Friday, 29 May 2009

The Summerhouse (2)

... and now with hanging baskets.

... and the lettering I'm sticking on the front this weekend. (letters from

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Summerhouse

It turned out to be a bright sunny morning. Just right for erecting the Summerhouse (Studio).

The base was all ready - just had to move the bags of compost...

Brand new sleepers. Tannalised so should last a good few years.

This is the last point at which the outlook will be so open.

8am: the erection starts

Seen from the office window, farm in the background.

Almost looks complete, but doesn't have a roof.

Roof going on.

09.30am - Complete (apart from a couple of hanging baskets and some rather nice gilt lettering (more later).

Looks good, as does the lilac.

And the fountain.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Primavera (first draft)


For once not mocked by cloud or Mother Nature
A village dozes in the warmth of Spring
Fusty rooms breathe through half open windows
Laburnums bring the pollen-heavy bees
And four-by-fours glide darkly down the road

Allotments burst with organic passion
The field is pocked with starlings from the trees
And rabbits play around the foxes' den
Dandelions gone, the buttercups succeed
And Blackthorn sloes begin their gentle set

Inside their houses villagers mistake comfort for safety, other plans aside
Beauty for soul...

At village end, earth movers wait,
Bindweed might be a better consummation

(Yes, I know it needs a lot of work!)

Friday, 8 May 2009

Treacle Mine Road?

There is a proposal to rename our road because it has the same name as another. This is how it happened: Once upon a time, there were three villages: Broughton Astley, Primethorpe and Sutton in the Elms. As time went by, the villages of Broughton and Primethorpe grew, merged and began to absorb Sutton. However, the powers-that-be decided to put in a bypass (as powers-that-be are wont to do) and Sutton was again divided from Broughton/Primethorpe.

There is a road (Leicester Road) that begins in Primethorpe (now part of Broughton Astley) and runs through Sutton in the Elms (in fact it's the only road in Sutton), coming to an end just the other side of the village. Whenever anybody delivers to a house in Sutton, they ring up, saying; "I'm on Leicester Road in Broughton Astley; where are you?" To which the usual reply is; "I DID tell you we weren't in Broughton, we are in Sutton."

Anyway, Linda, who really has the village at heart, has proposed a name change to either Sutton Lane or Croft Lane. Most people seem to want Sutton Lane and that would be fine by us. I'm afraid there wasn't a lot of support at a recent village meeting for 'Treacle Mine Road'. Oh well...

Terry Pratchett in Treacle Mine Road with the Queen of Elves and Cohen the Barbarian
(from Facebook Discworld Monthly)


BBC News item

The Studio... getting ready

Yes, I know Marea calls it a Summerhouse, but to me it's going to be a studio; somewhere I can do my stained glass and painting without having to clear up my workings all the time - somewhere I can leave designs half done to come back to them later.

The first thing was to take out and get rid of the old plum tree and honeysuckle, plus moving a couple of good roses such as Austin's 'Buttercup' (photos later in the season) and clearing the ground.

With the trees, shrubs and remains of the fence gone, it all looks a bit bare. The land falls away down to our parking area, and where we keep the logs. The plan is to shorten the bank and take soil from the bottom to level it all up.

First, we have to get rid of the bindweed or we'll never be shot of it. I don't want it undermining the base and coming up through the floor!

Also, there are lots of smaller plants to move - mainly different varieties of cranesbill, but also primulas, grape hyacinths, auriculas, etc., etc.

The bank looks very scrappy, and we also have to dig in the cable that runs around from the switch box to the pump and pond lights. this will also provide power for the studio (for lighting, heating and soldering).

Once the base went down, it all looked a lot better - smooth and level. i was surprised at how much soil had to be taken away; I thought we might have to bring some in.

The base is set on (new) sleepers, tannelised, so they ought to las 20 years or more with no treatment.

To the right is the gateway to the garden; I have to rebuild the steps and back fill with more gravel (probably about 2 tonnes).

Molly is a bit bewildered by all this activity. Fortunately, she's not the sort of dog that runs away even when there's no fence to keep her in (unlike her predecessor, Josh, who kept getting out of our last, very large, garden by pulling strands of the chain-link fencing until they straightened and came out, parting the fence - he was going to an industrial estate nearby where they kept feeding him. In the end, we had to put up an electric fence - that stopped him).