Project Dingle

Restoring an old cottage...

Month: October 2018

Exciting Times At The Dingle!

The stairs are here! The stairs are here!

After months of waiting and delays, I am writing this with Noodle purring on my knee, listening to our new oak staircase being fitted upstairs.

I am SO. EXCITED. I. MAY. EXPLODE.

Because, you see, when the stairs are up, we can get up to the attic properly and finish off the room. Things we’ll be able to do:

  • Finish the plastering onto the beams.
  • Fit electrics and beautiful lighting.
  • Lay an oak floor.
  • Move our bed up there.
  • Choose some gorgeous furniture.
  • Find an amaze-rug.
  • Fit glass panels to the oak structure.
  • Have a proper beautiful bedroom for the first time in nearly three years.

We really really REALLY want to be able to move in up there by Christmas. We have guests for New Year and we’ve promised them a bedroom instead of a sofa bed, so that’s our goal…

In the meantime, here are the stairs in bits:

Stair parts on props

All fitted together and ready for takeoff.

Oak pieces for stairs

Bits of stairs, newell posts, and other assorted gubbins.

Backside of the stairs.

Backside of the stairs.

Not sure what this bit is.

Not sure what this bit is.

The stairs are going to go up as we enter the first floor, then turn and go straight up to the attic.

Ken the Wonder Joiner is going to chop out a big piece of oak truss (eep) to create a new doorway, then rearrange the oak props and beams so the roof doesn’t fall off.

We also need a new patch of floor around where the stairs will sit, because the beautiful old oak floor you can see in the pictures above is patched where there used to be a staircase from below.

We’ll do pictures when we get to that.

Right now, we’re too excited about the prospect of stairs…

Of Wonky Sheep And Patient Husbands

So, we have two little sheeps.

Which came of as much as a surprise to me as to you, I can tell you.

It all started when I visited a friend down in Somerset. Her garden runs down to a field, and when I arrived lambing was happening. We ran into the farmer later, and got chatting, and he said, when we asked how lambing was going, “Great. We’ve hardly lost any this year, and it’s been mostly easy. But I don’t know what I’m going to do with this little chap. Think I’m going to have to knock him on the head.”

At which point, I – in slow-motion reminiscent of an 80’s melodramatic action film – shouted, “NOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo! I’ll have him!”

Meet Eric the Wonky Lamb:

IMG_5813

Joe is a wonderful man and I love him very much :)

In a right hurry, we cleared out the garage (which badly needed doing anyway, so really this was a good thing that caused other good things), and fashioned a stable out of old pallets, an old cupboard door from upstairs, and a lot of straw.

Then Eric needed a friend, so I found Tigger (so named because she is very bouncy). She was an orphan lamb and was bottle-fed from birth, and didn’t really like big flocks, so she was perfect. Meet Tigger:

Look at her tiny face!

Look at her tiny face!

Then the story gets sad. When I took Eric to the vet to get advice about how to straighten up his wonky foot, the vet told me to put him down. Nothing they could do.

Well, no bloody way.

He was having a great time running around with Tigger, and was otherwise perfectly healthy. So I decided he’d stay, and I found him a new home. A farm rescue sanctuary in Warwickshire which has experience with all sheep, wonky and otherwise.

So Tigger needed a friend, and Bronson arrived. He’s a Jacob-Ouessant cross and he’s lovely. Look at him:

Little black lamb

Bronson meets Tigger

I’m writing this in October.

We no longer have Tigger. She got ill, very fast, and died, all within the space of a few hours. Bronson and I were totally broken, and he cried every time I left him alone. So did I.

So we got him two friends: Kernic and Picard, both miniature Ouessant sheep.

Here’s the whole woolly family :)

This is Kernic, Bronson, and Picard posing for the camera

This is Kernic, Bronson, and Picard posing for the camera

Bit crazy for keeping sheeps? Maybe. But I don’t care. We love them. They are hilarious and nibbly and they keep the grass nicely mown.

We miss Tigger every day, too. She was so full of love and bounces.

And Joe has finally accepted that this is a place where animals will gather together 😀

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