Winter cottage blues

DSCF1193I’ve not felt very goddess-like during the past couple of weeks – think more headless chicken with many pages of lists circling manically mixing metaphors left right and centre – not to mention dropping the odd cliche.

Having said that the carpet gnomes have been to measure up the living room and the fair maidens in a distant land are no doubt weaving the carpet even as I type.  Despite that it feels a little bit like that difficult stage of a marathon where your lungs fell like they may explode, your knees have turned to jelly and you have another six miles to go.   I hasten to add I’ve never run a marathon but I’ve watched several on the tv and the looks of pain etched on many of the fun runners faces have often led me to wonder how that much anguish can be deemed ‘fun.’  So, I’m just guessing but I think you get my drift.

However I’ve perked up, not least because the last of the plastering has been done.  But more importantly today I got talking to a neighbour and discovered that they have been renovating their cottage for the last three years – and they still haven’t finished. If I’d discovered that in May I would probably have reached for the gin but as it stands I feel quite chirpy as we are on the last room and doing the  ‘easy to forget bits.’ This afternoon for example I have been spray enamelling the lock for the spare bedroom door. All I need to do is another coat tomorrow and then attach it to the door, add a couple of pictures to the spare bedroom and hey presto. I may even get so far as to take photos of the landing and stairwell.  To be completely fair our neighbours have a listed cottage and apparently the fairy of listed buildings can be a little bit on the stroppy side.


Downstairs a cupboard has been built, pipes boxed in, plastering plastered and skirting board attached. There’s a bit more filling to be done and then I think I’ll be allowed to slap the paint on the walls. I’ve measured up for curtain poles and noted the fact that the pendant light needs a fitting.

And I have central heating – another lady of my acquaintance currently has no hot water. She’s relying on kettles and popping around to see her mother on a regular basis. She’s also at the stage where she has a solitary tap in the kitchen taped to the wall…happy days – and they always look so much better many months after the stresses of living in a wreck have passed – which is probably why we thought that living like this for a third time was a reasonable idea. We’d actually forgotten what it was like.


Actually my acquaintance, who is lovely and who I hope will turn into a friend with the passage of time, told me a story that far surpasses anything that has ever happened to HWIOO and I. She and her husband moved into their cottage five months ago and that first evening of domestic bliss their toilet, an elderly macerator, exploded. It wasn’t anything they’d done. It just stopped, backed up and, er, returned what had been previously deposited. Now, I’ve never had to don my wellie boots in order to mop up a room or clean down walls covered in something that unpleasant and I have no wish to do so at any point in the future. Amazingly she’s still enthusiastic about diy and we have started swapping notes on our various projects – it’s a bit like a self-help group as in “My name is XXX and I’m renovating my house.”   Afterall, there’re knit and natter groups; book clubs; patchwork covens and all sorts of other affiliated societies so why not one for goddesses with an interest in crowbars, partition walls and all types of wall covering?


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