Sunday, January 19, 2014

neighbour's tipple

A week of restoration on the A3S and so far so good. The unsightly floor has been removed to reveal floorboards which don't need to many expletives to restore! 
A trip to see our other elderly neighbour today to welcome in the new year and to see if he has some more wood to help us put back together our barn roof, tactile we must be. The bottle of wine and homemade parsnip cake certainly helps to lighten the proceedings. We persuade him to open his homemade wine instead of our bland supermarket purchase, not wishing to upset him of course. He uses only one room in the winter months in his cottage, a usual way in the countryside. In it there is the stove in the corner which cooks and heats, the bed covered over with a blanket in case of any arriving guests (us in this instance), a television as a form of company, and a table in the middle under the bare light bulb. A sparkle in our neighbour's eye as the conversation is solely directed with Jana, the topping up of the vino is only for my own source of interest it seems. At first I am understanding the conversation, I even break in with a few words of the lingo myself. Later though as the wine takes a little more affect my mind wanders, watching a deliberately poor tv program on the muted television to get you to buy a CD of some random trio who would normally be booked at Slovak wedding reception. Two clocks are ticking near me, this is nothing compared to the five bedside clocks in our other neighbour's kitchen. I wander in and out of what is being said, another glass filled, the television's sound is put back on for my (dis)pleasure. I know that I need to bring my camera next time to record some of what I see here, the simple retro dresser with a glass display of unused plates and glasses, the patterned plastic table cover which hides the antique table, and the few pictures taken from a black and white era hanging on the wall next to the washbasin with the old fashioned shaving brush in the soap dish (he had politely apologised when we first arrived that he hadn't shaved). Whilst I may not understand everything that is being said, I am starting to understand why things are being said just by the feelings and the visual clues around and that's important too.   

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A3S progress

Still no change outside, a few frosty mornings but nothing to add on the weather report. So we are still holding on to jobs outside the cottage. This week I decided to finally have a crack at the A3S trailer parked up in the field, after all we would like you to come and stay in it in the summer! So far the work on it has been painless and smooth, ripping up an old floor and sanding what has been revealed underneath. The accumulation of unwanted items we have for the second hand shop in the town (a room full!) have been dispatched from the trailer to a new location to make space for all this work. These include an ironing board, a frog soap dispenser and a couple of machetes..all unneeded of course. What is needed now is another piece of homemade chocolate brownie.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Snow joke!

A winter's evening sky. Stunning, yet even with the early morning freezing temperatures this still doesn't feel like winter without having snow. 
The hardened icy ground has finally put an end to the back breaking task of weeding fifteen vegetable plots. Needless to say in the Springtime all the weeds will pop back to life again anyway. 
The winter-less winter has certainly confused us all. Mici, is out most of the time preying on mousey treats that would usually be hidden away, insects and birdsong are seen and heard. Wood is only randomly being put in the stove, not rammed in like the last two winters. And not much to complain about from farmer Gregan, our usual source of predicting bad weather. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

them 'arties' again!

A delicious creamy soup made of our home grown artichoke harvest. Enough made to last the whole weekend. But within a short space of digestion time after the first and second helpings we knew that it was unlikely we would want to grow this much of the vegetable again. The 'fartichoke' vegetable had taken two more victims. The composting toilet in the cottage was bypassed for the more airy outdoor facility, which was frequently visited over the following 24 hours. It was a horrible but necessary duty to dispose the Sunday helping of the soup onto the compost patch, not a drop more was to pass our lips. But whilst our compost patch will appreciate the latest addition to it's bulk, it's fair to say that the unusually warm and snow-less winter is helping its decomposing rate too. Currently more chores are taking place outside than in, such as weeding and finding a potato supply to last week. A multitude of tasks can be undertaken in such pleasant conditions which has led us to believe that someone upstairs is telling us "to get a move on, you were supposed to do all this back in Autumn, I can't hold back this snow for too much longer!"