We left home bang on 9am yesterday because we had arranged to meet Peter Silk and Lizzie at the chapel at about 11am to make final decisions regarding curtains, blinds and upholstery. We'd left it until then because we were waiting to see the colour and design impact of the stained glass in the downstairs windows which Alan only installed on Monday. (He needed a totally dry day and they've been in rather short supply lately.)
When we first met them, we thought that Peter and Lizzie were an item until we realised our mistake and that they are work colleagues only. It was the the way they both understood each other's quirks and foibles and swapped quips and insults that fooled us rather like Channel 4's Kirstie and Phil. Peter is more of the artisan with his saggy jacket and bulging pockets, references to bacon butties and his dexterity with a tape measure whereas Lizzie is the artistic type from whom cultural references drop with the easy assurance of an expert. Her style is understated elegance in her clothes as well as her choices and I trust her completely. And she makes me laugh which is a huge plus.
I digress. Back to the stained glass. The long and winding road that has been this project from the beginning has dulled my spirits but for For the first time in ages I was thrilled. Maybe the fact that the sun blazed forth when we arrived and continued to do so all afternoon. There's nothing like a radiant blue sky and the sun on your back to life the spirits. Of course, I'd seen the pieces in the workshop and was familiar with the sketches but seeing them in situ was quite a different matter. I had thought we wouldn't be able to see anything through them but that's not the case. The lane is clearly visible. Much as I love the peace and quiet that Rosedale Abbey offers the lane is never quiet and there's always something passing by, be it farm vehicles, horses and coaches and I had feared that the stained glass would cut us off in our own little world. It hasn't and I'm thrilled. A village must have life, colour and movement or it becomes a postcard museum piece.
Anyway, Between the four of us, we chose the main fabric for the sitting area, a toning fabric for the dining area and kitchen blinds and curtains and the upholstery for the settle and our two sets of dining chairs (eleven in all. a ridiculous amount for the two of us but we can't bear to relinquish them!)
Peter and Lizzie didn't leave until 2pm ('I shall force-feed him sandwiches on the way back to keep up his strength', said Lizzie as we said goodbye, after which he gobbled down a picnic lunch and dashed to our customary weekly meeting with Ian and Steve. Progrerss continues with decorating and nowe the downstairs bedroom is all but finished. As usual, there were niggles to iron out. Flaxton Forge seeme to have got the message at last and the staircase balusters will be with us soon but we continue to be worried about Richard Patterson and his team. They are working steadily but are way behind schedule but he insists he'll be finished by the 19th September. Ian now informs us that although everything else will be finished inside by that date, the final coat of oil on the oak floor will need about 48 hours to dry so that means we probably won't move in until Tuesday 23rd to be on the safe side.
The pond is at last beginning to like a pond. The water is clearing and plants have been temproarily planted. We are still waiting for Anthony to fit the lights in the paving slabs beforer Peter can fix them in place. After that the fish can move in to their new home as well. The sticks in the soil on the picture immediately above mark where Peter is going to plant a small formal garden area with a stone bird-bath in the centre (left behind by the previous owner), gravel paths, box pyramids and box-hedged beds. Difficult to work out, I know, but I think he knows what he's doing!