Well, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last put finger to keyboard for our blog. I am calling this “a review of the winter”, but it made me think “what winter?” I don’t think we ever had more than 4 inches of snow, and we only had the chance to build 3 snowmen. Wind we have plenty of though. Do you remember I wrote about the work we had done on the dry stone wall on the south side of the building? On one of the stormy nights the wind managed to blow over one large tree, and snap of several large branches. Guess where they landed. Yep, you guessed it. Right on one of there repaired patches. We now have a rather damaged 10m section of wall again. Oh well, it could have been worse, and considering what lots of other people have had to cope with, its very minor.
Other than that we have had a very productive few months. The main hall, upstairs communal are and the corridors have all been redecorated and look fantastic. Throughout the redecorating, we have tried to use colours that would have been in keeping with the period of the building. This is not always feasible at room level as they have changed use over the years, what was originally a bedroom, might now be a living room etc. We have also taken into consideration the way the communal can be used. We have settled on using the red that is featured in some areas, throughout the corridors, or below the dado rails where they exist. Above the dado rail, and up to the picture rails we have used something like a peel and stick wallpaper.
The fireplace alcove has also been done. The chimney breast now features a bookcase effect wallpaper to the sides and the centre section is red (or should that be read?)
Balmoral’s living room has had a lot of work done. All that pine cladding has been pulled off, plaster repaired, and repainted. We took the opportunity to replace the main chandelier and wall lights as well. It was even suggested that extra light accessories like a drum pendant lighting system be added to enhance the decor. Drum lights, however, might overshadow the chandelier we already had.
Haddon, Chatsworth and Hardwick have also been repainted, and we have made a start on the living room of Sandringham. Julie has also been brushing up on the art of curtain making, and new curtains have now been put into Eyam and Welbeck. Next, we might be discussing what to get for the living room decor. Perhaps we can get vintage tableware from an Antique silverware shop. We can place that on the lounge area table, adding a touch of luxury to the living room.
One of the biggest things that we have achieved, has been getting started on something which has been my pet project for the last 3 years. In December we were finally in a position to sign a contract for the purchase and installation on a biomass boiler to take over from the two old oil boilers, and eventually it will take over the heating in the apartments as well, so we can get rid of the electric panel heaters. This however will be the subject of my next blog – installing the biomass boiler!