Sunday, 2 September 2012

Labouring on Labour Day weekend

Summer has sped past his year, and here we are at Labour Day already.  I haven't had a moment to write a post in weeks, or at least, I've been very busy and have lacked the inclination to post anything as a result. Since my last post, I've had a fantastic holiday in Italy, with a few days in Rome with my mother, followed by a week in an ancient farmhouse with a dozen friends in the midst of the Chianti hills, and ending with a weekend in charming Amsterdam.  We ate like lords, and I ate the best gelato ever (Orange chocolate at Bar Vivoli in Florence), the best prosciutto of my life, my first dish of tripe (surprisingly delicious, on a balcony overlooking the main square in Greve in Chianti), unforgetable pici with duck ragout in glorious Montepulciano, and raw herrings and huge pancakes in Amsterdam.  In July and August, my garden was judged for the Etobicoke Great Garden's contest, and made it to the finals....but I haven't heard any more, so I'm thinking I didn't make the cut for a prize.  And last week, my chamber music friends and I pulled off our performance of Schubert's Trout Quintet, which was a huge amount of work, but turned out very well (except for a page turning incident for me..ugh!).

This weekend was supposed to be very relaxing, but a trip to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning put paid to that.  I've bottled plums and nectarines, canned made homemade tomato ketchup, and put down a few quarts of tomatoes.  Oh, and almost forgot the dilly pickled beans!  On top of that, we've been feasting all weekend, and have enjoyed the first of the figs from the garden (good, but not as amazing as last years single fig!!), and the Swiss chard and purple kale that I sowed in the spring.  Tomorrow, I really need to take a break.

And in other news, I have a contractor in, repairing the decaying stucco outside my bathroom window.  I decided that whilst this was being done, I should investigate the possibility of having the front of my house renovated too.  Currently, it's clad in vinyl siding, which is practical, but not really in keeping with the style of the house.  Originally the front elevation of the 1926 Tudor style was half-timbered, and so in a few weeks, hopefully it will regain that original charm.
Here's are some before, and even more before, photos to show you what it once looked like, and what it currently looks like, pre-renovation.

My house circa 1934 - I'm the one in the middle, with the mock-Tudor half timbering

My house in 2012 - the plan is to remove the vinyl siding and restore the original lime plaster and half timbers.

The stucco above the bathroom window is really decaying, and this provided the impetus to get the professionals in and hopefully improve the curb appeal of the house.

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