Archive for the sandstone walls Category

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

Posted in Georgian houses, Renovation, sandstone walls, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 20, 2013 by pimpmybricks

Well hello there campers.  Long time, no thingummies.

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(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.

despair

 

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.

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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?

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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!

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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:

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But it’s near a busy road and the whole village can peer into your windows.  But even so, look:

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and

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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:

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and

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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):

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A grade 1 medieval number in need of a bit of colour and oomph

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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.

Bali bye.

Posted in Georgian houses, hallway, kitchen, Renovation, sandstone walls with tags , , , , on January 28, 2013 by pimpmybricks

Eh bien Mesdames et M’sieurs.  This was going to be a brief missive, the merest whiff of a post dashed off in haste as I winged my way out of the door and into a waiting aeroplane.  Can’t you just see my suitcase trailing chiffon scarves and feel those kisses blown from my fingertips?  (All very Isadora Duncan before the car trip, I know).

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It has been a rather grim couple of months trudging through my crappy health issues, and as well as that there have been a couple of big parental health scares.  When we arrived at my birthday a couple of weeks ago Mr Pimp, gawd luv  ‘im, suggested  we find a cheapie break and take ourselves off for a few days.  And so we set our caps at Ubud.  The plane was booked for this afternoon, the Herberts stowed, the suitcases packed, and we were more than ready to go.

Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal Temple, Ubud

Except. Except. A most exceptionable except.

My passport has gone missing!

It has vanished, seemingly, off the face of the earth. Gone off on a little sojourn of its own.  Or, more likely, it was stuffed into a box when we packed up our old house and moved to this godforsaken tin can, and then taken to the farm.  Where it now languishes in stygian gloom beneath lawd knows what boxed rubbish,  and has grown tired of calling to us.   So here we are, a half hour after we should have taken off, drowned and dismal and with the week ahead hanging off us like an extra skin.  And I am feeling like the egregiously air headed flake that I sometimes am. Bali Hi? Sadly, I don’t sink so.

This was going to be our bedroom:

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But anyway,  that a leaves me with a whole swathe of unexpected leisure time in which to show you the latest bit of progress in the house.  One, luckily, about which we are wildly enthusiastic. The pictures are a little dark because, ahem, I have a new camera (one birthday present which didn’t go wrong).  A new and, I must confess, somewhat frightening camera.  So frightening in fact that I felt quite unable to attach the flash (a flash that isn’t in-built?  New to me).  Anyway, when I get my confidence, we might all look forward to better pics.  But now,  Ladies and Gents, without any further paffing and faffing, I give you the steel doors (cue a bit of  parping fanfare):

steel door from hall into kitchen

The picture above being from the hall into the kitchen and through to the door into the pantry.  And below, into the pantry:
steel door into pantry

And from the kitchen into the dining room and hallway:

steel door from kitchen to dining room

So that being done, I shall return to my sitting and thinking and failing to believe that anyone could really miss a holiday by dint of a disappearing passport.  I mean, it’s absurd and unbelievable, isn’t it?  (Even now I keep expecting it to sidle around a chair leg and waggle itself for attention).   But actually, I have decided that we shall not sit here moping but gather ourselves up and go forth into the torrential rain and try to extract a bit of fun from this molten, silvery day.  Tally ho!

Of progress and wheels – a few before and durings.

Posted in Derelict house, farm, Georgian houses, Great Danes, Renovation, sandstone walls, Sydney with tags , , , , , on September 24, 2012 by pimpmybricks

 

Yo Homeslices – greetings from the sickbed.  Wherein brain-deadness covereth all like a sodden blanket.

I say this sotto voce, just in case Fate is lurking somewhere in the bushes – but it is conceivable that we have passed through the valley of death and begun our ascent. Or to cut the hyperbole, that we have finished the dismantling of the Regency Wreck and have begun the re-mantling. I know!  Craycray innit? But, let me tell you, that valley was wide and boulder-strewn.  Our wagon of hope and fortitude just about perished along the way.

A friend remarked recently that we’ll be on a roll now and my response is yes, we are indeed rolling, but at much at the same pace as the first stone-age wheels rolled.  You know, just blazin’ merrily along. Actually we are in attitudes of agitated despair and glumnitude here because the official moving-in date in November was nudged a while ago to January, which was just about cope-able with, and has now been shunted to the end of March, which is emphatically not.

But  leaving all that aside for one moment – to give you a glimpsette of progress so far, by which I mean that which is visible and therefore of interest to me, rather than structural and buried deep within the bowely fabric of the house.

The stone in the basement vestibule is now golden and gleaming, courtesy of the builder’s wife Lin, who actually should be called Builder II on account of how hard she works.  I began the process and she has taken it over – we have gone from this:

to this:

And the dining room is on the march, from this thing of potential

to this thing of golden glory:

All of which is Mr Pimp’s own fair work.  He has further still to go with his trusty scutch hammer, but even now it is looking almost baronial, don’t you think?  Positively Arthurian!  And opposite, this gorgeous stud and noggin wall has been uncovered, and will remain thus:

The plaster on the wall to the left of Noggin the Nog is a little drummy, so there are perchance more stone revelations queuing there.  That dining room, I tell you, will be a veritable feast of texture. A glut! And, furthermore, I shall be spared the necessity of agonising over paint colours.  Which is always welcome.

And speaking of progress, we escaped to the country a couple of weeks ago, to see how Tortoise the calf was faring.

In-flight catering:

 

And when we arrived we found Tortoise so busy with his homies that he could barely manage a wave:

We also discovered that Miss Brown, one of the two original matriarchs of the herd, with this little blokey in tow:

Which made me extremely, ecstatically happy, because the last two times we saw her she’d separated herself from the herd and I feared she had lost a calf.

So there we have it.  All is well in the Green Kingdom, and stultifyingly slow in the urban one.  And I am off to my sickbed.

 

 

 

 

 

chickens, wordlessness, pictures and bridesmaids.

Posted in Derelict house, Dress-ups, Georgian houses, Herberts, Photo shoots, sandstone walls with tags , , on July 29, 2011 by pimpmybricks

A piece of chicken I ill-advisedly ate in Canberra has left me drained of words (and euphemisms). Instead, here are the pictures from July’s Issue of Country Style magazine, shot at the house.  Do you think the model looks a smidge grumpy?  They all seem to. Maybe it’s the dust and dirt and Hanging Ceilings of Babylon what does it.

The picture above was taken in what I HOPE will be the top floor bathroom.  I’m presently looking for baths anyway.  With my fingers crossed.

Taken (above) on the top floor landing.  That bunch of fake yellow orchids seems to have insinuated itself into most of the pictures.  Its friend was a birdless birdcage but that seems to have got lost. 

 On the stairs in front of the jungle lav.

Ditto.

Sometimes I feel destined for life as an eternal bridesmaid. You know, sidekick to the fab and the glam.

A while back I took my Linn Sondek into an audio shop for repair, and from the excited attention it received from the staff you’d have thought I’d taken in an ageing star of the silver screen.  It happens when I walk Remington, who also draws crowds like a (very unassuming) minor celebrity.  And recently we got a letter from a journalist on the Sydney Morning Herald, wondering whether we’d be willing to do a series of articles about our journey with the house. We would, I think.

Actually all the talk of bridesmaidism is disingenuous because I hate to the be the centre of attention.  To the point where, submitting to my mother’s desire for pictorial news when we moved here from London,  I used to don a vast feather hat for the videotapes.  I know, something I should have taken to my training analyst. So anyway, when we received a call from Grand Designs a while back, my heart skipped a fretful beat. Mr Pimp contacted them way back when, in the first flush of enthusiasm after the auction.  We didn’t hear and we didnt hear and we didn’t hear a bit more, and assumed they were not interested.  Then we forgot about them completely. Mr P is still keen, and Ms P is keen, which is fine, but they’re not HERE (or won’t be) and so it would be me left to rabbit on in front of the camera. Anathema!  Could I fish out my feather hat again, maybe?  A veil?

Remington is, as you can see, terribly excited by it all.