04 July 2007

26 June 2007

stuffed duckI forgot to mention the weirdest thing that was left in the house. The kids think it’s horrible, and I did too, at first, but I’m beginning to feel quite fond of it, though I prefer the little robin that my aunt gave us as a leaving present.

There were a few instruction books left in the house too, which have revealed that the previous owners were called Jerry and Mary. The wood-burning stove only dates from 2004, so that’s fairly new. A farmer we spoke to yesterday reckons the house has been empty for a couple of years, although there was a tenant in here when we looked round it in April.

I can’t believe that we’ve only been in the house for 48 hours. Seems like we’ve been pretty busy most of that time – mainly discovering things that need fixing. The biggest problem we’ve had was to do with the water. When we moved in on Sunday afternoon the hot water stank of hydrogen sulphide and we were running out of water in our back-up cistern, so we got the pump guy to come round today and he spent three hours here putting in a new pump. It’s been quite an education for me, learning about plumbing from one’s own water supply. It is our first real bit of self-sufficiency, even though the system was already in place, so probably doesn’t count.

The pump guy’s mate had switched the supply over to the cistern last week, as the pump was struggling to get water from the well, but we had nearly run out of water in the cistern. This is just a huge square plastic container in the basement, about three metres square, which is fed from the rain water which falls on the house. The pump can either run off the well or off the cistern. Wells can run dry here (and there’s been little rain for several weeks (in contrast to the UK!)), so the cistern acts as a backup, and also has softer water than the well. The old pump dated from 1989, and was fairly knackered, so was probably due for replacement. It’s such a relief to have a water supply again – we’d been being incredibly mean with the water yesterday and this morning, which wasn’t much fun. I was trying to plan meals that didn’t involve boiling water.

The temperature hit 30 celsius today, so Mike and the pump guy were in the best place, as the basement stays nice and cool. We found some spare louvre doors down there today, and a whole load of Mary’s glass bottles and bottle-tops which may well come in useful next year if I end up pickling anything. Mike spent the morning with his new petrol-driven strimmer, clearing some of the grass from the fenced area next to the small barn. He’d started yesterday with a rechargeable electric strimmer, but it wasn’t making much of an impression, so he’s gone for the more industrial version and is making some headway with that.

I phoned my Dad last night and heard from my aunt and mother-in-law today. The phone connection is fine – hard to believe that they’re so far away. The only thing I keep forgetting is the time difference. We also had a call from the estate agents in Manchester yesterday – to tell us that someone has put in an offer on our house there. Hurrah! So we’ve accepted it and are hoping that will progress quickly. This house needs a new kitchen and bathroom, and the sale of the Sale house would come in handy for that.robin

P.S. Turns out that the high speed internet connection was a mirage, so we're back on dialup and today is our first day of connectivity. Only 482 emails to catch up on. Will try and post a more up-to-date update soon...

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That merganser is bizarre. It's a beautiful bird, but why shoot and stuff it???