Sunday, 26 March 2017

Changeable weekend

The title for this update has changed several times, along with the weather this weekend. I've settled on this one mainly because it has been such an unsettled weekend. Ironic, really, but accurate. Hopefully this update will be nice and brief as dinner is being cooked and I want it done before our Sunday roast.

The eggs which the birds had hidden from us
The eggs which the birds had hidden from us
It got hazy, after a stunning morning, but stayed warm
It got hazy, after a stunning morning, but stayed warm
Thelma brings over her ring for me to play with
Thelma brings over her ring for me to play with
Waiting patiently for me to play
Waiting patiently for me to play
Tug while lying down
Tug while lying down
A joined me and took her turn
A joined me and took her turn
The Little Lady planting out her spud field
The Little Lady planting out her spud field
Rainstorm incoming
Rainstorm incoming
Another storm for the evening
Another storm for the evening
So. Saturday. I didn't sleep all that well unfortunately which did put a brake on my activity in the morning. I think I just did bits and pieces of modelling and not much else while A headed out shopping in the morning. The highlight of the day was being invited for lunch with SandS to our favourite restaurant. On the way down to the gate, A was driving so I was on gate duty, I looked over to the compost pile and caught sight of a large pile of eggs; the ones that we have been missing over the past week or so! The chickens (and ducks) had made a nest right on top of the pile and later, when we got home and collected them, we found fifteen eggs there. Cheeky so and so's. It was a lovely lunch and we didn't rush it but by the time we got home I was really tired. I took myself onto the roof terrace with the foldout mattress for a twenty minute snooze in the sun which ended up lasting over an hour. At the end A came up as well with the puppies and a brew (life saver!) and we sat up there for a while until rain threatened. That's pretty much that for yesterday; we watched "Thelma and Louise" the film in the evening which I'd forgotten just how good it is. Superb film.

Bottom corridor clean(ish) once more
Bottom corridor clean(ish) once more
Lots of scenery stacked up
Lots of scenery stacked up
A beautiful warm day (or, rather, morning)
A beautiful warm day (or, rather, morning)
A with a tray of sweetcorn
A with a tray of sweetcorn
A very old stick, still in the rotation
A very old stick, still in the rotation
My martenitsa on the plum tree
My martenitsa on the plum tree
A put hers on this little twig
A put hers on this little twig
Still staining these chairs
Still staining these chairs


There was rain over night which I heard at one point when I woke up but I slept better than on Friday night so that was good. The clocks changed so even though we didn't stay in that long we still started the day late. A headed out to the shops once more as we'd forgotten to leave our Sunday Roast out while I stayed in, did some modelling and also cracked on with the tidying that I had been meant to do on Saturday. The bottom corridor is now cleared and all the scenery I've made is on the shelves in the laboratory where it will stay until the men finish work on the twin guest room. It was another glorious morning, after a very cloudy start, so I got outside and took the video of the plum tree that I was promising last time. A was planting out some more seeds and sorting a few things out in the garden and then got one of the chairs onto the patio to paint.

The storm blows in, though blue sky is still above
The storm blows in, though blue sky is still above
A explaining where to dig
A explaining where to dig
Usmivka digs, The Little Lady plants. We watch
Usmivka digs, The Little Lady plants. We watch


Blocked window drains flood the landing
Blocked window drains flood the landing
More concerning; coming through the wall
More concerning; coming through the wall
The weather was clearly on the change, however, so I dashed off to get the washing in, drag the rug from our bedroom inside (it was airing over the balcony as A had blitzed the bedroom and made it lovely and clean and tidy) and helped A carry the chair in and all the while the storm got closer. We had just settled down in Room 13 when there was a holler from the gate and it was Usmivka with The Little Lady bringing over a bucket of spuds to plant in our garden. A managed to stop them digging up her existing rows but then they got stuck in and so quickly we have four long rows of spuds as a gift. I love this place I really do! It wasn't long after this, however, that the storm blew in. And what a storm it was. I got the video from the roof terrace and then, as I was coming back down, I noticed water pouring in through the landing windows where the drains were blocked. This was quickly rectified but we now have a large puddle once again, reminiscent of two years ago. The greater concern was on of the corridor windows which didn't have blocked drainage and it appears the water is coming through the wall. Bekir will be looking at this tomorrow I think. For most of the time I've been typing this the thunder and lightning continued but now it has quieted down a lot and even the rain is not quite so torrential. Dinner is cooking and smells amazing so I'm going to close this off here and will be back with another update in a few days time.

Thanks for reading, as always.

Friday, 24 March 2017

A new gate, etc

I'm back into the cycle and updating on a Friday night, as I'm "supposed" to, which is much better than having a super long update to do on Sunday. The last two days have been very busy here so there's a lot to get through once more; this regularity of update, and level of activity, isn't going to last for all that long however as once the current work is completed we'll be waving goodbye to Bekir and Sally and the rest. At least, that is, until I get myself some work.

The cook with the BBQ
The cook with the BBQ
A stunning sky to end the day
A stunning sky to end the day
BBQ for two
BBQ for two
Two puppies sleeping in the sun
Two puppies sleeping in the sun
Homemade burgers with awesome BBQ sauce
Homemade burgers with awesome BBQ sauce
Starlings flying over on their way to bed
Starlings flying over on their way to bed
If you remember I left you just as it was time for me to take the men home on Wednesday night and I got back to find that A was on the roof terrace and had lit the BBQ. The sun was still up, just about, and the sky was a beautiful deep blue; it was a stunning evening. As we sat there the sun went down but it stayed warm and comfortable to be outside; indeed when we went downstairs we found it was cold inside. A lovely way to spend the evening and from next week we'll be out there more as the clocks change and it will become more feasible to be eating outside. One amazing thing did happen just before we went inside; the local starling population when whooshing over in a stunning murmuration. I was a bit slow to the camera and missed most of it, sadly.

Breakfast waiting for me when I got back with the men
Breakfast waiting for me when I got back with the men
Yulhan polishing the ceiling plaster
Yulhan polishing the ceiling plaster
Sally continues with his excellent roof
Sally continues with his excellent roof
A cupboard for Room 13
A cupboard for Room 13
Thursday morning was a bit of a rushed one as I was going straight back out with Bekir to the shops as soon as I got back. I did get time to eat the lovely scrambled eggs with bacon that A had cooked which was excellent but then it was off. We got pretty much everything we needed, including tiles for the twin room, and got back in time for the morning coffee break. While we were out Yulhan and Sally had both cracked on with their tasks. Bekir came into Room 13 straight away and hung the cabinet (one of those given us by my parents and brought over in Harrison) above the sink so we can store sink related items. It didn't take him long at all and I was then left with the task of putting the door on and fitting the shelves. I was feeling quite unmotivated, however, and didn't really want to do anything. I think partly because I'd said that Thursday was going to be a hobby day and while I'd slept very well the night before I wasn't feeling very intellectual. Anyway, I went and sat in the sun and dozed on and off until after lunch.

Louise feeling the heat a bit
Louise feeling the heat a bit
Puppies and ducks hanging around as we eat
Puppies and ducks hanging around as we eat
Ennis taking some time off
Ennis taking some time off
It really was very warm indeed and A and I sat down with our butties on chairs just by the kitchen door. The girls have both been enjoying the change in the weather but Louise in particular was panting and gasping away while she sat in her bed. When it was time to eat the ducks both came to see whether they may get some food, they were joined briefly by some chickens as well. A was really busy at work so headed upstairs leaving me to lounge on one of the sun-loungers and I was joined further up the patio by Ennis who used the largest of the wheelbarrows to make a comfortable seat and promptly fell asleep in the sun.

Getting the sand and plastic sheeting down
Getting the sand and plastic sheeting down
All the stones in place
All the stones in place
Thelma by the stone pile with her toy
Thelma by the stone pile with her toy
Fast asleep in the heat
Fast asleep in the heat
After lunch I was still feeling really dead-head but I gave myself a shake and decided to crack on with the path and get as much done as I could that afternoon. I began with the sand, cut open plastic bin liner, and more sand and before I knew it the entire path was done and all I needed to do was put the stones on and the whole thing was complete. Several trips to the stone pile later and the whole thing was done; I don't know why I thought it took so long last year to do the other part but this time was much quicker. The puppies had been in attendance the whole time, mainly sleeping in whatever sand was around but Thelma obviously had her toy and was determined I would throw it.

Sally has started to put the tiles on
Sally has started to put the tiles on
The really dodgy plug behind the fridge is sorted
The really dodgy plug behind the fridge is sorted
Bekir works along the back wall
Bekir works along the back wall
While I was working away at this Sally was on with putting tiles on the roof and it is really starting to take shape now; I was thinking that maybe he would get this completed by the end of the week and you're going to find out if he did or not. Inside Bekir was in the process of swapping out the old plugs in the kitchen, dining room and nook for higher quality external units with covers. By the end of the day he only had three left to do which was brilliant progress. A wasn't in the mood for cooking, for which I don't blame her, so we headed out for our dinner just to have a kebab and bumped into The Other Brother in the restaurant which was nice. The puppies appreciated the meat that we brought back for them and it was not that late when we were both ready for bed and so off we went.

Beautiful early morning sky
Beautiful early morning sky
The new fridge I bought for Room 13
The new fridge I bought for Room 13
Bekir patching up after fitting the petchka pipe chains
Bekir patching up after fitting the petchka pipe chains
Sally, with sleeves rolled up, fits the ridge tiles
Sally, with sleeves rolled up, fits the ridge tiles
Yulhan plastering the partition wall
Yulhan plastering the partition wall
Ennis getting near the end of his task
Ennis getting near the end of his task
The weather has changed to such an extent that A opened the tilt door in the bedroom and we both slept even better for that small amount of fresh air that it provided. I was awake just before the sun came up, as normal, and did my rushing around thing to get onto the balcony to snap a sunrise shot; it was such a glorious orange and only a few minutes later was completely gone. I had another kind of slow start to the day, but this time I did do some modelling while A was out getting the men and a little after that. I headed out to town mid morning to pick up a few things including a fridge for in Room 13 so our milk doesn't turn to cheese. I got back while it was lunch time and joined A on the patio for lunch; once again Ennis was in his make-shift chair having a snooze as the temperature was up. Bekir had finished off the plugs in the kitchen and was just putting the last chains up for the petchka pipes in there as well. I think the only thing left to do now is the wooden banisters. Outside Sally had finished the normal tiling and was putting ridge tiles in place. Yulhan, meanwhile, was cracking on with the plastering and this will be completed on Monday I think. Ennis has made so much progress in the coal shed and was on target to complete it today.

The old gate being removed
The old gate being removed
Excellent new gate hung temporarily
Excellent new gate hung temporarily
Bekir making a custom super long bolt
Bekir making a custom super long bolt
That bolt in place and ready for securing
That bolt in place and ready for securing
The custom latch which Bekir fabricated
The custom latch which Bekir fabricated
And so we come to the highlight of the past two days, certainly in A's eyes anyway. Finally Bekir has been able to get an afternoon free to work on fitting the wonderful gate which A made ages ago; I can't actually remember exactly when she made it! It was on my list of things to do however it's better that it has waited as Bekir's job was so much better than mine. There was some discussion at first (and we got him to put the gate the right way up as he did have it upside down) and then he got to securing a wooden beam upright against the stone post, using a custom made bolt which he welding a nut onto for one side, and the put through the gate post and bolted into place with two more nuts. The question of the latch also caused some discussion but I made sure he knew it had to be operable from both sides and he went away and fabricated a superb little latch with a big nail and some scrap metal. It is excellent and now the puppies cannot escape that way ever again.

The roof in all its finished glory
The roof in all its finished glory
Sally cleaning up after himself
Sally cleaning up after himself
Ennis shovelling coal dust off Thomas
Ennis shovelling coal dust off Thomas
The dump site, with all the rubble brought up by Ennis
The dump site, with all the rubble brought up by Ennis
Ennis begins the cleaning job
Ennis begins the cleaning job
A backing Thomas up so he'll drain easier
A backing Thomas up so he'll drain easier


The above work took the balance of the afternoon and in the meantime Sally finished the roof entirely and then set to tidying up everything that he had left behind and then some; he loves cleaning up, that one, and we do not mind this at all. The areas is now super tidy. Ennis, for his part, reached the final load for Thomas up the hill and I took the camera along and snapped some pictures before getting involved as usual and helping to sweep the dust off the tailgate. When we got back down I backed Thomas over to the hose and Ennis got stuck in cleaning all the grime off that has built up over the past few weeks. I was up on the balcony with A and the puppies while they were doing this and then they got A to back Thomas up so he was sloping down and would drain easier and while this was happening Louise got hold of Thelma's basketball and started playing with it which is the first time this has ever happened. I got a video of this and then, for contrast, the video when Thelma (who had heard Louise from down on the patio and was outraged that Louise was playing with HER BALL) finally got onto the balcony and took over. Thomas is now really clean and will go for his winter tyres to be removed next week some time.

And so the day ended; the men were on fine form in the car on the way home and I came back to a lovely curry that had been slow cooked since the night before; just the best way to do it. I've got another batch of pictures to put up of all the lovely greenery and blossom that there is around the land right now (even my favourite tree is putting out green again and I was SURE it was dead and gone after last year) so if you're interested please keep scrolling.

The Ice Follies from last year are blooming marvellous
The Ice Follies from last year are blooming marvellous
A's daffodil bed is also looking the part
A's daffodil bed is also looking the part
Another year and the Tortoise Garden is coming to life
Another year and the Tortoise Garden is coming to life
Lidl daffodils planted my first year and back once again
Lidl daffodils planted my first year and back once again
All the flowers by the entrance path are growing
All the flowers by the entrance path are growing
This is why we plant flowers; lots and lots of bees
This is why we plant flowers; lots and lots of bees
The cherry tree which is always first to flower and fruit
The cherry tree which is always first to flower and fruit
All the Quince trees are budding
All the Quince trees are budding
This one of the driveway Silver Birch trees
This one of the driveway Silver Birch trees
In the orchard there is life also
In the orchard there is life also
Some blossom even is appearing
Some blossom even is appearing
A's little driveway garden will soon burst into colour
A's little driveway garden will soon burst into colour
My favourite tree is still alive! I'm very happy about this
My favourite tree is still alive! I'm very happy about this
What prompted these pictures is the plum tree by the green building, of which I haven't included any pictures as it happens, which is a riot of smell and bees at the moment; if I can I'll get a video of this for the next update. I cannot wait for our orchard to grow for a few more years and be as rampant as that one tree is.