Pheweee! So how is Storm Barney working out for you?

I SAID HOW IS STORM BARNEY WORKING OUT FOR YOU?? *picks sticks and leaves and loose roof tiles out of hair*.

I spent an hour yesterday gaffer-taping the gaping holes in the shitty jerry-built French doors in Sam’s room (that go out to a little balcony) and stuffing up the keyhole with cotton wool because otherwise the wind whistles though and makes this totally unholy noise. I got all the gaps stuffed up but now it looks like a paranoid lunatic – the sort who might wear a tin foil hat to protect against rays from outer space – lives there.

Anyway what this storm and probably subsequent storms is going to do is blow all the dead leaves off the trees leaving us eventually with the stripped-bare look. Then it’s really properly winter.

And that means you can drag a hundredweight of eucalyptus into your house, which smells nice and lasts for ages – and then goes dry and looks almost identical to how it looked when it was fresh.

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This reminds me of a thing I’ve seen done and looks marvellous, but which I haven’t got round to doing myself, which is that you can preserve foliage like eucalyptus using a water and glycerin solution. There are full instructions here. Then you have something that’s not a silk imitation plant (though I’m not one of those people who feels snobby about faux foliage) but also requires zero upkeep.

I have seen this done most effectively with beech branches and the minute I get a break from storm-proofing my stupid rickety house, I’ll get right on it.