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Phone rings.

Guy on phone: Hello, Ms. Jackson?

Me: Yes?

Him: I’m calling from the Phone Co-op, we supply your phone and broadband. We are now in a position to offer you super-fast fibre broadband and I was wondering if you would be interested?

Me: Does it cost money?

Him: Yes, I’m afraid it does, it would add about £7 to your monthly bill.

Me: I can barely afford food.

Him: Oh. Well, lets have a look at your account. Can I ask whether you use your landline for phone calls?

Me: I don’t even have a phone.

Him: Well, in that case, I can switch you to a cheaper plan right now, if you like, save you about £2.50 a month?

Me: Oh. Yeah, Ok, thanks.

Him: Every bit helps, right?

Me: It does. Thanks a lot.

Him: No problem. Have a great day. Bye.

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Shot After Shot After Shot Of Finished Floor

Well, by finished, of course, I mean un-finished. I need to put a few coats of varnish on it now. But it’s complete; the first complete floor in the house.

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It’s lovely Canadian maple, originally laid as a gym floor in the 60s somewhere locally (I forget where exactly) and has cleaned up to look absolutely lovely.

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My back is killing me, but once I figured out that drilling a quick pilot hole made the nailing A LOT easier, it went pretty fast. Davey laid half of it and I just did the rest in a marathon session.

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I suppose I should go put some varnish on it now.

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Summer Arrives Again

I’ve finished claying the walls and have put the slats up… now just to wait til the walls dry out a bit more before I put the lovely, dry firewood in. Wouldn’t do to have the walls drying directly into the firewood, really…

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Meanwhile, been enjoying life. Davey, who’s been volunteering here, and our mutual friend Alice, who was visiting from London, went on a lovely walk with us from Hebden Bridge. Five miles seems to be about enough for me in a day when there are hills involved. My walking holiday dreams of 10 mile days might need a bit of training.

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Also: every day is BreakFest. Well, that’s a bit of a fantasy, but certainly today was a mini BreakFest. God I love food.

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Wood Storage and Wildlife

Here are some goings on.

My solar wood kiln (basically a woodshed with a window for a front and a transparent plastic roof, solar gain, ventilated, etc = very dry wood very fast) is working fabulously, so now I need to empty it so I can fill it again at least twice over the summer. So I needed to sort out the wood storage area in the house.

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Claying the walls was a good place to start. And then while that was taking FOREVER to even start to dry, even with a fan on it (good call to pre-dry the wood before it goes in here, I guess) I framed some slat walls out of some reclaimed timber (thanks again, Mount Developments!) to make a giant wood holding pen.

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Today I framed the last wall, built a coat and bag hanging area on the back of it, and trimmed and de-nailed all the rest of the slats for the back walls for when the clay ever dries, maybe in 6 weeks at this rate.

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I’m pleased about the coat rack. I rifled around in all my old boxes of hardware junk and found a pleasingly mismatched set of hooks.

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And while I was de-nailing, I looked up and saw a surprise visitor, one we’ve seen a few times in the garden lately. I think we should name him. I’m assuming him, based on the little antlers, but that might be wrong. I should do some research.

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BreakFest

We made BreakFest a success. For those of you not paying attention, we have started a new tradition: an annual festival of breakfast foods. We just thought breakfast was so great it deserved to be celebrated.

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Friday night we started with a great big fry-up. Sausages, bacon, black pudding and eggs from our friendly local butcher in Tod Market, halloumi (not traditional, really, but so worthy of a place, and vegetarians need a good option), beans, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes. God it was amazing.

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An excellent beginning.

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Saturday morning was greeted with brioche french toast smothered in raspberry, blueberry and cherry sauce and whipped cream.

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Lord but it was glorious.

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We did go for a bit of a walk at that point, to try to shift some of that carb energy, but we were very soon back at it with Catie and Simon’s home-smoked salmon and buck’s fizz on the deck.

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…Followed with some baked goodies and coffee…

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By this time we were struggling to stay upright.

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But there was more to be eaten. Saturday evening’s meal was American home fries, with the carrot, garlic and greens that show up my east coast origin (and meant we could shoehorn some greens in there somewhere.)

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There was a colossal amount of washing up involved, but I did hardly any of it, which was nice.

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And this morning we have just been picking at the leftovers and thinking of how to do this even better next year. More physical activity between courses I think…

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(Thanks to Chef John for the awesome blueberry muffin and pecan coffee cake recipes: https://www.allrecipes.com/collections/182452279/  I am going to be making a lot more of his stuff.)

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