A time came, probably in the 1930s, when the Berry family must have declared the original fireplace 'so last century' and replaced it with something significantly less twiddly and more trendy. Another eighty years on and now no longer fashionable or original, we decide that it may be time for it to have another face-lift.Read More
As one work of art leaves us for a while, we welcomed a hugely exciting and almost unbelievable new arrival this week. If having the mural restored was a long-term hope, acquiring another piece of Edgar Wood furniture was a complete pipe dream.Read More
For us, Christmas is a time for hunkering down. We're not generally big on extravagant Christmas rituals, content just to enjoy some quality time together and to touch base with family and friends. Our sausage and mash Christmas dinner a couple of years ago attracted both looks of deep pity from some people we know and cheers from others wearily tethered to family and societal pressures to produce a perfectly roasted turkey with 20 different veg. With the house being so topsy turvy and half-dressed, it doesn't seem right to lavish a temporary tree with decorations this year, but an open fire...well that is high up our Christmas list.Read More
Modular 150kw-plus heating systems aren't exactly the Mastermind specialist subject of choice for either of us, but it's amazing what you can learn with enough Googling, conversations with heating engineers, and the weight of making an expensive 30 year investment on your shoulders......Read More
We're in the midst of high season for visitors at the moment, with our calendar chock-full of pop-ins and stays by family and friends right into September.....so, time to take a bit of a summer break from the blog.
But before I clock off, and shoe-horning in between guest bedroom valeting and cake baking, I must share some pics from our recent 'mini exchange' weekend with the Edgar Wood Society in Middleton.....Read More
Turning our attentions to some of the other pathways, we can see that not only is there more tarmac to lift, but our borders of beautiful fulsome greenery have encroached well beyond their allotted boundaries. Were it not for the fact that they're growing over the paths, I'd tend to leave them - I love the scale of the more established trees and shrubs we have here. What's more, haircuts really aren't my thing. Dunc's hedge-trimming hand, however, has been itching for some time now, and as the last of the rhododendrons fade, so does my resolve to allow Mother Nature free reign.Read More
The rotting mattress and leatherette bedhead that someone jettisoned over the garden wall are definitely skip material, as are the awkwardly tall and surprisingly heavy clothes line poles Dunc man-handled out of the ground. Otherwise, to qualify for precious skip space candidates have to be 1) tricky to dispose of by other means or 2) conveniently fit into the pesky nooks and crannies left between the 'proper' skip items.Read More
Today I'm popping up to the post office with treasure - a copy of Deb's new stained glass design to send for our conservation officer's approval. I'd write about the amount of thought and care that has gone into it, but it feels like tempting fate. All I'll say for now is that we ABSOLUTELY love it.Read More
Whilst the glorious bluebell season continues and new exciting treasures such as apple and rhododendron blossom enter stage-left, the rain interrupts work in the garden. However, there's plenty of natural inspiration to be found in the house.Read More
I have in mind which of the myriad outdoor jobs to get stuck into, but I always take whatever opportunity I can to walk around the garden to see what's coming through. The big story at the moment is the bluebells. Whereas in Hove, April would be trumpeted in by the fat, periwinkle-blue cloches of Spanish bluebells, I'm delighted that our new garden is swathed with the dainty native ones - luscious lapis-blue and the stuff of woodland glades and fairy rings.Read More
The main event in this room, as you might expect, is the toilet. This is actually a 'listed' toilet and if you're allowed to be fond of a lav, then I am fond of this one - she's a Triton 14899 after all.....Read More
We've grown used to exposing modern plaster or very ordinary paint layers beneath the wallpaper so far; and sure enough, plaster peeps through - that and standard issue pale mint social services paint. But there's something else. Where the paint flakes back, there are lines, and what's more the lines seem to join together to form shapes......Read More
Big projects such as repairing the roof simmer away in the background, as we research contractors and gather quotes. Others can only emerge at the end of a gestation period or follow in natural order from the decisions that come before them.
So in the meantime there's nothing for it but to strip......Read More