We're getting the house painted. The outside, that is. It's been a while since the last time, and the paint had got to peeling pretty nastily. The painter we've hired --- one recommended by bunny_hugger's parents, and whose son did some painting inside before --- gave us a rather good estimate and satisfied us with his plans to strip off all the many layers of old paint and get things back to the bare wood so we could start again. (He also, it's a bit sick to admit, gives us some wonderful Droopy-esque moments in which he talked about the problems that kept him from getting work going before --- ``old man excuses'', he called them at one point, although considering one of them involved his son being in hospital we weren't upset about his priorities.)
I think maybe the most adorable moment of all this has involved our pet rabbit. When rabbits are upset about something they'll thump a hindpaw, making a pretty serious noise. Our rabbit listened to the scraping noise and general racket the first day, and waited until I'd got downstairs. He raised his hindpaw and gave a good solid THUMP, just the once, and since then has been at peace with it. It's as though he decided that once he filed his complaint about the noise, repeating the complaint would only contribute to the problem.
The house, with the old paint stripped, looks shockingly good, rather better than we imagined. Bare wood has a hard time not looking good, after all. And they've sanded, caulked, and also nailed back into place loose shakes. But the painter warned us that just getting the bare wood sealed would be an ongoing investment --- the wood would fade in a couple years and need to be cared for again --- so, yes, we're deciding what paint we do want. But we are going to have to carefully photograph the bare wood as it is so neat to see.
Trivia: Between 1840 and 1880 Sweden more than doubled its crop area; Italy and Denmark expanded it by more than half; Russia, Germany, and Hungary by about a third; and Britain, by under one-twentieth. Source: The Age Of Capital, 1848-1875, Eric Hobsbawm.
Currently Reading: Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2013 Editor Gordon van Gelder.