Sunday, 28 February 2010

The end is nigh..............

So today is the last day of February.

Which leaves just 28 days till the clocks change, with the hopeful promise of spring just around the corner.

Today is also the first day in over a week I've felt relatively normal which hopefully means I'm emerging from a self-inflicted period of overwork and stress.

Of course feeling 'relatively normal' is all relative.

I have a burgeoning crop of cold sores on my upper lip and if sleeping were an Olympic sport I'd be a multiple gold medal winner.

But the good news is we have no major deadlines looming over the coming few months so the heat is off workwise for the time being. Of course the ever-present ravening wolf has still to be kept from the door, but thanks to a combination of hard work and serendipity over the past three months, we do at least have a bit of breathing space.

Which in turn means that I can take some time out to work on my projects, which seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate. There are also a number of new toys and games on the drawing board which have been neglected, and which I'm keen to pick up and review. Not to mention some commissions which have come in recently, on which I'm looking forward to making a start.

So all in all, over the next month or two, I'm anticipating a period of recharging my creative batteries and getting on with stuff I really enjoy doing.

Woo and indeed, hoo!

Friday, 26 February 2010

The Twilight Zone..........

I seem to have lost a whole day.

I'm not talking about Wednesday, the day before yesterday, which passed in a blur of activity in preparation for the murder mystery dinner..... cleaning, cooking, titivating, drinking, eating, more drinking, laughing, singing........ the jollity went on into the small hours.


No I'm talking about yesterday, when despite having had guests stay overnight, and therefore being up and about and nominally sentient in the morning, by early afternoon I finally capitulated and decided to have a lie down on the sofa with Small Dog, to watch a film. Three hours later I woke to find that Small Dog had somehow snuggled herself down under the fleecy blanket, in the crook of my knees, and that having missed the entire film I had no idea whodunnit.

Or even who was dunnit to.

Despite my impromptu mega-nap, I was flagging again by dinner time, and retired to bed at 7 pm, sleeping right through for 12 hours.

However, even that marathon sleep hasn't recharged my depleted batteries, and I'm fighting the urge to slope off for another nap on the sofa, a suggestion of which Small Dog thoroughly approves.

The good news is that we have absolutely NOTHING planned for this weekend. I can sleep, snooze, nap etc to my heart's content. Thanks to our cleaning blitz on Monday and Tuesday the house is sparkling clean and tidy, so I will feel no pangs of guilt if displacement activity claims me.

What luxury to have a few days of doing only what I feel like.


Normal service will however be resumed at some point. Probably Monday.


Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Too much information......


I now know far more about 'shapewear' than is good for me.

I am of a vintage that still remembers roll-on girdles and corselettes but nothing prepared me for the plethora of highly engineered undergarments designed to subdue and contain excess flesh on the female form.

Ordinarily I tend to favour rather utilitarian underwear, particularly when it comes to knickers. While I am not quite in the Bridget Jones 'big knickers' category, neither am I a skimpy thong girl.

Similarly, beaded sheath evening gowns don't feature prominently in my wardrobe. My usual garb of shirts and jeans doesn't necessitate highly structured undergarments. So it was with slight trepidation that I ventured tentatively into the 'shapewear' section of our gargantuan Tesco superstore. Thankfully, it was tucked discretely in a corner of the lingerie area, so I was able to peruse the offerings in relative seclusion, free from the voyeuristic glances of curious onlookers.

In my naivete I had supposed that there would be one, or at the most two, varieties of magic knickers.

But no.

No by no nonny no.

There were racks and racks of them, in a bewildering range of shapes and styles. I quickly discounted the mega-heavy duty variety, which claimed to reduce EVERYTHING by at least a full dress size. They seemed to start somewhere below the neck and ended just above the knee. I thought they represented desperate overkill and frankly marvelled at how anyone could either bend, or breathe while wearing them. I suspect that it came down to a choice between bending OR breathing.

Then there were ones which claimed to give you the thighs of a gazelle. I did briefly consider those, purely in order to give me the satisfaction of taking the manufacturers to court citing the Trade Descriptions Act.

Then there were hip-slimmers, with reinforced mesh haunch panels. Not to mention the tummy tamers, which apparently immediately 'slim and shape rounded tummies'.

I thought that 'round' WAS a shape. Just shows what I know.

Then there was the conundrum of what size to go for. Do you buy the size you'd realistically like to be, or the size you know you are. While I was considering this dilemma I was astounded to see that they all came in size SMALL!

Blimey O'Reilly..... why on earth would any skelf-like, size 10 stick insect want or need magic knickers?!
I held up a pair in complete disbelief. They were TINY! Even Small Dog would have struggled to get them over her sylph-like hips!

After some time I eventually decided on a Magic Waist Cincher (Firm Control) with added Tummy Control Lycra.
They don't actually look too bad, although they have parlous little support in the derriere area. Still, you can't have everything can you? If my waist and tummy are reasonably restrained then my bum can look after itself. It's a reasonable trade-off.

I haven't actually tried them on yet. Small Dog has requested a ringside seat to watch me wriggle and squirm my way into them, but I suspect she only wants to snigger behind her paw. Also I will probably have to have a lie down afterwards and I don't want her trampolining on my newly taut and spandexed tummy.

Besides which she is apt to make comments about my 'pink suit' which she refers to as being strangely tight and baggy at the same time. She a master of the back-handed compliment, although discretion has never been her strong point.

As to requests for photographs of the aforementioned garment, the answer is a resounding NO. Some things are just best left to the imagination.

Death in Venice....

We're organising a special birthday dinner for one of our bestest friends tomorrow, and to add some spice to the proceedings, decided to host a murder mystery evening.

The theme of the evening is Death in Venice, but I can't give too much away. Mind you, that's not difficult as I know nothing about the identity of the murderer.

It might even be me.

Although hopefully not on account of the rather ambitious menu. Death by Botulism has an unfortunate ring to it, in addition to probably carrying a hefty jail sentence.

The evening is supposedly set in an opulent Venetian palazzo in 1946. An air of decadent opulence is proving a challenge to achieve in a modern house built a mere decade ago, but we're going to do our best.

Thankfully we already have gothic overtones in the dining room, so with the aid of a zillion candles and no electric lighting, we just might get away with it, so long as guests squint on their way to the loo.

In any event, candlelight is so flattering to women of a certain age.


Naturally, in keeping with the theme of the evening, everyone has to come in character, dressed to the nines.

The cast list comprises a powerful and ostentatious Hollywood producer, a fading German pre-War movie star, a beautiful but naieve Italian starlet, a flash Italian-American 'businessman' with probably connections to The Mob, in impossibly handsome Italian war hero, and a politically ambitious but morally suspect war widow.

That's me that is.

I have to squeeze myself into a floor-length beaded sheath dress (a serendipitous eBay find) to play the part of the glamourously wealthy but grief-stricken widow. I am concerned that the lasting impression may be more akin to that of a weeping burst sausage.

This is primarily due to the fact that the dress is rather unforgiving in the bulge department, so there's nothing else for it but to raid Tesco's later for some 'magic knickers'. I am reliably informed that these wonders of underpinning perform the function of non-surgical liposuction, and compress all the renegade bits of 'avoirdupois'*, thereby sculpting and skimming a bulge-free, sylph-like figure.


They're going to have their work cut out with me then.

I don't need magic knickers, so much as absolutely, amazingly, astoundingly, miraculous knickers!

* EDIT: I checked the spelling of avoirdupois, and just to be on the safe side, double checked the definition to ensure that I had the right word.

It appears that I was right, although I was hoping for a slightly more gentle and forgiving description.....

Main Entry: avoirdupois
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: heaviness
Synonyms: bulk, fat, fatness, heftiness, hugeness, ponderosity, ponderousness, weight,
adipose, corpulent, fat, fleshy, gross, heavy, outsize, fat, paunchy, plump, porcine, fat, portly, pudgy, rotund, stout, fat


Monday, 22 February 2010

Brief de-brief..........

Despite an epic sleep last night I still feel zombiefied today, following a full-on working weekend.

I'll post properly later when I'm hopefully able to put my brain in gear, but in a nutshell, the Thame fair on Saturday was a triumph. Our takings were almost double what they were last year and they were very good last year so we are delighted. It was busy all day, with collectors willing to spend on high-end pieces rather than our more affordable offerings.

Thame has carved its own niche in the volatile world of specialist miniature fairs. Many customers commented on the fact that the quality of the exhibitors made it feel akin to a more manageable Miniatura or KDF. All of the high standards without the logistical problems inherent in visiting a really big fair.

Celia Thomas, the fair organiser did a wonderful job of balancing a wide range of top quality exhibitors, with no more than two of any miniature speciality, which ensured a varied selection. Also, every exhibitor was an artisan in their own right, which meant no imported tat, and the resulting same items on stand after stand.

Not only that, the fair raised over £3000 for Breast Cancer Research, which is a fantastic result.

Our post-fair workshop session yesterday was also a great success. Students worked hard to create a little wicker pram and I'm hoping they'll send me photos of the finished pieces to post on the blog in due course.

However, for the moment I'm in recuperation mode, so today will be a day of gentle pottering, with a modicum of rest and relaxation thrown in for good measure.

More anon.......

Friday, 19 February 2010

Hi ho, hi ho..........

It's off to work we go........

Huge pile of stuff is currently sitting in the hall, waiting to be packed into the car. By the time we're finished it will be nigh on impossible to squeeze in even a wafer-thin mint. If push comes to shove I may have to make the journey strapped to the roof!

Small Dog has got wind of our impending departure and is resolutely ignoring us, as she has been informed that she must 'STAY'. She hates the 'STAY' word and is curled up on her blanky with her face to the wall and her back to us.

Thankfully the weather seems to be fine, which bodes reasonably well for our foray onto the M25/M40 later. Hopefully by mid afternoon we shall be safely at our hotel and looking forward to a relaxing evening before the fair tomorrow and the subsequent workshop session on Sunday.

I'll tell you all about it on our return.


Must get on. We have a very small car to pack full with a very lot of stuff!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Packing hell............

Packing for a miniatures show is always a fraught business. All the delicately tiny and often incredibly fragile items have to be carefully nestled in protective packaging in order to withstand the rigours of the journey over pot-hole infested roads.

I've spent most of the day so far packing all our wares into boxes by category, then packing those boxes into one humungous box. I'm almost done but haven't yet started on the workshop boxes. I just know that there will be one absolutely vital tool I forget to pack, or that I'll leave the carefully collated instruction booklets.

Also, because we'll be away for two nights, we will also have to take enough stuff for the weekend, smartish clothes for both days, overnight stuff etc etc. Quite how we're going to fit everything, including the display stand, into our extremely small car is an as yet unsolved mystery

Small Dog is going to have dedicated dog-sitters in the shape of two (nominally) adult offspring who have been bullied, goaded, bribed talked into staying with her, on the basis that the fridge is fully stocked and they have unrestricted access to the Wii.

Unsurprisingly, Small Dog is enchanted at the prospect of having them at her beck and call, although she is under strict instructions not to initiate any games of 'break the furniture' or similar.

Ok, back to the fray.......

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Clean slate.........

At some point today, ClustrMaps will archive my little map which shows where visitors to my blog are located on the planet.

It happens every year at this time but I still find it mildly traumatic.

All the little red dots will disappear and I will be presented with a brand new, clean and shiny, but above all, empty, map.

So I have just archived my own copy which reveals the following:

  • My blog has received visitors from 68 different countries over the past year
  • There have been just short of 9000 hits during the past year.
That's quite a lot of people reading this drivel shimmering prose.

Although I have a sneaking suspicion that most people visit primarily to keep up with the antics of Small Dog......

Monday, 15 February 2010

Losing the will to live......

D'you know when you've downloaded or installed a new software program?

And the 'helpful' online manual runs to several hundred sections, and each section has at least 5,698 sub-sections.

And you glance at it and think.......

"How hard can it be"?

And because you're reasonably computer literate, and used to problem-solving on a daily basis, you think.......

"Oh, for goodness sake. I can probably work out what I need to do in next to no time so I'll just get stuck in and do it".

And finally, after 2 frustrating, howl-at-the-moon, chew-your-own-leg-off-whilst-banging- your-head-on-the-desk hours, you just want to crawl away whimpering in search of the gin bottle.


That's me that is.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Deja vu.........

The south east corner of the country was subject to yet another 'snow event' yesterday. Overnight on Wednesday we had 6 inches of snow and once again the road outside our house was impassable.

So all day yesterday we were again confined to barracks, girding our loins for yet another Nanook of the North experience in search of dog milk.

Thankfully, over the course of today, most of it has melted, so we will hopefully be spared a repeat of our near-death experience.

I'd meant to blog it, but I'm getting a tad blase about snowfall in excess of a couple of inches, and anyway I was hard at work all day trying to get ahead on my Thame Fair preparation.

However, here is a snapshot of Small Dog's snow event experience yesterday.......

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Thame workshop vacancies.....

There are still a few vacancies for my post-Thame workshop on Sunday 21 February. This will be a rare opportunity to participate in one of my workshop sessions.

Students will be making a Victorian-style toy wicker perambulator and during the session will learn how to create a variety of different woven wicker patterns to create a lovely little working toy.

The session will be held from 10 am to 1 pm in Thame. For full details please contact me as soon as possible by emailing me at

If I have enough time between now and then I'm planning to make up some tiny porcelain dressed toy baby doll kits (the jointed baby measures just 1"!) which will also be available to purchase on the day.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Freecycle fracas..........

The recent/ongoing office refurb has displaced lots of stuff which I've decided to put on Freecyle. As usual, there has been a frenzy of replies from people willing to take our surplus to requirements stuff off our hands.

This is all good, as they are mostly extremely pleasant people, who turn up on time to collect what they've asked for, and are very pleased with their items.


When trawling through the dozens of responses from eager and hopeful fellow Freecyclers, I can't help being annoyed by the sloppy approach to the written word in general, and spelling and punctuation in particular.

'Textspeak' seems to have escaped from the confines of the mobile phone world and is infecting every sphere of writing.

For example, one of the responses I received today, requesting a digital camera (elderly and obsolete but fully functional, not unlike me in fact, except for the fully functional bit), consisted of a single line

if u still hav it i wud lik it (followed by a mobile phone number)

There are many, many things wrong with this as a request for something which someone is offering for free.

I'll start with the complete lack of punctuation. None whatsoever. No capitalisation. No full stop.

Then there's the spelling, about which the least said the better. I have nothing against the odd misspelled word or typo, nestling within an otherwise acceptable email. But deliberately bad spelling just gets my goat.

Then there's the complete lack of common courtesy. No salutation. No please or thank you. No signature.

Finally there is the ubiquitous mobile phone number. This is where the red mist descends.
If I am offering an item via Freecycle, I DO NOT expect to have to call a mobile phone in order to discuss collection arrangements. I would not even expect to have to call a landline.

In my opinion, arrangements should either be made via email, or if necessary, whoever wants what I have should call ME! I am always happy to supply my landline number, especially if someone is coming a reasonable distance and may need to phone for directions.

So far today three lovely people have turned up on time to collect stuff, having made all the necessary arrangements in a few brief emails.

More people are scheduled to collect stuff tomorrow. All of these people had written proper emails, properly laid out, grammatically correct and immaculately spelt.

The rubbish requests were deleted instantly. I find it an excellent way to cull and whittle down the mass of Freecycle requests.

This post was brought to you by 'Grumpy Old Women's Rant of the Day'.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Special treat..........

I've just booked a ticket for the Kensington Dollshouse Festival in May! I went on the Friday last year and thoroughly enjoyed it so I've decided to repeat the experience.

Attending a fair as a visitor, rather than as an exhibitor, is a completely different experience. There is never quite enough time to look around a fair when I'm exhibiting, and a few quick dashes to specific stands just isn't the same as being able to wander round in a leisurely fashion and have a proper chat with exhibitors.

I'm hoping to get several of my languishing projects off the ground well before May, but I'm sure there will be items which I'm going to need and I have plenty of time between now and then to compile a comprehensive shopping list.

I'm looking forward to it already.

Monday again........

One slight advantage of working over the weekend is that there was no feeling of 'Oh no it's Monday' this morning.

I did manage to complete my list of tasks over the weekend, but today was given over completely to trying to get the newly refurbished office properly up and running. I must have walked miles today, going from room to room, upstairs, downstairs, out to the recycling bin, and back again. The mountain of mess in the dining room is certainly diminishing, but there still seems to be an awful lot of 'stuff' to deal with.

However, having given over a whole day to it today, I have to get back into the workroom tomorrow and crack on. Time is slipping inexorably away and I'm reaching the stage where I'm going to have to prioritise on what I can realistically finish in time for the fair.

I am now looking forward to 22 February, and the chance to get on with some of my neglected projects, primarily the little doll shop I mentioned last month. I haven't forgotten about the competition to select a name for it, but it will have to wait a few weeks longer before I get Small Dog to choose the winning name. So I'm extending the deadline till 23 February....if you didn't enter last month, then give it a go now.

The original post is here and to date I've had around 40 suggestions, not one of which has been duplicated, so there is obviously a lot of original thought going on.

Just to remind you, I'm revamping the corner shop into an 1890s Art Nouveau building in the French style, which will sell exclusive Sunday Best dolls for discerning doll's house children.

The chosen name, as well as gracing the shop, will win its contributor one of my little Jumeau-style toy dolls.

Good luck!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Working weekend.........

The post this morning brought the exhibitor's information pack for the Thame Doll's House & Miniatures Fair. If you click on the link and scroll down the page you will see floor plans, an exhibitor's list and a very useful section with website links for each exhibitor.

We're stand no. 30 between the wonderful Tudor style houses of Trigger Pond, and the exceptional miniature art of Ellie de Lacy.

As well as our tiny toys and toy dolls, we will be taking a selection of our remaining porcelain doll kits, plus some 'not to be missed' assorted doll packs.

So, with just two weeks to go, this will be a working weekend as I attempt to cram as much as possible into the time remaining. Today I will mostly be wigging and hatting 20 tiny wee dolls in order to complete the new toy dolls I started last month. If I manage to finish them off I will then be moving on to the new exotic animal pullalong toys, currently waiting patiently in a box in the workroom.

Well that's the plan.

But as I well know, the best laid plans 'gang aft agley'.

Friday, 5 February 2010

We've gone viral.......NOT!

In an effort to cheer me up, PP tracked this down for me earlier on.

Apparently, it was recorded in our campervan on New Year's Eve.

I vaguely remember it.

Four ukuleles in perfect harmony.


The look on Small Dog's face says it all really. If you manage to get right to the end, and listen very carefully, you will hear her verdict.

As you might have guessed, we were all well on the way to being very, very drunk......

EDIT: Yes. Yes that IS a kazoo. We felt it detracted somewhat from the soulful timbre of the tune.

February nadir............

I really don't like February. It's just as well it's a short month otherwise I should go doolally.

February in Scotland is a cold, cruel month, too far away from the festive season to contain any residual cheer, and too far away from spring, which doesn't get properly going in Scotland until the end of April, or even into May.

I particularly hate early February because it contains the anniversary of my mother's death, with all the attendant sadness regret and poignancy which the death of someone you love brings.
If the death is sudden and unbearably traumatic then each anniversary stirs up all manner of other emotions in addition to sadness and loss - guilt, anger, remorse, hopelessness - which can lead to the downward spiral of depression.

Been there, done that, many, many times.

Of course with the passing of years, the pain is dulled, although never completely extinguished. Strangely though, as I get older, I find myself actively missing her more.

I miss the cosy chats we've never had, the shared trials and tribulations, the shared experience of parenthood.

I regret the fact that she has never seen any of her grandchildren and they have never had the chance to know her, other than through my store of family fables and a few faded photographs.

I miss not being able to ask her advice when my own grown-up daughter asks mine and I don't know what to say.

I miss the feeling of having someone older and wiser who would always be firmly on my side, but at the same time be able to tell me if she thought I was making a mistake, or doing the wrong thing.

I miss the shared sense of humour and the ability to reach such a pitch of hysterical laughter we could hardly move, although I am so lucky to have that same thing with my own daughter.

I just miss her.

And despite February being such a short month, it will probably always feel endless to me.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Trivial pursuits........

I had a hospital appointment yesterday morning, and arrived at the Neurology clinic to find an unusual level of frenetic activity. This turned out to be due to them trialling a new computer system, which had apparently thrown everything into a state of flux.

A large sign at the reception desk, pleaded with patients to be patient during the initial teething period, so I settled down for what I assumed would be a long wait, given the literally seething mass of people in the waiting area.

After a while I picked up one of the information leaflets from the window ledge and began to idly flick through it. Towards the back there was a page of apparently random facts, entitled 'So You Think You Know EVERYTHING?'

Now, I'm as up for a bit of useless trivia as the next nerd, so here are some of my favourites:
  • A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  • A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time of 1/100th of a second.
  • The shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
  • Snails can sleep for three years.
  • Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
  • An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
  • Cats have over 100 vocal sounds. Dogs have only about 10.
  • 'Dreamt' is the only English word that ends in the letters 'mt'.
  • In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
  • It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
  • No work in the English dictionary rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
  • Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
  • 'Stewardesses' is the longest word typed with your left hand and 'lollipop' with your right (this is true because I've just done it)
  • The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
  • The cruise liner QE2 moves only 6 inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
  • There are more chickens than people in the world.
  • There are only four words in the English language which end in 'dous': tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous.
  • Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
There were more but the rest were relatively boring and therefore most likely to be true. I can't speak for the veracity of any of the above, but I do take issue with dogs only having 'about 10' vocal sounds. Small Dog has an infinite variety of vocal sounds, comprising growls, squeaks, yelps, barks, grunts, sighs, groans, coughs, yowsers (I couldn't think of a proper category for those) and no end of other noises depending on her mood.

And who the hell was able to identify and authenticate 100 different cat sounds?! As far as I'm concerned, cats go miaow, purr, and occasionally hiss. Not to mention being notoriously uncooperative. So I'm really up for challenging that one.

As for the others, well I didn't even know that crocodiles HAD tongues, never mind not being able to stick them out. I'd love to know how THAT was discovered. Same goes for the shark blinking thing. How do people find out this stuff? And more to the point, how can they be so cavalier in the assertion that NOT ONE OTHER fish does the same?

Snails can sleep for three years?!!! Surely any snail lover worth his salt would give up on a pet snail if it hadn't moved for three days, or even three weeks, let along three years. I wonder how many sleeping snails have been rudely awakened in the process of being sauteed in garlic butter.

As for 'it's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open'. Well, yes. As any fule kno. If you've ever experienced a sneezing fit while driving you will know this to be true.

Not to mention, 'there are more chickens than people in the world'. Really? The most authoritative source I could find on Google, suggests that as of the middle of last year, the world population stood at 6,790,062,216.
Presumably by now it has topped the 7 billion mark. So there are more than 7 BILLION chickens in the world?

Gosh, that's a lot of chooks.

I can't help myself. I just love this stuff.........

Groundhog Day..........

In all the excitement of the new desk etc this week I completely forgot about Groundhog Day! I am mortified to have committed such a deplorable sin of omission, as GD is always good for several hours of displacement activity.

Ok, so, the two main prognosticating groundhogs of note are Wiarton Willie in Canada and Punxsutawney Phil in the US. If your only frame of reference for Groundhog Day is the film with Bill Murray then that's only because you're not Canadian or American.

Willie and Phil are major rodent celebrities in their respective homelands with the crescendo of homage peaking on 2 February each year. To give you an idea of the scale of their influence, the official web site of Punxsutawney Phil was overwhelmed with a 4 fold increase in visits with 3.641 million unique visitors, 6.5 million visits and 14.4 pages viewed on February 2, 2010.

That's a very lot of weather-forecasting groundhog aficionados.

You'll have to browse their respective websites for the full lowdown, (they easily rate 10/10 for displacement activity) but in a nutshell, on GD if they see their shadows there will be six more weeks of winter. However, if they doesn't see their shadows, there will be an an early spring.

Obviously there's a lot more to it than that but you'll have to check the hows and whys yourself.

Happy belated Groundhog Day.........

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

A 'must visit' blog........

I'm not in the habit of haranguing my readers *cough* but the other day I happened, purely by chance, upon an excellent blog by Jane Laverick.

Miniatures aficionados will remember Jane from her regular Dolls House World columns, in which she demonstrated her skill at getting to the heart of what makes us miniaturists tick.

I strongly suggest you to catch up with her blog HERE!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Flat-pack frustration..............

The newly re-painted and carpeted office is still eerily silent.

Despite being ready for occupation since last Friday.

There are several reasons for this, primarily the fact that having possession of the 'big desk' with a lovely view of the garden there has been little or no incentive for PP to engage in the upheaval of moving lock, stock and barrel back into the office.

And I have to admit, that it has been much cosier and immeasurably more comfortable for me too, sitting on the sofa, by the fire, than hunched over a tiny tray table as I have been for the past 6 years.

However, it is impossible in the long term and I'm longing to get the house back into some semblance of order.

Over the past few days, the realisation has dawned on me that there is no way that PP and I could successfully share the 'big desk'.

I am too messy and PP is too territorial. It would only end in tears.

So I have come up with a compromise solution, and bowed to the inevitable, as a result of which I spent several hours this afternoon single-handedly tackling a flat-pack 'compact' corner desk. Needless to say, it came in parts 1-57, with a big bag of assorted cams and widgets, and a 10 page booklet of step-by-step instructions.

I only made two mistakes, but they each took half an hour to rectify, and after a total of 3 hours crawling around on the floor and hefting chunks of desk top and shelves etc, I am racked with aches and pains. However the new 'compact' desk is finished and is waiting lonelyly in the office.

It is not exactly a thing of beauty, but it is 'compact, and fits reasonably neatly into one corner of the room. More importantly it will give me my own desk space at long last, and I can be as messy as I like. Meanwhile PP will retain sole occupation of the 'big desk'.

The downside is that my lovely old wooden desk and matching filing cabinets will be consigned to the smallest spare bedroom, along with two bookcases which we can't fit in the newly re-jigged office. This in turn will mean getting rid of the single bed in the spare room, which admittedly has seen better days.

So every action has has an equal and opposite reaction, and for the next few weeks the house will remain in a state of untidy flux.

I'm too tired and worn out to feel any satisfaction at the progress made today. Perhaps tomorrow when I'm able to move back into the clean, bright, uncluttered office and get everything properly organised I will feel rejuvenated and inspired.

That would be so lovely.....