Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Staying put

I truly cannot believe that almost two months have gone by since I last posted, but the calendar doesn’t lie, so two months it must be. And what has she been doing with herself during those two months, I can hear you all thinking. She certainly hasn’t been reading and commenting on our blogs with any regularity, if at all. The answer is very simple. I have been busy, very busy, but with the kind of activity that doesn’t really make for rivetting (or even mildly interesting) blog posts. 

One of these was the recent move from Windows LiveMail to Outlook for dealing with my email, since Microsoft, in its wisdom, has decided to stop supporting LiveMail soon. It’s been a tedious and longwinded process, as somehow the vast majority of my very large number of stored emails were inadvertently duplicated in the process of moving across and the duplicates had to be laboriously deleted by yours truly. Sigh…  

On the positive side, it proved to be unexpectedly fascinating to go back over long-ago events, as I dealt with the emails concerning them. I’d never before thought of email as a memory store, but for me it turns out to be exactly that. I have never managed to keep a diary or a journal for longer than a few weeks, but this has proved to be almost better than a journal in many ways, because the sequence of messages captured not only my thoughts, but those of others involved. As you can guess, the deletion process took considerably longer than it need have done…

Then, of course, there are the preparations for the conservatory. The long-awaited ground-works are scheduled to start on June 2nd, and the construction of the conservatory itself will, all being well, take place in the last full week of June. As I type I can hear DH busily lifting and storing the last of the patio slabs (which were very solidly bedded in!) so that they can be reused eventually to create a small patio at the far end of the conservatory, overlooking the river. Thankfully the weather is being kind here in Mid-Wales, and we seem to be escaping the rain which is currently drenching much of Western Europe.

However,  overshadowing everything else is the major topic which has been consuming most of our time and energy since I last posted - the firm decision to put the old house up the hill on the market at last. What with getting estimates from estate agents, continuing to work on sorting and clearing the house and outbuildings, and trying to bring order to the riot of greenery which has been making a takeover bid, there hasn’t been much time or energy left for anything else.

The house will go onto the market officially as soon as the details of the sale particulars have been finalised by the agent, but, being us, we haven’t been leaving it all to the agent. Using material drafted by DH, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort in the last couple of weeks creating a website (using Blogger) to hold more information and images than any estate agent can include in normal sale particulars. It was a fiddly and sometimes frustrating process, but it finally went live yesterday, and we’re hoping it will help in the process of finding a buyer who will love the place as much as we do and be as happy there as we were for so many years.  

Beyond our own small concerns there is, of course, the looming referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, about which, you’ll be glad to note, I don’t plan to say more than this. It is a huge decision, with very long-lasting consequences, and you will probably not be surprised to hear that as convinced internationalists, DH and I are profoundly hoping Britain will vote to remain a member.

Finally, because so much is happening at the moment, we have been forced to accept that we simply cannot go to Normandy as usual this year. What with the possibility of house viewings and the need to keep the undergrowth around the old house in check, we absolutely must stay here all summer – hence the title of this post. If all goes well we hope to get across to France for a short visit in the autumn, but for this year there will be no cherries, no kittens and no year’s supply of apricot jam to make and bring home. I’d better make the one remaining jar in the cupboard last as long as possible. Even the travelling pelargoniums are staying put this year.

The big bonus of being here is watching our still newish garden blooming through the spring and summer and having the time to carry on developing it. I wonder what new treasures will show themselves over the coming weeks…?