22 November 2015

Whew! Have we been busy? Is the Pope Catholic and/or do bears defecate in the woods? You betcha!

Phase One of Penelope’s Front Path is finished – having dug, hard-cored and whacked the paths, she has laid the pavers along both sides and, I have to confess, it looks grand. There is still the edging and pointing to do, hence we can really only count Phase One as having been completed.

However, as you might guess, there’s no rest for the weary whenever Ms Playchute is involved. This week she/we started on Penelope’s House Transformation Project 2 – a renovation and reorganisation of the master bedroom. We’ve had to decamp to the Guest Wing while our bedroom is systematically destroyed on the way to a marvellous alteration and improvement.

Honestly, leave her alone for ten minutes and this is the result!

We felt the layout and organisation of the room could be improved. As you enter the bedroom, you come in through a small, narrow corridor with built-in wardrobes/cupboards on your right and the bed against the chimney breast on the far side of the room. Pen wanted to remove the existing wardrobes, take down the partition wall creating the narrow corridor and put new wardrobes on the far wall with the chimney breast. So, we have created a mess of Biblical proportions tearing down wardrobes and walls, removing boxing around the chimney breast and pipework and we now have a much more open bedroom and one which feels considerably more spacious (even though there is only marginally more room). The electrician needs to move a couple of power points, we need to do a bit of repair to the walls and ceiling where we’ve torn down the plasterboard, the carpenter needs to build the new cupboards/wardrobes and then a bit of decoration and new carpet and, hey presto! A brand new bedroom. I reckon we should be back in by Easter.

I’m glad the carpenter is so understanding. He took his original measurements from the existing boxing around the chimney breast and was intending to fill the spaces on either side. As we tore down the boxing we discovered that there was significantly more room than we had imagined rendering his measurements and plans completely useless. Pen e-mailed him to give him the “bad” news but his response was, “Oh! How exciting!” so I guess he’s used to clients changing their ideas at the last possible moment.

I’m actually putting this together on Friday morning as we have an action-packed and busy weekend ahead, starting this afternoon when we are off to a wedding.

Helen and Inayat, our former tenants in Byfield, are getting married this afternoon. When we put the Byfield house on the market we obviously told them and promised to keep them in the loop concerning our progress. As we didn’t anticipate selling quickly (and indeed, we didn’t, of course), they were quite happy and content in the Annexe. As Spring rolled around and we began to have a bit more interest, they decided they should probably begin their search for somewhere new and eventually they found a house to rent in the charming village of . . . Moreton Pinkney! This was a short time before we actually sold and certainly some time before we found and decided to buy this place. So, it was somewhat ironic, I suppose, that we’ve all ended up in the same village – I just hope they don’t feel we’re stalking them! I guess not as they’ve kindly invited us to their wedding.

Tomorrow (Saturday) we have Annabelle for a play day while Nick and Lucy get down to the serious business of clearing their loft and garage. They are moving to more spacious accommodation in early December and, as we well know, decluttering a house full of, in their case, four years of muddle and chaos is a time-consuming nightmare. Nothing like our eighteen years of rubbish and clutter but still a pain in the backside to be sure.

I’m off to the States on Wednesday of next week to visit with my mother so next week’s edition may be early, late or, if you’re particularly lucky, it may not appear at all. Count your blessings!

Finally, no rant this week (although there is certainly no shortage of subjects about which to rant) but an assortment of “great” photo collections from the Guardian.  Firstly, Cities from the Air – leaning from helicopters, supported by a body harness, photographer Vincent Laforet took thousands of pictures of 10 cities to produce a stunning photo-portrait of the modern city by night.


Secondly, a collection of racist, sexist, rude and crude advertisements – “the worst of 20th century advertising.”


And finally, finally, a selection of screen shots illustrating the evolution of Windows, as the OS turns 30 – is it really that long ago?


Love to you all,



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