So April has arrived and we are already truly bedded in here, at home.
Our flights back (29th/30th March) and our grocery order and warm house all kicked in smoothly and uneventfully. We had a bit of added luxury on our overnighters this winter as we stumped up for the wider seats with more legroom. I think it is really worth it - for me any way. Ken pretty much sleeps his way home, so he'd be fine in a match box.
By All Fool's Day I was already ordering stuff for the shop project. I had also changed my mind about the building I would do it in. I won't take up space here with garden or dolls house chatter as I do that on the other blogs for anyone interested. That said, when I remove those two elements from this one there doesn't seem to be much left.
Our first week home was stuffed full (smile) of eating out; so much for me ordering the grocery in advance so we wouldn't starve After all, if you have to go to the garden centre you may as well eat there.
By the second we were up at the crack of dawn for roof repairers and the cleaner. Deep joy; I have a cleaner here in the UK for the occasional sort out. I hate cleaning house; it is a thankless task, within five minutes it all needs doing again.
We also had a lovely surprise. Amongst our mountain of post was a card saying we had a registered package to pick up. Neither of us were expecting anything, so Ken went off to pick up the mystery item. This turned out to be a note from the Halifax saying he had won something in their monthly prize draw. Off he trotted to Bury and was pleased to find he'd won £100. It won't pay for the roof, but it is better than zilch. Apparently the prizes are 100, 1,000 and 100,000.
Now the next sentence is worth noting. I had my haircut and it was fine. .... end of subject
On the 4th my new dolls house shop arrived - the Lyddington. I don't actually love it, like I loved the Honeychurch, but it is a much more practical building to go at for what I want to do. I am though loving the historical research aspect of it all. I must drive Ken crazy with - "You'll never guess how Edwardians.........". He gets tortured with it because I can't imagine how anyone can't be interested in how our grandmothers/greatgrandmothers lived. It is an almost touchable part of our own histories.
The 5th and off to Ikea for a general rummage and the table, shelves and drawers I wanted for my proposed work room. Such fun - I am great at finding the cheapest and the also the most perfect thing for the job. take this literally - my shelves, drawers and table were the cheapest of their kind that Ikea do. I don't have many talents but this is one of them. Give me tuppence and I can convert a barn to a home. Think Doris Day and Calamity Jane.
The next couple of days we emptied, cleaned and painted the inside of my new work space. Bing, bang, bosh, build the furniture and I was in!
During the same time period I managed to write my first article for Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. As it isn't due until July (for publication in September) I am a little ahead of the game. I hope to do one each month for the next six months, so it is done and dusted. It needs to be done while I am at home in the UK alongside the Wentworth; otherwise if there's a snag like needing another/different photograph, it would be a tad difficult. See, there is a method in my madness.
On the 15th Ken and I got all gusseted up ready for a grown up trip into the big city for a meal out with friends. Crikey, it seems like forever since we actually went out, at night, to Manchester, in a cab. Such japes Pip. It was a lovely evening in good company in a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant.
A couple of days later and I was back in almost the same part of the city to meet my best friend for a trip round the Art Gallery, some lunch and a huge gossip catch up. Every inch of it was a delight.
The guide for the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition (possibly my favourite period of art history) was absolutely excellent. A really good balance of information and humour. The exhibition itself seemed a little sparse and I think he was required to add in some pre pre-raf stuff along with some post pre-raf stuff to extend the tour. That aside, it was excellent and I learned a lot. I won't be able to retain it, but it was fun while it lasted.
Lunch was delicious. I have no idea why that every art gallery I have ever eaten in manages to produce good meals, but they do.
As for the chatter - it was essential and it mends the horrid six months gap in our friendship every year. We are puttering along in parallel as ever again now.
I might mention that the date of this event was 18th April and I wore fairly hefty clothes and a mac and scarf and I was as frozen and wet as if it were mid-winter. I remember our guide mentioning one of the Bronte sisters going for a walk, getting wet through to her woollen vest and dying of consumption - it struck a chord.
As compensation when I got home I managed to join my other half in a full-on Indian curry in the evening. No, I am never outfaced by two main meals a day. We also managed to eat out the next two days too with friends. It is good to catch up!
On the 21st we were off to the Pudsey Dolls House Show. It kept me occupied from 10.30am to 2pm so it must be a fairly good one. I had ordered a load of stuff to pick up so it was also useful for that. It was even more useful for the person who bought the Honeychurch, we carted it there so they could drive down from Humberside to collect it to save them coming all the way to Bury. I never got to meet either of them as I was in the show. Ken and her husband did the deal in the car park!
The rest of the month is back to back Bentley's. I even missed the Harrogate Spring Flower Show.
That said, it really hasn't been the weather for it. This April was the wettest since records began (100 years ago) so England certainly knew how to say welcome home. Without any exaggeration we have had one fine day in the whole month since we got back and that was on the 30th. I wonder what it will chuck at us in May.