Where is the scorching summer that we were promised/threatened with? The last two months have seen almost continuous wet weather here at autumn Cottage – though we have not suffered anything like the deluge that the northern parts of Britain have experienced over the last week.
Nevertheless, it has been wet enough to prevent any really extensive work in the garden (I have managed a few sessions of weeding, but in this warm, wet weather it is a battle between me and the weeds – and I know who is winning!
So today, I put my other summer plans into motion. I have had a "lull" in running writing and craft workshops ever since I started the MA course at Winchester University, but have missed them – and particularly the participants - very much. So I had marked these three months of June, July and August for more course preparation – and part of that entails preparation of the Garden Studio for the more messy creative activities (such as collage and miniature-making) that are part of some of my courses. (The purely written sessions take place indoors, in the "Sunroom")
For the last year, the old garage, now the Garden Studio has, to be honest, become a chaotic repository for my growing collection of dollshouses, boxes and boxes of old books, plus an ever enlarging pile of magazines for collage use. This week, all that has changed – and within a couple of weeks, I hope to see the re-emergence of the studio as a welcoming space for new workshops in the autumn.
But first, more mayhem, as books were sold, old dollshouses sorted and discarded (I promise you, only the worst, really decrepit, and frankly, never worth the space of storing them). I have taken all day to sort out the chaos there, listening to the rain pitter-pattering on the roof, and battling with the humidity. Alec has been my right hand man, taking loads of rubbish to the council rubbish dump – items not even worth offering on the Newbury branch of FreeCycle.
The final effort of the afternoon was to re-site the architects plan table – heavy and awkward, but accomplished in fifteen minutes with a bit of forward planning and two pairs of hands. Above is the interior chaos that existed at the start of the day - watch this space to see the re-emergence of the Studio as a welcoming space inviting creativity. I'll be working on both inside and out - including a new window and patio door to let in the light, and a shady patio garden where workshop attendees can sip a cup of tea - or something stronger. Here are the "before" photos - go on, use your imagination!