Archive for georgian house

Of walls and Herberts.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 24, 2013 by pimpmybricks

Hola mis damas, mis caballeros, mis little castanets.

Oy vey.  As far as silences go, this one has been an absolute doozie.  Not only did I plunge headfirst off the blogging horse but said horse got so tired of waiting it pottered off to livelier pastures, raised a family, opened an organic oats business and then retired.  And so here I am, mountless.  But, you know, bisons is bisons and tradition is tradition and if I started too many posts without the statutory apols for slack tartishness, you’d think you too had wandered off to some other, more organised blog.  So, dear Ladles and Jellyspoons all – (if there is, indeed, anyone out there still with half a cocked ear) – I bid you good morrow.

And the reason for my muteness?  For one thing I’ve started back at what it amuses Ms Pimperletta to call my ‘potty training’.(http://northernbeachesceramics.wordpress.com/). So there you will find me from Monday to Wednesday, having a lovely old time making oddly gonadal shapes out of porcelain. You’ll also find me engrossed on many a night, strung like a looney between the twin swaying poles of dusk and dawn, wide awake and watching as images of  clay go flowing in plastic glory across the  night stage, and off into the flaring dark. You could call me obsessed. I am, for the nonce, much engrossed by the oddly sexual qualities of orchids, and am trying to render them in porcelain as fine and as translucent as my bumble-fingered skills allow. Let me show you what I mean:

coreanthes oh my gawd

And this, which reminds me somehow of monks at prayer, piety verging on the disconsolate:

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And from Thursday to Sunday?  There is the house. Natch.  The dear old Regency Wreck. On the subject of which a little caveat, because there follows a short rant, so for those averse to such things, please avert your tender eyes now. Because I have to tell you – we are almost dunfer!  We realised recently that it’s over two years since we bought the house and still there is no moving in date.  In fact we have stopped thinking of moving in at all – it saves on the endless steeplechase of expectation and disappointment.  Mr and Ms Pimp went so far as to join a gym just up the road from where we are renting, and Mr P and I are off for a month next week to visit family in the UK. We were going to do it in December, when we’d moved into the house, and then January when we’d moved into the house, and then February when ditto.  And now we are just doing it.   It has come to feel  as if  there has always been the house and there will always be the house.  Endlessly demanding of door knobs and colours and cupboards and floor tiles and money and money and more money, and energy when the reservoir is dry… and yet never quite getting there.  If I sound a little jaded, it is because I am.  Jaded and absolutely cream crackered.

But (and you can look back now) – there are good bits.  Because there are always good bits.  We are poring over colours (about which, more anon), agonising over kitchens, ogling sofas.  We are thinking what will go on walls.  This all requires a certain suspension of disbelief when, you know, we are never going to live within said walls.  We have found ourselves awash with thoughts of  chinoiserie, for instance. Which was somewhat of a surprise.  Had you once asked me whether we were a chinoiserie kind of mob I’d’ve said probs not.  A bit fiddly, a bit schmancy, a bit opulent – for me at any rate.  But Mr P, coming as he does from several generations of Orient-raised family, has always had a soft spot for it, and Miss P has recently joined in.  And so I have taken up the challenge of sourcing something good, as cheaply as possible.  I have been talking to China.  Several months now of prolix and deeply frustrating emails which start off with a rush and then trickle into intermittence.  Maybe I ask too many questions, maybe I’m too fussy with my requests to add/subtract a bit of bamboo, make the petals finer.  But anyway, we’re getting there and I have learned an invaluable lesson – if you want to save money, you have to spend time (and patience, which is something I’m not renowned for).

Ms P favours something like this for her bedroom, though it has to be said that the bottom portion would be quite wasted, buried under tissues, clothes, shoes, papers, make up, and the general miscellany of what she calls her ‘floordrobe’:

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And Pimpoh finds himself fancying something a bit like this:

2009favoritelci

or this:

hapsburg

Me, I like things a little plainer and a little simpler.  It’s the old Wee Free in me. But even I have been carried away on the  wave.  Just a tad, of course, no deeper in than my knees. Because I like dark things I could, for instance, be persuaded to this.  I’m currently trying to persuade Ms Pimp she wants a version of this for her bathroom.  You know, to go with those dark tiles I’m so enamoured of, but she, she ain’t so convinced:

05_large-1And talking of walls, there’s another thing (actually there is a whole firmament of other things, but let’s pretend there’s only one) – and that is this, the hallway:

hall 57

I think there should be a little oomph when you open the front door.  You know,  a small trumpeting fanfare.  And if you can’t afford a line-up of liveried rabbits, you’d best be thinking about getting your drama from the walls. Preferably the wall to the right in our case, which is actually a lot longer than it appears in the photograph.  The problem is that the hallway and staircase also need to sing duets with the rest of the house which is going to be, for now at least, tricked up (or down) in those fugitive, atmospheric greys.  You know, purple greys, brown greys, and their various assorted offspring.  I have ditched, with some reservations, my addiction to moody, inky drama.  It was pointed out to me that the house has a feeling of lightness (in the Enlightenment sense of the word) and that it would be good to go along with it.  And that made sense to me. For now at any rate.  We’ll see whether darkness makes its way in, a little pool here, a dark lake there.  So in all probability the hallway and staircase will be grey also.

How to achieve a sense of drama, then.

There is good old grisaille, of course, and Mr Pimp is very fond of things like this:

image_thumb[10]

And I have to admit, I can see how it might be fun to find an elephant calumphing along the hall when you stumble downstairs at cock call, all early morning frowsy and bleary of sight.

I had a passionate-ish tango with this offering from Trove.  A panoply of old queens seemed quite the thing to come home to:

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But then I discovered the price.

Still an arm and  half a leg, I am having a bit of a pash with these:

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Or, on a more sedate day, these:

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But enough of such fripperies.  Right now I must leap into the car and hurtle down the motorway to go bed shopping with Ms P, who is currently sleeping on a mattress on the floor.  We shall be without the Herberts, who are staying at the farm with Eric the house sitter while we are in the UK.  All of which is another story.  Finding a sitter has been an education that sits alongside buying Chinese wallpaper.  I have encountered aspects of humanity I had not previously met, even in my psychoanalytic practice.  There were many lovely people who replied to my ad, and a few…what you might call eccentrics.  One good lady, for instance, very kindly sent me photographs of her aura.  But Eric seems solid enough, and the dogs are tentatively accepting of him (“what does his arrival mean, where are you going, can we come too?”).  So off I go, guilty heart heavy, until another day…

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Rush rushery and a few ‘during’s.

Posted in bathrooms, Renovation, silver with tags , , , , on December 24, 2012 by pimpmybricks

Enter stage right, a small figure scuttling beyond the spotlight to slide a wrapped package unobtrusively onto the floor .

Greets, Ladles and Jellyspoons. I know! I’m late as the proverbial plate yet again, and this is my very last chance to slide a leetle sumsing in before most of the world shuts down tomorrow.  Apols for going awols.  You know the drill by now. You’ve read the headlines so many times before – “Struggling restorers sink into pits of black despair as more termite damage and cracked lintels are uncovered in inner Sydney Regency Wreck…”  It being blogland and all, and moreover blogland approaching Christmas, I have been loathe to come and spread my glooms abaht the place.  No Bah Humbuggery here!

BA07248

But wait, because in amongst all the doom and gloom, in all the tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth (they are mere stumps I tell you),  there has been the occasional sighting of that rare and lesser spotted beast – p.r.o.g.r.e.s.s.  Which is serendipitous because I’ve received a few requests for during shots and I’m nothing if not attentive to requests (unless, of course, you require me to don tutu and dance the Nutcracker Suite, in which case I would have to demur in the cause of Public Order).

ballet

Tubby strictly honest I’ve also dawdled a bit because progress shots are so…well… incomplete somehow and every time Ive seen said piece of modest progress I’ve had the feeling that if I only waited another day or so those tiles may have been cleaned of grout to reveal their lustrous sheen, or the showers might have arrived. Or this or that or the other.  But work has now stopped for the holidays and nothing will happen until the New Year, and so without further procrastination I offer up a few morsels for your delectation.

But because we’re in the act of flinging a few things into bags and scurrying up to the farm, I’ll spread them over a few days, if that’s permissible.  Herewith, today’s little ration.

This unprepossessing little room was earmarked by HRH Princess Pimp as her bathroom:

G's bathroom

She wanted it dark.  And by gum she’s getting it dark:

g's tiles

Those tiles – they are tho thexy. The patch of light you can see to the left is the window in the pic above, which will be transformed into steel and glass doors onto a tiny Juliet Balcony from where, if you turn your head to the right, you’ll get an eyeful of the Harbour Bridge.  This was granted us by the Powers That Be because there was once a balcony on the back bit of the house.  Precedence – thou art a wondrous thing.

g's tiles 2

And while we’re on the subject of tiles, let me show you this place of unaccustomed glam, which is the en suite.  The very en suite which, if you remember that far back,  may never have come to pass.  Which may have remained, if the purists had ruled the day, a mere twinkle in my eye as I hauled myself down four flights to use the bucket in the back garden.

This is it before:

en suite before

We would have preferred to keep the wooden floor but here in Uh Straya such things are verboten.  We bought the limestone tiles as a job lot for $50 a crate at a rather sad liquidation sale a couple of years ago. In the cause of full disclosure I should say sad for them, lustful for us.

en suite 2

Avec crazy bath and the fireplace stripped back to metal:

ensuite 3

et the lav and basin:

ensuite5

 

These are the very tiles which are still smeared with dried grout and don’t yet reveal their shimmery glory, but here’s a patch that have been cleaned:

ensuite tilesI must admit that when I first saw the bathrooms I was a little shocked.  I feared we had imposed too much on the house and felt we should maybe have found a way to minimise our impact.  But someone said the other night that they could still see the beauty of the rooms, even though they’ve been rendered functional, and  I was glad to hear that.

So anyway.  That’s the lot for today.  I sit here in my pre-breakfast frowsiness on the unmade bed while the day outside gathers itself for a full-frontal furnace assault. I must up, up and away before the roads melt and become a shimmering mirage.  Laters, potaters XX

 

On the gender of bathrooms and suchlike.

Posted in bathrooms, Georgian houses, Great Danes, Herberts, Inspiration, Sydney with tags , , , , on July 13, 2012 by pimpmybricks

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of taps–and lavs–and shower heads–
And fascinating things–
And why the bath is boiling hot–
And whether plans have wings.”

‘Pols to Mr Carroll (for not being silly enough).

So yes, here we are then –  the bathroom post.  Do you remember the en suite on the top floor, the very existence of which was in doubt for some time?  You know, way back in the gentle rolling mists of Development Applications?  Well that’s the one I’m talkin’ ’bout.

Ahum, bathrooms, I hear you thinking.  Not much-meaning-of-life stuff there, not much angst.  You’d be wrong about the angst, though, because there’s been a small mountain of it.  Verily!  Enough, in fact, to out-angst an entire cadre of existentialists.

Odd, really, isn’t it?  I mean,  would you have thought that specifying a few bits and bobs of porcelain could drive someone utterly to distraction? Could bring on a fit of the conniptions? Several fits, if the truth be told.  No, and nor would I.  But, let me tell you, there has been every shade of pink and purple madness going on over this bathroom.  Not entirely sure why.  My commitment aversion, tubby sure,  but I also suspect it has something to do with the question of whether the Regency Wreck is essentially  masculine or feminine.  Call me fanciful if you will.  Actually, call you fanciful too, because most comments on this blog refer to the house as ‘she’.  Not he or it but she.  And your lovely comments have caused me to ponder.  Because though the house has a certain lightness to it, a certain airiness that comes with  Georgian proportions,  I have tended to think of it as gender neutral.  Androgynous. But it has been occurring to me of late that maybe the house sees itself differently.  (I did warn you, early in the blog, about anthropomorphising, so no apologies there).

My taste, it has to be said, is usually quite masculine.  I tend to prefer commercial designs to domestic because, probs,  I like a bit of drama. I like a bit of big.  I like straight lines, bold shapes and no nonsense.  This is a corner of my bathroom in the last house – a well behaved bathroom, I might add, allowing itself to be  decided on in a trice.  Black marine ply, even in the shower, grain alternating.  And it was a lovely bathroom to use –  all the fun of the fair in fact.  Apart that is, from having to…ahem… recoat and stain that damned shower every six months.  But anyway, we must suffer for our convictions.  We Calvanist types.

This new bathroom, it turns out, has not wanted to be decided upon and does not seem to wish to be masculine. Nor even gender neutral. In fact I think it has distinctly feminine yearnings, which is, I have to say, outside my comfort zone. Some time back when I was trying to grasp what it might look like one day, I detected a white and silver blur somewhere just at the periphery of my mind.  It was no more than a wisp, a fluff of cumulous; more suggestion than fact.  But for a mere suggestion it has proved to be an insistent little bugger, refusing to be ignored, drifting tantalisingly across the mental stage before vaporising again before I can take hold of it.

So how it all translated into reality has been the usual mix of serendipity, frustration, blind choices and that bloody stuff, spondoolicks.  We started with the bath.  The only stipulation was that it  had to be light (three floors to carry it up and tired old floors). That ruled out stone and composite stone.  Most tin baths I found were boring and I won’t have acrylic because I do believe a person should be free to tune the wind section of their band in the bath without the whole household – the whole street! – sharing in the joy.  Forgive me, but I’m English.

So anyway, a piece of shininess, similar to above, has been ordered. Then came the basin, which caused much thrashing about because those that I wanted (modern, sleek) did not speak the same language as the bath. Many introductions were tried and failed.  It got to feeling like a dating agency for fixtures and fittings.  In the end, a basin similar to the one below has been ordered.  Not my first (or second…) love because it’s a little too ‘period’, but at least it speaks to the bath in loving terms and I got it cheap. Or relatively so. Cheapness is becoming quite a factor in our decision making these days. Just call me The Bargain Hound.

And then recently I found this, which caused a swoon or two before breakfast:

After tunnelling down a few digital rabbit holes I managed to track down the printer, but alas! alack! my quest was doomed because the original source was unknown. But undeterred and with much cunning sleuthery (you can see how my days are spent) I have sourced my own original master residing in a gallery in the north of England.  An email has been duly dispatched to enquire whether they will oblige and we are currently dining on baited breath in our house.  Makan unging, as they say.

And if by chance I should fail to secure my swathe of silk, I have another plan up my sleeve, which is far easier to come by but costs approximately two arms and five legs.  There is also the question of whether I could bear to have all those pairs on binocs trained upon my bathing self.  But oh well, there’s always loo roll and scissors I suppose.

And on the Remington front, he is now almost restored to his original debonair self.   The knee is healing, the black velvet is growing back and although he has to go everywhere on the lead, he is quite jolly.  Thanks to everyone who expressed concern.  Here he is at the farm this week, recuperating.

And that, said Fred, is that…other than to report the blue and scarlet parrots eating seeds in the pouring rain just outside my window.  Oh, and the mail which has just this moment come in to say that yet more crumbling walls have been found which require..oddly enough…more monay!  I feel a post about penury coming on.  I’ll be writing it from the Debtors’ Gaol.  Please send provisions.

Do I look bovvered to you?

Posted in Derelict house, Georgian houses, Great Danes, Herberts, Renovation, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by pimpmybricks

Well hello!  Greetings from the echoing grove, this place of cobwebs and silence.

Apologies for the even-more-sporadic-than-usual posts (at least I think they are). Thing is, the jolliness quotient has been rather low recently.  Sub-optimal, as Mr Pimperooh would say.  Bottom dwelling, actually. Positively languishing!  And bearing in mind the convention in blogland for upbeat and happy, I have thought to stay mum for the duration.

But recently there’s been a small revolution taking place in these here  bloggity parts – have you come across it?  A group of bloggers have defied the blog(u)topian rule and have been Writing it like it Really Is in a collection of posts under the umbrella title of ‘Things I’m afraid to Tell You’.  Souls have been bared, secrets revealed, the not-so-perfect strewn across the innernets. Exciting and liberating stuff.  I first came across it here.

So somewhat in that vein, and because (like that children’s book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt) you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you’ve got to go through it,  I think I need to get at least some of it off my chest.  Confined to Regency Wreck matters, because – and I’ve already confessed to a certain confessionalism -otherwise we’ll be here all night. And then we can move onto such niceties as taps and basins. And stone floors and copper islands.  And nickel plated baths and tear-drop taps. And, of course,  the conundrum of the ever-rising bathroom waistline.  You thought it was only trousers and hemlines?  No! Not on your nelly.

Anyway,  please avert your eyes if you are  squeamish about the glumps.

So,  we have been troubled in Pimpsville.  Cast down somewhat, and depleted.  Tempers have been frayed. Sleep has been interrupted.   By day we tiptoe through the tulips, hand in hand through shops and showrooms. Baths, lavatories, showers. A thousand dollars here, five thousand there.  And who cares?  It’s only monay!  But by evening the shadows lengthen and at night come tapping on the door of sleep.  Softly, ineluctably.  My dreams are not the des res havens I wish for at the moment.  No white voile curtains billow languorously at their open windows. No rectangles of pale afternoon light spill in, warming floor and feet.  Instead, they are populated by suited thugs demanding money for  umbrella vending machines in the basement of the Regency Wreck.  And by unruly hoards who rush in tsunamis through the front door in search of self-help workshops or wallets to steal.  It doesn’t exactly need my rusty psychoanalytic self  to decipher the lumbering symbolism in all that.

There seems to be a threshold  beyond which floors that collapse and walls that crumble bring with them a wobble of  the confidence. Suddenly there are doubts about the project, questions about its viability. Relationships suffer, finances dwindle, horizons cloud. Survival in one piece seems no longer axiomatic. To be spending like a couple of drunken sailors can be frightening when neither of us is working,  when jobs become scarcer and scarcer and when the world around us seems more tilting and more wobbling by the day.  Everywhere we go we find closing down sales, liquidation stock clearances.  That means bargains of course, but they are bargains resting on the backs of people who are losing their jobs.  Under all their valiant politeness the dark and fearful waters of joblessness sway. You can see it in their eyes, hear it in their voices.  These are hard times and to be so profligate in their midst brings a queasiness, an unease of the soul.

Things have been wobbly in Herbertsville too, with Mr Derring Do himself, HRH Remington Rem the First jumping one too many fences he shouldna, and utterly eradicating his cruciate tendon. He has had a knee re-construction and a spell in hospital (wooing the nurses left and right, natch, for he is a splendoursome thing, ma boy ).  He was discharged on Wednesday, sent home to an ecstatic Elsie (and a moderately happy me) only to be re-admitted  the next day with…ahem…complications of the waterworks.   And so he is back there again, and it is testament to where my head is at that one of the thoughts I had was “oh my gawd, we could fit out a bathroom for the cost of that”.  Though that was, I have to say, a fairly low on the list thought.

Here he is, shaved, sutured, and stapled. Confused and confounded.  And still utterly himself. Because after all, a Remington is a Remington is a Remington.

And that, said Fred, is that.  Enough off the chest. I shall be back forthwith with baths and taps and the like. And a goodly dose of something closely resembling optimism.  Just you wait and see!

Hubble bubble termite trouble

Posted in Derelict house, Georgian houses, Renovation, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 19, 2012 by pimpmybricks

Tap tap…testing, testing…1, 2, 3…

It’s been a while, crocodiles.

A month, in fact, since I posted from the sheet less bed in my – oh – old house.  A month in which we have passed through the valley of cardboard and emerged, blinking like moles, into the new suburban light.  A new suburban light which, I’ll have you know, is tinted yellow by bottle glass windows, and brown by  vertical blinds.   A suburban world of architectural wonders, everso shouting children and friendly neighbours. All of which deserves a post unto itself.

But while we were buried down there in our little house-moving purgatory –  stolidly chewing our way  out  through card and packing paper – what of the Regency Wreck?  Well, in fact, it was having a little crisis of its own, quite understandably.

It all began with the builder, a thoroughly thorough sort of fellow, digging away at the layer upon layer of flooring in one section of the house.  In some places there were as many as three or four floors all laid on top of each other, like so (though this is only two):

I mean, actually, when you think about it, why bother to remove old floors when you can simply cover them up?  Just add more as needed Missus and stop only when you can no longer stand up straight.  Anyway, while he was removing extraneous floors, the Thoroughly Thorough Builder noticed some rather suspicious little trails of mud which, when he followed their progress, led him to yet aNOTHer termite nest, very artfully and discreetly secreted within one wall.  And, in the way of termites, those little buggers had gone up and down, left and right, and nibbled away at the floor joists in four rooms. Four!

I give you, ladies and gents of the jury,  exhibit A, itself a mere fraction of the nest:

And what he found was that the floor joists, which conventionally are supported within the fabric of the wall, in the RW appeared to stop shy thereof. In fact, they were held up only by the render on said walls, which, when it was removed to get at the termite nest, resulted in such scenes of floorless carnage:

and this (which is the entrance to my study)

so that you can see almost from top to bottom of the house at the rear.  No need of internal intercoms now:

So the dear old Regency Wreck, which before looked derelict but absolutely beautiful, now just looks, well, abandoned.  Much in the way of the houses of my childhood, except without their dignity or intrigue. It’s as if we’ve taken a rather grand but crumbling old lady, removed her pearls, her lippy and her wig, pulled her arms out of her fur coat and left her revealed and without dignity under a fluorescent light.Our last few visits, to be honest, have been somewhat woeful affairs, characterised by a distinct flatness. We knew this sort of thing was to be expected, of course, but expecting something and encountering it are never quite the same thing, are they?

BUT.  But!  They say diversion is as good as a cure (don’t they? something like that? anyone?) and it just so happened that when we poked our heads above ground after the move, not only the yellow light and the bellowing children were there at the end of the tunnel to greet us , but also  Thoroughly Thorough Builder, gawd bless ‘is ‘eart, demanding lavatories with menaces. And so we have been cantering about the length and breadth of Sydney, peering down porcelain pans.  And as we all know, questions about lavs beget questions about basins, which in turn beget questions about baths (baths! don’t get me started) and many assorted sundry etceteras.  So we are diverted, madly, and in the diverted meanwhile TTBuilder is putting up floors, and patching brickwork….and so it may all come good in the end.

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.

On gloves, houses and the Universe

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2012 by pimpmybricks

Oh dear.  AWOL again – an absolutely unconscionable length of time between posts. And  I can’t even claim to have been missing in action because I’ve been back in Sniddney these past two weeks, plunging up and down in the jetlag and stress pool.  Up and down, up and down.

But anyway, I am back.  Or, for the sake of truth in advertising, bits of me are.  Health has decided to stay on in London; Brain is wandering, lonely as a cloud somewhere over the Indian Ocean.  And Heart… well who knows where Heart is.  Enigmatic thingses, these Heartses, as has been discussed previously, and will be again no doubt. In the radio silence, between the last post and this there was London, which was too heart-filling and heart-wrenching to do justice to in my current state of nervejangle.  And there was Venice.  Which was deliciously, shockingly, shout-out-in-sheer-surprisely-COLD.

It was helpful but reserved people, it was indifferent food. It was that sort of everywhere-allover-beauty which causes your eye to not know where to alight, but to flit instead from this thing to that, as if with ADHD. It was a fantastico exhibition on Japanese tinted photography from the 1890s.

And it was this shop, which Miss Pimperlicious and I discovered while meandering one day, she with her jet lag, me with my streaming cold.

It was a glove shop – an orgy of Glove, the Whole Glove and Nothing but the Glove.  They had them in shades of marigold, sunflower, primrose, turmeric and saffron.  They had marron, cerise, blush, marshmallow and  rose geranium.  I was in utter agony choosing. I wanted yellow.  No, I wanted pink.  Oh, but I had to have green. What about one of each?  In the end I got these

Miss P was able to wrestle me out of the door only when we discovered they did mail order.  And they were cheap!  Soft and buttery and tight-fitting and cheap.  Quite where I am to wear them, living in sub-tropicana as I do, is a little beyond me, but I Had To Have Them.  You understand don’t you?  It was simply impossible to leave without them.

But enough of such fripperies – to serious matters.  By which I mean houses.  You know, that being the (putative) point of this blog after all. Because we have arrived at a watershed.  Today, as it ‘appens.  And I am totes out of my little box with the stress of it all.

To give you the gist, we have had some builders’ quotes for the work on the Regency Wreck.  The additional work we wanted on top of the statutory repairs – you know, the Juliet balconies, the glass roof on the Jungle Lav, and a few holes in walls here and there –   will cost us over half as much again as the Quantity Surveyor’s report.  And that’s the cheapest builder.

And at the same time, our present house is up for auction.  At 6.30 this very evening!  I know!  I shall have to go drunk, or drugged, or gagged.  Mr Pimp will have to shove me under the chairs at the back of the room to keep me from gibbering and shrieking. And that’s not all.  It seems that while we were away we missed an Official Edict wherein all potential house purchasers were promised fire-sale bargains.  So we are hearing a lot of ‘oooh lovely house, quite gorgeous, love the thises and thatses and would really love to buy it and, bee tee dubs, we’d like to pay you one and sixpence because that’s, uh, where the market’s at these days’.  Why, I ask you, could the universe not have organised things the other way around, with the RW coming in cheaper than estimated and the current, much beloved house, selling for way beyond?

Honestly, I think I prefer fanning around foreign climes, buying gloves.

But if you have a second, spare us a thought at 6.30 this evening?  I’ll be the one in the straightjacket.