I have just been up to the cottage to see how the builders are doing. They weren't there. Well, I tell a lie. The decorator was there. He gets the prize for being the first one to say "That's not in the spec. That'll probably cost you extra. It's a big job mind," when I asked about stripping the wooden beams that run along the ceiling of the sitting room. The other thing that was not there which I was expecting to see was the outside kitchen wall. When I rang my husband in rather a hurry to ask him whether he took it back down to London with him, he told me that the builders had been knocking a hole in the wall for a door and it sort of fell over. Something to do with the lime in the mortar. My husband is a trusting sort of chap. I asked: "Are you sure they weren't holding the plans upside down?" but he said "No", he didn't think so.
Before he did that "Mind it's a big job bit," the decorator had been stripping the walls of elderly paper. Over the breast of the blackened hearth, there was a picture of a boy drawn by his sister on the plaster. Their names proudly spelled out in wax crayon above the family portrait. I would have said she was about seven when she did it and that she was standing on a dining room chair to reach as high as she did. Her brother was an unfortunate child. He had orange scribbly hair and blue crosses for eyes and teeth. He looked happy though.
I once found a 'frieze' of Disney characters painted on the wall of a 'third bedroom' underneath some old wallpaper. I knew then how these archaeologists feel when they are uncovering a frieze from Roman times.
Although I don't think of guessing, when they see a patch of yellow, if it is Donald's beak, or part of Mickey Mouse...
I like the bit about the builder getting the 'scope creep' line in - got to see they are following good 'project management methodology' and getting all 'change requests' i.e. requests for more dosh, signed off by the 'project sponsor' [or in this case his 'authorised representative, as he appears to be AWOL in Londinium again...
I must say these charming tales of rural domesticity are quite compelling. I'd like to be rustified one day.My virtual friend Mr Newmania speaks highly of your goings on...I may link to this blog if you behave yourself. However, if you should ever tire of the northern gloom, feel free to join me in Darkest Istanbul. Mrs IT is a broad-minded woman. We could probably extract a book from the ensuing adventure.
I'm watching! Jack.
istanbultory - don't you mean, maybe, 'rusticated' ? 'Rust-ified' sounds like your joints seizing up ? Then again...
p.s. are you any relation of that other famous blogger, praguetory?
- my mother (a wise and wonderful woman) warned me never to trust a man wearing dungarees, especially if he has a paintbrush in his pocket...
Escape Plan No 1
Once you have a few additional mystery disappearances you can rent the cottage out as a Haunted Holiday Let and move back South (or at least to Jesmond)on the proceeds.
I `ve had that experience of finding time capsules behind the old wallpaper.Don`t you get an odd feeling of tempus fugiting away .
Builders are the pits aren`t they. Suppose firemen adopted their methods
" Oh dear oh dear ,we`re going to need a hose for this job ...well I think I`ve got one in the yard..."
I sent a link to your blog to one of my dearest friends. My friend is the most talented person of my acquaintance, who has gave up work in the media in London three years ago. He spends his time freezing in a leaky old cottage in wales producing marvellous scripts that have not been produced. I thought it would strike a chord with him.
My friend's scripts are genuinely wonderful - if I have one talent in my life it is that of recognising good writing - but he is finding it hard to break through. Can't get produced without an agent, can't get an agent without being produced. Try breaking out of that vicious circle.
He texted me back "I don't really see the point of blogs except as a form of therapy but I agree with you that one is very well written (and presumably therapeutic)."
I disagree with my oldest chum. I think that blogging is in the tradition of confessional poetry and is a new form that we have to accommodate. The problem is that most blogs are dire while yours is wonderful.
Don't stop now. Y'hear?
Mmmm, all very informative! *rubs chin*
Love the blog, but such things are too distracting for self employed mums such as me who really ought to be concentrating on work and not enjoying your blog so much that I then follow some of the links...and gosh it's now nearly lunchtime!!
Best wishes from a former childless London career professional now happily living an impoversihed single mother life in rural Devon
That's such a cool doscovery...
I remember leaving a similar "piece" under the new paper that went up in my parents bedroom many years ago, as dreams of who might discover it rushed thru my 9 year old head.
Did you take a photo?
re anon: i have a very nice agent, why don't you e-mail me about your friend.
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