Late season dahlias
Busy. Absurdly busy. And obviously not prioritising my blog! I do apologise.
I have learned that I am not made for hot desk working. Just grabbing a lap top and producing content.
In the past two weeks I have been obliged to empty my office of all things. Right down to the desk itself.
The long awaited glorious moment has arrived where I get a huge French window in the wall of my very gloomy cave.
I am paraphrasing, but Le Courbousier stated that the history of architecture is the history of the struggle for light.
And my office does struggle. Just one window looking south and onto the lower terraces of cherries.
This is the view from the outside. And Etienne’s hand waving.
The builders started with the great dismantling of the lean-to structure on the wall, then built a tower, hauled up the enormous tools and started digging out stones.
They removed half the wall (three feet thick) in order build up the side edges of the future window – natty limestone cut from a quarry the next mountain over. And now they are inside working on the rest.
Stone houses need very, very strong stone lintels to prop up the house.
So that meant that my life has been one of great discombobulation.
Especially as I thought that just flinging the contents of my office (reader, there was a lot of paperwork and a life of film script stuff) into the guesthouse and shutting the door would be a great idea.
But no. We had the lovely surprise of friends coming to stay this week. Which meant a bit of deft hiding of one’s writing life in piles behind decorative screens. And files. Files and files of admin from 15 years of detailed farm life and building work and bills.
I had this absurd idea that I would have time to sit and sift.
No. And I will not mention the hours and hours and hours of my life spent up in the attic trying to find originals and then run new co-axial cables through the house.
This is the crawl space where I had to work. No one else could fit under the beams.
The pine Martens were furious at the disruption.
Dismantling of a satellite dish to make way for the window (I’m boring myself with the tedium of the life I have been leading this past fortnight) meant I had to find ways to rewire. And the dish is 25 metres from the TV. Via one office, one kitchen, one living room and finally one hallway.
And that was as far as I wrote before even more things happened.
House guests, visiting a neighbour who took a fall off a stone wall and broke her elbow, building work, biblical storms, insurance claims, racing to the saw mill owners’s chateau to pay his bill and find the scarce wood for the deck…we are in a building supply shortage right now.
Luckily Laurent’s mill and forest is just up the road.
The best bit of my week was the walk in the rain through his forest knowing he was cutting the wood to make the lower deck for the woodstore.
Who on earth thought a car could be struck by lightning? Well it can if you park it next to a scaffolding tower and two metal ladders and the lightning hits and then ricochets under the chassis and blows out the electrics.
Ho hum. Cue hours and hours of admin. Life admin.
And not getting time to spend in my garden – apart from darting down twice daily to pick raspberries, beans, and flowers.
And cuddle the cat.
She has a new cashmere (old moth eaten cardie) lined box to snooze in.
So let me end with some bloom news.
Despite this absurd amount of rain two weekends in a row some of the dahlias have not succumbed.
And this beautiful cafe au lait is valiantly trying to show off. It’s not an easy flower. I think I have had four blooms on it all season.
While the less showy ones to the left and right are throwing out worthy and reliable blooms non-stop.
They have been battered and bent by the rain.
So the bouquets are in small vases.
I leave you with this.
The view from my future terrace is glorious. One day, one day I will step through my office, open the French windows and walk out onto a little deck.
6th October 2021 @ 8:25 am
I’ll need a cup of tea to recover from this maelstrom of activity. You don’t do things by halves! I’ll say it again: your stamina is incredibly impressive. I like the method used by your builders to create the French window, it’s clever. I remember a huge pile of stones when a small window was opened up in my office (I belong to the 90cm-thick-walls club) so I could get light in the afternoon as well as the morning. Working in a cave all day isn’t very motivating. But that future office deck of yours, what a magnificent view. And finally, nice touch about the ricocheting bolt of lightning hitting the car. You must be building up legend status with all your insurance companies after the horse incident!
7th October 2021 @ 7:58 am
Oh yes, I bet there is a red asterisk against our name with the insurers! But not as red a mark (or is it a black mark) against the owner of the horse. Her insurers have agreed to all the costs of repairs and replacements. Ouch. But the lightning strike on the car is yet to be resolved. I love calm. I yearn for calm. And it will happen… next year.
7th October 2021 @ 9:07 am
I do see calm in your future. But my crystal ball doesn’t say when. Hurray for the insurance victory! Perhaps a steep increase in insurance premiums will motivate your neighbour more effectively than your remonstrations to take better care of her fences. Always the optimist…