Our back yard, before the builders started:
And now look what's happening!! Only 5 weeks in and wow!
Ok, ok, these *may* not be an accurate representation of the work. They are certainly an accurate representation of how I feel about it though! The builders have been considerate, extremely fast, considerate, masterful, considerate, expert, thoughtful, and considerate. They re-jigged the schedule of works to allow a major tweak to the timing so we don't find ourselves homeless in November. They 'get' all sorts of things about how to proceed after the house is divided into 'ours' and 'theirs' (ie we will live in part of the renovated house while they finish the other part) and in general are proving to be very fine gentlemen indeed.
My best example of this is that we realised that our wonderful lemon tree, she of at least 30 years hard work providing vitamin C and delight to our home, had to be taken down. She had, sadly, fruited one of her very best crops this summer and we were all loathe to do it. But time is not on our side and the expense and disruption of working around one tree was too difficult, and down she had to come. But BEFORE she was cut, the builders picked every lemon on her and saved them for me (in the bassinet!) so we can distribute them to friends (and anyone who wants 5kg of lemons and hasn't realised it yet). GENTLEMEN, I tell you.
We will have a ceremonial new planting of a lemon tree when we are resident. I think it should be the first act of recovering the garden. I am looking forward to it immensely. I miss gardening very much, as much for the foolish and naughty cat-based activity as much as anything. Recently St Alice of the Garden helped me move and rescue many of my pots so that all the empty ones are safe from droppages and the rest are ready to come and live in our teeny courtyard and be (over) nurtured by me for the rest of the winter. Nurturing is such a strong imperative..
Our pusscat has gone to live with her grandparents* and is living up to her reputation for being strong-minded, feisty, very very insistent, and occasionally quite rewarding. Early activity included spending 16 hours a day under the bed, followed by (of course it was during the middle of the night!) extreme sports in the form of opening every cupboard, scrabbling at every door and window, jumping where cats don't go, and my favourite, getting into the corner cupboard and riding the lazy susan flinging cake tins off as she went. This at 3am didn't endear her to my father but my mother just goes 'awww..'. When she pleases, she is accepting pats and sitting on laps, and apart from ripping my mother's thumb off (an ill-advised attempt by ma at soothing a fwighted puss) she's keeping her 'Winning the Crusades One Claw at a Time' side to herself.
I am still here. Yesterday a perfume sale said "Two orange dot specials for $40". What was I to do? Succumb, of course. I picked up these: Hugo Boss 'XX' which is slightly musky and very spicy, and Guess 'Seduction' which is slightly sweetly spicy-warm.. it's so impossible to describe scent. I die laughing at the descriptions of wine flavours for the same reason - I've seen 'grape-y' (I should hope so); 'hints of earthy chocolate and burnt leaves' (mm, tasty), and 'evokes a sense of limpid summer'. It does?? Does that mean it's long, humid and sunny?
But I digress. My M is running on a High Distinction (81%) average for his first semester. All those dire predictions of mere Passes are of course just nerves talking. I was allowed to proof-read his final assessment piece and apart from the bits I didn't understand (about 90%) it seemed like a very good piece of work to me. And I'm right! His course has changed a little during his absence, so he's thought about upgrading it to a Masters. He was very chuffed to receive an offer to do just this, a couple of weeks ago, and he's accepted. I'm not sure how many more semesters/subjects this means, but I'm delighted he feels he can achieve this. Of course he can!
I am busy (trying to) choose tiles and taps and benchtops and floors and a vacuum cleaner and windows and sarking (something to do with the roof which is incredibly expensive) and .. such. I am( almost) amused that tile salesmen can say in the same breath 'oh I LOVE this job, people come in and choose such interesting things' and 'but we don't HAVE coral red and teal'. I do like contrasts. I could easily fill a house with amazing colours that bounce and clash and catch the eye and generate energy and warmth and calm and comfort and humour. I can't see why not! But the trend (I assume it's a trend) is for tiles to be stuck onto boards in a 'colour story' which is bugging me because a) you can't move the tiles (and therefore try different things), and b) it's someone's idea of a theme which is fine if you like it exactly as is. Naturally I don't. I should hastily add that many of the 'stories' are very beautiful, especially the natural stone and terracotta samples. It's just that I want to use a neutral background and add a bit of 'wow' with my colours, and people keep telling me I can't. I will, though.
I might stick some photos up of colour ideas in the next post. It always helps to hear what others think. Meantime, off I go to save our world again. Hope you are all warm, well and achieving your wishes, one Wendy at a time..