The guttering is finally finished! I checked the slope by the simple expedient of pouring a bottle of water in one end of the gutter, and seeing it trickle all the way along.

The end section on the north side of the house required me to stand on the roof of one of the outbuildings. In order to do this I decided to use one of the wooden ladders which were stored in the barn (the idea being that laying the ladder flat against the roof tiles it would spread my weight and avoid any tile breakage). The first ladder I disregarded immediately; it is incredible heavy and is also tied in place (giving access to the loft area above the house). The second looked a better bet, but it seemed a bit light, so I decided to test it out first. I leaned it up against the house wall, and carefully started to climb. The reason for its light weight became apparent as I stood on the third rung; the ladder broke in half due to the activities of – you guessed it – woodworm. It has now joined the other wood-stove fuel material. The third ladder was a home-made one, but was not as old as the others and turned out to be solid enough.

The other task carried out today was to cut more wood for the ever-hungry wood stove, and a much-needed bath in the kitchen was once again enjoyed by both of us; the weather was a bit too windy for our external bathroom. There also wasn’t much sunshine!

LSS assisted the aged FIL with his exercise again today. This consisted of walking from the bedroom to the kitchen and back again. Three times. He didn’t want to walk any further because the previous time he’d walked more than three circuits, he had an incontinence episode. Of course the fact that he’s now on a self-imposed diet of prunes in addition to his normal daily laxative dose had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Wildlife diary: Three fox-cubs playing tag in the field opposite the house. I think when we finally install our chickens we’re going to need a stout fence!

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