I'm slowly learning to 'ignore' the tremors we feel from earthquakes in Romania, although one early hours of the morning, in September, did have me walking around the house, workshop and compound doing a burglar check before I realised what had woken me. Luckily we seem to be far enough away for no damage to be caused, although day after earthquake is always a check property day. We also rearranged the furniture in the kitchen/diner for winter living, just before we entered an Indian summer with the temperatures soaring again, pity we had already dismantled the pool and put it away for winter. As a result of moving the furniture we decided the pechka (woodburner) would be better on a different wall, so we needed to locate some tiles that would match the stone cladding. This we did, Paul tiled the wall, we moved the pechka and found out that location was not as good at heating the whole area, so pechka got moved back, but at least we don;t need to paint that bit of wall now. September saw us replacing the chickens that had gone as fox food, the place we got them from had far too high a cockerel to hen ratio and it took the birds some weeks to regrow their feathers, also as they were aviary, rather than free range, birds they are still much more skittish than our previous flocks.
September and October witnessed 'plot 5' being cleared and some of the raised beds being built. Much use was made of stakes and twine rearranging the layout to maximise returns whilst being usable and visually pleasing. The 2 main beds will be built in spring, after we take delivery of 2000 bricks (ouch). As I intend growing in this area during 2017, assuming I get it fenced off, from the livestock, not all the proposed beds will be completed next year and some growing still be at ground level. Rome wasn't built in a day. One of the biggest uses of time with the raised beds is filling them, luckily as we have been using next doors barn (unoccupied property) for storing cornstalks, as did the previous occupants of this house, there is some very nice compost/soil, it just means half filling feed bags and moving them over, any fuller and I can't lift
|First of the raised beds, built and filled|
We had workawayers (they provide 25 hours work in exchange for bed and meals) from Taiwan,
Spain, UK, New Zealand & Sardinia, they ranged from 'great' to 'yes well' but all helped move things along here, for which we are grateful. One of the things I find difficult to do, more than normal, whilst we have helpers here is work on the book, but hopefully first draft will be sent to publishers early next year.
|Dojin helping Paul makes a Bodgers Bench|
|Luis getting to grips with the lathe, he made some nice pieces.|
Possibly our (Paul's) biggest achievement in recent months has been the, obtaining materials for and, building of a covered walkway along the back of the kitchen/diner. The roof of this area has had our first (hopefully more to follow) solar panel put in, whilst it's unlikely we will switch totally over to solar, at least in the foreseeable, it's a start. In addition having the kitchen basic structure in for the past year, and a bit, I'm finding the areas that don't work as well, like the back of cupboards, Paul has volunteered himself to make bespoke 'drawers; once I tell him what each area will need to contain.
|The area to be covered|
|Having the walkway means it's easier for Paul to fit the cladding|
|Walkway, and solar panel, installed pre cladding|
I don't know if I have mentioned previously my challenge, to myself, of making curtains for the mezzanine windows ... well they are still not made but freezers have been organised and filled with assorted pies, clothes have been organised, rooms have been tidied. I did have a friend come over to help convince me the sewing machine doesn't hate me and although it behaved well while she was here it quickly reverted to its previous malignant behaviour
December was a month of seeing many more people than normal. A friend who had borrowed our old Audi returned it, bringing with her a friend we hadn't seen in a long time, one without who our mezzazine wouldn't be as awesome as it is, so that was lovely. We visited the big bad city as we had to go and collect a CO2 regulator from someone who had brought one from Uk for us, we can get the cannisters of CO2 here but not the regulator?? only in Bulgaria LOL. Another day we visited friends with new piglets, sadly we are not ready, emotionally, financially or housing wise, to get our own source of crackling and bacon at this time ... one day. Solstice we had friends over for lunch. December also marks the beginning of us feeding the neighbours cat for a few months, sadly the first snowfall we had convinced Illiya that even with us just around the corner it was not in his best interests, healthwise, to stay in the village over winter, so he has moved to his daughters, in the city.