The most progressy thing that’s been happening is the rendering of the outside of the house. It’s quite shocking how much better it is when someone who knows what they’re doing does it.


Miki came back to help, and also put me in touch with Gemma who’s a really experienced professional heritage plaster. The results were amazing.


I was the lackey, making gak and render so the skilled people could get on with the skilled work.


Gemma’s partner Loukas came for a bit and did some more skilled work, agreeing to be paid in sewing jobs, like altering a wax jacket. More fun than rendering if you ask me!


So here’s the result. It’s not done, but it’s a lot more done than it was before. I’m planning to spend a year saving up to have the same team back and finish it all off next summer. So let me know if you know anyone wanting sewing help or lessons, or wedding cakes, or anything else I can do for money.

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Gardening and Gin

After a freezing and miserable spring, summer has decided to be amazing, sunny, warm, dry and the best thing since I don’t know what.


Consequently I’ve had a lot more brainspace, like, enough to decant and label all the gin.


And to make some more gin.


Every opportunty is taken to do daily tasks outdoors.


Last year’s apple tree got blossoms and three actual fruits, which we took off to help it grow a bit more before it’s expected to produce.


Most of what was in what is being called the lumpy garden has survived.


The upright dwarf acer Steve gave is us absolutely thriving.


The path remains dry, flat and so damn easy to walk on!


We’ve discovered a love of tulips.


And Anna did a massive makeover of part of the raised bed.


We planted a bunch of random stuff, just to make it pretty and to get some potted stuff in the ground.


And it’s come on in leaps and bounds. The strawberries are going nuts. I am sure the birds and slugs will get them, but they’re pretty to look at.


And the smelly sherbet-orange rose is still as healthy as ever. And as pungent.

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Ok, so here’s how far we’ve got with the ceiling painting. That was a while ago, and I should really get on with drawing the next bit but, uh, other priorities.


While I was up on the scaffolding I took a couple of pictures from persepctives I hope never to see again. Here’s the door I built so I can get through from the floor upstairs and hang art installations from the beam.


Here’s the requisite smiling selfie.


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Burn Everything


Everyone came round, we dragged all the crummy old bits of wood into a heap and set it on fire. It was marvellous.


Some of those of us fonder of fire did build it rather large. They did not burn down the warming hut, contrary to what it may look like.


We ate lovely food, and although I had only counted 10, there turned out to be 12 of us. Well, there was enough and we all fit, just, so it was fine.


By the next day, this is all that was left of 5 years worth of accumulated crap that I fooled myself was a good idea to keep “just in case”. Such a life cleanse.


Another task that was long overdue was the cleaning of the outdoor kitchen, which Bob and Jen did an admirable job of. If you want anything cleaned thoroughly, I tell you, put Jen on it. Now we can actually use the space again.

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Here’s what happiness looks like:


Pirate Steve was kind enough to come round and share our leg of lamb. Pirate Steve was then good enough to lend us the key to his house while he’s away hunting pirates (which is literally something he does) so we can use his shower. Which I did this morning. It was glorious.


In other, colourful news: we managed to get one quarter of the ceiling painting done.


And I found some colourful tiles cheap on ebay, which is not always easy to do. One pound per square meter. Only catch is, I had to buy 40 square meters. Anybody else need any mosaics?


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