Showing posts from January, 2013

Gonna dust myself off, start all over again

If you're wondering why I haven't responded to the email you sent me, or the text message, here's why. The entire house is under a layer of dust, or dust sheets, while the new floor is laid in the kitchen and the hall. Most of the time, my computer is under a layer of dust, or dust sheets, and so is my mobile, and the land line. During the next few days, life will become even more complicated because a self-levelling screed is going down tomorrow, which needs 24 hours to set. I haven't quite worked out how I am going to negotiate this, since the screeded bit will be between my bedroom (where I sleep, obviously) and the living room (where all my stuff is). It's all very well having the contents of the kitchen in the living room if I can't actually access the microwave and the fridge. The cats will be OK, because I'll shut them in the living room with a litter tray and their food. Come to think of it, I might even get myself a litter tray. The li

That "leave the garden for a year" rule

Running two blogs is trickier than I thought. When I started up this blog, about life in Bibury, Gloucestershire, I thought I would use my old blog,  Victoria's Backyard, to write about gardening in general, and my new blog to write specifically about my own house and garden. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but only a couple of months in, I find myself writing about a subject that would sit equally well on either. So ... it's going on both! Apologies if you feel cheated. What can I say? I'm a cheapskate. The classic advice when you move into a new house and garden is to leave the garden for a year before you make any changes. This allows you to see what is in the garden - to identify trees that may not have been in leaf when you moved in; to discover what bulbs come up in spring; to find out where the hot/dry spots and the cool/damp spots are; to determine the best place (shady or sunny, depending on your personal taste) to put your garden table and chairs;

Good vibrations and far-flung relations

When I moved into the cottage, I knew that it had been a holiday home, and that it had been owned by the Ellis family for many years. Whenever I came to view the house before I bought it, the sun always seemed to be shining, and it seemed to have an atmosphere of warmth and serenity. I hadn't really thought much about it - there were lots of reasons why I liked the house - until my son's girlfriend came to stay at Christmas. Almost the moment that she stepped over the threshold, she said she thought the house was a very happy place, and I was intrigued that she had picked up on this. I've never been a great one for supernatural theories. I've heard - and no doubt you have too - of the Stone Tape Theory, which holds that the events that take place in a building become somehow imprinted on the fabric of the house. It's an intriguing theory, but I've always thought that there was a more practical explanation. When people are happy in their homes, they tend to lo

So this is 2013?

So far, the new year has not got off to a good start. Yesterday - New Year's Eve - I discovered that water was seeping through the wall in my son's bedroom. A quick foray outside (it was pouring with rain) revealed that the water from the gutter at the side of the house was not pouring into the the downpipe as planned, but dribbling down the wall. I suspect some sort of leaf blockage is responsible, but I decided to wait for a less windy, less rainy day to investigate. I was slightly cheered when Terry, the builder, appeared at the front door with a brace of pheasant for me. How kind! I hung them in the garage, to keep them cool and out of the way of the cats until I had a minute to pluck them. In the meantime, I got on with the marathon task of sorting out all the recycling that had accumulated over the Christmas period. As I started picking through the mountain of paper and cardboard and bottles and cans in the kitchen, I noticed that a newspaper at the bottom of the bin wa