IT’S always nice when friends come to visit, but it’s quite silly of me not to take photos of them! Mark comes by almost every week, and last week we welcomed Collette over for a couple of hours so she could see the house. She only had a few days here and I think we spent so much of the afternoon talking that I forgot to grab a pic with her in the house. All I have to show for it is the chicken rice and Vietnamese rice paper rolls I made us for lunch!

It was my first time making these so I was pretty happy with the end result:

Thankfully, we had quite a bit to show Collette so her trek on the trains was a little more worthwhile. This is how our living room looks today:

Brendan and I spent a frustrating weeknight feeding the speaker wires down from the ceiling, but the outcome is brilliant, to say the least. We had almost forgotten how good it is to watch movies is full surround sound. But if I had to pick one thing, I’d say the picture rail is my favourite part of the living room; it was the whole reason we went with such a dramatic feature wall in the first place. We put them up two weeks ago, but not before some crazy balancing feats with a laser level:

Here’s the entire rail running the length of the entry hallway:

The pictures hang from what is essentially fishing line:

You can hang pretty large items off them — each wire takes 5kg of weight. This artwork, placed opposite the front door, is 1200 x 850mm:

The picture rail isn’t the only thing we have hung up. Although it seemed impossible at the time, we have managed to put in the blasted curtains over the feature window in the master bedroom, tying the room together more completely:

Notice that we have also been putting up these cheap light fixtures with paper shades for the time being. We absolutely despise those conical light shades the house came with and we’re taking the time to replace them in areas we frequent. I am yet to complete the cutting in of the first guest room so that Brendan can paint it but it does have a light shade — I made sure I had cut in all the walls for the carpet to come in but haven’t complete the cornice and wardrobe as yet:

The second guestroom is also complete (I should really move that other pendant light here). We haven’t been bothered to put the bed up yet because nobody is coming anytime soon but I’ve recently received requests for a bed come Christmas time (can’t wait to see you, Caro!):

Aside from the house, we’ve had a few new recent additions as well. I’ve already mentioned the new puppy Shadow, who is growing up faster than you can imagine. She had a recent injury that had the vets suggesting euthanasia, but she pulled through and is still with us, albeit a little skinnier than before:

Brendan has also bought a new workhorse, a 2006 4.0 litre V6 Ford Falcon RTV ute so he can now properly kick off his contracting business:

The City of Wanneroo, our local council, also came along to give us a free tree. It’s a bottle brush, but the young bugger has got a long way to go!

And finally, I leave you with an update on the railway extension progress behind the house. Day after day, all they seem to be doing is piling more and more sand and roadbase behind the fence and we have gone nowhere with trying to make sense of it all:

I’m trying to post updates more frequently but we’re finding ourselves busier than ever, especially with our news jobs and the house. I am now a full-time reporter for The Sunday Times which means I work late on some nights, and Brendan’s contracting also demands more of his time. Between the new workloads and the house, I’ll try to find a little pockets of time more often to hopefully keep this on track for a long time to come.

Please keep your comments coming as it makes us feel like doing this is worth all the effort, even though it does serve as a handy record of how far we’ve come since we decided to purchase our own home. 😀