Saturday, 28 August 2010

Out and away and all over the place!

We didn't mean to be away so long. No, really, we didn't. We've been so busy with the long summer in spite of the grim wet weather.
Freezing early mornings at the coast ... the birds have long since known it's Autumn - We've said our goodbyes to the Swifts and Swallows! There has a been a bit of Hero worship on the beach...
Garden snails bleached by their seaside holiday....
An abandoned Gull's egg - and later, a lesson learned about putting eggs in pockets!
A tragic jelly fish...
delicately coloured Sea Holly....
and tens of thousands of Knot, Oystercatchers, Ringed Plovers, Cormorants ... all wheeling about as the tides chased them in off the flats of the Wash which sits between Norfolk and the coast of Lincolnshire.
The Beautiful Boy would also like it noted that he made his first Gannet sighting and later, further around the coast, was lucky enough to be on hand as the reserve warden netted and ringed a Pied Flycatcher on it's way to Africa! A rare sighting around here indeed!
Our next trip to the coast gives a better picture of the weather we have been enjoying.....
Yes, we could barely stand in the on-shore gales! In the few minutes we stood to see the wave heights we were both drenched! Thankfully our favourite eaterie had plenty of hot autumnal food to thaw us out... in August! I ask you?!!
 Later we were supposed to be enjoying an evening of Moths - of course no self-respecting Moth was anywhere to be seen but we enjoyed a superb evening courtesy of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and a good number of Moth fanatics.
We are now hooked and intend to set up a Moth trap for the Spring next year to start to sort our Prominents from our Hawks and get to grips with all the little brown ones too!
And what of the house?
Well, when the boy is home we are staying at Hotel Granny and being spoiled rotten (although the Woodlice Colony was a step too far and they were relegated to the garden!)!
Progress is fast although the list of jobs is growing as we pull away layers of the oldest part of the house.
This beautiful reeded ceiling which had sadly reached the point of collapse....
Is now a much less scary view with solid timbers and high value insulation...
We visit most days and check progress, make a preposterous quantity of decisions and generally try not to get in the way and try even harder to stay calm when anyone mentions budgets! The plumber has been cancelled so there is every chance when we move back for good that it will be to a single tap establishment! On the upside, today we discovered that we have new neighbours....
The field to the back of us which has been a beautiful meadow, is used as a nursery field by the local cattle farmer so the Beautiful Boy is delighted!
Meanwhile I have a power-tools of my own to play with. I'm not knocking out walls but the hedges are getting the better of me so I'm off to wave this thing around until my arms turn to jelly! Whoever named it the 'Homelite' was having a laugh!
Hope you're all enjoying the holidays with or without sunshine! t.xx

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Wayne and Me....

Mrs Bun and I had a wonderful trip to Burnham Market. I'm in love with these delightful vintage rattles which I recently came across and added to my stall....
Saturday was an exciting day! As promised the Guardian Travel supplement Seaside Special was published, and there, alongside the words of many people I admire, were 200 words on my seaside! Why? How?
I have no idea. But being next-door-but-one to Wayne Hemmingway (is that an 80's-design-student-hero-worship-thing or do you share my admiration?!) was worth all the worry and re-writing - 200 words took forever! I shall have my copy laminated for the smallest room in the house! Wayne and Me at the Seaside! And... do you see?
...they also used my Candy Floss sign in their seaside montage! Candy Floss was indeed £1 a bag on Hunstanton Promenade the day I took that picture!
If you wish you can read the full feature here.
Back down to earth with a bump...a bash... a bang and lots of pneumatic drilling and brick dust!
One of these arrived early on Monday....
and by the end of the first day an old tiled fireplace started to look like a very much older inglenook! Not exactly Home Sweet Home quite yet but we are making startling progress in the demolition phase and we're only on day three!  We have also had a steady stream of electricians, plumbers and chimney people coming to visit and discuss their quotations... all very baffling...
...I persevere until I find one I think can comprehend how utterly dim I am about it all without then feeling the need to try and educate me! I just want them to do their thing and ask me to make decisions on the girly bits! Really. I have no interest whatsoever in the functional stuff! If they're honest, reasonably priced, seem to make good suggestions (i.e. save me from thinking too much about it) and are available at the right time, then that's good enough for me! Do I want a bunded tank? Have I considered a 15 gang circuit board? Well, frankly, no! But since you ask, I saw a very nice Ted Baker handbag which would be infinitely preferable to a condensing boiler!
Thankfully I have had something else to keep me busy - in our little haven there has been stitching...
... I can't show you the whole piece as it's a wedding gift and I don't want to spoil any surprises by accident. I have loved stitching this piece. It has been a welcome distraction, especially when the beautiful boy is away!
 Lots of personal details were added and the colour scheme was adapted to the couple's wedding design....
All packaged up and parceled off ready for their big day.
B.T. have finally done whatever it is they do and we have Broadband so I am online again at home! Service was magically restored with one phonecall made by the very nice engineer man who said; "No, I don't really understand it all either....".
Maybe some garden pictures next - the house is all looking a bit scary... but so far the kitschen linoleum floor is surviving well! Phew! Hope you're all having a lovely week. t.x

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Calm before the Storm?

Before the threatened nasty damp pictures I thought I'd share some pictures of the lovely, faded old wallpaper....
...did anyone else adore 'Spirograph' when they were kids?  I am reminded of hours of happy squiggling whenever I look at this design...
I love the way the inks sit on the surface of the paper making the texture three-dimensional....
So many variations of one pretty motif....
Each one in the same delicate colours; I especially love that vibrant blue...
A long way to go before it's all revealed and then I'll have to decide how much of it, if any, I can keep - I'm hoping for one complete wall....the funny sticky backed 80's stuff is coming off easily but in lots and lots and lots of tiny bits......!!!
Now, grab a cuppa and sit down for the nasty nasty damp pictures!
This chimney stack is a bit of a disaster area! The whole gable will be stripped back to the Norfolk Red bricks and replastered with traditional lime plaster to allow the building to breathe again!
This is going to be the Beautiful Boy's bedroom... one day!
The furniture belonged to the previous owners and will not go back down the tiny staircase... it sort of got built into the house when it was extended in the 60's! We'll be shuffling it between rooms and painting some of it and we're delighted to make use of such solid old oak pieces!
Eeeugh! That's a bit awful isn't it! No more of that...it'll all be gone soon! Along with most of the old electrics, plumbing, facilities..... oh my!
Back downstairs; I do love a cupboard staircase! So energy efficient - I think every home should have one and am baffled that the Building Control Button Counters haven't caught on to this along with all their other Important Rules and Regulations about which I am learning a very great deal!!
The damp work down here is huge but will all be over in a few weeks! The sitting room is filling up with Builder Stuff... tools, materials, scary chemical liquids in spray applicators.....oo-er!
Another view of that lovely little kitschen....
I do love it too. But sadly it all has to come out for the damp work and then it won't go back as the back boards are rather damp and manky too! But I am very, very hopeful that when this space becomes my new workroom it will have at least some of that linoleum floor! We're covering it in hardboard to try and protect it a bit during the demolition.... Did I say demolition????
The little bathroom is just off the kitschen... the wall between is coming out to use the whole space for a workroom and the bathroom will be moved upstairs where it belongs! (I can't abide the idea of a little person creeping down dark stairs in the middle of the night!) More lovely flooring to try and preserve here too! And that adorable basin!
We are about to start living on toast, toast and more toast as all of this is moved up into the bedroom where we'll also have a kettle! All you need for fine dining don't you know?!
Now, there is a surprise in our little cottage....Come with me out through the hall door....and there is another 'front' door....
...through to the even tinkier little Annexe! All will be knocked together very soon - I am having trouble getting out in the morning as we are sleeping one side with the facilities on the other and I have a bundle of keys to rival the Keeper of the Tower of London!
There's another tiled fireplace here too....
Sadly both of these old surrounds will have to be removed for the Damp Work.... it's a very destructive but essential process. One day - possibly a very long time down the line - this will be our new kitchen.... and that flue will be the new home for a range cooker... if I'm a very lucky girl! Meanwhile....
..the annexe first floor will be our little Haven Central for the duration of the works... kettle, toaster, shower, loo..... what else is there a mummy and her Beautiful Boy could possibly need......?! (do you spy those floorboards? I was so relieved to find them under the carpets.... we'll be painting those I think to save on carpet costs!). So, after all those shocking revelations time for some loveliness of a fabric kind! I received a surprise parcel! And you know how I love surprise parcels!
Kind Sal over at Sal's Snippets sent me this fabulous bundle of treats!
Topped off with this incredible piece of linen embroidery
Now didn't I manage to end on a pretty note?!
Beautiful boy is away for a few days so I'm busy, busy in my makeshift workroom trying to finish a Wedding Cake Sampler this week. Builder Man is going to make my work space look like a Forensic Investigation Scene from a US cop series! All plastic walls and flapping doors!
Mrs Bobobun and I are off to jolly at the seaside this weekend with Little Vintage Lover Burnham Market. We're going up together so will have over an hour's drive-time chatty chat! Wahey! Maybe see you there?!
I will get back when I can with more pictures..... BT are doing what they do best about my broadband supply..... zippety doo-da!! :-) t.xx
P.S. A little bird tells me I might have a mention in the Guardian on Saturday in a seaside feature..... not sure if it's going ahead but very excited about it! x