Sunday, May 04, 2008
We’re continuing with finishing details. I’ve designed a Deco style wall rack that will give us 46 feet of shelf space for CDs. I spent that afternoon ripping scrap and reject pieces of the V-groove pine used on the great room ceiling, into 5-1/2” widths. I then cut it into the proper lengths and stacked it in sequence for sanding and assembly.
In the meanwhile, we’ve been working to get the kitchen set up and are facing the task of choosing the best versions of any particular item from among our utensils, cookware, etc. Sometimes it’s a case of self-selection—an item will not work with the Aga stove. In other cases, some sentimental connection influences the choice (my English grandfather brought this pepper grinder back from Paris just after World War I). Fritz has a general plan for which cabinet will be used for what. One of them will be for everything connected with coffee, tea and my bread-making, for example.
The big utility storage area under the stairs (a wonderfully wide and deep space) has been dubbed “The Harry Potter Room” because in his pre-Hogwarts days, Harry was made to sleep under the stairs by his foster parents.
Speaking of Harry Potter, Harry himself in the person of Daniel Radcliffe will be coming to the US in the production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus that created such a stir in London. Interest in large part was because Radcliffe appeared on stage totally naked, an event preserved in a series of now iconic pictures that proved that Radcliff was no longer a child star but a fully equipped adult (and yes, I know the "complete" version of that picture was almost certainly photoshopped).
And speaking of Equus, Fritz and I made our second foray into the small theater scene in Portsmouth on Friday at the Players’ Ring Theater where the Rolling Die Theater Company presented the play in a very successful production. Of particular interest was the young man who played Alan, the boy who blinds the horses, in a totally committed, beautifully controlled performance of tremendous intensity. As we left the theater, I jokingly asked Fritz if he thought there was any significance to the fact that both plays we’ve seen in Portsmouth this year (The Goat, or Who is Sylvia and Equus) have involved sex with animals.
We’re suffering here from The Winter That Would Not Die. There’s been hard frost on the roof of the Center two mornings this last week, one of the nights being so cold that it killed all the flowers on the big magnolia tree. They turned muddy brown by mid-morning and were dropping off the tree in rotting blobs by nightfall. Then there’s been incessant rain and/or cold for three days. Shouting at the sky, “This is May already--get your act together” hasn’t helped.
Earlier in the week, I spent one entire morning chain-sawing tree trunk sections into stove cord length while Fritz fed them into the wood splitter, and then stacking it under cover. And that’s good, because it's obvious we’re going to need it a while longer.
House update: The stonework on the piers could be finished by Tuesday, or even tomorrow if the rain stops later today. The facade of the house looks wonderful now that all its materials are in place. A picture will follow as soon as the last stone is set.
An interesting Deco poster from the 1930s, something I wouldn't have minded designing myself.
Re: "I spent one entire morning chain-sawing tree trunk sections into stove cord length while Fritz fed them into the wood splitter" - I have to say, you two are the perfect combination of intelligent artists and butch woodsmen. :)
You both must be exhausted and happy! cant wait to see more photos!
i was at the matinee too...
Will there be some sort of a blessing ceremony?
i hope so.
Lewis--you're too late--in beginning to combine all our dishware and cutlery, that particular silver set has gone to Fritz's sister.
Elizabeth--I wish I'd known--I would love to have had a word with you in person.
Michael--a series of them--actually a series of open houses with good food and refreshments for our many friends, colleagues, professional contacts and, first and foremost, our families.
Doug--It's nice having you follow the house's progress. Once the kitchen is fully set up and we're settled in, I'll be getting in some cheese-making supplies. I can't wait.
Much joy and many happy memories in your beautiful new home!!!!!!!