For those of you who think I am still in Leicestershire – surprise! Our last day in the county was spent visiting Beacon Hill Country Park. Here the rocks are 700 million years old – I promised you some history. With our south-west coastal park experience, we opted for the longest of the suggested routes through the park. All I can say is, there is a reason why the word ‘hill’ appears in the name of the park. Actually is was very pleasant and much of it was flat, a distinct lack of wildlife though. I am a bit ambivalent about country parks. They are, after all, a sanitised version of ‘country’. Still, I suppose they do encourage people to get outside and engage with the environment, if only in its pink and fluffy form. Preferable I guess to the land being built on.
Once back home, I had this idea, as you do, that I would swap the positions of the two dressers in my kitchen. If you think two dressers is extravagant, there isn’t much else in my kitchen and in fact this move may well be the first step towards there being something else. This lack of kitchen units once landed me in trouble. This incident was so ludicrous it is probably worth repeating.
The phone rings, someone who claims they are not selling anything is on the other end. They clearly are selling something. It’s my lucky day, they want to enter someone from my postcode in a draw for a new kitchen. How old is my kitchen they ask? I try to explain that it is a free standing kitchen, it doesn’t have an age. ‘Freestanding’ is obviously a concept that is new to the telesales person; does she not watch the Home channel? Ageless kitchens are clearly beyond the scope of the ‘how to sell a kitchen’ training manual. She tries again, ‘well how old is it?’ ‘Four hundred years’ I say, only slightly facetiously, the house is, after all four hundred years old. Tele-not-really-selling-anything girl is now very confused. ‘Do you have a kitchen?’ she asks. In words of half a syllable I explain that, yes, I have a kitchen but the furniture in it is all different ages. ‘Shall I put about ten years old then?’, she says, hopefully. By now I am in fully obstructive mode. I am, after all, on the telephone preferencing service, she shouldn’t be ringing at all. ‘The furniture is Victorian’, I say, then, to be helpful, ‘that’s about 150 years old’. She gives up. ‘Well you are entered into our draw anyway.’ Oh joy, now I will get a whole load of advertising literature for a kitchen that may have an age but which I don’t want. Have to say, this was almost as good as the salesman who spent ten minutes trying to sell me up and over doors for the garage I don’t have. He couldn’t grasp that, however wonderful, the doors would look pretty stupid standing there with no garage.
Anyway back to the dresser moving. As said dressers are on the chunky side, I had enlisted help with their removal. Unfortunately this was help, singular. I emptied the dressers and humanely disposed of all the unwanted and unidentifiable bits of kitchen equipment that had been lurking there for the past five years or so. Where do all these containerless lids come from?
My enlisted helper and I exchange the dressers – well we shove at them a bit and they end up in each other’s places. In the meantime, we have removed the dust of ages from behind the dressers. I then replace the contents. I break a few things to make more space. There are still an awful lot of items on the kitchen table that now don’t fit in either cupboard – how can this be? Have the cupboards mysteriously shrunk?
Before we leave these domestic ramblings, there has also been the mysterious incident of the shower in the bathroom. That is not THE shower you understand, which is perfectly well behaved and where it should be. This is another shower, of rain, which is pouring down the walls. Currently a builder is coming to look at it – not sure when – manana is his middle name. In the meantime I am ignoring it and hoping it will go away – not working yet and heavy storms forecast.
NOW the history. Corrected Family Historians’ Enquire Within are on their way back to the printers at last. Hopefully it will be available in time for Santa to pop a copy in your stocking – you won’t want me to say this but 99 days to – oh I wasn’t going to say was I!
Now to the next book, which is to be about One Place Studies. The new society of the same name, with which I am involved, is gaining a great deal of support, as is Buckland Brewer History Group. Whilst on the topic of one place studies, do take a look at this pod cast on The National Archives website.
I’m in the midst of another ‘five talks in a fortnight’ session and next year is filling up fast. Two one day courses for Devon Family History Society are on the calendar for early next year. I also managed to join the Braund Society reunion in Canberra. It was a virtual presence but great to say hello to everyone across the miles.