Hope this blog finds you all not too down in the dumps following lockdown 2.0 commencing Thursday. At the moment I am trying to look on the bright side and as you can see from my heading and photo - at least be comfortable in the knowledge we are unlikely to have any visitors anytime soon!
The builders arrived this week to start tackling the major renovation of our lovely house. As clued up as I was to renovating and the mess that it can generate, I can honestly say, hand on heart I had no idea of the amount of mess renovating a 200 year old Georgian house can create! The dust of all of those 200 years has been falling everywhere - including on me! I have been relegated to sitting on our kitchen table in a hallway upstairs, typing away to the bang, crash, wallop directly below me - our builder Ian came up to check on me on Tuesday and was rather amused to see me sitting there, working away - packages to be posted all around my feet, me covered in gyprock dust... I must have looked a sight!
Time waits for no man and Island Home still has to get its orders out, so should any of your parcel boxes arrive with a film of dust on the top, please bear with me, your lovely things inside should be fine, as I package them in the stock room, away from all this mayhem!
There is something quite magical and exciting though about renovating, I have mentioned to you all before, to me it does seem like a form of Archeology as you never know what you might find. This time we have found some old newspapers in the walls dating back to 1859… they were from The Times on January 17th of that year. In them they talk of Sunday evening special services as St Pauls, and Westminster and surprisingly - even for the author, the fact that notwithstanding these other more prestigious services, the Exeter Hall was filled to overflowing to listen to the sermon of J.G.F Knapp - Theological Associate of Kings College London. I'm sure Rev Knapp would be rather pleased to know that some 170 years later, we were all contemplating how popular he was with the Exeter Hall congregation that night!
Just a little snapshot of history, not all that important in the grand scheme of things, but telling of the people who lived in this lovely house then… makes me wonder who was reading the paper - was it the brick layer building the wall, or maybe the Lord of the house, and the builders had just come upon it in the trash and thought it might work for filling up an odd hole in the new wall ! Who knows? You might say who cares, well, for me, coming from a country that is only just over 230 years old in its European history - I find this stuff quite fascinating, and it never fails to astound me that here in England we live with history literally all around us everyday.
So, onto the renovations... I think its fair to say that the mess will continue for some time, that I will spend more time than usual washing my hair of gyprock dust, and it is likely to be a cold old November with no central heating - but the other thing about renovating that I love is the transformation if brings about. We will transform how we live in this house, and how people beyond us will live in this house for years to come - I can't wait to show you how it will look when it is finished - I'm planning the whole Island Home treatment, and will keep you posted as to progress as it comes about.
So, far so good though... I think it will keep us busy enough during lockdown! Hoping all your pre-Christmas DIY projects keep you all busy too. Take care and stay well. xx