Unexpected gifts

During the week I spent a day getting a tow ball and its associated electrics added to the car. Our car is a hybrid so I wasn’t going to do this work in case I got it wrong. This is very needed so we can tow our trailer. Moving will be easier and it will also help with getting materials for working on Cliftoria. Due to the garage’s workload it took the entire day. I did get to wander around various shops while taking breaks to have coffee and read chapters of the book I had. (in case you were interested it was 1635: The Papal Stakes. A novel in the 1632 series, written by Eric Flint and Charles Gannon. It is one book in a great alternative history series. I highly recommend the series and this is one of the better books in it.) I checked out some antique Victorian furniture as well as some more modern furniture shops. I was surprised that there isn’t a great deal of difference in price for the nicer stuff. It will be awhile before we need any but it was very nice to window shop.

On Friday I had been in Goulburn to check out a few shops. The main one being a place called the Old Woodshed. It has a lot of secondhand building materials and covers several acres. I wandered around for an hour or so getting a feel of what is there. I suspect I’ll be shopping here quite a bit.

It was this visit where I suddenly felt that this is really happening for the first time. On each visit before I had felt I was more of a stranger than an owner of the house. It is probably a normal part of familiarisation but until now I hadn’t been quite sure that it was really us who had bought the house. I had kind of expected someone to come by and say that it was really not ours after all.

Having done some general tidying up in preparation for the visit the next day (removing sharp tools to higher locations etc, as some of the visitors were bring young children) I was just about to leave when a nearby neighbor stopped me and asked if I might be interested in a mantlepiece that they had in their garage. It was left over from one of their renovations and she hadn’t been able to bring herself to throw it out. It had been offered to other people but no-one had taken it. Unfortunately most of Cliftoria’s fireplaces are missing their mantlepieces so I was very interested. I had a look at it and after checking she was sure about gifting it, I thanked her very much, I picked it up, and carried it home. This was a very unexpected gift. It is made of wood with not one shelf but two shelves. It is painted white and I suspect I’ll have to change that. My gut reaction is that they are normally plain wood so I will probably have to strip the paint off.  I’ve added fireplace mantles to the ever-growing research list of things I have to know before I touch it. We will have to do something very nice for this neighbour at some point. I will also have to remember to get a picture of it next time I visit.

Yesterday we had another “Before” viewing. I’m thinking we will have a bunch of “During” viewings but I’m not sure if we will ever get to a time when we can say this is an “After” viewing. Although we will certainly have “After” parties as we finish each room. This time it was with Sharen’s workplace people.  They had been following our adventure with a lot of interest. It was quite nice to meet them all. Each one said that the photos do not do Cliftoria justice. Being here in person is very different. Also it is much bigger than anyone expects. At one point I had to leave Sharen plying people with tea and cakes as I darted off to Mossvale and in doing so I ended up missing a few of the people who stopped by.

Another unexpected gift is that Sharen’s workmates had chipped in and bought an antique Victorian Lamp from the time that Cliftoria was built. It came with a couple of extra wicks and a bottle of rose scented lamp oil. Sharen and I were touched at their generosity. It will certainly be used once we have a room restored to a Victorian standard and equipped with appropriate furniture.

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The gift lamp

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One response to “Unexpected gifts

  1. I think as you do more hands-on projects, Cliftoria will feel more and more “yours.” I remember when I first bought my bungalow, as I painted and literally touched its surfaces, I felt like I was bonding with my house! The Victorian lamp is really lovely.

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