A happy new year to you from East Sussex, where it's blowing a gale and the rain is coming down like stair rods. All in all, the weather has been pretty awful all over the holiday period, with high winds and torrential rain, with only a brief respite on Christmas Day. Nothing else for it but to batten down the hatches and open another bottle of Buckfast Tonic Wine.
This year sees the end of all the work at Hale Villas. Over the last five years we've had walls and ceilings plastered, the kitchen gutted and refitted, installed new doors, windows and a fire escape, had new fireplaces installed and old fireplaces (circa 1907, found behind some boxing-in) moved. I've decorated twelve rooms, some of them twice or three times, and laid a lawn in what used to be a concrete garden. During the last month the whole place has been oak-floored and carpeted, which has had the effect of making the house feel much warmer and cosier. I've only got a couple of small jobs left to do.
Now the house is just about done, I may well have more time on my hands to indulge in other pursuits. Do a bit of writing, perhaps. Finish the script for the sitcom 'Pardon my Jaguar'. Finally learn to play the melodeon. Teach myself to speak Icelandic. Only time will tell.
Happy new year.
Herrick parting, Donne valedicting
2 hours ago