Jan and Colin have gone back home. They seemed to have enjoyed their time here even though the wind was a bit too cold for Colin ! They are now heading off to summer in their flat in the south of France, I’m sure Colin will be warmer there!
The weather has been what we might charitably call changeable. The other day, after a wet and very windy morning the sky cleared the wind stopped and we had the most delightful spring afternoon and evening here, we spent some of the evening outside star gazing. We are still like little kids when we look up at the truly dark sky here and marvel at the night sky.
Our fireplace is progressing well and all the pieces are starting to come together ( see photos ). The stove has been delivered as has the chimney liner and cap, This chimney cap is rather magnificent piece of construction. It has been hand made by Ben, the son of Dave Major who is fitting the stove. They got fed up with the shop supplied caps falling apart after a couple of years up here so they set to design and build their own. The grill around it is to keep any birds out, and the level of construction is such that it would probably support a flock of Golden Eagles should they decide to stop off for a rest! The plinth and mantle piece for the fireplace are being made from stone out of a local quarry. We should have a working fire by middle of next week so photos will follow. The scaffolding is partly up but the wind has got up the last couple of days so it is a bit tricky to work up there, to say nothing of plain unpleasant to try fitting liners and remaking the top.
Over the last three days Brian Senior has been staying with us so that he and I can design the World Championship book cover which we do each year. His flight in got cancelled, then changed, then brought forward, but eventually he arrived and in between working we managed to have a day out sightseeing. Although Brian did bring a nice thick jumper he still was not really prepared for the wind! I think one of the highlights for him was when a complete double rainbow appeared framing the Grain Store in our garden, the first time Brian has seen one like that apparently. I didn’t have time to get the camera though, these things are very transient. He has now gone back and Anna and I have the place to ourselves for a bit.
The builder to do the improvement works to the small sitting room where the fireplace is has been booked as has the guy to tidy up our drive at the front so we can have a proper turning area rather than a muddy patch, the pothole will be fixed and as Anna will not let me buy a fishing Gnome to put beside the large puddle that appears on the drive just by the drivers door, the lake will be eliminated also. It is great to be starting to do some improvements although Planning and Building warrant have not gone through yet, two more weeks we are told.