Rubble

 

Wall Removal 009 Wm

 
 

Still precious little happening on the gardening front. Progress on the part of the Gardener has been sporadic to say the least. It’s so frustrating. Between the showers: rain, hail, sleet, snow, you name it, the weather has actually been quite nice. And there’s so much planting to do. But I know when I’ve overdone it that’s for sure.

So it’s probably just as well that our builder has turned up. We’d just sat down for Sunday lunch when he rang to say he’d be with us the following morning. Such is the Devon way. Thoughts of an afternoon spent with a good book and a glass rapidly disappearing we set to work, relocating everything green within the line of fire. Mike did all the digging and replanting but even supervising can be tiring when you’re injured. All that walking up and down to keep the closest possible eye upon proceedings. And spare a thought for poor Hamamelis ‘Diane’. It’s the third time she’s been shifted in as many years. She looks happy enough in the veg garden for now but she’d better not get accustomed because all too soon she’ll be packing her bags for the return trip.

 
 

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Spot The Difference

 

In the course of opening up the garden over the years we’ve removed a hedge, a gate post and a gate. The remaining support for the gate consisted of a section of wall attached to the house that now looked somewhat incongruous. So with the builder returning to do some minor repairs to the gable wall, what better opportunity to have it knocked down?

 
 

Wall Removal 002 Wm

 

Now you see it..

 
 

Wall Removal 010 Wm

 

Now you don’t

Obviously in due course the render will be repaired and repainted but in the meantime it’s been interesting to look at the structure of the old house wall.

 
 

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In many Devon cottages the ground floor storey was constructed from rubble (rough stone). Note the gently rounding corner, so typical of buildings of this type. The first floor level consists of cob (mud and straw). You may recall we saw evidence of the cob from the inside while repairing the walls in the study last year (here).

 
 

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What I love most about working on an old house is peeling back the layers. Buildings evolve over time as fashions and the needs of the occupants change. If it was simpler or cheaper, former features were often just covered up rather than removed. Which makes for fascinating discoveries. The flowerbed predates the construction of the gate. Our builder found this original low curved wall hidden within the fabric of the newer, taller wall.  He painstakingly chipped away at it until all the attached render was removed. Hamamelis ‘Diane’, once she returns, will have a smart new home.

And talking of render.. not to mention a few breeze blocks..

 
 

Wall Removal 008 Wm

 

..the fourth driveway ‘heap’ in the space of a year.

Sigh.

 
 
 
 

2017-02-15T19:16:10+00:00 April 27th, 2016|Tags: |96 Comments

96 Comments

  1. FlowerAlley April 27, 2016 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    This is so interesting. The hidden little wall is a lovely border. You, my friend, need to pay attention to your foot. I know it’s spring. My family planned a trip just when I was on a roll in the garden. They probably prevented an injury. Nothing stops me, not even rain and darkness. Last year I injured my foot by spending days digging out a border with a bigger than usual shovel. I ended up in a big, ugly, heavy boot for weeks. Stand down Jessica. Heal up and rest.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      I am trying but it is hard. I’ve reluctantly accepted that the bank is too tough a cookie for the moment, not the weeding, the getting there in the first place. So I’m up to date with seed sowing, potting on and anything in the greenhouse that I can do on one foot!

  2. justjilluk April 27, 2016 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    House looks great without the wee wall. Hope you are fit soon so the plant gets back ‘home’.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      It is amazing what a difference the removal of that small wall has made. The whole area has opened up so much.

  3. Julie April 27, 2016 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Your house is looking wonderful Jessica and the exposed section so interesting for us and you. Sorry to read you are injured too, I’ve missed that on your posts, take care, its so easy to make a small injury an even bigger one at this time of year.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks Julie. Yes, the temptation is to push it as far as possible to get things done. I’m trying hard not to!

  4. derrickjknight April 27, 2016 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Looking good; and fascinating wall structure revelation

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      Naively I had assumed the whole house was made of cob, now it appears it’s only the top half!

  5. Erin @ The Impatient Gardener April 27, 2016 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    I’m impressed that you haven’t gone completely bonkers with your injury keeping you on the sidelines. Fascinating look “inside” the cottage. Makes it even more charming.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:25 pm - Reply

      Most of the cottage is still very dated, much in the style of your bathroom before you ripped it out! Woodchip wallpaper everywhere. We’re attempting to renovate one room a year, stripping it back to the original structure as far as possible. It’s hard work, as you know, but very satisfying once it’s done.

  6. Dorothy Borders April 27, 2016 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    What an interesting house you have. Goes with your interesting garden that gets more fascinating every day. I hope you are feeling much better by now.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      Getting there, thanks Dorothy. All I see in the garden at the moment are all the jobs that need doing!

  7. Sue April 27, 2016 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Drat …. I didn’t spot the difference at all ….. until it was explained and I tried !!

    I quite like the ‘scar’ on the house, but then I love exposed stone or brickwork and seeing how things are constructed. It looks so much better with just that little section of wall removed.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      I rather like exposed stone too. We’ve just stripped all the paint off an outhouse and will leave the stone exposed there, but the house wall will just get repaired back to how it was.. minus that very odd addition of course!

  8. Kris Peterson April 27, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Your house has so much history! I think of my house as old (65) but it’s probably just that homes here have a shorter life expectancy. Keep that foot up!

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      I wish I knew how old it actually was. Our previous house came with all the old deeds going back to 1701. But we once had an architectural historian round to look at it and he said parts could even have been 13th century. Now that is old!

  9. Christina April 27, 2016 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    The positive thing is the builder turned up when he said, always a plus!

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      You’re so right! Touch wood they do seem quite reliable round here. It often involves quite a wait until they start but once they do they keep on going until the job is done.

  10. willow April 27, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    How interesting to see the inside of the wall and to think of the craftsmen who built it. How old is your cottage?
    Also to echo other comments, look after that foot, my husband will be less than mobile for a while with his broken leg but you can’t hurry healing – be gentle with yourself.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      I would guess about 250-300 years old but don’t know for sure. It would be nice to research it at some point, but records going back that far are incomplete to say the least. I hope your husband is on the mend. He has my sympathies, it is very hard to suddenly find yourself with restricted mobility especially if you are normally very active.

  11. johnw7429 April 27, 2016 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    That wall looks a strange addition, the house looks lovely without it. It’s fascinating to see how these wonderful old homes were built. Sarah x

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      It is fascinating. There is quite a bit left to be uncovered too, including in the bedroom which is the next room to do. I’m looking forward to it!

  12. Sol April 27, 2016 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    your house is really pretty, how is your study now? I do like it when a room has been lived in after revamping

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      The study is settling in well. I’ve still to find a better way of covering the window at night in the winter but otherwise it works well and I’m loving the light colour scheme. It’s a restful place to work.

  13. Janet/Plantaliscious April 27, 2016 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Devon sounds like Anglesey for the randomness of builders! But a builder who rescues the old curved wall is a builder to hang on to. So sorry about your ankle, must be driving you crazy, but plants are surprisingly tolerant of multiple moves and the occasional longish period in a pot, do look after yourself! Fascinating to see another piece of the fabric of your cottage.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      It’s the regrowth of the weeds that is bothering me the most.. I’d just got on top of it. The sunshine and showers thing isn’t helping me either! But the building work has been a distraction from all that, thank goodness.

  14. Island Threads April 27, 2016 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    builders, workmen etc. do the last minute call here too, but at least they then come, how nice to that your builder was sensitive to the original building and exposed the small wall, the original houses on the islands were built with curved corners, apparently it is better in windy areas as the wind slides around the building causing less damage, makes you wonder why the modern builders don’t do it,

    that’s a nice little bed running in front of the house, I don’t think I’ve seen it before, hope the ankle is healing alright, Frances

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      The only advantage of the bit of wall we took down is that it created a properly warm niche around that bed. I’ve been wondering whether we’ve now got a wind tunnel, but time will tell. Being so far down the hillside and surrounded by trees it’s a sheltered site in any case.

  15. Freda April 27, 2016 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    That’s a lot of rubble to move! I love the subtlety of the curved wall and the curved bed. Resting that foot must be so frustrating at this time of year.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      The curves work well! I’d wondered how I was going to finish off that bed without the wall, the problem was solved for me.

  16. Val April 27, 2016 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Your house and its surrounds are gorgeous! What a lot of work there always is, though, to get things just as we like them.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Thanks Val. It’s certainly the case here. But we did take on the house as a project, knowing that every room would need attention and that the garden was overgrown. It has turned out to be a much bigger project than we thought though.

  17. germac4 April 27, 2016 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    The rubble is a nuisance but the house looks great without that extra bit of wall. The cottage in the sunshine is sparkling, do you have to white wash it every few years?

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      We’ve been lucky so far and got away with just wiping off the worst of the weathering. In due course we will need to put a coat on the end gable at least, to blend in the new plaster where the wall has come down.

  18. Amy at love made my home April 27, 2016 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    Oh yes, heaps! We have those from time to time too. It has made a great difference and looks really good doesn’t it, so good to have these jobs finished – well in progress – and to get things done. I hope that Diane doesn’t mind too too much!

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      Diane looks quite happy where she is! I’ve got a huge job to do in relocating a lot of plants from the veg garden. I put several new purchases in there last autumn as a temporary measure to get them out of their pots over winter.

  19. Beth @ PlantPostings April 28, 2016 at 3:02 am - Reply

    I must admit it took me several scrolls back and forth to see it. Ha! Wow, wouldn’t it be fun to have a house with the rough rubble showing? I have a thing for stone and brick houses–maybe I’ll have one some day. Gosh, every time you show that view of your rock wall garden, I swoon!

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks Beth. The terraces look a bit neglected at the moment, I need to do some more planting. There are quite a few gaps after winter. I tend to put the more delicate things in there because it is reasonably warm and well drained, but still not everything makes it through the winter wet.

  20. Sarah Shoesmith April 28, 2016 at 7:53 am - Reply

    What a splendid discovery! I have an ongoing heap by the entrance to the farmyard. It is made up of all the rubble I have dug from the garden. I am keeping it until I find no more old bits of wall when I plant. I reckon there’s enough to there to construct a rubble bungalow at the moment (I’m going for a block of flats). I hope that you’re feeling better, that Diane enjoys her new home and you get to enjoy a relaxing read and a glass this weekend.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      I too keep all the stones that I dig out of the soil. I won’t have enough for a bungalow but there’s an old cobbled path in front of the house and I reckon eventually we’ll have enough to restore it. Whether we’ll have enough energy left is another matter, but we’ll have the stone!

  21. Cathy April 28, 2016 at 8:22 am - Reply

    It looks terrific, and I’m sure ‘Diane’ will be very happy in her new home – what a lovely little curve! Liked your comment about ‘peeling away’ the layers – but sometimes it’s shocking. Did this with what used to be an outside 16th wall last year, and is now the wall to our living room and bathroom corridor – the result was scary, as if all the old stones at the base had just sunk into themselves and then fragmented. We covered it up again quickly and I try not to think about it – hopefully I’ll be dead when the house falls down!

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      If it’s been standing all that time I’m sure it will last another few decades. It’s what builders keep telling me so it must be right.. either that or they’re just trying to keep us on board knowing there’ll be a job here for as long as they want one.

  22. wherefivevalleysmeet April 28, 2016 at 8:48 am - Reply

    I would probably keep the rounded scar on the house as long as it was made weatherproof – I like the fact that it reveals the houses architectural history

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      I was tempted. Actually I’d like to have all the render off and replace it with something more in keeping, but that awaits a lottery win.

  23. Anne Wheaton April 28, 2016 at 9:32 am - Reply

    I’m obviously not very good at Spot the Difference. When I saw the first photo, I thought how jarring the wall at the end looked but in the next photo I didn’t notice it had gone! I rather like the rounded scar, though doubtless there was a reason for applying render in the first place. I agree with you that one of the joys of living in an old house is peeling back the layers. From my experience, farmers are very good at covering up rather than going to the trouble of removing, which makes for fascinating discoveries.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      Country folk in general I think, not just farmers. But thank goodness they did. The wheel has turned full circle and now all those ‘unfashionable’ old features have become prized once again.

  24. Alain April 28, 2016 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    How very interesting. There are many layers to be peeled one after the other.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      Indeed there are. Sometimes literally. I found at least three different layers of wallpaper in the study. Wish I’d kept some fragments now. Thanks Alain.

  25. Jayne Hill April 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    You’re right, peeling back the layers is the “fun” part of house rennovations (let’s face it, there has to be some fun somewhere . . . because it certainly isn’t the endless procession of white vans, dust and disruption!)

    Would that little curved wall always have been a bed, or might it once have been the base of a structure that was part of the house?

    Hope the healing is continuing :-}

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      I hadn’t thought about it being once part of the house, but anything’s possible. There is something strange going on a bit further along the house wall, where that jutting out section is. We were talking about it today. It looks as if there was once, or still is, another structure under there. The back of the envelope plan has us working near there next year. I’m very tempted to excavate.

  26. Tahoe girl April 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    it looks much better without the wall. Your house is quite beautiful. I love the thatch roof. does it ever leak?

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Not yet! It shouldn’t leak, the straw is a thick layer and tightly packed together. What it does do is shed water. A thatched roof has no gutters so in heavy rain the water just pours off the slope. Not a good time to be standing underneath.

  27. Linda from Each Little World April 28, 2016 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    I love getting to share all these discoveries as you work on your house. So different from the experiences of most Americans. And won’t it be lovely to have room for the Witchhazel to spread her wings around the corner.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      It should make for quite a dramatic feature when the witch hazel has grown a bit and is in bloom. And in the autumn when the leaves turn a glorious red. She just won’t bask in quite the same balmy microclimate that she had before.

  28. Susan Garrett April 28, 2016 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    I wonder why that wall was built there in the first place?

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      There was a gate attached to it. We had the other gate post down along with the big conifer so since then it’s been a bit of wall that does nothing!

  29. Cathy April 28, 2016 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    How exciting to find the hidden curved wall there! Had to smile at your heap – we have had a few of those in our time, but all pale into insignificance against the couple of cubic metres of ready mixed concrete from the Golfer’s overestimate slowing setting into a solid heap… 🙂

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 9:02 pm - Reply

      Eeek! That is the stuff of nightmares. Reminds me of when we had the water treatment plant installed. The closest the concrete mixer could get was the top of the hill right in front of the garage, which is exactly where it got dumped. It was a race against time for the contractors to get it all down the drive and in place around the tank before it went ‘off’.

  30. Wendy April 28, 2016 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I do love your thatched house and it is fascinating to see more of its structure. What an interesting history it must have.

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      I would love to have the time to research it one day. I would be so interesting to know who lived here. Undoubtedly though it would have been simple country folk so most likely very few records exist.

  31. jannaschreier April 28, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    I fell in love with that stonework from the very first photo of it! But sadly not a good look long term with the rest of the rendering. How lovely to have found the little stone wall, too. I bet it all feels incredibly different to you, even inside that downstairs room as well as outside. Really hope your foot is good again soon.

    • Jessica April 30, 2016 at 8:01 am - Reply

      You’re right, that sitting room now feels so much more spacious. The first view on entering the room used to be the white wall, now it’s trees. Much better!

  32. snowbird April 28, 2016 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    I love that rounded hidden wall, always good to get a look into how a propety was built. Good luck moving all that rubble!xxx

    • Jessica April 30, 2016 at 8:04 am - Reply

      Must be something of a record but this heap is gone already! I had thoughts of using it as hard core for a path but could see it staying there for ages, so it’s been disposed of.

  33. Rick Nelson April 28, 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Interesting stuff about the construction of your house rd, there must have been so much local stone available, particularly as it was even used in the garden, that I am surprised that the whole building wasn’t built entirely from stone. Local materials have always been used in building to keep costs to a minimum and not necessarily from choice, could it also be possible that the correct sub-soil to produce cob was not available or simply in your case the availability of local stone enabled the construction of a high status building?

    • Jessica April 30, 2016 at 8:11 am - Reply

      The ground here is very stony, I’m constantly digging up bits of rock. There would have been no shortage for the original builders either as they excavated part of the hillside to create enough flat land to build a house. It must have been quite an undertaking, before the advent of the JCB!

  34. casa mariposa April 29, 2016 at 3:29 am - Reply

    I used to live in an old house, too, and loved that it came with a story. The new old wall is wonderful and adds a sense of history to the garden. 🙂

    • Jessica April 30, 2016 at 8:18 am - Reply

      The story here remains largely unwritten and it is fascinating adding chapters as we go along. But I do miss some of the conveniences of a new house, in winter especially!

  35. AnnetteM April 29, 2016 at 10:33 am - Reply

    I do hope you are able to rest enough to get your foot better soon. So frustrating for you at this time of the year. It will get better though and jobs will wait – even if they have to wait until next year. My parents did up an old village Poor House in the south of England. There was a lot of painstaking work involved. I missed most of it as I had left home by then, but did help when I could.

    • Jessica April 30, 2016 at 8:26 am - Reply

      Natural materials like cob move with the seasons, as they absorb moisture and then dry out, so the work never ends really. It truly is a labour of love, but for a house full of character you can’t beat it.

  36. Julieanne April 29, 2016 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Looks great opened up. And I loved that the builder carefully knocked the old section away and found that nice stone curved end of the bed. Old buildings can have a fascinating history. The big problem is that you never know until you start work on something, just how much work that might entail. Hopefully not too much of that for you. In the meantime, I’m sure the witch hazel will be happy to have a permanent home.

    • Jessica April 30, 2016 at 8:35 am - Reply

      True, the downside of discovery is that some of it might lead to a bigger job than you’d originally anticipated! Sometimes there’s a reason for the covering up. There’s a blocked up fireplace in the bedroom that I want to investigate. Might make a nice feature, might not. But we won’t know until we take a look.

  37. Linda P. April 30, 2016 at 10:59 am - Reply

    I enjoy looking at the views of the cottage from different angles. Seeing the exposed structure on the corner of the wall is very interesting as is the original curved stone edge of the flowerbed. I hope you’re recovering from your injury. We know ourselves how frustrating it can be not to be well enough or mobile when there’s so much to do in the house and garden at this time of the year. For us it was the limited time we had in Italy, but we had no alternative but to rest in between household and garden maintenance. I hope you’ve been resting up your ankle and leg. Take care.

    • Jessica May 2, 2016 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Thanks Linda. Yes, it’s incredibly frustrating. It’s so sad that your time in Italy was beset by illness. I hope you will be much luckier with your next trip over there.

  38. homeslip April 30, 2016 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    Much better. I imagine it feels different inside too. The little curved bed is a lovely find and I think the exposed bit of wall looks great too. Our cottage, the 18th century bit, is built of coursed sandstone not dissimilar to your exposed corner. Hope you’re looking after your ankle. 20 degrees next weekend so maybe a sea paddle is in order?

    • Jessica May 2, 2016 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Not quite 20 degrees here but we are certainly forecast some warmer weather. And about time too. We have started to talk about days out again so you never know!

  39. bittster May 1, 2016 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Yes, you’re right, the wall had to go. Funny how quickly it’s gone and on the way to being erased completely… it sure doesn’t hurt having a premade bed border waiting for you underneath!

    • Jessica May 2, 2016 at 10:03 am - Reply

      That border was extremely sheltered when it had the benefit of the wall but also quite wet with all the drips off the roof. With a bit of luck it will now get a breeze to help dry it out.

  40. Jo May 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    I don’t know how you ever find time to settle down with a good book with all the work you do on the garden and house but it’s all coming together and your hard work is paying dividends. I do hope you’ll find time to rest that foot over the bank holiday.

    • Jessica May 2, 2016 at 10:06 am - Reply

      It’s true, I don’t have much time for reading. Only times like this really when I’m laid up for some reason. Or in the depths of winter. Or on holiday. There’s a balance to be had with a garden and this one does require more work than would be ideal.

  41. Indie May 1, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Wow, it’s so fascinating to see how differently they constructed things way back when. I love the stone enclosed flower bed. Prepping for all that construction sounds exhausting, though. I hope your ankle can heal quickly despite all this work!

    • Jessica May 2, 2016 at 10:09 am - Reply

      I don’t find resting very easy at all. Everywhere I look there’s a job to do! Thanks Indie.

  42. stephanie young May 4, 2016 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    isn’t it funny how something so ‘little’ (obviously not sooo little) can change a whole look….really opens up the space. (And i love that you now have a bit more house history. We love discovering stuff about our little 1923 space…hardly old compared to yours, but for us…as good as it gets!!!) And don’t you HATE it when you are laid up…. now you see ALL the stuff that needs to be done, rather than just some of the stuff you’d ordinarily do. I had a miserable 8 weeks (hip replacement years ago) and all I wanted to do was sweep up dust-bunnies. DUH?!? Haven’t had THAT thought again since my recovery!) Wishing you a quick recovery.

    • Jessica May 4, 2016 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      Everywhere I look there is a weed. And because (at last) the weather is getting warmer, by the next day there are most likely two weeds. The sofa is on eye level with the garden that’s the problem. It must be the same with dust bunnies..

  43. sustainablemum May 5, 2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    I wonder if the house was rendered as it wasn’t watertight? It is rather charming underneath so it would be amazing to take all the render off but an expensive way to find out why it was done in the first place! Hope that foot heals soon as you sound like you are itching to get out into the garden!

    • Jessica May 6, 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply

      From what I have seen of the style of cottages locally it would most probably always have been rendered. I’ve started some easy things in the garden, mostly in the greenhouse or in the flatter areas. Sort of limbering up getting ready to tackle the slope again!

  44. Donna@Gardens Eye View May 7, 2016 at 12:27 am - Reply

    I love seeing the wall too…very cool. Hoping your weather improved. Ours ahs a little but still cooler than normal.

    • Jessica May 8, 2016 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      It seems we’ve gone from winter to summer in less than a week! Very warm at the moment with the all important nighttime temperatures in double figures. Sadly not forecast to last though.

  45. hb May 7, 2016 at 6:00 am - Reply

    Little by little, better and better.

    • Jessica May 8, 2016 at 9:02 pm - Reply

      Thanks Hoov. Every little bit of progress counts.

  46. willisjw May 7, 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    It’s a nice opportunity to stand back and reflect on how classically beautiful your house is. Somehow gives the garden extra bonus points to be surrounding such a building. My great-grandfather was a thatcher in Malvern and I imagine your roof must be the result of a similar local craftsman.

    • Jessica May 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm - Reply

      Our previous cottage was also thatched. At one point we had one side of the roof plus the ridge rethatched. I found it absolutely fascinating to watch. A real skill, but real stamina needed too. It’s a tough job.

  47. Vintage Jane May 10, 2016 at 8:33 am - Reply

    I love how old buildings reveal their history to you. We have had a few ‘interesting’ finds within the walls.
    I do hope your foot is better soon.

    • Jessica May 10, 2016 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      That is absolutely the joy of living in an old building. It means that nothing is predictable, but that’s what makes it so exciting.

  48. Chloris May 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    I’ m a bit late as I missed this post whilst I was away. What an improvement! It looks so much better. It is funny how old houses build up layers of oddities over the centuries.

    • Jessica May 11, 2016 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      I felt a bit guilty about taking the silly bit of wall away really, but it served no purpose. And air circulation around the base of the house wall should improve now, where the rain drips off the roof, so we may even have extended the life of the building.

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