A bevy of lovelies.

I’ve been computerless (in Gaza) for the last week, wandering that no-man’s-land between Mr Microsoft and Mr Apple.  Defecting from the former to the latter for no particular reason other than whim. Acting on whim is rather like inviting adventure – you only remember the tiresome practicalities once you’ve impulsively set out and can no longer return.  So here I am, still with two not-quite-functioning computers, both of which are destined to stay that way for a while longer because I ain’t got the knowledge or the interest to find a resolution.

However, lacking the wherewithal to lose vast tracts of  time online (other than Mr P’s desktop dinosaur, which is to computer as Fred Flintstone’s car is to Maserati)  has freed me to do other things.  Like, for instance, taking a look at the two other properties that have come up for sale in the conservation area around the house.  It’s a slightly dangerous thing, visiting these newcomers onto the scene, and I always go with some trepidation lest I should fall  head over heelses in love with one of them and regret buying ours. Bit of a flighty baggage, me.  Let it be said. Truth in advertising and all.

And was I tempted?  Well, yes and no.  No in the sense that I still love ours the best.  Yes in the sense that I want to save all sad old houses.  When I was being psychoanalytical I would have said I have a strong reparative impulse.  Now I just say I love doing up old wrecks.

Here they are, anyway. This is the first.  While in there I got talking to one of the long standing Maritime residents and she told me a previous tenant of this house had stripped all the woodwork back to the cedar, and in doing so had become very ill with lead poisoning. 

And t’other.  I loved this house and in another life could happily have lived there.  It’s all been mucked about and stretched in various directions, and I wouldn’t give you tuppence halfpenny for most of the rooms, but I loved the courtyard.  And it had the most commodious landings on which the best conversations could be had ( because isn’t it always so that the best things happen in the interstices? Or is that only me?).


To the right, btw, is not a detention centre (topical though they may be) but the tennis courts serving the Observatory Hotel opposite.  A rather derivative and pompous place, to my mind.  Uninspired affectation of gentleman’s club and woody opulence. Syrupy wood stains and that dreadful dark green carpet that is supposed to connote…what?  Huntin’ and fishin’ and the forest floor? ( I don’t actually know whether it’s got green carpet).  Anyway, at this house we met two men who were interested in the first house but, as it ‘appened, more interested in ours and so they asked for a ten cent tour.  Which always turns out to be a two dollar tour because Mr Pimp likes his historicals.  So he does.  And whilst cantering around ours at a cracking pace (auction viewings beckoned) I learned that one of the men is a ceramicist and plans to install a kiln.  Which is VERY interesting.  Or would be, if I had not become so fed up with my lumpen babies that I’d thrown them all in a plastic bucket to languish unloved and unfired. But that is beside the point. 


See what I mean about some of the rooms?



So there you have it.

10 Responses to “A bevy of lovelies.”

  1. Honestly. I have been a decorator for more than 40 years. When I started; I had some really great painters. Slowly…..they deteriorated.

    Now; all these years later……I know why.

    the lead paint……but most of all,; I think the “Stripper”! I feel totally terrible about this.

    when fumes start……I just run. I am allergic and I sneeze and I cannot tolerate the fumes.

    It makes me sick and feel terribly guilty that I exposed my treasured painters to these toxic fumes.

    • Hello Penelope. Nice to hear from you. I think the key is that you wouldn’t have exposed your painters to the lead paint had you known the effects, just as the woman in this house wouldn’t have exposed herself either. Hearing that has made me more aware of my own (pending) house though, and how best to go about relieving it of its noxious substances.

  2. Me again! What I really love is how you describe how one would “live ” in the house!

    Seldom does that happen! Often, it is “how a house looks!” Totally irrelevant! How does it feel and how does it work for a family….for parties, for meetings, even.

    You have a wonderful viewpoint…..and add a lot to the blogosphere…way too much how stuff “looks” and not enough….how things “live”! That is what it is all about to me.

    How it works for a family….and it can really look GOOD!

    • Thank you! I am susceptible to how a place looks but it’s more how it feels. You know, those very definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ feelings you get as soon as you enter a place. And if it’s a ‘yes’, I immediately start converting that feeling into how I’d use the space, what I’d do where. And truth to be told, those open house viewings are a bit like parties anyway – full of people who have already bought in the area wanting to have a look, people who want to buy, people who’ve lived in the area for yonks and probably know every previous occupant since the ark. Some great conversations were happening on those landings, and not one bottle of wine in sight!

  3. Pimpmybricks and Penelope,
    I just love the direction this blog is heading as I found a quote that encapulates some of how a home might feel. Like your wonderful blog this is inspirational stuff that had to be shared.
    Elle decoration’s founding editor Ilse Crawford describes the “holistic home”:
    “a place that puts wellbeing first and aesthetics a close second, a retreat from the abrasive, ever-hastening world outside and a sensory indulgence that connects us with our primal selves. This type of home is designed around human needs and emotions, and brings out the best in us; it comforts us and inspires us.
    This article of course was to accompany a modern Finnish home in Helsinki but much of it is applicable to any home but does it sit comfortably with a heritage house that “inspires us”?

    • Hello MAB. I’ve been mulling your comment over. Love the Ilse Crawford quote. And I know what she means but I do wonder, though, if it’s really a binary opposition in the way she puts it. Why can’t it be well-being AND aesthetics? I am trying to think about how aesthetics affect wellbeing. How we can do the house in such a way that the aesthetics aren’t alienating but nurturing. And what that might actually look like.

  4. Hi there pimpmybricks.
    Back to the discussion about the houses next in line and your flights of fancy. You have chosen well, in different circumstances I would have lived next door to you and have been richer in many ways for it. There is something about waking up to the view of the inner harbour that is more than magic. If I could capture the blue grey of it I would. It makes every day begin with the feeling that we are lucky to live where we live.

    I visited the second house you pictured this morning. I always go with two girls friends who have visited all the houses and therefore feel qualified to pass judgement. It is bringing lots of interest as it is up for auction on Tuesday. It is big and unlike most of the houses “released” or should that be up “for sale”or “for lease” it does have off street parking for a car or two which will be a large part of it’s appeal. Dressed in housing carpeted neutrality and drabness it has lost itself. We did think that the staircase was generous but I do hope the new inhabitants like tennis and like looking at a tower or two. It was only the roof terrace that caught us for a moment.

  5. Superb blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on
    everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any ideas? Kudos!

    • Hi Geoffrey

      I’ve never used a paid option so can’t comment on those. WordPress is reasonably user-friendly. They tend to change things around frequently without notice but usually it’s an improvement. As for tips – if you want a readership and comments, don’t do what I do and write when the fancy takes you. Instead decide on a frequency you’re able to post at – once a week, once a day, whatever – and stick to it. People come to expect that of you and tune in.

  6. My partner and I stumbled over here by a different page
    and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so i am
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