Well well well!

Who would have thought, another week of good weather in Scotland. Gingers are still plastering on suncream (photographic evidence below) and taps are still off (photographic evidence withheld as not suitable for publication).

First let me tell you progress continues on the stonework of the building and soon the scaffolding will be down to allow final removal of render / rubble and pointing down to ground level. The chimneys have been re-rendered and are now resplendent in white, they have been joined by new window frames where the old ones were too rotten to renovate and both are starting to look the part.

White chimney just visible over the trees
Shiny new window frame

Meanwhile Dan and I have been continuing some garden archaeology, well digging anyway. To his credit it was mainly Dan who was doing the digging and he started the task of excavating the furthest of the outhouses last Sunday. Self proclaimed Indiana always believed the floor of the building was around a foot deeper and he was proven right after more than an hour of digging. In the process of digging a channel from door to door we also realised how many slates are buried beneath, whether they are any use is debatable.

Arms plastered with factor 50 please note mum

Still lots of work to do there and the slates all need to be moved to another location to allow further clearing and, with pun intended, get to the bottom of this. Meanwhile I have continued to wield the brushcutter through the orchard. We are blessed with approximately a dozen well established apple trees (the walled garden also has fig, pear, hazelnut and olive although the latter two appear to be non-fruiting at present) but they are currently competing with brambles, nettles and a variety of yet to be established others. Anyway the orchard is looking clearer but again has a lot more work to progress.

One of the smaller trees cleared round and showing plenty of fruit…
….let’s hope it tastes good!

The father and son team united for the next big job of the weekend, Dan joining me in the orchard for further excavation – this time of the well we knew to be located on the property. The well was easily identified by the small fence that did little to stop anyone getting to it in its decomposing state. The well had been significantly overgrown and we knew little other than it was fed from an underground spring.

Although it proved not to be deep we didn’t know that when we started so a fair amount of caution was taken as we cut back to reveal a couple of slabs protecting the opening. Fortunately, Dan was able to move them with relative ease to reveal a pool of water below.

It’s down there somewhere..
After cutting back
Water, water, everywhere

Having found water we decided our best option was to empty, realising that the bottom was approx 3 foot down it shouldn’t take too long. Half an hour of pumping water saw us reach the bottom that was heavily silted so we set about removal.

You can just see a small amount of spring water beginning to flow back into the well after removal of silt and whilst it won’t be clean enough to drink it will be very useful for irrigation of the vegetable garden. At the moment, with the dry spell we have experienced, water is not filling the well fast though.

So these for me were the interesting things to tell you about but there has also been paying bills and arranging quotes for the internal works. There is much paperwork to be done to secure grants that we believe to be available to supplement our fast disappearing budget. The missing parts for the Shepherd’s hut still do not have an estimated date for delivery, which is hugely frustrating given this was meant to be a clean space away from the house once internal work started (the photo below is me collecting the internal wall who’s delivery was meant to coincide with an already built exterior). I’m attempting to escalate this problem but largely failing to get traction. The weather looks as though it is about to turn, meaning the good weather remains precious until the building is made wind and watertight. One can but hope, it is Scotland after all.

I can’t deny I’m happy doing all of this though!

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