In The Doghouse


The Daily Telegraph, Wednesday March 28, 1984

It was wedged behind the built-in cupboard in the study, between the side partition and the wall. A reasonable indicator then of the era of the last lot of works and, as the cupboard was installed on top of the wallpaper, the mighty staying power of woodchip. And how did we come by this little gem of historical enlightenment? By taking the cupboard down. It has not been straightforward. Of course it was my idea. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200. Proceed directly to la maison du chien.



Mike does concede that the room looks so much better now.

The main difficulty has come from those wires. They were hidden away quite effectively prior to this minor structural realignment. Apparently re-routing of the cables and chasing them into the walls has added a week to the work.. even with the benefit of the new toy that had to be purchased specifically for the job, mais naturellement.



No, I don’t know which particular spot the ‘X’ doth mark.

It’s one of those things I am becoming loath to ask.



Meanwhile, the matchpot tally has now reached 27.

I had intended to use casein distemper on the walls, which accounted for the first 18 of the sample pots from a well known premium paint manufacturer. It’s a breathable paint suitable for covering lime plaster. But there’s a problem. Quelle surprise. Distemper wouldn’t work so well on the assortment of other surfaces in the room, like the modern plaster and emulsion.

So now it’s going to be claypaint and a whole new ballgame. A different manufacturer. A different set of matchpots. With a more limited colour selection to choose from this time, I reckoned one of the first four mini pots I acquired would have to provide the solution. Yes? No.




How much do you remember from 1984?

Regrettably I don’t have the paper’s front page, but Arthur Scargill and the miners’ strike preoccupied the thoughts of the Editor that day. Other topics of note seem depressingly familiar: the use of chemical weapons in the Middle East and Government security leaks. On a lighter note, the personal columns yield some interesting opportunities.. cheap at double the price:


STEINWAY GRAND Piano Model M (1928). Good condition. Repolished. £4,000 o.v.n.o.

WYE VALLEY. Wing of country house. Beautiful countryside. Slps 6-7. Everything provided. Pre-season long weekend from £50.

Round the world from £675.

NERJA [Southern Spain]. 2 b  f/f villa, nr sea & golf, com. pool. Bargain £22,000.


And then there was this:


Spring In the Air

The Kent-based COUNTY BORDER NEWS offers this advice to housewives shopping for a new bed: “Never be shy in a bedding shop of taking off your shoes and bouncing about on as many beds as you like. If your husband isn’t with you, ask the salesman. He’ll be quite used to it and give you helpful hints between bounces.”