July 2012

Putting the tin hat on it

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Tony, a local roofer, takes advantage of a rare dry day to come and fit the metal covers we have had made for the two vents in our roof. One of the vents provides the exit hole for the flue from our wood burning stove. It leaked after the stove was fitted. We’ve had a temporary repair in place for a while but Bill has been anxious in all the recent heavy rain that we will have another leak. Covers that wouldn’t look out of place on the Tin Man’s head have been made by our local blacksmith and Tony fits them for us.

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He also replaces missing slates in the roof. It feels good to be reasonably watertight although the age of the roof and the condition of the nails holding the slates mean we shouldn’t be surprised if the odd one or two come adrift and fall.

The rain and cloud persist with only the odd gleam of sun. The river, which carries a red tinge because of the mineral dissolved in it, swells and rises with all the water coming off the moors. Fortunately for us, it’s still forty feet below our ground level. Our neighbour, the naturalist, is concerned that ground nesting birds will be suffering in the unrelenting wet weather. He’s surveying the local nightjar population and worries that their low numbers will fall even further this summer.

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After some quiet days - in one of which Emily had a much deserved day off - the last week has been busy. Schools in Scotland have closed for the summer holidays. At the end of the day there is a sprinkling of unfamiliar scottish notes among the english ones. We are pleased to have been discovered by Holiday Fellowship walkers, who arrive in a group and order lots of single pots of tea with scones.

Elspeth takes a few days off to got to a festival and Alex, one of our nephews arrives to spend a week working with us. He quickly falls into the routine and discovers he enjoys making cappuccinos but lattes, ‘not so much’.


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