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Some Bonkers-ness and Questions 12 - 14

September 21st, 2018 (01:41 pm)

I'm not sure whether a person living alone in a house with lots of funny dark corners is bound to go batty but, over the years, I've often felt there is someone else living here too. Last night, I found my bedroom window wide open and, although many of the strange things I find are obviously things I've done myself and forgotten, I am absolutely sure that it wasn't me who opened the window. Anyway, the open window, and something odd in the bathroom, prompted yet another search of the house. In the roof, part of which has been converted into a child's bedroom, I found the little door to the rest of the roof space, open. I immediately closed it and jammed some stuff in front of it... Then I thought, as I was coming downstairs, "If there is somebody living in the roof, I've just killed him!"

One of the perils of writing murder mysteries :-)

(Now I'm thinking it must have been the wind that blew the door open, and probably sucked the window open, too, somehow).


I answered the following questions last night but, as I was about to post them, my computer crashed. It's been doing that a lot since a major Windows 10 update a couple of weeks ago. The Microsoft Support site says it's a hardware fault and that I need a new processor. I think it's suspicious that when I began typing 'Windows 10' and the error message into Google, it came up as the first option, just as if lots of people had recently been Googling it... Hmm.

Anyway, here's the next batch of answers, as best I can remember them:

12. What is your aesthetic?

I was going to say that I don't have one but, really, I think that I have too many.

I love this:


from last year's Debenhams Christmas catalogue. But I also love this:




Sorry they're a bit blurry; they're screencaps from Grand Designs. The house is built from shipping containers. I love things made from shipping containers. I love this, too:





Sorry, they're even more blurry! These are screencaps from Andrew Marr's Megacities. The house is Japanese, and it's basically just a corridor wrapped around a central column. I think that if the column were a storage area -- in fact, it's probably another house -- it would be perfect for me!

Then there are these houseboats on Granville Island, Vancouver (though I don't know what they look like inside):


and this converted public toilet:




-- it even has a little garden! And a converted church:


(though the church bit does worry me, slightly. I would need to feel that I was treating the building with respect).

So I seem to have a strong preference for living in something that was never intended to be lived in -- this blog shows lots more places I'd love to live in -- which is possibly why I find my house so depressingly boring, and was happier living on a boat. I would love to have the energy, the discipline and the money to do a Grand Designs.

As it is, my actual aesthetic is a combination of 'put up with what's there' and 'more is more'. The 'what's there' is a mish-mash of anything my brother, who owned the house before me, could get on special offer or recycle from a job (he's in the building trade). The 'more' is my own stuff, of which there's far too much, especially books, even though I've converted the small bedroom into a library, crammed with bookshelves. Here's the dining room on Christmas Day:


You can see the mis-matched wallpaper (which I will have to replace at some point), and also the huge map chest I inherited from my parents, stuffed with paper, drawings, and my mum's calligraphy. Not many people have a map chest ;-)

Here's the sitting room, also on Christmas Day. It's one of the two rooms I have managed to paint since I moved in, but the curtains, which are not to my taste but incredibly good quality, are original. I think you can say it's a prime example of the 'more is more' aesthetic.



(If you look closely at the second picture, hanging from the bookcase, near the bottom left-hand corner of the television, is one of kazzy_cee's stained glass stars, which I won in last year's writerconuk raffle!)


Once the mortgage is paid off, and I have some disposable income at last, I am going to have that brick wall-thing removed -- in fact, I'll wield the sledgehammer myself (at least once)!

13. When did you last pet a dog?

I love dogs but, sadly, if I pat one, I get a rash.

14. Whose friend’s parents do you like the most?

At my age, most friend's parents have passed away.

When I was at school, though, I used to go on holiday with my friend, Jean, and her family, and I got on well with her parents.

Their approach to holidaying was very different from my parents'. For one thing, Jean's mother could read maps -- in fact, I learned to read a map myself by watching and listening to her -- and it was just as well, because, whereas my dad stuck rigidly to the route he knew, Jean's parents would go off on little adventures, if they saw an interesting signpost, or if Jean's mother spotted something on the map. Every so often -- every few miles, it felt like -- she would say, "There's a site of outstanding natural beauty coming up on the left," and Jean's dad would stop the car, and we'd get out and have a look. At first, I stayed in the car with Jean -- who, being a teenager, thought it was ridiculous -- but then I thought, "No, do as the Romans!" It turned out to be much more fun. Also, every lunchtime, Jean's mother, with no grumbling at all (!), would magic up a packed lunch for everyone: sandwiches, tomatoes, apples and a drink. I've no idea when she made the sandwiches, nor how she carried them in her tiny backpack!

From Jean's dad I learned all sorts of interesting things: stuff about how cars work, and folklore, like how to keep flies away by waving a switch of elder -- he called it 'buttery bush' -- as you're walking.


Posted by: Karen (kazzy_cee)
Posted at: September 21st, 2018 04:41 pm (UTC)

Windows 10!! *curses it* I hate Microsoft updates!!

Love those Christmas photos :)

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: September 22nd, 2018 10:14 am (UTC)

Grrrr, I hate them, too. You don't know when they're happening, so you don't know why your computer's running slow, and... I was going to say you fear the worst but I'm not sure that all viruses are worse! Then you can't control when the computer restarts, only banish it to the middle of the night, but you don't know which night, so it's easy to leave work unsaved. (I assume you can control restarts if you're a business user, via Active Directory). And, of course, you don't know what functionality you might have lost when the computer restarts -- or even if it will start up again.

It's so arrogant. There must be something in the small print that says, "Microsoft reserves the right to shaft you."

Thank you! The place did look quite nice that day :-)

Posted by: brutti_ma_buoni (brutti_ma_buoni)
Posted at: September 21st, 2018 07:17 pm (UTC)

You do have a very specific preference for not-houses, don't you! I am exactly the opposite, especially after my parents' years of holidaying in Landmark Trust places - always incredibly uncomfortable unless they were nice old houses, in which case they were lovely.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: September 22nd, 2018 10:21 am (UTC)

My parents had a caravan, but I hated it, so I can't have got it from there! But I do think it's genetic -- my dad had lots of sheds over the years, and he always turned them into burrows, with narrow twists and turns around book cases and shelves of tools.

I have to say I envy you your holidaying (despite the discomfort)! And it explains your approach to holidaying now.

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: September 22nd, 2018 01:09 pm (UTC)

So far we seem to have this house all to ourselves - probably because it is less than 50 years old.

I have always loved chapels and churches that are converted into houses - as long as they are not so converted that there is no feel of the original.

And I really like the look of your own house - it looks wark and inviting.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2018 11:50 am (UTC)

I hate it when they convert a church and put in an extra floor that cuts through the stained glass. They don't deserve stained glass!

Thank you :-)

Posted by: Nebride - Bishie Hunter (nebride)
Posted at: October 10th, 2018 01:30 am (UTC)

eeeep! I'm a little worried about your window and door opening. Just watched a video about people who discovered someone living in hidden part of attic or cellar or someplace. Are you sure you've checked all the nooks and crannies? *feeling nervous for Ning*

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: October 10th, 2018 10:22 am (UTC)

It's a terrifying idea, isn't it?

My brother, who used to live in the house, says he's seen the wind pop that window open, so I think it was the wind... And I think I'd hear him hammering to get out if there were someone up there!

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