Many of our real-life friends are on there, as well as dozens of e-friends and many hundreds of assorted strangers from all walks of life, and we figured that some might be mildly interested in what’s going on at The Lodge, especially since they’re literally scattered across the four corners of the globe and we don’t see many of them all that often. It’s the modern way, innit.
The comments on that forum have given rise to light-hearted banter and some proper discussion, all of which is welcome, but one in particular has made me stop and reflect. Rather than type a reply over there that may be dismissed offhand or overlooked altogether I thought I’d hang this blog post on explaining why we’re doing things the way we are after six months of living and working here.
If you’ve Googled your way here and have no idea who we are, maybe it’ll give you a different perspective and put you off buying a period property altogether or maybe it’ll give you the push you need to put an offer in on your dream home. Either way, I apologise in advance.
The comment in question was based around our recent work to get rid of the Artex on the ceilings to help make the entire property breathe a little better:
“Eh? There's some odd information coming out about breathability with this build. I'm not convinced about some of it.”This came from someone who has a wealth of experience working in the building trade, who had earlier asked why we didn’t leave the ceilings as they were and simply plasterboard over them. My reply joked that that’s what all the bodgers say. I even put a winking smiley on it ;)
|The Lodge was tired and mistreated|
when it became ours on April 17
We’ve written about it in this blog before, but if it wasn’t for the plaster, paints, bitumen, plastic and other impermeable materials there wouldn’t be anywhere near the amount of moisture, mould and general horribleness that we have been encountering since April 17 when we first opened the door.
The board-it-and-skim-it way of thinking may have been the cheapest and most immediately effective way of temporarily dealing with problems at the time but it didn’t look to the future and it totally disregarded those who would live here afterwards. Yes, those dirty bodges may have made the house more comfortable for the occupiers of the day but they did nothing useful for the fabric of the building or its longevity. And let’s not forget that The Lodge has been here, in one form or another, for circa two centuries and will still be here when we’re all dead and gone, which means that the blinkered nature of previous repair work has to stop.
Dawn answered that post on the forum perfectly about the breathability of all the surfaces in the house so I won’t bother repeating it (we’ve said it all here many times before anyway), but there’s a wider point that has put me in my thoughtful mood.
It’s about respect.
Our friends Andy and Jodie, over on their blog about renovating an old stone cottage, wrote recently that they were the “current custodians” of the property and although I haven’t mentioned it to anyone I thought that that was a beautiful way to put it.
It was only said off-the-cuff and maybe they didn’t even ponder the truism of the term, but it was bang-on and made more of an impact upon me than I realised until tonight.
Dawn and I, as the first private owners of The Lodge in its entire history, are merely its custodians. And that’s a humbling thought you would never really have in a newer property.
We might be turning it into our home now and for the foreseeable future, but it’s not just ours full-stop. Research has told us that it was once home to the Taylors and the Scotts among others, and one day it’ll be home to other families who will never know about us (until they see our names scrawled in the mortar at the top of the new chimney stack). So it’s our duty to make that home right and as it was always intended to be back when it was built in Georgian times. It’s incumbent upon us to respect those who came before us and those who will be here in 2100, in 2200. It’s not just about us – it’s about so much more.
George III was probably on the throne when
The Lodge's first incarnation was built.
That's how old it is.
I know that some people probably think we’re just making work for the sake of it, but we’re really not. For the most-part it might be fun but there has also been a lot of worry, many sleepless nights, much accidental blood-loss and a fair share of actual and metaphorical tears that I haven’t alluded to all that much, but it’s all for a purpose.
It’s all because that’s what The Lodge demands of its custodians in order to keep it true to its roots and preserve it for the future. This place has seen nine British monarchs and two world wars with the potential to see more of both, so who are we to stop that happening because of ignorance and a lack of respect for the building and its heritage.
So that’s why we’re not bodging and cutting corners. That’s why we’re trying to go ‘traditional’. That’s why breathability is such a big thing and that’s why we’re doing it the hard way.
And despite the stress, and despite the fact we're still living in a shed, that’s why we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Anyway, enough of this romanticised nonsense and back to reality.
Dawn is out for the evening and I need to fend for myself. I have a lump of salmon in the fridge all ready to go and it has just occurred to me that I have absolutely no idea how to work the oven that we’ve had for six months.
Pot Noodle for one it is, then.