Sunday, 17 July 2011

Moving On Song

I remember once upon a time, along time ago, going to a rather terrible B&B in Minehead (a fairly terrible place - at the time) with my family. Every night at dinner the owner would read through the menu and list the vegetables one by one, after which he would say 'fresh from the garden', "Coq Au vin with carrots, fresh from the garden, peas fresh from the garden and potato's dauphinoise fresh from the garden". Clearly this was the source of endless jokes throughout said holiday and will frankly still cause some hilarity when resurrected.

But now.. I GET IT! I am that man. A friend came over for dinner and I couldn't stop myself... "erm that lettuce you are eating - it's from our garden, and the peas and the spring onion - yup, that too". Such is my shock and delight that we have literally grown real life vegetables and fruit (4, count them, 4 strawberries), that I can't hold back, I realise it's dull and not really even surprising to most but I am AMAZED!

Moving on (temporarily of course). It has been an interesting few weeks chez squat. Not one to let the (literal) dust settle for long, I have been having valuations on the house. The first one I thought was slightly crazy but after 3 more it seems not, the changes in the area combined with the work we have done means the value has risen, not insignificantly. This pleases me of course. What pleases me more however is the compliments - admiration for the radiators or niches in the bathroom, an odd 'lovely fireplace' and I am putty in their hands.

I KNOW they are sales people and I KNOW they want my business, but yes, asking me if I am an interior designer will work every time! It's not definite that we will sell and move and yes I would be sad to leave the hard work behind but every time I walk past any of the many building projects down the road I can't help but feel a pang of envy. Besides, the hallway needs re-painting so it must be time to move on!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Strawberry Fields

There are half drunk cups of coffee all around me, the lingering smell of freshly smoked cigarettes hangs in the air, Euro trash beats blares out of the stereo. A holiday in Greece? Turkey, a quick trip to Paris... no no my dear friends, I am in my very own kitchen. Except, it is no longer my own, it is well and truly theirs, buildersville. 5 of them, large and Polish, they don't say much but I can't help but worry about their diets.

At this point there is no point trying stake ownership over the house... it's so much easier to accept that for now it is theirs, they will do with it what they will. So, I creep apologetically around them and watch as things slowly but surely progress.

I am shocked/ amazed about the quantity of produce the consume, coffee, cigarettes, wallpaper, paint, all of it in such ludicrous quantities I honestly don't know where it goes.
A 10m roll of wallpaper is surely enough do approx 5m of wall - apparently not, 2 rolls doesn't even cut it. 7 litres of paint for the outside, no no no, of course they need more. However much you think you need, double it and you might be getting close.

The results, as ever, are pleasing, in fact the newly painted WC door, brought squeals of delight. As ever my love of a dark bold colour knows no bounds. Doors which were previously the cheapest, lowest quality emergency purchase have been transformed into an elegant statement of a door, all through a lick of paint. The paper, I am sure, not to everyone's tastes, but I love it adds a real point of interest to a tiny non space. The exterior, slightly disappointing, mostly due to our choice of hue, is still a vast improvement and the outside light at the back is a literal delight.

Last night I consumed my very first home grown, perfectly formed, deliciously ripe strawberry. Oh the joy!