Saturday, March 26, 2011

Work (and cheese) is its own reward

2011-03-25 Terrace coffee

This week’s mild weather has been very conducive both to outdoor work and relaxing out on the terrace afterwards. A pile of dates and Spanish strawberries with some brie de brebis (ie made from sheep milk) more than compensates for all the stings and scratches garnered while duelling bramble thorns.

The far-side of our little lake has a long stretch of dilapidated shed, perhaps once used to shelter cattle at the water’s edge. Now the corrugated metal roofing is collapsing under the weight of tree debris, many of the wooden supports eaten by termites, all of it eventually to be consumed by tendrils of blackberry.

2011-03-24 Lake clearing - south side

I spent the best part of a day removing all the metal roofing, gagging under the deluge of dirt and dessicated willow that lay on it, once a suspended layer of topsoil, now collapsing to the parched clay beneath. Munson dodged these while attending to the bunny holes that I was backfilling with rubble and leaf litter. After banging my head against some of the cross-beams one too many times, I levered them off with a crow-bar and dispatched them to the firewood store. I haven’t made up my mind what to do with this stretch yet, but will get a better idea of the possibilities once the bramble is gone, and all the decaying timbers (constructed and natural) have been taken away.

I may leave the remaining timbers to support vegetable planters, and may even use them to frame a little greenhouse that can be watered straight from the lake. Another project may be to fence all the way around the lake, connecting up to the back of the villa. That will serve two needs – giving Munson an unsupervised romping zone safely away from the big cow-shaped dogs, and also keeping the young Munsoneers away from the water.

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