At least that's what Isabelle called me in a recent e-mail. She meant it fondly. I think.
This name calling was in response to my telling her that Husband and I have clubbed together with his sister and father and bought a wee cottage in the country. We are of course pretending to be grown up and responsible and claiming that this is primarily a long term capital investment, sensible in these days of non-existent interest rates, but in reality it is the realisation of a long held desire to own, like The Broons, a but n' ben.
Our version is in the Borders rather than the Highlands and has a few more bedrooms (where did all 9 Broons sleep in the but n' ben? Shelves? Some side-by-side arrangement like a big cutlery drawer?). We also have a summerhouse, where the boys plan to sleep out if the weather ever allows, and a former pig sty (make up your own punchline to that one). The pig sty was converted into kennels a while back and sports very impressive metal barred gates on the individual runs. These have been christened "the holding cells" by the boys and claimed by them as part of their "clubhouse". Not quite sure what kind of club they are planning on forming that requires holding cells, but sort of hoping that I will at least get good blogging material out of it. And that the neighbours aren't too traumatised by the goings-on.
We got the keys on Friday so all trooped down for a glorified camp out on Saturday morning. There is no furniture yet as we have some damp work to do that will require plaster removal and the resulting mess and we didn't see the point of moving in furnishings that will just require to be taken out again or cleaned of layers of plaster dust . So we slept on an assortment of folding beds, camping mats and mattresses borrowed from bed settees.
We haven't had to sleep in a room with the children for a while and had forgotten how "entertaining" that can be, what with First Born's very impressive snoring and Second Born's vivid dreams and talking/fighting in his sleep. Hardly a dull moment, I tell you. I would have filmed them if I hadn't been fully engaged wondering why, when I have so much padding around my rear, it seems to do nothing to actually offset the effects of a hard floor and a camping mat with the cushioning properties of Kleenex.
Fortunately we had spent the afternoon trying to wrestle the cottage's garden into submission, so we were pretty tired to start with. The house has been unoccupied since June 2009 so the lawn was a hayfield and the weeds had taken over everywhere else. There is a wee patio at the bottom of the garden beside the holding cells and the nettles there were taller than I am and very reluctant to move. But move they eventually did - 8 full sacks of garden debris are now lined up and awaiting disposal. The garden still could not be described as tidy, but is also less likely to be described as "Oh my God, what HAPPENED??????" So that's good.
Next weekend we plan to buy some creosote. Then we'll cover the boys in clingfilm, hand them a couple of paintbrushes and point them at the decking. If you are very lucky, I'll take photos.