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Posts Tagged ‘Moving House’

Boxtastic

Thursday, 12th April 2007

We move house quite soon.

Wife’s found a fantastic place a couple of streets away (crucially, it’s still within the catchment area for the children’s school), with two more bedrooms and a great garden.

With everything else that Wife does, she has also managed to pack up most of our belongings. We’re going to take paintings and art to my parents’ house ourselves, but otherwise, our house is pretty much contained in large, recycled packing cases around the place.

The new house is beautiful but needs some SERIOUS redecoration. It was probably last done at the end of the 80s – so everything is swagged, taffeta’d, bordered and ragrolled to DEATH. Wife has put an embargo on anyone being invited to the house for a couple of years (which is how long it will be before we can afford to do it to her exacting standards) lest they think that shot Chinese silk swagging over watered taffeta chintz curtains is our idea of gracious living in West London.

Other than my expanding waistline, I am taking it as a sign of my advancing age that I am most excited about the garden.  Not only the little room that we are going to build at the end of it, but also the planting, the mowing and (most of all) TREE PLANTING!

Wife has already sent off for wallpaper samples and architects plans: she’s keen to get on with the kitchen, so I am fairly sure that by Christmas we will have a new kitchen and Playroom – the latter decorated with silver birch print wallpaper. It’s a lot nicer than it sounds…

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Tuesday, 1st May 2007

You know how when people have resigned from a job, they suddenly start pointing out how shit everything is about the place they’ve been perfectly happy in for the last 8 years? Clearly, that helps them believe that they are leaving a bad job, for a good job.

I suspect that something similar is afoot on the domestic front: the process of unearthing every teacup, every sketchbook, every half finished  bottle of oil and wrapping and boxing it is a pretty good way of making you sick to death of the whole environment you have been so happy in for (in our case) eight years.

Wife is punching the air at the thought of not being here after Wednesday. I am slightly more sanguine: fazed somewhat by the thought of the equivalent amount of unpacking at the other end of our journey (some five minutes down the round…)

Anyway: goodbye from our present domicile – it will be a while before I am Broadbanded up at the next place, so there will be quite a hiatus until full digital Crikeyvision is restored.

And for those of you thinking moving home: don’t.

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Monday, 28th May 2008

Wife and I have spent the afternoon and evening attempting every possible configuration (and some which proved, after lengthy swearing, impossible) of furniture and paintings in the Drawing Room and Sitting Room.

It is now 10pm and we have decided we are happy with the set-up in these two rooms: it means that there are a couple of half-moon tables which are about to hit Sotheby’s and a score of sofas that may follow suit, but we are nothing if not decisive (once we’ve been indecisive).

I have to say: the house is beginning to look the dog’s bollocks (a phrase that a Client of mine once thought (confusingly for those he gave his opinion to) meant “appalling”) and I feel ready to admit entrance to the scores of people that Wife has lined up for dinner parties. The first one is in two weeks time and it is JUST feasible that we will have had the kitchen/dining room decorated by then, though most likely that we will entertain our dear friends in the pastel and floral bordered surrounding s that we have got to know and loathe over the last month. Hey ho!

Work tomorrow. We’re at an exciting stage of creative development and there’s only four days in the week, so, all in all I am feeling chipper, sparky and generally like my own worst nightmare.

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Saturday, 30th June 2007

The Daily Telegraph, Plain English, Waitrose, Farrow & Ball, Peter Jones.

This was today’s shopping itinerary, starting with The Daily Telegraph/House & Garden Fair at Earls Court and culminating with a visit to Peter Jones to buy a new fridge.

In between, we have ordered a new door from Plain English for the kitchen, and the paint to paint it from Farrow & Ball. We bought fabric for the Sitting Room blinds and possibly (though Wife is unsure) for the Drawing Room blinds, and then we went food shopping.

Thank God today was retail day (even though it was disastrous for the bank balance, especially following swift on the heels of yesterday’s Hermes and Brown’s extravaganza with Best Friend), as the weather has been balls-achingly lousy, even for England. As Wife said, “Imagine the number of brides who 12 months ago said “Well: the last weekend in June: the weather’s BOUND to be OK then…”.”

Today’s little spree meant that the house is getting nearer to being finished. The hallways and landings are done, the Drawing Room and Sitting Room are done. Only the kitchen remains a testament to high 80s infatuation with stencils, borders and murals.

We have been investigating what to do since we moved in (as the current state of the kitchen makes Wife feel the need to sit down in a dark room). Apart from the door ordering, the great thing about seeing the Plain English stand was that they were featuring our kitchen, in a different colour, with a different work surface: so we found out what colours they had used for the cupboards and the walls (hence the Farrow & Ball trip) and what the work surface was.

So hurrah! After months of titting around with swatches and scores of tester-pot paint, we now have the wherewithal to do the kitchen – apart from a decision to be made over what we will use for the kitchen work surfaces. I want slate (as also featured on the stand). This means that Wife almost certainly does not. Which means that it will be not slate…

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Monday, 9th July 2007

Wife seems to have found the world’s best builders and decorators. They (like everyone else in Chiswick) are Polish (the Polish Community Centre is down the road) and incredibly conscientious: here every morning at 8.30 a.m. and working consistently until the end of the day.

They make me feel incredibly useless on the one hand, and incredibly happy at the same time: I am very happy not to have to do the jobs that they do, but also sure that I couldn’t do it even if I wanted to.

The results are very cheering. The friezes, stencilling, pelmets, flounces and rag-rolling are being replaced a plainer, more sombre palette – and the house is beginning to look more like ours.

The credit should go in large part to Wife. Although we make every decision together, she does all the running and makes all the shortlists – and she does have exquisite taste. 

The terrifying “Provencal” first floor bathroom remains. As does our pink palace bedroom – but these are things we can live with for a while longer until the financial situation gets a little better. 

Had the weather been any better than torrential, I would have done more in the garden as well: the bones of which are fabulous, but some of the planting is as bizarre and blowsy as the multi-hued tiles orange and tangerine tiles that (for the moment) invade the kitchen. We’ve widened the lawn and removed some truly repellent plants, but it will be quite a while before we take up the virtual pavement that we have at the back of the house and replace it with the limestone I have set my heart on. Maybe for my 40th…

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Sunday, 16th September 2007

Adorable Neighbours threw a party for us last night, so that we could meet our new neighbours.

We went next door at a couple of minutes before eight o’clock to find about twenty neighbours drinking wine and standing round waiting to meet us: a little bit frightening. As ever, the women all looked jealously at Wife for looking so stunning, and all the men looked jealously at me for being married to her.

Adorable Neighbours were amazing: old-school hosts, steering us around the room, introducing us to our new neighbours (ALL of whom were barristers, doctors and writers – all of whom were very nice) and invisibly replenishing wineglasses, as well as serving a dinner of Spinach Roulade, Chicken stuffed with Roasted Peppers and Prosciutto with Pistachio Couscous, and then Figs and Blackberries in Red Wine, Star Anise and Cinnamon with Mascarpone Cream. The last turned out to be a Gordon Ramsay recipe, and Wife is thinking of integrating it into Christmas 2007 (or possibly New Year, as we don’t know what Good Friend in PR and Bearded Prop Master think of figs: they can divide people…).

Fantastic from beginning to end: it was extremely touching that they went to all that trouble to ease our entry into our grown-up house. Hurrah for old-fashioned manners and social responsibility: I think (truly) this will be a major issue when the General Election comes around – both Party Leaders are already beginning to set their stalls out along these lines.

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Sunday, 23rd September 2007

Actually, we’ve been changing curtains: moving the ones we have around the house in an effort to see if any of the HUGELY expensive (but mainly hideous) Colefax and Fowler watered chintz curtains can look good anywhere.

Actually, the curtains from the Sitting Room are now in (and look very good in) Daughter’s bedroom, while the curtains from the Drawing Room are now in (and look OK in) the Guest Bedroom. It’s more a question of how much better the two sitting rooms look now that they are de-pelmeted and de-curtained. Wife is determined to have the new blinds (not to mention a new kitchen) by the time that Good Friend in PR and Bearded Prop Master come for Christmas: so it WILL be so…

Whether or not the shitting grass seed that I have sown sees fit to bloom in that period is another story entirely, and one (I suspect) with a slightly less successful resolution.

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