The walls and ceilings are finished, completed, Done! They have received their last coats and while some places need touch-ups, I'm leaving those to Alex, as I am likely to go Jackson Pollock were I required to do one more base coat. Still, they look fantastic and I keep patting the walls and going 'you did good
' to myself*
. The wood panels have received their last coat, with the rest of the wood work requiring one more round of sanding and painting before I am happy to consider them Done. Hitting those milestones means I can move on to the side project of asbestos removal under the stairs (budget finished yesterday, action plan to be written tomorrow, sign off expected Thursday/Friday) and start putting together a preliminary budget for the bathroom renovation (soft budget approval expected Wednesday) and a preliminary budget for the kitchen project (this one scares me a lot).
After signing off on the hallway last Wednesday, I wandered around for a bit expecting a warm glow of accomplishment to envelop me. Oddly enough, the Job well Done, Thou Canst Have a Biscuit feeling didn't kick in until I'd spent another hour or two in my garden. I rescued a blue salvia (which I believed to be dead) from underneath the cat mint and whatever the hell that bunch of wildflowers is I sowed end of April, sowing Chantenay carrots, sage and catnip and planting another salvia (three died last year. I needed to replace at least one!), shaggy masterwort, a pink arabis, a yellow pacino poppy and a lithodora (these are not exactly natives, but naturalised and capable of carrying an acceptable amount of pollinator and butterfly bio mass). I also spent a while popping in and out of the garden introducing slugs and snails to the Jar O' Brief Slug Happiness.
On Thursday, we mostly relaxed and prepared for the weekend to before toddling off to spend the evening with Alex's mum (whose front garden looks fantastic and makes me want to sneak in at night with a bucket and shovel**
. It was mildly gratifying, if depressing, to see I am not the only one who's having issues with their morning glory looking kind of pale and spotty, though***
). She'd made opor ajam which was very tasty and so much a taste of my childhood food experience that I ended up babbling about differences and how the side dish could be improved to keep from pathetically blubbing into my rice and opor ajam. And then I got the recipe! This made me very happy.
The next morning, we picked up swaldman
and drove to the far end of Belgium for a Gamesmeet. This involved about 30 people getting together in a large...mansion? Former hotel? Massive chatel? Big place? to play board games and hang out. The plan was to arrive around 18:00 on Friday, but due to traffic around Brussels, we didn't get there until after 20:00. Considering we got off the Chunnel around 15:00, this was...annoying. Still, friends, games and laughter made the trip worthwhile. Properly meeting yady
for the first time was lovely. Saw the_ladylark
after many months. Sadly we did not get to watch any Mark Watches (though I'm starting to catch up!) and I dropped out of the Game Of Thrones board game on Sunday due to lack of brain. It was also good to see sierra_le_oli
and their now mobile daughter (amazing how much difference nearly three years makes).
Most importantly, I got to spend some quality time with arwen_lune
. Never enough, of course (the world is perverse like that), and it always breaks my heart when we have to part ways. So, apologies to my previous and future travelling companions, but I kind of fall apart for a bit after I've had to say goodbye to her. Though this time, I got to go away with another amazing thing she knitted! It's beautiful and fits and makes me very happy and it just feels like we're slightly closer when I wear it (yeah, I'm sentimental. Fucking sue me). Plus it's well crafted (bonus!). There will be pictures eventually.azekeil
appears to have enjoyed himself, which is also important as I'd like him to get along with my friends. We left around 14:00 and got home around 22:00 (diverting only slightly to drop off swaldman
) where both cats tried to convince us they had been cruelly mistreated and starved in our absence. Jazz especially insisted that he was traumatised beyond belief and needed to spend some time sitting on us before he calmed down.
I spent most of today recovering from whatever the bug is I managed to bring home from Belgium, so I've not been able to contine work on the house or mess around in the garden as much as I'd hoped. Still, the garden seems to be hopping and buzzing and generally doing well. The borage plants are about to bloom so there will be more polinator food soon. The polinators are currently all on the cat mint, which is covered in purple flowers and flops dramatically. I tried staking it last year and it et the stakes. So this year, I'm leaving it to do its thing. It may decide to eat us all in the night, but I can't bring myself to worry too much. It's covered in hoverflies, bees and bumblebees and thus I am ridiculously fond of it. I'm ridiculously fond of my entire tiny garden, actually. While I will one day live somewhere with a garden full of beds of flowering plants and vegetables and maybe even a proper English wildflower meadow (there could even be a hive of bees! I have such glorious dreams!), this one here is my first garden and as such, it's special.
Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need to count my bumblebees again...* Whosoever of my acquaintance feels the desire to point out the hallway couldn't look much worse, please remember I know where you live (or at least will easily be able to find out) and I will come over to widdle on your cat. If you don't have one, well, I'm just going to have to get creative, now won't I?
** Considering she's over two hours drive away? Yyyeah, I think I'm a gardener...
***I can hear you all sniggering at the back there. Stoppit.