Saturday, February 23, 2013


The kids are in mourning.  Our beloved (if dilapidated) "party shed" is no more.  That, and the two other out-buildings it was attached to.


Thank the Lord for hubby's weak bladder, lest it could've been a whole heap worse.  Poor lad got up for a pee in the dead of night, almost shitting himself instead.  I woke to see him doing a panic dance at the end of the bed to the lyrics of, "Oh shit, shit ,bloody hell!!", and with him all back-lit by this roaring inferno that's leaping up and out at us through the flickering curtain.

'Course, assuming he and I were simply caught up in some silly daft, (but ever so vivid) dream, I only snarl at him to move his bum, sharpish, right back into bed again before he goes to waking the whole darned house up with him, and I'm truly almost halfway to turning over to rejoin the land of nod before my brain actually catches up to my eyes.


What a fuss.  Took five firemen over three hours to eventually douse the flames.  We even made the local news (well in fairness, not that much ordinarily happens around these parts).  When the tile roofs caved in, the entire ground shook.

Still, we were lucky. No one was hurt, and those darling, handsome fire-dousers managed to quell the blaze before it reached the house proper, thankfully sparing our home from damage.  Turns out it was traced back to an electrical fault, and after months of haggling and an exchange of several and very many, many choice words, our thieving bastard of an  insurance company have eventually had the grudging and bare-faced cheek to  good grace enough to cough up a fraction of a pittance towards our costs agree a sum for the rebuild (muttermutterspit) all of which has kind of delayed any start on the works over the past few months ..

Um yeah, this all happened way back in August. Hey ho, I know, I know, I'm a crap blogger (shrug).  Anyhoo's..

Work started in January, but I keep adding on wee bits and pieces (like a fully tiled bathroom and completely fitted kitchen, etc.).  Hubby's non too happy, but the builder is sure coming to love me.  Two of the outhouses have had to be completely demolished and started over, and most of the brickwork in the middle outbuilding still needs much of a thorough seeing to, but eeeeeeeee,  it's going to be proper gorgeous, and a real, honest-to-goodness living quarters, good and fit enough to house none short of a king himself, once it's finally built and truly tarted up to the full splendor it deserves!  Did I mention we're knocking all three buildings into one?

And for what, I hear you ask?  Well.  Take a seat and let me explain.  See, I have plans..  aside from our annual yearly visit from our friendly hairy bikers over from the mainland at the TT, it'll also see a lot of use from our teenage kids and their abundant mates throughout the year (giving me a bit of peace to think now and then).  But in the long term, I see it as possibly a half-way house into settling our Sweet Sam into some safe mode of independent living (tho' I'm thinking not 'til he's around 40 or 50, mind).   That way we can still keep an eye on him, but then he can maybe learn to cook some simple dishes for himself, keep the place tidy and such - who knows?  It's just a thought, but a worthwhile one nonetheless, eh?  Then, whatever the future may throw out at him, perhaps he'll have more of a clue about his personal care after I'm gone.  It's just a thought.  

Talking of Sweet Sam, he's driving me demented.  He's so traumatized from the fire, he's taking to pulling out every plug once I leave a room.  I go out for a quick pit-stop, and come back to a blank telly and the lights out.   Have you any idea how long it takes me to cook the Sunday roast these-days?  The minute my back's turned, he trots through to switch the cooker off at the mains.  Nuts!

Tons of stuff has happened since I last reported back, so at least I have something worth blogging about for the next foreseeable posts, not least of which is I've managed to repair my ancient, old embroidery sewing machine back up into good order (bless her cotton reels).   Ahhh, I've missed the old girl, so's I have.  She's far less cranky than she ever was before - I think maybe she's been missing me, too.  Here's a couple of cushion's from a set of ten I'm presently making from scratch.  I'm not too hot with the zips still, but it's coming along..  good, aren't they?  (Preening..)  I've settled on two themes, "Wildlife" and "Country Scenes",and no, it isn't a trick of the light, I'm doing them in two sets of colours, beige and cream, to compliment our dark brown leather sofas, when they eventually (if ever) arrive.  Oh, and the material is in an upholstery suede, meaning it's washable - something definitely essential around here.

They look a bit lumpy 'cos I've stuffed them with the wrong size cushion pads (I'm waiting for the right ones to arrive), but they'll shape up right in the end.

I'll leave you with the latest on our build - construction of the bedroom is about to begin - watch this space!


Denise Nesbitt said...

Wow! Welcome back Carol with one hell of a BANG! Great to have you back in blogland, a lot has happened with us - we have a new addition! lol!

Furtheron said...

Thank heavens no one was hurt. Alls well that ends well as they say

Joanne Noragon said...

It's great fun to reconstruct, almost from scratch, to one's own specs! Happy building and furnishing, and, thank goodness for wonderful firemen.

roaring40 said...

Sad about the fire, but then you've new opportunities to deploy on the space.
Glad you're back, I was thinking of you lately when I was trying to remember what the heck was the name of the ship that went from Dublin to the IoM.

Well we know now what happened to Shergar don't we. :-)


wow, so glad your fire didn't catch your house..Poor Sam..I can imagine how upsetting that must be for him.but the new digs are shaping up nicely..and love the pillows..I want to start sewing for my gg's..soon..

Leslie: said...

There's a silver lining in every cloud and this has turned out to perhaps be a blessing in disguise. (sorry...) I'm thinking I'll come and set up home and shop there - tutor the students of the wealthy who send their kids for a good education at Castletown...I could probably make more money there than here! lol j/k You could also hire it out for holidayers and with a fully kitted kitchen, you wouldn't even have to cook their brekkie! So glad you're back on blogland...keep watch on mine as you'll see more of Tegan this week! Hugs XXXXXX to all...

Hilary said...

Welcome back, Carol. You've been missed. So sorry to hear about the fire. I'm so glad your home was spared.

You do lovely work with that embroidery.. how impressive!

Looking forward to seeing more..

Tabor said...

Welcome back to the blog world...but you don't have to wait for such a post to write something. I mean burning down the house is not necessary.

Cat said...

Well, isn't that a hello! I have a husband that would have yarded me out of bed, while holding a water hose, and calling 911, while I would probably be groping for my glasses... I can't see why you would be upset with the insurance, they are always fair, and incredibly generous (extreme sarcasm). I hope the new building is fun for you to build, and works to be good and useful!


Rose ~ from Oz said...

Hey Shrinky - great to see you pop up on my Reader's List!!! I had only just got to know you, and I've missed you sorry about the fire - what a bummer hey? Some good thoughts and future plans for the new building, and its shaping up beautifully, I'll be sure to watch the space. Seems there's been heaps happening in many of our lives.
Take care and great to see you back!

Shrinky said...

Hi Denise, oh wow, you have a new puppy or something? What the heck have you done to your blog, hon? Looks like I can only access it by joining up to Google+ (which to date I have been trying very, very hard to avoid). Maybe you can email me your post, or something?

Hey there Furtheron, so great to see you again. Yup, although it didn't seem like it at the time, it's all turning out for the best now. Funny how things often work out, isn't it?

Yes Joanne, and thanks for stopping by, those guys were just wonderful, they were keenly aware of Sam's distress, and did everything to try lessen the ordeal for him, you just wouldn't believe how kind they were, not to mention heroic!

Hi Vince, aww it's good to see your welcome comments in here. I think that's the Ben Machree from the Steam Packet Company you're referring to, but I could be wrong. Yeah, it's an exciting prospect now the fire is well behind us.

Hello Jackiesue, I didn't know you sewed too? It's very satisfying to create your own stuff, isn't it? Yeah, poor Sam, he's still not over the fire even now.

Ha, Leslie, you are very welcome anytime, my dear - in fact, hopefully when you next return to the UK with Lorne, which I believe you are hoping to next year, the new build should be finished and ready for you both.

Hilary, what a wonderful surprise to have you pop by so soon, I was just about to trot over to your site to say a hello (smile). Thanks for the kind words, I've not sewn in forever and had forgotten how much I love to!

Um, shhhhhh Tabor, that's exactly what the insurance company said to me..

Hey there Cat, and welcome aboard my friend! Your hubby sounds a good guy to have about in a crisis! To give mine his due, he did snap to attention within seconds, and called the fire brigade (housed just at the foot of our road). I refused to leave the house until fully dressed, and had at least visited the bathroom first. Sam on the other hand, had shot out of bed and was at the top of our drive, cowering in his bare feet and without his specs, curled up in a fetal position on the tarmac, screaming, within five seconds of waking!

PhilipH said...

Oh the quiet life. Bliss.
And then everything goes to blazes... well, happily not everything.
Good to hear from you.
Keep on unplugging before going to kip!

Bijoux said...

SO HAPPY to see you back! I'm sorry about fire, but glad all are ok. We moved last summer, in part due to Middle Child"s future independence plans. I'm really glad you are back nd look forward to hearing more. Love you, my friend.

bill lisleman said...

Wow. Fires are scary dangerous events. Good that things are working out for you. Good to read a post from you again

Mamma has spoken said...

Glad to see you back!
As I was reading this, I was thinking thank goodness it didn't get your house. Sounds like it's going to be great when it's finish.

Kathy G said...

Oh, my!

It sounds like the new building, put together just the way you want it to be, will be even better than the old one.

Shrinky said...

Hi there Rose, I can't tell you how touched I am folk actually still remember me, seeing you here has really warmed the cockles of my heart! Thanks for making my day, I'm so glad to be back.

Hey Bijoux, consider yourself well and truly hugged, girl - so glad to hear from you again, I've really missed you, y'know. My bad, I know, for running off, but ahhhhhhhh, I truly feel like I've returned home again. You moved, huh? Blimey - things we do for our kids, eh? Hope the dust has settled and your enjoying life to the full.

Oh Philip, EVERYTHING is unplugged, I've given up resetting all the clocks and timers each morning - but the oven won't work unless unless I reset it each day (sometimes several times a day) which is driving me bonkers!

Bill, me darling, please don't be too cross with me, but having popped over to visit with you, I find I can't comment unless I first create a Google+ account (this is a new thing since I last blogged, I find Denise Nesbitt, another fellow blogger has also got this type of blog, which has stumped me from leaving a comment, too) I really, really don't want to sign up to Google+, sorry - maybe I can email my comments?

Hi Momma, how's it going - hope life is still treating you well? Yes, I am very excited now, but I MUST stop finding all these "extras" to add on top, else we might go bankrupt..

Hello Kathy, yes, I think so - I just wish it was all over and done with, it feels like it's been going on forever - but all good things are worth the wait in the end, eh?

foam said...

Good morning, Shrinky. (Well, it's morning here anyway).
It's nice to find you amongst the cyber living again. Although I am sorry to see fire mayhem in the form of fire has struck your life. I so do get the incredulous shock of discovering a blazing fire since a similar thing happened to me a few years ago. I was the one that discovered the neighbor's woodshed all ablaze was a huge roaring fire too since that shed stored all his firewood. But I am glad to see renovations taking place. Creating an abode for sweet Sam makes perfect sense to me.

Love your pillows, btw.. I kinda think the lumps add character though. :) you made me remember my sewing machine. It does stitchery too.

wishihadakarmaanghia said...

Ooh it's so lovely to hear from you!!! Have missed you lots. My first thought when I read about the fire was "Sam - oh my word how did he cope with that" I can absolutely imagine him being hyper vigilant now. Love the idea of a wee flat for him to live in in the future, though.
Cushions are gorgeous! Ooh it's so nice to see you back xxxxxxxxx

Shrinky said...

Hiya foam, yeah, it's really shocking in real life, not at all like it looks on the telly, is it? The ferocity of it was terrifying - all the trees and garden furniture caught light too, with flames shooting over 30ft high. Eeeek!

Shrinky said...

Kristina, me girl!!! Awww, how the heck are you, my friend? ((hugs)) Sure is great to hear from you, so it is. You know, we really do need to keep more in touch, I've been thinking about you a lot as of late - so, so happy you've touched in here, I'm trotting over to catch up with what's been happening with you and yours, just as soon as I post this..

Suldog said...

I am so magnificently happy to see you return! I love your writing, Shrinky.

Love the pillows. And it sounds like a nice idea for Sam, but maybe everything will have to run on batteries. In any case, glad to hear no one was hurt, and don't worry about the insurance bastards. They will have more flames to contend with in the future, if you get my drift.

Shrinky said...

Awww Sully, you're mostly to blame for this "come-back" of mine - your lovely encouragement was all the coaxing I really needed, you reminded me how much I miss you guys, and of all the wonderful banter and support to be found in this place - so thanks, bonny lad, I owe you! x

Secret Agent Woman said...

You HAVE had a lot going on! Sorry about the fire, but I hope reconstruction goes well. And nice work on the pillows!

Fenstar de Luxe said...

Oh hooray, I was beginning to fret that we hadn't seen you for so long.

Sorry to hear about the fire, but out of those ashes it sounds like something wonderful will be born.

Akelamalu said...

I wondered where you'd got to! Crikey you were lucky that fire didn't spread, it could have been so much worse couldn't it? Loving the cushions - you clever thing. x

Shrinky said...

Hi there Secret Agent, how lovely to see you again! Trust me to open my big mouth and blog about my sewing machine - can't you believe she's only up and gone and frozen up on me now (sob)? She's in for repair - again.. wish me luck.

Hi The Fenstar, how's it going with you? Oh luvvie, you've crossed over to Google+, haven't you? Sigh. I've just been telling a couple of others the same - I can't access your posts unless I create a Google+ account, and this is something I'm fighting hard against doing. Maybe you can email me your posts? xx

mythopolis said...

Glad to see you back in the blogosphere for a while! I felt sorry for Sam, I can only imagine the fire was so traumatic for him. And I think it is a great idea to provide him with his own quarters so as to learn more about fending for himself and so on.
Good luck with the new construction. How fortunate that the fire did not take anyone's life. dan

Shrinky said...

Yeah, long time no see, Ake - great to be back! Aw (blush) thanks for that.

Hello my old friend, Dan, yeah I kinda' surprised myself by this sudden return of mine - but truth is, with my TV on the blink, and now my beloved sewing machine going kapoot on me, I didn't really have any excuse other than to put up a fresh post (grin) x

MarkD60 said...

Welll, since you said it first... you weren't a crap blogger till you quit posting.
Sorry about the fire.

Shrinky said...

Cheers Mark, I always knew you loved me, really (wink).

Bone said...

So thankful no one was hurt, Shrinky!

Good to see you back.

Also, thanks for making me look like someone who blogs frequently :)

Shrinky said...

See the lengths I go to, to make you look good, Bone?

Fenstar de Luxe said...

Naw I don't use G+ and I've deleted that account a thousand times, but google keeps resurrecting it. It's ever so annoying. I still have my same wordpress blog x

Barbara Shallue said...

Just scrolling through my reader tonight and there you were! I thought my eyes were tricking me! I'm so glad you popped back up. You know I was missing your posts! And I'm glad you have moved forward with the new addition. I think that's a great idea for Sam! Welcome back! Beautiful embroidery on those pillows!

Dave said...

Hey! Good to have you back Carol. We missed you. Sorry about your fire, but I guess good comes from bad eventually. Don't go away again hey? You write good stories and blogs...:-) - Dave

Shrinky said...

Hi Fen, thanks for coming back on that. When I click on your avitar, this is what I get:

"Fenstar hasn't shared anything with you.

People are more likely to share with you if you add them to your circles."

I've had a quick trawl through my older posts to find your Wordpress addy, but haven't hit upon your comments yet - any chance you could give me it, so I can keep it safe? x

Shrinky said...

Aw Dave, what a lovely thing to say, thank you my friend, I feel all warm and fluffy inside now! No, I'm planning on sticking around now, promise (smile).

Darlene Duncan said...

All the sheds are matching up and becoming one unit. Sweet for the kids, the hairy bikers...and if the hubby needs banishment... LOL

Love the stichery on the pillows. Are roosters considered wildlife? (nudge) Looking forward to seeing the rest of the full set.

Shrinky said...

Hi there Chewy-Pie, um, I dunno', the roosters invading my garden seem pretty wild at times.. and as for the sheds, methinks I may be hiding out down there myself every now and then (wink)!

boneman said...

Not sure if this is a good idea, but, maybe. Next Chicken pillow down the pike? Find a pair of stones similar in size to eggs. You can see where it could be funny.
Until the pillow fight, of course.

Fire...My job in life is to point out how it could have been worse. That was the night you wre entertaining the Royal Mum, and she asked to see the card tables in the back room... Tea just served, and cards just dealt (turns out she has a penchant for Gin Rummy)(well, I think that's what she means when she asks for a bit of Gin) Anyway...that would have been terrible, eh? Well, of course, perhaps the insurance would have come up with more/faster. Hard telling. That seems to be an international affliction with insurance...payments MUST be made on time, penalty fees for late payments, but claims may take the arrival of a second moon.
Glad nobody was hurt.
Well, except for the Sunday joint you were trying to cook. Yes...pretty much need a steady heat on some dishes for them to cook properly.
New replacement looks dandy, though.
NOW invite the Queen Mum over for tea, and mention to your insurance agency when she's popping in...Ask them if they remember from their history books just what "drawn and quartered" means.
(maybe not)

Helena said...

OMG when I read that it could have been a lot worse if not for your hubby's bladder, I imagined he had weed on it to put it out!!!!!

X. Dell said...

(1) Gee, thanks alot, Shrinkster, for letting me know you're back on the air (if only for a little while).

(2) So that's what happened to the Blood Shed. Seems ironic. But I do like your idea of using it for Sam. I'm sure everyone will see the wisdom of that someday.

(3) I'm glad you explained what you meant when you wrote, "Thank the Lord for hubby's weak bladder." I first thought that's how you put the fire out.

(4) You blame Sam for driving you demented?

Fenstar de Luxe said...

Here you go chick:

sage said...

Nice looking rebuild, but fires are always tragedies. Good to see you black blogging.

Rock Chef said...

You're back! Good to see it!

My wife's blog is at:

Drop in, I think you will connect with a lot of what she has to say.

Rock Chef said...

My wife had a thought. Maybe you could get some anti surge plugs around the house to reasure Sam that it won't happen again. The house idea is great- something we dreamt of doing for our daughter.

Shrinky said...

Hi there Bone, gee, you're an absolute genius, me lad - that should fix 'em, eh? I'm just texting Queenie now (as I brush down my best frock)..

Ah Helena, now there's a picture to visualise - haaaaaaaaa!

Cheers Fen, I'll keep it safe (smile).

Shrinky said...

X-Dell, me friend,

1. I've been a wee bit too embarrassed to let ANYONE know I've snuck back in here again - I wasn't sure how the welcome would be! (And I'm thrilled to bits to find how forgiving a bunch of mates I have for fellow bloggers.)

2. Yeah, alas poor shed, but like a Phoenix out of the ashes, it'll rise to be even bigger and better than ever before, regardless of my imminent soon to be bankruptcy..

3. To accomplish that feat, methinks you credit my hubby's appendage with a girth and length he'd certainly be delighted to own (in his dreams).

4. Good point.

Shrinky said...

Hi there Sage, how great to see you again! Yeah, I think experiencing a fire is something you will never forget. Certainly, one is enough for any lifetime!

Hello RC, how's it going? I've just returned from visiting your wife's lovely new blog - the post about Sophie really struck a chord with me, I found it very moving, and beautifully written.

Thanks for the tip, but that kind of goes over Sam's head - to him electricity = fire, period! I will give it a try though, it's worth a shot,eh?

Rock Chef said...

Might work if you explain what it does - anything to ease the anxiety. Glad you visited my wife's blog. I suspect that you will find much to talk about.

Pat Tillett said...

Wow! That is scary stuff! I guess when it's all said and done, you'll have a nice new addition to your home.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Wow, Shrinky!!! I'm so pleased to see you blogging again, but what a trauma for you all. Poor Sam, no wonder he's become over-anxious. It'd be enough to get me pulling all the plugs out, too, though probably not in the middle of cooking dinner.

Those cushions are absolutely gorgeous!! You have been hiding your light, m'dear.