Sunday, 19 October 2008

Mothballs to a flame....

This weekend has had a lovely gentle rhythm to it.. not the usual frenetic pace that we find ourselves in at the end of each week.. fitting in all the little chores and jobs that we couldn't fit in to the week..
This Saturday had a different feel about it altogether.
No small mountains of muddy rugby kit to wash nor school uniform, retrieved from the bedroom floor to be pieced together for Monday morning..
No chewed pencils and frazzled nerves .. trying to assist with homework projects..
No mad supermarket dash.. more of an amble down the aisles.. nodding to friends and stopping to chat and catch up on our respective lives.
The slower tempo has been most welcome and heralds the start of Master Custard's school hols..Hurrah!!!
We have however had a small hit list of jobs that could no longer be put off ..
Sorting out the accumulated mess in the laughingly called..'Spare Bedroom'..is a job that has been pressing on my mind for the last two years and might explain why there has been a dearth of house guests in our home. We could hardly invite them to sleep in cardboard city now could we!
So we sprang in to action after a fortifying bowl of porridge.. to rummage through the numerous boxes and bags that have bred in this messy room.
I had one of those rare cathartic moments when I felt.. 'Just chuck it'..if it hasn't been missed or thought of for the last two years then it can't be important'.. so we loaded the car and headed off for our local recycling depot to liberate ourselves of all the rubbish.. and left feeling at least 3 bin bags and several boxes lighter! I was for one incy wincy moment tempted to reach in to the clothes recycling bin to retrieve a pair of vintage textile curtains.. but then in that split second I came to my senses and remembering  that I couldn't sew and I was likely to be lynched by the attendants for pilfering.. I left empty handed.
Home again.. home again.. and next task was to sort out the linen cupboard that resembled the aftermath of a jumble sale..As I folded the piles of linen sheets, pillow cases and quilts.. there was the faint smell of mothballs.. This smell is instantly associated with the memory of the huge walnut wardrobe that was installed in my childhood bedroom, that I would climb inside and sit in the dark corner willing myself to enter Narnia. Alas it never happened.

The final job on my list was one that I have looked forward to all week.

We inherited a rather imposing fireplace in the living room and on removing the hideous gas fire we made do with a new fire surround and grate that have been propped up for the last two years.So it has been my wish ever since to reinstate our dysfunctional fireplace and to restore it to it's former glory..
With the threat of colder weather on the horizon we found a lovely local gentleman who came to restore the chimney breast and finally.. our elegant fireplace. We were told not to light a fire for at least a week whilst the bricks and cement had a chance to dry out. This wait has been agonising for me as each evening gets colder and Mr C has forbidden the central heating to be switched on. All part of the cursed economy drive!I could wait no longer and started the enjoyable ritual of building our first fire.. newspaper, kindling and smokeless coal. Then as the light faded outside.. I struck a match !
I have always found it immensely satisfying building a fire and then sitting back to warm the toes and cockles. One of life's greatest pleasures..
I was totally mesmerised by the dancing and flickering flames when Mr Custard entered the room exclaiming that it was "far too tropical in here".. and threw the windows open wide! Flaming nuisance!

25 comments:

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Awww...Michele...enjoy those cosy evenings by your beautiful fireside. And have a wonderful and relaxing half term holiday with your hubby and son.
Niki x

Cocoa and blankets said...

Well done you - I shall be making my lit this afternoon ready for the week after next when we are on holiday Mr Bricolage will be getting those sexy blue dungeres out, which he bought from France so he can look the part,I will arm him with hammer and nails and his first mission is in our loft/spae room! (I must post pictures of it when finally finished - Polly and I have done it together - a country french shabby chic themed spare room its fab even if I do say so myself..........

carolyn said...

Your fire looks wonderful. It's the other way around at Willow House, I'm the one saying it's fa ro warm to have the heating on yet and my poor husband is complaining of the cold.

Redwoodhouse said...

A good clear out, great stuff makes you feel good doen't it, that fire place is just fantastic imagine it at Christmas........
Jan

Dana Jones said...

Your home looks so cozy. I have a fireplace in my living room with gas logs. They are easy to light and I can have a fire with the flick of a match. But I miss the real warmth that comes from wood logs. I have been thinking about taking out the gas logs and going for the real thing. BUt then also there is the mess of the real.

hmm, what to do?

funkymonkey said...

I'd love to have your fireplace. Your living room must be so cosy with the fire lit on a chilly Autumn evening. Enjoy half term. Ours begins next weekend with a party (for us grown ups, not our son for a change.)

Sal said...

The joys of autumn and winter eh?
Glad you had a good 'sorting out' sort of day. We had a good day too and met another blogger, in my fave place..here's a clue: *x**** !! (see blog) ;-)

Lucy@CLM said...

Your open fire looks gorgeous. We too lite our fire last night for the first time too!! It isn't even installed yet but there was a hole for a wood burner so we just had to give it a try....absolute toastie heaven. Lucy xx

Lucy B - Vintage Floral and Gingham said...

Oh the fire looks wonderful!! I hope you enjoyed a nice glass of wine sitting round it! I have two open fireplaces in our house and have kept meaning to have them swept and attempt an open fire!!...one day...

Glad you enjoyed your weekend.

Love
Lucy x

Country Cottage Chic said...

The fireplace looks fab - I was wondering if you'd had your first fire yet.

Mr C is just like Mr CCC - complains that it is too hot - "it's so hot in here it's giving me a headache" is his favourite expression, while The Girl & I snuggle up in front of the fire with our crochet blankets. Of course The Boy has no feeling either - he wanders home from school in just a t-shirt in midwinter. Must be a male thing!

Gina said...

I SO need to do a clear out like that. Your fire looks wonderfully warm and cosy... off to sit in front of ours now!

...... Kristina ...... said...

Hi Michele,
Lucky you our monkeys have another week left,i have just ironed uniforms and polished shoes...yawn!
Fab clear out you have had.i am jealous our spare room was cleared and decorated and is now full again.i can't believe it.
Aaaahhh your fire is just delicious...looks dreamy,i can see you sat there toasting your toes and drifting off to sleep,bliss
Love Kristina XxX

Rosie said...

Oh Michele that looks wonderful! I have to admit my husband is always hot - no not that kind of hot,well now and again! He is always turning the heating off, while I am always cold!
BTW, got the Antiques mag and saw your fabulous article. Great stuff!
Rosie x

Ragged Roses said...

So glad to hear that you all got a chance to sit in front of your fire at last. It all sounds so cosy and INVITING!!!!! Let me just tell you that M (aka Mr Pyromania 2008) burnt the garden bench on our fire as our wood had run out, yes, the very same garden bench that he has been trying to rebuild all summer - no more Mr Caratacus Potts for him!
Mxxxx

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

I so enjoyed your story of cleaning, sorting and setting a cozy fire. You are quite the story teller! Tropical? In England? LOL!

xo
Becky

LOUISE said...

Lovely to see your lovely open fire Michele. When I was a child my mum would light one every day. She was an expert at making firelighters out of newspaper. I could never get the knack, although so far in my life I haven't needed this skill, we have a gas effect open fire at the moment. Your post reminds me of when we called out a company called Sooty and Sweep to brush our chimney, it was as much as J could do to keep composed on the phone to them! I know how good it feels to have a clearout and yes I often see items dumped on the tip, which could be given a new lease of life, although always too many eagle eyes about. Enjoy your new tidy space. x

Kitschen Pink said...

Oh lovely! Send MrC. into the garden for a brisk consitutional - or threaten central heating if he doesn't cosy up and toast marshmallows! t.xx

The Crackled Horse Company said...

Now, why is it that the MR's of the house are "far too hot!" when the Mrs like it "cozy"???
Mine is just the same and has a thing about me wearing more knit-wear!? Im PERFECTLY comfortable in a bikini!? ( hee hee!)
Anyway, I have been tagged with a little bit of a fun project and been asked to pass it on... read my blog and it may all make sense...
I hope you are OK and I love the pumpkin photo!
Take Care and have a good week.
Helen x

fiveminutesmore said...

Mmmmmm your fire looks so cozy! Just found your blog and am loving reading it! Nice to find a local one - I'm a Bath girl too!

Elizabeth said...

You are so lucky to be able to light your fireplace up. In our area (San Francisco suburb) we can't really do that, because of pollution. I grew up with one and I really miss the crackling fire.
Sounds like you had a productive weekend! I hate to have to do all that cleaning and sorting,but when you are done, it is such a great feeling!

CashmereLibrarian said...

Gorgeous! We haven't lit our fireplace yet but it's just a matter of time; perhaps this weekend, after a day of raking leaves. I have the fire already built though!
I love your blog!

flutterbypatch said...

Gorgeous. Just my sort of fireplace Michele; lovely proportions and patiently waiting to be decorated with festive greenery illuminated by soft candlelight at Christmas. A few sweet chestnuts in the embers and a glass of something 'soothing'. What more could a girl want!! Colder weather is on the way apparently so hope you have enough coal. Have a restful weekend. Eli

jane winton said...

There is nothing like an open fire to cheer a winter evening. Every year i cannot wait for the clocks to go back and winter is here! We have changed our sitting room over to the littlest room in the house this year and it has a lovely victorian fireplace and its just so cosy. Yours looks beautiful, hope you enjoy many cuddly evenings in front of it. Love Jane xx

Rosie said...

Lucky you! The fire looks lovely and welcoming. Hope you enjoy your holiday.

Bettyjoy said...

what a wonderful looking fireplace - just the thing on these colder wintery nights!