Archives for the month of: July, 2014

Plunton Sunset

An up-and-down month, with the welcome distraction of lovely visitors, birthdays, sunny weather and the children off for the summer holidays but work has progressed. We’ve finally started tiling in the kitchen, with the back and sides of the inglenook tiled using the leftover wall tiles from the bathroom. We’ve ordered more to arrive later this week so we can complete the hearth and a backsplash. I’ve also been making over some old light fittings using spray paint and patience.

The garden has got a little wild as we haven’t had any WWOOFers for a while – partly choice due to visitors and partly because we had our first WWOOF no-show. That was a bit of a shame as we had to refuse a lot of requests for the same time period due to having already accepted one placement. One of those things, I suppose, but a touch frustrating. We have more WWOOFers coming in the first week of August, so we will be doing outdoor projects with pallets and probably more harvesting then. We’re also meeting with our neighbours this week to talk all things pig. The pig sty/ark is now in our field but we need to sort out fencing, a trough, hoses for getting water to them and, crucially, buying said pigs!

The upstairs bathroom has had a little attention. We hope to redecorate in there next year sometime but in the meantime the window and bath were grimy and the old ill-fitting lino on the floor was providing little protection against splashes. So I dismantled the window to give it a good clean and plan to overhaul it at some point this summer too. The bath needed drastic measures. It needs re-enameling but that is expensive and only worth doing once we have finished redecorating in there, lest it gets damaged again. In the meantime, the pitted surface gets lots of ground-in dirt. The answer was to apply a paste of borax substitute and lemon juice and then scrub. It now looks pretty good but keeping it up will be a challenge. We also bought a couple of metres of cheap lino to recover the floor so it is a bit more water tight. Not quite a makeover but for less than 30 quid we have a non-shameful bathroom!

The final project underway is Iris’s bedroom-to-be. We have set ourselves the target of having her room ready for her birthday (and ideally by the end of the school holidays) but it also needs to host guests over the next six weeks, so this week we have started the messy jobs of removing all the hardware, painting and fixing up the window and shutters and stripping the wall and ceiling paint and lining paper. Most of this is happening at night and currently the hardware has been stripped and polished, the shutters sanded and primed and about 50% of the walls are stripped. The walls aren’t in bad nick, really, so will just need a bit of patching and filling before repainting. It’s also pretty warm for Scotland just now, so stripping paper with the steam wallpaper stripper is extremely hot work! Iris has decided she wants green paint on the walls so we’re awaiting the arrival of a few tester pots to see what works best.

Rather than pictures showing the work in progress, I thought I’d add one of the amazing sunsets we’ve been enjoying recently. My pictures don’t really do it justice but one advantage to being in a west-facing bedroom stripping wallpaper late at night is enjoying watching the summer sun go down!

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..The Beano.

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At the end of June, we spent a sunny afternoon at the Galloway Children’s Festival in Kirkcudbright. The kids had a ball, trying out circus skills, dressing up, singing and dancing.

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Garlic Rafters

Way back in November, back when we had only created two vegetable beds, we decided to plant some garlic. On the allotment, we’d tended to wait until spring for sowing garlic but the new beds were too much to resist and we wanted to get things growing as soon as we could.

As it turns out, it was a great move. Yesterday we harvested the garlic and it has produced some brilliant, sizeable bulbs. After harvesting, we bunched them together and they are now drying out on a rafter in the garage. After a couple of weeks, once the last bits of dirt come off, we’ll bring them into the larder to hang so we have bulbs to hand through the autumn and winter.