Friday, 19 August 2011

Nothing much to say

...or else far too much. I could babble on for hours about my busy and eventful days; I shall try to be restrained, or you will find yourselves going glassy-eyed with tedium.

I have had a number of very useful and interesting People in my house this week. People who will render the exposed stone fireplace (yes, I can hear you sucking your teeth in horror, but I feel that all that brown stone in front of me as I sit on my sofa is like living in a cave), who will do something sensible and regulation-compliant with the rat's nest of electrical cables and consumer boxes, who will sort the very rattly, whistling-draughty bathroom window, and who will make lovely linen-look blinds for my front windows so that passers-by can't look in at night through the dense old-lady net curtains and see me eating inappropriate meals (rice pudding, biscuits, wasabi peas. Not all together) at ridiculous hours in front of the telly.



One of the curtains has been pulled aside so that Tosca can sit on her blanket and look out of the window. Except that Lottie thinks it's her blanket, her window, her duty to be the Neighbourhood Watch cat.


Er, no, I haven't finished that unpacking and putting away yet.... Next week more People will call, to survey this fireplace and arrange the installation of a wood burning stove. And later still, builders will transform the very tatty utility into something crisp, clean, organised and functional without discoloured corrugated plastic sheeting for a roof.

Tomorrow the carpenter comes, to fit a narrow mantel shelf above that replacement black beam over the fireplace, so that I can have candles and the like on it at Christmas - you know how silly I get over my Christmas mantel - and my bathroom window will be sorted also; it rattles like an old train if you so much as sneeze in its vicinity. And a cat flap will be installed so that I don't have to go to bed at night leaving a back door and an inner window open just because Scooter has become nocturnal.


The very nice young electrician who called to survey the crime scene of cables today gave me a hair-raising account of how, if something went wrong while I was touching live wires, I could die instantly, electricity coursing freely through my limp and lifeless body, because of the deficiencies of the aged trip-switch-free box. I thought immediately in horror of how, even when dead, I could kill my dogs as they came to give me a sympathetic lick, and we agreed that a nice, modern, safe consumer unit would have to be installed at once.

I must say that I knew all this already, having rewired our old house ourselves many years ago, and having heard the same tale from the doom-laden man who came to inspect and pass the work we had done then. It is in the nature of electricians to tell tales of horror and instant death to anyone who will listen; they can't help themselves. Instead of an albatross, they wear a necklace of fuse wire round their necks, from which hangs a job sheet detailing the many ways to instant and fatal electrocution ("and she stepped out of the bath and set her wet foot on a floorboard in which there was an exposed nail that had been hammered through a cable, and the current shot up through the nail and .... dead. Instantly."

And then he took the definitely-dead double oven unit out of its housing, fixed the loose connection, heaved it all back into place, tested that it was now working properly (it was - hurrah!) and refused to take any money for it.


Tomorrow while the carpenter works, I shall do something with these plums that I picked from Lizzie's neighbour's tree; something that involves using my resurrected oven, I think.


But now I'm off to bed. We had such an early start today, as the sunrise was so lovely, luring us out before breakfast unwashed (well, me - Flossie never washes, the scruffy creature) and uncombed. Somehow, we have started keeping country hours. Millie came with us for part of the way, and was waiting to greet us on our return.









Oh, and those modern tiles in the porch, by the way.... think old slate instead. Or reclaimed stone; the builder isn't sure yet what's in the warehouse. If I'm lucky, in one large slab. And maybe a little double gate, to slow the surge of animals out of the house onto the road - I'm going to talk to this man, maker of beautiful things, very soon about that. (Look at his 'Prestigious Jobs' and marvel.)

Night night from the slow lane, with its occasional very exciting bursts of speed.

24 comments:

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

wood burning stove - brilliant. x

Noelle said...

I am in stitches! Rachael, you have delighted us once again! As to the young electrician, hang on to him (bake him some biscuits!). There are few labourers of his kind these days!
Hectic days indeed but think of that CHristmas mantle! And no more window rattling like an old train...Bliss indeed!
Blessings,

Gwen Buchanan said...

oh I love seeing you fit yourself and your new life all around you.. it will be just the way you want it soon.. You really do take the bull by the horns.. I like that.. my kind of woman!!! best of luck!!

the veg artist said...

The early morning walk sounds wonderful, as do all the plans you have. I was wondering about Tosca and her window spot. You'll just have to put another blanket so they can both look out!

judy in ky said...

I knew it wouldn't take long for you to begin setting things to right. You know what needs to be done and how to find a way to get it done! You always impress me.

Hazel said...

....or you will find yourselves going glassy-eyed with tedium...

Um - I'm not a spokesman for your followers at all, but as I can see it, no we won't!

:-)

HAZEL said...

I am really enjoying the glimpses of your house, surroundings and new life. Will you be able to keep a kettle on top of your new wood burning stove or will it be purely for heating? I regret putting in a new wood burning heater and not a cooking stove. Not that I would use it as the sole method of cooking...it is just that a dual purpose for burning wood in winter would have been a better choice.

Marie said...

I'm enjoying your move...

A Heron's View said...

Covering over the stone of your fireplace is not one of your best ideas. Why move into a cottage and then mask it to look like a modern house ?

Anna at the Doll House said...

Hello Rachel

Are you not missing Newcastle, even a little bit?

Anna

Rattling On said...

Our first house had very dodgy wiring, The boiler was lifting away from the wall and slamming back against it with an interesting persistence. Spaghetti junction was revealed and duly reduced to a couple of wires which solved the problem. Never did trust it again really!
Interesting to see how your heating bills will be reduced this winter. When we lived Down South we threw away all our jumpers and though it was positively tropical even when locals were moaning.

rogern said...

no teeth sucking from me on the rendering front, it will look gorgeous! Our plums have come really early this year and i just hope it's not a harbinger of an early autumn, i still hope for september and october sunshine.

Rose H (UK) said...

When we had our house re-wired I was speechless at some of the things that he found....
Wood burner - fantastic, rendering the stone? I'm afraid I'd just white wash the stone.
Looks like a perfect start to the day :o)
Still loads to do I know, but there's no hurry now that you're there!

Toffeeapple said...

You are rendering the fire-place in a material which is sympathetic to the original building so I can see no quarrel with doing it. I would want to not see the stones too.

You are getting into you stride aren't you? It will all look and be marvellous eventually, well done!

Lesley said...

I'm tired out just reading about it all!!o

jabblog said...

Lots of jobs! We had wood-burning stoves installed a few years ago - wonderful, they are:-) (Actually, they're multi-fuel.)Rendering will give a much cleaner, lighter look.
Did you know about the problems with wiring and windows? I suppose they must have been picked up in the survey.
It will look very special once you've put your own stamp on it.

elizabethm said...

As we dash about here in from the outside painting to the inside kitchen, via the overloaded plum tree and the unweeded leeks, it is a delight to know that you are whooshing about down there, putting to rights. It all sounds fab.

frayedattheedge said...

You are very honoured - Malcolm now reads your posts after me ( apart from mine, yours is the only blog he reads!) You sound so much more positive in this post - I think you have turned the corner in the traumas of moving!! Last year, our neighbour Jim the Farmer gave me a lot of plums,but he has moved (about 50 yards into a new build house) I wonder if I could ask the new owners if I could have some plums this year!!

Vanessa said...

My cat Malcolm thinks he is the Watch Cat also. He likes to sit in the kitchen window and meow at suspicious-looking pedestrians, birds, squirrels, cars - pretty much anything that moves. :)

Diane said...

Still loving reading your blog Rachel. I'm so glad for you that you are finally where you want to be.

Planet Penny said...

such beautiful views! I know what you mean about needing a mantle shelf. I moaned and moaned and got one in the end, but it needs to be twice as wide and twice as deep so I shall just have to keep moaning!

Mum said...

Just blog hopped here and have had a good read. Lovely blog and lovely pets. All the best in your new home.
Love from Mum
xx

Marcheline said...

1. I would leave the stone fireplace and put in a HUGE wooden mantelpiece worthy of an entire box of ornaments at Yuletide.

2. I need that door. Kyle Roberts, please come to New York immediately. And bring that prestigious door!

speccy said...

This looks wonderful- busy, yet contented and relaxed. I had a monstrous fireplace replaced by a woodburning stove (and mantel) just last week. I'd been living here with it for nearly 12 years... I'm a little in awe of your determination and energy :)

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