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Revisiting the Museum by Auriel Roe

Three weeks of focused toil has achieved the desired result - now the little house in Asturias is cleaned up and organised but preserved in its original style.


A corner of the kitchen with some vintage enamel including an old Mickey Mouse plate. The wooden items on the wall were perhaps for making cheese. About twenty baskets still hang from the ceiling. The wooden box was an old means of storing food and it is where we are now storing pans. The bunch of lavender was given to us by a neighbour. We notice how, in this small farming village, there is a keenness to be friendly and assist. Could this be left over from the days when everyone here lived off the land and their existence depended on mutual kindness and concern?


This is the landing which leads to a balcony and the two bedrooms. An old carved dowry chest sits on a floor of chestnut, the main building material in Asturias. The walls are daubed in lime plaster.


The ceiling on the landing is one of the few that is painted. I'd prefer just the wood but didn't want to strip the paint so decided to repaint it. The light fixture is a renovated gas lamp and we hung up two ornamental spindles which were found in the dowry chest. The use of this shade of red on outdoor wood is often seen on old Asturian houses.


This cosy bedroom has its own little covered balcony which now has an armchair and a view of a field where they were making hay bales last week. The wash stand and prayer stool remain in the corner. I painted the two drab night stands duck egg blue to add colour. They're a bit rickety but the idea is to retain and use most of the contents.


The dogs' bedroom has an interesting slope so not a good room to wake up in with a hangover. Fortunately, the dogs only drink water. The window looks into the study which is a reclaimed part of a very large balcony. The rug on the floor is an attempt to brighten a dull room - it's not often sunny like this. The mattress is an old one, stuffed with wool. It's been cleaned and re-covered. The dogs love the uneven squidginess of it.








Two old irons found rusting in the barn. Cleaned and painted and now doorstops. Note woodworm holes in handle - our neighbour, a retired carpenter, tells us this is a constant battle here. There is a certain decoration on one iron from way before the time this became a dubious symbol.





The facade of the main part of the house, grape vine now in full sail. All the red paintwork has been refreshed. The item above the bench is an old Asturian yoke made of chestnut, also found in the barn and cleaned up.

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