While awaiting the diggers arrival, I finally popped in to the quarry. Their main business is curling stones (see photo below of rejected blanks), but they also do the odd table top, wine rack and a few other bits and pieces. I got a bit of tour, the granite is absolutely stunning and after showing Ali, it looks like we're going to get them to make some kitchen worktops for us.
The digger and dumper arrived and after prying the children off it, I went for my first drive.
The scale of the task ahead! All that grass has got to go!
This was the original entrance to the house and is much nicer than the current one, so the plan is to reinstate it.
The original path it turns out was really well built, huge granite stones were layed along the length of a drainage ditch and the path was then filled in with aggregates and packed down. Once we’d cleared the top two-three inches the path is good to use.
Before using the digger I was seriously nervous but it moves really slowly, so I quickly built up confidence. The digging itself is surprisingly easy but really powerful. When things go well you can progress really quickly when things go wrong, errors can really get magnified. Since you're likely curious I managed to tear off a massive granite boulder from the side of the road before I realised it was going wrong.
After two weeks of pretty solid digging the path is clear(ish) and definitely driveable!!
While I did most of the digging, Ali found she really enjoyed it and to our surprise F turned out to be really good at it too! I would really recommend it, it's one of those things that always seemed so scary/difficult/needs a professional but actually really doesn't.
A curious lamb understandably impressed at my digging prowess.
Away from hard landscaping we've been enjoying our surroundings as the weather continues to warm and the garden blossoms. We're out every day come rain or shine and it's great slowly seeing the plants come out, figuring out what's been planted in the past and really experiencing the seasons change.
In all we have about eight apple trees of various ages, it will be interesting to see what they produce.
Our garden in full spring Glory
This side of the house faces North East it’s great for a warm morning cup of tea when the sun's out.
In the afternoon it’s very much in the shade though, so we set up the seating area in the garden to catch some late rays. After a slightly bodged first effort at creating a patio for the seating we started a more thorough effort today. First we dug up the sod, laid some weed proof membrane, then some nice slate we had lying around
then added gravel...
...which we have left over from Ali’s new path.
We couldn’t quite finish it tonight so we’ll have another go tomorrow.
Earlier today while Ali took F&G to martial arts, my able helper and I cleared out the old greenhouse floor, put a layer of wood chips in the beds and covered the lot with cardboard ready to plant next spring.
Away from the house, we've enjoyed our first real beach day at the local beach on the bank holiday Monday, the kids made some friends and even managed to get a spin on a kayak (F imediately asked for one for Xmas).
Another photo from the bank holiday weekend this time of some cool clouds that were caught behind the mountains, when they did spill over on this side they just disapeared.
On the less warm days we invariably still spend time by the sea, here F and I found a dog fish which are a regular catch in the area, this one was washed up on the beach, an another one F and I saw was still twitching before being a fisherman's dinner. F had a good look, poke and carry of it. Amusingly when asked by the fisherman if he was going to go to school he promptly responded: no! If I did I wouldn’t be able to do things like this!
So finally with the landscaping work progressing well, Golly behaving himself a bit better, the kids progressing smoothly towards their yellow belts and us starting to make some local friends, we decide it would be an awesome time to throw a spanner in the works and get Lulu:
oooohhh! Isn’t she cute?
She’d been rejected by her family and so needed a new home. As nuts as it seems, adopting her feels like the right thing to do (I can’t fathom why) perhaps she’ll make Golly a good companion.
To give an idea of what she might look like in time here’s a photo of her prize winning dad.
Good looking fella don't you think?
We really need our heads examined!