Monday, 30 March 2020

Yet more Home Improvements

I can see that the garden will be splendid indeed by the end of the summer, it's already looking better than it has done for a good few years

Abi's back yard - lovely shadow of the old trellis above my "Cat Fish" sculpture

Hanging baskets - I will have to grow my own this summer, maybe I can revive the geraniums sufficiently

These pretty violas are "Mystical Pineapple Crush" - I could not resist

The herb garden pots are coming along - one or two did not survive the winter, but the rest seem to be OK if watered now and then

And I bought a new blade for the bow saw (actually, two sorts for different woods) - luxury!

I have needed this a lot - heating has finally been fixed and the house is warming up - this afternoon it was so delicious I went back to bed for two hours...

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Stove, in

Pictures in no particular order...
Up-a-ladder by myself, because, well, there seems to be a shortage of other people in my house.. The worst bit (after cutting the big hole in the roof, with a power jigsaw, on top of a not-firm ladder, was the endless up-and-down to find the next tool, rescue the bag of screws, etc.all of which would have been so much ameliorated by even the most slow, disabled, or silly helper. Cat, sadly, is below all those levels..  The bucketfull of kindling, nicely symbolic, was the first lighting from the roof out-cut.
And then she decided that the summer-house with heat was not acceptable, until last night, when (as it was absolutely freezing) she deigned to come and join me for a while...

It's a refuge, a bolt-hole, a space not quite full of Stuff, and we loved to spend our time out here all summer, meals, reading, peace and quiet. Now it's just me, the house is still freezing (no oil yet) and I'm so pleased to be able to put the kettle on and sit with my computer.. Might even get some work done, who knows?

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Out and Somewhat About

Look - a stove in boxes!

What luxury.. And fabulous helpful and swift service from The Windy Smithy, in Devon

Meanwhile, in the rain, a spider made of umbrella bones

And my camera has rediscovered the art of accidental imagery - such graphic boldness!

Thursday, 27 February 2020

The Kindness of Friends, and A Madness of Spoons

In the post yesterday, this delightful (and perfect-sized) tea-cosy, to add sparkle, and practical glamour to my Home Improvement tea-pot. Bless you, Jackie, for your grace and thoughfulness, and your lovely work

And my good friend Aitchbee came around and shuffled this big bookcase for me, so that the living-room becomes liveable, and mine  The space behind the TV where the big bookcase was is now a bit more civilised (although the mungle of wires has not been beaten into soggy submission yet) and I have hung up the picture - this was the gift I gave to John the first Christmas we spent together. It was years before we could afford to frame it, and this lovely lino-cut lived in a clip frame till we got this big blue frame. I remember it was rather more than I could afford, and that I never regretted it...

So, here's my comfy chair, and I'm sitting in in in front of the fire
And Spoons? Oh, they get madder and madder...

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Further Adventures in Indoor Gardening

My roses are doing well, and the hyacinths smell delicious

I bought a stick-on-the-window bird feeder. The bluetits approve, although they have had trouble hanging on these last few days, with that big West Wind blowing

There are two feeders side by side. This one is torn with indecision

I bought a spoon

Daffodils and crocuses on the doorstep are coming along nicely

And the succulents are taking over the dining table again

For further information on my state of being, see The Widow Stormes blog in the sidebar...

Thursday, 30 January 2020

My table...

...has become a garden

and the butterflies are out, when the frost melts

and the cat is insisting on joining in

that iron is on...

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Home Improvements...

I'm having a really hard time "owning" my house. So many things are where they are because that's where they've been.  The plate cupboard had all sorts of not-much-used things at the front, and all the little plates at the back. I use little plates a lot. Hmmm. And why did we have three graters? Probably because we were not good at throwing the damned things out when a new one arrived..

The big teapot made me awfully sad.  In the last few weeks of John's life I made pot after pot after pot of tea, then watched him leave the cup till cold, then reject the cold tea. At which point I would make another pot.

I make a pot, drink one cup, throw 5 away...
Or use a teabag. I detest teabags
So, a Home Improvement

Little pot, new tray. It makes a cup-and-a-half and I can take the whole lot where I am going to work

And' almost but not quite Spring. On the dining table, it will be sooner than outside
Another Home Improvement

The last is not photogenic, but it is making me feel lighter. Endless paper burned - I do not see why I should keep house electricity bills from 2009...

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Long Day...

Ending in Sewing!

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Unravelling Gently...

It's the small things that upset me.  I found the last birthday card he sent me. It says "Happy Birthday, and thanks for being here"

I cannot imagine where else I might have been.

And I'm slowly unravelling the Mess and sorting the Stuff, and putting it all in different rooms, so that the possibilities of carrying on are made real. 

This was the big bedroom - it's all painted (although I'm finding the colour a bit stark, but there's nothing much on the walls yet.) The big alcove on the left above has  now lost the plan chest (in the bedroom) and I have put up racking for big shelves for my fabric boxes, shelves will be cut tomorrow, but I bought the wrong spurs so it may be a few days before it's all done. I'm pleased with myself for doing it efficiently and with accuracy, but also sad that the usual one-drills-and-one-holds-the-hoover thing wasn't possible.. I suspect there will be a lot of those in my life from now on.

I had already built a big table - probably the most useful thing and the one I miss most from the workshop -  I don't think I want to live without one of these, and the height is kind on  my back

Occupied within seconds by my constant companion...

And now utterly full of Stuff, awaiting sorting..

More pictures tomorrow, as I have the sewing machine, the big rug, and the ironing table all in place - and I hope to resolve the rest in the next few days..

Blessings to all, Happy Winter-Festival-Of-Choice, and a Hopeful and Prosperous New Year..

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

I had...

...a real bang-on-the-ear moment yesterday. I was walking up from Tesco’s into Beccles centre, suddenly was hit by the realisation that I was no longer permanently anxious...

I think this has been my permanent state for most of the last 5 years, possibly longer, and must have been because of John being so ill and fragile.. The last year has been particularly bad, as he lost his hearing and much of the use of his hands after the chemo and radiotherapy... 

I wonder if we will look back in the future and wonder why so many people were poisoned so badly in the attempt to rebalance a disordered system, as cancer is a disorder of the growth of cells, not so much a disease as a broken mechanism..

Anyway, I have been thinking about a new Word for 2020, and have decided on Renaissance (thanks Derek, for the suggestion). Yes, hard to spell, well, work on it, sweetie. It sums up my wishes so well. I want to remake, renew, revitalise, and review everything I do, in a constructive and upward-spiralling manner, and to re-examine my work with the parts of my life that have disappeared somewhat. I have been mourning my lovely man since May, and I think I'm almost done. He would not have wanted me to cry and mope, and I will not. I need to re-find my qigong, my bicycle, and my health and strength.

I do get upset, sometimes people are too nice, (that's pretty hard to take)  - today we had a lovely Christmas meeting of the Teapot Quilters - I founded this group and have passed it on this year to HB, and she's doing a great job. We moved it to the cafe at The Raveningham Centre, and it has expanded and renewed itself really well, with a core of good-hearted people and a few nice newcomers. The food (a pick-up lunch) was fantastic. I made a big bread-and-butter pudding from John's leftover bread in the freezer (I'm not much inclined to bread these days, too many carbs) with apples and sultanas and not-much-sugar, and it was delicious...

And sometimes so self-seeking
At the very end of the day the unpleasant man from the next-door business came in and picked a fight with me. I told him to F off, and he snidely said "I was very fond of John" - well, not enough to ask after him when he wasn't apparent for 8 weeks, or to say sorry that he was gone, or any of those things, just a nasty sulky little chucklefuck of the worst self-interested kind.. And this upset me in a way that is unacceptable and a waste of my energy, and I'm going to tell him that John thought he was a nasty little waste-of-space and a ruinous mistreater-of-tools (a cardinal sin in John's eyes).. I'm going to wait until lots of people are listening, though... Revenge, dish cold, etc..

Anyway, now I have to shower, move yet more stuff around upstairs fairly quietly (my neighbour goes to bed early) and sit in front of the fire with a mindless programme or two and a cup of tea.  

And some dark chocolate, I think

And then sleep in our big bed one more time, before I make a little one for myself...