When Andy and I moved to the cottage in 2012, the front room became the 'storage area'. And it's stayed that way ever since, as I've simply not had the mental energy, interest or funds to do anything with it. It has improved over the years, but last month Joe and I decided to really tackle it.
In the end it was just case of getting rid of the old futon base and various cardboard boxes and shifting the furniture around.
The room still needs re-wiring, re-plastering, re-decorating and something doing to the very old, cold linoleum on the floor, but for the moment this will do.
My principal motive for all of this was to make a small work area, as I am finally in the right frame of mind to start printing again. I haven't printed since 2011, when Andy and I lived in our tiny rented Cotswold cottage. (See 'Printing Little Hare').
A few months later, we would have moved to Shropshire and soon after that my life would be in pieces. Now I feel able to start again, and carry on where I left off. However, my poor old printer, which spent a few years in the damp top shed, was also in much need of some TLC.
Time to get out the magic 'Liquid Wrench'. This is marvelous stuff, but being an American product it is hard to find over here. (I buy mine from the only UK seller on eBay who stocks it) It is a fabulous de-ruster and lubricator and I wouldn't be without it.
It looked worse than it really was, and after an hour or so with a sanding pad, I had it looking nice again and rolling smoothly. The big old cupboard is perfect for storing print gear in, and is just the right height for me.
Brian-next-door helped to to hoick the (very heavy) cast iron press up into its new space and drove me out so that I could get some thick plates of glass cut for ink rolling. And then I was all set up for printing again, having unearthed my box of inks and rollers. Now I just had to get over the hurdle of actually using it.