Still laying the groundwork

OK – so, time for a brief recap.  We continue to both work in the cafe each day so have less time available for the refurbishments.  Last week, as often as possible, Mike was released to continue with the plumbing on floor 3 but this was not easy on our busier days!  Being positive, having both of us on hand in the cafe meant we could take the opportunity to clean out the extractor housing one day – Mike definitely drew the short straw on that one – whilst I managed to make several batches of marmalade.

The extractor hood above the cooker

Our new ‘baby’ continues to be both a challenge and a delight.  Lola is pretty reliably coming to call, sometimes in the face of serious temptations, and she and Mike enjoy particularly long and energetic walks each morning and evening.  As you can see, she is occasionally content to have a quick nap…

Me? On the sofa? Surely not…

She loves to be out and about greeting all comers, but we still have to work on discouraging the front paws from coming up onto visitors’ chest.  Its great that she is so enthusiastic to say hi, but we just need it to be in a format that everyone is happy with.

… but give me a ball to play with and I’ll be happy!

The other big project has been a new flower bed.  We had already planted the shrubs about 2 months ago, but these had become completely overwhelmed by weeds whilst our backs were turned.  So I spent last week putting weed-proof matting onto the bed; cutting holes and feeding the plants through them; pegging it down; fitting the edge strip of bricks (which I used to secure the edge of the matting); and topping off with slate waste to hold it all down.  When we have finished adding the slate waste, we will put wood chippings on top, to make it look more in keeping with the surroundings.  It just so happens we have a large pile of these somewhere, after last autumn’s site clearance works.

Matting for new bed in place.  The blob slightly to the left of centre is a wheelbarrow, in case you need a sense of scale.

This is phase one of the plan for this area.  Once the bed is finished, and after we have moved the remaining slate waste (just visible in centre front above) to a smaller storage pile, we will be taking delivery of top soil to create a grassed area here.  In the fullness of time, we will also be adding a fence (and a couple of sturdy fence posts, naturally) to that the area we reclaim as garden can be properly contained as a garden.  We have also finally cleared the raised beds of nursery plants so any day now I can start checking the seed stores for something to plant which I hope we can enjoy eating in a few months.  It seems much more than two and a half years since we had our productive garden in Norfolk but hope it won’t be much longer before we have moved it to here.


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