17 September 2019

A Day Out

Gainsborough Old Hall

Today a couple of my coffee morning pals whisked me off to Gainsborough, with the intent purpose of visiting the Old Hall, the last remaining medieval building in an unremarkable town.  This huge, imposing manor house sits incongruously in the middle of a residential area.

the grand hall
My friends insisted on having an audio guided tour which actually worked very well after I finally managed to figure out how to operate the gadget and turn the volume to high.  Unfortunately the battery ran out half way round.

It is an impressive medieval manor house built by Thomas Burgh in 1455. It had two royal visits, Richard III  in 1483 and Henry VIII, together with his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, in 1541. Gifted to the nation in 1970 the hall is now owned by English Heritage and the local district council.  Some of the props and costumes looked a bit cheap and amateurish, it would have been nice to see some furnishings that looked a bit more authentic.  But the medieval architecture was stunning.

medieval kitchen
So many old buildings have ghost stories attached to them and Gainsborough Old Hall is no exception.

Local legend says the Grey Lady is thought to be the daughter of the Lord of the Manor who fell in love with a poor soldier and planned to elope with him. Her father discovered the plan, locked her away in the tower where she died from a broken heart. Supposedly the girl’s spirit still wanders the tower and the corridor endlessly waiting for her lover to arrive.

I didn’t see the Grey Lady but the stuffed wild boar in the kitchen was a bit disturbing.





14 September 2019

September Garden



autumn colours

rose hips
The sun is shining and it’s perfect gardening weather.  I have been outside helping Paul plant foxgloves around an ivy covered tree stump (helping as in pointing out where I wanted them planted).  Foxgloves should do well in our sandy soil here and I’m hoping for a pretty display in spring.  We  removed the buddleia that had grown into a monster and was swamping the roses and clematis and planted some foxgloves in its space.

foxgloves planted around the base of the old tree stump

foxgloves planted in the space left by the buddleia, honeysuckle in the foreground
Rick has been helping too.  He has been throwing Bunny the Second around and generally showing off.




the cucumber plant has produced really well this summer and reached the top of the greenhouse


Paul's strange triffid like "cup and saucer" plant

I wasn't too sure if this tree would survive after we cut it back

fluffy tree now

11 September 2019

Admitting Defeat


Sometimes you just have to admit that things are not working out how you’d hoped.  Everything had started off in quite a promising manner but things went downhill after I tried to add bluebells among the trees.  Yes, I’m talking about my masterpiece.  The more I tried to put it right the darker it became.  It resembled a piece of badly painted pantomime scenery.  In the end I threw a hissy fit and asked Paul to dispose of it.  He took it to the local tip.

I am not downhearted.  I’m glad I tried.

feathers or leaves?



On a positive note Paul has recovered from his bad back and has returned to his Duracell bunny mode.  A new project is waiting for him – to transform the narrow, dark hallway into a light and welcoming entrance.


1 September 2019

Nurse!

I knew something was wrong when I woke up in the middle of the night to find Paul on his hands and knees on the bedroom floor.

"It's my back, I can't move!"  He was trying to get to the bathroom.  The previous day he had 'tweaked' his back while doing some DIY stuff in the new kitchen.  He went bowling on Friday evening and seemed fine when he returned.  He was in a lot of pain yesterday that was only relieved by him stretching out on the floor with his knees bent and feet resting on a stool.  And a hot bath. And being waited on.

Today he is much better but still not very mobile.  I am on double dog walking duties and head chef and gardener.  Yesterday Paul talked me through pizza making process.  I was quite pleased with the result except it was square and not round.  This has all meant that I haven't been able to proceed with my oil painting and the masterpiece is at a standstill.


I did manage to get a Yellow Ochre wash (thank you Cro) on to the canvas yesterday morning but my attempt at painting a birch tree was not overly successful.  It resembles a Dalmation dog's leg rather than a tree trunk.  So my artistic endeavours are temporarily on hold until I can give it my full attention.

Got to go, someone's calling me...

27 August 2019

A Big Canvas


Nemesia - a bit fussy but has a delicious vanilla scent


It is early afternoon and we have retreated indoors to escape the heat of the day.  It was very pleasant sitting outside for lunch.  Rick had his magic mat to keep him cool (Kat bought it for him during the last heatwave) and we had cold beer to keep ourselves cool.  The air was filled with vanilla scent wafting from the Nemesia flowers fighting with tones of manure; the farmers are muck spreading today.

Rick on his cool mat

This morning Paul and I went into Lincoln to buy a couple of canvasses for my next art project.  The bare walls of the kitchen need a splash of colour.  I wanted the biggest canvas in the shop. Paul persuaded me to buy something a bit smaller that would actually fit in the car.  I think I might have bitten off more than I can chew.

a sensible size of canvas that fits my easel
my choice of canvas!


25 August 2019

My New Kitchen


A few more pictures of my new kitchen.  I promise you this will be the last of them!

A reminder of what is was like before work started...






And now...


 


I just need some colourful artwork now to hang on the walls.



23 August 2019

My Perfect Day


The builders have left.  They were a great bunch of guys but it is so nice to have my home back.  I can finally relax.

The kitchen is ready apart from a few finishing touches.  I am chuffed to pieces with it.  The building inspector came today and couldn’t keep his hands off the oak island worktop.  “Lovely - needs another coat of oil” he said.  

 

The weather is perfect today.  Warm, sunny, light breeze, no bugs.   We had lunch outside on the terrace – salad, chilled rose wine, cafe jazz;  I could have stayed there all day.  Rick had other ideas, he needed his afternoon walk.  We sauntered round the village and didn’t meet a single soul.  I think they were all having an afternoon siesta.  A very sleepy village today.