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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Storm Gareth

Storms terrify me now. They never used to, but when you build a house and have only your own previously overconfident self to blame if anything goes wrong, it turns every gust of wind into a terrifying spectre of potential catastrophe. I don’t quite know what I’m afraid of. The house is not going to blow down; a highly educated and qualified person designed the frame to withstand more wind load than England can throw at us. And the roof is probably sound. Probably. I guess trees are frightening. We are surrounded by loads of them, all well and truly tall enough to take out this house if they fell in the right direction. But none of them are in danger of falling, that I know of.

Probably it’s the fact that I have no insurance.

Yeah, that’s what it is.

I haven’t checked but I’m pretty sure nobody would insure this place, as it’s so unusual. And anyway I couldn’t afford it right now. When we can afford it, I’m inclined to just keep a separate account, called “insurance” and put some money in it every month for use if we ever need it. I shall think on it as soon as I’m earning a living.

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Actual, Tangible Progress

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I’ve made a thing! It’s the frame for a curved front wall for a bench seat in the shower.

It required thinking and planning and a bit of research and measuring and cutting and rebating and I did it! This is significant progress. A few months ago there’s no way my brain would have survived this, I would have ended up under a duvet watching cat videos. Again.

So you never know, might be worth checking back here now and again in case this new trend keeps up.

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A Little Spring Goes A Long Way

Don’t quote me and don’t get excited, but I’ve been almost, well…  well lately.

Like, I have got a few things done in the house and made a few enquiries about getting help from other people with some other things, which was beyond my capacity during the Bad Shit that my mental state has been.

So, updates include:

I foraged for some snowdrop bulbs, along a public footpath where they had got crowded and needed splitting. I split and replanted them to spread further, and snaffled a few for my own garden.

These are not them. But they are beautiful and were part of the inspiration.

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I have also been using the unseasonably warm and sunny weather to ride that wave of gardening inspiration that can mean only one thing… ebay.

Got a massive haul of paving slabs for almost nothing, and Anthony (the Blessed Saint Anthony) helped me move them in his gargantuan van.

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They will pave a bit of the lower garden on which I am going to build a long, low shed full of bays for things like topsoil, manure, bark chippings, tools, bags of grit, etc. All this is going to streamline the process of gardening so much we will get a lot more done.

And inside the house there has been a bit of progress too, though I haven’t taken pictures because it’s really not that interesting to look at yet. But Andrew and Daisy came round and Andrew applied his considerable genius to constructing an actual base for an actual shower cubicle in my actual bathroom. So that’s one step closer to having the first shower in my ownership since 2013 or so…

Anyway, more spring please.

Meanwhile, if you miss me, go check out my other blog, www.imakeeverything.co.uk

 

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