Monday, 6 February 2012

Earth, water, fire....

Today has been a joyful day of freezing sunshine, clearing flower beds, and sorting through the veritable reclamation yard that has taken root in our field. Over two years of building work has generated mountains of stone, logs, soil, roofing sheets, drainage piping, bricks, slabs, pallets........ The neighbours have been patient but the time has come to give them their view back.

The earth bank will soon be planted with 800 little 'whips' - small plants of native species, and I'm back to my favourite occupation of building stone and earth banks. It has to be used as a reward for painting - my least favourite occupation.

The muddy hole we dug in the summer filled promisingly with water when the spring started flowing just before Christmas. I wouldn't call it a 'pond' quite yet but Ian's Christmas pressie of a weeping willow stands proudly on its banks. A lot more planting needs to happen, and the 'stream' needs to be 'naturalised'.

We might need to resort to the borehole to keep things alive through the summer however - unless we are lucky enough to have a wet summer!!
The afore-mentioned borehole now supplies the house...... Much to our relief the test results came back from the lab to say it's perfect for drinking, and we are still very much alive so they must be right. It has 3 filters at the moment, with 1 more to come. First a particle (sand) filter, then a UV filter just in case any bugs get into the system, and finally a charcoal filter on the two kitchen taps (this is supposed to remove any strange taste that sometimes comes from iron or something in the soil). The grey tank in the picture below is the 'pressure vessel' that gets the water up to mains pressure before it goes into the house.

Despite all our filters, I will either be looking like Cleopatra, or like I have a very dark suntan if I have too many more baths like this one........ hence the 4th filter needed to strain out those ever-so-tiny clay particles.
Any finally, fire....the woodburner from the lounge has been cleaned up, repainted, and installed on its new stone hearth. The heat is amazing. Despite the high ceiling, the insulation is doing it's job and we have to open the windows to let some cool air in!!

'before'...'after'...Yes I was sad to lose the brick fireplace too, but it had to come out so we could relay the floor and damp proof the wall.