This week saw the last hurrah for the daffodils. The plum trees are covered in white blossoms and the horses are beginning to venture out without their blankets. The sun has been out more often than not and the temps are rising steadily. A very good turn of events.
We had a lot of excitement around the farm this week. In the wee hours last weekend our burglar alarm went off. Since we had never heard it we had to really wake up and process what it was that was happening. It was no burglar but a system fail that ended up requiring the engineer to service it several days running. Several days of the alarm firing off erratically. It was funny that first time. It got old I admit.
The alarm guy and I ended up having a lot in common though and by the end of the whole project discovered we had both lived in Germany at different times and love to hike. We swapped notes about walking destinations and gear and he brought out his phone to show pictures of must-see peaks in the UK. Put me in a room with someone for a few minutes and I will know all about them when I walk out. I talk. A lot. : )
The farm's painter has been working on all the trim and gutters. He had us choose paint colors for the piano room which had a bad leak last summer. We have moved the furniture and taken down the pictures and Monday work begins on the inside. It looks like we will have to repair the tile next week as well. When one daughter was showering this morning the water was dripping down through the ceiling. It happened last year too. 1960s era olive green tiles in the bath are coming undone.
Living in a 200 year old house is an incredible experience, but it isn't always as romantic as magazines suggest. The maintenance required is considerable and ongoing. We are blessed to have someone else who owns and maintains it because this isn't something we could take on ourselves. As it is, we are living on a farm complex which is very different from the American concept of farms. There are a LOT of people living and working here which means a great deal gets accomplished. It is also a big change for us getting used to being part of a farm team of people coming and going, sometimes knocking and sometimes not. ; )
Our old Land Rover bit the dust this week as well. We had hoped to ride it out while we were here but in the end could not get it to pass its emissions test. So we went shopping for a British spec minivan. Abbie was beside herself when she heard. "I am SO happy!" she said. She was pretty sure she heard "Minnie" -van and was a little bummed to learn that was not the same thing. "It's not THAT, Dad." she told him, in case he too was under the illusion we were getting a Disney vehicle. "It just means its SIZE."
So it has been busy and things will be hopping around here for a bit yet for these and other reasons. I got a few pictures in the early morning the other day just as the sun broke through the rainclouds in that temporary hush before the bustling began. That has been important in keeping calm and collected during long days of noise and excitement. Mornings and evenings have been quiet, full of books and study and walking which balance the day's activity. Breathing in and breathing out.
So, these were the deep breaths in....
Walking through the raindrops - highly recommended.