Normally I blog in an upbeat tone, (I hope,) preferring to focus on success here at The Larches. Of course there are times Hubby and I throw a wobble, especially when we find that we haven't won the lottery and it dawns on us that THAT bathroom and THAT crumbling porch will remain with us for the foreseeable future... breathe.... but on the whole we're chipper.
It is with this positive attitude that I tackled a job on Sunday morning I'd been putting off for almost two years.
The south facing walls of the the kitchen garden actually belong to the original cottage c. 1700. It's in a sorry state really, but I use the last remaining full room as my potting shed and the 1st floor, albeit unstable, we use for light storage. The lottery win would really help to save this building!
When we had the house peeled of wisteria and Virginia creeper in September 2009, we decided to keep a Victoria Creeper toupee on the cottage..... it may be the only thing keeping the roof in place.
From what I can gather, over the past fifty years the cottage has been used for various purposes, but in the past decade the whole space seemed to become a general dumping area. Open the 'front door' to the cottage (rather grandiose term for a bit of a door with woodworm) and you are greeted by a chasm of darkness. Immediately facing you is a rugged ladder leading to the first floor, seemingly barring your path. Bearing in mind that this is the way the entire family gain access to the house, preferring to use the back door rather than the dilapidated porch and front door, it's a wonder no one's lost their lives.
Last year I tackled one side of the downstairs, taking load upon load of non combustibles to the dump some twenty five miles away. I tried to ignore the other half of the space, segregated by wooden boarding behind which lay a fifty year old mountain of coal lying on top of fifty year old coal dust.
This Sunday, after almost four hours I had sifted all the coal, storing it in borrowed boxes in the wood shed and wheeled many a barrow of black dust to the monumental bonfire in Home Field.
My hair was a greeny black colour and I'm sure my lungs were similarly shady. But, the job was done and I now have more room to sow and report all through winter in my water proof'ish shed. Bliss.