We find it hard to believe that we have only been here just over a week. We felt instantly at home in Eye and the early starts and physical work are not a problem. The early starts mean we are out in the fields with the dog or strolling along a beautiful country lane and the physical work gives us the pleasure of a job well done and keeps us fit. There is not many a day goes by that I don’t feel grateful that we are not both sitting in traffic jams struggling to get to an office where we would sit at a desk for 7 hours before tackling the homeward rush hour.
The “to do” List
So we don’t have to constantly ask what we need to do, Tom and Barbara walked around their property and garden with us and jotted down some of the jobs that they would like completing in our allotted working hours. We have the freedom to prioritise them as we want to so that we can work outside when the weather is good and inside when it is rainy (or too hot!)
The first few days found me fighting the rampant elder and weeds that had invaded a large flower bed and the vegetable garden. Luckily I could see the difference a few hours had made and felt I had earned a hour on the garden bench with my book. Jon spent the first few days removing quarry tiles from the kitchen floor. As always he worked in a tidy fashion, although after three days he was walking a bit like Quasimodo.
The list is quite diverse. Painting floorboards, restringing roman blinds, lime-washing some walls and cultivating moss. That last one intrigued me but basically the idea is to age a stone garden bird bath and some ornamental stone garden planters by growing moss on them. The theory is that you remove a handful of moss from another location and mix it with a couple of spoonfuls of yoghurt. You then paint this mixture onto the bare stone and mist it occasionally. Hey presto, we should get moss. I will keep you posted on what seems like an old wives tale. It is a bit like another gem that we picked up in Scotland. Mix some ash from the fire with a little mayonnaise and rub it into wood with a dry cloth to oil and bring the shine back to furniture.
Our Hot Fuzz Moment
While we were on one of our early morning walks with one very energetic, athletic dog, who we shall call Sneeze. He had had a lovely gallop across the corn stubble. As we approached the edge of the field and the road, we called him over to put him back on his lead. Just as we were putting him back on the lead he saw a cat dart across the road and he went like a rocket after it. The road was a quiet one so luckily no traffic but that was the least of our worries. The cat leapt over a 6ft gate – and so did Sneeze. He just vaulted over it. The cat continued to vault two more fences like he was doing the hurdles across a succession of gardens. Sneeze managed two of the fences before losing sight of the cat. We had no idea which garden he was in until we heard a few whimpers. Once the thrill of the chase was over he suddenly felt very lonely and lost.
With a bit of deduction and peering over fences we managed to narrow it down to two possible gardens. I went one way to knock on a door and Jon went the other way to do the same. No responses from either. While I was starting to think that we needed to head back and let the owners know, Jon managed to open a garden gate and rescue one dog who looked very sorry for himself. The whole scenario reminded us of the famous Hot Fuzz moment of fence leaping. Drama seems to find us and you haven’t heard about the ladder yet – more of that later.
To recover from a stressful morning, we took ourselves up to the local cricket club and sat with a few beers to watch Eye thrash St Margaret’s. St Margaret’s scored 144 -6 but eye won with an impressive 149 – 0. It must have been the extra spectators spurring them on.
Family Fun Day
How could we possibly not have seen the 50 or so posters advertising the Eye Family Fun Day at the Community Centre? After a morning re-aligning the grass borders to the front of the house, we thought we would stroll along on what was a blisteringly hot day. We thought there would be half a dozen stalls or so but we were totally blown away when we turned the corner onto the field. There were around 30 stalls, about 12 vintage cars, about the same number of small steam engines, al pacas, giant marrows, flower and fruit judging, a display by a kick boxing group, hip hop dancers, and so much more. (I sound like the poster now!)
All of these were around two arenas. The first one was for a dog show/competition and you will be pleased to hear that Sneeze won third prize. No not for the high jump but in the rescue dog category. The second arena had a birds of prey display and we had a Bird’s “Eye” View so to speak. The bird handlers had just let a fairly young Falcon fly over the arena but he wasn’t tempted to return despite her whistles, dead mice and calls. The Falcon just seemed to be getting further away and higher and higher in the sky. At this point they had to postpone the display because if they had let the other smaller birds loose they could have been eaten by the wayward Falcon. All was not lost, however, the bird had a tracker and the display team appeared on the edge of the arena with what resembled an old fashioned TV aerial and promptly told an interested bystander that the Falcon was currently 15 miles away. Hopefully not anywhere near some pet rabbits! We don’t know if he was ever retrieved so if you see a random Falcon in your garden that catches your “Eye” let us know.
The Ladder Drama
Now to the highlight of this blog, The Ladder Drama. I spent this particular morning cleaning ornate light fittings in one of the upstairs rooms and Jonno was about 2 hours into limewashing an overhead beam in one of the downstairs rooms. Whilst gathering some extra cloths in another room downstairs, I did hear what sounded like someone folding up a ladder and two thoughts went through my mind. 1) He had finished the job and was tidying up: 2) He had fallen off the ladder. It sounds rather heartless but Jon hates a fuss and anything that resembles me saying, “Are you OK down there?” so I left it a few minutes and just tuned in to any other noises. Thankfully I heard him moving about but was not prepared for the sight that confronted me when he came into view. He looked like something that had been gunged in Tiswas, the Fun House, It’s a Knockout or Big Brother.
The locking mechanism on the metal ladder had failed and the whole tin of limewash had hit the floor. The majority of the contents, around 5 litres, shot up in the air and Jon was wearing it. Despite him feeling to the contrary, luck was on our side. He was only on the second step, he had laid down a waterproof covering to protect the floor and it was limewash and not gloss so it washes off easily. Most of the tin was on Jon’s clothes which necessitated a quick shower and change because I don’t think the lime content is very good for the skin. So that left me to track down every last spot and splatter. Poor Jon, it was a nasty experience and partly the shock and partly jolt to his back meant he needed some tlc. Sweet hot tea should do it or a stiff brandy. It ended up being a strong coffee and a sit down in the garden.
Once I knew everything was OK all I could think was that we are turning into the Chuckle Brothers……to me, to you!
Footnote: Apologies for the lack of photos in the most recent posts. We have been asked to respect the owners privacy and anonymity which we completely understand. This makes photographic opportunities a little limited and, lets face it, how many photos do you want of the largest marrow in Eye?
26.8 – 29.8.2017