Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Been doing things.....

Today I spent a portion of my day up a ladder in the dining room / music room, where I was painting the walls. I should be painting at this actual moment but I am not because my legs are getting cross with me, and I don't want to upset them because they are the only pair of legs I've got, and I don't want them coming out on strike, which would be a nuisance, because I would have to stay in bed and not do anything because my legs wouldn't be travelling me to and fro wherever I needed to be. That would not do at all. They have lots of work to do yet, so the compromise I made with them was to have a five minute sit-down, so here I am.

However, I also needed a break from the fumes of the paint. Crikey but it kicks up a stink. And the window has to stay closed because the swifts are back, and house hunting furiously, and for years they have nested in the house, it being full of beams and handy holes, so they do not see any reason not to carry on the same as they always have. It is very sweet to hear a chirrupy male bird and his lady chatting as to whether this beam was good to make a nest on, or that beam over there. Shame that we have just sanded and oiled those beams and are not fussed with having slithers of bird poo everywhere, including on the cream coloured settee we have just bought. So I have to just drink in the paint fumes and hope it doesn't addle my brains anymore than they are already.

So.....we have five hens left. They are still in the courtyard. A family pow wow decided that we will not have any more hens until a proper henhouse is built, because we want to tidy up the courtyard. This has been the decision since Christmas. And then Lester accepted a bag of fresh eggs from a neighbour who he had given a lift to. And then I was marched across the road to another neighbour who also has hens who are laying at the moment. More eggs were received.

A few weeks ago Lester said it would be a good idea to get a new incubator, the small one we had started off with having been donated to friends of ours so their small son could enjoy watching chicks hatch and grow. This purchase has proved handy, as Lester went into smallholding mode today. We now have a load of eggs in the new incubator. Reinforcing the family pow wow decision not to have hens in the courtyard, I spoke loud and clear to Lester, reminding him of that decision, and when was he going to have time to build a proper henhouse. Bless him, he said he would get one done. He has also got his mini tractor out of the Middle Barn, and is at the moment clearing out the cow pens, using the tractor to tow the remoque , which is loaded with spoilt hay and straw, out back to the pig paddocks. When this task is done, he has mentioned that he might plough the veg plot. Oh! So it looks like we shall be doing some veg after all!

Meanwhile, I carry on painting and drinking in the fumes. The kitchen is nearly finished, and is just waiting for some more oak shelves to be made. I continue to oil the oak work surfaces. The plate rack is now on the wall, and has not fallen down even though it is now fully loaded with plates. It is a relief that it has stayed put. The kitchen is also being used as a music room as well at the moment, so is housing my two keyboards, and Lester's violin, mandolin, and banjo, plus sundry piles of sheet music. We are supposed to be playing at a hog roast the first weekend of June. Heyho, it will be alright, .....I hope!

I seem to be missing a lot of the Spring this year, but not to worry, the house is coming on. Our builder is now working in the lounge, and then he is on to working on the hallway, and if funds permit, the back kitchen. Rat holes are being blocked up, which means that all the rooms will be rat proof. I doubt they will ever be entirely mouse proof though, but when you have had rats messing about in the house mice do not seem quite such horrors.

And then there was the dead rat in the ceiling of the Half Barn, which is where we sleep and work. Unfortunately the flies weren't about, so the carcass just rotted slowly. A couple of flies doing their job would have prevented the odour for hanging around for so long (flies > meat> eggs> maggots> meat eaten> maggots pupate> flies). We left the doors and windows open twenty four hours, but still the odour hung in the air, which was a bit unfortunate because it happened just at the time I was trying to finish painting the ceiling above our bed, which was the area in which the rotting was taking place, as could be smelt by the wafts of dreadfulness oozing from out of the several holes between ceiling and beams. Yuck.

Not to worry, that smell has now gone, to be replaced by paint fumes. Ah well, it is nice being tidy, and it really is a treat to walk through three rooms which are now more or less done, apart from painting, and making them homely. All of a sudden we seem to have a lot of space around us.

And now I see that sun is starting to slide behind the nearby hills, so I had best go and rescue my paint brush before it dries hard, and get the girls out for a walk on the field, and no doubt get bitten to pieces on my legs as well as I walk them. We have had thunder storms. It is Spring. Everything is waking up, the recent wetness enabling all those biting insects to wake up as well.

Saying bye for now, and wondering how many bites I collect tonight. Not to worry, such is life when one is living in the countryside!

Love and blessings,



Rhodesia said...

Look after those legs, yes they are the only ones you have. Can't you rub something on your legs to stop the bites? I use different oils, they do not do a 100% job but it does help.
Enjoy the warm weather, long may it last. Don't stay in those fumes for too long and keep well Diane

John Gray said...

There is nothing worse tgan a dead rat........the smell is sooooooooo bloooody awful

Vera said...

Diane, I do use citronella to keep the biting insects at bay. Trouble is that I tend to only remember to use AFTER I have been bitten! Hope you are enjoying the warm weather as well.

John, you are absolutely right....the smell of a dead rat is beyond beyond!

Dawn McHugh said...

It all sounds like a great job is being done, whats a few chooks you will love them when they arrive :-)

Vera said...

Dawn, you are right....little chicks are the sweetest thing, and to see them actually hatching is truly to behold the miracle of life.

the Goodwife said...

So true about the legs, and I love your phrasing, it's fabulous! My step dad in law is a painter and he recommends putting vanilla in the paint to help cut down the fumes.

Yuck to the dead rat, and hooray for all else!

Vera said...

The Goodwife, thanks for the info about vanilla, but am loath to use the vanilla pods I have just purchased via Amazon UK to make the paint smell better! So I think, just an open window will have to do!