All in a day's work

One of the reasons I think I enjoy my life is because the work is so varied.  On Wednesday, I was back in London, after the two weeks in Dorset, visiting a new site in Kensington. So far, so good.

But on Thursday - I was here. The amazing, decaying but still intact "Kasbah", as it's known, in the old fish docks at Grimsby.  Truly wonderful.  And, all now being slowly restored, thanks to an initiative by Associated British Ports, North East Lincolnshire Council, and Historic England - you can read more here. 

Here is Tom Taylor & Son, still owned by Fraser Taylor, his grandson.  Here is the Grimsby Ice factory, waiting to be restored. 

Here is the astonishing tower built at the entrance to the Docks in the nineteenth century, a replica of the famous tower at the centre of Siena.   I couldn't believe it. It was a brilliant visit. We are hoping to be helping with the design of a new housing project in Grimsby, and we were being given a brief dip in to the wonderful and rich history of this fantastic place. Hopefully we can make the project happen!

The next morning I was in Highbury.  If this is your beautiful front door and path, and gate, well, you've REALLY caught my eye.  It's perfect.  And then down to Dorset again, on the train, with Valentina who was staying with us for the weekend. We had a lovely, quiet catch up time.

On Saturday, after Bridport Market, Charlie and I thought we had better take down all the Christmas decorations in the church. It's lovely putting up the decorations, but isn't it satisfying taking them all down?  The church was gleaming in January sunshine. A welcome relief after what feels like months of rain.  FINALLY, we have all the approvals in place from the Church Authorities to start the restoration of all the church windows, starting this spring.  It's taken forever but we are there, I think, and have Dan our stained glass restorer and Bill Crumbleholme the builder lined up to start after Easter.  It will be a wonderful moment when they are complete.
This is an interesting tablet in one corner of the church.  Apparently, when Jane died, in 1841, aged 102 - she was at that moment, the oldest woman in Britain.  Clean and empty.  The beautiful little church, looking down to the organ at the west end.  Sunshine streaming in.  And onto the house.  Bridport Market finds.  I went to bed that afternoon for a long and welcome sleep. We had supper with our dear neighbour Harriet and this morning breakfast with Harriet's daughter Nina, Val's oldest friend really.  A real weekend of catching up.

Early this morning Charlie and I took the dogs out to a purple sky.
It was a beautiful morning. 

The big house, in the first light of day.

Next week, I'm off down to Australia, and then to New Zealand, to look at and after our projects there, all the way on the other side of the globe.  It's exciting to think of seeing everything and everyone again.

It's somehow strange to be in all these places in a week, but it's precisely this variety that I love in life.  The blog will probably go a little quiet for a week or two while I'm down south.

At last, and at least, do you feel the days getting a fraction brighter, a tiny bit longer now?


Great to hear of Restoration Projects Grimsby. Such positive news in these times.

Peter Sullivan

So nice to see the new re-development of Grimsby and unlike here where I live the demolition of low rise buildings to building of massive 50 storey buildings. Lovely to see your church with the tree in last blog and now with all the decorations gone and the stain glass windows being restored. Gorgeous as usual greenery and fantastic you have the pleasure of so many projects spread all over the world. Charlie relaxing with the dogs and the sunshine was very nice picture. Today, here in Canada freezing rain and snow, and no let up all day long and treacherous outside, so I stayed indoors. Thank you as always for your wonderful, uplifting and beautifully done blogs.

Darlene Chandler

That purple sky was magnificent.


I’ve never seen a purple sky, amazing!

Meridith Moore

Thank you I love January the photos are beautiful. I was also very moved by that inspiring plaque in the church she obviously was a very loved caring lady.

Sara Longman

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