Archive for derelict house

Waving and drowning, both.

Posted in farm, Herberts with tags , , , , , on April 13, 2012 by pimpmybricks

Boxes boxes everywhere and not a place to think.

Whoever gave moving house top(ish) billing on the list of Stressful Life Events was not telling porkies. Not one word of one.  We are up to our ears in bubble wrap and cardboard.  The sound of brown packing tape has been ripping through the air for days. Every morning we rise prematurely,  strap on our crampons and clamber over mountains of things.  Things to be given, things to be felted, things to be decided upon.  Mssrs Vinnie and Smith – prepare thyselves gentlemen!  As we fold, wrap and seal we find ourselves questioning the sanity of what we are doing, but it is as if we are riding a juggernaut, unable to get off now.  Really, I think we are all a little mad with the stress.  You can maybe picture us – monosyllabic, snappish automata who, even when they fall into bed, cannot escape the Things To Be Done which loop, like bus rolls, endlessly around their minds.  That we are dismantling our home, the place we have stayed longer than any other, is a fact that we ignore by day but it comes bubbling up at night, as these things will.

You can probs tell we’re doing the packing ourselves,  and I would say, having done a topographical inventory of the boxes, that we are pretty long on wine and books.  Oh, and tupperware. Hello, my name is Pimp and I have an addiction to lidded kitchen containers.  However, plastic is no longer fantastic since I joined the food Moonies, which gives me a good reason, I suppose, for a cull (why hello Pyrex, you sexy thing!!).  Wine has also been off the list this last year, which is probably why we have nearly 300 bottles of the beautiful, incarnadine stuff all stoppered up, waiting for health to meander back over the horizon. (Mr P, he’s taken to the white).

Talking of wine, it was like getting re-acquainted with old friends when we took the bottles off their racks, and there were a couple of nice surprises nestled in amongst the Everyday Plonking Stuff.  A bottle of John Riddoch with his sober brown waistcoat on, now covered with a respectable layer of dust.  And a handful of Ebenezer shirazes.  Have you tried that stuff?   Enough to make you leap from your chair in excitement. Like setting a brass band off in your mouth! A subtle wine drinker I am not. None of your modulated, refined pinots. I like ‘em big, boofy and blasting.

But anyway – digressions!  But oh, who wants a dose of reality when both houses are looking so sad, the present one so denuded and the other so deconstructed. We went over the other night to show my brother, who is here from Singapore, and discovered that in my study we could see the moon and the stars beaming down on us.  And the dressing room has been pretty much en plein air recently (due to yet more rotted timbers –  a very fine class of termite preceded us), but that’s all nicely closed up now (as is my study).  The builder, bless ‘is ‘eart, has been working very long hours.

And so have we, in our cardboard hell, so at Mr P’s insistence we decamped for a few days up to where it is green and silent (except that it wasn’t, due to Easter lunacy, but that’s another story). And so we re-stocked our depleted chlorophyll reservoirs, and visited our various house-building fantasy sites (one of them is right there, on the smooth undulating green bit).  You know, for when we’ve done the Regency Wreck.  And for if we don’t move back to the UK.  Or set up that donkey reservoir in Marrakesh.  Or offer our services to volunteer agencies in India.  Or something.

The Herbs, below, riding in economy, Remington a bit too insouciant considering he was in disgrace for chasing a poor cow up hill and down dale.  Me bellowing myself hoarse from the sidelines. Just for funsies, Missus, honest (he said).  And he, a country boy to boot.  The world – what is it coming to?  Like the 1975 Nissan Patrol btw?  A fine beast, is Rusty.

In which a walk was almost taken.

Posted in Derelict house, Renovation, sanstone walls with tags , , on April 8, 2011 by pimpmybricks

This was going to be a post in which Big Boy Herbert and I had a gentle stroll around the local environs and took some more amateurish photographs.  Except that His Royal Impulsiveness stole the chicken meant for the soup and was banished to the garden to repent of his sins. (Incidentally, when we drove to the pound almost a year ago it was to bring home his brother, a harlequin Dane called (poor boy) Patch.  Somehow, in spite of being assured that Remington (who was then Onyx) was very much the naughtier, the more intelligent and the more dominant of the two, we ended up with him.  And they spoke no word of a lie, bee tee dubs).

 And so it was that we went, Herbertless, to the house. Unfair on Elsie, I know. And yes, they both got a walk later.

And so it is that this post became (enthrallingly) a post about sandstone and the stripping thereof.  Because when one has No Life, one has instead many hours (and indeed a moral duty) in which to make one’s sandstone pristine.

Over the course of an hour or so, this

with the help of these (plus ye olde trusty scraper which I didn’t photograph for fear of uncontainable excitement)

came to resemble something like this

though in the spirit of truth-in-advertising I should say that this is not actually the stone I stripped.  And in the spirit of confessionalism I should reveal that I am not an orderly worker but more of a fibbertyjibbet, flitting from one tantalisingly loose patch of paint to the next.  What I really love is when I insert my scraper into one of the indentations made by the convicts’ tools, and a shower of lime plaster and paint falls to the floor (or into my shoe) and the indentation is gloriously, exhilarating clean.  Another confession, since that seems to be the modality – if there had been a career in picking at things, I would not be wandering about life now looking for the meaning of it all.  In fact I suppose I did have a career in picking – but you couldn’t get in there with a scraper.

In any case I made good progress and a jolly time was had by all, picking and eating dust coated cashews, until micro became macro and I stood back to survey what had yet to be done

And so on and so forth.  But that’s for another day.  Today I am in bed sick, with a virus kindly donated by Miss Pimp.