Hello strangers – we’re back!

Wow, can’t believe over 6 months has passed since we last added anything to the blog – that’s rubbish, sorry!  Really impressed/surprised/honoured that we’ve continued to have readers despite no new posts though, I guess that’s due to our free advertising on MSE…!

Right well where do we start…

Firstly, the house of doom is no longer a house of sin – we got married back in August  :o)

Needless to say, not a lot of work on the house got done for most of July or August, due to wedding/honeymoon distractions…  Nor September, for that matter, as it’s really hard to get that work ethic back after a break!

In October we used the last of the ok weather to do some work in the garden.  We have a large tree in the bottom corner which has always been completely smothered with ivy, so we decided to give it a chance and cut all that back.  Some of the ivy “trunks” were about 5″ in diameter, so it’s amazing the tree was still alive.  Turns out it’s a laburnum, and very pretty it is too.  Bonus is we get a bit of extra morning light into the garden.

We tidied up the front garden a bit, cutting back shrubs and planted some flowers in the flower bed that Sophie and Tom kindly dug for us when they were house-sitting whilst we were away  :o)  The bulbs that we planted are just started to come through, so hopefully we’ll add another photo soon showing those in full bloom.  The photo will also show our very recent and exciting addition to the garden – our brand new shiny railings and gate!  Beth’s dad has created an absolute masterpiece, so watch this space for that.

Out the back, we were able to add some lovely things that we were given as wedding presents, including lots of plants, a chiminea, a bench, and a picnic table.  Where the old shed had been, we chucked down some weed-suppressant membrane and some gravel, along with some pots etc, to create a sunny little oasis for us to sit in and think about all the other jobs we have left to do!  We plan for the area to eventually be timber decking, but this will do for now.

In the run-up to Christmas, with the prospect of house guests arriving, we were spurred on to get our backsides in gear and do a bit more work on the house.  We finished off various loose ends that had been lingering, such as painting behind the radiators in the lounge and hallway, sanding and painting the bathroom door, painting the loft hatch, putting actual door handles (as opposed to screws!) on various doors, and painting the two new doors that had been in place for – oh – about a year…!  And David did a master-craftsman’s job of putting up some lovely additional shelves in the lounge.

The past couple of months have been very cold and wet weather-wise, so we haven’t been out so much.  We did spend a weekend chopping and hacking a bit more (our jungle needs a lot of that – it’s never-ending!), so we have another couple of loads of green waste to take to the tip.  NB – I will just add at this point that all the green waste is blitzed up and recycled into compost, so it’s not going to landfill.

We also started the big job of levelling out the patch of ground that we want to grow vegetables on, which involved building a tiny retaining wall (only two bricks high) out of old bricks that we had lying around in the garden, and then shifting barrow-fulls of soil from the heap we had accumulated from when we dug out the steps down by the new back gate.  We’ve still got to do a bit more shovelling and levelling, plus dig over all the weeds/grass, then we plan to lay some weed-suppressant membrane, cover it with bark chips, and build raised beds from timber (which we bought back in November, thinking all this would have been done ages ago, ha ha).  Any volunteers to help very welcome!

Right, well, my hands ache from typing, and I think that  pretty much wraps up the bits we’ve done anyway.  Hopefully we’ll have lots more to add over the coming weeks and months, as it gets warmer out and we’re encouraged outside a bit more!

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