Beautiful here last night, which was so warm that I sat outside until 10pm when it finally got dark. Today was warm and bright. Spent the whole day cutting the hedge and strimming the banks and I’m still not finished. I worked for 6 1/2 hours, which is just too long and with my tennis elbow, not a lot of fun. Startlingly few people of interest passed by today – no-one local. I still have to finish tomorrow and mow the lawns. Although I might leave the big lawn. I rather like it being like a meadow.
There’s a blue tits’ nest in the roof just to the right of the spare room window at the front of the house. (While I watching them I realised that the front of the house must have once been painted, as some of the stone has paint on it – I’d not noticed that before.) I watched them going in and out via the gutter but the nest is totally out of sight inside somewhere in the eaves. There were also some birds that weren’t swifts because they landed on the telegraph wires, and weren’t swallows because their tails weren’t long enough. Could have been house martens but tail was too long, I think. Must have been one of those three. Perhaps they’ll be back tomorrow and I can have another look. The chaffinches are amazingly tame – you can just stand and watch them from five or six feet away and they won’t fly away.
Planning application from Great Holwell Farm for a monstrous, new cowshed – they now seem to be rearing calves as well as dairy cows.
After another four hours’ hedging today I am well and truly finished. I can hardly move let alone drive back to London. Slept for four hours in the hope of regaining some energy and then made some weird spaghetti concoction out of an aubergine and a spring onion. Hmm. This is the view from my bed. It looks like I’m missing a nice, if windy day. Sign of true exhaustion: managed to lock the house keys into the car inside the garage, which I then padlocked. The padlock key is on the house key ring.
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I’m such a busy Lizzie that I forget that I’ve only had Spring Cottage for just over two weeks. I’m already impatient with progress on the house, although I’ve got quite a lot done. I’ve now found a painter and he’s due to start in 10 days or so – I hope. He has the keys, so let’s hope he gets going when he said he would. He thinks it will only take a week. At that point, I expect it will feel really different. It should be cleaner and lighter and feel more mine, than it does now, when I can still see where all Lady-Vendor’s furniture and pictures were.
I still can’t take the table down as I’m finding it difficult to get the replacement table for the kitchen in London. Also I will need help with sofa transportation and will have to wait for the Boy to come back from university to help.
I’m just looking forward to begin able to spend a weekend doing something other than clean and organise. Whilst that is fun, I am looking forward to being able to invite people to stay and show them its loveliness.
Beds – I forgot – they are coming in 10 days. I have to find a kind friend to help me put them together and then at least one will be able to sleep properly. So, its beds, table, sofas in that order and then the rudiments of comfortable living will be there. Not much else is necessary really and stuff will accumulate.
Oh yes, and I’m also expecting a peg rail and a slate house sign soon. I got a quote for the new radiator in my room today. Approximately twice what I’d budgeted for. I’ve no idea whether it’s a good price or not, but at least I was right about the existing rad being too small for the room. Since it’s my bedroom, it would be stupid to let it be too cold. Not that I want to sleep in the very warm or spend vast amounts of time in my bedroom but if I found the room cold in May, what will it feel like in December. I just can’t help feel anxious at the amount of cash that seems to go out of the door every day at the moment. But of course this will slow down as things get done.
What fun it must have been for all those MPs to charge stuff like this to the good old taxpayer and feel that they had the right to do so. A rotten system. I don’t blame them individually for doing it, but I do admire those, like Hilary Benn, who avoided doing so. There are so few with real integrity, sadly. But I think most people’s invoices would look pretty foolish placed under close scrutiny – showing up all our petty vanities, so I think it’s very hard to judge all this out of context. They do need to think of something better though. This system is like something out of the nineteenth century. Oh wait, that’s exactly what it is…
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And here we are, late on Monday afternoon – finally! I got straight out and took some photos as soon as I’d unloaded the car because it was simply so good to be here. I’d spent the best part of the day driving down from London and sitting around in Starbucks in Taunton waiting to hear that we’d completed. The solicitors had to be reminded at 3pm that I was still waiting to hear from them, at which point I went round and picked up some of the largest keys I’ve ever seen.
I will photograph them soon. If nothing else does, they prove the antecedents of the cottage lie well back in the past.
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