Put It In The Airing Cupboard And Have A Cup Of Tea

Greetings and the very best Happy New Year wishes to you all!

I hope you had a truly wonderful Christmas.  Christmas for us was a lovely affair despite the crazy chaos of the build-up and yes, I was more than ready for that bottle glass of Prosecco on Christmas Eve.

Christmas cheer with Mum  (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Christmas cheer with Mum
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

At that point, no matter what (including but not limited to: a threatened water leak from the toilet, television black out – darn, should have bought a new one on Black Friday – and the arrival of a nasty cough and cold generously shared by one and all), I didn’t care what happened.

With all my chicks back in the nest for a few days, a silly hat to wear and a glass of bubbly in my hand, what more could I ask?

But it is great to be back after what seems an age of non-blogging (I missed you!). And non-writing.  That’s right, I haven’t written one word.

I knew it would be impossible for me to return to blogging and writing until now, today.  But it has been an amazingly productive thinking time, a time to ponder what it is I’m doing here and what I really want to achieve in my writing. I’ll be sharing more about this later in the week. Two year’s blogging anniversary coming up, believe it or not!

So how has the year started off for you?  Well, I hope.   Ours kicked off in, well, not the most usual of ways but then you wouldn’t expect anything less from the Summerhouse would you?

Firstly though, hubby and I enjoyed a couple of walks during a brief spell of proper winter weather (two days, oh joy!).  The sort of day when the winter sun casts its pale, white light upon the frost-bitten ground and your breath makes soft clouds in the crisp, clear air.

Somerset Frost December 2014 (c) Sherri Matthews

Somerset Frost December 2014
(c) Sherri Matthews

New Year’s Eve found us at a house party, friends of  friends, none of whom we knew. Their friends had a macaw which was allowed out of its huge cage the size of a small room to sit on a mobile perch with us so that it could join in with the fun.

This macaw is ten feet tall with the wing span of a small plane.  And although, dear readers, who know that I adore all birds, I am usually freaked out by them flapping about inside, particularly if they fly near me.  I am just the same with butterflies and moths. No rhyme or reason, no explanation.

Keeping one rather nervous eye on Mr. Macaw (or Mrs, as his/her owners didn’t know: they are very hard to sex apparently. I did learn some interesting facts about these beautiful creatures), I admit that I found him (as I’ll call him) rather fascinating. Z8600064-Scarlet_Macaw-SPL

So long as he stayed put on the other side of the room.

But then, just as midnight struck, we all jumped up to hold hands and sing Auld Lang Syne, and wouldn’t you know it, that macaw let out an almighty ‘squawk’ and took off, flying in a complete circle mere inches above our heads.

I felt my hair move in its wake.

The strange thing is that I remained calm.  ‘Oh, was that a macaw that just flew over my head?  Well, I never…’ Surreal.

Back home, coughing up a storm by now and finally falling to sleep in the small hours, I was brusquely awoken by the sounds of my despairing daughter crying in her bedroom. I shot out of bed, worried sick as to what might have happened.

She had accidentally spilt a bottle of water all over her brand new laptop and was utterly distraught, thinking she had broken it and had lost all her recent work.

I really couldn’t believe that yet another thing had broken. I was at a low ebb, putting it mildly, plus I could barely talk (I was losing my voice from the coughing at that point) and both Aspie D and I were a crumpled, crying mess together.  Middle of the night stuff will do that to you.

Then at last Hubby emerged (he sleeps like a log), and helped Daughter with practical advise (thank God he is a calm man) as she managed to look up what to do on her mobile phone: stand laptop upside down like a teepee and leave it to dry for a good 48 hours.  The good news is that it was only water, as if it had been something like a sugary fizzy drink, it would have been a bigger problem.  Apparently.

But I also had a great idea and blurted out,  ‘Put it in the airing cupboard!’

I adore my airing cupboard.  It is the answer to so many of life’s problems.  Got caught in a downpour and shoes soaking wet? Stuff them with newspaper and put them in the airing cupboard.  Knocked juice all over homework?  Put it in the airing cupboard.  It will come out crumpled and stained, but at least it will be dry.  Water damaged laptop?  There you go.

And then we had a cup of tea.  The great comfort above all comforts when in a crisis: a steaming, hot mug of sweet tea, my answer to everything.

So that’s how my new year started: Gigantic macaw flew over my head and I didn’t lose it.  Laptop dried out, files saved, crisis averted and Daughter smiling again.  I still can’t talk with more than a squeak but I can read and write. And listen.

There has to be a great message hidden somewhere amongst that lot.

Happy New Year!

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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121 Responses to Put It In The Airing Cupboard And Have A Cup Of Tea

  1. cardamone5 says:

    Dear Sherri:

    Sounds like an eventful holiday. I especially like the airing cupboard. Glad your daughter’s computer was saved, all due to the inventive cupboard no doubt. I don’t know what my reaction would be if someone’s giant pet bird flew over my head. Probably check for bird poop, and not subscribing to the notion that it is good luck. I have a cold too, that will not go away. This morning I had no voice. Ugh. Wishing you a speedy recovery, and looking forward to lots of posts in 2015.

    Love,
    Elizabeth

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    • Sherri says:

      Eventful is the word Elizabeth!! Haha…yes, I’m amazed I stayed so calm. I think a combination of a few glasses of bubbly and feeling rough with the beginnings of this awful cold/cough thing probably numbed me! And I’m so sorry you have succumbed too…thank you for your well-wishes which I also send your way…let’s hope we are both up and running/talking very soon! Sending love right back to you… 🙂

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  2. Oh, Sherri, sometimes the best writing we can do isn’t writing at all, but thinking. And taking a deep breath and enjoying whatever life brings. I’d say you primed the writing pump wonderfully well over your holiday.
    The picture of you with your mother is a delight, one of those special mother-daughter “portraits” that your children will tease you with forever, but will be treasured as well. And your title for this post in one of my favorites and would also make a great title for a published article; readers will turn to it and begin reading based on the charming title alone. Well done!

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    • Sherri says:

      As soon as I let go of all the ‘I really should be….’ thoughts and caved in to the importance of just being and thinking and yes, enjoying the moment, I was truly able to understand this Marylin. Writing dwells in the living 🙂 Haha…yes, I do like that photo of me and Mum! Oh that’s so lovely about the title…I will remember that! Always such a pleasure to read your lovely comments, thoughts and feedback, thank you so much Marylin 🙂

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  3. suej says:

    Not much going on, then? 😉 anyway, joking aside, have a very Happy New Year, Sherri

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  4. restlessjo says:

    So many goodies in here, Sherri! A hint of a walk, I think I caught? 🙂 🙂 And I can’t understand how I haven’t drowned my laptop yet, so when I do the airing cupboard will be on standby!
    So sorry for the many calamities but good to have you back. A soothing New Year hug for you. Stay warm and don’t say a word! (think time sounds excellent as well 🙂 )

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jo…you got me!! Haha….yes, actually, I do have a little walk coming up for you but it won’t be a ‘Somerset Frost’ one…I have another little treat coming up with your name written all over it… next week I hope, so watch this space 😉 So glad you haven’t had that experience with your laptop but now you know what to do in case!! Ahh…well, ’tis life, we all have ’em…to a degree, ha! Thank you so much Jo…I’m so warm now with your lovely New Year hug… *she says with a whisper* Be over to you in a mo, I’m ready for a walk let me tell you… 🙂

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  5. A ten-foot macaw with the wingspan of a small plane — are you sure it wasn’t a pterodactyl escaped into our time through an anomaly? The true writer in you, Sherri, including the wondrous art of exaggeration. I’m sure that when something flies over your head like that in an enclosed space, it can feel quite monstrous. I’m glad you’ve survived the experience!

    Oh, your poor daughter with the laptop experience, and you, Sherri, worrying for her, as mothers are apt to do. I once spilled a whole pint of water over my keyboard and mouse (not nearly as disastrous, but still stressful) when the wind blew my curtain into the room and knocked over the glass on my desk. And you’re right, if you panic and rush to resolve it too quickly, you can make things worse. I remember instinctively turning my keyboard upside down, as well as my mouse, and laying them on paper towel, then resisting using them for 2 days. Probably also gave them the hairdrier treatment just to be sure at the end of the 2 days.

    Thank goodness all ended well with your daughter’s laptop.

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…oh Sarah, you mean you could tell I was exaggerating…just a little, maybe?? You know, now that you mention it, I’m wondering if indeed it was a pterodactyl o_O Well you are wise and wonderful Sarah, you did just what you are supposed to do when water gets spilt onto your laptop (and goodness, what an unfortunate accident,) so your instincts did you wonders! Daughter didn’t touch her laptop for two days either and it’s fine. Phew 🙂 Her laptop is her lifeline and she too has been under the weather with this dreadful cough so she was at a very low ebb and plagued with memories of last year when her then laptop’s hard drive crashed and was non-recoverable. So the golden words, as we both know, is back-up, back-up and then back-up some more!!!! So glad both your laptops dried out. And thank you so much Sarah…for understanding what it’s like to carry these worries as a mum. I need say no more… 🐻

      Liked by 1 person

      • Those hard drive crashes are a nightmare, Sherri. I had Linux as my operating system on my old desktop PC and I thought it was invulnerable to viruses so nothing could get it. But then a Linux update wiped everything. Well, would you believe it? I had a guardian angel whisper in my ear the day before this disaster happened, telling me to open a Dropbox account to back up my novels. And my fabulous computer repair woman retrieved all of my photos from the hard drive, cause she’s a lady magician!
        Will, will, will reply to your email, but haven’t been able to get to the computer much in days, although today I got the cleaning bug (most unusual) and had a super tidy-up, so now have about 10 minutes to do everything on line before signing off.

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      • Sherri says:

        Oh Sarah, this story turns my blood positively icey at the thought of what could have happened to all your work 😮 Wow! Thank goodness, you really do have a guardian angel, what a miracle! Ahh…no worries, absolutely no hurry, I know how it is (and great you obeyed that cleaning bug, I had one before I got back to blogging and felt much better for it!). Have a lovely evening and catch up soon 🙂 xx

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  6. hbobh3415 says:

    Just a “message” of sincere good will towards all. How delightful .

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  7. Happy New Year, Sherri! I had to laugh about the Macaw story. I can picture you cowering in the corner, with bubbly in hand. I’m glad he/she didn’t try and nest in your hair. 🙂
    Sorry to hear you and Aspie D were stressing about her computer, but I’m happy all is well. That would be very upsetting if it happened to me.
    I did very little writing over my break, although I did manage to get one short story in the mail. Other than that, I did a great deal of ‘thinking’ while puzzling. xo

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…that was me!! If it had nested in my hair I would definitely have lost it…I can see the local paper’s headlines now: ‘Mad Macaw Woman of Somerset Goes Crazy’ 😀 Ahh…well, in the small hours when everyone is exhausted from coughing (Aspie D has it too), stressed from memories of last year when her then laptop crashed and was non-recoverable, and just one thing breaking after another, well, I was at breaking point. Normally I would be able to just deal with it and as it turned out the solution was easy. Oh yes, your puzzling. How therapeutic. I used to enjoy puzzles. Perhaps I need to do more. What a great thinking time. That’s the thing with writing isn’t it, so much of it is spent in the thinking and the pondering and the creating as we go about our days. That’s so great about your short story, oh I do wish you the very best with it and hope for good news although I think you said it takes about 6 months to hear? I’m still waiting for news that the Jan edition of the magazine with my article is out…I thought it would have been out by now, but being a regional mag maybe they come out later. I’ll keep you posted! Happy New Year to you once again Jill, and here’s to a glittering writing year for us both! And no stress on the emails… 🙂 xoxox

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  8. An eventful time was had by all…. I have to smile as I can see the humour in the situation, as as things turned out it could have been much worse. Now things can return to whatever passes as normal for you… and I will continue to seek for “normal”. LOL
    Blessings, Susan ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…whatever ‘normal’ is Susan, you got that right!! Thanks so much, always such a pleasure to hear from you. Hoping that 2015 is filled with every blessing for you…hugs ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love your reindeer antlers, Sherri 🙂 Sounds like your holidays were wonderful and surrounded by family and friends- just the way they should be! Even the “perfect” holidays always have some crisis mixed in, but I’m glad to hear that Aspie D’s computer is okay!

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    • Sherri says:

      A good look huh? Haha….thanks so much Heather, just another crisis or two but we do indeed all have them. Hope your Christmas was a wonderful one too and that the New Year brings you abundant blessings. And lots more of those delicious recipes 🙂

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  10. It’s lovely to see you back Sherri, happy new year! John Lennon said Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans’ This sounds like the opening chapter of a good story! I didn’t know macaws were so big – I don’t know anything about macaws – but he/she does sound rather fabulous. And I’d be crying too if I spilt water all over my laptop – there have been several close calls with puppies and kitties making sudden leaps in areas they shouldn’t! Hope good health returns soon and time for the writing hand is found again. xo

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    • Sherri says:

      Lovely to see you too Pauline, and a very Happy New Year to you 🙂 Haha…love that, and yes, so very true isn’t it? I did exaggerate rather about the macaw – poetic license and all that 😉 – but it was huge! Ahh…you are so kind, thank you so much…and I know just what you mean about kitties and puppies, they do have a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time don’t they? Look forward to catching up with you too…have a lovely day 🙂

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  11. She returns and with more adventures! 🙂 Missed you my friend on your blog spot and as always I learn something new from your post. Airing cupboard, I shall be looking it up on google shortly. May the rest of your adventures in 2015 be delightful ones! Welcome back! xoxo ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…so, so happy to read your lovely words my dear friend. Who knows what adventures await for us both? Let’s hope they are fun ones… 🙂 Airing cupboard – it holds the water tank so when heated up it makes for a very cosy cupboard and with shelves in there it has lots of uses 🙂 I would like to sleep in one if it were big enough, lol! Thanks so much for the lovely welcome, makes my heart sing 🙂 ❤ xoxoxox

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  12. Happy New Year. Sorry you’re under the weather. Too much standing under the mistletoe? 😀 😀 😀

    I hoped you’d say the macaw sang along. Glad s/he didn’t leave any pwesents on you as the bird flew around, or aren’t you telling those tales? 😀

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  13. Denise says:

    What a great ending to the story. Hooray for hubby, and the miracle of the modern rugged laptop.

    And my LD doesn’t like butterflies either. When she was about 6 she went into a butterfly house and they went all over her and I think she’s had bad memories ever since.

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…got to have a happy ending right? Oh LD sounds just like me. I went in a butterfly house once too as a child and it put me off for life, so I can totally relate to her! I can’t go anywhere near them now, but I do adore them and their beauty. Looking forward to hearing your upcoming news as and when. Hope you had a super Christmas and may 2015 be a great year for you and your LD’s… 🙂

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      • Denise says:

        It was very strange as we were all around but she was the one they went for. I bet it’s because you were both the cutest person in the group.
        Hope you are having a good year – my move is progressing well so hope to see you soon! Hope you have a great writing year.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Well, I think in my case certainly it was because I was the only one flapping about, just like I do with wasps…must give off some kind of fear scent or something 😉 Oh that sounds great Denise, so happy for you! Keep me posted! Will be lovely to see you again soon…and thanks, here’s to a great writing year for us both 🙂

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  14. You certainly know how to have a unique holiday Sherri, I’d expect nothing less from you 🙂 Glad that it all ended well and that you had a great time. Airing cupboards are great – unfortunately we don’t have one, but there was one in my old family home, nice toasty towels!

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…well, I didn’t want to disappoint Andrea…at least this one didn’t involve a car!! Oh I missed not having an airing cupboard when we lived in the States so now I have to have one…yes, gotta have those lovely toasty towels 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. tieshka says:

    Happy New Year Sherri- I started out New Year’s Eve with Prosecco myself…. hehehe… Good luck with your writing… I’m a bit in the same boat there.. although I hope to be blogging weekly in 2015 at least. I look forward to reading your tales and sharing a few of my own too. Take care.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Tieshka! How lovely to hear from you and a very Happy New Year to you too my friend! Well, what a lovely cheer, a glass of Prosecco we shared virtually, lol 😀 Great to see you again, I look forward to reading your blog and also hearing of your writing updates. Let’s hope that 2015 will be our year…gotta get those books written 🙂

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  16. Yolanda M. says:

    Happy Happy New Year Sherri ❤ Loved the pic of you and your mother – I wore a similar silly hat myself (mine was all red no green bit) 🙂 Hubby and I both had a terrible cold (and cough) and sweet milky tea is my cure-all so your post really made me smile but that is where the similarity ends I'm afraid – no macaws.

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…oh I love your comment Yolanda!! Everything, even down to the rotten coughs and colds and sweet, milky tea…but no macaws, LOL 😀 Lovely to hear from you, and the happiest of New Year wishes to you too…and I really hope you and hubby feel better soon…this is a rotten bug isn’t it? Hugs… ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I think the hidden message is: all problems become solvable after having some tea…which sounds like an excellent idea right about now…. A very happy New Year to you Sherri!

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…you got that right my friend! Tea is the cure-all, no doubt about it 🙂 I’ll share a cuppa with you right now, as I type this…and a very Happy New Year to you too. May it be filled with amazing adventures and wonderful stories to tell afterwards 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Luanne says:

    Sherri, I’m so happy you’re back. So sorry about things breaking down (I so know that feeling!). I’m so intrigued by an airing cupboard! Not that we need that often in dry Phoenix LOL! What a relief about the computer! What a scary event! Happy New Year!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…and I’m so happy to read your lovely comment, thanks so much Luanne 🙂 Well, you know how it is…life huh 😉 Airing cupboard – it’s where the water tank is housed, often upstairs on the landing, and so when the hot water is on, it makes for a wonderfully toasty place to put all your linen, towels, and who knows what on the shelves. We didn’t have one in California either, didn’t need it, but oh I did miss it so much!! Happy New Year to you too…and already you are off to wonderful successes, can’t wait to read more 🙂

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  19. Welcome back, Sherri – you were missed! We had some overlapping holiday experiences – I too had some winter crud that I’m just getting past, but I didn’t let it interfere with enjoying some loved ones! In addition, I’m celebrating hitting year two in blogging also – apparently there was a wave of us that got started around January 2013! Looking forward to continued interaction in 2015 – Happy New Year!

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Shel!! Oh how sweet, it is rather nice to be missed, I admit 🙂 Oh what a shame, so sorry to hear that, but yes, I did the same, was darned if I was going to let it ruin our Christmas (although I was praying that the leak didn’t get worse otherwise we would have been in real trouble – just got the plumber in today and he told us that the pipes at the back were never put in right and had been leaking for ages!!!). Goodness, that’s so interesting! I wonder what it was about January 2013 that made so many of us start blogging then? We should have a special club just for that, lol! Yes, me too Shel, I really look forward to following along (now that we don’t have to keep bumping into one another all over the net, ha!) and here’s to a year ahead filled for you with blessings galore 🙂

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  20. I so enjoyed reading about your escapades, Sherrie. Yes, those British airing cupboards are marvellous places indeed. All’s well that ends well. 🙂 I think I would also have been a bit freaked out by the macaw at such close quarters, especially one that was 10 feet tall. 😆 Lovely photo of you and your Mum. I had to look up what Prosecco was…..I approve. 😉 Hope your voice returns soon. Happy New Year to you and the family. xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, that macaw was rather larger than life, that’s for sure 🙄 Oh Sylvia, you know how I love my bubbly…well, Prosecco is the new Champagne, I love it and would love to share a glass or two with you 🙂 Thanks so much, and I raise a glass to you too, with the happiest of New Year wishes 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Mabel Kwong says:

    What a start to the year for you, Sherri. Glad everything got solved in the end – staying calm and not panicking always solves things. You and your family are smart cookies 🙂 Sorry to hear that you don’t like birds flying around your head. I like birds, but I’m careful when they’re buzzing around me – once one of them socked me in the eye! But I was okay.

    Such a cheerful photo of you and your mum. Happy New Year and all the best with writing and the book this year 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      How lovely to hear from you at the start of the New Year dear Mabel, you know how your lovely comments always bring such a smile to my day (even though it is evening as I type this, but now I’m smiling any time of the day, lol!). Ahh…yes, I adore birds but I do get a little freaked out when they fly near me indoors. Ouch…so sorry to hear that, that must have really hurt, so glad you were okay :/ Thank you so much, and I would wish you the very same, in your writing and in your every day…a beautiful and blessed Happy New Year to you too 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Charli Mills says:

    Welcome back to the world we all write together! What a wonderful story, yet I had not heard of an airing cupboard before. Sounds like something I could make use of here in the wet Pacific Northwest. At the moment, it is wet with deep piles of snow, nearly hip-deep. You and your Mum look so cute in your Christmasy head gear and I’d recognize a good glass of bubbly any day! Happy New Year! I look forward to reading more about your plans!

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Charli, great to see you, thanks so much for your lovely, warm welcome 🙂 Yes, I realised that my American friends wouldn’t be familiar with an airing cupboard after I posted and should have explained. I didn’t have one in California and missed it terribly. It’s a cupboard that houses the water tank so when it’s heated up it makes for a very cosy place to store all your towels and linen, that kind of thing. Yes, you could definitely use one where you live 🙂 We also have radiators here which are handy for putting damp things on…especially cats, LOL 😉 Wow, you do have a lot of snow, that’s deep! Bet it looks so beautiful, I would love snow here. It has gone cold again here but so far no snow. Happy New Year to you too my friend and I look forward to getting back over the the Ranch to catch up with all your news 🙂

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  23. yprior1 says:

    oh happy new year to you too!! and I also get freaked out when birds are in a room – but awesome that you kept your cool when this one was spooked at midnight!
    glad the laptop is okay – never heard of an airing cupboard – but sounds functional and like we all need one. We have a gas fireplace that I hardly ever use – and at the base of it is where I place some things that need to dry – esp. cleats. lol
    oh – and I know what you mean about the “middle of the night stuff” =- and I know for us it is always more challenging when sick or really exhausted – like during a holiday or just lots of running –
    and the tea you mention- ahhhh and mmmm.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi mon amie, how lovely to see you again! I will be over to you asap to catch up!! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you! Yes, you got it, all that stuff is so much worse when feeling low from being sick and exhausted. And that is just how it was. Aftermath of the holiday craziness :/ We keep our water tanks in a cupboard usually on the landing which when heated up makes for a very cosy place for towels and linen and such. I should have explained… I really missed not having one in California 🙂 And as for the tea…well, you know, as I’ve said before…the kettle is always simmering away ready for your visits, not to mention a plate of flies and coolies to go with it 😀 ❤

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  24. Great message indeed! You didn’t let your trials or fear of feathered flappers dampen your spirits for long. I’m glad you got to enjoy your brood over Christmas and the best of holiday cheer! 🙂

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  25. jennypellett says:

    Well at least the Macaw didnt poop on you – or maybe that would have been an odd good luck sign?
    You’re back in the swing before me Sherri, well done- wishing you all the best for a successful writing year.
    Now .. I really must try to get myself focused – Happy New Year too!

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…well, I was glad for that Jenny, I admit 😉 The most surreal thing about it all was that I didn’t freak out!!! Ahh yes, the focus…I’m trying with all my might to do the very same but two days in of my new regime and already I’m scuppered. But there is always tomorrow, right? Thanks Jenny, and I would wish for you the very same, a great year ahead in every way and looking forward to sharing adventures with you along the way 🙂

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  26. lbeth1950 says:

    A lovely day, despite its bumps

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  27. Seems like a great year is unfolding its wings, Sherri. Such events can only hint to an adventurous, joyful New Year. So I wish you a very happy, healthy and creative year. 2014 is gone, good morning 2015. Hope to see you very soon, either here on your blog or on mine. Best as always.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh I love that Evelyne…there’s the wonderful writer in you! ‘Unfolding its wings’…wow, I love that and will make it my motto for 2015, thank you so much 🙂 I look forward to catching up with you and finding out what you have been up to…and hoping you had a wonderful Christmas. I will be over to you very soon…here’s a new day, a new hope and a new year…and the very best wishes for a successful year for you in every way. See you soon 🙂

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  28. Ste J says:

    Welcome back and Happy new Year, why is it that after all the stress of the season, when we get to a holiday something always comes along to bring the stress right back out again, we had bad snow and then no internet for almost a week. I am glad that all the stress is done for you now and hopefully your voice will soon be back and in fine fettle.

    I could imagine you pummelling fellow customers to get a cheap TV lol, perhaps next year, well this year as it now is! I can imagine the horror of spilling anything on my laptop, I’d be a wreck if anything happened to my old beast!

    I am sure it will get a lot better for you this year, I am also intrigued to know what conclusions you have come to about your direction of writing, I wait with bated breath…for about 20 seconds before theatrically gasping for air and then continue to wait normally.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…oh I just read your comment Ste and am laughing cheerfully…see what good you do me? Just as you imagine me ‘pummeling fellow customers’ I am now imagining you ‘theatrically gasping for air’…briefly, lol 😀 Well, I’m glad you aren’t holding your breath too long, I don’t think it will be anything earthshaking…although maybe I should think of something ultra mind-blowing just for shock value. I wondered if you had been affected by the snow we read about on the news. Oh that’s really tough to be without internet for a whole week, that’s like WWIII in this house…just like when Daughter thought she had broken her laptop in the small hours of New Year’s Day. Thank goodness all was not lost. We’ve been through this before when her hard drive crashed last year and she lost everything (she had backed up some stuff but was literally about to to her most recent stuff but was too late, it was an absolute nightmare as you can imagine). Do you still have snow? I hope that you had a great Christmas with plenty of good cheer to celebrate with. Thanks so much for the lovely welcome back, it’s great to see you again and here’s to a great New Year for you…a new dawn, a new day 🙂

      Like

      • Ste J says:

        The snow miraculously cleared up on New Year’s Day…I mean it was there at midnight and then when i awoke a few hours later it had all gone, it was very strange. It was horrible to be without the internet, I ended up just watching repeats on TV when not at work, it would have been a terrible way to spend my days were they not old Doctor Who episodes with pleasingly wobbly sets and dodgy special effects. I would love to see you do some ultra mindblowing now, I accept your decision and await with unbated breath!

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Hmnmm…yes, that is very strange indeed. Glad you are waiting with unbated breath…and also thank goodness for Doctor Who..the old ones. Just great. I’m still scared of the Cyber Men and the Daleks…

        Like

  29. Nothing quite like a gigantic macaw to start your year 🙂 Seriously though, great message here!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…nothing quite like it indeed!! So glad you got some kind of message…I wasn’t quite sure what it was, so that’s good to hear, thanks so much Christy! Happy New Year once again to you 🙂

      Like

  30. TanGental says:

    glad you’re back, kiddo, and looking forward to more mad budgie stories from your summerhouse. Is it heated btw? If not then according to my bro down in Dorset there have been some sharp frosts so wrap up. I must tell you about the albatross the axe and the African bookshop sometime; the macaw put me in mind of it.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hey my lovely pal!! How are you? Haha…sure there will be plenty more ‘mad budgie’ stories to come out of the summerhouse. I use a little fan heater which keeps it toasty. It’s a small little space so easy to keep warm 🙂 Yes, we have had some sharp frosts (and I didn’t get to cover my geraniums in time, darn..) but I love it. Oh I would love to hear your story, sounds absolutely fascinating, but then all your stories are. I will be over to catch up with you asap…hope the book sales are going well, and a very Happy New Year to you 🙂

      Like

      • TanGental says:

        Been chatting to Charli Anne Norah and Lori about the perils of the indie author and marketing. Not good at that bit so the sales have dried through lack of effort. Still I now have a bundle of paperbacks to flog. Off to the local bookshop to see if I can host an event… See you soon

        Liked by 1 person

  31. Happy New Year Sherri – good to see/read you back here 🙂 More than one great message in this post I think!

    Like

  32. Very Happy New Year to You, Sherri –
    I love your photo of the frosty Somerset grass and gate –
    those are the sorts of walks that give you a shot in the arm for a good long time…
    I’m so with you about the airing cupboard. In this cold weather, I quite fancy moving into mine!
    Have a good year –
    best wishes,
    Emma 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…I too would love to move into mine Emma, it is the coziest place in the house!!! Yes, you describe those kind of frosty days so perfectly, they are a wonderful assault to the senses aren’t they? Lovely to see you back to blogging, I look forward to reading more of your adventures this year…and a very Happy New Year to you too, may it be filled with blessings galore ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Mahesh Nair says:

    Happy New Year to you and family, dear! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Sherri says:

    Thank you my friend, and a very Happy New Year to you and your family too 🙂 Oh…and, guess what? I finally watched all of BB!! When I’m caught up, we must discuss 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mahesh Nair says:

      We must, we must, we must. In fact I wanted to ask you about BB and typed my question, only to delete it. Perhaps you figured out that I wanted to ask 🙂 and you responded. So when you get time, write to me about the last 2 episodes. Eager 🙂

      Like

  35. Marie Keates says:

    It wouldn’t be Christmas without a few disasters would it? Flying birds don’t worry me because I used to go into the aviary to feed ours as a child but I know a lot of people are troubled by them. Our Christmas was quiet with a few health problems for me. I’ve been suffering with gastritis for the last month or so but I’ve got some medicine now so, hopefully, all will be fixed soon.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      No, it really wouldn’t unfortunately 😉 Oh yes, I remember reading about your aviary! Despite our menagerie growing up and then with my kids, we didn’t really ‘do’ birds, apart from a yellow canary which died from Aga fumes, poor thing, and Zebra Finches which my ex insisted on keeping in a cage in our bedroom until their infernal squeaking went too far and I put my foot down so we sold them back to the pet store as they kept breeding!! But I really do love birds, honestly 🙂 So sorry you have been under the weather Marie, gastritis is horrible, do hope you feel much better soon…

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Welcome back Sherri. You were missed and am waiting now impatiently to know what you have decided for your writing. Perhaps a bottle of proseco helped with the coping of the flapping mcCaw. what fun. I can just see your New Years evening – surreal alright. Funnily Roger spilt a drink on my laptop trackpad (I’d lent it to him as his had gone to God thanks to a virus -hope you are getting better by the way) and whammo drink spilt. I used the blotting paper followed by a huge box with open laptop filled with rice. Left for 48 hours – better but still wobbly. A couple of weeks later it now seems fine but I made him pay for a few days. Anyway great to have you back. We’ll walk and talk soon.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…I think the bubbly definitely helped o_O Couldn’t make it up could you? Oh dear…looks like we weren’t the only ones to suffer a laptop near-disaster! Funny you say that about rice as Daughter came across that on the internet during her frantic search for a cure on her phone when this all kicked off, but her laptop would be difficult to open and she was afraid of doing more damage. Still, whatever works and so glad your laptop is okay now….but yes, sure Roger had a few reminders, LOL 🙄 Despite my best laid plans and all that, I might have to disappear again as I’m still having laptop issues and it’s looking more and more like I’ll have to replace it with a new one which I’ve been putting off for ages, but so many things keep going wrong that I think I will have to bite the bullet. I’m dreading it though, learning how to use Windows 8 and Office 2007 (I still use 2003, for which there is now no support from Microsoft since last April I’ve recently discovered) but I know it will all come gradually. Just don’t want the hassle, but better than having a dead laptop…needless to say I’m backing up constantly! Thanks so much Irene, great to be back and I will catch up with you…still on a bit of go slow, takes ages to get back into the swing of things. So far as my writing, it’s nothing major, but just sharing some thoughts I’ve had these past couple of weeks and where I hope to go with these thoughts and how! Looking forward to that walk and talk my friend…have a great Wednesday 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Funny if your daughter and I were on the internet at the same time as that is where I got the idea of rice. I suggested the same to my brother when he thought he had a water leakage affecting his camera. Instead he used a hair dryer and then took to it with a shoe. Needless to say it still doesn’t work.
        You won’t know yourself with modern technology and I’m sure your daughter will be able to help you. Othewise just ask how to on google or even your blog – everybody will be pleased to help.
        Great – i’m looking forward to it too.

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Oh that would be a funny coincidence wouldn’t’ it! Oh dear, no wonder your brother’s camera still doesn’t work, yikes o_O Yes, you are so right Irene, as always. Just a matter of learning a few new tricks, but I know it will all be worth it in the end. Hoping to get it all underway next week. Have a great weekend my friend 🙂 ❤

        Like

  37. Lee J Dawson says:

    Hello Sherri. Sounds like you have been having a break too. Here’s to a productive writing year for both of us in 2015. Sorry to hear that you’re having problems with coughing and losing your voice. I recently had to see a specialist because I’d lost my voice. The investigation via tube & camera showed that inflammation and infection were causing muscles to close over my vocal chords to protect them so, like you, my voice was just a mere squeak. This was solved by a technique called nasal douching. It’s a simple procedure using cooled boiled water, salt and bicarbonate of soda. You could perhaps ask your doctor for more advice. Hope you feel better soon.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Lee! Wow, what a lovely surprise. Long time, no see! How are you? I often popped by your blog to see if you were back and hoped that you were alright…so lovely to see you again! I thought I had seen a blog post email alert from you when I got back to blogging, but I’m still in process of catching up so hadn’t made it over to you yet..but now here you are! Goodness, so sorry to hear of your voice problems. I’ve had a couple of bouts of voice loss the past year so yes, I will definitely keep an eye on things if it doesn’t improve. I am able to speak a little better today, but still quite squeaky. So glad you feel better and that it was resolved with the nasal douching and not surgery, although I’ve never heard of such a procedure, I admit! So yes, let’s hope that not only our voices behave but that 2015 is indeed a great writing year for us both…Happy New Year Lee, great to have you back ‘old’ friend 🙂

      Like

  38. Amy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your stories. Hope you are feeling better…
    Wish you all the best in 2015, Sherri!

    Like

  39. Steven says:

    I’m liking the new red carpet up to the summerhouse door and …(gasps)… is that cake for me?

    What an incredibly eventful holiday in so many ways, Sherri P… I would expect no less by now. That photograph is hilarious, and totally encapsulates the spirit of Christmas! Certainly a keeper.

    The macaw incident is quite something. Macaws are beautiful birds. SO loud when they want to be, though. I’m not sure how I’d react to having one fly through my hair – like you, I’m oddly nervy of birds and anything with wings when they’re flapping amok indoors. It’s strange, really. I’d be fine with it otherwise. My parrot – an African Grey – broke out of its cage once (it has a bad leg and can’t walk very well, so doesn’t normally come out) and I was horrified! I love how you were totally unfazed. Maybe it was shock 😉

    Clearly, your airing cupboard is sparkling with the same magic as your umbrella. That’s a miracle about the laptop! Phew! Crisis averted. Fortunately I think they have developed laptops to be a bit more susceptible to such things these days, given how often that sort of thing must happen (I once fried my wireless router by essentially throwing a cup of tea all over it). Thank goodness, eh!

    It’s all this kind of stuff that makes Christmas what it is, I suppose… it wouldn’t be the festive season without stressful events! But it always seems to pull itself together in the end, and it’s nice to hear you had a good time. Hope the cold clears up soon!

    With Twelfth Night now out of the way, on we trot with the rest of the year I suppose… To 2015 🙂

    Great to be back. Now, what’s for tea…?

    JG xx

    Like

  40. Sherri says:

    JG!!! Well I’m thrilled you arrived, right on time and yes, that cake is all for you!! I had a right old spring clean and everything…and now here you are, yay!!! Turn up the music, trump it from the rooftops, swing from the chandeliers, JG is back in town, woo hoo 😀
    You know things don’t change around here, still the summerhouse is crammed full of misadventures of every kind and yet, yet…hmmm…I honestly don’t know how I remained so calm with that macaw. And I had no idea you had an African Grey! Daughter would be very jealous, she has been working on me for years, I say years, to get one. But can you imagine, in our tiny house with the two cats? Oh but wait, you have cats don’t you! I suppose they just get used to one another, much like with the snake and the hamsters. You knew about Charlie slithering off into snake heaven I think didn’t you? Now she has an African Land Snail called Vladimir. Yes, all true.
    Yikes, so you actually used my cure-all, the wonderful mug of hot tea, to fry your rooter? Now that’s a new one on me! The things we do. I think I need a new laptop and I’m dreading it, I don’t want to switch to Windows 8 and get Word 2007 and learn all that new stuff. But this Dell is on its last legs so I do need to bite the bullet. Oh well…what matters is you are back JG and what larks we shall have, and shenanigans and high jinks once again!
    Now, is that one lump or two with your tea and one slice or two of delicious chocolate train cake….?

    Like

    • Steven says:

      Not quite on time… fashionably late, as I prefer!

      Yep, had an African Grey, Tiggy, for over eight years now (though s/he was born way back in 2000 – fifteen years, can you believe it!?). I don’t know its sex either – they are very hard to determine. I tend to prefer it to be a cheeky boy whereas everyone else is convinced it’s a girl. For what it’s worth, none of my cats have ever taken any notice of him/her whatsoever. I was lucky to get Tiggy for next to nothing from a friend, though – they are very expensive otherwise.

      My computer is starting to show its age too… it’s quite old now, slowing down and I fear I may have to surrender to the beast of Windows 8 too. Harrowing though it will be, I bet within two days we’ll not know any different. Always the way!

      High-jinks! Great Scotland Yard, high-jinks sound good to me!

      Like

      • Sherri says:

        Wow, a long time! They live to a good old age don’t they, these parrots? Love the name Tiggy 🙂 Oh you are so right, it’s just that feeling of having to learn something new, which is silly really. Just gotta bite the bullet and all that as ‘they’ say, whoever ‘they’ are. Have a great weekend JG…and meanwhile, don’t get up to too many high-jinks. Or you will be hearing ‘Great Scotland Yard!’ from beneath my magical brolly and some very stern looks, haha 🙂

        Like

  41. Rachel M says:

    Happy New Year to you too, Sherri! It sounds like you had an eventful evening. Ours was much less exciting – we were asleep by midnight.

    Like

  42. Pat says:

    Oh my, Sherri, given all the responses you’ve received so far, you’ve surely been missed, my friend, and me included. I missed you. I’m happy to hear the New Year came in with a little celebration and only a few minor disturbances (10′ macaw — Wow!). I hope you are feeling better by now and can talk.

    I never heard of an airing cupboard and had to Google it. Do you have a picture of yours. i can see where it would come in handy but never would have thought it would help a watered-down laptop. Kudos to your hubby for coming to the rescue and putting all back in order.

    Happy to see you back and wishing you and yours all the best in the New Year. May all your dreams come true and even more. Hugs. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Pat! How lovely to read your lovely comments, I’m sorry I didn’t get to reply earlier, as usual playing catch up. So kind of you, oh it is nice to be missed I admit, but it’s been great seeing you over on Facebook and keeping in touch over there. Love it! The airing cupboard is just that – a single cupboard housing the water tank so that when the hot water is on, it is lovely and cosy in there. With shelves built in it’s ideal for linen, towels and airing out damp clothes. And of course daughter’s laptop, phew 🙄 I really missed not having one in California! Thank you so much for your lovely, kind wishes, and I would wish the very same to you my friend. I’m over to you now… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pat says:

        Good to see you over there, too, Sherri and to have you back. I’m glad you had a good holiday and that everything worked out.

        I can see where something like an airing cupboard would save the day. Looks like it would be a good thing to have around. Take care and thanks for coming over. Hope you have a great week! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  43. My goodness Sherri! Talk about starting the year off with a bang. I can just see that huge macaw flying over your heads!! I hope you have regained your voice. The photo of you and your mother is adorable!!!

    Like

  44. It’s so nice to have you “back”. Back in the blogosphere. So happy you had a beautiful holiday. The picture of you and your mum is awesome. You had me laughing out loud at the “should’ve bought a new TV” after your post about the shopping craziness. I believe one of the main items was a TV, no? Um, so this macaw is seriously ten feet tall? Like beak-to-tail ten feet? I had no idea they were that large. It is a gorgeous bird but I might have stayed on the other side of the room, too. Wow. Well, a hot mug of tea later, and all is well. I am very glad about that.

    Happy New Year! 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks so much Sarah 🙂 Good to be back. Haha…yes, well you remember well my thoughts about Black Friday and those ‘wonderful’ TVs 😉 Well, I did exaggerate a little, I admit, about the macaw…poetic license and all that, ha! It was pretty big though, probably about three feet from tip of tail to top of head. It is gorgeous, very similar to this pic in colour. And yes, gottta love that cuppa! Happy New Year Sarah…I hope it’s a great one for you and see you soon 🙂

      Like

  45. Imelda says:

    Good advice, Sherri. 🙂 we did not have a macaw flying over our heads but we did lose our voices and holiday vacation days to coughing and such. we also have a gaping hole in the bathroom, one my husband made in the middle of the night to fix a leaking pipe. Sometimes, life is put in perspective I rather unpleasant ways 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh dear…life’s rich pattern. Hope you get the gaping hole fixed soon, so sorry to hear that 😦 We just got our leaking toilet fixed, thank goodness it didn’t get worse over Christmas 😮 Hope you are all recovered too from your bouts of nasty coughs and colds too. The New Year must be better than all that! Here’s to great year ahead for us both Imelda…no more leaks – or gaping holes – or flying macaws… 🙄

      Like

  46. Sherri the bird looks amazing. This time of year things just go skewed. We think the new year we will be immune from lifes challenges. Well for about the time it takes you to cheer in the new year with a renewed optimism. Its a work in progress I fear. Happy New Year and so happy laptop was okay phew.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      I thought of you with the bird Kath, thinking what a most beautiful drawing you would make of it 🙂 Thanks so much, and a very Happy New Year to you too…here’s to wonderful 2015 with plenty of that renewed optimism 🙂 xx

      Like

  47. I’m very late here. Still trying to catch up. My daughter is afraid of indoor birds as well. I think it’s a primitive reflex left over to be afraid of things flying at your head.
    I must admit, I’ve never heard of an airing cupboard. Maybe you can enlighten me. I’ve never had an accident with the laptop but lost 2 phones. One had my morning coffee for me, followed quickly as I was mopping up, the glass of water on my headboard. Was that a morning!! The whole bed needed mopping up. Yes, there is a cuppa on there right now, with a lid on it. 🙂
    I’m sure you are feeling better by now. Did we have a new year???? I think I missed it. Yours sounds like it was interesting to say the least. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha….oh Marlene, I read your comment and I’m so sorry, but the way you write this I can’t help but laugh! Not at your misfortune – and what a morning that was indeed, yikes! – but at the wonderfully, witty way you write 🙂 Not only coffee on your phone, but then, your whole bed… how awful 😮 Glad you retained your sense of humour throughout though. Good to look back and laugh but at the time…
      As for new year’s, yes, well it was eventful and after that things went downhill. So perhaps that huge bird flying over our heads wasn’t such a good thing. Things are looking up again, thank you so much, but I told Hubby that next year we’re staying home and putting the covers over our heads with not a bird in sight 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh and one more thing, sorry forgot…an airing cupboard is just a small cupboard that houses the hot water tank, usually on the landing at the top of the stairs. It’s lovely and cosy, great for storing towels, bedding and night clothes. I could live in there 🙂 I missed not having one in California.

      Like

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