Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The House that a Tragedy (and Renee) Rebuilt

My sore knee and I, crutches in hand, returned to HH today after a week of convalescence (interpret as "and me going stir crazy not being at HH"). But it was worth the pain ...because look what was there to greet my return...

I know, my life has officially been reduced to the arrival of a builders' storage shed! But, this is symbolic don't you see!  This was the first sign of progress back at HH. It means the builders are lurking somewhere close because this is their storage shed. And we all know what they store in it (actually we don't - only the builders really know that!) - but for all intents, surely there must be tools at the very least  in it isn't there?

And don't tools mean potential rebuilding?  This photo was the one which greeted me the first day back in 2013 - I love that sight - lots of utes, lots of fluro builders vests and lots of builders and - of course - progress!

Sadly this visual has been replaced by this one the last few weeks since the fire

But, as if the garden knows more than you or I, look what is currently blooming amidst all the ashen chaos

So it might just be a shed to you, but to me it is much more - it is symbol of hope. And providing that everyone else starts behaving the way of the flora, maybe it won't be long before the fluro building brigade returns to paint the town (or specifically the Green Lady) red!

Rest assured, I will report it here the very minute it happens! So stay tuned! Heart Hanworth House will be sure to feature any breaking news on this front!

After all, any two days are never the same at this joint. Ask this gal!

Meet Renee - aka PA HH.  She came to us late last year - we needed a PA desperately. She was looking for "a job in which 2 days were never the same" Let's just say it was a match made in Hanworth heaven (or in hell considering what she has had to endure the last 6 months and depending on your perspective).  Here is a whirlwind..

This was her first day on the job

Lucky it is a cupboard she has her head in and not the oven! She did not bat an eyelid when "contacting the gross cupboards" inserted its way into her position description on day 1!

Nor did she complain when cleaning a midget fridge found its way as her responsibility

or supervising whitegoods removals

Occasionally, such as in the case of post-fire, trading in her exquisite Alannah Hill shoes for work boots was required out of necessity (rather than choice!)

And, at HH, one catastrophe seems to beget another - such as a week after the fire, this semitrailer decides to overturn right outside HH and close the entire road for hours and send the smell of damp bad rubbish our way until late evening

However, on the bright side, we did get to see the hunky firemen from the week before again (so life was not all bad!) So we celebrated that! We could not get home so what else was a girl to do?

 But no one could have ever predicted her workplace would be devastated by fire and be reduced to looking like this overnight

or that the office we worked so hard to create (including this glorious stationery cupboard)

would  be reduced to this in the fire

PA HH had raised 5 beautiful children - of course she could organise a stationery cupboard with military precision! And of course she could endure the hardships which come each day.

but the job as PA HH was not all that bad

PA HH must have known a love of champagne was a pre-requisite for the job 

and that she could still get dressed up for special occasions - PA HH  made this Easter outfit - can you believe it?  She made it! There are bunnies on it, go look closely! I dare you!

And her workplace employment agreement provides a continual outlet for office creativity and humour

Even the fire would provide a golden opportunity to see a humorous side (when I really was unable to see any funny side).

And in her role as PA HH, she has been driven to the lofty heights of high level executive decision making - we made a pact to live on the edge after the tragedy we had endured:


No sense in wasting valuable working time looking at a plain white plastic or stainless steel kettle when purple was on offer!

But more than anything, we share  - a love of beautiful daughters, families and friends...

A mutual love of Fridays at Four (and a philosophy that if we can't solve a problem, a little help from something  French is never unwelcome!)

and we collectively live by the credo that no two days spent at the office should ever be the same ! No chance of that ever happening for Team HH.

So that was today!  In closing, I promised your my impression from the last post - Remember this picture I posted?

This is actually on the current sooty kitchen wall. Remember I talked about the HH history? And all the women involved in it? Well correct me if I am wrong, is not the tallest figure on the right a woman (from the 1800s perhaps?) - women facing right with bustle on the left and large hat?  And are there not two other women and a child in the photo. I am sure there is - can anyone else see it?

I am not completely sure. But I swear there is something in this graphic on the kitchen wall - I think this is more about the Spirits in Hanworth House asserting themselves as I shared with you in my previous post  - read the Spirit post here.  Or maybe, just maybe, perhaps I am just hallucinating due to the effects of the fire fumes I work with each day recently!

On that eerie note, goodnight

x HH 


  1. Start by doing the necessary;then do what's possible;and suddenly you are doing the impossible!
    Saint Francis Assisi
    Love it! The pictures of movement at HH are fab!
    Cheers to PA HH,what a gem!
    After looking,re looking & looking again...I can see the figures,But Im wondering if French bubbles have hallucinating properties?????hope so!
    Cheers HH Team & happy new beginnings!
    X Anna

    1. thanks Anna. Maybe you are right re the French bubbles. PA HH is a gem! Happy Friday!

  2. Red frogs next to the purple kettle?

    1. Of course always red frogs at the Green Lady. Sure way to win traffic to the office!

  3. Great Blog Post. I sure can see a book coming on......

  4. Oh do you think so? I am just so loving telling the everyday little things. I am just so chuffed when people like it. It is so unexpected. Thank you! x HH