Thursday, November 25, 2010

You've redecorated in here, haven't you? Hmm. I don't like it.

Until a couple of years ago most of my time was spent in front of a computer screen, however, over the last couple of years I seem to have swapped the mouse for a brush.

This has been due to the sad vagaries of fate. My younger brother Paul lived alone in the old family home in Worthing. When he died, in 2008, my other brothers and I decided that we would renovate the house. This was partly for economic reasons and partly a wish to restore it to it's former glory - the way we remembered it from our childhood.

The recession had just hit, estate agents were pessimistic - because of the poor state of the property market in general, and the house itself.

We felt that it was being undervalued - structurally it was sound, it just needed a bit of TLC.

I had less work, and quite fancied doing something a bit more physical - in the end, a bit more physical than I had bargained for!

My brother, David, was a staunch socialist and all the decorating we were doing brought to mind The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. We joked that at least we were not being robbed of the fruits of our labour!

Happily, he saw the house finished. By the Spring of last year, it looked fantastic and we were all very proud. Sadly, he did not get to enjoy the fruits of his labour - he died before it was sold.

My last memory of David is looking up from laying the kitchen flooring to say goodbye. In his typical gesture of farewell, he raised his hand slightly and waved - looking around the freshly painted hall with seeming satisfaction.

I know that he would have liked the cottage in Lydd. My second year of decorating!

This time, however, working alone - for the most part. In Worthing, one of the aspects we enjoyed was deciding on the colour schemes - so inevitably, down in Lydd, I would imagine David's reaction to my handiwork. I tend to have mixed feelings about decorating now - the result always gives a feeling of accomplishment but the work, itself, brings bittersweet memories.

A great deal, in no small measure, of the interior design of the cottage is down to my partner, Julie. We hope that we have made it a cosy place to stay. Part of the reason we chose this particular property is because the separate Apple Barn provided the perfect place to keep all David's Doctor Who 'stuff'.

The cottage, apart from a few books, is a 'Doctor Who' free zone! so even if you are not a fan of the programme you should have a nice relaxing stay.

The key objective with the cottage was to keep it an uncluttered space - streamlined, but with plenty of personal touches to make it a home from home.
Certainly, whenever we stay there we come back feeling refreshed.

Next year, will be the third year of decorating! - our own house has not had any TLC for a number of years - and so it goes, holding back the ravages of time!
If only houses could be like the Tardis - it never seems to age or get dirty. Perhaps a sub-function of the Architectural Reconfiguration system is a self cleaning and decorating function? or perhaps when the Tardis is looking a bit worse for wear the doctor justs changes the "Desktop Theme"?

Clearly, however, regeneration effects the Doctor's interior design opinions. The Second Doctor was not impressed with the changes made by the Third Doctor:

The Second Doctor: Ah, Thank You. I was wondering where I left that. [He picks up his recorder and tries to play a tune] You haven't been trying to play this have you? [To the Third Doctor's TARDIS] Oh, I see you've been doing the TARDIS up a bit. Hmm, I don't like it.

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