Jonathan: All those little finishing tasks are so time-consuming! Today we’ve fiddled around with notices, driven in a few nails into the cladding where they’d been overlooked, fitted all the guttering and downpipes on the front, dismantled all the temporary shop fittings from the house conservatory. Denise cleaned Carrick and did all the washing; I creosoted all the garden gates (ideal conditions: it’s been dry weather for a fortnight or so and timber just soaks up the oil!) ; we moved chicks up from the nursery pens to the kindergarten and cleaned out the nursery ready for the chicks currently under the lamp; I issued pre-qualification questionnaires to contractors for an engineering project in Barra, and in between found time to just sit with Molly who is getting so old and frail and increasingly enjoys having company; gone down to the beach together with Tilly just for the pleasure of it; and with the weather so warm and dry we’ve started watering the greenhouses on a daily basis – in fact I had to water on the croft this morning. Phew – exhausting!
Jonathan: With all the painting at both Carrick and Askernish now finished, I started today with a treat: a lovely crisp and clean brand new boiler suit and a matching pair of dark blue work gloves. Now I can step out into the world look it back in the face ;~) But after pride comes …. an overflowing septic tank. [Those of a particularly orderly disposition accustomed to other folk doing their dirty work are advised at this point to find another blog to browse – can I suggest Charlie and Camilla’s?] Our tank is not really big enough, and with me in exile last year the clean-out got missed last year. Anyway, there’s Denise and I this afternoon, struggling with a 30m length of armoured so-called flexible hosing, our submersible pump and spattered with … now don’t grimace, it’s only like on a dairy farm, spreading the contents of the slurry tank onto the fields. Anyway, this evening, cleaned up and cheered up with a bottle of wine we could celebrate a job well done: untimely and unwelcome it is true, but over the past 8 years our £650 pump has now more than paid for itself (a pump out by Scottish Water costs over £150, an emergency visit far more); but our compost heaps greatly enriched as well. (Photo: outlet from pump is 50mm, unit is about 350mm high, but weighs ~20kg!!) Aren’t those daffodils beautiful! Mmmm, those tomatoes really are tasty!
Denise. There’s nothing special about that at this time of year, as J has just remarked so fulsomely, but what is a bit odd is that it is doing just that as I’m sat here in the upstairs office at the computer! Looking up … there’s unseemly brown stains in the ceiling with water drops forming at the plasterboard screws. And since there’s no plumbing in the loft space above me, that means only one thing – the roof is leaking. J’s saying it’ll be from that severe gale we had a few weeks back (see Scary), which will have shaken the dormer (which the office is in) enough to crack the seal where the flat roof meets the sloping roof above it, allowing wind to drive water on the flat roof into the crack and thus … I remember the same happened in the great hurricane of January 2005 (just a few months after we’d re-roofed the house!): so I suppose the gusts, in the severe gale a few weeks ago, were more than 90mph. Anyway, that’s another job on the J’s urgent list: emergency repair with that sticky grey paint stuff.
Jonathan: Oh my God, my computer, the desk, the floor … the whole house is vibrating and juddering with the force of the wind! Outside, a whirling black miasma. Better not think about it – nothing we can do: best just to get on with some work. ;~(
Jonathan: After the great hurricane of January 2005, we rebuilt our greenhouses and then built our potting shed and workshop/store; though by then money was getting low and we didn’t install electricity. It would have been difficult and expensive – certainly if we put the cables underground. I do also recall some ideal or our outdoors work being in tune with nature – putting away our tools and tidying up as the sky darkened; and the disturbance of the natural dark by vulgar electricity. What romantic tosh!!! Anyway, after several days toil, we now have electricty. Alas, due to lack of money and time, it is only lighting, but now we have been able to move the young chicks from their cardboard box in the dining room into a cage in the shed – with the infra-red lamp over them. For power (eg for tools in the woodstore or workshop), I shall soon install an outdoors electrical socket at both front and back of house so we don’t have to have a house door open – letting heat escape -when we use an extension lead. When eventually we get round to renovating our own house, we can make a better job of all this: but for now, it’s safe and it’s progress – albeit budget style! [Photo – Welsumer and Buff Orpington chicks in their new cage.]