The fool’s waltz – one step forward, two steps…

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.



In order to cope with the stress and the sheer wall of anger generated by house issues, 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.

william blake's 'jacob's ladder'

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.

10 Responses to “The fool’s waltz – one step forward, two steps…”

  1. At the bottom of this post is a *Like* button. Where is the ***Don’t Like*** button? I don’t like this development at all. After following the tale of the Regency Wreck, I don’t like the thought you might only ever be nearly neighbours who miss the opportunities to exorcise all those who have railed against you and thereby enjoy what you have created.

    Making me feel a little better, M just made the comparison between the RW with the houses in this post which are “grand from the outside but not nearly as lovely on the inside”. Also, they don’t appear to have anything as alluring as Sydney Harbour which has yet to capture you in its web.

    • Neither do they have anything as alluring as the band of people close by to the RW, the loss of whom would be very significant. We will be neighbours and we hope to repay some of the generosity you have shown us. Sorry if I sounded disloyal to that shared thing – sometimes the only way to stay in a hard experience is to dream of leaving it. X

  2. Wow!

    No wonder you have looked more than slightly ponderous at ‘potty training’. Some great looking buildings there and yes the masculine favourite of Mr P is indeed very masculine. Funny, it struck me the same way. Then I started wondering what it is about the form that makes it appear that way. It looks like it is standing to attention and It’s so verrry tidy too, all the same shapes and sizes. In the end I thought it might be softened with some natural disorder. A shrub or two would do wonders.

    Sounds like the celebration will be so much sweeter at the completion of the RR after the latest challenges.


    • Yes, that’s why the glums. For which all due apologies.

      I’m with you on the ‘natural disorder’ (though I read it as ‘natural disaster’). Already, a parterre garden has been sketched in, plus a yew hedge on the drive curve, to give the whole thing a bit more mystery. Couple of trees. My main problem with it is the grey though – I doubt Heritage UK would consider a paint job.

      And you’re right – onwards. It’s one of those things you can’t go round, can’t go under, can’t go over, but have to go through. Damn it!

  3. I’m sure that blinkers have a very useful purpose, metaphorically and literally so, but If you get the RW finished, does it then mean that you will no longer be blogging about it, or do we get a new thread of blogging material from you, maybe the potty training? Obviously we all hope that you will be finished with your renovations asap, but from a more selfish point of view, I personally would miss your ramblings ( for want of a better word). There would be a big hole in my blog reading world, etc etc. But I do hope you get the builder problem sorted out, and that some time this year you get to move in. I look forward to seeing sofas, paint and rugs, and any further wallpaper ideas.

    • Hey Rosa. It’s nice, as always, to hear from you – thanks for tagging along with me on this strange old journey. And thank you for your encouragement to keep rambling on. I’m sure that as long as there are people out there still reading, I will continue to waffle. If and when we do get to move into the RW, it’ll be still a bit of the old blank canvas with aeons of Agony Ivy-ing still to go, with various decisions that have to get made and refuse to get made. Sofas and paint and rugs will be up soon.

  4. Back to add an encouraging word. You are gifted at expressing the rage and madness we all secretly feel. Smug bloggers annoy me!! If you open an hotel, I for one will become your American Agent Provocateur!!

  5. Deb Genua Says:

    I miss you! Are you ok? What is happening? Do tell please.

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