Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Miss Harriet Sprig

For ages & ages I've been meaning to write a post about our friend Harriet.
One hell of a woman. Harriet is around 73 years old.
She lives by herself in an old shepherds hut next to the house that she's been doing up for the last 30 years.
Shy as a mole is Harriet but once you get her talking she tells the most amazing stories.
She went to boarding school in her youth & says she had to break the ice some mornings on the bath water. Consequently she's not very keen on baths these days. (Not such a good idea to get too close on a warm day).
Her Father was a parfumier in London.
Richard tells the story of cutting up a log of Sandalwood that her father had given her; the smell so heavenly it felt like a drug.
She went to Goldsmiths college in the late 40's & had a high old time learning the art of furniture making. She now restores antiques, including clocks. Don't be fooled though, she doesn't sit around inside twiddling with small bits of brass. The time before last when we went to visit her, she was up on a scaffold; a scaffold she had made herself from pine logs from her wood lot. She was rendering the house. She's made all the windows, doors & staircase; in fact anything that's made of wood & a lot that isn't too. Richard says if she doesn't have the tool for the job, she just makes it.
I've been wanting to take a picture of her but felt it may intrude too much. This afternoon she came with us to Gunton hall to measure up for a large octagonal dressing table that she may make for the house.
So here she is in typical Harriet mode, with a drill in one hand helping Richard fix the curtain rods.


kelly said...

Sounds like a wonderful character. We should have gotten her and Bob together. Who knows? Maybe she would have been wife #8?!? :-)

JoeyJoJo said...

What a fantastic thought. Maybe they'll catch up in the hereafter... he'd probably have to be Bob Sprig though...knowing Harriet.