scribbles tagged ‘welcome!’

weekend rowdiness

Saturday, June 19th, 2010 | tags:  |

On a rowdy summer weekend I’ll do things like sand-down then put 3 coats of ronseal varnish on both front doors.  Much cheaper than gym subscriptions and a good work-out for my arms.

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Thursday, March 18th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

The new stovetop kettle on the verge of a  full blown  boil while the two mechanical clocks tick-tock and two organic kitties stretch-snore

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modern chimney

Sunday, March 7th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

Terry: this chimney was added after the house was built

wendy: what makes you think that?

Terry: none of the chimney brickes are meshed with the outside walls

He then whacks another brick out of the bottom of the chimney and dust motes swirl through the sunshine.

The Wendy House was originally a coach house for one of the larger houses nearby.   The large house is now two large family homes and the wendy house sits behind them.   It always seemed a bit odd that a coach storage room would have a chimney.   The Coach house became a garage and the garage was converted into a home in the late 1960’s.   It’s likely that the chimney was added at this time.

11Stove put together liner down chimney         matching paints with the walls

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sourcing logs

Saturday, March 6th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |


Or rather, for £15, Thomas gathered 0.4 cubic metres of mixed wood types from Nettlebed Sawmill and shuttled them to the Wendy House woodshed. It was like stepping into the Waltons, the nearby saw operator smirked charmingly as I loaded Thomas…

wood load full load! Near-full woodshed

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not built in a day

Monday, March 1st, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Home can be anywhere, anytime,
It can be in more than one place and time.  
Home is always there and never there.  
Unlike Rome my home doesnt need time to be built.
Like a shadow it follows me around.
Always welcoming,  its presence  waxes and wanes through my days.

Morcheeba sang rome wasn’t built in a day

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Sunday, February 7th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Spoilt for choice in a local antiques shop

Picking a plain wrought iron poker for the to-be-installed over-hyphenated wood-burning stove

Breathing-in was required to walk between the goodies.    The tiny antiques shop brimmed with lovely practical gadgets. It was like walking through a museum store room. There were leather straps for sharpening razors, there were  copper kettles and iron flat irons. I was lucky to get out of the shop having bought only a poker

My self-control can be utterly astounding

stove accessories

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Saturday, February 6th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Paul from warm interiors popped round to look at the Wendy House’s wooden roof  beams.   When the fireplace is opened-up to install the woodburning stove Paul  will be making a fireplace opening lintel from oak to match the roof beams.  The lintel will have bolts and hooks like the original (circa 1845) beams.   Excitement levels are on their way up in the Wendy House.

Wendy Home ceiling beams

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a girl and her gimlet

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

asphaltIt’s beautiful

This weekend my gimlet helped me get dozens of flush screws in the woodshed

What was once  a flat pack is now a full 3 dimenisonal experience with an asphalt roof.   No avatar necessary,   just a black and decker power drill, tape measure, tacks, hammer and the essential gimet

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local store for local people

Sunday, January 17th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

wood burning stoveCas:   hello Dr. Wendy

Wendy: Wow, I’m impressed that you remembered me and that I’m a Dr!

Cas explained the differences between multifuel and wood burning stoves as she pulled together a costing for converting my fireplace (gas fire).  

Paul:  you’ve over-estimated the cost of the chimney liner, knock 20 feet of the height, Wendy lives in the cottage

 Wendy: you even remember where I live!

Paul: and we put the fireplace in there about  7 years ago for the last owner.   We’ve done most of the fireplaces round here, we’ve been here for 20 years.

Cas handed me lots of manufacturers brochures to help me choose a stove and I bounced out into the wet snowless winter weather.

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i cycle

Sunday, January 10th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

dawnFor your own safety, please avoid walking under the permanently affixed  luminance apparatus  on the Wendy House frontage

Sorry for the inconvenience

This message is bought to you courtesy of wendy, the fluffballs, January snow…

…the cup of T

and the number 3

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burst mains

Saturday, January 9th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

A trickle of water from the cold water tap.

Less that a trickle from the hot water tap,

Not enough flow to ignite the combi-bolier heating.   Brrrr…

I made a cup of tea,   inspecting all visible pipes in the house and the stop-cock that supplies water to the house.

All were well.

Watermains Burst

Thames Water website show a daily list of major water mains leaks and areas they affect.   There is a leak nearby, but it shouldn’t be affecting my home.   There is a note that they are having difficulty getting to burst water mains  and that the phones are very busy.   I should be  patient.

I coat, boot and glove-up.   Then carry  my spade through the ice and snow covered garden.

Viburnum Tinus wieghed downThe garden water tap is frozen. I can’t turn it. No sign of a leak.   I get to the roadside and dig out my water valve and check the meter.   It’s not ticking over.   No water coming onto my property.   Phew, no leak on my property means I dont have to call out a plumber on my expense.   Inconvenience rather than inconvenience and financial burden.   Phew.

The neighbors have no water at all.    I offer them use of my trickle to fill their kettle for tea.   We watch as a child hikes by with 4 large bottles of water.   A man walks by and asks if we have water,   we tell him no and he is pleased.   He’s just visited his lonely frightened mother, he goes back to reasure her that its the water mains.

Plenty of white snow around for creating untreated water.  I’m not going to die of thirst in the near future or run out of Tea

I wonder if snow is full of chemicals or fresh enough to drink as it once was.  Luckily I haven’t had to find out – yet.

The trickle from my tap filled some bottles for tea and the bath to flush the toilet.

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local cello

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Angel is a  young (late 20’s) local boy who reminds me of the ‘Charles’ character in  the film ‘4 weddings and a funeral‘.  

Angel in the morningAngel:   Yes….Yes…my home was broken into 4 years ago….they took everything….everything small….small enough to carry……mobile phones…..DVD player……they didn’t take my Cello….it is portable,  in a case with a handle,  you can carry it….they didn’t take it.

Wendy:   Oh (signifiying acknowledgement of the value of a person’s Cello)

Angel:  Yes.   Good thing really

Wendy: Yes……..      I’ve got a friend whose sister is called Hilary, like Jacqueline du Pré

Angel:   Yes…….         ………Yes……..   ……..must go……        got a train to catch.

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not earthed

Sunday, October 4th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

British Gas sent a comedy duo round to deal with my Sparky sockets,  

The conversation quickly turned from  morbid  diagnstic

British Gas Electician (BGE):   how do you know this socket is the problem?

Wendy: the cascade of sparks that came out of it when the fuse blew

BGE: what time of day was this?

Wendy:  dusk

BGE:  Sparks always look worse in the dark.   Oh, now  THAT is BLACK!   Simon,   come and look at this

Simon: You wouldn’t BELIEVE some of the things we see….

BGE: the socket’s not earthed

Simon: Once we went into this house where…

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attack rabbit

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

British Gas sent a comedy duo round to deal with my Sparky sockets,  

The conversation quickly developed a morbid theme  

British Gas Electician (BGE):   things haven’t been the same since the rabbit died

Wendy: when did your rabbit die?

BGE: ’bout 6 months ago,    Dave kept the cats out of the garden,   he’d run at them and kick them in the face with those big back legs of his

Wendy:   Like thumper in the Disney film Bambi?

BGE: No.   Dave was really scary.   Now we’ve got cats coming in our garden.    No rabbit and my cat’s just died. (sigh)


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sparky sockets

Friday, October 2nd, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

British Gas sent a comedy duo round to deal with my Sparky sockets.  

British Gas Electician (BGE):   My cat died yesterday,   he was 15,

Wendy: Matrix is 15

BGE: he looks it

Wendy:   (silence)

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Popular conversational topics #4: favourite roads

Saturday, June 20th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

person 1: what’s your favourite road?

Wendy: A68

person 2: yeah,   that’s got some nice (demonstrates bends and hillocks with his hands while making excellent sound effects)

person 3: what about the road that goes down to Cornwall?

person 4: Yeah,   the A30

The conversation continues in this vien.   I feel that I’ve found home.   Next time I may mention buses,   what do you think?

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restricted access

Thursday, June 18th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

A couple of friends are in the process of selling one and purchasing another gorgeous home in downtown Reading, near the Wendy House.  

There’s one slight hitch in the plan

In 1998 the local council placed an access  restriction on the to-be-purchased property.   Pedestrians and vehicles cannot access the house from …     …the public highway.   There is no other obvious route to the house.   The current resident ignores this restriction.    How can my friends get from the roadway to the house without breaking the law?   Without:

  • using a Vehicle:   A device or structure for transporting persons or things; a conveyance?
  • being a Pedestrian: A person traveling on foot; a walker?
  • accessing   the property from the  Road?
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little and large

Saturday, June 13th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

On a sunny Saturday morning the front door is wide open, birdsong, breeze and buzzy-things float in and out. I hear footsteps on the gravel drive, the garden gate open and close then a cautious voice calls out:

knock knock

At the door a petite, dapper, elderly anglo-saxon lady and a tall stout lady of colour are soaking up the ambience of my garden. The elderly lady, Barbara, smiles and announces

I didn’t know this was here, its lovely, its a hidden garden

I smile and lean against the door frame, considering the ladies semi-formal dress and wondering who they are and why they are here

Barbara: don’t you find that people have very little faith these days?
Wendy: I have faith

Barbara reaches into her big, old-person’s handbag and pulls out a copy of Watchtower. Ah, Jehovah’s witnesses spreading the word and recruiting. The aptly named Gloria stands behind Barbara, her substantial, boxer-like, stature makes her visible both above and around Barbara. Barbara nervously explains how informative and useful the ‘Awake’ pamphlet, within watchtower, is. It has information about prescription drug addicition and about woolly mammoths. She flicks through the pamphet showing me the pictures while trying not to drop the pamphlet or her handbag. I smile.

Barbara: would you like one?
Wendy: I have faith, but if you want to give me one of those I will look at it

Barbara looks surprised, hands me the Watchtower, glances around my garden

Barbara: it’s very nice here
Wendy: yes, especially the nieghbours, the lady who lives in that house was born in it, when she got married her husband moved into the house with her and they both looked after her elderly parents. Isn’t that awesome?! I love it here.
Barbara: can we come back and call again?
Wendy: yeah, sure, have a nice day…

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wild wendy home life

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

An action packed weekend in the Wendy House garden:

  • a fuzzy-buzzy bee feeds on a rotund allium
  • a Peacock butterfly feeds on another allium
  • the garden robin feeds on insects attracted by my recent digging
  • a harlequin spectabilis ladybird takes a break from aphid eating on one of the acers  
  • Matrix snoozes under another acer
  • A large hornet (2 inches) found its way into my bedroom.   I didn’t know it was a hornet.   They look scarey.     I panicked, squeaked, opened the bedroom windows,   wrapped myself in a curtain and wafted the corner of the curtain at the hornet until it  took the hint and  left via the window.  

Real bee feeds on Allium Peacock butterfly feeds on Allium The local Robin harlequin spectabilis ladybird on Acer cat under katsura acer

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opening in

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

sun drenched croci

Game-addict clinic opening in Amsterdam
Dueling piano bar opening in downtown Boise
Archived Items not opening in Microsoft Outlook 2003
croci opening in my garden

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Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 | tags: ,  |

Before amatuer pruning After amatuer pruning

My new pruning shears may not be electrically powered tools but in my hot little holiday  hands they can power through  a Viburnum Tinus at dusk before the sun fully sets.  

Invite me to all your pruning parties…

clip clip clippy!

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google earth at home

Saturday, April 4th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Sneak preview videow   (pixellated  for privacy reasons  by google earth*) that demonstrates weekend chit-cat about a recently observed pigeon at a  House family  household ….     …can you bear the excitement?

” photograph of Google earth camera in operation on Schrocktthehouse

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Street closed for Mop

Friday, April 3rd, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Road Closed for MopYou can take the Wendy out of Chipping Sodbury…  


When the roads are closed for the Sodbury Mop

I’ll be back

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no pollen alleriges

Saturday, March 28th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

bathroom air freshnerOne of a host of Jasmine plants that fill the Wendy Home  with a wonderful aroma.      No chemical air-freshener arrives with throw-away packaging,  immitates floral scents and requires  refills.     Lets hope that no guests have real pollen allergies….

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Gardening leave

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Brushfields Yellow Chamelia

  sun drenched crociDuring a week littered with  uncharacteristically fabulous sunshine I’ve been wrecklessly wandering out without a coat or a vest.  

Wandering nowhere in particular.   Directionless in the garden.    

Planting bulbs and border-blooming plants  for the summer, digging-up weeds, drinking gallons of well brewed  tea and generally admiring the arrival of spring blooms from bulbs and bushes  planted last Autumn.  

It’s leave from normal work.   It’s in my garden.

Its not technically gardening leave.

How silly is that?

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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.
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my very own set of rods

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Blocked drainKevin the Canadian wonder plumber stopped by.   Some people have implied that my unreserved praise of Kevin  may not be motivated by plumming necessities.    Heres a summary of our November rendezvous at The Wendy House:

1) 2 weeks ago to fix the hot water hose on my washing machine.

2) 1 week ago to fix the leaking bathroom sink plughole pipe.

3) this week to unblock the bathroom drain.

After unblocking the drain Kevin gave me, for free, his spare set of rods and tuition on how to unblock the drain myself.   Awesome,   with Kevins thoughtful tution I am gradually learning the basics of how to look after my home.   Kevins outstanding full service cost less than the basic call-out charge of any of the online drainage services.

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Monday, November 17th, 2008 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

HittavainenHittavainen, the Karelian god of hares has turned up in the Wendy House garden.

According to the BBC Hares crop up in Mythology all over the place and are associated with the Moon, the celestial skies and the Sun, with fertility, the dawn, cunning and bravery.

This one is associated with pebbles purloined from beaches all over the world.

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Saturday, November 1st, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

The Wendy House Sambucus nigra,  or Elderberry (flickr photoshare)After consulting with the experts (mum, friend, their books, the internet) I thought that the nobly, noble, small tree in my garden was a ‘Sambucus nigra’ more commonly known as an Elderberry and before that as aeld.  

Like many trees the Mythical history of the Elderberry  proposes, or describes its traditional uses.  The name may come from the Anglo-Saxon term ellaern or aeld which means “fire” or “to kindle a fire“.   It was associated with female-centric goddess systems then over time gradually perverted to represent ‘mischievious faeries’  by both the celts of  Ireland and England.   Traditionally the Elder is placed by the back door of a home, where mine grows, to keep evil spirits from influencing or entering the home and used to pin the thatch to a roof.   The runic association is with Feh,  the first rune, indicating where one sequence ends and another begins,   the cusp of transition,   renewal.

 British Christians gave the Elder a more sinister press,   claiming that Judas committed suicide by hanging himself from this tree.   He must have been short or the tree leaning over a decent drop.   Along with many other trees it is claimed Jesus was crucified on an cross made of Elder.

Then a garden specialist happened to wander by saying  that’s a Viburnum tinus

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camouflaged cats

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

 Can you see them?


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