, sorry... Except if you read till the end!


I began flea-marketing / yard-saling / brocanting (what do you mean it's not in your dictionary?) again on Sunday mornings as we're blessed with a nice weather here (and my thoughts go to all of you across the ocean that aren't as lucky).


J'ai repris mes chasses dans les brocantes les dimanches matins, encouragée par le temps magnifique dont nous bénéficions.




Last Sunday, I went to three different "brocantes" (really we call it "attic sales" around here), but wasn't very lucky. Still, it's not always about buying, it's a lot about visiting the village where it takes place, too.


Dimanche dernier n'a pas été très fructueux, malheureusment.


I mean, when you park your car and go out to a beautiful sea view or park your car so close to such a nice church, you can't complain, really.




Sorry about all those cars in front of the church, no one volunteered to move their car for me to get a better picture... and I can't blame them as it took me ten minutes to move my own car after everyone arrived later than me and parked all around my car! So here's where I confess I'm not the best driver of the world!


Mais comment se plaindre quand brocanter permet aussi d'admirer une belle vue sur mer, de se garer devant une adorable petite église ou de rêver devant une chaumière digne de Blanche-Neige.




Don't you believe Snow White lives here?


I did find something that day, but it's a gift for my mum, so no way I'm showing it before Mother's Day (which is only next Sunday, here!)




And I also found a nice egg coddler: the guy selling it only asked for 2 € when all those I checked on "Le Bon Coin" on the Internet were at 20 €.


J'ai tout de même trouvé un "coquetier anglais" (meilleure traduction qui me vient en tête, mais ce n'est pas un coquetier vraiment) pour 2€ alors que le moins cher trouvé sur Le Bon Coin est en ce moment à 20€!




J'ai testé le lendemain soir une petite recette... Cela ressemble, je crois, à ce qu'on appelle les "oeufs cocotte" en français.


The next evening I tried to make my very first coddled egg and it was delicious... And yes, my dinner looked like a breakfast... That's when you need to play that video of Brittany's most intelligent one-liners... The breakfast one is at the beginning.






If you're not a gleek, you can just skip the video and tell me in the comment I'm insane and you didn't understand a thing!





By the way, I think I have a new addiction: egg coddlers! They are just so cute!


Et voilà, une nouvelle collection vient peut-être de commencer, il va vraiment falloir que je conçoive une cuisine avec beaucoup d'étagères...

Note perso: Maman, si tu en vois...



Magali, from the Little White House


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21 mai 2011 6 21 /05 /mai /2011 14:47

Dear readers,


Chers Lecteurs,


I've been moving a lot lately and the Little White House, as tiny as it is, is the biggest place I've ever lived in, which does mean a lot of furniture shortage and a lot of light fixture shortage.


La Petite Maison, pour petite qu'elle est, est la plus grande dans laquelle j'ai vécu. Du coup, elle manque de meuble, et surtout il y a un sérieux déficit en lampe.




Here's the current very chic light bulb in the dining-room, or when shabby goes too shabby! I've always dreamed to have a nice chandelier over my table. It was somehow impossible in my previous home as the light was in the middle of the main room, whereas the table was off-centered.


J'ai donc un design très sobre d'ampoules qui pendent dans toutes les pièces.


I did have a nice chandelier, though, but removers lost it. How can you loose a chandelier? I still wonder, but after sending them countless letters, I've understood, I just didn't have a chandelier anymore (hence, the lightb bulb issue!).


J'ai toujours rêvé d'avoir un beau chandelier au dessus de ma table. Seulement, celui que je possédais a été perdu au cours d'un des déménagements.


Last Christmas break, I found a chandelier in my grandmother's attic (she didn't even remember it was there). It was the perfect size: only three lights, so not too big for my very small dining-room.


A Noël dernier, j'en ai trouvé un dans le grenier de ma grand-mère. Il avait la taille idéale à mon goût: trois ampoules, suffisamment petit pour ne pas écraser ma toute petite pièce.




Here it is, all mummyfied by my grandfather ! I had to show you how well he took care of it, as it is kind of his trademark.


Je vous le montre tout momifié par mon grand-père, car c'était sa spécialité de bien conserver les affaires!




As you can see, it's a shiny brass.


Le petit problème, c'est son côté bien doré, qui ne m'enchante pas beaucoup.


So I was torn between really wanting to have a souvenir of grandfather hanging in my dining-room (he was an electrician and this chandelier is probably one he kept from his shop before selling it when it was time for him to retire) and not really wanting a shiny thing above my table.




Then I remembered reading lots of posts on how people had painted their chandelier. I didn't know if I would be able to do it, but nearly everyone I asked questions to in the comments were kind enough to answer me.


The key seemed to use spray paint. So off I went in my little car to my favourite Leroy Merlin (DIY store) and I checked the spray paint section. But there was nothing solvant free! There was no way I could buy that.


Sur les blogs, tout le monde recommande la peinture en spray pour les chandeliers. Mais la peinture en spray est vraiment pleine de solvants et j'ai donc renoncé à en acheter.




So I decided to go the hard and traditional way, with the old paint brush and solvant-free paint.


I didn't want to ruin a family heirloom though. So I tried my hand on a little wall light that was in my parents' garage.


J'avais quand même un peu peur de ruiner le pauvre chandelier en y allant avec mon pot de peinture et mon pinceau. J'ai donc décidé de faire un essai sur une petite applique dénichée dans le garage de mes parents.




Granted, it was a work of pateince to paint the little details. But it was worth it!


Cela m'a sûrement demandé plus de patience pour faire les petits détails au pinceau, mais je trouve que cela valait le coup!




The shade is actually straight, even if it doesn't seem so on the pictures! It's just that I needed to hang it somewhere for the pictures, and the only place I could find was that nail I have in the bathroom and it's a little close to the roof!




I think it went OK. So, next summer, I will paint the chandelier. Wish me luck! And, if you have any advice, I'm all ears!


Me voilà donc prête à affronter le chandelier cet été. Je suis preneuse de tous vos bons conseils!



Magali, from the Little White House




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17 mai 2011 2 17 /05 /mai /2011 19:30

Hi lovely readers!



First, I'm sorry if there were any spelling mistakes in the last post (my mom spotted a few in the French part): Shadow told me it was sometimes difficult to reach the right key with his paws!


Tout d'abord, je présente toutes mes excuses pour les éventuelles coquilles du dernier article (merci, maman!): Shadow m'a confié qu'il est parfois difficile de taper avec ses papattes!




News about the infamous JK (aka Japanese Knotweed): it's getting a little tired, meaning it's still growing, but a tiny wee bit slower! What's quite unfair is that meanwhile I'm completely exhausted. Tonight somebody told me that JK hated buttermilk, so I'm gonna try, you never know!




Des nouvelles de ma fameuse RJ (Renouée du Japon): elle se fatigue très légèrement pendant que je m'épuise, ce que je trouve injuste, mais plutôt encourageant. On m'a parlé du lait ribot pour la combattre. Quelqu'un a-t-il essayé?




I was thinking that a little time for myself wouldn't hurt when I got the next assignement for Beach Cottage Saturday Club: soaking in a bath. Perfect! According to me, bath is an art. Maybe it should be taught at school, I could totally teach that. By the way, this mission does explain the weird pictures above!




Juste comme je pensais que prendre un peu de temps pour moi serait bon pour le moral, j'ai reçu dans ma boîte mail les consignes du weekend pour le Club du site "A Beach Cottage" (explications dans cet article). Mission: se prélasser dans un bain. Super!




Side note: please ignore anything decor-related as the bathroom is as it was made by previous owner!


I chose to have a see-weed bath (just to keep the weed theme, you know). It gives the water a really weird color, but it's heaven! And I added some candles, as requested. The "Spa" one is a gift from my mom. And I poured myself a drink. What are you betting it was? White wine? Champagne? Sorry to disappoint you, it was elderberry cordial. Less glamourous maybe, but also less expensive and safer as I'm not sure I can get out of the bathtub if I drink alcohol.




J'ai choisi un bain aux algues. Cela donne une couleur affreuse à l'eau, mais c'est extrêmement détendant... J'ai allumé quelques bougies, la seule chic étant un cadeau de ma maman. Et je me suis versé un verre de... pétillant de sureau. Bon, d'accord, ça manque de glamour, mais au moins, je sors du bain sans être pompette!




Do you know I'm always reminded of  "Anne of Green Gables" when I pour myself cordial? There's a chapter in the first book where she gets her best friend drunk offering her what she thinks is cordial and is actually alcohol!




So here's where I didn't do the assignement right: the book is something I'm reading for my pupils and not really for me. But working in a bath, things could be worse, huh?




Bon, d'accord, j'ai un peu travaillé dans le bain en lisant un livre pour ma bibliothèque de classe. Mais, travailler dans un bain, ce n'est quand même pas le bagne!


A last glimpse of the window that is directly above the bathtub.




What do you do when you need to relax?



Magali, from The Little White House




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15 mai 2011 7 15 /05 /mai /2011 17:25






Mistress is just way to busy and tired these days to keep her blog updated, so I thought I would give her a paw and tell you a bit what's been going on at the Little White House. Meanwhile, if you don't want to read, you can always play a game: can you spot me in all the pictures?



And, yes, she had planted flowers there, but for some reason, they are not growing well!


Maîtresse est beaucoup trop occupée et fatiguée ces derniers temps pour tenir à jour son blog, alors je me suis dis que j'allais lui prêter patte forte et vous donner des nouvelles de la Petite Maison Blanche. Voyez-vous comme je suis beau sur ces photos?



First, Mistress is tired because of that endless war she's fighting against Japanese knotweed... But I'm helping by peeing in the spot where it's growing! A gardener came - and it scared me to death as I didn't know him - but apparently he wasn't of much help as, to my relief, he hasn't come back!




D'abord, des nouvelles du jardin... Maîtresse s'épuise dans sa guerre menée contre la renouée, mais j'aide comme je peux en faisant mes besoins à l'endroit infesté. Un jardinier est venu à la maison - j'ai eu la peur de ma vie, je n'aime pas trop les inconnus - mais il n'est pas revenu, ça ne doit pas être bon signe!


Also, Mistress has a new job: that I know because she's kind of in a hurry in the morning and spends more time in the bathroom. On the bright side, the new school isn't far from the Little White House, so she sometimes come back at lunch time, and I think that's prettty cool, since it allows me to go in the garden when it's sunny.




Ensuite, Maîtresse a un nouveau remplacement: je le sais car elle est toujours pressée le matin et passe du temps à se pomponner dans la salle-de-bain. Ce qui est bien, c'est que c'est tellement près de la Petite Maison qu'elle revient parfois à midi, comme ça je peux profiter du jardin!




Of course, I stay in when she's working. She says it's in order to save me from the neighbours' dogs. But I bet it's because she wants me to keep an eye on the house!



Bien sûr, je reste enfermé dans la maison quand elle part travailler. Elle dit que c'est pour me protéger des chiens du voisin. Mais, moi, je sais que c'est parce qu'elle veut que je garde un oeil sur la maison!




Today it took all my might to wake her up. Lucky for me, I can be pretty convincing! But then she left the house right after beakfast and came back a few hours later her arms full of junk: I really don't know what she's going to do with that, but she looked really happy. I'm sure she'll tell you all about it later.




Aujourd'hui, il m'a fallu beaucoup de volonté pour la réveiller. Heureusement, je sais me montrer très persuasif! Mais elle a quitté la maison dès le petit déjeuner avalé. Elle est revenue quelques heures plus tard, les bras chargés de vieux trucs. Je ne vois pas ce qu'elle va en faire, mais bon, elle avait l'air content!


She's been yelling "don't come here, I'm painting" a few times lately, so chances are she'll have a project to show you in a little while...


wonky bush

Yes! I'm on that picture! Can't you see me?


Elle m'a aussi crié plusieurs fois "Ne viens pas là, je peins", donc, il y a des chances qu'elle vous montre un nouveau projet dans un moment...



Shadow in bush 2


Also, her next project is to transform the wood boards that are on the patio into a box to collect rain water. Isn't she crazy? Wait!!!! Why am I not on this picture?




Enfin, sa dernière folie est de tenter de transformer l'amas de planches en bois entreposées sur la terrasse en une boîte pour récolter l'eau de pluie. Elle va jamais y arriver! Eh, stop! Pourquoi ne suis-je pas sur cette photo? C'est scandaleux!




Sorry, I have to go hunt some mice/birds/butterflies/earthworms or Bastet only knows what!



Désolé, je dois vous laisser pour partir chasser des souris/oiseaux/papillons/vers de terre ou Bastet sait quoi encore!





Shadow, from the Little White House


Shadow in bush 3


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3 mai 2011 2 03 /05 /mai /2011 21:02

Hello friends!



Lately, I haven't been bloging as much and I haven't been reading your blogs as regularly as I used to... There's a reason. The Little White House is under siege and it takes so much of my time and energy to try to save it. So here's our enemy:




Dernièrement, la Petite Maison Blanche doit faire face à un envahisseur corriace, la renouée du Japon est venue du champ d'à côté et a profité des travaux dans mon jardin pour le coloniser.


It's called Japanese Knotweed and it's colonising the garden for an unknown reason: it arrived from the field behind my garden. It could have been brought by the tires of an engine or a bird even as a tiny fragment is enough to  begin a colony! It's nearly impossible to eradicate it.  I tried to get rid of the most of it, with the desperate hope that it will weaken the plant.


Il est pratiquement impossible de s'en débarrasser. J'ai essayé d'arracher tout ce qui pousse dans mon jardin et dans le champ à côté dans l'espoir, peut-être vain, de l'affaiblir.




The above picture is what was taken from my garden and the field yesterday.


But already this morning it was growing back.


Mais cela repousse chaque jour.




Next week, I will meet a gardener that know a little about that b*** (the scientific name of the plant is really close to the word "b***" in French, so you can guess what nickname I gave it! - that or "Alien"): most gardeners called just don't know the first thing about it, so I really don't see how they can help me. If I'm going to spend a fortune, I want it to be efficient.


Je dois rencontrer la semaine prochaine un jardinier qui sait ce que c'est. J'espère qu'il aura des idées et des conseils, au moins pour la contenir pour qu'elle ne gangèrne pas le jardin.



So this put on hold my herb garden project, though it had begun well (I think):






Cela a donc mis à l'arrêt mon jardin de simples qui avait pourtant bien commencé.





Update: a few days later...


I won't deny it, I cried. It might seem stupid, but I've dreamed of having a garden for thirty years. I had plans for that garden and sudenly all is threatened by a stupid plant. Now, I know, it's not the worth thing that could happen in life and I try to put everything in perspective... I won't be able to do what I wanted, but now, I'm back to my usual self - a fighter. Ideas are springing in my tiny brain and maybe, just maybe, this will just be a new challenge on how to organise the garden differently from my first plan... I'll tell you about my ideas as soon as they are less blurry.




Quelques jours plus tard...

Je l'avoue, j'ai pleuré. Cela peut paraître ridicule, mais j'avais tellement rêvé de ce jardin, que l'idée de le "perdre" à cause d'une plante qui peut tout envahir m'a assomée. Oui, oui, je sais, il y a bien pire dans la vie et je tente de remettre les choses à leur juste place. Aussi, des idées commencent à germer dans ma tête sur des aménagements possibles tenant compte de la renouée. Peut-être est-ce finalement juste un défi à relever, et personne n'aime relever les défis autant que moi!




I would like to say a big THANK YOU to my parents who have just been amazing these last few days, coming to help me, answering my 2-3 phone calls a day when I need to share my ideas and not making fun of me when I cried when they helped me put some old linoleum on that part of the garden to try to slow down the plant's progression.


Un grand MERCI à mes parents pour leur soutien de tous les instants ces derniers jours. Je ne sais même pas comment ils ne me raccrochent pas au nez quand je les appelle trois fois par jour pour leur parler de mes nouvelles idées...




Magali, from the Little White House



If you've had Japanese Knotweed in your garden and managed to get rid of it or at least control it, please, I'm all ears (or rather all eyes!)... No desperate message, please!!!

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  • I've been looking for a house for some time now... And I think I found it! The thing is it needs a lot of work to be transformed from a house to "my" home. I've been looking for ideas on everybody's blogs, so i thought I could begin one of my own...

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