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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I love my friends

I just love my friends. That’s all.

Anyway, here are some pictures.


It’s been really cold.


And then also sometimes warm. But only for two days.


Andy helped me put up a big awkward piece of plasterboard.



Anna helped me put up the other and I managed all the small pieces and some stupidly awkward filling of edges and corners.


And it doesn’t look terrible.

In a day or two, when it’s all dry and soforth, we are ready to put up two of the panels of the ceiling painting. Then on to the second half of this most crazy awkward of jobs that I will be very pleased to see the back of.

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Mental Health

Up and down, up and down.

Been here before. Blogging become a terrible chore, so I never do it. Many things are going on, and I am failing to document them because that adds and extra 10% to my mental load and my mental load is already crushing sometimes.

I’m pottering around re-organising things in the now-enclosed-and-approximately-heated house, which Anna and I have moved into, although it’s very far from finished. I’ve sort of got a plan to do one half of the finishing and then move all the stuff and do the other half… but electrics don’t really work that way, what with rings and soforth… I need to consult Ben, who is, luckily, coming on Thursday.

Anyway, next three big milestones inside will be:

  • Ceiling above the front windows done
  • Home office and craft room habitable
  • Kitchen cobbled together from bits lying around, and plumbed in.

No idea how long that will take. Some days I work a lot, some days I can’t face life at all. Never know what kind of a day it’s going to be.

Other upcoming milestones are:

  • Getting a lot further on with the rendering in April/May (thanks 5 million, Mike and Heidi)
  • Tidying up and burning/dumping ALL the detritus of materials and stuff that’s been littering up the garden for 6 years. See work party listing at right.

Head down, keep at it.

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Some Things That Happened

Christmas happened. We ate food.


Above is Christmas Eve’s dosa and dhal and potato masala. Very traditional. Below is Christmas day’s roast chicken.


Jack likes the masonry heater.


At some point Anna made a really good mousaka.


We went and stayed with Bob and Jen for a week and played computer games and generally did not think about building. That was heavenly.


Heidi and Mike came to visit for the first time in years and because they are wonderful, they helped us empty the huge carload of dry logs I’d gone to fetch that morning. Heidi also gave me the biggest haul of booty from her pottery showroom, as she was having a clear-out, so I’m the proud owner of a number of wonderful new things. They are just the greatest people.


Among us all we managed to move and stack the firewood in, like, half an hour.


So basically my state of mind right now is like, friends are amazing. Building houses is just shit. It’s so shit. I can’t believe people do this more than once. But friends are amazing.

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