Saturday, August 10, 2013


The blistering weather is taking a short break with the return of clapping thunder and a night of strobe effect lightening. Tiling has also halted for a few days at a count of 136 laid with the return of guests arriving. When we see how many tiles there are still stacked outside the front door and then continuing with a full palette in our storage room, we know that this might be a huge task to finish before snow falls.
But try as we will, we must keep going and what with the garden sufficiency too. This week we took our last potatoes from last years crop into our indoor sack ready for consumption and started unearthing this years supply. Pumpkins have also re-appeared in the cellar, much as we like them hopefully not as many as last year please..
Last night's and today's expecting rainfall has given the ground some much needed damp relief. It also allows us to try out our UFO shaped umbrella cover over the tipi poles. Whilst it was a struggle to raise it to reach over, we know over time it will become much easier to do (I hear laughing from Jana when I read this out..!). But the cover hasn't flown off yet and it has kept dry inside and that's what is most important. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Havran: The heat is on

Havran: The heat is on: The summer sun beating down everyday is making for the current unpleasant and excessive heat.  My only place for solitude is to start lay...

The heat is on

The summer sun beating down everyday is making for the current unpleasant and excessive heat. 
My only place for solitude is to start laying down near to a thousand floor tiles in the bathroom and kitchen. 
After a couple of sessions there are now 42 carefully placed terracotta squares squashed down in Havrans special cob mud mixture base. 
Having been reluctantly putting off this humongous task for an excessive amount of time (no such thing as a small job at this cottage..), there is now a dash to have the job completed before the summer disappears. With the way the hot stifling days are it seems a very long time away. 
Certainly the hot weather has given nature something to think about. A collection of unfortunate stiff insects is mounting up, crispy tinder dry grass has given up to grow anymore, and the crusty ground is becoming to appear like one large broken egg shell. 
Our dogs, panting like a couple of steaming locomotives, are happy to sleep the days through for relief.
And the plum season has finally arrived in full. Falling like stones, and in abundance as normal, the heat is certainly on.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Sun cream

Another day at the office!
After watching the beetroot coloured faces returning home from Havrans' own wild swimming hideaway it has crossed our minds whether sun cream is ever bought in this country.
When it comes to pain my morning had been pretty spectacular too. 
It started with a vicious attack by a bramble bush which left blood dripping and a thorn piercing the back of my ear without noticing it until lunchtime. The secateurs though had the revenging last laugh.
Next were the nettles. Wearing in-appropiate gloves with conveniently placed holes on the fingers, regular stinging pursued whilst making a new batch of natural fertilizer feed for the vegetables. Intensive scratching followed.
Over ripened pears have been falling quickly from our two old trees lining the track outside the cottage. Bruised and battered, they make an excellent addition to the compost. As I picked up this content I heard the regular ruffling of a new pear falling through the leaves, too late to take cover as I softened its landing with my head. There was still time to be stung by a wasp enjoying the inside juices of one of the fruits.
And it is not a good idea to wear gummy slippers and use a pick axe to excavate hard dry ground. Nothing needs explaining as to why I had a sore toe. 
Consequently I decided it was time to leave before any further injury. Sun cream packed, as I was already red-faced from all the other previous events of the day.