July 2005
As usual, it's taking more time to get the work started than we'd really like, but at least we're here and enjoying what we have.

Tania, Mike & Nan

Two intrepid friends came to stay with us just after we arrived. Mike's cousin Zoe came for three days. Our friend Nan, whom we met many years ago back in Sitka Alaska, came for just over a week and got stuck into some heavy gardening while she was here. They're both experienced world adventurers, so were ready for the challenges. It's kind of like wilderness cabin life in Alaska, only with electricity and plenty of pubs and sessions nearby.
A tarpaulin carport in the courtyard provided cover for Mike's old canvas tent, and made a weatherproof guest suite. As it happened, it was gorgeous the whole time they were here, but we weren't going to count on that!

Mike took a couple of pictures of the orchard wall garden before it got hidden behind the tent. The butterfly bush we were given as a tiny twig by Tom - our slate roof expert - and Bridget has grown wild (left), overshadowing the poor lilac in front of it.
The mock orange (right) was given to us by fantasy writer Elizabeth Kerner in Edinburgh (see our links page for more on her). It survived the trip to Ireland, crammed in the car with too many musical instruments, and has been filling our courtyard with its sweet fragrance.

  On the previous page there was a picture of the lovely view from our bathtub. It's in one of the barns that a wall fell out of (hence the view!). On the left is a picture of what's just outside that barn - a barrel of water on top of an open fire tray. It takes about an hour to heat enough for two deep baths or four showers. And with friends coming to stay with us or dropping by to see how we're getting along, we even added a curtain across the doorway. Ok, so it's an old army blanket -- it works.
We still haven't managed to get much done inside the house, but we're making ourselves comfortable anyway. >

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And now, the next roofing project begins.

Of course, it's raining again... 

Click here to see what we really did with the rest of the summer... >>>

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