I’m home. We went for a little relaxing trip, which got extended at each end as we visited family. In two weeks, I took one photograph, and its not a particularly good one –
A lot has changed in two weeks, especially when you leave as the seasons are changing. We got home to leaves, leaves and more leaves, different colours and ripening pumpkins in the garden. I had to buy a warmer jacket, and now walking Penny by the river is delightful. She seems equally delighted that things have returned to normal and her people are home.
We got home to surprises too. Imagine opening your front door, to see that your rickety old, marked and hand-knit sock-snagging hall floorboards had been magically replaced with solid oak flooring, completely perfect, beautiful and homely. I gaped at it from the doorstep and wept. I am nowhere near done with showering my father-in-law and Mr Saz in kisses.
That wasn’t even everything – all our internal doors had been taken down, made to fit properly and rehung. I have been so used to kicking the bottom of the doors to make them close I didn’t even notice I was doing it. My garage now looks like a garage/workshop, rather than a room with the sole purpose of housing a huge pile of crap. There is a new, sturdy chicken run which I can see the ladies eyeing up excitedly, they’ll be moved there at the weekend.
All this, the beginning of my favourite season, and knowing that things are still fine. I feel so lucky.
It was a very peaceful weekend. I read, knit a hat and slept, a lot. The hours I spent conscious were pretty few and far between, but I think my body needed it. This doesn’t make for the most interesting blog post, so I’m sorry. But mainly I just wanted to appear to here to thank you for the comments, and many PM’s and emails of love given what I hinted at in my last post.
Things are still fine, though I most likely won’t mention it much here. If I ever do, I’ll warn you so if you want to, for whatever reason, skip it. There was a time not too long ago where I found sudden mentions of babies and pregnancy jarring and there were several places both online and in real life that were just too difficult to visit. As strange as this sounds given my current situation, I often still find this to be true.
Soon it will be a full year since our terrible loss, and I realised this morning that more than a full season has passed with me growing my second little one. Where has the time gone? The coming weeks will be busy – I have some wonderful friends coming to visit, and there will be adventures as we try to show them as much of Scotland as we can manage, including a trip to Shetland. I had a crazy idea this weekend that it’ll be possible to make a quilt for the newly-decorated guest bedroom in time for their arrival. Still trying to talk myself down from that one…
I got a bit distracted from the laundry room plans last week, but I managed to get something sorted that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time…spruce up my ironing board!
(I promise you that I don’t make Penny sit in my photos, she does it all by herself.)
I looked at a couple of tutorials online but it was pretty easy to make up as I went along. Firstly, I used the old cover as a template on some nice cotton from Ikea –
I cut round with a good 2 inches extra, my old one sat pretty close to the edge of the board and I wanted it to tuck under properly.
I turned part of an old curtain into a very long 3 inch wide strip, folded it in half and then sewed right round the edge of the new cover with the right sides together.
(The white stitching you can see here was part of the bottom hem of the curtain.) I then folded the binding in half again, and tucked some strong white cotton inside before sewing along the same line to enclose the cord. I stitched this bit down with a pretty narrow seam allowance so that it sat above the first stitching line and would be invisible.
After that it was just a case of putting it on the board and pulling on the cord. There was a slight accident where I yanked the cord a bit much and it snapped, I had to unpick some of the stitching to find the end again. But overall, success!
While I was working on this I managed to get a photo of our other rescue dog, LadyBug. She doesn’t appear in pictures much as she likes to shake about whenever a camera appears, so much so that it doesn’t even look like a dog in the resulting photos. LadyBug is a very old lady, she just turned 17. She’s deaf and almost completely blind now, but is very content pottering about the garden and snoozing with her tongue hanging out. On walks Penny acts as her guide dog to show her where all the good smells are, and they like to cuddle up together in front of the fire and at bedtime.
Many years ago our house was the local doctor’s surgery for our town. It was actually built specifically for him, mainly as his home with a surgery and waiting room to the side. There are still bits of evidence…
(Please excuse the blurriness, and my reflection!) This sits above the door in the kitchen and the bells are all still in the rooms though they don’t work, sadly. Our house isn’t of an age where bells would normally be fitted, so this must have been something Dr Walker requested as it was built.
What used to be the surgery is now a utility room, and this is my next project. It’s really horrible just now – paper peeling off the walls, stained lino, lots of weird fixtures. I plan to transform this at the weekend by painting the presently hidden concrete floor a pale blue/grey, stripping the walls and painting some white and one some kind of colour, sprucing up and moving the shelving that I like and ditching the rest. I will be delighted to get rid of the flooring. While the pattern is almost acceptable in that it looks a bit like knitting close up, it’s really horrible.I seem to spend quite a bit of time in here, doing laundry, blocking things and feeding dogs. I wonder about where the doctors desk was and what went on in here, and what kind of good and bad news was delivered to the people in our town.
To the right of the doorway is the old waiting room. The wallpaper was recently stripped to uncover a concreted-up opening – this used to be the main door to the waiting room. Patients would walk up the side of the house along a path which is still there, to wait in this room before being called through to the doctor.
This is currently being used for storage, obviously! (Mr Saz will be horrified that I’ve put this photo on the internet.)
It’s nice living somewhere that holds a lot of memories for the town, I’ve spoken to people who remember coming to the doctor here, and a friend of my father-in-law remembers being chased off the roof as it was being built when him and his friend had snuck on the building site to play as boys. Now back to the decorating…