Monday, 30 September 2013

White or red?

We discover after all Dave's floor cleaning that the black and white tiles are actually black and red! We can't wait to remove the awful 1950's fireplace and it seems strange to think that it must have once been someone's pride and joy. It suddenly starts to feel as if the farm is ours.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Shed destruction

Our huge shed is nearly down and it is amazing to see the views - but best not to watch the removal process.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Finding the lintel

We are going to reopen a door between the kitchen and our living room. Dave works to reveal the lintel which we hope we won't have to replace. We went to Sudbury Prison for lunch!!

Hill Farm chimneys

Driving home we stop to admire our new chimney pots. The farm looked incomplete without them. We wonder when and why they were removed - or maybe they just fell down.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Our first bonfire

We light our first bonfire and get rid of a lot of the weeds that we have dug up over the last couple of months. The wind was supposed to blow from the east but keeps changing direction covering us in smoke. Dave is in charge of the burning and there is still heat in the embers two days later. We should have brought some potatoes.

Chimney pots

The new chimney pots go on. After much debate we have chosen the slightly shorter ones. Driving home we stop at the top of the lane to admire them.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Grass cutting

Our farmer friend turns up with his tractor to do some rather more heavy duty grass cutting!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Septic tanks

After much weed clearing (by me) we manage to unearth our septic tanks. It would appear these are in good condition having been put in fairly recently and just need new drains to run into them.  There is a main tank and an overflow and an inspection chamber. Now we have cleared the land of nettles, brambles and thistles (disturbing some wild bees in the process) we can get it emptied.

Mowing the lawn

Having brought my father's mower back from Somerset Dave is able to start mowing the lawn. He does an excellent job and there are only another 8.75 acres to go!

Friday, 20 September 2013

More fireplace work

We clear the second fireplace - this time in what will be 'our' living room and John was able to put down the flue liner. This one went in smoothly - unlike the one in the guest living room. We weren't there to see the problems but apparently it came lose at the top and had to be pulled down the chimney clearing all the remaining soot with it.

A well supported roof

The purlins on our roof were cracked where they met the A frame and this was mainly what had caused the sagging roof line. Now however they have been very well braced ... this is good as our bedrooms are underneath!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A rainbow

Just as we are leaving Hill Farm we see an incredible rainbow, matching the one we saw as we left Charnwood. It feels like a sign.

Man with van

We drive back from Somerset and after unloading at the storage unit decide to drive on to the farm to unload the tools, garden seats, bird bath etc.  It's the end of what has been a very long day.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


We had expected to uncover several of layers of wallpaper but downstairs there is only one. In most places the colour has completely faded away but here it must have been covered by a picture or mirror. Paint beneath this and elsewhere is green then blue - very strong hues applied straight to the lime plaster. Where the plaster falls away you can see the horsehair in it.

The big shed

When we bought the farm we acquired much more in terms of barns and sheds than we'll ever need. Fortunately our neighbour would like to have this biggest shed and is happy to relocate it. Currently it dwarfs the house - and amazingly there is planning permission granted to put up an additional one - somehow I don't think we'll be doing that!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Guest room fireplace

It would appear that crows took up residence in the guest room chimney some time ago.  I shovelled huge amounts of sticks from the lovely Victorian fireplace. I then swept the floor - just a bit more work needed though before our first guests arrive!

Wall uncovering

Because there were young children living at the farm recently the walls have been covered in nailed on plywood and this has then had vinyl paper applied. The result is that as we start to strip the ply and paper off we find that the lime plaster behind is soaking wet and much of it falls off the wall. This is a very dusty but satisfying job. The architects who designed the refurbishment visit us and I think they are rather surprised by what has been done by the previous owners - which is somewhat different from the plans.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Fireplace removal

With guidance and a massive power tool from the builder we start work removing the 1950's fireplaces. Before long though we are back to using the hammer and chisel. It's hard to imagine the original form of the fireplace as it seems to have been very altered over the years. There are two sections with bull nosed bricks and then we find a pair of brick (black painted) corbels.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Roof repairs

Work is now under way repairing the roof.  Apparently there are cracks to the purlins where they meet the A frame and these are being braced.  Hopefully the roof will look much the same as before but without the sagging and the missing roof tiles.  One day as we watched we saw a pigeon fly out of the roof! Dave and I were despatched to the reclamation yards to find some valley tiles.  We must have looked through hundreds of almost right ones. The right colour, size and angle proved impossible to find so we returned with what seemed the best match.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Blackberries for a crumble

We have plenty of blackberries and they tasted great in a crumble with apples, custard AND cream!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

And more floors

Whilst Dave gets on with cleaning and lifting the quarry tiles I have the horrid job of tackling the parquet. This is stuck to the floor with weird stretchy yellow adhesive that is still very elastic. I am trying to be careful but it is easy to split the 5-finger construction and it takes a lot of effort to separate each tile from the floor.


The scaffolding team continued their unsmiling work despite it being a Sunday - the farm is now fully enclosed and work can start to repair our roof.  We are all hoping the glorious weather holds.  Each day we sit on deckchairs and have our lunch in the garden.