Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter greetings

So, this is the moment we have all been waiting for...for FOUR months. We are finally complete, weeeeelll, nearly finally complete. We are complete in so far as the wallpaper and lights in the den will be done tomorrow morning and my sister and her children will arrive tomorrow afternoon. There is nothing like cutting it fine of course!

Weeks into renovations
Complete looking towards the fireplace.

Complete looking towards the hall!

This is the hall with the flood, after the initial clear up and then the final finish.


Mess and dark wood
Similar angle with the new lightened beams and white paintwork, fresh flooring...loving it!

I'm thrilled. The beams make the whole place look so much brighter and lighter. The pictures don't do it ANY justice whatsoever, so those of you who know us will just have to come to see it for yourselves.

Now our renovations are turned towards the path and the drainage and ensuring that the well is alarmed and pumped so that we don't flood again.

We are currently on Easter holidays and are looking forward to the arrival of the cousins tomorrow (the way that the children are acting at the moment I'm not sure if it's the arrival of the Kings in all honesty!).
I've managed to get a bit of work done in the garden; I've put in two new apple trees (a Discovery and a James Grieve), both bare root, so just in time. I also put in two more blackcurrant bushes and three loganberry bushes. Two of the kids planted up the first of our pink fir apple potatoes in buckets before we realised we'd only get three potatoes per bucket and need to drill holes in a few more. Luckily we found another six in the shed for Mr Beehive to get his drill into tomorrow morning.
Later this afternoon we went over to Baytree Cottage  where the children took part in some Easter baking. We learned to make hot cross buns and the kids made biscuits and easter nests.
Tomorrow I expect it'll be a cleaning day, making me a Hot Cross Bunny!

Have a Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nearly there...

So, we're in and 'nearly there'! I say nearly because we're still waiting on the beams to be lightened and there's still some furniture shifting to do as the other room that was flooded isn't completed yet, but heck...the fact we're even IN this room now is a massive achievement in itself four months after the dreaded event! Look back at previous posts and you'll see the change!

We're curtain and blind-less as well and there are no pictures up as yet but do you like it? I love it. It's lighter and cleaner (in terms of no nasty artexy walls) than before. We've changed the radiators to these cool dark ones and have new stained wood skirting to try to get a more natural feel to the room. We've also opted for a red colour sofa instead of the chocolate brown we had last time, again to warm up the room.
The dogs have found their homes probably can't see that they actually have a bed to the left under the rad, but they both prefer the fireplace!

In other news Mr Beehive and I managed to wangle a brief evening to go to a gig...and on a school night too tut tut! The very cool and amazing Grace Potter and the Nocturnals were on a European tour with the Avett Brothers and luckily for us, made a last minute call to run a night just for themselves at the Bush Theatre. It was fabulous. Again, luckily for us I'm not sure GP is that well known over this side of the pond yet, so there couldn't have been more than 150 people in the audience. The Bush Theatre is a small venue so it made it very up close and personal, although, showing my age, it took me until the weekend to recover from the lack of sleep!
The awesome Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
The groupies!

Outside we're progressing slowly as the weather is holding us back on our usual 'farm' business at this time of year. I've had course after course for the last five weekends, so therefore I've had only one day weekends which hasn't helped. But the weather..oh the weather? The rain really hasn't stopped since last September in all honesty. This time last year was 'the day that we don't talk much about' in terms of big birthdays and it was glorious. The sun was so hot that we were in sundresses and sat out until 9pm with the chiminea burning. This year it is even too cold to start the seeds off in the green house yet as I don't have a propagator or heating. I managed to leap out early this morning amidst the drizzle in order to prepare the bed for the beans and brassicas. I came in for coffee and when i looked out was snowing!!!!!
Mr Beehive, however, continued to dig over the area for the new fruit bushes.
I can only hope that this disastrous beginning means that the summer will be wonderful and plentiful in terms of crops and sun.

As for the three stooges, they've been dressing up for comic relief! How red can you go?

Sunday, March 03, 2013

A small peak into the last few months

Many Sundays are spent these days going for lovely walks around the local fields. The ground is gradually drying, although you can see the Little Miss and Pip still manage to get covered.

Repairs have also now started on the house, these are some of the early weeks in the renovations, before the plastering began.
And now...

And now...  The work still continues so watch this space....

Visitors to our bird feeding station have included these greenfinches, robins, long tailed tits and blue tits.

The commencement of swimming pool staging removal. All the weird wooden structure to the left is coming out to make space for 3 new Loganberry bushes and a new apple tree. The conifer mid right of the picture is coming out so the beehives can go in that space.

 This is going to be where my swinging chair hammock and my full length lying hammock will go... Bliss on a summer's day (as long as we get a summer this year!)

 Some gratuitous chicken pictures of them and their new feeder! We now have 10 chickens and are getting a couple more, we've got a range of brown hybrids, three bluebelle hybrids, a maran hybrid and two lavender aracaunas one of whom was our only female hatchling last spring. They lay these beautiful blue eggs. I'm thinking of some salmon favourelle as our new additions, although their laying may be less than the hybrids, they lay a beautiful shade of pink egg.

Rhubarb forcers are bringing up a beautiful early crop - can't wait!!
Crocuses in the garden...this starts a sea of purple, then will become a sea of blue in later March as the bluebells come out.

The garden this morning. We've dug out some old gooseberry bushes in the cage to make space for three more black currant bushes. The joy of being in a permanent residence now is that you can evolve with your garden. We have decided that two blueberry bushes can live in large pots and we'd be better off with more of one type of soft fruit so that we actually get sufficient yield to do something with them. Blackcurrants are not commonly found in the shops and we can make such good jam, syrup, cordial or wine with them that giving up a few gooseberry bushes that gave us a mere dozen little berries last year, is worth the sacrifice. The carpet is warming the soil for the brassicas.

This year's plans are for french beans in the raised beds, brassicas where the beans were last year, beetroot where the brassicas were last year, potatoes in 3 ltr builders buckets, carrots in bags and courgettes in the shallow bed where it can grow rampant if it chooses.