Well hello there campers. Long time, no thingummies.
(Please take as read the by-now standard apology for time elapsing, general slack tartishness and various assorted etceteras).
Actually, in fact, I had intended to write a post during our five week extravaganza to the UK, but we went at such a fast clop here, there and everywhere, ordering sofas, gathering paint samples and (most importantly) organising retirement homes, that I had hardly a second to sit at my machine. And when we finally came limping back to good old Straya, I had fully serious intentions of hurling myself at a blog post. But as it happened, the only hurling that transpired was into despair. Despair tossed with anger and garnished with a little chopped stress. And for once I’m not exaggerating.
The reason being, you ask? The reason being, I tell you, was that we (foolish optimists that we are) expected to return to an almost completed Regency Wreck. It was, after all, due to be finished last November (rude of me to mention it, I know). But, i’fakkikins, the only notable things that happened in our absence was that the builder took it upon himself, without permission or consultation, to change the locks so that no-one could get in. Which meant that we found ourselves in the position of having to go cap in hand to him for a key to our own house. As well as that he decided to demand a rather substantial sum of extra money which, to our minds, he has already been paid, and then to invoke a formal conflict situation-situation. So it would be true to say that we’re having a little difficulty on the builder front, and that there is still no moving-in date in sight. Aaah.
In order to cope with the stress and the sheer wall of anger generated by all this, our response has been, as far as possible, to pretend that the Regency Wreck doesn’t actually exist. Instead, we have tiptoed, hand in hand, into the realm of fantasy.
Not that nice, safe, unattainable variety of fantasy, mind you, but the sort that has a margin of realism, something that might actually be pulled off by those with stunning reserves of masochism, goodly sets of blinkers and at least one very impulsive adventure seeker (that would be me, the sort of adventure seeker who always forgets that adventures are hard. Incidentally, on hearing my (abbreviated) litany of woes, someone at potty training last week reminded me that I was even so lucky to be in my position. And, of course, she was absolutely right. I think the mistake is in expecting luck to always feel pleasurable).
In any case, the bummer of it all is that our bolt into fantasy still involves houses! Do you see what I mean by masochism? Is there no escape? Were we terrible destroyers of houses in other lives who have been set the task of making amends in this life? It’s bonkers, I tell you, and I watch aghast as we keep on doing the same thing, but keep on we do.
So this little jaunt into fantasy – it started as a throwaway line. The best and the worst things always seem to start with throwaway lines, don’t they? Some friends told us that a house in the Somerset countryside which we know well, which we used to walk past yearningly, had finally come onto the market. This was the house we dreamed about buying when we were properly grown up. It was the house we asked our friends about every year when we visited – had they heard anything about it, had it come on the market yet?
And now it was footloose and fancy free and seeking a dalliance with new people. Excuse me, all potential buyers – but that would be us. Begone, you scurvy knaves, get thee hence!
There are complications though. Always with the complications! One, a mere bagatelle, being the mountain of money it would take to secure this house. We would have to sell almost everything (including that house which will never be finished). We would have to go cantering over there quam celerrime. It would take upheaval of the most blithering variety. The Regency Wreck in comparison? Would be a doddle. A waltz in the proverbial park. But why let that stand in the way?
And while we were at it, drooling over our old love, we had a little look at other houses in the same area. They got bigger and madder the further we looked. We rediscovered our old fantasy of doing up a vast old wreck and running it as a hotel. If I tell you we got down to what we’d serve for breakfast and the fact that I’d need a studio to make the crockery, you’ll see how far gone we are. If you’re going to be sick, I tell you, be properly so.
There was this one, which utterly smote my heart:
But it’s near a busy road and the whole village can peer into your windows. But even so, look:
And then there was this little tootsie, which is already a hotel. In need of, of course, dosh and love. And, oh em gee, new bathrooms:
The problem with that one is that there’s a car breakers yard just over the hedge. So then we found another, this one already a hotel and one which Mr P has the decided hots for (me less so – it’s a tad masculine):
A grade 1 medieval number in need of a bit of colour and oomph
But alas alackikins, this one sits in the grounds of an agriculture college and has no land.
And there are more.
But I am off for supper. I’ll be back in short order with pictures of the sofas ordered, rugs ogled and that sort of thing. Tooraloo.