Life is a series of ups and downs and the best we can hope for is it evens out in the end. Take this last week for example. A lot has been going on and there were mixed results. Some we won, some we lost and at least one outcome managed to be both at the same time. It is no wonder we are just plain worn out!
After a lot of delays due to problems sourcing materials, illness and waiting for something else to be done first we suddenly found ourselves with three sets of workmen. They were all in different areas, which made dog wrangling a bit difficult, especially Charlie who went into full hyper-vigilant mode. After threatening him with lavender oil and finally applying a few drops on the back of his neck he subsided. The rest of the day he sulked on the couch, muttering occasionally and wiping his nose on the cushions. Meanwhile our long held plans were coming to fruition.
Eddy arrived with two hefty lads and fitted our solar panels for the water supply. On the other side of the Majestic wall are the batteries, controls, fuses and dials. I’m not saying it is about as complex as the control panel for Concorde but it does probably rival a Sopwith Camel. He left the grid running to let the batteries charge up as it is very grey and overcast at present. Then on Saturday he came back and switched it over, leaving the mains feed as an emergency option.
Alas, this morning I woke to find we had no water and hurried out to the Majestic, a vision in Crocs and a yellow dressing gown. Hurrah for living in an isolated area! I saw the whole system was off and the fuse to the pump had blown so I had to call him out (after getting dressed). Eddy replaced the fuse with a new one and hopefully it will be fine now. Certainly we have water again though I keep checking the box indoors just in case. So – win, lose or both?
Fergus our tree man returned to remove the dangerous tree in the wood and safeguard the oaks which he did with his usual skill. Then he and Tom set to and removed a lot of the dying ash trees. Many of the smaller saplings turned out to be Poplar, a non-native plant in Ireland. They self seed, grow extremely fast and have shallow roots so can destroy a wood if left. They were all removed and chipped ready for new planting. Now we can actually walk around the wood and get to the remaining trees. At the back is a whole ecosystem with dozens of birds’ nests that we are leaving. This is their home too. Next year we will begin replanting and try to make it healthy and beautiful. But the wood looks so bare and empty at the moment. Win, lose or both?
The third step forwards was the welcome arrival of Dom, our joiner. He laid the floor in the new room, a waterproof laminate in anticipation of dog washing. He then built the frames for the sink and presses and managed to get the sink from Cork in place. It is extremely heavy and we were most impressed. He even fitted out some much-needed extra storage in the utility room. As a grand finale he moved the dryer in and fitted the condensing hose through the wall.
That is such a boon for us in the winter. No more draping the hose inside and trying to catch the water. No more steamed up rooms and condensation on windows. Bliss. We are now waiting for the doors to finish it off, probably in the New Year. Aidan, our plumber, has Covid so we can’t get the sink and washing machine fitted out yet. We wish him a full recovery and look forward to seeing him next month. So, mainly win and a bit of lose I think.
Well, it is a year round now and we are a few days away from the first glimpse we had of this lovely house. Like termites we have burrowed our way into it and are making it our own. Some changes are big, some very small but every step helps us feel more at home now. I will take this opportunity to send all good wishes to you all. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts this year. May the next year be a good one for everyone.