Back to LIME Cottage this week. Regular readers will notice that I’ve gone a bit quiet on it since moving in, so it’s time for an update.
For those of you who have stumbled across this blog without the previous build-up, I’ve recently moved into a derelict 17th century cottage in the heart of Somerset. As I went through the buying and moving process, just about everything I needed fell into place, allowing me to adopt the maxim that Life Is Miracles Expected. Hence the cottage’s name.
For the first week or two, camping out in the cracked and leaking shell of what was due to be my dream home felt exciting and intriguing. It was hot and dry, high summer, and the living was easy.
Then the rains came. The sky became dark and overcast for days on end. The drip of raindrops into the buckets under the leaks started to get on my nerves.
Finally the scaffolders arrived. They were jolly fellows. They passed the time having Who-Can-Shout-The-Loudest contests and providing How-To-Clank-Bits-Of-Metal-Really-Noisily demonstrations to anyone in the vicinity. I provided rather more cups of tea than necessary in order to gain short bursts of calm.
With the scaffolding up, the house was incredibly dark and the rain continued, so the builder still couldn’t start.
It was then that I decided to check on the Listed Building Consent application I’d put in, back in the spring, to have the various works done. The roof repairs were exempt from this, but the vital re-pointing of the chimney, repairs to cracks in the walls and so forth were all on hold until the permission was released.
To my horror I was told the consent would be ‘conditional’ on the admin people receiving the answers to a huge list of technical queries. (What mix of lime would be used for the plastering? How was the old paintwork on the stone windows to be cleaned? What type of breathable insulation would be used? and so on, to cover an entire A4 sheet.)
It appeared I would have to request an extension (another month) to sort this out. The other alternative was to accept the conditional consent, give them the information at my leisure and wait a further six to eight weeks for them to spend more time considering.
I tried frantic emails and phone calls to the knight in shining armour who had promised (and been paid) to take me through this process. He was nowhere to be found. Headed off on some hunt for a holy grail on a sun-soaked beach somewhere at my expense, no doubt.
So as the rats tripped the light fantastic on the scaffolding outside my bedroom, I lay awake at 3 in the morning feeling more than a little sorry for myself. This was supposed to be my miracle cottage. How could my dream have unravelled so completely? Why was everything going so wrong?
Realisation was beginning to dawn…
Why was I inviting this experience into my life?
Finally the RIGHT question!
I realised that somewhere along the line, not only had I stopped expecting miracles, I had started to expect delays and problems.
The next morning I took a good, long look around my cottage. “You’ve been neglected and left for way too long,” I told it . “You deserve some love and attention. We’re going to get this sorted, now!”
I could feel the energy changing as I bonded with my cottage and began to believe that together we could create another miracle. On Tuesday, I invited the conservation officer and the builder to sit around a table with me to sort out all remaining problems. Before they arrived, I put out the intention that each of us would be working to resolve any difficulties and provide solutions. Even before they appeared, I knew, without any doubt, that everything would be sorted that day.
And so it was. Both of them arrived with ideas and suggestions. Agreements were easy and everything was sorted out to everyone’s satisfaction. I had the go-ahead for all structural works to begin and the next day the builders were there bright and early.
More proof – should any still be needed – that we really do create our own reality.