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A sparkling, frosty morning today got us all off to a good start. I restocked the house with wood and planted the herbs we rescued from our old allotment in the rain this weekend, plus a plant given to us by Fiona.

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The herb garden is now growing nicely and we will have to carve out more beds if we want to add more. It is on the west of the house, outside the side door into what will be the kitchen. Thankfully deer and rabbits tend to steer clear of aromatic plants so less pest-proofing was needed!

As tomorrow is November 5th we have invited the neighbours over for a bonfire and are constructing a small pyre in the middle of the lawn. This time of year always puts me in the mood for proper parkin and I can’t have people over and not bake. It struck me as I went through the familiar measurements and process that this was the first time I have made it since my Nana (whose recipe it is) died. I think she would be pleased with the slab of sticky gingerbread sponge that resulted.

Finally, an update on the trades – the scaffolding has begun to go up but had to be halted halfway as longer poles are needed to avoid the electricity wires coming into the house. If the weather holds the scaffold should be up and work start on the chimney stacks this week.

All the tiles are now down and sealed in the shower room ready for grouting tomorrow.

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