Saturday, 11 March 2017

It's a Wood Lemon.

Wedge cut from a tree being felled. "It's
a wood lemon!" says H (5)
We don't have a huge number of friends round here with any children of baby-sitting age, so we don't get to do a lot of it. In the week, through circumstances and a clashing appointment or two for Carolyn (she of the Mini-Horses) led to me minding young H(5) for a couple of hours during the day. He's a great lad and dead easy to keep entertained and happy, particularly with the option of "exploring" the local fields, hedges and abandoned buildings. He made me smile, though, when he discovered a wedge of tree trunk of the type you cut out to make the tree fall in the right direction and said "It's a wood lemon!" You knew immediately what he meant.

Our ever more magnificent Marans rooster, Gandalf
He is a carpenter's son, though, and a curious, enthusiastic helper of Dad in the workshop when ever he gets a chance, so I tried to steer him down the correct route (wedge, tree, felling etc). He just took all my 'man-splaining' in, nodded sagely and said "Yes, but it's still a wood lemon and that's what I will call it". No arguing with that, then, H.

Both these pieces now evicted, the leather
 sofa and the single-chair.
But now I must change to sombre funereal tones for a couple of paragraphs (cue dirge-y violin music) while I relate the sad passing of a much loved item in this house and family, the prized leather, 3-seat sofa. This huge item was a lovely thing. It was tan colour leather and had a seat long enough for me to lie down in full stretch (and to use as a guest bed) at over 6 feet. Indeed, I have enjoyed many an afternoon nap on it.

In with the 'new'. Our replacement
furniture starts to arrive. Liz is still
playing book-shelf games..
I have long forgotten but Liz tells me it came from John Lewis 10-15 years ago and cost over £1000 even then in a sale. I do remember that we had to get the double glazed bay-window unit taken out of the Faversham house to get it into the room and again when we were moving here. We also had some fun getting it in here with Liz giving 'Sparks' and I a hard time, convinced that it wouldn't fit if Sparks assembled the stairs banister BEFORE we tried to wrangle it in.

New peas in the poly tunnel.
We have had the thing for all those years and,obviously, it is no longer pristine - normal human wear and tear, dogs and so on but that was all OK until last Summer. At that stage, we obtained the new kittens and they were given that room as a safe haven from dogs while they grew up a bit. That was our mistake. We'd given the kittens a litter tray, of course, and they were doing possibly as much as 95% of their pee and poo in it but we knew we were getting the odd accident, where we had to  clear up cat-mess. Obviously the room smelled a bit 'niffy' sometimes but we thought we were on top of it and were sure that once the kittens had grown up and evicted from the room, we could clean and air it all away.

The peach tree survived and is now putting out new leaves.
No such luck. Despite all our cleaning, the sofa continued to reek and we started to dismantle it, stripping covers off cushions and even putting leather covers through the washing machine but to no avail. On one occasion Liz found my 'washed' covers drying and thought from the continuing smell that I'd forgotten to wash them, so they went through again. Liz even started to research professional cleaning companies and preparations but cat pee is some kind of special chemical brew - its scent chemicals 'glue' to fabrics in an enzyme reaction, so you need chemicals to undo that. Probably not cheap, or even possible out here in the sticks.

A familiar sight from buildering days - a
stack of plaster and foam "slabs" taking
up most of the floor space where they will
eventually end up on walls and ceiling
There we were, then, making the tough decision like you would for an elderly pet, and deciding to put the belov├ęd sofa out of it's misery. It is now out by the sheep field waiting to become the base of this year's bonfire and we have been handing cash to the proprietor of a furniture shop in Balla-D. This morning the replacement suite turned up. Because it was a suite - sofa and 2 chairs, we also needed to evict Liz's lovely single-seat chair which came to us originally from Diane, but that is not for the bonfire. We donated that to the suite delivery guys who said they would be able to sell it 2nd hand.

New kitchen access for cats. 
Friends of the Blog who know the Lady of this House will not be surprised to know that all this furniture moving was all too much temptation to not blitz and clean the entire room. That has been Liz today including unloading book shelves (we have many)  to move those so that floors could be cleaned under, moving every other piece of furniture, pictures on walls, standard and desk lamps and even hoovering top corners for cobwebs, polishing windows and on and on.

Curried hake, leek and butter bean stew. 
As of now that is still happening, so pictures of the finished room will be saved for the next post. Meanwhile the room is now NO LONGER AVAILABLE to unsupervised cats and dogs so it is being kept for 'best' like an old Irish 'Parlour' or 'Best Room'. We have a series of guests through April. They will be relieved to not have to recline in puddles of cat pee or go home with their clothes "smelling a bit funny".

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