Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Dawn, New Flowerbed

This morning we woke up to this:

So instead of making a door for the washroom - exciting but more or less indoors, we made a flower bed in the garden (first find or make your garden!)

The Magnolia that we planted last week has lead to a place to put bulbs a and summer flowers.

Here's the result; we are very chuffed! Small beginnings but what a difference:

Feels like a bit of home

Our 25th Anniversary Magnolia

the pipes in the foreground are the temporary water supply and pump power

Charlie stressing out again!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Clear October Air

We've had days of mist and low visibility - no mountains, but every change in the view brings forward new parts to observe, that would be hidden or overwhelmed at other times

no mountains but a parade of great trees
 Today saw a change - with blue skies and razor sharp light:

This morning - a misty start had intimations of the beautiful day to come
Our new neighbours enjoying some October sun!
Trees on the slope above show signs of Autumn

Sunset - cold and sharp

good omens for tomorrow


Our pots of flowers and shrubs have been carefully nurtured up at Clonachullion many thanks to Mary & Daniel.

We are beginning to move them across to their new home, and already can feel the difference a bit of greenery can bring.

together again! we've put them in the shelter of the house for the moment

Our own friend the  robin supervises from the roof. I hope he treads carefully - that slate has no visible means of support!

We bought this Magnolia Stellata for our 25th wedding present,  now planted again in its new home - looks like it was made for it

a glimpse down the valley

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Front Garden

the weather has been fine and warm these last couple of days, and we've taken the opportunity of some 'casual' hard labour - a bit of indulgence in the front garden

You remember it was coming right out of the gates when we arrived, well now we can get from one of the side gates to the front door: after many many wheelbarrows of soil, nettles bramble and ivy.

the view through the gate

looking back

that little red flower covers everything

We have found some remnants of plants still surviving after 30 or more years of neglect, notably climbing roses, ferns and grasses. Who knows what else?

Slieve Donard and |Commedagh majestic in cloud


Tiggy - our timid and vaguely hedgehog like cat, has made an appearance outside for the first time in 7 months!

Which pleases us no end and and assuages our guilt a wee bit after taking her out of her comfort zone!

Furby and Tiggy - at large at last!

Sunday, October 03, 2010


Just as we thought we were beginning to get settled, Eleanor and Kate where whisked off to hospital again, as she was not gaining weight.

But after a few anxious nights, all is well, and we are back together again!

Home at last!
The end of a very good day

The Cats arrive

We packed some more of our bags and 'left' Newcastle on Thursday (Leaving will be a pretty long drawn out process we feel!)

The two remaining cats Furby and Tiggy came along too - both have settled in fine - tiggy in her retrest of the chicken shed, and Furby out on the range:

in his element!
Meanwhile, Charlie keeps a weather eye:

Friday, October 01, 2010

Catch Up - what have we been up to?

Well how remiss to not post for so many days - that's not the point of a blog I know, but We have an excuse dear reader. We are now Grandparents! Read on for more ...

Diary of events at Turnip House for the last xxx days

8 September Strapping Down

Christy and Paddy levelled and strapped down the mobile - really skilful and patient work turned our tin box on wheels into a potential home! Now we can begin to fit out inside

belts and braces - we're not going anywhere!

9 September Decorators`

Painting all day - finished in the evening; now looking really good

clean - and bright

10 September - Road cutter

We have to run electricity to the mobile - and the recommended way is underground, for safety. All that lies between us and underground is an indeterminate depth  of concrete. So, we got road cutter delivered from Duggans Hire Centre Maghera, and John and Niall set about cutting groove for electicity and telephone wire 

- great concrete! all we need now is a Kangol Hammer!

11 September

The concrete was so good - 5 inches thick in places, that plan A to prise the stuff away with cold chisel and wrecking bar was a no hoper. So, Duggans to the rescue - Kangol Hammer duly arrived. Kangolled all day - trench now ready....

That night we stayed in the mobile home- Our first meal at home - Beef stroganoff and Champ with bubbly - superb!

Spent the night, cold and a bit damp but exhilarated

12 September

A day (mostly) of rest. Repaired guttering on mobile home - should be drier now!

Garden planning begins (more to follow)

Our Inspiration

13 September moving again!

We brought some of our old furniture from it's home of 6 months in Rathfriland, brilliant to see it once more the right way up and in place!

Kate taken in to hospital - now the pressure is on!

14 September

all a blur, seem to remember lots of travelling, and snatched food

15 September

spent alot of time round here - the rainbow presages momentous events
16 September Arrivals day:

  1. electricity connected
  2. telephone and broadband connected
  3. Eleanor born 

Elaine and Eleanor, day1

17 September
Back in the ordinary world, we got the fridge installed plus more 'things' from Rathfriland!

18 September

19 September
Breakfast at home

Brought Kate and Eleanor out of hospital

20 September
Connected waste pipes;

Eleanor's first visit home splendid!

21 September - The Outbuildings

We are lucky to have a legacy of many farm buildings - in many shapes and sizes and various stages of decay, from 'OK' to "look out"! 

Adjacent to the Turnip house are the piggeries the ones with the beautiful iron 'pig proof doors'. These will do us fine for shed and washroom type needs. 

Today We cut a doorway for washroom access at the back of piggery no. 2. We hired (thanks to Duggans) a diamond tipped saw to glide through the concrete block, but puny as I am, I could not get the thing started! So resorting the the favoured tool of the trade - sledgehammer-  I battered my way through without too much trouble. At least this block work was not of the same standard as the concrete yard!

what - another door?

22 September

'Real' work for John and Elaine - no visit to site!

23 September new water pump installed 

The well looks so good, that we thought we would try using it first (with obvious precautions regarding it's purity). 

So we bought a water pump from Combined Harvesters - This sits suspended in the well and turns on when a tap is opened, and off when the flow stops. It is electronically controlled, with self priming, overheat and dry protection and seems to be more or less 'fit and forget'  Niall and John spend the day installing it, and now we have water  in the home! 

A few leaks and kitchen tap to sort out, but that's another step complete. All services (except gas) now ready.

get your water from the well - old and new style

24 September

To Armagh to register Eleanor - and also to pick up new taps for kitchen!

26 September Castle Vets

Castle Veterinary practice in Castlewellan celebrated their 20th year today - we were invited to exhibit our produce. A great day was had by all, perfect 'garden party' weather with plenty of fun and craic, loads of people for Eleanor to be shown off too!

fire on the mountain, Sunday morning