Monday, 18 November 2013

Plundering attics and cellars

For those of you who are regular readers, you might remember that I've mentioned in the past that we have building work going on at the moment, and that this is being done for my parents to come down and live in an annexe to our home. This plan has been in place for probably about two years now, and the building work itself has been going on for over 8 months. So we've all had plenty of time to prepare - both practicallly and emotionally. But now the seemingly endless building work is coming to an end, a moving date has been set, a lorry has been hired - and it's happening two weeks today. All of a sudden the situation has become more than a little scary all round. As much as we've had time to become accustomed to the idea and organise ourselves, it still feels like we're all hurtling headlong into completely unknown territory.

My parents have lived in their current home, a large, four storey Victorian house, for well over 40 years. They're moving 275 miles down country to a one bedroom annexe, and they're both in their very late 70's. So to say it's quite an upheaval for them is possibly a slight understatement! As for us, before I start worrying about geting used to the adjustment in our lives when they arrive, we've first got to get through the next two weeks so that we're ready for them. There are so many small details left to sort out - curtain rails, curtains, lighting, telephone lines, carers, stair lifts... - as well as the slightly more major issue of their 'kitchen' area currently being completely bare!

So, basically, what I'm trying to say is I might be slightly more erratic in my posting around here - both over the next couple of weeks with final preparations and then in the following week, at least while the dust settles a bit. It may very well be that there are quite a few things to share with you for these next 2 weeks from the final preparations - I'm all excited about some of the lighting that will be going in, I have kitchen cupboards to revamp and lampshades to make, so I'll try and snap away at all this kind of thing with my camera. But I'll just have to see how it all goes really.

For today, I've got a few photos of my starting point for some of these projects. Since my parents are both supreme collectors and hoarders (I really didn't stand a chance with this gene pool!), and since they obviously have over 4o years of hoarding and collecting stashed away in their present house, it has been a treasure trove of goodies over the last few months as we've tried to sort through everything. I was up there this weekend, for quite possibly the last time, and had a final plunder, particularly of their attic and cellar!

I found these old jars in the cellar a couple of visits back. These are the basis for all the upstairs lighting (there's a bedroom and a conservatory upstairs). I'm hoping this is all going to be in place over the next couple of days and I'm really looking forward to seeing it, so definitely watch this space to see how these are upcycled. (I should say I have a very good and quite adventurous electrician, who's prepared to try and put my ideas into practice here - I'm not tackling any of the electrical side of it myself.)

This ancient, kitchen wall cupboard I found in the attic...

And along with a couple of ancient, freestanding floor cupboards I've found locally...

Here's one of them, along with another smaller wall cupboard, slight repairs needed to one side of it!
...this is going to become the 'kitchen'. There's a secondhand sink lurking somewhere too. And this scruffy lot is my main job for the next couple of days. I've got to get them painted and beautiful for, ideally, Thursday, so that the builder can fit some worktop above them. Unfortunately I couldn't find secondhand worktop in time, so that's going to be new. I'm really hoping that I manage to pull off a respectable, bright, cheerful kitchen - I have a vision of it in my head but so far everyone else looks at these cupboards and thinks I'm bonkers! They could all be right, the builder in particular is extremely sceptical and not overly impressed at the junk I'm bringing into his beautiful, top quality build! But even if my tastes didn't lean heavily to this kind of look and even if I didn't always favour secondhand over new, unfortunately there just ain't any money left in the pot for a swish, new kitchen!

And the last thing I've photographed for today isn't for the annexe. My 'Granny' used to be a piano teacher and I found lots of her old sheet music up in the attic (she had a Granny flat up there when I was little). I brought a handful of it back with me. The carols I have plans to use in some Christmas making (involving decoupage), whether it gets done for this Christmas I'm not sure yet! And there are lots of other song titles that are crying out for unknown, future sentimental projects - for instance, 'It had to be you', one of the main songs from the film 'When Harry met Sally', surely I could think of something soppy to do with that before Valentine's Day?!

And another sentimental find was the music for the Gracie Fields' song 'Sally'. This song was one of my Mum and Dad's favourites when they were young and was the main reason that I was called 'Sally'. I feel that really Harry should have discovered this and made me something for Valentine's Day with it...

...but, realistically, to coin a phrase from the era, I had 2 hopes there - no hope and Bob Hope! So I guess I'll just have to think of something to make for myself from this (I'm sure there are some Bob Hope songs in my pile too!).

That's it for today and I'm hoping you'll bear with me over the next few weeks if need be, Sally.


  1. I think the kitchen cupboards will be brilliant and intrigued by your lampshades! Still chortling of idea of Harry crafting you a valentines present!

  2. It could have been a lovely Valentine's Day present though, couldn't it?! A few of the jar lights are up now and looking amazing, I've been trying to take photos but it's hard to do them justice. I will put them on here very soon, but you'll have to come and see them in person. When I've been feeling really stressed by it all over the last couple of days, I've gone in there a couple of times and just looked at the lights to make me feel happy again!


Please post a comment, I love to hear from you!