I have been talking about wanting to do blacksmithing for years; well, basically I should book myself a 3 day course sometime soon as a taster session. I did so enjoy the bowmaking course I did a while back.
Based on whether I think I could enjoy blacksmithing and what I think I need to get started and whether it would be possible to do this indoors, this will kind of make my decision on whether to stay in my current house or not. I'm currently in a fixed-rate mortgage until November 2011, so either way it won't mean a move any time soon.
If I need another place, I want a detached place with fewer but bigger rooms, somewhere that people won't mind me making a racket by forging. I had a tentative look online but nothing immediately jumped out within my price range within Gloucestershire. This got me back into thinking about plans for an extension - hearing of chocojon's recent improvements made me less fearful of the undertaking - and if I could factor in a place suitable for forging and ensure the lounge area was detached enough, this would essentially fulfil my detached needs and may be cheaper than moving. I actually quite like my current location - it's convenient, close to others within Cheltenham so they don't feel it's a major trek to get to the house, close to major transport links and also close to open space.
Yesterday I trimmed and tidied the front garden in anticipation of the party this weekend, and my neighbour opposite was trimming her hedge laboriously with a pair of shears. So I offered her the use of my hedgetrimmer which she gladly accepted with a bit of tuition. It felt good to be able to help people.
My next door neighbour came out to shoot the breeze and also offer his services as a gardener. He was keen on doing it regularly which I'm not so keen on, but it comes at a convenient time so I asked him to clear the back garden of weeds today. I'll get him to do the fencing (possibly with me) that I've been meaning to do and swap the stones for turf or at least seed the garden with grass seed when the fence is in.
The next step with the house regardless of what happens next will be to hire a skip and throw away all the crap that I've accumulated through continuing to live like a student. I can certainly use extra manpower and motivation with that so I'll be happy to have the help.
After that, ev1ldonut and I have tentatively agreed to get a cleaner in every so often to help keep the house clean.
Roleplaying last night was an affair loud with laughter for pretty much the entire evening, which was awesome to be a part of. Ensuing hilarity with one of the party starting part-petrified as a direct consequence of choosing to skip a couple of weeks' sessions as she had 'better' things to be doing. We started writing a list of 101 things to do with a part-petrified halfling, which she took great offence at and the rest of us took great delight in teasing her with ;)