Christmas in the Edwardian House

IMG_5872 (1)We are approaching our third Christmas in the Edwardian House. Ruby on tree inspection duty.

On the first Christmas we were living on the top floor in three rooms waiting to get started with the renovation. By the second Christmas we were part way there with Stage One complete and a semblance of normality. Christmas number three sees a completed build (with just a bit more carpet to lay and a back garden to tame) and plans for the future being made.

It has been an eventful two years.

I will keep you up to date with new developments as they occur, so please do not delete us from your blog feed.

All best wishes for the holiday season from Scott, Mark, Ruby, Oliver and Rose.

 

Ceremony for the Unveiling of the Plaque to Commemorate G S Fraser

IMG_5835

Last Thursday we had the ceremony for the unveiling of the plaque to commemorate the poet G S Fraser, who lived here from 1958-1980. The plaque was installed in February but we had postponed the official unveiling for several reasons. First, we wanted to coordinate it with the Literary Leicester festival, where there was a special event for G S Fraser held at the University earlier in the day.

IMG_8036 IMG_8037

This included the launch of the new volume of his Selected Poems.

The unveiling was held on the 12th of November, and the 8th had been the centenary of Fraser’s birth. Waiting until November also gave us time to get the house in a complete enough state to hold the event!

IMG_8028I spent the day preparing. Ruby assisted. Not a single glass was broken during her leap into the (at that point empty) champagne bath. She’s extremely dextrous.

IMG_5831The scene was set.

IMG_5825It was a symbolic unveiling of a facsimile of the plaque – we couldn’t be sure of the November weather and also it gets dark by 4:30pm. The logistics of an outdoor event would have been too difficult.

IMG_5838We managed to squeeze about forty people into the dining room! There were three generations of the Fraser family present, along with friends, neighbours and colleagues. G S Fraser’s son, standing on the right, spoke.

IMG_5841Mark (centre) was MC. The Orator of the University (right), who had known G S Fraser, also spoke.

 

IMG_5845The plaque was then unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Leicester.

IMG_5847

He was very pleased as he had never unveiled such a plaque before. See how the Mayor’s ceremonial chain contains the heraldic cinquefoil, a five petaled flower that is the symbol of the City of Leicester, which also features on the plaque.

IMG_5851

The Mayor with G S Fraser’s daughter.

IMG_5853Me with the Mayor.

IMG_5798

The actual plaque outside.

Guests then stayed on for the reception. It was a great afternoon!

Early November

IMG_7966It’s early November and the autumn leaves are falling fast in today’s windy weather. Oliver thinks he can catch them as they drift by. Yesterday the window-cleaning/gutter-clearing man fitted leaf guards in the five downpipes to stop them blocking up.

IMG_7962Rosie looking gorgeous on the stairs.

21978416103_72be30a9d6_zRuby getting into mischief.

22060743194_52fd76d8fe_zWe have spent the last couple of Sundays tidying up the garden at the side of the house. Mark tackled weeds, blackberries and even excavated the dirt covering the mid-century crazy-paving path that leads down to the dining room french windows.

22060800204_6e9b33e923_zThe path is still a bit dirty but the rain should clear some of that. Eventually we will cover the path with weed matting and lay gravel down, like we did in the front garden. I also want to plant ferns in these garden beds as it’s very shady along here. The camellia on the right loves growing in this shade and produces beautiful red flowers. The fuchsias to the left of the path also thrive. In the distance you can see that we moved the bird bath as it wasn’t attracting birds where it was originally placed. I originally sited it directly outside the breakfast room window where the cats had front row seats on the window sill.

22657529346_5e5bfa9c7f_zYou can also see we have completed the back garden. Only kidding. I just lay the spare pavers down temporarily on the overgrown lawn for something to look at from the back door.

Next Thursday afternoon the Lord Mayor is coming to unveil the blue heritage plaque and we have about 35 people coming for a reception. Luckily we won’t need to use the back garden! More to follow.