It feels like its been ages and nothing has happened with the place, but after a month of visits from builders and tradespeople we have a schedule and it's all starting to happen now - yay! The scaffolding has gone up for starting on the roof:
I went round the site today and took some videos of a few of the projects we would like to undertake, not necessarily straight away, but to consider and schedule when the time is right.
1. Resurfacing the drive:
It is very undulating, has many cracks and the exterior of the house needs some extensive drainage works and remodelling, so this could all be looked at simultaneously
2. re-pointing of decorative wall in front of house:
We did also have a discussion with one of the builders we had round who suggested that rather than re-pointing the wall we could take it out all together - this might also be an option... There is value in the bricks and we could always use them for some other projects that may pop up (in the garden perhaps?)
5. Establish an orchard in front of the chicken shed, to help zone the larger field:
6. Make a clearing in the woodland to establish some bluebells and create a space to retreat to:
7. Thin out the conifers to create space for a woodland sauna:
8. Tidy up the walled/kitchen garden and landscape the rest:
There are lots of other little projects too and the wonderful thing about the whole site is that it feels like a lifetime project. Such an inspiring place, that in time will become truly amazing. I can't wait until we are living here every single day.
One of the things we had talked about doing with the house was creating an opening from the courtyard wall at the back into the walled/kitchen garden. As the new kitchen will open up into the courtyard it made sense to have this connection. This wasn't a necessity of course and just something we had put onto our ever growing 'to do' list. But, after a lengthy discussion with both the electricity board and our pump engineer it became more urgent as we needed to get some pipe work directed through the wall.
So, we started off by marking out the position of the 'hole':
I started to remove a few of the first stones with a pick axe and crowbar:
After struggling with the digging out of a trench (we had no shovel) Mike came back to the wall and started removing a few of the larger stones:
It soon became obvious this was a one man job, so I went back up to the room we had been working on before and took the remaining plaster off the future ensuite walls:
It meant I had a good view of Mike working his way through the wall...
The lump hammer came out, and some makeshift props:
Then we were through! Yipee!:
The place is starting to look like a proper building site now:
Some useful stones for future projects:
And perhaps a lintel would be good to save the rest of the wall from tippling in!
An impressive start though - we should be able to get going with the rest of the trench now
We decided a trip out of the house today would be good, so we took a walk down the road to the lovely Walled Gardens of Cannington. It is fantastic to have such an attraction 20 minutes walk from our house! Great for some inspiration for the garden too. The students from Bridgwater College have a series of show gardens that they have designed. We really liked the look of this one:
The use of reclaimed wood is great and very pleasing on the eye. This is definitely the kind of look I think we will be going for once we tackle the garden. Really liked this insect house too - great use of old pallets:
The planting scheme here is interesting, very Mediterranean looking:
And who knew Eucalyptus could grow in the UK?! We bought ourselves a small plant so we'll see how it takes...
There was a lovely greenhouse in the gardens too:
Check out the size of the lemons!!!
Healthy looking cacti too:
Even though the gardens weren't at their most floral it was still great to go - we'll be back to check on progress as the year carries on. It is only down the road after all....
We're in the old part of the house today taking off all the plaster work and pulling down the ceiling. We want to have a look at what's going on under all those suspect cracks and 'hanging in mid air' beams!?
Here's a short video tour of the room before:
It was a good excuse to test out the new hammer drill:
The plaster came off really well, then it was down with the ceiling:
- what a mess!
There was a very strange configuration on this wall:
...there's a void behind that lath - which opens up to the room below!
Here's another short film of our efforts of the day: