Monday, 25 February 2019

The Archbishop of Canterbury ...

... is preparing the United Kingdom for five days of prayer after Brexit.

Surely, five days of prayer BEFORE Brexit would be more appropriate.  Then, who knows, we might achieve a miracle.

Talking of miracles, the front door of the cottage has been open for days as we let the dogs wander in and out at will in this glorious sunshine.  We mow, prune, weed and stop frequently to say how unbelievable the weather is.  I suspect we should be more worried than we are about climate change, but against the background gloom of Brexit, in this blessed warmth, it's hard to be anything other than happy and grateful that there is something to smile about.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Dig Deeper!

I send out a distressed round robin email to everyone we know who is either DIY competent or a builder.  We dug down to the suggested 50 cm and still no sign of the red warning netting over the mains electric cable.

Back comes the universal message "dig deeper".  But how much deeper?  My heart sinks.

Then Ian's email arrived: "Cable is normally a minimum of 50 cm but if put in with a digger it could be a lot deeper, but normally no more than 75 cm, but if ground goes up and down can be deeper at some points, mesh is normally around 20 cm above cable, so should find it first."  Now that I can manage - I've already dug 50 cm.  Another 25 cm is only half that!  With renewed enthusiasm I get back in the trench with pick axe and trowel.

Within ten minutes, down at 80 cm a tiny corner of bright red webbing emerges from the clay.  Joy of joys.  I bounce back into the kitchen to tell Tod the good news.  We check another two holes and again, at last, the warning netting coyly appears - so now we know the route the cable is following and a call to Ian yields the promise of a visit with a digger to put in the French drain to divert the rain water away from the cottage.

He finally finds the cable itself at 120cm depth - our Polish builders obviously thought they were installing power in the Tundra. A nick through the protective ducting shows the importance of what we're doing. Water immediately starts to seep out and along the new drain.

The cottage heating has been on for over a week now to help dry out the wiring under the floor.  With almost continuous rain these last days the work has been done just in time.  Standing in the hallway, the cottage envelopes us in warmth.  And there is a blissful absence of the sound of dripping water from inside the electricity meter cupboard.

We've decided it's time to go back down to the cottage for what's left of winter.  There's even a hint of early morning sun to help with the move.