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Building a Library – Part One

Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted a library. This has been met with very mixed reactions over the years. For anyone who didn’t see my flat in London the books were quite literally stacked to the ceiling. Sadly I only have photographs from when I was selling it and most of the books had been taken out to make it look less personal.

I’ve had problems with damp twice now – once when my books were in London and my whole house was full of damp (basement flat and two lots of cowboy builders) and then again when they were being stored in my parents’ attic and the roof leaked. The second time was much worse and I lost 130 books at first and just recently found another ruined full bag. I’ve wanted all of my books in one place, where I can see them and read them for a very long time.

Looking at houses was amusing as people (quite naturally) assumed that I wanted a second room for guests or a future nursery. Trying to explain to people that the books were my children was good fun. My new house is perfect for the library – it gets the sun in the morning and is the larger of the two bedrooms with the smaller one having an en-suite.

I had several things that I knew I wanted to have. Two desks, so that visiting writer friends could work in here too. Armchairs so I could read near my books. Dark walls, just feels right for a library. Several lamps so I can have lots of different lighting levels (still working on this). And shelves, obviously.

For once I didn’t take picture while I was painting so you can see the room pre-shelves and post-shelves but the paint is all there! I’m only posting a couple of pictures now and will put the rest up online soon as well as probably a full blog full of pictures of my books.

One half of the library – with a hidden hint to my next poetry project…

The other side of the library

The arrival of the bookcases. Much heavier than they look too!

Almost half way through bookcase construction!

I’ll post pictures of the library as it looks now with all of the books in very soon.

Vick.

Moving In


Moving in day was fun, stressful and very nerve-wracking. I wasn’t nervous that something was going to go wrong, we were pretty much past that stage but I was nervous about moving in, taking on this huge responsibility.

All houses have problems, they come with big bills and many small annoyances, this wasn’t my first house purchase and I was all the more nervous because of how badly I had been burnt by my last experience (a story for another time). I was scared but I was well taken care of. I was picked up and driven to my new town – both for my safety and that of everyone else on the road while I was so distracted! I had coffee and lunch in the little service area just five minutes from my house which is very convenient and was close enough but also far enough away that day.

And then I waited. My estate agents had been great and briefed me on what sort of time I would expect to hear from them, and they were spot on. It’s always worth calling the estate agents the day before you move to sort out times and arrangements so that you know what is likely to happen and the day before is when they will have the clearest idea.
I was very lucky, I wasn’t moving out of anywhere that day. I had no chain to deal with and the previous owners of my new home were moving into an empty property so we were only waiting on the money going through. It was about 1pm when I got the call from the agents to say that the money had gone through so they had key release (meaning the house was legally mine). I went and picked them up, gave the staff a thank-you card and headed to the house. There was still the stamp duty formality to go through but that was a question for my solicitor to handle not me.

It was surprisingly fun walking through the front door, but also a little weird. Because the transaction had taken so long I had forgotten a lot of the details of the house and it looked very different when wit was empty. On the downside I saw straight-away that there was more cosmetic work to be done than I had first thought.

That first day, because I wasn’t properly moving in I took a few things that I thought I would want right off. My list included:
Kettle
Tea & coffee
A few mugs, plates, bowls and cutlery
Scissors (well actually I forgot mine and had to make do but it was on the list!)
Cleaning products and cloths
Toilet paper
Towels
Hand soap
Tester pots of paint ( I’d chosen these well in advance)
Tool kit
Tape measure
Camera
Biscuits, crisps, salad, sandwiches.
To this I would add some old clothes in case you want to have a look around the attic/garden without messing up your day-to-day clothes.

As soon as I moved in I started making a list of things that I wanted to ask the plumber/electrician/builder about so that I didn’t forget. I still forgot a few tags but most of them ended up on the list. I also started thinking of things to ask the estate agents which I did a few weeks after I had gotten the keys.
That first day was great, and I had a lot of fun but I was also very critical and kept finding problems. No doubt the house did have a lot of problems but put in perspective I am so pleased with my little home.

Vick.

I’m moving house…

I want to blog a little about the move, not only because it is going to be a huge part of my life but also I love house blogs and am addicted to looking through house things on Pinterest too. Also, as my friend Rach pointed out, what else am I going to talk about for the next three months!

I’ll be tagging them #Home or #Garden and keeping them in a Home & Garden category on here. I’ve also got two Pinterest boards here and here with lots of pictures of things that I am getting for the house, want but won’t be getting or think people should buy me. I even have a separate wish list set up full of things I want to buy when I have the time.

So, there is going to be a lot of paint colours, furniture, joinery, bookshelves, oven and white goods…sorry!
I might also put a few things in about the earlier days of the house purchase in the hope that it could help other people. I will probably make mistakes – I have often been good at advising people because I usually mess things up and can tell them what not to do!

Please do follow along if you’re interested, share if you’d like to and offer any advice you have if you can. There will be regular bits of poetry and food as well so there will be a good portion of the original blog still here.

Vick.