Gutters, gutters, gutters. One side of the house is now complete, with the exception of the two downpipes. One of these needs to be funneled into our waste water system (yet to be constructed) and the other requires the partial dismantling of the outside toilet wall in order to obtain access to our 3,500-litre-capacity rainwater recovery barrels. In the interim we’ve utilised one of the large wooden barrels to collect any runoff.

I started the second side of the house, with the aid of the aforementioned scaffolding. Whilst I was climbing up and down ladders, LSS cut the ivy which was beginning to smother the chestnut trees opposite the house. I also gave her a task to do.
“Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to mark out where the rainwater recovery barrels will go, and dig three holes for the concrete foundations. This message will self-destruct once the rainwater barrels are in place.”

Tomorrow’s mission: Mixing concrete. Mwuhahahaha.

I also erected the second washing line, as we were able to buy the line in the supermarket yesterday. At least this one was long enough! (ref. my washing line is too short)

Wildlife diary: A large toad. There was a large sheet of rusty metal in the back garden where the rainwater recovery barrels will go, so we removed this. A large toad was underneath and was very unhappy to be disturbed. We left him burying himself in the soil again.

Why on earth the aged FIL left bits of metal all over the garden is anybody’s guess. Perhaps he was planning on holding a convention for metal detectorists. The other legacy we’re having to deal with on a daily basis is glass. It would appear that every time something containing glass was broken, the pieces were just thrown outside next to the house walls. We’ve taken three bucketfuls of glass shards to the glass recycling bank already, including bits of broken bottles, drinking glasses, phials, window panes, and sundry unidentified bits which could possibly have belonged to spectacles at one stage in their lifetime.

Whilst I’m on the subject of the aged FIL’s various idiosyncrasies, I took advantage of the scaffolding to open up the external light fitting for the house. Lo and behold, it was half full of the desiccated remains of various bugs. I was going to say “cremated remains” but there is no way they could have been cremated; the light bulb was of the 40-watt variety. Every. Single. Bulb. In. The. House was 40 watts when we moved in. You couldn’t see a thing. Except for the pantry though. That was special. A 15-watt refrigerator bulb had been bodged into the main lighting circuit.

Yet another bank holiday today, which could explain why the weather for May so far has been dismal. Cloudy, cold and windy in general. Surely that’s not normal? We had the wood stove on all day today. But fortunately we haven’t had to use any of the wood I’d cut; LSS decided to clear out another of the outbuildings and discovered a cache of bits of firewood underneath some more old oak barrels.

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