Friday, 24 July 2009

A right old mish mash

Well it's been a few days since my last update so this is a bit of a general update with no real theme (as all my posts tend to be I hear you say!)
I installed my second shower of the campaign in the spotty bathroom of the cottage. I'm really chuffed with it but had a few scary moments drilling holes in the nice new tiles which I had no spares of.

It's been a lovely day today, which makes a change since it's been blooming awful for the last 2 weeks, apart from in the evening when it often has calmed down and I'm able to take tea on the veranda :-)

Trinny's battery was fully charged so I had a quick whizz round the fields while the rain held off and also installed the satellite dish on the barn which will supply both properties with a signal. we couldn't go for terrestrial as there is no signal here.


I am loving the young turnips, I have never really paid them much attention, but they have grown really quickly and picked young they are sweet and tasty in a salad.

Friday, 17 July 2009

The tiling machine

Well I've plunged into the world of tiling again, I've done the kitchen in the small cottage, and am half way through the funky bathroom. These tiles look fab, but the blobby ones are actually raised on each blob, so the usual tile cutter didn't work, which was a great shame for the "Big Clinker" who was thinking he was odd's on for his second Tool of the Day award.

Tool of the Day:

The new kid on the block, the "Rotozip", 30,000 revs per minute of tile cutting power, phwoarrrr.......

Monday, 13 July 2009


This mixture of hot sunny days and then hot wet days has brought the garden on a treat. We had our first pea and broad bean harvest this weekend and they were scrummy :-)

Philippa was up for the weekend as it was the Ceredigion fish festival at Aberaeron (rock 'n roll I hear you say), we rocked up expecting a few people and found it was absolutely ramming, so much so we couldn't get to many of the stands on the quay side and ended up at our favourite fish and chip shop in the high street and ate them in the park......I suppose it's a good sign for tourism in the area though.

We're counting down the days until Phil finally moves up permanently, 4 weeks to go

Thursday, 9 July 2009

It's party time!

Yes indeed, I'm having a Dave party tonight. For those in the know, it's usually great fun and involves music, various tipples and plenty of dancing, with a very strict door policy ensuring the single name on the guest list gets in, and there are no gate crashers!

What is the reason for such celebrations I here you ask, well we had the grand opening of the reed bed today. The waste pipe from the main house was diverted to the new system and I planted the bed up with Phragmites Australis.

It was a welcome divertion after a painful morning when I found a crack in one of the new green tiles, and had to smash it with a hammer to get it back up. Quite a nerve racking moment as I feared more tiles would split. But luckily it all went smoothly as the tile adhesive hadn't fully set and I had a spare tile to slot in the gap.


Philippa's narrow trowel, perfect for planting 200 reeds

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Back to the grind

Well after all the fun with working on the veg patch etc, it was back to the building.

Today I focused on the upstairs en-suite bathroom in the cottage. We have chosen some cool tiles from Spain, and today I set the shower tray and laid the green floor tiles! Wait until you see the wall tiles Philippa has chosen!!!.


My toasted cheese sandwich for lunch...MMmmmmm

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Killing Fields

No one is sure when the attack started or how long they had been planning it, but by mid-morning many had died. First came the light infantry - slugs from the right, caterpillars from the left. A classic pincer movement, simple but devastatingly effective. The cabbages were defenceless. The marigolds, the companion plants of the brassica troops, were no match for the manic munchers. The legumes and the roots looked on, helpless as the leaves of their fellow veg slowly but surely disappeared into the mouths of the ceaseless marauding munchers. But the worst was yet to come, as some time in the early hours the heavy artillery moved in. THE SHEEP! At first we thought the sheep had made a bold front entrance, striding straight up the driveway while we slept the sleep of the innocent (and the slightly drunk). But no, the sheep were sneaky and slipped silently through a gap in the gate in the back field, well within striking distance of the veg plot. It was a blood bath! The potatoes were unscathed, one asparagus plant and a leek both lost their heads. The remaining onions and the garlic fended off the sheep by virtue of their stinky aroma. The rhubarb's poisonous leaves meant only a single bite was taken. The already weakened brassicas never stood a chance - farewell savoys, adieu to the first broccoli florets. The peas and beans shook with fear on their canes as the sheep turned their attention from the cabbages to the legumes. The thorny hawthorn sticks may have saved some of the peas but the overhanging stragglers were gone in a flash - the poor sweet peas died in their pods, unpicked and chewed to death. Not even the strawberries, quivering under their wire cage, were safe. A determined hoof soon had the cage off and the young runners in the front line were lost. And then it was the turn of the roots, young and tender seedlings mashed under hoof, baby beets unearthed and discarded, spinach and chard the final victims before the slaughter was over. Tears were shed. Lessons learned. Shut the gate in haste, repent at leisure.


Shot gun (if only we had one!!!!)

Friday, 3 July 2009

Half day closing

Well I couldn't really be expected to work this afternoon with a bit of sport being on telly. Now we have given up Sky, Wimbledon has been great to watch, rather than watching live updates on the BBC while at work :-) (sorry I won't rub it in....)

I have had a reasonably busy morning. I got the old chainsaw out again and did some clearing of the trees over the stream and felled a couple of dead fir bushes which were annoying Philippa.

I better go and spruce up the bedroom, Philippa is up this weekend with Ali, and the room looks more like a teenagers den.


For two days running the trusty Stihl rains supreme

Thursday, 2 July 2009

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay....

....I sleep all night and I work all day.

I cut down trees, I skip and jump
I love to press wild flowers..

I put on womens clothing,
and hang around in bars....

A muggy day today so it was outside for me. We've got quite a lot of Ash on the land and I was always going to get round to chopping it up for firewood. Now we've got the sheep off the land however, the grass is thigh high and it's tough to find the logs, even the bigguns. It's worth the effort though, the small pile in the back of the truck is probably about £40 worth and at the moment that can last 4 weeks in the boiler which I'm only having to light every 5-6 days or so.

I'm now only having to buy meat as the courgettes, new potatoes and peas are ready as well as all the salad stuff. I can't wait to get the piggies and chickens so we can have our first full home produced meal. Tom and Barbara have nothing on us!


There was only one contender today, my Stihl MS-180 chainsaw, sweet.....