Friday 26th August and the birth of the obsession.
Following a brief conversation with my daughter on how it wasn't completely certifiable to still crave a doll's house at sixty-five and having trawled E-Bay for a couple of days looking for one I decided to go the whole hog and buy a new one from Dolls House Emporium. Ripley is an hour and a half's drive from where we live so it shows a level of determination on my part and patience on Ken's.
We returned with two huge flat packs - Wentworth Court itself and the free Burghley Basement. I had chosen the ones which are finished outside to cut down on some of the work/time.
For at least the next two weeks much of the real house was overrun with the construction process.
I began with a full size cardboard mock up of how I wanted to re jig the various rooms and staircases which, retrospectively, was a good idea even if it did slow me down. Being able to see what I thought I wanted in 3D made me realise that it isn't wise to cut up room spaces any smaller than they already are in a standard sort of doll's house. Most rooms are about twelve inches by twelve inches, representing twelve feet by twelve feet. In real life these are fair sized rooms; alas in 1/12th scale furnishing them with the minimum amount of furniture can fill them up pretty quickly and if you want to retain any semblance of real miniaturisation you still have to allow room for the inhabitants to move about.
I gave in and pretty much built the pack as it came even though the stair access doesn't make any real sense. I did leave out a dividing wall in the basement (knocking two rooms into one) and sawed off the stair wall of the top floor to visually open up the bedroom space.
Then came the nightmare of dividing up the various interior walls for decorating. I thought it seemed a good idea to decorate before the build and then I wouldn't be trying to hang paper and paint walls in squished up spaces. It seems very simple until I was faced with several pieces of kit and had to work out which surface represented which wall of which room. A dry build using lots of masking tape and carefully wrapping various surfaces with paper, so the tape didn't mark the outside, helped a little.