Royal Arcade

Just a short post today. I wanted to share my photos of Norwich’s beautiful Art Nouveau Arcade.  I visited my hairdresser, and as I sat there with my hair covered in goo, knitting away, I realised what a lovely view it had of all the tiles in the upper part of the arcade.  Jon let me take a couple of shots out of the open window, on condition that I didn’t  let any pigeons fly in, or drop my camera on the head of an unsuspecting passerby.
Back on ground level …

Yet again it was a very cold day, so in the interests of not spending any more money, I didn’t dally in town.  By the time I got on the Park and Ride bus my hands were far too cold to carry on with my knitting…

…and in fact needed help with photographing it when I got home…

(Henry is more than a little peeved because Higgins, who had been hogging the fireside all morning while Henry was upstairs on our bed,  decide that the floor was a little hard and dragged his bed across the floor and pushed it up against the fireguard making quite sure there was no chance of Henry doing his usual bully boy thing and chasing him off the hearth rug.)

Talk about smug…


Grand Designs


 Now I know I’m only having a studio built and I am not renovating a villa in Tuscany and Kevin Mcloud has no idea where I live (damn)but I’ve just realised I”ve talked a lot about the building works and haven’t really shown much of what has been going on.  I will spare you a picture of the mud.  We live next to a narrow country lane and large lorries delivering building stuff has made the area round our house a quagmire. (I love that word, so descriptive and just to add a little extra je ne sais quoi we have a tractor muck spreading in the adjacent field – we’d been blaming Higgins!)

Firstly this is the drawing from the plan:

The little bit at the end fits round the existing brick shed making a really good area in which to put shelves and storage. You can see that the building will not be entirely at my disposal, Tim is having a workshop at the end and we do need storage for bikes etc.  However, there will be an internal door between the studio and the store because the architect pointed out there was a chance I will need more space and I could then take over another room… (Tim is now trying to work out how he is going to keep me out of it,  it wasn’t my idea, but…)

The main light source is from Velux roof lights on the north facing pitch of the roof.

We’ve had to resign ourselves to losing a bit of the view, in fact once the fence came out we enjoyed a really good view of our neighbours garden but once the wall started being clad they got their privacy back.

It all started off under a tent to try and beat the bad weather although there were several hair raising moments when I thought the tent with both builders hanging on for dear life was going to sail off over the roof of our house and end up three miles away in the middle of a Norfolk Broad!

The weather is not being helpful, but at least its not snowing.  Meanwhile I am poised indoors with my boxes, longing to get inside and start working, but it will be a little while yet…

The Right Buttons

Today I paid a visit to the London Camera Exchange with my Olympus camera.  I threw myself upon their mercy and I must say they were very kind.   I operate my camera the way I drive my car, I know I have to fuel it and I know how to drive it but I don’t do fine tuning under the bonnet.  I’ve never got my head around focal distances and ISO numbers and all the technicalities so I do need something idiot-proof because  I am as lost without a camera as I would be without a car.   It appears that the camera was set to such a low shutter speed I didn’t have a hope of getting a sharp image in close up.  So, suitable adjusted, the camera has come back with me for a week to see how I get on with it.  If I’m still not happy I can go back and change it so all is not lost.   It’s handy when you know which buttons to press…

Back home, my studio was dismantled and taken off to the other side of the village to start a new life, leaving a grubby bare space.

It really is a case of watch this space!

The Final Push

I’m sitting inside now trying to get warm having spent most of the day outside with Tim and Will doing the final clear out of the studio, store and shed.  I have Higgins stuffed up my jumper, fast asleep and snoring.  He makes a good hot water bottle.  He’s had an anxious day, confused by all the activity and  helpfully running backwards in front of anyone carrying a heavy box.  I have been trying hard to remain positive by painting pictures in my head about how good it’s all going to be when I’m in the new studio but I too tend to get anxious and fussy when confronted by confusion.   I’d quite like to be stuffed up a nice warm jumper to snore until it’s all over!

I’m stepping outside the bloggy thing of posting only loveliness to show the ‘before’ pictures, otherwise how will you appreciate the transformation? So this is ‘The Blue Shed’ in all it’s glory, the left hand side  Tim’s, and to the right  my little studio.  With insulation and electicity it was a cosy little place to work until I just outgrew it.  And last summer it looked pretty with window boxes and hanging baskets.  In the far corner is my little wooden store shed, which has been the source of much fear and trepidation this week as I cleared it out  because of the spiders!

Tomorrow the builders arrive, and the view from the back door will be very different by this time tomorrow.

P.S. I haven’t gone mad, I know I said I wasn’t doing photos, but the distance outdoor ones are fine, It’s the fuzzy close ups! Something else to sort out tomorrow…

P.P.S. Just discovered a drawback to having a dachshund up your jumper…wind, if you get my drift.  I’m getting the drift, it’s all escaping from the neck of my sweater…phew!

Woops, late again…!

I’ve been conspicuous by my absence so far this year and a m only slightly comforted by the fact that most of my favourite bloggers seem to be in much the same boat.  I had such good intentions too! 

So, an update.  Firstly, Higgins is just a little less of a dog this evening having gone to the vets to be modified today.  He is rather sleepy and subdued just now but we are assured in a day or so we’ll be struggling to stop him bouncing around while he recouperates.

 Thank you for all the guesses for the use of my mystery object in the last post. I have had a lovely time reading them.  I’m going to keep it running for a little while longer and see if I can find a couple of  prizes, one for the most accurate guess and another for the one that makes me laugh the most so do please keep them coming in.

My final excuse for being a little tardy with my posts is an eye sight problem so I spent this morning while Higgins was safely at the vet with the optician.  I’m hoping the amazing  space age super duper lens being flown in from Germanyin a week or so will do the trick. Judging by the price I should also have Xray vision and be able discover new planets without the aid of a telescope so seeing the computer screen clearly will be a doddle. 

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible…

A little domestic interlude…

A sudden need struck today for comforting baking smells to fill the house.  A batch of biscotti first, for the batch of puppy worshipping relatives descending in the afternoon.  They’ll need something to munch while Higgins puts on a show.  Then a Damp Orange Cake, which is satisfying on several levels.  You have to boil the oranges for two hours first, which smells heavenly.  In fact I would recommend boiling oranges even if you never make the cake…

A dog of very little taste…

Now I know that you will look at this and say that anyone who wears pink crocs has no taste anyway, but really….

…I dragged Tim and Thomas and Celia round most of Rouen looking for a dog bed that was aesthetically pleasing.  Turning down brown paw prints and zebra stripes,  pink nylon and cartoon doggies and finally getting these rather smart checks for a smart little dog.  Three sleepless nights later, Tim, Higgins and I are in ‘Pets At Home’ looking for a water bowl into which Higgins couldn’t put all his bedding at three in the morning.  Tim called Higgins and me over to the bedding display.  “I know you don’t like them but…” and held out a sqidgy, soft, baby blue, fur fabric, Paris Hilton inspired (probably), overpriced dog bed .  I showed it to Higgins who crawled out my arms and into the bed, heaved a big sigh and went straight to sleep.  I had to walk round the store carrying him on the bed like a page with a glass slipper until we got to the check out where the assistant asked where to look for the bar code.

And he’s been there, mostly, ever since. Probably getting his strength up for tonight’s yodelling recital.  He was far to tired to go for a walk down the garden…

Although he was sorry about that.

So, another day has passed, and still no opportunity to fill my blog with colour and erudite observations.  If I have another sleepless night I will only manage gibberish…But, just to keep my spirits up, here are some of the flowers Higgins hasn’t eaten, yet.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m soooo tired!