There’s no doubt about it, the mornings are chillier and the evenings are getting darker. Autumn is on its way! Season of mists, mellow fruitfulness and Strictly Come Dancing. I bet John Keats is tangoing in his grave the very thought of it right now.
The thing is, that what with the cooler weather and the switch around in the living room, a hint of draughtiness has started to make itself felt chez nous. It’s not a gale, and I’m sure the woodburner will compensate when we get it all fired up, but it has made me think about getting a new door fitted.
I mean, what’s the point of having one end of the room all toasty and snug, only for the other end to ruin the effect? And there is no doubt about it, old houses do ‘breathe’ – as an estate agent might say – in a way that modern ones just don’t.
To be honest, what brought all this into focus wasn’t just the weather. My friends Will and Amy have just had a loft conversion done and in the process they had to get new doors fitted. It seems you have to have special fire doors to meet with the building regulations if you’re moving up a floor. The things you learn eh?
Anyway, when Amy first mentioned ‘fire doors’ she had a face as long as a wet weekend in Wolverhampton. I think she’d imagined her dreams for all that extra space being ruined by the sort of horrible things you used to get at school – you know the ones with the wire in the glass and the institutional handles. I know that’s what I first pictured when she said ‘fire doors’.
As it turns out, thanks to some very helpful people at a place called Todd Doors that her builder recommended she’s actually got some really lovely panelled wooden doors. They look absolutely amazing! They’re oak, which is rich and warming and textured, and they’re panelled in a way that manages to look traditional and modern all at the same time. But – and here’s a thing I’d never thought about – they are incredibly solid. You know how some old doors make you think that you could bash through them any time you wanted – the ones that sound kind of hollow and cheap? These are the exact opposite of that.
Who’d have thought you get all excited about a couple of doors? But they are lovely.
So, what with Amy and her all-new, all-swinging (ho ho!) all dancing doors and the nights getting that little bit cooler and draughtier I was starting to think about maybe persuading Dean that we should make that the next phase of the house rescue programme. I’m not sure we can run to the full-on loft conversion right now – and Will and Amy did look pretty stressed for a while.
But Rome wasn’t built without a dado, as I’m sure I heard Bruce Forsyth once say. So in the best Strictly tradition I’m going to suggest that we just take it one (door) step at a time!