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Friday, 15 November 2013

We have stairs!

Yes, we can now go upstairs without venturing outside! The builders have had to go home for a few days so kindly put the stairs roughly in place for us before they went off. Such (almost) luxury. We have had to block the space between kitchen and loft with the chick pen and cardboard to stop any unwelcome visitors, so a bit draughty still. But we are getting there.

 There is more floor space than we thought there would be.
 The cellar doors are staying and there is still plenty of room to get big stuff in and out.

 We might be putting a set of curtains between the kitchen and stairs for the coldest of weather when we will have a fire upstairs.
 The cardboard vermin barrier.

The new bedroom door has been specially built and comes with frame and everything all in place so just needed slotting in place. The carpenter made it to match the other doors though it is narrower to fit the space we had without having to alter the roof. As the weather has suddenly turned autumnal we can now leave the door open to catch any rising heat from the fire in the kitchen in the bedroom. When it gets really cold...and hopefully that will not be until the loft space is blocked in....we will light the upstairs fire too and the whole should stay warm.

We have decided to put a new work top the whole width of the kitchen, with cupboards under, to replace the temporary shelves. The workspace I have now is tiny and this will be big enough for kettle, toaster and washing up. After looking around and seeing some very poor quality laminated tops we have ordered a specially made wooden one from the wood yard where we get our timber from. The shelves and cupboard doors can be another winter project for Dave.

We had a lovely surprise parcel the other day. We have ordered some stuff from Amazon and when an ex-pat turned up with a parcel saying it had been doing the rounds (the address was perfectly written and clear!) we thought it was something we were expecting. It felt a bit light though, and as I opened it I got more and more confused. It was a parcel fronm Dave's old office containing two Cadbury's Advent calendars, a couple of party blow thingies (that should freak Bonnie out!) a load of confetti, tinsel, Christmas card and wrapping paper featuring the whole team in party mode. I felt really emotional, it was such a nice thing to do. Dave is missing his work mates so much and unfortunately they are always so busy if he rings. They are always short staffed and emergencies come thick and fast, so no change there. So Christmas came early here, the first time we have had a card in early November.

The scenery is definitely autumnal now. There is often a mist on the horizon and we can now spot birds of prey sitting in the trees. Unfortunately they tend to fly off before we get close enough for a photo with my camera, which is the one we take out with us when shopping. So all photos a blurred and it impossible to make out what the birds are. We are presuming they are common buzzards usually, though we have seen eagles and kestrels too. There are a lot of jays about too, which you only catch glimpses of when the trees are in full leaf.

Dave has a new toy. We have bought a rotovator so he has been out there for an hour finding out how it works and what it can achieve. He had a practice by the garage but has now turned his hand at turning over the patch allocated to raspberries. This area wasn't ploughed as it is a bit awkward to get to with a tractor, but it seems it is no match for Dave and his new machine. We have fifteen or twenty raspberry canes waiting to go in.

The onion/garlic patch has had to be fenced to keep Bella off. She feels it is a good place to practice digging craters as it has been well dug over by Dave. Dave is not best pleased and even more cross as I had to laugh at Bella's look of achievement!

We are getting a bit concerned over Silver and her eggs. She seems to be the only hen not moulting much and is still laying well. Unfortunately the eggs are fragile (and large) even though we keep any treats to a minimum, only giving enough to take cod liver oil and crushed shell, feed layer's food and green veg, and the Shumens are laying very tough shelled eggs. Unfortunately she is a big girl and clumsy with having a twisted foot, and tends to break them. She then tells everyone and if we don't get there first there is a free-for-all as they all pile in to get to the cracked egg. Sevi often sits with her, but I am not sure if that is because she's his favourite or if it's because he wants to be there if the egg breaks. Luckily they leave the other eggs be. We are hoping this will resolve itself and is only because she is growing new feathers as well as laying nearly every day.

The neighbours are still bringing us goodies. Venka continues to send over pizza and other goodies, Baba Danka gave me some flowers and a cutting from something or other, and the old gent from behind is still bringing windfalls round. The builders have nicknamed him the Inspector as he has a thorough look over their work while he is here. I have made him a cake which the (new) recipe tells me needs keeping a few days before eating, so as it is a new recipe I had to make one for us just to make sure it is OK. I used the ground almonds available in Kaufland but they are quite dark as they are ground with skin on. They taste OK though so the neighbours may have their cake. And the cherries do not sink! I made double for the big cake but used less cherries as the amount given was far too many even for this cherry lover.

I have also made some more jellies with some of the apples and quince. This time I put sage in some and mint in the other. We have a pile of apples stewed and frozen and still more to use.

This is our local train crossing.
It's only single here and when a train is due we have flashing red lights and buzzing. Unfortunately you can be sitting there for ages with no train in evidence. We have now learned to do what the locals do and have a look to see if anything is coming before carefully crossing. We have only once actually seen a train. We once sat there for twenty minutes before a local came and waved us across. I have no idea if a train ever came, though we do occasionally hear one.

1 comment:

  1. Tomorrow will finish the rotovating as I really like my new toy and only cost £150 new.