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Monday, 18 August 2014

Tuscan Time

I am still obviously running on Tuscan time, having missed my usual Friday blog.

Needless to say, the work week was pretty steady, being the usual mix of me not really running at 100% (indeed, still on Tuscan time) and there being two weeks' backlog of issues for me to get hold of, and in a few instance immediately let go again, the passage of time having sorted them without my involvement.  On the flip side, there are others that needed a second hand to grip them because they were larger than first thought.

On the home front, this was a weekend we planned in over two months ago, to be spent on house stuff.  And boy oh boy, did I spend it on the house.

As I may or may not have already mentioned, we had the patio laid whilst we were away, in the half return between our kitchen extension and the boundary, which looks, I have to say, absolutely fantastic.  It is Indian sandstone, if you are interested, multi-coloured in subdued greys, plums and beiges, which on paper does not sound to appetising, but on the floor looks fantastic, a more muted  sandstone version of the slate we have in the extension and out on to the step beyond the tri-folds.

As you may or may not remember, we are not great gardeners, as reflected in our garden which looks like a cross between and end of season municipal football pitch, and a storage yard for a junk shop.  However, having now had the patio done has inspired us, and we plan to get the garden broadly sorted* this year, so that the start of next we can work on planting and getting the grass to at least passable, so we can enjoy the whole season.

The first step in our progression is actually the front garden, where I have removed the two spiky bushes in anticipation of re-planing with something structural, the exact nature of which is still on the drawing board.

I have also repainted the house.  To be precise, I have started, and am nearly finished bar the big wall down the pathway between us and our neighbour - the so called bastard wall, that includes the chimney - and one wall on the drive against which is currently the surplus sand from the patio work, for which we now desperately want Rob, the patio builder, to return to clear it away.

We have gone for light grey.  We had originally been inspired by LO's old boss round the corner, who had hers done in a lovely mid to dark grey colour.  That inspired us, but it also inspired the new people just over the road, who also went for the mid to dark grey, perhaps a slightly different shade than LO's boss, but near enough.  This gave us a small dilemma that we did not want to be seen as copying, but an unexpected event cleared that away.  Just after it had been painted, I was over giving it a good look over, being totally nosy, when the new owner came out the side gate.  We got chatting, he being the golf pro at Rustington golf course, and he showed me round the back to the garden (totally remodeled) and the lovely two storey extension, complete with tri-folds.

Anyway, in the end, we went light grey only because our house is so large, and the drive wall and beyond such a large expanse of wall, visible from the road, that we feared that a mid to dark grey may well end up making the house look like a battleship.  So, light grey it is, and I have to say I really like it.  Whilst the house if over a hundred years old, the extension is simple and modern, and the grey really ties the two parts together, creating a cool and sophisticated colour, offset by the white detailing for the front corner pieces and pillar caps on the wall.  At least that is probably what the estate agents will write.

* Sorted meaning having had all the rubbish removed, and the grass somewhat resembling something flatish and greenish.  Indeed, I have already had a load of old timber taken away by two** Freecyclers.

** This comment is becoming a bit of a nested loop, but I feel I should explain that there were two due to a cock-up on my part.  I contacted the first person who responded (who passed my "would I like this person to have my stuff" test) and asked them to ring me Thursday, since I was a bit busy first three days.  In the meantime, somewhat miffed that said person had not responded, I offered it to the next responder who passed the test (see above), who accepted.  Then on Thursday, the day of collection by the second person, the first person rang, and he was rather put out that I had given it away when I asked him not to ring until Thursday.  Solution?  Offered them half each, which eased my conscience, and actually both needed about as much they got, so it all worked out fine, though more by luck than judgement.  The second person, a decent chap who is a gardener, turned up with a bid flat bed van and his wife, and who wanted the wood for a path in his house, even gave me a bottle of red wine, not expected or needed in the Freecycle tradition, but received with pleasure, and which I sampled last night, and can report is not perfect, but drinkable.

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