Despite all the cold and windy weather we’ve had in March, progress on the balcony has been steady and exciting. March 11th even saw a combination of hail and snow fall on Scilly although it was a paltry amount compared with the snowfall on the UK mainland. Nevertheless, it was worth a photo so I give you …. hailsnow on the balcony!
Snow/hail on balcony 11-03-2013
Following all that excitement, Steve spent a day indoors in the warm of Golden Eagle’s lounge, laying the underlay on the floor and putting down the gripper rods ready for George the carpetfitter to lay the carpet.
Carpet underlay 12-03-2013
George came over from his home on Tresco on the Wednesday morning and spent a couple of hours laying the new carpet. We’d already bought it on the mainland and had it shipped over in the New Year so it was all ready for him. It actually matches the carpet already laid on the stairs and in the bedrooms and lobby upstairs in Golden Eagle.
Golden Eagle new carpet 13-03-2013
At this point, the balcony itself had been constructed and a rather dull grey fibreglass base laid (it’s visible through the window) but it was still ‘undressed’ in the sense that the railings were being constructed by Clinton and Jamie at Pernic Forge. That all changed with the arrival of a carriers’ lorry on March 26th because on the back of it was a gleaming white balcony railing construction, ready to be lifted up to the balcony and bolted securely into place. It was unloaded onto the grass and, when I posted an image on Facebook, someone commented that it was nice enough to be a piece of modern sculpture and perhaps it should stay there. (I don’t think Peter would be too happy about that when he next came to mow the grass …..)
Golden Eagle balcony railings 26-03-2013
The following morning, Dave and Chris arrived at 8am to help Steve lift the railings up into place and secure it to the balcony. Suddenly Golden Eagle’s balcony was looking spectacular!
Steve on Golden Eagle’s balcony 28-03-2013
But there was still plenty of work to do. The dark grey fibreglass was rather dull and uninspiring so Steve then spent several days meticulously laying some lovely porcelain tiles. They are a soft golden beige in colour and really brought the balcony to life. The afternoon and evening sun on them looks wonderful.
Steve laying the balcony tiles 28-03-2013
The photo above was taken on a rather overcast day with a temperature of about 4 degrees Celsius and a windchill of zero or just below. Steve was right in the teeth of a brisk easterly breeze that made his fingers feel numb and it was a real challenge to carry out such precision work under those circumstances.
Needless to say, he’s starting to get a bit ‘antsy’ after a long winter of very hard work and is desperate to get back to painting now that spring is here. In fact, he currently has five paintings on show in Tresco’s Spring Exhibition and was very much hoping to be able to go across for the Opening Night last night (Saturday 30th March). Unfortunately there were no boats partly due to an island wedding and partly because there weren’t enough people from St. Marys who wanted to go over to Tresco that evening. So he had to give his apologies but we are hoping to go over to Tresco to see the Exhibition some time in the next two weeks.
We did spend four nights on the mainland earlier this month and stayed at The Cornwall Hotel and Spa just outside St. Austell for a couple of nights. That gave Steve enough time to do some watercolour sketching down in Charlestown. The weather forecast hadn’t looked very promising but the two days were actually dry and Tuesday was sunny and warm. While Steve was painting, Lois went on the beach, taking photos and collecting pebbles, and it was warm enough for her to take her coat off and stroll around in a T-shirt!
Painting in Charlestown 18-03-2013
Painting in Charlestown 19-03-2013
We spent a pleasant hour with Paul, Liz and little Eileen at the Atishoo Gallery in Charlestown where they have Steve’s original paintings and a selection of prints. He was really pleased to be able to leave them not one but two acrylic ink sketches that he’d done in Charlestown. Since it was still very cold, we treated ourselves to hot chocolate and delicious cakes at Charlies Coffee House in Charlestown before we left.
The following day, having checked out of the hotel, we decided to go to Trewithen Gardens before heading upcountry to Birmingham to collect Joy for her Easter holiday. Again, it was cold and the sun was very reluctant to shine, but Steve took his painting gear and set up by the beautiful Magnolia Fountain to do a watercolour sketch. Lois spent a happy hour and a half exploring the gardens and watching the red squirrels in their enclosure. Most garden visitors were wary of disturbing him but he’s always happy to chat (unless he’s at a particularly critical point in a painting) and he was soon chatting to a small group who were interested in his work.
Stephen painting at Trewithen Gardens 20-03-2013
Finally, to round off this long blog post, here is a photo of Glandore Gallery and Apartments basking in the chilly spring sunshine.
Glandore Gallery 28-03-2013