Firstly I must apologise for not answering some of your comments and posts, there’s no excuse really just that I’ve been having a bit of a computer free time.
So after a really nice and sunny May, June and July were one thunder storm after another. Most days even if we didn’t get rain we could hear thunder storms in the distance and it was very overcast and muggy. When it rained, boy did it rain, we had some of the most amazing storms along with the most torrential downpours I’ve ever experienced. One of our plans for this year is to get the roof on the main house redone, unfortunately this hasn’t been done yet and so with the weather we’ve been having it’s been out with the pans to place under all the leaks we seem to have acquired over the past year. We are hoping we will get the roof done in August now the weather seems to have got back on track and the sun is finally out. Another downside to all this rain is the weeds have been growing at an abnormal rate, but on the plus side with the ground being so damp at least they are easier to pull out :-).
Apart from the one window in the living room, the rest of it is finished. Hurray!!. We have also got a new dining room table, well new to us, that didn’t look anything special but now it has been cleaned up and had a bit of tender loving care we are really pleased with it.
The race has been on to get the bedrooms and the hallway finished before we have guests staying in September. Even though after we put the floorboards down in the living room we said “Never again” we have ended up putting them down in our bedroom. So our bedroom has now been plastered, painted and a new floor put down. We got rid of the old wardrobes that came with the house so Joe has built some boxes for extra storage that fit under the bed, these now contain some of our winter stuff like door curtains, hats gloves scarves etc. and I made some covers for these to stop any critters getting in. I’ve also renovated a couple of old bedding boxes we had lying around which now house all our bedding and we have got a new to us dressing table for in our bedroom.
For the spare bedroom we have just plastered and painted the walls and painted the cement floor. The window in the spare room needs quite a bit of work because some of the wood is rotting so that job might have to be left till next year. For now we are just putting a bed in there, the rest of the work can be done after September.
We have a large hallway which apart from joining the house together is a bit of a waste of space so Joe has built a wardrobe at one end of it. The main body of the wardrobe is finished and is now in use, there is just the mulberry cladding to go on the outside of it to finish it off, but this is still drying out. All the internal doors and surrounds have now been sanded and painted, there are only three of them but that’s a lot of wood. We have just painting the cement floor in the hallway and have installed the first lot of wainscotting, the rest of the wainscotting will have to wait until we have knocked the door through to the walkway.
All of our wood is now chopped and stacked ready for winter, this year we opted for getting ready chopped wood and all though some of the pieces still need chopping most of the work was all ready done.
Some friends of ours were leaving the village and had quite a lot of roughly sawn dried planks which they weren’t taking so of course Joe can’t say no to more wood. The problem was where to store it. Our main barn is full of stuff ( might come in handy one day stuff ) and our fire wood and the barn which is split into 2 at the other house is still full of mullberry, cherry and poplar. So to make more space Joe has taken down the dividing wall in the barn at the other house so we now have somewhere to store the newly acquired planks.
The garden has had a bit of a hard time of it, well our trees have. We have lost several large branches off some of our apple trees due to the amount of fruit on them. Joe has been gradually reducing the size of some of our trees over the last 3 years but now nature has done some of the work for him. Our greengage plum tree is not looking very happy at all. It lost a main limb last year and this year 2 of the remaining limbs look like the have probably died. The red and black currants seemed to have liked the wet weather and we got a good crop off both of these, the peaches not so much. This year the peaches were huge, it’s just that there wasn’t many of them and we only managed to harvest a few before they rotted, on the plus side it looks like we are going to get a good crop of figs this year. Our old grapes vines are doing well and I don’t know why but we seem to have been very lucky that ours aren’t rotting like our friends grapes are. The wheat harvest didn’t go to plan, the wheat grew and ripened well but harvesting it was not easy. We kept waiting for at lest 3 days of dry sunny weather to dry it out, but they never came. The decision was made we would just have to harvest it the next dry day even if the wheat was still damp so with the help of a couple of friends we got the harvest in, but we had left it too long. We had all ready threshed it and winnowed it but our neighbour told us it was only good for animal feed. Never mind we learned a lot going though the process and we will try again another year.
We now only have 2 goslings left out of the 4 that hatched. When they hatched 2 of them seemed a bit weaker than the other 2 but we hoped they would catch up. Unfortunately the parents decided one of them was a liability and they killed it, the other one got an eye infection so we removed it so we could treat the infection but maybe due to the stress of removing it from the parents it died 3 days later. The remaining two goslings are doing well and are almost as big as their parents. We have also got a male pekin duck to go with our females, but he seems more interested in Gary our cockerel and follows him everywhere.
We have finally got round to finishing our archway for the new grapevines, this was a job that we had to take time out of doing the house for because the vines were getting too big not to have any support.