Saturday, November 14, 2015

November News

After the deluge - a weekend of heavy, continuous rain, the clouds dispersed and it has been sunny every day. The rain was enough to give the land a real boost and now there is grass on the studio roof, along with some Hottentot fig and other plants that survived the intense summer.

I have been putting wood around the bottom of the roof, from the end of the beams, to try and fold up the plastic to make a gutter and encourage the water to drain to the back of the house. Drips are really damaging to cob, and there was one or two landing on the 'kitchenette'. I have also started to put up cane to make the porch but haven't done much. I need to think about it some more.

There is a cat that wanders around and I don't know who thinks they are the owner. I used to consider it an enemy and shoo it away until one day I changed my mind. It might as well hang out around here and catch rodents. It sleeps on Bonnie's cushion outside during the night. Sometimes I hear it padding about on the roof. Bonnie tolerates it.

Everywhere is green and the sun keeps it warm during the days. The fig trees are losing their leaves slowly. You hear them crunkling down. I have dug over a couple of beds and planted some garlic. (Bulbs that I found in a bed, left from the summer harvest, all sprouting and keen.) The goat shit has done wonders for the soil. There are still aubergines and lots of French beans. Cabbages are coming up, and Swiss chard.

The fields around us are being ploughed and sown with winter wheat and barley. When I walk the dog, if I see a big stone newly brought to the surface I carry it to the side of the road. It's always good to have a stash of stones.

The work on Billy's house is slow. Cob takes a long time to dry in November, especially since the extension is at the back of the house, in shadow at this time of year. But the orange trees are FULL of fruit, all nearly ripe. I have been having fun making bottle niches along the bathroom wall using the vinho verde blue bottles. It's beginning to look cute!  And the solar hot water is being installed. Progress!