The new front doors and windows have been put in, and look very smart from both the outside -
just look at the beautiful curve of that new roof! – and inside -
The fact that these were made up by our builder just from a rough sketch by me just proves how wonderful he is. In the long run they will open onto the porch, the proportions of which will echo those of the conservatory extension to the kitchen – solid walls to knee height, then alternating panels of glass and solid wall for hanging coats on and keeping beach paraphernalia. The roof will be sedum, with a large opening roof light above the front door.
The ceilings have all been plasterboarded – and in a fetching shade of pink!
The colour is apparently indicative of some sort of extra insulating capacity, but I’m having a job explaining that to Mary who, like almost every four-year-old of my acquaintance, is obsessed by the colour. She can’t believe her good fortune – or my good taste. I’m going to have a job pacifying her when the time comes for it all to be painted white (or a rarified shade of off-white – Frank says it is all ‘Magnolia’ really, but with different names like ‘Calico’, ‘Dimity’ and ‘Tallow’ on the expensive tins….).
Actually, I am thinking of branching out into a little colour behind the run of kitchen counters and cooker etc on the right-hand wall – perhaps a sea green or blue to add to the seaside feel and complement the slate hearth and grey floors. Note how Wilma has got her elegant profile into the shot once again. I am convinced that she is pregnant, and two people who knew nothing about it have commented that she has put on weight…. We’ll find out at the vet’s tomorrow.
Meanwhile the utility room at the back is taking shape nicely, too, with its walk-in larder, large shower and loo etc. The back door you see above will lead out to a lean-to area for storing bikes and recycling bins and so on. We’d decided on a butler’s sink to go just inside the door – large enough to be used for garden-related tasks such as washing vegetables and conditioning cut flowers – and I’d earmarked a reclamation yard where there were 30 or 40 of the right size piled up in the front. But when we went back there to pick up the slate tiles for the fire surround and some old door handles we’d seen, there were only a few hopelessly chipped ones left! Apparently, someone had come and bought up 20 or more – doubtless to sell on in London at triple the price…. I was really fed up about it till I had a root around in the garden and found one, exactly the right size, that had been used as a planter by the previous occupant. All I had to do was tip out the dried-up soil and sloosh it out with some water, and it was just the job… a tiny bit stained, but that just shows it is not a reproduction, bought new at a hideous price….
Well, that’s it for now. I hate to tempt fate, but I really can’t believe things are going so smoothly. True, we have been held up a little by the firm who are making the kitchen doors and windows – the main man has broken his arm and quite understandably, orders are backing up. But our builders, John and co, have simply taken the opportunity to get on with other things – for instance, match-boarding the ceilings and opening up some of the interior windows of the carriages, to let light in to the central passageway from either side. It seems a happy site, on the whole – turn up when the tide’s right and they’ll all have gone to cool off in the sea. And quite right, too. When the weather is as hot and muggy as it has been for the past few days, it’s the only place to be. I still can’t quite believe it will be permanently on my doorstep in just a very few weeks’ time.
For more background to the railway carriage house and articles by Elspeth Thompson on gardening, greener living, design and other subjects, go to http://www.elspeththompson.co.uk.