It's been a cold, hard winter and today the wind finally blew off the cover on the roof and then gleefully poured rain and hail in the gap onto the stairs and landing!
On a positive note I passed my online permaculture design course and received my certificate!
|My 'Certificate' :)|
Still waiting for the quotation for the roof repairs...this is the third man that's been so we hope this one will actually come back with a quote. We figured the other two realised we couldn't afford their prices so didn't bother giving the quotation :D
Jean Christophe has overworked himself repairing the boundary fence at the rear of the property. It was in a terrible state. We only had to buy new wooden posts, the rest was a patch and repair job and we're going to line the line with tyres (two up) in which we're going to plant trees and bushes to create a solid perimeter and reinforce the bank down into the communal fosse ( a big ditch that collects the rainwater run-off from the fields).
Seeding and planting preparations have begun in between drizzly, cold days. Salad has already sprouted and tomatoes look like they're going to pop up their heads tomorrow. Disappointed to find that almost all of the 1,000's of flower seeds I painstakingly collected last year are sterile! Unless I buy new 'organic' or 'heirloom' seeds I guess this is how they've got us now. At least the star flower has offered some fertile seeds as has a recently eaten red pepper :D
If you don't want to donate any cash we'd love some seeds (flowers, veg, herbs....). All is gratefully accepted!
I've reduced our 'target' to a more reasonable 20K... for the interim future (aka the next 2 years) we really need to concentrate on the house itself before we can host others. So the roof, insulation and a fully plumbed bathroom are the top priority...of course along with the planting and growing and fencing and chickens to buy so that we can create surplus to sell! Oh it will be bliss to take a real shower! It will come I know it will!
JC has spent the last month single handedly repairing the boundary fence - we only had to buy the new wooden posts as all the rest is recycled materials including tyres and pallets... Thanks to another wonderful donor we were able to buy some conifers and a peach tree. A full update to come as soon as we get another sunny day so I can take the updated snaps.
|Pallet Fencing...using tyres too|
|External view of the awesome pallet fence|
|New conifers planted in reclaimed tyres|
|Beginning to resemble a barrier at Brands Hatch...reclaimed tyre buffers with planted with conifers|
Rather long gaps between posts don't mean no work, lol. We finally got a 'do-able' quote for the roof so JC has been busy with that, with a short break for a family visit. The worst part of the roof has been dismantled (lots of firewood for next winter) and the new beams, tarp and boards are now in place. Next step is the tiles and fixing around the chimney.
|JC in action|
|First new beam in place!|
|What a difference!|
|Yes, this was the passage to the loo for 2 weeks...rather tight squeeze or an acrobatic manoeuvre required|
We were blessed to receive a gift of over 1400 used (but good condition) roof tiles on my birthday saving almost 2000 Euros!!! Truly a blessing from a neighbour we hadn't even met up until then.
Unfortunately the top beam which continues to the main roof is rotten so we've sheared it up for now and will address that next.
Slowly but surely, with faith and patience and the generosity of strangers, associates and family we're getting there.
Ps. Regarding my desperate need for a shower...well I got one! Not quite what I had in mind, but a shower nonetheless. While the main repairs were in motion, that is the roof was 'off' there was an unexpected deluge one evening and no way to get the cover over it in high winds and rain...the next day I had to don my wellies and rain jacket to go to the loo (which is just under the mezzanine of the bit being repaired). As I sat there...drip, splat, drip, splat, drip, splat! The rainwater had collected in the insulation and proceeded to trickle steadily through the ceiling above the loo. Couldn't stop laughing at the irony of having materialised my desire! :D The moral of this story is be very careful and very specific about what you wish for...lol...though I'm still visualising that 1 million Euros in the bank ;).
Love & light to all
Louise (aka Mermie) & JC