• Ian&Chloe Gibb

Painting through Corona

I guess we all thought the storms had passed but as unavoidable as the weather was last month so with the corona virus this month, calling upon us all once again to respond, recover and adapt to yet more challenging circumstances.

Our hearts go out to all those directly affected by the virus, for those who have had it, for those who have lost their fight against it, and to all their loved ones.

Having loosened the battens from February’s metaphorical hatches this latest turn of events has seen us ‘pulling up the drawbridge’ in March, as we have retreated into self-isolation as advised. Satisfied that the most vulnerable around us are supported, the family safely home and neighbours in need shopped for, we look next to…well…what is next…?

Turning our attention to things that are more within our control we have renewed our focus on renovations to the lime kilns and garden, the continuation of work on our home-based project now inescapably encouraged by government guidelines. In the balance of it all we have been graced with beautiful sunny weather last week tempting us away from indoor plaster boarding and into the garden to carve out more paths and flower beds, sow seeds and to give form to the lime kiln terrace. Shovelling down heaps of compost and gravel and barrowing it around the garden has given us all a proper good physical work out leaving us with little appetite to leave the house for the permitted one form of exercise per day. Gardening is proving a great way to keep fit not to mention the sense of wellbeing it generates from being outside in the fresh air, collectively creating and transforming our green space.

Ian had the good sense to order in materials before the builders’ merchants had to close their doors, including enough paint for me to keep decorating our home (thanks Ian!). Neither of us known to shy away from the colourful, our house is starting to resemble the inside of a Skittles packet. Adding sweeter tones with the likes of Teale (Smurf) Blue, Berry Red, Havana Orange and now Paradise Green my favourite would have to be Midtown Magic, a beautiful rich blue now adorning the walls our new Therapy Room (pictured below). This will be the space used to provide therapies such as the Natural Face Lift massage, Indian Head massage, Foot/leg massage and more, to guests wishing to add that extra level of relaxation whilst staying at Hadlow.

Although I am starting to look forward to seeing the bottom of the latest paint pot, I feel hopeful that all this painting practice will stand me in good stead for the upcoming task of decorating the lime kilns as soon as the walls are ready. This week Ian is now ensconced back indoors plaster boarding to give walls to the guest bedrooms, then we need only await the arrival of the skim team before I will once again be called upon to dip my brush. We’re thinking slightly more muted colours this time to cater for more savoury preferences.

To all those people still working hard in the outside world to support and maintain our country’s systems, notably NHS staff but also many others: our farmers, lorry drivers, refuse collectors, supermarket staff…THANK YOU. Recent events shine a stark light on just how valuable you are to us all and highlights the importance of everybody, regardless of pay grade. We would all be lost without you.

Who knows what the future will hold, these are uncertain times for all of us, but we are firmly determined to keep on keeping on, preparing, practicing, building, creating so we are good and ready whatever the eventuality.

Best wishes



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