December was busy and productive, January less so. Some concrete was poured then Gwyn went skiing for a week in Austria and brought back snow and ice. Not the requested cow bell. It gave us an excuse to test the new sledges and made for some very pretty photos but put a stop to anymore concrete work. Too cold. In the meantime, the rotten sycamore was felled (see previous post) and we had some fencing erected in the field in front of the barn.
That doesn’t sound very exciting but it is to us as it means we have an area of the field set aside for guest car parking and a separate garden and barbecue area. The natural/organic lawnmowers (sheep and cows) can continue to use the field until we turn it into a pump / cyclocross track. That’s next year’s project. We have lots of other ideas for the field including a sauna and pizza oven. The latter inspired by many happy, slightly drunken evenings spent at Bob and Ian’s pizza nights at Casal dei Fichi.
A biomass boiler needs fuel. Thanks to Huw from Ynni Coed Cymru the chip store is now nice and full and should keep us warm for a few months.
If that doesn’t we have this.
With much reluctance, we had to take down the large sycamore in front of the house. It was rotten and hollow and was in danger of falling. On to the barn. Peter Hughes and Co arrived last Monday to do the job. I planned to take lots of photos but they were too quick for me to get my act together. We now have lots of firewood, an improved view of the Berwyns and enough room to turn around a plethora of VW transporters.
We’ve had snow, but that hasn’t slowed us down. The most exciting event has been the commissioning of the biomass boiler. After a year and a half of being cold, we are now luxuriating in hitherto unknown warmth. It bodes very well for the cottages as they will be much better insulated than our house and have underfloor heating as well as log burners. Thanks everyone at Raine or Shine for making us warm and happy.
Boiler house finished apart from cladding. Just need to get on with it.
The barn is a farm building the first floor of which had been converted into an office by the previous owners. The ground floor was used as a wood store and cow toilet. We are now transforming the building into a warm, comfortable and luxurious holiday cottage.
Our friendly farmer helped us again with the ground works. Using his digger and pecker he relocated the flowerbed, dug the footings for the extension which will house the new staircase and entrance, pecked a trench to house the pipes and cabling for the biomass boiler and dug out the floor of the barn.
Gwyn arrived just before Christmas the shore up the stone walls. He loved doing this in near freezing temperatures and with a horrible cold. Sorry Gwyn.
It’s December, well it was when I wrote this, its now January.
The first job was to pull down the internal stone wall and remove the rotten floor joists and floor. The stone wall was a remnant from the old stable but it no longer has a structural purpose. The decision was made to remove it to give more space. We’ll re-use the stone elsewhere and we’ve left a few of the larger ones because we think they will look interesting. It has nothing to do with them being too heavy to move. We engaged a local farmer and his mini digger to dig out the floor. Much to our delight he discovered cobbles underneath the concrete. If we ever have the time and energy, our drive may become a Welsh Koppenberg.
The stable is now a ready for the next stage of works.
This is what the stable looked like when we bought Ty Hen
The first floor was used as storage by the previous owner
The stone wall had to go. We will use the stone elsewhere