The Bilberry Cottage Chronicles

March 2010

Well, March has hared by and, as Brian has reminded me almost every day, I HAVE NOT BLOGGED! The reason for this, my habitual inertia aside, as I have patiently tried to explain, is that nothing much worthy of report has happened. True the porch construction is completed and it has been “wet dashed” (poor Ken the Patient Plasterer, it was in his hair and up his nose) but not painted. Quite a few things, from fruit trees to anemones, have been planted in the back garden but nothing much to see to date. However, the magnolias are just about to pop; we open the bedroom curtains every morning with an air of expectation akin to wondering if Santa Claus has been yet. More likely, according to the weather people, it will be a late snow fall which has arrived to ruin our eagerly anticipated floral extravaganza.

Sensing a softening in the air, Sir William has been out and about for longer and further than hitherto and when at home has been spotted helping out in the bed-changing department, inspecting the library and cleaning (himself) in the conservatory. He has passed his annual “silver service” with a clean bill of health and only passing mention of a slight weight issue. A Mr Tabby has now taken up residence in the greenhouse during inclement weather but this cheeky appropriation of Merchant territory seems of no interest to the erstwhile scourge of Twitcher’s Turning; similarly, and rather sadly, Sir W now also exhibits not the least inclination to visit the “Little House on the Patio” which he appears to have viewed as a sentry box rather than the country villa Brian and I had fondly imagined.

The lead flashing around the chimney has finally been replaced so Brian can now add repairing the ceiling in Cookies n’Cream to his jobs list. After much deliberation, the wrought iron railing has now been ordered for the Juliet balcony off our bedroom. Talks on the gazebo-style porch which is to provide shelter for the backdoor and support for the wisteria (also budding very satisfactorily) have been protracted and occasionally heated. As is his wont, allowed too much time to think about a project, Brian’s inclination is invariably to scale back from what was originally promulgated (especially if the promulgator was Yours Truly) so instead of a 4 foot deep pergola with 45 degree sloping rustic roof timbers, I was invited, nay summoned, to view a mock-up of a 3 foot deep , flat roofed, cane thatched shelter of the ilk which Robinson Crusoe might have managed to knock together before the arrival of his helpmeet, Man Friday. Woman Sunday wasn’t too impressed either and after receiving an earnest lecture about angles and light and “unnecessary” size, and bestowing a number of black looks upon the architect, she left the scene in mute resignation, unable to summon the vast amount of energy required to try to explain to someone with 2 left sides to their brain that just as some things which are necessary are not always desirable, then the opposite may also pertain. “Reductio ad absurdum” indeed and a paradise, if not lost, then seriously threatened. An unexpected and felicitous visit from a surveyor friend and the imminent departure of our builder for 6 weeks work on his gite in the Dordogne brought about a speedy compromise and before the end of May, residents and visitors alike should be able to admire a 3’9” deep, 35 degree angled, wisteria be-decked and hanging basket -adorned rustic pergola at the rear of Bilberry Cottage.

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