A bit of a lean in every direction


Which accurately describes this would be bit of stabling I’ve constructed at the back of the premises but no horse only a pony.  Needs must and I couldn’t find a horse sized chappy that I wanted to buy so now in my imaginary story-line there’s some professional person in the neighbourhood of the coaching in who needs a pony and trap but has no room for stabling so this must be a livery stable too.


I should confess as to why I’m faffing around at the back of the building playing with the pony and not getting on with the larger problems.

Trying not to flap

as this could lead to a very strong drive to set fire to whatever is already prepped and created in total frustration with self and ideas.

What usually happens is I get ‘the hump’.  I slob around going from one task to another, be it mini or full sized, and can’t summon up the umph to sort out the most basic of domestic or modelling problems because some other part of my brain is draining all the juice to work on the puzzle-mess I’ve set myself.

Actual cause of this minging around?

On previous builds (all of which had their own prolonged moments of ‘AAAAgh!’) I often got around or out of it by taking something apart or extending the structure a little here and there or even on the odd occasion letting it grow by lots and lots.

As this build has a very restricted size that absolutely cannot be extended I’ve been getting myself overheated trying to work out how to shoehorn as much as possible of the things I’d like into the limited spaces I’ve left myself.  Nothing dramatic in any way whatsover but really annoying.

The build

At 24″ long almost a third of it is an empty archway – into which a few figures of travellers may later appear – which leaves the little old lady living to the right of the archway trying to squeeze a bed, table, chair, cooking fire a door and two windows in a space 12” x 8”.  Doable but will take a bit of fiddling I think but not so bad.

Why is the middle archway so big?  Well, so were the coaches of the time and, although I’ve compromised a little on the size, I found that letting it get any narrower just didn’t look quite right.

So what’s getting me going?

The real problem that has set me off is the box space on the left 9″ x9″, the tavern ‘scene’ into which I’d ideally like to place:

  • three or so travellers
  • the odd local drunk
  • a barman/woman
  • a bar of some sort (the barman/woman has to lean somewhere)
  • shelves/hooks/ possibly the odd barrel(?)
  • the external door to be hung on the opening frontage but that looks as if it has space left for it to open and let folk in
  • at least one more window
  • seating for drinkers and travellers


to have fairly clear sightlines to:

  • the fireplace corner
  • the figure planned for by the fire
  • the stairs
  • the other folk.

Anyway, ultimately it was the door placement and space it would take up that set me off this time; until then it had been going quite well but the moving of said door from the archway wall blew all the other placements out of sinc.  There doesn’t seem to be space for a door to open and have a bar of some sort and still see the fireplace/foot of the stairs.


There will be a solution or there won’t but at the moment I’m working around it half pretending that it will go away by itself while sneakily creeping up on it.

When stuck I like to go to source materials and somehow they help me to think things through.  Thus I’ve turned to period paintings and cartoons of the time.  I’m looking at the work of Cruikshank, Gillray and Rowlandson for ideas.   I find it helps release my mind and as I relax into gentle observation of what might be going on in any scene somehow things can often shake out simply by letting go.

So, slightly more cheery I am now working on details such as the fireplace corner with particular reference to a piece of work by Rowlandson.

The Rowlandson image has kindly given me ideas for the fireplace but also reminded me that I ought to squeeze in a clock of a goodly size too.  Coaching inns need an easily readable time piece as the mail and other regular coaches have to keep to a timetable (however elastic due to weather and very bad roads), this tavern being a way station on the route.

Oh boy, looking at the Rowlandson I probably should also have a go at making the odd clay pipe shouldn’t I?

2 responses »

  1. I love these challenges! Well, sometimes…. I know you’ll work it out. Did you consider a bay window or two for the little old lady’s house? Just thinking they can jut out a little further than the footprint but create a little more space. Have a great week!

    • Hi there and thanks for the bay window suggestion. Yes, I did consider it but as have a large but slight bay to go over the archway I felt that any at ground level would start to make the place like somewhere out of Dickens, bullseye glass and all. Am fairly sure I’ve worked out the old lady’s place but the tavern room itself is going to be a tight squeeze I suspect. It needs much more light too ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°)

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