A Blooming Fanfare ~ Installed, If Not Quite ship-Shape


I ‘activated’ the Amaryllis bulb in February, as soon as I knew our house sale was settled and our moving date fixed. It was a Christmas gift from our best chum, Lesley, and I’d dithered over planting it up precisely because of the (sometime) imminent move.

I have to say when I finally opened its package, it did not look too promising: as in more dead than dormant. Still, I followed the instructions, installing the bulb’s bottom two-thirds into moist compost. The reaction was almost instantaneous. By the following day fresh leaf shoots were peeping out the top. Monitoring progress then became an amusing diversion from packing-up stress.

And come the snowy moving day, five leaves had emerged along with a fat budded stem. I transported it in the car and popped the pot on the kitchen cupboard by the new-house French doors where it had the best light. A few days later the flower stem was off on it own trajectory, clearly prompted by the Lance Penny work on the wall behind it.



And now, a week later, and moved to the dining table, all four flowers have opened, stealing the show from John Scarland’s Cafe Women:



So: the Farrells have landed; and most important of all, the kitchen is up and running. I’m getting the gist of the gas cooker that comes with the place, this after years of electric cooking. Several batches of soda bread have turned out well, and today’s first attempt at rye and almond shortbread proved passable:




We like the kitchen with the French doors that catch all the morning sun and open onto the small walled garden. Most of our stuff seems to have fitted in. Well, almost. He who no longer has a shed is busy trying to rein in the chaos of surplus possessions in the garage, this after setting up music and viewing systems in kitchen and living room. My writing den is pretty much set up; the too many books on new shelves. We even know where most things are, which has to be a first.

Next stop: Operation Explore Broseley. We’ve already located the old clay pipe works, the ancient Quaker Burial Ground and the town’s handsome striped maypole  on the green near Maypole Jitty. More of which anon.




For now, it’s A Big Thank You, Lesley! So much entertainment from this extraordinary life form.

36 thoughts on “A Blooming Fanfare ~ Installed, If Not Quite ship-Shape

  1. Thanks for sharing. Did I tell you that the builder informed us the tiles we chose for the bathroom a year ago are no longer available, and we had just the weekend to go to the showroom, choose again from a restricted range (available within days, not weeks) as the tiler starts later this week? No stress then. Your move seems to have worked out really well.

    1. Everything seems to come down to being able to scramble and shift within very small windows of opportunity. I would once have put it down to getting old, but actually life and the way things work (or not) has truly become very strange (and often very daft) and on many fronts. One can end up tied up in other people’s knots and in situations where one has little or no control/ability to resolve them. I hope you and Ann end up liking the second-choice tiles more than you expect to. That CAN happen. Our rental house decor/fittings and fixtures are scarcely to our taste (except for the gas cooker), but actually we find we quite like the place as it is, and that’s not just because we’re hoping to move somewhere else in the next year or so. Interesting, n’est pas?

  2. Glad you are in, just think you might be doing it all again in the future!
    Don’t mention Amaryllis. We were given one in January, 5 huge leaves but no flowers just a two inch stubby thing coming out the side, then green fingers are not on my hands.

  3. Moving into a new place is always excitingvi think and it looks like it’s a lovely place, I love the idea of the kitchen doors opening to a walled garden and the sun streaming in. So glad your move went ok after the delay due to all the snow.

  4. Wow! Somehow I missed the fact you’ve moved to Brosely! Lament the allotment right?! I’ll miss those photos and tales for sure but look forward to hearing your new adventures in the new town. How far from the old place? And you make that whole moving business sound easy though I’m sure it wasn’t, never is.

    1. Hi Bill, well I’ve just doen a post that might answer the how far question. Just a few miles in fact. It was the only place we could find a rental property in time to move out before our buyer moved in. And yes, will miss the allotment, but am finding other distractions 🙂

  5. I’m impressed. It’s so neat, clean and orderly — and your kitchen looks great. If I didn’t have a flat-topped electric stove, I wouldn’t have ANY counter space.

    And oh my, that amaryllis is brilliant! So far, I’ve only had white ones. I haven’t even seen them in any color darker than lavendar.

    I do not believe this kind of order is possible in this house. I look at your beautiful new home and I feel like a failure. We should be in that kind of place, but it isn’t going to happen. I think we are married to this house as much as we are married to each other.

    1. Falling in love with a house is a very big thing. And when you know at heart it’s not quite right, for whatevever reason, it’s an even bigger thing. I guess that’s what shifted us out of our cottage.

      I think the amaryllis shade is Black Pearl. It gets darker towards the centre. The flower is now so large it’s overtaking the dining table. As to neat and orderly, that’s a state that does not last long in the Farrell household. We’ll see. The house is v. compact after the cottage which was basically a long house, but it’s helping us decide what we need to look out for when we switch to buying mode.

      1. The one thing I loved about moving was how neat and clean everythng was … until it wasn’t. This house was too big, but then Owen and his partner moved in and now it definitely isn’t too big because there are four adults living in it. The problem is more that there is still a lot of stuff we would like — need — to do, but don’t have enough money. I console myself that we have come a long way, even if there is further to go.

        But hey, I earned $2.56 from selling books this month! That’s a record for the year I think, or did I once make $3.01? SO hard to remember such big numbers 😀

      2. A whole $2.56. That’s usually around my rate of earnings too. Though this month I did get £90 from libraries round the world photocopying bits of my books,. My Kenya publishers simply don’t pay me anything despite good sales. Hey ho. The writer’s lot does tend towards the negative remuneration situation.

      3. Really. It used to be about promotion by publishers, but those days are gone. Now, it feel completely random. Unlike blogging, you don’t feedback so you never know exactly WHY anyone bought it.

  6. That amaryllis was the perfect gift to escort you through the process of moving to your new home. It’s so beautiful, and so very much alive despite your initial misgivings. It feels like a sign! I do love your art – both pieces, and your new place looks like somewhere I could live myself. Your artistic sensibility appeals to me.
    Happy settling in.

    1. Hello, John. How very nice of you to comment here. I used to love seeing your work at Francis Isles’ exhibitions – this, when we lived in Kent. Cafe Women is a much loved work.

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