Saturday, 14 August 2010

Gradually getting there

Since it took us two weeks to pack everything I suppose I can't expect to have it all unpacked and stowed away any more quickly.

The sight of yet another box is daunting but there are things which haven't turned up yet, like the marmalade and my trainers, which I'd really like to have. So that keeps me on track.

Today I'm tackling the dining room.

It's raining heavily, which stops me wanting to go drawing. Yesterday Simon went out on his bike, he says the road from Piddletrenthide to Cheselbourne is looking particularly good and I have to get out there before they cut all the corn, so that's the plan for this afternoon, so long as the rain stops.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

So here we are

After yesterday's experience, we really expected the removal men to be here at 8 as they said. But at 10.30 we were still waiting.
Once they came, however, they worked quickly and by 1.00 everything was in, apart from the contents of the third lorry, which still hadn't turned up.
The guys rang their boss, who had difficulty contacting the driver, then we heard he was somewhere near Ringwood.
Not only had he got lost, but he'd run out of fuel.
One and a half hours later, he arrived with the last few things. Our guys were not best pleased as they had to sit and wait for him since he couldn't lift the stuff alone. They went through an entire loaf of sandwiches, lots of sugary coffee and three packets of biscuits.
So, anyway, everything's now here, nothing appears to broken.
The very heavy, iron framed piano has completed the journey down the steep slope at Studley Green without mishap.

Removal man "Do you really want this old bit of wood?"
Simon "She's an artist"
Removal man "Ah"

Removal man "What about this rusty bicycle wheel"
Me "It's part of a sculpture"
Removal man "Ah"

We also realised we should have labelled things "big shed" and "little shed" rather than "studio" and "shed". I have quite a few garden tools to paint with, and Simon will be able to read about watercolours next time he gets the mower out.
It's half past nine, I'm shattered, Simon and David are discussing where to keep the beer and the cats are investigating all they new shapes that have appeared in their world.
Night, night.

Monday, 9 August 2010

What could possibly go wrong

So here we are on the big day. Al boxes packed and waiting for the removal company. being such a big move we booked a national company, one that we used when moving with Army. With that reputation all was expected to go smoothly, except at 8:30 this morning:

Ring, Ring......Ring, Ring

Hello, Simon here

Hello, this is the removal company (RC)

Me: oh, hello

RC: We have a bit of a problem. The lorry that we had booked to do your move has been hired out to another company.

Me: Hahahahahahah (no, I really did find it funny)

RC: We've been ringing around and we've now found three vehicles and they be with you a bit later, sorry.

As I said, what could possibly go wrong!. So here we are at 11:30, surrounded by boxes and bored stupid and still no sign of the removal men.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Moving day tomorrow

Well this is the last night in St Francis Rd. We've lived her for eighteen years, David has grown up here, I 've finished one career and started a new one.
It's the first time we've lived anywhere long enough to really put roots down and we've made so many good friends, it's a real wrench to leave.
But I so want to go back to Dorset, I want to be able to go to the sea whenever I feel like it, I want to live away from the sound of traffic and in a place where I can see the stars and I want a studio.
Our new home answers all of these requirements and , yes, it will take time to settle, maybe longer than when we were younger, but I am looking forward making new friends and the challenge of working in a new landscape.
And meanwhile, lots of you have said you will come to visit and I really hope you will. As you can see, Sadie is determined we won't leave her behind!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Nearly a Dorset Resident

I write this sitting in the conservatory at Ansty, listening to the small sounds of the night and watching a spider which lives in a crevice by the wall, one leg protruding.

We haven't quite moved in yet, and have to return to Bucks tomorrow to complete the packing, but the last couple of days have been a peaceful interlude before the removal van arrives on Monday. And I have enjoyed the casualness of camping in our new house with very basic equipment. It may not be the same once I have all the niceties of normal life, I will welcome the arrival of our bed and the dining room chairs, but have quite enjoyed not having a television.

The studio is more or less complete, the sink is fitted along with much of the original kitchen from the bungalow. All my work is here, all the paints and canvas to make new images and lots of ideas which are rolling round in my head.

Of course, most of my thoughts are to do with the landscape, harvest is reaching it's peak and the fields are interlaced with tracks, stands of uncut corn, neatly shaved areas and hayricks. And there are birds, I've seen buzzards aplenty, house martins whisk to and fro over the garden and pheasants make stately progress across the horse field below. On the lawn we have regular visits from pied wagtails. The skies are so big, great billowing cloudscapes lit from below.

I'm very interested in the river at Blandford, it's sluggish at this time of year, full of reeds and waterlilies, buzzing with small swarms of insects and heavy with reflections. The ducks gather by the weir, under the new blue footbridge, they dabble and quarrel and do what ducks do.

I want to start by making some new canvases. I have quite a few stretcher bars and some very nice fine grained canvas. I have to make them while the weather is still good enough to work outside, as the rabbit skin size that I use to coat them smells of unwashed socks. I haven't used the new hob as yet so it's first job may well be to melt the size.

We went to the coffee morning today and met a few of our soon-to-be neighbours, the talk is of village fetes and cream teas, the tap dance class and badminton sessions and we certainly won't miss the village pantomime. We were welcomed and I had a good look at the building with a view to organising art classes. There is a small hall with a washable floor and light folding tables which will be very suitable, so I hope to get something organised for the autumn.