Friday, 27 July 2012


Those of you who have been following the progress of my journey to a dolls house museum of my very own here in the Czech Republic will know that a meeting was scheduled for Wednesday to look at the room I shall be renting.   The Mayor and the Head of Technical Services picked us (daughter and me) up at 9 am and we drove the very short distance to the room.   Good thing it's a short distance because it means that even with my arthritic knees I should be able to manage the walk once the houses have moved in there.

This post will be mostly photos of how it looks now so that a later post - I hope in mid-September when I come back to the CR after a very busy August in England - can show the "After".
Seeing the room without the exercise bikes and other fitness objects it did seem to be a little smaller than I had remembered it, but it is still big enough providing we are clever with the shelving.   The two end walls are identical, with windows and huge radiators beneath them which is annoying because it wastes space.   However I shall site my worktable at one end and the windowsills are wide enough to hold room boxes or small houses at the street end to tempt people into the museum.

 I was thinking that I would have the work table at the other end but two visiting friends think it would be interesting for people to see me actually working on houses and miniature items through the window.   I am not at all sure I can work tidily enough for that to be possible - as you can see from work in progress on Laura's Life in Books! 

We agreed that the formica panelling would be ripped off, the ceiling would be lowered so that the brown tiles would thankfully vanish from view without too much trouble and the pipes at ceiling level would also disappear.   The pelmets too will be removed - I shall probably install blinds but certainly no curtains.

I should very much like to also dispose of the wash basin but since I do need a water supply I fear I am stuck with it. The broken mirror will go and I have asked that the tiles either be removed or painted white like everything else in the room.   The Czechs have a passion for tiling - it is very rare to see a bathroom that is not tiled from floor to ceiling and I shocked the builder when I refused to have a single tile in mine.   I did allow a small amount of tiling in the shower room!   Some discreet screening around the door and basin should solve the problem.

Lowering the ceiling - a brilliant idea from the Tech Services man -will also mean that it will be worth installing ceiling spotlights as well as having wall lighting.   The present ceiling is too high for spots and has three fairly useless neon lights.

At the moment there are only two power sockets, both on the same wall I think, and so there will be double sockets installed at approx 2 metre intervals around the walls.  (Note to self: I must remember to tell them they need to be about 1 metre up.)    Lighting is key with dolls houses, and most of them need to be lit from the front, so further lighting will be discussed with the local potter who also doubles as the museum expert in a nearby town, Prachatice, which has a lovely little museum of its own.   Prachatice also houses a puppet and circus museum (further note to self: arrange mutual advertising with other museums).

There are already bars on the rear window, which opens onto a very untidy courtyard; these will be painted white and matching bars installed at the other end.   It's a pity that such things are necessary but needs must.....

The floor is the only thing that will remain as it is but once the rest of the room is no longer brown and tatty, the floor will be quite acceptable - and hopefully not show too much dirt.

It was a very satisfactory meeting!   

I went home and concocted a letter to the Mayor to thank him for all his help, and setting out what I believe we have agreed, and a kind visiting friend translated it all for me, together with the help of another friend.   

Cue digression: I have noticed in the past that we are far "politer" in our business dealings than Czechs.   (The inverted commas are deliberate)  We British like to disguise what we are saying or demanding with lots of phrases like "I would be grateful if.....", "Perhaps it would be possible to....", "I wonder whether you might consider.....?" when what we actually want to say is "Do this please!".   That is how the Czechs would do it and so the process of translation, which usually happens in my absence, led to somewhat heated discussions about how best to phrase things.   To my English, Citizens Advice Bureau trained soul, the Czech way is  unacceptably abrupt and to Czech ears the English method is unnecessarily convoluted.   But we managed in the end and since I had asked her, as I always do, to "czechify" it, I really didn't have a leg to stand on.

So for the time being I can stop thinking about dolls houses and turn my attention to packing for the journey home - except that, much to my daughter's dismay, I succumbed to temptation on ebay last night and will have to take a trip to deepest Essex as soon as I get home to collect these .......

I couldn't resist the Tudor ones and it occurred to me that it would not hurt to have one or two houses available for sale once the museum opens - at least that is my excuse and I am sticking to it!  And at £35.55 for six houses I think I have a real bargain......hmm, there's also the diesel cost of driving to the far side of Essex I suppose.

Our other worry, apart from the packing up and a long drive ahead, is that in the past few days we have been adopted by this little mite and it became impossible to not feed her.   We just hope that she will manage to find another equally soft touch amongst the neighbours once we leave on Monday.   I do have great faith in the ability of cats to control the humans around them........

Thank you for still following faithfully - I can't anticipate the timing, or indeed content, of the next post at the moment but I promise that there will be one - I suspect it may feature six Essex houses!

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