When I started this blog on the day in January 2012 when Raymond and I became the owners of the Manse, my childhood home, we had grand plans for the renovation to come. Which in fact is why I started the blog: knowing how much interest there is these days in home renovations and before-and-after makeovers and whatnot, I figured people would like to follow our progress in turning a well-preserved but very bare-bones rural Victorian brick house into a comfortable, well-equipped, funky residence for two escaped Montrealers, while preserving and (as needed) restoring its essential heritage elements. And Raymond and I had every intention of getting going right quick on that renovation/restoration. We were full of plans and dreams.
Ah, but the best-laid plans, as the poet said, gang aft agley. (Which leads to the obvious question: what the heck does “gang aft agley” mean? Ah, I know you know: go off-course, or some such.)
And now, 600 (as of this one) Meanwhile, at the Manse posts later – well, let’s just say there is not a lot of renovation to show you yet. Which means I really have to thank you, dear readers, for being so incredibly patient as I’ve wandered off in directions other than home renonvation: into stories about daily life in Queensborough, in recounting our explorations of Hastings County, in talking about the history and geography of the area, in regaling you with church news and boring you to death with stories about my growing-up years here at the Manse.
I see now what idealists about the renovation Raymond and I were in those early days. Plus, we hadn’t actually spent any time living at the Manse. I expect that any of you who’ve done renovations on a newly acquired home would agree that there’s a lot to be said for spending time in the place, getting a feel for it, before you start ripping and tearing and adding and subtracting. It has been a bit of a revelation to us how living here, seeing how the house acts and how we feel while in its different parts, has altered our thoughts on what we might do to it: where bathrooms should go, and what to do about the frame section on the back – the old summer kitchen – and whether to screen in the front porch, and how to heat it, and what kind of windows to install, and so on and so on and so on.
Overall I would say our time spent living in the Manse has resulted in a simplifying of the renovation plan (if you could actually call it a plan at this point, which realistically I don’t think you could). When we do actually start the work, I suspect it will be a less-is-more project, and that many things we had initially envisioned changing will, in the end, be left alone.
But who knows? At this point it is all still theoretical. First we must think about selling our former residence in Montreal (to help pay for the work here); and then come up with a floor plan for how we want the house to be; and then address key (expensive) issues like the roof and the insulation and the plaster walls; and then – oh bother. I am getting tired just thinking about it.
Nevertheless, I promise, dear readers, that we will make some progress in the coming year. It is time to saddle up and get started.
But in the meantime, thank you for reading!