I really cannot tell you how three months zinged past me while I was trying to finish Sudeley Castle's entry. It's almost like I woke up two weeks ago and remembered that I've been nearly done with Sudeley for more than three months. Did I get caught in a time warp? I cannot really say. All I can convey at this point is that it's good to be back in the chair with the P.C. in front of me and surrounded by my books in what is now my office and not my bedroom. I'm not done with all my changes and moving yet but all the pertinent books needed for my castle projects are close at hand and there'll be no more running all the way down to my nearly empty underground studio ( bka the catacombs) to look up something in a book. I suppose it would all be worth it if I was actually finished with this constant state of flux called 2014. By the way, 2015 will probably bring more surprises than I can handle but at least it won't be boring. (Not that my life ever is but it sounded like the right word to lay down.) http://thecastlelady.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/sonorous-sudeley-castle/
To explain this big time gap, I can tell you exactly what I've been doing but I can't explain why it amounts to so much time loss. There are so many things to do in a day it almost seems impossible to get to time for writing. I know that's usually just an excuse but I'm not one for sitting around and making excuses for the reason why something didn't get done or executed in a timely fashion. I have one piece of advice before I really get into this: Don't ever hire or recruit a volunteer who is known to procrastinate as a regular profession. Mr. Tom Orrow never knows what day or time it is or how he ended up in the current predicament he believes he's stumbled in on. He's full of stories but not an ounce of energy and he'll waste your time like no other. You save time when you do it yourself unless you happen to be me. I get caught up in details.
If you've been tapping your toes and drumming your fingers wondering when my next installment on Gloucestershire is going to arrive online you have been sated for now. I'm always working on the castles but my time per day on the work has been greatly reduced due to the 1,001 things I have to do in a day just to keep life and limb going in a healthy manner. Did I say details?
Most of this year I have been planning and organizing a Garage/Moving/Estate Sale and on nearly every weekend in September I finally ran it. I did make some money on the sale but all the key beauty salon items remain which is a shame because those are the true bargain items. It did occur to me that I needed to alert the beauty shop stylists and/or beauty school students but somehow I didn't reach my target demographic for the bulk of the items for sale. I'm going to have to get strategic with this particular liquidation and I have a few ideas which I hope won't encroach on all my other duties on a daily or imperative basis. Determination didn't win this round so I'm going to have to work smarter on this particular problem. Know anyone that is planning to start a hair salon ? I've got a great deal for them !
All through the month of October and clear into November I have been dealing with the grape harvest in my backyard which produced about 300 lbs of grapes this year and I picked nearly all of it by myself. Where is a migrant farm worker when you need one ? I have two gallons of grape juice in my refrigerator. Before I started reaping, the insidious invasion of inexplicable trees, little to medium, all over my property took my full attention and in October, on the 4th I managed to find someone to take most of the medium-size trees out. It was a relief to have that done. Now it looks like someone owns the property once again. All summer long and into Indian Summer and autumn I had yard work problems. Grass knee high to a giant, trees growing everywhere I wouldn't want them, beautiful rose bushes that were starting to look like wild roses and an unprecedented problem involving the butchering of my Russian Olive tree in my front yard...sigh. The list is endless and I don't think I ever want to carry another tree limb anywhere.
I saved the grapes too, Ma ! I gave a lot of grapes away to friends in my neighborhood but I suppose I really should start finding some winemakers and make money off these bumper crop harvests. I do sell some but not nearly as much as I could to say nothing of the fact that I could use the money! I lost about 100 lbs of grapes due to overripe fallout, insect and bee robberies (!) and underripe grapes because of paltry irrigation even though we had quite a few rainstorms this past summer. If I had gotten all the grapes and sold them I would have made about $400 to $500!
All year long, all the way back from March, I have been dealing with moving a great deal of my possessions into other areas of my house. I turned what used to be my bedroom into a library/office/media room. My living room is now more like an entertainment/ rumpus room. I moved my entire bedroom into the room across the hall and my former studio that once housed all my worldly possessions will be turned into a spare bedroom shortly. The beauty salon is very, very slowly being turned into a nail salon. Except for moving heavy furniture I have been doing this all by myself. The reorganization alone is a really tough job. You must understand that I own about 10,000 books which I tried to weed out and it may be around 9,500 now. Don't laugh. I have tried to move them from a 12 X 12 foot space into a room that is more like 10 X 10. The entire project would have been better put into the hands of an interior decorator but I'm pleased with the results thus far.
I'm sure other things suffered besides my writing this year. Mostly it was me. You have to understand that suffering doesn't come easy for me. I'm basically a happy person and I do well with what I have. I'm grateful for many things but mostly I'm just grateful to be alive and have something to work with and I'm content when I have done my best without complaining. To be completely honest, however, I hit my lowest exhaustion level since the beginning of the second half of this year and I'm only recently starting to feel like my normal self. Without entirely knowing what 2015 will bring I'll try to bring you the rest of England's castles in a more timely fashion- as is possible. If it's any consolation, I'm always working at it- no matter the pace or stride and I'll always love writing about and finding new castles whether they be intact or just a motte covered with trees. Bulldozer anyone ?
This slope will do nicely,