Monday, May 19, 2008


Having warned that this would be the year of unfinished projects, it seems odd that so many things seem to have gotten done recently – although to be fair I have been on somewhat of a mission, for which I am now suffering with tired eyes and aching shoulders.

Firstly, the windows have been finished and I have to admit I’m more than a little proud with how they’ve turned out. I’ve always been a person who can ‘see’ things really clearly, in terms of how they will look and whether it’s the right or not, but my concern with this particular project was more around whether my talent as a sign writer would hold up to the challenge. It did. Just. And we are now the proud owners of 4 Jabberwocky’d windows in a lovely burnished gold. Not that you can see them very well on the photos, so you’ll have to take my word for it. The only trouble is that (as Keith was quick to point out) it now makes the rest of the hallway look even more shabby. I had to agree, but it’s one of those things that you have to grin and bear because I refuse to decorate the walls until there is a loft ladder in place to stop the foot marks every time Keith needs to scramble into the loft to deal with the boiler.

Incidentally, the boiler? It’s possessed. Several times over the last few months it has decided without cause or ceremony that hot water is FAR too much like hard work, and that an error code is far more manageable. Cue days of pan boiling just to have a wash sigh. Keith has become quite adept at reading those codes and has even found good enough instructions on the web to be able to deal with most of them (E33 seems to be the code of choice). This time however, the boiler was having NONE of it and for most of this week, we’ve been shivering our way through our ablutions. Then, in a speculatory use of the hot tap to wash some spuds, SUCCESS!!! Although obviously we are none the wiser at to what might have fixed the problem, and were forced to hypothesize about possible alien or military intervention.

Second project is not quite finished yet, but it feels as if it is because it’s been a long time in coming – the downstairs hallway floor. For those not au fait with house etiquette, the hounds of doom are not allowed upstairs which is great for the state of the bedrooms, but not so good for the state of the downstairs carpets. Keith’s one job in the house is to keep on top of the hair drifts, which usually results in him marauding round the downstairs, apoplectic at the dishevelled state of his beloved sofa which the dogs dance around and try to eat the vacuum. I find it quite amusing personally. Anyway, as I said in my little catch up post, we were on a holding pattern to tile the hallway floor in a checkerboard black/ red pattern when the Welsh suddenly forgot how to dig. Well it seems the amnesia was short lived and we picked up our tiles last weekend – which was fantastic timing because I happened to have 2 days off last week. I won’t claim it was the perfect job, or that it was the standard by which all floors will be judged, but I’m rather pleased with the results which are mainly neat and even, with an occasional nod to the rustic ;-)

There is one last thing to tell you all about – a dark cloud on the horizon of the little world of FTC and it goes by the name of garden grabbing. Last weekend we had a letter posted through the door from a man in Leicester wondering whether he might purchase the land at the back of the property for the purposes of shoehorning a property on it. I have to admit the idea that our neighbour might decide to sell the land was like an icy finger around my heart. Not that I’m entirely against development you understand, but in a sustainable and responsible way. I mailed him back, copying in the local councillors politely telling him that he could take his "reasonable offer" and invest it in his own postcode. I’m hoping that I won’t hear any more about it – but just in case, I am also doing some research on how I can protect that piece of land. Good old Hen made some very good suggestions (should have known he’d be the one to solve the problem) and I am currently drawing up plans for Bat Towers to be installed, with all due aplomb, as soon as is possible, in a suitably awkward location. Ha!

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