January really is a rotten month, with the dark and the gloom and the cold and the unremitting bad news. It feels to me like swimming through treacle and everything seems like more hassle than it is worth.
You’ll be in no way surprised to learn that progress has been conducted at a leisurely pace this month.
I took a spade to the garden in a bid to prepare the ground for a frenzied attack of “planning” from the male half of the partnership, and then I planted sticks. I was proud.
Only joking, I have in fact planted broad beans – they just look like sticks.
I also fixed the fence after the recent high winds. It was long overdue really but still slightly depressing to see the garden take a step back. Not to be deterred though, I went round to the Social Club side (which is on higher ground) armed with a pair of garden canes and some cable ties to splint the trellis back into place. Luckily for me, two fine examples of Arlesey localdom were stood outside at the time smoking and contemplating life. Better still, they were in the mood to “chat” ... by which I mean they insisted on walking up and down the length of the wall identifying each of my plants to me (Yes I know what they are, I planted them!!) and then commenting on the fact that the fence was, in fact, broken (do you think???) and needed something to tie it up (thanks, because quite clearly I was standing here trying to play the bagpipes). I found myself thanking the good lord for his bountiful gift of cable ties and the speed with which they allowed me to make my escape.
Inside the house, I decided to attack an unsuspecting hallway wall in the hope that I might have a quick and easy morale boost.
Foolish, foolish child.
When we moved in, the textured wallpaper in the hallway looked for all the world like it was put up by the first owners of the house. I had visions of blushing maidens being heaved over the threshold in full skirts and excitedly furnishing her new house (before a few decades of domestic drudgery and child bearing took over) and that the paper had been part of that first flush of domestic bliss.
Well, it might have been I suppose, but only if the house were previously owned by the “El Gringo” family because, when I had stripped the paper, I was faced with an English approximation to Mexican Cantina. Seriously people, it’s Room 101 time here. Who under the big blue sky goes into a DIY shop and says “I know darling, we’ll use sponges and bits of cut out plastic and make our house look like a mud hut in Tijuana”. Does that come shortly before or after you’ve discovered the racy new dish called chicken faj-eye-tas?
On the plus side, at least there was no mould (a first at FTC) and the plaster stayed in place – apart from the corner that Harry had decided to use as a chew toy of course.
Next on the hit list is the plate rack – abandon hope all ye who enter here!!!