Not, as many think, a direct quote from Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy. What Mrs Glasse actually wrote was, ‘... take your hare when it is cased’, but over the years the phrase, 'First, catch your hare', has become, wrongly, attributed to her. It's a much older expression, which follows the form of similar 'don't count your chickens' aphorisms. I like this idea of one thing not being what it is commonly thought to be but, in truth, is something else. I think it fits neatly with 'the study being a bedroom' theme.
So first, I catch my hare.
Let's take a look at him. Here is the bedroom as it was when Tom moved out.
This looks a mess, so in fairness to Tom, I should explain that he had set about preparing the room for redecoration himself. He'd stripped the walls and removed some of the loose plaster. The chimney breast looks a sight, but the previous owner of the house had knocked the brickwork out to make room for a bunk bed (!), and had covered the hole with plasterboard at a later date. Badly. Tom had started to put it right and had torn down the eyesore, only to uncover something worse.
I will start with the chimney breast. One option is to restore the brickwork, re-plaster the wall, and paper it. I don't like this idea. Is it really worth the effort? It's been a long time since I laid any bricks or did any plastering. It is a lot of time and money for something that will be covered up. There is also the question of access to the waste pipe, which has been added later when a bathroom was moved. It would also mean laying the brick onto the floorboards, which is never A Good Thing.