Well, where to start on the last couple of weeks? Mike and I have between us have spent a huge amount of time both at the barn and at our respective computers working hard on trying to see this project through to completion. Despite my very best efforts this week we are still at an impasse as far as the floor is concerned. I was desperately hoping that we would be able to have the repairs to the screed undertaken this week and to have the micro-cement laid next week, but without some advice from an expert on how the repairs should be completed we are unable to proceed – and the expert I identified has been too busy to respond to me!
We are still hopeful that we might get in for Easter, four months over schedule on a four month build, but it will be a scrape and is going to take a lot of time and effort to achieve. But, I have a vision and a plan that might just come together if we’re lucky so keep your fingers crossed for us!
Still, we had our favourite builders back on site this week and many of the small outstanding jobs have been done, including door knobs. I could never have imagined a) just how difficult and time consuming it could be to identify the correct hardware and b) the immense relief I would feel when seeing it on the door and thinking “ooh, I really like them”. The aged bronze looks lovely alongside the iron of the stairs and will patinate beautifully over the years.
The most impactful change has been effected by the decorator who has finally covered up the terracotta colour with ‘a very warm neutral with the merest hint of underlying black’, or off white/cream as I think most people might describe it! My lovely neighbour opposite sent me a message and photo to show me the progress being made which made my day. This paint job is truly transformative and in honesty feels a little like looking into the mirror after a dramatic new hair style, but as the cedar of the dormer, shutters and soffits fade to a silvery tone I hope it will all sit together beautifully.
It’s true to say that I am a little inclined to stuff my life full of new things and then become overwhelmed and feel the need to edit, so on recently reading this anonymous quote “when things aren’t adding up in your life, start subtracting” it prompted me to take stock of where I am right now. It has been a very busy couple of years since we returned to the UK and the last six months has been particularly intense as we have tried to keep on top of the barn’s progress on top of our regular lives. There really isn’t much room for anything else at present, so it feels like time to start practising a little ‘life maths’.
I am mulling over how I might merge The Oak Tree Barn and The Simpson Sisters. Since my aspirations for the barn are essentially to make a happy place for our family and to have a space for creativity, and that the premise of The Simpson Sisters is to encourage people to explore their creativity, it seems somehow natural that the two could become one. It’s true that bringing everything together will be a project in itself, but one that will hopefully lead to something that truly represents what I believe in, and that others will enjoy following and participating in – let’s see.