scribbles tagged ‘staircase of doom’

bing bong cuckoo

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 | tags: , ,  |

Time passes noisily in the wendy houseChime Strike

On the north wall a Smith’s clock from London with a 7 day mechanism shares it’s Westminster chimes every quarter hour

On the west wall a Saqui and Lawrence pendulum clock from London with a 7 day mechanism strikes every hour

On the stairway of doom a cuckoo clock from Lucerne with a 24 hour mechanism chirrups every hour

cuckoohey all have slightly different ideas about

  • when the hour should be called
  • the length of a minute

PorcelainOn the east wall a Donald Yule clock from Bath with a quartz mechanism silently moves it’s hands while a ceramic mouse watches

All the mechanic clocks tick tock, at gradually slowing rates

Around the hour, the house sings with differing overlapping strikes and chimes

I love the sound

It is the sound of home with all the clocks chattering the time away in their own idiosynchratic ways. They bring peace to my home in a way that’s probably similar to placing a child in a car to drive around until the child falls asleep

tick-tock tick-tick tock-tock tick-tock tick tick tick tock tock BING-BONG Cuckoo……etc

bing bong cuckoo
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light shelving

Thursday, February 16th, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

top of the stairs
A tall slim windows sits at the top of the Wendy House staricase of doom. In February it  drenches the hallway in the glow of snowcloud light. Warmly – double-glazed. Privately – not overlooked by other houses. Nakedly – without dressings of any kind. A few coloured glass bowls sit on the low sill. On sunny days the glassware sparkles. I contemplate this window several times a day, when I climb the wooden hill to Bedfordshire

window dressing
The Danish Drama series’ (The Killing, Borgen) and mumsie’s memories of her Danish friend’s home have inspired me.  I’m planning to dress the window with some glass shelves to hold trailing plants and more sparkling coloured glass ornaments

Paint prototype
I’ve used Paint to mock-up what different placements might look-like from the perspective of someone, probably me, climbing the staircase of doom

Which option do you think works best ?:

Glass shelves across hallway window

light shelving
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Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

Old roofA friendly chap from the Reading counci Planning and Building Control department visited the wendy house today. He took photo’s of my sample PhotoVoltaic tile, copies of the installation drawings and photographs of my roof where I’d like the tiles placed. They will generate electricity for my home with enough left-over to sell back to the national grid.

He sucked his teeth and said that he wasn’t going to recommend that the tiles could be installed. He said it’s possible that someone higher-up the chain might value the ecological benefit over maintaining the look and feel of the local conservation area, but he didn’t think it was likely.

He will be putting this in writting after discussing it with colleagues. He gave me advice on how to re-attach crumbling ancient tiles without calling a roofer with a ladder and health and safety insurance. He didn’t look at my staircase of doom. He didnt put his head into the attic and see the crawl-space. His advice was well-meaning but impractical.


I used facebook to voice my disappointment. A heated little thread arose that included Dr. friend, who works as a government consultant specialist on environmental issues. Dr friend drafted a couple of letters for me to send to key MPs. Here’s one  he drafted for the in-credible UK State secratary for Energy and Climate change:

Dear Mr Huhne,

I am writing to let you know about a problem I am having trying to reduce my carbon footprint and help increase the supply of renewable energy. Basically I am trying to get permission to install solar tiles on my roof ( Everything I hear both the government and my local council say about the urgency of the climate change issue makes me think that I should be being actively encouraged in doing this sort of thing. However, because I live in a conservation area (i.e. one where almost all of the houses are old and therefore very energy inefficient) my local council is saying that that they will not let me have these fitted. How is it that the government can all a minor issue such as the aesthetics of roofing tiles prevent people from making important upgrades to their homes in order to reduce both their carbon footprint and their reliance on an extremely volatile energy market.

Can you provide me with any details of what your Department is doing in order to ensure that the Department for Communities and Local Government are taking this issue on board. As far as I can tell, the current localism agenda is going to make it even harder for the government to encourage and support householders like me to do my bit.

Quality stuff, for free, because of facebook chatter. Excellent!

I’ll be adapting it to provide details of my location and council and copying it to the local council so they know what i’m up to. Feel free to use this yourselves if you have similar challenges

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jimjams of doom

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Jim JamsPink.   They shout Charlotte across my chest.

Following me home from a tourist shop in the steamy southern US city several years ago.   They continue to lure me into long undressed Sunday mornings, afternoons, evening.   Blurring the edges between day and night.   The baggy track-suit-like pants could cover the nether-regions of a fat person.   Down my hips they slide, jostling to trip me up on the decidedly dangerous Wendy House stair-ladder.

Can I escape their clutches?

jimjams of doom
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Avenue story

Sunday, March 1st, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Avenue StoryToday is the anniversary of my arrival in the Wendy House of Dangerous staircase fame.

Locals on the Avenue are building a social history of the Avenue that will will be displayed in a local show this summer then  given to  the Berkshire County record office.   The local retired fellow who’s coordinating the activity stopped by with  a letter, to chat over tea.   I’ve contributed gossip, rumour and scanned copies of the house title deeds.   I have three things in common with all the previous residents of the Wendy House,   unmarried, working, girl.

I am looking forward to finding out about the:

  • gallows.
  • south american rancher.
  • telephone exchange.
Avenue story
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camouflaged cats

Friday, October 31st, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

 Can you see them?


camouflaged cats
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Popular conversational topics #3: kitty settling

Monday, July 7th, 2008 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

“how are the cats settling in?”

Thankyou to everyone who  inquired after the wellbeing of my darling  fluffballs.   I am happy to confirm that they have quickly adapted to this Wendy House and are exhibiting a full range of healthy fluff-ball-ee activities,   most notable of which is the Monaco-ish,   formula-1-ish speed and agility,   dangerous-staircase dash.

Dangerous-staircase dash

Starts in the garden where Sampo cues-up Matrix by strutting backward and forward in front of her just out of paws reach.   Next,  Sampo runs for the front-door gathering sufficient speed to arrive before Matrix,    maintaining sufficient control to take the entrance-hall-front-room 90 degrees doorway-bend.   Occassionally Sampo misses the bend and ends up in the bathroom where she is cornered by Matrix and has clearly lost the chase.   After several months of practice she has the hall-front-room doorway-bend almost fully mastered.

The subtle curve on the approach to the foot of the stairs occassionally causes loss of footing on the bare floorboards and is invariably accompanied by liberal doses of meowing from both teams.   The main course-obstacle is the dangerous-staircase u-turn.   The dangerous-staircase u-turn either involves a headlong crash into the front-room wall for those missjudging their momentum,   or falling down the first couple of steps for those misjudging their paw-friction.   Sampo tends to crash into the wall due to belly-induced-momentum,   Matrix tends to slip on the steps.   Once past the first few steps,   if Sampo is still ahead of Matirx she’s pounces  safely to the finish line on the first-floor landing and is ready to start the next round.     Fresh water,   views of local trees and birds are provided on the landing at the end of the course for the competing kitties.

The cats are regularly able and willing to practice this tricky F1 course on a daily basis  often  changing  chaser-chasee roles and investigating route variations including the dinning room table top,   sofa-bends and comfy chair corner.

Ringside tickets are available.

Corporate bookings and sponsorship considered.

Popular conversational topics #3: kitty settling
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wendy (open) house warming

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

One recent Sunday afternoon the neighbours, local Reading celebrities,   and a gal from West Sussex dropped by to warm the wendy house over lashings of tea and cake.   A jolly civilised affiar with a little bit of dribbling.   During the goings-on I discovered many useful facts including:

–   a local granny can climb the walls to escape from a locked cemetry after dusk.

–   the Wendy House was converted from a  garage in 1968 partly explaining the dangerous staircase.

–   my nieghbours have lived all over the world – Kenya, Italy, India, Edinburgh before settling in Reading.   Excellent company.

–   the Readibus preferred gift to welcome a newcomer is a bottle of wine.

– the bath works best for a person under 5ft 2  (as do the  stairs).

– house numbers evolve.   One person’s home had evolved from without number to  number 4 then number 2…

I suspect I missed some real news treats while in the Kitchen  warming the pots,   I  wonder what other goodies these people are going to share with us in the upcoming years….

wendy (open) house warming
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Friday, May 2nd, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

An exciting evening was spent studying pussycat-paw-preferences.   If you are already yawning,   stop reading now,   this is the excitment climax sentence for this blog post.     This is the sound made by the fluffballs decending the staircase  of  danger in  WendyHouse:

Matrix:   bur-bump, bur-bump, ber-pump

Sampo:   bump—bump–bump-bumpbumbbump

Watching the bumpy affair indicates that Matrix always first puts her left-paw onto the next step while Sampo uses the not-insubstantial momentum of her stomach to launch herself down planting her left paw on every other step.   The   cunning corner two steps before the  bottom of the staircase has occassionally taken advantage of Sampo’s momentum to literally bump her.    Sampo, not the brightest of kitties.

Matrix = left-pawed

Sampo = Ambidextrous

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