Saturday, 31 May 2014

What happens when you are an idiot

. . . and you put a wildlife camera in the vegetable patch and forget about it?

You end up with umpteen-thousand-and-eleventy-seven images to sort through.  Or at least as many as will fit on a 16GB memory card.

The Bushnell took up residence in the veg. patch in April and stayed there for a rather long time.  All the unflattering images of me planting asparagus have gone right where they belong (good ol' Trash Can!) as have numerous black & white shots of neighbouring cats wandering around as if they owned the place.

I'm delighted with the cameras and the image quality can be outstanding.  The main problem, believe it or not, isn't setting them out and forgetting them - it's finding a location where they are not blinded by the sun during the day or by the footpath lights at night.  I'm still working on that.

(published 2nd April 2015)

Sunday, 25 May 2014

After demolition comes excavation

We trust Geoff to excavate perfect footings, fortunately, so does our builder.

At the time it was hard to imagine this mess could ever become garden.  And now, looking back, it's hard to remember just what it was like before we started messing about :)

As work progressed we noticed a faint, sulphur-like smell.  Geoff and LP, being local, were not surprised to find huge chunks of what was once blast furnace slag from the Workington steelworks which used to be such an important part of the local economy.  It was common practice for builders to use it as hardcore. 

(finally published on 1st April 2015 . . . !)

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Demolition part two

Lovely sunny day, and Madam has very quickly discovered the joys of sitting on the now accessible balcony and surveying her world.

First there was the matter of two very large, very well established Laurels that I really didn't want to lose but which had to be moved.

It rather felt like setting up for Chelsea, I usually move plants in a wheelbarrow, not a monster JCB :-)  (Postscript a year later - they're both doing really well.)

The we got to the "fun bit" (so I was reliably informed).  

It got pretty messy.

Given the complete absence of foundations, it's a miracle this wall hadn't come down sooner.

(finally published on 1st April 2015 . . . !)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Demolition part one

First, let's have a recap of what the steep bed on the driveway used to look like.

And now what it looked like after LP had attacked it.  He admitted there are days when he really enjoys his work!

And now we can get on with what will probably be, after the removal of the leylandii, the biggest visual change so far to Bag End.

(finally published on 1st April 2015 . . . !)

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Impromptu pond

We covered up the middle raised bed to keep the rain off until I'd had a chance to do some planting. 

(finally published on 31st March 2015 . . . good grief!)

Saturday, 17 May 2014


Why, with the most glorious view out the front that anyone could wish for, why would you have a huge picture window with a glazing bar EXACTLY at eye level?  No matter where we sat in the room, the thick horizontal lined up with the mountains.  We could see the garden underneath and the sky above, but never the whole picture.

And having casually said a couple of years ago "if the kitchen sink was moved we could put the table by the window and watch the birds & pond whilst eating” which resulted in our second go-round of moving kitchen units back in December 2013, it was now time to put the next part of that plan into effect.

There followed a day of efficient activity for the window fitters, a day with the plasterer from hell in the house and abject misery for me.  I absolutely hate the mess, the noise, the disruption. It doesn't help that the trades and Management always tell me "it will be fine, we'll clear up, you won't know we've been here" - that is a complete is a load of bollocks (sorry, technical term). It never is 'fine', they never clear up, and I always know they've been here.  That's why there are photos on Day One, and nothing until the ones at the end which were taken months later.

The fact that I've been doing this (feels like endlessly) for the last seven years does not mean I've got used to it, just means I dread each stage of the house renovation more than the last.  I'm past believing "it will be worth it once it is done", and as we've just [April 2015] ordered three more windows, guess who will NOT be here when they're fitted? 

I particularly like this photo.  See the lovely sheet of plastic hanging inside the opening "to stop the dust"?  See the 12" gap at the top?

(finally published on 1st April 2015 . . . !)