Thursday, 22 October 2009


The 'before'.......the original victorian stairs that went up the main bedroom. Oh we were really loathe to remove them, but they were just not safe. Partly because they were rickety (and when the plywood casing came off it was apparent they were more dangerous than we realised), and partly because they were more ladder than staircase and really quite difficult to negotiate. The top photo was taken standing halfway would enter the bedroom on your hands and knees! So we took the decision to have them replaced with a staircase that we can use. We employed a small local firm and had a proper wooden staircase fitted (none of your MDF nonsense). All old buildings have to evolve or they become uninhabitable, and we have tried to do this as sympathetically as possible.

And so here they are.....our new stairs. Looking a bit stark and 'new' in our old Victorian schoolhouse but i have beeswax ready to feed them and over time they will age and settle into the house. We are really happy with them, and the quality of work is fantastic.

My first attempt at a blog with photos!!

I'v edited this because i forgot to say.....we have kept all the wood from the old staircase and when we find a creative joiner/carpenter will be having it made into a table or storgae box. All the wood will be re-used in the house in some way.

a moment with nature and a childhood book

This morning i had one of those beautiful, unexpected moments that nature likes to send us now and then. I got up and as i passed the landing window i looked out of it, as i always do. It looks out from the back of the house, over the bit of overgrown scrub directly behind us and over the fields and to the houses in the distance. This morning it is wet outside, though not too cold and so there is a slight mist hanging low over the ground and that strange silence the countryside holds on such a morning.
This morning that view was different though. This morning there was a creature sat on the wall in the scrub. At first i thought it was a cat, which caught my eye because there are not many round here. But then i realised it was too big for a cat......and then i noticed the black tips to it's ears and the huge bushy tail as it moved to get a more comfortable footing. A FOX!! Oh what beauty, it was glowing in the half-light. It sat on the wall for ten minutes, it's ears turning to follow's nose lifting in the air catching a smell on the breeze. Then it gingerly felt it's way down the bramble that has grown over an old metal frame leaning against the wall.....and disappeared from view into the bramble patch.
And so to the childhood memory. I have noticed that a new film is coming out, and it is a stop animation of one of my favourite books from childhood. And what should this book be about? Oh but a fox. A fantastic fox. The Fantastic Mr Fox! I loved this story as i child, i read it over and over. And i was going to buy it for Bam for Christmas and a tiny part of me feels jealous that now this wonderful story which so few had heard of, and that felt like a little secret i could share with my son, is now going to be seen by the whole world. I should be happy though that so many more are now going to enjoy this story and i hope love it as much as I.

What a difference though between Mr Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox and my glowing morning companion.

Friday, 2 October 2009

new stairs and poorly children

So, after a week of banging and sawing and making lots of mess the joiners have got our new stairs in. When i figure it out i will post before and after pictures on here for you all to see (whoever 'you' are).

Oz has been away all week, and won't be back until Monday. I miss him so much....the little things like the hug when he gets in from work, and chatting in the kitchen while he cooks dinner. Bam is missing him too......

And talking of Bam, he didn't go to nursery today as he is full of cold and didn't feel upto it. So i collected him from his dad's a little earlier than usual, and we've had a lovely afternoon together including a dog walk. We went down by the drain and someone was fishing down there. I think maybe he was after peace and quiet but seemed more than happy to answer Bam's questions. Oh four year olds know how to ask questions. If you've seen the film Uncle Buck..........well the scene with John Candy, Macaulay Culkin and the string of questions should give you some idea of the scene by the water today *chuckle*
The swans were on the water this afternoon too.....with their wings spread up in the classic pose you always see in drawings. What a serene sight indeed, but anyone who's been up close to a swan will know just how BIG they really are....truly an animal to be respected in close proximity.

It is wonderful to see the changing landscape.....the colours as the season turns. I have taken it for granted for so many years, having always lived here....but now i am in some ways seeing it afresh both as my son notices it with a childs eyes and as Oz see's it as a newcomer to the area.