||[Mar. 31st, 2016|09:06 pm]
The drying machines are having their effect: two of them have been removed and we hope that the kitchen will be declared dry when the expert arrives tomorrow afternoon. We are working with our builder towards quoting a price for redecoration which we can pass on to the insurers. The insurers policy is that you don't redecorate part of a room, because that would look silly: a room in which work has to be done is to be recorated in full. This is simple enough in the kitchen, where all we want is to restore things to how they were before, and not too difficult in the spare bedroom, which we have decorated in the past, in colours I don't think are very successful (mostly pale blue, which is light but a bit chilly). But our bedroom has never been decorated since we moved in, and if we are going to have all the upheaval of doing it now, we might as well do it properly, and pay ourselves whatever this costs above the insurance. Time to find out what the options are: last Saturday we went out to look at wallpaper.
We had tracked down a showroom not far away who stocked paper from the William Morris archive: my logic was that I know I like Morris, someone who stocks that may well stock other things that I like. After an hour of wrangling huge volumes of samples, I was losing the will to live. It's still possible that they stock other things that I like, but they hide it among some much other stuff that I do not like at all. What a huge amount of bland, neutral wallpaper there is out there. Not to mention the downright ugly. I don't want to be someone who sticks to what I know I like, I want to be someone who discovers new amazing creative things.
On Tuesday, in Newcastle for my reading group, I tried John Lewis - and yes, they had one or two fun things. If I were looking for a nautical theme, I'd be set. But after another hour, I still hadn't found anything I liked better than Morris - and most of the things I liked almost as much were twice as expensive, which I hadn't thought possible. I complained about this to Gail-Nina over a cup of tea, and she suggested gently that there's a reason why Morris is so highly regarded. That may be it...
In between these two expeditions, we spent Sunday morning at Tees Cottage Pumping Station, constructed in 1849 to pump water up from the river Tees, and then up again to supply Darlington's water. It was powered first by steam, then by gas and finally by electricity, and on Sunday they were in steam. There really is something irresistible about Victorian engineering: