Backtracking to a couple of weeks ago: Danny (our French builder) had reappeared for a fleeting visit to install a log burning stove into The Hut / Office so we could be roasty-toasty during the winter, rather than being frozzled like we were last winter.
But: uno problemo. The cost of installing the fire was too much to warrant the outlay, or so Hubs said. And it was decided to forgo the fire and opt for an oil filled radiator. Me and Hubs, ...well I must admit to feeling a little bit squashed. We had been looking forward to having that fire simmering along, but not to worry. We could manage. We've done two winters here already. We can manage another: sleep in the caravan, work in the Hut/Office, cook in the kitchen over in the house. Never mind that the house has no windows. Or that there is a hell of a draft in the caravan. Or that mice seem to enjoy frequenting the Hut/Office as much as we do. Not to worry. We Can Do It.
And then: A bright beam of inspiration hit upon Danny: why not put the fire in front of the only chimney that hasn't fallen down, which is in the house. Wouldn't cost much.Could do it now. Good idea? With reluctance, we agreed. Didn't seem to be any point really, since the chimney was the 'lounge' which at present was being used as a storage depot. But Danny was enthused so we let him get on with it.
Friend Val was visiting, as was Ron, her partner. Me and Hubs, well our energies were sagging after a hectic year, so we were emotionally flat-lining. So the V & R Team rolled up their sleeves, and decided that enough was enough and began the 'Get Vera And Lester Into The House This Winter' project. Off went Ron and Lester to do shopping at the local Brico. (DIY store). Val went into house moving mode, and with serious enthusiasm began stripping out the lounge, denuding it, making it bare of all things previously stowed there.
I, meanwhile, hovered. Sort of felt like I was on a roller coaster over which I had no control. The busyness of R and V was astonishing, and I felt an onlooker. It was quite nice.
And it was decided that the 'kitchen' would move over into the 'lounge' together with the sofas so we could have a sit down in comfort. The fire would keep us warm. In the now empty ex-kitchen room we could sleep. Seemed a good idea. No more caravans. That was a very good idea!
However: Once Team V&R had left, I got on with moving the kitchen stuff into the 'lounge'. Up at 5 I was. Did quite a bit of shifting. Up at 9 Hubs got. Took one look at the new 'kitchen' and announced that it didn't look right, and that he had a Good Idea: Move the office over to the 'lounge'. Make it a shared area for sitting, slobbing-out, and working.
So everything back in the original temporary kitchen, apart from the seating. Over from the Hut/Office came the office equipment, of which there is loads. Chaos ensued. Muddle ran rife. My mood hotted up. Seem to have spent loads of time trying to sort muddle out from the continuous shifting about of our living and working accomodation over the last two years. Not to worry though. Onwards.
And so: Look!
Hubs' Working Space
My working space, where I am sitting to write these words for you.
The sofa is useful to collapse on when I am suffering from mental constipation!
And above our heads we put a tarp.
To stop the dust, and bits of walls that still become unstuck from the house, and act as a tiny deterent to the drafts. We are in a sandwich of tarps, because we have also laid tarps over the floor to act as a barrier between our feet and the concrete.
I think it looks quite fetching!
As for the bed. Well that stays in its flat-packed form for the moment, as we continue to sleep in the caravan. Not to worry, though, because we are roasty-toasty all the day long now.
So: thanks to Danny for his inspiration for the fire. Thanks to Team V&R for doing some shifting. Thanks to Hubs for his brainwave idea of moving the office over to the house. And another thanks to Hubs for coming up with an absolutely spiffing idea of buying an electric blanket for the bed in the caravan. Now why didn't we think of that before!
We have a fire! Yippeeeee! I am getting tidied up. Yipppeee!
And can't resist sharing that lovely roaring fire with you again:
Well, after sorting all that wood it would have been 'agin nature' not to have the stove up and running!
Looks very inviting, too.
You are absolutely right, Fly, and Hubs new job is maintaining the wood pile having now become familiar with the voracious appetite of a wood burning stove!
A FIRE! What bliss!
I'm so pleased for you that you will have a warm and dry sanctuary this winter. You have already made it look so homely and comfortable.
PS A while ago you mentioned crispy mushrooms,and as I never have any success when I make them, would you post your method please?
I'm so happy that you will be warmer this winter Vera. It's going to make a big difference. Well done for working so hard to make it all happen.
I love it, Vera! Everything is coming together so beautifully! Nothing like a cozy fire to make a home feel oh, so right.
Wishing you well Always!
Excellent. Well done. Can't beat a good fire. Good idea using a tarpaulin on the ceiling. Loads of stuff falls through our ceiling floorboards from the loft above. An umbrella would come in handy.
It all looks and sounds very cozy, even
the electric blanket. As someone who
can't stand to be cold, don't think I'd
have survived your last two winters.
Any news on the Max and Tess conception?
I checked and learned that the gestation
is about 115 days. Maybe you don't need
to contend with that during the cold
Ondine: Thanks for the best wishes, crispy mushrooms? All I do: small mushrooms are best. Rinse and wipe them dry. Dip them in beaten egg until well covered. Dip them in breadcrumbs. (Lovely sticky fingers ensue!)Then into frying pan with reasonably hot olive oil already in it. Fry until they look done. Let me know how you get on!
Ken: Thanks for your best wishes as well. I do read your blog but rarely have time to comment due to the lack of hours in a day!
Kelly: Hope you are keeping well, as I know you have had a busy time of it of late. Hope you head is full of buzzy ideas, and hope your smile is bright and true now.
Tommo: I thought yesterday about your recent blog, and about how well you paint a picture about your adventures. Umbrellas are handy things, I agree! But mine is bent, battered, and only half erect, so probably fairly useless when a lump of something heavier that a feather descends from the house!
Sheila: The last two winters have been tough in regards to the cold, but we are healthier being away from the internal world of central heating. Well that's what I keep telling myself! 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days is what the gestation period apparently. But you are right, it would perhaps be better if the piglets arrived next year. Either way, we will be glad to have the patter of tiny porky feet!
Any news on the pig front?
Thanks for the info. on mushrooms, maybe I was not being generous enough with egg, as I never get sticky, Ha ha!!!
It is disappointing that the comments take so long to appear,(often two to three days) as all spontaneity is lost. Would it be better if I became a "Follower" and how do I do that?
Hi Ondine: Stickiness is a must for those mushrooms! Sorry about the interval between the comments coming in and my response, but I am in the middle of re-editing my web site, which is over 200 pages long, and trying to get sorted out in the house after the chaotic past few weeks. Normally I do post quicker. Also, the blogs are slow as well at the moment. It takes me over an hour to write a blog, often two, and the web site has to take priority at the moment. But will take notice of what you have said, bless you. Got an extra hour this morning, so have got the time to sort another blog out. Hope you have a good Sunday.
I did not realize that it was you who controlled the speed of the postings, I thought it was the site moderators. So I am really sorry to have moaned, as I think you are doing a stirling job in very difficult circumstances, and really I do not know how you have time for all the huge number of tasks you manage each day. Hope I am forgiven!!
Ondine, you did me a favour in reminding me of my responsibilities to my blog. I have always felt that if someone takes the trouble to write a response to what I have written, then it is only right that I should take the time to let them know that I appreciate their efforts. But of late I have been tardy with this, and I am very pleased that you have reminded me to be to get those replies posted quicker. So thanks, Ondine, and there is nothing to 'forgive'.
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