Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Monday 13 October 2014

There’s a hole in my bucket...

... OK, it’s not my bucket, exactly, because it’s my roof. OK, it’s not exactly my roof, because it’s actually my first floor parapet. Nevertheless, there’s a hole. The house is leaking. The rain is getting in. There are drips, and a strategically placed bucket, which does not in fact have a hole in it. Actually, it isn’t a bucket at all. It’s a waste paper basket, which isn’t a basket, because it’s a nice, sturdy metal affair that will hold the water that is bound to collect in it.

Norman came on Friday. He’s a dab hand is Norman, at all things fixing related. Apparently, the mend is neither difficult nor expensive. He wanted to come in on Saturday, because, you know, it’s October and it’s going to rain.

But nothing can get in the way of the Birthdays, so the job has to wait until Monday morning.

We’ve been in the house for nearly fifteen years.

I’ve never lived in one place for fifteen years, and I never thought that I would, although when we moved in here I did say that I was never moving again, that I was going to leave this house in a wooden box. I was young and foolish then, and already I fear that a four storey house will become too much for me as I get older... I’m already older and my knees already creak. Hoovering stairs, especially winding stairs is also a total embuggerance. I might not want to do it forever.

And, I get itchy feet. Every few years I start looking for a new house, and every few years it results in me redecorating. It’s probably for the best.

That time has come around again.

I actually got as far as viewing a house a couple of weeks ago. If I’d had a little more time, I might even have made an offer on it, but the vendor wanted to move fast and had an offer on the table, even if it was lower than he’d hoped for. I wouldn’t be rushed and opted out.

So, the paint charts arrived this morning, and I’m thinking of reconfiguring some of the rooms, giving them new identities and even new purposes.

I don’t know how other people approach these things. I wonder about it sometimes, because I rather think that other people’s homes are unlike ours. Certainly the homes I visit and the ones I see on the TV seem quite different from ours. This might have quite a lot to do with the fact that the husband and I both work where we live, and it might have something to do with the fact that we create things for a living... I don’t know, that might be a stretch. 

Environment matters, though, doesn’t it? Objects matter. The things we live with matter very much, the things we use every day and the way that we use them. Those things ought to be right.

I think it was William Morris who said that we should have nothing in our homes that we do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. I might go one step further and hope that those useful things can be beautiful too.

Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder.

Here's one we made earlier, and the husband relaxing in it
The husband and I are lucky. In our different ways, we are both very visual people. He likes a lot of visual stimulus and I am very easily over-stimulated visually. As a result he likes a lot of stuff and I like it all to work together as a whole. I’m very spatially aware and I’m very receptive to colour, so I know instinctively what will work for me and whether a piece of furniture will suit a room. I’m good with scale. The husband is brilliant at dressing a space.

We decorate together. We make choices together, and there is harmony in what we do. We play off each other, formulating ideas together so that it is hard to know who has come up with what, and the decision making process is organic. Decorating is something that we simply don’t argue about.

I’m also practical, and I like to work with my hands, so, unless we need specialist trades I can do everything myself, and so I do.

There’s a hole in my bucket, and it’s created an opportunity to take a new look at the bedroom, and the dressing room, and, when that’s sorted out, to think about the kitchen and the walk-in attic. There are plans afoot, and I like it.


  1. Having just moved I can tell you redoing the whole roof and redecorating the whole house would be easier than moving. Because then you have someone else's old roof which might leak - which mine appears to be doing. And you have to decorate the whole house as well. And none of the furniture fits. When I can't do the stairs, it will be cheaper to employ someone for ever to hoover them, because stamp duty is huge and pointless. Enjoy the makeover - treat yourself to some nice paint and maybe a new picture or two - it's way cheaper than moving and you don't wake up for months thinking 'where am I?' and not recognising creaks in the night. That's my twopenn'orth, anyway!

    1. I do feel for you! But the house will become yours. Give it time. As with all things, this too shall pass. Best love.

  2. Looks like a lovely room. With the requisite sword and hymn board. Every home should have those.

  3. I love our flat, but I've never lived this long in one place before either. And I get the 'I need something ... something new!' every once in a while. So I move the couch around. The next move better get me an extra bedroom or I won't move at all.

    Good luck with the decorating!

  4. problems often lead to opportunities!