Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Down by the river

I managed to shoe-horn in a short walk down by the river with Keith yesterday.  Just a few photos, and no time for words today.  Enjoy the serenity.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Slowly getting there . . . and a further comment on selling

Weaver of Grass asked why we haven't sold.  The answer is, I think people coming from England have such high expectations of country living in Wales - and know absolutely NOTHING about living here.  They don't seem to know the word compromise and unless the property is absolutely perfect in every way, they aren't interested.  One family last year haughtily told us, "for the price of your house and 5 acres we can get a LOT more land elsewhere."  Well yes, land is cheaper here in Wales, but you still have to look after it - which I don't think had occurred to them - and they also thought they were going to earn lots of money renting it out - as they didn't actually NEED land for anything.  Hah - the only person likely to want to rent it would be the farmer next door and he is going to pay you a pittance for it, and you will STILL have the cost of maintaining it and fencing etc.  Over the winter you won't be able to rent it out because it will get badly poached by livestock.

Of course, because we were the farmhouse for the farm next door, this is the sticking point - several feedbacks of "You can see the farm from the house" (this was the breaking point for us in the end as the agent just said this every time we'd had a viewing and yet it clearly said in the house details that the house was next door to a working farm).  Well yes, that was the idea when the farmer was living here! 

One lot of viewers last year complained about the mud at the property they'd just viewed in the next village.  Doesn't it rain in England then?  They also had the temerity to query whether the shower room (which unfortunately was a work in progress at the time because of Keith's frozen shoulder slowing him down) would be a FUNCTIONING shower room?  How RUDE - and did they honestly think we'd spent the best part of £1,000 on shower, tiles, and plumber just to look at a shower that didn't WORK?  When they looked at the stable full of Keith's useful bits of wood (any handyman has a pile), the man said, "Oh, have a bit of a problem with hoarding do we?" in a smarmy voice.  How Keith didn't hit him I'll never know!!  If we get any more like that this year I'm afraid I shall say something - they obviously aren't interested anyway!  I think you can tell that those folk still rankle with me .  . . I just stopped myself from saying, "Tell me, were you born rude or is something you've had to work at?"

So, what we need is an extended family who want to do Air BnB with what was mum's lovely flat, and who have a couple of horses so they understand the countryside, mud, rain and probably won't panic when there's a bat or two in the house in August . . .

Our bedroom with the new carpet down and no furniture.  It is HUGE.  (About 16 feet square).

The end with furniture . . .

I had a bit of inspiration and got the Demi-lune table from a spare bedroom and put my beautiful pre-Russian Revolution cast iron mare and foal sculpture on it.  Perfick!  I LOVE the new curtains too - only £26 from Dunelm.

My "waterfall of plants" dividing the patio from the stone garden.

Aquilegias down by the entrance to what was mum's flat (the Old Dairy) and the first Welsh poppies in flower.

Clematis Montana rubens romping up the hedge and into an apple tree.  I have several of these . . .

Lots of different colour and petalled Aquilegias.

Bottom half of Cart Stable painted.  The Country Cream doesn't match the other Country Cream as it was a different make, but we didn't have the time to go round searching for the other one.  It will have to do though I may splash a bit of yellow limewash on if it really looks glaring when done.  All the pots are going Out Of Sight next week.

And here's one I did earlier . . .

The latest stray - another tom of course, who will soon be going to have his bits rearranged . . .  He will let me stroke him now whilst he's eating, so we are nearly at the shove him in a box and drive to the vet stage . . .  I call him Davy (as in Davy Crocket, as he has a tabby "hat" and a tabby tail just like the one on Davy Crocket's hat . . .)  He is of the Snowy line, and also related to Miffy who has very similar markings.

Big Fat Sam - also known as Rambo for obvious reasons! who arrived last summer and said he had Come Home and Wasn't Shifting - and indeed, he did NOT!!  He's a sweetheart.

So, progress has been made and we hope to be phoning round some estate agents next week.  Just a bit more painting outside and a LOT of tidying/housework inside . . .

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

A few photos from Builth Antiques Fair

We had a "day off" on Saturday, and went to the Antiques Fair and Fleamarket at Builth Wells.  We had intended to go to Burry Port car boot sale beforehand, but when the alarm went off just after 5 a.m. I just could NOT drag myself out of bed, having been awake much of the night AGAIN.

Normally we trot round the Antiques Fair and really enjoy it, but neither of us had much energy (this was due to the cold we had - not too bad in the nose-blowing department but one which sapped energy and absolutely DRAINED us).  We sauntered along for a couple of hours before going back to the car for lunch, and for two pins I would have stayed there with my book, but half the Fair was unseen and so I gritted my teefs and we went back and enjoyed the 2nd half, though we didn't linger.  I just bought two old horse bits for my collection (£5 worth) and Keith found a couple of bits for the Militaria side of our dealing, so it was worth going, quite apart from seeing lots of our friends there of course.

A puzzling piece - looks Indian, and for displaying something (for sale, one assumes).  The brown bits in the middle are nothing to do with it.  Suggestions on a postcard please . . .

There are lots of Ebernezer Chapels in Wales, and I assume this chest was associated with one of them, for the help of the poor and needy.  However, at first glance, you are bound to think, who the heck was Ebernezer Sick?!!!  They didn't want it broken into, hence the three locks . . .

I can imagine lots of small children would love to play with this wee ship.

A range of tribal goodies.  The many-holed bowl in the front is for an African game - we had a smaller version of it for a while - but I can't recall the name of the game.

Above and below: some really lovely pieces of art pottery on this stand.  I wouldn't mind a few of these on MY stand either.

This lovely carved table is similar (but more ornate) to one Eldest Daughter bought last week.

Bargain Hunt were filming as usual.  Here are the Reds with their Expert.

A selection of old quilts.  This one above is a good honest piece made of heavy flannels.

Below: an interesting old quilt, but sadly the materials were falling apart where the threads had weakened and rotted from sunlight and age.  

Finally - a lovely stand with lots of good old antique pieces, treen, etc.  A stylish collection.

Well, today is carpet-laying day in our bedroom.  I have spent the last two afternoons repainting the back of the door and all the skirting boards in French Chiffon (one of those sort of white-grey or grey-white paints).  I have also given a 2nd coat to parts of the blue walls where it was a little patchy.  I have new curtains (must iron them) in a very light silver grey and the carpet is also light grey, so it will look lovely in there when finished.  We cut up the HORRID pale pink NYLON carpet which I have hated for the past 30 years and taken it off to the dump.  THAT was a very satisfying job!

I am now finally off the steroids, but still needing to catch up on many nights' lost sleep and energy is at a premium.  I needed to rest but have not had the luxury of doing so because there has been so much needing doing to get the house ready to go back on the market.  Hopefully we are nearly there now.  I was cleaning windows yesterday, so that is a step nearer.  Middle Daughter is coming up today to help anyway, so hopefully that will break the back of it, if I can summon the energy to keep going.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

A Day Off and Fabulous Bluebells

We awarded ourselves a day off yesterday - the only trouble was neither of us were feeling 100% which took the edge off it a little.  Anyway, we had been given a free entry ticket to Builth Wells Antiques Fair & Fleamarket, which we go to twice a year.  I'll put some photos of it up tomorrow, but I thought I would share these Bluebell photos today as I'm running late and no time to write properly.  Sorry that they are a little blurred but the ring which I twist to do closeups must have gotten knocked when I was putting the camera in and out of the bag.   

So, after the slowest of saunters around the Fair, we stopped near Garth on the way home and took these photos.  Oh my goodness - just SO BEAUTIFUL.  Enjoy.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Final (delayed) photos from Wightwick Manor

Wonderful William de Morgan pieces.  Oh my . . .

I really loved the Persian influenced work - very much the style of tiles we saw in the Ashmolean Museum back in November.

Above - the tack room had been left more or less as it had been, complete with pre-War serge and linen-lined hunting saddles.  Below - the loose boxes had been turned into somewhere to sit for lunch, which suited me down to the ground!  I felt very at home!

Health update - mending slowly and I got 4 hours' sleep last night.  Which helps though it doesn't seem much.  I have been downstairs baking up a storm to use this bonus time usefully.

I'm going back to bed for a bit, then it's back to the decorating.