Archive for Great Danes

Posting from the interstice.

Posted in Great Danes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2013 by pimpmybricks

Yodel Doodle Ladies and Gents

There hasn’t been a ceramics post in a long while on the blog.  Now seems a good time to remedy that, while all things Regency Wreckish are slumped in a bit of a waiting ditch and marking time until the wind shifts and brings change.  I find this clip quite beautiful and magical, for all its ear extensions, bike stands and doing of things one just doesn’t do.  The music sends me into a bit of a swoon and the film making is lovely.

See it here Moire

Neither have the Herberts been receiving their rightful allotted fifteen minutes worth, so let’s put that to rights too.  Or at least let’s give Remington his go, since Miss Elsie is still too harem scarem to stand still long enough to have her photo taken.  First, though, let me introduce you to The Ralph, Rems’ younger brother in all but genes and geography.  Here he is in a park in London, handsome and sleek as a seal:

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The last couple of times we’ve been back in London I’ve been able to assuage my Remington withdrawals by fondling another Great Dane’s ears, Danes being great natural schmoozers and all.  The truly wonderful thing about Ralph is that he comes fully equipped with two people whom I met through the blog (one of the very best things to come out of it), and about whom all I shall say is that they are both utterly delicious and live in an utterly delicious house in Spitalfields.

And I was so taken with Ralph’s beautiful orange collar (and so taken by the colour orange in general), that I took myself off to Harrods and bought Mr Big something a little similar of his own.  (I then went to Istanbul on the way home and treated myself to a bright orange bag so that when we’re off shopping together, we do look a little….shall we say…accessorised.  But neither of us is particularly fussed about that):

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Miss Elsie, who prefers pink, in a rare moment of repose:
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And perhaps, having mentioned Istanbul, I’ll end this somewhat mishmash post with a couple of rugs we fell in love with while we were there, but which, at $12,000 a pop, we were obliged to leave behind.  The first two are samples of a new (to me at any rate) deconstructed design.  We’re seeing them pop up more and more here in Uh Straya at what I believe they call ‘high end’ outlets.  Interestingly enough, the prices here are comparable to the prices there, a symptom, maybe, of America having banned the import of Persian carpets, and the price of Turkish pieces shooting up accordingly.  Either way, these were beautiful carpets, silk on cotton, but I suspect that they, like the patched and over-dyed rugs, will date quite quickly:

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Below we have the old Pimperstich, fingering an eye-wateringly beautiful Memluk.  Oh, the conversations we had over mint tea about whether we should or shouldn’t, could or couldn’t.   Until we eventually decided that we shouldn’t and couldn’t.  And didn’t. But oh, woe.  We were still revisiting the whole thing at the airport! Actually, one main reason we didn’t, apart from, you know, the old spondoolicks, was that we have nowhere to put it.  These rugs don’t just lie there quietly and think of Turkey, they are voluble, loquacious personalities and they demand attention.  I don’t think I’ve outed Mr P before, but he has what might politely be termed a bit of a carpet fetish.  At the farm we have a 60 foot shed and in that shed we have a rather embarrassingly large number of carpets that positively insisted on being bought, only to arrive and find there was no (immediate) home for them. Another thing about fetishes I didn’t know, and maybe you don’t either, is that they’re contagious.  Really!  I didn’t used to have one for carpets, but as surely as eggs is eggs, I do now.  And doors.  But that’s another story.  Anyway, the Memluk:

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I’m thinking just a few photos of Istanbul, outside of the carpet shops, where we did on occasion manage to drag ourselves.  I hesitate to post too many because it was rather an embarrassingly long time ago, but I take heart from Blogland being a place where the mountains of time are levelled into a horizon of the perpetual present.  So, the Spice Market, where I discovered, to my absolute joy, that I could buy Amber in liquid form (and only aficionados of Istanbul and Marrakesh will recognise that I smell of moth repellent):

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And the Hagia Sophia, because how could I not include that? When Mr P told me it was built in 500AD I thought he had his figures wrong, and had casually left out ten centuries.  Because, you know, being English, I’m used to old places being from about the 15th century.  But actually, he was absolutely correct.  As he often is, for the record.

Istabul was a funny old place.  I had not managed to hear one word said against it before we arrived.  And yet it took time to captivate us.  It was a vast, working city which didn’t just crack open and fall into two neat halves, for the digestive convenience of its visitors.  You had to work at it a bit.  You had to get beneath the blare and the noise and the crowds.  And when you did, then you realised (or I did), that you were somewhere really rather ancient and really rather unlike anywhere you’d been before.  Because there is the modern city which overlays the Ottoman city, which overlays the Byzantine city, which in turn overlays the Roman city.   Much in the way of a vast, urban layer cake, it seemed to me. And there was a very definite three-dimensional sense of this too – go through the basements of some old houses and you’ll find yourselves wandering ancient streets down there.  We visited some astonishing Roman mosaic pavements.  There was always a sense that if you dug down just a little, you’d literally be digging through the centuries.  Anyway, enough waffling.  The Hagia Sophia:

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I was extremely taken with these lights.  Actually, I was madly plotting how they could be re-imagined in porcelain.  Because if you stand still for more than thirty seconds in front of me these days I’ll be re-imagining you in porcelain too:

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There are many more, but considering I only stopped by to post the ceramics clip, I’ve bumbled on for long enough.  And so I’ll leave you, Mrs Woodentop in her dressing gown still, with Spotty Dog at her feet twitching and whimpering in one of those impenetrable doggy dreams. Adieu!  There will be house happenings soon.

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!

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.