The good, the bad and the ugly.
So it seems that our jaunt in the garden of secret (housey) delights was to be a short one, for we have now plunged headlong into the valley of death. Well actually, if I can stop myself striking attitudes for a moment, into a sort of ordered brutality. Concrete is coming up, bathrooms are coming out, rotten ceilings are coming down. More termites’ nests, rotten wall plates and other scary things are revealing themselves. There’s a lot of builderly sucking of teeth, requests for even more cost variations, and a general fretfulness hanging over Mr Pimperstalsis and me. Money is flying out of the windows like winged birds and the house is looking worse than ever! All very woebegone and laid bare. It was derelict before, but still beautiful. Now it is just derelict. Its broken bones and dental cavities are on full display and it can be rather disheartening to visit, though we are compelled to go over at weekends and finger its wounds. We know, of course, that this is just a waystation to renewal, a plateau on the ascent to gloriousness, but even so it’s a tad challenging to find tree roots coming up through your kitchen floor, and to see glimpses of sky through your walls.
And those beautiful sandstone flagstones? They are now being gently eased out of their long slumber, to be numbered, stacked, and dried out. Soon great troughs will be hewn into their beds for the French drains that (we hope) will fix our damp problem.
Things are not all draped about with gloom and murk. We have found ourselves a place to live for the duration – no mean feat in this city with two, shall we say… slightly oversized dogs on the payroll. We have started to pack and in two weeks are to be nestled deep within the bosom of suburbia, as it happens, but nevertheless we will have four walls, a bit of a garden and a view of trees. Remington will have a patch of his beloved grass to roll around on, I will have a corner for my pottery wheel, and we’ll have a place to retreat to. We’ll forget about the vertical blinds for now. Oh, and the laminate laid over carpet. Can you imagine? Like walking over marshmallows! Gawd only knows what lurks under there.
Delight of utter delights, a secret window has been discovered buried in a wall in the Regency Wreck! We knew the cavity was there but to find the original window extant, glass and all, was a wondrous exciting thing. Even more so because the joinery is so fine and delicate and so, well, Georgian. A little window humming daintily away to itself over the years, quite unheard by anyone. This is the top half:
and this is the bottom half, still partially boarded up:
The eagle-eyed will no doubt spot the curious fact that the window, which is long and slender, a sort of supermodel of windows, is bisected by a floor. Actually it is a balcony floor, the balcony at the back of the house originally having been two storeys high. We are keeping the additional floor on account of the un-garden and Ms Pimp’s need for a dressing room (this balcony will have concertina glass doors which she will keep closed but which can be opened).
I love this window. I keep the idea of it like a well-polished talisman in my pocket. You know, so that when I feel gloomsome I take it out and rub it some more and feel generally better. Like a renovator’s blankie, sort of thang.