Happy Christmas everyone

It’s Xmas tomorrow and all work has been done, time to relax and enjoy a few days off with some good food, wine adn most importantly family and friends.

I’ve just cleaned out the chickens, who have supplied us witha few eggs so it’s bacon, egg adn chips for tea tonight!! Good old Hogan and Goldie, I hope they continue laying now they have started, pay back some of the food and housing bills 🙂

 After that it was unblock the kitchen drain. Luckily it was mostly leaves, so I’m not too smelly now it is cleared.

The acorns I’ve planted are doing well. Of the ones planted inside we now have around 20 growing and the Horse Chestnut has started as well.

This si good as the 1/3 acre extra land which we have been in the process of buying completed on Thursday the 21st, so after Xmas it will be erecting 120m of fencing and digging holes for trees and bushes. Hopefully the Forest of Mercia should be supplying us with some native trees, when the Oaks have grown enough they will go out, we have an Ash tree which self seeded and has grown by one of the barns, which will be moved and our Xmas tree this year has roots, so we’ll try planting that out in the new year and hope it continues to grow.

The chicken will move into a new luxury pad, with larger outdoor run and I can start digging the new vegetable patch. This should provide us with enough veg to last a good time…… Now where should I buy good tools from…..

Tell me is this a good day or a bad one?

I’m up to my eyes in getting work out for Xmas.

I’m trying to get this new project off the ground.

The kitchen still isn’t anywhere near done.

It’s freezing cold.

It’s pouring with rain.

Jo’s away and I’m missing her.





I’ve just made a cup of tea and stood for 5 minutes watching the Geese and Ducks on the moat, Tits, Sparrows and Robin eating the seed, a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the nuts and a Heron has flown overhead. From the other window the Buzzard is back and sitting on our corner fence post.

 Oh well back to work. 🙂

Is it me or are we just suffering bad luck?

The elctricians finished……

The Acorns have already started sprouting, we have 5 shooting up.

The rayburn has been moved and almost finished. We ran into building control problems. Moving it 5 feet meant we had to have a new stainless flexible flue liner installed, cap the chimney and what bugs me the most, after being told we couldn’t have single glazing as we should stop all draughts, is we now have to have two air bricks installed to give us plenty of draughts!!!!!!!!!

I’m busy with work, Jo is away teaching and here are our problems and the reason all work has stopped..

Jo’s Dad thinks he has cracked a rib on the scaffolding, so is of for at least another week, he’s already had 3 days off.

The electrican has had a hip replacement

The plumber got burgled, while he was asleep!!

Not to worry, Jo is home next week, I should have all my work out the way and we can get down to building again, so our plans for a kitchen for Xmas are looking unlikely.

I have to finish roughing up the walls and covering the electrics yet before the plasterers can move in. We have also decided to change all the doors, so that also means new fframes. Solid Oak is the choice to match the units, so a further order went in adn it was all delivered last week, so once John is feeling better adn has finished on the roof, he’ll be making a start on the joinery.

On the pleasant side, who’d think that in the UK I’d be out cutting the grass on the 19th November? I was mostly collecting leaves, as the hardstanding which has been covered with top soil and grass seeded was covered in them, but when I got to the paddock, even though I was cutting at the tallest setting, I still removed a fair amount of grass…….

Electrcians nearly finished….

Nearly three days late and they are nearly finished…. One more visit on Friday and we should be done for new electrics in the kitchen.

The hole is nearly all opened up, the old fireplace is being repaired, as when farmer Joe moved the Rayburn he smashed a hole in the chimney breat to take teh flue. This has meant the wall has dropped slightly. With all the cracking, we decided it would be best to dismantle all that was loose, rebuild the arch and build the wall back up.

In doing this we found that the wall we are rebuilding is a false wall, built when we don't know. The original wall has also be dismantled quite a bit, so we are having to rebuild that as well!!!  This will mean we block any holes to the upper bedroom, stopping any blowback of fumes if we have a downdraught.

Today I have been busy dressing the bricks for Jo's Dad John, and putting up the outside lamp standard for electrican John to wire up.

The extra piece of land next to the paddock, which used to be the hard standing is gradually being hand raked (after being harrowed and rolled) and sown with grass. I hope this warm weather holds out for a few more days to give it a chance at growing.

All we need to do in the kitchen now is strip the beams and get the plasterer in. The Oak to make the units should by then have arrived and we can get started on building it……

 Famous last words.

More acorns in their pots

Another 99 acorns have been planted, so we now have 232 oak trees hopefully going to be sprouting…..

Today is the third fine day on the trot, so I'm harrowing the ground we had top-soiled a couple of weeks ago and after a short break for lunch I now have to collect up all the big bricks adn stones and then get the roller on the back of the tractor adn roll the soil before getting the grass seed in before the winter sets in.

Planting acorns

Today we planted 133 acorns, hoping for a few Oak trees to plant in the new area of land we are buying from Farmer Joe. They should grow to replace the protection of the old trees along the West bank of the moat, which are starting to look a little old and will need some work on them soon. I also planted one Horse Chestnut – I haven't got any more seeds yet!!!!

We went shopping for more things for the kitchen, getting the wall lights and a new central light fitting.

 On our way we stopped off to watch Al playing football for his new team this year. They are a lot better than the old team, more disciplined and Al madea  great cross which led to their third goal. They eventually won 3-2.

We got back for 4pm to meet the neighbours (137a) and local concillor to discuss the plans we have for a Caravan club CL site. They seemed pleased with the items we had marked for work on, and allayed their fears over items like the entrance gateway etc. Hopefully this should all go through now.

Found a hole in my kitchen wall.

Some posts from me to a Period Property froum I'ma  member of, asking for help. Thought it would be nice to record it here as well, as I try to get back on top of my blogging. 

Sunday 24th Spetember 2006 

During the removal of the plaster from the kitchen I came across this…

I'm not sure what it is…. some sort of oven?

It matches the rest of the wall, in that the edges of it use rounded edge bricks the same as the two ends of the wall of which it is in the middle. It is 7 bricks tall and 2 bricks wide.

Any ideas what it might be?

Should I spend time opeing it up and excavating the insides?

This wall was going to have a dresser against it, but may not if this is an interesting find and worth the effort to put right.

Monday 25th September 2006

I shouldn't think it's a dumb waiter as it only goes up a little way further than the hole opening. I'm not sure how far down it goes, as it's full with crap.
Not knowing the size of bread ovens it could well be a storage hole. But why build such a huge wall to have such a small storage unit?

I'll open it up and see what it looks like.

I'll post further pictures as we progress, so long as it doesn't all fall down and bury me.

Saturday 30th September 2006 

Well I now know that the gypsum plaster was done in October 1951, unless they had some old copies of the Daily Express to hand at a later date as I've just found a page or two filling a gap above the door frame!!

Now that all the plaster is off the walls I'm going to support the bricks above my "hole" and open it up, so you may get more pictures later today or tomorrow.

The Daily Express is from Wednesday October 17th 1951.
It consists of 8 pages in total.
Front page is about Moslems attacking British women in Suez.
A Moslem Holy-War man killed the Pakistan Premier.
The Daily Express election manifesto was about purchase tax and that it was attacking The Housewife, and asked why the socialists thought it was to take money from the well to do when Woolworths which is a "working class institution" collected over £12m for Mr Gaitskell.
An advert for the New Austion 7, at £325 plus £18.1.2 purchase tax.

Inside various stories, a couple being;
It appeared that the majority of Apples for Xmas would not be English.
Birmingham New Street station was to lose 16 trains a day.

The back page is sport, mostly racing and boxing with a little football.

My favourite from the front page….

A man was summoned for being drunk and incapable – His name – Mr Binge

All in all could be from today really

Monday 2nd October 2006

Having removed the rest of the plaster from the wall below the "hole" I have found a new "hole" at floor level. Now to me this looks like some sort of draught maker (what is the proper term) to make the fire above burn hotter/light better etc.

Am I barking up the wrong tree?

I haven't got round to opening it up yet as we have had planning with the electricians all morning.

I aim to do it tomorrow, but will this have any impact on your ideas of what my "hole" may be?

Would a salt store have an opening drectly underneath it?

Extra picture added on underneath the others and the link is still the same… Hope you can see it, but my camera is with my son and I had to use my phone.

Wednesday 4th October 2006 

I'm working on it, but with the electricians in the kitchen as well, progress is slow. I don't want H&S down on me for making them work in a room filled with dust Rolling Eyes

Fortunately the inside has been bricked up, so it isn't just filled with concrete as I first thought and the quality of the bricklaying poor so they are coming away quite easily.

More pictures will follow shortly.

There may be a chimney to it.

I'm just working on opening up the main fireplace/chimney, which the Rayburn will move back into again.

It appears there may be a route from the main chimney to the "hole".


Been quite………

It’s been very quite on the blogging front… due to much work taking place on the house.

All the major work for the engineer and mortgage company has been finished, making and attaching metalwork to support beams, repointing chimneys etc.

We then moved on to the kitchen, which so far has been slow in progress. The design stage took a while to get to how we wanted, then it was a nightmare dealing with planning to try to re-install single glazed windows. We have double glazed aluminium at present in most windows. The conservation officer wanted us to put in good wooden single glazed windows, planning officer didn’t want to know – jobs worth – even told me the government decries we all fit energy efficient double glazing. So double glazing it is, but still wooden and they did allow the fitting of a new window to brighten up the kitchen in daylight.

The wood was measuerd and ordered, that took a while as we specifically wanted grade 1 douglas fir with a close vertical grain, expensive as well!! It should be here today.

In the mean time I’ve been hacking away at the plaster as all the cement based stuff needs removing and replacing with lime based plaster.

We now have our dog, Lucy a Border Collie, she’s loving the freedom of about  an acre of garden to run round in and has been helping me with the sheep. Her favourite pasttime is runnign and barking at teh birds flying overhead to tell them to go away – which they always do……

Well back to work now.