Thursday, 23 June 2016

More Haddo

A lovely day at beautiful Haddo today. At lunchtime, my colleague Anna pointed out this interesting building in the woods behind the Peatyards. This is the original game larder, a delightful building in wood with louvered windows for ventilation and a deep roof overhang for coolness.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

House and Home

No, we are not moving to a cottage. This lovely house is on the Landmark Trust website which came up on my facebook feed. They restore old buildings and rent them out for holidays. This is a thatched cottage in Devon.
But it reminds me of my ultimate dream of a house with a garden.


The last few weeks have been devoted to cleaning and decluttering the flat ready to put it on the market.
As we have a lot of stuff, but want to keep it, we hired a unit from Flexistore. They deliver a giant room sized crate to you in a horsebox like trailer. You fill and padlock it and then they take it away and store it for as long as you need. Genius.

Into ours we put: about 20 boxes of books
About 10 boxes of cds and dvds
About 6 boxes of comics
About 5 boxes of models
6 storage units
2 vintage radios
2 pictures
1 xmas tree

We used about 30m of bubblewrap. I have learned in my work you can never have too much packing material. Professionally, I've done this for a 20 room castle and a 50 room stately home. You need a plan, more packing than you dream possible and sometimes up to 5 skips for the unwanted stuff.

Now I am cleaning everything, arranging and 'tarting up'. Lingering toiletries etc will go into decorative boxes and anything else stashes in the wardrobes when not used. It feels very empty now.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Shades of Summer

Two fantastic summer fashions I spotted this week.
Yellow crop peasant blouse with wide trousers and platforms, afro.
Floral playsuit with gigantic pink hat.
Both supercool homages to the 70s, and everyone likes a bit of bohemian in the sun.
Sadly the summer weather is somewhat in abeyance at the moment.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Tower House

The week before last I went on a fantastic trip to Udny Castle with my friend Alison. The castle is private so this was a rare opportunity. 
Outside, a lone tower is surrounded by forest and gloomy rhododendron drives. Inside, a riot of decoration...a tiny bedroom even the ceiling covered in green felt, a fabulous 80s chintzy bedroom, an L shaped bath in a tiny turret, a baroque hall with gigantic ochre velvet sofas and a grand piano piled high with books. Everywhere, tiny spiral stairs, nooks, crannies, stuffed with books and fabrics and tattered cushions. So homely. The tower dates from about 1500 and is the survivor of a gigantic victorian pile that was built around it. 
Painting wise, trying some actual perspective here and quite pleased with the results.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Reading Project

My reading project goes on.
Latest Romans reading is the Shire book of Romano British mosaics. I love mosaics and went to see them in the British Museum as well as seeing the famous Lod mosaic in Venice. It was on a travelling tour as it was in the way of a major road development where it was discovered. 
I love the geometric patterns, animals and naive figures on the mosaics. 
Recommend looking up the Aldborough Wolf which is grinning cheesily over Romulus and Remus, also a very bow legged British Venus and two gangly nude mythological heroes.
I may have to find a book with nice colour illustrations though as this one is black and white only which does not capture the glory of the art.

For the Americans I am really enjoying the very informative, insightful and atmospheric In America Travels with Steinbeck by Geert Mak. The author retraces an epic journey by John Steinbeck. I am embarassed to say I have never read any Steinbeck, the author seems to like Cannery Row best. Any recommendations, readers?