There are some projects that, once completed, fill your very being with warmth and delight. It is these very projects, however, that often epitomise the saying, Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder. In other words, what you think is utterly fantastic will, nine times out of ten, get the “What the..?” response when shown off (with the obligatory “Ta Daaah!”) to any Homestead visitors.
One example of this is our Ingenious Clothes Airer; four years on, this is a Homestead creation that still fills us with joy.
Made from an abandoned clothes horse discovered languishing on the side of a local road, a couple of pulleys, and a few metres of sash cord, this device allows us to dry the sort of stuff you want to keep out of visitors sight, inside the house. Tucked away near the laundry ceiling well within the warm breath of the woodburner, but concealed behind a sneaky louvre door, the Homestead unmentionables are guaranteed to dry, whatever the weather. Rain, do your worst! Sadly, the benefits of this marvel are lost on most of the people we’ve shared it with, some of them even going so far as to inform us of the invention of the electric clothes drier. We don’t let them dim our light, though.
Another much lauded Homestead project was that of the rustic arch. Quirky, cute and one-of-a-kind, we constructed it as a support for the Pinot Gris grape cutting; a majestic entrance way to the Homestead Bicycle Fleet Stable. We’d utilised branches of the Yew we felled when it’s animal poisoning capabilities were discovered, cunningly knotted together with the obligatory binder twine, and we believed it to be a thing of utter beauty. Whenever we wheeled our bicycles under the rustic arch, with the emergent grape leaves rustling gently overhead in the breeze, our hearts sung.
If any of us noticed the leaves rustling closer to the top of our heads as the weeks passed by and the vine bulked out, no one mentioned it. Any furtive straightening of the arch after a spell of blustery weather was also not spoken of. There comes a time,though, when you can no longer hide from the truth.
But all is not lost! The amazing Ingenious Clothes Airer also suffered a set-back (it turned out the beam wasn’t where we thought it was, and no, it wouldn’t “be fine”) and look at that now! So, this weekend’s project is set: a complete rebuild incorporating that vital Homestead building component we foolishly overlooked the first time round: long nails.
Just like the phoenix, and our clothes airer, the rustic arch will also rise from the ashes.