Living in the country – Needing to react 2

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We have five stone built buildings on our land, plus a couple of sheds, as well as a range of wood and tin barns. Our original plan when moving to Wales in the summer of 2013, was to focus on the main house first, and once that was done, we’d work on sorting out our field and building a shower and toilet block to offer a camping retreat, and a retirement income for us. But in February 2015, the front of the byre attached to the house came down in a storm and the tin roof blew away, exposing the delicate, fragile roof timbers.

 Our plans had to change, we threw all our time and money into saving the byre. Once the builders had left, it was down to us to lime mortar the walls, inside and out, and then begin applying the layers of lime wash that keep the building watertight.

After last week’s flooding, and water coming up into our lounge, we’ve backed off from our plans to complete our growing room, to grow vegetables throughout the year, and switched our focus to finishing lime washing the byre, and lime mortaring and repairing the kitchen and lean to at the back of the house, ready for the winter. This later extension wasn’t built as well as the main house, so we’re going to need to dismantle the stones above the kitchen window and rebuild it, but this weekend, we made a start.

There was a lot of rain in Wales over the weekend, so I didn’t manage as much as I’d hoped. The front of the byre has another coat of lime wash. Lime mortaring the end kitchen wall is underway. I’ll need a dry day to lime mortar the back wall, as dripping off the tin roof makes it impossible.

While the rain poured down, I weeded and cleared the last remnants from our raised beds and covered with cardboard, weighed down with stones. My partner, Mike, has some of the framework up on the inside of the lean to, ready to take the new roof panels, but we can’t take the old roof of until we can see two dry days in the forecast…we might have to wait a while.

It’s been a busy weekend, but a frustrating one in so many respects, as the rain and the daylight leaving so early have thwarted much of what we hoped to achieve. Join me again for more updates, as we renovate and repurpose our land, here on our little hillside in mid Wales.

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