Pig Row isn't just a garden, it's a project too, that's a polite way to say, 'money pit'. The house at Pig Row was run down when we moved in. It leaked heat through its myriad of cracks, gaps and holes. We kid you not on the holes, when we stripped back the bathroom we found one hiding behind bulging plaster. It was the kind of hole that screamed and laughed, 'It's going to cost you'. It did. We have been waiting on a new kitchen for some years, and the work we start upstairs means we know that new kitchen may be fitted sometime around our retirement party. A few days before Christmas and we should have been planning our meal, prepping our vegetables or even baking some cakes but instead we found that we had more holes to contend with. These came in the shape of several new windows.
When we did the bathroom, it was largely a narrow cabin style bathroom, the kind they call bijou, which means knee bashing. We bashed our knees on the toilet, on the sink, on the bath when bathing Little D, we bashed them getting in out of the bath, we bashed them going into the bathroom because the door opened into the corridor. It was always advisable to whistle when you were in the bathroom, not necessarily to warn people you were on the toilet or in the bath but to warn them that any minute now they could get a door in the face, then in the nose, then in the knees and with the last of their dignity gone, their backside crushed between the door and a wall. All of these have happened. We don't have many guests nowadays, which is sad because we made some real changes to the layout upstairs, so there's no more fear that your false teeth are somewhere lost on our dark corridor carpet, and there's a toddler behind you shouting, 'bum, bum, bum' and you're trying to get past because you've just remembered the oven has nearly finished baking the bread. Again, that happened, and no they never returned but we did find their false teeth and posted them on. They never did give us an estimate for the work they were there to price up.
All that chaos aside, the blocked up window in the bathroom - when we say blocked up, we mean a large piece of stone was held in place by a few slivers of wood and some render - is now a real window and we don't have a weird kind of miracle after it rained - 'The weeping stone of Pig Row' could have been a real tourist trap except the queues through the corridor may have resulted in more bashed teeth and arses.
Even Little D's room is now water tight, plastered and drying out. He's had new windows too, we wanted to hang fire on them but again the money pit beckoned, and a simple job of clearing old plaster off the mullions resulted in us discovering the original windows were bedded on a mix of sand and sand, which solved the mystery of the damp smell and the sodden windowsills.
Any old house, like any derelict garden, needs patient when restoring them but hopefully we are over the worst of it. Yes, we can hear you laughing.