Thursday 21 July 2016

ab initio...

It's tomorrow. We officially become tenants of the Lodge House at midnight tonight. G is picking up keys in the morning. After that, despite the excitement, everything will be fairly humdrum whilst we pack up our one bedroom flat here, make arrangements with electricians, plumbers, chimney sweeps and removal men and, finally, put everything into transit on Monday.

The real work will begin in earnest on Wednesday when the tradesmen depart. There are rooms to paint and decorate, outbuildings to lime wash and equip, tools to organise, borrow and beg for. There is furniture to restore, and amidst it all, a baby to mind.
Oh, and then there's the garden.

The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. It's going to take a this space!

Friday 8 July 2016

Good Vibrations...

It is exactly two weeks until we move. Excitement is not the word. I think both G and I are suffering from that childhood experience of moving through time as if we were wading through jelly. Neither of us can wait for the day to come, but more than that, neither of us can wait for the moment at which we can look around ourselves and think, 'that's it, we are settled'. Both of us think this move is the most exciting thing that has happened to us since Boy was born.

We have done a few things to prepare. Not much, I hasten to add, we are both working round the clock in the old 'nine to God Knows When'. However, G did spend a lunch time looking at our energy suppliers. Unsurprisingly, it is not a conventional set-up. Electricity is solar and mains but gas is via an LPG tank. Recently G heard an interesting talk at a work seminar by the founder of 'Good Energy', Juliet Davenport. They are the UK's first 100% renewable energy supplier and currently partner the National Trust on some of their renewable energy projects. As we have solar, and can sell our energy back into the grid, they seem like a natural choice. So, we can be sure that all the electricity we use will be either our own or from another renewable source.

As for LPG, it's a bit of minefield, because it's pretty niche for domestic; most rural properties are oil if they are not on mains gas. We are looking at various farming co-operatives but are committed to using local wood fuel for the majority of our heating needs through winter. 

As for me, my preparations have involved exploring the vast cellar in my ex-convent school. The building dates from 1860, schooled Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin when it was an Anglican foundation; then was bought by the Jesuits, and finally the Bernadine Sisters I know and love. They left in 2006. Suffice to say, there is enough history down that cellar to satisfy an AQA Exam Board. I found an old piece of the reredos or altar screen and two large galvanised pails. I took the pails.

Friends have offered an unusual array of house warming gifts, including chicken wire, a sledge hammer, straw, feed, and planks of wood. All of which we are delighted with. The in laws have bought us a bed. Hurrah! We will be 'upcycling' the old shin splitter to a new incarnation as yet undetermined (leaf pen?).

In the background we have been keeping a detailed inventory of all 'household waste'; it makes shocking reading but we need it to benchmark for future improvements. More on this subject anon...