Saturday April 23, 2005

In the event the new bench took less than half an hour to assemble.

Graham wasn’t too impressed with the fittings and seems determined to apply a couple of pieces of timber to strengthen the thing but even so it takes our combined weight with no problem. It’s made of eucalyptus, garnered from a sustainable forest source, and stained with the usual unpleasantly hot red/orange oil. Give it a season or two to weather down, though, and it’ll be ready for a less objectionable treatment.

“Makes the chair look a little over-dry,” he said, mumbling through the steam rising from a mug of well-earned coffee.

“Looked just like this when we got it.”

“Yes, you’re right. While I’m in the mood, though, I think I’ll give it a coat of oil.”

Soon enough the dry, driftwood appearance was transformed by means of danish oil and elbow grease to an exceedingly attractive silver-grey, gleaming in the sun.

“That’s astonishing,” I said.

“Sure is. You’ll not be able to sit on it for twenty-four hours, though.”

“No matter. It’s nice in the sun but there’s a wicked little chill in the breeze. I’ll go do some work indoors.”

So I settled down to the pleasant, routine job of building new galleries for my website, and Graham, a hardier spirit, turned his attention to the garden, dealing with weeds, trimming and tarting the whole thing up. It’s beginning to look truly handsome against the newly-painted external woodwork and gleaming plastic trim, freshly washed.

Tomorrow the study will get its new coat of paint and then it’s down to final dressing up before we call the agents in to give us an appraisal and valuation. The valuation will, I suspect, tip us a little closer to deciding between our two most likely target locations—the Highlands of Scotland or the cliffs of West Somerset.

The whole project seems to be rushing to a close now. It may be I’ll have to defer my holiday for a week or so while we select an agent and get the house formally on the market. We have no idea at all how quickly this one will sell. Might be days, might be months. Property is moving pretty well in this area of Lincolnshire just now and we have the advantage of a larger than average house when set against the titchy little bungalows that are the norm here. No way to tell, and that’s fine. We’ll simply have to turn our attention and energies to hobby work while we sit and wait. Oh, and not making a mess. I’d almost forgotten that. I have to be extra specially tidy for the next few months.

“I think I’d like to stay in the next place a bit longer this time,” I said. “Haven’t really had time to work up a good mess here, any more than the last house.”

“Me too. Long enough to settle, anyway.”

“That’d be nice.”

“Mraaaaaw,” said Dolly, taking the last word as her inalienable right.


Stickford, Apr 23,'05
“Mraaaaaw,” said Dolly



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