Sunday, 28 October 2012

It wasn't so warm on the West Coast of Cornwall yesterday. But the sky was amazing.

As much as we love Soggibottom Cottage, there are times when we need to get away. The fire place is taking place step by step.

All we need now is a working fire and it's finished. There is only one thing I will miss about the old fire place. It's seeing Mew our cat with her paws high, warming them in front of the fire. I miss Mew... NOPE.. won't miss the fireplace...
At the moment all thoughts go out to a huge storm three hundred miles across off of the East Coast of America... take care and most of all keep safe and dry x x x

Frankie de tabby and MEW ......

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Black water - Naughty or nice.

It could be art I suppose.

There is always one who is so nosey that they have to see what is going on.

Freya isn't out of the frame either. Frank and Freya are both as bad.

Freya is taking so much interest, Tony was thinking of giving her the title of builders mate. If there is something he can't find, it's a sure sign that Freya knows exactly where it is, or where she has left it after running off with it in the first place.

Day 17 after black water came into the cottage. We still don't seem any further along helping things to be up and running to get back to some kind of normality. It's not any fault of ours, just the way it goes as far as paper work is concerned.

Although there is one thing that is moving along, the  removal of our old stone and concrete fireplace
This is how you last saw it.

We tried hard to save the large mantel beam we took down from the fireplace. What you see above the fireplace, is a lintel and not for removal.

We had intended to put back the beam after cutting it down into a straight line at each end. Sadly the smell of the wood when we started to saw, gave away the fact  the beam at one time had been eaten away inside by woodworm. Not sure how long the beam had been on the fireplace, but I know that for years I have been polishing it.
If we had known how bad the wood was, it would have been removed a very long time ago.

New oak beams.

Our 2012 time capsule in place.

The fireplace is moving along. It's very positive stuff. Wish our insurance company were just as quick and positive.

Freya is over at the CATFLAP CAVALIER, she has yet to let Santa know about the fireplace. But then we all know Santa knows everything. Especially all that those that have been naughty or nice.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The seal that got away.

It seems too cruel to see a blue sky after all the rain and flooding. Although a blue sky is always a welcome sight.

This is a typical Devon scene with lots of green. It's because of all the rain we have.

In the last post I mentioned our fireplace. No fire in it now. We thought that there would never be a better opportunity of actually changing something we have always disliked in the cottage. We love the oak beam above the fire. Although who ever built this fireplace we think in the seventies, must have had a bad sense of humor or a concrete addict. This is not an original feature of the 17th century Soggibottom cottage. Neither will the new fire place be, hopefully it will look better and be so much safer than jutting out half way into the room. We intend to add another feature behind the wall and fire before we complete the project. We thought a time capsule from the year 2012. Any idea's ? Family, and friends :-) :-)

Before you start a project it's always a good idea to source the material's you want to use. Things have to be planned.
Planning isn't often used here, one of us has an idea and then things get out of hand. This time, one day's planning was long enough before we started our new project.
In our case, we are going to use wood. In a cottage like Soggibottom, it should be oak for our new fireplace. Not stone set in concrete.

There are places to find oak, this isn't one.

This is the place, it used to be the village saw mill. We never knew that.
Around here there are wood yards and so many places that sell to farms for fencing and to people for their gardens, but finding oak beams was good luck on our part at the first place we went to. Not everyone has oak beams for sale.

This really is the same room I have shown so many times on Soggibottom posts. No furniture, no floor. NO STONE FIREPLACE...  The photo is a bit fuzzy, not one of my usual one's, but here it is. The whole room had a thick dusty haze floating around, a bit like fog, so I can blame the haze.Oh, nice wheel barrow.....

A better photo from a few hours ago. I love the spade feature. This is the original fire place. Set back further and deeper and wider. What looks like a beam across the fire,, isn't, it's a concrete lintel. Not something we need to take out.

Inset into the fire place are original fire bricks, burnt black, which probably go right up to the chimney. A wood burning cast iron range would have sat here at one time. We even found an inlet to the bread oven. Concreted over obviously ! Concrete nuts...........
We still have some work to do, it's great taking things out, you have to put them back looking good too.

I can't show you more....

The dust has settled slightly, not sure how many inches of dust we will find in the morning. Better dust than water.
After the dust was cleared up this afternoon, more dust was falling. Ah, I really hate housework. Especially when I feel so dirty and my hair stands up all on it's own with dust.  We are a dirty lot.
Many thanks to our neighbour Steve, without his help and the beautiful sound of the pneumatic drill today, this would have taken us weeks and weeks. Steve, you are one of our stars. What would we have done without you today. Thank You.

To end, a photo taken yesterday of the beautiful river Dart. The river is high and there are flood alerts all around our South West Coastline. High Spring Tides and a low pressure area. Days and days of heavy rain.
To other flooded properties, that flounder on. IT ALL DRIES OUT IN THE END.

Freya is at the CATFLAP CAVALIER. She saw a seal bobbing along in the river yesterday. Too late to take a photo as we both looked at each other as to who had the camera... IT WASN'T ME :-) The seal took one look at us and dived. Ah, better luck next time.
Have a good weekend, we probably won't be back here at least until Monday.
Most of all take care and keep dry. X X X 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Ten days after flooding

Ten days after flooding in Soggibottom cottage and one thing is back to normal.

The bear is back in his usual place in the window.
Freya and the cottage bear are both watching Sid in the garden. Freya is taking more interest than the bear.
Sid is a cheeky squirrel who loves to sit on the other side of the window and torment Freya. At least he keeps her occupied. He also has a good technique of unhooking the bird feeders from the tree outside. His normal trick is to carry them off in his mouth to the other side of the stream.

Our fire is the latest casualty of our flood. We couldn't get an engineer to look at it until yesterday.
The weather has turned colder, seems everyone suddenly needs their fire to be serviced.
When the guy came he decided to condemn the fire because of water damage.It was un serviceable, unworkable. Ten days since flooding from the stream and there are still things going out of the front door. Ten days doesn't seem a very long time but enough time to make things on our fire already corrode.

I suppose it would have been a different story if the water had been clean.


Good idea about trying to clean the bag I showed you last time. 

Although, I don't think my grandmother would have wanted me to have kept it after it smelt as if it had been dropped in sewage. Actually, it wasn't dropped, the water with other things was floating around in here. So thanks for all the good advice guys. You would have had to worn rubber gloves to knit with the needles. The bin has been binned too.

Also thanks for advice on unblocking drains. IF we ever have a blocked drain :-), I promise to give detailed instructions on how to unblock it. We do have a main drain that all the waste water from  inside the cottage goes into, but all of our surface water from the cottage goes straight into soak-a-ways, then the water goes straight into the stream. No surface drains with covers this side of our little bridge. other than one main drain.Quirk of living here, as well as getting our feet wet.

Seems as Freya is making the most of our new sitting room.  Princess and the pea came to mind.
A concrete floor isn't the warmest thing to have to sit on and it really is getting colder outside. Luckily the floor that was damaged had a very good liner underneath.  The lining saved most (not all) of the concrete from getting too wet.

That's it, as far as the ten days after the flood up date goes Things from now tend to move slowly.

This is a spot on the other side of the village from the cottage. Seems a bit strange that the photo is taken at the top of a hill, we can't all be lucky enough to live down here at the bottom.

This is one of my favorite views, even if it is on the other side of the village. Glorious Dartmoor in the background.

Not one of my better shots, great looking lamp post Midge. I've really out done my self getting that into the picture.
The photo does show you how close we are to Dartmoor, right at the bottom of the hill. All that water has to go somewhere. The environment agency have photo's of our flood, it really is just a waiting game now. I have already said that.

In the meantime, we have another project in mind to keep us busy over the next few days. I really have to change the setting on the camera.Oh, look at that dirty fireplace... shame on me.

Now is the ideal opportunity to re-make our fire place. I said re-make, what we really intend is, to knock it out and start again.
Some of it we can't take out, bits at the back will have to stay as they are part of the cottage, or are they ?

You never know exactly what you find here until you start knocking things down, or tapping the wall. You should have seen us when we first arrived here. Ah, well, here we go again.

At one time it would have been a bigger fireplace, this concrete monstrosity has been left over from the cottage's past owners. I have always hated it. It's dangerous too. The past owners had a thing about concrete, but to tell you about our garden will be for another day.
The fireplace isn't even in the middle of the room. The best thing about it, is the beam above the stone and concrete, the beam we reclaimed when we first moved in.
The beam was covered in layers and layers of black paint. It took weeks of hard work to uncover the beautiful oak beam underneath gunge. Then years of old fashioned elbow grease and polish.

We're keeping the beam...... at least one bear is exactly where he should be.

I haven't be able to visit your beautiful blogs over the last few days. I have gone missing again......It might be a while longer before I can be completely updated.
Tomorrow it's going to be too dusty for a computer mouse to be around. Although first we have to source two more upright wooden beams.

Hope you all take care and thank you so very much, we both appreciate all your good thoughts and helpful comments. Most of all, it's good to know your there. We like sharing things. :-) But never ever want anyone to get their feet wet when it's all so unnecessary  This shouldn't have happened again after we tried so hard to improve things that we were never flooded again.

Freya is over at Catflap Cavalier, she has been a little star while all this has been going on, even if she does hog all the floor cushions...See you all in a few days, or sooner with luck. x x x

Monday, 15 October 2012

I promised to keep photo's coming.
We both really needed to escape from Soggibottom today, no matter, how much we hated to leave her, we and Freya needed to get out and about.

Eventually on such strange mornings, the day breaks and you have to move on.

One week and a day. Frankie de tabby "bless him", blends into his surroundings.

OR NOT.. depends on how you look at it.

We know that there are so many that never comment but look in here, so, thanks again to one of our very special friends who came to the rescue and gave us two rugs and a small table.. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE ,,,,,
Not all of Freya's toys were lost. Some we managed to save, her very favourite's that were at the top to her toy box. Tweety was saved too. Along with A few others. So please guys, don't think Freya is hard done by.

There is one puff puffin that isn't too pleased to have been in the washing machine for an hour or more, but he was saved too. No one tell that he was disinfected and then put through the wash.... FOR HOURS.
After all the water.. the washing machine still works........

What would Freya do with out Puff Puffin ?
If anyone has a puff puffin, please let us know, because there are only so many times he can go through the washing machine. WE WILL PAY POSTAGE....

Frankie de tabby has a bed again, so has Freya and they are great at sharing.

The window seat where the Soggibottom bear normally sits is up and running and he will be back soon. So everyone in the village will know he is safe.

Silly things were lost in the flood. This silly bag... my grandmother gave me years ago. I will miss it.
Loads of knitting needles and STUFF. All STUFF. But I will miss this particular thing because  my grandmother gave it to me.
Why on earth did I leave it on the floor of the cupboard under the stairs ? COST ?
It's never about cost, this bag silly as it is, is irreplaceable.

The window box outside was saved. Just as well, because it had only been planted a few days before last Saturday morning.

There are some things that can't be replaced. Freya and Frankie de tabby are fine. Slightly stressed but never the less, okay. Good note, the rugs they are sitting on, are made of goat hair and were made in a far a way land .... :-) I haven't used them for years. My kids will remember them.

Freya was her normal self on her beach walk this morning.

We even went into the same shop where we brought her water bowl place mat.
THERE WAS ONE LEFT with the name Freya on it. How lucky is that ?
Before anyone asks. NO... we should, but won't claim for it on our insurance............silly stuff. Why is it that it's the silly stuff that is more important ?

See you tomorrow.
Cos I promised.
If I don't actually make it tomorrow forgive me :-) MONDAY is a busy day for phone calls.
Trying my best to get around to thanking everyone. In case I don't.
THANK YOU, every single comment is treasured. XXX You all know who you are XXX