Friday, 5 December 2014

Now and Then: the Staircase

 Above, this is what the staircase in our house looked like when we bought the place in 2006. 
Below, what it looks like now.
The photos are taken from the same spot on the first floor landing, but the staircases are in fact different. The original staircase was too far gone with water damage and had to be demolished. We commissioned a new staircase from our local joiners. The old one was made of oak and stained almost black, the new one is made of a hardwood from a managed forest in Ghana. Earlier this year Simon sanded and varnished the staircase so that its natural red colour is beautifully enhanced and protected.

To follow the history of our staircase adventures click here, for all the past posts about this part of our house renovations.

The reason the photos are posted is because Simon has recently been sorting the photos we have taken with our various digital cameras - all 60,815 of them. He was struck by how much work we have done: as he said "you sort of forget how far we have come". more than 10% (6,817) of the photos are of our house and the work we have done on it.
A la cuisine hier: Méndiants are a chocolate studded with fruit and nuts treat that appear on French chocolatiers shelves at Christmas. I usually make them myself, and this year I used a non-standard recipe from Clotilde Dusoulier. This had the added bonus of giving me a batch of homemade granola as well.

For dinner I combined some cooked salmon with some mixed root vegetable mash and made a sort of savoury cake. It was a bit stodgy, but perfectly edible.

I charred some red peppers over the gas, slow roasted some anaemic supermarket tomatoes and set some duck legs to curing for confit. I also chopped and froze the remaining chillies we got from Colin and Elizabeth. A batch of chicken stock burbled away on the wood stove.


  1. And a wonderful staircase it is. Looking at the photos i can almost feel myself making my way down... Well done you (both). I remember it at the beginning and appreciate it now.

  2. Liselle: The staircase was one of the things we did in the house which totally transformed how we live in it.

  3. I'm so so habituated to Facebook i tried to hit Like to this comment.

  4. Liselle: I believe some blog administrators do allow that sort of behaviour...

  5. I've only just found this...
    I wondered yesterday afternoon "why haven't D.ot.C posted?"...
    then got distracted...
    those stairs look abfab!
    As does the whole stairwell!!!
    What a transformation...
    it must be both fun...
    and rewarding...
    to look back and see what you've accomplished.

    And for Liselle...
    Wordpress has recently started with the "Like" button...
    so "Splogger" won't be far behind...
    I'd hazard...

    A Wordpress blogger that Susan and I both follow has started to use the "Like" button to acknowledge posts that they don't really think needs a reply...
    nice idea...
    Kills discussion tho'....

  6. Tim: the feeds for the blog seem to be very erratic at the moment. It's very rare that we don't post at 9am every day, but people are often not getting the notification or picking it up on their blogroll. Dunno why.

  7. Susan it's now 12:35 and no notification I went into DOTC directly to see your latest post. It happens all the time!! C

  8. Colin: as I suspected. I presume it happens to everyone and is some glitch in either Blogger or the feed.

  9. The staircase looks superb!
    I agree, you do tend to forget what it was that you started with....

  10. Fly: the photos don't show just how soft and crumbly the old staircase was, or the smell.

  11. Same here, Susan. I sometimes see two posts at once and one is usually a day late.

    You have accomplished so much, the staircase being an excellent example of the sheer hard work that this has all taken.

  12. Gaynor: I've never figured out why it happens (with the blog post notification being erratic).

    Simon and the artisans were the ones doing the hard work. My role was rounding up the dust after the event usually -- wearing, but not hard work.