As Spring has finally started to approach, at least on the calendar, it seemed it was time for the southern migration.
Agnes and Big T left the grey and occasionally gloomy skies of London for the allure of the azure as they set off yesterday morning in drizzle from St Pancras. As I waved goodbye, Agnes bounced excitedly down the platform and apparently Big T spilled coffee down his front. Not a great start.
Twelve hours later they had arrived.
The house was fine. The pool hadn’t overflowed in the recent rain and the roof hadn’t fallen in. The grass was very green and Agnes was very happy to be back in the land of toads.
So that’s it until September apparently, let the commuting begin!
On Sunday we braved the cold and went to the Barbican OpenFest, an open house weekend which meant the usually empty Barbian was packed to the rafters. We were going to a pottery exhibition and sale.
As my second class comes to an end, I’m searching for an open studio where I can practise throwing before committing to another class. Turning Earth has two studios but due to the popularity of pottery among the middle-aged, there’s a six month waiting list!
I enjoyed seeing the pottery and was inspired by some of the glazing as well as realising that wonky pots are fine if they’re displayed to look intentional.
I put my name down on the waiting list and will see if anything comes up.
It turned out the forecast was accurate and it snowed all weekend. Hopefully it was the last hurrah!
We had the added bonus of dragging a large green sofa outside in the snow while the new tenant moved in upstairs. Luckily the sofa was wrapped in plastic so was quite weather-proof and it was much easier than trying to get it through our tiny front door!
Then we boxed up everything going to France including a new bed frame, double mattress and miscellaneous crap, turned the heating up and settled in for an evening inside.
Another icy blast.
We now own four sofas. That is a ridiculous number considering we are only two people with two bottoms. This does not include the dog, who is only allowed up if she is sitting on a human.
Two very large sofas were delivered to our London flat which has a very small front door. One sofa made it through the door, the other did not. This is a mystery to me as both sofas are the same size. So there’s a large green sofa now installed in our communal hallway to the joy of our neighbours.
The two new sofas are en route to France and will be departing on Monday but in the meantime, we have to work out how to get the hallway sofa inside the flat as apparently there’s a new tenant moving in upstairs with Mr Chips, perfect timing as always.
So that’s Friday night sorted!
It was the second last class and after a sleepless night the week before, worrying about how to get things finished, I went in with a plan of attack.
First stop, the glazing room. I dipped and glazed six pieces at breakneck speed so they could be fired for next week. By 8pm I was done and moved on to turning.
Express turning meant I had five pieces ready for firing so they can be glazed in the final week. Going so fast resulted in one casualty but all things considered that wasn’t too bad.
I finished up with some experimental second glazing on four pots which had been glazed badly. By mixing glue with glaze, the pots apparently can be fired again. So that was done too.
I staggered in the front door at 10pm absolutely exhausted. This hobby is not as relaxing as I’d imagined!
Next week, photos of the end result. Let’s see if there’s any improvement!
What’s the collective noun for roof terraces? My guess is “a nonsense”.
It would appear Mr Chips also wants to build a roof terrace as we had a second email this morning. I can only imagine that one would involve drunks, chips and beer bottles falling from the second floor.
It would also involve a great deal of construction going on with workers, scaffolding and other fun things.
At the risk of being the grumpy old couple downstairs, we’ll be objecting to all proposed developments on the grounds that we’ve decided to sell and decisions will be made by the future owners so as not to impact our sale.
Job done. Not.
I spent the majority of the weekend getting the flat ready to go on the market.
It would seem it was just in the nick of time as we received an email from the flat upstairs saying they want to put in railings on the kitchen roof to turn it into a roof terrace… over my dead body!
I can only imagine how it would feel to sit in our back garden with half a dozen people having a barbecue from the kitchen roof a metre away. Sounds fun!
We’ve now been invited to discuss it over a cup of tea in the next week. Let’s just say I probably won’t be there long enough for a cup of tea…
Anyway, it would seem this would be the push we needed. Big T immediately phoned the estate agents and we’re getting this place on the market as soon as possible.
Railing against the railings.
Last week’s pots had some issues.
Perhaps it was my cold, perhaps it was battling through the snow to turn and fire them or perhaps they were just shit but regardless, I had a few casualties at pottery last night.
The chamber pot had cracked and wasn’t worth photographing or glazing and there were other disasters. One pot had apparently committed suicide as I couldn’t find it at all.
Nevertheless, I bravely soldiered on with another batch of dubious shapes. I tried making tea cups which looked suspiciously like bowls and ended the evening making two small things, sake cups perhaps?
I was worrying all night about how I’m going to get everything turned, glazed and fired in the next two weeks. And then what am I going to do next?
It would seem the pots aren’t the only things cracking up.
Over the weekend we went to look at a couple of flats in Little Venice.
It’s an area we really like and an area that we can’t really afford but we saw a flat we could afford which needed a lot of work and so that got us thinking.
The flat we saw probably isn’t an option as we would have to sell our current place and all that takes time but it certainly made us think that perhaps it’s the right time to have another go at selling and see where we could go next.
We’ve gone back and forth on whether to leave London and head to the commuter belt but it’s all a bit terrifyingly suburban so for the moment it looks as though the scales have tipped in favour of staying in the city; the only question is where?
I spent the rest of the weekend starting the Spring Cleaning as things need to be spruced up in order to put our flat back on the market. We’ll get the estate agents around to have a look in the next couple of weeks.
Here we go again!
And of course, as quickly as it arrived, it left.
By Sunday all the snow had gone, the temperature had risen and we’d all forgotten about the surreal week that was.
People had been stranded on trains for hours, people had died, chaos had reigned and then pipes had burst and people had no water. Amazing to think that all this had happened in the space of five days.
Just as well we don’t live in Scandinavia!