For various reasons, I decided it was time to replace the Manor (Montana San Remo). I had considered replacing it like-for-like but in the end, with great regret, thought it best to let it go completely.
Atilla & Raspy on the Manor door
The Manor is tied up with so many memories. First & foremost, it makes me think of Atilla & Raspy because they were its first occupants. The sisters were happy there. They certainly claimed it for their own & micro-supervised any changes to the layout. Cleaning of their domain was also scrupulously observed, to the point where they would, dare I say, hinder progress!
After having the Manor all to themselves for over a year, Atilla & Raspy graciously allowed two toyboys to share. In a sense, these were the golden years – two happy couples (Atilla/Cagney & Raspy/Bezukhov); two loyal sisters (Atilla & Raspy); two great buddies (Cagney & Bezukhov).
Of course nothing stays the same. The Manor was witness to our first tragic event – the loss of Raspy. Not too long after, the Manor was rearranged to accommodate an increasingly ailing Atilla. Being the leader, the Manor was very much her territory & I feel she would have defended it, & its occupants, to the end. When it sadly came, the end was peaceful, but the Manor lost another legend.
Cagney & Bezukhov continued on in the Manor, leaderless. In fact, the Manor never saw another leader. We were, of course, joined by the adorably, irascible Phineas. Famously, Phineas never slept overnight in the Manor because the toyboys did not want to share their bedtime with him, so Phinny had his own sleeping quarters. When Thomas joined us, he moved in with Phineas, rather than with the toyboys in the Manor.
So, despite the changes to the flock, Cagney & Bezukhov retained sole residency of the Manor. Time marches on though & changes continued. The next significant change, in terms of the Manor, was the loss of Cagney. Despite living in the Manor for 5 years, Bezukhov, without his best buddy, was uncomfortable sleeping there alone. There was a trial run of Phineas joining Bezukhov in the Manor at bedtime but it just did not work. Bezukhov was left with no alternative – he moved into the Ferplast with Phineas.
Bezukhov & Phineas did temporarily return to the Manor when the Ferplast was replaced with the scary new Silver Villa, but once the Silver Villa was accepted, the Manor was abandoned once again & reverted to being a daytime play area only.
The Golden Age of the Manor was over.
It is with regret I let the Manor go, but I thank it unreservedly for all the pleasure & comfort it has given. Though it is no longer here, memories of the Manor will never fade.